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I know photographs exist of the arrival of the first Renaults at Camp Borden, and I hope they are on display at the museum they more reliable than the memory of a small boy.
The officers mess and the sergeants mess subsequently dined on venison.
The press release announcing the acquisition notes that my father, founder of the Canadian Armoured Corps, acquired some 250 of these tanks in the early days of the Second World War, when they were already obsolete.
About 4.5 metres long, 1.5 metres wide, the Renault M1917 had a 37 mm gun and a machine gun, a crew of two, and a speed of 11 km/h. Getting these tanks to run required ingenuity and innovation from members of the recently formed Armoured Corps, who volunteered or were transferred from other regiments, usually infantry.
when word came that the train delivering 1,500 tons of metal had arrived at the Borden Iron Foundry. silence prevailed thereafter.
The soldier in the tank turret was beaming like an Olympic champion.
I gather the restoration of the M1917 Renault tank unveiled at the War Museum is due to the generosity of Richard Iorweth Thorman, DEW Engineering, and Friends of the Canadian War Museum.
(CAFVTC) at Borden, evolved in the Canadian Armoured Corps and eventually the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC). was officially neutral (it was before Pearl Harbour) and under its Neutrality Act, the country was forbidden to get involved in another nation war.
My father, then a colonel, negotiated the purchase of the tanks (urban legend has it that he arranged the deal with General George Patton), and got them as cheap as iron. The Opposition raised the purchase in Parliament, but the matter died Skechers Lights For Adults
The arrival of the trainload of Renault tanks at Camp Borden also ended the simmering feud with some longtime cavalry types, whose loyalty to the horse made them resent armour as the new weapon of mobility.
In deer season, poachers thrived. My father designated them as the and Renault tanks scoured the area as Vans All Red Shoes a training exercise to catch poachers.
What started as the Canadian Armoured Fighting Vehicle Training Centre Mbt Shoes Kingston Upon Thames
Today, the Renaults are pipsqueak small in 1940, to a young boy, they were monstrous and formidable. Even if they were 1917 vintage, the Germans had better look out!
The other tank exists in Camp Borden.
We army brats, who swarmed Camp Borden, were awed and admiring of these Renault tanks which, even then, didn much resemble the German tanks we saw in newsreels and newspaper photographs.
As a kid I can remember by father railing at the dinner table, that so and so so goddam stupid he was often mistaken for a cavalry officer. mother usual response: now, Worthy, not in front of the children! my childhood memory of the mid 1930s, based on my father periodic dinner time rants, there were three great villains loose on earth: The Treasury Board which curtailed military spending; Mackenzie King, who as PM refused to see the danger of Germany; and Hitler, who was spoiling for war. The order of villainy shifted from time to time.
In those days, Camp Borden was mostly sand, scrub bushes and forest. There was the air force bombing range and wildlife including wolves was plentiful; civilians were prohibited from entering the area unless on business.
I was a kid, around 12 or 13 when a train load of these Renaults chugged into Camp Borden. Everyone in Borden was on hand to greet them the first tanks ever to be on Canadian soil.
The war was approaching its second year, and already it was a war with German Panzers rolling through Poland and gobbling up France. And Canada was without a single tank. Only infantry and cavalry.
Tanks for the memories
One of my cherished memories is walking down the concrete road through camp to the one room school near the Air Force area one fall day, and seeing a Renault tank emerge from the bush area with a deer carcass draped over the tank gun, and two disgruntled poachers in plaid shirts marching in front with their hands on top of their heads. Pretend prisoners of war.
In subsequent years distinguished cavalry regiments switched to armour, yet kept their previous names: Royal Canadian Dragoons, Lord Strathcona Horse, 1st Hussars, etc. In the pre war days, when my father was trying to persuade the government that the next war would be fought mainly with tanks and the air force, some senior cavalry officers, who recalled the Boer War and early First World War, stymied his efforts.
Last Monday, at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, a 5.5 tonne American version of the First World War French Renault tank was unveiled one of two in existence in Canada.
I don think the Renaults ever left Canada. They were used only for training, and were invaluable for making Canadian tank men superb mechanics, which paid off in our two armoured divisions in the Second World War (4th and 5th) and two armoured brigades (1st and 2nd).
One of the techniques my father adapted for training, was using the tanks to stop local farmers who poached deer in the Borden area. Skechers Energy Lights Black
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