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tok-tokkie
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« on: April 28, 2009, 03:45:29 PM »



Corbelled houses.

Antonia & I went up to Loxton where a friend of ours, Pat, is doing research on corbelled houses for her MA.  We went by car because i am busy working on my Dakar and did not get it finished in time.  We went up on a Wednesday and came back on the following Tuesday.  Pat has a list of 80 corbelled houses in the area and has visited about 20 of them so far.  She goes and talks to the owners to see what they know about them, sketches them, measures them and her husband, John, photographs them.  Antonia & I did the measuring for her as our contribution.  There were some other friends from the Vernacular Architecture Society also helping.  In particular Celeste as she comes from the area and knows many of the owners of the buildings so she could phone and make the appointments before we went (Pat never goes without first making contact with the owners).

I posted about our visit to the corbelled village in France last year in this thread http://trailrider.route42.co.za/index.php?topic=2541.0  The second post is about the corbelled village. Here is a picture from that thread of the village Borries.


That is Antonia and her elder sister Sarah.


This is the first one we went to see.  The driver of the tractor lives in it.  Most of the others we visited were unoccupied.  In fact many of the farmhouses are also unoccupied.  What is happening is the successful farmers are buying up the farms as they become available.  Several of the corbelled houses belong to one farmer who owns all the farms in a 22km stretch towards Williston from Loxton.  This one has been plastered outside which makes it more wind & waterproof.


I am a Bishops old boy so was pleased to see the tractor driver seems to have also gone there as he has the blazer proudly hung up in his house.


This one has also been plastered.  The stones that stick out are for laying planks on when building it – scaffolding.


This is looking up inside that plastered one.  We had a laser measuring device which is the red mark on the highest point.  A corbelled building is made by packing each ring of stones above the door level slightly inwards from the layer below so you can make a closed roof by making the walls slope inwards until they meet in the middle.


This one has had a farmhouse added to it.  It has a wooden floor inside and has a wooden floor above the door height to make a loft.  The wood seemed to be pine; whether it was from Europe or America I don’t know.


Here is an abandoned one.  The two outside ones were built first then the linking one in between was added.


We did not visit this one but Pat has been to it previously.  You can see it from the road.  Again it has the scaffolding stones sticking out.  Notice that there are different shapes to the corbelled buildings.


Another one, again with the scaffolding stones.  The next one has an old wind generator on top.  It has been modified as the tapered roof part is made of cement and bricks on top of the remains of an old corbelled building.




This one shows the landscape.  In this part of the Great Karoo there are no trees so there was no wood to make a roof out of which is why the corbelled buildings were built.  There are lots of flat stones because this is a sedimentary rock area.  I will add a post about the geology later.


This is the same one but from a different angle.


Notice the rectangular barn in the background.


Here is that barn again.  Just look at how beautifully square and straight those walls are.


This is inside.  This was built in 1941 I think.  It has a concrete ring beam around the top of the wall on which the roof sits.  But the walls have only a little clay mud between the stones – no cement.


Here is the door and you can see there is very little clay between the stones.  There are also no saw or chisel marks on the stones. Beautiful craftsmanship.


These ones have been ‘modernised’ by having fire places added and cement has been used to fill between the stones (point) to make them more wind & water proof.

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Pat is doing her MA through the Department of Archaeology at UCT.  In the US archaeology is not a department in its own right; it is a division of the Department of Anthropology.  Anthropology is the study of human beings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropology.  So although she is looking at all these buildings, measuring and photographing them it is not enough for a MA to leave it at that.  She has to address the anthropological questions these ‘artifacts’ raise.  Archaeology is not just the collection of objects (‘treasure’ in popular belief), it is also finding out how they fitted into the lifestyles of those who used them and what their social significance was.  So, who built these houses?  When were they built? Were they just to protect themselves from the San’s arrows or just from  the wind & cold?  Why are they where they are (some are quite far from water & some are in very exposed positions on the top of ridges)?  What were they used for (not all were houses it seems)?  Who lived in the ones that were lived in?  Were they occupied all the time or just for a part of the year?  But more importantly, what went on in these buildings?  What was the lifestyle of the people who built and used them? When did they cease to be lived in? There are some old rubbish heaps close to some of them so she can dig a trench through a few of those which will tell her quite a lot about what was going on and when – particularly broken china will give her a good guide to dates and the status of the occupants.    If she simply recorded the buildings then her thesis would be applicable to the Department of Architecture.
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Natuurkind
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 04:31:21 PM »

Baie interesant! Weet jy of daar nog jonger vakmanne is wat dit kan doen. Daardie klippe is 'n ergenis vir boere in baie dele van die swartland. Dit sal beslis 'n challange wees en ek dink 'n fantastiese feature om minstens een muur in jou huis so te maak. Miskien uit 'n praktiese oogpunt aan die binnekant. Cool
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 04:49:33 PM »

Very interesting indeed! I've never seen one of those houses. Never knew such buildings existed. I need to get out more!
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 05:37:54 PM »

Thanks Toktokkie for the effort of posting this.  Really interesting.  A1
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 06:28:07 PM »

Dankie Toktokkie, dis baie interesant. Volgende keer kyk mens met ander oë na die verwaarloosde huisies op afgeleë plase in die Karoo
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 01:07:37 PM »

Baie interessant.  die vakmanskap is darem fantasties as mens dink met wat hulle aan mekaar gesit is en dan nog die reguit lyne wat hierdie sandstene vorm.  veral die skuur wat ook op die wyse gebou is.  hierdie huisies is seker leke koud in die winter.
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tok-tokkie
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2009, 03:57:35 PM »

Insects & two others

My screen name is tok-tokkie which reflects my interest and admiration for insects.  They are the most abundant life form:

Quote
With over a million described species—more than half of all known living organisms—with estimates of undescribed species as high as 30 million, insects potentially represent over 90% of the differing life forms on the planet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insects

They don’t weigh much each but there are so many of them that their total weight is possibly 12 times the weight of humans (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,914285-1,00.html  page 3).

Here is the first paragraph from that article where they state one of the main reasons that I admire insects so much even though they are one of our chief opponents in the struggle with life (bacteria, viruses and people are the other significant opponents we have):

Quote
The struggle between man and insects began long before the dawn of civilization, has continued without cessation to the present time, and will continue, no doubt, as long as the human race endures. We commonly think of ourselves as the lords and conquerors of nature. But insects had thoroughly mastered the world and taken full possession of it before man began the attempt. They had, consequently, all the advantage of possession of the field when the contest began, and they have disputed every step of our invasion of their original domain so persistently and successfully that we can even yet scarcely flatter ourselves that we have gained any very important advantage over them. If they want our crops, they still help themselves to them. If they wish the blood of our domestic animals, they pump it out of the veins of our cattle and our horses at their leisure and under our very eyes. If they choose to take up their abode with us, we cannot wholly keep them out of the houses we live in. We cannot even protect our very persons from their annoying and pestiferous attacks, and since the world began, we have never yet exterminated—we probably shall never exterminate—so much as a single insect species.

That quote is not entirely accurate as many species have been exterminated by man’s ‘deveIopment’ of the countryside. I just have an amateur interest in them and know very little about them but I look out for them wherever I go.  Here are some I saw around Loxton.


I don’t know who this is.  I don’t have any reference books on insects in the caterpillar phase of their life.  To me that is a handsome creature.

That is the caterpillar (lava) stage of the lifecycle.  This is the feeding phase when the insect is capturing energy from plants (who have captured the free energy available from the sun).  Next follows the seemingly dormant phase when the caterpillar transforms into the pupa.  This is how Wikipedia describes what happens inside the pupa:

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Whilst inside the pupa, the insect will excrete digestive juices, to destroy much of the larva's body, leaving a few cells intact. The remaining cells will begin the growth of the adult, using the nutrients from the broken down larva
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metamorphosis

The amazing thing is that the original egg contained ‘stem’ cells for both the caterpillar phase & the butterfly phase.  Initially the caterpillar cells develop & we get the caterpillar (the lava stage) then, after it has harvested food and stored it those cells die and the butterfly cells that were always present now develop and we get the butterfly which is a adult form of the insect

The chief function of the adult stage is mating and egg laying to complete the lifecycle.  Some insects don’t even have functioning mouthparts in the adult phase.  Whereas others, like Mrs Mosquito, have very effective mouthparts and cause us & our crops a lot of misery. 


Cream-Striped Owl (Cyligramma latona). This moth can hear bats so knows when they are around and avoids them. This is a very common moth apparently but it is unknown to me in Cape Town. Those big eye spots give it the name Owl.  Looks more like a butterfly with those ‘eyes’ on its wings.  This one is old because its wings are quite broken.  I have not done much macro photography with my digital camera.  This was taken at night in pretty poor lighting but it can be fixed up in photo software to look quite bright – I am a big fan of digital photography even though I don’t take a lot of trouble with it. Years ago I had a good SLR and a fine macro lens – that was so much easier as you were able to focus properly through the lens as against relying on the self focusing of my digital camera and hardly being able to see anything on the lcd display. 



There were lots of these and they are family of mine.  Long-legged Ground Beetle (Stenocara dentate) one of the Tenebrionidae family which includes the tok-tokkie (Psammaddes striatus) which lives on Signal Hill right outside my front door.  There were a lot of tok-tokkies this year on Signal Hill.


I made this as my avatar for the VFR site when I had one.

These Long-Legged Ground Beetles were quite common on two farms in particular. They are pretty quick.  In the Namib there is another of these (Stenocara phalangium) which has the longest legs, for its body length, of any insect in the world.


From: ‘African Insect Life’ by Skaife new edition revised by Ledger;  Struik.


This picture from the internet shows one collecting sea mist in the early morning for a drink.


Not the same one as in the first photo.  Autofocus allows me to hold the beetle in one hand and take the photo with the other.


That’s a proper looking beetle.  Our fox terrier is called ‘Beetle’ but it was my daughter who gave her that name.


Ants.  These were quite large, could be Harvester Ant (Messor capensis)


Here is a picture from Google earth of Harvester ant nests just west of Oudtshoorn http://myrmecos.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/more-ants-from-google-earth/


It is pretty interesting to see their effect on the landscape.  I have looked in Google earth and the coordinates are not quite correct.  I have also looked at the area around Loxton and you certainly don’t see those harvester ant circles there.


I posted this picture in the corbelled houses post.  Notice the hole in the foreground.  That was dug by an aardvark going after ants.  There were plenty of these holes to be seen.  Celeste (the person who grew up in the area & two of her brothers farm in the area – we stayed in a house belonging to one) told us that ants make nests in the gravel roads and when an aardvark goes after them there is a serious pot hole in the road.  Something to be aware of as they would be completely unexpected.  Another thing she told us about is kudu are moving into the area – her sister-in-law had to collect the children from Beaufort West the week before and there was some mix up so she had to drive back at night.  Celeste’s brother was very angry about that because he has hit a kudu at night & someone they know died after crashing into a kudu.


Look at these beauties.  Camponotus fulvopilosus.  Common name Bal-byter & that is what it is called in ‘Field Guide to Insects of South Africa’ by Picker, Griffiths & Weaving;   Struik.  Couldn’t be better.  When I was a schoolboy we had ‘ball-biters’ in Rondebosch but they were tiny in comparison to these their Afrikaans cousins.


.

That is the nest entrance hole being guarded by these two.


This picture from Skaife (listed above) shows a closely related ant spraying formic acid at an enemy.  I lived in Rhodesia for a few years in the late 60’s early 70’s.  I took up rock climbing as a sport while there.  The places close to Salisbury that we climbed were all huge granite outcrops similar to Paarl rock except much steeper and higher.  One of the routes was called ‘Formic Face’ because when the guys were opening the route they were attacked by ants (presumably being bitten not just sprayed with acid).  One of the guys said he honestly considered untying himself and jumping to his death rather than continue to endure what he was going through.  I did do the route but there were no ants when we went through – thank goodness much as I admire them.


There were a lot of these eating the red berries on this common plant.  I believe it is a Blister Beetle (Meloidae family) but I don’t find this particular one in my reference books.  Blister Beetles secrete the poison cantharadin from the leg joints.  Can blister human skin & kill you should you eat it.  The vivid markings on beetles are usually a warning to be careful – but some harmless ones mimic the dangerous ones to gain protection from predators.  The first stage larva of some Blister Beetles feed on locust egg pods so are somewhat beneficial to farmers.  There were quite a few locust swarms while we were there (not seriously big swarms).  They attracted crowds of crows which were feeding on them.



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I saw this smart lizard – a skink I believe.  This is a reptile and I will be writing about them in another post in this thread.  Had my camera on full zoom but the image stabilisation and auto focus make the picture acceptable (not pin sharp but this was a hand held snapshot).

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Those are merino sheep that have not been shawn in three years.  Enormous with that huge ball of wool around them.  Merinos were for both wool & meat.  The market for wool has pretty well collapsed so merinos are being replaced by Dorpers because they are better for meat & pretty useless for wool.

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I was surprised at the lack of birds in the Great Karoo.  Where we stayed there was a decent dam but only two pairs of water birds.  In the veldt we saw some korhaans and many crows attracted by the locusts.  A few raptors and not much else besides mossies in Loxton (mossies are now very rare in Cape Town).
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tok-tokkie
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2009, 09:48:57 PM »

San (Bushman) watergat



On the road from Fraserburg to Loxton there is a road turning south at a farm called Brandfontein (with a very smart sign at the T junction).  This road runs down to the Sak river with a farm called Sakrivierpoort nearby belonging to Celeste’s brother.  There is this interesting San (Bushman) ‘watergat’ along the road.




This is it.  They chiselled the crack in the rock surface wider so that the water trickled down to a bowl in the rock.  When we were there the spring was dry and the bowl was empty. 


But even at this dry time there was still water when you lifted the covering stone off the deepest part of the bowl.
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 09:57:18 PM »

Wow, how interesting! Shows you we need to stop and walk around sometimes.
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2009, 06:58:36 PM »

ja in ons gejaag sien ons nie die mooi raak nie.  baie interessant.  dankie
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tok-tokkie
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2009, 09:27:00 PM »



The collection of military vehicles in Loxton.

From a post a while back on WD I knew that there is a collection of WW2 military vehicles in Loxton including some tanks.  I asked at the restaurant for directions but it was closed however there was a cell number posted outside.  On the day we returned to Cape Town there was time to go & have a look around.  I phoned the cell number & got the owner who works in Lamberts Bay but he said he would get someone there to open for me.  Here I will show the military trucks.  Next I will show the tanks & finally I will show some of the old civilian cars and trucks there.


Some of the vehicles parked there.  That one on the left is a GMC 2,5 tonne 6x6


Same truck.  Notice the chains on the front tyre; that is for snow & ice driving (sometimes also for mud).  Notice the blue instruction label on the dashboard.


Here it is.  I posted these pictures on ADVRider and asked the language and the story behind the US truck ending in Scandinavia.  I guessed the language to be Danish.  I got a full reply & translation.  It is most likely Norwegian but it turns out that written Danish & Norwegian are pretty much identical but the accent when they speak & the actual spoken language (as against written) is not nearly as similar.  After WW2 the Yanks left most of their vehicles behind as it was not worthwhile shipping them back to the US.  Driving this open truck in winter in Norway (those snow & ice chains) must have been tough.  How that truck got to Loxton would be an interesting story.


I think it is a Ford – the name is not on the front anymore.  Very difficult photography with some in the bright sunlight and the rest in shade.  I had very little time because we still had to drive back to Cape Town so I really just walked around taking photos of what was there.


That is a Diamond T.  The railways used to use Diamond Ts in the 50s & 60s.  It was to do with bribery & corruption because the trucks were very minor sellers in the US but no one else could get the SAR contract.  They seemed to be pretty reliable trucks.


Another one without a nameplate.  The vehicles were spray painted for a film.  I knew about that & had thought it was the film people who did it.  Losing the original paint can devalue artefacts like this but it turns out it was the owners who did it.  Look at that winch on the front of this truck; it puts the ones on today’s 4x4s to shame.


That is a Ford but it has the German cross (not swastika) painted on the door – for the film I assume.




Three in a row but the first is a Chevrolet & the next one is a Ford.  They are identical.  I was speaking to an old German some time back & he was telling me that the US standardised their equipment so much of it used the same engine for example.  It made keeping spares & fixing stuff in the field so much easier compared to the German practice of a dedicated engine for each vehicle.  He admired the Yanks for that.


The Chevrolet.  Notice the numberplate.  Most of these vehicles are still in working order & this is licensed for use on the road.


The Ford.


The third one.  I have zoomed in on the label but can’t make it out but it does not seem to be Ford – possibly GMC.


This one is a non-runner.  You can see the beginnings of the design sytem for mine explosion protection.  Something SA did so very well & the US & Brits have learned, at their great cost in Iraq, is essential.


And sitting at the back is the greatest vehicle of this lot.  Here is a quote:
Quote
President Eisenhower once said the two pieces of equipment that were most influential in winning the war were the jeep and the C-47. By another account, Eisenhower said after World War II the four most important weapons in that war were the C-47 Skytrain, the bazooka, the jeep, and the atom bomb

It is taken from here: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/jeep.htm.  The C-47 = Douglas Dakota (& I still see them flying in front of my house).

Over 600 000 Jeeps were made (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep) by Willys & Ford.  Even so a genuine WW2 Jeep must be worth a lot of money today.

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This was an extraordinary private collection of WW2 vehicles in a most unlikely place.  Being in the Great Karoo they have been really well preserved while there simply because it is so dry & water is the greatest danger.  I will post about the tanks & civillian cars later.


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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2009, 09:35:24 AM »

Great post! Next time I'm in Loxton I simply have to go and have a look at this.
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2009, 04:01:52 PM »

Tanks

Well I will make it armaments.


Not very big.  I know nothing about field guns.  Notice the searchlights behind it.


There are boxes of these carbon electrodes for the arc that made the light in the searchlights.


That is a Bren Gun Carrier.  Another one behind.  113 000 were made which is more than any other armoured fighting vehicle ever. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Carrier


View from the back.  The engine takes up a lot of space so not many soldiers could be transported.  But having a highly movable Bren Gun was very useful.  Normally there is a hole in the box sticking forwards through which the gun pokes.  Notice the ‘German Sheppard’ insignia on an Allied vehicle.  I will mention this later.


One from the net showing the passengers and mounted gun.


This one has a bigger gun mounted above the ‘turret’ and slightly different suspension.


A  M3 Stuart tank.  I did not know about this sort of tank.  Reading Wikipedia I see why I know nothing about it.  It was pathetic; had a tiny gun and thin armour & was hopeless against the German tanks.  It was a rushed US design when they saw that their current light tank, the M2, was outdated so they developed this, the M3, but even so  it too was outdated when issued.  The British & Russians used it before the US entered WW2.  The Japanese had no decent tanks so it did better in the Pacific region.  The Russians were particularly scathing about this tank.  The Russian T-34 is regarded as the best tank of WW2 so you can understand the contempt they had for this thing.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-34  There are two Stuart tanks in Loxton. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuart_tank


The Sherman tank.  I have just done a search on ADVRider because there was a reference to how valuable one of these tanks is.  I found the thread but it did not give a dollar price but it also found the original thread where I learned that there is a Sherman in Loxton.  Carnivore from PE, whom I met at the EC Bash last year, posted his ride report both on WD & ADVRider.  He gives much better detail than I do about the stuff there & it is a really good RR with many pictures: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=340622

Thanks carnivore, I would not have known about this without your report – must have been right when I found WD.


That is Carnivore sitting on the barrel. (Photo from his RR).

Quote
Among the most coveted large-scale items from WW2 are Sherman tanks and duplex-drive amphibian tanks, left. A Sherman tank is estimated to start selling from £50,000 depending on condition; however these are rare and difficult to find.
http://www.independent.co.uk/money/spend-save/how-to-own-a-piece-of-history-from-the-beaches-731077.html
I will come back to this quote later.

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I posted about the Sherman tank in a previous thread of mine here – our French holiday.  I will duplicate what I wrote there about the Sherman.  Post #18 of this thread: http://trailrider.route42.co.za/index.php?topic=2541.0


Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_Sherman

I would like to discuss this tank.  50 000 Sherman tanks and its direct derivatives were made.  They had been used in North Africa and were a fair match against the German tanks there but in Europe after the landings they came up against newer German designs of tanks and guns and they were completely outclassed by them.

Quote
However, immediately following the invasion of Normandy, it was discovered that the 75 mm M3 gun was completely ineffective against the front of the German Panther & Tiger I and the front of more common later version German tanks such as the Panzer IV tanks at typical combat ranges. The 75 mm M3 gun was thereby rendered obsolete, and the European Theater of Operations quickly demanded deliveries of the Sherman armed with the 76 mm M1 gun.

Quote
However, the Sherman's armor, while good for an early war tank, was inadequate against the German 75mm KwK 40 L/48 used by the later Panzer IV's, the higher velocity 75mm KwK 42 L/70 used by the Panther tank, and the infamous 88mm KwK 36 L/56 used on the Tiger tanks. It was this deficiency in its frontal armor that made the Sherman very vulnerable to most German anti-tank rounds in 1944.

Quote

Early Sherman models were prone to burning when struck by high velocity rounds. The Sherman gained grim nicknames like "Tommycooker" (by the Germans who referred to British soldiers as "Tommys"; a tommy cooker was a World War I era trench stove). With gallows humor, the British called them "Ronsons", after the cigarette lighter with the slogan "Lights up the first time, every time!", while Polish tankers referred to them as "The Burning Grave". This vulnerability increased crew casualties and meant that damaged vehicles were less likely to be repairable. US Army research proved that the major reason for this was the use of unprotected ammo stowage in sponsons above the tracks. The common belief that the use of gasoline (petrol) engines was a culprit is unsupported; most World War II tanks used gasoline engines and petrol was unlikely to ignite when hit with armour piercing shells

Quote
The US Army required the Sherman not to exceed certain widths and weights to permit it to use a wide variety of bridge, road and rail travel for predicted strategic, industrial, logistical and tactical flexibility

They were only medium tanks because they had to be carried by rail from the factories in the USA to the ports so were limited in width, height and weight by that.  They were up against German heavy tanks.  They were completely outclassed but that’s the tank the Allies had and they used them and drove the Germans back despite their inferior tanks.  The Sherman was quick and agile and there were many of them once the landings had been consolidated.  Sherman crews had been told prior to Normandy that the Sherman was the best tank in the world but this was patently untrue as demonstrated during that campaign.  But they took on the Germans despite this and beat them because they had more tanks than the Germans and disciplined crews.

The Sherman tank had a 9 cylinder radial air cooled engine originally used for aircraft including the gorgeous Beech Staggerwing.


As a sideline; here is a Staggerwing.   A Biplane with retractable undercarriage and very tidy bracing between the two wings.  Very unusually the upper wing is behind the lower wing.


This is another of the problems they had.  France has these narrow roads with high embankments each side; in 1944 they were so narrow that the tanks almost filled them.  What it meant is that the tanks could not turn around once they were in them and could not get out of them.  It was worse for the Germans because their tanks were bigger.
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The final tank they have is this British Comet.  A tank from very late in the war, South Africa had some of these.  I was at school in the British Isles at the start of the 60s and went on a school cadet camp to the main British Tank Training ground in Bovington, Dorset & these were parked out on the range as targets.  I got the drivers periscope off one but no longer have it.  Very interestingly I learn from Carnivore’s thread on ADVRider that this actual tank was:

Quote
My favourite – a Comet tank.  The FIRST Allied tank to reach Berlin. The special unit insignia and service number were oversprayed by the crew of a film company with this light green paint... and this in Cape Town.. Sacriledge.
In my previous post I mentioned this and said that I was mistaken.  Now I realise it was the Ford truck with the brown & beige desert camouflage colour scheme that he painted – the guy who took me around was pleased to tell me that he had done that spraying; I should have asked him about the tanks.  That probably explains the 'German Sheppard' insignia on the Allied equipment


Another view of the tanks, Comet closest, Sherman behind.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_tank

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I said I would come back to the quote about the collectible nature of a Sherman tank.  The tanks have been sold to a Polish museum and are shortly to be shipped off so you probably won’t be able to see them.  I assume, to comply with some stupid arms trade regulation the bigger guns had to be rendered inoperable.  Holes have been oxy-acetylene burned into the barrels.




That is government imposed vandalism.  These things are historical artefacts and have had to be vandalised in this gross manner to satisfy some idiotic bureaucrat somewhere.  So, from the quote i gave above, a really poor Sherman is worth UKP50 000 = SAR 650 000 so this one alone must be worth R 1 million.  The four tanks have been sold; I don’t know what else has been sold.  This was not a museum & these guys had a lot invested here – I have no problem with them cashing in.  A pity the artefacts are not remaining in SA.  I am very pleased I got there in time.
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2009, 05:20:33 PM »

How soon before they're gone? Undecided
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2009, 05:34:03 PM »

Dankie TT vir 'n uitstekende pos Good Post!
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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2009, 07:12:25 PM »

Ten spyte daarvan dat ek nog op Loxton wou uitkom, was ek glad nie eens bewus hiervan nie. Dankie TT for a really interesting post.
If one thinks back at the Johannesburg War Museum debacle of some time ago, it is only fair to immediately suspect our government's paranoia (sp?) over weapons in private ownership for the hole in the barrels. However, I suspect that the US's ITAR (International Trade in Arms Regulations) also had a role to play here. Whatever the case may be, it is utter foolishness to damage such a valuable collector's item just for the sake of conforming to some regulation.  Bang Head
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2009, 05:11:59 PM »

Cars
There were also some non-military vehicles in the collection.


The first one is a Chev truck.  I grew up in Vlottenberg and the farmer over the road had one of these, they were quite common then.  I was pleased to see one again.  The next one is a Ford I think and possibly an International at the end (not at all sure about that one).  That tractor is not a Vaaljapie.


I can zoom in on the badge at the front but it seems to say Hat or something like that but that does not ring a bell for me at all.


I just want to get this out of the way.  It is a Jaguar and quite a bit younger than the rest.  It looks like a 2.4 litre.  My step father had one & he took me at 100 mph (= 160kph) in it which was really special way back then.  He was really a Ford man and, even though he was English, he had grown to like the spaceous airy American cars & this was a stuffy cramped car for us in the back.


A Chevrolet and an engine for a Sherman tank (and also the Beech Staggerwing, besides much else). This is a 1947 or 1948.


Same car. Full list of Chevs: http://automotivehistoryonline.com/Chevrolet4.htm#chevy46


The maroon one is very similar to the Mercury my mother had.  During WW2 the US Army Staff cars looked just like that.  Ford (amoungst others) made them; Mercury was part of Ford.


A  1942 Ford Army Staff car.

The one next to my mother’s Mercury I was very pleased to see.  My friend Michael Bing in Vlottenberg’s father had one of those – a Chevrolet.


Front view of the Chevrolet. It is a 1938 model.  Notice that the headlights were on stalks from the side of the bonnet; next they were on stalks up from the mudguard and then they merged into the mudguards as in the 1947 one shown above.  The hood for the engine was hinged each side and folded up on a hinge down the middle of the bonnet.


Full listing: http://automotivehistoryonline.com/Chevrolet3.htm#chevy38

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Now I would like to show you another car we found in the area inside this barn.


We went right past it on our way to the farm we were staying on.


Inside the barn is this old Chrysler New Yorker.  I love 50s American cars.  A Chrysler was an up market car and not seen much.  This is a 1955 model but the styling is too conservative (corporate sensible) for my liking.  Realise that this machine is now over 50 years old.


It is in wonderful condition besides the bird shit on it.


The car is locked and the windows are very dirty but I could see that the inside is in perfect condition.

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White Stripes posted about a Studebaker Lark (but he talked about life’s values and perceptions).  http://trailrider.route42.co.za/index.php?topic=4176.0  When my mother had that boring Mercury and Michael’s father had that out of date Chev I always loved the look of a Studebaker.




That is what a 1951 Studebaker Champion looked like (more pictures & more details here: http://www.cars-on-line.com/37215.html)

Compare that to a 1951 Hudson (representative of most American cars of that year)


As exciting as cold grey porridge whereas the Studebaker was styled like a German V2 rocket or the latest jet fighters that were just coming into service.   That Studebaker was popularly known as the Studebaker Bullet.  Meanwhile I had to get into my mother’s ugly Mercury and poor old Michael had to be content with that ancient Chev.


This is a  1953 Studebaker Starliner.  Look how elegantly they have modelled the front.  This is just three years after that sad lump of a Hudson.

But then came my favourite Studebaker:


1957 Studebaker Hawk.  I love the tail fins particularly.  That is when cars really looked like something.  Stuff that boring Jaguar we had, give me one of these everytime.  It has style.


And this is the famous Studebaker Lark that White Stripes wrote about.  Made from 1959 to 1963.  It was the original ‘compact’ US car which made it lighter and thus faster than all the others at that time.  It built a fantastic reputation for speed and also roadholding (in comparison to the other US cars here). From what White Stripes wrote I suspect they got the early 1959 model; it was very similar and his status took a huge leap upwards in the community when they arrived in that lovely car.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studebaker_Lark

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But me?  The Lark impressed me immensely at the time but since then my nostalgia goes to US cars with pretty fins – not over the top like an Elvis Cadillac but like a Studebaker Hawk or the first Chrysler Valiants of 1961 – the first Valiant was way out of date in styling and was soon replaced by a standard three box design of no character whatsoever.

[mg] https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2895/14142532977_67621f863b_o.jpg[/img]
For Antonia’s 60th  a few years back I decided to have a picture painted for her.  She likes old buildings, I like 50s US cars & we like the pictures of John Kramer.  John is the husband of Pat who had organised this trip to Loxton to see and record the corbelled buildings.  He was with us on this trip.


That’s John.  His job on this trip was to do the photography.  Afterwards they went on a trip around the outside of Lesotho as John paints pictures of old general dealer shops.  See his website for some examples: http://www.johnkramer.net/ .  I asked John if I could commission a picture from him; there is an old shop here in Green Point & I would like to park a car in front of it and get him to photo the picture and paint it for me.  He was quite happy to do it – if you have looked at the link I gave you will see that I was wanting a typical Kramer picture except I was inserting a vehicle of my choice.  As soon as John had given the OK I went off to Moto Stars in Strand street to see if I could hire a red Studebaker Hawk (Moto Stars act as agents for people who have interesting cars which are hired out for film shoots chiefly).  No Hawk available.  How about the first Chrysler Valiant?  Yes we have one of those and it is red; but it is not in show room condition (not restored in other words).  Perfect second prize says I.  They have photos in their computer and I am delighted.  Costs me R2000 for a day.  I check with John when he wants to do the photo shoot.  Must be early morning (John only photos his subjects in the first & last 2 hours of sunlight each day) and he gives me some dates.  I check with Moto Stars & we arrange it.  On the day I go down on my bike and luckily the place I want to park the car is empty.  I had spoken to the owner of the cafe the day before.  The Valiant arrives and so does John.  I set up the scene & put my bike in there also.  John shoots off a whole lot of pictures and it is soon over.  Then he paints the picture & I give it to Antonia – a bit late for her birthday but she was delighted.  So was I.


Notice how beautifully he has done the shine on the paint on the car’s side.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 03:10:26 PM by tok-tokkie » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2009, 10:57:11 PM »

Thanks TT. It is a lot of work, much appreciated. I am struggling for the last few months with my Internet  connection, so could only now read the whole report. Very nice and informative.
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« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2009, 08:29:52 AM »

This must have taken you a lot of time. Very informative! 
Thanks  A1
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« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2009, 06:57:28 PM »

Just reread this thread. I was hoping you saw a Kubelwagen, but sadly not. Will reference to this thread often in future - especially for the tanks A1
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