Bradley IFV and M1A2 firing exercise video

Gung Ho Vids published this video of Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M1A2 Abrams tanks sending rounds downrange at Fort Hood Tx.  The armored vehicles are with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team (Black Jack Brigade), 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Army. Filmed May 13, 2015.

Reprints of “Patton” and “Half-Track” by Hunnicutt released

PattonEcho Point Books has released reprints of R. P. Hunnicutt’s books “Patton” and “Half-Track.”  Earlier this year they also released reprint editions of “Stuart” and “Sherman” by Hunnicutt.  Unlike the Stuart and Sherman books which are priced at $69.95 softcover and 499.95 hardcover, the Patton book is $59.95/$79.95 while the Half-Track book is $39.95/$49.95.  Reviews of these reprints have generally been mixed, with purchasers commenting that the paper quality is not the high quality glossy paper found in the original editions.  It has also been noted that these reprints appear to be based on scans of the original works.  According to ‘The Chieftain” Nicholas Moran, the publisher will be changing their printing mechanism for future print runs.

Israeli Defense Forces decides “No women in Tank Corps”

DSCF3439_waHaaretz is reporting that the IDF, after extensive field tests to explore the issue, has decided that female soldiers cannot serve in the tank corps.  Among the difficulties identified in the tests were physical discrepancies between the women and men in tasks necessary within the combat compartment of the Merkava tank, particularly the loader position.  In addition, evaluators examined the level of intimacy required among soldiers who are forced to spend days at a time locked into a small cabin while on operational duty. The privacy of a female combat soldier could at times be severely compromised under such conditions, the IDF found.

Full article here.

20 Years ago: Tank rampage in San Diego

U-T San Diego has published a story commemorating an incident from 20 years ago in which an M60 tank was stolen from a National Guard armory and driven through a San Diego neighborhood.   The driver of the tank, an former army serviceman named Shawn Nelson who had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, led police on a 23 minute chase which caused extensive property damage.  Much of the rampage was captured on video by helicopters and later aired repeatedly on cable TV shows.  The chase ended when Nelson lost a track trying to climb a concrete highway barrier.  The tank was boarded by police officers and Nelson was shot and killed after refusing to surrender.  According to the article, Shawn Nelson had fallen victim to methamphetamine addiction, which very likely played a role in his decision to take a tank for a joyride.

The Chieftain’s Hatch: The Super Pershing

chieftains hatchWargaming’s resident tank expert “The Chieftain” has posted a new article on the T26E4, commonly called the Super Pershing.  Using materials unearthed from the archives, the article explains how the extra long 90mm gun of the Super Pershing (T15E2) was found to be unsatisfactory by army testers.

The exploits of the T26E4 in Europe are well known. Indeed, there is much anticipation for the release of the HD model of the tank in the upcoming update.  It is, of course, known that the Super Pershing we all know and love was not an entire success, not least because the ammunition its T15E1 rifle used was single-piece and incredibly unwieldy. It is also known (albeit slightly less so) that an improved version of the T15E1 was developed, the creatively named T15E2, and that was designed to use split-piece ammunition, supposedly to fix this problem. Yet when M26’s replacement was developed, M46, it still retained the shorter 90mm M3-based gun. What happened?

Read the full article here.

Jane’s 360: Russia’s Armor Revolution

hBRvUIHS Jane’s 360 has posted a fairly detailed article analyzing the latest developments in Russian AFV design.  Declaring the new line of Russian vehicles “a revolution” in AFV design, the article uses photos from the May 9 Victory Day parade to draw some new conclusions regarding some of the technical details of these vehicles.

Paraded uncovered for the first time on 9 May in Moscow, Russia’s new range of armoured vehicles represent not only the biggest change in the country’s armoured vehicle families since the 1970s but also a new design ethos.

While the vehicles’ designs partly involve radical rather than revolutionary innovation, the scale and ambition of the change they embody is nothing short of a revolution. Together, the Armata, Kurganets, Boomerang, and Koalitsiya and other vehicles on show will replace nearly all Russia’s existing vehicle families as, remarkably, Russia is attempting to replace all its main armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) families at the same time.

Read the entire article here.

Book Review: Armored Champion by Steven Zaloga

index“Armored Champion: The Top Tanks of World War II” is the latest installment in the “Armored” series of hardcover books written by Steven Zaloga, published by Stackpole Books.  While the first three of Zaloga’s “Armored” books focus on US armor of World War II, this latest book takes a broader look at the tanks used in that conflict, examining and declaring “the top tanks of World War II.”  The idea of declaring the top tanks of the war is a bit of a departure from the authors previous works.  At first glance it reminds one of the  innumerable “top ten” cable TV documentaries and internet forum threads dedicated to such a premise.  However, if anyone is qualified for the task of putting together such a list, Steven Zaloga must be at the top of the list due to his 40 years of research in the field and prodigious output as a writer.

It’s fair to say that this is the first book of his that seems intended to generate controversy  based on its premise and title.  One has to wonder if this book is intended as Zaloga’s response to the internet generation’s predilection with lists and rankings.  As far as this reviewer can tell, this is the first work by Zaloga in which he references online games such as “World of Tanks” and he also at one point uses the internet idiom of “Nazi fanboys” to describe admirers of SS Panzer ace Michael Wittman!

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