Catalogue description Ministry of Defence and predecessors: Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment and predecessors: Reports, Minutes and Papers

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Details of WO 194
Reference: WO 194
Title: Ministry of Defence and predecessors: Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment and predecessors: Reports, Minutes and Papers
Description:

Technical reports of tests of fighting vehicles by the Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment and its predecessors, minutes of meetings of sub-committees of the Mechanical Warfare Board and the Mechanization Board, data books and photographs and drawings of vehicles.

Many pieces contain photographs, drawings and diagrams.

Date: 1921-1984
Arrangement:

The records of tests carried out by the Fighting Vehicles Research and Development Establishment have been associated with the records of the vehicles concerned in the tests, and are filed in subject and numerical order.

Related material:

For technical reports of the Headquarters British Army of the Rhine see WO 351

For reports etc. compiled by the Military Engineering Experimental Establishment see SUPP 17

For similar material, in the papers of the Royal Armoured Corps, see WO 341

For reports from the Inspectorate of Fighting Vehicles and Mechanical Equipment see WO 362

Separated material:

Some of the earlier records of tests carried out by the Fighting Vehicles Research and Development Establishment are missing.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Creator:

Mechanisation Experimental Establishment, 1934-1952

Ministry of Defence, Fighting Vehicles and Engineer Equipment, 1965-1970

Ministry of Defence, Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment, 1970-1984

Ministry of Supply, Fighting Vehicles Research and Development Establishment, 1952-1959

Ministry of Supply, Wheeled Vehicle Experimental Establishment, 1927-1952

War Office, Fighting Vehicles Research and Development Establishment, 1959-1970

War Office, Mechanical Warfare Experimental Establishment, 1927-1934

War Office, Mechanization Board, 1934-1940

Physical description: 2954 files and volumes
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

Ministry of Defence , from 1968

Accruals: Series is accruing
Administrative / biographical background:

In 1917 the Mechanical Warfare Supply Department of the Ministry of Munitions added design responsibilities to those which it already possessed for tank supply. Its experimental grounds were at Dollis Hill in North London and Oldbury in Worcestershire.

As part of the transfer of design and research functions back to the War Office after the end of the Great War, the Tank Committee - which had been formed in the War Office in 1917 - was re-constituted in 1919. In January 1920 a Mechanical Transport Advisory Board was formed under the chairmanship of the Director of Supplies and Transport, in the Quarter-Master-General's (QMG) Department. The Tank Committee was re-named the Tank Technical Committee in 1922.

In April 1919 responsibility for designs, patterns and specifications of arms and ammunition - and for the administration of research establishments - had been restored to the Director of Artillery within the Master-General of the Ordnance's (MGO) Department.

In 1924 the Directorate of Artillery [D of A] had been split into two directorates, D of A (II) becoming responsible for administration of committees, research establishments, experiments and tanks and in 1927 D of A(II) was reconstituted as the Directorate of Mechanization, with responsibility for small arms, tanks (later known as 'A' vehicles) and wheeled (later 'B') vehicles.

In 1921 the experimental establishment set up at Dollis Hill was moved to Farnborough and renamed the War Office Tank Design and Experimental Branch (later Department). This had responsibility for the development of tanks. In 1923 it was reduced to a tank testing section and its design responsibilities were divided between the Research Department, Woolwich and industry. In 1926 design and testing functions were reunited in a Tank and Tracked Transport Experimental Establishment. This became the Mechanical Warfare Experimental Establishment in 1927, at the same time as the Tank and Tracked Transport Technical Committee, set up in 1926, became the Mechanical Warfare Board. In 1934 they became respectively the Mechanisation Experimental Establishment and the Mechanisation Board.

Under the Ministry of Supply the Wheeled Vehicle Experimental Establishment concentrated on wheeled vehicles and a new Department or Directorate of Tank Design (later the Fighting Vehicles Design Department or Establishment) and the Fighting Vehicles Proving Establishment covered tracked vehicles.

In 1952 the Wheeled Vehicle Experimental Establishment was closed and research and testing of wheeled and tracked vehicles were reunited under the Fighting Vehicles Research and Development Establishment. In 1970 it merged with the Military Engineering Experimental Establishment to become the Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment.

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