Littlefield’s Panther Video Clip

Here is a two minute video excerpt from the TV show “Strange Inheritance” featuring the restored WW2 German Panther tank owned by the late Jacques Littlefield.  This vehicle is part of the collection that now belongs to the Collings Foundation.

 

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann wants to export Leopard II to Oman

Leo2a4mcan1010076cArabian Business.com has posted an article stating that German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) wants to export over 70 Leopard tanks to Oman.  The article notes that this story was originally reported in German language magazine Der Spiegel, which notes that KMW and a Turkish competitor to submit bids for a contract worth more than 2 billion dollars.  Der Spiegel said the Federal Security Council, the German body that monitors the export of military goods, had given KMW a temporary export licence for a Leopard tank for a test in Oman.

From the Vault: Post War British Report on Panther

100_3965Back in early October friend of the site P. M. Knight shared with us a wartime British report on the reliability and performance of a German Panther tank.  That report was based on the testing of a single early model Panther provided by the USSR and the tests end early due to mechanical failure.  P. M. Knight has provided us with photos of a second report, this one being conducted in the immediate post war period based on tests of five Panthers (two Panther tanks, two Jagd Panthers, and one Panther ARV.)  Much like the first report, the end result is the same, trials were ended prematurely due to mechanical failures.  The primary problems noted are failures of the steering mechanism and engine fires.

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South Korean KIFV gets big firepower upgrade

Jane’s is reporting that the South Korean K200 Infantry fighting vehicle (KIFV) developed by Doosan DST is getting a big boost in firepower in the form of a Belgian CMI Defense Cockerill Protected Weapon Station (CPWS.)  The first example displayed of the CPWS on a KIFV was equipped with a Orbital ATK 30mm cannon.  Varients of the KIFV have had turret mounted guns of 20mm-30mm in the past, but these were manned turrets that took up valuable interior crew space, unlike the remote weapons station CPWS.  Also shown in the article is a mock up of a South Korean K21 NIFV fitted with CMI turret mounting a 105mm rifled cannon.  The K21 is an IFV intended to replace the KIFV as the front line South Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

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From the Vault: General Patton on Mechanization and Cavalry circa 1930

People generally think of General George Patton as an early advocate of the tank in the period between the world wars.  While he was involved in some of the earliest uses of tanks during WW1, he realized after the war that for the sake of his career he was better off transferring to the Cavalry.  While he would advocate for the use of armor in the US army, he also continued to speak out on behalf of the traditional horse mounted cavalry in the interwar period.  A good example of this are the two articles presented below from the April 1930 and July 1930 issues of The Cavalry Journal.  Titled “Mechanization and the Cavalry” and “Motorization and Mechanization in the Cavalry”, these articles illustrate Patton’s thoughts on the appropriate role of armored vehicles compared to those of the horse cavalry, arguing that the two could be used to compliment each other.  Unfortunately, the print quality of these articles is not great, but they are legible.

Mechanization and the Cavalry April 1930

Motorization and Mechanization in the Cavalry July 1930

Improvised AFV Photos in Middle East

From the twitter page of BBC Middle East Correspondent Quentin Sommerville, here are a couple pictures of improvised AFVs being used in the fight against ISIS in Iraq/Syria.

Improvised tank Improvised Armored car

Littlefield collection to be featured in reality TV show episode

jacques_collectionFOX Business Network will be airing a new episode of the show “Strange Inheritance” featuring the armored vehicle collection of the late Jacques Littlefield.  The episode is slated to air Nov. 11 at 9 PM Eastern Standard.  Littlefield collected over 240 armored vehicles before his untimely death in 2009.  The collection was donated to the Collings Foundation of Stow MA which auctioned off some of the vehicles in order to finance a new exhibition home for these historic treasures.  The Collings Foundation says it will open its tank exhibit in the spring of 2018, featuring 80 of Jacques Littlefield’s tanks.

From the Vault: Why Three Tanks?

Today we present an article from the July-August 1998 issue of ARMOR titled “Why Three Tanks” by Stephen “Cookie” Sewell.  This article gives a nice overview of Soviet tank development from WW2 through the cold war seeking to explain why the USSR ended up with three similar main battle tanks, the T-64, T-72 and T-80.  Mr. Sewell wrote several articles for Armor and is an avid model builder, being the founder and first president of the Armor Modeling and Preservation Society.

Book Review: T-64 Battle Tank by Zaloga

51mOjKKttzL._SX369_BO1,204,203,200_People familiar with Osprey’s New Vanguard series and with Steven Zaloga will know exactly what to expect from this title; a well written, well researched book with quality photos and illustrations. Mr. Zaloga also wrote the New Vanguard series books on the Soviet T-62, T-72 and T-80, so this volume completes the set nicely. That the T-64 is the last of the Soviet Cold War MBT’s to get its own New Vanguard book is indicative of how this vehicle has been overshadowed by its more well known stablemates. Ironically, the T-64 was perhaps the most important of the Cold War Soviet designs, setting the template for all the Soviet tanks that followed. Zaloga does a very nice job in describing the internal politics that led to the development of the T-64, a tale with more than a few characters and plot twists. It is perhaps appropriate that this book came out now, as it’s only been in the last year that the T-64 has seen combat, being used extensively in the fighting in Ukraine.

The only complaint regarding this book is the length.  As with all the Osprey New Vanguard titles, the book is only 48 pages.  Considering the number of photos and illustrations, the space available for text is rather limited and one gets the impression that Mr. Zaloga could easily fill a larger volume with his knowledge of this topic.  The “Further Reading” section at the end of the book shows that a good deal of information is available regarding the T-64, but it is almost exclusively in Russian language sources.  We can only hope that a publisher offers Mr. Zaloga a chance to write a more detailed hard cover book on Soviet post war tank development, perhaps an updated version of his classic “Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles: 1946 to Present” published back in 1987.  That said, this New Vanguard T-64 book is at present the best (and one of the few) volumes out there dedicated specifically to this essential battle tank of the cold war.

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Lithuania requests Stryker Vehicles with 30mm cannon

hqdefaultAccording to a US DoD news release,  Lithuania is requesting a sale of 84 M 1126 Stryker vehicles armed with 30mm cannons along with associated equipment, parts and logistical support.  The purchase is listed at an estimated cost of $599 million.  The release states that the 30mm cannon be either the ATK 30mm gun, the XM813 30mm cannon or a European variant with the Remote Weapon Station and 84 M2 Flex Machine Guns.  A principal contractor is not listed in the press release although it’s worth pointing out that the Stryker is a General Dynamics product.  The US army plans to field Stryker vehicles with a 30mm gun by 2018.  The initial US order is for 81 upgunned Strykers to equip the 2nd US Cavalry Regiment based in Germany.  Earlier this year it was reported that Lithuania planned to purchase the German Boxer 8×8 armored vehicle.  It would appear that the Boxer purchase has been abandoned in favor of the Stryker.

The DoD news release notes that “Lithuania’s acquisition of the Stryker ICV system would represent a major advancement in capability for the Lithuanian Land Forces, filling a vital capability gap that is not currently addressed. The Stryker ICV system would provide maneuverability, speed, and firepower to the Lithuanian Land Forces and enhance Lithuania’s ability to contribute to territorial defense and NATO and coalition operations. Lithuania will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.”  The Stryker would replace the venerable M113 APC that remains in Lithuanian service, initially equipping the two battalions of the ‘Iron Wolf” mechanized infantry brigade.