Over at Archive Awareness blog they have posted a number of translated articles from WoT History Section and Warspot. Click on the title to view the entire article.
The IS-7 was born in a strange time for the Soviet tank industry. The raising of the Red Banner over the Reichstag marked not only the glory of victory, but the problems of rebuilding for peace. Cities had to be rebuilt, factories returned from evacuation, defense industry re purposed.
Gun design is driven by the desire to be at least half a step ahead of its opposition. The creators of tank armour aim to provide tank crews with maximum possible protection from all existing weapons, and gun designers aim to create a gun that would penetrate the armour of any modern tank. In the spring of 1941, work on a new 107 mm anti-tank gun began in the Soviet Union, a gun that would not see a worthy adversary for several years. Both these guns and their likely enemies were built in metal, but neither one ended upon the battlefield.
There is a simple rule: cheap, good, fast, pick two. AT guns are long and expensive. What do you do when fighting enemy tanks with a log is foreseen in the near future? British Ersatz Grenade Launchers. When the British were expecting the Germans to invade the British Isles, Major Harry Horthover came up with the so called Northover Projector. This solution was cheap indeed: only 10 Pounds Sterling apiece.
In April of 1945, Soviet Marshal Radion Malinovskiy was faced with new battles in Czechoslovakia. The Red Army already knocked their enemy out of Bratislava and now had to develop its success to take Brno.
The Brno industrial center was of great significance for Germany since the occupation in 1939. Brno was the home to Zbrojovka Brno, one of the largest small arms manufacturer in Europe, as well as a Skoda factory.
The Battle of Leningrad became a proving grounds for new weapons. From the middle of 1941 to the summer of 1944, the battlefield here saw the newest and most extraordinary creations from both side of the front line. Finding armoured vehicles here was most surprising, as the conditions did not make it easy to use tanks and SPGs. One of the most unusual vehicles that could be found here was a German 105 mm SPG on the chassis of a British light tank.
Having broken the resistance of the German divisions, the Allies reached the Rhine by February-March of 1945. This river could reach 500 meters in width and was the last serious barrier before the industrial regions of Germany and its capital, Berlin.
The objective of the 21st Army Group commanded by the British Field Marshal Montgomery was to encircle the Ruhr industrial area from the north.