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Remembered Today:

E Battalion, TANK CORPS, NOV'17


gnr.ktrha
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Hi John!

That´s very interesting! Blame to Corona that we can´t use the sources right now.

I checked the ICRC charts.

Captain A.H. Tatnell, born 9-5-96*London,  Tank Corps, missing since 11-23-17 at Bourlon Wood,

Later mentioned: Taken 11-23-17 Bourlon Wood, brought to Camp Karlsruhe and then Saarbrücken

Injured left forearm and right hand.

* I don´t know, if this german or english kind of date... So maybe 5-9-96

 

Well, First I was not so interested in that tank, because it´s not my photo. It´s from a friend from our german forum. We tried to find out what happened to that Tank.

But since a few days, I´m more and more impressed of the british sources, that I can download in the NA.

Another reason is the fact, that we can find out, which humans are "behind" the history of the photo. Anyway the british sources are much better than the german ones (the prussian officers lists were all destroyed in WW2). So we want to give the photo a history. When we are finished, I will try to wangle to photo out of my friend...

Tanks always are interesting for me. I´ve got a couple of english and german books about those beauties.

Edited by The Prussian
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Hi, the records show he was actually born on 9 May 1897 so he obviously claimed to be a year older when he was captured. His first names were Adolphus Henry, which are so unusual that he's quite easy to track down. He died on 22 October 1967.

 

Good luck with getting your hands on the original photo! It's a real shame that so many of the the Prussian records were destroyed, but the other German army records that survive are incredibly detailed. However there are often very good regimental histories which fill in some of the gaps, and you should check them out wherever possible - for instance I known the history of Nr. 80 RIR has some descriptions of E Battalion tanks following the battle. Also of course the vast majority of photographs were taken by the Germans, as British soldiers were forbidden from carrying cameras.

 

Anyway I'll have a look at Captain Tatnell's service record next time I'm at the National Archives, though unfortunately I have no idea when that will be.

 

All the best, John

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Hi John!

Thanks a lot for your help so far!

If you need some infos from the german regimental histories, let me know. I´ve got a couple of them.

By the way, you can order them on pdf for 5-10€ each here:

https://military-books.lima-city.de/hp22/index.html

Click this way: left bar: 1.Weltkrieg > Bücher nach Einheitsnummern > then chose your unit number.

If you have trouble with the german language, let me know. The seller is a friend of mine.

Stay Covid-free!

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Hi, I know this website very well and I think it looks excellent. There are also a number of libraries with online collections of German regimental histories.

 

Many thanks for your offer of help with translations, and I may well take you up on that!

 

All the best, John

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  • 3 months later...
On 01/03/2021 at 22:14, johntaylor said:

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

 

All the best, John

 

On 02/03/2021 at 03:25, The Prussian said:

Another reason is the fact, that we can find out, which humans are "behind" the history of the photo. Anyway the british sources are much better than the german ones (the prussian officers lists were all destroyed in WW2). So we want to give the photo a history. When we are finished, I will try to wangle to photo out of my friend...

Tanks always are interesting for me. I´ve got a couple of english and german books about those beauties.

 

On 02/03/2021 at 04:10, johntaylor said:

Anyway I'll have a look at Captain Tatnell's service record next time I'm at the National Archives, though unfortunately I have no idea when that will be.

 

All the best, John

 

I'm also interested in Exterminator (and several other E Bn tanks destroyed at Cambrai) - rather than a picture with humans to discover, I have a human with a tank to discover (and with luck a photo).

 

The man I'm interested in is Private/Gunner W J Elliott. According to the CWGC he was killed on 20th and buried at Ribecourt. However, the grave was destroyed by shell fire and the kicker is that the unit war diary records him as not killed until 23rd. The family story is that "he was blown up in his tank" (which, if the 23rd is correct, makes Exterminator a likely option).

 

Since the available official records generally only record the officers' allocations to tanks, I thought I might be able to work out what happened based on who he was buried with, or an account of what happened on the day.

 

I had thought that given the tank commanders buried at Ribecourt, he was likely in one of the E Bn tanks destroyed at Flesquieres Ridge. However, the current doubt about where (and whether) he actually was buried doesn't leave me with much to go on at the moment.

 

So... if anyone does happen across a mention of his name in a survivor's account of E Battalion's battles on those days, I'd very much appreciate if you could let me know.

 

Cheers,

 

Nick

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