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Post Info TOPIC: Tank Corps badges and Insignia.


Legend

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Tank Corps badges and Insignia.
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Charlie has very kindly used his superior digital abilities to post the chart of Tank Corps colours on Landships II.

http://www.landships.info/landships/uniform_articles.html# Click on British, then Tank Corps Badges & Flashes.

Many thanks to Charlie.



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PDA


Legend

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Yes indeed. Thank you Charlie, and thank you, James, for writing it.

There is a URL that might be useful for finding out what's new on Landships II:

http://www.landships.info/landships/whats_new.html



-- Edited by PDA on Thursday 14th of June 2012 01:46:41 PM

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Pat


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Thank you all of those involved for another useful article on Landships.

With a view to having your efforts being appreciated by many, I dare to risk a humble suggestion:

Especially for the non-British landships users, a sentence on what flashes are and where they were positioned would help. In the end, it would also spare you from seeing the uninitiated like me painting a company of 1 Battalion tank models in overall red.



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Legend

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That's why the images of Tank Corps servicemen are in the article. The E battalion shoulder flashes are fairly obvious on Sgt Sawyer's full sized image

(click on the thumbnail). The Tank Corps badge can be seen on the right sleeve of both.

Regards,

Charlie



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Legend

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Pat wrote:

...Especially for the non-British landships users,...


 Thank you, Pat. That is a very good idea, not just for this particular article, but every article and, I'd say, this forum as well.

I always wonder how my words will look when they have been put through Google Translate, or similar. I do try to use words that do not have two meanings, but it is not always possible.

"Exhaust" for example, can mean the exit for waste gases from an engine, or it can mean to tire. "Muffler" on the other hand can mean a silencer on an exhaust pipe, or a scarf that you wear around your neck to keep you warm. "Baffles" are part of an exhaust system, or what a particularly challenging crossword puzzle does to you.

It's a funny language.



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CharlieC wrote:

 

The E battalion shoulder flashes are fairly obvious on Sgt Sawyer's full sized image


 

I see it on the man and read the caption but fail to see any drawing for an E battalion. What I see is nicely done drawings for numbered battalions.

After some musing I can conclude that E battalion might be 5 battalion so the man's shoulder flash would be red and blue, but it might be too much of a quiz after a long day as well.



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Legend

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E Battalion was indeed 5 Battalion. They changed from letters to numbers around 1918, but you'd need someone more knowledgeable if you want to know the exact date.

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Legend

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Pat wrote:

I see it on the man and read the caption but fail to see any drawing for an E battalion. What I see is nicely done drawings for numbered battalions.

After some musing I can conclude that E battalion might be 5 battalion so the man's shoulder flash would be red and blue, but it might be too much of a quiz after a long day as well.


 A quick scan of the last paragraph of the text would have given you the answer.

It's an interesting point raised though, one which I think there's no concensus on yet across the Internet. That is, whether we should, as an English language website, use simple English for International viewers or do we write in standard English.

If the website was in French and, I suspect, a lot of other languages, there would be no discussion since there is only one French language, and an Academie to look after its acceptable usage.

English is one of a few languages which serves as a native language of a number of countries as well as being a lingua franca more or less by default.

My personal view is that we should use standard English and leave the various forms of English as lingua franca to other people. In my view the experience of reading well written standard English compared to the internationalised forms is exemplified by David Fletcher's books. The early ones, published by the HMSO, are well written and a pleasure to read, the recent books, published in the US, have the language internationalised and read like computer manuals.

Regards,

Charlie



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Legend

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Writing is for the readership Charlie. That's Rule 1 and graven in granite else all is pretence or delusion. That's why newspapers write to a "Grade 5" reading level (maybe lower these days), use single-sentence "paragraphs" and similar abominations. As a technical venue we might anticipate our readers to handle higher standards of comprehension but ultimately only they could say - the trouble is they mightn't say.

It's all too easy for Australians - due a weird set set of publishing regulations we were exposed only to standard English in almost every aspect of the print media until the early 1960s (yes, even American pulp fiction was edited and reprinted for counter sale in Australia prior to then) and since then we have been exposed to and adapted to "dual standards" (a.k.a. competing cultural imperialisms) in the matter of "simplified" spelling, "style" and vocabulary. Except for (surprisingly for some to learn it) the staid old "The Age" newspaper in Melbourne which has used simplified spelling since 1897 or some such distant date. Even their advertisements are expected to comply with their style manual. Educators hated it, I'm sure. Canadians are surely even more conflicted.

Anyway, the internet is probably not entirely to blame for the loss of nuance and literary merit in common use but if we're writing technically there's little room for that anyway. I have absolutely no problem with the writing in Landships II (I think it's great, it's clear and it's a credit to the authors/editors) but for the reasons above I may be a lousy judge. We need to hear from the readership if there is a problem - but I think the growing site visit numbers are probably telling a story that is all good.

Steve



-- Edited by Rectalgia on Saturday 16th of June 2012 07:09:47 AM

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Legend

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"There is no such thing as American English. There is English, and there are mistakes." Attributed to various people, from John Cleese to HM The Queen.

In a rare example of Wikipedia having a point, it seems reasonable that native speakers of one variant or another of English should write in their mother tongue. So American spelling is fine for American writers, and so on. Since the topic is to a great extent anglocentric, it should be no surprise if British English predominates, but I don't think Landships should insist on it.

Speakers of English as a second language can choose, according to local conditions.

When it comes to style, I must confess that I sometimes (often in an attempt to create amusement) write in a way that might be lost on a non-native speaker (and some native ones, apparently). I must curb that. Occasionally, an entirely innocent remark can be misinterpreted. Some time ago I wrote, "That's propaganda for you," meaning, "Such is propaganda," but a German reader took it literally. I suppose such things are unavoidable from time to time. But, as our Australian friends point out, we seem to have hit on a level of writing that is technically and culturally acceptable to all. Landships seems to be well-respected. We can't be held responsible for other people's style - just sort the wheat from the chaff. It's a privilege to be involved with so many knowledgeable, eloquent, and helpful people, especially the non-native-English-speakers who have to make the extra effort.

Similar problem with TV documentary techniques: constant recapping, repetition of footage, whooshing, zooming, unnecessary computer graphics. Telling the story isn't enough nowadays.

This would form an ideal edition of Grumpy Old Men.



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Legend

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I'm much in agreement with James, although the reference to 'Grumpy Old Men' makes me comment that said series started out with a point, but soon became more self-indulgent in its criticisms - and the grumpy men (and women) were often far too young for the show's title (many were in their forties, and some did not yet look middle aged, let alone 'old').

Landships does indeed seem well-respected; I've come across it mentioned on other forums as a source of info, and add that I myself joined the forum in January this year after becoming impressed with the site and the friendly, knowledgeable, and often humourous banter over the preceding weeks.

Mistakes in understanding can happen in any language; English is perhaps more susceptible than other European tongues because of the much greater number of words in regular use than in, say, French or German (I've heard that about 5000 words are needed to get by in German, more like 10000 in English), not to mention the double entendres which English grammar often throws up. Avoiding mistakes is not possible, but although forum members vary widely in their ability to read and write English ( I mean those for whom it is a second language! ), it seems in general that comments are understood (except some of my own long-winded attempts to explain technical matters ) without much need to query. I've been pleasantly surprised by the command of English shown here by a number of non-native speakers, but recognise that some others will struggle with even a simplified version of the language.

Perhaps some non-native speakers would be willing to comment?

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Pat


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CharlieC wrote:


 A quick scan of the last paragraph of the text would have given you the answer.



 

The last paragraph says: "The Tank Corps was formed from the Heavy Branch MGC on 27 July 1917 and the Battalions adopted numbering rather than letter designations (although tank names followed the same lettering: for example, 7th Battalion tanks were all named with a letter G, like Grouse, Grumble, etc.) Each Tank Battalion had a complement of 32 officers amd 374 men."

So if they adopted numbering rather than letter designations, I wonder why there can be a member of "E" battalion in the caption?

This has nothing to do with simple English or standard English. It appears rather to be about writing for the initiated, or for those who are no experts (yet), what ever their first language may be. All native English speakers may know what flashes in this context are, and what the standard British battalion designation is, but somehow I doubt it.



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Pat


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PDA, PM sent.



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Legend

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Was hoping to clear this matter up, but have encountered two slighly differing accounts:

From the National Army Museum:-

The unit's origins lie in the six tank companies of the Heavy Branch of the Machine Gun Corps. These had risen to eight by November 1916, when they were each expanded into battalions and given the letters A to H. These eight battalions were officially split off from the Machine Gun Corps on 28 July 1917 by Royal Warrant to form the Tank Corps - its battalions thus switched from letters to numbers. By January 1918 the Corps had 15 battalions, rising to 26 by December the same year.

From Forces' War Records:-

In November 1916 the eight companies then in existence were each expanded to form battalions still lettered A through H; another seven battalions, I through O, were formed by January 1918, when they all were converted to numbered units. On 28 July 1917 the Heavy Branch was by Royal Warrant separated from the rest of the MGC and given official status as the Tank Corps, meaning that by the beginning of 1918 the fifteen units were changed from letters to numbers as 1st Battalion to 15th Battalion, Tank Corps. More battalions continued to be formed, and by December 1918, 26 had been created. (At this time there were only 25 tank battalions, however; the 17th had converted to using armoured cars in April 1918).

So Sgt. Sawyer must have been in E Bn. at the time the photograph was taken. At some point, depending on which account you prefer, E Bn. became 5 Bn.



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Legend

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The wording suggests to me that the start of 1918 is more likely; the National Army Museum quote is rather vague and doesn't specify a particular time, only that the change occurred as a result of the Tank Corps being formed. It would also tie in with the Army seeming to like using New Year as a time to introduce new things back then - such as Khaki paint for tanks at New Year 1917, or starting to reshuffle the troops at the beginning of 1918, such that the standard of four companies per battalion was reduced to three (correct me if I have the wrong units - it may have been a size up from companies per battalion).

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Legend

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After a bit of research I think it's possible to serve out content from the webserver dependent on the browser's language preference. Is it worth exploring the idea of serving out a glossary (or similar) section attached to articles for non-English speakers (or rather browsers which declare non-English language preference)?

Regards,

Charlie



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Pat


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CharlieC wrote:

 

After a bit of research I think it's possible to serve out content from the webserver dependent on the browser's language preference. Is it worth exploring the idea of serving out a glossary (or similar) section attached to articles for non-English speakers (or rather browsers which declare non-English language preference)?


 

As a a more general remark, rather than about James' text:

I think an easier way would be to ask contributing authors to keep in mind they are not writing for an exclusively expert audience. That way, technical terms would be explained or - where dispensable - avoided.



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Legend

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There's merit in Pat's suggestion, especially given that the number of authors is small, but Charlie's idea is a good one; would someone who speaks English as a second language please comment? The benefit is for you - please speak up!

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Colonel

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Apropos the use of English and the correct terminology, the "walking stick" used by officers referred to in the article are in fact known as "ash plants".  Goodness knows what that comes out as via an automatic translating program!

The name comes from the wood used and the use to which the stick was put: the officer would walk along in front of the tank and test the bearing capacity of the ground by planting the stick firmly onto/into the ground. This method was used when bringing the tanks up to the start line and sometimes beyond when advancing through taped areas.

I don't know whether they are still used, but when my Dad was in the 40th/41st RTR in the early sixties they were still in existence.

Tony



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Corporal

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Correct.  The Ash Plant was used exactly as you said.  It is still carried by officers of RTR although they no longer walk in front of Chally 2's to test the ground for firmness :)

Here is what they look like http://www.royaltankregiment.com/en-GB/product/Ash_Plant/24_1.aspx

 



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