Landships II

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: True identity of Mark IV Female "Flirt II" at Lincoln


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1410
Date:
True identity of Mark IV Female "Flirt II" at Lincoln
Permalink   


Lincolnshire County Council has today announced that the Mark IV Female at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life is not "Flirt II".  See http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/news/the-mystery-of-the-tank-that-came-back-from-the-war/123304.article.  It is in fact 2743, a tank that served with 12 Company, D Battalion up to 22 August 1917 and was later the presentation tank at Gloucester. 

This announcement is based on around six or seven years research that I undertook and which led to me proposing that the tank was 2743 in October 2013.  This was confirmed around a month later when my friend Richard Pullen found an overpainted partial serial number inside the tank.

I am using the announcement to appeal for more information about the tank to come forward, and for this reason I don't propose providing any more details of the tank's history (which with the exception of a few short gaps I know in detail) for fear of influencing those who may yet have more information to offer.

More details will be provided in the near future.

I have provided text for the Landships 2 entry on this tank to be updated in the near future 

Gwyn 

P.S. I am sorry that I had to ask for a thread on this subject to be removed recently.  This was because there were discussions still to be had between Lincolnshire County Council, Gloucester City Council and the Tank Museum and I needed the goodwill of these organisations to be maintained, as well as to ensure that the opportunity could be taken to further research. 



__________________


Colonel

Status: Offline
Posts: 244
Date:
Permalink   

Glynn,

Presumably, you have seen these? They are the only images of 2743 I have seen so far. Whether they show evidence of a post repair repaint I don't know.

http://bartonandtredworth.org.uk/images/uploaded/originals/Vintage_Postcards_of_the_UK_Picture_CD662.jpg

http://www.archive-images.co.uk/index.search.php?sid=38188&img=1

If the tank was wearing any original paint, I would have expected 'D42' to be in evidence somewhere on the front horns, or fuel tank armour... The serial number seems to be in an odd place also, next to the ID bands. Possibly the ID bands aren't even correct for this tank, I don't know if they were introduced before 2743 was damaged or not.

My understanding is that there is still uncertainty about whether 2743 was ever named - it would be odd if it were anonymous perhaps, but the name Daphne seems only clearly associated with 2306 [nee G21 Geyser], which begs the question of whether 2306 remained Male or had a female refit - like at least one other tank from 12th Co. D Batt. at Ypres. I know there is an element of gender confusion with tank names elsewhere, but the refit idea is intriguing.

It would be lovely to be able to model a whole 'new' tank, if useable livery/marking info came to light.

Paul



-- Edited by compound eye on Thursday 11th of September 2014 07:38:09 PM

__________________
"You there on the port!". "S'gin actually, but thanks for noticing [hic]".


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1410
Date:
Permalink   

Paul

Thanks for this. The first image is well known to me, the second I think I have seen cropped. I have several other images of the tank when it was in Gloucester Park but more are always welcome.

You should understand that the tank was only D42 for a short while. It was handed to salvage on 22 August 1917 and not presented to Gloucester until 1919, so that it didn't carry D42 when at Gloucester is not so surprising. I disagree that the serial number is in an odd place. That would be true if the photograph was taken in 1917, but in 1918 many Mark IVs had their serial numbers painted high on the front horns and centrally on the cab face, just as is seen on 2743 at Gloucester. The WRW stripes, as I like to call them, are correct for a tank from May 1918 onwards. In other words, 2743 appeared at Gloucester in a perfectly authentic 1918 paint scheme.

I agree, there is uncertainty that 2743 was ever named. However I believe there is a strong probability it was. If one looks at the battlechart for 12 Coy D Battalion for 22 August 1917 all the tanks are named. Beneath the details of the four replacement tanks from G Battalion are written the serial numbers of the four D Battalion tanks they replaced, but their names are not given. Now I find it improbable, to say the least, that German artillery managed to hit the only four D Battalion tanks that were not named, and miss all the D Battalion tanks that were named. Therefore I believe that 2743 was named. We know that 2306 was the replacement for 2743 and that 2306 was assimilated into D Battaion so that by September 1917, under the same commander, it bore the name "Daphne". It should also be noted that 2306 was lost in September 1917 and at Cambrai in November 1917 there was a D Battalion tank "Daphne III". So, I think there's a strong circumstantial case that 2743 was "Daphne" and 2306 was actually "Daphne II".

The idea that 2306 had a "gender change" and that the tank at Lincoln is 2306 is, I'm sorry, just plain wrong. Firstly, the tank at Lincoln is a true Female. This can be seen from the internal photographs which show the tank only has Lewis gun ammunition stowage. When a Mark IV Male was converted to a Female the 6 pounder ammunition tubes were not removed. That this is the case can be told from photographs of presentation tanks that are being scrapped - see for example photographs of the (ostensibly) Female presentation tank to Windermere. Secondly, Male to Female Mark IV conversions did not take place before 1918 and 2306 was lost in September 1917. Thirdly, 2306 took two direct hits and the top of the cab was blown off. Even with all Central Workshops skill this would leave some mark on the interior and there is none - I have been inside it. Fourthly, we have the evidence of the partial serial number. And finally, your suggestion is based on the interpretation board at the museum saying it is "Daphne", but the only reason it says this is because the tank is 2743 and the probable name of 2743 is "Daphne": sorry, but that's muddled thinking.

Gwyn

__________________


Commander in Chief

Status: Offline
Posts: 614
Date:
Permalink   

How interesting.
There are few images on Google.
<a rel=www.google.co.uk/url%3A%2F%2Fkafkasworld.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F12%2FVintage-Postcards-of-the-UK-Picture-CD662.jpg&ei=av0RVNfzKpfhauSOgrgF&psig=AFQjCNHAU2HxAPcfyCHb-9kQDb-q-nWM8Q&ust=1410551530787434">

kafkasworld.com/2013/12/the-tank-the-park-gloucester/



__________________


Colonel

Status: Offline
Posts: 244
Date:
Permalink   

Thanks for the insight Gwyn. A lot of details there I didn't know.

I take your point about German artillery hitting only tanks without names.

I think we might be talking at slightly crossed-purposes re 2306... It was pretty clear to me that of the two tanks, 2743 & 2306, Flirt was 2743 - from the info I found online. It seemed completely unreallistic that Flirt would be a re-armed 2306 - despite mention of another D. Batt tank being re-armed. It seemed like too many vague possibilities all needing to fall into place for it to be likely, when a far simpler answer was available.

I took Lincoln's info board with a very large pinch of salt, after I saw that online tank lists didn't even directly list the name Daphne in direct connection with 2743. It made me wonder if there had been some confusion with 2306 because of the transfer of unit ID 'D42' between the two tanks, rather than the succession of names suggested by your highly plausible Daphne II theory. I always referred to 2743 as unnamed in the other thread, and was careful to distinguish it from 2306.

Without knowing about the demise of 2306, the question I had in my mind was whether its naming was gender-confused, either through having taken over the unit ID 'D42' of 2743, a female tank - and possibly/probably therefore being named Daphne [II] in 'hommage' / as its successor, OR whether 2306 was re-armed and whether that inspired the name. Clearly the latter notion is wrong, with the benefit of the above re-arming info, and 2306 remained male despite its name.

Paul


__________________
"You there on the port!". "S'gin actually, but thanks for noticing [hic]".
m83


Sergeant

Status: Offline
Posts: 38
Date:
Permalink   

Gwyn,
may I offer my congratulations on all your hard work in finding out the true identity of this tank. I am sure that you have much more to tell on this one and I look forward to hearing all about it when you reveal all.
thankyou for sharing this with us all.

kind regards Kev


__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1410
Date:
Permalink   

In case anyone's interested, I shall be speaking on this in Gloucester on 22 November. Details here.

Gwyn



__________________


Colonel

Status: Offline
Posts: 210
Date:
Permalink   

Wish I could be there...

__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1410
Date:
Permalink   

Just realised the link to the details of the talk has broken. It's at Gloucester City Museum, 11am, Saturday 22 November. Entry is £6 I believe, though there is a concessionary rate. Hopefully they won't charge me anything...

Gwyn

__________________


Private

Status: Offline
Posts: 2
Date:
Permalink   

hello,

Dan Sharp said about the tank in Lincoln that "It looks complete in photos but much of what you see is actually wood and fibreglass from a 'restoration' carried out in the early 1980s during which much of the original tank was binned." Could you confirm this please?

thanks

Pierre-Olivier

__________________
http://the.shadock.free.fr/


Lieutenant-Colonel

Status: Offline
Posts: 171
Date:
Permalink   

I do know from personal experience that some of the track plates are fibreglass, and that there is very little of the interior in situ. There is no engine or drive mechanism, and the floor appears to be wooden. As has been mentioned before the sponsons have been transposed, and as currently displayed the starboard side cannot be seen.



__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1410
Date:
Permalink   

the_shadock wrote:

hello,

Dan Sharp said about the tank in Lincoln that "It looks complete in photos but much of what you see is actually wood and fibreglass from a 'restoration' carried out in the early 1980s during which much of the original tank was binned." Could you confirm this please?

thanks

Pierre-Olivier


Dan Sharp's statement is a gross exaggeration.  The only parts that are wood and fibreglass are some replacement tracklinks in the top run of both tracks.  The original tracklinks were lost in the early 1940s, not during the 1980s.  Where he is right is that there are some plates that are replacements of the original armour that had cracked during the tank's years standing in the open.  These include the glacis plate and plates forward of the sponsons.  These latter plates had suffered from stress fractures - a problem that can also be seen in the Mark Vs that are/were in Lugansk before they were restored.  The plates that were replaced appear to have been scrapped.  I have been in correspondence with some of the trainees and one of the supervisors involved at the time and this is the consensus opinion.  The loss of the glacis plate and the radiator armour, in particular, is regrettable. 

I am surveying the tank and using other sources to understand what is original and what is not so as to help others better understand the tank as it survives today, but let me assure you that plenty of it is original and it has already yielded new information about the Mark IV.

Gwyn



__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1410
Date:
Permalink   

Michael Taylor wrote:

I do know from personal experience that some of the track plates are fibreglass, and that there is very little of the interior in situ. There is no engine or drive mechanism, and the floor appears to be wooden. As has been mentioned before the sponsons have been transposed, and as currently displayed the starboard side cannot be seen.


See my comment above regarding the tracklinks.  The engine and probably the remainder of the drive train was removed whilst the tank was still in Gloucester Park.  The wooden floor was inserted during the work carried out on the tank in Lincoln in the 1980s.

Yes, I agree that the sponsons were transposed during the work in the 1980s.  The sponsons were definitely completely removed from the tank at this time and their present configuration is not how they were when it was received from Bovington.  I hope that my work on this tank will one day lead to some of these wrongs being put right.

Michael, when you say "from personal experience", can you clarify whether you've worked on this tank and if so, whether you might be able to add to my knowledge of it?  Please PM me. 

Gwyn



__________________
RCD


Lieutenant-Colonel

Status: Offline
Posts: 185
Date:
Permalink   

Gwyn's work is really instructive and appreciated.

Ideally it should eventually be repainted to show its true identity. However, as a 'Yellow belly' born and bred I am grateful it is in Lincolnshire - usually most things end up in the home countries! Its typical of the LCC that it is found in a location which is quite a hike from the centre. When they redeveloped the centre this tank could have a focal point!

Mind you I currently live in Nottinghamshire  and until last few years the politicians have down played 'Robin Hood' as an selling point for the city - probably the best know figure from the area. no



__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1410
Date:
Permalink   

Thank you RCD. I think that repainting is on the cards, though it would be good if some of the 'physical' problems, for instance the sponsons as mentioned by Michael and the unditching beam rails could be sorted out first.

Gwyn

__________________


Commander in Chief

Status: Offline
Posts: 614
Date:
Permalink   

Flirt II's true identity has been in doubt for a long time.

preservedtanks.com/Profile.aspx
"During that action F4 attempted to tow F13 ‘Falcon II’ but in doing so stripped some gears and was also disabled. With the enemy closing in the crew were forced to abandon the tank, taking their Lewis guns with them, and make their way on foot to the rallying point. During the subsequent fighting Flirt II received a considerable amount of damage, particularly on the left side in rear of the sponson. Even so it was earmarked to be towed away by its German captors. What became of it after that is unclear. Given the state of the hull and some of the gears it seems unlikely that it was restored to running order by the Germans and the chances are that it was cannibalised for spares to keep other tanks going. This tank was marked as Flirt II when it was displayed at the front of the Bovington Tank Museum but whether it was the real Flirt II is unclear, though it is difficult to know why it was given that name if it was not; nonetheless its identity remains open. (Source: Bovington Museum Vehicle Record)."

A Sherlockian effort to find it's true identity!



__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1410
Date:
Permalink   

It's true, the identity of this tank has been in contention for a long time. There have been sceptics that it was the real Flirt II, equally there have been those who were utterly convinced. Anyway, the latest research showing the tank is (a) 2743 and (b) not Flirt II is now widely accepted. The Bovington Vehicle Record has just been re-written based on the new findings.

Gwyn

__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1410
Date:
Permalink   

Just to let you know I shall be speaking on this with my friend Richard Pullen in Lincoln on 12 March. Details can be found here.

Gwyn

 



__________________


Hero

Status: Offline
Posts: 808
Date:
Permalink   

Having a nose around the Lincs to the Past web site, I came across the Flirt II restoration photos. Even if your interest is just MKIV Tanks in general, there are some loverly photos inside and out, plus of parts like doors, hinges, bearings and stuff all laid out separately to look at. 

 



-- Edited by MK1 Nut on Wednesday 4th of February 2015 01:00:13 PM

__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1410
Date:
Permalink   

Thanks Helen. Yes, I'm aware of this website and it's worth a look. One of the things I'm trying to do now is to assess what exactly was done during the restoration, and in particular what can be trusted to be an original component in the correct place, what has been misplaced, and what is a modern reproduction. I have been fortunate in being allowed copies from a private photo album showing the tank whilst at Ruston Gas Turbines. There is also an album at Lincolnshire Archives which I need to revisit. I have been promised a couple of hours worth of video footage though that has yet to materialise, and I'm told there's another shorter promotional video and I'm hoping to borrow a copy of that. Finally, I'm in contact with a number of people who worked on the tank (though I'd like to hear from more) who have already provided me with some useful insights.

Gwyn

__________________
m83


Sergeant

Status: Offline
Posts: 38
Date:
Permalink   

Gwyn Evans wrote:

Just to let you know I shall be speaking on this with my friend Richard Pullen in Lincoln on 12 March. Details can be found here.

Gwyn

 


 

Just bumping this thread as I believe it is tonight that Gwyn is doing a talk at Lincoln.

Unfortunately family commitments mean I cannot attend myself - as much as I would love to - but here is a reminder for those who may be able to get

 

Kev



__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1410
Date:
Permalink   

Thanks Kev. Pleased to say the talk was very well attended. I hope those present found it informative.

Gwyn

__________________
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


Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard