From the Collection of 8th/13th Victorian Mounted Rifles Regimental Collection Building 129 Carlisle Drive North Bandiana Vic
- Cilinderical metal vessel with close fitting lid, folding handle and electrical socket on side.
- military, tank, centurion, meals, boiling
- The vessels boiling electrical was used by soldiers of 8/13 Victorian Mounted Rifles when it was equipped with Centurion tanks 1966-71.
A boiling vessel fitted to British armoured fighting vehicles that permit the crew to heat water and cook food by drawing power from the vehicle electrical supply. It is often referred to by crewmembers (not entirely in jest) as the most important piece of equipment in a British armoured vehicle.
The "Vessel Boiling Electric" or "BV" was an innovation at the very end of World War II, when the Centurion tank was introduced with the device fitted inside the turret. Previously, British tank crews had disembarked when they wanted to "brew-up" (make tea), using a petrol cooker improvised from empty fuel cans called a "Tommy cooker". Use of the BV enabled the crew to stay safely inside the tank and reduced the time taken for breaks.
The first version, known as VBE No 1, began to be replaced in the early 1950s by the stainless steel No 2 version. A VBE No 3 had improved electrical sockets and was less prone to leakage.
The principal use of the BV is to heat ration pouches or tins; the hot water is then used for making drinks or washing. The BV is cuboid and accommodates four tins; typically matching the crew numbers of an armoured fighting vehicle. Ration tins are supplied without adhesive labels so the surrounding water is not contaminated. A vehicle with a defective BV is declared unfit for purpose. It is common practice for a junior member of a vehicle crew to be unofficially appointed "BV Commander", responsible for making hot drinks for the other soldiers.
- Example of article which improved efficiency and well-being of tank soldiers.
- 12 Aug 2020 at 5:15PM