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WW1 Military Motors - 1916 set x 50 cards


Lancashire Fusilier

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Lancashire Fusilier
With reference to Mark's excellent photograph's posted on October 6, 2015, post #4058, here is a photograph showing another version of the Howitzer's ' Travelling Trailer/Carriage ' with the large 60 x 6 inch steel tyred heavy wooden wheels rather than the all steel wheels shown in post #4058, this one hauling a dismantled Royal Garrison Artillery's 9.2 Howitzer drawn by a Holt 75 Tractor along a road near Ypres during the Battle of Polygon Woods, fought during the Third Battle of Ypres - 26th September to 3rd October, 1917.

This photograph being taken on the 2nd day of the battle, September 27, 1917.

These Howitzer ' Travelling Trailers/Carriages ' were manufactured by Vickers, as were many of the Howitzers themselves, with the 9.2 Howitzer Mk.I being manufactured by Coventry Ordnance Works and the 9.2 Howitzer Mk.II manufactured by Vickers.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The Vickers Howitzer Travelling Carriages.

The Vickers ' Travelling Carriages ' used to transport a dismantled 9.2 Howitzer, consisted of three specially designed Carriages, one carrying the Howitzer ( Barrel ), one carrying the Carriage and Cradle, and a third carrying the Bed.
Each of the Carriages were made of a rectangular steel chassis with a front and rear forged steel axle, each axle fitted with two 60 x 6 inch wheels, either wooden with steel tyres, or all steel wheels.
A draft pole was fitted enabling the Carriage to be drawn by heavy horses, or a draw-bar was fitted enabling the Carriage to be towed by a Tractor.
In the case of the Travelling Carriage for the Howitzer ( Barrel ), when being transported the front end of the Howitzer was secured by pawls, with the muzzle end being supported by two bronze brackets and secured by a wire rope and draw nuts.
The chassis is fitted with a rear draw-bar, enabling the Carriages to be linked to each other when travelling in convoy.
The Carriage's brakes consisted of 2 brake arms and brake screw fitted with handwheels and two brake blocks, with the brakes on each side being operated independently by handwheels from the rear.
The Travelling Carriages for the Howitzer's Carriage and Cradle, and the Bed are basically the same as that carrying the Howitzer ( Barrel ), with each having different fittings for attaching and securing the part being transported, as well as varying somewhat in their weight and dimensions.
Here is a table of weights and dimensions for the 3 different Vickers Travelling Carriages used to transport a dismantled Vickers Mk.II 9.2 Howitzer :-
9.2 Howitzer's Barrel Travelling Carriage :
Overall height - 86 inches. Width - 109 inches. Weight with Howitzer ( Barrel ) - 14,700 lbs. Weight without load - 5,200 lbs. Weight on front axle when loaded - 6,250 lbs. Weight on rear axle when loaded - 8,450 lbs. Weight on each wheel - 336 lbs. Width of track - 86 inches. Distance between axles - 96 inches. Turning angle - 37 degrees. Turning circle diameter 35 feet.
9.2 Howitzer's Carriage and Cradle Travelling Carriage :
Overall height - 111 inches. Width - 109 inches. Weight with Howitzer's Carriage and Cradle - 14,800 lbs. Weight without load - 3,600 lbs. Weight on front axle when loaded - 5,500 lbs. Weight on rear axle when loaded - 9,300 lbs. Weight on each wheel - 336 lbs. Width of track - 86 inches. Distance between axles - 129 inches. Turning angle - 30 degrees right, 36 degrees left. Turning circle diameter - 25 feet.
9.2 Howitzer's Bed Travelling Carriage :
Overall height - 60 inches. Width - 109 inches. Weight with Howitzer's Bed - 12,500 lbs. Weight without load - 3,500 lbs. Weight on front axle when loaded - 5,700 lbs. Weight on rear axle when loaded - 6,800 lbs. Weight on each wheel - 336 lbs. Width of track - 86 inches. Distance between axles - 174 inches. Turning angle - 36 degrees right, 40 degrees left. Turning circle diameter - 43 feet.
The attached photograph shows the 3 Howitzer Travelling Carriages in convoy, as seen from both the left and right side views, one carrying the Howitzer ( Barrel ), one carrying the Howitzer's Bed, and the third carrying the Howitzer's Carriage and Cradle, and being the same Howitzer Travelling Carriage as seen in the previous post.
LF
This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A Holt 75 Tractor hauling a convoy of 3 Vickers' Howitzer Travelling Carriages, transporting a dismantled Royal Garrison Artillery ( RGA ) 9.2 Howitzer to a forward area during the 1916 Allied Somme Offensive.

The 3 Carriages drawn behind the Holt, carry the Howitzer ( Barrel ), the Bed and the Carriage & Cradle as shown in the previous post.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Thanks LF.

Very interesting detail in this topic.

My GF was a Holt driver from 1917 on.

These images and explanatory text give me a great insight into his role.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Thanks LF.

Very interesting detail in this topic.

My GF was a Holt driver from 1917 on.

These images and explanatory text give me a great insight into his role.

I am pleased the posts had an interesting connection to your Grandfather's WW1 service, and if you enter ' Holt or Holt 75 ' in this Thread's search box ( top right ), it will bring up much more information on the Holt 75, it's origins and role during WW1, as well as many interesting photographs.

Regards,

LF

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

I am pleased the posts had an interesting connection to your Grandfather's WW1 service, and if you enter ' Holt or Holt 75 ' in this Thread's search box ( top right ), it will bring up much more information on the Holt 75, it's origins and role during WW1, as well as many interesting photographs.

Regards,

LF

Yes thanks LF,

I have seen lots of them.

It's the detail you give about the 9.2" gun carriage that is so fascinating.

This recent thread by Modelmaker enquired about Holdfast Beams:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=228979&hl=

On which carriage would they be carried?

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Lancashire Fusilier

On which carriage would they be carried?

Usually, the middle Travelling Carriage in the 3 carriage convoy carried the Howitzer's ' Bed ' and given the substantial weight of this carriage when loaded ( 12,500 lbs ) and 3,500 lbs unloaded, the 9.2 Howitzer's Bed weighed 9,000 lbs, and I assume this also included the Holdfast Beams which were essential to be secured in place under the Howitzer's Bed before the Carriage & Cradle were then mounted in place.

Regards,

LF

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Great pictures and fascinating additional information as well LF.

Keep up the good work.

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Lancashire Fusilier

This recent thread by Modelmaker enquired about Holdfast Beams:

Although the attached two photographs, which I previously posted on 26th August 1914, show the larger 15 inch Howitzer, the procedure for laying the Holdfast Beams and the setting up and ' digging in ' the Howitzer, would have been similar to that for the 9.2 Howitzer.

Also, the setting up and ' digging in ' of the Howitzer would have been the responsibility of the Gunners themselves, with possibly physical help from the Army Service Corps ( ASC ) men who delivered the dismantled Howitzer to the new emplacement site.

The first photograph, shows Royal Garrison Artillery ( RGA ) Gunners ' digging in ' their Howitzer at Englebelmer Wood in the Somme region on 22nd November, 1916.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

This photograph gives excellent details of the 15 inch Howitzer's Bed and the supporting Holdfast Beams, also note the massive ramrod to the right of the photograph.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A Convoy of Holt 75 Tractors hauling dismantled Royal Garrison Artillery 9.2 Howitzers on their Travelling Carriages near Bronfay Farm, Bray-sur-Somme, located 5 miles S.E. of Albert in the Somme Picardy region of Northern France, on 23 September 1916.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Great pictures and fascinating additional information as well LF.

Keep up the good work.

Pleased to hear you are enjoying this Thread.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Another view of an Army Service Corps' ( ASC ) Holt 75 Tractor hauling a dismantled Royal Garrison Artillery 9.2 Howitzer, with it's crew of Gunners riding atop the convoy of Vickers' Howitzer Travelling Carriages, as the Holt 75 negotiates a narrow bend in the road somewhere in France during 1917.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Hi all,

We finally got the 9.2" howitzer done.....emplaced and travelling configurations.

Here are some finished photo's of the kit, it is 1/35th scale.

A few things came to light, the "holdfast beams" it seems were pre-assembled in holes dug out in the area that the Gun Position Officer chose. The three loads were then then transferred to the position and set in place. There is a downloadable pdf with the US Library of Congress of the manual, which has a mass of info on the transport and installation of the gun. IWM also has a series of photographs taken at Crystal Palace in the 20's with the gun being assembled in the main hall....very interesting, however one photo has been reversed, it shows the barrel and the travelling carriage being pushed into position....BUT look at the breech ring, it is on the opposite side that it should be, also the "nose" section on the barrel carriage, being offset is also on the wrong side.....yeah.....anoraks rule!!!!

There were also some interesting finds on the AWM site, these showed damaged transport which to me was invaluable as they showed parts often not seen in "regular" photo's.

I am now working on some other project, the FWD B type, to which I am indebted to Tim Gosling for supplying me with a mass of info.....also I plan a Steam Tractor, probably a Fowler, so here I am casting my net wide to see if anyone has details on Tractors used by the British....I know there were loads of different types, but looking for those used used for towing.

So there we are.....thanks to all those that helped.

George (Modelmaker)

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The files were a tad too big, so here is the photo of the transport set up.

The carriage and bed were fitted with axle units, the barrel was transported in a specifically designed frame, which had winches to move the barrel forward, the dolly wheels rode up the cast "rails" on the carriage body, there was a device on the axle to allow it to be traversed slightly to get the point of entry into the cradle, also a frame on the underside that would locate onto another cast frame on the bed, this stabilsed the assembly as the barrel was winched into position. An amazing feat of engineering, especially when you consider the ground conditions when the things were assembled.

Thanks for looking.

George.

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Usually, the middle Travelling Carriage in the 3 carriage convoy carried the Howitzer's ' Bed ' and given the substantial weight of this carriage when loaded ( 12,500 lbs ) and 3,500 lbs unloaded, the 9.2 Howitzer's Bed weighed 9,000 lbs, and I assume this also included the Holdfast Beams which were essential to be secured in place under the Howitzer's Bed before the Carriage & Cradle were then mounted in place.

Regards,

LF

Hi (again)

Not sure the holdfast beams were carried on the "bed". They were very much longer as they also had fittings for the earth box. The sides of the holdfast had slots to house the pickets, the bed had corresponding brackets that lined up with those on the beams, the pickets were then driven down into the ground. I am led to believe the chosen site was prepared prior to the guns being emplaced, there is a reference to the beams being transferred to the site and being set up prior to the arrival of the gun. I have not seen (yet) any evidence of these beams being carried with the gun section. The bed does carry the earth box in sections, four side sections and corrugated floor plates, as seen on some of the photo's. Of interest, the shell handling, cradle and geared quadrant was detached from the carriage and carried on the bed. This would have been in the way when assembling the gun, as were the platforms for the crew. My photo's of the IWM example show that the platforms were detatchable.....one is actually stowed under their example as it is displayed in a "corner".

Here is a factory shot of the assembled gun on the holdfast beams, this illustrates just how long they were.

Excavated earth from the site was used to fill the earth box.

George.

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Nice models. hat are they made of? How long did they take to make?

Hi there,

Well I could spend ages and bore everyone to death going into detail, but I work in plastic sheet and strips of different shapes and thicknesses. The parts are made as seperate sub-assemblies, and then cast in resin. I work for a company called Resicast, based in Belgium. We specialize in British/Commonwealth subjects in a common modelling scale of 1/35th.

It is pretty much a "cottage industry", but well known in the modelling world.

I live in the UK (Plymouth) and am retired, so have a lot of time to devote to this hobby, or "obsession" as my wife describes it. This project took about 18 months from conception to finalizing the finished product. Other projects, (I made a Holt 75), was two years. I am a semi-profesional model maker, having doing this for a number of years, I also have a lathe for turning barrels.

I was fortunate, or lucky, in that the manual was available, this gave a lot of detail and cross section drawings which had a scale bar, enabling me to photocopy the drawings to the scale I work in.

Photo's from various websites were used. But the manual was invaluable and enabled work to be carried out with a degree of confidence as I then had access to scale drawings. A photo shoot at IWM helped, despite being "collared" by a museum guardian when I was seen crawling on the floor with a tape measure.

George.

Usually, the middle Travelling Carriage in the 3 carriage convoy carried the Howitzer's ' Bed ' and given the substantial weight of this carriage when loaded ( 12,500 lbs ) and 3,500 lbs unloaded, the 9.2 Howitzer's Bed weighed 9,000 lbs, and I assume this also included the Holdfast Beams which were essential to be secured in place under the Howitzer's Bed before the Carriage & Cradle were then mounted in place.

Regards,

LF

Hi (again)

Not sure the holdfast beams were carried on the "bed". They were very much longer as they also had fittings for the earth box. The sides of the holdfast had slots to house the pickets, the bed had corresponding brackets that lined up with those on the beams, the pickets were then driven down into the ground. I am led to believe the chosen site was prepared prior to the guns being emplaced, there is a reference to the beams being transferred to the site and being set up prior to the arrival of the gun. I have not seen (yet) any evidence of these beams being carried with the gun section. The bed does carry the earth box in sections, four side sections and corrugated floor plates, as seen on some of the photo's. Of interest, the shell handling, cradle and geared quadrant was detached from the carriage and carried on the bed. This would have been in the way when assembling the gun, as were the platforms for the crew. My photo's of the IWM example show that the platforms were detatchable.....one is actually stowed under their example as it is displayed in a "corner".

Here is a factory shot of the assembled gun on the holdfast beams, this illustrates just how long they were.

Excavated earth from the site was used to fill the earth box.

George.

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Lancashire Fusilier

I have not seen (yet) any evidence of these beams being carried with the gun section.

George,

Obviously, the Holdfast Beams were transported to the Howitzer emplacement site, and although as yet, I have not seen any photograph clearly showing their transportation, the most logical form for their transport would have been a Vickers Travelling Carriage which had both the size and the weight capacity to handle all the Howitzer parts, including the Holdfast Beams.

It may have been that the Holdfast Beams were transported in advance by Vickers Travelling Carriage, and were ' dug in ' prior to the arrival of the Howitzer.

Until there is good photographic evidence clearly showing the Holdfast Beams being transported separately, it may be premature to say how and when they were transported.

Regards,

LF

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George,

Obviously, the Holdfast Beams were transported to the Howitzer emplacement site, and although as yet, I have not seen any photograph clearly showing their transportation, the most logical form for their transport would have been a Vickers Travelling Carriage which had both the size and the weight capacity to handle all the Howitzer parts, including the Holdfast Beams.

It may have been that the Holdfast Beams were transported in advance by Vickers Travelling Carriage, and were ' dug in ' prior to the arrival of the Howitzer.

Until there is good photographic evidence clearly showing the Holdfast Beams being transported separately, it may be premature to say how and when they were transported.

Regards,

LF

I wasn't trying to be flippant, I have not seen any of these road trains with the holdfast, I think you are right though, in my mind the only thing capable of transporting those loads would be the Vickers wagon similar to those used with the 15". But the way I read your earlier post you seemed to suggest that the beams may have been under-slung, but their length would not allow the axles to be steered. The manual makes mention of the holdfast, even includes a drawing, but nothing on the installation.

I think something like this would be suitable, it was open at each end so could take the extra long beams.

George.

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Lancashire Fusilier

But the way I read your earlier post you seemed to suggest that the beams may have been under-slung, but their length would not allow the axles to be steered.

George,

You misread my post # 4157, when I mentioned " secured in place under the Howitzer's Bed ", I was referring to the Holdfast Beams being ' dug in ' under the actual Howitzer at the emplacement site, as shown in post #4161, not slung under the Howitzer's Travelling Carriage.

I understand Vickers made several different reinforced steel Travelling Carriages, including the steel Shell Carriage/Wagon used for transporting shells to the 15 inch Howitzer, which I featured back on August 27th, 2014, as part of the presentation on the 15 inch Howitzer, and for those interested in either the 15 inch Howitzer or the steel Shell Wagon, here is the link :-

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=173218&page=93

Also, here is another type of reinforced steel Travelling Carriage, photographed in the village of Franvillers on the Amiens/Albert Road, in the Somme region of Northern France, which would have certainly been capable of carrying the Howitzer's Holdfast Beams.

This photograph, is dated in August 1916.

Regards,

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Hi LF,

This looks to be the same type, there is an extension to locate the breech ring and the upper rail and brackets have been removed (as shown on my earlier posting).

The axle centres, brakes and front steering cradle are very similar,

.

The drawing in the manual shows two main beams, a transverse beam plus there were extra beams located under these, quite a deep excavation would be needed for them. There is one photo however of howitzer at a wierd angle, so it might have been installed without the holdfast beams.....it certainly seems a bit "wonky".

The earth box is seemingly secured as if mounted on the holdfast, The whole thing appears to be down at the rear.....might this have been a way to increase elevation ??.

George.

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Lancashire Fusilier

There is one photo however of howitzer at a wierd angle, so it might have been installed without the holdfast beams.....it certainly seems a bit "wonky".

George,

An interesting photograph, and I am wondering if the Howizter may have been shifted by nearby shelling of the area, as the right hand base of the Dirt Box has also been dislodged ?

Regards,

LF

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