"Guominjun Tank"?

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Stephen_Rynerson
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"Guominjun Tank"?

Post by Stephen_Rynerson » 03 Dec 2015 11:03

Someone I've been working with on my gaming project recently brought this picture to my attention. The image file is labeled as "Guominjun Tank," but doesn't give a source. Google reverse image search turns up nothing on-line other than various image sizes of this same picture from the same website. The vehicle itself is pretty clearly a Carden Loyd tankette, which I know the Guomindang acquired some of, but I've never heard of the Guominjun having acquired any AFVs of any sort, let alone Carden Loyd tankettes. I think the image is mislabeled, but if anyone can confirm that (and ideally identify a source for the image), it would be most appreciated.

Image

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The 51st Division
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Re: "Guominjun Tank"?

Post by The 51st Division » 04 Dec 2015 05:43

The title is probably a misnomer. I'm also pretty sure that warlord Feng Yuxiang's Guominjun didn't have any Carden-Loyd. To my knowledge, the first of such tankettes made it to China in 1929--personally purchased by Song Ziwen for his own "Tax Police" forces (税警总团), which were later given to the 1st Army Demonstration Division (陆军教导第一师). The Nationalist Central Government also purchased some in the 30s, which were later organized into the National Revolutionary Army Armoured Regiment immediately before the 1937 outbreak of Sino-Japanese War.

In fact, I doubt if this Carden-Loyd shown in the photo is even Chinese. According to information from www.hoplite.cn (which I'd say is one of the more credible Chinese online databases), the Carden-Loyds in the Nationalist army had "the Blue Sky and White Sun roundels on the right-front and right-back sides of the vehicle. White latin characters of A, B, or C representing each vehicle's unit and a serial number for each vehicle on the left-front side." So basically there can't really be a huge white "81" on a Nationalist Chinese Carden-Loyds. And I also don't think this is a Guominjun tank. The term "Guominjun" (国民军) generally refers to Feng Yuxiang's army during the Beijing Coup in the Second Zhili-Fengtian War in 1924 (the Carden-Loyd was out yet back then). This warlord faction later became the Northwest Army (西北军) and most of its weaponry came from the Soviets, not the British. The Northwest Army was then largely assimilated into the Nationalist Revolutionary Army after its defeat in the Central Plains War in 1930. So given the general history of the Guominjun, I'd say it's very unlikely for them to have British tanks.

Now this is probably not NRA nor Guominjun, but could this be from some other Chinese warlords? I honestly don't know--there were just soooo many different warlord factions in China back then and everything was just disorganized. But I personally don't think so. The chance of this tankette being from an European army is much much greater than that of being Chinese.
"The nation might be powerful, yet it shall be destroyed if it seeks war; the world might be peaceful, yet it shall be doomed if it forgets war."
--The Method of the Sima, Qin Dynasty Chinese Military Classic

Stephen_Rynerson
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Re: "Guominjun Tank"?

Post by Stephen_Rynerson » 04 Dec 2015 17:50

Thank you, 51st Division! I'm glad to know my own conclusion about the mislabeling was probably correct. That said, I also sent an e-mail to the person who posted the file inquiring about the source and if by some chance I hear back from him with more details, I will update this thread.

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The 51st Division
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Re: "Guominjun Tank"?

Post by The 51st Division » 06 Dec 2015 22:56

Yeah I'd be interested to hear about that as well. The thing with the Chinese Warlord Era is that you can never know anything for sure. Maybe this is actually from some obscure warlord army, who knows...
"The nation might be powerful, yet it shall be destroyed if it seeks war; the world might be peaceful, yet it shall be doomed if it forgets war."
--The Method of the Sima, Qin Dynasty Chinese Military Classic

GrumpyOldMan_Oz
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Re: "Guominjun Tank"?

Post by GrumpyOldMan_Oz » 06 Dec 2015 23:48

Hello

The only image I can find of a Carden Loyd tankette with numbers on the side is from the Bovington tank museum:-

Image

It's a shame that the tankette is in water because a look at the running gear would be able to say whether the tankette in question is a Carden Loyd Mk6 or a Russian T27. Some T27s were used in Central Asia in the 1930s. The numbers look faintly Russian in style but that may just be wishful thinking on my part :) .

Agreed we probably need more detail to solve the provenance.

Cheers

GrumpyOldMan_Oz

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