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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

British Tank crew - personal equipment?


RobL

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It's not surprising that tank crew of WW1 (or any period really) are seen wearing as little additional equipment as possible - in the case of British WW1 Tank crew little more than a belt with a pistol and ammunition pouch, as well as anti-gas protection. I'd have thought the men must have taken their haversacks with them (with personal kit including knife fork and spoon, any extra food, socks, cleaning equipment, etc etc), or the larger packs which could carry blankets/greatcoats too - is there any proof of this? I'd imagine there must be a designated space for them if possible in the cramped interior. Also, did they bring water bottles with them or was there a water tank already inside for the use of the crew?

Also, I assume some crew at least would have worn 1908 pattern webbing gear, does anyone have any images of them doing so? Most appear to be leather in photos I've seen

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I have recently found a stowage diagram for a Mark V describing where everything should be put. There is no designated space for the crew's personal kit. Presumably this was the reason that Tank Battalions in 1918 were issued with Mark IV Tenders to use as Baggage Tanks.

Gwyn

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Oops. Missed your question about water. The diagram lists six cans of water as stowage. Four are clearly stowed at the rear of the tank's interior, not sure about the other two.

Gwyn

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Given the overall distance covered by the early tanks why take full kit? Whippet tanks a bit more food but more than 24 hours out of the supply line? Even modern MTBs cramp on space, main aim ammo and fuel. Crew man less kit than infantry.

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