From the Vault: Wartime ads featuring Sherman Tanks (and other AFVs)

Here are a few examples of WWII wartime ads featuring US tanks or tracked vehicles that we found while digging around the internet.  Click on an image to enlarge.

Book Alert: The History of the Panzerwaffe: Volume 2: 1942–45

Osprey Publishing has released a follow-up book to Thomas Anderson’s History of the Panzerwaffe.  This new book, The History of the Panzerwaffe: Volume 2: 1942–45 covers the later half of the Second World War.  Unlike the slender softcover series books that they are mainly known for, this Osprey offering is a 304 page hardcover.  Thomas Anderson is a German researcher of armored vehicle history, having written several Osprey titles on German WWII armor.

Publishers Description:

The final years of World War II saw the legendary Panzerwaffe face its most difficult challenges, with Allied troops landing at Normandy and storming across the continent, and the Russians gaining the upper hand on the Eastern Front. As Germany fought fiercely to hold on to the advantages gained in the early years, they relied heavily on the Panzer IV, the Panzer V Panther, and the StuG III–the backbone of their infamous armored divisions–to hold back their advancing opponents. This second volume on the Panzerwaffe offers a comprehensive guide to the final years of Germany’s most famous fighting force, covering the further use of the Panzer IV, the role played by the StuG III assault gun, and the battlefield debut of the formidable Panther. Explosive combat reports and rare archive photographs help uncover the final years of the Panzers, from their defense against the D-Day landings and the role they played in the Ardennes Offensive, to their valiant last stand in Berlin.

Photo of the Day: Revolving Turret Armored Motor Car

Today’s POTD is borrowed from the facebook page of Steven Zaloga.  Here is his description of the vehicle.

Aside from finding obscure Russian half-track armored car drawings, I located a lot of stuff on early US AFVs at NARA over the past few days. Most of it amplifies information on well-known types, but there is an occasional surprise. Here’s the “Revolving Turret Armored Motor Car” offered by Consolidated Motor Corp. to the Army. This seems to be the same vehicle attributed to Federal Motor Truck Co., which should not be a surprise as the individual behind these ventures was the same: C. K. Thomas. One of these was donated to the Armored Motor Battery of the NY National Guard, the first significant armored unit in the US Army which took part in the Mexican Punitive Expedition in 1916.

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Top Five Tanks: Lindybeige at the Tank Museum

Youtube personality “Lindybeige” takes a trip through the Bovington tank museum to show off his five favorite tanks.  Actually, only three of the vehicles in his list are technically tanks since the Jagdpanther is a tank destroyer and the Universal Carrier is a….universal carrier.  Of the three actual tanks he picked, the WWI era Mark IV, the Churchill, and the S-tank, only one of them has a turret.  Does Lindybeige hate turrets?  Inquiring minds want to know….

Below the Turret Ring

The blog Below the Turret Ring has been busy lately, having made several new posts.  Let’s take a look at what they have been up to.  Click on the title to read the full post.

 

Austria won the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2017

18422782_1464958883554178_2139708021828222996_oTwo days ago the Strong Europe Tank Challenge (SETC) 2017 ended. The winning platoon comes from Austria, one of the first time participants. The soldiers of the Austrian Bundesheer deployed the 1980s’ Leopard 2A4 main battle tank (MBT), beating last year’s winner Germany. In the challenge held from 8th to 11th of May, teams from Austria, France, Germany, Poland, the Ukraine and the United States tried to show their skill in a number of different disciplines. These included offensive actions, defensive actions, target recognition/identification of thirty allied and enemy targets, estimating the range to a target without using the laser rangefinder, accurately reporting targets in a simulated urban area and firing crew weapons (pistols or submachine guns). Also part of the SETC was to recover a tank with simulated damage from an NBC attack, evacuating and treating wounded, calling for fire support by artillery/aircraft and precision driving along a pre-defined track. Crews also had to endure a physical fitness test. In comparison to last year the scoring was changed.

 

New Turkish combat vehicles presented at IDEF 2017

fnss-tracked-armored-vehiclesThe thirteenth International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF 2017) has been held in Turkey. While not extremely popular with foreign companies – despite having “international” in the name, not many international AFV manufacturers were present – this exposition serves as an opportunity for all Turkish defence companies to present their latest and greatest developments.  The company FNSS Defence Systems, a joint-venture of the Nurol Holding and BAE Systems, has presented a number of vehicles from the wheeled PARS family of vehicles (FoV) and the tracked Kaplan-20 and Kaplan-30 armored fighting vehicles (AFVs).

 

Leopard 2: Poland wants more; Germany and Turkey opt for upgrades

WIT_MSPO_2016_leopard_okAccording to a news report from Defence24.com, the Polish Army is interested in buying more Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBTs). Poland originally received 128 Leopard 2A4s for an extremely low price, a decision made in Germany in order to build up better political relationships between the two countries, which previously due to the second World War and previous conflicts had been terrible. A further 119 Leopard 2 tanks (including 105 relatively modern Leopard 2A5s) were ordered in 2013, after Germany (falsely) decided to downsize it’s tank force. These second-hand tanks also were extremely cheap, costing only €180 million.

 

Russian T-72B3 receive armor upgrades

4cv5YThe Russian Army has decided to upgrade the current T-72B3 to a new configuration, which was first seen in the middle of last month. The exact number tanks upgraded has not been disclosed yet. The tank has been called “T-72B3M” or “T-72B4” by different websites, suggesting that the new designation may also not have been revealed yet. It might be known as “T-72B3 mod. 2016” rather than receiving a completely new designation.   The upgrade is aimed to improve the survivability of the tank by installing explosive reactive armor (ERA) at the flanks of turret and hull. This armor is apparently identical to that used on the current version of T-90MS “premium” export tank. This reactive armor is not known to provide protection against kinetic energy ammunition such as APFSDS rounds nor against anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) or rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) with tandem shaped charge warhead.

Army Heritage Days salutes a century of the Armored Corps

If you happen to be in Pennsylvania this weekend and are looking for something to do, you might want to look into the Army Heritage Days event at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at the US Army War College in Carlisle Pennsylvania on May 20 and 21.  This is an annual event and this year the theme is a century of the US Armored Corps.

Here is the event description from their website:

Come out to the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) Armed Forces Weekend, Saturday, May 20 – Sunday, May 21, 2017 from 9:00AM to 5:00PM, for Army Heritage Days! Each year the USAHEC hosts Army Heritage Days, a timeline living history event that features several hundred reenactors from all eras spread out over the one mile long Army Heritage Trail. Decked out in period uniforms and weapons, these living historians will have their historical equipment and weapons on display and will be available to talk to the public and answer any of your burning history questions!

As always, this event centers on one specific theme. This year’s focus will be tanks and armored vehicles! This event will be one of a kind, featuring armored vehicles from many different eras that will be allowed to DRIVE on the USAHEC’s tank course to demonstrate MANUEVERS and TACTICS! There will also be a logistics and operations competition with various challenges to complete.

In addition to the tank display, we will be bringing back old favorites, such as the Veterans Meet and Greet, lectures by notable historians, the kid’s passport program, and informational programs by the reenactors on the Army Heritage Trail. As always, the event will also feature a book sale in the Museum Store and several food vendors with a variety of different cuisine offerings.

So be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, May 20 – Sunday, May 21, 2017 for a weekend full of history, tanks, and family fun! As always, the event is free and open to the public. Check back for a schedule of events and additional information, closer to the event.

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From the Vault: British Report on the US M46 Medium Tank

Today we have something sent to us by British researcher and author P.K. Knight.  Knowing of our interest in anything having to do with US tanks powered by Continental Motors engines, he forwarded us a copy of a British F.V.R.D.E. (Fight Vehicles Research and Development Establishment) report examining a US M46 medium tank.  This is a fairly short report and mainly focuses on automotive performance.  The most interesting thing revealed by this report is just how much difference there is between the stated gross horsepower of the engine, the actual power output taking into account power lost to engine cooling and accessories and then the actual power at the sprocket.  The M46 was the first US tank equipped with a Continental 12 cylinder 1790 cubic inch aircooled engine and the Allison CD-850 transmission.  The report states that while the listed gross HP of the engine is 810, their bench tests show an actual power output of 646 HP, which they attribute to losses from air cleaners, cooling fans and the exhaust system.  The power at the sprocket is measured at 433 HP.  So what does this all mean?  Not much, other than always take those gross horsepower numbers listed in books with a grain of salt, they don’t always tell you all that much about how much power is actually being transmitted to the drive sprocket.

Report below.