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Tanks


Guest Pete Wood
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Guest Pete Wood

Does anyone know if there is a definitive list of 'adopted' names that were put on Tanks - eg Sir Archibald Murray - ?

I've asked the Tank Museum at Bovington, but (so far) drew a blank.

Any suggestions, please?

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Aftre the formation of the Tank Corps, the active units were battalions. These began at 1 for 1st Bn, but A was also used to signify 1st Bn as well.

Normally, in that battalion the letter associated was used as a starting point for names; i.e. all the tanks in 1st (A) Bn began with the letter A - and this was followed by most of the other battalions of the Tank Corps.

There is a list of some of the ones used at Cambrai in 'Following The Tanks' by Jean-Luc Gibot.

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Thanks Paul regarding the prefix letter for battalion that helps me.

The 6th Btn history lists some names eg:-

F1 - Firespite II : F31 Fearnought : F21 Five Knights : F28 Formidable : etc

Stuart

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As Paul Reed says, after the formation of the Tank Corps, most tank names follow the pattern of having the same initial letter as the Tank battalion letter. Names come from a variety of sources. (There's some particular fun with tank names when 15th Battalion co-operate with the Australians in August 1918).

However, before the Corps was constituted, it's considerably more messy and you will get tanks named after stage shows in London, personalities, alcoholic drinks, etc. There are dreadful puns and cryptic references.

Trevor Pigeon's 'The Tanks at Flers' has some of the names of tanks in that action (Creme de Menthe, etc.) but there's a lot of variety - Her Majesty's Landship Lusitania at Railway Triangle, Arras, for example.

As you can see in Juc-Luc Gibot & Philippe Gorczynski's 'Following the Tanks' crews also used the same name for more than one tank (hence 'Egbert II', etc.)

Most (but not all) after-action reports on tank operations use the tank crew number to identify the tank ('E1', 'C41'). Sometimes the Tank number is used.

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Teapots

I am very surprised that the Tank Museum has not been able to give you any leads. If you have not done so already, the chap to speak to is David Fletcher, the Librarian.

Charles M

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Guest Pete Wood

"I am very surprised that the Tank Museum has not been able to give you any leads. If you have not done so already, the chap to speak to is David Fletcher, the Librarian."

Charles

To be fair, I didn't say that the Tank Museum hasn't given me any leads. I was told about the two excellent books (which I have since ordered).

But the museum has been unable, so far, to come up with a list of all the adopted names - or to tell me of anyone who has such a list, even if one exists. My understanding, from a very helpful lady (I'm sorry I don't know her name) at the museum, is that I will probably have to visit the museum and go through all the records; in other words, such a list of names does not exist. This lady did say that she would attempt to clarify the situation on receipt of an email. I sent this email just one week ago, so if the museum finds that such a list does exist, rest assured I will notify the forum.

I think the Tank Museum does a great job and I wouldn't want anyone to think that they haven't given me good advice/leads.

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As Paul Reed suggests, Gibot / Gorczynski carries the most complete list of tank names at Cambrai. If you find any that are missing from that list, do let me know - there should be a second edition heading for the printers next year. My favourites are Autogophasta (A41 2/Lt G H Jones) and Cuidich N'Righ (C 17 2/Lt L E Minchin). What must the Germans have thought?! B)

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Guest Pete Wood
What must the Germans have thought?!

I Dinnaken........ (D17 2/Lt S H Hastie)

I spoke with David Fletcher, at the Tank Museum, yesterday. Apparently he "made a start on a list of tank names, a long time ago." David no longer has the resources to complete this task, at present, but has kindly offered to make a copy of the list (to date) available when time allows. Also, David has pointed out that many names were simply not recorded at the time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

David Fletcher, historian at the tank museum, has just sent me the part-completed list of tanks. It gives the names of all the known tanks in A-H Battalions.

Does anyone care to throw in a name (or more) from I Battalion onwards? This would help David out no end, I'm sure.

Please add if you know if it is a male tank (gun) or female tank (machine guns only) and any other details you are aware of.

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Each Tank Battalion would have its own War Diary at the PRO. No doubt the name of each battalion's tanks would be in them. It may be worth checking out if you can get there.

Terry

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Gibot and Gorczynski researched this thoroughly at the PRO and found only a handful of 'I' Battalion names:

I.26 Impregnable No. 4556

I.28 Incomparable No. 4555

I.36 Invincible

I.54 Intimidate

There are lots of names of commanders for the Battalion, but no more names. Strange!

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