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Old 17-04-17, 16:30
Bruce Parker Bruce Parker is offline
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Default Question about AFV names

I'd like to pick the group's brains on WW2 Canadian/British armoured car names. It seems that tanks were universally given names based on their squadron (names starting with A, B, C, D and H for headquarters). Armoured cars seem to have similar names only rarely, the exceptions being Daimler scout cars at Dieppe and 4 Princess Louise Dragoon Guards Otters and Fox in Sicily. I can't recall ever seeing names on Humbers or Staghounds later in the war. Most restored vehicle owners don't seem to apply them.

What is the rule regarding Commonwealth armoured car names in WW2? If I had to guess I'd say they were used until some time in late 1943 when they were dispensed with.
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Old 19-04-17, 09:16
kevinT kevinT is offline
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Default AFV names

Hi Bruce,

If you go to www.ww2talk.com then go to the Vehicle Name and Census Numbers tab, within the wording under that header is a direct link to PDF file. The names and numbers of Pre WWII, WWII and Post WWII were compiled by Dick Taylor and myself. You should find the answers to your question and you will see that there were not just Daimlers at Dieppe and the regiments you mention who named their vehicles.

I hope it is of interest to you.

Cheers

Kevin
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Old 20-04-17, 02:05
Bruce Parker Bruce Parker is offline
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Thanks for that Kevin, it's an incredible list and quite the accomplishment.

I'm not sure it it helps me out. There's a sprinkling of armoured cars with names but not enough to confirm whether they were universally used or just up to a certain date or by certain units (or if enough photographs were taken to tell). I expect that if, say, pre 1943 British and Canadian armoured car units used them then all units did. I think also some of the Humber car names in NW Europe could be crew's choice or ceremonial names rather than squadron names. The photo evidence I've seen would suggest names were not common post 1943.

In your experience, would squadron names be used on armoured cars in Italy or NW Europe in 1944-45?
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Old 04-06-18, 01:22
Bruce Parker Bruce Parker is offline
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I've been pondering this question and looking at as much period material as I can find and have come up with a working theory.

I suggest that A, B, C and HQ names were applied to armoured cars up to sometime in 1943, similar to those seen on tanks. At some point in 1943 until the end of the war they were dispensed with and in their place triangular 'A', square 'B', round 'C' and diamond 'HQ' symbols were used. I base this on never seeing a squadron name and squadron symbol used together on armored cars (but always on tanks, and HQ squadron Calgary Regiment 'dingo's' at Dieppe...but that is a tank regiment and not an armoured car or recce one). It's names 1942-43 and symbols 1943-45. I expect Canadian and British armoured car regiments would have followed the same rules.

If I'm right it now needs some documentation, and an answer to the question: why?

Last edited by Bruce Parker; 04-06-18 at 01:42. Reason: Forgot Dieppe Daimler SC's
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Old 04-06-18, 05:25
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Could it have been a communications thing in the field, Bruce? Early on perhaps it was felt an identifying name on a vehicle and in a wireless communication would be helpful for a commander in a combat situation? Might have been a good idea in the first bit of the war, but if the enemy was monitoring communications, they could anticipate intentions and counteract more effectively by recognizing what vehicles were being instructed to do something. If we figured that out, then we may have abandoned the easily identifiable names on vehicles and stuck with just wireless code names to make if more difficult for the enemy to figure out what was going on?

David
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Old 05-06-18, 01:45
Bruce Parker Bruce Parker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dunlop View Post
Could it have been a communications thing in the field, Bruce? Early on perhaps it was felt an identifying name on a vehicle and in a wireless communication would be helpful for a commander in a combat situation? Might have been a good idea in the first bit of the war, but if the enemy was monitoring communications, they could anticipate intentions and counteract more effectively by recognizing what vehicles were being instructed to do something. If we figured that out, then we may have abandoned the easily identifiable names on vehicles and stuck with just wireless code names to make if more difficult for the enemy to figure out what was going on?

David
Dave, it was absolutely a communication thing. Easy to remember names that you were familiar with and instantly knew which squadron a vehicle was in was its purpose.

Why it was abandoned for armoured car regiments (if my theory is right) must have to do with something other than security or practicality. Tanks continued to use names until the end of the war and continued to do so for many years after.
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Old 05-06-18, 03:35
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Hi Bruce.


Named armoured vehicles makes a lot of sense for communication purposes and in the 1930ís leading into the start of World War Two, armour can be split into two groups; the tank regiments and the lighter recce regiments, but for the powers that be at that time, lets assume they just saw it all as Ďarmourí, so they all got names.

Armour technology and anti armour technology were in a constant state of development in the interwar years. If anything lagged behind, it was probably the human thinking about just how to use armour on the battlefield.

So World War Two arrives and the combatants are then faced with actually having to figure out how to use armour effectively on the new battlefields of the day, using ideas that basically started and stopped between 1917 and 1918. The concept of good communications makes very much sense, so it is applied to all armour collectively.

Now, as you have noted, time marches along in World War Two and we notice that the lighter armoured recce regiments appear to be moving away from named vehicles. The tank regiments continue. Communication is still critical on the battlefield but the shift away from naming recce vehicles seems valid.

What would be different about the operation/deployment of tanks in action, compared to recce armour? Something of significant difference has to be at play here to make a change in policy between the two groups of vehicles happen.

My thought process still focuses on communication differences, I think. Is it a case of tanks in the thick of it are really not concerned about being individually or collectively identified since it could be argued they have lots of support close at hand in most situations? On the other hand a recce regiment could often be working some distance behind enemy lines with little or no immediate support. Being sneaky with their communications would be far more critical to them working where they did. The less information readily available to the enemy in their environment the better?


David
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