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Post Info TOPIC: markings for a British "International"


Brigadier

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markings for a British "International"
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I'm working on a decal sheet for Medium and Heavy tanks from 1918 upto 1935 and am in need of some additional info; does anyone have some clear pictures of the Mark VIII International in British service? There's one picture of a tank called "Mild Steel" but that doesn't show the serial number. Another picture shows the name of the factory where it was produced, but it seems unlikely that it ever reached the troops with that marking.

Michel.

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Commander in Chief

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According to David Fletcher's 'The British Tanks 1915-19', only the prototype and 24 production machines were built (by Northern British Locomotive Co.) and only 5 tanks were taken into service (the other 19 were scrapped).

According to Chamberlain and Ellis 'Tank Mark VIII "The International"', the 'pilot model did all its trials and running in America' and 'only seven vehicles were completed' in England (by Northern British Locomotive Co.). All of these eventually made their way 'to Wool by rail from NBL's factory a few months after the Armistice. Their only journey on their own tracks was the drive from the station to Bovington Camp...' Only one of these vehicles was retained and is the vehicle currently displayed in the Tank Museum, Bovington.

To me it seems unlikely then that any of these would have been marked up with any unit signs.

There is a photo on page 10 of Chamberlain and Ellis, Tank Mark VIII "The International" that shows the last survivor in derelict condition at Bovington. The only markings that can be seen are the W-R-W stripes on the front horns and superstructure roof (and that none too clearly).

Other than that,†perhaps the current markings on the lone survivor in Bovington Tank Museum are the best example to follow.



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Legend

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Serial numbers of British Mk VIIIs had five digits starting 12.

Gwyn

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Brigadier

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Hi Phil,

Here's the pic with "mild steel". Judging by the WRW stripes on the front, this should be one of the seven that stayed in the UK.†According to the new "Warpaint" book by Dick Taylor, the registration numbers 12001 upto 13040 and 14001 upto 14335 were allocated to the Mark VIII and were obviously not all used.† I was hoping to find a photo showing any of these numbers.

Michel.

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Legend

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See AJ Smithers "A New Excalibur" for a photo of one carrying the name "Hunslet & Osmondthorpe Leeds" (I kid you not!). This tank was number 12105.

In addition to my previous post, I am not convinced the number on the Bovington Mk VIII is correct. It is 12007, but all the contemporary documents I have show numbers between 12101 and 12106. The Bovington number is therefore out of sequence. Another point for investigation.

Gwyn

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Brigadier

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Hi Gwyn,

Unfortunately, I don't have the Smithers book, but this marking is too good to be missed! Could you please scan this photo for me?

Michel.

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Legend

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I'm afraid not Michel. Going through a major overhaul of home IT equipment and scanner isn't available. Also book is a paperback so it might not be easy!

Apologies - perhaps someone else can help?

Gwyn

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Field Marshal

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Michel, here is the photo from Smithers.

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Brigadier

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Wonderful, thanks!! The only thing that's odd is that the registration number is nowhere visible...

Michel.

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Legend

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You'll have to trust me on the serial number. It was 12105, as I posted above. Information comes from spending too long in archives. No idea if it was painted on the tank though.

Gwyn

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Brigadier

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Gwyn, I trust you on this; that's not the issue. If the number doesn't show on the photo, then I don't need to make a decal for that part, and I'll be doing only the name, which is quite good on itself.

cheers,
Michel.



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Commander in Chief

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Here's an idea based on Gwyn's research findings and what David Fletcher says in his book that I quoted from earlier.

What if 12101 was the prototype vehicle, and then the 5 taken into service were 12102, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Would that be a logical assumption?

Gwyn, do you know anything about their service history?

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Legend

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Nothing whatsoever.

Gwyn

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Legend

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I've just discovered this thread - only two and half years late!

If it's of interest to anyone, there's a pic of a Mk VIII in The Complete Guide to Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles, by George Forty and Jack Livesey, published 2006 I think. I don't think the tank bears a number, but the name "City of Bradford VII" is painted on the side, probably in white or yellow with a shadow that may be red (guesswork always needed with b&w pics). The tank appears to be taking part in a trial, observed by an officer with his back to the camera.

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Legend

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"City of Bradford VII" was 12102.

Gwyn

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Legend

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Gwyn Evans wrote:

"City of Bradford VII" was 12102.

Gwyn


†Ah! Thanks for that Gwyn; I haven't looked at that pic for a while - and I don't have my copy of the book handy just now. Do you know whether or not the number was marked on the side?



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Legend

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Yet again, no idea.

Gwyn

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