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Post Info TOPIC: Black Bess


Captain

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Black Bess
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Anyone have any gen on "Black Bess"? Nothing on the back of the picture to assist with a date, location etc.

- Brett


Black Bess by drakegoodman, on Flickr



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Commander in Chief

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Lost on November 20th, 1917†- but only captured by the Germans after the British evacuated the FlŤsquieres Pocket in March 1918.

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MZ


Captain

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Fabulous. Many thanks.

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Legend

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20th Nov 1917

4th Coy No. 2 Section†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Capt. J.A. Bennewith
BOADICEA†††††††††††† B.6†† no. 2555†††††††††† †2/Lt. D.T.G. Dickens
BULLDOG††††††††††††††B.7†† no. 2050††††††††††† †Lt. J. Andrew-Marshall
BANSHEE††††††††††††††B.8†† no. 2556†††† (F)††† 2/Lt. PC. Chambers
BLACK BESS††††††††† B.9†† no. 2667†††††(F)*†† 2/Lt. E.R. Jones
BEELZEBUB†††††††††† B.10 no. 2860†††††††††††††2/Lt. P. Greenwood

From G&G Following the Tanks Cambrai, * not listed as female


Cheerswink

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Legend

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Another photo

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Legend

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I believe this tank served with B Battalion at Messines and then through Third Ypres and on to the first day of Cambrai. It is interesting to note the similarities†in the style of lettering with that of Banshee, which was captured by the German Army at the Battle of Cambrai. Looks like the same hand at work to me. Also to note that at Cambrai different companies of B Battalion marked their tanks differently - neither Banshee nor Black Bess showed their Crew Numbers, unlike Black Arrow II, for example.

Terrific photo, by the way! Much appreciated.

Gwyn

-- Edited by Gwyn Evans on Monday 28th of February 2011 11:04:18 PM

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Captain

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Cheers Gwyn. It appears to me that something was written underneath "Black Bess" and then painted over. Your photo hints at this possibility too, with some white paint still visible. I wonder what it was?

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Legend

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Can someone help me please by identifying this tank, captured in similar circumstances to Black Bess?

Gwyn

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Ian


Corporal

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Hi All,

That's a great photo of Black Bess and not one I've ever seen before.

Interestingly, the commander of Black Bess, 2/Lt. Leigh Jones left an audio tape of his experiences as a tank commander. It is held at the IWM. I haven't got the recording but I have listened to it and took notes. He describes being in the following section of tanks on 20/11/17: B7 (2/Lt. Andrew-Marshall), B9 Black Bess and B6 (2/Lt. Dickens).

Sadly, in view of the loss of life, he is also able to give an eye witness account of the direct hit suffered by his section commanders tank B7. Captain Haseler, 2/Lt Andrew-Marshall and Corporal Bamford MM were all killed. This was one of the few set backs B Battalion suffered on 20th Novemeber 1917.

I don't think Mr Jones describes how his tank came to fall into German hands. The tank did not take part in the B Battalion action on 23/11/17 and the battalion did not fight on 22/11/17. My quess is that it either suffered mechanical failure on 20/11/17, was one of the tanks lost during the battalion's attack on Cantaing on 21/11/17 or was lost in the German counter-attack. All conjecture I'm afraid.

I know it's a bit anal but I'd like to point out that it is the only B Battalion tank I have seen from Cambrai that doesn't seem to be fitted with spuds.

Regards,

Ian Verrinder



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Captain

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Thanks Ian, I wouldn't mind hearing the audio tape - would make fascinating listening.

Warm regards from Melbourne.

- Brett

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Anonymous

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Many speculations are on black bess but I personally believe that she was destroyed by a battalion of anti-tank soldiers, then they used her image in the eye of the british as camofalge. If you want to talk more about it (Which I would be Happy to) please email me at tripler329@gmail.com

 

Best Regards, The Russian Ram 



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