News from around the Net

Another collection of recent articles from around the internet.  Click on the headline to read the full article.

 The National Interest – This Is How to Make America’s Tanks More Lethal on the Battlefield

23035469300_57e984ea4d_bColonel Patrick Donahoe recently articulated the importance of the main battle tank in future conflicts. History has shown tanks are a valuable tool in the application of combined arms warfare, and commanders will continue to exploit the capabilities of the armored force, where appropriate, to counter the armored formations of our adversaries. The tank, however, is an inanimate object, incapable of understanding terrain and maneuvering to a position of relative advantage unless under the control of a highly trained and technically capable crew. Additionally, the direction of company, battalion, and brigade commanders and staffs proficient in the art of armored warfare expand its usefulness from one tank to dozens. Unfortunately, changes in force structure have diluted the expertise of our armored forces, which will necessarily affect performance on the battlefield.

 

The Bulletin (Oregon) – Tank to live outside Redmond Veterans of Foreign Wars post

M60 oregon.jpgFolks in Redmond will have the opportunity to celebrate their patriotism in a unique way this Fourth of July: having their photos taken in the commander’s turret of an M60A3 tank, the kind used in the Korean War and other international conflicts from 1960 to the 1990s. (obviously, the article is in error regarding the Korean war and the M60 – Tank and AFV News editor)

The 62-ton tank is set to arrive at Redmond’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4108 on Thursday afternoon and will be placed at the post for permanent display, which the group hopes will draw attention to its organization and honor Korean War veterans. It is being driven from an Air Force base in Washington, and the group expects it to roll in between 10 a.m. and noon.

 

IHS Jane’s – Portugal to upgrade its Leopard 2 MBTs

p1682035The Portuguese Army is to further upgrade its Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks (MBTs) with the aim of improving the vehicle’s communication and battle management capabilities, the army’s Logistics Command (CmdLog) told IHS Jane´s . The 37 vehicles fielded by the service’s Mechanised Brigade (Brigada Mecanizada; BrigMec) will receive the EID ICC-251 software-defined compact digital intercommunication system to replace Thales SOTAS system, with a contract potentially signed this year.  The intercom designed to provide voice and data communications among crew members was tested on the MBT in January 2012, EID told IHS Jane’s .

 

The Guardian – Glenn Lazarus drives tank over car to highlight poor-quality vehicle imports

900In possibly the most bizarre election stunt so far, Senator Glenn Lazarus has used an army tank, two sledgehammers and some pavers to destroy a car.

In a scene fit for a demolition derby, the independent Queensland senator tanked the five-seater Dodge Journey to draw attention to his proposal to introduce “lemon laws” to protect Australians from dud imports.

The senator and former rugby league star known as the “Brick with Eyes”, shattered the windscreen with the sledgehammer, which turned out to be a lemon itself and broke on the first hit.

US Graduates First Female Tank Crew Member

DSC_0150.jpgAccording to the Idaho Statesman, Sgt. 1st Class Erin Smith of the Idaho Army National Guard last week became the nation’s first female enlisted soldier to graduate from the U.S. Army’s M1 Armor Crewman School.  Smith joined the Guard as a combat medic in 2001 and has served overseas tours in Bosnia in 2002 and in Iraq in 2004.  Until recently, females have historically been prohibited from serving in combat roles within the various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. However, in December of 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that the U.S. military would open all positions to women, without exception. This means those occupational skills previously off limits to females, like infantry and armor, are now open to both women and men who can meet the standards set by the different military services. “I was interested in the idea of being an Army tanker long before talk about integration so when the opportunity came up I decided to go for it,” Smith said. “It was intimidating at first—the fear of failure or not being good enough—but it’s been an awesome experience.”

Full article here.

 

Video: Tankfest 2016 at the Bovington Tank Museum

Gaming personality “The Mighty Jingles” on the recent tankfest 2016 at the Bovington Tank Museum.

Tank Talk: The M-1917

In this edition, Len Dyer of the National Armor and Cavalry Restoration Shop discusses the M-1917 tank.

George Forty passes away at age 88

george forty booksWe apologize for being a month late with this news.  George Forty, author and historian, British Armor veteran and former Curator of the Tank Museum at Bovington passed away on May 19, 2016 at the age of 88.  Mr. Forty was instrumental in making the Tank Museum at Bovington one of the best institutions of its type in the world during his tenure in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.  He was one of the most prolific writers on the topic of armored warfare and armored vehicles as well, a sampling of which can be seen here.  He also served as editor of the RTR (Royal Tank Regiment) Tank Magazine  for many years.

From the Tank Museum website:

Lt. Col. George Forty served as Museum Director, than known as Curator, for twelve years from 1981.

Lieutenant Colonel George Forty, OBE, FMA, was a well-known military author specialising in Armoured warfare. He was born on 10 Sep 1927 in London, and was educated at Ashville College, Harrogate and The Queen’s College Oxford University.

He joined the Army in 1945, was commissioned from the RMA Sandhurst in July 1948 – the first intake to pass out after the war. He joined 1st Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) in the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) and thereafter served for 32 years, seeing active service first in Korea, where he was wounded during the Hook battle in May 1953, whilst commanding a troop of Centurion tanks in support of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.

Later, he commanded an armoured reconnaissance squadron on operations in Aden, the Persian Gulf and Borneo. He attended the Staff College in 1959 and his staff appointments have included GSO 2 at the Army Air Corps Centre, GSO 2 (Author) and commander (GSO I) of the RAC Tactical School. His last appointment was as GSOI of the RAC Gunnery School. In total he served with 1 RTR (twice), 2 RTR (twice), 4 RTR (twice), 7 RTR (once) and 42 RTR (TA) (once), also at the RAC Signals, Tactical and Gunnery Schools.

v0_webgridHe left the Army in 1971 to pursue a writing career and in 1981 was appointed Director of the Tank Museum. During the next twelve years with the inspirational help of his wife Anne, who worked alongside him, he tripled the size of the museum, modernised it and turned it into one of the foremost military museums in Europe. Shortly after retiring from the museum in 1993, he was made a fellow of the Museums Association (FMA) and was awarded with an OBE in the 1994 New Year’s Honours List.

As an author he wrote over 70 books which sold worldwide and were translated into many languages including German, French and Japanese. This included the History of the Royal Tank regiment. He also was the editor of the RTR Tank Magazine for many years.

Lt Col Forty was a gentle and happy family man who is always spoken of with affection and respect by all those that he served or worked with. He leaves behind his wife Anne and four sons Simon, Jonathan, Adam and Jason, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Book Alert: M4 Sherman Tanks

Amazon is listing a July 8 release date for the upcoming book M4 Sherman Tanks: The Illustrated History of America’s Most Iconic Fighting Vehicles by Michael Haskew.  This is an illustrated hardcover book of 224 pages.  The publishers description calls this book ” the definitive illustrated history of the Sherman tank.”  While we have not had a chance to examine the book yet, we are going to guess this is a bit of hyperbole given the the number of quality books that have been published on the Sherman tank over the years.  It is hard to imagine any book topping Zaloga’s Armored Thunderbolt: The U.S. Army Sherman in World War II as far as an overall history of the M4, Hunnicut’s Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank as far as an developmental history, or Son of the Sherman: The Sherman, Design and Development Volume 1: A Complete and Illustrated Description of the U.S. M4 Sherman Tank Series in the Second World War (Son of Sherman) as far as a detailed vehicle description.

Publishers Description:

Seventy-five years ago the most quintessentially American tank was built: the M4 Sherman, which featured heavily in the Allies’ World War II victory and later in films such as “Fury,” starring Brad Pitt.

Seventy-five years after it first rumbled into service, the M4 Sherman remains the most quintessentially American tank ever conceived. What the E-unit locomotive is to railroading, what the Corvette is to sports cars, the Sherman tank is to armored military vehiclesâ??a classic example of American ingenuity and design answering a pressing need or desire.

M4 Sherman Tanks is the definitive illustrated history of the Sherman tank, covering the entire scope of its development, manufacture, service, armaments, turrets, tracks, drivetrains, and its many variants. The book begins with the M4’s evolution from the M3 and M2 tanks and continues through the rapid production of more than fifty-three thousand units in 1942 and 1943 and the tank’s further service among more than fifty nations after World War II.

Photos from the battlefield and the factory floor, exteriors and interiors of Shermans, and war-related ephemera fill the pages. Insightful text examines how the M4’s mechanical reliability and ease of maintenance made it a success, as well as how sheer numbers helped it outgun technologically superior German counterparts. The story doesn’t end there but continues to include the postwar conflicts in which M4s were employed, including the Korean War, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, and the Arab-Israeli Wars.

The M4 Sherman tank is an institution in American–indeed, international–military lore, as synonymous with US military prowess as the P-51 fighter or the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. This is the complete and authoritative tribute to that legend.

 

Book Alert: New “Panzer Tracts” coming soon

panzer tractsAccording to Armorama.com, two new entries in the Panzer Tracts series are slated for release within a month. Author Hilary Doyle says that the two new books will look at the Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H and Ausf. J, and the late developments of the Sd.Kfz. 251 and its planned successor, the Kätzchen. The volume on the Pz IV will include the detailed research, photos and drawings that characterize the series as well as detailed information on different types of Schürzen as well as covering the Befhelspanzer IV Ausf J and Beobachtungspanzer IV variants. The second book examines the Kätzchen, a fully tracked vehicle intended to replace the Sd.Kfz.251 but coming too late. Some late variants of the Schützenpanzer Sd.Kfz.251 like the /17 with Schwebelafette or the /20 “Uhu” are covered as well.