Use of fascines and anti-mine rollers in 1940

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Chris C, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    I was reading the 7RTR war diary for the end of 1940 (Operation Compass) yesterday and was surprised to see references to Matildas equipped fascines and anti-mine rollers for the initial attacks.

    Do any photos exist of these early devices? Was there an automatic way to release the fascines or did someone have to get out and do something to drop them in a ditch?
     
  2. CRS1418

    CRS1418 Ipsissimus

    I've come across plenty of later war images of Churchills with fascines, but can't think of one illustrating a Matilda. However, for the (sort of) correct period, here's a French Char B (bis) (No.124 - 'Dauphine' of 4e cie, 511e RCC) similarly equipped ...

    Dave
     

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  3. CRS1418

    CRS1418 Ipsissimus

    I take that back!

    Here's one during trials at Halfaya illustrating a 'crib' fascine...
     

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  4. CRS1418

    CRS1418 Ipsissimus

    ...the 'Fowler' mine roller device...
     

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  5. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    Your best bet is to get a copy of David Fletcher's Matilda Infantry tank 1938-1945. It has all the pictures above and more.
    As he notes on page 15:
    Another solution developed for Bardia was the following:
    [​IMG]
    "One such device was a bridge pushed on tracks that had been cannibalised from Universal Carriers ahead of the tank. The bridge was place in position by pushing it into the ditch. It was then detached and the Matilda Senior could drive over it. "
    from The Steel Wall Queen Part Two
     
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  6. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Wow, that's FANTASTIC stuff, thanks guys!

    Maybe I need to revise my avoidance of Osprey books. (They're just so small...)
     
  7. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    Osprey books are very hit and miss so I understand your trepidation. However there are certain authors that do good stuff within the confines of the layout. David Fletcher's produced a bunch of books for them. The Fortress series is usually very high quality and they cover subjects often under represented in the literature. All in all, a mixed bag but I do own a few.
     
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Could buy yourself a magnfying glass

    TD
     
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  9. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Ba-dum-TISH!
     
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  10. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I wondered if the bogies came from the 'tracked recovery trailers' found by Rick Wedlock as they don't look like quite like carrier suspension:

    Recovery & Repair - Vehicle pictures.

    Unfortunately, the 'bits' carrying the axles don't match, though it's possible they're variations of the same thing.
     
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  11. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    You're right, Idler, they look very similar.
     
  12. idler

    idler GeneralList

    The interwar 1-pr anti tank gun was the other thing that sprang to mind, but the tracks are a bit narrower:

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. ploughman

    ploughman Junior Member

    Was there any problem in steering these into position?
    As I see it, they look as if they can only be pushed in a straight line.
     
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