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mahavelona

AFVs with bikes/motorbikes strapped on?

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Hello all

 

I've spotted a few stunning 1/35 panzers recently which have a bicycle or motorbike strapped on.

 

One example is this Tiger 1 on eBay:

s-l1600.jpg

(This is not my model - I'm only including the image for discussion purposes)

 

I'm pondering my next project and I love the idea of building a panzer with some bike strapped onto it. What an awesome visual addition to the model.

 

What historical evidence is there for this practice? I'm particularly interested in German WWII vehicles, but examples of Allied vehicles would be equally interesting. I haven't seen any photos of bikes strapped onto tanks from WWII. 

 

What I'd really love is a photo of something like a Panzer IV or Tiger with a bike strapped onto it, because I really enjoy modelling a vehicle from a specific historic photo and I'm looking for a new project!
 

Cheers

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That's a 420kg object, not far short of half a tonne.  4 or 5 blokes to lift it up there, and held by a single flimsy rope on a single hook.  Seems a bit precarious, to say the least.  One good bump and it will be off.  Like some of the rest of the stowage on that model: those loose spare links lying about are 30kg each.

 

Not really sure why a tank crew would really want a motorcycle, especially a half-tonne one.  Not the easiest things to carry without it really getting in the way and not a lot of use to them.  Although a KS750 apparently cost as much as 2 Kubelwagens.  Perhaps they were going to claim salvage rights................  Or pawn it.........

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There are photos of a Sherman ARV (13/18th Hussars?)  on a landing craft prior to D Day with a motorbike strapped on. I guess they did it where the mobility of the motorbike was compromised by mud in the case of the Germans or going through deep water in the case of the Allies.

 

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That model Tiger had me in stitches,any chance of a link to his ebay listing I want another laugh.

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11 hours ago, Das Abteilung said:

That's a 420kg object, not far short of half a tonne.  4 or 5 blokes to lift it up there, and held by a single flimsy rope on a single hook.  Seems a bit precarious, to say the least.  One good bump and it will be off.  Like some of the rest of the stowage on that model: those loose spare links lying about are 30kg each.

 

Not really sure why a tank crew would really want a motorcycle, especially a half-tonne one.  Not the easiest things to carry without it really getting in the way and not a lot of use to them.  Although a KS750 apparently cost as much as 2 Kubelwagens.  Perhaps they were going to claim salvage rights................  Or pawn it.........

2 hours ago, Karlj72 said:

That model Tiger had me in stitches,any chance of a link to his ebay listing I want another laugh.

I must admit I had similar thoughts regarding the twine-attached motorbike! Though the model I have shown is built and painted to a standard far beyond my own, it suffers from the fairly common problem of illogical stowage. Even the jerrycans are unlikely to remain in this upright position, unless the vehicle was stationary. The listing is here if you are curious. I'm mindful of critiquing the modeller too much because, from the price, the model is obviously desirable - I only wish I could sell my models for so much!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-35-Built-German-Tiger-1-Mid-Production/123619181358?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908105057%26meid%3D5d02185c9d014f129c612053af2a41d3%26pid%3D100675%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D15%26sd%3D352586141939%26itm%3D123619181358&_trksid=p2481888.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci%3Ab8f300d6-2926-11e9-ad0c-74dbd1806bf0|parentrq%3Abcf1cd691680ab452e44d950ffd2a428|iid%3A1

 

Perhaps a more sensible example of a stowed bike is from our own @FrancisGL, who built a beautiful Jagdpanzer with a bicycle stowed on its rear deck. The weight of a bicycle is perhaps far more realistic.

 

I was reading T. J. Jentz and H. L. Doyle's "PANZER TRACTS No.9-3 "Jagdpanther"" (2004) last night and the following passage made me imagine a scenario where crew might want a bicycle to scout or move about beyond the tank... Obviously not every situation but I thought it was relevant.

"Every advance or leap from firing position to firing position must be scouted on foot because frequently there is a deep sunken path behind an easily driven-through hedgerow. Every unnecessary movement should be avoided; otherwise artillery fire occurs immediately." (pp.82)

 

19 hours ago, Rob G said:

A minute's search threw this up

 

http://www.ww2incolor.com/german-armor/209-024.html

 

No doubt there's more that can be found with a bit of effort.

Thanks for sharing a link, unfortunately the ww2incolor site seems to be having trouble at the moment (just displaying 'error', not just your link) but I'll check back. My own searches have been fruitless, just pictures of bikes or tanks but never together!

 

Thanks for your replies!

 

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11 hours ago, Phil Evans said:

There are photos of a Sherman ARV (13/18th Hussars?)  on a landing craft prior to D Day with a motorbike strapped on. I guess they did it where the mobility of the motorbike was compromised by mud in the case of the Germans or going through deep water in the case of the Allies.

 

Just had a look, think I found it. Thanks for providing such great info! This really is a superb photo, and in colour too. 

1f22f4c980581576f313d88f6a12a7f8.jpg

Being on a landing craft, I wouldn't be surprised if the motorbike was only placed there to make good use of tight deck space. Every vehicle here appears heavily laden with stowage after all. Perhaps it is likely that the bike was removed after landing. 

 

Keep them coming please! 

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I've reread my post, apologies if it seems a little sharp- not my intention.

 

I'll see if I can screen shot the page for you, it seems to be fine for me. Is it possibly blocked by your software or country settings?

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£100 on a kit that who ever built it puts spare steel wheels on a Tiger that has rubber road wheels.

That's not including all the other silly stowage and stuff.

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28 minutes ago, Rob G said:

I've reread my post, apologies if it seems a little sharp- not my intention.

 

I'll see if I can screen shot the page for you, it seems to be fine for me. Is it possibly blocked by your software or country settings?

Not at all! I do really appreciate your PM.

25 minutes ago, Karlj72 said:

£100 on a kit that who ever built it puts spare steel wheels on a Tiger that has rubber road wheels.

That's not including all the other silly stowage and stuff.

Haha - I hadn't spotted those steel wheels. For some modellers, myself included, attempting to represent history is part of the fun, but I think others prefer to just build and let their artistic tendencies loose. I would call myself the former, but I doubt my own Tiger would fetch £100, so perhaps I should start slinging bikes onto everything I build! 

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9 hours ago, mahavelona said:

Just had a look, think I found it. Thanks for providing such great info! This really is a superb photo, and in colour too. 

1f22f4c980581576f313d88f6a12a7f8.jpg

Being on a landing craft, I wouldn't be surprised if the motorbike was only placed there to make good use of tight deck space. Every vehicle here appears heavily laden with stowage after all. Perhaps it is likely that the bike was removed after landing. 

 

Keep them coming please! 

Is that a beach recovery vehicle those m/cs are strapped on?  Possibly a sensible way to get early despatch bikes ashore or for the beachmaster to get around the beach quickly?  Also those UK despatch bikes were a lot lighter than the German twins (easier for the rider to sort himself out in sticky situations), even so humping them up onto a Sherman hull would preferably be a two or three man job!

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It's a standard ARV MkII with deep wading gear.  Diesel Sherman III I believe: a Sherman III ARV MkII to use the correct if confusing nomenclature.

 

There are 2 bikes strapped on.  I'm sure I've seen other photos of vehicles on landing craft carrying motorcycles.  Good way to get them ashore: you can't fit a bike (or rider) with deep wading gear.  The bike either belonged to the REME unit owning the ARV or to the Armd Regt HQ it might have been attached to.  We forget how ubiquitous motor cycles were in British units.  There were tens of thousands of them.

 

Equally, German tank units would probably have some organic motor cycles for communications and the afore-mentioned route recce etc.  But it would seem easier to ride the bike than carry it, unless the terrain is extremely rough or muddy.  Maybe this Tiger is about to ford a wet gap.

 

There's a lot of laughable "pro built" rubbish on eBay, but also some nice built models to be fair.  Modellers who can do nice but not always realistic finishing but completely fail to understand the historical context or historical or technical correctness of their products.  There's an RM Centaur IV on there for £150 (I've mentioned it before) that's supposed to be a tank in service for 14 days (the operational life of RMASG) that looks more like a 14-year range wreck.  It's been re-listed for a few months now at the same price: he should take a hint.

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DKW 350?

 

That PzIIIN is obviously on a long journey somewhere, with a fair bit of luggage and a couple of hundred litres of fuel.  Interestingly it has no gun mounted, just the empty mantlet, perhaps suggesting it's heading to the rear.  Now that is unusual.

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I am aware of motorcycles being carried as cargo for the use of AFV crewmen and I think there's enough contemporary evidence in photographs and memoirs to provide reference for a model. US forces were particularly noted for repurposing German vehicles.

Yes, motorbikes are heavy, but the benefits of having it, especially if it's 'buckshee', probably outweigh the effort of lifting it onto the vehicle.

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On ‎16‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 04:32, JackG said:

One photo recently posted on ebay:

 

GlmX2mk.jpg

 

regards,

Jack

Very interesting photo. Thanks for posting it.

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There are many reasons for the "why", both practical - like hitching a ride - and acquisitive: buckshee kit.  Obviously not carried in action.

 

Earlier we were debating the "how".  I can't see any means of securing the bike on the PzIII, but it must be tied on to the turret somehow.  Hoisted fully up onto the trackguard is a lot more secure than the Tiger we started with, and it's a much lighter bike.  This is more like how it should be done, then the lashing only needs to stop it falling off.  The feeble lashing on the Tiger model is holding the entire 700kg bike weight, which it would not do.

 

The tank itself is interesting.  I thought it was an Ausf N, but on reflection it probably isn't.  I'm not good with PzIII models.  The missing gun is really intriguing: it can only be assumed that it had become damaged and been removed pending a replacement.  The tracks are slack and in need of tensioning, a link removing or stretched to the point of replacement.

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