Military Review

Front-line adventures of the “Music Box”

52
It is unlikely to be an exaggeration to claim that one of the most famous and bloody examples of use tanks during the First World War - this is the raid of the English tank "Music Box", which took place on August 8, 1918 on the first day of the battle of Amiens - the so-called "Black Day of the German Army". Then the Whippet tank, under the command of the Cavalier of the British Empire, Lieutenant Arnold, penetrated the rear of German positions and stayed there for ten hours, inflicting great damage on the enemy and introducing chaos and demoralization into his ranks. History This remarkable, and its long overdue to tell.



Tank "Whippet" ("Greyhound") advances to the front line. For quick recognition, red-and-white cockades are made up on the front armor plate and the caterpillar screens.

Tank "Music Box" "Whippet" belonged to company B, 6-th battalion. The crew, besides Arnold himself, included two more: machine gunner Ribbans and the driver Kearney — that is, the standard crew of this car, which was considered a “high-speed tank” in the British army. His design was primitive. It was planned to put a rotating turret with a machine gun on the tank, but something didn’t work with it, and the tank received a wheelhouse, from which four Gochkis machine guns protruded in all directions.


So he planned, but he did not.

The story "Music Box" began at 4.20 in the morning, hour "X", August 8 1918, when the offensive of the British forces began and she moved to the side of Villers-Bretonnay. Lieutenant Arnold later recalled: “We crossed the railway and passed through Australian infantry moving under the cover of our heavy tanks (Mark V.)”

However, further Arnold and his comrades had no luck. “After 2000 yards, I was left alone, our other tanks were dropped. I saw the tanks Mk V, followed by the Australian infantry. Then I came under the direct fire of a German four-gun field battery. ” What this means can only be understood by someone who knows that the then field gun could fire at a speed of ten to twenty shots per minute, that is, to release forty shells in just one fussing minute. The shooting of the battery was so accurate that it knocked out two tanks of the Mk V, moving alongside the “Music Box”. Arnold reacted by turning to the left and, having developed the maximum speed, moved diagonally along the front of the battery at a distance of 600 yards, maneuvering in such a way as to shoot at the target from two machine guns at once. Then Arnold reached a group of trees and became invulnerable from artillery fire. Then he moved in line with the battery, turned to the right and attacked her from behind.


But it became so! "Whippet" from Bavington.

The Germans did not have time to deploy their guns, as the machine gunner Ribbans and Arnold finished them off with their machine guns. The destruction of the German battery immediately affected the infantry. "Australians also moved forward and hid behind the road in 400 yards in front of an abandoned battery."

Then Arnold allowed himself a little rest: “I got out of the tank and asked the Australian lieutenant if he wanted help, and during our conversation he was hit by a bullet in the shoulder.” There was nothing left but to get back into the tank and ride it further. Where? To the east, of course. There, where shots were heard and the battle was clearly fought, because here it was all over.

“Moving further east, I approached a narrow ravine marked on my map as an“ ammunition depot. ” When I approached, there were a lot of people and a lot of crates, and when I opened fire on people, they began to run away and hide. I drove around the hollow, and then Ribbans went out and counted the dead, which turned out to be about sixty. ”


There were four such machine guns on the Whippet!

Then Arnold turned to the left of the railway and made a "world tour" along the front line, along the trenches of enemy infantry. “We shot them from 200 to 600 yards. As our cruise continued, the enemy's losses grew. ” And then his tank was completely behind the Germans. “I didn’t see our troops or machines after the departure of our cavalry patrol, but I decided to continue the movement.” The tank was continuously fired by rifle fire. Bullets clicked on the armor, but they could not penetrate it. Bad was another. On the tank outside were hung additional gas canisters. The bullets, of course, punched them and gasoline, flowing and evaporating, made staying in the tank simply unbearable. Tankmen therefore had to wear gas masks, the validity of which was about 10 hours.


"Whippet" and the British infantry.

Nevertheless, despite all these difficulties, the tank continued to move. “At about two in the evening I again moved east and found myself at a large aerodrome, where I fired at the vehicles there and shot down a balloon with two observers who fell from a great height and, of course, crashed.”

Then Arnold's tank shot a truck moving along the road and went to the railway. “The railway was very close, and I saw a lot of soldiers landing at ranges from 400 to 500 yards. I started shooting at them and dealt them a lot of damage. Leaving them in a panic, the “Music Box” moved on, firing successively at the retreating columns of the German troops, as well as on motor and equestrian vehicles from 600 to 800 yards. Here the tank was subjected to fierce shelling, and he had damaged the ball installation of one of the machine guns. Arnold pulled a machine gun out of her and closed the hole. For a nine-hour stay under fire, this was minimal damage, but fate should not be experienced for so long, and the lieutenant forgot about it. Gasoline, which flowed heavily from punched jerry cans, flared at that time. The driver of Carney tried to turn around, but then their tank received two missile hits at once.


"Music Box" in the hands of the Germans!

“Karni and Ribbans opened the door and crashed to the ground. I also managed to fall out on the ground, and I was able to drag them both away, as the flaming gasoline ran to us along the ground. Fresh air revived us, we all got up and made a short dash to get away from burning gasoline ... At this moment, Carney was shot in the stomach and died. ”


Well, that on this tank was such a big door!

“Here I saw the enemies approaching me from all sides. The first one ran up to me with a rifle and bayonet. I grabbed her, and the front part of the bayonet entered my forearm. The second man hit me on the head with the butt. When I came to my senses, there were already dozens of German soldiers around me, and everyone who could reach me tried to strike me. ” Further, he writes that since the clothes soaked with gasoline were still smoldering on him, then ... these blows, in general, were even useful, because they finally knocked the flames off him.


It is from such field guns that the Germans fired upon and hit an English tank.

“In the end we went to the dugout. Later we walked past the field kitchen, where I showed with signs that I wanted to eat. We had nothing from eating with 8.30 in the morning, so it's no wonder that I got hungry. Then they took me to a senior officer and interrogated me. When I answered: “I don't know,” he said: “You mean you don't know, or you won't tell me? "I replied:" As you wish, so understand! ", After which he hit me in the face and left." Only after this, Arnold was fed, bandaged his wounds and sent back for interrogation.

“The second time I was interrogated, I received five days of solitary confinement in a room without a window - this time I was, however, given some soup with bread. Here Arnold threatened to report the behavior of the officer interrogating him to the senior in rank, and this threat made a terrible impression on the German. He was immediately sent to a prisoner of war camp in Freiburg, where he ... met his brother who was captured shortly before that! And then in the camp at Canterbury, in January 1919 of the year, through which the brothers were repatriating, they met a living machine gunner Ribbans.

Front-line adventures of the “Music Box”

Lieutenant Arnold in a prisoner of war camp. Freiburg, 1918

In general, the “Music Box” raid continued from 4-20 to 15-30. The British assessed the losses inflicted on them by the enemy as approximately the kind that, under the same conditions, an infantry brigade could inflict on it at the cost of ... the failure of half of its personnel.

From the book "Battle Tanks - the story of the Royal Tank Corps in action 1916-1919", published in 1929, edited by G. Murray Wilson.


Order “Distinguished Service Order” (DSO) “For Outstanding Service”, which was received by Lieutenant Arnold.

P.S. When Lieutenant Arnold returned to England in 1919, he was awarded the Order of Distinguished Service, which was usually awarded in the rank of major and higher, and only in exceptional cases, junior officers. The command considered that this was such a case!
Author:
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  1. Mystery12345
    Mystery12345 25 July 2017 15: 17
    +11
    successful "pike" children are in all armies ...
    1. Mikado
      Mikado 25 July 2017 16: 19
      +9
      an interesting story, how an analogy can be drawn raid Vasechkina and Malko through occupied Minsk on the T-28 in July 41st. Also, either in the 41st, or in the 42nd there was a case of a similar raid on HF.
      1. hohol95
        hohol95 25 July 2017 16: 27
        +6
        Tank raid of senior sergeant Gorobets on the T-34 (the crew of which, in addition to the commander, included driver Fyodor Litovchenko, tower worker Grigory Kolomiyets and gunner-gunner Ivan Pastushin) October 17, 1941.
        1. Mikado
          Mikado 25 July 2017 16: 34
          +5
          Here! good Such cases can be found quite a lot. The only thing that was harder for the British tankers on Whippet was to raid - the speed was still low.
          Additional gas canisters were hung on the tank from the outside.

          already read somewhere about it. It seems that they hung on the "rhombuses", and then they suffered.
          1. Cat
            Cat 25 July 2017 19: 11
            +7
            It saved the Britons that the Germans in World War I did not have an effective anti-tank weapon!
            Another thing strains me, for a long time the British rode around the rear without refueling.
            1. Cat
              Cat 25 July 2017 19: 29
              +10
              Rummaged in numbers!
              In the battle, the "casket" was from 4:20 to 15:30, that is, almost 11 hours. With a 64-km highway and a maximum speed of 8–9 km over rough terrain. Mark-A was supposed to gobble up its fuel supply in 7-8 hours of battle. The question is in what bushes the brave guys hid from 2 to 3 hours of battle!
              In no way do I have a desire to belittle the guys’s feat in British uniform, but is it all true?
              1. Cat
                Cat 25 July 2017 20: 02
                +13
                The British assessed the losses inflicted on them by the enemy as approximately the kind that, under the same conditions, an infantry brigade could have inflicted upon it at the cost of ... failure of half of its composition.

                If translated into numbers, then about 2 people. From the calculation, the Mark-A ammunition consisted of 000 rounds of ammunition for 5 machine guns, did the British spend about 400 rounds on one German?
                Why my grunts, grunts and murmurs? Everything is simple, all parties and all participants in any events have a tendency to exaggeration and embellishment! The tale of the "music box" is just that rule that confirms the truth, that truth in war is (a spoon of truth on a barrel of lies)!
                I repeat that I do not at all beg the feat of bravery of the tankmen, but the beautiful fairy tale painted by British propaganda is just a fairy tale!
                1. long in stock.
                  long in stock. 25 July 2017 22: 39
                  +5
                  why regret their adversaries ... write more!
              2. EvilLion
                EvilLion 25 July 2017 21: 04
                +5
                They got out and refilled the notorious gasoline from the notorious cans.
        2. gorgo
          gorgo 25 July 2017 17: 34
          +2
          Judging by the surnames - three out of four Ukrainians ... I wonder what they would say today if they saw their native Ukraine? ...
          1. hohol95
            hohol95 25 July 2017 19: 24
            +5
            Not Khokhlov, but Ukrainians - AND THEY WOULD SILENTLY CHARGE THE WEAPON WOULD GO TO KIEV ...
            1. gorgo
              gorgo 25 July 2017 19: 41
              +4
              "Ukrainians" is a toponym, not an ethnonym. And nationality is different. Historically, for certain reasons, the Russian population of Ukraine began to be called "Ukrainians" by a characteristic hairstyle - an aydar borrowed from nomads of the great steppe. It is strange that you have to explain it to a person with such a nickname ... There is nothing offensive in the word crest.
              1. hohol95
                hohol95 25 July 2017 21: 12
                +6
                If you wear the FATHER, then this does not mean that you are Khokhol or Bulbash ...
                I am PEACEFUL person and I treat the hero of the Great Patriotic War NOT HOW TO KHOHL, BULBASH, JIDES AND OTHER “CHURK” - HOW TO THE REPRESENTATIVES OF CERTAIN NATIONALITIES ... YAKUT, BASHKIR, TUVIN and VERY MUCH SUGGEST!
                1. Mikado
                  Mikado 25 July 2017 21: 27
                  +3
                  Aleksey, without getting into your argument, simply - worthy words! good drinks
                2. gorgo
                  gorgo 25 July 2017 23: 16
                  +1
                  I don’t understand what you want to say ... You tried to correct me, but I just explained that the Ukrainian is not a nationality. And surnames like Kolomiyets and Gorobets - this is exactly what from time immemorial has been called "Khokhlyatsky" surnames. Well, either Little Russian, if more culturally. Do not believe me - read Gogol at least ... If you don’t like it for some reason, then ... I don’t even know.
                  1. hohol95
                    hohol95 26 July 2017 08: 07
                    +6
                    I DON'T DO THE SOVIET AND RUSSIAN SOLDIERS ON NATIONAL SIGNS ... They ALL WERE SOVIET ... BE THAT PICTURES OR AHMET-KHAN OR GUDZH ...
                    1. novel66
                      novel66 27 July 2017 09: 30
                      +2
                      or, say. Degen hi
                      1. hohol95
                        hohol95 27 July 2017 15: 13
                        0
                        Exactly... good
  2. hohol95
    hohol95 25 July 2017 15: 59
    +4
    Mikhail Baryatinsky
    The Great Tank War 1939 - 1945
    “As in previous battles, the British command considered cavalry to be the most suitable means for this purpose. As already mentioned, in order to increase the striking power of the cavalry corps, they were given two battalions of the latest Mk A Whippet medium tanks, which could reach speeds of up to 12,8 km / h, i.e. twice as heavy as the heavy Mk V.
    The cavalry corps was divided into two parts. The 1st Cavalry Division of the British was ordered to catch infantry north of Luce as quickly as possible, while the 3rd Cavalry Division was to do the same south of the river. The second cavalry division of the British followed them in the second line. Battalions of Whippet tanks moved ahead of the first line divisions to cover the riders and lay passages through barbed wire fences. By 2. 10 divisions of the first line reached the Ignokur-Marselkav line and turned around to fulfill their tasks. Sixteen tanks were assigned to each brigade, consisting of three cavalry regiments and one horse-drawn battery.
    The 1st Cavalry Brigade broke through farthest, stopping in front of Framerville and Voville. The rest did not reach the milestone from which their main task was to begin - a breakthrough to the railway connecting Scholne and Rua. It would not be an exaggeration to say that cavalry could not have advanced so far without a tank cover. An attempt to carry out a cavalry attack with large forces was inevitably choked in a matter of minutes, leading to heavy losses, as evidenced by the actions of the 6th cavalry brigade southeast of Keio or the Canadian cavalry brigade near Bokur. And this is subject to the absence of a solid defense front here! Only two and a half companies of German sappers was enough to stop the advance of the 3rd Cavalry Division, and they only retreated when the tanks went on the attack and pushed them back north of the Beaufort. Only a few cavalry units were able to get here, and here the battle ended. The second line of cavalry was not introduced into battle.
    German descriptions of British cavalry attacks emphasize the role of the Whippet medium tanks. According to the Germans, if they were destroyed, the cavalry attacks would be repelled even before the heavy British tanks and infantry approached.
    According to the personnel of medium tank battalions, no interaction with the cavalry at all happened. Tanks and cavalry rather interfered with each other than helped. According to the plan of the offensive, the tanks were supposed to turn in front of the cavalry, but their speed was insufficient - the squadrons, galloping, quickly overtook them. In collisions with the enemy, tanks, on the contrary, quickly detached from the cavalry and were forced to fight on their own.
    It is necessary to mention one more episode of this battle, namely the use of the 17th battalion of armored vehicles. Off-road and trenches of the Austin armored cars were towed by supply tanks. 12 armored cars overtook the Australian infantry in the first half of the day, after which for several hours they traveled around the front from Somme in the north to Framerville in the south and fired at German headquarters, retreating military units and vehicles to the rear — in short, increased confusion and panic. But since the created panic was not used by the British troops, the actions of the battalion of armored vehicles can only be considered as a private success, which did not affect the development of events at all."
  3. tanit
    tanit 25 July 2017 16: 29
    +1
    Quote: Mikado
    an interesting story, how an analogy can be drawn raid Vasechkina and Malko through occupied Minsk on the T-28 in July 41st. Also, either in the 41st, or in the 42nd there was a case of a similar raid on HF.

    Quote: hohol95
    The Great Tank War 1939 - 1945

    But the battle described in the article was a little earlier. And on a completely different tank. And the crew of this tank are "cowardly Anglo-Saxons." smile
    Can you bring a similar feat of the RIA tankers in the First World War? hi
    Another question - and which tanks of the Russian Empire participated in that war? laughing
    1. Mikado
      Mikado 25 July 2017 16: 37
      +9
      I don’t understand what you wanted to say with your comment .. what if you like Anglo-Saxons like that, I don't mind; in fact, no one said a word about them, and the raid did not call into question.
      Can you bring a similar feat of the RIA tankers in the First World War?

      fantastic phrase.
      1. tanit
        tanit 25 July 2017 16: 50
        +3
        What did I want to say? Just that the war was World War I. And to compare the feat of the Soviet tankmen with “lucky bitch children” is not ethical. hi
        I also wanted to say - the British had tanks in the "Imperialist" and they, oddly enough, fought. And what did the RIA tanks not have from the word “completely” - does that sound less fantastic? hi
        1. Mikado
          Mikado 25 July 2017 16: 57
          +9
          And to compare the feat of the Soviet tankmen with “lucky bitch children” is not ethical.

          why is it unethical? just the first analogies in my memory! I do not seem to offend anyone's feelings. hi Yes, tanks in the Second World War were of a different level, but anti-tank weapons also did not stand still in their development.
          I also wanted to say - the British had tanks in the "Imperialist" and they, oddly enough, fought. And what did the RIA tanks not have from the word “completely” - does that sound less fantastic?

          fantasy! I always believed that the Brusilovsky breakthrough in 1916 was made with the help of 10 tanks produced by the Stalingrad Tractor Plant. And you directly nose me on .. own knowledge. crying Seriously .. how would we all know that the RIA tanks did not have the word "completely", and? hi Like, not schoolchildren are going to the site. hi
          1. tanit
            tanit 25 July 2017 17: 40
            0
            Quote: Mikado
            like, not schoolchildren are going to the site

            Are you sure everyone is registered at VO? hi I would like your confidence. recourse
            1. Mikado
              Mikado 25 July 2017 17: 43
              +3
              I think a priori site is intended for adults. hi
              1. tanit
                tanit 25 July 2017 17: 51
                0
                Quote: Mikado
                I think a priori site is intended for adults

                You know, reading articles that often appear on VO about "cowardly everyone" and especially comments on articles - I have such confidence, alas, no. hi
                1. Mikado
                  Mikado 25 July 2017 17: 54
                  +3
                  You know, reading articles that often appear on VO about "cowardly everyone" and especially comments on articles - I have such confidence, alas, no.

                  I don’t know, I don’t read such politically biased articles. The article describes the battle, a feat, there is nothing to complain about; and about cowardice in this particular case, no one on the forum said. hi
                  1. tanit
                    tanit 25 July 2017 17: 59
                    +1
                    Quote: Mikado
                    and about cowardice in this particular case, no one on the forum said.

                    Here - I agree, my sin recourse


                    Qiti
        2. hohol95
          hohol95 25 July 2017 16: 58
          +7
          The above examples of the exploits of Soviet tankmen coincide in meaning with those described in the ARTICLE and are worthy of separate articles! But in RIA there were armored cars and their crews fought no less heroically than the British and French tankmen ...
          1. Mikado
            Mikado 25 July 2017 17: 07
            +5
            But in RIA there were armored cars and their crews fought no less heroically than the British and French tankmen ...

            from Kolomiyets’s book alone, several similar feats can be cited. Starting with Captain Gurdov. drinks
            1. tanit
              tanit 25 July 2017 17: 44
              +2
              Quote: Mikado
              from Kolomiyets’s book alone, several similar feats can be cited. Starting with Captain Gurdov

              +. Nevertheless, an article about tankers? hi
              1. Mikado
                Mikado 25 July 2017 17: 50
                +2
                + for an article about tankers. AND?
                1. tanit
                  tanit 25 July 2017 17: 55
                  0
                  Quote: Mikado
                  And?

                  What is the and? Is there anything to argue about? hi Your position is clear. I kind of explained the same to mine. I don’t see a subject for dispute. request hi
                  1. Mikado
                    Mikado 25 July 2017 18: 02
                    +5
                    I did not understand a little the subject for your first comment. There was simply no reason, it seems to me. hi but - this is my opinion, I do not impose on anyone.
                    And the crew of this tank are "cowardly Anglo-Saxons."

                    no one talked about it. Their actions are all appreciated. soldier
                  2. Graz
                    Graz 26 July 2017 09: 31
                    +2
                    I see that it’s exactly you who inflate the srach in the subject at all out of business and behave like a little child, when you measure someone’s dad is cooler, you should be ashamed
              2. hohol95
                hohol95 25 July 2017 19: 26
                +4
                What was the first - a TANK or an ARMORED CAR ???
                1. Cat
                  Cat 25 July 2017 20: 11
                  +2
                  The first was Bobik, who "low tide" on the wheel of an armored car conveyed greetings to Tobik.
                  Imagine the trouble of Tobik, who in 30 degrees of frost tried to say hello to Bobik "ebb" on the tank’s iron truck!
                  Conclusion Bobik became - dad and grandfather, and Tobik ..... no!
                  From the notes of the Old Cat.
        3. revnagan
          revnagan 25 July 2017 17: 29
          +3
          Quote: tanit
          And what did the RIA tanks not have from the word “completely” - does that sound less fantastic?

          Quote: tanit
          I also wanted to say - the British had tanks in the "Imperialist" and they, oddly enough, fought.

          But the RIA didn’t have tanks, and therefore the Russians “didn’t fight”? Should you draw such conclusions according to your “logic”? And the fact that the Russian corps in the Baltic states essentially saved Paris is, of course, you don’t know?
          1. tanit
            tanit 25 July 2017 17: 42
            0
            Quote: revnagan
            But the RIA did not have tanks, and therefore the Russians "did not fight"?

            Yes, Russian TANKISTS - did not fight in World War I. hi Will you argue? request
            Happenes. laughing
            1. hohol95
              hohol95 25 July 2017 19: 33
              +3
              Please answer WHAT (except for the self-runaway vehicle with a caterpillar chassis, and the Russians had self-runaway vehicles on wheeled chassis) THE TANK CREWS DIFFERENT FROM THE CREWS OF THE ARMORED CARS in WWI ???
            2. hohol95
              hohol95 25 July 2017 21: 15
              +1

              German tankers ...
            3. hohol95
              hohol95 25 July 2017 21: 16
              +1
              British tankers
    2. hohol95
      hohol95 25 July 2017 16: 43
      +3
      The above passage of the book describes the whole battle, the hero of which was Lieutenant Arnold!
      "BOROZY (Whippets)" were supposed to pave the way for the CAVALERY - but the cavalry got bogged down and fell behind ... And all the hopes of the British commanders were connected with the CAVALERY ...
      I do not understand your complaints ...
    3. hohol95
      hohol95 25 July 2017 16: 46
      +1
      You read the whole book or read the comments more carefully ...
  4. tanit
    tanit 25 July 2017 18: 00
    +3
    Quote: Mikado
    about cowardice in this particular case, no one on the forum said.

    I agree. Got excited. feel hi
    1. Mikado
      Mikado 25 July 2017 18: 13
      +6
      accepted with respect hi drinks
      1. tanit
        tanit 25 July 2017 18: 21
        +1
        I am not ashamed to admit that I was wrong. drinks hi
  5. hohol95
    hohol95 25 July 2017 21: 55
    +1
    Regarding the BA "OSTIN" participated in this battle -
    VIKIPEDIA
    "Another modification, sometimes called the Austin model of 1918, was ordered in 1917, but due to revolutionary events in Russia, delivery was not made, but was used by the British on the Western Front, in Mesopotamia and Afghanistan."
    Armored Collection 1997 № 01 (10) Armored Car “Austin”
    “It was planned to order another 70 armored vehicles of the 3rd series in England, but with gable rear wheels and a reinforced frame, with a delivery date of September 1917. These plans were not destined to come true, although the company formally received an order for some of them In any case, in April 1918, of the 16 armored vehicles of this type, the 17th battalion of the British Tank Corps was formed.In contrast to the vehicles intended for Russia, these armored cars were armed with Hotchkiss machine guns. They took part in battles in France in the summer of 1918 of the year.
    At about the same time, several vehicles of this type entered Japan, where they were in service until the early 30s. "
  6. sivuch
    sivuch 26 July 2017 11: 18
    +2
    Is there any German loss data? It is unlikely that they completely coincide
    1. novel66
      novel66 27 July 2017 09: 37
      +4
      but where is the panic from? retreat - when is there exactly how many people were killed precisely from this tank? God forbid to estimate the general losses, but they salty, apparently, pretty much - no wonder they filled their faces
  7. Conductor
    Conductor 30 July 2017 17: 51
    0
    No, but what kind of view does he have in the camp! Like a picnic.
    1. Monarchist
      Monarchist 2 August 2017 16: 47
      0
      Quote: Conductor
      No, but what kind of view does he have in the camp! Like a picnic.

      Just compare with prisoners in Buchenwald or Auschwitz