Video of the Day: Cross-Country with Chieftain

Since the theme of today’s posts is the British Chieftain, here is a video from British Movietone News called “Cross-Country with Chieftain.”

(credit to LoooSeR over at SH forum for pointing this video out)

From the Vault: Chieftain Articles and Documents

Today we present our most substantial “From the Vault” post yet, consisting of several articles and archival documents pertaining to the British cold war era Chieftain MBT.

First we have a three page article about the Chieftain from the Jan-Feb 1970 issues of ARMOR written by Staff Sergeant Edmund L. Devereaux III.  The author of the article is a US tanker and is writing out his first hand experience with the then new Chieftain tank during a training exercise with the British.


Next up is an article from International Defense Review from 1970 titled “Chieftain-Main Battle tank for the 1970s.”


Next is a 1976 IDR article titled “The Combat-Improved Chieftain – First Impressions” by Geneva F. Schreier.


Our final IDR article is one from 1976 titled “Improved Chieftain for Iran.”  This piece describes the improved Chieftain offered to Iran and dubbed the Shir Iran meaning Lion of Iran in Farsi.  This vehicle would lay the groundwork for the later Challenger I tank accepted by the British Army in the 1980’s.


Archival Documents

We also have some archival documents relating to the Chieftain to present.  These contain quite a few more pages than the article posted above so we have posted them on their own separate pages.  The pages may be viewed by clicking on the links below.

WO 194-495 Assessment of Weapon System in Chieftain – 1970 report on the Chieftain fire control system and chances of first round hit with 120mm APDS.

WO 341-108 Automotive Branch Report on Chieftain Modifications – From 1969, a report on modifications to improve the automotive performance of Chieftain.

DEFE 15-1183 – L11 Brochure – A report describing the 120mm L11 gun of the Chieftain.

WO 194-463 – Demonstration of Chieftain Gun –  1962 report on results of test firing of 120mm gun against various targets.

WO 194-1323 – Feasibility study on Burlington Chieftain – 1969 study on equipping Chieftain with early version of Burlington armor.


Photo of the day: Return of the Half-Track?

From the Singapore Airshow comes today’s photo of the “track over wheels” concept being put forward by ST Kinetics for the Terrex armored vehicle.


The Armored Patrol: Saumur Tank Museum

The blog “Armored Patrol” is featuring a nice series of posts on the Saumur Tank Museum in France by “Harkonnen.”  The article is in four parts. Click on the pictures below to go to each part.  The Armored Patrol is a blog primarily of news about World of Tanks and other tank themed video games although they also feature historical themed articles.

Tank Talk: The German Panzer V Panther

New episode in the “Tank Talk” series featuring Len Dyer of the Nation Armor and cavalry Restoration Center at Fort Benning.

Photo of the Day: MK IV with Mine Rollers

Today’s POTD is of a British MkIV tank fitted with an early attempt at mine clearing rollers.

Mk IV with mine rollers

Photo source.

From the Vault: Letter to Lima Tank Plant

P4190091Typically when one sees statements from WW2 veterans concerning the M4 Sherman tank on TV shows or in books, they often are critical of the armor or firepower of the vehicle.  These quotes typically come from the final year of the war when the Sherman was being compared to the much heavier German adversaries it faced in Western Europe.  While this narrative seems to have defined the Sherman in popular culture, it’s worth pointing out that when the vehicle was introduced in 1942, it was received with much praise by British forces in North Africa.  An example of this was recently provided to us by a friend of the site over in the UK who forwarded this letter that was found in the appendix of 7th Half-Yearly Progress Report of the Royal Armored Corps (1st January to 30th June 1943.)





Sgt. L Coller 7883700

“B” Squadron

5th Royal Tank Regt.

Middle East Forces.

1st February, 1943.

Dear Sir,

As the Commander of Tank No. 25734 (Serial No.), I would like to ask you, on behalf of my crew, to pass on to your employees, our sincere thanks for giving us the tanks for the victory over the Africka Korps and their Italian satellites.

The workers of your factory rightly share with the 8th Army the honour attendant to the capture of TRIPOLI.

It may be of some encouragement to them to know that 25734 was “in it” and gave much more than it took right from ALAMEIN to TRIPOLI.

ROMMEL, while in BERLIN stated that American tanks were of poor quality, badly made and of no consequence, but i guarantee that the surviving members of this Panzer Division think very differently!

Once again – thank you, and here’s wishing you all the best.  May you break all production records in 1943, and so help break Nazi tyranny.

Yours very sincerely

(Sgd) L. COLLER.

The Tank Production Manager,

Lima Locomotive Inc.



Video of the Day 2/19/2016

South Korean armor on parade.

US Marines in Norway

This video of US Marine Corps M1A1 tanks and Norwegian Leopard II tanks sliding around an icy track has been posted by various media sources.    Most of the news stories have presented a shortened version with music focusing on the M1A1.  These longer clips of US vehicles in Norway come from the AiirSource youtube page.




News from around the Net

IHS Jane’s – Syrian military rolls out ‘missile jammers’

MAIN_p1650313Syrian Arab Army (SAA) main battle tanks (MBTs), infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), and even armed pickup trucks have started to sport home-grown devices that are said to be able to defeat the types of anti-tank guided weapons (ATGWs) used by rebel forces, including US-made TOW missile systems.

Such a device was first noted by observers in early February when one was seen fitted in front of the crew hatches on the turret of a T-72 MBT. Since then further imagery has emerged showing similar devices installed on T-55 and T-62 MBTs, a BMP-1 IFV, and a pickup truck armed with a 23 mm ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun.

IHS Jane’s – Thailand outlines requirement for new main battle tanks

Thailand’s military government is planning the purchase of new main battle tanks (MBTs) after deliveries of on order Oplot MBTs from the Ukraine ran into difficulties.

IHS Jane’s understands that several MBT designs are under consideration including Russia’s UralVagonZavod T-90, the K1A1 built by South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem, and the MBT-3000 – also known as the VT-4 – made by China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO).

The Royal Thai Army (RTA) stated on 10 February that it will establish a procurement committee to acquire the MBTs but stressed that details about the procurement – including the number of tanks to be acquired – have not been finalised.

Defense News – Poland, Czech Republic to jointly make APC’s

Poland’s government is planning to cooperate with the Czech Republic to jointly acquire armored personnel carriers (APC) for the Polish Armed Forces. The program will be one of the priority military procurements that will be launched by Warsaw in the forthcoming months, according to Deputy Defense Minister Bartosz Kownacki.

Other planned acquisitions for the Polish military include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and submarines with cruise missiles, Kownacki told pro-government daily Gazeta Polska Codziennie.

According to the deputy defense minister, the procurements will significantly bolster Poland’s deterrence capacity, and they will enable the transfer of new technologies to the country’s industry.