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Post Info TOPIC: tank vs tank at Agwoint


Major

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tank vs tank at Agwoint
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Does anyone know where I can find out information on the tank vs tank battle at Agwoint on Oct 8th 1918? I say a comment about this action but no real details.


Chris



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Legend

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The only tank v tank engagement on this date appears to have been at Niergnes when A Company 12 bat (4 Mk Vs) was attacked by 9 Beutepanzers supported by German anti tank units and artillery. Although the British forces obtained their objective of capturing Niergnes all but one of the British tanks were knocked out. An account of this action is given in Tanks and Trenches.

A French war gaming outfit offer a set of rules etc for an action at Agwoint but I think that this is propably fictious (although possibly loosely based on Niergnes. I'm not even sure there is a place called Agwoint

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Major

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There isn't.

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Field Marshal

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Awoingt is about 2 miles east of Niergnies, south-east of Cambrai. I've attached the excerpt from "The Tank Corps" by Clough Williams-Ellis (1919) which describes this episode. 

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Niergnies.rtf (6.1 kb)
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Legend

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Rhomboid wrote:

Awoingt is about 2 miles east of Niergnies, south-east of Cambrai. I've attached the excerpt from "The Tank Corps" by Clough Williams-Ellis (1919) which describes this episode. 



Its the same action as in Tanks and Trenches that I refer to above. Given that the battle was for control of Niergnies then its probably more accurate to call it by this name.

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Commander in Chief

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Niergnies is the counter-attack of German Abt.15 (reinforced by Abt.11) - 6 captured Mk.IVs, two of them lost. Awoing is the counter-attack of German Abt.16 (4 captured Mk.IVs - two of them lost). Both occured on October 8th, 1918.

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MZ


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mad zeppelin wrote:

Niergnies is the counter-attack of German Abt.15 (reinforced by Abt.11) - 6 captured Mk.IVs, two of them lost. Awoing is the counter-attack of German Abt.16 (4 captured Mk.IVs - two of them lost). Both occured on October 8th, 1918.



Its still the same battle

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Major

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Were the British tanks Mk Vs? What were the German MkIV's, all males?


 



-- Edited by huhncc at 17:12, 2006-06-29

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I've managed to read Mad Zeppelins attached file again (although it crashes my MS Office - Word XP 4 times out of 5!).
Now Iíve got some breathing space let us examine this in more detail
Unfortunately Williams-Ellis is not always the most reliable source. Checking other accounts of the small (a relative term) conflict of Niergnies - La Targette (from the line on which the advance was made) and which was but a part of the larger battle of Catalet- Bony (27/09 to 09/10 1918) we see that some 82 tanks were used on 08/10. A company of the 12th Battalion started with four tanks L6 (Lily II), L9 (Lightning II),L12 ( Lochiel) and L16 (Lion). They were joined by L8 (Lukoie III) commanded by 2/Lt Carmichael (and not Lt Martell, actually a 2/Lt, who commanded L6) as stated by Williams-Ellis) . There was no L19 as described by Williams-Ellis and one assumes that he got mixed up with L9 which he fails to mention. L9 was commanded by 2/Lt Warcap (not Worsap as stated by Williams-Ellis as commanding L19) and L12 by 2/Lt de la Mare. The commander of L16 may well have been Captain Rowe as stated by Williams-Ellis (but given the latterís general confusion over names and crews I wouldnít be too confident of this)
L8 was hit in the rear by a British smoke shell before it could engage with the enemy but pushed on only to become ditched in a cellar. 2/Lt Carmichael doing a recce on foot was then captured by a group of German soldiers, however he persuaded them to surrender to him and handed them over to the advancing Lancashire Rgt. On returning to his tank he set a guard over it and evacuated the remainder of the crew. Although there are accounts of a German field gun being captured by a British tank crew and turned on the beutepanzers I can find no indication that this was the crew of L8 (who seem to have been busy enough). asWilliams-Ellis appears to have got the commanderís name wrong perhaps he has confused two different tanks and crews for it was 2/Lt Martell (L6)and an unnamed RA officer who manned an abandoned German gun and destroyed 2 beutepanzers. (see below)
The remaining 4 tanks achieved their original objective of capturing Niergenes but there was then a German counter attack with 7 beutepanzers accompanied by anti tank squads and troops armed with AT rifles. L6 (and not L8 as described by Williams-Ellis) was hit in the radiator and generally badly damaged so that 2/Lt Martel ordered his crew to evacuate it and take cover whilst he manned a German gun as mentioned above. L16 was knocked out by two simultaneous hits from beutepanzer 6 pounders. I can find no mention of its commander boarding L9 (or L19 as Williams-Ellis mentions nor of this tank having knocked out a beutepanzer). L9 and L12 were riddled by anti tank rounds. L12ís engine was knocked out and all the crew killed except for 2/Lt de la Mare and Corporal Steeb. L9 was evacuated by its crew, 2/Lt Warcap scuttling her with a demolition charge. The remaining beutepanzers were driven off by British artillery fire and (interestingly) anti tank rounds from captured German AT rifles. I can find no mention of any tank from C Company arriving to the rescue like the proverbial 5th Cavalry. The crew of L6 reboarded and this tank rallied.

I can find no other account of any tank v tank action during the battle of Catalet- Bony although it is not impossible that other beutepanzers counterattacked British infantry once they had consolidated their positions and their supporting tanks had rallied.

Main sources - The Fighting Tanks (Jones Rarey and Icks ), Tanks and Trenches (David Fletcher)


-- Edited by Centurion at 17:42, 2006-06-29

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Field Marshal

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David Fletcher (The British Tanks, 1915-19) states that the beutepanzer knocked out by the captured field gun was a female carrying 3 Lewis guns and a 13mm antitank rifle in the sponson mountings (which would be a interesting variation to model). A picture of an AT rifle, fixed in a ball mounting in the cab, is seen on p.161 of Rainer's book.

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Commander in Chief

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Although the German tanks were equipped with 13mm AT rifles at that occasion, the tank knocked out by the "captured" (utilized would describe it more properly) field gun was a male, No.1 (Lt Paul) of Abt.15. AT rifles, however, were only carried by the female tanks. According to German sources (Volckheim) some 24 AT rounds were fired during that engagment.

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mad zeppelin wrote:

AT rifles, however, were only carried by the female tanks. .


See my recent posting. one source states that AT rifles were carried by MALE beitepanzers replacing the mg in the drivers cab. This needs to be confirmed or squelched

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Centurion wrote:


mad zeppelin wrote: AT rifles, however, were only carried by the female tanks. . See my recent posting. one source states that AT rifles were carried by MALE beitepanzers replacing the mg in the drivers cab. This needs to be confirmed or squelched

Seems a bit like overkill. They already had a more than adequate AT weapon on either side of the tank. Fitting it to a female tank makes a lot more sense. The other option is to create hermaphrodites like the British ended up doing with the Mk V.

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Legend

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They could have been fitted to both types of tank. Having one in the cab fills a 'blind' spot

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Commander in Chief

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Although the guns of the male tanks had a certain importance for anti-tank work, the most important weapon of any WW1 tank was the machine gun. There are a number of reports(German side) that stress the inaccuracy of tank guns because in a moving unsprung vehicle like the Mk.IV-Beute there wasn't any chance to hit whatever you aimed at. The same was basically true for the machine guns, but because of their higher rate of fire they were seen as much more dangerous (spraying effect).


Given this facts, it didn't make any sense to swap a machine gun for an AT rifle in a male t


 



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MZ


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mad zeppelin wrote:


Although the guns of the male tanks had a certain importance for anti-tank work, the most important weapon of any WW1 tank was the machine gun. There are a number of reports(German side) that stress the inaccuracy of tank guns because in a moving unsprung vehicle like the Mk.IV-Beute there wasn't any chance to hit whatever you aimed at. The same was basically true for the machine guns, but because of their higher rate of fire they were seen as much more dangerous (spraying effect). Given this facts, it didn't make any sense to swap a machine gun for an AT rifle in a male t  

There was also the first tank v. tank battle in which the incapacitating hits were only scored when the tank was stopped and the gunners allowed to aim. I think it was "Nixe" that was hit this way.

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Mark Hansen wrote:

mad zeppelin wrote:
Although the guns of the male tanks had a certain importance for anti-tank work, the most important weapon of any WW1 tank was the machine gun. There are a number of reports(German side) that stress the inaccuracy of tank guns because in a moving unsprung vehicle like the Mk.IV-Beute there wasn't any chance to hit whatever you aimed at. The same was basically true for the machine guns, but because of their higher rate of fire they were seen as much more dangerous (spraying effect). Given this facts, it didn't make any sense to swap a machine gun for an AT rifle in a male t  
There was also the first tank v. tank battle in which the incapacitating hits were only scored when the tank was stopped and the gunners allowed to aim. I think it was "Nixe" that was hit this way.




This might suggest that the Germans were begining to think of the tank as the ultimate AT weapon rather than primarily an infantry support vehicle. Given the huge disaparity in the numbers of tanks available, the fact that the Germans were not going to be launching new offensives any time soon and the almost hysterical tone of some German doctuments demanding that many weapons be given AT work as their top (and sometimes only) priority this rings true. I have also seen reference to the problem of using the sponson mounted big guns when in a hull down defensive position (where an AT gun in the driver's cab could still be brought to bear.

-- Edited by Centurion at 19:12, 2006-07-01

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Gentlemen!
I may supply an entire report on said battle near CAMBRAI tohether with drawings
and maps on the details of said attack. Anyone interested should ask for details I can scan in and relate from TASCHENBUCH DER TANKS; Vol.III 4 pages in German.

Best regards,

Pody

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Field Marshal

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It would be great if you could do that!

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Hello Peter!
Will be done within next weekend, --promised...,

Pody


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Legend

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I'd be happy to see this - one problem I have is that this engagement apparently took place in 1918 not 1917.

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Major

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Me too!!!!

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Lieutenant

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Hello Centurion, Hello huhncc!

Here the - possibly new - facts I can contribute on the Awoingt-Battle.
Do you require some translational help?

Best regards,

Pody

Attachments
Awoingt 10002.JPG (328.0 kb)
Awoingt 10003.JPG (365.5 kb)
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Legend

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All I can get thanks

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Lieutenant

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Hello huhncc!
Please take alook a the latest entry on Awoingt, now in English or what I could make of it.
Best regards,

Pody

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Anonymous

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been to see my great uncles buried at awoingt , 6 days before the end 5.11.18,,went to see the german cemetery,now ,waste of life

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