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Post Info TOPIC: The Steam Wheel Tank - a Wikipedia problem. Help needed.


Legend

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The Steam Wheel Tank - a Wikipedia problem. Help needed.
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Unfortunately, the Wikipedia article on the American Steam Wheel Tank contains the following mistake:

It was also known as the Holt Steam Tank and the Holt 150-ton Field Monitor (a false name intended to hide its design features from Germany).

I removed this a while back, but someone has reinstated it. The problem with Wikipedia is that you can put any crap into it if you can find a source to support it, even if the source is wrong and the "editor" lacks the knowledge to spot that it is.

Regrettably, on this occasion the source seems to be Landships.

At the very bottom here http://www.landships.info/landships/tank_articles.html?load=tank_articles/Steam_Wheeled_Tank.html it says The Steam Wheel Tank is known as many names: the Holt 150ton Field Monitor (so nicknamed as to hide its design features from Germany and its allies); the 3 Wheeled Steam Tank, the Holt Steam Tank; but, its official name as designated by the Army is the Steam Wheel Tank.

As the article on the 150 ton Monitor explains, the two vehicles are completely different. I don't know how the confusion has arisen, but if the line stays there it can be used  to support the incorrect assertion forevermore.

Can I impose on Charlie to remove the par in question (subject to the approval of Tim R and Roger T)?

I thank you.

 

 



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Captain

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While you're at it, you could also remove the bit about it being armed with a 2.95 in mountain gun. The main weapons were two 6 pdr guns mounted in the side sponsons. The 2.95 inch gun comes from the supposition that such as gun was parked in front of the vehicle at the 1924 APG display. However, Ordnance data sheets indicate that the armament was two 6 pdrs and two MG. The drawing is incorrect as well; same issue.



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Legend

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Ok - I've removed the reference to the 150-ton monitor in the article - I can remove the whole para if that is your want.

So the armament was 2 x 6 Pounders in the sponsons and 2 x MGs - where were the MGs located?

Ah Wikipedia - proof that there is a restatement of Gresham's Law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gresham%27s_law) operating on the Internet.

i.e. "Bullshit drives out reliable knowledge". 

Regards,

Charlie

 



-- Edited by CharlieC on Monday 2nd of January 2017 10:26:34 PM



-- Edited by CharlieC on Monday 2nd of January 2017 11:46:59 PM

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Legend

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Thanks, gents. I'll remove the reference from Wikipedia. Now they can't argue.

The trouble with Steve's info about the 6pdrs is that Wikipedia requires that assertions have been published - at least some "editors" invoke that clause when it suits them. Steve's sight of Ordnance Data Sheets would be considered Original Research, which is streng verboten. Otherwise you would have people who know what they're talking about controlling Wikipedia, and where would we be then? If Steve can come up with something that sounds a bit like a published reliable source, I can insert it into the Wiki article (assuming that's what Steve would like).

(Yes, Landships is sometimes cited as a source, but if it contains facts that are inconvenient it can be disallowed)

BTW, Steve - I emailed you about the FT a while back, but haven't heard from you. About the FT in the US)



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Legend

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The difficulty in changing the armament specification is that there exists a document online

"Development of Armored Vehicles - Volume 1 - Tanks" attributed to the AGF Board No. 2, 1 September 1947.

This document says that data for the older tanks was taken from APG data sheets (possibly incorrectly) and the

armament of the Steam Wheel Tank was a 2.95" mountain howitzer and 2 x 30cal MGs.

Although I could change the Landships text the Wikipedia denizens would undoubtably counter with this text.

Regards,

Charlie



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Legend

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Steve Zaloga wrote:

While you're at it, you could also remove the bit about it being armed with a 2.95 in mountain gun. The main weapons were two 6 pdr guns mounted in the side sponsons. The 2.95 inch gun comes from the supposition that such as gun was parked in front of the vehicle at the 1924 APG display. However, Ordnance data sheets indicate that the armament was two 6 pdrs and two MG. The drawing is incorrect as well; same issue.


Of course! That's the Gas Electric that had the gun "low down at the front", or words to that effect. Part of the problem is that some copies of the photo of the Steam Wheel have a gun pasted in - don't know why or when, but it's misleading.

Fred Crismon, incidentally, says that a senior Holt employee claimed that the photo of the Steam Wheel is the front view. I have doubts about that.



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Captain

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The data sheet did appear in a published report: Automotive Historical Records: Volume III, Tanks and Combat Cars, (Automotive Division, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland 1945). Not widely available, but I own a copy. See attached. I switched computers this year, so your E-mail may have gotten caught in the usual delights of computer transitions.



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Captain

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The 3-wheel Steam Tank did drive towards the front steered wheel. Keep in mind that this thing is simply an armored version of an agricultural steam traction engine. Here's a rough approximation of what it looked like based on a crude Bulgarian (!) 3-D printed model. Sad to say, practically nothing survives about this project. As can be seen on the data sheet, APG did not do an OP report in their usual Technical Report series. I went through the NARA records of these reports and there is nothing on the 3-wheel steam tank, though there is a short report on Holt's tracked tank.



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Legend

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I've updated the Steam Wheel Tank article on Landships II with the information on the armament and added a note explaining why there is a belief

the armament included a 75mm howitzer.

I've also contacted Andrey Romanchuk, the designer of the Steam Wheel Tank cardmodel.

Anyone like to fix the drawings, please?

Regards,

Charlie

 

 



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Legend

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Well, this has upset the applecart. Almost everything I thought I knew about this vehicle turns out to be wrong. After reading Crismon, I did wonder, briefly, whether the skid thing on the barrel wheel meant that it did travel in that direction and the skid was to help it over trenches (like the prow on the Schneider CA), but I dismissed it as impractical, and thought it must work more like the tail skid on the FT. It's very good of Steve Z to share his info. Lewis Neumiller was right, after all.

I think this explains why it got stuck after travelling such a short distance - probably the first sunbstantial obstacle it met. And the 2nd and 3rd pars of the Landships article need tweaking. I can remove the gun from the drawings and email the results to Charlie, if he doesn't mind. Or maybe Toddy fancies having a go.

I wonder why Holt's reverted to wheels, when they already produced tracks and knew that the British and French tanks were propelled by them?

Now that the Landships source has been adjusted, and Steve has provided sources that count as reliable & published, I can edit the Wikipedia article. If those who depend on Wikipedia to support their unstable high self-esteem put up a fight, the views of knowledgeable and experienced students of the subject such as those who can be found here will be valuable in achieving consensus. Steve's intervention here might prove very useful in the medium term.

 



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Legend

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N'worries.

I had a reply from Andrey - he suggests checking the width of the vehicle represented in the drawing. He thought

it may be too narrow.

Regards,

Charlie



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Legend

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James H wrote:

....

I wonder why Holt's reverted to wheels, when they already produced tracks and knew that the British and French tanks were propelled by them?

.... 


 Perhaps a reasonable hypothesis is that the Americans were having a multi-way bet on the best way to construct an armoured vehicle. They would have been aware of British and French developments before the USA entered the war in 1917 so designed and constructed a series of experimental vehicles to test some of the ideas extant in Europe. The Steam Wheel Tank could be viewed as a cheap prototype to check out the utility of the big wheel concept. In much the same way the Holt Gas-Electric tank was exploring a similar drive system to the St-Chamond tank.

Regards,

Charlie

 



-- Edited by CharlieC on Thursday 5th of January 2017 12:23:17 AM

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Legend

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Indeed, although one would have thought that by 1918 the British and French would have made all the mistakes and the Big Wheel would have been considered a dead end. I wonder if this were perhaps earlier than 1918. It seems to belong more to the era of the Filtz tractor. (Incidentally, I'm still not sure which direction the Filtz travelled in.)

And does this also mean that the drawing of the 150 Ton Field Monitor is back-to-front?



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Legend

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Just noticed something else. The APG document describes it as a "wheel or halftrack vehicle", and in the bottom r/h there are details of the wheelbase for both wheeled and half tracked versions, but no details of trial as a half track.



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Legend

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I don't think so - look at the page heading it says "General Characteristics - Wheel or Half-Track vehicle". The page seems to be a form

that's been filled (typed?) in with limited data. The lines at the bottom seem to be part of the form rather than specific to the Holt vehicle.

It seems to me that it's the definitions APG used for the wheelbase measurement.

Regards,

Charlie

 



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Legend

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Oh, I see. You're quite right. It's a pro forma. I do beg your pardon.



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Legend

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Another observation -  with any luck, not as inept as the last one:

In the second photo of the Steam Wheel in the article, is that the Skeleton Tank on the right?



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Legend

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James H wrote:

Another observation -  with any luck, not as inept as the last one:

In the second photo of the Steam Wheel in the article, is that the Skeleton Tank on the right?


 I had the same thought - it seems to be. Steve Zaloga said the image was from a 1924 display at Aberdeen - pulling out the weird stuff might be of interest to the public.

Regards,

Charlie



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