Videos: Made in the USSR

Over the past couple years, a series of videos titled “Made in the USSR” have been posted on youtube.  This series spotlights various Soviet weapons systems.  We have posted the episodes dealing with AFVs below.  The audio is in Russian but English subtitles are included.  The videos cover the T-54/55, T-64, T-72, T-80, Gvozdika and Akatsiya, BMP, BMD and PT-76.

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New Issue of ARMOR posted online

After much delay, the April-June 2015 issue of ARMOR Mounted Maneuver Journal has been posted online in PDF format.  Tank and AFV aficionados interested in hardware will probably find the article on the BMPT Terminator-2 to be the most interesting.  Those who like armor history will find the piece about the 37th tank battalion at Arracourt to be worthwhile.  Click on the image below to download the PDF file.

armor 2015

From the Editor: Tank Movie Posters

Sahara (1943)

Sahara (1943)

Regular readers may have noticed a lack of posts in the past several days.  We have had to deal with some family emergencies which pulled us away from the keyboard.  Fortunately, it does not seem that the past few days have generated much important news regarding AFVs so perhaps our timing was good.  We were thinking about movies today and started to google movie posters.  We put together a small gallery of posters for movies featuring tanks.  Unfortunately, there have not been very many great films featuring tanks, although there are a few that have developed a cult following.  Kelly’s Heroes, The Beast and Sahara are decent films and they are fun to watch.  “Tank” staring James Garner is somewhat painful to sit through, and films such as “Tank Force”, “Tank Battalion”, and “The Tanks are Coming (1951)” are painfully dated.  And then there is the Battle of the Bulge, a film which transforms the the Ardennes Forest in winter into an arid Spanish plain with US Chaffee light tanks battling M47 “Tiger” tanks.  The less said about the 1995 remake of Sahara staring James Belushi, the better.  Below is a list of the films in the gallery with links to either the trailer or the entire film.  There are of course many other films that feature tanks.  These are just a few that we thought had interesting posters.

Sahara (1943) Excerpt

The Tanks are Coming (1951) Trailer

Tank Battalion (1958) Full Film

Tank Force! (1958) Excerpt

Battle of the Bulge (1965) Trailer

Kelly’s Heroes (1970) Trailer

Tank (1984) Trailer

The Beast of War (1988) Trailer

White Tiger (2012) Trailer (Russian language)

From the Vault: British Tank and AFV Demonstrations at Bovington from British Pathe

Today we present a couple British Pathe videos showing British armor from the early cold war period.

First is two videos about armor being demonstrated for the public at Bovington.  These videos are from 1955 and 1961.





Here is a video on various British Vehicles on display at Bovington in 1962.



Next is a video on the British Saladin armored car from 1959



Here is a video showing a demonstration of a British ATGM from 1960.



Here are two more videos of British armor at Bovington.  These videos are from 1954 and lack audio.


Overlord’s Blog “Opening the Blue Coat”

Over at Overlord’s Blog, David Lister (aka Listy) has posted a two part article about Operation Blue Coat during the Battle for Normandy in 1944.  The article focuses on the Churchill tanks of the 6th Guards.


jspXUabThere’s a famous quote by Bernard Montgomery that he wanted 1/3rd of the Churchill tanks armed with a six pounder gun. This may have had some impact on the 6th Guards Tank Brigade. In the run up to D-Day they rearmed all their tanks to the 75mm gun, including their Churchill MKIII’s, but they were never deployed. The Guardsmen preferred the 75mm over the six pounder. Despite this they started rearming the required one third of their tanks back. However this may not have been enough and they still weren’t ordered to cross the channel. Eventually the Brigade’s commander went to see the King, whom in turn went to see Prime Minister Churchill; Churchill then ordered the unit deployed. They landed on French soil on the 20th of July. Once in their marshalling area several officers visited tank graveyards to view the effects of German weaponry, their visits prompted a massive up armouring program across the brigade. Most of the time this was just spare track links welded all over the tank and turret but sometimes it was actual plate. There exists a few odd pictures of a Churchill MKIII*, a MKIII tank with extra armour on the front of the turret and armed with a 75mm gun.

Read the full article at Overlord’s Blog.

US Army to purchase more M109A7 SPH

1434570673259Jane’s is reporting that the US Army has exercised an option to purchase an additional 30 sets of M109A7 SPH and the companion M992A3 ammunition carrier.  Formerly referred to as the Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) program, the M109A7 features significant upgrades over the M109A6 Paladin by replacing  the tracks, transmission, and engine with units common to the Bradley IFV and adding a 600volt power generator and a more advanced projectile ramming system.  The contract was awarded on Oct 30 and is worth 245.3 million dollars.  This contract for 30 sets of vehicles will bring the US Army’s total number of sets to 66.

For a more detailed history of the M109A7 development, check out this page from Defense Industry Daily.

Click here to read the BAE press release on the contract.

From the Vault: 1952 Patton 48 tank demonstration

Here is a video from 1952 showing off the brand new American M48 tank.  This video recently surfaced on youtube and it should be a treat for those with an interest in early postwar US tanks.  Much of the footage is from the Chrysler Delaware plant which was built specifically for the production of the M48.  Construction of the Delaware plant took place in 1951 during the Korean war.  By 1956 Chrysler started a five year phase out of tank production at this facility, converting it to automobile manufacture.  Along with the M48, the T-43 heavy tank (later designated M103) was also built at the Delaware facility.  There is one noticeable error in the video.  At 5:42 in the video the narrator says “Both the engine and the Patton’s range finder are manufactured in other Chrysler Corporation plants.”  The engine for the M48 was built by Continental Motors, a separate company from Chrysler Corporation.

The Armor Journal “Walkarounds”

For those who are looking for reference photos of various tanks and armored vehicles on display, we recommend the “Walkarounds” section of the website for The Armor Journal (TAJ) Magazine.  This online gallery includes pictures of 16 different tanks, 13 different self propelled guns as well as some towed artillery and some miscellaneous vehicles.  Included in the gallery are some rather rare vehicles such as the IS-7, Object 279 and the Mark VIII Liberty.  If you enjoy the gallery, be sure to check out the first three issues of TAJ which feature a variety of articles and photos of modern and historic armor.

Click the image below to go to the gallery.

Walkaround tanks

From the Vault: The Tanks are Coming (1941)

Here is a short film from 1941 by Warner Bros titled “The Tanks are Coming.”  The film is part comedy, part propaganda and frankly the humor is more than a bit dated.  However, the film includes a good deal of interesting footage of early war US M2 light and M2 medium tanks.  There are some good training shots as well, featuring driving and gunnery simulators.  The film was shot on location at Fort Knox.