Video: MCpl Raine of the CAF helps bring historic tanks to life

From the youtube page of the Canadian Armed Forces comes this video.

Video: Christopher Foss on the Patria AMV XP

IHS Jane’s reporter Christopher Foss reports from DVD 2016 on Patria’s latest generation Armoured Modular Vehicle XP (Extra Performance, Extra Payload and Extra Protection).

Video: Abrams Maintenance Footage

This video appeared on youtube yesterday.  It’s a collection of footage showing US Marine Corps Abrams tanks in action and undergoing maintenance.  According to the video description, the footage comes from a Large Scale Exercise (LSE) on Marine Air Ground Command Center Twentynine Palms.

The Chieftain’s Hatch: 100-Year Icon

Over at the World of Tanks site, tanker and researcher Nicholas Moran has posted his thoughts regarding the first 100 years of tank history.  It’s a good read, we have re-posted the start of the article below with a link to the full piece.

The Chieftain’s Hatch: 100-Year Icon

We’re now celebrating the second century of the tank, 100 years since the debut of tank combat in Flers-Courcelette (though the monument that marks the introduction of tank combat is in the nearby town of Pozières).

It’s no secret I’m kind of fond of tanks, and that I consider it quite fortunate that an object of my interest has also been my job, both in military and civilian service. But what has the tank actually become, and why is it so appealing, 100 years later?

Many moons ago, I picked up the book Tank by Patrick Wright, who took a slightly different tack than most folks in that he focused not so much on the technical or operational side of tanks, but instead more on the cultural and psychological aspects. The book received mediocre reviews because of this, but it’s worth reflecting upon its premise.

The tank is the symbol of land power. it’s usually the first image in one’s mind when thinking of modern battles. But it’s not the most important component of land power; that’s still the “poor bloody infantryman” (PBI) and his rifle. So, of all the various pieces that make up a modern army, why has the tank come out on top?

Read the full post here.

Great War Tank Centenary Articles

Today marks the Centenary of the first use of tanks on the battlefield on Sept. 15, 1916 at the Battle of the Somme.  A number of articles commemorating this occasion have been appearing in the media.  We posted a few of them earlier this week.  Here are links to some new articles and pages posted a few of them earlier this week marking 100 years of tanks.  Click on the title to see the full article.

 

Mirror – ‘My dad drove the first tank over the top for the Battle of the Somme – he was glad he wasn’t on foot’

 

daily-mirror-coverA hundred years ago at the height of the Battle of the Somme , German troops waited at their posts to pick off the first Tommies venturing into the hell of no man’s land when the morning fog lifted.  But instead of the normal glints of steel helmets, the beleaguered units, who had suffered 250,000 casualties so far, were not prepared for the First World War monster that was about to be unleashed on them.  Rising from the mud, blood and gloom and brushing past the barbed wire protections like they were made of straw came the first tanks ever used in battle.

 

 

BBC – WW1 tank takes over Trafalgar Square for 100th anniversary

_91204762_1c0c7574-6099-4716-8781-9004922f00a9A replica of a World War One tank has been placed in Trafalgar Square to mark the 100th anniversary of the war machine.  The Mark IV tank, on which the replica is modelled, was first used in warfare in the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916.  With 57,000 casualties on the first day it is regarded as the bloodiest day in British military history.  The tank will be in position in the square until 11:00 BST.  David Willey, from Dorset’s Tank Museum, which has provided the machine, said: “The British Army sent its new ‘secret weapon’ into action – and it did so in order to prevent the sort of casualties experienced on that first day of the battle.”

 

BBC – Tank at 100: Baptism of fire, fear and blood

a-tank-breaking-through-the-wire-at-cambrai-franceThe tank, which would go on to dominate 20th Century warfare, first stormed on to the shattered battlefields of the Somme 100 years ago. Rushed into battle by desperate generals with barely any testing, its debut was a messy experiment with questionable results. A select group of young men were the first to feel its terrible influence and have their lives changed by it.  William Dawson came from Boston in Lincolnshire and was the eldest of four children. His father had drowned at sea in 1898 when he was 10 years old and as soon as he left school, Dawson went to work to support the family.

 

The Guardian – ‘Dreadnoughts of the trenches’: 100 years since tanks first appeared on the battlefield

837One hundred years ago the face of modern warfare changed forever when tanks were used for the first time. On the morning of 15 September 1916 the British attacked German positions at Flers-Courcelette – part of the larger Somme offensive – with 32 tanks.  The results were decidedly mixed but this faltering introduction was not reflected in contemporary press reports. The Guardian and Observer enthusiastically reported on their deployment and the hope that they might break the stalemate.  An initial report of ‘mystery machines’ appeared in the Observer on 17 September, containing a multitude of questions and speculations. ‘Do they attack as battering rams or as gun carriers, or both? Are we to conceive them as a sort of ironclad van…ploughing ponderously onward through hedges of wire, over holes, over trenches to the bewilderment and affright of the Hun?’

 

The Tank Museum – Tank 100

t100-main-logo-1Created by the Tank Museum at Bovington, this page includes a number of links to videos and articles on WW1 era tanks.  These includes a number of profiles of some of the first “tank men.”  Individual articles include:

TANK MEN: CYRIL COLES

TANK MEN: BASIL HENRIQUES

TANK MEN: CLEMENT ARNOLD

TANK MEN: HAROLD MORTIMOR

WILLIAM TAYLOR DAWSON: PART ONE

Also worth noting is this article from the Tank 100 site featuring a little known poem about tanks by A. A. Milne.

A. A. MILNE TANK POEM FOUND

 

 

New Issue of ARMOR: SU-122-54 Article

armor-july-sept-2016The July-September 2016 issue of ARMOR, the Professional Bulletin of the Armor Branch has been posted online.  Of particular interest to those interested in historic AFV development will be the article by Jim Warford titled “Armored Vehicle Development Behind the Curtain: the Secret Life of the Soviet SU-122-54 Assault Gun.”  The title of the article is pretty self-explanatory, it examines the history of the Soviet SU-122-54 Assault Gun, a weapon system that received little attention in the West during the Cold War. The new issue of ARMOR can be downloaded here.

Article excerpt:

su-122-54In September 1967, the Soviet military launched Exercise Dnepr, one of the largest exercises in Soviet military history. Most observers and military analysts focused both on the size of the exercise and the large-scale use of airborne forces. The Soviet army actually dropped two complete airborne divisions with all their equipment in support of a front-level offensive during the exercise.

Almost unnoticed, however, the Soviet army also deployed a previously unseen new assault gun. This new assault gun, known as the SU-122-54 (to distinguish it from the SU-122 Self-Propelled Howitzer of World War II fame), has been the subject of controversy since this first appearance.

Throughout its lifetime, the SU-122-54 has been surrounded by a very high level of secrecy (even by Soviet standards), and it is a good example of the amount of effort the Soviets (and more recently the Russians), have historically put into keeping their most secret weapons developments secret. Over the years, this effort has proven to be especially true regarding Soviet antitank weapons.

Read the full article here.

 

The Tank Museum: The First Tank Man

Here is a video from the Tank Museum featuring an interview with Tilly Mortimore, the daughter of one of the first tank men in history, Harold Mortimore.  She shares her recollections of her father and the stories he recounted to her about his war.

Video: Tank Development in World War 1

You Tube video channel The Great War has posted a video on tank development in World War I.  At 8 minutes, this video is a pretty cursory introduction to the topic.  That said, the video has nice production values and some good photos and historic video footage.

Video: IHS Jane’s on Nexter System’s VBCI

Here’s a new video from IHS Jane’s featuring Christopher Foss discussing Nexter System’s VBCI as a contender for the British Army.

Photo of the Day: Not Quite Right…

Today’s POTD is of a model that someone obviously put a good deal of time and work into. There is just one small problem…

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