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Tank crew hieghts?


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#1 Tomcat

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 11:59 AM

Hey goes I was reading another thread about the size of some air crew and it reminded me of something I heard a while ago, during ww2 did the British army tank corps stop enlisting men for tank crews that were over a certain build?

Saying "Small men are what we need for the tanks, not big ones"

It comes from a story I read about a soldier who during training while escaping his tank while some high brass was there, banged his head and knocked himself out on the tank hull. This man was above average height, and upon seeing this did the above quote. Is there any truth to this?
For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the want of a horse the rider was lost, for the want of a rider the battle was lost, For want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Robert,


#2 Owen

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 12:06 PM

This chap of Guards Armoured Div isn't exactly short. ;)

Posted Image

Queen Elizabeth talks with a tank officer during a royal inspection of Guards Armoured Division in Wiltshire, 20 May 1942.

#3 Tomcat

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 12:09 PM

I didn't think that is was true, but thought that I would check just to be sure, thanks mate and good picture.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the want of a horse the rider was lost, for the want of a rider the battle was lost, For want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Robert,


#4 Owen

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 12:12 PM

These Guards tank crew are taller than the infantrymen.
Posted Image

Churchill tanks of 6th Guards Tank Brigade and troops of the 10th Highland Light Infantry, 15th (Scottish) Division, during the assault on Tilburg, 28 October 1944.

There is also another photo B15232 that is not on-line of some US troops meeting up with Guards tankies who are alot taller than them.

#5 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 02:08 PM

Tomcat
I was most amused to read the opening item in this thread regarding the height of tank crews.

When I was called up in October 1942 I was very gung-ho and stated a preference for the RAC.

I was told at the time that as I was a "shortie" of only 5'5" I was considered too short to reach the foot pedals.

In December 1944, when my Lt AA Rgt was being disbanded I had seen two years service, most of it in action and might perhaps have settled for a less exciting job.

To my wry amusement I found myself posted into the RAC where I learned to drive tanks and my lack of inches was suddenly no longer of importance :)

ps
I looked back into my old records and found this letter that I had published in the London Evening Standard in 1984 in reply to someone else who had problems with lack of height

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I am a British veteran who was called up into the Forces in October 1942. I served in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt, Austria & Germany, firstly in the 49th Light Ack Ack and then in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars.
I am a long standing member on the ww2talk.com site.
http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503

#6 Slipdigit

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 10:52 PM

This chap of Guards Armoured Div isn't exactly short. ;)

Queen Elizabeth talks with a tank officer during a royal inspection of Guards Armoured Division in Wiltshire, 20 May 1942.


Is this a misprint? Was the wife of George VI referred to a queen, or is this her daughter, the current Queen, although the woman in the picture looks a bit old to be Elizabeth II?

Tomcat
I was most amused to read the opening item in this thread regarding the height of tank crews.

When I was called .... I found myself posted into the RAC where I learned to drive tanks and my lack of inches was suddenly no longer of importance :)

ps
I looked back into my old records and found this letter that I had published in the London Evening Standard in 1984 in reply to someone else who had problems with lack of height


I would love the opportunity to dig through your recored, Ron.

Best Regards,  
JW :slipdigit:

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#7 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 06:19 AM

Jeff
In answer to your queries:

1. The lady in question was ALWAYS referred to as Her Majesty the Queen and was indeed married to King George V1

2. You've heard of the magpie that is reputed to hoard everything ?, I'm afraid that's me and, given sufficient notice, I'm usually able to locate virtually any document on which I have just pontificated :rolleyes:

Cheers

Ron
I am a British veteran who was called up into the Forces in October 1942. I served in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt, Austria & Germany, firstly in the 49th Light Ack Ack and then in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars.
I am a long standing member on the ww2talk.com site.
http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503

#8 Owen

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 06:50 AM

Jeff,
Ron is right.
The wife of a King is a Queen.
You'd know her as The Queen Mother.
Memorial sites > HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

She was called Elizabeth too.
But as she wasn't the Monarch but the wife of the King she didn't get a number after her name.
As Elizabeth I and the present Queen , Elizabeth II were/are the Reigning Monarchs they get a number.
Well something like that.
I'm sure someone can explain it better than me.

#9 Za Rodinu

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 12:51 PM

I'm 164cms tall (5'5" +/-), and I had great trouble in moving inside that Aryan Übermensch tank, the Pz IV. I also had difficulty in passing through a Comet driver's hatch, and I had nothing of the present happiness curve of nowadays. Also, standing on a T-26 hull floor, my head protruded through the commander's hatch.

Either I'm big or those tanks are tight!

Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra...


#10 Tomcat

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 08:16 PM

I'm 164cms tall (5'5" +/-), and I had great trouble in moving inside that Aryan Übermensch tank, the Pz IV. I also had difficulty in passing through a Comet driver's hatch, and I had nothing of the present happiness curve of nowadays. Also, standing on a T-26 hull floor, my head protruded through the commander's hatch.

Either I'm big or those tanks are tight!


Wow I had no idea they were that cramped, I mean I know they were small but wow, I would have trouble fitting in them and all.:eek:, I'm 170cm and Im not considered big, but average.

I suppose though the smaller the better, as long as you stilll had room to do your job.:)
For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the want of a horse the rider was lost, for the want of a rider the battle was lost, For want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Robert,


#11 Za Rodinu

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 09:55 PM

On that Pz IV, if you were in the TC position you would be sitting on a small dish (say 20cm wide), and you needed to keep your knees well apart and your belly well tucked in, unless you wanted a KwK breech sitting on your lap :)

Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra...


#12 Owen

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 10:20 PM

Well I'm just a tad over 6' 5" (196 cm).
I'd be useless in a tank.
Being in a trench was bad enough, kept banging me bonce over the overhead cover.

#13 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 10:52 PM

Kind of reminds me of the amusement park ride signs that state "You must be this tall to ride" LOL
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#14 canadiancitizen

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 12:57 PM

Current Canadian Forces slang for armoured crew guys/girls is "zipper heads " reffering to their facial and skull scars/stiches, due to banging heads inside the Lav 3's and Coyotes.


Jim B. Toronto.

#15 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 01:24 PM

Hi CanadianCitizen
You say:

Current Canadian Forces slang for armoured crew guys/girls is "zipper heads " reffering to their facial and skull scars/stiches, due to banging heads inside the Lav 3's and Coyotes.


A very common wound in the Tank fraternity, specifically experienced by Tank Commanders, was losing at least part of a finger whilst closing the tank turret flap, which had a nasty habit of slamming shut without sufficient warning :eek:.

I knew at least two men in my Regiment who had suffered this indignity :o

Ron
I am a British veteran who was called up into the Forces in October 1942. I served in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt, Austria & Germany, firstly in the 49th Light Ack Ack and then in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars.
I am a long standing member on the ww2talk.com site.
http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503

#16 Za Rodinu

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 04:09 PM

When I took a ride in a Universal Carrier I took a nasty gash on my forehead when the driver braked without warning :)

Something like this:
Posted Image

Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra...





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