Photos of the Day: Merkava with broken gun

The previous post about the Taiwanese CM-11 tank with the broken barrel reminded us of this series of images of an Israeli Merkava IV with a broken barrel.  These pictures come from 2014, cause of the damage not known.  If anyone knows more about this incident, let us know!

Gun Barrel snaps off Taiwanese CM-11

Taiwan seems to be having a string of bad luck regarding their CM-11 tanks this month.  A couple weeks ago they had one drive off a bridge, resulting in the deaths of several crew men.  Now, according to Focus Taiwan news channel, the gun barrel of one of their CM-11 tanks broke during live fire training.  According to the article:

201608310016t0001The incident occurred when the gun barrel cracked and then snapped at a point just behind its fume extractor after the CM-11 involved fired a second shot during a test by the 542nd Armor Brigade of the 6th Army Corps at a base in Hukou in Hsinchu County, the Army said.

Nobody was injured during the incident, according to the Army, which is looking into what caused the gun barrel’s failure.

The Army Command Headquarters has ordered all CM-11 model armored vehicles to stop firing shots pending an investigation into the incident, the 6th Army Corps said.

The tank was more than 20 years old, a military source confirmed.

The CM-11, also known at the “Brave Tiger”, is a combination of the hull of a US made M60 MBT and the turret of M48 medium tank with a 105mm gun and improvements to the fire control systems.

Tank Destroyer article from War is Boring blog

A few days ago we posted about a new video by World of Tanks Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran talking about US WW2 tank destroyers.  For those looking for some written background on the Tank Destroyer story, the blog War is Boring has posted a competent write up of the history of this US Army Branch during WW2.  The information in this piece will probably be familiar to anyone with a decent knowledge of US Armor history.


1-ebbwRiXRR5CdPI9JNr5_pwThe tank-destroyer force was the Army’s response to the wild successes of German armor in Poland and France in 1939 and 1940. Panzer divisions would concentrate more than a hundred tanks on a narrow front, overwhelming the local anti-tank weapons of defending troops and rolling deep into enemy lines.

In 1941, the Army concluded that it needed mobile anti-tank units to intercept and defeat German armored spearheads. Towed anti-tank guns took too long to deploy on the move and it was difficult to guess where the enemy would concentrate for an attack. Instead, self-propelled anti-tank battalions would wait behind friendly lines.

When the German armor inevitably broke through the infantry, the battalions would deploy en masse to ambush the advancing tank columns.

Read the full article here.

Video: The Churchill Trust gets a Centurion

The tank restoration group The Churchill Trust has posted a video showing off their newly acquired Centurion tank.

Video Description from The Churchill Trust:

We have had a busy year, but one of the highlights has been the arrival of a Centurion tank. This represents the era after the Churchill Tank, with its Merlin derived engine, and a history that stretches from the end of World War 2 to the 1960’s and in that period, the main armament traces the development of the 20 Pounder and the 105mm gun as well as the ammunition for them. This tank is a 105mm version with an IR searchlight and gun stabilisation: the latest of the line.

To find out more about The Churchill Trust (and to view photos of their collection of Churchill tanks), be sure to visit their website or at facebook.

Tank Talk: The Mark VIII American Liberty Tank

In this episode, Len Dyer of the National Armor and Cavalry Restoration Center discusses the Mark VIII American Liberty Tank.

Those interested in the Mark VIII may enjoy this 1920 Ordnance magazine article on the construction of the vehicle.

Photo of the Day: Valentine tank

The POTD comes from a new photo gallery “walkaround” posted on the website for The Armor Journal.  This is the Valentine tank on display at the National Army Museum in Waiouru, New Zealand.


Photo of the Day: Christie T3 Medium

Today’s POTD comes from the Flickr page of the website. There are a rather impressive variety of photo galleries containing historic armored vehicle at this Flickr page. Be sure to check it out.


Translated Articles from Archive Awareness

It’s time again to do a round up of the Russian language articles translated to English at the Archive Awareness blog.


World of Tanks History Section: Nina Bondar

shiryaeva,_nina_ilinichna2Flying was all the rage among Soviet youth in the few years preceding the Great Patriotic War. “Komsomol, to the skies!” the slogans called. Among the many young men and women who answered the call was a citizen of the city of Biysk named Nina Ilyinichna Bondar. In the late 1930s, while still in school, she joined and aero club and learned to fly the light U-2 biplane.

A month after the start of the Great Patriotic War, Nina came to the Biysk military commissariat and volunteered to join the Red Army. It was hard to refuse an officer’s daughter, and one who could fly a plane at that. The young woman was directed to the Moscow Anti-Air Defense, where her familiar U-2 became a weapon of war. However, history clipped her wings.


17-Pounder: Britain’s Long Arm

17pdr-3The development of anti-tank artillery followed more or less the same process in many countries. This resulted in the USSR creating a 100 mm BS-3 gun in 1944 and the Germans with the 88 mm Pak 43 gun, a weapon with excellent characteristics that forced Soviet tank designers to rethink their requirements for armour protection. However, the British arrived at the best solution, creating the Ordnance Quick-Firing 17-pounder, which had the most balanced characteristics. You can familiarize yourself with the gun in detail by viewing these photos and read about its creation and trials in the Soviet Union here.


PzKpfw I: Panzerwaffe’s First

pz1-11German generals often call PzKpfw I and PzKpfw II tanks “training” tanks in their memoirs. This is true in some way, as many converted PzKpfw I tanks were used to train crews. However, during the development of these tanks, there wasn’t a word uttered about training as their main function. The Wehrmacht’s first tanks were created as typical light tanks of the early 1930s, which mostly had machinegun armament. With this design, the Germans aimed towards the ideal concept of a German tank, setting the foundation for all subsequent vehicles of the Third Reich. The first member in the family that would become the weapons of blitzkrieg was the PzKpfw I Ausf. A.


German from Iberia

pz1-16The Spanish Civil War began on July 17th, 1936. By the end of the month, the rebels gained the support of Italy and Germany, who promised, among other things, supplies of military hardware. In mid-August, Italian L3/35 tankettes arrived in Spain. German tanks arrived much later: 32 PzKpfw I Ausf. A tanks and one command vehicle were received in October of 1936. At approximately the same time, the first Soviet T-26es arrived in Spain and became the main opponents of the rebel tanks. As for the “Spanish” PzKpfw I Ausf. A, one of them became a Soviet trophy and was run through a whole spectrum of trials. What did the Soviet testers discover and what conclusions did they make?


Easy Modernization: T-45 and Others

7GABTU had to reach a compromise on many issues when it accepted the T-60 tank for service. It was obvious that this tank is inferior to the T-50 in nearly all characteristics, but its production could be set up very quickly and it could be produced by the thousands. However, GABTU was seriously worried about the tank’s armament. Trials of the 20 mm TNSh gun showed that its penetration was equal to the DShK high caliber machinegun. It is not surprising that the issue of improving its armament was raised even before the first prototype was built. This modernization went in several directions, one of which resulted in the T-45 tank.


Schwere Panzerbüchse 41

1In 1942, the Allies captured an interesting anti-tank weapon designed for the German army and actively used on all fronts of WWII since 1914. Its distinguishing feature from other anti-tank rifles and cannons was its conical barrel, the caliber of which was larger at the breech than at the muzzle.Officially, the gun was called 2,8 cm schwere Panzerbüchse 41 (2,8 cm s.Pz.B. 41). German nomenclature placed it into the small arms category, but both the Red Army GAU and the military ministries of Great Britain and the United States classified it as artillery. The difference in classification comes from the fact that this weapon has all the characteristics of a cannon: carriage (upper and lower), shield, mount with a recoil brake, but the aiming was done by hand, by moving the gunner’s body and moving the barrel up and down.


World of Tanks History Section: Battle at Lukhanino

destroyed_panther_russiaThe Voronezh Front, protector of the south flank of the Kursk salient, found itself in the way of a powerful German offensive. However, this scenario played out quite unlike what German commanders expected. Most problems were faced by the 48th Tank Corps, which got stuck at the first Soviet line of defense on July 5th, 1943. Even 200 Panthers, thrown into battle near Cherkasskoye where Grossdeutschland division was spinning its wheels did not improve the situation.

Only late in the evening, having joined forces with the 3rd Tank Division, the German unit managed to enter Cherkasskoye. Soviet forces were fully expelled only by the next morning. The offensive had to be developed further, along the Belgorod-Oboyan highway, right through Lukhanino.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: Centurion Part 2

Part 2 of the Chieftain’s look at the British Centurion tank.

Video: Restoration of T-34

Sputnik news has posted a short video showing the restoration of a T-34 tank.  This vehicle currently resides at the Museum of Military Equipment of the UMMC.