Botswana to Purchase K2 Black Panther?

IHS Jane’s is reporting that the government of Botswana is planning to purchase a number of new weapons systems, including armored fighting vehicles.  According to the article:

1452807_-_mainBotswana’s The Sunday Standard newspaper reported in February that, in the wake of Khama’s visit to South Korea, the BDF was planning to spend BWP2 billion on eight T-50s and was also expected to buy K2 Black Panther tanks from South Korea.

More recently, on 16 May, the newspaper reported that the country was planning to spend nearly BWP2 billion on 45 Piranha 8×8 armoured vehicles made by General Dynamics Switzerland – presumably a reference to General Dynamics European Land Systems Mowag (GDELS-Mowag) – and turrets armed with 30 mm guns.

The BDF already uses Piranha III vehicles, 45 of which were delivered from 2003 .

Given the cost and complexity of the K2 Black Panther, this seems like a rather ambitious (and somewhat unrealistic) purchase for a country ranked only 118th in terms of GDP.  Currently, the most capable MBT operated by a Central or Southern African country is the South African Olifant MBT, which is a significantly upgraded version of the venerable British Centurion tank.

New “Walkarounds” from TAJ

TAJ (The Armor Journal) has posted a few new photo galleries in their “Walkarounds” section.  These include the the T28 Super Heavy Tank at Ft. Benning, the T-55AM at Kubinka Tank Museum and the T-35 at Kubinka.  Also they recently updated the gallery for the  Kubinka located Panther Ausf.G.

Click on the photos below to go to the gallery at the TAJ website.

The Matilda Diaries Part 2

From the youtube channel of The Tank Museum:

Part Two of the Matilda Diaries explores the sub-assemblies which power the turret, cooling system, drivers sight and hydraulics system.  Throughout the course of this series The Tank Museum aims to lift the lid on the overhaul of its Second World War Matilda II tank. Viewers will have a chance to see the challenges involved with the project overall, as well as the nitty gritty of dismantling and reassembling a 70 year old vehicle.

Photo of the Day: Panther rear deck

Our photo of the day comes from a listing on RELICSWW2 of a Panzer V Panther motordeck set of ventilation grills and maintance hatch with armor plate.  You can purchase this lovely item for the Panzer lover in your life for the bargain price of only $19,999!

panther deck

Video of the Day: T-34/85 at Saumur

This video appeared on youtube yesterday showing a T-34/85 moving out at Saumur Tank Museum for the Concours International de Maquettes 2016.

Task & Purpose: Here’s What It’s Like To Command An M1 Abrams Tank

Task and posted an interesting interview today with a former US Army M1A2 SEP Abrams tank commander:

15416919928_6935cf439d_k-840x420World War II was arguably the heyday of tank warfare; however, tankers have continued to serve on the frontlines in the Global War on Terror, particularly during the early years of the Iraq War.

While infantry provides the boots on the ground for combat operations, armor, and in particular, tanks, bring the muscle.

In addition to the main gun, which is a devastating cannon that can level a city block with ease, the M1 Abrams boasts a host of other weapons, including a coaxial machine gun, the loader’s machine gun, and the tank commander’s .50-cal.

The Army’s M1 Abrams is typically crewed by four men: the driver, the gunner, the ammunition loader, and a tank commander. Because of the confined quarters of a tank, its crews are notoriously tight knit, and like any unit that spends endless hours together in a small space, they develop their own unit rituals, traditions, and have unique outlets for dealing with the day-to-day stressors of military life.

In 2006, while deployed to Forward Operating Base Rustamiyah, east of Baghdad, Iraq, Army Capt. Aaron Doft was in charge of 15 other soldiers and four M1A2 SEP tanks — SEP meaning systems enhancement package.

Task & Purpose spoke with Doft about what it’s like to have the awesome power of a tank at your fingertips and what exactly goes on inside while you’re out on a mission.

To read the interview, click here to go to the Task & Purpose site.

Photo of the Day: Matilda I

This photo of a Matilda I was taken last month at the Tiger Day event at Bovington Tank Museum.  The photo comes from the Flickr page of Massimo Foti, who has amassed a fantastic collection of quality photos of tanks and armored vehicles, primary from around Europe.  He regularly posts his photos at the AFV News Discussion Board, a forum we recommend to anyone that is interested in learning about the many tanks and vehicles on display at museums and other locations.



Video: SOFEX 2016:Paramount Mbombe 4 6×6 APC

IHS Jane’s reporter Christopher Foss at SOFEX 2016 showcasing the Mbombe 4 6×6 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).

Book Alert: The Rockenbach Report: Operations of the Tank Corps A.E.F.

According to Amazon, as of May 15 a paperback edition of the The Rockenbach Report: Operations of the Tank Corps A.E.F.
is available.

Publishers Description:

The Rockenbach Report: Operations of the Tank Corps A.E.F.” is widely cited and quoted by historians but only a few typed copies are known to exist. It has never been published—until now. Here is the verbatim transcript of that famous document, written by the Father of the American Tank Corps, Samuel D. Rockenbach. In it he details how he designed, organized, manned, trained and finally deployed American Tank forces into the Western Front of 1918 Europe. Appended to the original Rockenbach Report—and reprinted here—are supporting documents with even more information on those early Tank Corps days. These include after-action reports on the St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Le Catelet-Bony offensives by: Lieutenant Colonel George S. Patton, Jr., Commander of 304th Tank Brigade; Colonel Wahl, Commander of French Tanks assigned to American forces; Major Sereno E. Brett (who assumed command of the 304th after Patton was wounded at St. Mihiel); and Major R. I. Sasse, Commander of the 301st Battalion fighting with the British E.F. Also included is an organization chart of 1st Army Tank Corps as of September 10, 1918 listing its units and names of officers assigned. This report may be 100 years old, but it is still relevant today. The lessons learned then—how to wage a war, even while fundamentally changing the way that war is fought—are even more valuable in today’s constantly changing and ever more dangerous world. For too long the Rockenbach Report has been available to only the lucky few able to travel to one of the rare sites where it is stored. With this reprint, Rockenbach’s exhaustive treatise on the development of early tank warfare is available to the larger public. So save yourself the trip. Here is the Rockenbach Report.

The The Rockenbach Report: Operations of the Tank Corps A.E.F.
is available on Amazon here.

Video: Militracks 2016

Here are a collection of videos taken from the recent Militracks 2016 event at Overloon.






This video was taken by mounting a Go Pro camera on the barrel of a “Hetzer.”