Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Owen, Sep 8, 2014.
Is it too spindly for a .30 cal tripod?
I was thinking that too. I don't think I've ever seen British troops using the .30 Browning on the ground. Did they?
Might be parts of one of those tall anti-aircraft Bren mounts too
You query whether British troops used the .30 Browning ?
Well I certainly did, as my previous posting explains:
Friday 13th. April 1945
Moved over Santerno. Some M.G. nuisance and one H.E. about twenty yards away. Bags of prisoners, Kiss from Signora. "Liberatoris !". Chasing after tedeschis with 30 browning blazing!
The Browning machine gun referred to was rarely fired in anger, the exception being on this one occasion when I nearly killed Hewie our Stuart Tank driver.
We had been on the move all day and the Germans were surrendering left, right and centre. To our left, about two hundred yards away, German infantry were climbing out of slit trenches with their hands high and we were gesturing to them to get behind us and to make their way to the rear.
Suddenly someone to our right opened light rifle fire at us and Busty (SSM ‘Busty’ Thomas) lost patience and yelled at me "Let the bastards have it!" Hewie swung the tank to the right so we could face the new threat and I started firing non-stop, without giving Hewie a chance to drop his adjustable seat down below the level of fire belching from the Browning. A horrified Busty yelled: "Get down you stupid bastard!" and to my immediate relief Hewie disappeared from view before I could hit him.
Within seconds the rifle fire was replaced by more hand-raising, and we were able to proceed without further incident.
So Monty's Grant is still in storage at IWM, not on display there or at Bovington?
It will be on display at Duxford, they were redoing some of the display area & covered it in plastic to keep it clean during the work in progress.
I found this snip in the WD of 304 Army Recovery Company REME for 28th Dec 1943 (WO169/12621) and thought it might be of interest:
At the time, HQ 304 Army Recovery Company were based in Casalbordino MR RH. 497947.
This is an interesting thread. I've always been a fan of the M3 Lee/Grant series, but I didn't know Montgomery and 8th Army HQ hung on to that tank for so long. I can see how a roomy vehicle like that would have made a good HQ tank. Does any know if the guns were still operable or were they dummies? If the former, that might have made Montgomery's machine the last surviving M3 series gun tank in service in Europe (at least in British hands, I don't know about the Russians).
I was Monty's driver!
Some good detail on the Shadock's site.
British M3, M3A2, M3A3 and M3A5 Grants :
I think as it was a command variant, the 75 wouldn't have been present, but several articles mention the 37 in T24027 being removed as well, in order to fit more radios.
Having a dig about for an article in the Army's 'Soldier' magazine about its 1980s restoration.
If you read down to the sketch of the Grant I, you will see that an M2 tripod for a .30 Browning M1919A4/5 series MG was indeed supposed to be stowed over the left track guard, just where we see it in one of the desert photos of Monty's tank.
I think it's one of the tools they carry on board. I have a model of a Stuart tank carrying a tool with those ends on it It looks like very large wire or bolt cutters. My dad was in 6 RTR in North Africa, he never spoke about much, I wish he was still here so I could ask him.
I believe Monty had 3 Grants one of which had the census number T34539. I have a photo of that tank with it's crew. My father is the one sitting above the open side hatch.
I believe the guns were dummies. I've read (I think somewhere in the Crusader Project)that the space behind the 75mm gun was used for a second radio operator and the turret gun and crew basket were removed making room for map tables and chairs and more staff.
Does anyone know the difference between the Grant and the Lee?
Main difference was the turret. British Grant had a radio housing at back of turret and American Lee had a commander's cupola.
Lots of Grant info here
British M3, M3A2, M3A3 and M3A5 Grants
Browning tripod, see here https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1524/1342/products/mu1946__15.jpg?v=1505588070
Great photo sure beats looking at a 1/35 scale bit of plastic, my thoughts about it being some sort of bolt cutter are totally wrong and once again the internet educates me, many thanks.
Just putting in a correction, the tank census number should be T24539, this makes it a Grant Mk 1 built by Pullman Standard April 1942 arriving in North Africa October 1942 and I believe it was Monty's first Grant command tank.
Alvis Saladins carried the tripod so the crew could take the Browning with them if the vehicle became immobilised. It can be seen on the mud guard above the offside front wheel.
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