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Remembered Today:

E Battalion, TANK CORPS, NOV'17


gnr.ktrha
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Your documentation is accumulated by the very people the Tank Corps were not happy about. I would like to see what the war diary and history of the 5th Battalion has to say on the topic.

Here you go:

I don't see anything written in the Officer Commanding E Battalion's Post Op Report that would suggest an impending divorce with the Highland Division, or anthing to suggest a lack of confidence in the Infantry.

post-10175-1216476308.jpg

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In case anyone here hasnt read Bryan Coopers opinion regarding what happened...........here it is. Is the only reason why you consider his works to be a load of old tosh because his opinion differs from the sources you have read? A true historian considers all sources, a brigade report is not a primary resource since is has been typed up and edited by a man who was not actually there.

Bryan Cooper, to begin with, is not a credible witness to the event, and without full and thorough research (which he clearly has not done), undermines the value of any of his assertions contained within his book.

I find the last statement about a Brigade report a completely ridiculous one, especially when using an author of a non-referenced 1967 book as your credible witness to the events.

Tom McC

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The "attack drill" has been evolved by Fuller and was to work well during the battle, except in the 51st Highland Division area whos commander (widely known as 'Uncle Harper') had rejected the scheme as 'fantastic and unmilitary' and instuted his own system.

Notes on Tank Infantry Training, 10th November 1917: 'When advancing behind tanks infantry should maintain one hundred yards distance'. SIGNED: J F C Fuller.

The failure at Flesquieres was ascibed in the British official history as beeing directly caused by the departure from the prescribed attack drills.

I didn't know that the attack at Flesquieres was a failure (Captain Miles's retrospective may call it such, however, I would have thought that his statement on page 280 was well outside his 'block job' or pay band). I thought that the town was occupied by the Highland Division early the next morning. There is no great departure from the Tactical Notes. Section formations are slightly different (become the Army standard) and the direction on attacking a trench is the opposite way. See Woolcombe page 109.

Tom McC

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Which has an interesting account of someone who survived the action with E Battalion. There is a lot of detail here regarding the terrain and from what is written here infantry would of been rather useful as it appears the majority of tanks were picked off when on the crest of the ridge NOT before they reached the first line of trenches.

See my next bit

In fact at the bottom of page there is a photo showing two E Battalion tanks that have been knocked out sitting in the lip of a trench................it seams that infantry would of been rather useful at this point since the barbed wire has obviously been breached.

The tanks are Egypt II and Eurylus. They have been taken out by a German battery over 500 meteres away to the tanks' right flank (near the current cemetery). There is another trench and wire to deal with before getting to Flesquieres and the German guns. Plus, The trench that Egypt and Eurylus are sat in front of was entered and taken by the 6th Seaforth Highlanders, so I don't know what your point is.

Tom McC

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Tom,

Just caught up with this post. Thanks for posting the details of E Battalions 13, 14 & 15 Coys machines. I don't suppose anywhere there is reference to any of the tanks production numbers, is there?

Tanks3

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Hi Stewart

According to the roll of honour in the Tank Corps Honour and Awards Book his service number was

Pte Richmond ,J,C. service number 201963 and he came from Guilford.

Hope this helps .

Regards Andy

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Tanks3,

Sorry, I don't have that information. It is possible that somebody on the forum has this information.

Back to the Calumny:

Your documentation is accumulated by the very people the Tank Corps were not happy about. I would like to see what the war diary and history of the 5th Battalion has to say on the topic.

Nothing in the Operations paragraph to suggest a lack of infantry support.

Aye

Tom McC

post-10175-1216744035.jpg

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Nothing in the Operations paragraph to suggest a lack of infantry support.

Nothing in 5th Battalion history, either.

The History appears generally happy with the attack (my interest is the commander of "Exquisite").

John

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  • 3 years later...

His name was John Richmond, I have not come across any middle names, so the man you refer to may be someone else. His number was 95436. He enlisted into the London Scottish in 1915 and saw service with them in France from Dec 1915 to May 1916, he was later posted to the MGC. He was awarded 7 Days FP No2 on the 2nd Nov 1917 and was wounded in action on the 20th Nov 1917. He recieved a GSW to Upper Left Arm and Right hand. Discharged to duty in march 1918 but then went sick with VD for about 60 days! He rejoined the 5th Bn Tank Corps on the 29th May 1918. His records also state he was a trained 1st Class Lewis Gunner. Stewart

I have started a new website designed to commemorate all those tankcrew who fought at Cambrai. http://tanksatcambrai.webs.com/

if you can send me his details, I willadd him to the E Bn page

Ste[hen :poppy:

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  • 1 year later...

Does anyone know when Jim Birch number 69568, 5th battalion might have joined the corps, can you guess approximate dates by the service number?

Thanks,

Charlie

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  • 5 years later...

I've recently discovered that my grannys brother Adam Robertson Fraser joined up in 1915. Firstly in the Cameron Highlanders, then the MGC and then the 13th Tank Corps where he was awarded the MC so i was very interested to see mention of his name in this forum. I've seen the article in the Gazette on the MC but is there anywhere that I can find out a bit more? Thank you.

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Have you looked for his service record on Ancestry or Find my past?  If the record survived the Blitz, you should be able to find it using his service number and surname 

 

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Yes I've done that and I was even able to find out when he was hospitalised with scarlet fever.  I guess I'd like to understand a bit more about how someone came to be in this regiment and also what was happening around the time of his commendation on 10th August 1918. Thank you.

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10th August was the third day of the Battle of Amiens  and 13th Battalion were in action as part of 4th Tank Brigade supporting 4th Canadian Division.  

I recommend you access Rob Martin's website "Google Landships" and look at the unit entry for the date.

The MC citation will allow you to put his actions into context.

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  • 2 years later...

Hello!

On the "Landship" page is something written about EXTERMINATOR II. But I can´t find any informations about that tank.

I only can find EXTERMINATOR. Did the "II" exist too?

Please have a look at the end of the name. Could there be a "II"?

ab472.jpg.64ecf48849d159263e50dc1ce46aae08.jpg

 

By the way. Is it possible to determine this tank?

ab471.jpg.cef7c3d23532d43d180c1e04acdd8528.jpg

 

Edited by The Prussian
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Hi, the name Exterminator appears in the Battlegraph, but you've correctly spotted that there is a "II" visible on the destroyed tank. This indicates the commander and crew previously had another tank with the same name, but I haven't seen any record of it. This is not unusual since the documentation is far from exhaustive.

 

I believe the second tank has been identified from the distinctive buckled track as F2 Frivolous, captured by the Germans in Bourlon on November 27, 1917. Hopefully others may be able to confirm this.

 

All the best, John

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Hi John!

Thank you very much! Excellent informations!

I could get the diary of the bataillon! I found out Exterminator was hit between Moeuvres and Bourlon Nov.23, 1917.

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Hi, I'm pleased to help, and it's well worth downloading the War Diaries though the information in them is often rather sparse. There is a report on the attack on November 23 which contains this note:

image.png.3499682cb2b8a9866d144e9f27f4ddd3.png

 

The War Diary also contains a War History of the battalion, compiled at the end of the war, which contains this additional information though it doesn't name the tank:

image.png.07a9b0c056f0468c95ab12bd8a12e4c5.png

 

Hope this is of interest,

 

John

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Hello John!

Oh yes,it helps. Thanks a lot.

I downloaded the diaries too. Now I am sure, it was hit Nov. 23.

 

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I've just looked for more information about the tank commander - he was 31-year old 2nd Lieut Joseph George Airey Green, previously in the Artists' Rifles. Because his body wasn't found, his mother made inquiries to the Red Cross, who later heard from Captain Tatnell that he was probably dead (see card attached). Captain Tatnell was Exterminator's section commander and was wounded and captured in the same attack, though he survived the war. 2nd Lieut Green is now commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing at Louverval.

 

John

image.png

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Hi John!

Thanks a lot! Again brilliant infos!

Could you please tell me what the Artists´ Rifles were? I´ve never heard...

 

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Ah, OK. Thanks Charlie. I didn't know  that!

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Thanks to Charlie for the explanation. On another point, the reference to Captain Tatnell suggests there may be another interesting source of information. As the section commander he may well have been inside Exterminator when it was knocked out. Officers who became PoWs had to fill in a form after release describing how they were captured, and if they could show they had put up a good fight then they were "exonerated" from blame. These forms almost always survive in the officers' files, so with luck we should have an account from Captain Tatnell of the final minutes of Exterminator.

 

The only problem is that the files are in the National Archives, which is currently closed, and haven't been digitised.  Another one to check when the pandemic finally ends!

 

By the way, could you tell me why you are interested in Exterminator please?

 

All the best, John

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