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Larry Hayward

WW1 vehicles used in WW2

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I was interested to read in the November 2006 issue of Classic Military Vehicle magazine, that the Vichy French were still using the FT-17 Tank in 1942 against the US Forces in North Africa, and I wondered if there are any other examples of WW1 vehicles used in WW2?

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WWI tanks at Bovington were used by local units in 1940 when invasion was thought to be imminent, I know Little Willie was used (think I saw a model of it with a turret on it which it apparently had on in WW2). Also, there's a photo out there of a Mk V tank in Berlin which was used in the final days of the war, probably just as a static defence point though

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Broadening the topic ever so slightly. I have seen discussions about how long WW2 vehicles continued in service thereafter. (Not thinking American because they produced a lot of new kit very late in the war and took it all to Korea.)

 

I remember reading about the last Panzerkampfwagen 4s being used by the Israelis as dug-in pill-boxes in Golan Heights / West Bank / Gaza Strip (delete contentious land as appropriate) in the 1967 war.

 

I also believe that the Panther last saw action between the Israelis and Jordanians in the same timeframe, and that the Spanish Army kept a few Tiger 1Es running until they could no longer get parts.

 

Another one that has bugged me:

 

I recently, 30 years later, got a copy of "Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters", a 1974 album by Bob Calvert of Hawkwind fame and friends including Lemmy. It takes a humorous and cynical look at the story of the renascent post-war Luftwaffe rearming with the F104G. In the opening track it attributes the following statement to the German Air Defence Minister, Franz Josef Strauss:

 

This Airforce is in a terrible state. Just look at it. Leftovers from the last war. This is not an airforce, this is an air-circus. Even the Red Baron himself would laugh at such antiquated aeroplanes. We must modernize.

 

http://www.starfarer.net/captlock.html

 

So to my question:

 

Exactly what aircraft did the Luftwaffe have in 1960 before buying 700 F104Gs? If they had ME262s, surely they wouldn't be so far behind in the arms race. The album suggests piston-engined aircraft. Again, surely the FW190 and TA152 derivitive wouldn't have been so far off the mark?

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Good question.

Quite a few WW1 vehicles wre used by the British in WW2. Peerless AA trucks had been kept in war reserve and at the outset of WW2, battery's of these armed with the 3" AA gun (said to be the best AA gun manufactured during WW1) were sent to London. A famous photo exists of one of these on London bridge. I will try to post it later on. Peerless armoured cars were also widely used by homeguard units.

 

The Irish army still had 7 Peerless on their books by 1945. The truck that never wears out!

 

A chap we know was in the Navy in WW2 and they had a Mark IV tank ("Excellent" i think it was) as a gate guardian. The CO suggested that they get it working again for base defence. Our friend was involved in this. He made a long list of all of the parts that were needed, sent a request into the stores and everything arrived the next day much to everyones suprise. The stuff must have been sitting on shelves for 30 years.

 

On the same subject, my Brother Steve found a pile of WW1 Thornycroft bonnet catches that had just been released by the MOD quite recently. You wonder what else is still in the stores?

 

Tim (too)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, the Russians had a great deal of ex British stuff left behind when we pulled out in 1919/1920. Some of these remain at Kubinka. Austin armoured cars, Mark IV tanks etc. A very interesting time.

 

There is a famous picture taken at the end of WW2 of a German WW1 armoured car outside the Reichs Chancellry. It is in the After the Battle, "Fall of Berlin book".

 

Tim (too)

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At East Kirkby is a mobile concrete Pill Box that was used for the defence of RAF Digby. It was mounted on a 1915 Leyland Bison?? Chassis and although it was a civilian furniture wagon in 1915, does it count? The Leyland did not survive but the pill box did, (Well almost)

DonnanookandEastKirkby049.jpg

DonnanookandEastKirkby050.jpg

Edited by antarmike

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At East Kirkby is a mobile concrete Pill Box that was used for the defence of RAF Digby. It was maounted on a 1915 Leyland Bison?? Chassis and although it was a civilian furniture wagon in 1915, does it count?

 

 

Mike,

 

The name, Bison given to these mobile concrete pilboxes, was taken from the name of a company who made prestressed concrete products, like floor beams, etc. and possibly produced these pillboxes. Although there was a Leyland Bison in later years, I don't think it was used back in WW1 era

 

There is one at Bovington Tank Museum.

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That is what the question marks were for!! The Chassis is described as having been a 1915 Chain drive, solid tyred Leyland Boxvan.

 

You are of course correct.

Edited by antarmike

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That is what the question marks were for!! The Chassis is described as having been a 1915 Chain drive, solid tyred Leyland Boxvan.

 

You are of course correct.

 

Hi Mike,

 

You edited it before I could reply! An interesting webpage here with more info on the actual Bison;

www.pillbox-study-group.org.uk/bisonpage.htm

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I also believe that the Panther last saw action between the Israelis and Jordanians in the same timeframe, and that the Spanish Army kept a few Tiger 1Es running until they could no longer get parts.

 

 

 

I don't think there is any evidence to support this oft quoted rumour.

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............Exactly what aircraft did the Luftwaffe have in 1960 before buying 700 F104Gs?

 

Prior to the purchase of the F-104, the Luftwaffe would have had F-84, F-86, and Hawker Sea Hawk.

 

If they had ME262s, surely they wouldn't be so far behind in the arms race. The album suggests piston-engined aircraft. Again, surely the FW190 and TA152 derivitive wouldn't have been so far off the mark?

 

There are apocryphal tales (and some pictures I believe) of airframes, including Ta152 being reduced to produce at Fassberg and Itzehoe airfields, much to the chagrin of their pilots. Any surviving WW2 airframes would have been shipped out on Op Lusty or taken to the USSR for research & reverse-engineering.

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On the same subject, my Brother Steve found a pile of WW1 Thornycroft bonnet catches that had just been released by the MOD quite recently. You wonder what else is still in the stores?

A former co-worker of mine worked on a project at the UK MoD around the turn of the century. They had an annual competition running to find the oldest part still in stock, and that year the guy who won had come up with a Sopwith Camel carburettor!

 

Hanno

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Progress is a remarkable thing. It is strange to think that 21 years after the cessasion of hostilities in the first world war, almost everything had been rendered obsolete... Some examples of the Bedford MK are still combat ready in service (and in all honesty,would any newer vehicle perform it's duties better to any great degree?) and nearly 40 years old!

Most of our softskin vehicles must be nearing 20 years old,and still good for purpose.

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The Italian Army still used the WWI Pavesi Tollotti tractor during the IIWW. No other things basically because we had very little mechanic vehicles during WWI....

 

Andrea

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WW1 Thornycroft and Peerless trucks were used in the early stages of WW2 as mobile anti aircraft gun battery's. I think that it was more of a case of "what guns do we have in stock" as opposed to "lets get the Thorny's and Peerless out and give those Hun planes a thrashing"

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Re concrete mobile pill box

I question the accuracy of the published statement regards the pill box being mounted on a 1915 Leyland with chain drive.

Leyland moved to shaft drive (aside from retaining chain drive for steam wagons) by around 1909. The truck chassis therefore can not be a Leyland product.

There was an article in the Thornycroft Register Newsletter some time back refering to a Thorncroft J fitted with a concrete pill box.

Doug

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Not strictly vehicles, but the BEF in France in 1940 used WW1 60pdr guns and 6-inch howitzers (on pneumatic carriages). These were lost, of course, at Dunkirk.

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German coastal defences were using a lot of French and Russian guns. I know of two French guns that were mounted in Jersey with WW1 dates on the breeches. In fact the WLF pictures in Jersey show the guns being dumped over the cliffs. Some have now been salvaged.

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At risk of being declared a "Threadomancer". for reviving long-dead topics.

Spain never used Tigers, PzIVs, yes, with survivors displayed at USAC Unidad de Servicio de Acuartelamiento 'Diego Porcelos', Burgos, “El Empecinado” military base, Cabezón de Pisuerga & Brigada Acorazada XII, El Goloso, Madrid (Running condition apparently).

The Israelis didn't use PzIVs, Syria did (Plus Stugs & JagdPanzer IV). They were from Czech, Spanish & possibly French stocks, being last used in 1967. Survivors are in Israeli museums, a private collector in Jordan has one , Danville in the USA and some still sitting out on the Golan Heights, still in their static, buried positions.

The "Surviving Panzers" websit lists all.

http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_Panzers.html

Quite a few RT17s got used in WW2, initially by the French, with subsequent use by the Germans for internal security & anti-partisan work, some surrendered only their turrets for use on "Tobruk" bunkers (See the RT17 list under the "Various WW2 vehicles on the above link)

The Saint-Chamond 280mm Mortar –in the Militärhistorisches Museum, Dresden, was a WW1 creation, used by the French, then Germans in WW2.

Panthers were used by the French post war, the Czechs certainly used BergePanthers and other German armour, until they were equipped with Soviet armour.

As for the original poster's comments about the post-WW2 German airforce, it came into being in 1955, flying US-built types such as the F86 Sabre, F84 Thunderjet etc. Use of WW2 German aircraft post 1945, was confined to Spain (Bf109 & He111 - most re-engined with Merlins!), Czechoslovakia (Me262 & Bf109, as factories building these were on Czech territory. The Bf109 using engines/props from the He111, a non-too happy combination resulting in the nick-name of "Mezec" or "Mule". Some of these were subsequently sold to Israel, Switzerland also had a number of Bf109s, both ones bought from Germany - supplied with knackered engines, which resulted in a succesfull post war law suit! and some that had force-landed.

Edited by Pzkpfw-e

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Im guna jump on the band wagon too, the Germans used several french ww1 tanks in the channel islands, including RT-17s and a few others, would name them but am not in camp at the mo so havent got acess to my books.

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The Renault FT was used widely in WW2 and one is reputed to have been dumped into the pond/lake near the power plant on Alderney at the end of WW2, they were in use elsewhere in Europe in WW2 and several were used in Afghanistan possibly even after WW2- one or two stolen from the Kabul War Museum were used as bunkers guard shelters prior to the 2001 invasion. Two were recovered from a junk yard by US troops and are now in USA. Britain had an FT possibly from a Ex Narvik bound french transport ship- it ended up on Barry range in Scotland. Many other nations had FTs on their books in 1939 -Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, Baltic states even Finland had some for training.

 

Schneider et St Chamond GPF 194mm design dates from WW1 but like the British/US international it was a design that didn't quite make WW1.

 

THe only other WW1 tanks used in WW2 were British. Bovington museum examples used as OPs around Dorestshire and several used as training hulks such as a MkV* used by RE bridging est. Cristchurch as a bridging make weight.

 

Several MkVs were captured in France by the Wehrmacht in 1940 these were disarmed range vehicles which would have become targets had the invasion not happened when it did. There were also a few MkV captured in Estonia where at least 2 were hidden to avoid capture by the Russians or Germans and still exist. A MkIV or MkV may have been captured at Minsk but it may have been part of a war memorial.

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