Book Alert: British Armoured Formations 1939 – 1945, A Bibliography

For those interested in the history of British Armor during WW2, please consider this very useful reference book by John A. Smith, British Armoured Formations 1939 – 1945, A Biography:  Annotated and Illustrated, Incorporating Armoured Regiments, Brigades and Divisions in Service During World War Two.  According to the author, this work  provides a listing for each armored regiment, brigade and division, and includes not only the standard histories but also the private regimental publications, the memoirs and biographies of veterans, plus a summary of each unit’s journals/newspapers/etc. There is also a color illustration section that shows some of the rarer titles listed in the book.  There is also a notes section for each book with the authors observations on the content, including awards and honors, print run numbers where established, guidance on the quantity of content relevant to WWII, and more.

For a sample of the book, go to the author’s website  Aside from the sample pages, there is an order page for those wishing to purchase a copy, as well as a page listing other books on British Armor that the author has available for sale from his personal collection.

British Armored formations

From the Vault: WW2 Tank Recognition Poster

Here is a small gallery of three tank recognition posters printed by the US during WW2.  These posters have circulated the internet a bit and reproductions are sold on ebay.  They contain some interesting errors and some of the vehicle profiles seem a bit “off,” particularly the Japanese tanks.

The Sherman

sherman tank siteInternet poster “Jeeps_Guns_Tanks” has launched a new website dedicated to the M4 Sherman Tank called  There is quite a bit of content at this site for those wanting to read about the history of the Sherman tank.  The site author is a true fan of the M4 Sherman.

From the site:

Welcome to the Sherman Tank Web Page. we are new, live since November 21st 2015.

The site started out as a thread on the Sturgeon’s House, and it grew into something so huge, I felt it needed its own page. Check the introduction to get started or just jump around the sidebar index.

Please feel free to comment. Also feel free to let me know about any cool Sherman info you may have or mistakes I made. There is a thread about this over on the Sturgeon’s House forums. You can contact me there or through this page at

I plan on updating this site for as long as I can find out info on Sherman tanks.

Thanks for stopping by!



Video: Wooden Tank

We have no idea what the context for this creation is, but we figured we might as well post it.

KV-1 tank recovered from swamp in Belarus

According to Minsk Capital Television, earlier this month the remains of a WW2 era KV-1 heavy tank was retrieved from a swamp in the Vitebsk region of Belarus.  Efforts to retrieve the tank took several days as the vehicle hull was said to lie at depth of over three meters of water.  The TV story notes that the plan is to reconstruct the tank as a museum piece.


Video: US AVLB in action

Two days ago this video showing a US Marine Corps AVLB demonstrating it’s bridging capabilities showed up on youtube.  The vehicles in this video are listed as belonging to the the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion and 7th Engineer Support Battalion.

China to retire the Type 89 Tank Destroyer

20151119_TankDestroyer_chinadailyAsia is reporting that China has begun to phase out their type 89 tank destroyers in favor of other weapons systems such as anti-tank missiles and attack helicopters.  This report is based on information published in the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army.  The PLA Daily article included a picture of 18 self-propelled guns that look like Type 89 tank destroyers departing a military base of the PLA Shenyang Military Command’s 39th Group Army.  The newspaper said that an official retirement ceremony for the obsolete armored vehicles was held on November 3.  The article quotes Senior Colonel Wang Kai, a land armaments expert at the PLA Academy of Armored Forces Engineering in Beijing who notes that:

“With its good mobility and a high automation level, the Type-89 tank destroyer can easily pierce the armor of enemy tanks using a 120-mm smoothbore gun.”  “It was brought into service by the PLA around the early 1990s to close the loopholes in the PLA’s anti-tank capability that existed in the 1970s and 1980s.” “Thanks to the past 20 years of modernization, our armored forces have acquired a large number of advanced tanks equipped with large-calibre, powerful guns, which means specialised tank destroyers such as the Type-89 will no longer be needed.”

It is reported that China may decided to export these retired vehicles to developing countries.

Book Alert: Fallen Sentinel

fallen sentinelAmazon has listed a release date of January 2016 for the book “Fallen Sentinel: Australian Tanks in World War II.” We assume this is a release date for a US edition since the book has been available in Australia or in a digital version since 2011.  Authored by Peter Beale, this hardcover book is listed at 320 pages published by Big Sky Publishing.   Peter Beale is best known for his book “Death by Design” which gives a critical evaluation of World War II British tank development.  While British WW2 tank development has been covered over the years fairly extensively by authors such as David Fletcher, AJ Smithers and Peter Beale, this book is the first to cover Australian tank development in substantial detail.  A preview of the book is available on Amazon here.

Publishers Description:

Fallen Sentinel tells the story of Australian tanks in World War II, a dismal tale for both tankman and taxpayer. Against the backdrop of the sweeping conquest of Western Europe by Hitler’s Panzers, the Australian Government, cash-strapped and resource poor, attempted to field its own tank force to do battle with the Axis forces. Three armoured divisions were created — and all three disbanded before they had seen action. In what became a prodigious waste of time, material, and human endeavour, sixty-six Australian cruiser tanks were produced — the Sentinel tank —none of which would ever take the field of battle. This is a book that portrays governments under pressure and the bureaucratic bungles that saw opportunities lost and precious resources squandered. Fallen Sentinel presents a careful dissection of government process in the crucible of war, a rare gem in an age when most wartime histories focus on the front-line soldier. Peter Beale presents a damning indictment of the frailty of government under pressure, a bureaucracy in crisis and the extraordinary failure of government process at the highest level. Modern-day governments would do well to heed the lessons of this book.

Video: British 3rd Division Demonstration

Fans of modern British armor may enjoy this video from IHS Jane’s correspondent Patrick Allen showing footage of the British Army’s 3rd (UK) Division conducting a combined arms manoeuvre demonstration in October 2015.

Thailand Unveils “Black Widow Spider” 8×8

According to Defense,  Thai Defense Technology Institute (DTI)  showcased the “Black Widow Spider” 8×8 APC that is to be built in Thailand at the Defense and Security 2015 exhibition.  The 8×8 vehicle was  developed by Thai researchers from the DTI, the National Metal and Materials Technology Centre and private organisations with expertise in automotive safety.  The article notes that the Black Widow Spider meets the same specifications as those made for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  The DTI’s Black Widow Spider is reported to be amphibious, can carry 12 people and is equipped with a 30mm cannon.

Below is a Thai Language video with some nice footage of the Black Widow Spider.