Interview with Harry Yeide – Part 1: US Armor in World War II

unnamedYeide booksHarry Yeide is a foreign affairs analyst with the federal government in Washington, DC.  He lives with his wife, Nancy, in Hyattsville, Maryland.  Mr. Yeide is the author of eight books on World War II history, focusing primarily on US Armor.  He has a website at yeide.net.  Earlier this month he agreed to talk with Tank and AFV News.

Posted below is the first installment of the two-part interview.

Part 1: US Armor in World War II

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Book Alert: Panzer II vs 7TP Poland 1939

9781472808813_1Osprey Publishing has listed a release date of May 20, 2015 for an upcoming installment of their Duel Series titled Panzer II vs 7TP by David R. Higgins.  Polish armor in the 1939 campaign has received little attention in most English language books on WW2 armor, so this book should prove a welcome addition for those interested in the topic.  David R. Higgins has also written two other entries in the Duel series, King Tiger vs IS-2: Operation Solstice 1945 and Mark IV vs A7V: Villers-Bretonneux 1918.

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MS-1 Soviet tank restoration

ms-1-restoration-17Over at Archive Awareness they have posted a series of pictures and videos chronicling the restoration of a vintage Soviet MS-1.  This particular vehicle was found near the Russian-Chinese boarder where it had been dug in as a bunker. According to the man responsible for the restoration, “The work took about three years, but preparing for the restoration took even more time. We needed to retain all technical subtleties, so it was not just a copy, but as close to possible to the original. It is known that this tank participated in the events at Lake Hasan. To this day, no more than 5 tanks of this kind remain. Experts already admit that our tank is the closest to the original.”  The full post can be read here.

British Intel on Japanese Tanks

QO0lr4VOver at Overlord’s Blog, researcher David Lister has made a post detailing files he found in a UK Archive concerning Japanese WWII tanks, specifically the Type 97.  The files include information gathered from Japanese POWs, including descriptions and drawings.  Some of the information provided by the captured Japanese soldiers is downright unusual, including claims that “all tanks had radio’s, air conditioning and twin 47mm guns, with one mounted in the standard turret and another in the hull. He also claimed that they could fit 30 ammunition boxes in the tank, each box being 2 feet long, 1 foot tall and 1.5 feet wide.”  The entire post can be read here.

From the Vault: The Illustrated London News

Here are three interesting pictures from old issues of the Illustrated London News.  The first one is interesting in that attempts to combine the best features of US and Soviet tank design.  The irony of this picture is that its in a British magazine in 1950, a period when it could could be argued that the UK possessed the best tank (or at least one of the best) in the world in the Centurion.  The second picture is from 1944 and shows what the Allies thought German armor looked like at the time.  It is interesting that while the Panther drawing looks fairly accurate, the other vehicles are really not close at all.  The final picture is from 1943 and show the M3, M4 and Churchill tanks.

Sept. 23, 1950 and is titled: Combining Heavy Fire-Power with Speed and Maneuverability: A Drawing of a Composite Tank Incorporating the Best Features of American and Russian Designs.

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Australia taking bids for $8 billion combat reconnaissance vehicles contract

Australia's_Phase_3_ASLAVThe Wall Street Journal is reporting that Australia has opened up a US$8 billion tender for new armored vehicles that is expected to attract the interest of defense contractors from as far away as the U.S. and Europe.  Australia’s current fleet of light armored vehicles will reach the end of its life by around 2021, according to Defense Minister Kevin Andrews.  The program is being called Project Land 400 and will see the replacement between 2020 and 2025 of the army’s ageing fleets of ASLAV light armoured vehicles and M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers.  American defense giants such as Boeing and General Dynamics are expected to vie for the Australian contract with Lockheed Martin, along with France’s Thales, Britain’s BAE and Germany’s Rheinmetall AG.  Full article here.

Wheeled AFVs becoming more popular in Middle East

Pandur-2Jane’s is reporting that wheeled armored fighting vehicles are becoming more popular in the Middle East, with a clear trend toward the fielding of larger fleets of 8×8 vehicles.  According to article author Christopher Foss, wheeled vehicles exhibit a number of significant advantages over their tracked counterparts, including lower procurement, operating and support costs, as well as having greater strategic mobility, especially over the longer distances that are encountered by a number of countries in the Gulf.  Vehicle types mentioned in the article include the Véhicule Blindé Léger (VBL) light scout car, Pandur 8×8, MOWAG Piranha, Centauro Mobile Gun System, and the Cadillac Gage Commando V-150.  Full article here.

WoT’s Chieftain posts new article: US Centurion Part 2

chieftains hatchWorld of Tanks researcher Nicholas Moran, aka “The Chieftain” has published part 2 of his article on US testing of the Centurion III tank.  Part one dealt with the US assessment of the Centurion III’s fighting compartment.  Part 2 deals with automotive tests.  This picture of “damaged parts of clutch assembly” should give the reader a hint of how the tests went.

centiiiclutch

The full article is available to read at The Chieftain’s Hatch.

Book Alert: Panzer Operations by Hermann Hoth

9781612002699Casemate books has announced a March 19 release date for the English edition of “Panzer Operations: Germany’s Panzer Group 3 During the Invasion of Russia” by German General Hermann Hoth.  Originally published in 1956, this book has now been translated into English.  Panzer fans and armchair generals should be pleased to add this book to their collections of books written by German Panzer commanders.

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Drug cartel “narco tanks”

screen shot 2015-02-19 at 11.55.17 amBusiness Insider is reporting on the phenomena of homemade armored cars built by Mexican drug cartels.  Looking a bit like something out of a Mad Max movie or perhaps an old episode of the A-Team, these “narco tanks” are known in Spanish as “monstruo.”  In 2011 the Mexican miitary seized a garage in Tamaulipas used to construct these vehicles.  The Mexican military’s subsequent crack-down on the creation of these improvised AFV’s forced the practice to go underground. Narco tanks are still produced, but today’s versions have their armored paneling on the inside so as to not draw unwanted attention from rival cartels and the military.  Improvised armored vehicles are certainly not limited to Mexico.  Homemade “tanks” have been built by many countries, most recently in the middle east where they have been used by Kurdish forces and also in Syria.  View gallery here.