Spotlight on: Oryx Blog

Oryx blogFor those looking for images and information on armored vehicles in current battle zones such as Syria, Libya and Iraq, be sure to check out the Oryx Blog.  While the blog is not exclusively devoted to armored vehicles, there is quite a bit of content there on the topic.  Here are some posts that will be of particular interest to the AFV enthusiast.

Syria’s Steel Beasts: The T-62

Syria’s Steel Beasts: The T-72

Syria’s Steel Beasts: The T-55

Iranian fighting vehicles

The Republican Guard’s armour upgrades: Products of a Four Year War

From Russia with Love, Syria’s BTR-82As

Syria’s TURMS-T equipped T-72s

Oshkosh Defense wins JLTV program

Big news while we were away for a few days!  It has been announced that Oshkosh Defense has been awarded by the US Department of Defense the highly coveted Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program.  JLTV is intended to partially replace the HUMVEE that has been in service with the US Army since the 1980’s.  Oshkosh beat out competitors AM General and Lockheed Martin for the contract, reported to be worth 6.7 billion dollars.  The Army and Marine Corps is are expected to buy 16,901 vehicles as part of this initial contract, with a potential for 49,000 vehicles purchased by 2040.  Production is expected to start next year and the first vehicles are expected to enter service with the USMC in 2018.

For more information on this story, we recommend this article from Defense News.

Here is the link to the JLTV page on the Oshkosh website.

Promotional video from Oshkosh showing their JLTV:

From the Vault: PS Magazine article on M56 Scorpion

kapowFor those that watched the “Inside the Hatch” video in the post previous to this one, you may have heard Nick Moran read a quote from a PS Magazine Article on the operation of the M56 Scorpion.  We figured that was as good an excuse as any to hunt down the original article and post it here for everyone to read.  This article comes from issue # 76 published in 1959.  For those interested in the M56 Scorpion, rumor has it that next year Osprey will be releasing a New Vanguard series book titled “M-50 Ontos and M-56 Scorpion 1956-1970, US Tank Destroyers of the Vietnam War” by Ken Estes.



And here is a video promoting the M56 Scorpion at the time that it went into service.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: M56 Scorpion Part 2

World of tanks researcher Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran has released the second part of his “Inside the Hatch” video on the M56 Scorpion self propelled anti-tank gun.

For those that missed part one of this series, here it is.

Late Summer Break

Tank and AFV will be taking the next few days off from posting.  We have to go out of town to take care of some things.  But fear not!  While we are gone, be sure to check out the numerous WW2 tank related documents available in the free section of the Digital History Archives.  These documents include:

21st Army Group Tech Intel Report No. 2 – New Super Heavy German AFVs – Mouse, E-100, & Cricket (1945)

CIOS Evaluation Report No. 153 – Interrogation of the President of the German Panzer Kommission (1945)

Article by US Army Tank Battalion Commander – Tank Versus Tank (1946)

Soviet Tank Memorial in American Sector of Berlin (1952)

Man killed in AFV accident

2B9A027A00000578-0-image-a-3_1440344442785CBS news is reporting that a 55 year old man was killed in an accident involving a privately owned WWII era AFV in Fairfield California.  The accident occurred during a family reunion party on land owned by Herman Rowland, CEO of Jelly Belly. As part of the festivities, attendees were taking rides on Rowland’s collection of historic AFVs. California Highway Patrol says two men were riding in a 1944 M5 tank when the vehicle started going downhill. One of the men sitting on the front edge of the tank then fell off and was run over.  The name of the victim has not yet been released.

Rowland is a collector of historic AFVs and military vehicles, having purchased an  Abbot 105mm self propelled gun formerly part of the Littlefield collection last October. His collection also includes an M5 Halftrack, an M-561 Gama Goat, M113 APC, FV-603 Saracen APC and several wheeled vehicles.  The vehicle involved in the accident was reported as an M5 tank.  Images of the vehicle in question show a M5 High-Speed Tractor.

Book Alert: The Armored Campaign In Normandy June – August 1944

51eZJF8nJmL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Earlier this month Casemate publishing released a new book by Stephen Napier titled “The Armored Campaign in Normandy.” This is a hardcover book of 384 pages. As far as we can tell, this is Mr. Napier’s first book on the topic of WW2 armor history. Based on the publishers description, this book casts a rather critical eye on both Allied leadership and Allied armor in the Normandy campaign, focusing on operations Epsom, Goodwood, Cobra and Totalize. Expect to see a review of this book here next month, we are curious to see how this book compares to John Buckley’s 2004 book “British Armour in the Normandy Campaign.

Publishers Description:

Beginning with the D-day landings, this is a brutally frank appraisal of the planned use and actual results of the deployment of armour by both German and Allied commanders in the major tank battles of the Normandy campaign including operations Epsom, Goodwood, Cobra and Totalize. The Armoured Campaign in Normandy is a critique of Montgomery’s plans to seize territory and break out and describes how they failed in the face of German resistance. It details the poor planning and mistakes of British senior commanders and how the German Army’s convoluted chain of command contributed to their own defeat; these were decisions taken which cost the lives of the tank crews of both sides ordered to carry them out. Official reports, war diaries, after action reports, letters, regimental histories, memoirs of generals and recollections of tank men are used to tell the inside story of the campaign from an armour point of view to give a different but detailed perspective of the Normandy campaign from the men who fought in it.