Chieftain info and banter

Forum for discussion relating to the Chietain MBT
John-Heaps
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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by John-Heaps » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:27 pm

Hi Chaps,
yes the Chieftan was a smokey old beast but please remember the smoke signature changes between cold and hot engine and with revs through the gears until the engine was operating at its best with it being a supercharged 2 stroke apposed piston design (ok i will add, did it have a best) and with different models of tank with the added weight it also changed the smoke signature, as for the builds you guys are going for i would suggest a medium amount of light grey smoke would be most realistic for all applications without making things too complicated.

If you want your build to be ultra realistic please add in a small pump that releases a puddle of oil whenever the tank has been static for more than a short time, just like the real thing i crewed, and of interest if you have the crew of your build exposed please make sure the crews coveralls are oil stained for realism, ( last bit was for banter but accurate, first point was from experience).

Cheers Gents
John

Mark Heaps
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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by Mark Heaps » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:06 pm

When did the drip trays get introduced ? Keep one on the back decks and slide it underneath the tank at every stop.

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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by John-Heaps » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:35 am

Hi Mark,
drip trays came in when the tree huggers got involved, they believed we were polluting their heather landscapes, the fact that the tracks were ripping it up was overlooked, as a side point the army use of training areas actually had really good conservation benefits to those areas.

The old army practice of leave no trace meant the locals left more rubbish in the countryside than the army did, this was poren each year when we had to do a clean up, small pile of rubbish from military use, several skips full of civvy rubbish.

Did anyone else use the drip tray as an improvised sledge to slide under the tank to inspect/ repair running gear?

Cheers
John

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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by Mark Heaps » Sat Aug 31, 2019 3:08 pm

I cannot provide verification whether true or not but maybe someone else can. I did hear a story that the german "tree huggers" released a video of how the British Army had left an area at Soltau Training Area, with rubbish strewn all over the place, up-ended oil cans leaking oil and polluting the landscape etc ,etc. Supposedly caused an outrage amongst the germans when all TV news programmes showed it. Shortly later, one of the germans living locally supplied a video he had made, showing the troops moving away from the area showing all waste properly bagged and stacked for collection, the "tree-huggers" then arriving, cutting open the bags, strewing the contents around, removing lids from or opening POL containers and tipping them over before pulling out their video camera and starting to film. ( POL is Petrol Oils Lubricants )

There is another story about a Chieftain ARRV crew doing a recovery job on a bogged in Challenger 1 tank on Höhne impact area and causing major damage and pollution to a water course. Rather than doing the job the correct way, approaching the tank from the rear staying on solid ground and winch the tank backwards along the way it went in, the ARRV crew used the completely wrong method and attempted to drag the tank out forwards. The ARRV bogged in itself before it could get to within winching distance of the stricken tank, and the crew had to dig a baulk anchor to get close enough to winch the tank towards it. Another two baulk anchors were needed to then extricate the ARRV and then the tank. What could have taken 20 minutes before the tank and ARRV were back in action took over 24 hours and caused major damage to the environment. True story, I was on that ARRV crew at the time so why did we do it the wrong way ?.
We had everything connected to do it the proper way and then the german Commandant of the training area turns up just as we are about to start winching and orders us to go to the other side and recover the tank out forwards. All our attempts to justify our chosen course of action fell on deaf ears and we had to follow his orders.
If it had been a british officer however high-ranking, we could have and would have ignored him and just carried on. During a recovery tasking, the senior Recovery Mechanic, no matter what rank he holds, has command and everyone follows his orders. He could only be over-ridden by a more senior and more experienced Recovery Mechanic arriving and taking over the tasking.
We did not wish to create a diplomatic incident.

And as to why the whole job could have taken only 20 minutes, we were only 700 meters from where the tank bogged in when it happened and the tank crew knew exactly where the required items were stowed on our vehicle. They had put them back there 10 minutes earlier after we had recovered them the first time.

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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by Mark Heaps » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:10 pm

L60 being lifted out of a Chieftain by a FV434 using the chains.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TP-zpvfGZs

Brings back a few memories, but the pack is in one hell of a state, the FV434 is missing the penthouse and extra stowage bins and they are doing it in daylight rather than at night with torches with red filters on as illumination so not quite correct. It is also not snowing or raining.

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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by Mark Heaps » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:50 pm

Now for the second photo that John Clarke posted recently on Phil Woollards thread.
tumblr_pe7uc6OYdv1ws46zho4_1280.jpg
Sloppy crew drills, kit lying all over the place.

Vehicle paint scheme, plus terrain, plus arc markers on the turret on the first photo John posted suggests BATUS, pre-ZAP times.

Photo suggests a Sqn box leageur, but unless the tanks in the background are the other sqn proceeding to their own leageur position, the crew shelter is on the wrong side of the tank. Lack of dust being thrown up by the other vehicles suggests that they are not passing by but are static as the other side of the box leageur.

During my time, crew shelters were always on the inside. Supply vehicles would go up the outside providing POL, water & rations. Being on the outside could cause a vehicle passing by too closely at night to run over your crew-shelter with you in it .

Maybe Stephen White can add some input.

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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by Stephen White » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:33 pm

I wouldn't presume to comment on another regiment's standards. The object beside the shelter is the vehicle camouflage net, wrapped in hessian. It was a bugger to stow.

The box leaguer was a hang-over from WW2. It was a way of maximising all-round protection for squadrons having to stop in the open for maintenance and resupply. On the Cold War Nuclear battlefield, dispersion was the order of the day but the leaguer came back into fashion in training on the wide open prairies of Canada and in the Gulf Wars. The gun tanks lined up in two columns, guns pointing outwards. The two squadron HQ tanks sat between them at the front. The resupply (echelon) vehicles and fitters filled in the rear and centre. In this case, the tank is 4B, ie the tank commanded by the second-in-command of the regiment's D squadron. As such, the shelter is in the correct position. See the photo below of my D Sqn, 4RTR.

PICT0024 copy.jpg

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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by Mark Heaps » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:25 pm

Hi Stephen,
I cannot discern anything from your photo. Do you think that from the photo that John posted, the call-sign is right rear with the crew-shelter on the inside and the tanks in the background are the other squadron on the outside passing by or is it left rear with the crew shelter on the outside ?

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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by John Clarke » Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:01 am

Mark Heaps wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:50 pm
Now for the second photo that John Clarke posted recently on Phil Woollards thread.
tumblr_pe7uc6OYdv1ws46zho4_1280.jpg
Sloppy crew drills, kit lying all over the place.

I never said "sloppy," you'll get me a bad name.

Anyway why not put two tanks in close proximity and put a tarpaulin between them, shelter and safety or is that a bit too obvious. :D
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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by Stephen White » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:59 am

John, another word for sloppy, much used amongst Guardsmen, is "idle" as in "Sir, you're boots are f.....ing idle, I can't see myself in them and that disappoints me". Or "Sir, your hair is idle, I'm treading on it - get it cut". Sandhurst leaves an indelible print......

I can think of at least three reasons not to park tanks closely, first because it limits the ability to traverse the turret. The Chieftain turret has a considerable overhang at the bustle end. Secondly, it increases the risk from air attack. Thirdy - have you ever smelt a tank crew? Somehow, you got used to your own crew but never another.....

Here's what I think is going on in the photo:

Picture 1.jpg

Those were the days of the 14 tank squadron. Here's another view of my squadron in box leaguer.

PICT0022 copy.jpg

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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by Mark Heaps » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:35 pm

Many thanks for the explanation and the diagram, Stephen.
In that configuration, best for 4B to have the crew shelter on the left to give a clear safe channel between 4A and 4B for vehicles to use when entering / leaving the box leaguer.

From it´s position in the diagram, would I be correct in assuming that under the old call-sign system,this would have been a Sqn 2iCs vehicle ( D Sqn maybe ?? ) and a 0C ( zero-charlie ) callsign using the call-sign system I was used to ?

I can relate to your comment about how crews smelt. Standard practice I experienced was that the married guys would arrive back home after an excercise to find the house door locked and bolted with a large bin-bag, two small plastic bags and two rubber bands on the door step. Strip off and chuck everything in the bin-bag, small bags over the feet securing them with the rubber bands and only then would the wife unlock the door. Straight up under the shower whilst she put the contents of the bin-bag in the washing machine.

As for spacing of vehicles, during the first Gulf War I was attached to 40th Regiment Field Artillery. We normally had 6 gun batteries but were brought up to wartime establishment and had eight gun batteries. Pairs of 2 guns situated at each corner of a km grid square with at least 100m seperation between each gun of the pair, fitter section 500m back and left of the rear-left pair, other echelon vehicles 500m back and right of the rear-right pair.
Apart from when the Commanding Officer got all combat vehicles, the 24 M109s plus the Spartans of the Air Defence Battery together practically nose to tail and side by side to form a box and all manpower formed up inside it spelling out the letters XL so a photo from a helicopter could be taken.
After the photo had been taken, he proceeded to lecture us on the importance of dispersion so that one shell could not take out two vehicles. I and everyone around me were just looking at each other, shaking our heads and thinking "What a muppet ? One shell or missile now and the whole regiment would be taken out in one go, and he is lecturing us on dispersion.? " The REME vehicles would have been safe though, they were not allowed to be in the photo so were a good distance away.

Mark

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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by Mark Heaps » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:17 pm

Just been reading through the Wikipedia for the Chieftain and spotted a few things quoted are not correct
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chieftain_(tank)

Note xvii - Note; the Muzzle Reference System uses a laser beam reflected from a mirror at the muzzle to measure minute dimensional changes in the barrel due to temperature, humidity, etc., which are then compensated-for in the Fire Control System. The thermal sleeve had originally been developed to minimise such dimensional changes in the barrel which have an increasing effect on gun accuracy as ranges are increased.

The MRS did not use a laser beam but a switchable light bulb that was reflected off the mirror. The Fire Control System could not compensate for any deviation or offset, the gunner did. The cold barrel was laid onto a fixed marker and the gunner´s sight and MRS lamp adjusted so that all were coincidental. The gunner would then periodically "MRS" , switch the lamp on and adjust his sight to follow the reflected lamp image. Depending on his rate of fire, he may have to "MRS" more often due to the barrel heating up and as it cooled down during pauses in the action, he would "MRS" to maintain accuracy for when he next needed to fire.

Note xviii - Note; barrels became worn and needed replacement after firing a specified number of rounds during accumulated practice shoots.

Also incorrect, projected barrel wear was measured and recorded in EFCs ( Effective Fired Charges ?? ) and it was the EFCs that counted and not the number of rounds. HESH had a lower EFC rating than APDS, Fin or FSAPDS had a higher rating. I may be wrong as it was a gunfitter thing but I seem to recall the practice rounds, ShPrac and DS(T), had a lower EFC rating than HESH and APDS respectively.

EFCs could only project the barrel wear. When the gunfitter inspected the tank, twice per year plus addittionally before any firing camp, he actually measured it at particular points along the barrel and adjusted the remaining EFCs accordingly. If they were not enough to qualify for being battle ready, then he ordered a barrel change.

I had to assist with a few barrel changes but only one occurred on ranges. The gunfitter had previously flagged up that the barrel needed to be changed but we could not have a replacement until it had been shot out. This was winter time and the glue needed to fix the MRS mirror to the new barrel needed a decent temperature to cure. Barrel end stuck into a 12 by 12 tent and every kero heater the regiment had was inside that tent.

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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by Stephen White » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:35 am

A very well made example of a 1/35th BATUS Chieftain, found on Britmodeller:

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/ind ... ftain-mk5/

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The modeller has got the feel of a BATUS Chieftain very well, although for perfection, it would benefit from rolled cam nets and (for a real nit pick), the characteristic oil stains which show that the crew has recently lubricated the roadwheel hubs, which we used to do at least once a day.

Phil, isn't this the one you've chosen?

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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by Phil Woollard » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:10 pm

Yep! First time ive seen it from all the different angles though, beautiful. 8)
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Re: Chieftain info and banter

Post by Mark Heaps » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:57 pm

Hi Stephen,
I remember the " Twist - Release - Pull " - handles between the two front hull-bins for the fire suppression system always being painted matt red.
Were they earlier painted to match the camouflage pattern on the tank, and the matt red introduced later as a safety measure ?
Mark

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