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Post Info TOPIC: Mark V composite "1.8" not a 301st Tank


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Mark V composite "1.8" not a 301st Tank
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Back in 2006, there was a thread about these two photos (now locked but located here:  http://landships.activeboard.com/t7900207/mark-v-composite-301st-tank-battalion-aef-tank-corps/)  in which it was postulated that this was a 301st Tank Bn. vehicle.

While the photos used in the thread (which are replicated here) are housed in the IWM, they appeared in the 1920 volume, A Co Tank 'Treated 'em Rough' 301st Tank Bn.  Tank Corps with captions indicating it was the tank in which Lts. Maury and Frost manned the guns. The captions indicate that the photos were taken on October 4, 1918  (Lt. Rock who is pictured in both was killed a few days later).

301st.jpg 301st-2.jpg



Digging deeper into that attribution, I leaned from the same volume (page 198), that on September 29, 1918, "Jack Frost, a lieutenant commanding a tank [9595] became ditched in a deep trench. When a British tank passed, with all of its crew killed or wounded, the British commander asked for help to man the guns. Lieutenant Frost, with his crew volunteered and operated the machine guns and six pounder. The man next to Frost was killed, but the tank continued to smash machine guns until it was ditched and received a direct hit (See photo of Tank I8 whih is the tank mentioned in this paragraph).

On September 29, Maury's tank also ditched. I cannot find any indication that he accompanied Frost into 1.8, though. Interestingly, the reference above referred to the tank as I8 ("eye-eight") rather than "one eight." The confusion seemed to exist already in 1920!

Meanwhile, and only coincidentally, Maury would be cited with the Distinguished Service Cross for action a few weeks later on October 17 when, "...his motor was running poorly and his tank crew badly gassed,..A little later his motor stopped completely, but he soon located another tank whose crew was badly gassed. He transferred his ammunition and crew to the new tank and continued in the advance of our infantry to the objective."  I suspect this merely coincidence, but the only period reference I can find to Maury leaving his tank and mounting another.

But back to 1.8 and its proper attribution.  The period literature indicates this tank was in the service of the British on September 29, 1918,

I have found a few other tanks that used the same horn numbering style (based on photographic evidence):

Mk V 9279 carried "1.2" on its left horn. On September 29, it was commanded by Lt. Willard, 301st Tank Bn., Co. C.
Mk V* 9808 carried "1.29" on the left horn. I don't know to what unit(s) it was assigned

an unidentified MK V carried 1.16 on left horn.

So, I am not able to conclude anything about the "1.xx" numbers. I don't know who painted them or for what purpose. At the end of the old thread, it was suggested that the "1" somehow related to the 301st, but doesn't seem to be the case, if indeed, 1.8 was crewed by British as the period literature indicates.  

If anyone has any references or other images of the "1.xx" marking on the horns of MK Vs and V*s, it might be of interesting to know where and why this particular combination originated.

Thanks for reading and pondering.

John 

 



-- Edited by jagjetta on Friday 7th of October 2016 05:28:18 PM



-- Edited by jagjetta on Friday 7th of October 2016 05:32:04 PM

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John A-G.
Hudson, WI USA



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Thank you John, very interesting post!

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Denis



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There should be no confusion here. It is quite straightforward. The tank is I.8 (phonetically eye - eight). It is a 9th Battalion tank. 9th (formerly I) Battalion always placed a full stop (period) between the I and the numeral. You can see this on their Mark IVs used at Cambrai as well as later photographs. The well known ones of I.16 (not 1.16) are post-war. The letter I is the ninth letter of the English alphabet so its use by 9th Battalion is in common with British practice since tanks were first used in September 1916.

This tank is not 9595, as that was a Mark V* number and I.8 is a Mark V. I do not have an answer for that conundrum.

I hope that helps, and if it serves to prevent this error repeating itself then that will be a good thing.

Gwyn

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Mark V composite "1.8" not a 301st Tank
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Gwynn:  I was not trying to say that the tank illustrated is 9595.  In fact, the whole point of the post was to indicate that the period literature clearly points to it NOT being 9595 (even the post topic I chose says that: "Mark V composite "1.8" not a 301st Tank") .

Frost abandoned 9595 and the as the literature indicates, he mounted I.8 --  a tank crewed by British troops.

This occurred on September 29, 1918.

Do you know the WD number of I.8 and who the commander may have been on the 29th? 

 

John

 



-- Edited by jagjetta on Friday 7th of October 2016 07:01:06 PM

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John A-G.
Hudson, WI USA



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Here is a snap of MK V* I.29.   


markv_9808.jpeg markv_9808.jpg



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John A-G.
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Legend

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Sorry John, but it just seems so obvious that this is a 9th Battalion tank.

No, the serial number or the commander of this tank is not known to me.

Gwyn

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Brigadier

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RE: Mark V composite "1.8" not a 301st Tank
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Gwyn Evans wrote:

Sorry John, but it just seems so obvious that this is a 9th Battalion tank.

No, the serial number or the commander of this tank is not known to me.

Gwyn


 

I am sorry for my thick-headedness...hopefully, your patience will hold for one more question as I grapple to understand what I am seeing with my eyes, but obviously not comprehending with my brain:

Was / is it a standard practice in the British Army to use the the symbol "1." (one-full stop) in place of the the letter "I" ("eye") as a way to avoid confusion?  Maybe it was part of a phonetic alphabet to use "1." for "I"? 

To be a bit "cheeky," smile (how's that for a command of the Queen's English?) I will use your words to say, "it just seems so obvious" that those are number "1"s on the horns of 1.8 and 1.29.  

 Thanks again...and I hope my questions don't stretch you to the breaking point! smile

Your less-than-bright American fellow-researcher,

John

 

 

 



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John A-G.
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First, an apology, because I think I answered at a bad moment. I ought to have calmed down from whatever had irritated me before responding.

OK. I think the fundamental point here is that despite the fact the first character looks a lot like 1, I don't think it is. I believe it to be I. The main reason for this is nothing to do with that character and everything to do with the second, what you might call a period and I would call a full-stop. It is this that convinces me that this is a 9th Battalion tank because that Battalion always, absolutely always, put a full-stop/period in that position.  I know of no other Battalion that put such a character between the Battalion letter and the crew number (though in 1918 6th Battalion used a /).  

There is however a second reason, and this is that a number 1 in that position makes no sense whatever.  It would imply 1st Battalion but I am not aware of that Battalion marking its tanks in that manner.  

So that's my reasoning.  Hope it helps.

By the way, if you're interested in this tank you might want to look at Australian War Memorial photo H17019.

Gwyn



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