Market Garden - 30 Corps tail on September 20th

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Old Git, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Hi all,

    someone has just uploaded a few cracking photos to Facebook of 30 Corp's tail coming up on September 20th, 1944. I'm loading them here to see if anyone can identify any of the landmarks, as it's September 20th I'm guessing this is somewhere outside Nijmegen, one of the Villages maybe? Any ideas chaps and chapesses?


     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
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  2. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    The top photo of the DUKWs was taken from somewhere on the road from Valkenswaard to Veghel. The other photos are taken in Belgium on the road between the Albert and Meuse-Escaut Canals. The war memorial in the third picture should help place it exactly but it will be somewhere in the vicinity of Lommel.
     
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  3. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Hi Jonathan, I have a feeling that you may well be right and that all these pics were taken in Belgium, a closer look at the top pic shows the Belgian flag flying from the Farmhouse. It may well be then that this is around the jumping off point for XXX Corps push north and if that is the case then it may well be that these pics were taken earlier than September 20th, although the water-logged fields do suggest their were downpours at some stage and this did happen on 19th/20th IIRC.
     
  4. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Just added a fifth photo, which I somehow forgot to add yesterday. See original post
     
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  5. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Marvelous!

    What are the really big trucks seemingly with an open top in "30Corps-1"?
     
  6. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    That's a bridging column and the things with open tops are actually Mk VI Bow Pontoons, as distinct from the closed top Mk V Pontoons which can be seen on the first truck, extreme right of pic, on the road. There are two Pontoons per truck, stacked on top of each other. There are also special Bailey Centre Pontoons (square are both ends) on some of the other trucks. Each bow and Centre Pontoon was 20 foot long and 2 x Bows and 1 x Centre Pontoons went together to make a standard tripartite pier for a floating Bailey Pontoon Bridge. There were four - six piers for a Landing Bay (each end of the Bridge) and two - four bays for Floating Bays in the middle of the Bridge. Number of piers was determined by class of Bridge. Generally speaking a Class 40 would used the lower numbers of four and two respectively.

    The Mk VI was designed to reduce wood usage and to allow the men to sit inside the Pontoon and row it like a boat (on the Mk V they simply set on top). In practice the Open top was a bit of a disaster, especially on tidal rivers and in flood conditions when the Pontoons would get easily swamped. A Special canvas dodger was supplied to prevent this but in the end it too was not fit for purpose and by 1945 the RETM's were providing info on making wooden covers for the Pontoons. The trouble was though that the opening's were not made to any real fine tolerance on dimensions so it was not possible to make a one-size fits all cover that would be used on every Mk VI Pontoon! The Old Adage, "If it ain't broke..." comes to mind, the very epitome of a labour/material saving idea which, in practice, was the complete opposite of that which was intended!
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
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