How many tanks?

Discussion in '1940' started by MarkN, May 29, 2016.

  1. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Is that a '9' on its tail?

    PS. While I'm here, has Evans Pt 4 been posted or am I missing something?
  2. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Looks like a number 9, photo taken near Calais
  3. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    I think you may well be right, Tom.

    I think this might be another view of this 3 RTR tank abandoned at Calais:

    morrisc8 likes this.
  4. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

    When I checked the issues of the Army Quarterly there were only three articles, all of which I have posted.

  5. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    Assuming they are one and the same, that confirms that T9199 didn't return to the UK and the picture with the Frenchies was not taken in July.

    What are the thoughts about the location? Same or different? Did the Frenchies have their photo op after the 3rd Armoured Brigade had sent it off to Cherbourg by rail or???
  6. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Can we really be sure that the French soldiers photographed with those tanks are from 342e CCAC? This photograph could have been taken at pretty much any time that 5 RTR were in France. It would seem a bit strange that for all the time that the regiment was working with the French, the only photo to survive is from a fleeting visit by a group of returnees from Norway.

    The information from the Vauvillier(?) book goes on to state that the Free French 1e CCAC were issued with Crusader tanks and took part in the Battle of El Alamein, which as far as I can tell is total cobblers.
  7. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I'm seriously B Vehicle but I just thought I'd say "Top thread" chaps :) Keep up the discussion.
  8. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Same here.
  9. jhunt

    jhunt Junior Member

    Hi Keith

    Pretty sure it's T4435 from 5tp B Squadron 4RTR abandoned on the beach not far from Bastion L'Estran. A couple more photos, there were many more taken, the tank was originally abandoned reasonably intact but was burnt and deteriorated over time. A13_1940_Dunkirk_British_1st_Armoured_Division.jpg T4435 - Image6.jpg
    Juha, Tom OBrien and morrisc8 like this.
  10. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    Lurking somewhere in the grey matter between my ears is a distant memory of reading about the ex-Norway French donkey wallopers being attached to 5RTR for a short while in the summer of 1940. Based on that, l came to the conclusion the picture was taken in the UK during that period.

    Now that seems to have been ruled out and l no longer have a clue where it could be.

    The Peter Brown book says outside Calais which is nonsense.
    The French text l posted in the other thread says the Frenchies landed in Brittany before returning to the UK. But where in Brittany?
    The 5RTR WD says T.9199 was last seen near Le Mans being put on a train bound for Cherbourg. Which is not in Brittany.

    Where were they offloaded and left for some French donkey wallopers to have the photo op?
  11. jhunt

    jhunt Junior Member

    Attached are some details of the A9CS in France based on photographic information that I have seen over many years. Strangely the record of A9CS is probably the most complete of any of the tanks operated by 1AD. Hope this helps. If anyone can fill in the gaps that would be great.

    Attached Files:

    • A9CS.pdf
      File size:
      227.2 KB
    Juha likes this.
  12. jhunt

    jhunt Junior Member

    Also re the photo of the two A10's and A13MkII the second A10 is definitely not from 5RTR, 5RTR A10's did not carry their Bridge Classification Markings in this position, in fact the size and style is reminiscent of Queens Bays. So I guess my view is that this is not 5RTR meets the the French but rather that the French get their hands on some random British Tanks.
  13. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

  14. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    My wee database contains the following:

    Bays: 2 A9CS in A Sqn - serials unknown. B - ?. C - ?
    9L: 7235, 7253, ?, ?
    10H: ?, ?, ?, ?
    2RTR: 7241, 7244, 7250, ?
    3RTR: 7239, 7245, 7251, ?
    5RTR: 7240, 7243, 7246, 7249

    unknown user: 7256

    When the Composite Regiment was formed at the end of May, to make up the Regiment with a full complement of 6 x A9CS, they had 3 given to them by 3rd Armoured Brigade. QBays and 10H contributed none. The implication being that 9L still had 3 of their own running at the time.

    I agree that the 18 total lost in France seems good. 18 lost, 6 to the ME and 10 remaining with units of 1 Armoured Division leaves just 2 unaccounted for. Not a problem in my eyes.

    I suspect more than a single vehicle went to France and returned.

    All the CS version were produced by Harland and Wolff in Belfast. It took some time from reported production (MoS acceptance at the factory) for the vehicle to reach the unit. I've seen it written that it could be up to a month time lag!

    7235-7237 MoS accepted February 1941
    7238-7251 MoS accepted March 1940
    7252-7257 MoS accepted April 1940
    7258-7265 MoS accepted May 1940
    7266-7270 MoS accepted June 1940

    7256 is confirmed to have been in France. That was, nominally, the 22nd out of the factory.
    Juha likes this.
  15. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Just to clarify the layout of the articles (the Evans 3a and 3b numbering is a bit of a frig as perhaps they meant to use 'IV' on the last part):

    Evans: 1st Armoured Division in France 1940

    Part 1: Army Quarterly, Vol.45 No.1, November 1942 pp 55-61
    Part 2: Army Quarterly, Vol.45 No.1, November 1942 pp62-69
    Part 3a: Army Quarterly, Vol.45 No.2, February 1943 pp 179-187
    Part 3b: Army Quarterly, Vol.46 No.1, May 1943 pp 46-54

    Beauman: France May-June 1940
    Part 1: Army Quarterly, Vol.46 No.2, August 1943 pp 184-190
    Part 2: Army Quarterly, Vol.47 No.1, October 1943 pp 51-56
    Part 3: Army Quarterly, Vol.47 No.2, January 1944 pp 170-176
    Part 4: Army Quarterly, Vol.48 No.1, April 1944 pp 37-43
  16. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    My best guess for the location of this photo would be Vieux-Rouen-sur-Bresle circa 1st June, where the "runners needing repair" of both 2nd and 3rd Armoured Brigade were amalgamated prior to being entrained for the workshops at Louviers. There would have been plenty of French tank and cavalry personnel around the area at this time (from 2 DLC, 5 DLC, 4 DCR etc.) who might have had a look over the tanks.
  17. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    I did enjoy my read but l seem to be lacking page 188 of Beauman's first part.

    Did anybody else have the same problem or is it just me?
  18. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

    Sorry about that. I shall upload it in the same post so it is all together. The image has been added as an attachment.

    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    Juha likes this.
  19. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    F 4722.jpg

    The above photo (IWM 4722) is worthy of some speculation for a number of reasons. It iwas taken at Le Neubourg (confirmable by the church of St. Peter & Paul in the background) on or around 9th June 1940. This would place it as being part of the general evacuation from the Louviers area and the Seine, which also saw the aforementioned 19 tanks evacuated from the workshops at Louviers.

    Note the A13 being carried on the back of a Scammell Pioneer tank transporter. This vehicle, "Snow White", was successfully evacuated from France, and was subsequently photographed in the Middle East. In fact, it appears that all the Scammell tank transporters were evacuated from France because no such vehicles seem to have been used by the Germans, despite them being much better than any equivalent German equipment. Indeed, the only photo I can find of a complete "Scammell" tank transporter in German hands does not appear to be a Scammell at all. It should also be noted that a Scammelll tank transporter (tractor + trailer) would have been a relatively difficult vehicle to load onto a ship.

    Now, there is no mention of tanks being evacuated from Louviers by tank transporter by the 1st Divisional Section of the Armoured Corps Workshops. Nor necessarily should there be, as the vehicle in the photograph may have been operated by the 1st Armoured Division Workshop, which was a completely different organisation, and had been located slightly to the north in the Foret de Louviers. This workshop should nominally have had six of these vehicles (i.e. 6 x six wheeled tractors and 6 x four wheeled trailers), an equivalent number to the Armoured Corps Workshop, meaning that there should have been 12 tank transporters available in France. It may be that the actual number was less, of course.

    The war diary for the 1st Armoured Division Workshop appears to be available at the National Archives as file WO 167/345. However, anyone who has accessed this file will know that it is no such thing, but is instead the war diary of the 1st Divisional Section of the Armoured Corps Workshops. What this in turn means is that the war diary for the 1st Armoured Division Workshop is missing. As such, the 1st Armoured Division Workshop represents something of a hole in the information available on the 1st Armoured Division in France.

    However, if the 1st Armoured Division Workshop, or indeed the Corps Workshop, took care to evacuate their tank transporters, is there not a reasonable chance that they sent them to the docks with a tank on their trailers?
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
    BFBSM likes this.
  20. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    Ahhhhhh! Great! Thanks very much. I was hoping that it was a simple fix and not another trip to the library. ;)

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