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Tank at Ypres Station


Guest Ben Jones
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Guest Ben Jones

I have recently got hold of a postcard showing a much dilapidated British tank at the railway station in Ypres. It is post war and appears to be marked D (2?). Does anybody know anything about this or why it was there? Was it set up as some sort of display or just dumped?

This is one for you Bert.

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Ben,

It was a display in front of the Railway station. I think it was ment to be a kind of 'attraction' for tourists. Along with the tank stood 2 guns: one German and one British 18pounder. Everything has been destroyed by the Germans during the Secon World War because of shortage of metal.

Best wishes,

Jacky

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Dear ben,

I think Jacky's answer tells it all. I had no idea those tanks stood there. Last weekend I talkes to Elaine Madden, whose father Harold ( an australian vet who married a Belgian girl in 1918) owned the café la Gare, opposite the station in the 1930's. Unfortunatly she remembers no tanks at that particular spot. She did talk about the 'tank graveyard' along the Menin Road, where her father used to take tourists. I remember to have seen pictures of it, but have no idea when they were removed.

Best,

Bert.

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The tanks of the Tank Cemetery (area Hooge-Zandberg) were removed during WW2 according to my sources. The Germans melted the iron for new tanks...

Jan

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Here are some photos of the area of the station esplanade at Ypres, presumably in the 1920's. They are from one of those little envelopes of 10 cards. I have a few of these. Some time over the holdiay I will paste the photos in this forum.

1. The tank. No doubt some expert can identify it? Note the railway trucks on the far left of this picture.

ypres_tank_1.JPG

2. The German 21cm howitzer, with the tank in the background. I presume the street in the background, going away from the esplanade is either G. de Stuersstraat or Stationsstraat.

ypres_tank_3.JPG

3. A view of the station esplanade.

ypres_tank_2.JPG

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  • 1 year later...

I was just curious if it was common for the Germans, or others to melt down WWI relics during WWII.

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The germans melted down any metal they could lay their hands on in ww2. In my birth city of maastricht they even melted the old 14th century church bells as they did in many other places.

So melting down ww1 relics would also wash away any remembrance of their losing ww1. They also wrecked ww1 memorials like the digger memorial at mont st.Quentin

post-4-1089849361.jpg

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Guest dinkidi

G'day Petrick

That one might be a little provocative!

The memorial destroyed was actually of an Aussie Infantryman bayonetting a German Eagle, so most 'conquerers' might have done the same thing. As your pictur shows, even the Australians were prepared to tone down the replacement. It also immortalises the slouch hat, even without the kangaroo feathers.

Legend has it that Rommel was meticulous in protecting WW1 sites. Apparently he berated a tank commander who during an engagement near Villers - Brett had taken a short cut through portion of the AIF Memorial Park.

ooRoo

Pat

post-4-1089852223.jpg

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Kangaroo Feathers????? don't you mean Emu?

Terry

An old joke from the Middle East - sometimes assigned to Friedrich Kress von Kressstein - and refers to the emu feathers of the Light Horse....

Edward

PS immortalised in the movie Forty Thousand Horseman by Chauval

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The Fritzies also blew up the monument of the gassed at steenstraete, near Boesinghe (now there is an ugly inox cross). I believe they blew it up in 1941 and that one was made of stone, so certainly no economical reason! :angry:

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Chris,

I have the same set of 10 souvenir pic's and whilst taking a look through them came across these four privately taken photo's from the 30's(note the lack of trees's in the Vimy Memorial Park). Thought forum members might be interested to see them.

post-4-1089891792.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

Hello,

during a recent visit to Cambrai at Philippe Gorczynski, I was able to have a look at his impressive collection of postcards.

The tank in Ypres at the railway station is showing very clearly the number 2332 on one of his postcards.

Combining this number with the D and a male version I still am not able to find out which D-tank it actually was. Other postcards are suggesting a number 2 after the D and this will probably be followed by another number ?

Would love to find out.

Vanbeselaere Johan

Poelkapelle

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  • 3 weeks later...
This Tank or Thank was next to the French Ace Guynemer memorial uptill 1927 at Poelcapelle

Thanks for this very clear images of "our" tank in my Poelcapelle.

According to my information the tank was cut in pieces by Germans in 1941.

It's our purpose to place a full size replica of it at the same place.

Any other info is very welcome.

Vanbeselaere Johan

Poelcapelle 1917 Association

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The Fritzies also blew up the monument of the gassed at steenstraete, near Boesinghe (now there is an ugly inox cross). I believe they blew it up in 1941 and that one was made of stone, so certainly no economical reason! :angry:

Hello Kristof,

thanks for your reply.

This is new to me and I am very interested in more information about destructions of WW1 memorials by the german occupants during 1940/1944 in Belgium and France.

I heard about familiar cases at Arras, Cambrai and Mont St. Quentin (Somme).

Can you help me ?

Malte

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Pal's,

Not destroyed by the Germans, but I was under the impression that the same fate was in store for some English relics during WW2.;

In the park at Cheshunt, Hertfordshire still stands a brick and concrete plinth on which I was told a WW1 tank stood, I was informed years ago that it was taken away during WW2 and melted down to assist the war effort!

Scottie.

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  • 2 years later...

In the meanwhile I was happy to find out to my astonishment researching for the booklet mentioned at http://www.tankmuseum.co.uk/librarybookreview_0208.html

that the Ypres tanks was Damon I, D29 !

The only other tank as far as I know that was left in the Salient, in Poelkapelle was Damon II also D29.

What a coincidence.

You can find additional info on these tanks into the booklet.

Hello,

during a recent visit to Cambrai at Philippe Gorczynski, I was able to have a look at his impressive collection of postcards.

The tank in Ypres at the railway station is showing very clearly the number 2332 on one of his postcards.

Combining this number with the D and a male version I still am not able to find out which D-tank it actually was. Other postcards are suggesting a number 2 after the D and this will probably be followed by another number ?

Would love to find out.

Vanbeselaere Johan

Poelkapelle

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cockney tone said:
In the park at Cheshunt, Hertfordshire still stands a brick and concrete plinth on which I was told a WW1 tank stood, I was informed years ago that it was taken away during WW2 and melted down to assist the war effort!

As it hasn't been active for quite a while I hadn't come across this thread before, but have previously posted a picture of the tank at Cheshunt on another old thread

 

Is the plinth still there nearly 3 years later?

NigelS

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Is anyone else having problems seeing the photos posted in this thread? I can see the Poelcapelle one (twice) but only red crosses elsewhere. Please tell me it's just my cranky old computer and if I try from elsewhere I'll be able to see the doubtless fascinating photos you're discussing.

Gwyn

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Gwyn,

Not it's not just you. I think the red X's are there because of the age of the earlier posts. i think the images have now been cleaned off

Tanks3

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Ah you're right! I hadn't spotted how aged this thread was. Apart from the X's it looks as good as the day it was written!

Gwyn

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