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BlueBelle

Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966

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22 Engineer regiment became established at Perham Down Tidworth in the 1970's

Not sure if they went to Tidworth direct from Tripoli or via another location.

There was a 6 Fd Sqn with them at that time, along with 8, 52 and 1 other, but 6 were in 1978 an AMFL Sqn geared up for service in the Arctic and Norway. Bit of a change from Tripoli if it is the same unit.

 

22 Engr Regt RE in Libya was comprised of 12, 17 & 23 Fd Sqns & 6 Fd Pk Sqn.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]118497[/ATTACH]

Scammel 94BD27 looking rather pristine.

 

That Scammell, 94BD27 lived at Medenine Barracks Tripoli in 1961 and 62 with the Royal Scots and Cyclops 2 RTR. On which unit's strength it was held, I know not. I have a nice colour photo of it there, taken by a 2 RTR chap which, when i have his permission, I'll post in due course. I wonder if this one survived?

Edited by BlueBelle

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Strange to see the planks across the cab roof top, maybe there to stow cam nets etc.
I wonder if they put the wood across the roof to cool the cabs down. To this day in Malaysia you can still see trucks they've ripped the roofs off and put wooden ones on.

I wondered if the plank was hinged along its bottom edge so could be dropped to a horizontal position to act as an external sun visor, perhaps.

 

Close study of the photo does reveal four dark blobs that could be hinges.

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I wondered if the plank was hinged along its bottom edge so could be dropped to a horizontal position to act as an external sun visor, perhaps.

 

Close study of the photo does reveal four dark blobs that could be hinges.

 

Not that I know any better than you really, but I'm rejecting the planks as a sun visor contraption and am going to stick (no pun intended) with my assumption that it's a rudimentary local modification (no EMER trace) stowage assistance device MK1 - cam net/hessian sausage thing. Besides, the Workshops would have had a metal-bashing gang to hand, ‘metalsmith’ was the trade, I think, and they could have bashed together something more ‘visor-looking’ than wooden duckboards! I seem to recall a photo somewhere of a Scammell Explorer with a ‘proper-looking’ metal visor, probably civilian though.

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Just another view of the Halftrack being dragged off the FV3621(A) Low-Loader 20 Ton Trailer by Scammell Explorer 94BD17. Note the interior layout, curved rear corners, rear door and other features marking it out as an IHC M9A1 as said previously. Shabby paint too.

Interesting building, lots of galvanised sheet iron and au-naturel air conditioning provision to save on window frames and glass. Rather like Tarhuna Barracks, though built of stone. Oh, I see another 'thing' sticking up at a rakish angle on this side, just behind the door. One each side, so what were they for? Can you see a machine gun mount? I can, though if guns were ever fitted in service post-war in Libya and you can prove it, I'll ........ ?

Edited by BlueBelle

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The Scammell’s FV3621(A) Low-Loader 20 Ton Trailer parked up with a double load of a Thames E4 truck and a seemingly wheel-less water bowser trailer. Now then, surely someone is going to challenge my call on that truck, aren’t they? Well, I hummed and hawed about it, looked up ‘every’ possible military truck body possible and the only one that ‘looked’ like the one in the photo was the Thames E4. The cab? It can’t really be seen though the tiny bit showing did seem a like that of a Bedford QL but I couldn’t relate that to the body. If the wiser than me folk on here tell me, unequivocally that it’s not what I said it is, then I’ll go with them! Maybe. The bowser? Who knows?

 

Can you see anything a little odd at the rear of the FV3621(A) Low-Loader 20 Ton Trailer? I can, and it was not unusual either! I have photos of trucks, trailers and, somewhere, I have even seen a photo of a Scammell Explorer 'attired' in the same way. If it fitted, then it got used!

Edited by BlueBelle

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Can you see anything a little odd at the rear of the FV3621(A) Low-Loader 20 Ton Trailer? I can, and it was not unusual either! I have photos of trucks, trailers and, somewhere, I have even seen a photo of a Scammell Explorer 'attired' in the same way. If it fitted, then it got used!

 

Hi Lizzie,

I can see what looks to be two German tyres on the trailer, as well as a sand tyre and a Dunlop Trackgrip, is this what you meant? I wonder if the German tyres were dating back to WW2?

 

regards, Richard

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IT is a E4 one supplied from contract 6/V7878 from a block of registration numbers 44 BH 01 to 54 BH 00

 

Thank you Wally.

Kind regards,

Lizzie

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Hi Lizzie,

I can see what looks to be two German tyres on the trailer, as well as a sand tyre and a Dunlop Trackgrip, is this what you meant? I wonder if the German tyres were dating back to WW2?

 

regards, Richard

 

Well I never! German tyres! So Richard, you also picked up on my clue 'attired' :yay:

Yes, it was obvious just on observation and you were the only one to spot it! ;) The British liberated much more just than axis-controlled Libya; 'liberation' also included ordnance depots (two of which became Keren and Kassala barracks respectively with the British) and all their spare parts etc.. The Lancia and Alfa Romeo factories and workshops in Tripoli were commandeered to 'host' British workshop units, though which units I know not, yet. So yes, tyre appropriation and stockpiling, I surmise, would have been appropriate as 'spoils of war' though seems just a trifle odd to be putting the stuff into use some 17 or so years after the surrender of Tripoli.

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A poorly Bedford RL from 1 Inf Div, probably a CS Royal Artillery one. That’s what the white 13 superimposed on what seems to be an RA rectangle is telling me. As an RA truck, I wonder why I can't see a Battery insignia on the cab door? The RA 'always' displayed insignia, didn't they? Certainly the RHA liked to do that (as you may see later on in my 3RHA Homs, Libya 1954-56 ish offerings-SEXTONS, Cromwells, Halftracks, Diamond Ts, Champs! – drool material for some?). Many RA units visited Tripolitania from the UK, Malta and Cyprus for exercises, schemes, annual firing at Tarhuna (just south of Tripoli) and so on. The white diamond on a black rectangle indicates 1 Inf Div who around 1958/59 were based in Cyprus so the truck could be a 29 Field Regt RA truck from Cyprus (that unit visited Tarhuna twice, in 58 and 59) that needed a trusty old Scammell Explorer's assistance.

His coveralls appear to be sand coloured, just as the vehicles are. Do you know if anyone from that era ever had sand coloured coveralls? I thought they were, in different versions and conditions, always a shade of green. I know pixie tank suits were not green but these are one-piece standard-looking coveralls. Maybe some trickery/illusionary thing going on?

No, I've concluded that as his coverall sleeves are rolled up and 'a different colour' to the rest of his coveralls, that they probably were not sand coloured at all, just sun bleached!:cheesy:

Edited by BlueBelle

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Yes, 2RTR in Tripoli (Cyclops sqn resident in Medenine Barracks with the RS from Oct 61 to Oct 62) and with a rectangular Barbary dhow District flash, tells me the year of the photograph being taken is 1961/2. Had it been the shield shape flash, it would have been a Homs-based vehicle of Cyclops, Aug 1959 to Oct 61. The place these photos of Saladin 07BB88 were taken is, I suspect, Station Wksps REME, Gurgi Barracks. It may have ended up subsequently as BLR/BER in 595 Ordnance Depot, Kassala Barracks, either for shipping back to the UK for a rebuild or for use as a hard target on the Tarhuna ranges, though I doubt it was that badly damaged so as to warrant ‘total destruction’ by Malkara missiles or other means (plenty of surplus/BER vehicles were simply taken away to be blown up by the REs, so as to prevent the locals from getting their hands on complete military vehicles). Strange how operational practices (rules and regulations?) in Libya were so different to those of the time, say, BAOR or UK home units.

The first photo shows evidence that Saladin 07BB88 2RTR (Cyclops 5 Troop Leader’s when in Homs) has just had an accident and the RMP are present questioning two RTR crewmen whilst I guess, the REME are gleefully photographing the event! I have identified the two crewmen through 2RTR. See what follows, the state the Saladin ended up in (bits pinched, REME larking around in it) and do please add your bit. It would be nice to have some commentators, other period photos and so on, rather than just viewers (or ‘lurkers’ as the owner of a certain ordnance-based forum publically titles them – I know, I was a ‘lurker’ there until I contributed)!

Saladin 07BB88 and its fate.

Saladin 07BB88 being driven with skewed wheel station. Hull probably damaged too.

 

Edited by BlueBelle

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A couple of photos showing sand coloured overalls, it would appear that brown was another colour worn.

Prinn_Wksps-2.jpg

 

Libya002.jpg

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What did the Saladin hit?

 

Not known. Perhaps lurched into a structure or ditch in a failed attempt to navigate a bend or stay in a straight line? They apparently were not the easiest of vehicles to steer in inexperienced hands. Traffic accidents seem to have been rife in Tripolitania at that time, especially those involving military and civilian vehicles. The Homs to Tripoli road was particularly dangerous, with dry/flooded wadis and (collapsing) culverts to cross.

There are press photos of a Saladin in N.Ireland on top of a car (not for here!) that failed to turn correctly.

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Not known. Perhaps lurched into a structure or ditch in a failed attempt to navigate a bend or stay in a straight line? They apparently were not the easiest of vehicles to steer in inexperienced hands. Traffic accidents seem to have been rife in Tripolitania at that time, especially those involving military and civilian vehicles. The Homs to Tripoli road was particularly dangerous, with dry/flooded wadis and (collapsing) culverts to cross.

There are press photos of a Saladin in N.Ireland on top of a car (not for here!) that failed to turn correctly.

 

It could have had a power steering failure, not unknown with these and Saracens, no way of steering when that happens.

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These are the only two photo's I have of Armour in Libiya

Camp_DERNA-2.jpg

on the back is written "Camp DERNA"

Camp_DERNA-1.jpg

The registration on the nearest Saracen appears to be 98BA?8 and I assume they are towing the 1 ton trailers?

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Post 64 shows a couple of interesting details.

 

behind the K9 and just alongside the Scammell there is a tapered structure on the ground, is that a bridge section being used as a inspection ramp or a wash down point?

 

In the Same post the RL on the left has a very aggressive agricultural looking front tyre, were they common?

 

Great photos all of you and really interesting snapshots in time

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A couple of photos showing sand coloured overalls, it would appear that brown was another colour worn.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]118578[/ATTACH]

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]118579[/ATTACH]

Great photos Andy!

The REME chap on the Austin K9 radio truck (219 'Tripolitania' Sigs Sqn, R.Sigs) is wearing something more akin to a 'pixie' tank suit, rather than standard issue coveralls. The other two sat with him are not soldiers (locally employed civilians) wearing anything but standard issue coveralls. In the Bedford RL photo, the two soldiers are wearing 'holiday' footwear as seemed to be quite common out there between 1950-66 (remember, it was then a holiday posting). The coveralls appear to be sand-coloures though the cuff of a rolled up sleeve is ..... green! The RL could be 'poorly' too; is that a tow strop hanging down? Certainly missing a headlight! Oh, the Bedfords belong to 38 Coy RASC (in 1965, or maybe a year or two before, they became 38 Sqn RCT).

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These are the only two photo's I have of Armour in Libiya

[ATTACH=CONFIG]118584[/ATTACH]

on the back is written "Camp DERNA"

[ATTACH=CONFIG]118585[/ATTACH]

The registration on the nearest Saracen appears to be 98BA?8 and I assume they are towing the 1 ton trailers?

 

S/Sgt Wally Roach, REME. Fitters Saracen, Ajax, 2RTR out of D'Aosta Barracks, Benghazi (Cyrenaica). I have other photos of him with his Saracen. The other chap is REME too, name unknown. Wally Roach was nominated by my father for the award of a BEM, which he received (as a WO2 {AQMS}) for his ideas and work on the Saracen reverse air cooling system whilst out in Libya. Yes, Saracens pulled 1 ton trailers!

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Post 64 shows a couple of interesting details.

 

behind the K9 and just alongside the Scammell there is a tapered structure on the ground, is that a bridge section being used as a inspection ramp or a wash down point?

 

In the Same post the RL on the left has a very aggressive agricultural looking front tyre, were they common?

 

Great photos all of you and really interesting snapshots in time

 

Also to be seen in post 48.

The ramp does not look like the usual Bailey or HGOB Bridge section so possibly a custom built ramp.

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Another view, showing the ramps.

 

 

They look a bit like Valentine tank bridgelayer sections. At the workshop I was at there was a WW2 tank bridge at one time at the washdown point.

 

03083.jpg

Edited by Richard Farrant

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They look a bit like Valentine tank bridgelayer sections. At the workshop I was at there was a WW2 tank bridge at one time at the washdown point.

 

03083.jpg

 

Whilst one was typing away to explain the bridge, I noticed just as I went to 'submit' that Richard had beaten me to it!

This is my response:

 

Another great photo of ..... everything! Look at that REME K9! The 'ramp'; I think it is a WW2 remnant, probably a tank Scissors bridge No1 30ft (30ton) as fitted to Valentines and Covenanters. Really distinctive leading edge mini-ramps to the main ramps, type and position of plate cutouts and then there's the flimsy-looking metal matting trackway. It had an angled 'hump' at the folding center as opposed to a 'gentle' rounded hump. We've not seen any camels yet. Of course, I could have barked up the wrong tree about this! :cheesy:

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