Tag: tank

Photo Essay: Tanks in the wild

When I got my new camera last year I needed to test drive (test fire?) it, and I grabbed some of my tank collection and headed out into the wild. Some of the results were really great. 

World War One battlefields were incredibly muddy and the early rhomboid shaped tanks battled with the terrain. They were more psychological weapons than anything else.

The real live example I photographed in Bovington Tank Museum in 2013. This is called a “Heavy Tank Mk V “Male””. It had a crew of 8 with a top speed of 7.4 kph. This particular vehicle took part in the battle of Amiens in August 1918, and was about as good as this particular style of tank was. It was armed with 2×6 pound (57mm) guns and 2 MG’s. 

I do have a soft spot for the M3 Stuart (aka “Honey”) this little one got somewhat off the beaten track and is waiting for nightfall so that it can move out. It did not want to meet up with the Tiger that  was hiding in the garden. This green Tiger one I picked up in Hong Kong in 2011. It is motorised in spite of it’s small size. 

and this Matilda was also en route to somewhere, although it really was more in use in the Western Desert as opposed to the local mud patch next to the river.

It may not have been the greatest tank around but they were good looking.  They even have one at Bovington.

You have to be very careful on some days that you do not bump into a T55 MBT hiding in the undergrowth. If this one looks familiar it is because it is. This model features the T55 that was in the James Bond movie: Golden Eye.

or even a T34 for that matter, although she may be quite handy against that Tiger I mentioned a bit earlier.

Of course some tracked vehicles try to outdo others, and this PzH 2000 (Panzerhaubitze 2000) 155mm self-propelled howitzer  would probably have a field day shelling Cheltenham or maybe Gloucester.

Fortunately it did not have any ammunition, and at that small scale the shell would have stung quite badly.

Since I took these pics in February last year, my tank collection has grown considerably, and at some point I will take them outside again, I now have 3 Tigers and that could prove to be quite an uneven battle for the Honey. Unfortunately since taking these images I have not been able to find my T55 so I expect it has gone to the big tank graveyard in the sky. On the other hand, I was able to take some more pics of more of my tank collection.

That M4A3 Sherman was just itching to slug it out with a Tiger, and I am going to put my money on the Tiger.

My M2 Grant MK1 also got an airing today, although it tried to avoid bumping into anything larger that it was.

What they didn’t know was that there were 3 Tigers heading in their direction.

The grey Tiger is radio controlled and it even has a recoil action when you “fire” the gun. When things dry out a bit I am going to take it out and try it on this muddy terrain.

This Leopard 1 also got an airing. But there was trouble looming behind it. I seem to think it is a T55, but it is unfortunately not marked.

Until next time when battle will recommence.

Update 04/04/2017:

Cats seem to understand tanks, especially homemade ones.

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 05/02/2017 

Updated: 01/01/2018 — 16:41

A Honey of a Tank

A few years back, in 2011 I did the rounds of the usual haunts, hunting down plinthed and preserved tanks, there were three models that fell into my research, namely Crusaders, Shermans and M3 Stuarts. This post deal with one Stuart in particular.  I will not go into the history of these M3’s, suffice to say they were popularly referred to as “Honey’s”.

This vehicle I photographed in 2011 while visiting the Roll of Honour at the Cosy Corner MOTH Shellhole in Brakpan.

The history of this particular vehicle is not known, but it is likely that she was a gate guard at a former MOTH Shellhole somewhere in the Springs area and she is currently situated at Google Earth co-ordinates: -26.252307°,  28.446881°. This is a former park, but sadly it is more of the remains of a park. The tank when I photographed her was not a total wreck yet.

Those open doors at the back set off alarm bells in my mind when I saw her, sooner or later somebody was going to get in there and remove parts off her engine, assuming that it had not been done already.

Wind forward to 2017, and Joe Borain from Cosy Corner went to see whether she was still intact or not. rumours were that she was not looking good.  I will post the images more or less in the the same order as the “before (2011)” images.

As you can see, the engine compartment has had lots of attention from the scrap metal thieves.

It also appears as if the open viewing slits have been used to “post rubbish” into. It is only a matter of time before they get organised enough to go after her tracks and idlers. The scrap metal industry is not averse to assisting those who decide to remove steel from monuments and memorials. Remember, watched a whole collection of steam locomotives systematically stripped by illicit scrap thieves in 2010. Anything can happen.

What can be done? According to Joe site has been fenced, although he did manage to get in. And, a local garage was supposedly keeping an eye on her too. But, what really needs to happen is they need to weld the front viewing ports and rear engine doors shut. And ideally get her moved from the spot where she is now. Who does she belong to? probably the SANDF, and getting permission to move her will be quite a rigmarole. Springs city council were supposed to have renovated the derelict war memorial by mid 2015 and that too stalled so there is not much hope of help from them. But the way things are, one day that honey of a tank will be no more. 

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 08/01/2016. 2017 Images are by Joe Borain and are used with permission.

Updated: 01/01/2018 — 16:43

Welland Steam and Country Rally (I)

This morning we headed off to the Welland Steam and Country Rally which is held at Woodside Farm, Welland, Worcestershire. The weather had been changeable lately, and there were periods of cloud and blue skies, but overall it was a great day.

Because of the amount of images I took (over 800) I have split this blog post into as 5 parts because there was a lot to see: ranging from scooters, vintage cars, traction engines, military vehicles, strange steam shovels, stationary engines, vintage trucks, and everything in between. I had no real priority though because it all went pear shaped when we arrived and I realised there was a lot on display.

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Regular followers of my blogs will know I have an eclectic taste in many things, so I did take a lot of pics. Some good, some bad.

The area where the rally was held was a large one, but then there were a lot of exhibits on display and a lot of people too. In fact there were quite a large number of dogs accompanying visitors, and that can be quite confusing.

For me there were a number of highlights, although not much would beat the steam shovel. 

This machine belched steam and smoke from a number of places as it grabbed bits of gravel from the pit and deposited it on the other side. There was just something about it that held you spellbound. I have never seen a steam powered version of one of these in action before and it was fantastic. I have video of it on my youtube channel.

Another machine that I was hoping to see in action was a 1901 Dubs steam engine with a crane mounted on it. I had first seen one of these at Chasewater Railway  but was curious to see one in action.

Unfortunately she never really worked, she just seemed to run backwards and forwards on a length of track and that was it. She is not an easy loco to photograph either, and this image was probably my best. 

There was another crane that I wanted to see in action, because there were remnants of one at Sanrasm North Site, but this crane did not have much of a  “wow!” factor. 

In this area they had a number of working machines powered by steam, and the crane was used to pick up logs to feed into a steam driven circular saw, I did look for the “damsel in distress” about to be rendered into messy bits by the saw but ‘ealth ‘n safety were having none of that.

and Scrumpy was just dog tired.

This area also had a makeshift navvy camp and it was interesting because as usual no work was being done. In fact the one item I really wanted to see doing something wasn’t doing anything! 

And here he is… 

Just waiting for me to turn my back so that he can rattle down the track while I am not looking. I was really hoping that this was some previously undiscovered narrow gauge loco, but it turns out that it is not, The builders plate identifies her as Wilbrighton Wagon Works Number 2, (2007) so she is really a newbuild and carries the name “Howard”.  I cannot find out too much about her as yet, but she tentatively seems to belong to the Statfold Barn Railway, Tamworth, in Staffordshire. I will have to do more reading about this one I am afraid.

Part of the attraction of the rally was the fun fair and the attendant Showmans Engines.  Most of the traction engines i have seem have been smaller versions, these were the fulll size machines and they were stunning. They had so many people swarming over them cleaning that it was difficult to get a clean shot of the machines.

There is a an overhang at the front of the machine and that is where the dynamo (generator?) is bolted onto that is run via a belt to the flywheel of the engine. 

110 Volts, 220 Amps. That is quite an impressive piece of kit! 

But then when you are running one of these you need all the power you can generate. 

Close to the fun fair was the Military Vehicle display which sucked me in as per usual. Although much to my dismay most of the equipment was of American origin. 

With the exception of this stunning Kübelwagen 

I have posted the military vehicles in a separate post but for now will leave you with a pic of a vehicle that does bring back memories of my own time in the SADF.

The Bullnose Bedford we knew as the “Vasbyt Bedford” and they were painted that ugly “Nutria” colour that the SADF used. I actually drove one of them in Jan Kemp Dorp and nearly demolished the only hairdresser and robots in the dorpie.

The arena was not too far away, and during the day they held a display of vintage cars and bikes, as well as military vehicles, small scale traction engines and of course full size traction engines. Some of these will all be dealt with separately.

Walking a bit further there there was a nice display of various vintage stationary engines/pumps/generators/ and similar machines.  They are odd machines to see because many are incredibly reliable and quite old. I always find it amusing how every now and they they emit a solitary “splut!”. I usually do not photograph these odd machines but they can be fascinating in their own right.

This 1929 Gardner 2 stroke reversible diesel engine was running and was one of a pair of engines that were used on board the motor yacht Cordelia II.  

While all this was going on, a number of giant calliope type machines were churning out a selection of oompah elevator music that impinged on the ear drums the moment you came with range.

The irritation factor of these things is huge, although I have to admit I am impressed that it can produce something almost recognisable as music, or should that be muzak?

Having done a circumnavigation of the site it was time to start watching out for when the arena events were happening. So far the vintage cars had been on display as had a selection of motor cycles. 

Next on the list was the smaller version engines. These I was was used to seeing because most of the rallies I had been to had featured the smaller versions. This rally had the fully size machines and some were really huge. But first…. 

and then…….

Followed by…..

I had secured myself a nice ringside rail to lean against (later upgraded to a chair) and could settle down to watch the parade.

My self imposed limit of pics on a page allows me to share some random images before we reach the end. 

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Random Stuff

 

 

To be continued

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 30/07/2016

Updated: 01/01/2018 — 16:25
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