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.  .

Jane’s video: Singapore Army’s Peacekeeper Protected Response Vehicle

Jane’s has posted a video describing the Singapore Army’s new Peacekeeper Protected Response Vehicle.

T-34 from Military Veterans Museum in Oshkosh used in “Ant-Man”

DSC_0526Thenothrwestern.com is reporting that a T-34 medium tank from the Military Veterans Museum in Oshkosh was used in the filming of the new Marvel movie “Ant-Man.” The vehicle, which is in running condition, was transported to Atlanta for filming.  Dave Kersztyn and Shane VanLinn, employees or the museum operated the tank during film production.  The Russian tank is one of the main displays at the museum, and Kersztyn said artifacts and original artwork as well as fake scenery from the scene and photos from “Ant-Man” will now accompany it.  Because the museum is a nonprofit organization, Kersztyn said all of the money they made from the film will go right back into operating expenses of the museum.

Full article here.

British Scout SV to be built in Wales

1578572_-_mainJane’s is reporting that the British Army’s new Scout SV tracked reconnaissance vehicle will be built in the UK.  Originally slated to be built at a General Dynamics facility in Spain, the article notes that General Dynamics will be building a new facility in South Wales where the majority of assembly of these vehicles will take place.  The British vehicles are an updated version of the ASCOD armored machines built for the Spanish armed forces by Santa Barbara Sistemas. General Dynamics has been working on the British vehicles since 2010 when the company signed a £500 million development contract with the MoD.  According to the GDUK spokesperson, the first 100 of the 589 Scout SVs will still be built in Spain. Once the new facility is up and running, the company will then transfer the “assembly, integration and test work of the remaining 489 vehicles” to Wales.

Full article here.

US Army says Strykers need bigger gun to fight Russia

Stryker-1-5-LDefense News has posted an article in which they report that at a recent press conference, the commander of the the Stryker-equipped 2nd Cavalry Regiment says his vehicles are outgunned by their Russian counterparts.  The Army staff in April approved a request from 2nd Cavalry Regiment commander, Col. John Meyer, to fit a 30mm cannon on 81 of the infantry carriers, needed for it to engage similar units or light-armored vehicles.  The 2nd Cavalry earlier this year completed a high-profile show-of-force convoy operation that maneuvered 120 vehicles across Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and back to its home base in Vilseck, Germany. The mission, called a Dragoon Ride, was one of a series of multilateral operations and exercises meant to reassure US allies in Europe in the wake of Russian activities.

The article notes that earlier this month, the Army requested that $9.8 million in 2015 funds be reprogrammed to outfit Strykers with the 30mm cannon. According to that request, the program would ramp up over the next two years, at $97.5 million in 2016 and $55 million in 2017. The first unit would be equipped in 27 months.  However, not everyone in Congress approves of the idea.  Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., argued against the move, saying the program had not been vetted by the committee. It looked like an expensive multiyear commitment whose costs were unclear and availability “would not be instantaneous,” he said. He said the estimated cost to up-gun Strykers was $3.8 million each.

Full article here.