Book News: The History of the Panzerwaffe

panzerwaffeEarlier in the year we posted that the book “The History of the Panzerwaffe Volume 1: 1939-1942” by Thomas Anderson would be released on October 20 of this year.  That date has been pushed back to December 17, 2015 according to the Osprey Publishing website.  Thomas Anderson has written several hardcover books for Osprey on German WW2 Armor.  This new book promises to be a substantial work, coming in at 304 pages.  And just in time for Christmas for all those Panzer fans out there.

Publishers Description:

The Germans transformed armoured warfare from a lumbering and ponderous experiment in World War I into something that could decide the outcome of conflicts. This technical and operational history is the definitive guide to the legendary Panzerwaffe, from its very infancy to the days when it made Europe its garden path at the height of Nazi German power. With rare and revealing combat reports, along with photographs sourced from previously unseen private and archival collections, it uncovers the technical and operational stories of the formidable armoured beasts that formed the backbone of the German war machine – tanks such as the Panzer I, II and 38(t).

A German national, Thomas Anderson is a specialist in German armored fighting vehicles of World War II. He has spent decades researching in archives throughout Germany and the rest of Europe to discover little known facts and never previously published photographs of the might of the Panzerwaffe. A modeler, he regularly contributes to popular modeling and historical magazines across the globe including Military Modelcraft International (UK), Steel Art (Italy), Historia Militar (Spain) and Batailles & Blindes (France) as well as many others.

1 Laying the foundation – pre-war establishment 2 The seizure of Czechoslovakia – backing the Panzerwaffe 3 Poland – the ordeal 4 France – at eye level 5 The Balkans – the unwanted campaign 6 Russia – an overmighty opponent? 7 1942 – upgrading the Panzers 8 North Africa – defeat instead of superiority 9 Dark prospects – Waiting for the new tanks 10 Tank recovery and repair 1935-42

From the Vault: The Interphone System in Armored Vehicles

Today we present an article from the July-Aug 1946 issue of ARMOR titles “The Interphone System for Armored Vehicles” by Lt. John Heran.  This piece explains the operation of the interphone system in US WW2 era tanks.  It includes a list of terms used by tankers of the period.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: Achilles Part 2

Here is part 2 of the “Inside the Hatch” video series look at the British Achilles variant of the M10 tank destroyer.

Nicholas Moran continues his tour of the Achilles tank destroyer, built on the basis of the American M10. Today, he’s talking about the tank interior and crew member positions. Why can this vehicle be considered the best of its type for its time? What difficulties did the gunner face? What’s the simplest way for the driver to get to his position? You can find answers to these questions and more in the new episode of “Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch.” Happy viewing!

Book review of Tanks in Hell

tanks in tarawaThe Spectrum has published a review of the new book by Oscar Gilbert and Romain Cansiere, Tanks in Hell: A Marine Corps Tank Company on Tarawa.  This book was published earlier this year by Casemate.  Oscar Gilbert is the author of several books, with a focus on US Marine Corps armor.

Book Review excerpt:

Charlie Mason’s tank was inching its way toward a Japanese pillbox when incoming machine-gun fire sprayed his M4A2 Sherman, he remembered, “like hail on a tin roof.”

Mason’s tank, the CONGA, was part of Charlie Company, 1st Corps Medium Tank Battalion. Its job was to silence enemy strongpoints that acted as scythes against the lightly armed Marines invading the beaches of Tarawa.

After a bit of cat and mouse, CONGA fired and obliterated the Japanese pillbox. The victory, however, was short-lived. Later that day, CONGA was knocked out of action.

So it went for armor on Tarawa during World War II.

In the new book Tanks in Hell: A Marine Corps Tank Company on Tarawa(Casemate, $34.95), authors Oscar E. Gilbert and Romain Cansiere paint a vivid description of combat inside what was often referred to as “steel coffins.” And while writing about the fighting in the Gilbert Islands is not uncommon, focusing a book specifically on a single tank company on Tarawa is.

Read the full review here.

From the Vault: Tank Armament

Today we present a two page article from the Nov-Dec 1946 issue of ARMOR written by the School of Tank Technology.  This piece describes some of the technical considerations regarding tank gun design in the immediate post war period.  In particular, the article discusses issues relating to mounting the gun in a tank turret and the role of recoil systems and muzzle breaks.

Catching up…

We are back from vacation and going through all the tank related news we missed while away.  Rather than create separate posts for the following stories concerning modern vehicles, here is a single post with links.

IHS Jane’s : General Dynamics Protests USMC Amphibious Combat Vehicle Program.  

1536208_-_mainGeneral Dynamics on 7 December protested the US Marine Corps’ (USMC’s) award of Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 contracts to teams led by BAE Systems and SAIC.

“We believe the selection process was not consistent with the criteria outlined in the RfP [request for proposals],” a company spokesperson told IHS Jane’s in a statement. General Dynamics said it used the RfP’s “description of the evaluation criteria to develop and propose” its vehicle, to meet the USMC’s specific requirements.

Defense News: Turkish, Ukraine Defense Firms in Talks for Tank Upgrades.

635850153905707518-000-Par7293370ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey and Ukraine’s biggest defense firms have started negotiations that will most likely end up in a cooperation deal for tank modernization programs.  Turkish Aselsan and Ukraine’s Ukroboronprom are exploring ways to undertake joint programs designed to upgrade tanks.  The cooperation will later expand into upgrading artillery and personnel carriers, one Aselsan official said.

Trend News Agency: Iran Eyes Purchasing Russian T-90 Tanks

Tank_t72_030611_2Iran wants to purchase T90 tanks from Russia, the Islamic Republic’s Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said.

He noted that Iran and Russia have signed the first military agreement recently to purchase S300 missile defense systems and the second agreement will be signed on purchasing T90 tanks, Fars News Agency reported Dec.8.

Jane’s IHL: Poland Recieves Final Leopard 2A5 MBTs from Germany

1646329_-_mainPoland has received its final batch of Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBTs) from Germany, it has been announced.

The MBTs, plus 220 additional vehicles, were purchased for EUR187 million (USD203 million) in November 2013 from ex-German Army stocks to equip the 34th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, based in Zagan.


Defense News: US Gives Over 100 Military Vehicles to Philippines

635853729422427317-8387148130-a0e903d0d3-kMANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is receiving 114 armored vehicles donated by the United States, officials said Thursday, boosting the poorly-equipped military’s fight against various insurgent groups in the country.

Washington has provided ally Manila with military support in the past, including a warship offered last month as part of a $250 million aid package to Southeast Asian nations.






German Superheavy Paper Tank Destroyers

jagdpanzere100s1-cd4370df9b9b6b0a81069a495202b39cThe Archive Awareness blog has posted an English language translation of an article by Russian tank researcher Yuri Pasholok on the subject of WW2 German “paper” superheavy tank destroyers.  In this piece he takes aim as some of the fantasy tanks and tank destroyers that have circulated in magazines and around the net such at the E-100 “Krokodil.”


Fantasies regarding WWII era armour in the areas of technical capabilities and application in combat, both of tanks that existed and those that never made it off paper (or were never even planned at all), are very widespread. An popular category of these fantasies concerns tank destroyers on the chassis of German superheavy tanks. Do any of them actually have a basis in reality?

The Atlantis of German tank design: E-100 Krokodil

The E-100 and Maus superheavy tanks are some of the most worshipped idols among German armour. The fact that the development of both was stopped by a personal order from Hitler in July of 1944 does not stop many from believing that both monsters could make it to mass production. In reality, the fate of the Maus was sealed when the Allies bombed Krupp’s factories and there was nowhere left to produce the tank. The E-100 was never fully assembled and never moved under its own power, nor was a contractor determined for its production.

Tank destroyers on the chassis of the E-100 and Maus tanks are another topic. Information on these vehicles is quite incomplete which gives fertile soil to wild fantasies. One of the most hyped up examples at present is the imaginary E-100 Krokodil.

The entire article can be read at the Archive Awareness blog.  For the original Russian language version, click here.   The Russian version includes images not found in the Archive Awareness translation.

The Chieftain’s Hatch: Equipping the Force Part 2

chieftains hatchNicholas “The Chieftain” Moran has posted part two of an article based on his archive digger regarding US armor in WW2.  In particular, this article looks at Army Ground Forces and how they determined with vehicles and tanks should be developed and fielded during the war.


Situation in March 1942

When Army Ground Forces was established, many of the basic decisions for the tank program had already been made by other agencies of the War Department and the Ordnance Department. At this time, the Armored Force was a semi-autonomous command which played an important part in developing its equipment. Although it came nominally under the control of Army Ground Forces, it continued to exercise many of its powers by direct contact with the Tank Automotive Center in Detroit.

The M3 medium tank was in current use, the M4 medium tank was in production but had yet to see a battlefield. Development of the Medium Tank M7 was also well under way. This had been conceived in 1941 as a 16-ton vehicle, mounting a 37mm gun, and was classified as a light tank. Successive changes requested by the Armored Force had resulted in a tank of 25 tons, mounting a 75mm gun, which thus approached the weight class of the M4 (33 tons) and was reclassified as a medium tank. During 1942 Armored Force enthusiasm for the M7 tank was quite pronounced.

All of these tanks had been developed primarily for the purpose of exploiting break-throughs and conducting operations in the traditional cavalry manner. First of all, their sponsors wanted speed and mobility, with mechanical reliability a necessary corollary. Sufficient fire power was only needed to subdue enemy infantry and minor strong points, and armor was required only to withstand enemy small arms. These tanks had narrow, high-speed treads. Unit ground pressure was not a serious factor because it was contemplated that slashing tank tactics then advocated would not be possible through soft, marshy terrain. [Chieftain’s Note: As you will recall, Armored Force, not AGF, are the folks who created tank doctrine and tank manuals, we’ve gone over in the past the position of Devers and AF on the matter of what they expected medium tanks to do against tanks. That AGF had this interpretation need not be an accurate reflection of what AF thought]

Read the full article here.


Defense Web TV on Kurganets-25

Youtube video on the Kurganets-25 BMP.

Video Description:

The Kurganets is a new platform designed and developed by the Russian Defense Company Kurgan Machine-Building Plant to create a new family of light tracked armoured vehicle. The Kurganets-25 BMP is the IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) variant of the Kurganets family. There is also a Kurganets-25 BTR (Armored Personnel carriere and Kurganets-25 ARV (Armored Recovery Vehicle).  Read more about the Kurganets-25 BMP at this link….

On Vacation

We will be on vacation starting today until the 13th of December.  Expect very little posting during this period as we will be away from the computer.

We leave you all with this GIF that appeared at Popular of an Abrams crew loading and firing the main cannon (Via Redditor /TheStrid at r/MilitaryGfys)