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Rovers contribution to the war effort ?


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I dropped my daughter off at school in my Landy this morning. One of the other elder parents asked me if my truck was a World War 2 vehicle. Like most LandRover people I am aware that, fortunately for the Allies, and the possible outcome of the war itself, LandRovers hadn't been built until 3 years after hostilities had ended.

However, I started to think and wonder. Did the Rover Company make any positive contributions to the war effort 1939 to 1945 ? I know they manufactured V12 engines for use in Tanks, and possibly even built some complete tanks too. But as is well known, British tanks of the war period were an unmitigated disaster on the battlefield, due to mechanical breakdown and poor weaponry.

I also know that they were commisioned by the war department to work with Sir Frank Whittle to develop the first Jet engine for fighter aircraft. Apparently The Rover engineers thought they knew more than Frank did and pi$$ed about for years without acheiving anything, until the project was taken from them and handed over to Rolls Royce.

So my question is as before. Did the Rover Company make any POSITIVE contribution to the Allied war effort in World War 2? and if they did, what product did they make?

Bill.

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World War II and gas turbines

In the late 1930's the British government started a re-armament programme and as part of this "Shadow Factories" were built. These were paid for by the government but staffed and run by private companies. Two were run by Rover, one at Acocks Green, Birmingham started operation in 1937 and a second larger one at Solihull started in 1940. Both were employed making aero engines and airframes. The original main works at Helen Street, Coventry was severely damaged by bombing in 1940 and 1941 and never regained full production.

In early 1940 Rover were approached by the government to support Frank Whittle in developing the gas turbine engine. Whittle's company, Power Jets had no production facilities and the intention was for Rover to take the design and develop it for mass production. Whittle himself was not pleased by this and did not like design changes made without his approval but the first test engines to the W2B design were built in a disused cotton mill in Barnoldswick, Lancashire, in October 1941. Rolls-Royce took an interest in the new technology and an agrement was reached in 1942 that they would take over the engines and Barnoldswick works and in exchange Rover would get the contract for making Meteor tank engines which actually continued until 1964.

from a google search

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I think they built tank transporters, or engines for them.

'They were involved with the Whittle jet engine and jet turbines which they swapped with Rolls Royce for the Meteor tank engine.' from "Landrover - Workhorse of the World", Robson.

The only reasonably successfull British built tank transporter of WW2 was the Scammel Pioneer.It had a Gardiner engine.

Thornycroft Antar tank transporters, with Rover V8 Meteorite engine wasn't built till much much later.

bill.

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Like most LandRover people I am aware that, fortunately for the Allies, and the possible outcome of the war itself, LandRovers hadn't been built until 3 years after hostilities had ended.

Bill.

Another classic Bill! :lol:

It is possible that the Rover company supplied almost all vehicles and ships for the Italian military prior to the commencement of hostilities...

Although in fairness to Land Rover, can you imagine the current cast of characters even trying to fight the war:

George Bush - wouldn't show up until 1942 and then would insist on the Americans fighting the whole thing by themselves (as Hollywood would later conclude anyway :lol: )

Tony Blair - Wouldn't have approved the evacuation of Dunkirk in any event as it would have run foul of OSH rules

Angela Mirkel - On the plus side there wouldn't have been a war if these inept Wiemar Republic types had remained in power...

Vladimir Putin - There never would have been a Molotov Ribbentropp Agreement to start with because he would have been caught on mike making some off colour joke about the Jerries before they signed

Jacques Chirac - Well, there's some continuity at least...

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Another classic Bill! :lol:

It is possible that the Rover company supplied almost all vehicles and ships for the Italian military prior to the commencement of hostilities...

Although in fairness to Land Rover, can you imagine the current cast of characters even trying to fight the war:

George Bush - wouldn't show up until 1942 and then would insist on the Americans fighting the whole thing by themselves (as Hollywood would later conclude anyway :lol: )

Tony Blair - Wouldn't have approved the evacuation of Dunkirk in any event as it would have run foul of OSH rules

Angela Mirkel - On the plus side there wouldn't have been a war if these inept Wiemar Republic types had remained in power...

Vladimir Putin - There never would have been a Molotov Ribbentropp Agreement to start with because he would have been caught on mike making some off colour joke about the Jerries before they signed

Jacques Chirac - Well, there's some continuity at least...

Nicely done Richard. :rolleyes:

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Did the Rover Company make any POSITIVE contribution to the Allied war effort in World War 2? and if they did, what product did they make?

As touched upon, Rover turned over it's factories for the war effort (under the shadow factory scheme) which were used to build engines and tanks mostly.

They produced engine parts more specifically for the Hercules radial engines. (Solihull area).

Rover were also servicing and repairing these radial engines throughout the war.

They also had factories in Coventry specifically working on wing components for the Lancaster, but a were hit heavily in the early part of the war by the Luftwaffe.

Rover (and the Government) developed back-up underground factories at Kiddiminster that fed Solihull and Acocks Green. These were closed down at the end of the war.

Rover did indeed play an instrumental part in the war effort.

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Some while back I used to work for a company called 'Wheels Unlimited', one of our jobs was supplying a company called 'Pinewood Studios' with "KIT"

I can honestly say that the Meteor engine is the biggest pile of sh*t ever built. It is a pig of an engine, fitted to some of the best tanks ever built.

The truth of it is we were damn lucky not to be speaking German as a mother tongue - I have a feeling that Rover were in the pay of the 3rd Rieche...

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The S1 is in "Ice Cold in Alex" as I recall. They hand crank it backwards up a sand dune, no?

The pink submarine was "Operation Petticoat" with Tony Curtis.

The Sikorsky S-47 was delivered to the US Army Air Corps in May 1942, so its appearance in a WWII film, while historically inaccurate (they flew no missions until late 1944 / early 1945 and those were in the Continental US) is not entirely implausible.

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