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  #1  
Old 10-04-03, 21:05
John Sliz John Sliz is offline
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Default Storm and Assault Boats

Hello, I'm new to this forum.
I am researching the 23rd, R.C.E. during Operation Berlin and looking for information on the Stormboats that they used. All I know is that they were about 20' long and weighed about 600 pounds.
Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 18-04-03, 16:41
Art Johnson
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Default Storm Boats

If they are the same boats that we trained on they were collapsable with wooden bottoms and canvas sides. there was a wooden gunnell I think it was called around the top. Wooden stays were inserted between the gunnell and the bottom to form the sides and rear of the boat. They were very heavy and awkward to handle.
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Old 18-04-03, 18:37
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Default Re: Storm Boats

Quote:
Originally posted by Art Johnson
If they are the same boats that we trained on they were collapsable with wooden bottoms and canvas sides. there was a wooden gunnell I think it was called around the top. Wooden stays were inserted between the gunnell and the bottom to form the sides and rear of the boat. They were very heavy and awkward to handle.
Art, would they be the same boats featured in the 82nd's river crossing segment of the movie A BRIDGE TOO FAR?
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  #4  
Old 18-04-03, 18:57
Garry Shipton (RIP) Garry Shipton (RIP) is offline
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Default 20' Stormboats

According to Lt Col Mike.l.Tucker of Montreal,Officer Commanding of this 250 man RCE 23rd Field Company unit,the boats were collapsible 20' with 50HP outboard motors.Their only claim to fame was the rescue of the British Airborne during Operation Market Garden.At the time of the rescue they had the reputation of being"the hottest engineering unit in the Allied armies".The rescue consisted of less than 2500 troopers..At the end of the engagement there were only two boats servicable.Mike Tucker's argument was reinforcement for the beleaguered troopers across the river.But by the time they were called upon,the paras had been almost surrounded.A thank you note was the only reward received from British Military leaders after this courageous acheivement.Afterwards they went back to Belgium chopping trees for courdoroy roads .this info taken from an interview with Charles Lynch,a distinguished wartime journalist from Ottawa,on the 30th Anniversary of the action.

Unsung heros all.
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Old 18-04-03, 19:21
Garry Shipton (RIP) Garry Shipton (RIP) is offline
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Default Re: Re: Storm Boats

Quote:
Originally posted by Geoff Winnington-Ball
Art, would they be the same boats featured in the 82nd's river crossing segment of the movie A BRIDGE TOO FAR?
GWB,the storm boats if someone out there has photos ,had angled flat front prows,being knockdowns.Even after the war the same design was used for a commercial 10ft collapsible recreational digny.The flat prow design was necessitated becaucse of loading/storage logistics during transport on C60 30CWTS.There's a picture out there somewhere of them loaded on CMP's.As to the movie Band of Brothers,the prows are pointed,there is the absence of the 50HP outboards,versus them paddling in the movie,& the erroneous declaration of the British para commander,that there were only 110 men.What happened to the balance of the paras rescued out of the total 2500?

Being Canadians,another example of our quiet attitude after courageous deeds.No accolades or medals,just a thank you note
OH well,war is hell!
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  #6  
Old 18-04-03, 20:30
Art Johnson
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Default Storm boats.

Jiff they look the same to me and we also received them out of the back of 60cwt. Those bastards are heavy, it was pitch dark and then you have to put them together then carry them down to the river bank and launch them.
I had a further river crossing in Korea where they used rubber boats and the RCE handled the operation. What a difference, they had me into a lifejacket and in the boat in nothing flat. Being done in daylight probably helped too.
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  #7  
Old 19-04-03, 02:24
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Post Re: Storm Boats 1

John;

Storm Boats(Assault Boat):
Construction: - Wood and Canvas folding boat
Dimensions: - 12 feet 1˝ inches by 4 feet 1 inch
Weight: - 174 pounds
Capacity: 1x Infantry Section (10 men) plus 2x Sappers
Mobility: - by paddle (4x paddles plus 1x steering oar), or by hauling across, or by outboard motor

Diagram:
Attached Thumbnails
storm boat.jpg  
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Last edited by Mark W. Tonner; 19-04-03 at 02:39.
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Old 19-04-03, 02:29
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Post Re: Storm Boats 2

John:

Storm Boat (Assault Boat) Picture:
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  #9  
Old 19-04-03, 02:42
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Post Re: Storm Boats 3

John;

Canadian Sappers launching a Storm Boat on the Ems, Apr 45:
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  #10  
Old 19-04-03, 02:51
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Default Re: Re: Re: Storm Boats

Quote:
Originally posted by Garry Shipton
As to the movie Band of Brothers,the prows are pointed,there is the absence of the 50HP outboards,versus them paddling in the movie,& the erroneous declaration of the British para commander,that there were only 110 men.What happened to the balance of the paras rescued out of the total 2500?
Garry,

I hadn't mentioned the boats used in BoB, but since you did, I can answer your question... Easy Coy was involved much after the fact of the main rescue (by Canadian sappers), picking up 'strays' who had been smuggled down to the river much later by friendly Dutch (at quite some cost). That operation is well-documented in Leo Heaps' book THE GREY GOOSE OF ARNHEM. Well worth the read.
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  #11  
Old 19-04-03, 02:55
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Default Re: Mark

Thanks for the info and pics... although it looks like you've shown us three different boats! I presume there were variants... anyone have a screen capture of the ABTF boats? It would be nice to compare...
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  #12  
Old 19-04-03, 03:08
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Post Re: Storm Boats 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Sliz
All I know is that they were about 20' long and weighed about 600 pounds.
John, the only boat that comes close to your description is the Folding Boat Equipment Mk III (part of which appears in the attached image).

This folding boat equipment consists of folding boats, superstructure for both bridge use and rafting, trestles, anchors and anchor stores, auxiliary rafting gear. The equipment may be made up into rafts for class 5 or class 9 loads, or used as single boats to carry 16x fully equipped men and 5x boat crew.

Construction: - Wood and Canvas
Dimensions: - 21 feet 10 inches by 6 feet 8 inches
Weight: - 870 pounds

Hope all of this helps.

Cheers

Folding Boat Equipment Mk III in bridging configuration:
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  #13  
Old 19-04-03, 03:23
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Unhappy Re: Re: Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Winnington-Ball
although it looks like you've shown us three different boats!
What can I say,...old age creeping up....eyesight dimming...I had a brain fart and yes, has far as I've seen, there were variants.

Cheers
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  #14  
Old 19-04-03, 04:38
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Post Re: Storm Boat Variants 1

An example of a Storm Boat variant (Aug 1944):
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  #15  
Old 19-04-03, 04:40
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Post Re: Storm Boat Variants 2

Another example of a Storm Boat variant (Aug 1944):
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  #16  
Old 23-04-04, 22:46
John Sliz John Sliz is offline
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Default the million dollar question: Stormboats

Here is a challenge! If anyone can solve this mystery, I'll be amazed - and extremely grateful!
Stormboats in WW2 were made by both the U.S. and the U.K.
The American boats were smaller, while the British boats were 20' long and could take loads such as a 6 pdr AT gun. Where were the British boats made and how many were made during the war? Any idea if the plans of these boats still exist? I would love to get a hold of the plans!!! I know someone who wants to reproduce a Storm boat.
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  #17  
Old 24-04-04, 18:34
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Default Bridge too far...

...the movie supposedly used British storm boats. The Americans needed boats to assault a bridge from both ends at once and whne the British boats showed up they were quite miffed that they were canvas with wood bottom. They were too flimsy in their opinion. However they worked well in practice.
Soooo, if these are the boats, rent the movie to get a good idea as they show the boats being assembled, stowed on trucks , beng put in water, loaded , etc.
I got bought it on DVD for $4.88 at Walmart
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  #18  
Old 24-04-04, 19:56
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Default Storm boats

Did you not ask this same question last year at this time?
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  #19  
Old 24-04-04, 20:16
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Default Stormboats

It appears that the Canadians and British used different types of stormboats. Here is a link to an article by Terry Copp.

http://www.legionmagazine.ca/feature...9.asp?id=print

"The 20th and 23rd field companies had been attached to 43 Wessex Div. in an attempt to bolster the division’s river crossing capacity. The Canadians were equipped with stormboats powered by Evinrude motors. Each boat could carry 36 men. The British made do with smaller assault boats that had to be paddled."
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  #20  
Old 26-04-04, 17:01
John Sliz John Sliz is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally posted by Art Johnson
Did you not ask this same question last year at this time?
I did ask a question on Storm boats last year (and I'm grateful for the pictures and info that was provided), but then I didn't know that there were two types of Stormboats, British and American.
Now, I'm talking Storm Boats here, not Assault boats, which were quite different. At Arnhem the British used British made Assault boats and the Canadians used British made Storm Boats.
I know that this question is a long shot, but I'm hoping that someone somewhere knows the origins of these boats. Even the RE museum in the UK doesn't have an idea.
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  #21  
Old 26-05-04, 17:44
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Default Re: Storm boats

Quote:
Originally posted by Art Johnson
Did you not ask this same question last year at this time?
Merged this thread with the thread "Stormboats" of April 2003.

Interesting subject which could do with a little more attention. I searched ArchiviaNet for storm boat and storm boats but could not find any pictures online.

H.
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  #22  
Old 26-05-04, 22:20
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Default

Here's a site with some pictures showing some details of storm boats.
http://www.40thengineers.org/storm_boats.htm
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  #23  
Old 27-05-04, 12:47
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Default Re: Re: Storm Boats 1

Quote:
Originally posted by Mark W. Tonner

Storm Boats(Assault Boat):
Construction: - Wood and Canvas folding boat
Dimensions: - 12 feet 1˝ inches by 4 feet 1 inch
Weight: - 174 pounds
Capacity: 1x Infantry Section (10 men) plus 2x Sappers
Mobility: - by paddle (4x paddles plus 1x steering oar), or by hauling across, or by outboard motor
This type of boat seems to have been used for swimming Universal Carriers as pictured in a 1947 British/Canadian manual on crossing water obstacles. It is referred to as "Attachment, carrier flotation, assault boat. Mark 2." (Source: http://bcoy1cpb.pacdat.net/universal_carrier.htm)
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carrier_flotation.jpg  
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  #24  
Old 27-05-04, 13:32
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Default Re: Storm Boats

Quote:
Originally posted by Art Johnson
If they are the same boats that we trained on they were collapsable with wooden bottoms and canvas sides. there was a wooden gunnell I think it was called around the top. Wooden stays were inserted between the gunnell and the bottom to form the sides and rear of the boat. They were very heavy and awkward to handle.
In The Mark River Crossing Albert E. Siklosi recalls having to use assault boats furnished by the Canadians: "But these were described as collapsible and of canvas covered frame construction. a type we had never seen or used before. They were rated as 12 men, 2 engineers and 10 infantry. The Canadians were to instruct us on their assembly and use when they made delivery."
"Where were the Canadians? Finally we heard their lorries coming and they pulled up beside us. We all pitched in to unload the boats, which were in the collapsed state for easy transport. We were shown how to open the canvas covered frames and snap them into the locked position to form an assault boat shape. They proved to be deceptively heavy, almost the same as the all wood American model. Twelve paddles were placed in each boat which helped increase the weight. Their job done, the Canadians wished us good luck and took off in their lorries."
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Old 27-05-04, 14:43
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Default American Storm Boats

Quote:
Originally posted by cletrac
Here's a site with some pictures showing some details of storm boats.
http://www.40thengineers.org/storm_boats.htm
Great pictures, Sean. Apart from the Minnitonka Boat Works in Wayzota, Minnesota, these types of boats were built by the Century Boat Company, Manistee, Michigan. From what I've read and seen until now, the design of the American Storm Boats used a "plastic bonded plywood" construction. Although the use of resins is common practice today, 60 years ago this was quite novel and resulted in a light yet rugged boat, a much better design than the British/Canadian canvas/wood folding boat.
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  #26  
Old 27-05-04, 14:49
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Default

Quote:
Originally posted by John Sliz
I did ask a question on Storm boats last year (and I'm grateful for the pictures and info that was provided), but then I didn't know that there were two types of Stormboats, British and American.
Now, I'm talking Storm Boats here, not Assault boats, which were quite different. At Arnhem the British used British made Assault boats and the Canadians used British made Storm Boats.
I know that this question is a long shot, but I'm hoping that someone somewhere knows the origins of these boats.
John, the Engineer chapter of A Military Encyclopedia Based on Operations in the Italian Campaigns, 1943-1945 gives a nice overview of the differences between British and American Storm and Assault Boats:

Quote:
Section 8. Comparison of River Crossing Equipment

1. Assault Boats:

a. British Canvas Boats.
(1) Easily portable (Could be carried open by four men).
(2) Easily maneuvered in the water when loaded.
(3) Easily damaged in transit by rough handling.
(4) Not easily repaired.

b. U.S. Plywood Boat, M-2.
(1) Not so easily portable.
(2) Easily maneuvered in the water, loaded or empty.
(3) Not so easily damaged in transit (boats "nest").
(4) More easily repaired.
(5) Served dual purpose (i.e. making infantry support rafts and expedient assault boat bridge).
(6) Much noisier in use with non-rubber shod personnel.

c. Conclusions:
(1) The American pattern assault boat was decidedly more robust and had the great advantage of dual purpose. However, the British boat proved itself perfectly adequate for its primary task which did not require great durability.

2. Storm Boats:

a. British Storm Boat.
(1) Heavier to carry across country.
(2) Would carry heavier load (6 pounder or jeep though latter a top heavy load).
(3) Carried ten men, but with a lower speed.

b. American Storm Boat.
(1) Carried by 6 men (plus 2 for motor).
(2) Would carry up to 1500 lbs with very little reduction in speed.
(3) Carried 7 men (above crew) at maximum speed.
(4) Was the faster boat; would beach at full speed.

c. Conclusions:
(1) For assault crossing of personnel the U.S. boat carried fewer men but got them across the river and in action much faster.
(2) For cargo carrying, British boat carried a greater load but at a slower speed.
There is a lot of confusion over the use of the term "Assault Boat" and "Storm Boat". I understand during river crossing operations, Storm Boats (fast and small) were initially used to ferry infantry across, followed by Assault Boats, which are larger and slower than the former.

HTH,
Hanno
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  #27  
Old 27-05-04, 16:13
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Default Re: 20' Stormboats

Quote:
Originally posted by Garry Shipton
According to Lt Col Mike.l.Tucker of Montreal,Officer Commanding of this 250 man RCE 23rd Field Company unit,the boats were collapsible 20' with 50HP outboard motors.Their only claim to fame was the rescue of the British Airborne during Operation Market Garden.
From Terry Copp, "Our Rescue Role At Arnhem": "The Canadians were equipped with stormboats powered by Evinrude motors. Each boat could carry 36 men. The British made do with smaller assault boats that had to be paddled."



Quote:
Unsung heros all.
Indeed - but at least some of the soldiers involved were decorated for their bravery: Major M.L. Tucker received the Distinguished Service Order, Lieutenant Russell J. Kennedy the Military Cross, and Sappers H.D. Thicke, D.J. McCready and R. Lebouthillier received the Military Medal.
Also, a memorial reminds the inhabitants of Driel and people passing by of Operation Berlin (location).

H.
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Old 18-09-05, 14:22
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Default Assault boats

Crossing the Seine River with assault boats. A jeep has already being loaded on the one on the right, while a 6pdr A/T gun is being man handled onto the next.
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assult0001.jpg  

Last edited by John McGillivray; 18-09-05 at 14:30.
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  #29  
Old 18-09-05, 14:28
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Default Assault boats

Highland Light Infantry crossing the Ems River near Leer in Assault boats.
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  #30  
Old 18-09-05, 21:24
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Default Re: Assault boats

Quote:
Originally posted by John McGillivray
Crossing the Seine River with assault boats. A jeep has already being loaded on the one on the right, while a 6pdr A/T gun is being man handled onto the next.
Thanks for the pics, John!

However, judging by the description in the Engineer chapter of A Military Encyclopedia Based on Operations in the Italian Campaigns, 1943-1945, I'd say this is a British Storm Boat since this "Would carry heavier load (6 pounder or jeep though latter a top heavy load)".

H.
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