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Everything posted by steveo578

  1. The only note I have on that one is that 37ZR79 was one of a number alocated to MkVII AVRE So the manufacture refered to TBP would be the firm responsible for the conversion with a date of 1/53 January 1953 -not the original manufacture which should be Vauxhall under contract M7454 which was a large contract and could well be the master contract meaning that some of the production was let to other firms. M7454 contract is hard to follow as the papers so far found are partial,conficting and a total basket case. Sorry I don't have any more but it could be still around -although some are being converted back to MkVIII and some will no doubt just be donor vehicles. THe B Card for 27ZR79 might give you a fate -assuming it is available at bovington (don't hold your breath on that one though) Many MkVII AVRE and Bridgelayer were struck off in BAOR and most likely were used as targets.
  2. T31640 is a Metro Cammell built MkII from the Contract T749 which produced 70 vehicles T.31946 to T.31670. However it was rebuilt as a MkIII with trackguards (so may have been rebuilt as an Mk.III prior to initial issue and then again as an AVRE - it survived WW2 and became 46ZR01 under the Post War numbering system. In its first iteration it was filmed serving in 33rd Army Tank Brigade in the New Forest Hampshire early in the summer of 1942. Video is on Utube. Also in this Contract is the tank T.31579 which became a Twin Ark and was rebuilt as a Mk.IV by the Churchill Trust? Utube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhw2UvnMsjg
  3. A great shame Rick and worse a waste of your time -remarkable and sad to see so many Conqueror, I wonder if Bob Griffin knew about them.
  4. But it is down to the contact they signed up to, -no point in saying how much they could get on the commercial market if they signed to reduce it to scrap then that is that. As happened 20 years ago on Otterburn when the Sea Vixen was removed -had some-one approached the Range they could have had it - but once the scrap dealer bought it from the MOD it had to be completely shreded.
  5. I think the scrap dealer may be confusing the regulations regarding the demilitarisation of US sponsored (financed) equipment which requires the vehicles to be cut in two as in those M8 from Italy that I put up some years ago. Good luck if you're out to Germany get some good pics -I'd love to see any evidence of numbers on them. Cheers Steve
  6. Actually I over edited myself I should have said none empirical -which does mean the story isn't true it just means it is an isolated result -not sufficient data to base a hypophasis. Anyway I don't think being influenced by the generation that went though it is a bad thing Thanks for getting back so quickly steve
  7. Tony ,sorry mate I'm really not looking to lock horns on this one but I can only think you have completely misunderstood the point of my post, it was that there is too much subconcisous support for the theory that the 3rd Reich -as was the WW1 German defeat was facilitated by the "stab in the back", this probably attracts the wrong kind of interest to the forum. There is no verifable evidence that amateur sabotage of industry by forced labour materially shortened WW2, -neither of the 2 largest documentation centres, Shoah and Simon Weisenthal insts., support that theory. In the last 2 years of WW2 German war material production actually increased exponentially despite the best efforts of the real heros of WW2 -those who put on uniform and served in conventional forces and those who worked damned hard in industry at home ie in allied nations. The nearest Germany came to disruption of industrial capacity was by pointed use of air power in such matters as the attacks on the Ruhr dams, the effecive bombing of aircraft and AFV production facilities and the bombing of the Romanian oil fields -none of which stopped production for more than a few weeks. Other SOE based operations for example Le Cruseot works in France -electircity system destroyed -resulted in production -both machine tools and skilled labour being forciably relocated to Germany. The other example Norsk Hydro -the Germans probably ****** over their own nuclear capability long before the SOE (actually heroic Norwegian soldiers) did for the plant. Most of the stories are, as in your examples, at best empirical instances being used to support a hypophasis.
  8. It actually seems to be in some sort of cutting made by a tractor. The holes in the casing look like cannon -so possibly set up as target post war. Good stuff anyway.
  9. IMO the best is often the enemy of the good, the Germans lost the plot when Hitler interfered directly in design -to an extent he was correct to be outraged that the 5cm L/60 was not in service on Pz3 prior to the start of Barbarossa, but the subsequent level of interference on AFVs was counter productive -practically all subsequent tanks were overweight, overly complex and unmaintanable. In simple terms concentration on Pz3 and Pz4 while improved AFVs in the same weight limit were developed may have made some difference particularly in the war in the east. Comet was just a Cromwell with a 50kft/lb K/E 76mm gun so no advance over a M4A1 76mm and virtually no HE capability. Had the Comet had a 17pdr (60kft/lb K/E capable weapon) it would have been a tactical advance at least in its capability as a tank killer, which is not really the purpose of a tank anyway -but that's another debate:red:.
  10. You can't extract a sherman through a test pit -I'm sure Rick will have a trusty hydraulic breaker in his kit:cool2:. Seems quite apparent what happened to all those old Shermans -they became hardcore:-D.
  11. A light tank would be L6/40 (a 20mm gun armed tank) if it were an M40 it would be the medium M13/40 (a 47mm gun armed tank) which at 14ton would be classed as a light tank by most people -it is a variant of the Vickers 6 tonner -similar to the Polish 7T and Soviet T26. The Italian 90mm gun cannon da 90/53 CA was fitted to a number of Lancia 3 RO trucks and some were captured in the desert campaign. It was also fitted to Breda 41 6 x 4 trucks and a Breda 4 x 2 truck. Certainly L6/40 and various M series Mediums were stored at Chertsey until disposed of to ranges and scrapyards. It is regretable that you didn't have the benefit of modern mobile/digital cameras in the 1950s:-(
  12. No it's new - surprising that the zimmert is either still there or the ground conditions have caused the zimmert to etch the steel. Interesting that it's another Pzjgr4 similar condition to the one beneath the bridge which has been mentioned previously.
  13. From one anorak to another - just to fill in the blanks the big howitzers at 5.43 are 30.5cm mozdir vz.16 Czech built captured from the Czechs and Yugoslavia and in service with the Germans as 30.5cm Morser(t)(j) 638. Six were used during the seige of Leningrad and others were used at Sevastopol. is a Marder 3 the first version with as you say the Pak36®. There is a Marder 2 Pak40 shown in the background the Pz38(t) shown at 6.30. Yes it's a Toldi 1 (with a loop aerial) very similar to the Swedish Strv 38 hence the Bovington Strv38/40 was once finished in Hungarian markings:undecided: -the Toldi is also a survivor of the mass scrapping and is now at Kubinka. That is more likely to be a Pz1 muntionschlepper -which had a "carryall box" on the roof. Other way round the short tracked vehicle at 7.05 is a Ferdinand the APG exhibit is an elefant -c/w hull mounted mg. It's the 88s big brother a 12.8cm Flak40. The missing section from 9.00 covers a brief over view of captured trucks, mortars, small arms, medals and unforms. Steve
  14. I wonder how it ended up landlocked -tsunami:??? or did the commander take a wrong turn whilst the periscope was misted up:???:-D
  15. They used 17pdr equiped M4 sherman Ic and Vc post war so from the point of ammunition logistics it would be reasonable to have a gun park with towed 17pdr, -probably a lot more viable post war than the 3inch M5 used by Italian co-beligerant forces in the later part of WW2.
  16. I agree with Pzkpfw-e in that German tanks were unreliable in that they suffered from a weapon and armour inflation problem without a complementary increase in mobility. it also has to be said that many tanks in WW2 were unrelable -A15 Crusader, A13 Covenanter, A22 Churchill and A27 Cromwell series were unreliable as they could not benefit from a proper development programme- the later German tanks are no better in this respect. As to the sabotage -I tend to regard these stories as "Jackanory" to some extent a persistance of the WW1 "Stab in the back by the comunist/jews" myth. If Britain had lost WW2 there would be persisitant stories of "sabotage" -there were stupid practices that happened too- people "f******" up work pieces and disguising errors to get it past inspection during piece work, people smoking whilst working and dropping butts into components -accidently or on purpose - the result of people stressed and under directed labour schemes. In the 3rd Reich things happened but remember conscript workers (ie French,Belgian, Dutch, Czech and Danish skilled workers) knew full well the penalites if they did something that was classed as sabotage- each member of their familly back home, well documented by the reich would certainly be eliminated or sent to a concentration camp. Most true slave workers -concentration camp inmates would never be trusted with access to critical components or assembly they did the grunt work! -there would always be a skilled cadre doing the complex stuff. Whilst sanitised Schindlers List gives a reasonable idea of what was going on most of the real sabotage was Schindleresque scams to get money out of the authorities by Party members lining their own pockets- although the camp sequence of the shooting of the unter mensch architech gives a reasonable view of nazi idealogy to intelligent slave workers. German quality control was very good for the most part, have a look at documentation for V2s -2 sometimes 3 quality inspection stamps for each component. BTW HE277 have you got the right designation as I thought the 277 was experimental only and was "sabotaged" due to changing requirements and parts going to other more important projects.
  17. But track is alot more useful than rocking horse s***
  18. No worries mate, probably one of the most contentious subjects around but even in the 1960s the Israelis who tend to give crew survival a high priority still fitted a track stowage rack on the M51 Isherman turret re-enforcing the loaders station so although discounted by many some still gave merit to the matter of add on armour. Tanktracks is a really good book.
  19. A bit debatable, IMO the fitting of tracks to vulnerable sections of a tanks structure was learned from the Germans who used it on the toe plates of their tanks during the battle of France as a protection against KE rounds. Additionally they also placed track across the forward section of turret roofs of Pz3 and 4. This was probably used because of the singularly effective Polish A/T rifles such as Marosczek wz.35 in the 1939 campaign and later the British Boys mk1 and Soviet Degtyarova PTRD-41. Later German tanks moved the links to cover more vulnerable areas even Tigers had track links placed on the turret flanks especially around the very vulnerable loaders station due to the proximity of ready rounds. The British took to fitting track plate as supplementary armour with a relish and even the IGAFV became involved when trying to find out why troopers were fitting track links on their tanks with such abandon. According to an article by David Fletcher the ingenuity of the fitments was only matched by the pseudo-scientific nonsense that the troops waxed lyrical to justify themselves:laugh:. Most track link "armour" was afixed only to act as an additional thickness it was rare that anyone fixed plates in a manner to act as stand off armour but occasionally some were fitted to Churchill turret fronts as a Vee pattern which might have acted as a spaced armour as would the fashion for swinging links- alleged to deflect KE projectiles:nut: -although eventually a kit was devised for Churchills to give stand off armour -mainly for service in the far east, it never saw service. Bar armour is a totally different concept although I suppose von Thoma shields -schurzen made out of wire mesh sheets could be regarded as an early example by default. The purpose of bar armour is to disprupt the structure of a hollow charge shell before it explodes, not pre explode it before it contacts the main armour -alternatively to capture (snag) it. If a RPG7 explodes against wartime style schurzen armour (stand off armour) the penetrating flame lance will still penetrate the armour. The first use was on the Swedish S tank with a bar system sometimes refered to as a bedstead or school gate, rarely seen on in service tanks it consisted of a series of steel bars vertical at the extremity of the glacis -it was necessary as unlike a turret tank the S tank was unable to take up a hull down firing position.
  20. In the west a report on British AFVs knocked out in the last 10 weeks of the war in NWE showed that 22% had been destroyed by hollow charge weapons -which by default would be mostly Panzerfaust with smaller numbers falling to Panzershrek and probably a few odd and sods -for example Pupchen. The reason why the Panzerfaust was less evident in Normandy was that its production only started in late 1943 and that teething troubles particularly with the fuse mechanism requiring sometimes somewhat bazaar testing of each fuse prior to use -added to that the panzerfaust tended to be sent fighting units rather than those on garrison as the original weapon did not do well in storage. As the war continued improved weapons came into use including the PF 100 which started production in the autumn of 1944 at the same time it became evident that the skill base of the 3rd Reich’s soldiery was declining so a cheap relatively easy to use weapon that could substitute:-\ for the more conventional and weapons requiring service skills such as artillery, mortars and anti- tank weapons, in the last 6months of WW2 the PF became almost a weapon of choice -probably more being used against none armour targets -just as its Soviet descendants the RPG2,7 and 16 have become ubiquitous in conflicts since 1945 -again often used by a comparatively unskilled militia. The most common form of anti-tank weapon in German service in the latter part of WW2 was the 7.5cm Pak40, 7.5cm KwK40 and 7.5cm Pak39 etc in all its configurations towed SPG and tank.
  21. There is alot of evidence that "reverse Lease Lend" of scrap -redundant and battle damaged tanks from the North African campaign were sent to smelting plants on the eastern seaboard of the USA in mid/late 1943. There are photos of tanks in US dumps (I think pictures were sent to the tank museum some years ago) including British cruisers and even the odd German/Italian wreck. It would therefore be fairly likely that some were diverted to gunnery training from these stocks rather than be supplied from APG test alocation -although post war a swapped conqueror was used for HARM missle tests "somewhere" in the USA.
  22. There was a partially buried Mk1-2 Medium in the Ashdown forest. In the 1980s it was dug out supposedly to be refurbished by Vickers although I don't know if they knew they were to do it;) -the rapidly deteriorating remains turned up a Bovington were it continued to rot away during the early 1990s -probably just turned back to red dust:-D Whether this tank was a training aid for Aux units -I would suppose if Aux. units were training areas such as the Ashdown forest would be a likely local.
  23. The track is Churchill light track (relative term still very heavy) A view of the underside would confirm whether it is steel or manganese steel. It does look well coroded, it is probably steel rather than manganese as there is less demand for manganese steel for smelting. It sounds like the track was laid as a causeway/road on unstable ground -possibly the reason it is so badly coroded. Shame you have photos of the tanks as I only think the tanks were concrete filled - which makes scrapping difficult -and time consuming- I assume non-magnetic armour is a joke;):cool2::-D
  24. It may be part of the front deck of a Vickers medium Mk1 or 2 or derivative.
  25. Wouldn't a variant of the Berlin brigade Chieftain camoflague scheme not be more suitable:???
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