1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Forum for discussion relating to the British MK IV Tank
IAN HINKS
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1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by IAN HINKS » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:42 pm

Hi all, especially those who are going to be building the MkIV British WW1 tank next year. I have a couple of times looked into building a WW1 tank from scratch in 1/8th scale only to come to the conclusion that the tracks were too complicated for my skill set to over come. So although my other four tanks are 1/8th scale as soon as I saw the proposed Armortek MkIV I immediately signed on for one.
Why a 1st Btn tank? Well when I build a model I like to dive deep into the history and come up with a traceable documented example, not the famous (the curse of a thousand Witman Tigers), but one of the backbone participants. In March 1918 1st Btn were based near Moislains when the Germans launched their spring offensive. Very quickly they moved back onto the ridges next to Bouchavesnes to avoid being out flanked. On 4th March 1917, the previous year my Great Uncle Ernest Griffin was killed in a battle to seize this area from the Germans. At the time he was a stretcher bearer in C Coy 1st Btn The Sherwood Foresters. In this Battle 5 out of the 8 bearers in C Coy were killed carrying the wounded back across no mans land.
So for me the choice seemed obvious, it had to be 1st Btn. Now which one? Well although WW1 saw meticulous record keeping in great detail I was not sure if the circumstances would allow an individual tank and crew to be identified but I was hopeful. A trip to the tank museum and the national archives gave me an occurrence to go on. During the retreat 2/Lt. Oldham's tank broke down and they ended up behind enemy lines. The crew repaired their tank and drove back through the enemy causing great damage until the tank once again reached no mans land where it again broke down and had to be abandoned. I thought this would be an ideal candidate. Unfortunately so far I have been unable to identify the individual tank they were in. The Company had only just drawn replacement tanks from depot just before the retreat. I have though come across detailed battle reports for numerous 1st Battalion tanks from the 1917 campaigns, especially from June, July and Sept 1917 when 2/Lt. Oldham was in charge of A9, 2025, Arethusa. A male with 6 pounders I believe. So unless I can eventually trace the retreat tank then 2025 will be the one I model.
If anyone else would like to join my section or company there are plenty of detailed identifications of male and female tanks, so why don't we get together and make a unit? Let me know what you think. Other wise look into your own family background and see if there is a better match for you. Looking forward to next autumn.

Steve Norris
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by Steve Norris » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:32 pm

Hi Ian
PM sent
Regards
Steve

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Stephen White
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by Stephen White » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:54 pm

Ian

That's a great piece of research - hope it gave you real satisfaction. I"ve made some wonderful contacts researching my Armortek tanks, especially now with the Cent. There is a lot of material out there - you might want to look at the Tank Magazine, whiich is the regimental magazine of the Royal Tank Regiment. David Fletcher might be able to point to any relevant articles about 1st Bn tanks in 1918.

My great uncle Jack Pulman drove a Whippet at Amiens in 1918 so when Mark and Gill get around to producing one.........
He was sent to the RTC from the RFC, where he had driven armoured cars - I think he had been a chauffeur before joining up. He was wounded and evacuated to a dressing station, which received a direct hit.

Fear Naught

Stephen

IAN HINKS
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by IAN HINKS » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:46 pm

Nice to hear from you Stephen. I am sure that you will get chance to make your Great Uncles Whippet. Mark and Gill must follow up on the MkIV eventually. With all the publicity that is going to be out there over the next four or five years surrounding the WW1 anniversaries WW1 tanks are going to become so well known that enthusiasts are going to be sucked in. The Whippets and Renaults are going to give the speed and manoeuvrability that some tankers will want and make battle re enactments popular. The MkIV should appeal to those who want to model Allied or German operated vehicles and could be upgraded and re modelled in production to MkV, V* etc for our American cousins. Then of course some are going to want the A7V...
Happy tanking,
Ian.

duncanallender
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by duncanallender » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:34 pm

Hi Ian,
I read your article with interest.I have recently read 'Achtung Panzer' by Heinz Guderian. He writes alot about the 1st WW, and the influence of our (GB) tanks on the western front, and how they swung the course of a particular battle or engagement.He goes into quite a bit of detail as to our guys getting lost, broken down or stuck in the mud, or isolated from our troops as they were making such good progress.Anyway just a comment.
Cheers
Duncan

IAN HINKS
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by IAN HINKS » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:25 am

I'll have to look that up, I think I have his book in my library, if not a trip to the local one should provide. Unfortunately we lost many tanks through breakdown during the retreat especially as there was no chance to recover them due to the rapid German advance. 2/Lt. Oldham received the Military Cross for the action I mentioned but two of the crew were killed and others wounded. It is well known that after Cambrai the Germans collected many tanks from the battlefield and used them to create their own units to use against the allies. Sonja, a German friend of mine scratch built her own MkV tank in 1/8th scale and of course painted it up as a German operated one. Her tank is a very good model even more impressive in the flesh than in the video and photos I had seen.
All the best,
Ian.

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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by duncanallender » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:13 pm

Hi Ian,
Don't know if you are going to the Open Day, but if you are and you havn't got the Guderian book I mentioned, then I will bring it with me and you can have mine.Let me know.I've got another book that I have yet to read..'Panzer Leader', by Guderian.
Cheers then,
Dunc

IAN HINKS
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by IAN HINKS » Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:35 pm

Eagerly awaiting the clatter of tiny tracks or delivery of my Mk IV due to arrive on Tuesday. Might have to put up a tent in the garden to sleep in to make room. Looking forward to reading about the other new owners experiences as the builds progress.
Gunner.

Walter Mackinnon
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by Walter Mackinnon » Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:15 am

Hi Ian.
Count me in, my MKIV -037- arrived on Thursday. Ordered rivet snaps after looking through assembly book 33 pages. A lot of reading and riveting to do.

Walter. :D :D :D

IAN HINKS
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by IAN HINKS » Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:05 pm

Hi Walter,
Could you tell me where you got your rivet snaps from? I think I will get a set as well. So yours is number 37 from the production run I take it. I wonder how many have been sold, it would be nice to know how many of us are out there. Have you done any research on which particular tank you are going to represent? The tank museum have loads of combat reports from individual tanks detailing the commanders name, tank name and number, where and when the action took place what they did, ammunition used etc. So much information to add to the build from a historical point of view. The one I chose fought in the retreat during the March 1918 battle very close to where my Great Uncle Ernest Griffin had been killed one year earlier. Have a great build.
Gunner.

Walter Mackinnon
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by Walter Mackinnon » Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:39 pm

Hi Ian

The production run is limited to 50. You get 1 rivet snap with the kit , but I ordered 2 from Amazon tools 1-8" inch size. If you have any information about other numbers I could use on my tank, I would be most grate full .
Walter

IAN HINKS
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by IAN HINKS » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:10 pm

Pretty sure I have a load of the combat reports stashed somewhere, I will dig them out and PM you when I have them. Do you want Female or Male versions?
Gunner.

Walter Mackinnon
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by Walter Mackinnon » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:46 pm

I am going to go with a male version. Many thanks.
Walter.

IAN HINKS
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by IAN HINKS » Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:27 pm

I have just sent a PM Walter. For information for others though I am having trouble finding the information I copied while at Bovington's archives with the details from combat reports of the first Battalion. A warning to be careful where you put things. At least I can say with certainty that the records are there in the tank museums archives. I might have to get in touch again and get more copies or visit again and go through the file again. Which is not too bad as I will get to visit the museum again. When I find the information or get it again I will make it available through this forum. One thing of note. I seem to remember there were more female tank reports than Male, at least in the 1st Battalion's files. I have settled on 2025, A ARETHUSA, a Male Commanded by Lt. Oldham as detailed in the posts above.
Gunner.

IAN HINKS
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Re: 1st (A) Btn Tank corps for me

Post by IAN HINKS » Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:38 pm

Hello Walter, Just found this reference in my files. One male tank 2048 2/Lt. Dudley in command March 1918. Reference back through the combat reports of 1917 should give letter and name. Why not bag this one for now until you have more information to make a choice.
Gunner.

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