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A Tank named CRUSTY


johnboy
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Does any one know anything about a tank named Crusty? Battalion, battles etc?

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Does any one know anything about a tank named Crusty? Battalion, battles etc?

johnboy,

Here is a photograph with the caption :-

" British Mark IV Female Tanks of ‘C’ Battalion, including ‘Crusty’ and ‘Centaur II’ loaded aboard a train at Plateau Station in preparation for movement to the forward area prior to the opening of the Battle of Cambrai. IWM "

Regards,

LF

post-63666-0-05319200-1383961942_thumb.j

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johnboy,

I also found another reference to tank ' Crusty ' :-

" C Battalion - 3rd Battle of Ypres - 21/23rd August 1917.

8th Company - No.5 Section - Call Sign C24 ' Crusty ' - Commander - 2/Lt. P. Saillard.

Some reorganization was made on 20 November 1917 to No.8 Company - No.5 Section -

Call Sign C23 No. 2021 - Commander - 2/Lt. H.W. Ashworth - previously C24.

The ' C ' section reference is the same both in the photo caption, and the above reference.

The photograph caption refers to Mark IV ' Female ' tanks.

The above reference states that at Ypres and Cambrai, ' C ' Battalion were equipped with with both Male and Female Mark IV Tanks, so that also tallies.

Hope this helps,

Regards,

LF

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Thanks LF.

I will try and put a pic in military vehs thread,

Who actually named the tanks? I am a bit baffled by 'call sign'. It gives the impression of the use of two way radios, a bit difficult under battle conditions. Also have seen pics of pigeons being released from tanks.

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There is a well known photo of a tank with Crusty on the front plate - it is usually captioned as ditched but considerable analysis of the photo on the old Landships forum suggested that was engaged i a training exercise (or a demo for the photographer) evidence included other shots in the same sequence which would have been unlkely to have been taken on the battlefield. There is however another shot of a tank that appears to be Crusty in German hands after Cambrai but it has been suggested that this is a different C btn tank (names were passed on) as the crew number is different. When I'm back on my desktop 2nite will post shots if no one beats me 2 it

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Callsign is the term used today

C24 etc was the term used to designate the tank, it was linked to the section in which the tank was allocated.

Most sections were 3 tanks strong. The first three tanks (C1 to C3) were in No 1; tans 22 to 24 would therefore be in NO 8 Section.

That said, tanks could be re-allocated elsewhere following the initial stages of a battle if the unit had taken casualties and the number of sections was reduced.

Some info about Crusty here

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=118546#entry1145402

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Callsign is the term used today

C24 etc was the term used to designate the tank, it was linked to the section in which the tank was allocated.

Most sections were 3 tanks strong. The first three tanks (C1 to C3) were in No 1; tans 22 to 24 would therefore be in NO 8 Section.

That said, tanks could be re-allocated elsewhere following the initial stages of a battle if the unit had taken casualties and the number of sections was reduced.

Some info about Crusty here

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=118546#entry1145402

Call sign and crew number are not identical

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I understand the "callsign", but what does "crew number" refer to? Did individual crews have i/d numbers?

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There is a well known photo of a tank with Crusty on the front plate - it is usually captioned as ditched but considerable analysis of the photo on the old Landships forum suggested that was engaged i a training exercise (or a demo for the photographer) evidence included other shots in the same sequence which would have been unlkely to have been taken on the battlefield. There is however another shot of a tank that appears to be Crusty in German hands after Cambrai but it has been suggested that this is a different C btn tank (names were passed on) as the crew number is different. When I'm back on my desktop 2nite will post shots if no one beats me 2 it

post-99311-0-97067900-1384002570_thumb.j

This is the pic that raised my question. The name plate looks very clean.

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There was no such thing as a "callsign" in 1917. British tanks of this period have two numbers - a manufacturer's number (aka a "serial") and a crew number. A tank might carry a different crew number at different times, but the serial would never change, even as the tank moved between units. Therefore the serial is a much more useful number when it comes to tracing a tank's career. Crusty had the serial 2021. Records show it with 8 Coy C Battalion on 13 July 1917. It was indeed commanded by 2/Lt P. Saillard on 22 August 1917 when it was part of 5 Section, 8 Company C Battalion. On both these occasions it had the crew number C24. At Cambrai it was still of 5 Section 8 Company C Battalion, but with a new commander, 2/Lt H.M. Ashforth and a new crew number C23. The tank was lost at Cambrai and was captured by German forces. It was extensively photographed, and is notable both for the pattern of camouflage on the starboard sponson and for the figurine painted on the starboard hull of the tank.

Gwyn

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Call sign and crew number are not identical

Never said it was

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Good question.

Some of the early names had a link to their commander

Archie Holford-Walker commanded Clan Leslie - Leslie was his mother's family name

Victor-Smith commanded Casa; named after his family home in Elmhurst Road in Reading and

Will Sampson commanded Delilah

The other links are not apparent.

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This photo of C24 has neither figure or camouflage - hence the doubt

post-9885-0-45463300-1384091381_thumb.jp

Another version of Crusty

post-9885-0-95947700-1384091472_thumb.jp

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This photo of C24 has neither figure or camouflage - hence the doubt

attachicon.gif011-pc_British_tank.jpg

Another version of Crusty

attachicon.gifcrusty.jpg

I thought C24 was the crew number not the tank number.

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Good question.

Some of the early names had a link to their commander

Archie Holford-Walker commanded Clan Leslie - Leslie was his mother's family name

Victor-Smith commanded Casa; named after his family home in Elmhurst Road in Reading and

Will Sampson commanded Delilah

The other links are not apparent.

According to F battalions war diary commanders named their tanks the only constraint being that the name started with the battalion letter. This practice appears to have started when they received their Mk IVs Mk I and IIs do not always have a name that starts with the company (latter battalion) letter although some do. It's possible that replacement tanks had already been named (especially the Mk IIs). When a tank was knocked out and the crew assigned a new one they transfered their crew number to it and usualy added a II or even a III to the name. However if the crew got a new commander then he might rename the new tank I've come across a couple of examples where the same crew number has applied to tanks with different names and vice versa

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Just to add further confusion a tank recovered and refurbished at Central Workshops might well be re issued (even sometimes to an entirely different battalion) in which case it would retain its serial number but could have an entirely different crew number and name so that all one can definitely say is that the tank in the photo with the figure and odd painted sponson may have well once once have been called Crusty but without seeing the name (which is not visible in the photo in question) there is no guarantee that it is still so named or that the name is not now being borne by a different tank with a different serial number. If the tank has a different crew (as the crew number would suggest) that crew 's commander may well have renamed it. The name is most likely to follow the crew rather than the serial number

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This photo of C24 has neither figure or camouflage - hence the doubt

attachicon.gif011-pc_British_tank.jpg

Another version of Crusty

attachicon.gifcrusty.jpg

I'm not sure if it is just that I am looking for a difference, but I am not sure if the n/s turret is different?

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Not really - are you talking about the port and starboard sponsons? Or the driver's cab. The sponsons in the 2nd photo have had the guns and shields pulled back, quite normal if driving over rough ground to prevent the gun barrels from fouling the ground. Mk V and V* tanks had a commanders turret about halfway along the roof.

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Not really - are you talking about the port and starboard sponsons? Or the driver's cab. The sponsons in the 2nd photo have had the guns and shields pulled back, quite normal if driving over rough ground to prevent the gun barrels from fouling the ground

I think the shape of the bottom edge of the sponson is different.

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The pic in post#9 has the same sponsons as the top pic in post #15 but looks different on the second, although it seems to be the same picture?

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