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Everything posted by BlueBelle

  1. Thanks for going to the trouble of marking up 21BK83 Prototype P2 Hornet as you've done Clive, truly illuminating and appreciated. :-) Just a pity there wasn't a little more clarity with my photo of it in the desert. A few more photos to come, associated with the 1961 trials, though not of the Hornet.
  2. Thanks for the above Clive. I shall always look more closely at Humber 1T APCs now, if ever I come across one. I don't think I can find the hasp close-up for you, or any other hasp come to that. :-) So much is yet to be written about those vehicles and their derivatives, as indeed there is about the holistic 'total' history of Hornet, Malkara and the soldiers, civilians and politicians involved. One day, perhaps you will do the honours? Staying on the Humber/Hornet/Malkara Tripolitania too, theme, here's the prototype Hornet launcher below, trialled in the desert 30 miles to the south of Homs, as per the official report Jun-Jul 1961 Tripolitania and, from The Tank. The last four of the VRN are BK83. You'll perhaps tell us the first two digits, please as the report omits the VRN. Notice not just the busy soldiers, but the civi boffins too, oh, and an officer in an official 'officer in charge pose' hoping someone knows what they're doing .. Photo by Peter Goddard 2RTR
  3. There were 4 Chieftains with 1RTR if the below is to be believed! The squadrons would not have stayed afloat for months at a time, certainly going ashore with their tanks, practicing beach landings and other tactical training and, Chieftain evaluations. Not much on the web about these tanks other than this below: Below is from: http://www.1rtr.net/history.html "The Regiment left Hohne for the Middle East in November 1965. B Squadron became the independent squadron in Hong Kong. The rest of the Regiment took over in Little Aden in December 1965, being rejoined by C Squadron in January 1966, from Bahrain. During the 12 month tour the Regiment was engaged in internal security operations in Aden. The Regiment had 4 (yes, it says, 4) Chieftains in Aden on desert trials. They had to carry loads of spare bulbs as the lights kept blowing. Sand induced breakdowns were frequent. *** During the year the Centurions were back loaded and the Regiment gradually undertook light armoured patrols in groups consisting of Ferret Scout Cars; Saracens; Stalwarts; Saladins; 432s and armoured Land Rovers and 3 Tonners. An Air element, equipped with Sioux Helicopters, was included in a newly created Reconnaissance Squadron. In December 1966, the Regiment paraded as the last Armoured Regiment east of Suez, the salute was taken by the Commander in Chief Middle East Command who said, "I'm proud of the Tigers in my Tanks". Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, B Squadron sent detachments to join units in action in Malaysia, as well as being involved in internal security duties". I don't think we know enough from the person who handed the photos over to, was it Starfire (?) to be able to say for sure that these photos were actually taken in Aden and not say, in Bahrain, Sharjah or some other exotic Gulf state. Where's a Chieftain or 1RTR 'expert' when one wants one? (Starfire posted before me, as I was writing, to confirm photos were taken in Aden, thank you) 02EB47, according to Griffin in 'Chieftain', was positioned on SPTA in Mar 2006. He also references 'hot sandy climate' trials with 1RTR in Aden 1966. Nothing by Dunstan in 'Chieftain MBT 1965-2003' or his 'The Chieftain Tank'. But, George Forty in his' MCV Chieftain' asserts 'two Chieftains arrived in Aden for trials, 02EB48 and 02EB44'. Those two tanks did some gunnery practice too, live firing. Four paragraphs. So, where was the Chieftain in 'our' photo, 02EB47 and 'the other one'? So inconclusive an account overall for Chieftains in Aden, such a shame. Digging out 'what really were the circumstances' at any time is always more difficult than imagined, sometimes more than needs be. A peek in the RTR journal The Tank for that period would shed more light. Perhaps. No photos, anywhere, so what Starfire has posted are gems indeed.
  4. Some great photos here, Starfire, thanks for posting A pity Aden was not in Tripolitania! :laugh: You've posted two of them before in one of the threads/links I've listed below. Photos would be from the latter end of the Aden conflict, possibly around 1966/7, judging by the 'guest appearance' of the Chieftain Mk2 and, some late marque Centurions and, application of DBG camouflage. It does not follow that because we're in an Aden thread, that the tank photos, or indeed, maybe the others, were taken in Aden as armoured regiments serving in Aden only seemed to of had perhaps one or two sabre squadrons actually in Aden, the others being 'somewhere' in the Gulf, Sharjah etc., and were rotated through. My best guess, as we've not got any information to accompany these photos, is that the Chieftains never went to Aden! The tank photos could even be early 70's, in the Gulf. The regiment with those tanks? Probably C Sqn, 1 or 5 RTR though I've not checked. Not 4RTR as they had Saladin, Saracen and Ferret in those parts around the Aden conflict period. The Halftrack type shown (converted International M5/M9) is the subject of a 'not filled enough' thread here on the forum, see link below. A great photo. Just look at them multi-hued jerrycans and, all those water chilling devices on the side rack! REME Halftracks, with or without jibs (for engine pack/gearbox removal and general 'lifting' purposes are great vehicles and worthy of specialist attention .... no, not me, I have to do my Tripolitania book stuff, though it's worth noting that I cannot find evidence of such a fine type of Halftrack being used in Tripolitania at any time. 5RTR used them in Barce, Cyrenaica 1955-57. Forward Repair Team-LAD REME Halftracks http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?23368-REME-Forward-Repair-Teams Lots of Aden vehicles https://www.pinterest.com/pin/332703491205988139/ 4RTR Aden pre-camouflage era-just pure Light Stone https://get.google.com/albumarchive/115599270779959726365/album/AF1QipN9eYastPAfHA4VR-S__3x0xu2sB6TBJyYnisDY 10th Hussars Aden http://xrhgb.com/xrhaden.html
  5. That was a Cyclops 2RTR Saracen in Homs Barracks and Medenine Barracks, Tripoli from 1959-62, wire up as an ACV and served as the squadron leader's mount. i have the photos and other information. The Saracen probably was handed over to 14/20H who in Oct 1962, took over from Cyclops 2RTR at Medenine. Two years later, there was no armoured representation in Tripolitania so the vehicle may have headed into the RAOC Ord Depot in Malta or Cyprus. The photo above is not of the Saracen in 2RTR ownership. Besides, it looks like it's been 'spoiled' by a dark camouflage paint having been applied. The prongs welded on to the nose would be for Dannert wire coils, ideal for Aden and other trouble spots coming online closer to home!
  6. Extracts? Generous? Yes, of course, as it's ... Tripolitania! Odd how Malkara and Hornet per se do not float my boat except for the Tripolitania and of course, the 2RTR connections. I knew which units were involved with trials and I only bought the report (TNA sent the 40+ pages as jpegs which made reading continuation labourious until I saved each page again as a Pdf and then combined them into one 'readable' document, ho hum) to confirm what I thought I knew already! Pricey and thorough research! No mention of any other missile systems. The 1961 trials in Tripolitania did not have an exercise name. Background: In March 1960, Exercise Starlight tested the RAF’s ability to supply an advancing (’little’ army, my view) army solely by air. During the exercise twelve Beverley aircraft of 47 and 53 Squadrons from RAF Abingdon undertook 194 sorties transporting 3,329 Guardsmen and 272 RAF personnel, 370 vehicles, 272 trailers, 40 artillery pieces and 1,546,5591b of freight from El Adem to an airhead at Tmimi. Pioneers and Whirlwinds then provided the troops with landed supplies, followed by the Beverleys undertaking air drops (unverified). 2RTR Ajax out of D’Aosta Barracks were ‘enemy’ (figures from web sources). No Malkara trials on that occasion. There surely were more ‘enemy’ than just one squadron from 2RTR? As it’s Cyrenaica, I’ve not bothered researching! September - October 1963 Exercise Triplex West Exercise ‘Triplex West’ out of El Adem (Tobruk) and into the Libyan desert was for the British the biggest post-war deployment operation, utilising the Strategic Reserve’s 3rd Division under the command of Major General Carver. Malkara was ‘tried out’ there by Cyclops 2RTR who came out from Tidworth with their missile systems and support vehicles (a few ‘duds’ and ‘misses’ though thereafter ‘every one a ‘hit’ – so says The Tank for the period). I take it that by then, Malkara was fully operational. Please have a look here for an interesting a little Libya/Vigilant/Malkara read, if one has not seen it already. It’s a big report so perform a Control F in the open document and type in ‘Triplex’ to the search box. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1964/mar/05/vote-a-number-of-land-forces It's such a shame about the cine films and other documentation being 'lost', as is indeed, the passing of Peter Russell (RIP). Maybe his family still have them and would, at some point after some healing from their loss, welcome the opportunity to hand the stuff on to a friend of his (you) and/or an interested party (you)? Please do tell me how you know the differences over the Humber APC FFW-FFR or 'no radio at all' vehicles! My original photo should have blown up nicely for you to reveal that front locker clasp/catch affair, it does on the web page here. So I've attached a bigger picture of that area, if it helps to tell us more about that particular vehicle and others like it. For the door pillar (I do like your red and green rectangles) I'll have to try some photoshopping to see if anything useful is revealed (the sticky stuff has now been removed from the photo).
  7. Light blue dhow? No, I suspect you're thinking of the blue in the Tripolitania District Barbary Dhow flash. If you look at this link below, you'll see a nice single-masted arab dhow, facing left on a bright yellow rectangle, on the bumber of a Leyland Recovery truck. The flash is a variation of the pre-WW2 black and white flash where the arab dhow faced the other way. The yellow and black command flash was used too, by British forces in the then, Trucial States region: http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/album.php?albumid=630&attachmentid=69099 A better view of the flash perhaps, can be seen too on the photo below (not mine) from the web, for interest and discussion purposes only.
  8. Now my head is hurting, time for G&T with the mossies on the deck. You'd think a civilised country like Canada would have done something about these pests that treat me as their sole food source :mad:Monsters here, worse than where I lived and worked in Brunei, and, there were none in Homs where I lived as a child. I'm trying again Clive, now if the vision/vent flaps are down/open, a dark hole with a dark surround (the tilt) is presented so, yes, paint the inner face of the open/down flaps a dark colour to add to the high visibility dark tilt out of place on a sand-coloured 'truck' though surely better to have 'disrupted' the 'truck-like appearance' by painting those inner faces a sand colour (maybe sticking anti-spall material on, as that's a sand-colour?) or leaving them aluminium-silverish in tune with the remainder of the interior. A shiny give away, perhaps, though I really think not. What? A chap designed the interior colour scheme? Desert Pink would have been nice! Oh, there's no anti-spall material in a Humber 1T APC ..... or is there? I may look at this aspect again when imbibition of the said liquid has had the required effect, though I forgive you, dear viewer, for presuming that the effect has already occurred. :laugh: Ok, I won't revisit!
  9. Well spotted! Though why bother painting them bits a dark colour when, in the closed position, the outers are sand-coloured againt the 'stark dark green' of the canvas? Camouflaged, not.
  10. The photo file name is (I think) 13BK82. The photo shows that VRN too. What does 'ERM' mean? Looking from the outside, Clive, how does one determine who made the vehicle? The photo 'blows up' quite nicely (how this time, I know not) to reveal quite a lot of detail, including what I've since determined is something sticky all along the bottom edge of the photo which seems to look like mud or scuffing on the APC in our photo on here! :red: Some photo cleaning required, before submitting for any Photoshop touch-ups prior to use in publications. Looks good though!
  11. Why though, not a sand-coloured canvas, rather than the stark, dark green? I'm right too, about the dark green canvas on Tripolitania trucks et al, as my colour photos bear out and, that there was a sand-coloured canvas tilt in use too, again, I have the proof and as not too far back, asked my dear viewer to take note of 'tilt colours' for ..... discussion, perhaps. Of course, other colours were available too, erm, brownish/olive coloured ones! So much for the concept of camouflage 'on the move' in the desert, unless you stopped and cammed-up under your special desert cam-nets and scrim etc. (those sausage roll things draped over the tops of armour, trucks et al). Oh, and that's where the round fish-frying basket apparatus came into its own, you know the thing, hooked onto the side of tank and armoured car turrets (only of use too, if you had some poles, no, not for fishing!).
  12. Nice photo of the trailer side frame! Would that be a FV3621(A) Trailer 20 ton Low Loading? If so, it has a different side frame structure to the FV3621(A) Trailer 20 ton Low Loading shown in the Libya-Tripolitania thread, say page 6. Maybe there are more differences too, depending on the manufacturer?
  13. Well, let's have a 'Clive Truck' photo and a bit of history. I hope you like this. First though, I am indebted to Peter Goddard 2RTR for presenting me with the loan of his Libya photo albums and tranparency collection. Thank you Peter. I have much to scan (several hundred) and learn from what I see but let's start here with this wonderful shot of a Humber 1T APC belonging to a great regiment, the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers who were based in Medenine Barracks, Tripoli Aug 1958 to Oct 1961. Faugh-a-Ballagh. This vehicle and others like it were used as firing crew shelters during the Malkara heat trials of Jun-Jul 1961 in the Libyan desert some distance south of Tripoli. 2RTR also supplied logistical support from Homs, including a Saladin, but more of that another time. The Hornets fired off six missiles at two hard targets, a Dingo and a Halftrack from the 'dump' at 595 Ord Depot, Kassala Barracks, Tajoura. I have photos of these too. Something about the photo aspect, the shadows too, make me think Peter took this photo from atop his Saladin. Note the Infantry (HQ) Arm of Service flash, the white 87 on a green rectangle and the rather crudely painted/stencilled/non-conformative sticky sticker for the Formation flash .... far to much blue sea under the hull of the Barbary Dhow! Why did these Humbers have canvas stretched over the body roof and sides? Can you see someone peeping out? 'WO 341/61 Malkara Weapon System - Hot Climatic Trials in Tripoli June-July 1961' is an illuminating document indeed. Photo by Peter Goddard 2RTR
  14. I like you, Scott :-) Thank you. Stay tuned for more lovely sand-coloured stuff.
  15. Now there's food for thought, Armoured Farmer. Larkspur! Would Larkspur have been installed in 'ancient' Mk1 ARVs, vehicles which had already been superceded by the ARV Mk2? Maybe. I know the Signals Officer 6RTR who 'put up' that antenna so I shall ask lots of questions of him in due course, hoping to get clarification. You really must try harder to find your H .... it was perhaps 'glossed over' :laugh: I think we've mentioned your Light Stone K9 before, I hope you finish it in the same!
  16. I'll ask him! :laugh::laugh::laugh: I've had my orders though and, I have to wait until after he's finished his preparations for the Cambrai celebrations and the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Tank Regiment before I'm allowed to 'mine him for information, recollections and photos! I can hardly wait!
  17. Thank you, Tarland. I'd not seen that link before. Yes, 'buffed up' ARV coming soon though I think an infanteer's Humber will appear before the Centurion. :laugh: I still need information, accurate information on ARV Mk1 hulls (I'm sure they were all built on redundant Centurion Mk1 and 2 Gun tanks with top-opening trackguard bin lids, and that the same type of bins were on early Mk3s with the newer side-opening trackguard bin lids only on later production models of Mk3s onwards). So why the later Mk3 type bins on these ARVs? Anyone?
  18. Most valued comment, thank you Gordon. :-) 6RTR I guess, were trying 'anything' to get through, either on morse or voice. I wonder where the rear link was? Maybe that was it, but it was not 'in the rear'! 2RTR used a 52 set as a rear link in a Saracen on some forays 'deep down south' and, I am assured they always got through using their 19 sets and, on one occasion from near Toummo, were talking to a chap in Canada! I believe timing, frequencies, atmospherics, and what disturbances nuclear test detonations (? - not sure I believe that nuclear thing) may have had on the ionosphere were to be taken into consideration. Antenna type and length? Who knows? I do know a man who does know and ..... see my next post on radio!
  19. Now look what's happened! :laugh: More to come, and, yes, a Humber or two, though no CTs:-(
  20. Information is everything! Thank you Wally. Yes, 3RHA departed the sandy shores of Homs, Tripolitania in May 1957 for the dank downs of Salisbury Plain, Bulford to be more precise, swapping their Sextons for 5.5" howitzers.
  21. Here it is, in all its fuzzy glory, an Austin Champ, 63BE71 of J Batt 3RHA based in Homs photoed in Tripolitania 1956. Despite the poor quality image, the content/subject matter is superb especially as we can see the markings/lettering. Can you see the H markings on the nose, bonnet and roof? What about the white Gothic letter J on a black rectangle and the battle honour 'Sidi Rezegh' in white on a black background on the side on the bonnet, which was repeated on the other side too? (Colours noted from colour photos of other 3RHA vehicles in my collection). Nothing on the Bridging Plate. Displayed is the regimental badge, the 10 Armd Div white rhino (standing), the RA flash with a white 74 to indicate senior artillery regiment in the formation, and there's a white J2 to the top left of that flash on a black background which may indicate 2i/c J Battery. Of course, whilst prepared for Operation Musketeer, this regiment and all other Libya-based units 'were not allowed to go'. Photo by Dudley Carter 3RHA
  22. The lovely colour photo of the Centurion ARV Mk1 and it’s ‘unusual’ circumstances produced zero remarks, and no ‘value added’ comments, questions or a hunger for more information. I had mistakenly expected the Centurion, REME and Signals ‘experts’ (others too) to at least have inputted ‘something’ which may or may not have added value to the post. Perhaps I should just keep the ‘really good stuff’ in reserve for the book(s) and treat the dear viewer to more fuzzy B&W photos of Landrovers and Champs which seem to ‘float boats’! Oh, and a K9 now and then. :laugh: Did you know that the ARV Aux Generator had a ‘removable’ external exhaust pipe? No, I didn’t until I saw my other photos of the same ARV on here and, one other from another 6RTR squadron buffed up and on parade in a drivepass. No Aux gen exhausts! Or obvious blanked-off port either. Was it 'normal' to remove them, and where were they stowed? The towropes had changed colour too, from light-stone to ...... silver and the superstructure front timbers a nice shiny black with the smaller side timber blocks a shiny light-stone. Shiny? Hang on, was Light Stone a full gloss, a semi-gloss or a matt paint? Maybe available as all three, or more paint finish variants? What’s on the ARV I've shown? I know from photos that of the two Mk1 ARVs in Homs, one had the earlier Mk2 Centurion catwalk bins with the top opening lids, the other had the late Mk3 Centurion side opening catwalk bin lids. In fact, you can see this on the two (different) ARV photos I’ve posted here. Hmmm, and I had thought they were all on Mk2 hulls with top opening bin lids. Something perhaps, ‘Centurion ARV experts everywhere’, could have to say about that, and about ARV hull lengths and perhaps too, a nod to most ARV Mk1s, if not all (unless sold to foreign armies) being converted to ARV Mk2s. Me? Not an expert! Standby for that (another) Austin Champ!
  23. I bet there's a Malkara involved, somewhere!
  24. Thank you 07BE16. I've now Googled your very helpful reply and seen more! Fancy me thinking it was off an Arab!
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