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Underwater_Alex

Thistlegorm vehicles - mistaken identities

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Am I right in thinking that the pink fish are a variety of SOLDIERFISH? Now wouldn't that be appropriate!

 

(sorry - all those images of Morris trucks triggered a bout of Attention Deficit Disorder)

 

The troops stationed in India had a word for it......Deolali:-D pronounced Doolally

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On the subject of WOT's this may help you tell the difference. Sods law the WOT 1's and 3's look to have the same cab types, so I guess the real difference is size. WOT2's have a more angular bonnet top and canvas roofed cab.

 

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1396299249.396959.jpg

 

They are Ford vehicles, built in the Fordson plant, hence the confusion (as I understand it).

Edited by Lauren Child
cab type mistake removed

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OK, and now the ones that Tony Edge posted about earlier - that I have really struggled with, every time I think I have an idea, there is always something on them that does not add up.

 

Also I am not sure that they are all the same (because of my inexperience and also the vehicles are in varying states of completeness, or incompleteness), but my guess is that they are all the same.

Distinctive features are tall radiator with cap on top. Front wheel arches attached to the bonnet. Spare wheel attached n the right hand side. Lights either side of radiator. Three spoke steering wheel - now all stolen. Two seaters with flat load bed behind (on the Thistlegorm, this is often filled with BSA motorbikes).

 

If you watch Cousteau's original 1955 footage from the wreck, you can see that they had a square windscreen, split into 4 pains of glass.

 

 

 

Could it be a Morris CS11?

Edited by Lauren Child

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Am I right in thinking that the pink fish are a variety of SOLDIERFISH? Now wouldn't that be appropriate!

 

(sorry - all those images of Morris trucks triggered a bout of Attention Deficit Disorder)

 

Yes, they are soldierfish. Fish are my area of expertise! This species of soldierfish is found only in the Red Sea, it is known as the Red Sea soldierfish, blotch eye soldierfish or crimson soldierfish. They shelter in the holds during the day and come out to feed on plankton at night.

 

Alex

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Those trucks have quite distinctive high sides to the bonnet with full length vertical louvres. Morris-Commercial CS11/30s ?

 

Could it be a Morris CS11?

 

I'd not considered that truck before, and it certainly seems to match many of the details and I don't see anything specifically ruling it out.

The only comment I'd add on that ID is that the vehicles on the Thistlegorm don't seem that big, but that's maybe because so much has been ripped off them. :-(

 

Thank you again.

 

Alex

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Here are some more detail images of the Albion refuelling trucks (AM463).

 

Back of the cab where the hoses come up:

ALBION_1.jpg

 

I am not sure what these bits are for? Guessing part of the fuel mechanism:

ALBION_3.jpg

 

ALBION_2.jpg

Note that in the background there seems to be another pillared trailer/vehicle. I've not got any more info or photos of that background - maybe Tony Edge has some more detail on that (hold 1, lower level).

 

And on the subject of details. This is one of the Bedford OY lorries. This one seems to be fitted out for a specific purpose, does anyone know what these are for:

BEDFORD_6.jpg

 

And then finally, there is this vehicle in hold 1, squashed under a collapsed piece of deck, I don't know what it is:

UNKNOWN_1.jpg

 

Not a lot to go on and it is not possible to photograph it from other angles, here is another photo anyway:

UNKNOWN_2.jpg

 

Thank you again for any help.

 

Alex

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the Bedford oy is a water bowser the things you ask about are filters one either side of the remains of the tank

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Thank you again for all the replies. That has got pretty much everything sorted out.

 

The next stage is two fold. First to make a list of things to check next time I am on the wreck.

 

A clear one are the Norton bikes - to see if they all conform to the pre-war type. Certainly there seem to be many with the upwards swoop of the exhaust

 

Your first Norton picture is interesting and shows a feature that I have noted earlier from this wreck. The rear view shows a clearly upturned silencer outlet. This is something which was not fitted to machines supplied to the British Army but was a feature of the pre-war India Office contracts. This, together with the fact that the bikes are complete on their wheels suggests that they were not newly-built.

Did Thistlegorm take on extra cargo when it stopped over at Cape Town ? There were units of the Indian Army in the Middle East. Is it possible that their transport used Cape Town as a staging post before moving on to Alexandria ? By late 1941, the British Army in India was being supplied direct with standard equipment and I can't imagine that India Office machines could have been loaded in the UK

 

 

Are there any other things people would recommend I look for/photograph to help differentiate between vehicle specifications?

 

And the second part is for me to see and photograph some of these vehicles for real. Please can you suggest some historic military vehicle meetings (and museums/collections) that would be worth attending to get the chance to see these vehicles for real?

 

I live in Peterborough, which is pretty central. However, I am travelling a lot for work through the summer, so a few suggestions would be good.

 

Many thanks for the continued help and support.

 

Alex

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Here are some more detail images of the Albion refuelling trucks (AM463).

 

Back of the cab where the hoses come up:

ALBION_1.jpg

 

I am not sure what these bits are for? Guessing part of the fuel mechanism:

ALBION_3.jpg

 

ALBION_2.jpg

 

Alex

 

refueler02.jpg

The above shows all the gubbins on the refueler in your photo's.

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Hello Gents,

 

My name is Roland Luijken and I am actual doing some research of the Thistlegorm atm.

 

I have the ship drawings and also some of the sister ship drawings and now I am reconstructing the complete ship.

This will take like 2 years or so to do still.

 

This is the forecastle deck draft that I reproduced for instance http://i.imgur.com/ZpHuqsV.jpg

 

I did place all the vehicles into the the ship like a year ago and found out they didn’t fit in the front section of the ship.

 

I am looking for the dimensions of the loaded vehicles is there anything known about that.

 

Thank you,

 

Roland

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Have we got a complete list of the vehicles that have been identified? If so we should have dimensions for most in the wartime databooks and drivers manuals.

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Have we got a complete list of the vehicles that have been identified? If so we should have dimensions for most in the wartime databooks and drivers manuals.

 

No, there is no complete list well at least not of my knowledge.

Even so it wouldn’t state in where the equipment would be located in the ship.

 

As for the vehicles I am sure everything is available but it is very difficult to get true the internet.

 

Something like this would be sufficient for my work.

 

 

http://www.evermotion.org/tutorials_old/modeling/car_modeling_max/freelander_blueprints.gif

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No, there is no complete list well at least not of my knowledge.

Even so it wouldn’t state in where the equipment would be located in the ship.

 

 

So which vehicles are you looking for dimensions on?

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The list would be

 

Albion BY5 bridging lorry

Albion BY3 Lorry

Leyland retriever lorry

Crossley type Q lorry

Bedford OYC water tanker

Albion AM463 zwicky refueller

Fordson WOT3 truck

Morris-commercial CS11/30 truck

Morris-commercial CS8 light truck

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The list would be

 

Albion BY5 bridging lorry

Albion BY3 Lorry

Leyland retriever lorry

Crossley type Q lorry

Bedford OYC water tanker

Albion AM463 zwicky refueller

Fordson WOT3 truck

Morris-commercial CS11/30 truck

Morris-commercial CS8 light truck

 

Albion BY5 21' 9" x 7' 6" x 10' 3"

Exact measurements for Albion BY3 and Leyland Retriever would depend on type of body fitted.

Albion BY3 bridging 22' 4"" x 7' 6""x 8' 3"

Leyland Retriever Searchlight 22' 3" x 7' 6" x 11' 10"

Crossley Q type GS 20' 3" x 7' 6" x 11' 0"

Bedford OYC water tanker 20' 1" x 6' 7" x 7' 7"

Albion AM463 wb 12' 0" is only info I have.

Fordson WOT3 workshop body 18' 11.5" x 7' 2.5" x 8' 11" The GS would have been pretty similar but height would have been reduced by removal of tilt.

Morris Commercial CS11/30 17' 0" X 7' 0" x 9' 6"

Morris Commercial CS8 13' 10.5" x 6' 6" x 6' 6"

On GS models height be reducible by removal of tilt and in some instances removal of cab tilt and folding of windscreen.

Hope this info helps.

ps These dimensions are quoted by Bart Vanderveen.

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Glad to see this discussion continuing. To update my progress, I have published this story now in Diver Magazine UK (October 2014) and most recently in a Scandinavian scuba diving magazine. I plan to get it out in many more European scuba titles, when I have time. As the information in this thread really is something new to the Scuba Diving world and I think it is really important to get it out there - it greatly enhances people’s enjoyment of visiting the wreck.

These are the opening spreads from the two magazines.

 

Dykking_01_2015_58-65.pdf-1.jpg

 

 

HMVF is an integral part of my story as you can imagine - I’ve enlarged quotes from the articles above!

 

I am also presenting this adventure at the London International Dive Show next weekend at ExCel (the same 45 minute talk on both days): http://www.diveshows.co.uk/visitors/p148897-speaker-presentations.htmlTalk is free once you are in the show. Best way to attend is with the combined ticket with Outdoor Show:

http://www.diveshows.co.uk/visitors/p216906-1-ticket4-shows-book-now-and-save!.html

 

I will also talk about this project (as well as 2 or 3 other projects) in a FREE talk I am giving next month at the Royal Geographic Society (South Kensington) - 4th March. You need to register for tickets: http://www.londondivingchamber.co.uk/index.php?id=events&page=3

 

Alex

Thistlegorm-v2_Layout-1.pdf-1.jpg

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There's a similar bit of detective work on the Thistlegorm's aircraft parts here:

 

http://www.divernet.com/Travel_Features/red_sea/157708/plane_truth_about_the_thistlegorm.html

 

Alex's Diver article is repeated on Divernet here, though sadly Alex's excellent photos are only reproduced at a fairly small size:

 

http://www.divernet.com/Wrecks/2585428/ispy_the_thistlegorm_in_a_whole_new_light.html

 

A few years ago I saw a TV documentary which included video of a wreck that carried vehicles and railway locomotives. The subject of the documentary wasn't the wreck or military history, so no details were given. At the time I was told it was the Thistlegorm, but I'm not sure it could have been, unless I'm misremembering it badly. I don't recall the wreck in that programme having such substantial bomb damage, and there was much more materiel, including numerous vehicles, locomotives and rolling stock, as deck cargo.

 

Alex, I saw some of your photos from Silfra the other day. I really like the quality and style of your images. To find something this interesting that you're good at and can make a living from is pretty rare - I'm quite jealous!

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