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MINE LAYER TRAILER / PLOUGH

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Dear All,

 

Please see pics of a main-layer trailer / plough that is lying near me in Petersfield, Hants.

Does anyone know what it is and what would have towed it?  I think that it is post war but no later than early seventies at the latest.

It is available for sale and open to offers.  I would expect the pricing would be realistic.

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Somewhere I have the User Handbook, Minelayer, Mechanical, Towed Equipment, Mk 1. Provisional Edition. July 1954, it was the subject of one of my Mystery Objects so there will be pictures on there.

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Bedford RL with a crawler in front of it I believe.

just need a coat of paint on my one, then only the Bedford to fully restore! haha.

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for laying the Mk7 anti tank mines, replaced by the bar mine. massive saving in man power, crew of 10 on the Mk7 crew of 3 on the bar mine layer.

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These were made by the company WILDALL  72 BR 44 was from contract 6/P&E/10381 and was in the series of  71 BR 88 to 72 BR 87  allocated for mine layer mechanical trailer

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2 hours ago, fv1609 said:

Somewhere I have the User Handbook, Minelayer, Mechanical, Towed Equipment, Mk 1. Provisional Edition. July 1954, it was the subject of one of my Mystery Objects so there will be pictures on there.

Only 9 years ago Clive......

 

 

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haha but Clive has an amazing memory, he probably remembers just about every detail on every post over those 9 years, not to mention everything about Humbers!

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Am I right in thinking that the fuses had some sort of delay built in that made them live some time after being buried?

Knowing the layout of the chassis on the RL I am amazed it stood up to being hauled around by a crawler.  The diagram in Clive's manual suggests a bridle was used rather than the front towing hook but even so,  the chassis is being subjected to forces it was never designed to take.

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No, there wasn't a delay, the first guy unscrewed the cap and ignitor, the second guy removed the clip to arm the fuse the third guy screwed the cap and fuse back on, then down the Shute at the front. yes I've always thought poor old Bedford. there was some sort of frame for the job though, never seen one though. want one if anyone has one!

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2 hours ago, Ashcollection said:

No, there wasn't a delay, the first guy unscrewed the cap and ignitor, the second guy removed the clip to arm the fuse the third guy screwed the cap and fuse back on, then down the Shute at the front. yes I've always thought poor old Bedford. there was some sort of frame for the job though, never seen one though. want one if anyone has one!

So if the grader blade managed to trap a rock directly above the mine there was a good chance of an explosion?:shake:

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When I was introduced to this beast, the towing was carried out by a Bedford MK with a D6 on the front.

The MK being used mainly to carry the mine pallets.

The usual training field was by the Avon near Amesbury, usually inhabited by cows in the previous weeks, to be found during the night excercise of breaching the minefield by hand with the knitting needles.

Often wondered since then if the beast was developed from an agricultural machine possibly a Potato Harvester or was it the other way round?

Edited by ploughman

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Like Ploughman, as a former RE I too have had experience of "The Beast" as it was generally known.  Training mines were lumps of concrete, with the fuse holder fixed into the top.

If I remember the training right, the fuses were 2 stage. Meaning they had to be hit twice before detonation. I guess that would make them reasonably safe from an accidental strike by the grader blade

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How nice to see that one still exists.  I can't remember much about them now, except that the minetrain was an impressive sight - the minelayer behind a 4 tonner being towed by a Caterpillar D6 Medium Crawler Tractor.  (The drawbar had a sheer pin in case the plough hit something solid enough to risk damaging the towing vehicle).   If the mines were being surface laid - ie without using the plough, then the D6 could be dispensed with. 

If I remember correctly the fuse left the factory as DI, or double impulse, meaning that it required to be driven over twice to detonate.  If single-impulse fuses were required - ie so that they would detonate after a single pressure (under the middle of a wheeled vehicle say) then the first pressure had to be taken up in , I think it was called a "cracker" - a cup held the fuse while a weight was drawn onto it manually with a long handle - rather like a large garlic press.  Not a pleasant job for the man doing it!  There was also a "tilt fuse" for the Mk 7 AT mine which included a long rod designed to detonate the mine if it was missed by the tracks of an approaching enemy tank by being brushed and snapped against the tank's belly plate.  The great advance with the barmine as far as exercises was concerned was that the exercise mines were made of sand-filled cardboard so, once laid, could remain in place, whereas the training mines for the Mk7 were made of concrete and had to be lifted once the exercise was completed.  

 

10 68

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25 minutes ago, 10FM68 said:

 The great advance with the barmine as far as exercises was concerned was that the exercise mines were made of sand-filled cardboard so, once laid, could remain in place, whereas the training mines for the Mk7 were made of concrete and had to be lifted once the exercise was completed. 

I recall crates of these concrete mines in the RE Bay at the REME workshop where I worked. I remember asking what they were and was told they were for testing the minelayers. Never saw one and that was 1974, I believe the Barmine layer had been introduced by then as I had seen one in an agricultural machinery dealer's workshop a few years previous to that.

 

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I will have to try and make the effort to get my Bedford running, and hitch it up to the layer in the summer, probably been a long time since one has been behind an RL. 

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Dear All,

 

The question is:  does anyone want to acquire this interesting machine or will it go to feed the \Chinese steel industry?

 

John

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