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L4 120mm MOBAT & Champ!


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Our latest acquisition - a very nice (but sadly deactivated) 1954 L4 120mm MOBAT which goes perfectly with our 1954 Champ!

 

Champ & MOBAT Aldham 2012.jpg

 

It's come with loads of useful goodies but I'm now on the lookout for a decent original User Handbook - any ideas?

 

It seems there are only 8 surviving MOBATs and so far I've found these:

 

1. 1954. Carriage Number: CA189, Barrel Number: RCL 2327

Peter Hall, Colchester, Essex

2. 1954. Carriage Number: , Barrel Number:

Lee, Essex (HMVF!)

3. 1954. Carriage Number: , Barrel Number:

Harwich Redoubt, Essex

4. 195?. Carriage Number: , Barrel Number:

Aldershot Military Museum, Hampshire

5. 1954. Carriage Number: , Barrel Number:

Andy, Somerset

6. 195? Carriage Number: , Barrel Number:

Battlefront Museum, Snetterton, Norfolk

7. 195?. Carriage Number: , Barrel Number:

Muckleburgh Collection, Norfolk

 

Bovington?

Firepower?

Duxford?

 

Can anyone add or confirm these details and are there any more out there?

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My one is still live ? held on a Section 1 FAC, there is another deactivated MOBAT in Ongar Essex.. I have managed to collect most of the manuals over the years.. As soon as my Fox sells I will be on the hunt for a Champ to go with mine..

 

Bovington?

Firepower?

Duxford?

Have only seen WOMBAT's at these museums!!

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We're hoping to be at Muckleburgh next weekend Peter.......it's actually Yvonne's siginificant birthday that we're going away to that part of the world for but she's going to let me out to play too ! I'll try to remember to check theirs for you .

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Thanks Dave!

 

Perhaps Yvonne would like to rest and relax at Snetterton on the way up to Muckleburgh - you could then check out the MOBAT at the Battlefront Musuem!

 

Sorry Yvonne - some big boys made me do it!

 

Have a great time in Norfolk

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Peter,

What a cracking duo !! :wow:Champ looks damn tidy in picture.:kiss:

 

Would you possibly be taking Champ & Mobat to the Champ Camp at Evesham on the 24th June ??? I'm trying to get there myself weather & work load permitting.....& the reason I ask is because it might be an ideal chance (with your permission) to photograph & measure it to death for a 1/24th model release to go with the Champ kit I do.:cool2:

 

Best regs......Howard @ KFS

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Looked great at the weekend!

 

Didnt fancy this?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]62944[/ATTACH]

 

I personally prefer Peters Combo (I would bang my head on that :D)

 

Can you imagine going for the Mot.

 

Regards Gerry

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Peter,

What a cracking duo !! :wow:Champ looks damn tidy in picture.:kiss:

 

Would you possibly be taking Champ & Mobat to the Champ Camp at Evesham on the 24th June ??? I'm trying to get there myself weather & work load permitting.....& the reason I ask is because it might be an ideal chance (with your permission) to photograph & measure it to death for a 1/24th model release to go with the Champ kit I do.:cool2:

 

Best regs......Howard @ KFS

 

Thanks for the kind words Howard - we love the Champ / MOBAT duo too!

 

Like you, weather permitting, I'm hoping to go to Evesham but the MOBAT will be staying at home (too much fuel!). That said, we're at Colchester and you'd be very welcome to come and photograph the MOBAT for your model - PM me for details/ date.

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allways wanted a MOBAT, there was one at Doncaster Aeroventure Museum Cold War event last year

 

Mark

 

I thought it would be quite easy to record the 8 or so surviving MOBATS but more keep popping up all over the place! It could be that this is one we already know about - is it the one going to Evesham (now under restoration), for example. The carriage number would really help pin these down.

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Hi Peter,

 

Just spoken to Phil Plumb at ACOC who confirms there will be two Mobat & at least one recoiless at Evesham. Looks like a full on tape measure day. Having said that...if it all goes pear shaped for any reason I'll drop you a line & take you up on the kind offer of measuring up yours by arrangement.

 

Many thanks....might bump into you at Evesham in any case.

 

Best regs.

H

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I thought it would be quite easy to record the 8 or so surviving MOBATS but more keep popping up all over the place! It could be that this is one we already know about - is it the one going to Evesham (now under restoration), for example. The carriage number would really help pin these down.

 

Unfortunately the rumour that there is 'only eight Mobats in existance' is a myth ! A friend of mine bought a large number of them from Budge and Jacksons back in the day when they were £350 each.

I know of 6 within a 50 mile radius of Catterick ! and I'm sure there will be a few more tucked away.

 

 

Rob........................rnixartillery.

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Rob,

 

Thanks for the info - I suspected the '8 Survivors' was a myth when I found 4 MOBATs in Essex and 2 in Norfolk!

 

As our resident artillery expert (and I know MOBATs aren't really Artillery!), is there any way of finding out more of the history of my MOBAT?

 

Do you know when and how they were disposed of? - you mention Budge and Jacksons, I've also heard that Withams were involved.

 

I'd really appreciate any help you could give me

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Quite a number of 120mm rifles in all forms were bought up by Budge and Jacksons in the very late eighties,early nineties and sold into the collectors market infact if you look through some of the old Wheels and Tracks mags you can find the sale's ads.There are a lot of Mobats still on army bases as Gate guards and I am sure there is three at Catterick.

I have always fancied a BAT which is the early variant with the shield because I think it makes it look more like an Artillery piece.

As for tracing your guns history,the best chance is to contact Firepower at Woolwich although unlike Military vehicles the History of an Artillery piece is not normaly held.

 

But one thing is for sure,when it comes to moverbility and storage you cant 'Beat the BAT' ! ;)

 

Rob.......................rnixartillery.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Whilst over at Muckleburgh the other day I also measured up & photographed their BAT (which they claim is an L6 Wombat, but it is`nt, its an L1 BAT with all the shield still fitted)...for comparison with the two L4 Mobats I photograhed & measured at Evesham.

 

But anyway....what I'm asking if anyone can enlighten me please.....the L1 BAT with the shield has two handwheels,.. elevation & traverse obviously. On the later L4 BAT though there is only 1 handwheel, for elevation only;-

 

Q. How is the traverse 'controlled' on the L4 & later versions?....is it just a shove of the shoulder & a case of giving the target the right amount of 'lead' if its moving ?

 

Q. Also I see no provision for any king of spotting/ranging weapon on the L1 BAT. Did it rely on a separate weapon alongside to gain the range of the target ?

 

Many thanks for any light shed on it.

Howard @ KFS

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Q. How is the traverse 'controlled' on the L4 & later versions?....is it just a shove of the shoulder & a case of giving the target the right amount of 'lead' if its moving ?

Shoulder, with the aid of a strap attached to the firing handle & the gun..

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He'he'he...high tech, I thought as much. Thanks for confirming that.

 

How about a method of ranging for the L1 ? Had to have been a stand alone weapon I'm guessing ?

There are no apparent apertures in the shield to fire anything though ....any thoughts?

 

Cheers again.

H

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  • 3 weeks later...

Confirm the previous comment regarding the strap which went round the shoulder of the gunner, the operators manual I have shows it clearly.

 

Regarding the spotting gun the manual I've got is for the L4 so doesn't go back to the L1 but the Mobat I have has a complex sight fitted with adjustable sight for both up and down and left and right with a scaled turn wheel so I suspect the spotting gun was never originally used and the gunner had to reply on firing the main gun and getting the sight right for the range. Mine also has a range card fitted inside the small shield in front of the sight which the gunner could know the range of land marks, mark them on the card and adjust the range accordingly when a tank appeared near those land marks.

 

I wouldn't think a separate gun would be any use any as they used a Bren because the trajectory of the round was the same as the main shell so when the Bren round was seen to hit the tank you fired the main gun and it hit the same place at a range of 2000 yds (the manual talks about how to fire high or low to compensate for different ranges), a separate gun wouldn't do that. Mine has an adjuster for the Bren mount and there is a process in the manual for aligning the Bren with the main barrel for them to align at a range of 2,000 yds.

 

From what i've been told you didn't want to fire the main gun to often as the back blast quickly gave your position away so it was a couple of shots, hook up and run so fitting a Bren cut down the number of misses before they got a bead on you !!

 

I don't know what the sights look like on the ones you have seen but here is a photo of mine in case its different from what you've seen, I'm sure mine is accurate sight wise because of the place I got the gun from, but somebody may of course know different !!

 

100_4229.jpg

 

 

Hope that makes sense and is helpful.

 

Andy

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I don't know what the sights look like on the ones you have seen but here is a photo of mine in case its different from what you've seen, I'm sure mine is accurate sight wise because of the place I got the gun from, but somebody may of course know different !!

 

Looks correct, if it is the correct sighting telescope it will be marked 120mm BAT as in photos below.. there is another telescope that fits the MOBAT but is not correct..

 

e4297c81.jpg

cff33241.jpg

f97f6a5c.jpg

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Thanks Andy,

Yep, your sight set up appears to be identical to the 2nd one I photographed at Evesham (I only know its a different gun by the different tyres), right down to the range card & its cover.:D

 

If you ever get chance to visit the Mucklburgh BAT you'll be surprised how many subtle differences there are. No sights fitted on theirs though sadly.

 

Have saved your pic for reference though.

 

Some cunning photography there Marmite:wow:

 

Cheers......Howard @ KFS

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Yes Marmite cleaver photos, I note your Mobat is live, I certainly hope it wasn't loaded whilst you had them in your sights !!!!!! Oh the temptation !!!! :cool2:

 

Andy

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