Video: The Great War

From The Great War youtube channel comes a couple videos on WWI British Tanks.

 

Translated articles from Tank Archives.com

It’s time to go see what’s been going on over at the Tank Archives.com blog.  Here is a sample of the latest Russian language articles they have translated into English for your reading pleasure.  Click on the headline to read the full article.

 

Czechoslovakian Dead End

skodat17s01-b4f2551f614d1f29af13cee926b3a5f0The greatest success of the Czechoslovakian tank industry was with light tanks. The LT vz. 35 and LT vz. 38 turned out to be excellent vehicles, used by several nations during WWII. Despite the fact that Skoda’s T-15 and Pz.Kpfw.38(t) n.A. did not make it past the prototype stage, the chassis of the latter was used for the Jagdpanzer 38(t) tnak destroyer. It is not surprising that, after the end of the war and start of work on the TVP medium tank, work on a new light tank began in parallel. The result of that work was several interesting prototypes, such as the TNH 57/900, Skoda T-17, and the amphibious Letak.

 

Frenchman in German Hands

pak_97_3-fc97722cd0dbdb7e69e69fd08b16fb8fThe belligerents in WWII had to improvise time and time again. Obsolete weapons, no longer suitable for their initial purpose, found surprising new applications. One of the most notable examples of such a “second life” is the German conversion of the French 75 mm Mle. 1897 field gun, as a result of which the 19th century weapon became an effective anti-tank gun.

Devourer of Tungsten

10-f75c5e043d40773be0ac9424bce612e2In late summer of 1942, the Red Army captured a German weapon that piqued the interest of the Red Army Main Artillery Directorate. This was the new German tapered bore 7.5 cm Pak 41. Several shells were captured along with the gun, which allowed trials to be performed and several characteristics to be determined. What was this gun, and what were the results of its trials in the USSR?

 

Adventures of the Centurion in Scandinavia

strv81s02-961eacd33634cb3d26b0e0a149ee4589Despite Sweden’s goals to arm itself with domestic designs, foreign tanks in the Swedish army were not a rare sight. In cases when their industry was too slow or designers put out unsatisfactory results, the Swedish military made up the shortfall with foreign purchases. Recall that the Strv m/37, Sweden’s most numerous tank at the start of WWII, was actually the CKD AH-IV-Sv tankette. Later, the Swedes acquired the Strv m/41, a licensed copy of another Czechoslovak vehicle, the LT vz. 38.

 

The Swedish Army’s Tough Choice

strvm21s05-f6015ceeef1104becdb15db5ef40c6a6The time between the World Wars was that of rapid technical progress. Even tanks, a relatively new invention, could become obsolete quickly. Even though only several wealthy countries could afford a large number of the newest tanks for their armies, experimental vehicles and small batches cropped up in many nations. Sweden, who managed to retain neutrality during WWI, was among them. Its army was engaged in a lengthy and difficult search for a suitable tank.

 

British Tank for Soviet Infantry

valentine2ussr01-ad9fdcdf6039d601c6bc1b71519e925aOn September 29th, 1941, the first regular Arctic convoy departed from Britain to the USSR. It was indexed PQ-1. On October 11th, 11 transport ships arrived at Arkhangelsk, where they delivered 193 Hawker Hurricane fighters and other military cargo. Among it were 20 Matilda III and Valentine II tanks. So began the delivery of the Valentine tank, which became the most numerous British tank in the Red Army.

 

Infantry Sweet Spot

valentinep1s02-22260cfb1392e304317bf1c614cbfa47The Valentine infantry tank was the most common British tank of WWII. Like the Matilda, it didn’t last long as a front line tank in the British army, but commander versions and SPGs on the chassis made it to Germany. Its career in other countries was even more eventful. The Red Army used them until the end of the war, and they were widely used in the Pacific theater of war. In some nations, these tanks served as training tanks until the 1950s. What was the history of the creation of this extraordinary tank, and how did the first modifications of the Valentine serve?

 

Multiturreted Independence

independent01-01d219742f998219dddf6167fa4862e1Towards the end of WWI, the French reached first place in the heavy tank development race. A little longer, and the FCM 2C would have seen combat. The French created the first breakthrough tank in the world, which combined powerful armament with armour that, at the time, could be considered shellproof. In addition, the French vehicle became the first multiturreted tank in the world, and its main turret was large enough for three men.

 

Heavyweight Brainstorming

chryslerk08-ccbb2b097e0cf87289e4b90870b157f6During the years of WWII, American industry made excellent light and medium tanks. SPGs built on their chassis were no less excellent. The only field where American engineers encountered misfortune was the development of heavy tanks. Although the Heavy Tank M6 was built, and even entered service, it was quickly left behind. The tank turned out to be too heavy and insufficiently mobile, without a place in American tank doctrine. Nevertheless, work on American heavy tanks never stopped, and projects like the Chrysler K kept coming.

 

Exhibit with a History

11-102caeda7c1a0d5152b4efd417630e11The German Tiger tank currently on display in Saumur is one of only six tanks of this type that survive to this day. Out of the six, the history of this one is the most interesting. This tank fought with two armies on both sides of the front, and had its own personal names.

 

Pz.Kpfw. Löwe: The German Lion

lowe11-c89c3e92ed8de90e3285a4b282eeb889During the Third Reich, the German tank building school was defined, in part, by monsters such as the Maus and E-100. However, the German system of armament from the 1930s had no superheavy monsters like these, and no heavy tanks at all. In the second half of the 1930s, the plan was to have two types of light tanks and two types of medium tanks. How did Germany end up with monsters like the Pz.Kpfw. Löwe, and how were they developed?

From the Vault: French Super Light Tank

Here is a two page article from the Jan-Feb 1963 issue of ARMOR magazine that takes a look at the French ELC light tank project.  This vehicle never entered serial production and it does not appear that much information has been published about this odd little vehicle in English (the wikipedia page for this vehicle references mostly foriegn language sources.)  This vehilce is roughly comparable in time frame, role and mission to the US M56 Scorpion and M50 Ontos.  Click on the images below to view the article page.

 

Video: Military History Visualized on Panzer Tactics

The youtube channel Military History Visualized has released a new video on German Panzer tactics in the early years of WWII.

New Book Alert: British Tank Crewman 1939-45

Osprey Publishing has released a new volume in their Warrior series looking at British tank crewment in the Second World War. British Tank Crewman 1939-45 (Warrior) is written by Neil Grant and follows the pattern set by preceeding entries in the Warrior series, bein a softcover book of 64 pages.

Publisher’s Description:

Great Britain had introduced the tank to the world during World War I, and maintained its lead in armored warfare with the “Experimental Mechanized Force” during the late 1920s, watched with interest by German advocates of Blitzkrieg. Despite these successes, the Experimental Mechanised Force was disbanded in the 1930s, making Britain relatively unprepared for World War II, both in terms of armored doctrine and equipment.

This fully illustrated new study examines the men who crewed the tanks of Britain’s armored force during World War II, which was only four battalions large in 1939. It looks at the recruitment and training of the vast numbers of men required, their equipment, appearance and combat experience in every theater of the war as the British armored division sought to catch up with the German Panzers.

Available on Amazon here.

Book Alert: M113 APC 1960–75: US, ARVN, and Australian variants in Vietnam

A new entry in the long running New Vanguard series by Osprey is available titled M113 APC 1960–75: US, ARVN, and Australian variants in Vietnam (New Vanguard).  Written by Jamie Prenatt, this book follows the well established format of other New Vanguard titles, being a soft cover of 48 pages.

Publisher’s Description:

The M113 is the most widely used and versatile armored vehicle in the world. Fielded in 1960 as a simple “battlefield taxi,” over 80,000 M113s would see service with 50 nations around the world and 55 years later, many thousands are still in use. In addition to its original role of transporting troops across the battlefield, specialized versions perform a multitude of other functions including command and control, fire support, anti-tank and anti-aircraft defense, and casualty evacuation.

This new fully illustrated study examines the service record of the M113 from its initial fielding through the end of the Vietnam War. It will also describe the many US, South Vietnamese, and Australian variants of the M113 used in the Vietnam War as well as information on tactics, unit tables of organization and equipment, and a selection of engagements in which the M113 played a decisive role.

Available on Amazon here..

Book Alert: The Tanks: The History of the Royal Tank Regiment, 1976-2017

A new book by WWII historian Charles Messenger has been released and is available for sale. The Tanks: The History of the Royal Tank Regiment, 1976-2017 examines the last 40 years of the Royal Tank Regiment. This is a hardcover book of 232 pages, published by Helion and Company.  Charles Messenger served for 19 years as a regular officer in the Roayl Tank Regiment, including service in Libya, Germany and Norther Ireland.

Publisher’s Description:

The Royal Tank Regiment celebrates its centenary this year (2017). This, the fourth volume of the Regiment’s history, begins in the midst of the Cold War, with the four RTR regiments mainly based in Germany. They experienced NATO’s rearmament in the early 1980s and the implementation of General Sir Nigel Bagnall’s revolutionary new concept for the defense of the NATO Central Region. The Troubles in Northern Ireland were also at the height and the RTR served there on numerous occasions. In addition, the Regiment saw service with the United Nations in Cyprus.

The Berlin Wall came down at the end of 1989, signaling the end of the Cold War. Yet, President Bush’s New World Order proved anything but. Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait resulted in the First Gulf War, in which the Regiment played its part in many ways. However, the so called Peace Dividend meant that the RTR was reduced just two regiments. Then came the horrors of the civil war in former Yugoslavia, in which the Regiment also became involved. While it did operate in tanks in Kosovo, it was also demonstrating its versatility in many other roles in this increasingly uncertain time. Not least was the formation the Joint NBC Regiment, made up of 1 RTR and the RAF Regiment.

The RTR was at the forefront of the assault on Basrah in the 2nd Gulf War and thereafter served a number of tours in Iraq. Indeed, the Regiment was among the very last troops to withdraw from the country at the end of Operation Telic in 2009. By this time, the British Army was heavily committed to Afghanistan and the Regiment would spend the next five years deploying on Operation Herrick. As in Iraq, it carried out a variety of missions and in many different types of vehicle. The book makes plain how tough conditions, as in Iraq. The Army, however, faced further reductions and the RTR was cut to a single Challenger 2 regiment.

This History not only covers the Regiment’s numerous operational tours. It details the vehicles it has used and provides an idea of how life in the RTR has changed over the past forty years. It does not duck controversy and allows the voices of all ranks to be heard. ‘The Tanks’ reflects an ever changing British Army, the one constant being the character of the RTR soldier, the Tankie.

Available on Amazon here.