The Crusader, Eighth Army Weekly, No. 42, Vol 4, February 15th 1943

C R U S A D E S Here is one example of the sort of thing that breaks the heart of the boys in ¦ the workshops. Recently a Ford station waggon was towed in. This was the “bill of fare.” Front springs repaired ; steering drop- arm straightened ; radiator repaired ; radiator condenser repaired ; “pool” en­ gine fitted ; new carburettor fitted; two rear springs fitted } chassis plated and welded; brakes overhauled ; new speedo- 'able fitted ; front and rear bumpers raightened ; distributors, dynamo and rter overhauled ; wiring overhauled ; battery fitted ; new water pump fit' t«4 : body re-painted. $ E / V T v . M E N D E R S to carry at least twice the average load of their class. Naturally the main job of this particular workshop is to keep Eighth Army Head­ quarters rolling along. That takes them most of their time — ten hours solid is their average working day when not on the move. But they do find time occasionally for odd jobs. One day a padre brought in an expensive watch and asked if th e work­ shops could do anything about it. He near­ ly fainted when the O.C. set to work on it with a soldering iron — but the watch went. Another visiter brought in a pipe that had broken off at th e stem. The O.C. mended it. The visitor thanked him nicely and asked for a fill of tobacco ! He got it. SPARE A THOUGHT And one day the “Eighth Army News” people came along with the inking disc of the treadle press they had taken over from Jerry in Benghazi. The enemy had done a spot of sabotage on it and the news couldn’t be got out till it was put right. The work­ shops boys went to work and did the job. So when you read all about it in “Eighth Army News” spare a kind thought for those long-suffering, much-maligned toilers 2 — the workshops — and don’t charge that pot-hole as if it were a personal enemy. * 3 ? No. 15. — 173rd Extraordinary Diversion and Traffic Reduction Post. - 3 - L i t t l e K n o w n U n i t s o f t h e W .D . b y B r i a n R o b b I t ’s enough to break your bloody heart,” sighed the sergeant fitter as he watched the staff car disappear in a series of leaps and lurches down the pot-holed track. The sergeant is noted for the philosophic calm of his tem­ perament. Hence the mildness of his comment. “That car has been in twice this week already with busted springs. I bet my back teeth she’ll be in again tomorrow." The sergeant fitter was right. That is the sort of thing No. 1 W ork­ shops platoon, R.A.S.C. which has nursed the transport of Eighth Army Headquarters ever since its formation well over a year ago, has to put up with month after month. It's the sort of thing scores of workshops attached to formations throughout Eighth Army have to put up with. And according to experts at least 33% of it is unnecessary. TOO FAST “Most of the damage is done by driving too fast for the state of the track,” say they. “Overtaking at speed along pot-holed road margins is a common cause of trouble. And it’s not the humble driver who is us­ ually the worst offender. "Officers and other ranks are equal offenders. In fact some of them seem to think that a Government vehide has no feeling and they treat it in a way that would give them the shivers if they saw the same medicine being handed out to their own car at home. Of course, sometimes every minute IS vital and they have to speed regardless. But usually it's just thoughtlessness.” And, of course, the owner “must have it back tonight.” He got it four days later — I and he was doing well at that. And here is another recent example, this time a 3-ton Chev. 12/1/43—front spring repaired. 15/1—right front spring repaired. 23/1—right front spring repaired. 27/1—right front spring repaired ; centre bolt and two U- bolts replaced } front axle straightened ; 3 big ends run. At least four of these breakages were due simply to driving too fast over bad roads. Each “job" took about three hours, so that a total of twelve man-hours was wasted— to say nothing of the materials used. WORK IT OUT That in itself may not sound much. But since November 5 this workshop alone has done at least 2,000 “jobs" of which about 700 were due simply to careless driving and bad load stowage. At an average of three man-hours per job that makes more than 2,000 man-hours of unnecessary work, plus waste of valuable material at a time when every spare has to be transported thousands off miles across the sea and hundreds of miles along roads already overcrowded with vital supplies for the fighting troops. Multiply that by a hundred or so for the Eighth Army as a whole and it's easy to see how careless driving adds to the bur­ den of maintaining a fast-moving pursuit. And to show that the workshops men are not just talking through their hats when they speak of unnecessary damage, it may be added that in the total of 1,400 miles this Unit has covered in the past three months only four springs have been broken between its ten vehicles, although they have
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