Photo of the Day: House versus Tank

This picture comes from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.  It shows an unsuccessful attempt to drive a tank through a house belonging to celebrity Penn Jillette as part of an independent film project.  Oddly, the news article refers to the tank as a “T-90”, which it obviously is not.

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From the Editor: War is Boring blog on Russian tank history

In the last couple weeks, a couple articles on Soviet tank history have appeared on the War is Boring blog.  One is a somewhat critical look at the WWII era KV tank while the other is a brief examination of post war Soviet heavy tank development.  By themselves, we didn’t really feel they merited posting about, but since they keep showing up in our daily searches for tank related articles, we did want to raise one point concerning them.

It seems both articles are based in part on an old ARMOR magazine article by Stephen “Cookie” Sewell titled Red Star – White Elephant.  As part of our “From the Vault” series of posts, we posted that particular article, as well as another ARMOR article by Sewell called Why Three Tanks?  in 2015.  Sewell is a well known figure in the AFV model building community, being the founder and first president of the Armor Modeling and Preservation Society.  He is also known for his model kit and book reviews which have appeared in Fine Scale Modeler magazine or online at the missing-lynx.com forum.

It is worth noting that Amazon has listed for release next summer a new book by Sewell on the Soviet T-10 Heavy Tank and Variants.  All we know about the book at this point is that it will be published by Osprey and will be a 144 page hardcover.

 

Female Soldiers To Crew UK Tanks In 2017

According to an article from Forces TV, female soldiers will be allowed to join British Army tank crews starting in January 2017.

a_british_royal_scots_dragon_guards_challenger_2_mbt-editFemale soldiers are to be allowed to join British Army tank crews for the first time.

Starting in January 2017, the King’s Royal Hussars, Queen’s Royal Hussars, and the Royal Tank Regiment will permit female recruits to begin tank training, with around 70 interested.

It follows a decision in July to allow women to serve in combat roles.

The rest of the Army is due to follow suit in 2018, according to the Sun.

The Royal Navy and RAF already allow women to be fighter pilots and submariners. The Army, meanwhile, aims to increase the number of female soldiers to 15%, double its current figure, by 2020.

Although all female tank drivers will have to pass through 14-weeks of basic training, critics have still claimed that frontline female soldiers could damage ‘unit cohesion’.

Read the full article here.

Below The Turret Ring: Chinese Armor at Zhuhai

The blog Below The Turret Ring posted recently about Chinese armor on display at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition 2016 in Zhuhai, China.  As usual, this is a rather detailed post with plenty of images.  This blog is quickly become one of our favorites for reading on modern armor.

Excerpt:

At the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) 2016 in Zhuhai, the Chinese military and the state-owned defence company Nornico, which manufactures pretty much all Chinese armored fighting vehicles, have presented a number of current and new vehicles.

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VT-5 tank fitted with ERA and slat armor

Among the vehicles is a new tank, which has supposedly been designated VT-5. This appears to be an export designation, it seems to be very unlikely to be the final designation for the Chinese Army version, if it chooses to adopt the VT-5. Supposedly the VT-5 is the export version of the Chinese light tank currently only known as the ZTQ light tank. Usually a tow-digit number should be added behind the na,e- The ZTQ has been operational with the Chinese Army in Tibet for an unknown amount of time. First photographs of the ZTQ started to appear beginning in 2011, but the existence of the tank was first officially confirmed in 2016 – the exact name is still unknown to Western media. The new Chinese light tanks are supposedly weighing only 35 metric tons – about as much as a fully loaded Boxer A1 – and are claimed to be optimized for fighting in mountainous terrain.

Read the full post here.

Mosul: Iraq tanks crush suicide cars on bloody road

iraqi-tank-crewAn interesting article appeared yesterday in The Australian on the recent fighting in Mosul.  Titled “Iraq tanks crush suicide cars on bloody road”, the article tells the story of an Iraqi M1 Abrams tank battling Isis suicide bomb trucks.  The one odd part of the story is the bit about the gun “jamming.”  Any comment regarding this from current or former Abrams crew would be much appreciated.  The full article can be read here.

Article excerpt:

The Isis suicide bomber raced down a potholed road at the wheel of a home-made armoured car with bolted-on sheets of metal. Manoeuvring the main gun on a US-made M1 Abrams tank, Captain Mustafa Khaleel, a commander in the Iraqi army’s 9th Armoured Division, watched calmly as the vehicle flew towards him at full speed. Exhaling slowly, he aimed at his target and pulled the trigger.

Nothing happened. The gun had jammed. Stiff with panic, Khaleel, 29, watched as the car carried on towards him. The impact, when it came, threw him against the tank’s white-painted metal interior — the explosion so loud it deafened him.

After coming to, Khaleel looked through the sights again. The car was gone, crushed beneath the tracks of the tank, which itself was barely damaged. Climbing out of the hatch he saw burnt pieces of the Isis fighter’s body scattered around him on the road.

“We were scared for a second,” he grinned, leaning back in the commander’s seat. “But I’ve destroyed 200 of these suicide cars. They can’t touch us. In Mosul I’ll make it 300.”

The pride of the Iraqi army, the 9th Armoured Division, has played a vital role in the liberation of the cities of Tikrit, Ramadi and Falluja from Isis since early last year, smashing through the waves of suicide vehicles that protect the Islamists’ front lines.

Photo of the Day: Pick a good one for Victory

The POTD is a somewhat amusing one, featuring a young child sitting upon a French H39 tank during the celebration of the liberation of Paris in August of 1944.  This colorized photo comes from the facebook page of 2.světová válka v barvě.

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Video: Hummel Walkaround – Saumur Tank Museum – Musée Des Blindés.

For those looking for some up close images of the World War II era German Hummel SPG at the Musée Des Blindés in Saumer France, this video may be worth a look.

Video: An Unofficial High Speed Tour of The Tank Museum Bovington (Part 1)

Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran gives us a high speed tour of the Tank Museum at Bovington. Part I.

My Tank Ancestor: Molly Johnson

The Tank Museum at Bovington presents another installment in their “My Tank Ancestor” series of videos.

The Chieftain’s Hatch: The TD Archives

Nicholas Moran, North American researcher for World of Tanks has posted a new article sharing some discoveries from the archives regarding US WWII era tank destroyers.

Excerpt:

Every now and then I come across things in the Tank Destroyer Board archives which are interesting, but not necessarily suitable for a post by themselves. Sometimes I’ll put up the picture or comment on my Facebook page, but I think this collection of writings is worth sharing.

We start with some comments reported to the board in February 1945, from the ETO.

Searchlight Illumination

Searchlights employed so that the beams shine just above the height of a man will cause individuals and vehicles to cast shadows which are easily seen. This reduces the probability of surprise by the enemy in snow covered terrain. - Commanding General, 35th AAA Brigade.

[Chieftain’s Note: Those of you who make scale or Lego models may be familiar with this technique. When you drop a part, the use of a torch (flashlight) at floor level casts long shadows, making it easy to find it.]


Photo from the Korean War. Truck and Jeep-mounted searchlights were used as late as Vietnam

Rumors

Much excitement was caused in our command post when a line captain reported 25 Tiger tanks headed our way. Questioned, he admitted he had seen one tank and "assumed there were at least 25 since they usually attacked in mass." Investigation showed there was just one tank, and that between us and it was a road block covered by a minefield, bazooka teams, and three tank destroyers. 1106th Engineer Group.

[Chieftain’s Note: Well, this demonstrates the difference between information and intelligence.]

Read the full article at The Chieftain’s Hatch.