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The Tank Factory (Chertsey) by William Suttie


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I've just finished reading The Tank factory by William Suttie, it describes the Chertsey reserch centre over 30 years before its closure. I found the book very good and was reminded of my past as an appentice during the 70's with the CEGB. The dry humour brought a smile as he describes History, development, departmental interconnection and the giving of trophies to those who thought they'd covered up their cockups at the end of the year at the Christmas do.


I have been trying to find out about a model Chieftain tank (1/5 scale) that was possibly built there, to try and find out what it's purpose was. There is a picture of a T94 model in the book (not sure of the scale) used for scale radar measurements, it looks similar to the Chieftain build and was wondering if the Chieftain model was built for the same reason.


If someone knows William or one of his colleges then maybe they could drop me a line and I could finally put this enigma to bed.



Edited by Chieftainmk4
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Hi Nick

One wonders where the next home grown MTB is going to come from when all the expertise, building and testing facilities have gone?


That will be presumably be down to a private contractor once MOD have made their minds up about what they actually want. It's that last bit that's the hardest - see here for the FRES shambles: http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2014/06/story-fres-introduction/



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Well that was a scary conversation, I suppose we've seen the golden age of Tank building in this country.

I guess a similar dialog was run during the 1920's with Vickers (private contractor) and some back yard inventers developing our only other armoured equipment.

Government's now and then praying they won't need to buy and keep them, lets hope there are no more despots waiting for their chance to catch us out again.

Still, we l have the Nukes unless some fanciful nincompoop decides we don't need those anymore too.

These days self proclaimed important people get paid a lot of money for responsibility yet none will accept responsibility when mistakes are made. lets all hope their prayers are answered.

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I have managed to chat with William Suttie author of The Tank Factory, He describes the model as highly detailed Radar Signature model used to develop Dopple radar signatures.

I can endorse the book as very good read, obviously a lot of work and invention is still secret stuff but the book itself covers and outlines events in British tank early development to the last days at Chertsey from the "man on the grounds" point of view. Some of the development area's not widely know, although the site is closed to military development this book is a lasting description of the kind of things our military engineers had to invent to try to keep our military personnel safe so that they can secure our future.

Included in the read are obscure vehicles such as Contentious which in my opinion could today become an airborne drown tank for all those couch battlefield gaming.net fans and not the Kamikaze swarm tank of the 1950's.


Thanks to all for the interest

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