The Kangaroo in Canadian Service
by Mark W Tonner.
Canada’s Weapons of War Series, WOW010
A5 size softback, 24 pages
Review by Peter Brown
“Although armoured halftracks were used in some numbers for troop transport in WW2, there were only a relatively small number of fully tracked armoured personnel carriers in use. These were generally called Kangaroos, the best known of these were the Canadian Ram tanks used in NW Europe.
This book covers the Kangaroo from a Canadian viewpoint, beginning with a brief account of the original use of converted Priest self-propelled guns with details of the conversion, numbers and use in Operation TOTALIZE. After the success of these field improvisations a permanent unit was formed, the 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron which was to use Ram tanks formerly used by Canadian armoured regiments stored in the UK as the Priests were to be converted back to their original use.
Again we have details of numbers of Rams converted, where and when they were used in the various operations between then and the end of hostilities in Europe, the change of name to 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment and later 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment, details of unit organisation with supporting vehicles, and transfer to the British 79th Armoured Division where it was the only Canadian unit under command. Modifications made as a result of experience and unit markings are described and illustrated, as well as usual modelling details such as the fitting of extended end connectors.
Mention is made briefly of the parallel British Kangaroo unit and some of the photos show them, but the book deals with the Canadian story. There is nothing on the Kangaroo as gun tractor, ammunition vehicle or flamethrower conversions. There is a 1/35 plan of a Kangaroo and a good selection of black and white photos. Unfortunately none show the interior clearly so any questions of what these vehicles looked like inside is not resolved.
As the Ram has already been covered in this series in two earlier volumes in this series – see The Ram Development and Variants Volumes 1 and 2 – there is no technical coverage which saves duplication. As a follow-on to the Ram books or as a separate account in its own right, this is a good one to add to your collection.
Thanks to Service Publications for the review book.”