Tank Cruiser, Ram Mark II (E1988.23)

Tank Cruiser, Ram Mark II
vehicle info
Precise Name
Tank Cruiser, Ram Mark II
Main Utility Type
Medium/Cruiser
Country of Use
Netherlands
Canadian Armoured Corps
production
Manufactured
1943, 1944, Montreal Locomotive Works
Vickers Armstrongs Ltd., Canada
Era
World War 2
Nationality
Canadian
location in the museum
Britain at Bay
1174 is serial number : 159402 = 1158, so 1174 = 159418 (1174 is Tank Arsenal No.)

Canada's potential as a manufacturer of war materials was not overlooked by the War Office in London. Vast numbers of transport vehicles were designed to British requirements and supplied to the Allies throughout the war. Tanks were a more difficult proposition but in 1941 the Canadian Pacific Railway Company built some 1,400 Valentine tanks, most of which were supplied to Russia. The next stage was to design and build something more modern and the result was the Ram, named, it is said, from the family crest of Major General Frank Worthington, the senior Canadian tank officer.

The design of the Ram (in particular the engine, transmission and suspension), was based upon the American Medium M3 (Lee) and many components were supplied by the United States. Yet the Ram also revealed British influence. Early models had an auxiliary machine-gun turret and they were normally armed with British guns; 2 pounder and 6 pounder. The Montreal Locomotive Works undertook production of some 2,000 Rams but they never saw active service as gun tanks.

Rams were used by Canadian forces in Britain for training, but the regiments all fought in Shermans. Some Rams went to Europe as Observation Post tanks for the Royal Artillery but they are best remembered as turretless Kangaroo armoured personnel carriers. After the war many Rams were supplied to the Dutch Army and our exhibit came from Holland. It is interesting because it was rearmed at one time with a 75mm gun and was later used as a mobile target for light weapons, which is why every possible opening has been sealed or welded over. The data below applies to a standard Ram II gun tank c 1944.

The tank was originally acquired in the Netherlands by Sherwood Rangers Association for display in Nijmegen, and 17th/21st Lancers had undertaken to restore it for plinthing. A Sherman, however, was felt to be more suitable, so the Tank Museum acquired a plinthed M4A1 of Royal Scots Dragoon Guards from the School of Infantry at Warminster. It was shipped to 17th/21st Lancers, and will be replaced at Warminster by a Centurion, suitable for plinthing, from Sutton Coldfield.

The Ram was shipped to Marchwood from Antwerp on RFA Sir Lancelot.

The Ram is characteristic of those produced between registration CT159402 and 159502. It has the auxilliary machine-gun turret, no side doors or ventilation louvres in the hull sides and the turret pistol ports have been replaced with circular plates. It has Sherman-type T54E1 track links and Sherman suspension with trailing return follers. The aerial mounts are in depressions on the turret roof, not mounted on brackets as in earlier tanks. One of a small batch acquired by the Dutch Army in 1946 and armed with the QF 75mm Mark 5.
VEHICLES Features
Full Tracked
Tracks/Wheels
Gun - 75 mm Gun QF Mark 5
Armament - Main Weapon Type
Continental R-975C4, 9 cylinder radial
Engine
5 Forward, 1 Reverse
Transmission
Vertical volute spring
Suspension
Vehicle Statistics
5
Number (Crew)
29tons
Weight (Overall)
25mph
Maximum (Speed - Road)
Petrol
Type (Fuel)
75mm
Calibre (Main Gun)
400bhp
Power (Engine Output)
146gall
Volume (Fuel)
144ml
Radius (Range)
Number (Projectile)
75mm
Maximum (Armour Thickness - Hull)
5.7m
Length (Overall)
2.7m
Width (Overall)
2.6
Height (Overall)