Discussion in 'The Barracks' started by von Poop, Nov 1, 2019.
Was one ever built? Sounds not according to the text but no harm in asking...
A working model was but it went no further. Lance Corporal Mole was recognised by a committee setup in 1919 to judge contributions and given a financial reward.He appears to have been a very modest self effacing bloke (not really Australian at all) and not one to push himself foeward.
Naval Land Equipment
Nellie, the big engine that couldn't...
Cultivator #1/2/6 etc. etc.
Quoting myself cribbing from Fletcher in 'Name that vehicle':
Think Defence did a nice survey of it:
Winston and Nellie (the Trenching Machine) - Think Defence
This got posted on War Thunder.
Looks suspiciously like a still from a film.
Would like to see that.
Didn't notice that The National Truss had made a replica of sorts this year.
Clumber Park not far so might have to shamble over & have a shufti.
Classified: Operation Clumber Park
It is greatly to my regret to have discovered just now that my favourite charity, the National Truss and Surgical Appliance Society, whose stated aim was “to gratuitously furnish surgical appliances” - I think this was supposed to mean at no cost rather than to people who didn’t need them - seems to have changed its name to Equipment for Independent Living.
I would certainly consider lending them my support.
Interesting to see them branching out into trench digging machines - a preventative strategy I suppose.
Back in the 70s Military Modelling magazine did a good article on Nellie with scale drawings. One reason given for persisting with it was that in case of invasion it could be used to rapidly dig anti tank ditches
It's always been The Truss in this house.
It just sort of fits...
Errr. Skoda... Krupp... Sort of... 20 ton... errrmmm... Steam Pz.38... ish.
The hunt for 'native fuels'. A desperate hunt.
(Though anyone with an interest in later steam cars learns quite quickly that immense power can be generated... hotly.)
1943 & Speer's ministry instigated a Wa.Pruf 'Research Forum for Steam Vehicles'.
They started working up some 25hp tractors, but as the Coal-Synthetic fuel conversion plants were being hammered from the air by '44, they invited Krupp, FAMO, Henschel & Skoda to have a go at a coal-powered Jgpzr 38.
Krupp took up the contract.
A steam engine per track.
All other parts as standard as possible from a 'recon' Jagdpanzer (which I'm assuming in this instance just meant 'supplied without armament'.).
200HP requested. Maybe 125 max achieved.
Prototype worked up at Skoda.
Spielberger has more on it, but to summarise: it didn't go well, & stands as another fine example of Nazi fiddling while Berlin burnt.
Dr. Hasenzahl, committee leader, was still making suggestions to Krupp in the last days of March '45...
(Though there is an interesting reference to a proposed steam-driven Tiger recovery vehicle 40-50 tons with 4-500HP, which perhaps feeds that recent thread - they were aware of those recovery issues even at that late date.)
Think I've only ever seen one photograph, though maybe also a front view in vague memory.
Anyone might think the KBs of Signal! weren't exactly encouraged to report on this wonder of the 1000 year Reich...
Further envisioned dicking about:
The Germans also attempted to produce a coal fueled ram jet! I include details of a much earlier steam powered tank from America
The very first attempts to produce an American tank had consisted of putting armoured boxes on agricultural tractors. Inevitably one of these was the ubiquitous Holt. The Holt Company even produced their own design for a tank – another armoured box on Holt suspension. These all had the same weaknesses as the first French tanks and the German A7V. In 1917 the US Corps of Engineers stepped in with their own design known as the Steam Tank. This used all round tracks like the British heavy tanks. The real differences lay in its propulsion and armament. It was powered by a steam engine with a kerosene (paraffin) heated boiler and armed with a flamethrower. The logic of the use of steam had been that the pressure from the boiler could provide the necessary force to project the fire from the flamethrower (which was intended to knock out German bunkers and pill boxes). This proved impractical and so a secondary petrol (gasoline) engine was provided for the flamethrower. The result was that within the hull was contained:
A pressurised steam boiler
Burners producing flames to heat the boiler
A fuel tank containing kerosene
A fuel tank containing petrol
A fuel tank containing the highly volatile flamethrower fuel
A single bullet penetrating the hull could cause mayhem and turn the interior into an inferno. If the French Schneider had been dangerous to its crew (being called a mobile crematorium) the Steam Tank would have been a lethal nightmare in which the crew could be par boiled before being incinerated. World War II flame throwing tanks usually kept the fuel for the flamethrower in an armoured reservoir outside the hull (and the very successful Churchill Crocodile towed its flame fuel in an armoured trailer). None of them had to contend with the complications of steam boilers and burners. Fortunately the Steam Tank never passed beyond the prototype stage. It was a very large tank and the prototype was announced by a Boston newspaper with the message that America now had a tank that was bigger (and by inference better) than British ones. It was evaluated by the US Army Tank Board in France which decided to stick with buying heavy tanks from Britain
The M4 Medium/Sherman
Could write so much, but it's probably all been said in 'the thread':
WW2Talk - The Sherman Tank what an amazing vehicle!!
Read it all if you dare - Laugh! Cry! Bang your head against the keyboard!
Probably my favourite M4s. Trinity etc.:
Every now and again you come across the bastard progeny from an unholy union!
Mum & Dad.
Their families didn't approve so they had to elope to Egypt.:
The actual paternity is under dispute. His brother may actually be responsible.
Phwoarrr! That's what all tanks should look like, by law.
Sorry. Definitely a bit 'funny' about Conqueror.
Both modern & dated in evolutionary terms, sitting in a very specific niche that only lasted a few years really, but very much satisfies my 'intermediate technology' fetish.
The Sovs were looking a bit tasty with some of their immediate postwar designs. (Whether they actually were is moot.)
Their display of JS3 at the Berlin victory parade triggered some consternation in development circles, and estimations of its armour meant the men with slide rules began looking at the 20pdr & thinking 'hmmmm, is that going to be enough?'. (Spoiler It was enough - accurate info later obtained showed the Russki wasn't as thickly protected as had been thought.)
Thoughts turned towards a machine that could be deployed in smaller numbers alongside 'standard' MBTs, capable of sniping anything too hefty the Red menace chose to deploy, from as far away as possible. (I suppose not unlike Firefly being added to WW2 deployment for that extra punch. Though with a lot more punch.)
So they leant towards a beefier gun than the 20. 36mm beefier - no small increment. (120, with 146 & 180 even considered.). They saw this gun as mounted on the FV201/A45 - sort of a Black Prince version of the Centurion, but for assorted reasons that was put aside, with it's chassis being mated to a turret that could accommodate a really serious new gun.
But that's all frippery. (If interested in Conqueror & associated devices I'd recommend Rob Griffin's damned fine book. It's detailed. exhaustive, well-written, and easily one of the best tank books I own.).
Look at it!
Nobody sensible cares that its niche became irrelevant as the L7 gun evolved into the world standard & finally, properly, finished off the MBT 'universal' idea with Centurion.
Conqueror, Centurion, Chieftain. Easy Top Trumps win for 'Bigness'.
The Gas Turbine trial.
A chassis that had an interesting life & eventually ended up as Bovington's commentary box (Some will remember the strange construction from when you could actually see at Bovington events. Possibly unfair, not been for a long while).
And I believe for its time some advanced fire control housed in the commander's position at the back of the turret? I agree, Rob's book is great.
I was glad to find the Conqueror in that back room of the Tank Museum in March, but the light played merry hell with my camera.
Or is that where they keep the sticks for fighting gurlz off with while cutting about in such an attractive vehicle?
The clever Fire control stuff runs from the commanders 'turret' (The FCT... Fire Control Turret) across the roof to the gunner. Commander could scan freely for the next target from his splendid isolation while the gunner dealt with the previous one. Seems to have been a good, if complex, system that got things closer to the required (very high) first hit accuracy.
The really advanced thing to the rear of the turret is probably the Commander himself, though I've no illustrations of the odd crew arrangement to hand.
Bagtignolles Chattillon DP3
The lousy, rotten, stinking, glorious thing.
That took 9 years to ID that did.
Used to sometimes dream about it. FFS.
WW2Talk - Help ! Tracked Afv Id answer Bagtignolles Chattillon DP 3
You can now find pictures & rough info on the Internerd.
From that thread....
Make sure that's in your manifesto
The M24 Chaffee
In particular, the M24 in French service at Dien Bien Phu.
Because, it's one of the most remarkable tank stories in the history of tank, and a totem of the efforts people at war will go to.
Anyone gives you any nonsense about French soldiers being unable to fight, don't just point 'em at Verdun - DBP is right up there.
I believe ten were flown in. 18 ton machines that couldn't be carried by the air transport available, so they were dismantled & reassembled on the airfield.
It's not a new or badly covered story, but that doesn't make it any less interesting.
Well-served in Windrow's 'The Last Valley'.
Dien Bien Phu: Some armor reinforcement for the French - Part 1
Chaffees at Dien Bien Phu – Part I | For the Record
More generally: M24 a nice design.
Solid attempt to create a chassis that could be used for a 'family' of vehicles.
The system may have been overtaken by events, as with so many machines of WW2 origin, but that doesn't make the thing unsound. Chilean service up until the 80s.
They don't half shift as well.
Watching a pair at Beltring really getting thrashed was illuminating.
I think I have always loved the M24 because of the Matchbox kit of it
In June 1944, MacArthur, in his capacity as C-in-C SWPA, suggested to the Australian Prime Minister that the Chaffee “may prove more suitable for jungle warfare even than the Matildas.” The Chief of the Australian General Staff had a different view.
View digital copy
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