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Old December 15th, 2012, 09:18 AM   #101

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I forgot that the book I had read last on this subject, (quite some time ago), was in the habit of mixing up British and American unit sizes
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 04:05 AM   #102

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The Germans, on the other hand, produced high-quality tanks with a good design but they failed to foresee the way tank technology was going to proceed.
Hardly. They were dictating tank development in many ways as the market leader. Granted other nations used vehicles with superior characteristics but throughout German armour was formidable, bearing in mind that infantrymen in 1940 were issued with heavy calibre anti-tank rifles and that later vehicles had to cope with specialised anti-tank artillery.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 04:13 AM   #103

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Plus, of course, the Germans were the first and best at tank warfare, particularly armour/infantry combination.

When WW2 broke out the British didn't even have radios in their tanks.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 07:44 AM   #104

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The British army had priorities. The light and cheap series of unimaginatively named Vickers Light tanks had been produced since 1930 for colonial and scouting duties, they had been fitted with radios since the Mk6 model in 1936.

Mathilda Mk2's were also fitted with a radio in the turret as standard, but i think the standard Mk9 set was too large for the Mk1 so it didnt have radio communication.

Its a weird transition period, the British army were early pioneers of radio command and had set up the Royal crops of Signals in the 1920s but depression era funding and military conservatism meant the infantry had largely neglected them.
The artillery and armour took to radios like cats to catnip, they loved the things and would have shoved them in any available space except availability and size caused problems.

The Japanese were possibly the world leaders in man portable radios, allowing for their lack of rubber and artifical sealants making them insanely high maintenance and prone to water damage, if you read the combat reports from Chesty Puller after Guadalcanal i think he would have married anybody who could make a US copy of them which is kind of where their walkie talkies and manpack radios come from.

Still the Japanese couldnt get their heads round tank radios and only fitted them in command tanks.

One of the big problems for the British was fighting the wrong war. Back in WW1 they had made several notable successes from lapses in german radio coding and been casught out that way themselves. We therefore decided on using a large amount of land line communication and specialist cable layers. This is utterly secure although prone to damage but it meant that it wasnt much use in a suddenly fluid campaign and there was a shortage of skilled radio techs outside a couple of services.

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W/T, involving Morse, was a major training load and a particular challenge for the infantry due to their casualty rates. Signalers also had extensive training in the more technical aspects of their equipment, they needed this knowledge to operate them. 'User friendly' was not a term that could be applied to British wireless sets of the period, the technology was simple and unsophisticated, but required skilled operators. Being able to speak with a high pitched voice was also a useful attribute.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 08:04 AM   #105

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Wireless Set No.9 Military MILITARY U.K. different makers fo

My apologies, it looks like the Mailda Mk1 did have a radio fitted, it was the standard and less than popular no.9 wireless set again and it was fitted in the hull, which must have been a treat for the commander, bending down to work that thing, manning the MG and commanding the tank.

I also got the Matilda Mk2's radio wrong its the No.11 set not the No.9

I love getting these sorts of nerd moments, Mathilda with carrot always makes me laugh but i've just discovered the Matilda hedgehog, something i'd never even heard of before.

Some lunatic from Oz decided that the Matilda could be improved by taking the hedgehog launcher off a destroyer and fitting it on tha back to be used against...well, anything he damn well liked.
What sort of person looks at a tank...in a jungle...and thinks what it really really needs is depth charges in case they run into a submarine
Honestly i dont want to think of the amount of devastation you could cause ripple firing a rack of hedgehogs into a defended village but obviously someone else did.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 08:20 AM   #106

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Some lunatic from Oz decided that the Matilda could be improved by taking the hedgehog launcher off a destroyer and fitting it on tha back to be used against...well, anything he damn well liked.
What sort of person looks at a tank...in a jungle...and thinks what it really really needs is depth charges in case they run into a submarine
I suspect that would be the kind of thing I'd think up
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 10:20 AM   #107

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Originally Posted by Nemowork View Post
.
What sort of person looks at a tank...in a jungle...and thinks what it really really needs is depth charges in case they run into a submarine
Honestly i dont want to think of the amount of devastation you could cause ripple firing a rack of hedgehogs into a defended village but obviously someone else did.
The Hedgehog launcher was a development of a spigot discharger similar to the PIAT and both could fire mortar bombs.

ps: A similar weapon was used in Northern Europe when a number of PIAT launchers were fitted to the rear of a Bren carrier
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 11:22 AM   #108

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I suspect that would be the kind of thing I'd think up
Well, there were a few lapses in sanity I think - the Cobra; a Universal Carrier fitted with a rocket and a hose that would be fired across a minefield then filled with nitro-glycerine and detonated to clear a path. Not an unqualified success - BBC - WW2 People's War - Sad Memories: Holland, 1944

The rocket leaping Universal ... fitted with rockets down each side so that it could fire them and clear obstacles. Project dropped after it was discovered there was no way to guarantee that the vehicle would land right-side up. But not before the same idea was tried with a Valentine tank.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 04:29 PM   #109

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Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
The Hedgehog launcher was a development of a spigot discharger similar to the PIAT and both could fire mortar bombs.

ps: A similar weapon was used in Northern Europe when a number of PIAT launchers were fitted to the rear of a Bren carrier
Not a novel concept, theres a fun little German conversion of captured Bren carriers being turned into anti-tank weapons with a rack of three panzershreks fitted over the engine decking to the rear.

I'm assuming this was storage and not an attempt to launch them, the actual AT teams using it as a battlefield taxi where they would decamp and go hunting with a degree of caution.

On the other hand given the period and the degree of nibelungen insanity passing round the German forces at the time you never know?

Its one of the oddities of the period how many people loved the Bren carrier. In German service you've got

Gepanzerter MG Träger Bren 731(e) with Maxim MG08 gun
Panzerjäger Bren(e) with 37mm PaK 35/36 L/45 gun
Panzerjäger Bren(e) with three 88mm Raketenpanzerbüchse 43/54
Schneeschaufel auf Bren(e) - snow plow
2cm Flak38 auf Fahrgestell Bren(e)

And the ones the US army pretends they produced as T16s for export to Britain and they never ever went near (fair enough the T16 was an undepowered waste of resources) but theres enough photos of US engineers and support units owning them

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by Nemowork; December 22nd, 2012 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Added picture.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 04:35 PM   #110

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Originally Posted by Sicknero View Post
Well, there were a few lapses in sanity I think - the Cobra; a Universal Carrier fitted with a rocket and a hose that would be fired across a minefield then filled with nitro-glycerine and detonated to clear a path. Not an unqualified success - BBC - WW2 People's War - Sad Memories: Holland, 1944

The rocket leaping Universal ... fitted with rockets down each side so that it could fire them and clear obstacles. Project dropped after it was discovered there was no way to guarantee that the vehicle would land right-side up. But not before the same idea was tried with a Valentine tank.
Meh, you don't know how stupid an idea is until you've tried it at least twice

But please, i'm praying to the gods of the internet there has to be footage of a flying valentine some place?
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