Here is a round up of articles from either researcher Yuri Pasholok or World of Tanks EU translated into English and posted on the Archive Awareness blog. Click on the article title to read the full piece.
The British light Tetrarch tank is most often remembered in connection with the landing in Normandy. While it was the first tank used for this purpose, initially the Tetrarch was designed for something else. The adventures of the Tetrarch in the British army are well known, unlike the use of the tank in the Red Army. That story is still full of omissions.
The results of the French competition for a new light tank in the mid 1930s were unclear. On one hand, the army made a deal with Renault to produce 300 light Renault ZM tanks. The tank entered service with the name Char léger Modele 1935 R,or Renault R35. A year later, the FCM 36 was accepted into service, which was more promising according to the infantry commanders. Doubt was cast on the production of the R35, but it was never cancelled, and it became the infantry’s most numerous tank. Right before WWII began, the AMX 38 appeared, another tank that could have been accepted into service with the French army.
The summer of 1944 was coming to an end, but the Sandomierz foothold was still hot. The sun was beaming from above and battled raged on the ground. A German attack at dawn of August 13th failed, but the enemy started anew during the day, hoping that the long guns of the King Tigers will do their job. Their path was blocked by IS tanks from the 71st Guards Heavy Tank Regiment. Among them was a company commanded by Senior Lieutenant V. A. Udalov.
The FCM 36 was the least lucky French tank created in the interbellum period. Its design was progressive: it was the first tank with sloped armour to be put into production. While other French tanks were put together with bolts or rivets, FCM made its hull welded. In addition, the FCM 36 had a diesel engine. Alas, the fate of this interesting tank was a difficult one.
Of all German E-Series (Entwicklung, development) only the E-100 ever reached the stage where it was ready to be built in metal. This did not stop other vehicles in the series from becoming very popular. These vehicles included not only tanks, but also tank destroyers, including the medium E-25 tank destroyer. Let us look deeper into its history and familiarize ourselves with other “paper” vehicles of its class.
A grenade and a bottle with incendiary fluid: this was the most widespread armament of a Red Army infantryman in late 1941. It was most effective where it was used with another powerful weapon: heroism. A well trained soldier could throw a bottle 20-30 meters, a heavy grenade bundle would fly even less. The bravest men closed in to this distance or even less, often paying with their life for a disabled or burned tank. On paper, this looks like a good trade, but in real life this is a tragedy.
The range of a hand grenade is very short. In WWI, many methods were tried to solve this problem. One of those was a special rifle grenade. A cup was attached to the muzzle of a rifle, which fired a grenade with the aid of a blank cartridge. This method was not very effective: the range was barely a few hundred meters, the fragmentation effect of the grenade was weak, and there was no accuracy to speak of. Due to a low muzzle velocity, the shots had to be fired at a large upward angle. Despite poor reliability and questionable effectiveness, the idea of rifle grenades not only survived until the Great Patriotic War, but continued to evolve.
The adoption of the Cruiser Tank Mk.III in 1938 didn’t mean that the British were fully satisfied with it. Armour that was only 14 mm thick made the tank vulnerable to anything bigger than a rifle. High caliber machineguns that were one of the most popular anti-tank weapons during the Spanish Civil War made the military seriously think about improving protection. It was impossible to do anything radical with the Cruiser Tank Mk.III, since a whole new tank would be needed. It was decided to go down the road of minor modernization. The resulting tank became one of the best and longest lasting pre-war British tanks.
Using a rocket against a tank is very tempting. Rockets can carry a powerful warhead and can be launched without an expensive barrel: all you need is a rail. In the 1930s, Soviet pilots were already using rockets to fire at enemy planes.
During the Great Patriotic War, an attempt was made to use rockets to destroy German tanks, but it turns out that this wasn’t so simple.