The WW2 Jeep in Canadian Service
by Eric Booth.
Canada’s Weapons of War Series, WOW016
A5 size softback, 24 pages
Review by Peter Brown
“This book in the “in Canadian Service” series from Service Publications deals with the American Jeep which should need no introduction to anyone interested in military vehicles.
The 24 page soft cover book has extensive English text as well as B&W wartime photos usually one to a page along with the text and a few two shots to a page which are large enough to show the general details complimenting the text.
The Jeep created a whole new class of frontline transport and its influence was so great that even decades later its name is used for any small, four-wheel-drive vehicle in military or civilian use.
Jeeps were widely distributed among America’s allies and each made use of them in different roles. As with other books in this series, this account deals with the Canadian story. It begins with a short introduction describing Canada’s own light military vehicles in the early war years and a brief history of the design and development of the Jeep including the original Bantam, Willys and Ford types.
Canada was quick to recognise the potential of these new vehicles and obtained two early Bantam prototypes, one of which was shipped to England.
Even before these had been tested it was decided to adopt the Bantam but the US adopted the Willys as its preferred model. In order to have the greatest possible standardisation and production, Canadian vehicles were to be the same as American ones though early vehicles had small changes similar to those allowed for the US Marines.
During the war years, thousands of Jeeps were supplied to Canada, some through British procurement with more supplied direct. A few were also obtained unofficially which at times resulted in units having Jeeps with the same serial number applied to more than one vehicle… Most were used in overseas theatres though some remained for training and use at home.
Various modifications were made after receipt, including removing one headlight and adding various kits to adapt them as ambulances. Others were fitted with radios or modified for airborne use. More extensive work was carried out at the end of the war to better equip them for use in cold weather, some of these conversions becoming very elaborate.
These changes along with details of the first Jeep to be used in action by Canadian forces are covered in the book including the few GPA amphibians acquired. It is illustrated throughout using period photos, although unlike others in the series it does not include scale plans. Details are given of Canadian pattern trailers though there are no photos of these. Colour schemes and basic details of markings are included as are basic specifications.
This is not a one-stop coverage of the Jeep but it is not intended to be as it deals with specific Canadian use. As such it offers the modeller another angle on the subject with the photos giving ideas for many models.”