Markings and Insignia for Armour in the BEF

Discussion in '1940' started by LondonNik, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    You're most welcome. I really love those two books so it was a nice excuse to pore through them. (The pages are glossy, and as you can see, black apart from the photos, which is an interesting and really excellent way to present them.)
  2. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    There are no obvious places to start looking or even narrow down the search. Most of the panzers were nowhere near 1st Armoured Division; it was just XV.Korps(mot) that they encountered in their area from 8 June onwards. Do we assume the picture is taken during the Fall Rot and the initial advance, or could it have been taken some time later when all manner of units were moving about the countryside hither and thither?

    XV.Korps consisted of two divisions at the time: 5.Pz-Div and 7.Pz-Div. 7.Pz-Div had the Czech Pz.38(t) in lieu of Pz.III. If the picture was taken during the initial stages of Fall Rot, then the Pz.III would have to be from 5.Pz-Div: Pz.Regt.15 or Pz.Regt.31.

    On 8 June 5.Pz-Div launched southwestwards from Forges-les-Eaux to Quincampoix (via Buchy and Vieux Manoir). Having made good time they went straight through the day's objective (Quincampoix) and tussled with Symes' Battalion at Isneauville.

    5.Pz-Div bumped straight into Z Sqn/5RTR as soon as they hit the River Andelle. However, they (Z Sqn) departed after the first wave of infantry showed up, so the 5.Pz-Div panzers rolled onwards unchallenged until they got to Buchy where they bumped into the retreating Composite Regiment crossing their path. Here a single A13 of 9L held them up for a while.

    There is no indication that the composite squadron of the Composite Regiment made contact with 5.Pz-Div at this point. Moreover, T.9121 was not one of the six Bays A13 allocated to the Composite Regiment.

    After Isneauville, 5.Pz-Div motored into the northern suburbs of Rouen and then next day headed of northwestwards to encircle the French IX Corps (incl. Fortune's 51st Highland Division).

    There is no indication that 5.Pz-Div came into contact with 1st Armoured Division subsequent to that. However, they did traverse a lot of countryside through which 1st Armoured Division had previously passed through abandoning tanks left right and centre.

    As discussed in the other thread, nominal (interim) establishment that the Bays hoped to reach consisted of 22 A13 tanks. However, it seems they probably landed in France with just 19 or 20. Of those, six were allocated to the composite squadron of the Composite Regiment. The serials of those six are known and do not include T.9121.

    The Bays managed to lose tanks to mechanical failure from the moment they detrained at Pacy. They managed to get, perhaps, just a pair of A13 into the fight on 24th May - one of which had to turn back before the fight started. All the others failed to make it up the road. This was the fight that Gort believed would break through to Arras and trap Kleist's armour!!!!

    T.9121 could thus be found anywhere between Pacy and Amiens/Abbeville if abandoned on the move northwards or anywhere between Abbeville and Nantes during the retreat. It may have been with the composite B Sqn attached to 3rd Armoured Brigade for a couple of days or one sent back to LRS or workshops.

    Short of using googlemaps street view to trace all the possible routes that 5.Pz-Div took through Normandy, I cannot think of another way to nail this one down.
    Don Juan likes this.
  3. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Ok, thanks very much Mark.

    It's notable that the transmission compartment cover has been removed on T9121, which indicates that the fault was with the steering clutches or steering brakes. It's possible that the fault was simply worn brake linings, which becomes debilitating if there are no spares available. This is what happens when you send an armoured division into action before firmly establishing a dedicated repair and spares organisation.
  4. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Some Photos that were on epay
    Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 23.09.37.png Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 23.10.31.png Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 23.16.00.png
    von Poop, Don Juan and Chris C like this.
  5. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    Did anyone notice the rarely photographed AEC/FWD R6T recovery vehicle in the three pics above. I've not seen another pic just like the trailer in the last one; maybe an early model of the light recovery trailer 7.5 tons. Thanks for posting.
  6. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Some Photos that were on epay

    Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 23.12.57.png Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 23.13.32.png
    Don Juan likes this.
  7. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    What other Recovery Vehicles were available to the BEF besides the AEC? I assume that the Scammell Pioneer was there, but was there anything else?
  8. JCB

    JCB Senior Member

    Yes other recovery vehicles included ( my weight designations ) .
    Heavy = Scammel Pioneers,
    Medium = 3 ton 6x4s various makes - seen ' burnt out pics' with various types of cranes/gantries in the back
    Light = Morris CDSW .

    I think the ebay AEC pics above are IWM photos.

    Morris CDSW recovery of the ill fated 1940 Canadian foray into France with 2nd BEF. Specifically this is No. 1 Light Aid Detachment, RCOC of 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade as threy were the only Canadian Unit with a Morris Commercial CDSW 6x4 Breakdown. Note the CMP Chevrolet 15cwts at rear.
    Thornycroft Tartar 3 ton 6x4 with civvy (Weaver?) type crane in back.
    s-l1600 (4).jpg
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
    Don Juan likes this.
  9. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Thanks JCB!
  10. JCB

    JCB Senior Member

    My pleasure , bit of a total anorak enthusiast when it comes to BEF vehicles as you may guess !
  11. JCB

    JCB Senior Member

    Not the usual BEF markings !
    s-l1600 (17).jpg
    von Poop likes this.
  12. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Found on epay. HMC 831 T4478
    tank hmc 831.jpg tank hmc wd 1940.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  13. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    It's Waterloo...It was moved slightly, several times.

    Google Maps

    Vickers Waterloo poss.JPG


    Waterloo Vickers.JPG
    morrisc8 likes this.

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