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Lancashire Fusilier

WW1 Military Motors - 1916 set x 50 cards

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centurion

I can't help but think you are being a bit presumptuous in the assertion that the armoured stretcher is something which never existed and is simply concocted on the back of the proposal for snipers. Both of the illustrations posted are clearly from the same publication, but clearly describe two distinctly different devices. The armoured stretcher illustration I have posted is also from a period publication which quite clearly attributes its invention to a Colonel Cantile RAMC, an asertion I would have thought will have been made with a degree of evidence from the time.

Looking at the concept, I can well imagine some people will have have considered all and any means by which they could get the wounded off the field of battle in greater safty than was afforded by being carried off on an open strecther. Consiquently, the idea of something that could be wheeled forward (empty) to the casualty, and then I imagine dragged or even hauled back on ropes, must surely have been something the authorities may well have considered and experimented with?

Common sense dictates that such a wheeled device will have had all manner of problems in its use, and for this reason I can well imagine it never saw active service, and yet does not mean it will never have been tried etc?

Dave Upton

Try some common sense. If the wounded man needs armoured protection so do the stretcher bearers. Once you've put the man in the armoured shell where do they go? Please supply evidence that such a ludicrous device was ever used.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Armoured Stretcher, Armoured Tricycle - I am sure that 100 years ago, with the wholesale carnage that was taking place on on the battlefield, everyone was giving thought to ways of solving the numerous problems arising from this new type of warfare. As crazy as these inventions may seem to us today, with the benefit of a 100 years of hindsight, at the time, these projects were probably considered viable, credible and necessary.

The Americans recently left Iraq, after having some 4000+ men killed in 9 years, which was bad enough, in WW1 many, many times that number were killed in an hour! - " Necessity is the mother of invention ".

I am confident, that it is only a matter of time before documentary or photographic evidence is found by members for all these fantastic inventions.

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centurion

Armoured Stretcher, Armoured Tricycle - I am sure that 100 years ago, with the wholesale carnage that was taking place on on the battlefield, everyone was giving thought to ways of solving the numerous problems arising from this new type of warfare. As crazy as these inventions may seem to us today, with the benefit of a 100 years of hindsight, at the time, these projects were probably considered viable, credible and necessary.

The Americans recently left Iraq, after having some 4000+ men killed in 9 years, which was bad enough, in WW1 many, many times that number were killed in an hour! - " Necessity is the mother of invention ".

I am confident, that it is only a matter of time before documentary or photographic evidence is found by members for all these fantastic inventions.

WW1 produced a plethora of inventions that but a little thought would have shown to be unworkable. Many of these were species of bullet proof shields, almost inevitably produced by inventors who had never been near the front..

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Lancashire Fusilier

Will's WW1 Military Motors - Card No.26 - Belgian Armoured Car.

" Many forms of Automobile Forts have been designed. This small fortress was used by the Belgians earlier in the war - its strong superstructure and cupola enabled the machine gun crew to stand upright and work their gun effectively "

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Lancashire Fusilier

Will's WW1 Military Motors - Card No.27 - Belgian Motor Kitchen.

" This most servicable Motor Field Kitchen, the body of which was specially designed by Messrs. Barker & Co., South Audley Street ( London ) was presented to the Queen of the Belgians for the Belgian Military authorities "

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Lancashire Fusilier

Will's WW1 Military Motors - Card No.28 - Belgian Motor Mitrailleuse.

" The drivers of these cars, fearless of death or capture, charged right up to the enemy's attacking columns, and with their Mitrailleuse fire kept them for a considerable time at bay "

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Lancashire Fusilier

Will's WW1 Military Motors - Card No.29 - French Flying Corps Motor.

" Nothing is left to chance by the French Flying Corps. Each of their aviators is followed as closely as possible by a skilled mechanic in a motor-car. A spare engine, a duplicate set of propellers, as well as many other spare aeroplane parts are carried on the car "

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Lancashire Fusilier

Will's WW1 Military Motors - Card No.30 - French Motor Ambulance.

" Our French allies have devised a remarkably quick and effective method of transforming an ordinary Taxi-cab into a most useful Ambulance car. The body of the taxi is removed and substituted for a strong wooden framework which can hold three stretchers "

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centurion

Will's WW1 Military Motors - Card No.26 - Belgian Armoured Car.

" Many forms of Automobile Forts have been designed. This small fortress was used by the Belgians earlier in the war - its strong superstructure and cupola enabled the machine gun crew to stand upright and work their gun effectively "

An SVA armoured car

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Will's WW1 Military Motors - Card No.28 - Belgian Motor Mitrailleuse.

" The drivers of these cars, fearless of death or capture, charged right up to the enemy's attacking columns, and with their Mitrailleuse fire kept them for a considerable time at bay "

The Minerva again

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Rockdoc

Will's WW1 Military Motors - Card No.29 - French Flying Corps Motor.

" Nothing is left to chance by the French Flying Corps. Each of their aviators is followed as closely as possible by a skilled mechanic in a motor-car. A spare engine, a duplicate set of propellers, as well as many other spare aeroplane parts are carried on the car "

I wonder how long that idea lasted? Ignoring the difficulties of keeping up even on perfect roads, what about sorties beyond enemy lines? I've read that the AA Sections were originally supposed to fire at a plane, close down, move to another location, wait for it to arrive and re-engage it. There is a piece of film on a DVD I got via the Daily Telegraph some years ago that supposedly shows this but, even at the start of the war, planes were simply too fast.

Keith

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centurion

The SAVA again

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centurion

I wonder how long that idea lasted? Ignoring the difficulties of keeping up even on perfect roads, what about sorties beyond enemy lines? I've read that the AA Sections were originally supposed to fire at a plane, close down, move to another location, wait for it to arrive and re-engage it. There is a piece of film on a DVD I got via the Daily Telegraph some years ago that supposedly shows this but, even at the start of the war, planes were simply too fast.

Keith

I have to admit that this is one of the cards I have doubts about. Whilst on a perfect road the car shown would be faster than the Bleriot beside it, which had a top speed in perfect conditions of 66 mph but would normally fly at under 60mph, swapping over the rotary engine without the necessary equipment of a block and tackle and something to hang it from would be beyond a pilot and a mechanic. The tactic of moving the AA that you describe was devised by the Germans for use against free balloons using light guns on the back of lorries but I don't think it was ever used.

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Lancashire Fusilier

WW1 Motor Field Kitchen.

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Rockdoc

The piece of film I mentioned could not have been taken before early 1915, just from when the 6cwt guns started to become available. It would look reasonably good to anyone who's not a WW1 AA nerd but it is, of course, faked. You see the lorry charge towards the camera and come to a halt (I was going to put screech to a halt but I doubt if its brakes were that capable!). The men leap off, prepare and fire. So far, so good - except you can see the girder for the jack on the front, driver's side of the platform swinging back and forth as the lorry is driving when it should be pinned in place and none of the jacks is put down yet there is no movement of the platform when the gun is fired. Ergo, the round is a blank. There's an IWM photo of two AA guns in the square at Armentieres in a WFA Stand To! last year that shows how much the platform moves when it really is engaging a plane without jacks. It's hard to imagine how the gunners kept their feet.

Keith

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centurion

"In 1906 at the Berlin automobile exhibition Rheinmetall showed a 5cm L/30 pivot gun mounted on a lightly armoured motor car, while Krupp choose a 6.5cm L/35 gun. The tactic suggested was to deploy these vehicles in likely places and, on the appearance of an aircraft, to drive them rapidly to some point of interception, and open fire there."

In 1906 an aircraft would effectively mean an balloon or an airship. Britain followed suit and after some unsuccessful experiments with an 18 ponder settled on a 13 pounder but with a modified 18 pounder cartridge. These were withdrawn by 1914. However I'd bet that the tactical doctrine remained on paper.

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Rockdoc

Centurion, I'm intrigued by your second paragraph, specifically the second sentence as it contradicts the official history, as given in the History of the Ministry of Munitions, Vol X. That says it did not take many weeks from the outbreak of war before French was calling for an AA presence. The first Sections went to France equipped with 1pdr pom-pom guns - also used for the defence of London - but they were not very effective, having only solid shells so being, effectively, large bullets. After French's appeal, money was scraped together and work began on modifying the 13pdr 6cwt field gun in October 1914. The main design work were the modification of the breech to take a retention system and the high-angle mount. After the expected test firings and modifications, the guns were given the go-ahead and started to arrive in France in early 1915. It soon began to show its limitations, particularly the low muzzle-velocity that led to excessive flight times for the shells. The first design of HA mount was not ideal and the Mark II was a considerable improvement.

The 18pdr was the next experiment but its MV was even less than its smaller cousin. It was then suggested that it be sleeved-down to take the 13pdr shell but retaining the existing breech for the additional charge weight. They had problems manufacturing them at the rate required and supply was not deemed acceptable until July 1916.

The MV was significantly improved but they then had problems with the fuzes failing. This took some explaining and the development of a tes rig that could operate at different air pressures and rotate the fuze at different speeds. The problem was traced to the rotational velocity imparted by the rifling, whose pitch was the same as the 18pdr. The higher speed was enough to break the flame front off the ring of compressed powder so the rifling was changed to reduce the rotation to the same speed as the 18pdr.

As I understood it, the Army had done nothing towards AA defence, while the Navy had worked on AA guns before the war and developed the 3in 20cwt, a much better weapon than the 6cwt or 9cwt but very heavy and not really suitable for use as a mobile gun.

So it appears from the OH that the Army did not begin work until after the outbreak of war but your post suggests otherwise. Would you mind quoting your references, please?

Keith

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centurion

From the Royal New Zealand Artillery Association.

"Not to be outdone, the Royal Artillery at first put their 18-pr Mk 1 (3.3-in) field gun on high-angle mounting on a truck chassis. However, its performance left much to be desired so they relined the gun down to 13-pr (3-in) but retained the 18-pr cartridge. This combination proved much more efficient. It was superseded in 1914 by the QF 3-in 20-cwt gun which survived until 1946. Not another makeshift, the 3-in was a piece especially designed for the AA role, but like its predecessors it first made use of an ordinary truck body as a platform."

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phil@basildon

I have just come across this thread so sorry about being a bit late with this. The armoured tricycle did exist and it was powered. But it was only an experiment tried out in the mid Edwardian period and at that time motor tricycles had a brief period of popularity. Most were basically a motorbike with the handlebars and front forks replaced by a two wheel carriage to carry goods or one or two persons. The armoured tricycle IIRC was made by AC cars who made these cars up until about 1914. Several other famous British car makers produced such vehicles during that period including Lagonda, Riley, Singer and Wolseley.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Perhaps this was the forerunner ?

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bob lembke

The car is not named Minerva - that is the name of a manufacturer of motor vehicles who built many armoured cars (at least eight of this particular model) and the officer may in fact be Lt Kervyn de Letterhove

Actually, I believe (from stuff that I heard as a young lad), that "Minerva" was a subsidiary brand of Daimler-Benz, as was a sister firm, Mercedes-Benz"; I think (from this distant memory) that Minerva was based in Belgium.

We have a Belgian Forumite, Carl de Roo, who has given both me and the Forum interesting info on the Belgian armored motorcar warfare, including an incident in Ghent 150 meters from his present front door; in that one independent action by a Belgian armored car in defiance of a truce arrainged by the mayor of Ghent almost led to the city being badly shelled if not destroyed. I can cite a source if anyone is interested. It seemed that often these armored cars zipped about on self-defined missions with little or no coordination with the local military or civil authorities.

Bob Lembke

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Lancashire Fusilier

Oh those wonderful Military inventions - Armoured Quadricycle armed with a Maxim Machine Gun, and powered by a small motor. The vehcle is demonstrated by the inventor a Mr. F. R. Simms.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The Seabrook Armoured Car

Using a 5 ton truck chassis, the Admiralty designed a heavy armoured car that was intended to back up the machine gun armed vehicles that had been deployed in Belgium at the start of WW1. The vehicle had more the appearance of a land based patrol boat.

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Lancashire Fusilier

More of those wonderful WW1 Military Inventions - The 1915 Sizaire-Berwick " Wind Wagon ".

Looks like the forerunner of the Hovercraft -

The " Wind Wagon " was a 1915 Admiralty experiment. Only one of these Armoured Cars were made, and it was only tested in England.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The 1915 Killen-Straight Tracked Vehicle Test - the roots of what would later be claimed as the first complete tank.

The photograph shows a Killen-straight being demonstrated to Churchill, Lloyd George and others at Wormwood Scrubs on 30 June 1915, overcoming obstacles, and cutting barbed wire entanglements with a naval torpedo net cutter.

In July 1915 the fighting compartment of a Delaunay-Belleville armoured car ( without its turret ) was placed on a Killen-Straight, making the first ever tracked armoured vehicle - a tank.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Leyland Armoured Car.

Leyland Motors manufactured 4 heavy Armoured Cars in 1915 for service in East Africa. The cars had no mud guards and had solid tyres. Drawbacks included a high centre of gravity and a narrow wheel base. Later, they were fitted with flanged wheels that allowed them to be driven on railway tracks.

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