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four matters arising

June 10 2014 at 6:42 PM
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Nelson  (no login)

Response to S.A. Recce Cars in Malaya


Four matters arising:

First, in regard to the Marmon-Herrington armoured cars (I use this term because that's what they were known as in the Western Desert and Malaya-Singapore), it appears that more than 16 of those cars are present in the first photo you posted: the lone soldier in the far distance is at about car No. 16, starting the numbering with the hood (bonnet) of the car partially seen in the foreground. Beyond that lone soldier (into the far, far distance) are parked additional vehicles on the right, although I'm unable to declare with certainty if they are Marmon-Herringtons.

Second, it may be that at least some of the 175 Marmon-Herringtons putatively brought to Malaya came in through Port Swettenham, 24 miles (38 km) southwest of Kuala Lumpur. Again, I'm quoting Mike Taylor from 13 years ago: "There is a useful passage on page 23 of MOON OVER MALAYA [Jonathan Moffatt and Audrey Holmes McCormick]. 'The [Argylls'] Lanchesters were among twenty-two delivered to Malaya before the war. The Marmons, of which some 175 were delivered to Malaya, were brought down from Kuala Lumpur by Lt. Montgomery-Campbell and four drivers early in 1941.' There were no wireless sets in any of the cars. All cars carried a .45 Thompson smg." Note the claim is not made that all 175 cars came through Port Swettenham (and were then apparently stored at Kuala Lumpur, awaiting delivery to various units).

Third, in regard to your second photo, as you assuredly know, it is part of a series of images taken after the battle at Bakri, in which gunners of 4th Anti-Tank Regiment destroyed a number of Japanese tanks and soft vehicles with their 2-pounders. The photo of the burning Type 95 Ha-Go light tank and the capsized Marmon-Herrington was taken with the camera pointing north, after which the photographer repositioned himself farther right to include the second knocked-out Ha-Go just behind the first one. I for one would like to know more about the Marmon on its side, because no account I've read previously mentions a word about it.

[linked image]

See Andrew Warland's website for an explanation of each of the photos in the sequence shot after the battle:

Fourth, speaking of photos of the Marmon-Herrington armoured car/South African recce car, take another squint at the two I posted with mine of June 6 ("editorial comments..."). I'm sure the upper image is of a Mark III vehicle, with the 297cm wheelbase, whereas the lower one may be of the Mark I or II, with a 340cm wheelbase. Whadiya think?


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  • Does it matter? - Jacques on Jun 20, 2014, 9:45 PM
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