I recently received a question regarding vehicle markings on Canadian Leopards from my previous post of the start of my Leopard C1's for my Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD) squadron. While I have spent some time around Canadian military equipment and vehicles, like any other nation, Canadian markings have adapted, adjusted, and changed many times over the years...subtle changes and not so subtle.
Starting with my Flames of War Canadian tank company, I carried out a lot of research to satisfy my OCD and make sure I was reflecting some historical accuracy...to this end, I discovered the Armoured Acorn website and the dozens of Order Of Battle docs as well as the dozens of Vehicle Markings docs and representations.
Giving full credit to the Armoured Acorn...unfortunately that website is no longer active...here are the docs for Canadian Vehicles with 4 CMBG and also Canadian Army circa 1990's-2000's in Canada:
For my current Team Yankee run...I have also used the Modern Canadian Vehicle forum as there are many discussion threads on specific Canadian vehicles and units...and I have also gone and dug up my old Battle School notebooks (couldn't believe that I still had them) as well, I have also leaned on buddies and family for pics and advice from their time with the Brigade.
From the Modern Canadian Vehicle forum:
Royal Canadian Dragoons
A Squadron Headquarters element:
Officer Commanding vehicle marking 1A - tac callsign (c/s) 19 (one-niner)
Battle Captain - 1B
Dozer - 16 (Sergeant or Master-Corporal
Liaison Officer - 19E in Lynx
1 Troop (4 x Leopard MBT/Troop)
Troop Leader - 11 (Lt or 2Lt)
Senior NCO - 11A (Warrant Officer or Sergeant)
Sergeant - 11B
Master-Corporal - 11C
PPCLI (1984-1988) - the regiment had 3-4 companies numbered from A to D; each company had 3 platoons numbered in sequence...however first platoon of second company was not "1" platoon, it carried on the sequence (as indicated below)...each platoon had 3 sections numbered 1 to 3.
Alpha Company: 19 is the Officer Commanding (OC); 19C the Company Sergeant-Major (CSM); 19D and 19E Company Quartermaster (CQ)
A Coy, 1 Platoon: 11 Platoon Commander; 11A is 1 Section; 11B is 2 Section; 11C is 3 Section
A Coy, 2 Platoon: 12; 12A; 12B; 12C
A Coy, 3 Platoon: 13; 13A; 13B; 13C
Bravo Company: 29 is the OC; 29C is the CSM; 29D and 29E is CQ
B Coy, 4 Platoon: 21 Plt Cmdr; 21A 1 Sect; 21B 2 Sect; 21C 3 Sect
B Coy, 5 Platoon: 22 Plt Cmdr; 22A 1 Sect; 22B 2 Sect; 22C 3 Sect
B Coy, 6 Platoon: 23 Plt Cmdr; 23A 1 Sect; 23B 2 Sect; 23C 3 Sect
Charlie Company: 39 is the OC; 39C is the CSM; 39D and 39E is CQ
C Coy, 7 Platoon: 31 Plt Cmdr; 31A 1 Sect; 31B 2 Sect; 31C 3 Sect
C Coy, 8 Platoon: 32 Plt Cmdr; 32A 1 Sect; 32B 2 Sect; 22C 3 Sect
C Coy, 9 Platoon: 33 Plt Cmdr; 33A 1 Sect; 33B 2 Sect; 33C 3 Sect
Combat Support Company: 59 is the OC
Mortar Platoon: 51 was Headquarters element
Mortar Group 1: 52 callsigns
Mortar Group 2: 53 c/s
Pioneer Platoon: 54 c/s
Armoured Defence: 55 c/s
Recce Platoon: 56 c/s
Spare number: 57 c/s...for some time, this also included extra armoured defence elements
Info from my buddy Jay at the OMG club:
"I thought I'd stick my oar in since one or another of the 2PPCLI tracks was my home from '85-'88 in Germany...in the Coy HQ would be 19A (Coy 2i/c I think). I forget who 19B is. The CQ vehicles were 2 1/2 ton trucks. Delta Coy (call sign 4) arrived in the summer of '85...
Delta Company: 49 is the OC; 49A is the 2ic; 49C is the CSM; 49D and 49E is CQ
D Coy, 10 Platoon: 41 Plt Cmdr; 41A 1 Sect; 41B 2 Sect; 41C 3Sect
D Coy, 11 Platoon: 42 Plt Cmdr; 42A; 42B; 42C
D Coy, 12 Platoon: 43 Plt Cmdr; 43A; 43B; 43C
...here's what I remember about mortars: 51A was HQ M577; 51A was a Lynx (platoon 2ic, Lt, command the Lynx responsible for recce and baseplate positions). Each group had 4 x M113s and 1 x M548 ammo vehicle. (I sat in group2) Mortar Group 1 and 2:
52 and 53 (Group comd - WO, and 1 mortar and crew) 52A and 53A (Line Cpl and 1 mortar and crew) 52B and 53B (Mortar and crew) 52C and 53C (Mortar and crew plus the Command Post Operator the guy who did the math and stuff so the mortar rounds landed in the general area of where the MFC wanted them) 52D and 53D - the ammo M548
From about '87 the Charlie vehicle would be one of the M113A2's with the external fuel tanks. When we got them (one per mortar group), they took a while to settle into being the Group CP vehicle, which is probably why Barry Beldam (Armoured Acorn) shows one as 52B. They never got painted in a camouflage pattern, remaining the base green at least as long as we had them in 2PPCLI."
From other folks on various forums:
"Combat support company housed anti-tank platoon (Armoured Defence)...this comprised 16 x M113s in 4 groups subdivided into 2 sections each. Recce platoon also housed the battalion snipers"
I think that covers all that I have in my notes...the beauty of this is that thanks to my notes, I realize a little late that I made an error with my RCD's...so I'm off to fix my err and remove callsign 11D from my troop.
I'm just keeping up my posting momentum while I enjoy my extended holiday...given the time frame of Team Yankee (mid 1980's) that places the Royal Canadian Dragoons as Canada's armoured regiment in Lahr...post 1987, this transitioned to the 8th Canadian Hussars...so, as further inspiration I thought I'd title this post in honour of the motto for the RCD's, Bold and Swift.
f you've been following for a while, you might remember a couple of command vehicles that I modeled up over the past year for my Cold War Canucks project. A couple of Command 113's...the CP Track from the Bannon Box (marked up as command vehicle for 1 RCHA) and an M577 Command Vehicle (markings for the first company of the first Infantry Regiment of the Brigade):
Carrying on from these models, mid last year I had begun prepping some Leopard tanks for the heavy metal force for my 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group force...enter the Royal Canadian Dragoons. There are some great online resources for pics for Canadian vehicles from that time frame, but I also sought some advice from friend and fam that had served in 4 Brigade during the 80s.
So, at the end of the year, I made a concerted effort to get some elements of my RCD squadron painted and modeled up so that I could feel like I actually made some progress. The main difference with the Canadian Leopards compared to any other vehicles in Germany at the time, was the initial paintscheme of the tanks. When the Canadians started receiving the Leopard C1 they came from the factory in the standard Leopard colour of violet brown or olive brown...
-picture by Armoured Acorn, taken from ColdWarGamer-
-pic taken from ColdWarGamer, author unknown-
For the most part this colour stuck for a while, however when vehicles went in for 3rd line and factory maintenance they would then end up getting repainted...later in the 80s this meant that Leopards started to look closer in colour to other Canadian vehicles...either NATO green or like my command tracks above, Vallejo 924 - Russian Uniform.
-pic taken from TankNutDave-
For my C1's, I decided to go somewhere in the middle with a base coat of vj 887, then a 50/50 mix of 887 and 924, I then took a mixed wash of Army Painter strong tone and Citadel nuln oil...this brought a really nice brown hue to the undertones...I then went back with the 50/50, followed by another layer of 3:1-ish of vj 924 to 887. Finally I took a watered down layer of 924 to highlight certain spots of the tank...
To better reflect Canadian Leopard C1's I had to change the XSW-30 infrared/white searchlight...'the box' that you see on early Leopard 1's to the more round PZB200 image intensification system or passive low light level television (LLTV)...the Battlefront box only included the square XSW units. I was at odds of how to fashion the PZB as it is a fairly small piece of equipment and very difficult to accurately reflect its overall shape...
-picture taken from google, author unknown-
as you can see above the gun mantlet, the frame is kind of oblong with some flare near the opening...the PZB system fits inside the frame...the system is round and rather barrel like...
-picture taken from RUAG Defence Deutschland-
So, I had angst over this conversion for some time, however when Plastic Soldier Company recently announced their Leopard C1 kit, I saw how they tackled the conversion and I saw the opportunity to move forward. So, instead of the square box, I cut down some plasticard rods and then attached some framework around them...I won't reflect the actual piece of kit 100%, however I think it is an effective adapt and overcome to the problem. The framework I used is the mesh drywall adhesive tape...it is adhesive so it sticks to the rod and is roughly the right scale.
-pic taken from Tankograd Publishing-
As well, I wanted to show camouflage netting on the turret and hull of the vehicles...for this I used some Flexx-rap medical tape that I had some success with previously.
A Squadron, Headquarters Troop
1A - A Squadron Officer Commanding (OC)
1B - A Squadron Battle Captain
For the headquarters troop, I used the white bordered black maple leaf...this was fairly standard for the Canadian Leopards...for my own modeling purposes, I have used 1:87 scale decals instead of 1:100/15mm scale...this is for 2 reasons, 1) availability...it is more difficult to get 15mm decals, and 2) the larger maple leaf does standout more...and I like that.
A Squadron, 1 Troop...numbered 11, 11B, 11C to Dlooking to my notes, I realized I had brainfarted and started numbering the troop vehicles from A to D... A more accurately numbered Troop...feel free to enjoy the "older" pics as well...
the troop vehicles renumbered...I tried a different setting on my camera today as well...lighting was a touch lighter...
I painted the water containers hanging off the rear of the turret to better differentiate platoons/troops for when I was looking down on the field...1 Troop has 2 spots of Russian uniform/green grey on their containers
11 Troop Leader
11A - Troop Senior NCO - WO or Sgt
For this troop, I went with the straight black maple leaf decal without any bordering...not only will it help me to differentiate platoons/troops on the 'battlefield', but there were realworld instances where tank crew used duct tape to hide the white bordering of the maple leaf...
11D...before his promotion to Troop Leader callsign 11
A Squadron, the force so far...
Hope you enjoy the pics folks...thanks as always for the views, feel free to hit me with constructive critiques and comments.
Just before Christmas I had the chance to get together with Mike and Duncan and have a go at some Team Yankee. Duncan and I were on the hook for about 40 points each of Warsaw Pact troops, and Mike was on the hook for 80-ish points of US army.
As Stripes had just been released, Mike elected to go with some hummer mounted troops to fill out the back end of his US armoured list. I elected to try something a little different and push an infantry formation with recce, AAA, arty, and a small tank company in support. Duncan elected for some East German heavy metal.
I'll let the pics do the talking on this one...
view of battlespace from my left flank...sweeping over the WP FEBA...my troops are in the foreground, Duncan is deployed on the right flank...
Big picture view of the battlespace...Mike is on long end on the left...Duncan and I are on the right...we're deployed around a little ville, Mike has some hills to contend and forest to contend with.
One platoon of M1's...an air defense platoon of Vulcan armed M113's...behind them you can see Mike's hummers...he brought these guys in for their stinger manpads...neither Duncan or I brought in any air support.
I spearheaded with my BRDM-2's...they quickly took some hurt from Mike's 113's...his M1's crested their hill and took up firing positions on my T72's...I didn't have a large company, so any hits definitely hurt...
I'm pushing forward, BMP-2's are moving a little behind the heavy metal...I'm trying to set them up in firing position so they can put some missiles on the M1's and some 30mm on the 113's.
anti-tank missile hit...one M1 down...but he is doing a better job than I am in getting shots downrange...
looking towards my lines...burning BRDMs and T72's...
the Vulcan 113's move forward and get in range of my first MR company...BMP's taking hits and infantry are bailing out...most of my grunts pass their saves and take up position in the ville.
Duncan was making slow and steady progress on the right flank...his T55 horde was making good rolls and Mike was having a hard time getting hits on them.
I haven't been able to do much to his M1's...I think Duncan was distracting all the tanks at this point...but I did start exacting some revenge on those damn Vulcans...my BMPs kept a pretty steady rate of fire on the VADS platoon and started making headway.
Duncan maneuvers one of his tank companies towards the forest while maintaining a steady firebase with the other...Mike is redeploying his M1's trying to maximize cover and firepower...
I can't remember which vehicle did it...either BMP or ZSU fire...but Mike loses one of his cobras...
The hummers come forward to push the objective...Duncans tanks are taking the hillcrest...
I'm pushing forward with my BMP's and laying down some arty with my Carnations...
Mike goes kamikaze with his last cobra to try to take out Duncan's infantry that are defending one of our objectives...it didn't work out...
Mike has to push the M1's on my flank over towards the objective...they are now taking main gun fire from Duncan and missile fire from my BMPs...
Duncan re-establishes his line facing towards my left...my BMPs destroy the VADS platoon and combined with my artillery, they push back the hummers...
we collectively push both objectives on our respective sides of the river...
It didn't go Mike's way, however this was definitely one of the most contented games I've played of TY yet...having grunts in the mix changed the flavour for me...and made me hope that I'll see more infantry forces in the future...