Landships II

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Identification numbersand letters on tanks


General

Status: Offline
Posts: 359
Date:
Identification numbersand letters on tanks
Permalink   


We have what are called "War Department" numbers;

We then have the "Unit letter & No. (???); and, finally -

We have the name of the tank.

Where are these allocated to the tank and who applies them?

If I look at the pictures of three tanks knocked out during the Battle of Cambrai, Eclipse. II. has its name in three places, but no other markings.

The same applies to Eileen II, but Eve might (and I stress might) have the "Unit letter and No. on the starboard side, but no name on the front.  Instead it has a drawing of two flags and the name on the port side.

Can anybody clear this point up?

 



Attachments
__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1316
Date:
Permalink   

War Department numbers are a misnomer, because they were allocated by the Tank Supply Department / Mechanical Warfare Supply Department / Mechanical Warfare Department (the department was renamed twice during the course of the war) of the Ministry of Munitions - so nothing whatever to do with the War Office (not War Department).

Unit letter and numbers are crew numbers, not tank numbers. However units became confused about this so it's not surprising we are similarly confused today. These were allocated by Battalions.

Names were probably chosen by crews, but equally probably required some sanction by senior officers. The formal system of giving tanks names beginning with the battalion letter was introduced after the Battle of Messines but before Third Ypres, probably mid-July 1917.

Yes, Some E Battalion tanks are marked with flags. Eve is not the only example. My personal theory, I have no proof, is that these ae "flag tanks" used by a section commander. This practice appears to be unique to E Battalion.

I very much doubt Eve has the crew number painted on the tank side. E Battalion at Cambrai just didn't do that - nor did G or H Battalions.

Gwyn

__________________

Britain to Stay in EU. We are the 48%.



Lieutenant-Colonel

Status: Offline
Posts: 199
Date:
Permalink   

The White-Red-White flashes don't show up, at least to my eye.  are they there, but very faint?

Wayne



__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1316
Date:
Permalink   

No, they are not there. This photo is of tanks that took part in the Battle of Cambrai between November and December 1917. The WRW flashes weren't introduced until Spring 1918. Therefore no tank at Cambrai had them.

Gwyn

__________________

Britain to Stay in EU. We are the 48%.



General

Status: Offline
Posts: 359
Date:
Permalink   

Instructions for the WRW stripes were only issued in March, 1918



__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us