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Remembered Today:

Google Landships site - the Tank Corps Bible


dgibson150

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Does anyone know how I can communicate with the owner of this site to enquire as to how certain conclusions were arrived at?

David

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I'm in contact with him. PM me if you wish.

I would caution that the site should not be regarded as a Bible, or in any way infallible. He and I do not necessarily agree on the interpretation of documents, photographs etc. The site is also not free from human error.

Consequently, you might just want to ask your question of the combined knowledge present on this site...

Gwyn

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Thanks Gwyn..

I know that that site is not free from human error but it is regarded by many as the first port of call re the Tank Corps issues, hence perhaps my overstatement.

My query is obscure and relates to why the site owner has interpreted information in a particular way. It is not really a question I can ask the Forum so I will send you a PM tomorrow.

David

Edited by dgibson150
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David

Interpretation of information is something that the GWF is very good at discussing. I would be very interested to hear your query - I am writing one volume of a 5 volume work on tanks in the GW and your thoughts might be really useful.

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I'm not sure what part of "Google Landships site - the Tank Corps Bible" is the recognised name for the website under discussion, but I've Googled various combinations of the seven words and the only hits take me back to this thread! I'm probably not the only one who would appreciate a link, please.

Moonraker

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Gwyn and Gareth

It seems to be more practical for me to post my query on the forum.

My grandfather was KIA in the Battle of Sauvillers/ Moreuil on 23/7/1918 while serving with the 9th Battalion Tank Corps and over a year ago I started to research the actual battle, trying to find out how he died. Over time I realised that, contrary to the family folklore, my grandfather was not actually in any of the tanks, but was in either a Battalion or Company support role and killed by a "stray bullet" while moving up as a stretcher bearer. My objective then became to try and understand more about the crews involved and where they were on the battlefield.

The Google Landships site has a lot of data on this battle, https://sites.google.com/site/landships/9-battalion-23-july-1918, mainly from a summary of the Battle History Sheets (only one individual Battle History Sheet has survived at Bovington) and the War Diary of the 9th Battalion (the main item being a report on the battle prepared by 5th Brigade). I have reviewed the data along with several other sources in an effort to identify where on the battlefield each section was. I am making progress, but slowly.

I visited Kew in February and got a copy of the Battle History Sheets Summary ("BHSS"). In this document, the only indications of which Company a Tank was part of is the French Regiment assisted and maybe, if one is lucky, a comment in the remarks column. The Google Landships analysis uses this information to identify a tank's company and I wanted to know why Tank 9408 had been allocated to "C" Company. The BHSS states that this Tank was supporting the French 87th RI but "C" Company was intended exclusively to support the French 272nd IR.

I doubt, by the way, that the BHSS is error-free in the first place. The 5th Brigade report in the 9th Battalion War Diary states that three tanks, in support of the 51st IR, were knocked out in the 3rd Phase attack on Harpon Wood. Of the 14 Tanks said to be supporting the 51st IR on the BHSS, only 2 are reported as KO.

David

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David

None of my material mentions the French Infantry Regiments by number so I can't work out which tanks were with the 87th and which with the 272nd. I know that A Coy tanks, who were supporting the attack on the 1st objective, assisted C Coy in their attack (18 tanks against Sauvillers Wood). There is a mention in the history that one section of tanks rendered assistance to the 15th Colonial Division as they (the tanks) had advanced further to the left that intended.

Sorry, that's all I know.

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David

It's interesting to note that the BHSS at Kew has an amendment for this tank, showing 272nd crossed out and 87th added.

However the source for the company allocations given on the website is a transcription of the war diary from the Tank Museum, not the BHSS. I don't have either the original war diary or the transcription to see whether the information in the war diary matches that in the transcription, and whether they support the interpretation provided on the website. To understand why the website says what it does, and to decide whether you agree with it, you need to look at the war diary.

By the way, to illustrate my point about this website not being free from error, 9408 is described as a Male in one place and a Female in another. The evidence is that it was a Female.

Gwyn

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David

In case you haven't made the connection, Sidearm is the Gwyn mentioned on the homepage of the website.

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Gareth

Can you disclose the subject of your volume on the Tank Corps? It would help me to know whether or not I have any relevant information to you.

I also wondered what your "material" was made up of.

Re the information in your reply, It is representative of the kind of problems that I am encountering. C Coy only used 12 tanks in their attack on Sauvillers Wood, 4 sections of three tanks each. They were aided by 9 tanks from A Coy. I think the 18 Tanks comes from the Bovington transcription of the War History but the NA scan of the War History is so bad that I cannot check whether or not the Bovington transcription is right. With regard to the stray section, the English reports say that a whole section strayed, whilst the French war diaries (15th DIC) talk of one tank. I favour something in-between. "B" Coy only had seven tanks available for the third phase, made up I think of two sections of three plus one tank, ie the eighth section minus two tanks that had strayed too far to the east and were helping the 15th DIC.

Gwyn

I think it would be good if you could convey my query to the Landships site owner,The question is: Why was tank 9408 allocated to "C" Coy in the 23/07/1918 narrative? It is not really someting that the Forum can have any view on.

Thanks by the way Gwyn and Gareth for your taking the time to respond.

David

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The volumes are:

1. 1916 (and possibly 1915).

2. 1917 less Cambrai. Arras, 2nd Gaza, Messines, 3rd Ypres, 3rd Gaza).

3. Cambrai.

4. 1918 pt 1.

5. 1918 pt 2.

Mine is Vol 2. My material is Kew, Bovington plus published works.

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Sorry, things have moved a bit while I was struggling badly to write an intelligible post in response to previous posts.

I am afraid Gwyn that I can't see any reference to the "BHSS" in the 9th Bn War diaries. Where the "BHSS" was reported does not really matter though. There is, one way or another, a document in the official records which describes what happened on 23/7/1918, even though the information therein is not handy to someone (like me) who is looking to identify tank crews involved in that action.

All I really want to know is if there was any special reason that the site owner (landships) decided that tank 9408 was a "C" Coy tank. It may be simply that in the report the French Regiment aided was changed at the time, at the last minute, to the 87th, but that it is believed now that the original 272nd is correct.

David

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The volumes are:

...

2. 1917 less Cambrai. Arras, 2nd Gaza, Messines, 3rd Ypres, 3rd Gaza).

...

Mine is Vol 2. My material is Kew, Bovington plus published works.

There is a section on Tanks in Volume XII, The Supply of Munitions, History of the Ministry of Munitions HMSO c 1922, available online, which perhaps you may not have seen as it is not indexed.

http://hdl.handle.net/2027/umn.31951002014527v?urlappend=%3Bseq=247

(mentioned in a recent post http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=229868&p=2285624 )

Cheers

Maureen

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I am afraid Gwyn that I can't see any reference to the "BHSS" in the 9th Bn War diaries. ...

David

I don't understand this comment. What I was trying to convey was that the source for the website's claim that 9408 was in C Company was the War Diaries, not the BHSS. I did not mean to imply that you would find reference to the BHSS in the War Diaries. (You might, but only as a reference to an Appendix).

In any event, I shall contact the website owner for you.

Gwyn

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David

I have passed your query on. The website owner is willing to try to help but is tied up for the next week or so. When I hear more I'll PM you.

Gwyn

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