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I have noticed that some pictures can show pennants on the aerial's of vehicles, is there a document to allow this or is it a unit specific desire?

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I have noticed that some pictures can show pennants on the aerial's of vehicles, is there a document to allow this or is it a unit specific desire?

When I was in, a long time ago, we carried four flags, blue, yellow, red, green.

 

From memory, green was flown by the lead vehicle in a packet of 5-8 vehicles*.

Blue was flown by the rear vehicle of a packet. (Note blue and green may have been the other way round. It WAS a long time ago.)

 

On the ranges:

A vehicle with guns clear flew green.

A vehicle at Action flew red.

A vehicle being handled for a misfire (of the main armament) flew yellow.

Vague recollection that a vehicle being handled for a stoppage (of the co-ax) may have flown red and yellow.

 

Obviously, being professional, we didn't have much need for the yellow flag. 😉

 

Any other sort of flag would have been for ceremonial purposes only and there were no rules, only the imagination of the grownups.

_____

* Move a division in one lump, nothing else would move. Convoys were broken in 5-8 vehicle packets.

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I'm not sure that there are any rules on such pennants, ceremonies of their various kinds are always a great opportunity for various embellishments on vehicles. Tactically would seem rather daft.

 

I notice at shows, not only that the more aerials on a vehicle the less chance that there is any working radio equipment, but where an aerial supports a flag, working radio equipment is less likely to be found on the other end. But each to his own.

 

As regards convoy flags, their use is laid down in the Joint Service Road Transport Regulations JSP 341 Chapter 12.

 

Scan0064.jpg

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s-l500.jpg

 

Guys

thanks, was aware re convoy flags, still see them on the motorway from time to time

Managed to find a picture showing the Union Flags on the ariel

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I'm not sure that there are any rules on such pennants, ceremonies of their various kinds are always a great opportunity for various embellishments on vehicles. Tactically would seem rather daft.

 

I notice at shows, not only that the more aerials on a vehicle the less chance that there is any working radio equipment, but where an aerial supports a flag, working radio equipment is less likely to be found on the other end. But each to his own.

 

 

 

Have to agree with the comment regarding aerials, we always refer to those people as belonging to the aerial display team, but again, each to his own. I would comment though, having had the experience, that moving into location and camming up was loads easier without aerials, so off came the whips before we moved off - no coms, no bombs!

On the theme of the thread though, I can vividly remember tanks and sometimes Ferrets flying pennants, and I don't know, but I always assumed they were for identifying squadrons - a pennant being a small triangular shape flag about 9 inches long of course, as opposed to the 5 foot by 3 foot union jack that everybody had in the war - I know it's true, I've seen the film!

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Rather than a flag (rectangular), this is a pennant (triangular).

 

RAC Pennant.jpg

 

The RAC colours embellished with an RAC badge I am sure are entirely genuine but more of a parade feature than serving as any tactical benefit.

 

For those who are "into" flags for all occasions I have details I can post up for flags for use during radio silence in the desert & flags (very non-PC) for identify latrines to be used by different peoples.

 

This last weekend I had three vertical whips of different types & a mast for a UHF yagi, no flags but enabled me to operate on 6m/4m/2m/70cm. The least DX turned out to be another Land Rover 30 yards away.

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Have to agree with the comment regarding aerials, we always refer to those people as belonging to the aerial display team, but again, each to his own. I would comment though, having had the experience, that moving into location and camming up was loads easier without aerials, so off came the whips before we moved off - no coms, no bombs!

On the theme of the thread though, I can vividly remember tanks and sometimes Ferrets flying pennants, and I don't know, but I always assumed they were for identifying squadrons - a pennant being a small triangular shape flag about 9 inches long of course, as opposed to the 5 foot by 3 foot union jack that everybody had in the war - I know it's true, I've seen the film!

Vehicles' squadrons (companies, batteries, etc) can be identified by symbols painted on.

 

🔺 A Squadron

◼ B Squadron

⚪ C Squadron

🔸HQ Squadron

 

We didn't have a D Squadron in my day. Shrug.

 

Note the size, colour of symbols is not represented here. This Android tablet gives me a limited selection of shaped characters and I bothered to use them. They were all of similar size, hollow and painted the same colour (in my time. In earlier times, symbols in red or yellow might indicate senior/junior unit in a brigade.) If I remember correctly they were in gloss white, though when bridge plates changed from yellow to grey sometime around 1980, I think squadron signs (and vehicle callsigns) may have also changed to grey.

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Surley the correct military term for such pennants is Guidons? These were carried on cavalry lances to mark the unit, hence the transposition to tank units.

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This is a huge subject, particularly if you are thinking of WWII or earlier. Post war, with all armour and many soft skin vehicles having radio, the wearing of pennants on aerials pretty much disappeared, except for ceremonial and the odd particular purpose. Guidons are the light cavalry equivalent of the infantry's colours, while pennants, or pennons, were the red-over-white swallowtail "flags" borne on lances (from the colours of Poland, incidentally).

 

Some other flags do continue on vehicles - some commanders still use them on staff cars, defence and military advisers and attaches abroad in some, but not all, countries have them and so on, but these, of course, are not carried on aerials. I understood that one of the reasons pennants disappeared from aerials, apart from their dubious value, was the increased speed of vehicles putting undue strain on the aerials.

 

A useful book covering the subject is Volume 4 of "Warpaint - Colours and Markings of British Army Vehicles 1903 - 2003" by Dick Taylor. He served in RTR in all ranks from tpr to maj and is also an historian - so he knows his stuff!

 

10 68

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but these, of course, are not carried on aerials. I understood that one of the reasons pennants disappeared from aerials, apart from their dubious value, was the increased speed of vehicles putting undue strain on the aerials.

 

A useful book covering the subject is Volume 4 of "Warpaint - Colours and Markings of British Army Vehicles 1903 - 2003" by Dick Taylor. He served in RTR in all ranks from tpr to maj and is also an historian - so he knows his stuff!

 

10 68

 

Good stuff 10 68.

 

A guidion is not a pennant. See this for a guidion:

 

http://www.army.mod.uk/aviation/29056.aspx

 

The word Guidon derives from the Italian guidone meaning guide or marker and the Middle French corruption guyd-hommes, hence it is the focus for soldiers in battle. British guidions are seldom triangular.

 

A classic example of a pennant can be found near the pointy end of a Lancer’s spear.

See some examples of British Army flags and pennants here:

http://www.flags.net/UNKG06.htm

 

Then, to mess it up even more, there are flags, Colours and Standards.

 

Every vehicle on 3RHA parades in Homs, Libya would fly a pennant, though whether they denoted the regiment, the battery, the gun position in the battery or the rank/appointment of the vehicle commander, I know not for sure. I have a colour photo somewhere of a 2RTR armoured vehicle ‘hidden’ under desert scrim pretending to look like a sand dune, flying a white pennant attached to an antenna whip poking through, like a seaside castle with a ..... pennant from the flagmast. A pennant on a flagmast?

 

Look on the Libya, Tripolitania, vehicles, barracks 1950s to 1966 thread for vehicles in Libya with flags and pennants, some fluttering from antennae with something connected on the other end!

Vol 4 Warpaint, as previously indicated in my Libya thread has glaring inaccuracies. One such is the statement that vehicles never wore camouflage paint! There does not seem to be one clear, authoritative information and advice source or tome that can be trusted, sadly.

 

Anyway, take a look at the Libya thread to see a REME flag flying from an antenna with a radio on the other end and it’s my father in his Ferret, Homs 2RTR 1960. Notice the lovely REME Halftrack.

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Vol 4 Warpaint, as previously indicated in my Libya thread has glaring inaccuracies. One such is the statement that vehicles never wore camouflage paint! There does not seem to be one clear, authoritative information and advice source or tome that can be trusted, sadly.

 

Not relevant to this thread, but see what he says about IRR NATO Green paint :whistle:

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Get's complicated doesen't it?

 

My head is beginning to hurt

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Well at least your thread has led into all sorts of interesting diversions!

 

But got to be better than posting & question that nobody wants to answer :D

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Somewhere... will try to find it and post a photo... I have a "sealed pattern" rectangular flag which is 1940 dated and Labelled as "Flag, Distinguishing, Signals Headquarters"... or similar... as to how this was flown and when... my assumption is over the HQ vehicle/s when parked up somewhere.... rather than while driving.

 

Tim

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Well at least your thread has led into all sorts of interesting diversions!

 

But got to be better than posting & question that nobody wants to answer :D

 

Clive very true, just wonder where it will lead and as a starting point what about other than the UK?

Richard

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Somewhere... will try to find it and post a photo... I have a "sealed pattern" rectangular flag which is 1940 dated and Labelled as "Flag, Distinguishing, Signals Headquarters"... or similar... as to how this was flown and when... my assumption is over the HQ vehicle/s when parked up somewhere.... rather than while driving.

 

Tim

 

Ah! If that's the approximately 2-ft x 3-ft 'white over blue' one (H8/HH0324), it started life as "Flag, Distinguishing, Telegraph Office" and was flown on a pole (presumably one of the standard lightweight line poles) outside the tent acting as the office. At night there would be a candle (or oil) lamp, again showing white above blue, hung under the tent flap. Later a 'Lamp, Distinguishing, Signal Office' appeared, with a 2-volt lead acid cell and suitable bulb. The flag also became "Flag, Distinguishing, Signal Office".

 

If you look in the Field Service Pocket Book, one of the sections has a fold-out colour chart of the various lamps and flags used to identify particular parts of an encampment. I suspect this is what Clive was alluding to with the comment about latrine flags (separate British and Native), etc.

 

Chris.

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Posted (edited)

I have also found these saying is in WW2

Valentine_tank_Mk3_desert.jpg

Edited by Surveyor

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Vol 4 Warpaint, as previously indicated in my Libya thread has glaring inaccuracies. One such is the statement that vehicles never wore camouflage paint!

 

I think you may be thinking of another book - Vol 4 clearly shows a photo of a camouflaged Queen's Bays Centurion in Libya and Vol 3 says, "In 1959 the regulations stated that the colours specified for MELF were stone or light stone..." He makes no reference there to camouflage schemes, but acknowledges that vehicles in the North Africa area have tended to be in a one-colour... scheme" but does mention disruptive schemes in the Persian Gulf in the same period. I can find no use of the word "never", but, yes, there are one or two inaccuracies, whether they are glaring or not is debatable.

 

But, I have yet to find any publication which covers anything I have been intimately involved with which is entirely accurate. Dick Taylor covers an enormous field - 100 years - and does so well and with generally a higher degree of accuracy than many who write on considerably more limited fields - I think of the various learned tomes on Land Rovers, for a start. And there's always the "Weapon of Magnesium..." which gets trotted out at regular intervals!

 

But, let he who is without sin... If, in due course, you do write your book, then I would implore you to employ a good, and knowledgeable, proof-reader. A writer cannot do that for him, or herself as he will be blind to the errors, reading only what he expects to see. That is where so many of the kinds of book which we read fail - and once it is in print, it's too late! I go through all my reference books, but I only correct in pencil because sometimes, just sometimes, I'm wrong myself!

 

10 68

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I think you may be thinking of another book - Vol 4 clearly shows a photo of a camouflaged Queen's Bays Centurion in Libya and Vol 3 says, "In 1959 the regulations stated that the colours specified for MELF were stone or light stone..." He makes no reference there to camouflage schemes, but acknowledges that vehicles in the North Africa area have tended to be in a one-colour... scheme" but does mention disruptive schemes in the Persian Gulf in the same period. I can find no use of the word "never", but, yes, there are one or two inaccuracies, whether they are glaring or not is debatable.

 

But, I have yet to find any publication which covers anything I have been intimately involved with which is entirely accurate. Dick Taylor covers an enormous field - 100 years - and does so well and with generally a higher degree of accuracy than many who write on considerably more limited fields - I think of the various learned tomes on Land Rovers, for a start. And there's always the "Weapon of Magnesium..." which gets trotted out at regular intervals!

 

But, let he who is without sin... If, in due course, you do write your book, then I would implore you to employ a good, and knowledgeable, proof-reader. A writer cannot do that for him, or herself as he will be blind to the errors, reading only what he expects to see. That is where so many of the kinds of book which we read fail - and once it is in print, it's too late! I go through all my reference books, but I only correct in pencil because sometimes, just sometimes, I'm wrong myself!

 

10 68

 

Yes, indeed, Vol3. Thanks for that. But they are still glaring inaccuracies or omissions, in my view, as I'd bought the 4 volumes (one at £140, yes, £140) to 'get to the truth' and, failed! I knew already from 'hard' evidence that at least two regiments wore camouflage in Libya, the Bays and a battalion of 'that' author's own regiment, 5RTR. There may be other regiments, who knows? ;)

Vol4 has the photo of, as you've said, the Bays' Centurion with splendid striped antennae. Now, on the subject of pennants and flags .... Vol4 ( er, yes, Vol4) has a whole illustrated chapter on the subject, page 85 to 104.

My book? Yes, very sound advice, thank you, to employ a proof reader of the specified ilk. He or she will be found, of that I'm hopeful.

I shall post something more about 'expert' authors, possible errors, omissions and wishy-washy photo captions in my Libya thread as I search for more knowledge regarding a published book, a photo, a caption and, my photo of the possibly the same sand-coloured thing.

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