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WWI relics


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There's a consistent rumour - for example mentioned at the end of http://www.activeboard.com/forum.spark?aBI...topicID=6422891 that there's a WW 1-era Holt tank somewhere in Iowa. Haven't come across it in your travels have you?

Benjamin Holt was an Iowan but moved to California and established his company there (later to become Caterpillar Tractor). He bought the British Hornsby patent for tracked vehicle running gear and supplied tractors to the Brits in WW1 which inspired the Brit and French armies to sponsor the development the 'tank'.

There were a couple of Holt designs developed in the USA in wartime, don't think any of those saw service during the conflict. Best known is probably the G9 - http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/ww1/am-holt.jpg I think if you ever saw one of those you would remember it!

Anyway, just a long shot

Lots of search time, to the tune of 20 phone calls .. no such luck. Found multiple regerences to a couple of folks in North Dakota allegedly restoring one, yet the write-ups also appear somewhat possibly confusing about just what is actually being worked on. For example; WWI Tank Inspiration Preserved ... interestng Title, but the article then 'explains' with words such as The beast is a five ton device that was attributed as being the forerunner of the tracked tank in combat. Not quite the "Tank" it would seem. I believe it's the same vehicle mentioned in the article/section found at North Dakita - 5-ton WWI vehicle is being rebuilt which is then further described at Gala USO Salute Assuming that this is a "Crawler," there seem to be a number of them in private hands, but again, this is an agricultural area, and there is quite a market for old farm machinery.

I did enjoy tryng to sort out the rumours and legends from the facts, but am left wondering about quite a few issues, in reality. Trying to imagine being inside of the (suggested) 17-ton monster, stuck in-between and trying to feed and care for two kerosene fired steam boiler type engines .. would seem to carry it's own weight of bravery.

I did find a bit of history on a Cat site, but even that seems lacking, especially in there not being any mention of survivng examples. Caterpillar Growth

Examples of stuff that does exist and is still displayed can be seen about mid-way down the page Here are a couple of photos of Holt #111 in a Forum devoted to WWII military vehicles (in a M-151 jeep) Topic/Discussion .. so just a little off-Topic <g>

In theory, I've got the requests out for data, but not holding my breath for a positive result at this point. Sorry.

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...In theory, I've got the requests out for data, but not holding my breath for a positive result at this point. Sorry.
Good Lord - You've really thrown yourself into the fray. Many thanks ... and sorry to have caused so much work.

I see the link to the "Landships" forum doesn't work - this one should - http://www.activeboard.com/forum.spark?aBI...topicID=6422891 (there again it may not - their forum application is the strangest beast). Lots of information on their website - http://www.landships.freeservers.com/ - if previous link no longer works go to WW1 Forum (top left link), the "Tanks" section and search for More unknown American tanks. I was referring to the final post in the topic of that name which - for me - somehow refuses to sort itself in proper date order within the 'Tanks' forum section.

These people at "Landships" are 'only' modellers for the most part (like the guy in Flight of the Phoenix was 'only' a modeller) but boy, are they meticulous researchers. Any (full-size) restorer who wants to know how many rivets there were on each of the rear deck plates of a Lincoln Mk I female tank need look no further - similarly an historian wanting to confirm the serial number of the Austro-Hungarian SKODA 7.5cm M15 GEBIRGSKANONE war trophy cannon relocated somewhere in far north Queensland in 1919. Images in their forums can be/often are 'remote' which will not display if you have remote images barred for security reasons.

Part of my own 'journey' on the Holt took me way off-course to the story of Hobart's funnies and the utterly improbable (but completely factual) 79th (Experimental) Armoured Division, Royal Engineers. The Wikipedia articles on Hobart's funnies and on Percy Hobart himself are probably more than most people want to know but fascinating for a former sapper like myself.

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I have no connection with things, military other than a Dad who was a tech in the RAF and a brother who was a Lance Corporal in the Army Catering Corps.

I do have an interest in things, military though. That mention of Hobart's Funnies brought back memories of some illustrations of same in a book I read many moons ago.

Crazy or Inspired Genius? You decide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobart%27s_Funnies

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...Crazy or Inspired Genius? You decide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobart%27s_Funnies
Thanks Marty - Wikipedia has some more under the Division entry - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/79th_Armoured...United_Kingdom) They all had some sort of functionality - apart from the The Canal Defence Light which, with hindsight, seems marginal at best. They were all a stage more developed than some of the wild and wonderful purely experimental designs, even if most of them didn't impress the Americans (who had more men and conventional materiel to play with and they were a stage further removed from the disaster of the Dieppe raid - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieppe_Raid - which was the main incentive 'to do better' for the Brits). Anyway, they (Eisenhower) liked the amphibious tanks at least.

Even so, British high command did their level best to sideline Hobart and his 'funnies'. Were it not for the pugnacity of Winston Churchill (and appreciation of another 'battler') and the clarity of vision of the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (Alan Brooke) none of those designs would have seen the light of day. Remarkable (about Brooke) - he hated any slightest diversion from mainstream production so if he backed Hobart we can be reasonably sure it was more along the lines of 'genius'. Proof of the pudding - most of those concepts survived long after the war and modern versions of some are in use to this day.

Wild and wonderful? - try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panjandrum as one which went far too far. As did http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Habakkuk (notwithstanding Lord Mountbatten's great enthusiasm for it).

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