by Robert H Clarke.
Canada's Weapons of War Series, WOW038
A5 size softback, 24 pages
Review by Peter Brown
Military units use a wide range of vehicles. In the early 1940s those organised to British standards had various cars and Light Utility trucks - basically light truck or large car chassis with a small truck-type body - for use by commanders for communication and just getting around. Early designs were limited by having two-wheel drive, something better with more space and all wheel drive configuration was needed. Canada provided that with the Heavy Utility series. Using a 8cwt 4x4 truck chassis and the standard No 13 series cab with its distinctive sloped windscreen extended into a box body, several variants were built by Chevrolet for use by Canadian, British and Allied forces.
Most numerous of these was the Truck, Heavy Utility, Personal or HUP.
Designed to give a unit commander a means of transport in forward areas as well as a basic office, these had large rear compartment with both bench and folding seats. A sliding roof hatch could be opened for observation while large side windows provided light in the day with electric lights fitted for use at night. Canvas extensions could be rigged for extra space.
Similar vehicles were fitted with radio sets and associated aerials and generators. Others were intended to carry cypher and computor equipment, the latter being manual devices as the computers of the day were way too large for transport by vehicle. They were also produced with equipment and storage for equipment repair, though like the ambulance versions these were often found to be too small. In addition some were modified for use by broadcasting organisations such as the CBC.
As with most vehicles, changes were introduced during production. Early vehicles had plastic side windows, round observation hatches over the co-drivers seat and no provision for a spare wheel as they were intended to use run-flat tyres. Glass windows, square hatches and spare wheels as well as other details are described and shown using a good selection of period black-and-white photos. The centre pages have 1/35th scale showing wireless vehicles with five views of a late type with side and partial front and rear views of an early type with typical camouflage pattern.
This book provides ideal one-off reference material for modellers using existing and promised kits in various scales.
Thanks to Clive Law at Service Publications for the review book.