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Tank depicted on map


TEW
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Forum,

Hoping for some help in identifying the tank depicted on this map. The map is dated 25/9/1917 and relates to MG posts, Coy HQ’s, Bn HQ, observation posts, and dugouts of the 2/6th West Yorks in ‘London Support’ to the east of Bullecourt i.e. the OG1 attacked by the 46th AIF on 11/4/1917.

The map depicts a ‘Tank’ at U.28.d.6.8. I have read through The Blood Tub, G. Keech’s Battlegound Europe, Bullecourt and Bean’s History of the AIF. While there seems to be some conflicts with the information in the 3 books the closest tank to the one shown on the map is Bean’s No. 7, Lt Bernstein which lies (according to Bean & Keech about 250Yds to the NE). I realise the map is 5 months after the Tank action of 11/4/17 but I’ve found nothing to suggest later Tank movements here, the only tank in U.28 on 3/5/17 (793 2L Knight) made it back to the start line. The map also covers the area where Bean’s 6 & 8 came to rest but these are not marked, presumably these were either removed by Germans or destroyed.

In the hope that Gerald Moore is reading this I have found it virtually impossible to link all the tanks via Bean’s numbering, WD/Bn numbers and Commanders. I have done so for 3 of the 11 but for example Shirwood and Richards are Bean’s 8 & 9 or vice verse but that leaves 7 WD/bn numbers as possibilities. Any suggestions? I also note that G. Keech and The Blood Tub give different final positions for the tanks and Keech gives a different start position for one of the left or centre section. I’d be happy to sort out a hi-res full copy of the map for anyone who wants one, either for the tank or 2/6th West Yorks interest.

Thanks in Advance

Tim W

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Hi

You might try contacting Jonathan Walker direct. He may have material that he didn't use in 'The Blood Tub' available. He's a member of the Birmingham Centre for First World War Studies and a nice man. I think he has moved on to other projects now but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't mind being approached.

Bryn

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Hi Tim,

Have you tried looking through HQ Tank Corps - Spring 1917 for Arras (NA ref: WO95/91) at Kew?

I have a fair bit of this photographed. PM me if you want a disc of this.

Only a suggestion but you may well stand a better chance of responses if you get this thread moved to the Western Front section.

Cheers

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Thanks for input so far. Not sure how to move the post and after searching for 'Tanks' thought this was the best place. Will see how the replies go and take things from there. Live in Devon, Kew is a little out the way. Keen to discuss anything to do with this map and see photos of the area.

Thanks

Tim

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Tim, will be very interested to see anything that you might be able to find

Andy

:rolleyes:

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Tim, by correlating Maj. Watson's account in "A Company of Tanks", the written description in the D Bn. war diary, and the diagram of 11 Co.'s action from the war diary (illustrated in Keech), I think the following tank and commander identifications can be made for the numbered wrecks on Bean's map:

Right Section: (1) D25/711 - Puttock; (2) D24/593 - Morris; (3) D26/799 - Davies; (4) D28/586 - Clarkson

Centre Section: (5) D32/585 - unknown; (6) D27 or 29/590 - Money; (7) D21/798 - Bernstein

Left Section: (8) D22/531 - unknown; (9) D27 or 29/800 - unknown; (10) D30/797 - Birkett; (11) D23/796 - Skinner

Watson named Macilwaine, Richards and Sherwood as officers in the company in early 1917, but does not mention them by name in his account of 1st Bullecourt (Walker suggested that this section of Watson's book was edited due to possible libel concerns). I seem to recall that Macilwaine was mentioned as one of the tank commanders in "The Blood Tub".

I suspect that the Germans would have been unable to salvage wrecks 6 and 8 in the interval between the 1st and 2nd battles, and that they were destroyed by the bombardment in this area during the second battle. (Walker notes that wreck 3, lying further behind the German lines near Queant was salvaged, but I have yet to see any concrete evidence for this.) The discrepency in the wreck locations between Bean's map (similar to that in Keech's book) and Walker's map could be due to "artistic license" unless, perhaps, further information about the locations has come to light since Bean's postwar investigations.

The wreck on the West York's map is almost certainly Bean's wreck 7. A high res copy of the map would be very much appreciated. I apologize for not uploading a copy of Bean's map to illustrate this post, but I keep receiving error messages suggesting that my upload limit has been exceeded.

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The operational orders of the 2/8th Battallion as written in Gregory's Vol II detailing the 2/6th Battalion for the 11th March certainly mentions the tank support.

This was First Bullecourt where the Australians suffered so badly and felt so let down by the tanks that they effectively refused to have anything to do with them by 2nd Bullecourt (3rd May).

It fails to show the disposition of the tanks or even the line of attack in the maps accompanying the book.

A possible position for your disabled tank is sohwn in The Blood Tub page 92 but fails to identify it sufficiently to be sure.

Cheers

Mike Tomkinson

Bradford

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Gerald, the error message comes up after you have attached enough photos to posts. The two solutions I know of are:

1) Delete some photos from your posts. This leaves the dreaded red "X" in the post(s).

2) Link to photos stored elsewhere e.g. Flickr

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Many thanks to everyone for the interesting input on my tank map. Didin't realise J Walker was living close by, will see if The Blood Tub Has any contact details.

Regards

TW

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Many thanks to everyone for the interesting input on my tank map. Didin't realise J Walker was living close by, will see if The Blood Tub Has any contact details.

Regards

TW

His email is on the CFFWWS site. It's oldmanor dot cottage at virgin dot net.

Bryn

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George

I thought I was trying to reduce his chances of being spammed.

Incidentally, I know sometimes you can be 'techie' (you've mispelt that) but I think you're generally good-humoured...

Bryn

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Tetchy? Moi? Au contraire! How can you say that mon ami mate, after I went to the trouble of plugging your excellent book on the Shell Fuse thread?

Nursing my hurt feelings,

George

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I'm sorry? The what thread?! The link is not obvious but I will now try and find this 'plug'

My middle name is actually 'Brynley' and it is my real name!

Bryn 'I dunno you say something to somebody and that somebody just goes right off the handle' Hammond

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Mind you, George, it's a lovely and extremely and definitely apposite and most appropriate 'plug'. I am grateful.

Bryn

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And you are most welcome, mon ami mate. In fact all this publicity seems to be working - people are asking where to send off to for a copy of your book HERE. How you manage to turn out such top quality work at these prices amazes me.

Awestruck.

George

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Pete George

Thanks for the Walker email in either format!

regards

Tim W

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I always thought his name was Moon fruit or Trixie Bell, or something like that.

Chris

It's only Trixie Bell to you.

And to think I learned about women and war from you ...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I lent some of my research to Jonathan Walker when he was writing "The Blood Tub" and he was kind enough to acknowledge my modest contribution. Unfortunately Bean's map isn't 100% accurate re. the positions of the tanks after the action on 11th April. I will dig out my material and make a further post as soon as possible.

Nick

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This is certainly a tank from the action on 11th April 1917 ie. from No. 11 Section of D Company HBMGC. If you could let me have a high res. copy of your map - hopefully covering a bit more of the ground I think I can be certain of the identification. Unfortunately most of my files and trench maps are in storage at present (pending house move).

Nick

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Two of the locals (Bullecourt/Hendecourt) found the badly damaged remains of two tanks buried between Bullecourt and Riencourt, but I do not recall their source material but they did say that they were found near to where they were said to have been lost/damaged. Not a lot was left of them but some of the parts are in Jean Letaille's private museum and a short section of track lies next to the carpark beside the Bullecourt church.

Regards, Peter

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