The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby Big and Bashful » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:28 am

Tanks? mud? Seen this on youtube?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCXwgPZXScM

Nice recovery!
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby oldsalt1 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:35 am

That is a great clip . All I can say is been there done that
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby crfriend » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:47 am

All I can say is that one needs to learn how to do it -- and there's always a first time.

At least there was no overtly hostile fire save for some of the commentary.

Getting stuck in a 4x4 "testosterone truck" is one thing. Getting stuck in a tracked vehicle takes it to a new level. (It's winter here now, and the first snowfall always sees the big roads littered with 4x4s driven by incompetents waiting to be pulled out by tow-crews. I love it. "No, stupid: just because you're driving a macho-mobile does not mean you can drive like Mario Andretti in snow.")
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby weeladdie18 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:27 am

crfriend wrote:All I can say is that one needs to learn how to do it -- and there's always a first time.

At least there was no overtly hostile fire save for some of the commentary.

Getting stuck in a 4x4 "testosterone truck" is one thing. Getting stuck in a tracked vehicle takes it to a new level. (It's winter here now, and the first snowfall always sees the big roads littered with 4x4s driven by incompetents waiting to be pulled out by tow-crews. I love it. "No, stupid: just because you're driving a macho-mobile does not mean you can drive like Mario Andretti in snow.")


The local term for the 4 x 4 is the " Chelsea Tractor " ...... Nationally the " Mad Mothers " drive their
children to school in these vehicles. They consider they are invincible.
I always cringe when I see a highly polished Chelsea Tractor approaching. .....Most of the local
vehicles are covered in mud these days to cover up the scratches from the blackthorn hedges.
The ground is too soggy now to drive on the verges without a diff lock.
When we are crossing a valley , the secret is to wait at the crest of the hill until the valley is clear and then proceed like a bat out of hell.

We had ice in a bucket of water this week.....a bit early for us....I would not expect to see any snow.
We had two falls in march this year. The roads were not gritted.....With strong Northerly Winds
yesterday was down to 5 C......We suffer from metric weather these days.
Your weather sounds like it is on a par with the Scottish Highlands. I had your sort of weather in
Scotland a couple of years ago in early December.
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby weeladdie18 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:22 am

Following on from the video links I found a German Tank Museum with track bashing activities and
a Leopod......There was also An A.R.V. recovering a Zepolin ( ? ) Excavator. .....
The Contractor's tank transporter was a bit of an overkill with
the steering on the Twenty Wheel Trailer....... All a fun way to get dirty and muddy on your day off.

The failure to comply with the British Health and Safety at Work Act and the compliance with
the Risk Assessment with the lack of P.P.E. was interesting.

There again I worked in the most dangerous industry in the World
We had a big bonfire on a beach. We were working with a tractor alongside
the bonfire under cover of darkness. I reminded the driver that if he parked the tractor
over the glowing embers of the fire he would not need to put any antifreeze in the tractor radiator
to prevent a freeze up over night..........
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby weeladdie18 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:06 am

Reference the Sherman Tank....there is a video of one running in a German Tank Museum.
I am not sure what a Sherman is doing in a German Museum.

My father was given his orders to recover an American Tank capsized in a sand dune....
The American Recovery Team were first on scene. .....my father and his team watched the
Americans at work.....This became an international competition with a tank as the prize.
The Americans returned to their base twice without their prize.
The second time they had to explain to their superior officer how they had lost their tank.
On their third trip they found their tank neatly covered up in the R.E,M.E. Compound. so that
the vehicle did not get damaged in a sand storm.

Drinks all round in the R.E.M.E. Sargents' Mess ...... R.E.M.E ?....Rough Engineering Made Easy
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby Pdxfashionpioneer » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:16 am

One thing about the Sherman, there was always plenty more where they came from.
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby oldsalt1 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:22 pm

[My father was given his orders to recover an American Tank capsized in a sand dune....
The American Recovery Team were first on scene. .....my father and his team watched the
Americans at work.....This became an international competition with a tank as the prize.
The Americans returned to their base twice without their prize.

Something doesn't sound right with this .
In the first place tanks do not usually go out by themselves they are usually in a unit with other tanks and military vehicles. . Second if one of my tanks capsized or got stuck there was no way the it would be left alone and unguarded. With the possible exception if the accident happened on a military base.
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby weeladdie18 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:49 pm

Old Salt . Please allow me to clarify..... This incident took place after the Americans joined the
the Allies in WW11 and took their tanks to Persia. .....This would probably have been before
we were both born.... If this British Unit arrived at the incident after the American Recovery unit had
commenced their operation where were the American Guards who had been posted by
The American Tank Regiment after this Incident involving an American Tank Regiment on
a training exercise ?
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby oldsalt1 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:19 am

A training exercise is different . It was on probably within a restricted area and that would explain the tank being left unguarded
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby weeladdie18 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:16 am

That training area does make sense....The Americans were probably training and regrouping
before they sent their vehicles north. The story seems to unfold with a mention of the Persian Railway.
The whole convoy link would have unfolded with the planned track of the Convoy.

The Next piece of information is that somewhere they took the convoys up through the mountains
along the mountain roads.....perhaps this was a movement of excess vehicles to confuse any enemy
survelance.

The work up for D.Day clarifies this...The convoys were doing thirty mile curcuits every day around
Bournemouth on the South Coast. Then they would disappear under the trees at night.
one day they changed their route and were moving east out of Bounemouth and stopping and moving
on. The information my mother subsequently had was as follows......when they were stopping in
Bournemouth the front of the convoy was loading in Marchwood or Southhampton Docks.
All 3 tonners loaded with ammunition.

I remember a Retired Naval officer giving a lecture on how they found the weather window to
set sail and land the marinised units on the Normandy Beaches.....The Trials and Development
work was carried a days drive up the road from me on sandy beaches with big tides.
The Museum of Beach Landing Clearance Funnies is interesting. They withdrew the rocket powered
wheel as I was lead to believe its course was unpredictable.
Flails and Crocodiles proved acceptable. A bit off topic but interesting
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby oldsalt1 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:49 pm

This activity was probably part of the decoy to make Hitler think the invasion was going to be Calais , so that he kept his armor regiments in that area.

History is always much more exciting when you here it from the people who were part of it. Not to many left . I love the stories.
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby weeladdie18 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:21 pm

Thank you Old Salt..Your clarification regarding the Desert training ground does indicate the British
were well enough trained to support the American tanks when they were in trouble.
For whatever reason, the British orders were to recover an American tank. They proved the
British inferior vehicle could perform the recovery duties of the Diamond T with its V 16 Hurcules
Diesel Engine....The Diamond T proved itself as the Vehicle was still in service in 1972
As late as 1986 there was a Bright orange Diamond T coupled up to a snow plough up in in the hills
760 feet above sea level. I remember seeing a Drott Excavator with a sheared track pin buried up to
its bonnet in a snow drift. Plenty of snow thirty miles from the South Coast of England

The story I was told was that the R.E.M.E. Mobile Workshops followed the Macks,Diamond T 's and
Three tonners up though the mountains...The British used local Arab Labour in the Workshops
They were not employed if they did not wear boots and did not wear overalls.

If they had a puncture , the first task was to put the kettle on the engine to make a cup of tea.
The Arabs then piled rocks under the vehicle axle and dug a hole under the wheel of the Vehicle.

The wheels were probably split rim runflats, so the outer flange of the wheel was removed and the
tyre and tube were replaced. Driving the vehicle off the pile of rocks completed the operation.
This was a common jacking procedure.
The whole route of the convoy is still a mystery to me.... .......weeladdie
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby oldsalt1 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:48 pm

I'll tell you I sure could have used your Father and his engineers that day . Like I said it took us about 5 hours to move about 500 feet. WE would no sooner pull a tank out and it sunk again
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Re: The Battle Tank at Basra 1941

Postby beachlion » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:21 am

For some reason, my contribution for this subject disappeared in cyber space.

I found some articles of interest.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Corridor

https://armyhistory.org/the-persian-gul ... ld-war-ii/
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