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Jools mckenna

Strange large metal equipment in German trench.

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Jools mckenna

Can anybody work out what that metal thing, that the Stielhandgranate and french trench mortar projectile are placed/leaned up on, is? 

frenchmortarf.jpg

frenchmortarf_LI (3).jpg

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Dave1418

Hi

looks like there’s a pipe leading from it on the left so may be part of a system for pumping air into a dugout to the rear there also seems to be three short levers.

Dave

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Tomb1302

Dave,

 

What purpose would this serve, and how common would these have been?

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Michael Haselgrove

Hi,

I agree with Dave that the item in question is probably a rotary fan used to supply ventilation to a large dugout or tunnel.  To quote from "Beneath Flanders Fields - The Tunnellers' War 1914-1918" by Barton, Doyle and Vandewalle page 109:

"As a tunnel extended beyond the range of natural ventilation, a sufficient and reliable air supply to the face was required.........Every litre of air which the working section consumed in the cramped tunnel had to be supplied from the surface.  Should this supply be interrupted, oxygen levels quickly dropped and efficiency suffered along with the health of the tunnellers". 

Large, deep dugouts would also require ventilation and, in the circumstances, ventilation equipment would presumably have been fairly common.

Regards,

Michael. 

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Chasemuseum

The tubes running down from above and terminating to the lower front left look like fuel deliver pipes to a burner and the main housing looks like a blower fan to supply combustion air for a burner. The three vertical tube fittings look like lube oil nipples to supply lubricants to the fan bearing.  All up this appears to me as an oil fired burner of about a 100kW to 250kW rating using a diesel or kerosene fuel. I have no idea why they have an industrial burner in a trench.

 

Cheers

Ross

 

Edited by Chasemuseum
spelling

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Steve1871

Ahh, Leave it to ROSS  to come to the Rescue, Answer, Great work there Mate!

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303man

The tubes are not connected to the apparatus,  If you look again they run up the wall and along the sandbags and along the trench wall, phone lines or similar.  Pretty sure it is a ventilator.

images (1).jpg

images.jpg

Edited by 303man

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Chasemuseum

When working with industrial burners, you need a blower fan to provide sufficient combustion air to the burner. The two photos above are typical axial fan blowers, these can be used for a wide variety of ventilation tasks and are typical of the fans used as part of a burner assembly. The combustion fuel is not inducted into the airstream inside the fan but at the appliance front, together with the air delivered by the fan.

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Dave1418

Hi 

judging by the way the “tubes” are  positioned I’d say that they look more like electric wires to power the fan. Which I believe is for ventilation. It would also be unusual to have an industrial burner in or near the front line trench due to all the additional issues of flammability with the fuel source.

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