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Old 25-05-04, 05:00
Shane Lovell Shane Lovell is offline
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Location: Canberra, Australia
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Cool Portee Notes

Dear colleagues

Please find attached some notes on Portees. More to follow.

AWM52: 4/2/8 HQ 9 Aust Div RAA

Notes on Conference on Training 24 March 1941

Preliminary

CRA referred to his interview with Brig Maxwell RA ME who had advised that the position re equipment was as follows:

a) 3 A.Tk. Regt has priority and is to be equipped and to go to the Western Desert immediately with:
24 37 mm Bofors
12 47 mm Bredas ( 11 from 2 Aust A.Tk. Regt and 1 to be obtained at Alexandria)

12 Zollathurn 20 mm A.Tk. rifles to be exchanged in Western Desert for 2 pdrs on charge to A.Tk Coys. (the reason for the immediate move was indicated as being the presence in LIBYA of German manned AFVs)

AWM 54: 425/116
Australian LO Report No 6 dated 27 March 1941

Confirming that, for urgent operational reasons, the balance of 3 Aust. A.Tk Regt must be moved to CYRENAICA as early as it can be supplied with vehicles. The ZOLOTHURN Bty should be ready first. Btys can proceed on a reduced scale of tpt eg., each Bty:-

12 Portees
4 Vans 15-cwt
4 Vans 1-ton
4 Lorries, 30 cwt
4 Motor Cycles (if available)

The Portees for ZOLOTHURN can be either type of Van, and this being the case:-
(a) What is the earliest date the Z Bty can be fitted out without interfering with LUSTRE flight 9.
(b) The 47mm Bty MUST be fitted out by 6 April, even if LUSTRE units in 10th and subsequent flights are delayed.

AWM 54: 425/116
Australian LO Report No 21 dated 14 May 1941

I asked whether Aust units would receive Morris 4 wheel drive Portees. BRA indicated that they are unsatisfactory and that British units were to be equipped with 3-ton vehicles converted for Portee, on the basis of five per troop. In view of this disappointing situation regarding Morris Tractors it is suggested that we examine also the problem of converting 3-ton vehicles for Portee purposes. Our immediate requirement is of course the refit of 1 A.Tk Regt on a 36 gun basis.

AWM54: 425/11/3

AIF (ME) to Secretary, Dept of the Army, Melbourne dated 4 Aug 1941

Demonstration of QF 2 Pdr gun fired from a 30 cwt Ford truck

The demonstration was held to show that a QF 2 Pdr gun can be fired from an ordinary 30 cwt or 3 ton truck, the floor being cut down in width by approximately 2 6 from the normal. The idea being to save space on narrow roads, since the original width of 9 was unsafe to passing traffic.

The normal method of fastening the gun on a full width truck floor is for the spigot ends of the front legs to rest in 2 sockets provided at the rear floor left and right corners.

In the method demonstrated, the ends of the legs were partially folded at the hinges and another spigot was fixed to the inner leg portion. This then fitted into a sprocket on the floor of the truck. A saving in width of approximately 2 6 was thus effected.

AIF (ME) to Secretary, Dept of the Army, Melbourne Letter No 10 dated 20 Sept 1941

Inspection of 2-Pdr A/Tk Portees

On 6 Sep 41 two types of 2-pdr A/Tk Portee were inspected. The Director of Mechanisation (Aust) was present.

Type I had two small wheels attached to the two front legs of the 2 pdr carriage fitted approximately one foot down the leg. These small wheels fitted into two channels which formed a ramp and then ran along the flat top of the lorry. The gun was run up, barrel first, and, when the wheels were clear of the ground, they were taken off. The gun was then run on small wheels fitting in channels. The trail fitted into a square and was bolted down.

The gun fired over the trail, stresses being taken up on the front legs about a foot down. This type is quicker, requires less handling, and is easier for detachments than the second type.

Type II. The gun wheels fit into channels and the gun can be run up trail first. The two gunners who support the trail become jammed between the carriage and lorry wheels. The wheels are taken off when gun is on Portee. The two spikes on the axle fit into slots on the lorry. It is difficult to get the spikes over the holes. The trail fits into a groove but this takes time to fit in.

AIF (ME) to AHQ Melbourne Letter No 14 undated

Chevrolet 3-ton CAS Conversion to 2-pr Portee

Attached as Appendix E are the following drawings:-

OE/Chev/ 16
OE/Chev/ 16/1
OE/Chev/ 16/1-6
OE/Chev/ 16/1-20
OE/Chev/ 16/3
OE/Chev/ 16/3/1-5
OE/Chev/ 16/3/5-17
OE/Chev/ 16/4/1-3
OE/Chev/ 16/5/1-5
OE/Chev/ 16/6
OE/Chev/ 16/7
OE/Chev/ 16/7/1-10
OE/Chev/ 16/8
OE/Chev/ 16/9
OE/Chev/ 16/10/1-5
OE/Chev/ 16/11/1-6
OE/Chev/ 16/12
OE/Chev/ 16/1-5

Showing the conversion of Cherolet 3-ton CAS vehicles to 2 pr A Tk Portee, complete with desert equipment, forwarded for the information of D of Mech.

cheers

Shane
Canberra, Australia
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  #2  
Old 25-05-04, 08:28
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cliff cliff is offline
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Location: Gympie, Queensland, Australia
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Shane excellent information. Is there any chance of being able to obtain a copy of the plans?

thanks Cliff
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  #3  
Old 25-05-04, 08:50
Shane Lovell Shane Lovell is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 46
Unhappy ME Portee Plans

Cliff

I would love to pass you a set of plans. Unfortunately, and as is ussually the case, they weren't in the file. My best guess is that if they survive they are bluprint negatives held in the Melbourne office of Australian Archives. They have a series that list hundresd, if not thousands of drawings. The catch is, and again there is always a catch, they only have the drawing number and no explanation as to what it is... see the dilema.

I hope on my next visit to Melbourne to go looking for the plans, but don't know when this may be. The reason I put the numbers up were to get the information out there in case someone else wanted to run them down.

cheers

Shane
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