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British Covenantor in North Africa


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#51 Belasar

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:56 PM

 

My point wasn't about locomotives - it was about was the Covenantor the best tank that LMSR could have built? ;)

 

Also, it's worth remembering that... "It crept into production at a time of emergency and was mass produced at a time when production figures were all important"...tanks weren't actually included in the Emergency Production period ;) See Postan's British War Production. Tank production just went on at its "normal" pace at that time.

 

 

 

 

 

Are we grading on a curve now? :)

 

Do they get extra credit for trying really, really hard to do something they had no business attempting?

 

Further if it was not part of some "build whatever you can now" program, then constructing over a thousand of them is even more of a unjustified waste of resources for a type that may or may not have gotten a dozen units close to enemy action.


Wars are rarely fought in black and white, but in infinite shades of grey

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#52 Belasar

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 05:15 PM

 
 
Well, this isn't really true. If it was built to design it would have had aluminium wheels, an all-welded turret, and a larger cooling fan due to a more compact drivetrain and steering mechanism.

Unfortunately, aluminium was prioritised to the aircraft industry, welders were prioritised to shipbuilding, and the urgent need for production led to the use of a more conventional drivetrain.

All these things could have been amended if totally reliable tanks were the top priority. But they weren't, and the Mk.I Covenanter reflected this.

 

While it might have been understandable for the Mk I's to have been built on speculation that they might work with all the half measures and substitution's the following "Mark's" cannot. There was no prospect of Aluminum Wheels, Welded turret or suitable Drivetrain, only lash-up quick fixes, which never seemed to do the job, or when they did, the result created another problem that required another lash-up quick fix. 


Wars are rarely fought in black and white, but in infinite shades of grey

(Poppy is occasionaly correct, or so I hear)


#53 phylo_roadking

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 03:20 PM

And from the photo it looks as if they had a Valentine there as well

 

That looks like an Abbasia School pic, rather than a 19th Armoured pic ;)

 

We have an explanation

 

...for TWO of the North African Covenanters...

 

Further if it was not part of some "build whatever you can now" program, then constructing over a thousand of them is even more of a unjustified waste of resources for a type that may or may not have gotten a dozen units close to enemy action.

 

Well, someone was impressed enough....for the Covenanter wasn't ordered in one bulk lot! The number produced was the total of almost a dozen seperate batches ordered from LMS, English Electric and Leyland over a period of time!

 

only lash-up quick fixes, which never seemed to do the job, or when they did, the result created another problem that required another lash-up quick fix.

 

Then again - see the reliability test remarks!

 


"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#54 Don Juan

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 05:07 PM

According to the Peter Brown article, the service/reliability test results are in WO185-6, so it would be interesting to see the extent of the trial, and just what the defects with the Covenanter (and the other tanks) were.

 

Service data is apparently in WO185-5,6 and 8, so it would again be interesting to see how this compares or contrasts with the above test.

 

ACI 52/43 of 9 January 1943 "Disposal of Obsolete A Vehicles" apparently gives dispositions for further usage or scrapping of tanks in North Africa, so Covenanters might be listed there.  I live nowhere near Kew or Bovington, but someone may be able to get hold of these records.

 

Finally there's an odd quote from Fletcher's Osprey book on the Crusader/Covenanter:

 

Late editions of the Covenanter Instruction Book emphasise that all models of the tank are adequately cooled for temperate climates while later ones will be improved for use in the tropics.  Other evidence suggests that this was a rather hollow claim.  Photographs of the tanks in Britain reveal a bewildering variety of covers for the radiator louvres, suggesting that attempts to cure the problems were continuing.

 

It's strange because it's tautological - it's accusing the instruction book of fibbing when the book itself is stating that efforts to improve the cooling further are still ongoing.


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#55 phylo_roadking

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 06:46 PM

 Photographs of the tanks in Britain reveal a bewildering variety of covers for the radiator louvres, suggesting that attempts to cure the problems were continuing.

 

...possibly going on the evidence of the equally famous pic of three convenaters sort if side by side, with three types of louvre cover...

 

...but the gun mantlets are also different! It's more like three different marks of Covenanter than ongoing changes within a particular mark.

 

And also...

 

Photographs of the tanks in Britain reveal a bewildering variety of covers for the radiator louvres

 

...possibly forgetting that three separate manufacturers produced Covenanters? ;)

 


"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#56 Don Juan

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 07:25 PM

It would be interesting to find out when the update to the instruction book, indicating adequate cooling in temperate climes, was enacted.

I would guess it would have been prompted by the results of the July '42 trial. (Note also the trial was conducted during one of the hottest months of the year).

So we would kind of have a timeline of:

1000 mile service test > apparently satisfactory result > update to instruction book > tanks sent to Egypt for desert trials*



*possibly after further attempts to improve cooling

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#57 phylo_roadking

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 07:37 PM

It would be interesting to find out when the update to the instruction book, indicating adequate cooling in temperate climes, was enacted.

 

I know AP publicatons by the Air Ministry were "document controlled", with an index listing and dating any changes, but I've never seen it in Army manuals, they just seemed to print a new edition if there were major amendments :(

 

( Earlier editions MAY simply have been destroyed on receipt of the new - It's proved difficult for the guys on HMVF to turn up early Austin K5 manuals for example, only later ones after the 1943 lubrication specification changes :( )


"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#58 Don Juan

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:12 PM

Covenanter II, Covenanter III and Covenanter IV and Covenanter II C.S., Covenanter III C.S. and Covenanter IV C.S. : instruction book, 1942

Genre/Form: Handbooks, manuals, etc
Material Type: Government publication, National government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: London Midland and Scottish Railway Company.
OCLC Number: 506084912
Notes: Technical manual.
Includes amendment no. 1 dated January 1943.
Includes 1 fold-out lubrication diagram in book pocket.
Chilwell catalogue no. 62/399.
Description: vi, 94 p., [13] folded p. of plates : ill. ; 28 cm.



Note that all Covenanter I's were modified to become Covenanter II's from April '42, and IV's started production in June '42, so this instruction book would have dated from this month at the earliest i.e. the original Covenanter I would have been covered by a different instruction book.

So the note about adequate cooling would most likely have been in the first issue (mid-42), with a smaller possibility it was added in the 1 Jan 43 amendment.

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#59 phylo_roadking

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:32 PM

From Peter Brown's article...

 

Original vehicle Handbooks are in the Imperial War Museum and Tank Museum, and were consulted at both locations.

 

 


"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#60 Don Juan

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 10:14 PM

There are some interesting straight-from-the-horses-mouth memoirs from veteran Covenanter trainees (mainly drivers) here: http://www.iwm.org.u..._page=10&page=5

I listened to about seven of them, and there isn't one complaint about cooling or breakdowns. Some of them enjoyed the Covenanter, some abhored it, but the consistent problem seems to have been with brake failure due to a loss of air pressure. The solution seemed to be to ease back on both steering sticks, thereby slowing both tracks, and not to use the brake at all!

Even then, it sounds like the brake problems were accentuated by overuse.

Can't help but suspect that the whole cooling issue with the Covenanter is overblown. It seems to have had lots of niggling faults (such as driver entry and exit) that made it more appropriate for training than combat, but hopeless mechanical unreliability doesn't appear to be one of them.

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#61 phylo_roadking

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 10:56 PM

...and further down that list, there's THIS - http://www.iwm.org.u...ject/1030008589

 

Twenty-four ts letters and reports concerning cooling tests carried on Cruiser Mark V and Covenanter II Tanks by the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company, December 1940 - January 1942

 

;)


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#62 Don Juan

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 08:59 AM

Yes, I spotted that. It would be interesting to see if the cooling tests really did end in Jan '42 - that would add to the suspicion that the cooling problems really were cured.

I'm quite keen to see the reliability test results in WO185-6. Going by the anecdotal accounts given by crew members on the IWM recordings, the defects should overwhelmingly be with brakes and steering mechanisms, with perhaps the occasional gearbox problem. If this is so, it looks like the persistent cooling problems are something of a myth.

I think I might do a summary of the comments on the recordings. There are also a handful of Covenanter anecdotes on the BBC's "People's War" site, such as this one. Again, no specific comments on cooling problems, related breakdowns, over-heated interior compartments etc.


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#63 Belasar

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:59 AM

lets say that the cooling issues were resolved by early 1942 (a year and a half after introduction), this would be past the point where it could be combat effective in its original specification, though it possibly could have been effective in a scouting-reconnaissance role. Except it still had serious bugs in the brakes, steering, crew ingress/egress and possibly the transmission. 

 

Sadly this design seem destined to never be "combat ready" except as a forlorn hope.


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#64 Don Juan

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:13 PM

OK, here are summaries from veteran accounts recorded by IWM:

 

(IWM 21631) Brian George Coleman, 1st Northants Yeomanry
 
Chipping Norton (undated) - During night exercise Covenanter he was driving went into ditch and turned over due to air braking failure, which Covenanter was prone to.  Unjettisoned external petrol tank caught fire.  Crew escaped unharmed, but one crew member refused to ever enter a tank again.  Erroneously states that Covenanter was built before the war started.  States that Covenanter never went into action, and was a "death trap" because turret had to be rotated to allow driver in or out.
 
No comments made on cooling problems, cooling-related breakdowns, or uncomfortable heat in tank interior.
 
 
(IWM 23347) Bert Blackall, 3rd Bn, Scots Guards
 
Codford St. Mary (undated) - Covenanter and Valentines used for training because they were "so old and useless".  Thought Covenanter was "from the last war" but was "a runner".  Turret had to be traversed so driver's hatch could be opened, and then traversed back in position.  Gate-change gear lever was "the devil" and required "brute force".  4-speed gearbox.
 
No comments made on cooling problems, cooling-related breakdowns, or uncomfortable heat in tank interior.
 
 
(IWM 17632) Ronald Henderson, 61st Training Regiment
 
Castle Barnard 1942-43 - Drove Covenanter over moors in training.  Erroneously identifies Covenanter as having 5-man crew.  Describes method of achieving skid turns in Covenanter by reducing gear.  4 gears in Covenanter.  Thought driving Covenanter cross-country was "wonderful".  Preferred driving the tank to operating radio in the turret because the view was better - there was no visibility in the turret.  Correctly identifies engine as 12 cylinder Meadows.  Incorrectly identifies Valentine engine as being a Nuffield Liberty.  Describes maintenance as being divided into daily tasks.  Turret rotated 360 degrees in 7 seconds by hydraulic system - small degree of creep in turret rotation requiring manual fine-adjustment.  Gun loaded by shells kept in segments under the turret floor.  Turret needed to be rotated in order to access a new segment.  Very little could be viewed through the driver's periscope, so were occasions when driver had to have his head out.  Braking method was by pulling both steering levers back.  Crusader and Valentine driven and braked by same method.  Erroneously states Covenanter had been used in action, but correctly identifies it as having four bogie wheels.  Makes wild guess on armour thickness of Covenanter.  Erroneously states it had a 6-pounder gun.
 
No comments made on cooling problems, cooling-related breakdowns, or uncomfortable heat in tank interior.
 
 
(IWM 20319) Peter James Young, 2 Bn, 2nd Fife & Forfar Yeomanry
 
Newmarket Camp (undated) - Identifies Covenanter engine as 6 cylinder Meadows "same as Light Tank Mk.VI".  Tells story of bearing being fixed in steering mechanism, and test fitter subsequently driving it into a baker's van during test run.
 
No comments made on cooling problems, cooling-related breakdowns, or uncomfortable heat in tank interior.
 
 
(IWM 17632) Reginald Osgerby, 2nd Bn East Riding Yeomanry
 
Received Covenanter tanks sometime after April 1941 which were a great improvement on Beaverettes.  Covenanters were better because they were tanks with 2 pounder guns, whereas Beaverettes were just armoured cars with Bren guns.  Covenanters were replaced by Crusaders which were something of an improvement due to a more powerful engine, otherwise no discernable difference.  Erroneously states that guns were gyro-stabilised.
 
No comments made on cooling problems, cooling-related breakdowns, or uncomfortable heat in tank interior.
 
 
(IWM 8939) Ian Charles Hammerton, 22nd Dragoons, 79 Armoured Div.
 
61st Training Regiment at Barnard Castle (unknown date) as training instructor.  Advanced training resulted in many accidents with Covenanters hitting dry stone walls when travelling fast downhill due to air running out of servo-assisted brakes.  Steering was lost as well, as that was also air assisted.  Tanks therefore careered out of control.
 
22nd Dragoons (1943).  On conversion to Sherman, crews were sorry to lose their "Covies", which they liked, even though they realised that they were not "war tanks".  Covenanters were out of date, wearing out, only had two pounder guns.  Many initial grumbles about Sherman.  Thinks the Sherman was, on the whole, more reliable than the Covenanter.  Thought that the Crusader was more stable than the Covenanter.
 
No comments made on cooling problems, cooling-related breakdowns, or uncomfortable heat in tank interior.
 
 
(IWM 19588) Maurice Harrington Leslie, 1 Tp, C Sqdn, East Riding Yeomanry
 
Bingley 1943 - Trained on Covenanters and Crusaders - fast, but unreliable due to air-pressured steering, and air pressure would fail, so crashes resulted in main streets.  Driver would put a steering lock on, the lock would fail, and the tank would keep going forwards.  Otherwise good tanks, if only light.
 
No comments made on cooling problems, cooling-related breakdowns, or uncomfortable heat in tank interior.
 
 
(IWM 19809) John Gilmour, 2nd Fife & Forfar Yeomanry
 
Matildas and Valentines replaced by a mixture of Covenanters and Crusaders from August 1942, which were an improvement due to being faster.
 
No comments made on cooling problems, cooling-related breakdowns, or uncomfortable heat in tank interior.
 
 
(IWM 19074) Royston Ivor Vallance, 44th Training Regiment RAC
 
Farnborough May - August 1942 - Covenanters were "dreadful things" that were "terrible" to drive.  The brakes never worked.  Experienced drivers would brake by pulling both steering sticks back slowly, as footbrakes were "useless".  Periscope was not an aid to good driving.
 
No comments made on cooling problems, cooling-related breakdowns, or uncomfortable heat in tank interior.
 
 
(IWM 18785) Gordon Fidler, A Sqdn, 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry
 
Castle Barnard, June - December 1942 - Enjoyed driving Covenanter in comparison to Bren Gun Carrier.  Had no comparative criteria on which to judge tank.  At the time, couldn't care less what other tanks were like.
 
No comments made on cooling problems, cooling-related breakdowns, or uncomfortable heat in tank interior.
 
 
(IWM 23432) Richard Stephen Edward Harris, RAC
 
Castle Barnard 1942-43 - Trained on Covenanter and Crusader.  Thought neither were good tanks due to thin armour.  Crews were trained in dual roles.  Turret was quite crowded.  Driver could only enter or leave the tank if turret was in a particular position, so possibility of driver being trapped in an emergency.  Needed to use both hands on gear lever, which was between the driver's legs, while double de-clutching.  Enjoyed driving the Covenanter.
 
No comments made on cooling problems, cooling-related breakdowns, or uncomfortable heat in tank interior.
 
 
(IWM 19808) James Dowie, 2nd Fife & Yorfar Yeomanry
 
Chippenham Late '42 - Covenantors were very fast, "beautiful" to drive due to epicyclic gearing and lever steering.  You could almost operate the tank "on one finger".  You could go round a corner like a car, smoothly.  Skid steers were more dangerous, especially at speed.  Gives technical description of air pressure system.  Erroneously claims Covenanter had a five man crew.  Drove Crusader as well.
 
No comments made on cooling problems, cooling-related breakdowns, or uncomfortable heat in tank interior.

 

Just a few notes:

 

i) If the Covenanter really had severe cooling problems, these crews seem to be unaware of it.  This may be because most of them appear to have been using the tank from 1942 onwards.  At best the cooling issues seem to have been exaggerated, at worst they appear to be something of a myth.

 

ii) The most commonly identified problem is loss of pressure to brakes and steering, which may have been exaggerated by steep slopes and the age and overuse of the vehicles.

 

iii) Driver ingress and egress appears to have been compromised by the turret design.

 

iv) These veterans are clearly on occasion misidentifying the Covenanter with other tanks.

 

v) Covenanter was used for basic training, and was often the first tank that prospective crews would drive.


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#65 phylo_roadking

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:26 PM

ii) The most commonly identified problem is loss of pressure to brakes and steering, which may have been exaggerated by steep slopes and the age and overuse of the vehicles.

 

Also - "period" seals in air-assisted/air pressure systems weren't brilliant ;)

 


"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#66 Don Juan

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 04:16 PM

I think the thing to bear in mind though is that the Covenanters in training schools were probably being thrashed.  They wouldn't have had a regular crew, and the trainee intake would have changed every few weeks, so they wouldn't have had the kind of maintenance that a dedicated crew would have been inclined to give.

 

According to the Ronald Henderson testimony, after the 61st Training Regiment had finished crashing their Covenanters into dry stone walls, they passed them on to the Irish Guards!


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#67 phylo_roadking

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 04:51 PM

I think the thing to bear in mind though is that the Covenanters in training schools were probably being thrashed. They wouldn't have had a regular crew, and the trainee intake would have changed every few weeks, so they wouldn't have had the kind of maintenance that a dedicated crew would have been inclined to give.

 

Actually- this is one I'm not sure about; see the 19th NZ Armd.Regt account again; individual crews weren't being trained, whole units/battalions were in the UK before being sent abroad, often to pick up new kit in-theatre...

 

Which means that the units' mechanics etc. would be being trained too! See the comments in the Abbasia account about the amount of training maintenance the tanks got from their converting infantrymen...who ONLY had the three British tanks to practice on for some time! They'd be learning regular maintenance/servicing...REME would be expected to deal with major battle damage and resurrecting policed-up breakdowns etc.

 

If anything - the regular "thrashing" by trainee crews etc. would give the trainee mechanics MORE experience!

 


"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#68 Don Juan

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 05:01 PM

That may have been done in the armoured units proper, but in the dedicated Training Regiments (44th and 61st in this case) it may not have been the case.

 

Ronald Henderson implies that maintenance was done by crews themselves as daily "tasks".

 

Ultimately though, I suppose we need to find out more....


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#69 Belasar

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 05:58 PM

OK, here are summaries from veteran accounts recorded by IWM:

 

 

Just a few notes:

 

i) If the Covenanter really had severe cooling problems, these crews seem to be unaware of it.  This may be because most of them appear to have been using the tank from 1942 onwards.  At best the cooling issues seem to have been exaggerated, at worst they appear to be something of a myth.

 

ii) The most commonly identified problem is loss of pressure to brakes and steering, which may have been exaggerated by steep slopes and the age and overuse of the vehicles.

 

iii) Driver ingress and egress appears to have been compromised by the turret design.

 

iv) These veterans are clearly on occasion misidentifying the Covenanter with other tanks.

 

v) Covenanter was used for basic training, and was often the first tank that prospective crews would drive.

 

I saluted this post no much because I agree with you as for offering some hard :) data from those who actually used the Covenanter. Here are my observations from the comments.

 

1.) Several errors or inaccuracies in accounts must force us to take the accounts in their entirety with a measure of caution. I have no doubt this is to the best of their recollection, but clearly it is far from perfect. 

 

2.) I agree that likely these were post 1941 accounts when most cooling issues were resolved for a tank operating in a cooler than normal environment such as central or northern England or in southern England for brief periods of summer. According to Wiki the national average high in July is 20.9 C or 69.6 f. 

 

3.) While the cooling issue's may have been resolved by 1942-43, none of the other recurring problems (Transmission, Steering, Braking) seem to have been dealt with. Hard use they may have had by trainee's but then operational use (of other tanks) could not have been much easier. yes the crews were well trained (we Hope!) but they would be more likely to push their mounts to the limits in combat operations. So I consider this a bit of a wash. What I do gather is that recurring T-S-B trouble indicate a  certain fragility within the design that never was compensated for.

 

4.)  The turret seems to have even more problems than just a hazardous exit for the driver in a compromised unit. A cramped working space is always bad for ergonomics and the ability of a crew to operate efficiently for prolonged periods of time. Worse the need to traverse the turret to get at ready ammunition has to be considered as unwarranted flaw of design. In heavy woods or dense urban environments it might be difficult to impossible, in the case where you have fired but missed closely, then must turn the turret to reach more ammunition you are forced to re-acquire your target. In a situation when he who shoots first accurately lives this could prove terribly fatal.

 

Crew training was the only thing the Covenanter was ever suitable for period.    


Wars are rarely fought in black and white, but in infinite shades of grey

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#70 Don Juan

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 06:18 PM

I saluted this post no much because I agree with you as for offering some hard :) data from those who actually used the Covenanter. Here are my observations from the comments.

 

1.) Several errors or inaccuracies in accounts must force us to take the accounts in their entirety with a measure of caution. I have no doubt this is to the best of their recollection, but clearly it is far from perfect. 

 

2.) I agree that likely these were post 1941 accounts when most cooling issues were resolved for a tank operating in a cooler than normal environment such as central or northern England or in southern England for brief periods of summer. According to Wiki the national average high in July is 20.9 C or 69.6 f. 

 

3.) While the cooling issue's may have been resolved by 1942-43, none of the other recurring problems (Transmission, Steering, Braking) seem to have been dealt with. Hard use they may have had by trainee's but then operational use (of other tanks) could not have been much easier. yes the crews were well trained (we Hope!) but they would be more likely to push their mounts to the limits in combat operations. So I consider this a bit of a wash. What I do gather is that recurring T-S-B trouble indicate a  certain fragility within the design that never was compensated for.

 

4.)  The turret seems to have even more problems than just a hazardous exit for the driver in a compromised unit. A cramped working space is always bad for ergonomics and the ability of a crew to operate efficiently for prolonged periods of time. Worse the need to traverse the turret to get at ready ammunition has to be considered as unwarranted flaw of design. In heavy woods or dense urban environments it might be difficult to impossible, in the case where you have fired but missed closely, then must turn the turret to reach more ammunition you are forced to re-acquire your target. In a situation when he who shoots first accurately lives this could prove terribly fatal.

 

Crew training was the only thing the Covenanter was ever suitable for period.    

 

In response I would say:

 

1) I agree.

 

3) As far as I can tell the steering, braking and transmission were exactly the same as for the Crusader.

 

4) From photographic evidence it is difficult to tell if the driver entry/exit was any more compromised than for the Crusader.  It may or may not have been.  Also, the Covenanter had exactly the same turret as the Crusader.

 

I don't yet have a solid opinion on how suitable the Covenanter may or may not have been in combat, either in temperate climes or in the desert.


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#71 Belasar

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:10 PM

But being mounted upon a larger hull, and one with the radiator in the proper place, might have eased the ammunition retrieval problems at least. 


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#72 phylo_roadking

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:16 PM

Ronald Henderson implies that maintenance was done by crews themselves as daily "tasks".

 

Yes, it's normal for the crew to do a certain level of servicing/regular maintenance in laager.

 

 

That may have been done in the armoured units proper, but in the dedicated Training Regiments (44th and 61st in this case) it may not have been the case

 

 

But where do they get the training...? ;)

 

3.) While the cooling issue's may have been resolved by 1942-43, none of the other recurring problems (Transmission, Steering, Braking) seem to have been dealt with

 

Just a minor aside - brake fade...which seems to be the normal complaint....isn't actually a "repair" thing! Once the drums/shoes or BOTH cool, they're as "good" as ever they were

 

"Fade" in this context sounds like the noted air servo-assisted actuating mechanism wasn't enough for strong braking, and instead lots of weaker braking...the drums still turning and rubbing...would heat up the brake drums rapidly; brakes that work HARD...full "brick wall effect"!...don't fade because they don't get the chance to overheat! They just....work...

 

BUT...

 

 In heavy woods or dense urban environments it might be difficult to impossible, in the case where you have fired but missed closely, then must turn the turret to reach more ammunition you are forced to re-acquire your target. In a situation when he who shoots first accurately lives this could prove terribly fatal.

 

...if a cruiser of ANY type ends up in dense woodland or urban environment - it's lost the battle anyway!  In THOSE circumstances - there are worse things will kill a tank faster than having to re-acquire the target!

 

But I don't read that as having to traverse the turret over a filled ammunition "segment" every time; surely the crew would...as in ANY tank...fill the ready bins or handiest segment(s) from the other locations when they could...then they wouldn't have to again until THAT "load" was exhausted and they needed to traverse again???

 

 

As for the issue of the turret having to be traversed to let the driver enter/exit...from the pics I've seen it was only 5-10 degrees from straight ahead...

 

...and early Crusaders had a similar issue, in that the machinegunner in the little auxiliary turret next to the driver was ALSO trapped in extremis!


"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#73 Don Juan

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:22 PM

Actually, I've missed an obvious point, which is that blaming loss of air pressure in the steering or brakes is a great way to disguise driver error, which must have been happening at least as much.  I've added a summary of another testimony I've found, by James Dowie of Fife & Forfar Yeomanry.  He's obviously confusing the Covenanter with the Crusader at times (he drove both) but he states there were two types of turn that could be done on the epicyclic steering system, a "smooth" turn, which could be done easily at speed, and a "skid" turn that was dangerous at speed.  So there's an opportunity for disaster right there....

 

Also the fact that veterans seem to be confusing the Covenanter with other tanks suggests that there was nothing particularly notorious about it at the time.  It was just another tank to them, that came and went during their period of service.


Oof!


#74 Belasar

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:29 PM

Of course it could also mean they were used to so many crappy tanks they could not tell the difference either :)

 

Sorry I could not resist that one :)


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#75 phylo_roadking

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:34 PM

Actually, I've missed an obvious point, which is that blaming loss of air pressure in the steering or brakes is a great way to disguise driver error, which must have been happening at least as much.

 

...remembering of course that these were trainees - if ANYONE was going to brake late and brake often - it was THEM!

 

And of course by the time they completed their training...they would have learned the trick of "assisting" the air braking by track braking anyway!

 

Cue the NEXT lot of trainees to abuse the poor wee things for another couple of weeks before getting the hang of it all...


"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"





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