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Post Info TOPIC: Identity check


Legend

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I think that this caputured AC may have been one of the RNAS improvised cars from 1914. Any ideas anyone?


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Legend

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Looks very similar to this, the so-called Admiralty First Pattern (photo from Glanfield)...



B T White, in 'Tanks and Other Armoured Fighting Vehicles 1900-1918', says that probably around 18 RRs of this pattern were supplied, along with similarly armoured Wolseleys and Talbots.


David Fletcher's 'War Cars' has a photo on p.15 of another very similar RR.



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Legend

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I'd thought of that one but the drivers hood, although similar, is not the same - in the first example it appears to be bigger, also the cowling (or whatever) in front of it doesn't reach up to the hood - there is a gap. There are also some minor differences in the front wheel guards. Its the fact that they are similar but not identical that made me wonder if the first was an in the field  improvisation upon which the first Admiralty pattern was based.

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Legend

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It's clearly not the same vehicle, which is why I said it was only similar. Apart from anything else, the headlights are completely different. However, as it would appear that a number were built (and White says it is uncertain exactly how many were, but it was 'probably around 18'), it may very well be one of those. They wouldn't necessarily be 100% identical. In any case, it's impossible to be sure about the cowling as the photos are taken from completely different angles - for example, the hood in your photo may only appear larger as the lower part is not so obscured by the cowling (by which I presume you mean the raised section upon which is sat the chap with the Kaiser Bill 'tache and his foot on the mudguard) which is in front, and thus in the camera's line of sight in Glanfield's photo.


As for the first armoured RR, IIRC Chalres Samson was responsible for that. He had it armoured in a Dunkirk dockyard (or somewhere), along with a Mercedes, and it looks completely different to either these or the later, 'classic', armoured RR - it was only partially armoured, as the chassis and suspension wouldn't take the weight of too much armour without modifications. The extent of the armouring was nowhere near as great as that of the vehicles in the photos above, which were the next step after his car, and is why I believe the car in your photo is simply one of the batch of early Admiralty pattern RRs.



-- Edited by Roger Todd at 11:54, 2006-04-20

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Legend

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Roger Todd wrote:


 As for the first armoured RR, IIRC Chalres Samson was responsible for that. He had it armoured in a Dunkirk dockyard (or somewhere), along with a Mercedes, and it looks completely different to either these or the later, 'classic', armoured RR - it was only partially armoured, as the chassis and suspension wouldn't take the weight of too much armour without modifications. The extent of the armouring was nowhere near as great as that of the vehicles in the photos above, which were the next step after his car, and is why I believe the car in your photo is simply one of the batch of early Admiralty pattern RRs.-- Edited by Roger Todd at 11:54, 2006-04-20

Up to 15 cars and small lorries had impovised armour applied to varying degrees (some with possible strengthening of suspension) so it is possible that it could be one of these.

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Legend

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Looking at the original photo in this thread there is one key identity feature that would indicate that it is not one of the Admiralty pattern cars shipped out to Samson in about mid to late October 1914 - the rear wheels are single and not double rimmed as was specified for the Rolls Royces converted for the Admiralty. If one looks at page 15 of War Cars by David Fletcher there is a photo of an RNAS Rolls Royce (1st Admiralty pattern) that shows the dual rim rear wheels. The driver's hood is much narrower as well. If you look at the shot of the captured car the slpping side of the hood comes down almost to the edge of the car's main body work whereas that on the Standard Admiralty pattern disappears inside the sloping plate shield round the hood. This page also states that the Admiralty pattern cars had dual rims specially fitted before the armour was added. The Dunkirk ship yard appears to have been merrily producing cars to Samsons designs (as well as extensively modifying some of those shipped across by the Admiralty) for some months so the captured car could well have been 'produce' there.
The photo of the captured car is from a web site showing photos taken by a member of a German Flying Corps unit based in Belgium 1914 -15. As some of the other photos show the unit was partly equipped with the rare early Otto pusher biplane I may be able to track it down and see where in Belgium it was based. If we then combine this with the places and dates were the RNAS armoured cars were operating this could provide more information on the origins of the car.

-- Edited by Centurion at 16:14, 2006-04-20

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I beg to differ.  It is most likely one of the Clement-Talbot 1st Pattern RNAS armoured car.  Three of the fist five delivered to France on September 26, 1914 were Clement-Talbot's.  Of the three makes used (other two are Rolls-Royce and Wolsely), only the Talbot had wood spoked wheels.  Yes, they were also doubled at the back.  If you look closely at the first picture, you see there is room for a second rear wheel on the right side under the armour.  It is just missing.  Probably the result of the mechanical problem that resulted in the capture of this almost new vehicle.  Aside from the write-up on this topic in The Devil's Chariot, there is pictorial evidence in The Tank Museum collection that they were armoured differently for each make, probably at each of the chassis builder's factorys.

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Neal


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The Talbots delivered ex factory had a large SINGLE sloping plate in front of the radiator projecting up above the line of the bonnet to give the driver some protection (he didn't have a cowl) (see photo 27.War Cars by David Fletcher). Samson both armoured some Talbots using armour plate sent out from the UK, extensively modified the ex factory models and had the ship yard in Dunkirk produce some to his own design. In all cases these cars had more sensible hinged doors in front of the radiators and the front wheels were completely covered in (ex factory Talbots had the sides of the wheelguard open). (Tanks and other Armoured Fighting Vehicles 1900 -1918 B.T White). The captured car has closed in front wheels and doors on the radiators If this car is a Talbot it is thus not an ex factory Talbot but rather a Samson 'special' improvisation.

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The 1st Pattern RR AC wood proto and the factory proto Clement-Tablot had the forward mounted stationary radiator armour.  There is no evidence that any of the 1st Pattern armoured cars delivered to France had this armour.  The 1st Pattern Wolseleys had a sliding tool box type radiator armour.  Picture 29 in War Cars shows it hanging half out.  I agree it is not clear if the vertically hinged radiator armour for the Rolls-Royce and Clement-Tablot were added before or right after arriving in France.  There doesn't seem to have been enough time to do it after, since they were commited to combat almost immediately. 

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Neal


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Neal wrote:


The 1st Pattern RR AC wood proto and the factory proto Clement-Tablot had the forward mounted stationary radiator armour.  There is no evidence that any of the 1st Pattern armoured cars delivered to France had this armour. 


Except for a very clear photograph of one in RNAS service in Belgium /France (marked RN 61)with the fixed plate - see my previous reference to the photo reproduced in numerous books but specifically in War Cars by David Fletcher. If as you say they went straight into action then there wouldn't be time to convert them to the vertically hinged radiator doors. Thus the captured car in the original photo cannot be one of those deliverd from the UK. On this basis it has to be one that Samson had armoured at Dunkirk (at Forge et Chanters) prior to the delivery of the factory built/converted cars.


Re the missing wheel. Talbots had detachable wheel rims - those on the Rolls Royce could only be removed  in a proper workshop. 'Loosing' a rim would not disable a Talbot as suggested.



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Yes, I agree the Rolls-Royce dual wheels could only be removed as a set.  Since they are made up of two rims spoked to one hub.  I have drawings of the spoking pattern.  I did not say that that the loss of one rear wheel disabled the Clement-Tablot, only that it was indicative that some thing happened and the single rear wheel is possibly the result of a German field repair effort to recover the car.  I am now home so can check sources.  I agree with you that the picture in David's War Cars of the the Talbot RN 61 is possibly of the car in France or just before being sent over.  David Fletcher in personnel correspondence has stated that he has additional views of the Talbot at the what appears to be the Talbot factory. including a very rare top view.  After exchanging many E-Mails over the years, he hasn't answer my E-Mails this month, anyone know if anything is up?  Or is my wonderful company blocking my foreign E-Mails?

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Neal


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Just to confuse the issue some (usually reliable) sources get muddled beteen the Wolsley and the Talbot as in this shot of a Wolsley in Antwerp that appears under the caption of Admiralty Talbot!


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It's a Wolsley.  It has wire wheels so it is not a Tablot.  The front dumb irons are too short for a Rolls-Royce and the steering also does not match the Silver Ghost.



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Neal


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Neal wrote:


It's a Wolsley.  It has wire wheels so it is not a Tablot.  The front dumb irons are too short for a Rolls-Royce and the steering also does not match the Silver Ghost.

Yes thats what I said - I was pointing out how useually reliable sources could get it wrong!

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Legend

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The unit with the captured car was based at Roeselare (Roulers). It was a fliegertruppen outfit involved with early photo recce. Samsons force was in action near Roulers between 16th an 18th Oct 1914

"About 16/10/14 Capt. C. Graham was sent from Poperinghe by Cdr. Samson with a section of three Cars & 20 men to report to Sir T. Capper, cmdg. 7th Division, who sent them to reconnoitre & get in touch with the German Cavalry ; this they did well in front of the Menin-Roulers road. On 18/10/14 they went out again & got into action at 50 yards range, losing two men killed ; fortunately the cars had been turned about & approached their objective backward, so that they were able to pick up the men & effect their escape, whilst the 7th Division Artillery demolished the objective, a mill ; the killed were buried in a field near Bercelaere"


The two men lost have been identified by a war graves unit as being Ptes.Treagus & Oatley RMLI


However there is no mention of any car being lost in this area. To complicate matters it appears that the Oxfordshires were also operating with two armoured cars in the same general area at the same time. Again there is no record of any loss of a car. A single unidentified British armoured car has also been reported as firing on a party of Uhlans on the Roulers Menin road. All of this was part of the run up to the 1st Battle of Ypres. It would certainly sem that there was quite a bit of armoured car activity in the area - not all of it necessarily RNAS.



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Those are great photos, I would love to see a "top view", as it's conjecture otherwise.


Regarding the origin of the captured car, I would suspect that it wasn't one of Samson's.  Wasn't 'RNAS" painted along the side?  This car doesn't seem to have any markings.


I would agree that the car isn't a Rolls.  The artillery spoke wheels are the give-away.


Not sure what's going on with Dave.  I haven't been in correspondance with him for years.  None of the bulletins I get from the Friends of the Tank Museum have mentioned anything about him one way or another.  Perhaps one of our British members could check on him?


 


 



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Legend

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Nailcreek


Some Rolls Royces of the period were fitted with artillery wheels! So if it were an improvisation based on a privately own car it could still be a Rolls Royce  but not Admiralty pattern. It doesn't  have to be either British or a Talbot. Given that the Talbots were effectively license built Belgian Clements it could be an improvised Belgian armoured car based on a Clement (or indeed some other tourer - wire wheels were not fitted to all makes - including Minerva and Mors). Given that after the loss of the Minerva works the Belgians had armour fitted in French factories (including I believe in Dunkirk) a similar layout to early RNAS vehicle is always possible. Just a thought.



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Legend

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Nailcreek wrote:


Not sure what's going on with Dave.  I haven't been in correspondance with him for years.  None of the bulletins I get from the Friends of the Tank Museum have mentioned anything about him one way or another.  Perhaps one of our British members could check on him?    

He's still there, as busy as ever. Drop him a line, he usually replies pretty quickly.

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Legend

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I found this in the old Profile publication on Armoured Cars:



Looks like the model for the illustration in B T White's book.


BTW, the moire paterning was on the reproduction in the magazine, and not due to inept scanning!



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