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  #1  
Old 01-01-16, 03:43
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Default Mk 2 Carrier water can

Friends,

I want to start a tread about water cans on Canadian Carriers.

In the picture a Mk 2 .

The question has probably been answered and then maybe not.

Here is what i have in the picture :

They are all marked GSW , Dates are 43 and 44 .

From historical and photographic evidence , what colour water cans would of been carried in the NWE theater of operations please ?

Also , why grey , white ? Is black original ?

Was there a standard adhered to ?

Many thanks.

Robert
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water can =IMG_3557.JPG  
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Old 01-01-16, 04:32
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default 2 Gallon Water Cans

Yes, colours were standardized. Originally water cans were white with black lettering, this was changed in 1943 to grey with white lettering although you will see both types in use up to the end of WWII.

Petrol Cans were khaki drab with white lettering. I don't know if they were ever manufactured in stone colour for the desert.

Here is a Canadian manufactured Water can for the Russians.

ED

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Old 01-01-16, 04:48
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Thank-you Ed.

I will take a picture of the dates on my cans.

My screen does not allow me to fully appreciate the colour of your can.

Could you describe it please ?

White would be kind of conspicuous on the batlefield would it not ?

How about gas and oil cans ?
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Old 02-01-16, 14:31
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Default water can

I have this one
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Old 02-01-16, 17:13
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Default Carrier water cans

Thanks for your input Radek, very gracious of you.

My computer screen does not give full credit to your picture colours Radek but that looks like Olive green/ drab .

That's a new one on me again.

So we have white, grey, black and Olive Drab for Canadian GSW water cans .

Anyone else ?
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Old 02-01-16, 20:32
Stewart Loy Stewart Loy is offline
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Default No bails?

Robert,

I have them dated 1940 and 41 also.

Most of mine have the bails to hold the cap - where do those bits go to?


Stewart
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Old 02-01-16, 21:24
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Photo Stewart? What do you mean by "bails"?
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Old 02-01-16, 22:27
Stewart Loy Stewart Loy is offline
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Default 2 gallon can bail

I thought that they were called 'bails'.

The thingermagigger that holds the cap to the can - so it is there when you are done pouring the gas out. The cotter pin holds the chain to the can, and the flip up 'bail' allows the cap to rotate. A small washer passes thru the bail and is captivated by another cotter pin.

I have attached a snap of the 2 in the basement.


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Old 02-01-16, 23:28
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default Olive Drab

White and Grey were the only two colours used for water cans, there was no Olive Drab. The reason is that these two distinctive colours were used so that the can would not get mixed up with petrol.
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Old 03-01-16, 18:54
Lauren Child Lauren Child is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Storey View Post
White and Grey were the only two colours used for water cans, there was no Olive Drab. The reason is that these two distinctive colours were used so that the can would not get mixed up with petrol.
I'm sure I've got a green 2gal water can somewhere. I had wondered how it had got through the war without being painted though.

I've seen pictures of jerry cans where only the handle or cross was painted white.

Edit: yup here's the can in an old photo.
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image.jpg  

Last edited by Lauren Child; 03-01-16 at 19:05.
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Old 03-01-16, 19:00
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Default 2 Gallon Cans and Jerry Cans

2 Gallon Cans and Jerry Cans are two different items with different marking schemes, can designs and colours. This thread is about the 2 Gallon Cans.
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Old 03-01-16, 20:40
Lauren Child Lauren Child is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Storey View Post
2 Gallon Cans and Jerry Cans are two different items with different marking schemes, can designs and colours. This thread is about the 2 Gallon Cans.
Sorry Ed, I think my edit overlapped with your posting -there's a photo of the green 2gal can attached.

I know the difference between the cans, my guess was that the same style of painting might have applied to both types.
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Old 03-01-16, 20:48
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Thank you Stewart. I've not noticed them out our way. Not to say they are not here. There were a lot of 2 gallon cans locally produced. I could say for the LP2 carriers, but it may have been for the Vickers guns, I'm not sure, but military of a heavy gauge tinned steel, for water.

I would have thought that the colour depended on the theatre of operation?
A white can is great in Canada in winter, but surely somebody learned something from the white square "aim point" painted on carriers at Dunkirk?.............maybe not.................British roundels?????

A white can on a carrier with Welsh guard stowage might look good now, but in a jungle theatre in 1945 it would not have been a good idea.

More of a rivet counter, than a historian.
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  #14  
Old 03-01-16, 22:41
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default Can Colours and Manufacture

The colour of water cans has nothing to do with camouflage, it has to do with being able to distinguish water cans from petrol cans. These colours were specified by the War Office at a time when the British Empire and Commonwealth troops based their training and doctrine on those of the British. I can see grey as a more practical colour then white for camouflage purposes which may have been the reason for the colour change in 1943.

Locally produced, how, by a team a navvies stamping them out of tinplate? Canadian and UK 2 Gallon cans were produced in the thousands, to a pattern established by the British, so locally produced is kind of a misnomer. GSW was the manufacturer of Canadian cans, a well established firm that specialized in many types of metal products. I will admit that I have never seen an Aus, NZ or Indian manufactured can so I have no knowledge of those cans although I am speculating that they were also mass produced to UK specifications.

Great photo of the green can; what was the date and manufacturer and more importantly has the can been repainted?

As for Jerry Cans, the US produced two distinct types, one for fuel and the other for water, confusing the two would be difficult as the water can has a huge spout.

German fuel and water cans were similar in construction although the water cans are embossed with 'Wasser' and it was common to paint the stamped reinforcing ribs white.

British cans were copied from the Germans, and I cannot say with any certainty if those used for water were embossed as such although again painting the reinforcing ribs white was a common practice to distinguish water from petrol.
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Old 04-01-16, 01:08
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4 gallon cans definitely got locally produced, and the plant for doing so in the field is mentionned in RASC training pamphlet no. 8.

British water jerry cans were of a specially embossed type with a different lining as of 1947 (when "The Jerrican, Notes on its care and use" was published). I think i've got a 1945 one somewhere. Theres a couple of threads on HMVF that may help (hope it's OK to link across) - http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread...ater-jerry-Can and the one linked from it.

That probably doesn't help with the 2gal cans though.
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Old 04-01-16, 01:17
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That's Fine Ed, Just trying to rationalize the green water can, as being more suited to being carried on a combat vehicle.
We do have many commercial two gallon cans in this country as pre-war, all the fuel in N.Z.,came in, in 2 gal. cans, packed in wooden boxes.
Also I have no doubt at all, that large quantities of Canadian and British 2 gal. cans were in use here. It is just that I have not noticed them here with the cap chain arrangement that Stewart has shown us.
I have about 4 of our locally produced cans. They are about twice the weight of one of yours. They have survived because they were made of heavy gauge quality material and hence, don't rust easily. They had a die cast alloy cap. I stated tinned in my last post, but on thinking about them, they are made from galv. steel with soldered seams.
Most seem to survive as the motor mower fuel can.
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Old 04-01-16, 01:56
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Don't forget the most important can of all, the French Army Wine Can!


David
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  #18  
Old 04-01-16, 02:51
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Default Water cans / Jerry cans

Friends,

As promised and acknowledging the prior postings from all my MLU friends, here are my dates.

1- GSW ( A Canadian manufacturer like Ed said ) 1943 for the white can.

2-GSW 1944 for the grey can.

3- A WD 1944 Black Jerrycan ( Gerrycan ? ) , it's British so i don't know.

So , in wartime pictures , on a Canadian Carrier , we could see all three, yes ?
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Water can white 43.JPG   water can grey 44.JPG   jerry can black 3.JPG  
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Old 04-01-16, 03:05
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And the proverbial 1945 dated green/ olive WD Jerrycan.

Original content unknown but probably fuel.

Not much to differentiate the two but the small '' water '' marking/ stamping at the bottom of the water can and of course the white paint..

The water coming out of these steel cans must of tasted like ... petrol.
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green jerrycanIMG_3587.JPG  
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  #20  
Old 04-01-16, 04:44
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default 2 Gallon Cans

Yes, you could potentially see all three in use at the same time in NW Europe, plus US Jerry Cans and even German cans. For sure, the water could taste like petrol if the cans got mixed up, that is why the 2 gallon cans were painted in very distinct colours.

The manufacture of 2 gallon cans pre-dates the Great War. During that conflict there was another set of colours in use and one of the complaints by Veterans of that conflict was that the drinking water regularly had a film on it and it tasted like petrol.
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Old 04-01-16, 05:24
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Default Water cans / Jerry cans

Thank-you Ed,

I have a few examples of the US jerrycans, water and gas. I do not think our friends in the US used the word ''petrol '' .

When i have a chance i will take a few pictures of those and post them for future reference. They were indeed all carried ( Canadian , Brit and US ) by the Canadians in combat . I have seen a lot of pictures of Canadian Carriers with the 5 Gal jerrycans tied up on the top of the back plate , two on each side . 5 gallons is much better than 2 when travelling fast across France, Belgium and Holland . That was before coming to a complete stop on the Breskens Peninsula...but that is another matter.

Anyway, the idea of having only 2 gallon containers for anything like precious petrol for the machines and water for the crew was outdated from the beginning in a war of movement. That the Germans understood well and that is why they invented the ''Jerrycan '' before North Africa . Indeed Ed, the 2 gal can precedes the 1 st World War, thank-you for reminding us. My point if you see it coming is that it was absolescent after WW1 .

The 2 gal can for armored vehicules was absolescent since the late 20's and early 30's when the great joint Russian / German school of armour at Kazan was formed and it's teachings impressed the future European armoured officers . Armoured doctrine and Guderian already predicted that the next war would be a war of movement. Hence the ''Blitzkrieg '' ( correct my spelling ) .

Before i post some of the US Jerrycans, can any of our British Commonwealth friends post pictures of their country's period water and petrol cans as they were carried on their country' s Carriers for comparison to the Canadian practice please ?

Lauren, as far as local 4 gallon cans , i think you were alluding to what was / is called '' flimsy's '' , am i correct ? Post a few pictures please so we will be able to see the great advantages of the jerrycan vs the flimsy for a mechanised army in campaign.

Let me state a few : 1 gal more content. Reusable infinitum. Can be carried in pairs no problem by one man.

Many thanks.
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Last edited by Robert Bergeron; 17-08-16 at 22:23.
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Old 04-01-16, 06:50
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Blitzkrieg is OK but you missed the boat on obsolescent.
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Old 04-01-16, 09:05
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While it is "get Robert time".
Have you fueled up your carrier from a Jerry can, "without a funnel etc", yet Robert? (no pourer allowed sorry) (you technically ruled it out with the "etc")

You second to last line refers to "carrying two Jerry cans by one man, no problem". You must mean empty ones!?

I was on exercise in Fiji in the early 70's. Every one was carrying gear. I was tasked with carrying a modern standard plastic 20 litre water container (full of drinking water) up a big hill. A long climb. I was wearing my webbing and a pack full of gear, along with the SLR (L1A1) and I will never forget having to carry that bloody thing.
Remember "gas" (petrol) has a S.G. of 0.76 or there abouts. Water is 1.00!
Don't give me "no problem!"
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Old 04-01-16, 18:19
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default Same issue with early cab 11

The short neck on the fuel tank was over shadowed by the tool box..... and even though the tool box has a 45 degree notch over the filler neck it is next to impossible to refuel with a 2 gal POW unless you have the offset funnel or better still the "horsecock" device screwed to the 2 gal. PWO container.

I have observd that a lot of field photos in North Afrika the CMP fuel filler neck has been extended to twice it's lenght possibly to deal with refueling issues....either that or the truck was aroused!!!!!!

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Old 04-01-16, 20:01
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Default Water cans / Jerry cans

My friends,

Thank you Lynn for your comments. I was not thinking of the poor light infantry when making my comments because the tread concerned water cans on Canadian Mk 2 Carriers , a mechanised vehicule for the modern mechanised warfare practiced in the WW2 NWE theatre of war . You are abolutely right, those goddamned Jerry cans are too heavy to carry around in the jungle like you and the Chindits did before you.

That is right Bob my friend but we are talking about the WW2 Carriers .

Thank God for the large filling cap on the later versions of the American Jeep. Spilling of fuel yes but when you have to fill up and go that is the way to go.

Here a few examples of the US Jerrycans , fuel and water and they are radicaly different from either the Canadian or the British versions .

Lastly, the issue has not evolved much in the last 75 years because here you have a modern, current Canadian water can / Jerrycan . It is made of plastic, it is black and it weights a lot when full. Better suited for vehicule mounting than being carried by light infantry in the mountains of Afghanistan.

So, coming back to the initial subject. Carrier crews would mount whatever they could get their hands on to carry as much fuel and water to last till the next replenishment. It could take quite a while. 2 gal, 5 gal Brit / US Jerrycans you name it.

In my humble opinion the US 5 gal water Jerrycan was the best because of the large mouth . Unfortunately i see no photographic evidence they were ever used by the Canadians. It is better and the evidence to that is that it is still largely employed today in the form of the plastic example i have posted. They are also made sand desert colour.

As far as the fuel container , the British 5 Gal Jerrycan was better. The US Jerrycan really needed a funnel to work . Anyone wants to add on this ? I am open to critisizim but please , please let's stay gentlemanly.

I am still curious to see what Lynn , Lauren ( thanks for the nice 2 gal can pictures ) and the other folks from the Commonwealth are going to post for pictures of 4, 5 gallon cans and flymsies so we can compare with the Canadian Carrier experience . I am really interested .

Picture 1- Left 1944 US gas Jerrycan right 1944 US Water can. Picture 2- 1944 gas Jerrycan. 3- Current Canadian water can. Used from the mid 80's till present day.

David Dunlop you little bugger , you posted the best picture . A wine Jerrycan of all things . Only the French...

Radek, your picture of a green Canadian watercan is mystifying..

Wait till my next post gentlemen, you are in for a surprise.

Cheers.

Attached Thumbnails
US Jerrycans 1.JPG   US Jerrycans 2-IMG_3592.JPG   Us Jerrycans 3.JPG  
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Old 04-01-16, 22:03
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Default water vs petrol cans on Carriers NWE

Friends,

We seem like we want to expand this discussion to fuel cans as installed in Canadian Carriers NWE 44-45.

Not wanting to fuel controversy ( petrol-fuel, got it ? ) , i suggest there were multiple colours available for 2 gal and 5 gal water / fuel cans .

We have seen white, gray ( Robert) , green ( Radek, Lauren, Lynn maybe ) maybe black ( Robert again ) . As for fuel 2 and 5 gal cans we have seen green.

I now introduce to you the RED 2 gal petrol/ gas can !

Like Radek's , it is official Canadian military stenciling , not a repaint.

Picture 1- To the left Green GSW CBroad Arrow marked PETROL 1944 , to the right RED GSW CBroad arrow marked PETROL 1943 .

Picture 2- 44 left , 43 right . C Broad arrow both cases .

picture 3- GSW years 44 and 43 respectively.

How about this ? Isn't a gas ?

Stewart : BTW thanks for posting the bails . That was a new one for me .

Attached Thumbnails
fuel cans 1.JPG   fuel cans 2.JPG   fuel cans 3.JPG  
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  #27  
Old 04-01-16, 23:50
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default US Water Jerry Cans

There must have been a few of them kicking around in Canadian hands as according to the Sherman stowage diagrams issued by the War Officer, there were two stowed within the left-hand sponson of each British Sherman tank.
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Old 04-01-16, 23:54
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default Red 2 Gallon Can

That is a rare can and is not encountered very often, red is apparently for white gas (naptha), but I have yet to find any documentation to support it.
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Old 05-01-16, 00:16
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Yes, I think the 4gal cans are flimsies, though I was quoting from the manual - I dont have a good (complete) example of one.

Jerricans are referred to as 4 1/2 gallon cans in some of the wartime docs, differentiating them from the mention of 4 gallon cans. There are diagrams for safe stacking of both types.

There's a good photo on various forums that shows the difference between 2gal, 4gal non-returnable flimsy, 4gal returnable later type, and jerricans - I've attached it below (shout if it's your photo).
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image.jpg  

Last edited by Lauren Child; 05-01-16 at 00:31.
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  #30  
Old 05-01-16, 00:37
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Flimsy type (non-returnable) from RASC training pamphlet 20 part 2.

Click image for larger version

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ID:	78679

(note this is a document on Petrol, Oil, and Lubricants, not water, so just quoted here to demonstrate the difference in the cans)

4 Gallon returnable (late flimsy)

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4 1/2 gallon Jerricans

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ID:	78681
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