National Interest article on T-14 Armata

0_d2203_364f1442_origNational Interest.org has posted an article by Robert Farley examining the T-14 Armata and asking “should America be worried?”  Some interesting food for thought, although it seems most of the information gleaned by the article author comes from internet articles (fortunately the article contains plenty of hyperlinks.)  We invite people to read it and come to their own conclusions.

Excerpt:

How much should the United States worry about the Armata, and where should that concern lie?  The impressive nature of the tank notwithstanding, the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps are unlikely to encounter it directly on the battlefield.  The bigger questions involve how the Armata might change the global market for armored vehicles, and how the tank might become part of the arsenals of Russian proxies.

Full article here.

From the Vault: British Glossary of Tank terms

Today we present an article from issue 18 of the wartime publication “Tactical and Technical Trends.”  This particular article is a glossary of British terms used in relation to armor.  These are all technical terms, so unfortunately this article will be of little help to those wanting to learn the slang of the average WWII British tanker.  However, it may still prove of interest to those looking for a list of basic tank related terms.

Book Alert: M48 Patton vs Centurion

downloadOsprey books has listed a new addition to their “Duel” series titled M48 Patton vs Centurion: Indo-Pakistani War 1965.  Written by David Higgins, this is the first of his Duel series books not to deal with WW2 German armor (King Tiger vs IS-2, Jagdpanther vs SU-100, Panzer II vs 7TP.)  The tank battles between India and Pakistan in the 1960’s and 70’s have received far less coverage than the Middle east tank battles of the same period.  We hope this volume will help fill the void of good reading material on these rather interesting though much overlooked armored clashes.  This book is slated for an early 2016 release.

Publishers description:

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 witnessed the largest tank battles seen since World War II, notably between India’s British-made Centurion Mk 7s and the American-made M48 Pattons fielded by Pakistan. Following nearly two decades of tensions and sporadic conflict between India and Pakistan, in August 1965 several thousand Pakistani soldiers entered the disputed territory of Kashmir disguised as local civilians, to which India responded with a successful ground assault. After a week of fighting, India’s 1st “Black Elephant” Armoured Division launched an offensive toward Sialkot, where it rebuffed Pakistan’s 6th Armoured Division, which suffered considerable tank losses. The ensuing battle at Chawinda on 14-16 September 1965 would demonstrate that the Centurion, with its 105mm gun and heavier armour, generally proved superior to the faster, lighter but overly complex Patton, mounting a 90mm main gun; however, the latter performed exceedingly well in the Sialkot sector, exacting a disproportionately heavy toll on its Indian opponents.

Featuring full-colour artwork, expert analysis and absorbing combat accounts, this is the story of the clash between the Centurion and the M48 Patton in the massed armour battles of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.

Tank Video: T-34/85 drafted back into service

This interesting video was brought to our attention in a post by Peter Samsonov over in the WoT forum.  Apparently, this video shows a T-34/85 tank being brought back to life by pro-Russian separatists in the Ukrainian city of Antratsyt.  The color scheme of the vehicle is a bit unusual.  Note the attempts to provide protection against shaped charge warheads, including the mesh side panels and dangling chains on the front of the vehicle.

From the Vault: Caccolube

This video from 1943 has been making the rounds the past couple years on a variety of websites.  It’s a wartime training film from 1943 from the O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services) showing a rather innovative (?) way to destroy the engine of an enemy tank or truck.  Essentially, it’s a condom filled with abrasive powders and crushed walnuts that was intended to be dropped into an engine crankcase.  Once this is accomplished, the caccolube goes to work, causing the enemy engine to seize up after being run “20 to 30 miles.”  We will leave it to the viewer to determine how effective a weapon caccolube may have been.

Siberian farmers plow fields with tanks

The Siberian Times has posted an articleinformation_items_3032 about three farming brothers that use old tanks to plow their fields.  According to the article,  Vasily, Dmitry and Ivan Ivanov, from the rural settlement of Karatuzskoye in Krasnoyarsk Krai, bought the vehicles from the military in the 1990s for the price of scrap metal.  Initially they bought them to use as cars because the roads in their area are extremely bad. They live about 30km from the district centre and in the winter or bad weather it is almost impossible to travel anywhere.  The article identifies the tank hulls used by the brothers as being from T-62 tanks, although judging from the arraignment of the road wheels, the tractors appear to be based on T-55 hulls.  The Ivanovs farm about 400 hectares of land, half of which is sown with grain, with the tank used to plough the land and sow the oats and wheat.

Full article here.

Book Alert: A15 Cruiser Mk. VI Crusader Tank – A Technical History

product_thumbnailA new book on the British Crusader tank by P. M. Knight has been released.  Titled “A15 Cruiser Mk. VI Crusader Tank – A Technical History”, this is a paperback volume of 199 pages.  This is the second book by P. M. Knight on British armor, his first book examined the Covenanter Cruiser tank.  At almost 200 pages, this book promises to be one of the most in-depth examinations of this much-maligned vehicle and should prove to be an indispensable addition to the library of any British armor enthusiast. Currently it is available for order through lulu.com although the author has informed us that it will be available through Amazon in 4-6 weeks.

Publisher’s Description:

There can be few tanks that have proved as controversial in their deployment as the Crusader, a tank that was invested with high hopes on its entry into service in 1941. This book investigates in unprecedented detail the issues that impinged on its service life. Drawing extensively on original archive sources, a new perspective is drawn on both the employment of the tank itself, and on British tank development of the era. The complex story that unfolds encompasses many interwoven and sometimes contradictory threads, allowing the author to reach both perceptive and surprising conclusions.