Info for new dio.

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Info for new dio.

Joined: March 14th, 2006, 1:05 am

January 31st, 2007, 2:56 am #1

Working on new dio. that has a Mk IV Male and Female tank. The last year of the war there were not that many Mk IV's used, so any help in telling me if I have made the right choises would help. The Male is going to have the late type of timber frame anti-ditch crib on top, and I can't find any info on how it is attached to the tank. the Female and Male will have the unditching beam. I was hoping to use spuds on the tracks (every fourth link) and the white-red-white ID stripes on the sides (need help for the markings on the top and back). A caption I read of a photo a long time ago said the the Mk IV in the picture was the wire cutter tank. Was there a cutting devise on it or was it just the lead tank that ran over the barbed wire first?

That's enough questions for now,
Thanks, Chris











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Joined: September 27th, 2004, 11:44 am

February 1st, 2007, 11:50 am #2

In regards to some of the questions you've raised.
I know that in the first tank v tank engagement in April 1918. Lt Mitchell's vehicle was a Mk IV Male and the two machines with him were Mk IV Females. So there's one case of them in action in 1918. I would say during the immediate crisis along the British front as a result of the March "Michael" offensive, any vehicles would have been used against the German onslaught.
The unditching beam was secured to the vehicle atop the rails by chains which I believe were also used to secure it to the tracks when unditching. How these two chains were secured to the rails or hull roof, I'm not sure.
The photo I think you are refering to. Is it off the rear of a vehicle with a white panel painted on the fuel tank with the letters "WC" painted in a dark colour? And does it have one track off?
Also, does it have a group of officers standing on it with telescopes etc?
If so, I beleive this to be a vehicle KO'd during the battle of Cambrai, and I am led to believe that the letters "WC" do stand for wire cutter.
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Joined: March 14th, 2006, 1:05 am

February 2nd, 2007, 2:14 am #3

I think that is the photo that I saw. I just didn't know if there was some kind of devise on the tank to cut the wire, or if he was the first one to run over the wire to crush it for the other tanks or infantry. Thanks for the info Shane, everything helps.

Thanks again, Chris
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Joined: May 5th, 2005, 9:07 am

February 2nd, 2007, 7:58 pm #4

Working on new dio. that has a Mk IV Male and Female tank. The last year of the war there were not that many Mk IV's used, so any help in telling me if I have made the right choises would help. The Male is going to have the late type of timber frame anti-ditch crib on top, and I can't find any info on how it is attached to the tank. the Female and Male will have the unditching beam. I was hoping to use spuds on the tracks (every fourth link) and the white-red-white ID stripes on the sides (need help for the markings on the top and back). A caption I read of a photo a long time ago said the the Mk IV in the picture was the wire cutter tank. Was there a cutting devise on it or was it just the lead tank that ran over the barbed wire first?

That's enough questions for now,
Thanks, Chris










Warning - I LURVE Mk IVS

OK

1918 - After the instruction to apply WRW stripes (hitting Battalions in late April...I can check dates)two Battalions seem to have had Mk IVs at lesat - most were converting to Mk Vs with 3 and 6 going onto Whippets. The best known is 12 Bn, with a surving example in originibal paint in Brussels. Can't go too far wrong if you follow her. 12 fought German MK IVs...so you might want to follow that up in their unit diary or in references.

Sadly I know of no contemporay sources for photos of the MK Ivs used vs A7vs at V-B.

7 Bn also had Mk IVs for a time, and, without checking, I think they back converted from Vs, but I'll need to look.

OK...Stripes - you'll need a photo check, as whilst specific instructions were issued for Mk IVs, and the PRO files have one Bns copy of this (I think it might be 1BN)
I'm not 100% sure how 12 and 7 followed this. The istruction envisaged (from memory) 1 ft wide White-Red-White stripes on the horns - ideally with a thin brown border, on the roof of the cab and on the fuel tank's sloping armour. I've seem one Mk IV Supply which seems to have them all down the rear plate of the vehicle.

NO - repeat NO Mk IVs in use during the March Offensive or into April (eg. !Bn at Villers Brettoneaux) would have carried stripes as theyt hadn't been authorised yet. In March 1918 my impression is that marking sets were pretty much as per Cambrai.

Names/Numbers - Lodestar in Brussels is the "type specimen", but 12 and 7s war diaries are pretty thin on other edxamples. WD numbers do appear, but you'd need to check photos.

Crib/Fascine - No to fascine. 7Bn used cribs once at least. I've no feel for how the crib attached, although the fasine was fixed by a well documented set of chains - there was a circular just before Cambrai showing how to do it.

Grousers - you'll need a photo check. Grousers/spuds are less common in 1918 photos cos they were a pain in the neck and not needed on firmer ground. Sapcing - if the official spacing was adhered to is stated in the old Profile, but you can do a photo check.

Hang on a bit and you can have a butcher's at David Fletcher's new Osprey book on the type.

Mike Cooper
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Joined: May 5th, 2005, 9:07 am

February 2nd, 2007, 8:10 pm #5

I think that is the photo that I saw. I just didn't know if there was some kind of devise on the tank to cut the wire, or if he was the first one to run over the wire to crush it for the other tanks or infantry. Thanks for the info Shane, everything helps.

Thanks again, Chris
WC seems to have referred to specific tanks assigned that task at Cambrai alone. I'll need to check, but they may have been those assigned to the Cavalry, and if so they towed a large grapnel, one of which survives in the tank Museum. I'm not 100% sure thi is true, as "Wire Crusher" and Wire Puller" seem to have been distinct functions.

If thi is so then WC will onlt ever have been carried on a handful of machines at this one specific time. Its not referred to in any paperwork I've seen before Cambrai, and the role wasn't talked about in any that I've seen for 1918.

"Following the tanks" shows a well known photo of Mk Iv FEmale Euryalus of 15 Coy E Bn with WC on the sloping armour of her fuel tank. Exquisite was her partner. E used the tanks name on the horn.

7 Coy C Bn had a Wire Puller section, numbered CW1-4, and18 coy of F numbered theirs FW1-4. F used names on the nose and big numbers on the horn, roof and fuel tank - FW3, a female certainly had these. AS this was C Bns house style too, then it's likely they would also have shown this.

OH - you're right with a groser every 5th link

Mike Cooper
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Joined: March 14th, 2006, 1:05 am

February 3rd, 2007, 4:54 am #6

Warning - I LURVE Mk IVS

OK

1918 - After the instruction to apply WRW stripes (hitting Battalions in late April...I can check dates)two Battalions seem to have had Mk IVs at lesat - most were converting to Mk Vs with 3 and 6 going onto Whippets. The best known is 12 Bn, with a surving example in originibal paint in Brussels. Can't go too far wrong if you follow her. 12 fought German MK IVs...so you might want to follow that up in their unit diary or in references.

Sadly I know of no contemporay sources for photos of the MK Ivs used vs A7vs at V-B.

7 Bn also had Mk IVs for a time, and, without checking, I think they back converted from Vs, but I'll need to look.

OK...Stripes - you'll need a photo check, as whilst specific instructions were issued for Mk IVs, and the PRO files have one Bns copy of this (I think it might be 1BN)
I'm not 100% sure how 12 and 7 followed this. The istruction envisaged (from memory) 1 ft wide White-Red-White stripes on the horns - ideally with a thin brown border, on the roof of the cab and on the fuel tank's sloping armour. I've seem one Mk IV Supply which seems to have them all down the rear plate of the vehicle.

NO - repeat NO Mk IVs in use during the March Offensive or into April (eg. !Bn at Villers Brettoneaux) would have carried stripes as theyt hadn't been authorised yet. In March 1918 my impression is that marking sets were pretty much as per Cambrai.

Names/Numbers - Lodestar in Brussels is the "type specimen", but 12 and 7s war diaries are pretty thin on other edxamples. WD numbers do appear, but you'd need to check photos.

Crib/Fascine - No to fascine. 7Bn used cribs once at least. I've no feel for how the crib attached, although the fasine was fixed by a well documented set of chains - there was a circular just before Cambrai showing how to do it.

Grousers - you'll need a photo check. Grousers/spuds are less common in 1918 photos cos they were a pain in the neck and not needed on firmer ground. Sapcing - if the official spacing was adhered to is stated in the old Profile, but you can do a photo check.

Hang on a bit and you can have a butcher's at David Fletcher's new Osprey book on the type.

Mike Cooper
Thanks Mike for all the info. Not being a real WWI battle historian, I really need the help. My dio. is kind of generic, so I am trying to get the markings and equiptment on the tanks right. If Their were only two battalions after Cambrai that had MkIV's, than I will have to work with that. If you could help me with the individual types of tank ID numbers on the side, front, or top at that time it would help.

Thanks again, Chris
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Joined: May 5th, 2005, 9:07 am

February 3rd, 2007, 10:25 am #7

Hiya

Thanks. Prpbably best dealt with off-list but a couple of points

First thing to decide on is WHEN you want your diorama to be (Did I say that I LURVE Mk IVs....?)

After Cambrai - Until late April-June 1918 all Battalions with tanks (and by mid April that was by no means all) except 3 and 6 were on Mk IVs. However many ifnot most of the Battlions who had fought at Cambrai were very badly under strength, and the newer battalions were either forming, or, like 10bn very badly cut up in the March Offensive

May 1918-Armistice - The period of ID stripes - its 12 and 7 (again I need to check) as all the others were going onto Mk Vs or had gone onto Whippets.

Second thing. Battalion.

To be honest, if I wanted to do a MkIv gun tank (as opposed to Supply) in this period (having got access to the Profile (recently republished) and any of David Fletcher's books I could find (support your local Librray - use Inter-library Loan!) I'd do 12bn.

a. There is an extant tank in original paint - she's had her picture on the web - try "Landships" site or the Brussels Army Museum direct
b. There is some document base for other names
c. There is a story - the second tank v tank action where MkIVs fought Mk Ivs.

OK...

Markings and House Styles

IN 1917 a range of styles evolved for showing markings on tanks. In part these were set out by orders (you WILL paint a number un the cab roof...) but in part by Battalion/Brigade practice.

To summarise
A,B,E,G,H Battalions (Became 1, 2, 5,7, 8 in Jan 1918) - names on the side of the "horns". Styles vary with the battalion, A liked neat little names, E-H sort of medium sized. Numbers indicating the crew/tank were carried on the roof of the cab and on the rear of the fuel tank. So a tank might be named "Grouse" (G Bn) and numbered G2. In theory the machine would also wear a 4 digit serial number, usually low down on the rear "horn" Grouse was 2308, for example. If you don't know, you can usually get a good idea of the gender of the tank from this number. Of published material at the time of writing, the best selection is in Gibot and Gorczynski Following the tanks: Cambrai (1999). I've got some details either side...but they are MINE...ALL MINE...(cackle)

12bn seem to have followed this style

C, D, F ,I/9 and 10 - name on the nose, big crew number on the horn, cab and fuel tank.

NUmbers are usually white, but early WD numbers on Mk IVs may well have been yellow.

12 BN - Lucretia II (Female);Lodestar II (Male); Lotus; Lyric II and Lightning (Male) Lodstar has her name in little red letters just to make life awkward!

Hope this doesn't do anything to put you off - grab pictures as soon as you can so you can get a feel. (Oh...and PLEASE don't paint them any sort of green!)

Mike Cooper
(Who likes Mk IVs)
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Joined: March 14th, 2006, 1:05 am

February 3rd, 2007, 9:48 pm #8

Thanks Mike , it looks like I have a lot of digging to do to figure out which markings to use. Hopefully David Fletcher's book will be out soon. Not knowing about British armor units and battles of WWI, your info has opened new doors for me. I only have a few books on the subject so I will have to see if I can find any of the books you mentioned. I'll take your info and figure out the time frame of the dio. Maybe I should worry about the dio. and the tank's themselves, then I can spend time working out the unit markings.
So......... to start with If you have any info on the crib, photos, drawings, or websites that would help. One of the tanks is going to have a track removed so I am looking for photos or drawings of the sprocket and road wheels.
Thanks again Mike and I'll keep in touch to pick your brain some more.
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Joined: May 5th, 2005, 9:07 am

February 4th, 2007, 8:35 am #9

Hiya

Cribs - I've done a 1/76th drawing. This was used by Matador to build thier 1/76th Crib, so I think your best bet is to get hold of that. Cribs feature in a handful of photos - DON'T wait for the MK IV Osprey though. See bibliography on the Landships site (very useful anyway)
Bear in mind that I don't know how cribs attached

Sprockets - shown in works drawings and general arrangements in Following the Tanks and in Tanks at Flers and a couple of David Fletchers books, latest ins British Tanks 1915-1919 from (I think, Crowood) Also show up nicely in photos. I really wouldn't try to touch thesubject without access to these. Barbarossa Books has a good range in their online catalogue. Contcacting the Bovington library can probably get you at a set of general arrangements for Mk IVs - they used to do a pack. As far as I know, until the MK V no detailed component drawings have survived. Fletchers "Tanks and Trenches" is a super source of photos and contemporary "colour".

Road wheels - rollers, and sourced as above. You do need the drawings to attempt this, and I'd urge you to get a lok at Following the Tanks as a good source of Mk Iv photos. Return rollers are a seres of bronze blocks.

Hope this helps - someof my tanks are up on the WW1 Modelling site, including Banshee my Mk IV female and my MK IV supply

Have fun

Mike Cooper
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Joined: January 4th, 2004, 10:28 pm

February 4th, 2007, 5:11 pm #10

Working on new dio. that has a Mk IV Male and Female tank. The last year of the war there were not that many Mk IV's used, so any help in telling me if I have made the right choises would help. The Male is going to have the late type of timber frame anti-ditch crib on top, and I can't find any info on how it is attached to the tank. the Female and Male will have the unditching beam. I was hoping to use spuds on the tracks (every fourth link) and the white-red-white ID stripes on the sides (need help for the markings on the top and back). A caption I read of a photo a long time ago said the the Mk IV in the picture was the wire cutter tank. Was there a cutting devise on it or was it just the lead tank that ran over the barbed wire first?

That's enough questions for now,
Thanks, Chris










If you're looking for a late war diorama ... I'd suggest the following:

Convert the Mk.IV to a Supply Tank, maybe pulling a sledge with a pile of supplies. Build a Mk.V as a Composite.

While I don't have any photos to prove it, such a combination would be very possible - in fact, likely.

Just my idea!

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