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Medium Tank / Cruiser Tank

Canada | 1943

"The Grizzly I Cruiser was nothing more than a slightly modified M4 Sherman for Canada - though eventually limited in production due to the availability of the M4 Sherman proper."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/29/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Like Australia, Canada also found itself without much of an armored corps (or facilities to produce such systems) at the start of hostilities in World War 2. And much like the Australians, the Canadians were forced to rely on the tank systems as brought to them by the British and the Americans. Sherman production was full steam down in America and the Canadians elected to produce a local variant of the M4A1 Sherman model in their own backyard. However, the American production facilities proved to have quite a reach and American-made Shermans were flying off the assembly lines ready for all available takers. As such, the Grizzly program proved a short-lived venture, but it nonetheless offered the Canadians a home-grown product and a taste of new-era armor design and production standards associated with them.

The Grizzly maintained its general Sherman appearance throughout, complete with its high profile and rounded armor edges. The Grizzly did differ from its M4A1 origins by having CPD-type tracks, thicker armor protection and an improvement of an 20 additional miles of range. The Grizzly retained the Continental R-975-C1 9-cylinder radial gasoline-fueled engines that provided for an output of 353 horsepower while at 2,400rpm. Performance was equally similar with a top speed of 24 miles-per-hour (achievable in bursts) and a maximum range of 120 miles. Armor measured up to 2.95 inches at its thickest.

Primary armament was a 75mm high-velocity M3 L/40 main gun mounted in a fully-traversable turret. Secondary armament included the 12.7mm Browning heavy machine gun to make short work of low-flying aircraft, lightly armored vehicles or enemy infantry. Further anti-infantry defense was tackled by the co-axial .30-06 caliber machine gun fitted to the turret (next to the main gun) and a bow-mounted .30-06 caliber system in the front right hull (on a flexible mount).

Like the Sherman before it, the Grizzly featured a standard operating crew of five personnel. This included the tank commander, loader, gunner, bow-gunner/co-driver and the driver. The driver and bow gunner sat in the forward left and right positions of the forward hull respectively. The gunner, loader and tank commander each took a place inside of the turret.

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It was originally intended that some 1,200 Grizzlies be in service come early 1944 but this plan eventually came to naught when the American M4 Sherman model became an all-too available commodity for Canadian, British and Australian consumption. The Canadian War Office eventually nixed the plan for the locally-built Shermans and decided to accept the American-produced ones instead.

Montreal Locomotive Works was tapped to produce the Grizzly, with production beginning in August of 1943. Upon the decision handed down by the War Office, production instead switched over to the valuable 25-pounder SP gun. Despite the official cancellation of further Grizzlies, the first 23 completed systems were still delivered in October of 1943. This was eventually followed by another 165 production examples bringing the total to 188 units.

The Grizzly I Cruiser tank program was officially completed in January of 1944. In the post-war years, some 55 Grizzlies were shipped off to Portugal and many thereafter became collector's items. The Grizzly was also spawned into a makeshift armored personnel carrier noted with the Grizzly APC designation. Portugal also received approximately 40 of these systems and used a handful in driver training exercises. The fate of the armored personnel carriers found them sold for scrapping at the end of their useful run.

Amazingly, the Grizzly class of Sherman tanks represent some of the more numerous types of Shermans still running today.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Grizzly I Cruiser Medium Tank / Cruiser Tank.
1 x Continental R-975-C1 9-cylinder radial gasoline engine developing 353 horsepower at 2,400rpm.
Installed Power
24 mph
39 kph
Road Speed
120 miles
193 km
The physical qualities of the Grizzly I Cruiser Medium Tank / Cruiser Tank.
19.1 ft
5.81 meters
O/A Length
8.6 ft
2.62 meters
O/A Width
9.8 ft
2.99 meters
O/A Height
67,001 lb
30,391 kg | 33.5 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Grizzly Medium Tank / Cruiser Tank.
1 x 75mm M3 L/40 main gun
1 x 12.7mm Browning anti-aircraft machine gun
1 x .30-06 caliber machine gun in co-axial mount.
1 x .30-06 caliber machine gun in flexible bow mount.
97 x 75mm projectiles
300 x 12.7mm ammunition
4,750 x .30-06 caliber ammunition
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the Grizzly family line.
M4 (Sherman) - Base American Production Model Series Designation.
M4A1 - Continental radial engine; single-piece cast hull; 75mm OR 76mm armament.
Grizzly I Cruiser - Canadian designation for Canadian-built M4A1 Shermans; fitting 75mm main gun.
Grizzly APC - Armored Personnel Carrier
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Grizzly. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 188 Units

Contractor(s): Montreal Locomotive Works - Canada
National flag of Canada National flag of Portugal

[ Canada; Portugal ]
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Image of the Grizzly
Front left side view of a Grizzly I Cruiser tank on display

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Grizzly Medium Tank / Cruiser Tank appears in the following collections:
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