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The Kangaroo concept of moving infantry units forward with the leading elements of armoured formations quickly became a critical, integral aspect of armoured corps operations in Northwest Europe, and later, in Italy.
Priest Kangaroo

Ram Kangaroo

Other Vehicles

Markings and names
Vehicle markings and names

The Canadian Armoured Corps, which provided most of the personnel for the Kangaroos as well as the basis for their administration and employment, was itself a relatively new service, having only been constituted just a few short years before. Largely through the efforts of one remarkable man,  Frank Worthington, Canada was able to field more than two complete armoured divisions during WW2. They played a critical part in tthe campaigns in Italy and Northwest Europe, fighting with equipment which was sometimes greatly inferior to that of the enemy. The men of these units were proud, bold, and creative, as they had to be - and they and their attitudes were the seed corn of the startlingly simple, radical new concept of carrying the infantry under armour (more may be read about the Armoured Corps on the Maple Leaf Up site, HERE).

The story of the Kangaroos is of a unit which used what it could, wherever it could be found. The vehicle chosen for their mission was initially the U.S. M7 Priest Self-propelled Gun, which embodied a 105mm howitzer in an open body set on an early Lee/Grant/Sherman chassis. As has been seen, in a momentous effort in the first week in August 1944, 76 of these vehicles were overhauled and modified as personnel carriers; subsequently they went on to prove a concept which remains the cornerstone of infantry operations to this day.

Once the inherent value of such a unit was realized, and official steps taken to expand it into a full regiment, the Priests, which were by this time some 53 in number through battle damage and general mechanical attrition, were replaced by specially modified Canadian Ram tanks, which were available in quantity in depots in England (having been superceded as battle tanks by the U.S. Sherman, itself having been declared the standard of Commonwealth armoured formations).
Along with the new Regiment came a significant headquarters infrastructure which also required different vehicles for reconnaissance, logistics and general administrative activities, which further changed the face of the unit as a whole.
We will examine each of these vehicles in turn, evaluating their performance, applicability and usefulness in the accomplishment of the Kangaroos' mission. In addition, we will touch upon the crucial endeavours of the unsung AWD and LAD detachments of the First Canadian Army, the tireless efforts of which guaranteed the success of this innovative unit.

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