LVTs Breskens/Flushing

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by reinaart, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. reinaart

    reinaart Member

    I have some questions regarding the use of LVTs from Breskens. I know several stills from videos showing LVT's in Flushing evacuating civilians and wounded soldiers :

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    I forgot which video I got this still from, perhaps someone can help me to retrieve it :

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    Trying to retrieve videos from British Pathé is very difficult. I watched certain clips about 7 years ago and I simply don't seem to be able to find them back. It doesn't help that some clips have been filed under the wrong year ( 1940 instead of 1944) and often have inadequate headings.. Also many you tube videos seem to consist of a jumble of various abridged clips often unrelated in both subject and chronology.

    I discussed this well-known photo taken in Flushing with Michel, it turns out to be LVT-4 SABLE with a Weasel in its cargo bay:

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    I found this pic also taken at Uncle beach in the Beeldbank Gemeente Vlissingen, it shows some LVTs in the background :

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    Regarding the Weasel in the cargo bay of SABLE I wonder if there are any images or drawings of the internal ramp used for loading the Weasel. The Tank museum SEVENOAKS exhibit is a bit misleading in that a Weasel would only fit inside when it was positioned at an angle.

    Images of LVTs in the harbour of Breskens, once more I forgot where I found the first still :

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    Arjan
     
  2. reinaart

    reinaart Member

    I have just managed to find some HD footage which results in a much better still of the last vehicle. Its name can even be read, it is SKYLARK. What strikes me is the roll of metal wire ? at the rear, SABLE had an identical roll of wire :

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    Arjan
     
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  3. Not a roll of wire but a tyre, used as a fender. See various photos of SABLE:
    LVT4 1C 'SABLE' - 1983_08_143.jpg
    LVT4 1C 'SABLE' - FO066482.jpg
    LVT4 1C 'SABLE' - Middelburg 6 Nov 44 - FO066469 .jpg
    LVT4 1C 'SABLE' A Sqn - Middelburg 6 Nov 44 - FO066460.jpg
    LVT4 1C 'SABLE' A Sqn - Middelburg 6 Nov 44 - FO071006.jpg
    LVT4 1C 'SABLE' carrying Weasel Px53212 - Middelburg 6 Nov 44 - P.Vreke - FO066456.jpg
    LVT4 1C 'SABLE' USA9139x36, 1B 'STOAT' - Middelburg 6 Nov 44 - FO066478.jpg

    Michel
     
  4. reinaart

    reinaart Member

    Thanks Michel, it is indeed a motorcycle tire by the looks of it. I wonder if you know which clip this still came from , I downloaded it 7 years ago. It's not in the 1983.08 clip containing the Sable footage. However it does show the LVT's visible in the background of some of the frames. Image taken at "de Punt".

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    By the way, what I find ironic is that the German Hochsee-Lehr-Kommando from Terneuzen had performed a landing exercise in the harbour of Breskens only one year earlier. The pics show the same bunker seen in the background of the SKYLARK pic.

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    Regards,

    Arjan
     
    ramacal and stolpi like this.
  5. Nice "Then & Now" Arjan. The LVsT are on a short clip on BP 1987.10 starting at Frame 83 (YouTube version here). The LVT(2) on the left is STARLING of 2 Tp 'A' Sqn. Its WD number is almost – but unfortunately not quite – readable!

    Great photos of the German landing exercise! Luckily for the attackers these barges were not present on 1 Nov 44, otherwise the various guns, such as the 8,8 cm Flak and 5 cm KwK visible on the first photo, would have made a carnage of the LCA & Buffalos! And is that not a pedestal-mounted quad Maxim in the background (just above recuperator of the the 8,8)?

    Michel
     
  6. reinaart

    reinaart Member

    Thanks Michel I had been looking for this clip for hours :). I can now see the LVT-2 is actually STALLION :

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    I take it some of the other images were taken in South-Beveland, at least judging from the local costume and the Lowland Division troops.

    You are right about the 5 cm KwK and the Maxim but it's not a German 88. It's a captured Russian 7.6 mm gun similar to this one (if I remember correctly my German acquaintance told me it it's a type M38) :

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    These 7.6 mm guns were frequently mounted on German landing craft.

    A better pic of one the Fähren :

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    Regards,

    Arjan
     
  7. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi Arjan,

    The first LVT 2 in your post is definately STARLING as Michel states and STALLION in the second.

    Cheers

    Kevin
     
  8. About the AA gun I confess that I did not really look at it and assumed it was of German origin. We might however both be correct, because captured Russian 76 mm (and similar-looking 85 mm) AA guns were apparently rebored to German-standard 88 mm once the original ammunition supply ran out. :D

    Regarding the LVT(2), it cannot be STALLION (SHQ 'A' Sqn), which for Op INFATUATE was an LVT(4). See yet another of the many photos showing LVsT in Middelburg on 6 Nov, with unusually clear Serial 67 and 79 Armd Div Formation sign:
    LVT4 'STALLION' A Sqn AoS 67= 11 RTR - Middelburg 6 Nov 44 - FO066473.jpg

    If you look at the lettering on the other frames I believe you'll see it too. For example, the 'N' is before the rounded letter, as in STARLING, and not after as in STALLION. The 'R' is also better visible on these other frames:
    LVT2 'STARLING' 2 Tp A Sqn AoS 67 - 1987_10_085-7 - Notes.jpg

    Michel
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  9. reinaart

    reinaart Member

    Thanks gentlemen, Starling it is :). I wonder if any private photos made by LVT crew members during Infatuate have ever surfaced ? Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe private photography by British servicemen was banned ?

    Arjan
     
  10. reinaart

    reinaart Member

    According to J.L. Moulton (Battle for Antwerp) no less than 20 LVTs were used to support the Flushing landing :

    "Twenty Buffaloes of A Squadron, 11th Royal Tank Regiment, would join in subsequent lifts across the Scheldt, bringing Weasels, light vehicles and supplies."

    This seems to indicate that SHITE HAWK, which also had a Weasel in its cargo bay, had also originally landed in Flushing.

    Arjan
     
  11. reinaart

    reinaart Member

    I have finally found some of the stills I had been looking for. Breskens, probably SKYLARK as well :

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    At least three LVTs are seen leaving Breskens harbour :

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    SKYLARK ? having reached Flushing :

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    Arjan
     
    stolpi likes this.
  12. Interesting find Arjan.

    The last two frames show 1B STOAT. The name on the first ones seems too short for 2B SKYLARK. It is not STOAT either.

    Michel
     
  13. reinaart

    reinaart Member

    Hi Michel, I think you are right about STOAT, the two light coloured triangular markings at the top corners of the rear side really stand out in these pics

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    I still haven't managed to find the footage I once saw of an LVT sailing along the coast past the town of Flushing and then heading for Uncle beach.

    I wonder if this particular vehicle has been identified :

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    Regards,

    Arjan
     
    stolpi likes this.

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