Saturday, 15 February 2020

Canadian Army Mule Cart

The photo above was taken by Frank Royal, and shows soldiers of the 1st Canadian Division marching near Modica, Sicily in July 1943.  Much of the Division's transport was lost when the ship carrying it was torpedoed en route to Sicily, so the soldiers had to make do as best they could.  As you can see in this photo, they made use of local mule carts to carry supplies.

Now, apparently Sicily is famous for brightly decorated mule carts.  I was tempted to follow suit, but decided that it wouldn't be very army-like to have a bright orange and red cart following my khaki-clad soldiers.  So I went with a more subdued colour scheme for my cart.

Intrigued by this, and with no particular game application in mind, I determined to procure a mule cart to support my own soldiers!  The mule cart is from Empress Miniatures, driver from Perry Miniatures Desert Rats (plastics so great for all these 'specials'!) and the stowage from various pieces I had around, including Perry, Die Waffenkammer and Warlord Games.

Driver and stowage are removable.  The stowage is glued to a base of plastic sheet, and could potentially be used as a jump off point for Chain of Command.  I drilled a hole in the cart and inserted a magnet so that the driver can be easily removed.  Too bad I messed up the otherwise neat lines of the cart!

Finally, I tried to duplicate Frank Royal's photo. Didn't quite get it, but I think the flavour of the photo is there! 8^)


  1. Love it! I must admit that I would be tempted to go crazy with the paint scheme, and maybe even have the driver riding the mule! Reminds me of the 1914 Belgium Army dog carts; they used St. Bernards, etc., to haul HMGs.

  2. Thanks, Kevin! I have gone crazy on paint schemes before (look at some of the Afghanistan stuff I've done). It seems that mules were widely used throughout the Italian campaign by both sides, especially in the mountains, where roads were heavily mined and most bridges destroyed. So if my Afghanistan mules show up on a WWII Italy table, that will be why!