C15TA Armoured Truck

Please click on the photos at left (as applicable) to jump to large-scale copies

C15TA Left Front The General Motors of Canada C15TA Armoured Truck was a four-wheel drive personnel transport built upon the standard 15cwt truck chassis. Powered by the American 270ci six-cylinder OHV engine, it performed exceptionally well in its assigned function, eventually replacing the American halftracks and White Scout Cars in Canadian service. According to Gregg, a total of 3,961 were produced, with most being sent overseas.

C15TA Right Quarter The first thing which strikes you about the C15TA is its comparative height and size. With its unique bull snout and slab sides, the C15TA, at almost 8 feet tall, projects a sense of raw power and purpose. This superb example of a C15TA in No.2 Brown was seen at a private museum in the United States. It is complete in just about every respect, inside and out.

C15TA Another frontal view. The C15TA was produced in 1944-45. Along with virtually all other Canadian vehicles in Northwest Europe, the survivors were left in the Netherlands at the conclusion of hostilities, and were dispensed out to the newly-constituted armed forces of liberated countries, including Denmark and the Netherlands itself. Many examples served honourably for decades after the war in a variety of roles. Few remain. Needless to say, if you hear of any, please contact us forthwith!

C15TA Front The famous snout, shared only with the Otter armoured car. The C15TA was built upon a basic 15cwt chassis, but equipped with 10.50 x 16 tyres for additional ground clearance and a better footprint. By all accounts, tractability was superb, and the power-to-weight ratio with the 270 impressive.

C15TA Rear Left rear view shows details of jerrycan stowage, pintle hook and tools. Note that the British-style POL containers have been dispensed with in favour of the better and more conventional type. Note also the enormous stowage bins which double as rear fenders. The two brackets on the bottom outside of the body itself are protectors for the tail lights which also double as steps.

C15TA Rear Left The same view but with the tarp buttoned up and the armoured door open for easy access. The slot in the door here carries on set of collapsible wire stowage bins from inside the troop compartment. It can also hold the removeable footwell plates from inside (see below).

C15TA Rear Right Right rear view showing the stowage bin and the driver's door latched open.

C15TA Right Side Right side profile. The side armour around the troop compartment only extends to the tarpaulin, presumably to save weight. As will be seen below, very late in the war an ambulance version was produced with armour extending all the way up, and one can only surmise that had the war continued, similar troop-carrying versions may have been introduced.

C15TA Crew Compartment The driver's station, looking forward. Instrumentation and controls are basic, late-war CMP. The engine cover is unique, however. The driver and co-driver were protected by a thin armoured roof. This particular example is fitted with a stretcher mounted on detachable brackets which were issued with every vehicle.

C15TA Left Front Looking forward to the co-driver's station detail with the armoured windshield cover closed. The latch mechanism is crude but effective. Visibility in this mode is minimal, but must have been a great comfort once the bullets started flying. Note the 'pistol' ports, a holdover from earlier days. I suspect they were seldom used except as fresh air vents.

C15TA Left Side This left side view shows detail of the co-driver's station. The bin in the door holds glass windscreens which can be fitted in rear areas. The upper section in both side doors opens down and out for visibility in non-combat zones. Note that the co-driver's door cannot be latched open as can the other one, due to the spare tyre.

C15TA Interior  A view inside to the right shows the stretcher in its mount as well as details of the robust roof bows. Noticeably absent are the six troop seats - two in the rear, and two pairs back-to-back facing outwards up forward. There is no evidence in this vehicle that they were ever installed, leading me to wonder if this was a late-war convention. Anyone?

C15TA Interior Left side of the troop compartment facing rear from the co-driver's station. The collapsible wire bin is the same as that stowed in the rear door. They would be used for personal kit for both crew and troops. Note the rifle clips in the forefront. Also visible rear centre is the removeable floor plate which would open up to reveal footwells. In the original design, the two folding rear troop seats were bolted to the checkerplate perpendicular to the visible diagonal edges of the footwell.

C15TA Interior The left forward side of the troop compartment showing footwell and rifle clips. Two side-by-side troop seats would have faced outward here. Total seated troop accomodation was six, but by removing the seats, many more could be crammed in, and I suspect that this may have been a normal procedure. In this vehicle, there are no mounting holes for said seats at all. I'd love to talk to someone who may have served in these indispensible vehicles.

C15TAs in the Scheldt This archival photo shows an unidentified troop of GM C15TA armoured trucks loading an element of Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (RHLI) in late October, 1944. By this time the RHLI and the rest of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division  were deep into a wet, cold and furious battle for control of South Beveland on the east side of the Scheldt Estuary.

C15TA A more-or-less complete, preserved C15TA with original canvas currently on display at the Canada Museum at Aadegem, Belgium.

The C15TA was the most successful armoured vehicle to come out of GM Oshawa. I wonder why it was never given a name... (photo by Chris Werb)

C15TA Ambulance This is a restored example of the rare late-war ambulance version introduced in 1945. Note the higher side plates. This example was restored by a collector in Great Britain, but now lives in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. It's not difficult to imagine the value of such a vehicle had it been available throughout the campaign in 1944. (photo by Bruce Parker)

Other C15TA pages on the web :
Canadian Tracks
C15TA AKA Mosegris

11 Feb 00 Back to CMP Armour

Copyright © Geoff Winnington-Ball , 1999 - All Rights Reserved