Tanks auxiliary fuel tanks

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by DavidW, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know what proportion of the following tanks were fitted with auxiliary fuel tanks in the Western Desert?

    Matilda

    Valentine

    Crusader MkI
    Crusader MkII
    Crusader MkIII

    M3 Honey


    Thanks, David.
     
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David

    First off - I would say that auxiliary Petrol Tanks were NOT popular with any Tank crew as they were always first to be shot at by the enemy- and ejected before fire consumed the Tank - so minimum benefit - however some time they were necessary especially with your last four choices which were Armoured Tanks and tended to swan around whereas the first two were Infantry Tanks in support of walking Infantry.......forgotten the capacity of each but the Churchill held 190 Imperial gallons X 4 miles to the gallon......downhill.....gave it a range of less than 50miles - which is a long way for Infantry to cover as at the Gothic it took three weeks to cover 30 miles.....so no need for auxiliaries..but they still had to be topped up each night......fortunately it was all free and we didn't pay 2 pounds per litre....we didn't pay anything for food - lodging - clothing - medical...haircuts...Driver training - Gunnery to kill people ...wireless operating... etc

    Cheers
     
  3. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    I would imagine that tactically they were a Godsend though. Being able to run for those extra miles/hours, rather than waiting around idly for hours whilst the fuel lorries catch up.

    Didn't they eventually devise a method whereby the tank used the fuel in the auxiliary tank before that in its main tank? Therefore it had usually been jetisoned prior to combat?
     
  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David

    the auxiliary tanks were invariably used to advance towards the startlines of most battles - and were then ejected before they were shot at - wasting a tremendous amount of petrol usually..which was the main reason for dis continuing the

    practice - this was akin to throwing away gallons of water when we didn't have a surplus of either - hardly a godsend.....no one waited too long for the echelons to be at the laager point when the sun went down...

    Cheers
     
  5. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Tom.

    How about if you needed to re-fuel during the day? What happened then?

    Thanks.
     
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David

    Click on the BBc series below.....and find the Article " Green envelopes for Tank Bde at Rimini ' this will answer that query..it's Diane's (DBF) favourite...
    Cheers
     
  7. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Tom.

    Was it usual to have fuel at your beck and call during the day?
    Also...
    On average how long would it have taken from leaving the Sqd to returning replenished?

    Thanks for this invaluable first hand info.
    David.

    Good story by the way! I bet it would almost have fitted!
     
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Would some kind bloke (or lady) do a little research for me ?

    My own particular steed, in action with the 4th QOH, was a Stuart Mk3 "Honey" turretless tank

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M3_Stuart

    Try as I can, I just can't remember how much fuel the petrol tank held other than that I do remember that we always had to fill it every night on our return to the camp laager.

    Thanks !

    Ron
     
  9. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    The turreted Stuart had a radius of about 60 miles, if that helps, which is why you needed to regularly refill it. I guess the turretless version would give you better mileage, but not much.

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  10. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Andreas

    Thanks for that.

    The fuel tank filling up in the evening was automatic to ensure that you were ready for moving off the following morning.

    The mnemonic before any startup was POW standing for Petrol, Oil & Water and this applied equally for when I was responsible for a 15 cwt Wireless Truck whilst in LAA.

    By the way, on the Wikipedia site (link above) the Mk 3 tank at the Latrun museum in Israel is the very one that I was shown on my last visit there.
    http://ww2talk.com/forums/gallery/album/82-visit-to-the-tank-museum-at-latrun/

    Ron
     
  11. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    David

    when in need of fuel in battle - we would call the Squadron leader for permission to leave the line - he would then call the echelons to come forward and meet - didn't happen too often of course as it would take longer than an hour

    to find us - fill up and get back into the line....meanwhile things were still happening

    Cheers
     
  12. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Thanks Tom.
     

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