“Mephisto” A7V goes on display in Canberra

6654296-3x2-700x467According to ABC (Australia), Mephisto, a unique weapon of war and the only surviving German A7V tank from World War I, has gone on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra as part of centenary commemorations.  Panzerkampfwagen 506, known as Mephisto, was part of the initial German tank detachment which participated in the first German tank attack at St Quentin in France.  In its second and final battle at Villers-Bretonneux, the Mephisto tank was disabled and abandoned on the battlefield.  Now the rare tank has been moved temporarily to Canberra to mark the 100th anniversary of significant WWI battles.

Russia to host “World Championship Tank Biathlon 2015”

The Diplomat is reporting that Russia will host the World Tank Biathlon Championship starting on August 1.  This competition, including tank crews from 17 countries, will take place a the Alabino firing range in the suburbs of Moscow.  Participating countries include Belarus, China, Egypt, India, Nicaragua and Tajikistan as well as others.  All participants save for China will be using T-72B3 tanks.  The Chinese crews will be using their own ZTZ-96A MBT.  Last year, Angola, Armenia, Belarus, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, and Venezuela participated in the various competitions with Russia coming in first, Armenia second, and China third.  Next to the tank biathlon, there will be a total of 12 other challenges including the “Masters of Air Defense,” “Masters of Artillery Fire,” as well as “Airborne Platoon” competitions. Russia is the only country to participate in all 13 events, according to the event’s website.

Full article here.

Video from Tank Biathlon 2014.

Armata to be showcased at arms expo

rae2015International Business Times is reporting that the new Russian T-14 Armata tank will be showcased in September at the Russia Arms Expo in Nizhny Tagil.  The expo will run from September 9 through 12, with the Armata being on display on the second day.  According to the article, the manufacturer of the Armata noted “As for the demonstration of the Armata, we’ll certainly show it. This will be either a closed show or Armata will be placed behind a glass anti-glare contour.”  The expo will run Sept. 9 to 12. Previous expos have featured 20,000 visitors, 470 exhibitors and delegations from 40 countries. The Armata tank, which had long been cloaked in secrecy, will likely be a major draw.

Full Article here.

Michael Wittmann’s headstone stolen

11665542_905219942870076_8661211230239328796_nThe Times of Europe is reporting that the headstone of Nazi SS Panzer ace Michael Wittmann has been stolen from a German cemetery in Normandy.  According to the Times, the theft was discovered by an unnamed German national living in the town of La Cambe, where the unsecured cemetery is situated, “a few days ago”.  The website Argunners had more information on the story.  They note that there has been a series of Nazi headstone thefts.  Walter Model’s headstone was also recently stolen.

USMC set to pick two bidders from field of five ACV options

iveco_superav1Jane’s is reporting that the USMC will soon select two designs from the current field of five options for the AVC (Amphibious Combat Vehicle) program.  According to the article, the five proposed designs for ACV have come from Advanced Defense Vehicle Systems (ADVS), a relatively small company from Michigan; BAE Systems and Iveco with a version of the Superav; General Dynamics with a variant of its Piranha; Lockheed Martin offering a yet-unknown bid (it originally teamed with Patria Land Systems to offer a variant of the AMV called Havoc but separated earlier this year); and STK and SAIC with a version of the Terrex.  All of these options are 8×8 wheeled vehicles, as opposed to the tracked Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle which was cancelled in 2011.  These wheeled options also feature slower in water speeds than the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.  According to the Jane’s article, the qualifications for the ACV as far as water speed are “the capacity to achieve water mobility performance on par with or greater than the existing assault amphibian (the AAV7A1 Assault Amphibious Vehicle.)”

Full article here.

Canadian War Museum: “Awesome Tanks” event

On Sunday July 26 the Canadian War Museum hosted an event called Awesome Tanks.  This event included the running of several of the museums tanks, including an Scorpion light tank and an M4 Sherman (Grizzly.)  Also involved in the event were the Ottawa Valley Amour Modellers Association, who provided over 100 models to display for the event.

Footage of a Grizzly tank being run at the event:

Here is an video showing some of the tanks and armored vehicles on display at the Canadian War Museum

And here is a video showing the restoration of a Panther tank at the Canadian War Museum.

From the Vault: ARMOR Magazine article on Merkava 4

Today we present an article by Lt. Col David Eshel from the Jan-Feb 2003 issue of ARMOR on the Merkava 4.

Book Alert: Reprint of ‘Firepower” by Hunnicut is planned

Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran has posted on his facebook account that his employer WarGaming is planning a World of Tanks reprint edition of the book “Firepower” by R. P.  Hunnicutt.  This book is long out of print and typically commands several hundred dollars for used copies in good condition.  Here is the post:

11755787_988543301185451_5192717826878223814_nOK, so we’re suffering from a bit of a dilemma. We’re hoping to release a WoT Edition of a book. Improved on the original a bit, we’ve sent them recent scans of photos from the archives, foreword and some addenda by myself, and so on.

The idea is that we do a single print run, and pass on the economy of scale to you guys. So, the more that are sold, the cheaper it is for everyone. (We also don’t care much about the book profit, so that’s a cost reduction too. The bottom line is that it’ll never be cheaper). Fine in theory. The catch: Usually these low-volume books are made ‘print-on-demand’, which may be a slightly lesser quality, is certainly more expensive in volume, but is decidedly faster.To do this right, highest quality printing, lowest cost, etc, has a long turnaround time from the printer. In theory, if we went by “Announce on Day 1. Close orders Day 30. Tally number of orders. Print that many”, it could take up to three months between when someone clicks “Checkout, take my credit card info” to when the book is shipped. I don’t understand the technology/process, that’s just what the publisher has told me. In effect, it’s a pre-order. For ease, we may go with a fixed price, and then add gold codes of a value to make up the difference.

The alternative is that we take a wild guess as to how many might be sold, order that many in advance, and hope not too many people get disappointed (and that we didn’t wildly over-estimate). Those X many people will get their books pretty much immediately. We have absolutely no idea how big a number “X” should be, we don’t really have a basis for comparison.

So, on the basis that we want to get the most people to benefit for the least cost, the question becomes “Just how patient are you guys? Are you willing to wait several months for this?” My personal opinion is that anyone who’s willing to pay dollars for this particular book is also willing to wait, but you never know, especially when our customers are used to clicking ‘purchase’ and having their goods deposited in their account within a few minutes.

Photo is prototype. Expect the final product to look a little different (Author’s name on spine, etc)

Koppitz Victory Beer

We don’t typically endorse products, but we felt we would make an exception and declare Koppitz Victory Beer to be the official beer brand of Tank and AFVNews.com.  It’s hard to say no to a beer with tanks on the label.

From the Vault: Ground-crawling machine-gun car

Today we present this short news-reel clip from 1938 of the rather ridiculous Howie-Wiley “Belly Flopper” Machine Gun Carrier.   This vehicle, Captain Robert G. Howie and Master Sergeant M. Wiley of Ft.Benning Georgia, used a rather unusual rear engine/front drive layout.  The chassis and drivetrain were from an old American Austin, the driver steered with a small lever-arm and operated the clutch and brake with his feet.  It had a 13-14 HP engine and no suspension to speak of other than the relatively fat tires.  More information on this vehicle is available at Foxtrot Alpha for those that are interested.  Special thanks to our friend Volketten for alerting us to this clip.  .