Book Review: AMX-30 by M.P. Robinson

AMX 30 RobinsonIt’s fair to say that as far as cold war era tanks go, the AMX-30 has never received as much attention as vehicles like the British Centurion and Chieftain, the US Patton series, and the German Leopards.  In fact, the only thing published specifically on the AMX-30 in English (as far as we can tell) is AFV Weapons Profile #63 by R.M. Ogorkiewicz way back in the early 70’s!  Clearly, this is a vehicle that deserves better than one book in 50 years, so it was a welcome development when Polish publisher Kagero released this new two volume set on the AMX-30.  The author of the book, M.P. Robinson remains a bit of a mystery.   The book does not include an “about the author” section and a quick google search does not reveal any other books written by Mr.  Robinson.   Fortunately,  Mr. Robinson is more than up to the task given him. [Read more…]

Tank and AFV articles from “War is Boring”

War is Boring” is a website that posts regular original content that focuses on war, military technology and international politics.  Below are links to some of their recent articles pertaining to tanks and armored vehicles:

Germany Still Loves Its Tanks: Berlin upgrades Leopard 2s Jan 20, 2015

The U.S. Army Wanted to Replace the Bradley 38 Years Ago Jan 18, 2015

China’s got a New Mountain Tank Jan 9, 2015

Some older articles that may still be of interest: [Read more…]

Nigeria purchases T-72 tanks from Czech Republic?

Nigerian T-72Jane’s is reporting that Nigeria is taking delivery of a consignment of T-72 tanks and other armored vehicles.  According to the article preview the vehicles are being transported by plane from the Czech Republic and that “The aircraft will make three trips between Ostrava-Mosnov and the end user to transport a total of 16 vehicles.”  According to the website Global Security, Nigeria has ordered and/or received 77 T-72 tanks and 16 AMX-30 tanks in the period of 2001 – 2008 to add to their existing tank inventory, which is mainly made up of T54/55 vehicles.  However, other reports state that Nigeria just recently added the 77 T-72 tanks to their inventory.  Reportedly, these tanks are being used to fight Boko Harum.  Pictures show that these vehicles are equipped with what appears to be Kontakt ERA.

Book Alert: Marine Corps Tank Battles in the Middle East

marine corps tank battleCasemate Publishing has posted information on Amazon about an upcoming book titled “Marine Corps Tank Battles in the Middle East” by Oscar E, Gilbert. Slated for a February 19 release, this book examines US Marine Corps tank actions in the two wars in Iraq.  Gilbert has written extensively about Marine Corps armor, including books on Marine Corps tank battles in the Pacific, Korea and Vietnam.

Publishers description: [Read more…]

Ukraine’s Tank Graveyard

tank-graveyard-6_2840058kThe Telegraph has posted an interesting picture gallery of a large tank “graveyard” near the city of Kharkov in Ukraine. These photos were snapped by an intrepid young explorer named Patvel Itkin, who was able to sneak past the guards and enter the compound. This area was once a repair depot but now houses roughly 400 tanks, silently rusting away. These photos were originally posted back in March of 2014.

Ukrainian Tank Commander becomes Internet meme

Alexy ChabanReuters has an interesting article about the Facebook page of Ukrainian tank commander Alexei Chaban. A First Lieutenant of the Ukrainian 17th Tank Brigade, Chaban, 50, became an internet sensation after he posted an open letter on Facebook to the mother of a Russian tank commander whose life he had spared during a skirmish last week. The incident occurred on Jan. 22 when a Russian commander, gunner, and driver got ouf of their damaged vehicle within gun range of Chaban’s tank. “When they got out of their disabled vehicle, we just had to push a button in our tank and all that would have been left of them would have been a memory of our sinful world,” Chaban wrote. “We didn’t kill them. We let them go.” Chaban’s Facebook page is in Russian and contains numerous snapshots from the field and commentary on equipment.

Article link here.

Tank Humor: M1 Abrams plays tennis

I couldn’t resist posting this.

Entire PS Magazine archive available online

PS magazine 163 coverWhen people think about great comic book art of the last 60 years, they generally think about publishers like DC Comics, Marvel, or Image. Certainly, they don’t usually think of the US Army or of maintenance journals. That is, unless they are familiar with PS Magazine, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly published by the US Army since 1951. With the US Army involved in the fighting in Korea in the early 50’s, they decided they needed a new tool for teaching soldiers proper maintenance procedures. During WWII the army had had good luck with the instructional publication Army Motors, which featured characters drawn by Corporal Will Eisner, an established comic-book writer-artist-editor. In 1951, the Army hired Eisner to create similar instructional material for its new publication, PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly. Eisner served as the publication’s artistic director from 1951 through the end of 1971. The magazine’s artists have included Eisner, Murphy Anderson, Joe Kubert, Dan Spiegle, Scott Madsen, Malane Newman, Alfredo Alcala, and Mike Ploog. As of 2010, Kubert is the art contractor for the magazine, having begun his PS work in 2001. Kubert is widely known amongst comic book readers for his work on DC war comics such as Sgt. Rock and G.I. Combat.

There is much of interest in these magazines for people interested in post-war US tanks and armored vehicles. In particular, people may enjoy the “Your M48A2” article in issue 91 or the M60 article in issue 163.

The complete archive of PS Magazine is availabe for download in PDF format at The PS Magazine Archive. Issues can also be downloaded at VCU Libraries Digital Collection (this site has downloads of all the index issues, very handy!) For the most recent issues, go to the LOGSA website.

“Brave Tiger” CM11 gets ERA protection.

Jane’s is reporting that recent photographs have confirmed that at the Republic of China Army has upgraded at least part of their fleet of CM11 “Brave Tiger” MBTs with explosive reactive armor.  Jane’s reporter Christopher Foss notes that the exact origin of the ERA on the Tiawanese tanks is not known, but it appears similar to ERA developed by France rather than the Blazer ERA used by the Israel Defense Forces.  The CM11 is one of the stranger variants of the M48/M60 family, consisting of an upgraded M48 turret on a M60 hull.

MRAP vehicles in the News

MRAPSeveral short articles have appeared recently regarding Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. Earlier this month, the United States announced that it was donating 250 MRAP vehicles to the Iraqi government to help it fight against the Islamic State group.  This military aid package also includes six M1 Abrams tanks and 50 armored Humvees.  IHS Jane’s is reporting that the US is also donating more than 300 MRAP vehicles to Uzbekistan.  This is believed to be the largest single arms transfer from the US to a Central Asian Republic.  In other news, the Czech Ministry of Defense has announced that they are looking to purchase 62 MRAP vehicles.  Tactical Report is reporting that Kuwaiti Defense Ministry is going ahead with plans to supply the Mechanize Division of the Kuwaiti Land Forces with a new MRAP vehicle.   They also report that the UAE is helping Libya aquire MRAP vehicles for the Libyan army.  Meanwhile, the use of MRAP vehicles by domestic police departments in the US continues to generate controversy.