Same tank, same name, same regiment - 2 census numbers?

Discussion in 'Vehicle Names and Census Numbers' started by KevinT, Sep 22, 2021.

  1. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    I was just tidying up my named vehicle folders and just noticed a Matilda II from what I think is the same regiment having the same name but 2 different census numbers. I am not sure of the location of the Matilda GNAT IV T7303 but GNAT IV T7411 was knocked out in Crete.
    Can anyone confirm that they are both from 7 RTR.
    I do not recall the original source of the images so apologies.



    Attached Files:

  2. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    T.7303 was a 7RTR tank that they 'lost' at Capuzzo during Op BATTLEAXE.
  3. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi Mark,

    So are you saying that GNAT IV T7411 isn't from 7 RTR?
    BATTLEAXE was in June 1941 and Crete fell at the end of May 1941.
    Here is another Matilda lost on Crete.


    Kevin GNU III Matilda Mk II 7th RTR Crete.JPG
  4. MarkN

    MarkN Banned


    I didn't mention T.7411 at all.


    T.7303 appears on a list of 7RTR tanks (in a war diary at Kew) lost during Op BATTLEAXE.

    T.7411 does not appear on that list. Nor does T.7411 appear on a list of 4RTR tanks lost during Op BATTLEAXE.
  5. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    So it appears that the same name was used by the same regiment at around the same time too. With as you sayT7303 being lost at Battleaxe and T7411 from B Sqn 7 RTR being lost on Crete.

    The name was obviously used a number of times not sure which was the first GNAT but I have the following
    Mk I T5594 lost in France, 2 Mk II GNAT IV's T7303 (Battleaxe) T7411 (Crete), a Mk IV T173147H Crocodile.

    It would be interesting to know if the same applied to GNU III T7368.


  6. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    If a tank with a name has already been 'lost', why not use the same name again when another tank is issued?

    I'm don't see how the short time difference between photos or data points has any relevance.

    Surely, if you plan to use the name again, by definition a different tank with the same name will appear the moment a 'new' replacement tank is issued. Could be days, if not hours, separating the two data points. Perhaps the name GNAT IV reappeared on yet another tank just days after Op BATTLEAXE if the crew survived and were amongst the first to receive a(nother) replacement.
  7. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    I am just trying to point out that this is very unusual to use the same name and number within the same regiment. It is just purely an observation.
    Some regiments / crews had a policy / belief that if a tank was knocked out it was bad luck to use the same name, others used the same name but had II, III, IV following the name.

  8. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    Perhaps it is less unusual than believed. Perhaps it was the norm in certain circles for certain reasons.

    "Some" and "others" being the key words. What about the rest?

    I understand it is not unreasonable to make all the assumptions and observations that you have made. However, can you be sure they hold true? When faced with the photographic evidence you have, was your instinct to question your assumptions and observations or question the evidence?
  9. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    As I said just trying to point out something I have NEVER come across before :banghead:
    Wish I had never bothered.
  10. MarkN

    MarkN Banned

    I understand that.

    However, your very first sentence began, "I was just tidying up my named vehicle folders...".

    The point I am proposing is that as you add to your database, perhaps the tidying up process recognises that this might be a more 'normal' occurence than you assume. Less head scratching, more acceptance of the evidence.

    And the wider point, if you previously assumed the (exact) same name never occured twice within the same unit when matching the data you have, perhaps that assumption needs a bit of a rethink. Or to put it another way, if one has a picture of a tank in 1940 with a certain name tied to specific serial and another picture of a similar tank with the same name and same unit in 1942 - but no serial to tie it to - one does not assume it is the very same tank getting on in years.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021

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