The Crusader, Eighth Army Weekly, No. 46, Vol 4, March 15th 1943

C R U S A D E R Dvr N.S. Coutts, M AC N.Z. E .F . : W ith regard to your article entitled “Benders v. Menders” we would like to ask a few questions in fairness to the drivers. W e read that a certain Ford truck came in with a great list of trouble to be remedied. In this list it was stated that a “poo!" en­ gine was fitted. But what amazed us was that it is also stated that the distributor, dynamo and start­ er had to be overhauled and a new water-pump fitted. Having had several pool mo­ tors fitted we know that a pool engine has these parts fitted and in working order, so why make this long list sound much worse? If. as you suggest, these parts are again overhauled in forward areas we are at last enlightened as to why we are told : “T oo busy today, come back tomorrow, chum !” W hy spoil a good little rag with this type of propaganda ? Remember the old saying : “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time ; but you can't fool A LL the people ALL of the time. Unit P e ts Corner “ B E S S I E ” Dvr J. Burnett sends us this snap of “ Bessie,” mascot of Eighth Army Headquarters M. T . Section, and adds : “She was pick­ ed up at Gambut in April, 1942. She is well known throughout the camp and is the pet of the M. T .' Section. She has given birth to two fine healthy pups. “Diana” end “ Minnie,” neither of which have yet graced the camera." O.C. Workshops makes the fol­ lowing comment on Dvr Coutts' query. “ Ford engines are being issued from base after overhaul less dy­ namo, starter, distributor, carbur­ ettor. water-pumps. etc. In other words, the bare engine arrives and the accessories from the old engine have to be overhauled and fitted to the new pool engine. A visit to any stores depoc will con­ firm this." W ell, Dvr Coutts, it looks as if the fooling isn’t being done by “Crusader” ! * * * Dvr A. R. Desmond, R.A.S.C.: It is not to be expected that an article like “Benders v. Menders’ will escape unscathed. No one will dispute the fact that there are bad drivers, any more than Ithey d dispute the existence of “ dud" fitters, who spend their time “botching” jobs. It is so easy to sling the blame on the driver ! But how about the other side of the story ? You quote the fact that “W ork­ shops” did 1.400 miles in three months with only four broken springs. So what ? Compared to the average M .T. Section, W ork­ shops waggons are static. Some­ one has to do the running around, bringing rations, petrol and N.A.A.F.I. (!!) stuff. W ear and tear can only be expected. Act­ ually. the article in general ap­ pears to be directed principally against staff-car drivers. But is it generally realised that the cars used are civvy' cars — the only concession made to the hard going is the fitting of sand or track tyres ? So that considering the tyres of ground and mileage covered, is it surprising that fre­ quent attention is required ? The cars were never designed for the purpose they’ve been put to. W ith regard to the detailed Bill of Fare' on the station wag­ gon. You state. “A pool engine was fitted...” Now I stand to be corrected, but usually a “ Pool” engine is delivered complete with dynamo, starter motor, water pumps, and distributors, the only attention required by the latter being the removal of the grease applied to prevent any corrosion. W h y then all this extra work on these odds and ends ? I am a staunch supporter of your little paper, but for once I find I cannot agree with your isentiments. Still, we ll agree to differ. All the best for the future.” Thanks for your good wishes, despite your disapproval of “Ben­ ders v. Menders.” Actually, the article was not “ aimed at” any section of Eighth Army drivers ; it merely points out that a good dead of needless damage and work is caused by going too fast over bad tracks. And if you re-read it you will see that it says plainly that the regular driver is N O T usually the worst offender. W ith regard to your “ pool engine” cri­ ticism, see Workshops reply to Dvr Desmond. W e have received several other letters on this subject on much the same lines, but have not space to publish all of them. * * * Tpr W .J. Peden s Please settle an* argument on which depends many ackers and my prestige as a Man-about-London. Is the Cafe Royal in Regent Street or Picca­ dilly ? 1 say Regent Street. As Men-About-London oursel­ ves we’re glad to assure you that your prestige is retained. * * * Cpl. A.D. Williams, R .T .R . : Yes, the Argyle Theatre, Birken­ head had a direct hit during the 1940 Merseyside blitzes. W e ’ve no way of knowing if it’s been subsequently reopened, but a newspaper report of the period says the famous musical hall was “ wrecked.” * * * L/Cpl. J. Reagan, R.E. : Settle an argument, please, and tell us the longest odds ever paid out on a British racecourse. One hun­ dred ackers is involved. 3,410 to 1. Paid on Coole in a race at Haydock Park in 1929. This bet-settling is causing us quite a lot of trouble. In future we’re going to demand a percen­ tage ! Sgt. E . Longman, R.A .F. (Yes, it s Edgar !) : I was tickled by the arguments which raged about the brother and sister problem. Here’s another one that usually puts a match to the fireworks. A man sends his shoes to the cobb­ lers, calls to collect them and is told the repairs will cost hinr 15s. He proffers a £1 note but the cobbler has no change. The cobb­ ler takes the note to the butcher next door, obtains change and gives the customer five shillings. Later the butcher rushes round and informs the cobbler the note is a dud. The cobbler gives the butcher a genuine £1 out of his till and burns the dud note. The problem is — how much has the cobbler lost on the deal ? W ell, we say £1. And we ad­ vise you to drown all the red her­ rings in the story before you put pencil to paper to tell us we’re wrong. * * * Sgmn H, Lyle, 1st Armd Div. Sigs i I read with interest the claim of C.S.M . Collins, that 7 Armd Div. are the only true des­ ert rats. As a member of a divis­ ion which has not been publicis­ ed, I would like to point out that if we have been referred to as desert rats, then it was by some­ one who had a grudge against us. W e are the Rhino Boys’ and proud of it. Also he said that 7 Armd Div. have never had a “write-up.” W ell, the other night a glowing account was given on the wireless, describing how 7 Armd Div. drove the enemy from Alamein to Tripoli. * * * B.S.M . H. Holding, 76 A.Tk. Regt R.A. : I would be much ob­ liged if you would publish the enclosed photograph of my dog. which was lost between Tmimi- Gazala on the Tobruk road on the 8th. Feb. 1943. W ould finder please return to me or let me know ? G e o r g e G u m p t io n i\o. 23 — D ie lic D i le m m a !
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