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HarryBettsMCDCM

Tanks As Workhorses?

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HarryBettsMCDCM

It had never really crossed my mind before,obvious as it should really seem; but the Tank was an ideal Workhorse,as well as a "Terror Weapon of War",considering the Terrain of France & Flanders during much of the Year,,More adept to the Conditions than Steam Traction Engines,this Photo brought it to mind,the use of a Large Tank as a Sled Towing Caterpillar Tractor,Just the job for lugging Tons of Stores about in one fell swoop,providing there was no great rush I suppose! "Mush!"

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CROONAERT

Tanks then (and in later years upto the present (if you inlude the use of a tank chassis)) were used for a variety of tasks along with that of an assault vehicle. During 1918 especially, you could see bridge-layers, road layers, troop transporters (a forerunner of APC's)amongst others, and I'm sure I recall seeing a photo of a "mine sweeper" (though this may have been post-war).

Dave.

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Raster Scanning

I have recently seen a picture of a tank at rest in a village, used for bringing stores up to the front, it is clearly marked "supplies" in large lettering on the sponson.

Cheers.

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N.S.Regt.

Although I am no expert on tanks I was reading about mk. I-IV tanks being converted into supply tanks. The lengthened Mk. V* and V** were built for extra troop and supply carring. The Mk. IX was designed for carrying men or supplies.

Best regards

N.S.Regt.

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CROONAERT
and I'm sure I recall seeing a photo of a "mine sweeper" (though this may have been post-war).

Here we are (not the picture I had in mind, but similar) - a mine "roller" (1919/20 ?)

Dave.

post-23-1088905846.jpg

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Chris Henschke

13 Tank Bn used 4 Carrier tanks ( I believe they were Mark V*) to deliver defence stores and ammunition at Hamel, on the morning of 4 July 1918.

They were delivered to 'Carrier Tank dumping points' within half an hour of the Infantry reaching their objectives. The four dumping points were about 400 yards behind the objective line.

One load consisted of;

134 coils of barbed wire,

450 screw pickets,

45 sheets of CGI,

50 tins of water,

150 trench mortar bombs,

10,000 rounds of ammunition, and

20 boxes of grenades.

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MartinWills

Mk I tanks were converted for use as "supply" tanks as early as 1917 and were used in this role at Cambrai. The standard train for carrying tanks principally carried the Mk IV and/or Mk V but included space for a couple of supply tanks and because of the problems with dismounting the sponsons on Mk Is (as opposed to swinging them "in board" to achieve an acceptable width for rail travel) extra wagons were included for the sponsons of the supply tanks.

Martin

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Robert Dunlop

The Germans modified the A7V chassis to create around 30 to 75 unarmored cargo carriers, known as Uberlandwagen / Gelandewagen.

Robert

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Robert Dunlop

For the Battle of Amiens, British gun carriers were used to carry ammunition, including fused grenades. One was hit by chance while parked with its colleagues. The Germans then ranged fire onto the orchard, realising that they had hit an ammunition dump. Several other gun carriers were hit and totally destroyed. Amazingly, some were saved by men who rushed in and drove them away from the falling shells and exploding ammunition.

Robert

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delta

Grainy picture of Mark IV supply tank attached

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Bryn_Hammond
Grainy picture of Mark IV supply tank attached

Sorry, but that's not a Mark IV supply tank. It is a Gun Carrier being used as a Supply Tank.

OK, it's a minor point.

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Robert Dunlop

Just saw a pic today of a female Mk IV fitted with wide tracks and carrying a trench bridge, as well as a small wood fascine. It was in 'Tanks and trenches', which I have reviewed in the Books section.

Robert

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Smith 565

Initially, resupply of tank battalions was carried out by supply tanks manned by members of the battalions, using obsolete marks of tank, as other contributors have said.

In early 1918 a number of companies (four, later a fifth) were formed at Bovington Camp in Dorset. Initially it was intended that these companies would be used to transport infantry troops across the battlefield to points of tactical importance. The companies were designated 'Infantry Carrier Companies', but the plan was not to come to fruition!

They were re-designated 'Tank Carrier Companies' with the intention that they would supply the tank battalions in battle. This was then changed again and they became 'Tank Supply Companies', their role being broadened so that they would either resupply tank battalions or carry infantry stores.

The war diary of 4th Tank Supply Company shows that company embarked for France with a strength of 20 officers and 177 other ranks. Of these the diary states that '64% were drawn from the infantry in France. Of the remaining 36%, 20% were Royal Engineers who had been kept at home, 7% were ASC(MT) and 9% were MGC.'

(All these however would have been transferred to the Tank Corps. The majority of 'Tank Supply Company' personnel I have noted have numbers in the 308*** series.)

The companies went out to France in about June / July 1918 and first saw action at the Battle of Amiens on 8 August 1918.

The companies were commanded by a Major and consisted of four sections (each under a Captain). A section had up to six tanks. In the early days at least, these were Mark IV's and were passed pretty freely between companies. My grandfather was a 2Lt in 1st Tank Supply Company and their tanks were marked 'SUPPLY' in white lettering on the sponsons. That apart, there was no individual company markings that I am aware of.

The 'Tank Corps Book of Honour' records that 'Tank Supply Company' personnel won one DSO, nine MCs, four DCMs and eleven MMs.

Geoff

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domsim

A Robert knows very well the cancelled amphibious landings at Middelkerke on the Belgian coast in the summer of 1917 was going to use modified tanks to pull equipment and supplies over the sea wall.

6 Mark IV Males were to provide gun support whilst 3 modified Mark IV females with winches on their starboard side were to do the heavy work.

The attached picture is from a set of blue prints in the Tank Museum, Bovington and shows the winch pulling a gun limber up the tank ramp and over the wall.

post-23-1089102462.jpg

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Robert Dunlop

Nice! The ramp against the sea wall would have dropped by the tank no doubt. Do you have a picture of the tanks with their ramps fitted? First of the 'funnies'.

Robert

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Guest AmericanDoughboy

Many tanks, such as the French Renault tank used by French and American crews, were many times used for transportation of items and supplies. Usually a Renault tank, which was the first tank to feature a traversing turrent, had attached in the back a small wood structure which was used for hooks and item carrying (etc) for various supplies, guns etc.

post-23-1089232257.gif

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mutley

I believe that tanks were also used as mobile wireless stations and command posts. The wireless being fitted into the gun sponsons and the antenna mounted on the roof. Unfortunately I haven't got any pictures to support this. Perhaps someone else has.

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delta

A picture of a Mark I with antennae raised

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domsim

Dear Robert

No photos of the Tanks unfortunately. Bovington has one photo of one of the Mark IV females with winch being used to recover knocked out tanks. David Fletcher reckoned there might be stuff at Imperial War Museum. I went there all shiny, new and enthusiastic to look at some other stuff and then decided on a 'quick' look for tanks. Gave up after 2 hours. Maybe one day they will computerise the data base!

Attachment is another scrubbed up picture from Bovington blue prints showing ramp in position on tank. It was mounted on a spar with a winch and pulley sytem going back to the turret. It was dropped against the sea wall and the tank climbed it by moving up the ramp in short bursts. Hold it on the clutch, rev and let the clutch out. David told me he has driven a Mark IV and the clutch is atrocious so no mean feat!

Blue prints also show sledges of supplies being winched up and plan of the landing pontoons showing positions of tanks supplies and men. Definitely the forerunner of Hobart's funnies!

Cheers

Dominic.

post-23-1089275726.jpg

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Ali Hollington

Does anyone have a photo or reference for the troop carrying versions of WW1 tanks?

Ali

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terryb95

The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles Page 102

Mark IX Tank Armament 1 x .303in Hotchkiss MG

Crew 4 plus 30 men or 10 tons of stores

"Designed in the autumn of 1916 to meet an urgent need to transport a platoon of infantry, stores or machine gun crews across no man's land, the Mark IX was in effect the world's first armoured personnel carrier.. Labolur troubles and production difficulites in the UK meant that the MkIX did not reach France untile October 1918, by which time the need for infantry carriers was being met by the MkV. Only 36 MkIX ended being built. Its slab-sided appearance, slow speed and poor handling resulted in its earning the nickname "the Pig" In 1919 a MkIX was waterproofed and fitted with two large cylindrical pontoons and hinged paddles attached to the tracks. It took to the water and proved that amphibious armoured vehicles were feasible."

Terry

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Ali Hollington

Cheers Terry,

I keep my eye out at the library for the reference, interesting to see the APC be called "the pig" a name which was still be used into the 1990's for various military vehicles.

Ali

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Robert Dunlop
Does anyone have a photo or reference for the troop carrying versions of WW1 tanks?

Ali

There are pictures of the Mk V* tank on this web site http://afvinteriors.hobbyvista.com/mkv/mkv1.html

It was used to transport machine gunners at the Battle of Amiens for example. Many got out and walked. Those who rode all the way were too ill to do anything :)

Robert

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michaeldr
Does anyone have a photo or reference for the troop carrying versions of WW1 tanks?

Ali,

You may also wish to have a look at a previous discussion about the stretched Mk V which was known as the ‘Mk V Star’

See this for pictures and details

Regards

Michael D.R.

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Ali Hollington

Michael and Robert,

Thanks for the details provided.

Ali

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