Video: Tour of Austrian Army Leopard 2

This video appeared on youtube recently and shows the host of the show, Novritsch, getting a tour of an Austrian Army Leopard 2A4 tank.  The host is obviously not very familiar with tanks and his commentary is slightly annoying, although we suppose it’s intended as humorous.  Regardless, there is a good bit of nice footage showing the interior of the tank that viewers may find of interest.

Below the Turret Ring: Hardkill APS Overview

The blog Below the Turret Ring has posted a rather lengthy piece explaining the various types of active protection systems available for armored vehicles. Below is the first couple paragraphs, please click on the article headline to to the blog and read the entire piece.

Hardkill APS overview

Active protection systems (APS) have been an important topic when it comes to enhancing the protection of modern combat vehicles since a number of years. Combat in Iraq, Yemen and in Syria has proven the vulnerability of main battle tanks (MBTs) to handheld and/or guided anti-tank weaponry. While many people pretend that active protection systems are a rather new development, many can be traced back to the 1980s and 1990s. One of the earliest APS was tested in 1969 in Germany – that’s 48 years ago! The first APS adopted in military service was the Soviet Drozd system from 1977/1978, that was fitted to a number of T-55 and T-62 tanks. According to unconfirmed rumors Drozd was used in Afghanistan.

Trophy HK.png

A more commonly known APS is Trophy, which has received huge orders by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and was adopted on the Merkava 4M MBT and the Namer armored personnel carrier (APC). Aside of the hardkill active protection systems, which actually destroy incoming threats using countermeasures, there is also the less popular category of softkill systems such as the MUSS, which has been adopted on the Puma and is being tested by the British Army.  (click here to read full piece)


Translated Articles from Archive Awareness

It’s time to catch up with the Archive Awareness blog and see what articles they have translated over the past month.  Click on the article headline to read the entire piece.

TK-3 and TKS: Poland’s Armoured Cockroaches

1-d2434dd8b0a09371b6a0c14552a7f6b8By pure numbers, Poland had an impressive amount of armoured vehicles in WWII: about 870 units (against approximately 2700 German tanks in Army Group North and South). However, three quarters of them were rather unusual vehicles: TK-3 and TKS tankettes. What were the machines that formed the backbone of the Polish armoured forces like?

Char B: On France’s Backburner

charbp2s01-daec49e54611565ac9645a90ebe6aca8On May 13th, 1924, a demonstration of medium tanks built according to the Char de bataille program took place in Rueil-Malmaison. FAMH, FCM, Renault, and Schneider each built a prototype. The plan was to pick the most successful design and split up the contract for 120 tanks between the companies. However, it turned out that none of the tanks completely satisfied requirements of the military. As a result, General Estienne, the originator of the Char B program, was forced to create new requirements in March of 1925 for an improved tank which would use the most successful technical solutions from its predecessors.

Char B: A Difficult Beginning

charbp1p1s04-a87d0bae33f0f74bb642ae32c29f3c09The Char B1 and its improved version, the Char B1 bis, stand as the symbol of French tank building in WWII. At the start of WWII, these were the best medium tanks, combining shell-proof armour and serious armament, capable of destroying any tank in the world. Meanwhile, several elements of the Char B1, such as its suspension and its short barreled 75 mm howitzer in the hull, were rather archaic. Naturally, there was a good reason for this. Even though the Char B1 was accepted into service in 1934, five years before the start of the war, its story begins more than a decade and a half prior…

Combat Car T4: Christie Style

christietype01-eba0ddbbbc0d9eb15c5571a844812c5dOn March 25th, 1931, the US Wheel Track Layer Corporation and Bureau of Ordnance signed a contract to build five Christie M.1931 tanks, later expanded to seven. American infantry received three Convertible Medium Tanks T3 and cavalry received four Combat Cars T1. It seemed that the long struggle between Christie and the American military finally ended with Christie’s victory, and a large order will follow the first batch of tanks any day now. However, history took a different path, and the Christie suspension was a dead end for the American tank building school. However, the evolution of American convertible drive designs led to several interesting vehicles, one of which was the Convertible Medium Tank M1, which was standardized for service.

Light Tank M2: Two-Headed Light

m2light01-92f327964ca403f4482a32ff6560649fIn January of 1935, the Light Tank T2E1 arrived at Fort Benning for military trials. This vehicle was the result of nine years of trial and error, which began with the design of the Light Tank T1. Over time, the concept of the light tank changed radically. It transformed from a two man tank with an engine in the front and a 37 mm gun as the main armament to a 4 man tank with a rear engine, front transmission, and machineguns in a two man turret. As a result of the trials, the Light Tank T2E1 was accepted into service as the Light Tank M2A1.

World of Tanks History Section: Panfilov’s Last Step Back

kryukovoThe front line passed near Kryukovo in late November of 1941: a settlement and a railway station. The Red Army and the Wehrmacht pushed against it like two boxers. One, more vicious and more experienced, was still attacking, but his blows lacked the crushing strength they had at the start of the bout. The other, forced to keep his guard up, was barely standing. He missed hits, spat blood, fell down. But every time he got up again and kept fighting.

Medium Tank Mk.II: Interbellum Long-Liver

mediummk2s01-01c7317bf58f674aa675de59dff4d43dThe Light Tank Mk.I, later renamed to Medium Tank Mk.I, entered production in 1923 and left a notable mark in not only British tank building history, but tank building history in general. Its excellent maneuverability and armament for the time set a trend for the later part of the 1920s. Nevertheless, its lifespan was brief. Two years later, it was replaced by the most numerous tank of the 1920s: the Medium Tank Mk.II.

T-62: Return of the Smoothbore

02_%d1%83-8%d1%82%d1%81In the late 1950s, the Soviet government received information that NATO nations developed and adopted new 105 mm tank guns, which made the T-54 and T-55, the most common types of Soviet tank, vulnerable. The 100 mm rifled gun on the T-55 could not penetrate the front of the M48 Patton III, and the Americans were already developing the M60 Patton IV. In case of a duel, the T-55 would be at a disadvantage.

Dicker Max

dickermax03-8a99940465f33bfc1dbc898fb5d8866cDuring WWII, the German army became the leader in the amount of SPGs produced. The most numerous armoured vehicle in the German army was not a tank, but an SPGs. The Germans were also the first to use self propelled gun mounts. These SPGs were, as a rule, made from obsolete tank chassis, usually light tanks. However, the Germans had a custom built self propelled gun mount, not converted from an already existing tank, but built from scratch. This unusual vehicle is known as the Dicker Max.

World of Tanks History Section: Lieutenant Krysov vs. Leibstandarte

foto_5_bsqrh-jp5daIn the middle of November of 1943, the Germans tried to take Kiev, recently liberated by the Red Army. A powerful strike force struck at Soviet forces in two directions on November 15th, 1943: west of Fastov and south of Zhitomir.  Among others, the 1st SS Tank Division “Leibstandarte” attacked towards the Zhitomir direction. This division included 96 Panther and PzIV tanks and 27 Tigers. The division was tasked with capturing Brusilov. The Germans circled around it and prepared for an offensive from the east. The village of Yastrebenka lay between Leibstandarte and Brusilov, and the Germans had to take it first.

Photo of the Day: Crusader Wreck in Maryland

Our POTD comes from the facebook page Treadheads: Living History Tank Crew and features the wreck of a British WWII era Crusader tank on the grounds of the former training area of Fort Meade, MD.  To see more photos of this tank and other nearby wrecks, go to their facebook page gallery here.


Video: Elefant Tank Arrives For New Exhibition at Bovington Tank Museum

Seventy-two years after it fell into Allied hands, one of the largest combat vehicles to see action in the Second World War arrived safely at The Tank Museum in Dorset.

Video: WoT – Kranvagn: A Swedish Experiment

Here is a video put out by Wargaming Europe on the relatively obscure Swedish Kranvagn tank.

AFV News from around the Net

Here is our first installment of AFV News from around the Net for 2017.  Click on the article headline to go to the full piece.


Defense – New Light Tank For Chinese Army Likely

new_tank_1483697538China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is likely to be equipping its ground units with new light tanks, according to the photos published on Chinese online forums.  Posted on 31 December on the CJDBY and FYJS websites, the images disabout 10 tanks on railway flatbed cars, resembling the Guilin railway station in China’s southern Guangxi Province. The tanks were first seen in 2011. The tanks’ transit through Guilin could indicate their initial delivery to units assigned to the PLA’s new Southern Theatre Command, IHS Janes’ 360 reported Thursday.


The Independent – Ministry of Defence ‘turns down German tank deal for fear of negative press’

35-british-tanks-reutersBritain declined the opportunity to buy a fleet of German tanks due to “worry about negative press headlines,” a defence source has claimed.  German manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann offered to sell between 100 and 400 second-hand Leopard 2 tanks to the Ministry of Defence in 2015, but despite it being allegedly the best deal, the offer was turned down.  The German proposal was one of several being considered for a £700 million contract to upgrade Britain’s Challenger 2 battle tank fleet. – US Tanks, Heavy Equipment to Flow into Europe Next Week

abrams-germany-900-ts600Army M1 tanks and trucks will begin arriving in Europe on Jan. 8, marking the beginning of a nine-month rotation of a U.S. armored brigade designed to strengthen deterrence against Russian aggression.  The planned arrival of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, out of Fort Carson, Colorado, is part of the effort to support Operation Atlantic Resolve.  “The United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America’s dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Thursday.


ABC 13 News – Drivetanks Living Military Museum Offers Explosive Excitement with Real Tanks and Live Artillery

1666175_630x354UVALDE, TX (KTRK) — In Uvlade, Texas on a sprawling 18,000 acre hunting ranch, sits the home of a living military museum. A portion of the land has been turned into a simulated battlefield where World War II-era and newer tanks, more often than not, are driven by those who have never spent a day in the service.  Opened six months ago, DriveTanks co-founder Todd DeGidio says it’s the only place in the world where you can drive a tank and blow things up without ever enlisting.  “I think it’s important for us to keep this part of our history alive,” said DeGidio.


The Diplomat – Russia to Upgrade Tank Force With Deadly New Fire Control System

thediplomat_2016-02-04_11-20-35-386x249The Russian Ground Forces are reportedly slated to upgrade an unknown number of T-72 and T-90 main battle tanks (MBT) with a new automatic target tracker and fire control computer also found on the third-generation T-14 MBT, according to local media reports in December. The T-14 is Russia’s most advanced armored fighting vehicle, based on the “Armata” universal chassis system  The Russian Ministry of Defense intends to field the first upgraded T-72s and T-90s in two to three years, the Izvestia daily newspaper revealed. Russia’s operates around 300 T-72B3s, an upgraded variant of the original Soviet-era T-72 MBT, out of a total T-72 force of roughly 1,900, and around 350 advanced T-90A, and T-90SM, (other designations T-90AM or T-90MS), the latest and most modern version of the T-90, specifically designed for export.