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Old 14-05-06, 02:48
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John McGillivray John McGillivray is offline
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Default Defective Pistons

In the history of 1st SS “The Leibstandarte IV/1” by Rudolf Lehmann and Ralf Tiemann, there are listed five reasons for the supply difficulties that the Allies were experiencing during the later part of 1944. The third reason is as followers:

“1,400 trucks manufactured in Great Britain and intended to bring supplies to Montgomery's troops arrived with defective pistons. With functional trucks, these units could have received an additional eight hundred tonnes of supplies daily.”

Dose anyone know any details about this?
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Old 14-05-06, 10:53
Pete Ashby Pete Ashby is offline
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Default Pistons

John

from memory I think this problem was with the 28HP Bedford engine, Richard F will know for sure.

Although having said that I remember reading somewhere that Austins had a similar problem but I'm not sure of the date.

Pete
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Old 14-05-06, 12:57
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Richard Farrant Richard Farrant is offline
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Default Re: Pistons

Quote:
Originally posted by Pete Ashby
from memory I think this problem was with the 28HP Bedford engine, Richard F will know for sure.

Although having said that I remember reading somewhere that Austins had a similar problem but I'm not sure of the date.

John and Pete,

I have seen this mentioned elsewhere, although cannot lay my hands on it at the present time. I seem to recall both Austin and Bedford refered to and something tells me it may have been something to do with inferior alloys used in the pistons. An instance of this sort of thing occured to me about 20 years ago with my 1941 BSA WM20, the piston siezed whilst climbing a hill, on stripping the engine it was found to have expanded in four positions either side of the gudgeon pin. On measuring and comparing with the War Office Inspection Standards, the piston had grown to a larger size than the plan dimensions. This machine was in an original state and I quite believe the piston could have been from the WW2 period. So along with other reports of pistons with unpredictable expansion rates, this could be a clue to the problem that occured.

This piston problem of 1944-5 was also refered to by Bart in W&T way back when, if I recall.

Richard
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Old 14-05-06, 18:54
Noel Burgess Noel Burgess is offline
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From The book "44: In combat from Normandy to the Ardennes" by Charles Whiting - Chapter 4 "Breakout". In a paragraph suggesting that Allied equipment(Sherman, 6Lb A/T, Etc. Etc.) was generally inferior to German. I quote the following
Quote:
The British three-ton Leyland truck also fell short of requirements, by the end of the Normandy campaign, 1,500 of them were in the workshops.
I regret that I only add to the question - I have no idea which vehicles or what the problem was
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Old 30-04-08, 22:22
Rich Payne Rich Payne is offline
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I've been following a slightly too lively discussion of this issue in another forum. Has any more information come to light ?

Threre seem to be numerous references to problems but few specifics. Apparently the (available in facsimile) 1946 "Administrative History of the 21st Army Group" contains further information. Does anyone have a copy ?

Chester Wilmott's 1952 "The Struggle for Europe" is quoted as saying that "1400 British-built 3-tonners and all the replacement engines for this particular model had faulty pistons which rendered them useless."

Noel Burgess mentions Leyland trucks. Would these have been Retrievers ?

Any suggestions of further avenues for research would be appreciated.

Rich.
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Old 01-05-08, 09:03
Neil Ashley Neil Ashley is offline
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Most references I have seen in the past including from memory David Fletcher's book refer to Austin trucks (K6?).

The reference to Leyland vehicles is probably confusion over the post war BL group of companies. I assume Leyland Retrivers were not used in any major way for the carriage of supplies.
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Old 01-05-08, 11:14
Rich Payne Rich Payne is offline
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Thanks Neil, that's very helpful. Do you recall which of David Fletcher's books ?
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Old 24-04-09, 22:00
Rich Payne Rich Payne is offline
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Default Mystery Solved !

Adam from WW2talk forum has located a copy of the 21st Army Group Admin History on line and it is fascinating reading. It also gives the definitive answer to this question - They were Austin K5s, mentioned in relation to September 1944

"(c) vehicle maintenance
During this intense period of activity the maintenance of vehicles inevitably had to be reduced, but partly due to the majority of vehicles being new no serious ill effects ensued. A major fault occurred in the engines of K-5 4x4, three-ton Austins, 1,400 of which, as well as all the replacement engines, were found to be defective and to have piston trouble.
"

The full report is here :-

http://www.movcon.org.uk/History/Doc...CHS%200514.htm

Rich
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Old 26-04-09, 13:49
Noel Burgess Noel Burgess is offline
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Thanks for that link Rich. Theres alot of interesting stuff to read there - dont think I'll be going to the pub for a few days!

Heres a random quote from the document - referinfgto the Normandy landings/breakout
Quote:
Considering the size and nature of the operation, the number of typewriters lost or damaged beyond repair during the assault, or by subsequent enemy action, was surprisingly small.
Have you seen the other stuf available on that site - BEF, Grece, Middle east etc.
Noel
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