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Post Info TOPIC: French Trench Excavator


Hero

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French Trench Excavator
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Hello Gents


 


 I thought since we were on the subject of trench excavators, I would post some early drawings of a French Trench Excavator dated 1916, designed by Jules Legrand, This version was actually built, on a number of different chassis.


 


Also, Centurion spoke briefly about the British Nellie, does any one have any photos, and especially drawings. I have a few photos, with Mr. Churchill looking on, as well as a description by Mr. B.T.White.


  I would love to find more information, and some technical information. Essentially it was I believe a WW1 design, but it was not built until the early part of WW2, Rhomboid in shape and appearance, it heavily resembles the tanks of WW1. I would be very interested in scratch building one, I have some photos of one that has been scratch built some years ago, I will look them up, for those interested.


 


ATB


Tim R



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Legend

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I have scale drawings. I'll have to extract and scan which I can't do until tomorrow. It seems there were originally two Nellies. They were not strictly rhomboids as you'll see from the drawings. Very long with a phenominal for of diging a six foot wide trench.


 IWM picture Q75984 shows another French trencher with tracks down in a trench - this is as I said a small 'Nellie' - Trench certainly isn't 6ft wide



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Hero

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I would appreciate that Centurion, I went to IWM, and I could not locate that photo, I am unsure what I am doing wrong. any way do you have a photo of the La Barge during ther war?


 I have attached two photos of different trenchers.


 1. French used by the English


 2. Austro-Hungarian Trencher, by the way does any one have any information on this trencher, or any more photos.


  I know that a german engineering firm Ritter drew up plans in 1934 to build a Giant Trencher, able to dig under fortifications, like the Maginot Line. This vehicle was to be called the RITTER MIDGARD SCHLANGE it was to have an overall length of 534 meters,built up of 77 individual cells, 6.8 meters wide, 3.5 meters high 6 feet long. It is said Ritter took his design from the Austro-Hungarian Trencher photo attached. Does any one no any thing futher????


 


All the Best


Tim R



-- Edited by Tim R at 23:28, 2006-10-26

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Hero

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Ok thatís aggravating!!!!!!


Here are the photos from the above post, the one posted above go to the first post.


Sorry


ATB


Tim R


 



-- Edited by Tim R at 23:32, 2006-10-26

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Hero

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ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH




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Brigadier

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Tim, in regards to the Austro-Hungarian device, I have attached a set of three pictures from the book "Tanks & Weapons Of World War I" bublished by Beekman House.

The devise is really more of a tunneler than a trencher. The first pic shows the vehicle, the second shows the vehicle in operation, and the third shows the completed tunnel.

To me, the vehicle appears to be being demonstrated to an officer - the smiling man in the white jacket figuring prominently in picture 3 can be seen in the other two pictures aswell.

The caption reads "An Austrian tunneling machine in action on the Galician Front."

---Vil.

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Legend

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Tim, Nellie (named after N.L.E., the specially formed Department of Naval Land Equipments) was entirely a WW2 design. Of course, it looks very WW1, the main hull being rather like a stretched Mk IX on steroids! I've sent you a few scans from John Turner's book and a Military Modelling article and will send more tonight when I get home, but meanwhile, I've attached a glowing review of Turner's book (by no less than our old friend John Glanfield!) which provides a useful potted historical background.


Not only were there striking similarities between the conceptual and administrative origins of Nellie in WW2 and the Landships of WW1 (a restless First Lord of the Admiralty - Churchill in both cases - cajoles his Director of Naval Construction into backing the development of a new wonder weapon), but the geographical origins were the same for both - Lincoln.


PS: Tim, please post images of the scratchbuild you saw - would it be this awesome beast, by any chance?


http://tinyurl.com/y8jdda


Plus the builder's awesome Photobucket album (6 pages of in-progress & finished pics)!


https://s50.photobucket.com/albums/f329/BARV/NELLIE---/?start=#imgAnch14



-- Edited by Roger Todd at 11:56, 2006-10-27

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Legend

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I saw this model (or an identical one) at an IPMS Nationals. The Austrian machine would be used for mining operations (inserting explosives rather than extracting coal!). The British tried something similar but it was a failure ( I believe its rusting remains are still buried  deep underground near Messines) as did the Australians with similar results. One  trouble with mining machines was that is you started from the surface you had to begin way way back as they could not tolerate much of a gradient, the alternative was to sink a shaft and a header by hand, dismantle the machine and man handle it down and reassemble. If you had a break down or other problem you couldn't withdraw it for repairs or adjustments. The British machine constantly attempted to dive (ie gradually go deeper and deeper) I believe that the Australian one hunted (kept altering its direction). Just musing but one wonders if the reason for de Mole being in France was anything to do with Australian tunneling machines - he was a mining engineer after all (and what a suitable name for an Australian mining engineer in France!)


Tim.  I've found the Nellie drawings. As they are doubtless copyright (and the drawer is alive and well) I won't post them on the forum but will get them to you by other means.



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