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Post Info TOPIC: How were WW1 Landships repaired?


Corporal

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How were WW1 Landships repaired?
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Hello guys, long time since I have posted.

As I continue with my WW1 Landship research project, I have been stumped on a few things regarding the reparability of the Mk.IV and other tank models.

Looking at the Mk.I - Mk.IV, I have seen photos where the engine cover would be sitting outside while a crewman is inside working on the engine, but what if the engine is completely put out of action? How do they lift the engine out of the tank?

This goes with other components such as the drive sprockets, driving chain, gearbox, and the differential.

I have read how they set up a central workshops for tank repairing, they employed workers of the chinese labour corps to create new track links for the tanks, but I am still unsure on what machinery they used such as cranes, hoists, and other means of lifting components.

I also read that tanks that were ditched were easily recovered, but I am unsure on the methods of recovery. Were they pulled by tanks or cranes using the tow loops on the rear?

And finally, what were the methods of repairing on the field, did they usually keep the tanks behind lines in a specific place other than the central workshops and tankodromes?


Any information, research, and pictures would be greatly appreciated as it will help me to attain a greater understanding of the logistics of the tank corps.

Best regards,
Dabooz



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Legend

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Not sure if it will help but here's a couple of data points. 

I read an account of a tank commander who was left behind at Arras with an old Mark I tank to recover ditched tanks and so missed out on the Battle of Cambrai. I think it was a case of digging ditched tanks out as much as possible and using another tank to pull them out. 

When the German A7V tank Mephisto was recovered at Villers-Bretonneux in July 1918 the recovery team from the 1st Gun Carrier company and Australian infantry had to construct a road and ramp to get access to the tank and tow it behind British lines. It took a couple of nights' work to create a rough road to get the A7V out. It took two Mark IV supply tanks/Gun Carriers (it's not clear which vehicles were used) to pull Mephisto out of the shell hole it was stuck in. 

Charlie



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On another forum:



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Corporal

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Hello Charlie,

Thanks for the information, I didn't realize gun carriers were used for recovery. Very useful information.

Dabooz



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Corporal

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Hello Michael,

I've read about Mk.IVs being converted to cranes for lifting items, but I am not sure if they were widespread conversions for repairing along the front. Was this the only method of lifting out the engine or did the tanks have to be transported back to central workshops.

Many thanks,

Dabooz



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Lieutenant-Colonel

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The Tank Museum has this photograph of Mk Vs.



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Sergeant

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The drawings are from the Mark V Repair Manual.  If interested I could post all 98 pages this weekend



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Neal


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Fascinating; thank you for the additional information.

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