Nuts and Bolts
(dropped from some Rat Patrol vehicles)

Please understand.  Suncompass has very few nuts and bolts knowledge about machinery (be that weapons, vehicles, or whatnots).  Mechanics isn't her strength (she's still searching for that -- as well as numerous nuts and bolts), but some kind people are attempting to educate her about a few mechanical things related to Rat Patrol vehicles. 

Here are a few things she has learned so far. 

About those jeeps, fellows . . .

Stand up so I can refuel.

Gas tank located UNDER the driver's seat

image©2004 DB

During the Second World War, the fuel tanks for jeeps were located in a most unnerving place - UNDER the drivers' seats.  It was almost as if the driver's body was meant to shield the fuel tank from enemy fire.  Suncompass thinks that was a definte no win situation for the driver - either to be shot shielding the fuel tank from bullets or risk being blown up if one didn't.

This all means that to add anything to the gas tank of a jeep one had to literally lift both seats (the driver's and the jeep's)...like shown below.


photo©2004 DB

So, if the fuel tank access is under the seat, what exactly is going on here in this picture from the Two for One Raid?

 

 

What is happening is that the boy is being naughty and pouring a handful of sand into the jeep fuel tank (he wants to keep the Patrol from going on a mission).  Clearly, however, he has NOT lifted the jeep seat to access the tank.  Did someone make a handy alteration of the jeep refuelling system for this episode?  Evidently.  (Even so, the naughty boy did not accomplish his terrible plot to stop the Rat Patrol.)

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Now you can sit down while I gas up.

To the right is a post-war model jeep.

See how the fuel tank access, as evidenced by the exposed gas cap, was moved out from under the driver's seat. (And think how much easier it became to refill without having to physically move the driver out of the seat to gain access to the gas cap.) The external gas cap is one key to when the jeep was built - post-war.

 


photo ©2004 DB

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Those Groovey Tool Holders
(no comment from the peanut gallery please)


photo ©2004 DB
Here's another obvious clue to when a jeep was built.  Dave (DB) pointed out to Suncompass that authentic World War Two jeeps had tools fixed to the driver's side. Post-war manufactured jeeps did not have groovey tool grooves to help support those darn handy tools.


from The Touch and Go Raid

Clearly there are no tools stuck to the jeep by Hitch's left knee, but if you look closely you can see what might be one of those groovey grooves that would have supported the phantom tools had they had any. (Suncompass wonders why they didn't  have at least a shovel there. They did get stuck now and then.)

Not to be outdone, Tully's jeep (pictured to the right as in The Exhibit A Raid) appears to have a somewhat subdued groovey groove too.

Does this mean the Rat Patrol lads are driving authentic war jeeps?

Maybe, maybe not.


from The Gunrunner Raid

It has been suggested that the two jeeps used by the patrol may have been of different periods - one built during the war and one built post-war.

The jeep pictured here in these two images from The Gunrunner Raid lacks tool grooves and shows an external fuel cap. It is clearly a post-war model. It appears the Rat Patrol fellows used whatever jeeps happened to be in the motor pool that day - be they war or post-war models.


from The Gunrunner Raid

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The Morris Minor - vehicle of the French Resistance.


from The Fatal Reunion Raid
(with David Bond in foreground)

The vehicle on the left is a Morris Minor and  is shown in The Fatal Reunion Raid .  In that episode, the French Resistance used it to ferry a rocket scientist to the Rat Patrol. The patrol would then take him to safety after a requisite number of interesting hurdles. 

The  'Dinky Toy' on the right (a Suncompass favourite) is also a Morris Minor (model 1000 - it says so on the bottom). Just like the one in The Rat Patrol (only not so dusty...and at about 1 inch tall, just a tad smaller).


from Suncompass's toy box

There were Morris Minors built in the pre-war period but they looked nothing like the Morris Minor used in the Rat Patrol. That particular design didn't come into production until 1948 and after.  Until 1971 when the last Morris Minor rolled off the production line it had a good run of popularity.  (It would seem the Rat Patrol French Resistance in North Africa liked this particular model - even before it had been built!)

More about the Morris Minor (and detailed history) can be found at the following (and many other websites too):

http://www.minormania.com/index.php

http://www.cgettins.demon.co.uk/index.htm

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What's a decade between friends?


Dietrich (irritated) with the car from 
The Decoy Raid

This car, used in the Decoy Raid, is one that Dietrich borrowed from a French Red Cross official.  Normally Dietrich does not stoop to driving himself in what must have been a hellishly hot borrowed vehicle, but his hand was forced by an insane SS officer.  Dietrich was driven (excuse the pun) to borrowing the car, then kidnapping Moffitt, in order to try to save a shipment of critical vaccine.  We always knew Dietrich was cut out to be a hero even if his methods were a little less than noble this time (or so Moffitt was bound to feel).


Moffitt (more than irritated) and others with the car from The Decoy Raid

This important little black car has been identified* as a model quite in keeping with its original owner - a Frenchman. It is a French-designed Citroen Traction Avant, a car that was used extensively throughout the war - by the French Resistance and others who could get their hands on one (and the petrol to fuel it).  The only problem is that this particular model, a Citroen Traction Avant 11BL, would have been built between 1953 and 1957, at least a decade after Dietrich needed it for his kidnapping.  But what's a decade in the broad scheme of things? ("Ten years," said Suncompass, answering the rhetorical question.)

*The identification of Dietrich's borrowed car was made through the kindness of the Citroen expert at:
http://www.cats-citroen.net/ (an excellent website with images and details about many Citroen vehicles through the years)

See a car very like Dietrich's borrowed car here: http://www.cats-citroen.net/citroen_museum/ta_11b_ber_54/index.html   (The man in one of the pictures is even opening the bonnet/hood the way Dietrich did in the Decoy Raid.  In another image you can look 'under the hood' exactly the way Dietrich did. "Now, where is that bothersome overheating radiator?")

And here: 
http://users.pandora.be/ulrik.de.neve1/plates/wheels/Traction.htm

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Suncompass gives special thanks to Dave for his help in finding some of these nuts and bolts from the Rat Patrol
Several images are from Dave's own published material and personal photo collection and are used with his kind permission. Thanks, Dave.

If you have Rat Patrol Nuts and Bolts (Allied or Axis vehicle points of interest) to share, Suncompass would be happy to hear about them
(Please respect that complex mechanical descriptions will befuddle Suncompass. Keep it simple.)

Suncompass reserves the right to politely decline to use any submitted material.

 

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Page updated February 4, 2006
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