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Post Info TOPIC: Male hulls with female sponsons?


Legend

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Male hulls with female sponsons?
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This might have been done before. Were there actually any "female" Mk I hulls, or were they all "male" with "female" sponsons? The reason I ask is that I hadn't noticed until watching D. Fletcher's video on Flying Scotsman that it has ammunition racks for 6pdr shells. How and where were the belts for the Vickers stored - assuming belts were used?



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Legend

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To avoid confusing less knowledgeable readers, the tank 'Flying Scotsman' that is preserved at the Tank Museum in Bovington is a Mark II Male. It is serial number 785, which is a Mark II Male number. It should have Male sponsons, but is displayed with just one Female sponson fitted. Therefore the presence within it of 6 pdr stowage is hardly a surprise. It will be noted that the 6 pdr ammunition stowage racks have been cut away in part, which I have always assumed was done when it was converted to a supply tank in 1917.

However James' question is a reasonable one to ask because (a) it must have also carried Hotchkiss gun ammunition, and (b) we don't have a Mark I or II Female hull to examine to work out where Vickers ammunition might have been stored.

It seems to me that it is possible the question of Vickers ammunition stowage was overlooked, since the Mark I (and II) were essentially copies of Mother with a few refinements, and Mother was a Male. One possible solution could have been canvas bags, but I'll admit that I can't recall coming across the answer to this question.

Gwyn

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Commander in Chief

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These pictures - Mk.II 586 at Arras and a Mk.I female at Gaza - suggest that racks were used for machine gun ammo storage very much similar to the storage system in female Mk.IVs.



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Legend

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Good spot MZ.

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Hero

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The MK1 Tanks were built as Male or Female... as the Sponsons were bolted on and could therefore be bolted on to any gender of Chassis, the internal Ammo Storage was actually what determined the Tanks real gender.

Helen x

 



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Legend

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Hi Helen

Agreed regarding the hull ammo stowage. It's sometimes overlooked that there are Male and Female hulls just as there are Male and Female sponsons, but it's really important to understand this. It's partly why serial numbers are important - they tell you what's on the inside even if you can't see it.

Just to be clear Male sponsons weren't fitted to Female Mk I hulls etc even if they could be, but perhaps you didn't mean to imply that. Whether a hull was finished as Male or Female was determined at the factory, based on the MWD supplied internal hull ammo stowage.

Thinking about it, this might be why the Mark I order was divided as it was, with all Females (could have been Males) built in one place. It made the supply of the internal stowage easier logistically - "if it's Female send it to Oldbury".

Gwyn

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