Sir John Valentine Carden survives.

My understanding of Jerrycan is that 2 men can carry a pull one for any reasonable distance while one man can carry 2 empty's
Two men carrying one jerrycan? Carrying two full cans for (IIRC) 100m used to be part of the Combat Fitness Test (8 mile squadded loaded march carrying 25 or 35lb (dependant on whether you were combat or support arms) plus water and personal weapon followed by a selection from jerrycan carry, trench jump (jumping across a six foot "trench", from what I can remember), lifting full jerrycans onto a four tonner, fireman's carry of an oppo over (again IIRC) 100m and probably a few others that the last twenty plus years have erased from my memory now).

Like @vl100butch's dad, I've done the carrying four at a time thing but it really hurts after a fairly short distance and it really is awkward as fuck unless you've got hands like an inbred farmer - if your hands are any smaller than size Wurzel the two outside ones start slipping after a minute or so (unless they're empty).
 
I don't know about there being enough British Tanks to be able to send some to Malaya, but if they don't need all the captured Italian Tanks in the Middle East it would be no effort to ship some out east.

Assuming better tanks means fewer losses (and assuming we avoid some of the awful desperation tanks like the Covenanter), I don't see any reason why you couldn't get at least a couple of regiments worth of Matildas out to the Far East by mid 1941 in this world. North Africa should go much better with more and better tanks, meaning the Afrikakorps may even never make it if the Italians throw the towel in early enough. Even with some units being sent to Greece/Crete there should still be enough left in the kitty for a couple of hundred for Malaya so long as someone can distract Winston from maps of the Balkans for long enough to get them onto a ship east.

Whether Percival has the balls to actually deploy them in time is another question but even one or two armoured regiments is going to put a nasty dent in Tojo's plans for Malaya. The trick is whether you can also prop Borneo, Java and Sumatra up to prevent Singapore from being cut off from resupply.
 
Okay. So what improvements are likely to be made to the British tanks once the evacuation is complete? I'm presuming the cupola is one, but does anyone else have any ideas?
I guess the main things would be about ergonomics and the interior layout. The Valiant's looking to be a good tank and the shine on the Matilda I and II will remain for some time due to their performance in the Battle of France.

I'd assume that the light tank will largely go the way of the dodo, how have the cruisers performed in battle? IIRC they did well but the real star of the show was the heavier armoured Matilda's, so the UK might look at the Valiant 'Cruiser' variant instead as thats got considerably better protection than the other cruisers in service.

As for changes, I don't know if there will be time for major changes, so what we might see is stuff done internally, and the fitting of storage boxes outside. The lack of communications, the insane obcession with radio NOT being used and other things might well go away, as well as the army seeing the need for infantry to keep up with the tanks as TTL's Arras battle was initially a pure tank engagement as their infantry that was suppose to be supporting them was bogged up in the rear and marching to the battle on foot.

So we might not see many technical changes (save perhaps improved radios etc) but doctrinal ones instead.
 
Assuming better tanks means fewer losses (and assuming we avoid some of the awful desperation tanks like the Covenanter), I don't see any reason why you couldn't get at least a couple of regiments worth of Matildas out to the Far East by mid 1941 in this world. North Africa should go much better with more and better tanks, meaning the Afrikakorps may even never make it if the Italians throw the towel in early enough. Even with some units being sent to Greece/Crete there should still be enough left in the kitty for a couple of hundred for Malaya so long as someone can distract Winston from maps of the Balkans for long enough to get them onto a ship east.

Whether Percival has the balls to actually deploy them in time is another question but even one or two armoured regiments is going to put a nasty dent in Tojo's plans for Malaya. The trick is whether you can also prop Borneo, Java and Sumatra up to prevent Singapore from being cut off from resupply.
As I have pointed out before, what is required is a complete rethink amongst the heirachy in Malaya as to how to conduct their defence. Kuala Lumpa railway station was held up in construction for a decade while they figured out that it's roof didn't need to support it's own weight in snow. The English were unable to realise that it didn't snow in Malaya. The same went with their thinking about deploying armour in the colony. It was simply too hard for them to realise that whereas when they first settled the place it was covered in dense jungle but after a century after colonisation they had largely replaced that with rubber plantations. The result was it was much easier to move off road than they realised. The Japanese were under no such illusions. The British refused to prepare defences in and around Singapore because they felt it would "send the wrong message" to the natives. So, their naval guns only faced the sea and didn't have any HE rounds for use against infantry. Malaya was a train wreck and it showed. Percival arrived too late to change that.
 
I guess the main things would be about ergonomics and the interior layout. The Valiant's looking to be a good tank and the shine on the Matilda I and II will remain for some time due to their performance in the Battle of France.
The Matilda 1 is out of production, and the only vehicles left are in North Africa. The Matilda II does look good, but it's very much a reserve, something you throw in when you don't need to get where you're going fast.

As for changes, I don't know if there will be time for major changes, so what we might see is stuff done internally, and the fitting of storage boxes outside. The lack of communications, the insane obcession with radio NOT being used and other things might well go away, as well as the army seeing the need for infantry to keep up with the tanks as TTL's Arras battle was initially a pure tank engagement as their infantry that was suppose to be supporting them was bogged up in the rear and marching to the battle on foot.

So we might not see many technical changes (save perhaps improved radios etc) but doctrinal ones instead.
Mm, I do see cupolas being a thing, at least on the Valiant Mk. II (the 6-pounder one, which hasn't entered production yet), as the increase in situational awareness one grants could be really useful.
 
Wow, get distracted by work for even a little bit and the conversation really moves on.

To return to where the timeline is, I still think there is more butterfly potential from the longer holding of Calais and Dunkirk. Given the state they will be in and the lack of equipment available, I am not convinced more rescued British troops at least, would be sent with a 2nd BEF. In addition, even if you have more French troops to send home, it does not mean you have the logistical capacity to do so.

So combine more soldiers available to defend Britain with the greater Luftwaffe casualties (even if you allow the same level of RAF casualties) from fighting over Calais as other posters here have discussed; as I said, it may not butterfly away the Battle of Britain but, increased casualties, greater maintenance problems and a stronger available Allied army must have some effect. Especially given Hitler's paranoia about the safety of his forces, lack of confidence in the surface fleet, the need to prep for Barbarossa and his desire to keep Britain intact (at that point anyway).
 
The Matilda 1 is out of production, and the only vehicles left are in North Africa. The Matilda II does look good, but it's very much a reserve, something you throw in when you don't need to get where you're going fast.


Mm, I do see cupolas being a thing, at least on the Valiant Mk. II (the 6-pounder one, which hasn't entered production yet), as the increase in situational awareness one grants could be really useful.

Oh good point about the Cupola's, and IIRC the Brits managed to capture some Panzers and send them off to the UK, and the Panzer III had a commander's cupola. So when they're being checked a commander or other crew could point out that this is a very good idea as it gives you vision without having to stick your head out (IIRC the UK didn't fit cupolas on tanks until the Comet). And that could be added to the Mk II and later models of the Valiant Cruiser.
 
Two men carrying one jerrycan? Carrying two full cans for (IIRC) 100m used to be part of the Combat Fitness Test (8 mile squadded loaded march carrying 25 or 35lb (dependant on whether you were combat or support arms) plus water and personal weapon followed by a selection from jerrycan carry, trench jump (jumping across a six foot "trench", from what I can remember), lifting full jerrycans onto a four tonner, fireman's carry of an oppo over (again IIRC) 100m and probably a few others that the last twenty plus years have erased from my memory now).

Like @vl100butch's dad, I've done the carrying four at a time thing but it really hurts after a fairly short distance and it really is awkward as fuck unless you've got hands like an inbred farmer - if your hands are any smaller than size Wurzel the two outside ones start slipping after a minute or so (unless they're empty).
Carrying 2 for 100m might be okay for the purposes of the CFT but doing it under field conditions (Wet, cold, tired and hungry etc ) where you have to repeat it multiple times might get a bit boring. Fast.

And Weimer era malnourished Germans would not have been a chad as you ;)
 
So combine more soldiers available to defend Britain with the greater Luftwaffe casualties (even if you allow the same level of RAF casualties) from fighting over Calais as other posters here have discussed; as I said, it may not butterfly away the Battle of Britain but, increased casualties, greater maintenance problems and a stronger available Allied army must have some effect. Especially given Hitler's paranoia about the safety of his forces, lack of confidence in the surface fleet, the need to prep for Barbarossa and his desire to keep Britain intact (at that point anyway).
The big difference will be in Britain's perception of the situation. OTL they were facing the fact that Germany had rapidly overrun France, and they'd barely escaped by the skin of their teeth. Here it's more a case of faults of poor organisation, limited equipment, etc. and despite that, they still managed to give the Germans bloody nose. In addition, they have hundreds of tanks that are superior to anything Germany can put up, so even if an invasion is imminent they'll be ready for it.

Oh good point about the Cupola's, and IIRC the Brits managed to capture some Panzers and send them off to the UK, and the Panzer III had a commander's cupola. So when they're being checked a commander or other crew could point out that this is a very good idea as it gives you vision without having to stick your head out (IIRC the UK didn't fit cupolas on tanks until the Comet). And that could be added to the Mk II and later models of the Valiant Cruiser.
I understand some later Cromwells had them too, but yes, not much before the Comet. I wonder how much that will increase the effectiveness of the vehicle.
 
inbred farmer
When other people do it it is inbreeding. When we do it it is linebreeding. 😉.

Jerry cans are awkward to carry two to a hand, but I used to know guys that would put a stick through the handles and carry 6 at a time. It hurts but it moves them quick once you get the hang of it.
 
Didn't Churchills have a cupola with all round vision blocks/periscopes?

Looking at pictures of them, it seems to be a nope. Whilst the commander had periscopes and the like there was no true cupola that I've been able to see. The Comet was the 1st British tank to get a commander's cupola akin to the German's one IE a raised area on the turret around the commander's hatch.

Looking at some pics of the Mark I and III Churchill I couldn't see much in the way of a cupola but the Mark VII seems to have a raised bit but its not a major cupola and is more like more vision blocks and scopes than a cupola.
 
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26 May 1940. Advanced HQ BEF
26 May 1940. Advanced HQ BEF

Lord Gort read the message from London noting that the Weygrand plan for a combined push from both south and north to cut off the German spearhead, and reunite the allied forces, was no longer going to happen. The advice from London was now to look at moving the BEF to the coast where the Royal Navy and RAF would do their best to lift as much of the force off the continent at Dunkirk and whatever beaches could be used. While not entirely surprised, Gort was conscious that the chances of lifting the majority of his command and their equipment would be highly unlikely. Gort had appointed General Ronald Adam to take command of Dunkirk with this in mind, so word would have to get to him to moving. That raised the question of Calais. The port was still open, though it was now surrounded. If Calais was available, as well as Dunkirk, then he could probably get more men and equipment out.


He looked again at the note he’d got the previous day from General Thorne, who said he didn’t have the resources to force open and then keep a corridor open between Gravelines and Calais. The defenders of Calais had most of a battalion of Infantry Tanks as part of their defence. He asked one of his aides to find out about the rest of the First Army Tank Brigade. He knew they had been preparing to attack south, and they could well have been moved to plug the gap between the British and Belgian army. It may well be that the infantry tanks would be better along the canal line. In the northern sector most of the attacking troops against the Belgians were infantry units, and while the panzer divisions seemed to be sitting on their heels for the moment, having the Tank Brigade ready to face the German tanks, or possibly fighting their way through to Calais would be a better use for them. While his aide was trying to find out where the infantry tanks were, Gort also noted that the surviving light tanks of the Reconnaissance Brigade would probably be needed to support the troops on the Canal Line.

Lt-Colonel Fitzmaurice had seniority over Lt-Col Heyland, so he has assumed command of the combined 4th/7th Bn RTR, or the First Army Tank Brigade as some still called it. Heyland, along with some surplus crews had been shipped off to Dunkirk and then home, someone had decided that the lessons of Arras had to be learned. They had been at Carvin since withdrawing from Arras, and the men had been rested and the tanks had been able to get as much maintenance as spare parts and limited facilities allowed. Having been ordered the day before to move towards Ypres, a motorcycle despatch rider had arrived with new orders. Instead of Ypres, they were to move to St Omer, where a Company of 8th Bn RTR were present. Further orders would follow, but General Thorne of 48th Division would be the officer to report to. Fitzmaurice called an Orders Group, they would need to work out a new line of march, and with the roads the way they were, and the constant looking at the sky to check of Stukas, it was going to be another long day.

NB text in italic differs from OTL. It was a bit later on the day of 26 May that the decision to evacuate was made, here it is about 8-12 hours earlier. The tank brigade had pretty much ceased to be at this point OTL, but there were still a few Matildas floating about, the last couple, I believe were left at the Dunkirk perimeter. I'm still not convinced that Calais can be kept open for evacuation, but having sixty-odd infantry tanks, along the canal line will put a stick in the spokes of the Panzer divisions when the halt order is lifted.
 
Anyone know why the British didn't like cupolas? They hardly seem a difficult thing to add.
They didn't like them 'cause they were afraid they would be hit and swept away, taking the commander's head with it. They purposefully designed the cruisers from about 1940 to 1943 with out them.
 
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