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  #1  
Old 22-10-18, 12:14
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Default Flimsy Can / Jerry Can mounts / use

While passing a few moments the other day I heard something that while not my area of interest, I thought should be brought to the forum for discussion and detailing.

The assertion made was this, that the flimsy fuel can, was an inferior item to the superior jerry can, and that during the war the flimsy was done away with as supplies of jerry cans came available.

Supporting this thought was the change up to a bracket for the jerry can replacing the former flimsy can mounts.

Can anyone support this by way pictures or comments?
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Old 22-10-18, 14:26
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I can't say I've ever noticed a vehicle mount for the 'Flimsy' Usually the cans were delivered by trucks to vehicle depots etc where tanks and 2 gall cans would be topped up. I guess extra fuel flimsy's would be carried inside a vehicle.

I've heard tales that cans would puncture so easily that the average loss rate of fuel was something like 1% per 10 miles (I might not have remembered the figures correctly?)

The Jerry can, as the name implies, was a German invention, which we stole and copied after capturing a desert fuel dump in North Africa. (spoils of war) and again if I can remember correctly, no British Jerry cans are dated before 1942.

Here pics of my 1942 dated Flimsy! Ron
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Collection 100.jpg   Collection 101.jpg  
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Old 22-10-18, 14:34
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That is a proper flimsy. There was an improved version, much thicker with a screw cap but still 4 gallon. The only vehicle racks I have seen are for the 2 gallon POL can, often incorrectly called a flimsy today.

Is that what you are referring to Robin?
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Old 22-10-18, 14:40
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Some additional pictures. It seems that some projection to the Flimsy was to put them in wooden crates. Ron
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Girl with G3 Refuelling - Smaller.jpg   58e5cd_5f4e0a30f65e40a28d11d34850855150.jpg   58e5cd_fd60a358e593470a9b0838cefb7586c0.jpg   58e5cd_d8ae536a9144493682013976620036e8.jpg  
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Old 22-10-18, 14:44
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The other end of the row of Flimsy's left rotting in the desert. I'd like to know the story of what they are pointing to or at. Ron
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ottobre.jpg  
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Old 22-10-18, 16:14
rob love rob love is offline
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Attached is a photo of 3 of the later 4 gallon cans with "normal" brass caps as well as a vent cap. These are in the collection of the RCA museum.

One has to ask: How did they get the petrol into the flimsy, then seal it? If the pull tab is soldered, one would think that operation could be dangerous around gasoline.
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DSC01366.jpg   DSC01367.jpg  

Last edited by rob love; 22-10-18 at 17:05.
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Old 22-10-18, 16:49
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I also have the heavyweight can that Adrian mentioned (1940 dated). Much thicker gauge steel and a screw cap. I don't think these were for fuel. More likely water, soup or other liquids.

Something I've pondered myself Rob. How indeed was the cap fixed on a Flimsy? I'm sure that our modern ring pulls are not soldered...are they? But modern technology doesn't compare with nearly 80 years ago. Someone did mention "electric soldering" So if the can was pre tinned and then molten solder put on the cap after the fuel was added.......Would that work? No H&S back then! Perhaps they were just pressed in? Ron
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Collection 090.jpg  
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Old 22-10-18, 16:50
Owen Evans Owen Evans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob love View Post
One has to ask: How did they get the petrol into the flimsy, then seal it? If the pull tab is soldered, one would think that could be dangerous around gasoline.
Maybe it's crimped on?

Rob,
Your pictures of the later 4 gallon cans is interesting. I have a british-made reusable 4 gallon can, marked BMB 1939 (Briggs Motor Bodies?), of identical construction to the attached photo.

I've not seen the type in your photos before, which seem to have the same construction method as the Canadian 2 gallon cans. Are there any markings or stampings on those 4 gallon ones?

Owen.
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  #9  
Old 22-10-18, 17:04
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No markings on any of them. 2 appear to be NOS while the red one has been stripped and primed.
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Old 22-10-18, 17:19
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The photo from LIFE magazine in Ron's post shows the wood boxes that carry two flimsys, are marked '100 OCT' so must have been for aircraft fuel cans.

regards, Richard
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  #11  
Old 22-10-18, 17:22
Owen Evans Owen Evans is offline
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The attached may be of interest. By 'returnable', I assume they mean the 4 gallon can with the screw cap?
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  #12  
Old 22-10-18, 17:28
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default British Petrol Tins

The 4-gallon petrol tins with the corner tabs were classed a non-returnable tin.

Royal Army Service Corps Training Pamphlet No. 8 - Part II Petrol Organization in the Line of Communication Area - 1943

Petrol tin factory operating company. The company consists of a headquarters and two operating sections, each section being divided into four sub-sections, three dealing respectively with the manufacture, filling, and inspection of non-returnable tins, the fourth with the maintenance of the technical equipment. The company has four Pioneer Corps sections and a fire-fighting section attached.

The function of this company is the manufacture and filling of non-returnable tins. It is designed to manufacture and fill 5,000 to 6,000 tins per shift per single line of machines and to operate two 8-hour shifts per day.

This unit would normally be located within easy reach of storage tanks and requires good communications, and facilities for acceptance of supply of materials and for easy delivery of the finished packages.

It is equipped with machinery for carrying out the following functions:-
(a) Cutting and pressing tinplate and terneplate into tins of 4-gallon capacity.
(b) Mechanical soldering of seams.
(e) Pressure testing of the containers.
(d) Spray painting and quick drying.
(e) Filling four gallons of petrol into each finished container.
(f) Automatically .. expanding in" the sealing caps.
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Old 22-10-18, 22:19
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According to Philippe Leger in his excellent book "Jerrycan" ISBN 9782840482444

The British gathered German cans from the early French campaign because they realised the superiority of that container.

They sent some to USA and the Americans played with the design - one must ask why? - and US production began in 1941.

British production did not commence until 1942 despite the widely known failings and unacceptable fuel losses from the square flimseys.

Lang
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Old 23-10-18, 03:46
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I've got a reference somewhere to a directive from late 41/early 42 that all German fuel cans, ie jerry cans, located/recovered were to be turned over to Ordnance and not retained by individual units. It was an 8th Army directive, I think, but I'd have to locate it to be sure.

Mike
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Old 23-10-18, 05:40
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lang View Post
According to Philippe Leger in his excellent book "Jerrycan" ISBN 9782840482444

The British gathered German cans from the early French campaign because they realised the superiority of that container.

They sent some to USA and the Americans played with the design - one must ask why? - and US production began in 1941.

British production did not commence until 1942 despite the widely known failings and unacceptable fuel losses from the square flimseys.

Lang
Sometimes a production method is inferior to available technology, or to available plants. Maybe the stamping plant making little pieces was at full capacity, but the one making one big all-encompassing piece had capacity?
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  #16  
Old 23-10-18, 08:11
Owen Evans Owen Evans is offline
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More flimsies. Note the difference in colour around the cap.

Owen.
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Old 23-10-18, 10:39
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Default Those crazy Germans

The Germans also measured weights, volumes, distance, even heat in multiples of ten and called them things like: kilo, milli, metre, litre, etc., called a metric system or such - that'll never catch on ...
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Old 23-10-18, 11:14
Lynn Eades Lynn Eades is offline
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There is a story about an engineer who smuggled jerry cans from Germany to Mongolia under a car, and took them to the USofA, where the idea was rejected. (the enemy item had to be inferior)
Quite a story. If I recall, Monty estimated a 25 percent loss of petrol stocks as standard, from flimsies.
The German can was fully welded. The American can had a rolled seam at the bottom, that leaked.
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Old 27-10-18, 13:44
Lauren Child Lauren Child is offline
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lol, I recognise that finger in the pamphlet photo

Here are some pics I posted on facebook comparing flimsy with others.

Yep, the screw capped one is returnable, and much better made. I’d need to look the pamphlet out again to check, but I’m 99% sure it was specifically on fuel, so yes it’s for petrol.
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A4F46298-8134-4F1B-A2BD-30F21FF22A3D.jpeg   07C953C1-10E3-472A-B237-B68926AA083F.jpeg   BA6FF6E1-B70E-4353-8411-79E34552142E.jpeg  
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Old 28-10-18, 18:14
Owen Evans Owen Evans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren Child View Post
lol, I recognise that finger in the pamphlet photo
Aha! So that's where that photo came from originally. Nice collection you have there.

Yet more hijacking of this post, but any thoughts on the attached photo? I've seen Canadian 2 gallon cans with this stamping before, but only 1940 dated ones. 1941 cans are usually blank, apart from the year and broad arrow C. I suspect the cap is non-original.

Owen.
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06.jpg   10.jpg  
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Old 26-08-21, 22:50
Lynn Eades Lynn Eades is offline
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I found this interesting item for sale on Trademe. I didnt buy it at $175.00, but saved the photos.
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  #22  
Old 27-08-21, 04:36
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Default Aircraft flimsy use

The movies/books of the '42 Doolittle raid on Tokyo, shows/tells of the B25 crews using flimsy cans in the planes, and being cautioned not to drop them in a line back to the carrier. Dave
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Old 31-08-21, 13:14
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Petrol cans BEF 1940 and a captured Bedford with jerry cans. Click on photo to enlarge. Photos from my collection.
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shell petrol cans.jpg   bef 1940 train petrol dump.jpg   1940 bef train petrol dump.jpg   BEF burnt out bedford with petrol cans aos 43.jpg   bedford petrol truck.jpg  

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Old 02-09-21, 00:20
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I would hazard a guess that the discolouration around the cap on all the cans in Owen Evans post #16 is some type of spray on leak detector.

David
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Old 02-09-21, 03:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motto View Post
I would hazard a guess that the discolouration around the cap on all the cans in Owen Evans post #16 is some type of spray on leak detector.

David
Or perhaps a sealant?
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Old 02-09-21, 10:35
Lynn Eades Lynn Eades is offline
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Or is it Solder and the rest of the tin plate has rusted? Or is it paint to id. octane?
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