Video of the Day: Running with Tanks in Belgrade

From Euronews comes this unusual footage of people running with tanks.

New Edition of USA Historical AFV Register released

USA registerA new 2016 edition of the USA Historical AFV Register is available for download in PDF format.  This is the first update of the register since 2011 and was assembled by Michel van Loon and Neil Baumgardner for the AFV Association.  The register is intended to provide a cataloging of all of the historical Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFV), including tanks, APCs and self-propelled artillery, etc that are on preserved or otherwise displayed in museums or as monuments in the United States. As such the registry ranges from the World War I-era Skeleton Tank to modern M1 Abrams tanks. However, the registry is not intended to include modern AFVs that are still in service.

Download the USA Historical AFV Register here.

Registers for other regions can be found here.



The Chieftain’s Hatch: T40/M46

Over at the Chieftain’s Hatch section of the WoT forum, Nickolas “The Chieftain” Moran has posted part 1 of an article looking at the history of the US M46 medium tank.


chieftains hatchAs it is well known, the M26 Pershing was not an unqualified success. By the end of WW2, deficiencies in the vehicles, many of which were already known even at the time of fielding, became reinforced. Thus, a general improvement program was started, the T40 which ultimately would become M46. It turned out that improving a tank isn’t always all that easy…

The program for T40 really kicked off in the first half of 1948, as a series of conferences between Army Field Forces and Ordnance Dept culminated in a number of changes, particularly to the power train, but also notably weapon and suspension, in what would become the M46. As an improvement of an extant design, tests of the ten T40s were relatively brief. In fact, M46 was standardised by the Ordnance Committee in July 1949, the month before the first T40 showed up at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds!

This did not, however, provide adequate time for field service testing. It’s one thing to run a vehicle around the test track for a couple hundred miles, it’s another to really run them through the grinder on the training grounds. As a result, the Army Field Forces Board #2 (i.e. Armored Board) received four of them to test out while the production run started.

Read the full article here.

Video: TOW missle vs T-90

The Washington Post has shared a video of their site which claims to show a TOW missle being launched at a Russian built T-90 MBT.  In the video, which was posted to YouTube Friday, Syrian rebels appear to have filmed themselves firing for the first time a U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missile at a Russian T-90 tank.  According to the video’s caption, the TOW strike occurred in the Syrian town of Sheikh Aqil, a suburb just northwest of Aleppo.

The Washington Post article notes that:

In November 2015, the tanks appeared well to the east of Latakia, near Aleppo. Around the same time, a report from Al-Masdar Al-‘Arabi news indicated that a small detachment of T-90s was given to a Syrian Army mechanized unit to help with current offensive operations in the region. In recent weeks, the advanced battle tanks were filmed during a CNN segment on the outskirts of Raqqa.

In the video, the missile appears to strike the turret of the tank. As mentioned on other blogs, the T-90 appears to be equipped with a Shtora–a device designed to disrupt incoming wired-guided and infrared guided missiles, much like the TOW. In this case, it appears the system failed or wasn’t active. Though the video shows the tank’s crew member bailing out, it looks like the strike did not penetrate the turret and potentially glanced off. T-90 tanks are covered in what is called “reactive armor.” The armor serves an outer shell to the tank’s hull that, when struck, counter-detonates to disrupt the flight of the incoming enemy missile. Reactive armor can be mounted on various other tanks and is not unique to the T-90. However, the T-90’s reactive armor is likely a more advanced version of the types found on older Russian and Syrian tanks.

Full article here.

Tankograd on T-80

The Tankograd blog has released another of their in-depth posts examining a Soviet era armored vehicle.  This new post takes a look at the T-80 MBT.


T-80B applique armour front viewAlthough nowadays the T-80 isn’t nearly as famous as the T-72 and the T-90, it was understandably the most highly regarded item in the entirety of the vast Soviet tank fleet, and though they had T-72s stretching as far as the eye could see, it was the T-80s and the T-64s that formed the vanguard of the Soviet tank armies of the Rhine. However, it wasn’t planned out this way in the beginning.
As one should come to expect from anything on the other side of the Iron Curtain, the T-80 has a rather intriguing story of inception. While the designers were still ironing out issues on the 5TDF opposed-piston engine for the T-64, experiments on mounting a turboshaft engine were already in full swing. It was requested that production expand from just Kharkov (KMDB) to Kirov (LKZ) and Nizhny Tagil (UKBTM) as well. Both of the latter plants struggled to produce some of the more complex parts for the T-64 – namely the engine – due to a lack of personnel familiar with the intricacies of the fundamentally different engines, and hence, created their own variations of the basic T-64. UKBTM (today a part of UralVagonZavod) and LKZ split design elements and ended off designing what came to be known as the T-72 and T-80 respectively. LKZ’s progeny were defined by their signature turbine engines and more robust suspension, hybridized with the turret of the T-64A, thus forming the original model T-80.
This new vehicle was more extravagant and expensive than the ones preceding it, making the
T-80 much less common than the T-64 and T-72. It also came off as being a more ambitious project than UKBTM’s T-72 (evidenced by a far longer development span). The T-80 came too late for its’ own good. The instant it entered low-rate production in 1976, it was already surpassed in capability by both the T-64B and T-72A: a troubling situation for a vehicle meant to replace and supplement them, made worse by its excessive price tag. As a result, the T-80B was quickly ushered into service a mere two years after the T-80, boasting the ability to fire ATGMs from the cannon while on the move with the Kobra system, and an updated armour layout that had better prospects against the latest and future anti-tank munitions, and beginning from 1980, a more powerful 1100 hp GTD-1000TF engine. These upgrades along with the addition of Kontakt-1 explosive reactive armour – and a further enhanced armour package, formed the basis of the T-80BV, which arrived in 1985. The most advanced direct T-80 variant – the T-80U, also arrived in 1985, while . This new model presented improvements to just about everything; a new digital fire control system, engine, explosive reactive armour, and some other tidbits.

Read the full article here.

Photo of the Day 2/27/2016


This photo comes from the recently updated page on M4 and M4A1 75mm Shermans produced by Pressed Steel Car Co., Inc on the Sherman Minutia website.  The photo above was taken at the Desert Training Center in California around mid 1943, and documents a king pin failure on a transport trailer.

Tank Chats #15 Tortoise

From the Tank Museum at Bovington comes another installment of the Tank Chats video series.  This episode is hosted by museum curator David Willey rather than regular host David Fletcher.

Photo of the Day: Tiger Tank suspension repair

Today’s photo of the day is of a German Tiger tank undergoing repairs to the roadwheels and suspension.  This photo gives a pretty good idea of the amount of work that went into repairing a vehicle with overlapping roadwheels.


This photo is borrowed from the “Good Old Fashioned Tank P*rn” thread at

Rheinmetall upgrading Polish Army’s Leopard 2 tanks

1650356_-_mainJane’s is reporting that Poland has signed a contract with German firm Rheinmetall to modernize 128 Leopard 2 tanks of the Polish Army in cooperation with Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa and ZM Bumar-Łabędy S.A.  Rheinmetall will supply key capabilities for the upgrade. Included will be electronics and weapon technology to bring the tanks to Leopard 2 PL standard, an improvement over the current Leopard 2A4.  The contract is worth $144 million for Rheinmetall.   The Leopard tanks were bought from German Army surplus in 2002.

In total, more than 50% of the programs budget is to be subcontracted for Polish firms, including: WZM (power-pack overhaul); PCO (KLW-1 Asteria and KDN-1 Nyks cameras delivery); ZM Tarnow (EWNA turret drives manufacturing); Rosomak (licenced production of additional turret armament); and OBRUM (modification and repairs of MBT simulators)  The first prototype Leopard 2PL is planned to be completed in Germany in March 2018.


Tankograd blog on the T-10

The Tankograd blog has posted a new article examining the history of the Soviet T-10 heavy tank. The authors of the piece engage is a bit of myth-busting, putting forth their opinions on the vehicle. All in all, an entertaining read.


Russian T-10 heavy tank 12During the final years of the Great Patriotic War the Red Army’s generals had perfected combined arms operations utilizing withering artillery fire and the devastating salvos from Shturmoviks to create decisive combined arms attacks that smashed through enemy lines.

The weapon of choice for these assaults was the Joseph Stalin 2 or JS-2, an impregnable tank that marked a complete departure from its predecessors. It also foreshadowed the possible terrors of the next Great War when the Soviets had to duke it out against the Allies in Central Europe using main battle tanks on battlefields sown with radiation.

The Joseph Stalins were the antithesis of the earlier T-34’s. Despite the latter’s fame they suffered greatly from German tanks, aircraft, and anti-tank guns, not to mention their own mechanical and ergonomic faults.

The Joseph Stalin had better armor than the heaviest German tanks, had a larger main armament, larger dimensions, greater range, and better everything. Its only shortcomings were an uncomfortable interior and a 600 horsepower diesel engine whose mobility issues Soviet engineers never completely solved. This is why succeeding iterations like the Joseph Stalin-3 and 4 were never popular with the Red Army.

A spectacular success on the battlefield, more than 6,000 JS-2, 3, and 4’s were built and kept as the Red Army’s most lethal tanks during the early Cold War years. Clearly a favorite of their bloodthirsty namesake, when he passed away in 1953 the most recent and last iteration of this near-invincible lineage became the T-10.

Spacious and extremely heavily armed, it was the most atypical tank ever made in the Soviet Union. Yet it never enjoyed the same success as its cost-efficient (and weaker) replacements the T-55 and the T-62.


Read the full article here.