1. Same story, different day...........year ie more of the same fiat floods the world
    Dismiss Notice
  2. There are no markets
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Week of 6/24/2017 Closing prices & Chg Over Last Wk---- Gold $1256.40 Silver $16.64 Oil $43.01 USD $96.94
  4. "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding high finance, politics, constructionist Constitution, and mental masturbation of all types"
    Dismiss Notice

The Tiny Tracked T Tanks Tailored For Tussling

Discussion in 'Stories and Fiction' started by searcher, Feb 3, 2015.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    117,422
    Likes Received:
    35,886
    Trophy Points:
    113
    [h=1]The tiny tracked T tanks tailored for tussling[/h]
    Hemmings contributor at 4:00 pm

    [​IMG]
    Carden Loyd Mk VI tankette in the Bovington Tank Museum, Dorset, England. Photo by the author.


    [Editor’s Note: While we’ve looked briefly into the history of other tank-treaded Ford Model Ts, we’d never come across the Carden Loyd tankette until reading the article that Chris Barker, archivist for the Model T Ford Register of Great Britain, wrote for the January/February 2015 issue of the Model T Ford Club International‘s Model T Times. Both Barker and Times editor Natalie Weaver Peiffer gave us permission to rerun Barker’s article on these interesting 1920s military vehicles here.]



    It is fairly well known that Ford built prototype small tanks in the USA during WWI. You can find YouTube films of them on trials. Being short and top-heavy, the tanks had a tendency to tip over backwards when climbing steep gradients – quite amusing unless you were the crew sharing a tumble-dryer with two Model T engines. This weakness may partly explain why, out of 15,000 originally ordered, only 15 were built, but the Armistice probably ended its prospects. I believe that two survive.

    In the U.K., John Carden and Vivian Loyd, both ex-Army Captains who had served in the war, believed that infantrymen should be given more mobility. In the 1920s, they designed lightweight Model T-powered machines. All but their first prototype had the engine reversed, driving a Model T rear axle at the front. The axle had sprockets to drive the tracks, with drum brakes to provide steering. The driver sat to the left of the engine – maybe because it was easiest to link his foot controls to the adjacent RHD pedals of the Manchester-built power units. Tracks were industrial conveyor chains. These had a life of only about 50 miles, so for transport to the battle area, the “tankettes” (as they were called) could be fitted with wheels – a single wheel at the rear and a chain-driven pair at the front which could be jacked down to lift the tracks off the ground.


    [​IMG]
    King George V inspecting a Mark VI in 1928. Note the “road wheels” and the Model T differential, missing its armoured cover. (Armour In Profile No16)


    First trials and demonstrations were promising, and further versions were developed with modified suspension systems and tracks.

    Extensive tests conducted by the British Army at Bovington Camp in Dorset were successful enough to attract the attention of Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd, the major armaments manufacturer. They bought the company, its patents and the services of its founders in 1928.

    Carden Loyd nomenclature followed the usual British military system with Mark I, Mark II, etc.; 18 or 19 examples of Marks I to V test vehicles were followed by nine production Mark Vs. The Mark V had much-improved suspension with rubber-tyred bogie-wheels linked in pairs by leaf-springs pivoted in the middle. Its track link width of 5-1/4 inches was widely adopted for many later vehicles. The track links were malleable cast iron.


    [​IMG]
    Carden Loyd Mark VI Machine Gun Carrier cutaway. (Armour In Profile No16)


    The Carden Loyd Mark VI was the production version. Its low cost appealed to the British Army at a time of minimised defence expenditure prior to the rearmament of the 1930s to counter the Nazi threat. The Army received 325 of these tankettes. A further 99 were exported to countries as diverse as Thailand and Bolivia—where they were used in action in 1933. The Carden Loyd Mark VI is now acknowledged to be the grandfather of many light armoured vehicles, notably the Ford V-8-powered “Bren Gun” or “Universal” Carrier. 113,000 Universal Carriers were built, including 29,000 in Canada and 20,000 in the USA, where it was known as the T16.


    [​IMG]
    The Carden Loyd’s successful WWII descendant, the “Bren Gun” or Universal Carrier (T16 in the USA), powered by a Ford V-8 engine. (D Miller—cropped by author)


    The tankette’s controls included normal Model T pedal functions. Steering was via a lever on the driver’s right; he pulled it to turn left and pushed it to turn right. There was also a lever for an auxiliary gearbox. Front and rear armour was 9-mm thick; side plates were 6-mm. There was no roof. A maximum speed of 28 to 30 MPH was claimed, and the tankette could climb a 25-degree gradient. Battle weight” was 1.5 tons and its 10-gallon tank gave a 100-mile range. Later Mark VI had Model A or B engines.

    Bovington is still an armour training establishment, but it now has a large tank museum with a working Carden Loyd tankette on display—shown in the photos here.


    [​IMG]
    Bovington Museum’s original tankette with Model T front axle and transmission. Note auxiliary gearbox and pedal linkages. (Author’s photo)


    In recent years, Shaun Mitchell, who runs a British company called Tanked Up Military in Norfolk, has built four very accurate replicas, one of which is shown below. There is a good video on YouTube showing one of his machines in action. Shaun has had to have the track links made specially, and as you can see here, he has also made a special mirror image” exhaust manifold, which sends the gases to the rear of the vehicle. The hull structure is made of 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch steel, and the vehicle weighs 1.2 tons. As the sprockets are rather smaller than T wheels, the gearing is suitably lower, but Shaun claims to have achieved 25 MPH. Off road, the tankette will cross ploughed fields. He plans to fit an auxiliary gearbox (the originals had one). Shaun will even build you a tankette for about $40,000, or sell you a kit from $30,000.



    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Photos by Shaun Mitchell.


    The Carden Loyd and other fascinating aspects of English Model T history are covered in The English Model T Ford, Volume 2, Beyond the Factory, published by the Model T Ford Register of Great Britain.


    - See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/...for-tussling/?refer=news#sthash.L7zNk8gi.dpuf
     
    Eyebone likes this.

Share This Page