Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Tom OBrien, Aug 4, 2015.
Deleted - Mis-ident !
The gut-wrenching horror!
Absolutely. Vomit-spattered walls here. I saw a photo of the top of the cab on FB, did a quick fire-shot as it wouldn't download and posted it here without looking at the whole (much larger ) image properly. It was a Bedford QL portee to GS conversion. It's a good job that 'Sapper' doesn't post here anymore. If he found out that Bedfords were being mistaken for Austins...the forum would be too small.
From the WD motorcycle forum, alongside an Ariel W/NG
The reprint Chilwell serial number list for contract S7018 gives the description 'Lorry 3ton 4x4 G/S. Air Portable' I've seen the Air Portables referred to but have no idea what the differences were - and if they were only issued ultimately to units requiring this feature....
Some more after a Google Image search...They seem to be associated with 1031 General Transport Company ? Part of the Belgian Brigade Piron ? 1031 Cie T/au - Hét ABL-History Forum
Lovely photos - thanks. I can't find 103 Coy RASC in the WO171 series. If this was Belgian Brigade, did they have their own transport unit?
Quick look on Wiki and apparently so - hmmm, how to confirm that they were issued with Austin K5's?
Some lovely photos here:
http://daimler-fighting-vehicles.co.uk/DFV-File Part D009d-Belguim Piron brigade.pdf
But no good shots of lorries, grrrr.
Sorry Tom I corrected my original post - it seems to have been 1031 GT Coy.
Was the Belgian brigade compelled to keep an English language war diary for 21st Army Group records ? I have no idea !
I have no idea what made them 'air portable' either, but apparently spare parts lists exist which mention this aspect...they don't look to be stripped down or have a different cab ?
It looks like those are post war I think. I’ve seen references to the setting up of Belgian GT Coys late in 1944 (IIRC).
Nonetheless - very nice photos.
I'm not sure about the actual date of the photos. The motorcycle still retains blackout mask fitment; They were fast disappearing at the end of the war.
Darn! I think I caught Tom's virus and can't view a film or see a photo without looking for K5's in them!
Anyway, here is K5 L5193248 of 8 Field Ambulance, 3 British Infantry Division (see the Arm of Service Serial 75 & 3 Br Inf Div emblem on the front mudguards) trying to get out of the beach around 1000 hrs D Day, with little brother 15 cwt GS 4x4 HUP to the right (with a large 'E' on the windscreen). The Landing Table First Tide only has two 3 ton lorries for 8 Fd Amb, one ('3 ton GS Austin 4x4') in LTIN 306 planned for H+120 (0925 hrs) and the other ('3 ton GS Austin') in LTIN 400 for H+360. What little can be seen of the loading code just below the AoS '75' does look like 'LCTxx6' (thus '306'), which matches the approximate time this clip was shot.
Source: NAVAL ACTION LANDING WOUNDED PRISONERS OFF FRENCH COAST, CANADIAN TROOPS, PT BOATS IN - LMWWIIHD200
There is a lot of action going on in this short sequence. In the backgound on the extreme left is the prow of an LCI(L), apparently Hull Number 300 (LTIN 317), then around the centre of the frame is the conning tower of another LCI(L) (of the second seiries this time) with what looks like LTIN 316. Both were planned to land at H+150 (0955 hrs), but with LTIN 316 on QUEEN WHITE Beach, thus West of 317 planned to land on QUEEN RED, contrarily to what we see here where 316 is East of 317.
To the right is LCT(4) 1013, one of the two LTIN 297 & 302 (with LCT(4) 1018) each planned to carry 200 tons of preloaded ammunition stores, three 6 pr A Tk guns and five 3 ton GS, plus one '3 ton GS Austin" in LTIN 302, in the same wave landing at H+120 as our K5.
On the left is a Crusader 40mm Bofors SP LAA gun of 218/73 LAA Regt (40 mm) in standby, with just behind it a D8 wading tractor crawler Class I of 20 Beach Rec Sec, and in-between them an M7 105mm SP gun ready to fire (the gun protections have been removed). The other three M7 SP guns of the Troop, also at the ready, can be seen in the right half of the photo. The AoS Serial on far right M7 could be '43', meaning 33 Fd Regt SP, again matching its planning (and actual reported) landing time of H+105 (0910 hrs), rather than '42' for 7 Fd Regt which landed at 1045 hrs. As for the third SP regiment, although 76 Fd Regt had already landed for some time (at 0835) and had been firing from the beach from 0840, its AoS Serial '44' looks less plausible.
In the bottom right corner the front end of an AVRE is visible, as are sundry Jeeps, trailers etc. at various places.
Finally, on the extreme left there seems to be another K5, maybe even two, lurching...
A correction to my post above: I did not realise that the three craft on the left and centre of the clip (i.e. all except LCT 1013) are actually seen from their port quarter, and not from their port bow as I first thought.
LCI(L) 300 (317) is thus actually before the LCI(L) (2nd Series), i.e. between this LCI(L) and the camera, which is why she masks a part of her. From furthest away and left of the cameraman to closest and right, we have:
LCI(L) (2nd Series) LTIN 316?
LCI(L) 300 (317)
So, if the LCI(L) (2nd Series) is indeed LTIN 316, both craft did land on the correct side of each other. I hope that their respective skippers will forgive me for having questioned, however shortly, their seamanship and abeyance to the plan...
'Airportable' trucks were usually fitted with a cab of which the top half could be taken off to reduce the height - sometimes the steering wheel could be taken off too if necessary. Mike Conniford's MV booklet on the Austin K5 reports that while the early GS ones had a fixed cab, most of them had the detachable type. Not much visual difference at model scales!
A correction to my correction in post #31: the LCT(4) on the left of the pictures is not behind the two LCI(L) but before them. This is evidenced by the LCT(4) wheelhouse and ladder hiding part of LCI(L) 300.
The sequence of craft is therefore, from furthest away of the cameraman to closest:
LCI(L) (2nd Series) LTIN 316?
LCI(L) 300 (317)
For an aerial oblique view of the same scene, see:
D Day Landing Craft Markings - Post #196
It's addictive isn't it.
I also find myself at Kew frantically searching through war diaries hoping to find either a description of 3-ton lorry type or a WD number in an appendix and am always getting side tracked from what I am meant to be researching!
For example, when I first saw this video I rushed up to Kew and picked up the 8th Field Ambulance war diary, but was disappointed to find no mention of their vehicles.
On the IWM website I found two films that refer to Austin K5's in southern Holland in the autumn of 1944 but sadly they are not on-line yet. Does anyone know if there are any other sites that might already have posted them on-line?
A70 176-8 - British Military Traffic in Southern Holland (Part Two).
A70 173-3 - "Hell's Highway": Veghel and Nistelrode.
As part of my somewhat obsessive collection of the war diaries of units which I suspect were equipped with said vehicles, I will post up some extracts that I've found over the last decade or so.
It seems that some elements of 50th Infantry Division were equipped with Austin K5 3-ton 4x4's. For example, this is from the war diary of 524 Inf Bde Coy RASC (WO171/2482):
WO171/2482 – 524 Infantry Brigade Company RASC, 50 Infantry Division
14 May 1944
0830 Capt. L.G. PERRY with 94 Dvrs to CURBRIDGE to collect prewaterpoofed 4x4 Austin 3 ton vehs. Vehs to return to this location pending distribution instructions.
15 May 1944
1730 Capt. L.G. PERRY returns from CURBRIDGE with 94 Austin 3 ton 4x4 vehs. Vehicles lagered [sic] in Coy area.
18 May 1944
Orders from HQ RASC that all DODGE 3-ton 4 x 2 vehs to be handed in to 25 VRD SHREWSBURY, and 77 x 3-ton AUSTIN (pre-waterproofed) 4 x 4 vehs drawn in lieu.
19 May 1944
1810 Lt. SLATTER with 36 DODGE 3-tonners to 25 V.R.D. SHREWSBURY to hand vehs in. Vehs replaced by Austin 3-ton 4 x 4 drawn from CURBRIDGE on 15 May.
20 May 1944 Stoney Cross, Hants (692305)
0530 Lt. STOBBS with 25 x 3-ton DODGE (incl 30 from OLD DALBY) to ADOS dump BURLEY to off-load advance stores and then proceed to 25 VRD SHRWESBURY to hand vehs in. Vehs replaced by Austin 3-ton 4x4.
My understanding is that an Infantry Brigade Company RASC would have had 77 vehicles. So my question is which units were issued with the first 94 that this unit had collected "pending distribution instructions"?
And if anyone has photos of 524 Coy vehicles my cup will runneth over!
On the Sword Beach thread, Michel very kindly reminded me of the IWM photo of Austin K5's of 5th KING's Regiment loading into an LST in preparation for D-Day:
Aren't they beautiful!
Michel also managed to find a photo of an Austin K5 belonging to 53rd Medium Regiment RA, much of which was planned to land on Sword Beach on 6th June.
For more excellent photos see:
53rd (London) Medium Regiment RA TA
This matches the details in the Sword Beach landing tables which record that 53rd Medium Regiment was landing with 19 'Screamers'.
This image comes from the Tilburg Archives so another one that can't be held responsible for any delays in liberating Europe.
A Scottish unit, but which?
Royal Scots Fusiliers?
Separate names with a comma.