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Post Info TOPIC: US Tanks and Artillery film 1918-1919


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US Tanks and Artillery film 1918-1919
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There is a very nice 15 minute film on You Tube showing the testing and display of Ordnance items in 1918-1919. The film starts with some artillery firing, including some SP artillery demonstrations. The second half of the film shows some Renault FT displays along with a long segment on the Mk VIII International. At: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_6qJMSy5Fo



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Legend

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Excellent, thank you!

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Legend

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Thanks, Steve. I think I've seen bits of it before. Have I read somewhere that the turretless FTs are the vehicles sent from France for evaluation, and that the film was shot at Bridgport, Connecticut?

It also reminded me of something I asked a long time ago but had no joy: the first tracked vehicle in the film is a gun, maybe 75mm, on a Holt 2.5 ton artillery tractor. The running gear is extraordinarily similar to that of the FT, too similar, surely, to be a coincidence. Does anyone know anything?



-- Edited by James H on Thursday 2nd of March 2017 12:50:23 PM

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Legend

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James H wrote:

Thanks, Steve. I think I've seen bits of it before. Have I read somewhere that the turretless FTs are the vehicles sent from France for evaluation, and that the film was shot at Bridgport, Connecticut?

It also reminded me of something I asked a long time ago but had no joy: the first tracked vehicle in the film is a gun, maybe 75mm, on a Holt 2.5 ton artillery tractor. The running gear is extraordinarily similar to that of the FT, too similar, surely, to be a coincidence. Does anyone know anything?



-- Edited by James H on Thursday 2nd of March 2017 12:50:23 PM


I think the SPG was one created by the Ordnance Dept to prototype SPGs with light field guns rather than the heavier guns of the Holt Marks I thru III. The one in the movie

is based on the 2.5 ton Holt artillery tractor. 

The gun was a 75mm M1916 - not accepted for general US Army service. The French Mle 1897 (aka M1897) wasn't suitable for SPGs because of the way the traverse worked.

This SPG lead to the Holt Mark VI which seems to have been a much more competent vehicle.

There's an article on Landships II about the Holt SPGs.

Regards,

Charlie

 

 



-- Edited by CharlieC on Thursday 2nd of March 2017 01:52:12 PM

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Legend

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I meant to point out a similar movie at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qDuIkRIdCU. This is Aberdeen 1920-26 - there are some fairly rare vehicles shown.

Regards,

Charlie

 



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Legend

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Thanks, Charlie. I've got Crismon's book, which lists all the tractors and spgs. My point is more that  the 2.5ton's  running gear is virtually identical to the FT's. I don't think it can possibly be coincidence - there must have been some collaboration, or maybe Holt borrowed or pinched the idea. I've never seen any explanation.



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Captain

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The GMC in the film is the 75mm mounted on the Ordnance 2 1/2 ton artillery tractor Model 1918. The three photos I have attached here are from the film and the post-war official history "America's Munitions 1917-1918. The single photo with the trails in folded position are from trials at APG in the early 1920s. There was another vehicle with this gun built on a Holt 5 ton artillery tractor.

The tractor was actually an Ordnance Department design, though contracted out to industry for manufacture. It was powered by an 8-cylinder Cadillac 70 hp automobile engine. There were 5,586 on order in 1918 of which 10 were completed by the end of the war, and a further 27 afterwards. It was intended for the mechanization of 75mm gun batteries. Ordnance tested the tractor after the war, but decided it was too heavy and not well suited to the role, leading to the development of the Model 1920. I don't think it had much to do with the Renault FT except in the broad Cat A.jpgCat B.jpgCat C.jpgsense that Renault has access to Holt Caterpillar designs that had been acquired by the French Army and a lot of the early small tractors shared common design features. Both Holt and C.L.Best small Caterpillar tractors have similar features. There is a very good book on this period "The Caterpillar's Roots: The History of the Best & Holt Tractors" by Jack Alexander which shows a lot of early designs.



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Legend

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That's odd - I just checked Benedict Crowell's book "America's Munitions 1917-18" - he said - "A 2 1/2 -ton tractor mounting a 75-millimeter gun and a 5-ton tractor containing a gun of the same size were far along the road to success in their first stage of development". There's no mention of production orders. The production numbers quoted sound right for tracked artillery tractors in total. The SPG orders were much more modest 50 Mark Is , 50 Mark IIs , 250 Mark III and Mark IV - I think only 8 Mark IIs were delivered before the Armistice.

The Renault FT suspension was designed by Brille and was notionally based on the Holt suspension. I have a vague memory that the redesign may have been forced on Renault by licensing arrangements in France for the Holt suspension. I agree that the 2 1/2 ton tractor suspension looks like a copy of the Brille suspension. Holt was notorious for "borrowing" other people's ideas - even their vaunted tracked suspension was apparently stolen from Lombard, an inventor/businessman in Maine, who had built numerous log recovery vehicles using this suspension. 

Charlie

Later - I think Schneider held the rights to the Holt suspension in France. 

 



-- Edited by CharlieC on Thursday 2nd of March 2017 09:39:05 PM

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General

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Bonjour,

The first Renault FT was sent in USA at the end of September 1917.

(Telegram from Tardieu,  French "Haut Commissaire" in Washington, 1917,September 21th at 12 hours.)

This tank was a probably a complete training model in mild steel with the first Renault turret in cast steel.

Mr Garfield, engineer from Renault Factory and a team of drivers and mecanics was also sent with the tank. 

The models n° 42, like n° 46 of the film, are two training models (except the turret from n° 46).

Perhaps, tanks n° 42 and 46 are coming from the 10 training Renault FT given to the American tank Corps in February 1918.

 

After the war, The problems from Renault with Holt was for tractor Renault FP, whose tracks is the copy of Schneider tracks.

Schneider had sold the Hot lience, and not Renault . . . . .

Mr Brillié never worked on FT program et Renaut FT tracks is different from Holt tracks.

Bonne soirée - Michel



-- Edited by Tanker on Friday 3rd of March 2017 07:13:11 PM

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Legend

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Perhaps a long shot but....

There should be a manual for the 2½ton tractor - there are manuals for the 5 & 10-ton tractors at the Hathi trust. With luck the general description

of the vehicle in the manual may include a reference to the origins of the suspension system.

So - anyone seen a copy of the 2½ ton tractor manual?

Charlie 



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