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Post Info TOPIC: British MkV questions


Corporal

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British MkV questions
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I am currently gathering info on a project with the Meng MkV 'Male' tank. Unfortunately for me, despite Landship posts and Osprey books, I've copped for a migraine with this one. "Take a breath - take a deep deep breath …"

  • After looking closly at some pics of MkV 'Crib' tanks, I've noticed a 'V' pattern in the restraining /release chains at the rear. The Meng kit has two release mechanism in the cuppola where I can figure out only one as on the MkIV. Does anybody have a roof picture of H41 at Bovington which carries the glacis "Crib" hooks or info on the mechanism itself ?
  • Was the famous "Malayan Eye" insignia of 'D' (4th batt) carried by their tanks during 1918? I think I can make out maybe one example but I'm not sure.
  • Did the same unit have "call signs" (e.g. D-6, D-14 etc.)? The very few vehicles of the battalion I could find from 1918 seem to be omminously void of any such markings.
  • Where did the crew stow the Hotchkiss m.g.'s when they were not in use?
  • A load of kit of all sorts was taken on board these "rhomboids". I can find no trace of "personal lockers" in these tanks ... Where was it all stashed ?
  • Last but not least, did the MkV have a semaphore sytem? If so, what did it look like and where was it fixed?

That's all from me … 'bout time for a cuppa and a lie down in a darkened room



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Legend

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The Chinese or Malayan Eye was, to my knowledge, only ever carried on one Mark IV during WW1. It's true origin is in an attempt to persuade a Malayan businessman to contribute financially towards the cost of more tanks (he had donated £5k for one). All the stories you'll hear, about if tanks have no eyes how can they see, and links with the Chinese Labour Corps, are a fiction.

So far as I know, it was only once the eye had entered Tank Corps folklore that it began to be painted on tanks. It was certainly in use by 1940.

My advice? Don't even think of putting it on your Mark V model.

Gwyn

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Legend

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Next, "call signs". These are NOT call signs! Tanks in the Great War didn't have radios so call signs weren't needed. They are crew numbers, and if you can't find them painted on tanks for 4th Battalion in 1918 don't put them on your model.

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Legend

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All fighting Battalions were issued with Mark IV tenders. These were used as "baggage tanks" and carried the fighting crews personal kit.

I have a Mark V internal stowage diagram here somewhere - just having trouble locating it...

Gwyn

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Legend

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Found it.

The tank carried five Hotchkiss guns, five spare barrels, five shoulder pieces and five tripods. It's a bit difficult to explain where they all were. There was a Hotchkiss in the cab on the port side, one carried vertically in the sponsonway, one on the rear of the engine casing, one at the rear of the hull on the starboard side, and one on the fan casing.

Gwyn

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Corporal

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Thank's a lot Gwyn, the headache is slowly wearing off.

Aye, it does seem that some myths die very hard, so I will take your advice about the eye marking. Arrrgh, … crew numbers! I new that "call signs" (logically) was the incorrect term, that's why I put them in italics. I'll leave both off my model. Common sense dictates … "If in doubt, throw it out". I am aware of the supply tanks, but I would just like to draw your attention to page 17 of the Osprey booklet ( British Mk 1 tank 1916), were a certain Capt. Henriques listed some of the gear stowed on board. It was a wonder they could turn around let alone fight. As for the Hotchkiss stowage, I'll be taking a closer look at some MkV photo's during the week. Maybe I can add some more detail in the areas you mentioned.

Thank's again for all your help,

Gareth

BTW I've discoverd something else on a MkV that dosn't quite add up. Please tell me that this isn't an observation slit on the lower front sponson ...

alb-0012-s_orig.jpg

Source: http://www.clydesideimages.co.uk/france-somme---albert.html

… as I'd hate to think of the poor gunner, who had to get down on his hands and knees and then ram his head through the ammo bin to inspect the grass



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Legend

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These things were carried in the Mark V also. In the Mark V there is a stowage bin for food in the floor to the rear of the engine. There are other bins in the floor on either side of the engine.

No, there is no observation slit in that position. As you say, it would be very difficult to make use of it, especially as there's ammunition stowage there.

Gwyn

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Corporal

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Strange, the slit in the lower sponson is not to be seen on any other vehicle, matters not, probably part of an old w.e.s. fitting.

Five m.g.'s? I guess I'll have to whittle one down from Takom to make up the spare. As for the stores being tucked under the floorboards, I can't visualise that Gwyn. They're not loosely fitted like duckboards and the depth down to the lower hull plate is only a few inches. At least going by the Meng box art.

Another "winner" concerning their Crib is that it holds as many mistakes as bolts. I also have a sneaky suspicion that the blasted thing is the wrong way "dnuora".

The more I find out the less I know ...

Gareth



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Legend

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Well, I don't have a fully stowed Mark V to hand, but I do have a Mark V stowage chart so you'll just have to trust me.

Gwyn

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Corporal

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Fair enough Gwyn.

Tracking down the "government secrets" of this museum piece is proving quite a journey. Alas, as for now, I guess I'll have to make a little go a long way.

Regards and thank's again,

Gareth



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