British Army at home September 1940

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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 15 Feb 2014 22:07

A few notes on 2nd Armoured Division (1st follows later)

According to Philson, the 2nd Armoured Division in East Anglia was “under War Office control”, (preparatory to moving overseas in October) on 30 Sept., but according to the Div HQ War Diary (WO 166/814) they were still part of IV Corps (GHQ reserve) by that date.

The division consisted of the 1st and 22nd Armoured Brigades and the 2nd Support Group. According to a CAB document quoted by Newbold, at the end of Sept. the division had 54 cruiser (A9, A10, A13) and 256 light tanks (apart from the standard Mk VIB and Mk VIC also some older models).
Apparently, the three Regts in the 1st AB (4th Hussars, 1st King’s Dragoon Guards, 3rd RTR) had one squadron with cruisers and two with light tanks each, while the 22nd AB (2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, 3rd and 4th County of London Yeomanry) had only light tanks.
The 2nd SG consisted of two motor battalions (1st Rangers, 1st Tower Hamlets Rifles), 2nd RHA, and the 102nd LAA/AT Regiment.

This latter unit had been the Northumberland Hussars until the beginning of 1940 when they – like about half a dozen other Yeomanry regiments – were converted to artillery and gave up their horses. A LAA/AT Regt should have had 24 2pdr guns and 24 Bofors, but the 102nd never even came close up to October. As far as can be made out from the unit WD (WO 166/1703) they had at various times lorry-mounted 4in guns, 12 pdrs and 3pdrs (partially manned by naval ratings) but by the middle of August these were gone again and C and D batteries had six 2pdr AT guns each, towed by Bedford 15cwt trucks. The regiment never received any Bofors before leaving England it seems, A and B batteries had only Brens as AA weapons, and a large number of men were organized as infantry apparently. However, the division WD for 15.9.1940 states that 6 Bofors of 158 bty 53 LAA Regt were posted to the division, apparently with the main task of protecting the Div HQ.

Like many other units at that time the 102nd was considerably over strength, by mid-August the four batteries plus R.H.Q. numbered 36 officers and 748 men, but in addition there was a”balance” of no less than14 officers and 350 men, “kept at rear HQ under command of Major T. Eustace Smith for training”.

According to Newbold (p. 250), on 14th July Ironside visited Lieutenant-General Nosworthy's IV Corps in G.H.Q.Reserve. "Nosworthy has his Corps in fine order and is an efficient leader, full of enthusiasm and confidence," he wrote that evening. The 2nd Armoured Division, under Major General J. C. Tilly, he found had now been re-armed and was "in good condition". Its Support Group included two R.H.A. batteries with brand-new 25 pdr. field guns, while its two Yeomanry Regiments were now commanded by Regular Cavalry officers and. had. "a high state of efficiency"."I felt much more happy after seeing such a good show," he wrote afterwards."

(Newbold again, p. 367) “On 21st August, General Brooke visited the headquarters of IV Corps, which was itself being brought forward from Guilsborough House near Northampton to Latimer House, Chesham in Buckinghamshire, while an advanced headquarters was being established at Newsells House, Barkway, near Royston in Hertfordshire. After discussing the employment of IV Corps with Lieutenant General F. P. Nosworthy, he was taken to see an exercise by its constituent parts: 2nd Armoured Division under its newly appointed commander, Major General 'Rollie' Charrington (who had recently replaced Major General J. C. Tilly), 43rd. (Wessex) Division under Major General R. V. Pollock and 31st Infantry Brigade Group under Brigadier H. Latham. The day apparently went well, but General Brooke was not yet happy with the dispositions of IV Corps.”

The division’s WD says “Visit by C. in C. Home Forces. Demonstration by one Regt 1 Armd Bde. All Bdes visited.” Newbold’s reference to Charrington seems to be incorrect, there seem to be no other sources confirming that he was ever in command of the division, or that he ever was a Major General. Latham also seems to be “misplaced”. In fact Brooke’s diary says: “Saw demonstration carried out by Rollie Charrington’s Bde. Then inspected support group under Harry Latham. Also saw RHA Regiment including Eagle Troop.”
The 31st IBG was at this time commanded by Brigadier H.E.F. Smyth if I’m not mistaken.

Op Instruction No. 11 of 25 Aug. 1940 states:

“2 Armd Div has been allotted five alternative roles by 4 Corps in the event of operations taking place in England:
(a) GEORGE
To area BRANDON G.20 – THETFORD G.30, and operations thence against an enemy landing on the N.E. ANGLIAN coast and advancing on NORWICH G.62.
(MARY, JUNE and HORACE were the code words for movements in case of landings in other parts of East Anglia)
(e) Action against enemy air landed tps in accordance with 2 Armd Div O. Instn. No. 7.
March tables are attached at Appendices “A”, “B” and “C”. Appendix “D” will be issued later.”

(the Op Instruction No 7 mentioned estimated that the Germans could land ten to fifteen thousand men by air in a day, with AT weapons and perhaps some field guns and light tanks)

A possible role south of the Thames is mentioned for the first time in Op Instruction No 13 of 1 Oct. 1940:
“The risk of invasion has not diminished and is not likely to do so for some time to come. 2 Armd Div. stands at 8 hrs notice. (…) The division or portions of it may be employed (a) as far North as R HUMBER, (b) in the LIVERPOOL area,( c) in EAST ANGLIA between the WASH and R THAMES (…), (d) South of R THAMES in KENT, SUSSEX and HAMPSHIRE as far West as (incl) SOUTHAMPTON.”

“The primary role of any general reserve is the delivery of the decisive counter-stroke. This can only be effected by ruthless and sustained offensive action, whose ultimate object must be the complete defeat and annihilation of all enemy forces. Consequently the objective may be limitless, and formations may be required to continue the attack over very prolonged periods. (…) The most favourable situation for 2 Armd Div to develop its maximum utility is one in which the main enemy forces have penetrated inland to a distance sufficient to afford opportunities for a decisive attack from a flank if possible against his L of C (lines of communication), i.e. a distance of some 20 to 30 miles. (…) If the main German landings on the South Coast have taken place as far West as (incl) SELSEY BILL, followed by serious penetration against LONDON the general conception of the counter-stroke plan would be:
- 4 Corps should operate in an Easterly direction from a flank secured by Southern Command in the area between (incl) South Downs and the coast. The main axis of the attack to be along rd EMSWORTH – CHICHESTER – BRIGHTON with a defensive flank along SOUTH DOWNS.”

This plan of attack seems rather odd as they would get seriously in the way of VII Corps, the other major counterattacking formation. One would rather expect IV Corps to operate on the other flank in Kent and East Sussex.

The WD contains an interesting document from July (addressed to IV Corps) calculating how long it should take the division on the march to pass a given point, assuming a density of 20 armoured or 35 non-armoured vehicles to the mile (VTM), moving at 15 mph (in later Standing Orders planned speed is reduced somewhat to “25 miles in 2 hours”). A safety gap of 30 minutes between (major) formations was allowed, which it was hoped could be reduced to 15 mins. with more training.
The armoured brigades would require 45 mins each, the support group 100, the Div troops 15. With gaps and three rests of 20 mins (probably necessary for the tank drivers), that would be six hours for the fighting and A echelons. The B echelons would take another four hours to pass. If two roads were available, these times could be cut to four and two hours respectively.
An armoured regiment at full strength (which some were not of course) in such a formation consisted of 46 tanks, 10 scout cars and 18 A echelon vehicles.
In a report dated 23.8.1940 on a move by the division from Brigadier W. Carden Roe of the staff of IV Corps, it was noted, among many other things, that driving, march discipline and spacing of the KDGs were good; the 4th Hussars on the other hand received criticisms: “Vehicles were not keeping to the left of the road, spacing was irregular and gear changing bad.”
The brigadier was particularly critical of the unsystematic and undisciplined use of vehicle lights in all columns when it got dark.

The major weakness of 2nd Armd Div was obviously that it was largely equipped with Mk VI light tanks, which had no place on the modern battlefield, as had been clearly demonstrated during the disastrous attack at Abbeville on 27 May, when a single 37 mm Pak knocked out eleven in the space of 20 minutes.

Tank transporters: not mentioned anywhere as I can see. The BEF had some (see IWM pictures) but the 1st and 2nd AD in Sept. 1940 do not seem to have had any, or only very few, so the tanks would have moved to the battlefront under their own power. A history of the 1st AD (John Plant, 2013) notes that the 1st AD did not receive a company of tank transporters (35) until January 1942 (in North Africa).
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 16 Feb 2014 17:12

I think that sufficiently "disproves" Lavery, if Phylo insists on putting it that way - of course, in logic you can't really prove a negative.
So the normal sequence of events was that the RA took over the batteries from the Royal Navy/Royal Marines when they were ready to do so; they did not install batteries and then sit around helplessly until the Navy came to tell them what to do and how to do it.
Really??? Look again...
6.6.1940: ""E" Btys placed under the operational control of F.C. Newhaven. At Littlehampton one gun had been mounted and (for) the other the pedestal had been installed. At Worthing one gun had been mounted and the emplacement was being dug for the other gun. At Shoreham both guns were within a day of being ready for action. At Seaford both guns had been mounted and were ready for action. At Eastbourne one gun had been mounted. At Hastings one gun had been mounted."
19.6.1940: "E" Btys under operational control of F.C. Newhaven were manned as follows: Hastings and Eastbourne by personnel of 220 S.L. T. Regt R.A., Seaford, Shoreham, Worthing and Littlehampton by R.N. and R.M. personnel."
25.6.1940: "R.N. and R.M. personnel manning "E" Btys were relieved by R.A. personnel from Fixed Defences."
19.7.1940: "2/lts MacMath, Barnes Walker and Waterhouse (names hard to decipher) joined 343 Coast Bty R.A. after undergoing short course on naval equipments".
QED.

And as a P.S..
6.6.1940: ""E" Btys placed under the operational control of F.C. Newhaven. At Littlehampton one gun had been mounted and (for) the other the pedestal had been installed. At Worthing one gun had been mounted and the emplacement was being dug for the other gun. At Shoreham both guns were within a day of being ready for action. At Seaford both guns had been mounted and were ready for action. At Eastbourne one gun had been mounted. At Hastings one gun had been mounted.....

....27.8.1940: "3 rounds of practice ammunition were fired from 343 Coast Bty R.A."
30.8.1940: "Brigadier Burrowes and CFD Dover visited the Fort and 343 Coast Bty. The new BOP for 343 Bty was sited."
(Brigadier Burrowes was in charge of coast artillery in Eastern Command)
1.9.1940 (Seaford): "Night firing was carried out with good results."
22.9.1940: "Work on the new BOP Seaford commenced."
24.12.1940: "New B.O.P. in By. Buckle (343 Battery) used for first time."
9.1.1941: "Fire Commander visited 343 Battery. Lieut. L.H. Wheatley R.A. attached to 343 Battery and assumed command."
27-29.1.1941: "Nos. 1, 2, 3 & 4 D.E.Ls (Newhaven) & 343 Battery D.E.L.s exposed for training purposes."
3.4.1941: "An enemy bomber identified as a Junkers 88 approaching Seaford from the West circled over the town and was engaged by the Lewis gun of 343 Coast Bty R.A."
28 and 29.7.1941: "Practice Seawards carried out at 343rd. Coast Battery."
And as a P.S...

"Ready" for action on the 6th of June...but the first practice shoot wasn't until the 27th of August!!! :lol: I.E. AFTER 2/lts MacMath, Barnes Walker and Waterhouse joined 343 Coast Bty R.A. after undergoing short course on naval equipments....

By the way...
All of which goes to show that coastal batteries could be a serious threat, even if old (the 28 cm guns at Oscarsborg for instance had been installed in 1892) and manned by new recruits or older reservists (the average age of the understrength garrison of Oscarsborg was 40, allegedly, and the commander was 64), and also that in general it took a whole lot of firepower from the sea and/or the air to knock them out.
6.6.1940: ""E" Btys placed under the operational control of F.C. Newhaven. At Littlehampton one gun had been mounted and (for) the other the pedestal had been installed. At Worthing one gun had been mounted and the emplacement was being dug for the other gun. At Shoreham both guns were within a day of being ready for action. At Seaford both guns had been mounted and were ready for action. At Eastbourne one gun had been mounted. At Hastings one gun had been mounted."
19.6.1940: "E" Btys under operational control of F.C. Newhaven were manned as follows: Hastings and Eastbourne by personnel of 220 S.L. T. Regt R.A., Seaford, Shoreham, Worthing and Littlehampton by R.N. and R.M. personnel."
25.6.1940: "R.N. and R.M. personnel manning "E" Btys were relieved by R.A. personnel from Fixed Defences."
19.7.1940: "2/lts MacMath, Barnes Walker and Waterhouse (names hard to decipher) joined 343 Coast Bty R.A. after undergoing short course on naval equipments".
22.7.1940: "T/Capt P.E.L. Carmichael R.A. joined 343 Coast Bty R.A. as O.C. from 1st Hy Regt."
8.8.1940: "6" naval guns at 343 Coast Bty R.A were calibrated."
19.8.1940 (Seaford): "One gun shield arrived and fitting by R.E.s begun. Some difficulty was experienced owing to the low roof of the gun house and it was necessary for the front wall to be partly demolished, before the shield could be brought into the gun house."
26.8.1940 (Seaford): "Both gun shields were fitted."
It's lucky that the Germans didn't attack before the 26th eh? Well done for posting up an example of an Emergency Battery with greatly restricted defensive capability during the Sealion period ;)

Perhaps you should as suggested some considerable time ago check up on the events on the Mlawa Line in Poland on the 2nd and 3rd of September 1939....
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by nmao » 18 Feb 2014 16:38

Hello.
Just want to thank everybody for this very informative thread.
I've been following every opinion and fact with great interest, and look forward for more posts :)

regards,

-Nuno

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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 19 Feb 2014 12:17

Thank you very much Nuno, very gracious of you. The thread would be more readable if certain people would refrain from cluttering it up with long-winded and ill-natured arguments that in the end contribute nothing, or next to nothing, to our collective knowledge of the subject. But far be it from me to argue against freedom of expression of course, I just wish some people would use it more judiciously :milwink:
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 19 Feb 2014 13:21

Gerard, note that Nuno said ALL the arguments and discussion...

You keep posting up material with major issues and questionmarks over it, you`ll keep getting pulled up on it. That`s how it works here. It`s the ignoring of raised issues and quesions that stifles discussion...

It MIGHT be better if you went back and addressed some of them instead of stamping your feet in pique...as your refusal to do so does of course cast further doubts...the above concerns over the emergency battery diary material you posted up being a perfect example. Yes it was useful, yes it revealed things...but as we can see, NOT the things you were expecting it to show.

What it DID show was a battery that was constructed then not test fired for another two months for a number of reasons, and wasn`t suitably protected for three and a half months... one would hope thats merely a bad example you used and the REST weren`t like that!
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 27 Feb 2014 15:31

Sorry Phylo, but I'm really and honestly not aware of any "major issues" that I would need to address ... unless perhaps you refer to that notion of yours that "feeding strength" does not mean "the number of men present and entitled to be fed" but instead "the number of napkins in store" or some other utterly meaningless number like that.
Or perhaps you mean that guff about the alleged "large number of females" in Dover, which supposedly made the town indefensible ?? :lol:

Coming up next, a list of the coastal batteries in place and operational in the various invasion zones, as far as I am able to ascertain, at the end of September 1940 (no, not August Phylo - September)
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 27 Feb 2014 18:05

Coming up next, a list of the coastal batteries in place and operational in the various invasion zones, as far as I am able to ascertain, at the end of September 1940 (no, not August Phylo - September)
...which will be interesting to see...

I hope you've remembered to check which of them were AT the storm high tide mark and how many were above it? You DID say that ALL but one was at the high water mark...

That's the sort of major caveat you've chosen not to answer in THIS thread.
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by nmao » 28 Feb 2014 04:07

Hello!
About your notes on 2nd AD, do you also have info about 1st AD? The switching of regiments and brigades is sometimes hard to follow.
Any details on tank shipments to the Middle East?
Thanks

-Nuno

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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 28 Feb 2014 18:47

Nuno, from David Newbold's thesis to begin with....
On 10th August, General Brooke was summoned to a
conference with the Secretary of State for War, the C.I.G.S. and General
Wavell, and as a result General Dill, with Anthony Eden's ardent approval,
wrote to the Prime Minister that the War Office was arranging to send to the
Middle East at the earliest possible date a force of over 150 Light, Cruiser
and Infantry tanks, together with 48 x 2 pdr. anti-tank guns, 20 x Bofors
light A.A. guns, 48 x 25 pdr. field guns, 500 Bren guns arid. 250 anti-tank
rifles, plus the necessary ammunition and personnel. Some air reinforcements
had already been sent and. It was now decided to re-arm with modern aircraft
as many squadrons as possible in the Middle East. The Army reinforcements
were to start as soon as they could. be loaded and, in fact, departed around
2lst/22nd Aug., arriving some six weeks later. Churchill received the news
from Dill with enthusiasm, even pressing the Admiralty hard, though unsuccessfully,
for a direct convoy through the Mediterranean instead of the
safer route around the Cape. The chance to fight the Axis power in the
Middle East, the only viable field of engagement at this time, appealed
strongly to the puguacious instinct of the Prime Minister, despite the
obvious risks of stripping the country of so many precious weapons and
trained men at such a critical time. It was an act of high courage, "an
intensely brave decision," according to Sir Arthur Bryant. Churchill was
characteristically eloquent about it: "No time was lost. The decision to
give this blood-transfusion while we braced ourselves to meet a mortal
danger was at once awful and right. No one faltered."
In fact, despite General Brooke's reservations, the reinforcements
which departed for the Middle East towards the end. of August did not greatly
detract from the effective front-line strength of Rome Forces in the areas
which were most vulnerable of all, in the South-East and East Anglia. The
50 Infantry tanks of 7 R.T.R. had, in fact, been training in Scotland since
13th July and, though formerly part of let Army Tank Brigade, their dispatch
did not alter the strength of the latter formation in the South-East, which
remained at 27 Mk I and 73 Mk II Matilda Infantry tanks. (See Appendices
10 and ii.) The 52 Cruiser tanks of 2 R.T.R. were indeed taken from 1st
Armoured Division, but were immediately replaced in the Division's 3rd
Armoured Brigade by the fully equipped 3 R.T.R. from War Office control.
The 1st Armoured Division was thus kept up to a two battalion strength in
Cruiser tanks. Of the front-line formations, therefore, only 20th Armoured
Brigade, also under 1st Armoured Division, lost out since its sole light
tank regiment was removed about this time, probably to replace 3rd (Kings
Own) Hussars (52 Vickers light tanks) which was sent overseas from 1st
Armoured Brigade in 2nd Armoured Division. By late August, there still
remained two fully equipped battalions of Infantry tanks with 1st Army Tank
Brigade and two Cruiser battalions plus one 'light wheeled' tank regiment
with 1st Armoured Division in G.LQ. Reserve to the south of London, arid no
less than six light tank regiments (one re-equipping with Cruisers) in 2nd.
Armoured Division in G.R.Q.. Reserve north of London, a net loss to these
important formations of only one regiment of light tanks. Indeed, perhaps
a greater loss to the formations in reserve at home was not the tank formations,
but the single regiment of 48 invaluable 2 pdr. anti-tank guns, a
much more difficult item to replace quickly.
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 01 Mar 2014 16:57

Little addendum on the subject of tank transporters: mainly because of legislation designed to give an advantage to the railways, not many heavy lorries/trucks were produced in Britain in the 1930s. And even after the outbreak of war, only a few specialist manufacturers made limited numbers of heavy tractors (Scammell) and tank transporter trailers.
Consequently, the British relied heavily on various American vehicles such as the Diamond T. The picture (IWM H12382) shows an armoured column on the move somewhere in Britain in July 1941. The truck carrying the A13 Cruiser is, if I'm not mistaken, a White 920 18-ton 6X4 truck, some of which were ex-French contract.
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 20 Mar 2014 20:22

To return for a moment to the 2nd AD and the 22nd Armoured Brigade, somebody has put the war diaries of those three regiments on the net, and they contain very interesting lists of the vehicles on hand (armoured vehicles in bold):

Vehicle strength of 4th CLY on 26/9/1940 according to unit war diary:
1 Commer 15cwt, 1 Morris dual control, 1 Bedford horse box, 1 Commer 3-ton, 10 BSA M/Cs, 6 Matchless M/Cs, 2 Norton M/Cs, 3 Norton Combinations, 46 Light tanks Mk VIc, 26 Bedford 3-ton, 13 15cwt Bedford trucks, 1 Bedford water truck, 1 Morris office truck, 4 Austin 2-seaters, 3 Humber utility cars, 10 Fordson 30cwt trucks, 8 bicycles, 3 Dragons, 10 scout cars, 6 Humberettes.

Vehicle strength of 3rd CLY on 1/10/1940 :
Regimental strength: 40 officers, 520 ORs.
Total of A vehicles: 41 tanks Mk VIb, 2 Light Tanks 'Dutch' type; 6 'Ironside' Humbers Mk I, 10 scout cars, 3 light Dragons Mk II - Total = 62
Total of B vehicles: 28 3-ton GS, (2 surplus to establishment for use of rear party), 15 30cwt, GS, (4 surplus but one for use of rear party);3 30cwt Commer, 12 15cwt GS, 1 15cwt water, 1 15 cwt W/T, 1 15cwt office, 3 Humber utility, 4 Austin utility, 3 Norton M/C combinations, 12 Norton M/C solo, - Total = 80

The WD of the 2nd Gloucestershire Hussars does not give totals per month, just vehicles received and transferred, but if those are correct, by the end of Sept. they had 25 Mk VIb, 33 "Dutchmen", 10 Scout Cars, and again 6 "Humberettes". Strength at that point: 33 officers and 515 ORs.

This last unit seems a bit over strength in tanks, but since the "Dutchmen" (Vickers-Carden-Loyds' model 1936, ordered by the Dutch government for its colonial forces, some made it to the East Indies but the rest was requisitioned by the British government on the outbreak of war) were smaller vehicles with a 2-man crew, it may be there were 4 tanks per troop instead of 3 - just speculation on my part of course.
And by the way, I am glad to announce that for once Phylo will curb his spirit of contradiction and agree with me that the "Dutchman" was a more elegant-looking vehicle than the ungainly Mk VI.
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 20 Mar 2014 20:33

A couple of pictures of the "Dutchman" in Dutch service in 1940-1941, with the colonial forces (KNIL):
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 23 Mar 2014 20:07

On the subject of lesser known armoured vehicles, I have just been going through the War Diary of the 5th Loyals (WO 166/4443). This was a motorcycle battalion attached to the 45th Division in Sussex as mobile division reserve (from the end of May).
According to the War Establishment such a unit had 3 motorcycle companies and a HQ company with (besides an administrative and transport platoon and a signals platoon) two scout platoons with 11 scout cars each (Daimler Dingo)
27.3.1940 “It may be mentioned here that the bn M.T. has all arrived including the up to the present almost mythical scout-cars.”
However it seems they lost them again, although the WD does not say when and how; probably to some unit whose need was perceived to be greater.
27.8.1940: “Malcolm Campbell cars arrived for our use in place of Scout Cars. Sir Malcolm Campbell came out himself to explain the design.”
I’ve had some trouble finding any definite info on these vehicles, beyond that they were designed by Leo Villa and Briggs Motor Bodies Ltd. built 70 of them; there is a small grainy picture in “The Observer’s Fighting Vehicles Directory World War Two” (Bart H. Vanderveen, 1972) and I found another pic of uncertain provenance which possibly shows one of the prototypes. The body and especially the rear seems very narrow and it is hard to imagine a 6pdr would fit, with enough room left over for the crew.
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 23 Mar 2014 21:06

It indeed wasn't the ONLY 1940 emergency design that Leo Villa was responsible for, apparently...as mentioned above in that byline, at Campbell's request he ALSO turned his attention to utilising the nation's farm tractors...at least so an obscure Russian blog says!
http://shusharmor.livejournal.com/744206.html

Image

Image

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 25 Mar 2014 21:16

Well, in spite of my doubts, the Somerford (Hampshire) Home Guard managed to squeeze a 6pdr into a Campbell Car, probably a little later in the war (page 53 of David Fletcher, The Great Tank Scandal - British Armour in the Second World War, Part 1 (1989) - has a lot interesting pictures of improvised armoured vehicles).
The tractor (a Fordson) is also mentioned but was a one-off apparently.
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