Photo of the Day: Design overview of Stryker with 30mm gun

Yesterday we posted video of a Stryker with a 30mm gun turret being demonstrated at Ft. Benning.  Here is an unclassified document showing the layout of such a vehicle.


Video: 30mm guns showcased at Fort Benning

This video from the Fort Benning Youtube channel shows two new 30mm weapons systems being demonstrated.  These cannons are part of the Army’s efforts to boost firepower in it’s reconnaissance units.

Video: T-34 pulled from river

Last week we had posted about a T-34 that was recently recovered from the Don River in Russia.  Here is a video showing the recovery operation.

Photo of the Day

Here we see a T-62 that didn’t quite make it onto a bridge.  Opps.


AFV News from around the Net

Here is a round up of AFV related news stories.  As always, click on the title link to go to the full article.


The National Interest – France’s Leclerc Super-Tank: Better than American or Russian Armor?

leclerc-openphotonet_pict6015_0“So what do you think of France’s new super tank, the Leclerc?” a retired colonel in the French army’s logistical brigade jokingly asked me in 2002. “You know, the one we paid a fortune for and that we’ll never use in battle.”

So far his prediction has proved true. The French military has deployed light armored vehicles and air power in its combat missions in Afghanistan, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic and Mali.


The National Interest – Yes, Now You Can Purchase Your Very Own Russian T-72 Tank or Air Defense System

1280px-t-72b3_-_parad2014nn-08Do you need a Soviet-designed surface-to-air missile defense system to deter your neighbors? If so, a small U.S.-based arms broker named the Redfish Trading Company is offering to sell a complete Buk-MB complex—a Belarusian modification of the original Soviet-era SA-11 Gadfly air defense system—to a paying customer. The emailed sales pitch came with a detailed brochure outlining the technical characteristics of the weapon and an animation from Almaz-Antey showing off the capabilities of Russia’s layered integrated air defense system.


Stars and Stripes – Army tanks, personnel set for move to northwestern Germany

image (1)STUTTGART, Germany — U.S. Army Europe will occupy a base in northwestern Germany to store tanks and other combat-ready equipment, which is flowing into Europe as part of a Pentagon plan to position more firepower on the continent.  In October, USAREUR will move into the Tower Barracks facility in Duelmen, where for years a small British unit was stationed. With the United Kingdom’s plan to vacate the post this year, USAREUR requested access to the facility from the German government, which obliged.


Defense World.Net – Russian Uralvagonzavod Halted Armored Vehicle Shipments To Iraq Over Payments

download-_1469018465Russian Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) scientific-research corporation has halted the deliveries of armoured vehicles to Iraq due to delayed payments last year, according to the UVZ`s 2015 annual report.  “In 2015, the UVZ Corporation stopped the shipping of the defense production to the No.356 customer (Iraq) due to delayed payments. The contracts signed with the No.012 (Algeria) and the No.356 (India) customers were implemented in strict accordance with the terms of the signed documents. The export sales of the UVZ’s defense production increased by 35% last year (compared to 2014),” TASS reported, citing the UVZ document. – Army Maneuver Leaders Tout Need for More Lethal Recon Vehicles

30mm-mounted-1-640-ts600Senior U.S. Army maneuver officials recently took part in a firepower demonstration of reconnaissance vehicle prototypes less than two months after the service killed the Light Reconnaissance Vehicle effort.  Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, along with leaders from the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, attended the June 15 live-fire event at Benning’s Red Cloud range to demonstrate the firepower potential of mounting 30mm cannons on different recon vehicle prototypes.


Strategy Page – Logistics: Only The Low Maintenance Armor Survives

bradley-topperThe U.S. Army’s M-2 IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) fighting vehicle proved to be the workhorse of the 2003 Iraq campaign. But that came at a cost that was not anticipated. Like most armored vehicles, the M-2 runs on metal tracks that have rubber pads attached to save wear and tear on roads and give better traction. Naturally, the rubber pads, as well as the entire track, wears out. Normally, a heavily used M-2 might need a new set of tracks once a year. In 2003 there were nearly 700 M-2ss in Iraq, and many needed a new tracks every few months. A set of tracks is normally good for 1,300-1,600 kilometers of travel. To keep the M-2ss in Iraq supplied with replacement tracks, the army’s only depot that refurbishes worn tracks (about 80 percent of the track is reused) has had to go from one shift a day, five days a week, to 24/7 production.


Defense One – Weapons of the Syrian War: Tanks

Syrian-Army-tanks-deployed-in-the-Jobar-neighbourhood-of-Damascus-1In April 2011, the appearance of heavy armor indicated that a violent crackdown had become a full-fledged war.

First use: April 24, 2011. Syrian Army troops drove tanks into dissenting neighborhoods in the southern city of Dara’a, killing about 25 on the first day. By this time, unrest had spread to about 20 cities in Syria, and the appearance of heavy armor indicated that a violent crackdown had become a full-fledged war.

Photo of the Day: The Turkish man in front of the tank

Three days ago we posted a picture of a Turkish man laying down in front of a Turkish Army Leopard I tank during the failed coup attempt in that country last week.  At the time, we had no information about the man in front of the tank.  We now know, thanks to an article by the Daily Mail, that the man in the photo is  Metin Dogan, a 40 year old medical student.  Those interested can read the Daily Mail piece here. Here is another picture of Metin Dogan refusing to let the tank pass.


Atlas Obscura: Sherman tank retrieved from Sea

article-0-1FF75A4400000578-318_964x672The website Atlas Obscura has made a post about a Sherman tank that was retrieved from the Atlantic ocean sea floor by a team of Russian sailors in July of 2014.  This story was originally reported by the Daily Mail and other news sources two years ago, so this is old news.  However, we thought it was interesting enough that it was worth posting, particularly since this site was not in existence when this story was fresh.

This particular Sherman tank came from the SS Thomas Donaldson, a Liberty ship sunk by German U-boat in March of 1945 off the short of Kildin Island.  The U-boat attack disabled the ships engines and the captain ordered most of the crew off the ship while a skeleton crew remained in the hopes that the ship could be towed to shore.  However, the ship sank just a half mile from Kilden island, under 55 meters of water.  The tank was retrieved by the Russian Northern Fleet as part of a naval exercise.  The tank, as well as other items retrieved from the sunken transport were said to be delivered to Severomorsk, the main administrative base of the Russian Northern Fleet.  While it is somewhat hard to tell exactly what type of Sherman tank was retrieved from the wreck, it clearly has the 76mm gun turret and welded hull.  This narrows it down to either M4A2 or M4A3, and since this was being sent as aid to the Red Army, we will guess it’s a M4A2 since that was the model the Soviets  preferred due to it having diesel engines.

The Atlas Obscura post links to a photo gallery at The Sherman Tank Site.  The Sherman Tank Site was temporarily hosted as a page here at Tank and AFV before moving to its own URL, where it has grown substantially.   The Sherman Tank site can be viewed here. 


From the Vault: Steam power for tanks

Our recent editorial lambasting the Fox Trot Alpha article on the Civil War Tank got us thinking about steam power and tanks. While steam is certainly not the ideal way to propel a tank, it has been looked at a number of times, and as recently as the 1960’s.  The document “Engine-Transmission Power Plants for Tactical Vehicles” by the Research Analysis Corporation from 1967 includes a chapter on steam power for military vehicles.  It’s a relatively short chapter but it makes for interesting reading.  We have reposted it below as individual images, or it can be downloaded as a PDF file  here: Steam engine tanks.

Photo of the Day: Tiger with Machine Guns

This photo has been making the rounds at some of the military history forums.  A German WW2 Tiger tank with two captured Soviet machine guns mounted on the rear engine deck.



Editorial: Rebutting a Civil War tank article

It’s been quite a while since I wrote an editorial. I generally use the limited time I have to devote to this site looking for quality content from around the net to share rather than writing editorials and inflicting my opinion upon my readers. However, every once in a while I feel the need to put words to (digital) paper and have my say. Every morning I wake up and plop down in front of the computer. One of the first things I do is a google news search of “tank” to see what pops up. Today the top result is an article that irritated me so much I felt compelled to respond. The piece in question is the rather absurdly titled Foxtrot Alpha article “Why Were There No Tanks In The Civil War?” Normally I would not bother with something so obviously stupid, but since it comes up so high in the google search, I assume many people are reading it and at least some are taking it seriously.

Let’s start off by taking a quick look at the claims made by the author of this piece of fantastical nonsense. His main contention is that during the US Civil War, there existed both the need for, and the technical means to construct some sort of armored vehicle similar to a tank. As to the need for a Civil War tank, he cites the Siege of Petersburg, a battle that is generally said to have foreshadowed the trench warfare of World War I. We will put that aside momentarily and first focus on the author’s contention that the technology existed to make a tank possible in the 1860s. We shall summarize these in bullet point form:

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