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  #121  
Old 03-10-20, 14:34
Hanno Spoelstra's Avatar
Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakko Westerbeke View Post
There is a little snag, though, which the article doesn’t mention: the estimated restoration costs are rather more than the amount the municipal government has freed for it. From what I was told in a phonecall yesterday, the people doing the restoration will make a start with that and meanwhile, see how to get the rest together.
That is typical for these kind of projects. I am sure the museum, municipality and local sponsors can work something out. The museum has been given two Sherman tanks (and possibly other artifacts). I have donated parts for one of their restorations. So maybe they can find ways to go the extra mile and give something back to the community.
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  #122  
Old 03-10-20, 19:42
MicS MicS is offline
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Great news indeed! This is the opportunity to restore the original markings of the tank, instead of the variety of fanciful markings it has endured ever since it became a memorial. Accurate information about its commander as well as period photos could also be added to the memorial.

Michel
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  #123  
Old 03-10-20, 19:58
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
That is typical for these kind of projects. I am sure the museum, municipality and local sponsors can work something out.
Well, yes. I just mentioned it because it’s not like the whole restoration is already sorted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
The museum has been given two Sherman tanks (and possibly other artifacts).
You mean the two HVSS Shermans that stand in the museum grounds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
This is the opportunity to restore the original markings of the tank, instead of the variety of fanciful markings it has endured ever since it became a memorial.
In the phonecall I mentioned, I was also told that the fellow in charge of the restoration asked the Polderhuis museum (very close to the tank, for those who might not know) for help regarding those markings. Apparently, they told him they knew someone to help with that (that is, yours truly) and I affirmed that if he has any questions, he can contact me.

TBH, I had been thinking about this before already, and it’s actually not that straightforward because all the Crab gear has been removed. I think putting the AoS and 79AD markings on the upper corners of the glacis plate would be the best choice, given that other 1 Lothians Crabs had them there as well, even if this particular one did not.

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Originally Posted by MicS View Post
Accurate information about its commander as well as period photos could also be added to the memorial.
Good you mention that: who was the commander? Sgt. Stead?
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  #124  
Old 03-10-20, 23:35
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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Excellent news!

Quote:
This is the opportunity to restore the original markings of the tank, instead of the variety of fanciful markings it has endured ever since it became a memorial.
Exactly my thought! Jakko's book will certainly help with that.
I also hope they will replace those front fenders for some originals, or something that looks close to the original.....even a fender with the correct shape, but without the stiffening rib will look much better that the current flat fender.

Quote:
I am sure the museum, municipality and local sponsors can work something out.
I agree; the media exposure lately could have a positive effect on that, and I am sure those involved know this all to well.

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  #125  
Old 09-10-20, 11:00
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Another one that may be of interest here:

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Name:	D6A S55 in 1944 (John Fernhout).jpg
Views:	10
Size:	305.1 KB
ID:	116695

This is a still from the 1945 British Ministry of Information film Broken Dykes by John Fernhout (credited as John Ferno in the film itself). The first half of it is available at the Beeld en Geluid archive (so is the second half but it contains nothing of interest to this thread). In the black bar across the middle of the page, click the “play” symbol (the square with the triangle in it); the bulldozer can be seen at about 00:43:47:00, but only for a few seconds, and the film doesn’t show anything the still above doesn't.

Anyway, this is the dozer I labelled S55, most likely in late 1944, and it shows markings and other details I had never seen of it, because I’m not aware of any pictures of it taken as close-up as this one.

I’m informed elsewhere that the 344 with a diagonal bar behind it is the AoS marking of 1st Canadian Army engineers, which is slightly confusing to me, unless the bulldozers shipped to Westkapelle were on loan from that? Or perhaps it’s just that I don’t understand how all these units fit together (my interest is much more the vehicles than the units).
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  #126  
Old 15-10-20, 19:07
MicS MicS is offline
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Excellent find, which gives us the unit of one of the Westkapelle dozer wrecks!

AoS 344c is 1st Mechanical Equipment Company, Royal Canadian Engineers. See http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/showthread.php?t=4524

Michel
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  #127  
Old 15-10-20, 19:34
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
Excellent find, which gives us the unit of one of the Westkapelle dozer wrecks!
Two wrecks The one of which there is a picture when it’s bulldozing in early November 1944, also has this AoS marking on the left rear, just aft of the Allied star. My conclusion is that this is the same bulldozer that ended the war on top of the dyke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
AoS 344c is 1st Mechanical Equipment Company, Royal Canadian Engineers. See http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/showthread.php?t=4524
Thanks!

Also, with a bit of luck I may have soon a bit more information on (what is probably) another of the bulldozers at Westkapelle, when I actually get to see some photos from a private collection.
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  #128  
Old 17-10-20, 16:37
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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As promised:

Click image for larger version

Name:	AVRE (Martin Reijnhoudt en moeder).jpg
Views:	4
Size:	231.6 KB
ID:	116834

Click image for larger version

Name:	D6A (Martin Reijnhoudt).jpg
Views:	10
Size:	152.4 KB
ID:	116835

The top one is AVRE T69114/B, the identity of the D6A dozer I’m still not sure about, because I’m having a little trouble placing it. It looks like it’s on the middle of the beach, with the remains of the dyke near the village in the background.

Interestingly, the dozer has a name, The RAM and part of its WD census number is readable. The second digit is gone but must have been a 4, the fourth digit looks like a 9 to me, and the last one perhaps a 1 or maybe a 7? I’ve not really tried tinkering with the colours, contrast etc. on the much higher-resolution scan I have to see if I can make out more, though.

The little boy in both is Martin Reijnhoudt, who I got these photos from; the woman in the top picture is his mother. She and his father ran a bakery, which the AVRE was parked just in front of. Apparently, they moved back in in January 1945, and when British soldiers were using bulldozers around the village (reason unknown), his father paid one of them with a bottle of wine to tow the AVRE away from in front of his shop. The dozer driver hooked a thick steel cable to the tank, started pulling, and only succeeded in removing bricks from the paving of the street before the cable started to fray and broke


Edit, a few hours later: The WD-numbers seems to be E2?39?7:

Name:  E2?39?7.jpg
Views: 98
Size:  38.6 KB

So most likely E2439?7 with one digit I can’t make out. There is some stuff visible where the fifth digit should be, but I can’t see a number in those squiggles.

Also, I think I figured out which bulldozer this is: the one I’ve got down as E22 (see my PDF), on the south side of the Gap, a bulldozer I only knew from the Rijkswaterstaat map I posted earlier and very long-distance photos, and of which I had not seen any close-ups at all.

The land in the right background does appear to be the old dyke near the village, with tank wrecks becoming more visible if I play with the colours and contrast in the scan. This fits with sight lines along bulldozer E22, from the south side of the Gap to the northwestern end.

Last edited by Jakko Westerbeke; 17-10-20 at 19:50.
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  #129  
Old 17-10-20, 23:46
MicS MicS is offline
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Great photo of 'The RAM' Jakko!

I think it might be your E32, which by the way is a D6A, not a D7A (to be more precise, in your pdf the dozer on your first photo - Dozer 'D' in Hanno's post #64 above- is a D6A, located to the right front side of LVT(4) E23, while the one on the second photo, on the left front side of E23, is a D7A).

They are stuck at a similar angle, the left track is broken on both, the engine cover top plates are missing (not that this is exceptional on dozer wrecks!), and the angles of shot of the photos are compatible. More importantly, it seems that their Reg Nos are both E243xx7 (possibly E243927 or E243957).

It might be worthwhile to get a higher resolution scan from Beeldbank Zeeuwse to see if the Reg No could be read.

I think I can see the remains of AoS 12xx on the right side (left on your photo) of the front plate. This could be 1232 or 1236 for 149 Aslt Pk Sqn, although this unit is not suppposed to have landed any dozer on the right side of the Gap, but it could be another RE unit altogether since many had similar AoS serials.

Michel

Last edited by MicS; 18-10-20 at 01:38.
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  #130  
Old 18-10-20, 11:24
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
I think it might be your E32, which by the way is a D6A, not a D7A (to be more precise, in your pdf the dozer on your first photo - Dozer 'D' in Hanno's post #64 above- is a D6A, located to the right front side of LVT(4) E23, while the one on the second photo, on the left front side of E23, is a D7A).
I see what you mean, and now I think we’re both wrong in some ways I confused E22 and E32 in the photo Hanno also posted; the latter is clearly a D7A, and as you say, I failed to spot that the bulldozer here:



is a D6A.

However, No. E32 is the D7A with the hooks on the back, and No. E22 is the D6A that I thought I didn’t have any close-up pictures of — but did. More rewriting to do for v1.1 …

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
It might be worthwhile to get a higher resolution scan from Beeldbank Zeeuwse to see if the Reg No could be read.
I downloaded it at the highest resolution possible from there, which turns out to be 1417 × 855 pixels.

(Tip: Dezoomify, though in Safari, that doesn’t let you save the image, so use another browser).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
I think I can see the remains of AoS 12xx on the right side (left on your photo) of the front plate.
You have better eyes than I do
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  #131  
Old 19-10-20, 17:09
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Let’s add another one: Crab Dandy Dinmont is T148143:

Click image for larger version

Name:	T148143 Dandy Dinmont.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	53.5 KB
ID:	116869

This is a still from Walcheren Heroverd (“Walcheren Reconquered”) available on the Wikipedia page about the inundation of Walcheren: the tank appears 1:22. The commentary at that time doesn’t mention the tank at all, BTW, but talks about damaged and destroyed homes instead.
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  #132  
Old 19-10-20, 18:50
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Excellent, great find

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakko Westerbeke View Post
Let’s add another one: Crab Dandy Dinmont is T148143:

Attachment 116869

This is a still from Walcheren Heroverd (“Walcheren Reconquered”) available on the Wikipedia page about the inundation of Walcheren: the tank appears 1:22. The commentary at that time doesn’t mention the tank at all, BTW, but talks about damaged and destroyed homes instead.
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  #133  
Old 19-10-20, 20:45
MicS MicS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakko Westerbeke View Post
Let’s add another one: Crab Dandy Dinmont is T148143:

Attachment 116869

This is a still from Walcheren Heroverd (“Walcheren Reconquered”) available on the Wikipedia page about the inundation of Walcheren: the tank appears 1:22. The commentary at that time doesn’t mention the tank at all, BTW, but talks about damaged and destroyed homes instead.
Superb view of DANDY DINMONT's markings! While on other photos the markings are alreay faded, they look quite sharp here.

Reg No T148143 appears in the War Diary for a Crab received by 1 Lothians during March 1944, which is consistent with DANDY DINMONT having a full set of markings, including the original name, turret number and formation sign, unlike "Memorial" tank T148656 which must have been a replacement one.

Michel

Last edited by MicS; 19-10-20 at 21:39.
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  #134  
Old 19-10-20, 22:26
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
Superb view of DANDY DINMONT's markings! While on other photos the markings are alreay faded, they look quite sharp here.
I was a little surprised to see the white highlighting on the upper and right sides. I hadn’t expected that to be there, from the few other photos I’ve seen of this tank that actually showed the name.

This image is not even all that early, though: it’s from a cinema newsreel date 4 March 1946, so probably taken weeks or even months before that. Call it at least a year after the landings. The flail is entirely gone from the tank already, and the houses nearby have already been demolished. (And I like how they braced the last remaining house in the row against the tank

Talking of Dandy Dinmont and T148656, I suspect this photo may also be new to a lot of people:

Click image for larger version

Name:	1A799E6F-4159-41AD-9257-17E55CE1C97F.jpeg
Views:	20
Size:	565.7 KB
ID:	116875

This is from the German military/popular history magazine, Clausewitz, which got it from some or another image bank that seems to require a subscription. It was certainly new to me, and shows a side of the tanks that I’d never seen in this kind of detail either. (Quality here isn’t great, as I took this photo with my iPad because I didn’t feel like going to my computer and scanner.)

The photo is clearly earlier than the newsreel, as the front wall of the house on the far right of the photo is still standing. However, the flail gear has already been (partially?) removed, as the left-hand jib is on the ground behind the tank.

Last edited by Jakko Westerbeke; 19-10-20 at 22:36.
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  #135  
Old 20-10-20, 12:26
MicS MicS is offline
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Great photo again, with a full view of the Memorial tank's rear markings, which will be useful in its restoration!

I wonder what the small marking just under 'CHERRY 6' on the wading trunk might be?

Note that the Memorial tank still has its spare chains on the turret side on this photo.

Michel

Last edited by MicS; 20-10-20 at 16:42.
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  #136  
Old 20-10-20, 19:18
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
Great photo again, with a full view of the Memorial tank's rear markings, which will be useful in its restoration!
And for my model of it

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
I wonder what the small marking just under 'CHERRY 6' on the wading trunk might be?
I just looked at the photo in the magazine with a strong magnifier, and it’s either too small to read in the print, or it’s simply a line somebody painted under the name. I lean towards the latter, because it seems to be about as thick and even as the strokes that make up the letters. Though it could, of course, also be that somebody used a smaller brush to paint something underneath.

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Originally Posted by MicS View Post
Note that the Memorial tank still has its spare chains on the turret side on this photo.
Those were on it for a fair while, but I’ve not yet pinned down when they seem to have been taken out.
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  #137  
Old 21-10-20, 21:33
MicS MicS is offline
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Back to the Memorial tank T148656, I am wondering about a marking which appears to be on the transmission housing.

It clearly includes a 5 and a 6:
Click image for larger version

Name:	No.M Crab T148656 '6 CHERRY' - Marcel van Hoepen - 3 - Notes.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	101.4 KB
ID:	116890

and might have more numbers or letter to the left of '56':
Click image for larger version

Name:	No.M Crab T148656 '6 CHERRY' - 509 NFR - Notes.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	473.8 KB
ID:	116891

I guess it could be its Reg No T148656 or just 148656, because the next sign left of '56' looks like it could be a 6 (next photo), the presence of a 8 before it being possibly the reason for what we see on the first photo above just left of the pairs of chains left of the 56:
Click image for larger version

Name:	No.M Crab T148656 '6 CHERRY' - 522 NFR - Notes.jpg
Views:	0
Size:	536.3 KB
ID:	116892

In summary:
Click image for larger version

Name:	No.M front marking.jpg
Views:	2
Size:	90.8 KB
ID:	116893

I think I have seen examples of the Reg No being painted in large numbers in this location, but naturally I can't find them right now...

Other photos of the front of the tank do not seem to show this marking, that is, on photos where the transmission housing is not obscured by the rounded guard plate between the flail jibs.

Any ideas?

Michel
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  #138  
Old 21-10-20, 21:36
MicS MicS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
I think I have seen examples of the Reg No being painted in large numbers in this location, but naturally I can't find them right now...
I must be getting old, because I posted just one such example on this very forum only a couple of days ago :
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/sh...232#post273232

Michel
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  #139  
Old 21-10-20, 23:01
MicS MicS is offline
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From these photos shot while it was still in its (very faded) original livery, it seems that the marking was within the middle casting of the transmission housing only:

Click image for larger version

Name:	FO121672 Tank Memorial - original markings.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	555.4 KB
ID:	116897 Click image for larger version

Name:	FO121673 Tank Memorial - original markings.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	516.3 KB
ID:	116898

So, if this marking was indeed the WD No. and given the size of the digits, it must have been written in two lines:

148
656

Michel
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  #140  
Old 21-10-20, 23:50
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Default Talking of Dandy Dinmont and T148656

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakko Westerbeke View Post
Talking of Dandy Dinmont and T148656, I suspect this photo may also be new to a lot of people:

This is from the German military/popular history magazine, Clausewitz, which got it from some or another image bank that seems to require a subscription. It was certainly new to me, and shows a side of the tanks that I’d never seen in this kind of detail either. (Quality here isn’t great, as I took this photo with my iPad because I didn’t feel like going to my computer and scanner.)
It was new to me too, a local battlefield guide kindly sent me scan of this photo:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Clausewitz.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	216.8 KB
ID:	116899
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  #141  
Old 22-10-20, 10:56
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
Back to the Memorial tank T148656, I am wondering about a marking which appears to be on the transmission housing.
Now you point this out, I seem to recall noticing it before as well but for some reason not digging deeper into it. Chances are I forgot due to having all kinds of other stuff to figure out as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
I think I have seen examples of the Reg No being painted in large numbers in this location, but naturally I can't find them right now...
Luckily you remembered, because I was about to go and find the one posted the other day

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicS View Post
if this marking was indeed the WD No. and given the size of the digits, it must have been written in two lines:

148
656
I’m not sure. In this photo:



I’m not convinced the character left of the 5 is a 6. It seems to be missing its left-hand side and the remaining part appears too angular to me. I also can’t really make anything of the markings in the 1958 photos, as they’re really just a blur.

On the other hand, I have no idea what else could be painted there that would have the number 56 in it … AoS number 56 seems unlikely, and why would it be on the tank? (A replacement transmission salvaged from another tank is about the only reason I can think of, but see above.)

The 5 is a fair deal larger than the 6, as is most obvious in the photo with all the people posing in front of and on the tank. This seems to suggest it’s hand-painted.
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  #142  
Old 22-10-20, 16:52
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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I spent much of the afternoon today at the Polderhuis museum in Westkapelle, looking through photo albums and binders with photos. Here are the more interesting ones I found for the current topic.

Zuidstraat with tanks, from the collection of one J.C. van Winkelen. I don’t think I’ve seen this particular one before, but it caught my eye mainly because the number 10 on the left side of the turret of Wolf of Badenoch is clearly visible here, when it’s usually obscured by the engine deck if the turret’s left side is visible at all:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Zuidstraat AVRE A3 & Sherman %22Wolf of Badenoch%22 (col. J.C. van Winkelen).jpeg
Views:	3
Size:	114.5 KB
ID:	116964

More importantly, it also shows this on the AVRE’s air inlet:

Name:  Minotaur.jpg
Views: 40
Size:  29.3 KB

Front view of “Cock o’the North”, from Willem D. Passenier, who is also the man in the photo:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Sherman %22Cock o'the North%22 (Willem D. Passenier).jpeg
Views:	1
Size:	132.8 KB
ID:	116967

And that same tank with an unknown woman next to it, again from the J.C. van Winkelen collection:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Sherman %22Cock o'the North%22 (col. J.C. van Winkelen).jpg
Views:	1
Size:	152.8 KB
ID:	116968

This is very similar to another photo of that same tank, which shows it closer up. That photo was next to it in the binder, but they seem to be two different photos, rather than the other one being a cropped version of this.
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  #143  
Old 22-10-20, 17:04
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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A photo I don’t think I’ve ever seen of the tanks at ’t Stort:

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Name:	Tanks in 't Stort.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	149.4 KB
ID:	116970

The front-most Crab from LCT 1005 (the one on the extreme left in the photo above), with some British soldiers on it:

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Name:	Crab S52 (Reg Bennett).jpg
Views:	1
Size:	54.9 KB
ID:	116969

This photo comes from one Reg Bennett, who, according to the letter his photos were with, was a member of a British DUKW company that transported supplies from Middelburg to Westkapelle.

The two LVTs that were on the landward side of the remains of the old dyke, with some sand for the new dyke already piled over one of them:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Buffalos E13 & E14 (Reg Bennett).jpeg
Views:	1
Size:	79.4 KB
ID:	116971

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that photo before, but I could never find it again when I was looking for it earlier this year. It’s also from Reg Bennett.

And Willem D. Passenier again, on an LVT that has clearly been stripped of some of its useful bits:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Buffalo (Willem D. Passenier).jpeg
Views:	1
Size:	64.9 KB
ID:	116972

I also came across this, in a picture frame:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Medium M4 Power Train plate.jpeg
Views:	5
Size:	100.5 KB
ID:	116973

I’m assuming this is from a Chrysler-built Sherman …?
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  #144  
Old 22-10-20, 23:35
MicS MicS is offline
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Thanks for these new photos and the beautiful view of the MINOTAUR marking Jakko!

Your pic is a (much) better version than the old Beeldbank.zeeuwse (now digitaal.dezb) FO052990:
Click image for larger version

Name:	Street view - AVRE A3, No.10, No.M Crab (left); No.11 (right) - FO052990.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	121.4 KB
ID:	116978

which confirms that when one can get to the original print (or better still, negative), chances are that many more details will appear than on the often poor scans originally posted. I downloaded this particular photo over 10 years ago, and it has not been updated for a better version since...

If the original pic of Dozer 'D' (FO039987) could also be located, we might find out its WD number and/or other markings.

Michel
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  #145  
Old 23-10-20, 10:44
Jakko Westerbeke Jakko Westerbeke is offline
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Thanks for posting that one — so I had seen it before, but not realised it because of the poor quality! The ladder along the AVRE looked familiar, but because I couldn’t recall a photo that actually shows the 10 on Wolf of Badenoch I thought I hadn’t seen this one before.

I’m not sure where that photo comes from, though. It’s in a binder with what seems to be someone’s collection of photographs relating to the war on Walcheren, and a lot (perhaps even most) photos are in it more than once — as in, two or three identical ones stuffed into a single pocket. I have no idea if he took them himself and printed multiple copies, or if they’re all published photos that he collected doubles of and put into a binder together. No negatives to be seen, but of course, if they were his own photos, chances are he (or his heirs) hung onto those and donated only the prints to the museum.

As for the bulldozer: I didn’t come across that photo in the albums and binders. I did find an original print of this one:



in a photo album put together by the photographer, and she captioned it as being exactly where I thought it was, so at least that suspicion is confirmed.

I also found an original print of:

Click image for larger version

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in an album from the captain of the suction dredger that was used to build the new dyke, who appears to have made that photo. However, something went wrong scanning it, so it’s become far too pixellated to be useful. I’ll have to go back and try again.

Last edited by Jakko Westerbeke; 23-10-20 at 10:53.
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