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 Truck, 15-cwt, 4x4, Armoured > Spanish 'Trumphys' > C15TA survivors > CZ4287885
The success of the White M3A1 Scout Car, being used it its role of an armoured lorry, clearly showed the need for such a thing. When in 1943 the Americans decided to phase the M3A1 out of production, the British War Department decided a replacement was needed. They came up with a prototype design: a CMP field artillery tractor, with a fully enclosed armoured body, which was known as the 'Cupola'. 
The Canadians carried out some drastic re-design and came up with the C15TA, a 15-cwt 4x4 armoured truck based on the Otter LRC. It employed the same GM six cylinder 270 cid engine, but was fitted with a two ratio gearbox. The British placed contracts for 3,000 late in 1943, the remainder going to the Canadian Army. The C15TA was manufactured by General Motors of Canada, with hulls supplied by the Hamilton Bridge Company. During 1943/1944 GM Canada built 3,961 C15TAs at their Oshawa (Ontario, Canada) plant at a price of $4.500 each. These open-topped vehicles were equipped as trucks, eight-seater personnel carriers or ambulances. Extremely popular wherever it served, the C15TA lasted for years after the war, but never succeeded in ousting the White, which at one stage looked like going on for ever.

The photo shows an unidentified troop of C15TA armoured trucks loading an element of Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (RHLI) in late October, 1944. By this time the RHLI and the rest of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division were deep into a wet, cold and furious battle for control of South Beveland on the east side of the Scheldt Estuary.

(Source: Maple Leaf Up)

Reportedly, every Canadian Infantry Regiment got at least one C15TA which for the most part was used as the CO's vehicle.

The battered example on the left, aptly named 'Aristocrat', shows that the Armoured Truck was a truck in the first place: look at the amount of gear stowed on the front!

(Source: C15TA a.k.a. Mosegris)

The 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment had only one C15TA. The picture,  taken in April/May 1945, shows Majors Kaiser and Baldwin standing in front of the L.A.D. HQ's Armoured Truck.

(Source: Storey, Ed. 'The 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment, 1944-1945'. Militaria Magazine, No.20, October 1995, p.36-41. Storey, 1995, p.41.)

C15TA (Z5822489) of the Czech Independent Armoured Brigade parading through Prague towards the end of May 1945.

(Source: Wheels & Tracks, no.26)

Post-war use

After WW2 the C15TA soldiered on with the British and Canadian Army. One photo shows a C15TA in use as a 17 pdr AT gun tractor with a British Territorial Army Battalion, possibly The Green Howards, as late as circa 1957. However, it seems most of the British C15TA's ended up in the areas were the British Army was (or had been) active like the Middle East, Korea, Malaya and French Indochina
The British used them during the mandate period, and their use in the Middle East continued through at least the early '50s. Besides Israel, apparently some were transferred to Egypt as well. The Israelis also used them in modified form. The top was roofed over and one of their more or less standard eight sided machine gun turrets was installed. 

The Canadian C15TA's seem to have all ended up on the vehicle dumps in Holland. Besides Belgium, Denmark and Norway, the Netherlands was one of the countries that adopted the type for post-war use.
As of 16 May 1946 the Royal Netherlands Army's (RNlA) material overview listed no less than 396 C15TAs. Of these, 368 were in more or less usable condition. Their numbers slowly dwindled to 276 (only "partially serviceable" and "heavily rusted") on 17 March 1951, no doubt because they were shipped to the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) in Indonesia. The KNIL used large numbers of the C15TA in Indonesia, especially for reconnaissance but also for infantry units.
By 2 January 1959 the RNlA inventory still listed 129 C15TAs, as well as 4 "command versions". They are believed to have been struck off charge in 1961.

The Netherlands East Indies

Although the C15TA was certainly not conceived as a 25-pdr field artillery tractor, it apparently served in this role with a Dutch unit in Indonesia. 
After Indonesia became independent, most C15TAs were handed over. Indonesia (eventually) used them as riot control/police vehicles, with the hull sides built up to the level of the cab and "POLIS" painted on the side.

(Source: TANKS!)

Dutch C15TA wrecks
The Netherlands

After being struck off charge, as with many old warriors, most of the C15TAs were scrapped or ended up on the ranges. During a major clean-up in 1989 half a dozen remaining hulls were removed from a training base at Amersfoort. Being armoured vehicles, they were indiscriminately torched to bits and carted off to the blast furnaces...

(Source: Wheels & Tracks No. 28, July 1989, p.7)

Denmark: M6 PMV, 4x4, "Mosegris"

In use from 1946. It was nicknamed "M6 Otter" because of its familiarity with the Otter Recce vehicle. When the Danish Army Material Command realized that it was too different from the Otter it was named "M6 Mosegris". Used as armoured personnel carrier and communications vehicle. 

(Note: the photo is linked directly from Danish Army Vehicles Homepage)


The Norwegian Army did  use a number of C15TAs. Further details are currently unavailable.

Spain: Trumphys

Click here to read more about Spanish Trumpys

(Note: the photo is linked directly from PanzerNet-Medios Blindados Españoles)

Korean War

Caption: "Pakchon, Korea. 1950-11-07. Troops of 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), ride on the back of an American truck to take up new positions south west of Pakchon. On the back of the truck (far right) is Private Ian Robertson of Sniper Section, who was the Unit photographer." 

Note: this image (Negative Number: 146969) is linked directly from the Australian War Memorial Photograph Database. It is provided for research purposes only and may not be reproduced or published.

Click on this button:

to see a photo linked directly from the Hulton Getty Web site.
It is captioned: "Units of the Malay armoured car regiment on parade in Kuala Lumpur during the review of the troops by the first King of Malaysia, The Yang Di Pertuan Agong. The ceremony celebrates Malay independence. The ceremony celebrates Malay Independence and took place on 4th September 1957."
Malaya (Malaysia)

During the emergency (communist armed revolt, 1948-60), the Royal Malaysian Police used dark blue painted C15TAs, providing armoured protection for personnel, troops, VIPs, etc. The CT15A was the main armoured vehicle used by the Federation of Malaya Police from 1951 on for patrol and escort duties, eventually many hundreds were in use. 
The GM C15TA was popularly known as the 'JMC' (for the GMC engine perhaps?). Like so many C15TAs in post-war use, these had some structural modifications like extended side armour.

Vietnam War

At the end of WW2 no French troops were available to occupy Indochina. Until sufficient forces became available, the Chinese were responsible for Northern Vietnam while British troops moved into the southern portion. In 1946 they were replaced by French troops who took over some vehicles, including Universal Carriers, Coventry ACs, turreted(!) Lynx scout cars, Indian pattern FAT w/armoured cabs and C15TAs. Many of these were in turn handed over to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) when the French pulled out of Indochina. In the 1960s the US Army photographed this C15TA while it was awaiting repair near Saigon. Note that the hull side armour has been extended in an effort to improve crew protection.

Simon Dunstan in VIETNAM TRACKS Armour In Battle 1945-75 captioned the picture on the left as follows: "The ARVN employed a wide range of vehicles for convoy escort, including this Canadian 15-cwt GM C15TA Aromored Truck of Second World War vintage. Such elderly equipment was normally used by service support units and 'Ruff-puffs' (RF/PF - Regional and Provincial Forces). (James Loop)" 

A fair number of C15TAs have survived - click here for an overview of survivors.

Manuals for the C15TA:
GM CANADA, ILLUST. PARTS LIST, TRUCK, ARMOURED , 15 CWT. CWT. 4x4. MOD. C15TA Chassis 8449 (Apr. '45)
15 CWT. 4x4, CMP, TRUCK ARMOURED, Operation, Maintenance and Repair. (Jun. '44)
CHEV. AND GM ILLUSTRATED CATALOGUE OF MAJOR ASSEMBLIES (Aug. '44) (Engines, transmissions, transfer cases, front & rear axle, steering) Cdn. Military Pattern Vehicles and Armoured Truck, Armoured and Reconnaissance cars and Modified Conventional Vehicles. (50 models)
Links to C15TA pages:

  • Blijleven, C., Janse, J. (ed.), Pantservoertuigen in Nederlandse Dienst. Zwolle: TWENOT, 1986, p.II-A-1-1.
  • Church, John, Military Vehicles of World War 2. Poole: Blandford Press, 1982, p.116.
  • Fletcher, David, The Universal Tank. London: HMSO, 1993, p.78-79.
  • Gregg, William, Blueprint for Victory. Rockwood: The Canadian Military Historical Society, 1981, p.94, 127.
  • Matthews, Keith <>.
  • Mesko, Jim, Armor in Vietnam: A pictorial History. Carrollton: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1982, p.16.
  • Vanderveen, Bart, Historic Military Vehicles Directory. London: Battle of Britain Prints, 1989, p.45.
  • Wheels & Tracks magazine (various issues).

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Created 10 Jan 2000
Last updated 24 November 2002

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