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Lanchester 6x4 armoured car and Vickers LMG(?) in Malaya

June 1 2014 at 9:33 PM
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Nelson  (no login)

 
Although the statement is routinely made that no British Commonwealth tanks fought in Malaya from December 1941 to February 1942, there is considerable disagreement about their presence on Singapore Island, specifically as manned by 100th [Indian] Independent Light Tank Squadron. While still in India, the unit manned Indian pattern Marks IV and VI light tanks, armed with .5-inch (12.7mm) and .303-inch (7.7mm) Vickers machine guns. What the squadron was equipped with during its presence in Singapore, however, differs among various sources, with more than one account claiming their vehicles were Carden-Loyd tankettes or machine gun carriers that had seen hard service in the Middle East. These sources assert the vehicles were shipped as-was to Singapore, and their state of repair was not, in short, first-rate. Again, accounts differ whether any of these vehicles were committed to action on the island, but if any were, they were introduced piecemeal in a pitifully small number and had no effect on the outcome of the battle at any point.

What is not at issue, however, is the presence of armored cars, in both Malaya and Singapore. The vehicle most conspicuous there remains the Lanchester 6x4 Mark I armoured car, whose first development dated from 1928. It was by any measure a large and heavy vehicle, equipped with a 6-cylinder in-line, gasoline-fueled engine. Specifically, the car's dimensions were 20 ft (6.1 m) in length, 6.6 ft (2 m) in width, and 9 ft (2.8 m) in height, though that height may or may not include the commander's cupola atop the turret. The armor rather consistently ran to 0.35 inch (9 mm) in thickness, and the vehicle weighed between 7.7 and 8.2 short tons (7 to 7.5 metric tons), one presumes whether empty or loaded. Its armament consisted of one each Vickers .5-inch and .303-inch machine gun in the turret and another .303-inch MG facing front on the left side of the hull, i.e., opposite the driver's side.

Four marks appeared during its developmental and building history: the Marks I and IA (22 or 23 built) and the Marks II and IIA (13 built); the 'A' versions were command vehicles, with a radio set in lieu of the hull MG. The two basic marks differed thus: the earlier one had dual wheels on each side of its two rear axles (both powered), carried a pair of spare tires flush on its left side above the footboard, and displayed a vertical-sided commander's cupola; the later mark car had single wheels on its two rear axles (both powered), one spare tire mounted on each side of the vehicle above the footboard, and presented a slope-sided cupola.

The Lanchester 6x4 armoured car, Mark I, is shown below.

[linked image]

The AFV underwent initial field testing with two regular cavalry regiments, 11th Hussars and 12th Lancers. But however one slices it, the Lanchester armoured car was a heavy vehicle, underpowered, and too slow---top speed 45 mph (or 72 km/h)---for a vehicle engaged in reconnaissance and rear guard action. Sources differ on its off-road capability, but generally all agree that a larger engine and a 6x6 power arrangement would have served it better. [I remain confused about the standard engine provided this vehicle: some sources indicate 40 hp (30 kW), others declare 90 hp (67 kW), and yet others claim 40 hp that developed 88 hp (65.5 kW) max at 2300 rpm.]

Accordingly, the Lanchester 6x4 armoured car was soon relegated to Territorial units at home (typically Yeomanry), and colonial and volunteer units abroad. In Malaya, the Lanchaster armoured car went to a number of volunteer units, but most notably to a regular infantry battalion, 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (photos of the Argylls in training show the armoured car remaining on the road, while crew members deploy into the scrub). Alas, I have little information on its combat history in Malaya-Singapore, so if someone is able to fill in that void, it would be much appreciated.

Following, a series of three photos showing members of 2nd Bn, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, training with the Mark I Lanchester 6x4 armoured car in Malaya. Note the water-cooled Vickers "light" machine gun being deployed by the crew, and the water chest visible in each of the images.

[linked image]

[linked image]

[linked image]

My question is on the curious and to my knowledge little seen Vickers light MG, presumably .303-inch, equipped with a bipod near the muzzle and a monopod on the butt-stock, in the manner of a Boys .55-inch (14mm) antitank rifle. I cannot tell if the ribbed water jacket is the same length as on a standard Vickers water-cooled infantry machine gun, but I am able to say that in my memory, I've not seen this type of Vickers MG before. I have consulted various websites and the hard copy of Smith & Smith's Small Arms of the World, 1973 edition, but no luck in finding this gun. Can anyone shed light on this seemingly rare Vickers LMG? Was it provided only to armored car crews? Its use was clearly dependent upon the provision of a water chest, hardly an asset for an LMG.

Nelson

 
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Jim Broshot
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Re: Lanchester 6x4 armoured car and Vickers LMG(?) in Malaya

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June 2 2014, 1:06 AM 

"Can anyone shed light on this seemingly rare Vickers LMG? Was it provided only to armored car crews? Its use was clearly dependent upon the provision of a water chest, hardly an asset for an LMG."

Not really rare and not really a LMG.

from WW2 FACT FILES MACHINE GUNS (Peter Chamberlain and Terry Gander)(1974)

'.303" Vickers Tank Machine Guns
The Marks of the Vickers Machine Gun developed for use in AFVs were the 4B, 6, 6* and 7. The 4B and 6 entered service in 1934 and the other two after 1938. They were all very similar adaptations of the basic Vickers design, with the main change being that pistol grip and trigger were fitted in place of the usual spade grips. The water jacket was retained and connections provided on the Mark 6 for an internal header tank for coolant water. The mountings differed from mark to mark but they were all rather heavy, bulky and expensive. Most British AFVs carried a .303in machine gun between the wars and the gun served mainly as a co-axial gun on cruiser and heavy tanks and as the main armament of many light tanks and armoured cars. They were eventually replaced by the 7.92mm Besa guns.'

DATA (Mark 7)
Calibre 7.7mm 0.303 in
Length 1100mm 43.3 in
Barrel Length 790mm 31.1 in
Weight 21.4 kg 47.2l lb
M.V. 744 m/s 2440 ft/sec
Rate of Fire 45-500 rpm
Type of Feed 250 round fabric belt

Similar data can be found in MILITARY SMALL ARMS OF THE 20th CENTURY - 7th Edition (Ian V. Hogg and John S. Weeks)(2000)

Mark VI

[linked image]

Mark VII

[linked image]

Above photos from this site

http://www.vickersmachinegun.org.uk/

which notes

"The Mk. VI, Mk. VI*, and Mk. VII Vickers MGs were the secondary armament for all Tanks in British Service until the gradual introduction of the Besa and Browning MGs in the early 1940s. This meant that they were being produced in line with the developments and demands of the Tank 'fleet'. As well as being produced from scratch, they were also being converted from Mk. I guns, either from guns that needed repair anyway or from new production stock. The majority of components were common to all guns in .303-inch."






 
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Pat Brennan
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Lanchester 6x4 armoured car and Vickers LMG(?) in Malaya

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June 2 2014, 1:28 AM 

Nelson

The machine gun in question is one of several versions of the Vickers machine gun modified for use on Armored Fighting Vehicles. It could be one of the following versions - Marks 4B, 6, 6*, or 7. It is most likely a Mark 4B or 6 as these entered service in 1934 while the other two types entered service in 1938.

These types were also used on British light tanks of the 1930s thru WW2. The following website will give you info and pictures on each of these versions of the Vickers.

http://www.vickersmachinegun.org.uk/

As far as dimensional data is concerned, I only have a small blurb on these guns in the WW2 Fact File - Machine Guns by Peter Chamberlain and Terry Gander. There is also some comparative data on Mark 1.

Mark 1 Data

Overall Length - 45.5 in
Barrel Length - 28.4 in
Weight w/water w/o tripod - 40 lb.

Mark 7 Data

Overall Length - 43.3 in
Barrel Length - 31.1 in
Weight w/water - 47.2 lb did not use tripod

Caliber for both is .303 in.

I hope that this helps.

Pat Brennan

 
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Pat Brennan
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Jim Beat Me To It

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June 2 2014, 1:31 AM 


Sorry for the second entry of the same info. Next time, I need to look back at the forum before I hit the respond button.

Pat Brennan

 
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Jim Broshot
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Re: Jim Beat Me To It

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June 2 2014, 2:41 AM 

Just goes to show that great minds run in the same circles (and have the same books in their libraries). happy.gif

 
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Nelson
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more on the Vickers machine gun, tank variants

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June 2 2014, 7:48 AM 

Guys,

Thanks for the prompt responses. Note that while I got the rarity part wrong, I did doubt these Vickers guns were actually LMGs (I put quotation marks around "light" when first introduced). Think I know how these MGs were deployed.

> The water jacket was retained and connections provided on the Mark 6 for an internal header tank for coolant water. >

Note in the first of the three photos taken of the members of 2nd Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, the crew member is leaping pretty nimbly from the rear of the armored car, handling the Vickers machine gun (Mark VI or VI*?) with ease. I conclude from that and the second photo that no water is in the gun's water jacket, which otherwise would have increased substantially the burden on the carrier. The other soldier in the first photo is consolidating the contents of a second water chest into the first one (on the ground). There is no drainage tube shown in the third photo, of the gun in place ready to fire, so the water chests shown were likely not condensation cans. In regular Vickers infantry MGs, water vapor produced by the increasingly hot gun barrel within the water jacket---roughly 1.5 pints evaporated for each 1000 rounds fired---drained into and condensed within the drainage tube, after which it collected in the condensation can. Rather, the water from the chest shown in the photos was poured into the water jacket of the machine gun once the gun had been emplaced, and likely that's where that internal header tank came into play. Also, the probability was that only brief delaying fire was anticipated before the crew returned to their vehicle and moved on.

The first and third photos of the Lanchester Mark I armoured car deploying their Vickers MG are repeated here for convenience in viewing.

[linked image]

[linked image]

Again, does anyone have any details on the actions involving Lanchester or other types of British armoured cars in 1941-1942, particularly on the Malayan mainland?

Nelson

 
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Nelson
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Additional info in another network54 forum

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June 6 2014, 7:52 PM 

Managed to find more a bit more info on armored car use in Malaya/Singapore in the Allied WWII AFV discussion group, specifically in network54.com/Forum/47208, taking place in April 2001. I don't know if that forum survives these 13 years since. Anyway, the discussion, "Singapore/Malayan armoured cars 1941/1942", includes the following thread between the two individuals named. Other than my italicizing periodical and ship names, and correcting a handful of typos, what follows is virtually word-for-word, including Mr. Taylor's mixture of British and American spellings. I have also added bold-faced numbers to flag my own editorial remarks following their discussion (given the length of the thread quoted here, I'll add my comments and illustrative photos in a following post, and my apologies for that necessity).

Tomek Basarabowicz, April 11, 2001:

"According to Raymond Surlemont's article in Armored Car No. 10, twenty-two Lanchester armoured cars were sent to Malaya, of which thirteen were Mk.I's, one Mk.IA, five Mk.II's and three Mk.IIA's.
Four Lanchesters were taken over by 2nd A&S Highlanders (together with three Marmon-Herrington A/C's).1
The rest went to both armoured car companies (Singapore and Malay), as well as Straits Settlements detachments."

Mike Taylor, April 16, 2001:

"The following extracts and comments are from two books. The first is the 2 Argyll's regimental history, HISTORY OF THE ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS 2nd BATTALION (The Thin Red Line): Malayan Campaign 1941-1942, Brigadier I. MacA. Stewart, DSO, OBE, MC, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1947.2
The second is MOON OVER MALAYA: A Tale of Argylls and Marines by Jonathan Moffatt & Audrey Holmes McCormick, Coombe Publishing, 1999 (no ISBN).
The 2nd Argylls' basic organization at the beginning of the campaign was as follows.
'The Battalion was organized and equipped on generally the same scale as for other theatres [i.e., BHQ, HQ Coy. & 4 Rifle Coys], with the notable exception that it had an armoured car platoon [No. 4 Platoon, HQ Coy.] of seven cars, of which four were old and temperamental Lanchesters armed with two Vickers and a .5 anti-tank machine gun, though for the latter there was scarcely any ammunition. In their young days they had been in Palestine. The other three were South African built Marmons, armed with a single Vickers and an anti-tank rifle.1 Used as mobile forts, the armoured cars became the framework on which the Battalion tactics were built up. Without them, there is no question that the 93rd would not have had its repeated successes in meeting the Jap encircling attacks and quick follow-ups. There were four 3-inch mortars and a few newly arrived 2-inch ones on establishment.' (Regimental history, page 5)
The Lanchester cars, of which the Battalion initiallty had five, were at one point taken from the Battalion to provide vehicles for 3rd Indian Cavalry Regiment, recently converted to a recce regiment and assigned (at least initially) to III Corps, but who had arrived minus all its vehicles. Four of them were returned before the Argylls saw action as their new owners could not make them work!3
The Battalion fought its way down Malaya and reached Singapore on 13 January, by which time they were reduced to just one armoured car. (This car met 'a gallant end in the last dark days engaging a Jap medium tank in the dark on the road to Bukit Timah' {Regimental history, page 12}). However, 'within ten days [the Battalion] had acquired two 3-inch mortars and 700 rounds of ammunition, four carriers, six armoured cars, and all the light machine guns and tommy guns that it could use for its 250 men.' (Regimental history, page 93). The vehicles were mostly those which had been abandoned by other units, but in one case outright theft was attempted when the Argylls' armoured car platoon sergeant arrested the crew of another unit's car and locked them in the guardhouse on the basis that they should have been fighting the Japs! The other unit's CO appears to have been quite understanding about it.
The 250 Argylls were made up from the survivors of the fighting in the Malay peninsula plus just about every member of the regiment who had been drafted to other units or the staff, and those in hospital who could walk or stagger to join the Battalion. They formed a HQ and two weak rifle companies. They were subsequently reinforced by 200 Royal Marines, survivors from Prince of Wales and Repulse, who made up two more weak rifle companies and manned one of the mortars and an armoured car. (Regimental history, page 94). The RM contingent thereafter styled themselves 'The Plymouth Argylls'.
MOON OVER MALAYA contains a couple of useful photos of Lanchesters. On the front cover there is one showing licence plate W[WD arrow]468 and a large letter B or figure 8 on a light coloured circle on the right mudguard. In the body of the book there is a picture of a line of about 5 Lanchesters, the front one licence number W[WD arrow]465. Other markings are obscured. In addition, the Argylls' history states that the cars 'bore the names of the castles of Scotland on their turrets, and Stirling Castle, the home of the Regiment, need feel no shame at the achievements of its namesake.' (Regimental history, page 12). MOON provides additional information, saying that the Marmons were not named but used the last two numbers of their registration plates, as in Car 24 or Car 68. The Lanchester car names are identified as Stirling Castle, Dumbarton Castle, Glamis Castle, Inverness Castle and Blair Castle. (MOON, page 24). Blair Castle seems to have been the car never returned to the Battalion and so presumably fought with 3 Indian Cavalry Regt.3,4
There is a useful passage on page 23 of MOON OVER MALAYA. 'The armoured car situation [of 2 Argylls] compared favourably with the two Indian battalions [4/19 Hyderabad and 5/2 Punjab] in the Brigade [12th], who had only three armoured cars and eight carriers each with no armoured car platoons as such. 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.
MOON also states that the original establishment of the Argylls' carrier platoon was 14 carriers, each with a Bren and a Thompson smg. This was rather more than might reasonably be expected of an infantry battalion of the period, which usually fielded no more than ten carriers.

3 Indian Cavalry 'took delivery of sixteen Marmon Herrington armoured cars at Singapore in December 1941.3 These vehicles were new, not run in, and were without machine gun fittings, spares and tools. During the journey to III Corps area, the inexperienced drivers and mechanics either ditched or rendered unserviceable thirteen of them.' (UK Official History, THE WAR AGAINST JAPAN, Volume 1: The Loss of Singapore, Major General Woodburn Kirby, HMSO, 1957, page 217 fn 1). It seems they [the 3rd Cavalry troopers?] may have been mounted mainly in 15cwt. trucks.

18 Recce. Regiment, converted from 5 Loyals, arrived off Singapore on 5 February 1942 when their ship, the liner Empress of India, was sunk by Japanese aircraft. They lost all their equipment and had to be re-equipped from local resources, but it is not clear what that was. There is a reference in their regimental history to the Battalion leading an attack on Bukit Timah village on 10 February and that the attack was led by 'ten wheeled carriers'. However, it is not entirely clear that these carriers belonged to the Battalion.5 (THE LOYAL REGIMENT (North Lancashire) 1919-1953 by Captain C. G. T. Dean, Private by the Regiment, 1955, pages 151-2 & 154)

2 Loyals were also in Singapore, part of 1st Malay Infantry Brigade, and on page 131 of the Regimental history, reference is made to an unspecified number of armoured cars being on establishment on 5 September 1939. An issue of nine armoured cars was made on 7 December 1941 (page 134), but it is not clear whether these were in addition to the existing cars. There seems to be no mention of type of car. The Battalion fought its way down the Malay peninsula and reached Singapore on 21 January 1942. On 1 February it formed a detachment including four armoured cars for internal security duties (pages 150-151). It is not clear whether these were surviving cars or a new issue.

MOON refers on a couple of occasions to a FMSVF Armoured Car 'Regiment' (e.g., pp. 104 & 105), but not to its organization or its equipment. Similar references are made to the SSV, but again no details of organization or equipment. No references found to a Singapore Volunteer Armoured Car Coy. However, given the numbers of Lanchester versus Marmons in theatre, it seems likely that the majority were the latter."

Tomek Basarabowicz, April 17, 2001

"Another reference, i.e., 'A STUDY IN ARMORED EXPLOITATION, The Battle of the Slim River, Malaya, 7 January 1942,' by M.N. Stanton says that all Highlanders' armoured cars (Lanchesters and Marmon-Herringtons) were lost to the Japanese tank company which fought in support of 42nd Japanese Infantry Regiment.
Supposedly no single armoured car managed to cross the Slim River, which seems contradictory to the regimental history you quoted.
However, regimental history is [the] more reliable source in this case, I believe."

End of the April 2001 thread.

Nelson

 
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Nelson
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editorial comments on the preceding post

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June 6 2014, 8:50 PM 

My editorial notes on the preceding posting:

1. The Marmon-Herrington armored cars of World War II, hardly the best of the breed that fought in that war, nonetheless remain fascinating vehicles. Using a drive train purchased from the American automobile firm of that name and chassis imported from Ford Canada, South Africa produced a self-defense vehicle that would see wider use, not only by British Commonwealth forces---in the Western Desert, Middle East, and Malaya-Singapore---but also by the KNIL in the Netherlands East Indies. Despite my including images of two "typical" Marmon-Herrington armored cars, there really did not exist a typical vehicle. There were several marks produced and used, and their armament varied enormously. Although initially armed with machine guns of different types and the Boys .55-cal (14mm) AT rifle, Marmon-Herrington armored cars were later equipped with the British 2-pounder and captured weapons as well, including the Italian Breda 20mm and German 2.8- and 3.7cm guns, often with the cars' turret removed. The two images that follow show Vickers and Bren .303-inch MGs and a Boys AT rifle aboard, likely similar to those cars serving in Malaya-Singapore.

[linked image]

[linked image]

2. Brigadier Ian MacAlister Stewart commanded 2nd Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at both the beginning and the end of the 1941-42 campaign for Malaya-Singapore, taking command of 12th Indian Infantry Brigade in between. Due to his foresight (some claimed eccentricity), his troops were better trained than most in jungle warfare, and as a result, tended to be shoved into the breach whenever....frequently....critical situations arose, and thus suffered terribly high casualties during the two-months' battle, particularly during the debacle at Slim River. Because of his knowledge and tactical successes, Stewart was evacuated to India and did not share the PoW experiences of his surviving men. He retired in 1947, wrote the book about his battalion, and died in 1987, aged 91. His book seems to exist with slightly different titles and subtitles. I found this dust jacket: I. MacA. Stewart [1947], The History of the 2nd Argylls, Malayan Campaign 1941-42, with no mention of "The Thin Red Line", at least on the dust cover. See

http://singaporeevacuation1942.blogspot.com/2012_08_01_archive.html

3. 3rd Indian Cavalry was equipped with Marmon-Herrington and Lanchester armoured cars, wheeled troop carriers of the Indian pattern, and almost certainly Universal or Bren carriers as well. 100th Indian Independent Light Tank Squadron was attached to the cavalry regiment, both units seeing initial duty in guarding the airfields on Singapore Island. There exists no real agreement on what vehicles were issued to the light tank squadron. Some sources claim its Indian pattern light tanks---with little agreement on which precise marks the unit had manned back in India---accompanied the unit personnel arriving at Singapore on Empire Star in late January 1942. The transport reportedly brought along "16 tanks of an obsolescent type". Other sources claim that nine Carden-Loyd tankettes or MG carriers, transported to Singapore after seeing long and hard service in the Middle East, and having no maintenance beforehand, were given to the squadron after its arrival. Bren carriers were of course plentiful as well. Whatever, it seems neither the squadron nor its vehicles had much of a role in the battle for Singapore. Here are two images of earlier Carden-Loyd tankettes, the first type in Polish hands, the second one having the hinged armored domes to protect the driver and gunner. I have no idea if what the 100th Indian Independent Light Tank Squadron was equipped with was remotely similar to either of these Carden-Loyd types.

[linked image]

[linked image]

According to a 2012 posting elsewhere,

http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/44245-100th-indian-indep-lt-tk-sqn-singapore/

Jim Broshot has contributed information on 100th Indian Independent Light Tank Squadron in the past. Just maybe he has picked up even more info in the last few years.

4. > MOON OVER MALAYA contains a couple of useful photos of Lanchesters. On the front cover there is one showing licence plate W[WD arrow]468 and a large letter B or figure 8 on a light coloured circle on the right mudguard....In addition, the Argylls' history states that the cars "bore the names of the castles of Scotland on their turrets....identified as Stirling Castle, Dumbarton Castle, Glamis Castle, Inverness Castle and Blair Castle." (MOON, page 24). Blair Castle seems to have been the car never returned to the Battalion and so presumably fought with 3 Indian Cavalry Regt. >

The photo described may be one of the three I used in my posting at the beginning of this thread. The number 8---not the letter B---appears on the right mudguard (fender in American), and I'm thinking its license tag reads 465 rather than 468, but I concede the series of three photos I used could show two different Lanchester armoured cars (the second and third images do show the same armored car, with the number 8 on its right front fender). Anyhow, the vehicle with tag W[arrow] 465 has "Blair Castle" painted on the right side of its hull, rather than on the side of the turret.

5. According to the Tomforce website, 18 Recce Regiment was re-equipped with the rarely thereafter seen lightly armored troop carriers, Indian Pattern Mark II. I know virtually nothing about them, but here is one of the 4-wheeled vehicles:

[linked image]

Nelson

 
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Pat Brennan
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Additional Info to Nelson's Comments

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June 6 2014, 11:43 PM 

Hi Nelson

The following are a few comments on your two posts.

1. Armoured Car Journal Issue # 10

For those who are interested, all issues of this journal are available online. The URL for Issue #10 is as follows:

http://www.warwheels.net/images/ACJFinal10.pdf

The URL for the top page is:

http://www.warwheels.net/ACJwwINDEX.html

The top page gives access to all 36 issues.

2. Armoured Carrier, Wheeled, Indian Pattern, Mark II thru IV

The Wheeled Carrier was manufactured in India. The bulk of the units were built at the Tatra Iron and Steel Factory and the East Indian Railway Workshops. A total of 4655 carriers were manufactured. Armor plate was made by Tatra. The Mark II and subsequent Marks were built on Ford 4x4 rear engine chassis supplied by Canada. These carriers were used the same as tracked Universal Carriers in the Middle East, Italy and the Far East.

(This comment essentially plagiarized from booklet British Armoured Cars 1914-1945 by B. T. White)

3. 100th Light Tank Squadron

The following comments are opinion and not based upon direct or indirect knowledge of the equipment of the 100th Light Tank Squadron.

I personally do not believe that the 100th Light Tank Squadron was equipped with Carden-Loyd tankettes.

First, Universal carriers were available at Singapore. The Universal carrier did what the Carden-Loyd could do and more. Why equip a unit with junk when better equipment was available.

Second, the British had light tanks available that were much better than the Carden-Lyod. At this time, American tanks had arrived in the Middle East and largely replaced the Mark VI light tank by this time. The earlier Models had been removed from front-line duty way before this. These were true light tanks and not machine gun carriers.

Third, The official British history says that the unit had 16 obsolescent light tanks. The Carden-Lyod was never called a light tank. It was called a machine gun carrier. Some may have called it a tankette. I dont think that the British history would call it a light tank.

Fourth, The term obsolescent light tank fits the Mark VI and earlier Marks. Limited quantities of these were available to send to Singapore. I believe that the light tanks sent to Singapore were true light tanks of the Mark IV to VI types

However, I cant find any proof either way. (end of rant)

Hope items 1 and 2 help
Pat Brennan

 
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Jim Broshot
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Lanchester production numbers

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June 7 2014, 1:17 AM 

*** "According to Raymond Surlemont's article in Armored Car No. 10, twenty-two Lanchester armoured cars were sent to Malaya, of which thirteen were Mk.I's, one Mk.IA, five Mk.II's and three Mk.IIA's.***

That is interesting, that is almost 3/4 of the total number of Lanchesters that were manufactured.

Two prototypes (D1E1 and D1E2), ordered July 1927 and ready for testing March 1928.

D1E1 - 1x .303in Vickers MG and 1x .5in Vickers MG in turret and 1x .303in Vickers MG in hull to the left of the driver
D1E2 - 1x .303in Vickers MG in turret and 1x .303in Vickers MG in hull

35 ordered between 1928 and 1932

Mark I - as D1E1 with roomier turret

Mark IA - identical with Mark I except no hull MG to create space for wireless set

Mark II (ordered 1929) - similar to Mark I but single wheels on rear axle and "Bishop's Mitre cupola"

Mark IIA - Mark II without hull MG to create space for wireless set

No individual production numbers given in this source for each Mark.

from MECHANISED FORC BRITISH TANKS BETWEEN THE WARS, by David Fletcher

P.S. and FWIW Fletcher gives the Lanchester engine horsepower as 38hp

 
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Pat Brennan
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Lanchester Production Numbers

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June 7 2014, 4:42 AM 

Hi

Both the Surlemonts article and the Lanchester section in B. T. Whites British Armoured Cars 1914-1945 list the breakdown of each model. This breakdown for the production vehicles is as follows:

Mark I - 18
Mark IA - 4
Mark II - 7
Mark IIA - 6

Total - 35

In addition, Surlemont states that there was 2 prototypes (D1E1 & D1E2) and 2 instructional vehicles (D1E3 & D1E4) while White simply states that there was four prototypes.

Surlemonts article gives a detailed breakdown, by WD number, of the final location/user of 38 of the armored cars. Data for one Mark II is missing

HTH
Pat Brennan

 
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Nelson
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Re: Additional Info....

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June 8 2014, 2:02 AM 

Pat,

Thanks for the URL permitting me access to Raymond Surlemont's article on the Lanchester armoured car in Armored Car, Vol. 10. I'm gratified to learn my instinct was right: 'Blair Castle', license tag W[arrow] 465, and with numero 8 on the right mudguard, are one and the same vehicle, which means all of the photos I attached to my first posting in this thread are part of the same sequence, taken at the same time, and that's nicely convenient for more than one reason.

Thanks, too, for the info on the Indian troop carriers, various marks. Wow! 4655 made! The only other photo of these 4-wheeled carriers I've seen shows a pair patrolling the Northwest Frontier, along with an old armored car, sometime during the war.

> I personally do not believe that the 100th Light Tank Squadron was equipped with Carden-Loyd tankettes. >

Your privilege of course, but keep reading.

> First, Universal carriers were available at Singapore. The Universal carrier did what the Carden-Loyd could do and more. Why equip a unit with junk when better equipment was available? >

Several things come to mind. The later version of the Carden-Loyd Mark VI tankette/MG carrier approached the wartime Universal carrier in appearance. Carden-Loyd vehicles did see early wartime service, so given that reality and the exigencies of war, a unit got what it got. Keep in mind, too, that 100th Independent Light Tank Squadron was a pretty late arrival, and likely had to settle for what remained in the larder. Just maybe all of the newer carriers had been issued, or enough issued beforehand that getting the light tank squadron the same newer vehicles---requiring the same spare parts, always important---had become impossible. With regard to the junk part, that may be tougher to explain, but certainly whispers of the squadron not being able to field many vehicles, due to their lack of previous maintenance and current state of disrepair, are pervasive and lead one to believe that the junk part...and the long voyage from the Middle East...does have credence. I know you're acutely aware that this entire sector of the war would soon be cut off from the Allies, and everybody, including the Yankee Doodles in the Philippines, would soon be forced to use old and obsolete "junk".

> Second, the British had light tanks available that were much better than the Carden-Loyd. At this time, American tanks had arrived in the Middle East and largely replaced the Mark VI light tank by this time. The earlier Models had been removed from front-line duty way before this. These were true light tanks and not machine gun carriers. >

Yes, but all Stuart light tanks were being issued to units fighting in the Western Desert and to 7th Armoured Brigade (7th Hussars and 2nd Royal Tank Regt), which ended up in Burma. Remember that B Squadron, 3rd King's Own Hussars, having been ordered to Singapore but diverted to Sumatra and then Java, still had 20-some light tanks, Marks VIB and VIC. Which is to write that U.S. M3 light tanks were hardly flooding the Middle and Far East at that point in time, and out of necessity, the old stuff was still in service. Whether that old stuff included a double-handful of 1930s Carden-Loyd AFVs originating in the Middle East is simply unconfirmed scuttlebutt, not to mention that whatever would possess the British Army to send these repair-needy vehicles on to Singapore is perplexing, on that understatement we certainly agree. As late as August 1942, the American marines went ashore at Guadalcanal equipped with a combination of M3 and M2A4 light tanks, the only instance of the latter AFV seeing combat (the tank-needy British refused to use theirs in action, and instead relegated them, along with their own Covenanter cruiser tanks, Mark V, strictly to training).

> Third, The official British history says that the unit had 16 obsolescent light tanks. The Carden-Loyd was never called a light tank. It was called a machine gun carrier. Some may have called it a tankette. I don't think that the British history would call it a light tank. >

This is the point where I begin to furrow my brow and cast dubious glances in your direction. Finally I ask, "Pat, don't you think you're being too literal in your definition of a tank? Aren't you asking what is and long has been pretty hazy information about a unit that has had little solid data forthcoming---for starters, how large was it and who was its C.O.?---to be a great deal more definitive than it actually is? Aren't you putting waaaay too much faith in a history that in some instances, such as this particular one, was created from secondhand and even thirdhand information?

Treat the last two questions as necessarily rhetorical, but indeed, what IS a tank? Is it one of those weapons which we know it when we see it? Or is it simply what we wish it to be? Three examples:

1. Was the German Pzkw I a tank? Sure, it ran on caterpillar tracks, though it mounted only a pair of 7.92mm machine guns. But ask the Polish cavalry officer in 1939 if the Pzkw I is a tank, and he would respond, "Tak!" Ask the French cavalry officer a year later the same question, and you'd get "Oui, bien sur!" (and his being French, likely a good deal more). But....

2. Ask the American cavalry officer of the mid-1930s if the M1 combat car, similarly armed with only machine guns, is a tank and he would say, "Ah, no, senator, the combat car is decidedly NOT a tank. The U.S. cavalry is not permitted by law to have tanks, as you know, so what the cavalry is equipped with presently is NOT a tank." [If the American cavalry wished to retain its armor, it had best call whatever it was that it had anything BUT a tank.]

So, to recap examples 1 and 2:

This is a tank.

[linked image]

This is not a tank.

[linked image]

Everybody got it so far?

3. Finally, we're in Malaya and it's January 1942. A lance corporal has taken command of his surviving section, now reduced to five men including himself. They've been on the run, harried from pillar to post by Japanese infantry and armor. They've had nothing to eat in two days, and what they had to drink four hours ago, to quote Kipling, "was crawlin', and it stunk", and since then their collective bellies have been giving them fits. But all of that pales in comparison with the awful fatigue that each of them is suffering: a physical exhaustion so terrible it has become mind-numbing. Finally, they find themselves on a rude track through the dense Malayan forest, and they cross a narrow timber bridge spanning a swampy stream.
"At least the Japs ain't goin'ter get tanks across this bridge, Corp," says Pte. Atkins. [All of them are unhappily familiar with the Japanese Type 95 Ha-go light tank.]
"Doesn't look like it," the lance corporal responds. "But still, I'd like to take a Mills bomb to it."
"We're long out of 36 grenades, Corp," sighs Atkins.
The section makes it several hundred yards down the track, when the l/c spots a grove of trees surrounded by a bit of open ground.
"You lads get over there and get yourselves some kip," he orders, pointing to the trees. "I'll stay 'ere near the road and stand watch. And keep a wary eye out for snakes!"
Although there are offers to take the watch, they're mostly insincere and the men gladly disappear into the grove. The l/c sits in a clump of concealing vegetation, but despite his best efforts, his head begins to jerk up and down in the first throes of a losing battle. Before he knows it, he's asleep. Much later, something brings him to a drowsy half-awake state. He has no notion of how long he's been under, or what it was that brought him out of it. He raises his head and listens intently....and then he hears it: the noise of internal combustion engines, and more terror-striking yet, that all-too-familiar sound of metal tracks going round. The lance corporal becomes fully alert, then crawls forward to the verge of the road and peers back in the direction they came, and bloody Christ! he can see at least two enemy tankettes---either Type 94 or Type 97, it don't matter which---clanking in his direction, accompanied by infantry. He slithers furiously back through the vegetation until it's safe to stand, and then races over to the grove where the rest of the section is asleep. Does he announce, "Wakey wakey, lads. The Nippos have managed to get at least two little tankettes across that wee bridge after all."?
No bleedin' way! Instead, he hisses, "Wake up, you lot! There are @#$%^& tanks on the road! Gather your gear and get up. We need to do a runner...NOW!"
Indeed, is a tank merely in the eyes of the beholder??

When yer quartered safe out 'ere, you may concern yerself about the differences among a tank, a tankette, a machine gun carrier, and a bloomin' 15cwt lorry marked 'tank' for the 1938 manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain. When yer on the run, if it's got caterpillar tracks and it's shootin' at you, it's a bloody tank!

> Fourth, The term obsolescent light tank fits the Mark VI and earlier Marks. Limited quantities of these were available to send to Singapore. I believe that the light tanks sent to Singapore were true light tanks of the Mark IV to VI types. >

The conventional wisdom of what the light tank squadron was equipped with back in India is indeed the Marks IV and VI, Indian pattern. But then this contrary information is imparted in the following websites:

(a) The squadron putatively had light tanks, Marks II and IV, Indian pattern. IF so, we're talkin' really OLD stuff. Why, a chap might just as well bring in Carden-Loyd vehicles as use those old croakers! See

http://www.oocities.org/dutcheastindies/indian_tank.html

(b) Or the squadron is alleged to have had light tanks, Marks III and VI, Indian pattern. And this is one of the sites that stipulates the squadron was actually issued Carden-Loyd AFVs once it had arrived at Singapore. See

http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/44245-100th-indian-indep-lt-tk-sqn-singapore/

> However, I can't find any proof either way. >

Nor can anyone else. Which is why I cannot concur yet with your belief that British tanks, fully satisfying the definition that all will find acceptable, arrived at Singapore. I remain muy uncomfortable that no one on the British side thought to photo these first ever British tanks on the scene there---after all, someone had the presence of mind to snap the high silhouette Indian Army wheeled carrier---or that the victorious Japanese failed to photo these steel trophies first encountered on the island, when none had made its appearance where such vehicles would have done more good, viz., on the Malayan mainland. No one had a camera handy wherever these tanks were lurking? Or lots of photos of these light tanks were snapped but none survived the war Out There? Right now, my belief extends to no British tanks on the island. I really dunno about them Carden-Loyd AFVs, as that possibility seems equally far-fetched. And I did pen, Right now. Other than that belief pro or con, I guess we're not far apart on the rest of it.

Nelson

 
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Re: Lanchester production numbers

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June 8 2014, 3:20 AM 

> *** "According to Raymond Surlemont's article in Armored Car No. 10, twenty-two Lanchester armoured cars were sent to Malaya, of which thirteen were Mk.I's, one Mk.IA, five Mk.II's and three Mk.IIA's.***

That is interesting, that is almost 3/4 of the total number of Lanchesters that were manufactured. >

The move by 12th Lancers in 1935 to Alexandria, after Il Duce had begun to press his luck and his military presence in North Africa, involved an even greater number, 29 vehicles, 83% of the the entire kit and kaboodle of the Lanchester standard armoured car production. Perhaps even more significantly, right after their return home a year later, the Lanchesters were given out to the Territorials, which is quite likely a reflection on how well these vehicles had performed out there.

> Fletcher gives the Lanchester engine horsepower as 38hp. >

The official stats claim 40hp, with 88 to 90hp generated at between 2200 and 2300 rpm. Still, an underpowered car weighing 7.5 to 8 short tons, and managing a speed of 45 mph, 5 mph less than the Rolls Royce 4x2 armoured car it replaced, and hardly a sufficient speed for a recce vehicle. Here be the Rolls...

[linked image]

[linked image]

For those who enjoy old flicks, Rolls Royce armoured cars appear in Lawrence of Arabia (Lawrence thought a great deal of them) and Shake Hands With the Devil, the latter about the Troubles in Ireland. Jimmy Cagney plays a gifted surgeon, who is also a heartless rebel, and during one scene, he rolls a Mills grenade under a Rolls Royce armoured car, which explodes the vehicle's petrol tank.

Nelson

 
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Jacques
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S.A. Recce Cars in Malaya

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June 8 2014, 12:51 PM 

The South African Reconnaissance Cars produced during WW2 were commonly known in the British forces (but incorrectly) as Marmon-Herrington Armoured Cars even when as in the Mark IVF, no Marmon-Herrington components were used. At least the Dutch got it sort-of right and the 49 received in the NEI were called "Zuid-Afrikaanse pantserauto's".

They were certainly not "best of breed" but were the best available at the time and some reports speak of as many as 175 Mark IIIs shipped to Malaya during the latter part of 1941. (I seriously doubt this!)

Because of the simple commercial chassis and drivetrain, they proved reliable, easy to maintain and to operate - strange then that the 3rd Indian Cavalry managed to wipe out 13 of their 16 cars in accidents! I count 16 in this photo of Mk IIIs (sans armament) at Singapore, December 1941.

[linked image]




Here's a photo of a SARC Mk III on its side - apparently at Bakri, 18 Jan 1942. Is that a Japanese Type 95 Ha-Go burning?

[linked image]


Regards,

Jacques





 
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Re: S.A. Recce Cars in Malaya

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June 8 2014, 6:12 PM 

Jacques,

> The South African Reconnaissance Cars produced during WW2 were commonly known in the British forces (but incorrectly) as Marmon-Herrington Armoured Cars even when as in the Mark IVF, no Marmon-Herrington components were used. At least the Dutch got it sort-of right and the 49 received in the NEI were called "Zuid-Afrikaanse pantserauto's". >

A couple of things. Whatever one calls them---South African Reconnaissance Cars, Zuid-Afrikaanse Pantserautos (I have also seen Pantserwagens, which is correct?), or Marmon-Herrington Armoured Cars---I believe ALL cars purchased (from Britain) for the NEI were Mark IIIs, with the shorter wheelbase (297 cm versus the older 340 cm), but still with the Marmon-Herrington four-wheel drive kits. Which is to say that all of these armored cars except the Mark I were 4x4 vehicles (though many of the Mark IIIs had seen such extensive and intensive service in the Western Desert that their four-wheel-drive linkages were broken). Despite concentrating on tank* production, Marmon-Herrington did produce a relative few armored cars domestically, though as far as I know, ALL Marmon-Herrington-powered armored cars seeing service in the NEI were built in South Africa. The NEI had ordered a sizable number of Marmon-Herrington tanks*, though only a few were delivered at the 11th hour before the Japanese invasion, most being diverted elsewhere or the ships carrying them being sunk by the enemy.

> They were certainly not "best of breed" but were the best available at the time and some reports speak of as many as 175 Mark IIIs shipped to Malaya during the latter part of 1941. (I seriously doubt this!) >

Well, hold on here. There were reportedly 6230 Mark IIIs built, so is 175 such an unlikely number? Perhaps the real question is how many of the 175 vehicles actually reached Singapore.

> Because of the simple commercial chassis and drivetrain, they proved reliable, easy to maintain and to operate - strange then that the 3rd Indian Cavalry managed to wipe out 13 of their 16 cars in accidents! I count 16 in this photo of Mk IIIs (sans armament) at Singapore, December 1941. >

Reports are that the vast majority of the Indian drivers had only their learner's permits. [For this snarky to work, everyone has to understand what a leaner's permit is. In North America, it's the permit issued to a learning driver, almost always a teenager. Such a permit does not allow the tyro to operate a motor vehicle alone, but he or she must be accompanied by a licensed driver aged 21 or older, sitting in the opposite front seat. The learner's parent may renew the permit if he or she feels the fledgling driver is not ready to face the driving exam.] Okay, see....the Indian drivers had only learner's permits....[no laughter from the tough crowd here].

*Methinks Pat Brennan and I would have REAL fun over the question of whether the tracked Marmon-Herringtons were REAL tanks! Maybe the more fascinating question is just how the USMC convinced itself to purchase such a sizable number of these...um...tanks.

Nelson

 
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transpositis...

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June 8 2014, 11:24 PM 

...or some worse condition?

In my previous I wrote, "There were reportedly 6230 Mark IIIs built, so is 175 such an unlikely number?"

Ambitious number, eh? Try 2630 Mark III cars built as the actual figure. Still, my feeling remains that 175 is eminently believable as a shipment to the British Army in Singapore. The question remains, did that many reach there in time to take a significant part in the campaign in Malaya?

Nelson

 
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Pat Brennan
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Additional Info to Nelson's Comments

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June 9 2014, 12:35 AM 

Hi Nelson

I guess that we have to "agree to disagree" on this matter. Unfortunately, neither of us has absolute proof and it is really a matter of opinion. The following are just a few comments.

1- One change from my earlier view is that these tanks could be Mark II to Mark VI rather than Mark IV to Mark VI.

2- I thought about responding to your various comments, then decided that I havent the energy. I will say that in the North West Europe campaign, soldiers tended to claim that every tank they saw was a Tiger and every artillery piece was an 88. Official histories tend to be more accurate than that.

3- You are right about the lack of documentation on the unit. I even checked out Japanese Monograph No. 68 Report on Installations and Captured Weapons Java and Singapore. I hoped that it would contain some info on captured AFV. However, there was nothing on them. It surprised me greatly that there was nothing there. They say how many rifles were captured, how many of them are repairable, etc. But there is nothing on captured AFVs.

4- I believe that the Carden-Loyd was used in combat during the Franco-Thai War of 1940-41. Was there someplace else that the Cardon-Loyd saw action?

Pat Brennan


 
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Re: More Additional Info...

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June 9 2014, 6:38 AM 

Hey Pat,

> I guess that we have to "agree to disagree" on this matter. Unfortunately, neither of us has absolute proof and it is really a matter of opinion. The following are just a few comments. >

Fair 'nuff, but gee, I think believing that Brit tanks were on the island is a big leap, considering the number of decent histories that naysay such presence. Yup, conventional wisdom surely can be wrong, something others and I have railed against in this forum, IF that belief is merely a blind one. Of course, conventional wisdom may also be entirely or mostly right. Which comes down to, don't you need some empirical evidence, in line with scientific method? We're not simply engaged in he said, he said, e.g., how soon after Shimada's tanks roared through the defensive positions of the 2nd Argylls at Slim River, was the battalion hit by the IJA main body? We can talk that one to death, with each of us bringing forward convincing data. IMO, whether British tanks were on Singapore Island in February 1942 is, however, a more absolute choice. Were they there---i.e., Brit AFVs truly recognized as tanks---or weren't they?

> 1- One change from my earlier view is that these tanks could be Mark II to Mark VI rather than Mark IV to Mark VI. >

I suppose we'll never know.

> 2- I thought about responding to your various comments, then decided that I haven't the energy. I will say that in the North West Europe campaign, soldiers tended to claim that every tank they saw was a Tiger and every artillery piece was an 88. Official histories tend to be more accurate than that. >

Precisely the point in my last. Just like guys weren't concerned about the diff between a Pzkw IV and a Pzkw VI---they were both big and scary---could we not have a claim of Brit tanks simply on the basis of being fully tracked and wielding a big Vickers MG? Generally, regimental and other military histories are considered to be secondary sources (yeah, the writer may have experienced firsthand some of the things he writes about, but nowhere near all of them). As far as responding to mine, I would much appreciate that you do whenever you encounter a statement by me that is entirely contrary to fact. Speaking of which....

The following website provides a most interesting take on 100th Indian Independent Light Tank Squadron: the author questions its presence entirely!

Here is the post from one R. Mark Davies on 18 July 2013, less than a year ago. His spellings identify him as British Commonwealth, likely not Canadian. [My additions are identified as being italicized within brackets.]

"Rumours also abound of a mythical 100th Independent Squadron RAC (iirc?) at Singapore, with mixed Mk IV and Mk VI Lights. Never seen any actual evidence for it, however. [Wow! The use of 'mythical' ups the ante, doesn't it? Not saying I ascribe to this extreme view.]

Yes, 'B' Sqn 3rd Hussars ended up being diverted to Java and ending up under ABDA Command, while 7th Armoured Brigade was sent to Rangoon.

The Indian 3rd Cavalry Regt ended up being largely used as motorised infantry and most of the Marmon-Herringtons were captured by the Japanese still in storage. [If Mr. Davies is correct on this last point---Jacques, take note!---that's a new one for me, and may shed some light, indirectly, on the number of such South African armored recon cars sent to Singapore.]

I don't remember what 18th Recce Regt had or even if they managed to unload. [Ha! But we know!]

Some infantry battalions certainly had Carrier Platoons, though many clearly didn't. The Indian Carrier Platoons present were either equipped with tracked or wheeled Carriers. Some of the wheeled Carriers went to the Australians.

The Malay Armoured Car Squadron had Lanchesters. One of the British battalions (whose identity presently escapes me they were well-known for their effective jungle training) also acquired some Lanchesters. [The next poster correctly IDs the regular battalion as 2nd Argylls.]

On the subject of battalion orgs some of the pre-war Singapore garrison battalions were still apparently organised with an integral MG COMPANY! Of the rest, MG Platoons were quite common particularly in Indian Battalions. There were no MG Battalions in Burma either (circa 1942), but Vickers MGs are recorded as being used extensively in Battalion MG Platoons. [This last is interesting but beyond my ken.]"

For the previous posting, see

http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=313055

> 3- You are right about the lack of documentation on the unit. I even checked out Japanese Monograph No. 68 Report on Installations and Captured Weapons Java and Singapore. I hoped that it would contain some info on captured AFV. However, there was nothing on them. It surprised me greatly that there was nothing there. They say how many rifles were captured, how many of them are repairable, etc. But there is nothing on captured AFVs. >

I think the IJA (and possibly IJN, too) sent in specialist teams to inspect and evaluate Allied ordnance and other equipment. If memory serves, Monograph No. 68 resulted from a report by two IJA field grade officers, who looked at coast and field artillery and small arms, and whose expertise apparently did not extend to either AFVs or soft vehicles. Whether such a latter report was generated, I don't know.

> 4- I believe that the Carden-Loyd was used in combat during the Franco-Thai War of 1940-41. Was there someplace else that the Cardon-Loyd saw action? >

A few saw use during the Chaco War, 1932-35, in the hands of the Bolivians, but the terrain was not an advantage to these little AFVs. The next time was in the Winter War of 1939-40, probably by the Finns. Then it was by the BEF in 1940, some 200 of them, their participation particularly notable along the Dyle-Namur defensive line in Belgium. Those not previously knocked out were left behind on or near the Dunkerque beaches. In contrast, there were probably one and a half to twice as many new Universal carriers present as were the old Carden-Loyds, again with all being abandoned consequent to the evacuation. The Dutch had five Carden-Loyd tankettes/MG carriers, each named for a large fierce cat---Leopard, Panther, Puma, etc., but in Nederlands---and all saw combat. Some were used by the Greeks and Yugoslavs in the Balkan fighting. And as you write, by the Thais in their dust-up with the French in Indochine.

For a few more details on these actions, see

http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/gb/Carden-Loyd_MkVI.php

Be careful, because I'm furrowing my brow in your direction, but izzis a tank?? Nota bene: it's fully tracked and has a big Vickers MG.

[linked image]

Nelson

 
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Changed sides

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June 9 2014, 2:46 PM 

Nope, NOT about British/Indian light tanks on Singapore Island, but which side introduced Carden-Loyd vehicles to service in the Winter War of 1939-40. I'm talking about the Soviet T-27 tankette, many of whose aspects were for the most part unmodified from the Carden-Loyd pilot vehicles purchased during the 1920s. These T-27s had traction problems due to their very narrow caterpillar tracks when used in the internal tribal wars, particularly the Basmachi insurrection lasting from World War I to well into the 1920s. I thought the Sovs had eschewed these tankettes for the snowy terrain in Finland, but apparently not. If the Finns used T-27s, they were probably captured vehicles that had bogged down in the tundra. See

http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/soviet/soviet_T27.php

Here is a not-very-good shot of the Soviet T-27a.

[linked image]

Nelson

 
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four matters arising

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June 10 2014, 6:42 PM 

Jacques,

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:

http://www.andrewwarland.com.au/bakritanks.html

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?

Nelson

 
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