New Issue of ARMOR available

armor winter 2017The Winter 2017 issue of ARMOR is available for download.  Features in this issue include:

Making Reconnaissance Guidance Say What You Think by CPT Luke Bowers

The Role of Reconnaissance Forces in the Counterattack  by LTC Scott Pence

Looking Toward the Future: the U.S. Cavalry’s Role in Multi-Domain Battle by MAJ Amos C. Fox

Trends in Defensive Operations by COL Esli Pitts

Tough Vehicles Require Tougher Crews: Why We Must Re-establish a ‘Gunnery Culture’ … and How to Do It by SSG David D. Lunebach and SSG Sean M. Leytham

The Battle of Debal’tseve: the Conventional Line of Effort In Russia’s Hybrid War in Ukraine by MAJ Amos C. Fox

TRADOC Big 6+1 Capabilities by LTC Corey B. Chasse

Enhancing Shared Understanding within the Brigade’s Operations Process by MAJ Rich Groen

Applied Combined-Arms Maneuver at Company Level by 1LT James Casey

Saving Future Gallons: Overview of New Field Manual 7-0 by James L. Young Jr.

Vintage News: So what happened to the 450 Argentine Shermans? 40 images may just tell the story

This article was published in September of last year at the Vintage News website.  We didn’t notice it at the time, but it came to our attention today when the Tank Museum shared it on their facebook page.  It’s a fun article and should prove entertaining to anyone with an interest in post-war Sherman tank history.  Those familiar with the Surviving Panzers website will recognize a good many of these photos.

So what happened to the 450 Argentine Shermans? 40 images may just tell the story

fpIn the late 1940’s, Argentina bought nearly 450 M4 Sherman’s from Belgium in many British variants, over 250 of them were the Firefly version, with the long barrelled 17pdr gun that could take on the Tiger 1.

In the late 1970’s, the Argentinian Army needed to modernize their armoured units. The TAM project was under way, but the border crisis with Chile required an urgent reinforcement until the TAM was operational and the Army ordered the modernization of 250 Shermans, mainly the Firefly version then in service.

This program included a new engine and a new armament. Many versions of M4 in the Argentinian service were used, and the Repotenciado (Lit; Upgraded) was born. Most of the Sherman Repotenciado are the British Sherman Hybrid Firefly IC, but it`s not the only version. The principal advantage in using the Firefly was the easy adaptation of the internal configuration to the new 105mm ammunition storage.

Read the full story here.

The Tank Museum: Tank 100

t100-main-logo-1It’s been a few months since we visited the Tank Museums Tank 100 website, celebrating 100 years since the first use of tanks in 1916. There is quite a bit of interesting new content there, including more installments of the Tank Men series looking at WWI British tank crewmen and Training and Combat section.  Quite a few of the posts are written by Tank Museum researcher and prolific author David Fletcher.  We have provided some links to some of posts written by Fletcher below.  This is not a complete list and we highly recommend that people spend some time browsing the content at the Tank 100 site, it’s well worth the time.

Recruiting for the Heavy Section – Mr. Fletcher describes the formation of the first tank units

Part I – Lieutenant-Colonel Ernest Swinton was one of the leading men in the development of the Tank Corps, going on to recruit hundreds of tank men who served in the First World War. Read his story in the first of a three part series on the creation of the Heavy Section of the Royal Machine-Gun Corps.

Part 2 – It can’t be easy recruiting for a new branch of the Army, especially if you’re not supposed to say in the first place exactly what it does. This seems to have been the main problem in the early days facing Lieutenant-Colonel Ernest Swinton, Royal Engineers, when he tried to recruit men for the new war machines, the ‘tanks’.

Part 3 – Part 3 goes into more detail regarding exactly how Swinton, first commander of the Heavy Section, managed to swell the numbers up to 184 officers and 1610 men of other ranks.

 

A Tank in Your Town – A list of some of the WWI British tanks that survived the war

Ypres – Ypres, in Belgium, on the edge of the Salient of evil memory, is another location that acquired a tank, selecting one from those about to be destroyed at the end of the war which had significant local associations.

Tonbridge – It would be nice to say that I remembered the Tonbridge tank but it was long gone by the time I was there, I knew the Castle well enough, and the river Medway that runs by it, but the tank was scrapped in 1938, even before I was born.

Barnsley – Barnsley, in Yorkshire, received its tank on 27 June 1919. It was delivered to the goods yard and driven from there by a Tank Corps crew, to a temporary resting place in the town centre, two weeks later the men returned and drove the tank to its permanent site in Locke Park where it was displayed along with a German 77mm field gun.

Aberdeen – Scotland ran its own National War Savings Scheme and since we don’t have their version of the Silver Bullet we don’t yet know how many tanks were distributed. We can only rely on postcards, such as the one above from Aberdeen, but we’re slowly building up a picture.

Colchester – At Colchester, in Essex, the gifted tank was set up on a plinth alongside the ancient castle walls. It was a Mark IV female although its number is not recorded. However we do know that it sported unditching beam rails and the white/red/white markings which indicate that it served in France and was not a mere training machine from Bovington.

 

Toward the Tank – The first 8 of a 12 part series looking at the predecessors of the tank over the centuries.

Part 1: Chariots of Iron

Part 2: The Armoured Knight

Part 3, Scottish War Cart

Part 4: Valturio’s War Chariot

Part 5: Leonardo Da Vinci

Part 6: Steven’s Landship 1599

Part 7: Holzschuher 1558

Part 8: Siege Engines

 

Tanks in the Middle East – A very interesting series of articles about the little known use of WWI armor in Palestine and Egypt.

Tanks in Palestine in the First World War

Palestine Tank Detachment

Mark I & Mark II Tanks in Gaza

 

 

The Matilda Diaries, Parts 9, 10 and 11

It’s time we caught up on the Matilda Diaries series from the Tank Museum at Bovington.  This video series examines the Museums efforts to restore their Matilda II infantry tank.  These episodes look at restoration of the turret, the gun and the gearbox.


 

 

Book Alert: Red Army Tanks of World War II

A new printing of Red Army Tanks of World War II: A Guide to Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Red Army has been listed on Amazon by Amber Books. As far as we can tell, this is a reprint of the 2002 book Russian Tanks of World War II: Stalin’s Armored Might published by Zenith Press. Authored by Tim Bean and Will Fowler, this is a 176 page book with numerous black and white photos and illustrations.

Publisher’s Description:

“Red Army Tanks of World War II” is an authoritative history of Soviet armored forces before 1945, detailing their development, tactics and equipment from the early days of the tank arm in the 1920s, through the purges of the late 1930s and the German invasion in 1941, to the epic tank battle of Kursk, and eventual victory in the streets of Berlin.

The growth and development of Stalin’s armored might is illustrated with 170 rare black-and-white photographs, some of which have never been previously published. These include images of tank training in the 1920s and 1930s, photographs taken on active service, and pictures of the major tank battles of the war. The photographs are complemented by detailed artworks of Soviet tanks and exhaustive specifications.

A must for any enthusiast, “Red Army Tanks of World War II” is the definitive study of the equipment and tactics of the Soviet armored forces that defeated the might of Hitler’s Wehrmacht.

AFV News from around the Web

It’s time for another collection of recent AFV related articles.  Click on the title to go to the article home page.

 

IHS Jane’s 360 – Image shows possible new Chinese infantry fighting vehicle

1692891_-_mainAn image posted on online forums in early February shows what appears to be a next-generation Chinese infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) featuring a new front-engined hull and a possible unmanned turret.  If it is a new prototype IFV, it could be a successor to the China North Industries Corporation’s (NORINCO’s) ZBD-04 or later ZDB-04A, which are in service with the Ground Forces of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).  Like the ZBD-04/ZDB-04A, the new IFV hull features six running wheels and an apparent forward mounted engine, but differs in a number of ways, including a less sloped forward glacis.

 

IHS Jane’s 360 – SAIC rolls out amphibious vehicle prototype for USMC

p1693367Science Applications International Corp (SAIC) has unveiled the first of 16 prototypes for the US Marine Corps’ (USMC’s) competitive Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 programme during a 21 February ceremony at the company’s facility in Charleston, South Carolina.  SAIC partnered with Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) to submit STK’s Terrex 2, which includes a V-shaped hull and space to carry 11 marines with a crew of three (to add additional room to carry two more marines would have required a redesign and added weight that the company deemed unnecessary).

 

Defense News – There’s a decades-long modernization lag for Army combat vehicles

usmc-091121-m-9613d-014WASHINGTON — A years-long period of reduced modernization budgets has caused a major lag — potentially up to 30 years for some rides — in upgrading the Army’s combat vehicles, the Army general in charge of the fleet said.  “I can tell you right now the level of investment in my portfolio is unacceptably low,” Maj. Gen. David Bassett said Monday at a Lexington Institute forum on Army rapid acquisition.  The current investment has only allowed the service to make very capable upgrades to its fleet — which would require “decades to touch all of our armored brigade combat team formations,” Bassett said.

 

Defense News – Army on track to integrate bigger gun on Stryker

strykerThe Army is trying to rapidly field Strykers with a bigger gun to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Europe amid concerns the service is outgunned by Russian counterparts, and so far the program is on track, according to Col. Glenn Dean, the project manager for Stryker.  Congress provided the Stryker program office funding in 2015 and 2016 to field Stryker infantry carrier vehicles with a 30 mm cannon to the regiment in Europe by 2018. A little more than $300 million is allocated for eight prototypes and upgrades to 83 production vehicles, plus spares. General Dynamics Land Systems — the Stryker’s prime contractor — was authorized by the Army to hold a competition to select a gun and turret for the vehicle.

 

War is Boring – South Korea’s ‘Low Rider’ Tank Is the Ultimate Mountain Fighting Vehicle

1-n-14rcc1r_mzvbacohqlwqThe South Korean army has peculiar needs. For one, just across the Demilitarized Zone, North Korea possesses one of the largest tank armies in the world.  In this cauldron of densely packed military forces, both sides share a peninsula that is also very mountainous. During the Korean War, many battles were fought in places such as the Punchbowl, Pork Chop Hill, Old Baldy, Bloody Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge, just to name a few.  Any weapon built specifically to exploit the peninsula’s terrain would have an edge. So, when South Korea produced its first domestically designed tank, Seoul took the mountainous terrain into full account.

 

The National Interest – Taiwan’s Tanks Managed to Do What Hitler’s Mighty Panzers Failed to Do at Normandy

roblin_taiwan_0.jpgWhen the Allies launched the amphibious landing in Normandy in 1944, one of their chief fears was that German Panzers would roll down to the beach within twenty-four hours and crush sodden Allied infantry under their tracks. To protect against such an outcome, the Allied airpower ruthlessly scourged road and rail links leading to Normandy, and airborne operations preceding the landing had as a chief objective impeding a German armored counterattack.

 

DoD Buzz – Army to Give M1 Tank New Ammo, Active Protection System

army-m1-abrams-1800With the promise of increased defense spending, U.S. Army officials are planning a major upgrade for the M1 Abrams tank as the start of a sweeping effort to modernize the armored vehicles in the service’s heavy brigades.  The initial package of upgrades currently in test will enable to M1 to fire the Advanced Multipurpose, or AMP, round, which can be programmed to deliver devastating effects such as airburst on enemy targets, said Maj. Gen. David Bassett, program executive officer, Ground Combat Systems.

Book Alert: Kampfpanzer Maus

According to Amazon, a new book on the German Maus tank is available as of today.  Published by Schiffer Military History and authored by Michael Frohlich,Kampfpanzer Maus: The Porsche Type 205 Super-Heavy Tank examines the history of the bizarre and ill-considered German super-heavy tank. This is a 240 hardcover edition and is described as being a continuation of the Spielberger series on German tanks.

Publishers Description:

In 1944 the Maus giant battle tank, weighing almost 190 tons, was supposed to help turn the Wehrmacht’s fortunes of war on the Eastern Front. Just two prototypes of this monster were delivered, for its undeniable advantages―tremendous firepower and virtually impenetrable armor―were outweighed by the disadvantages of its slowness, excessive use of materials in construction, and fuel consumption so high that it was, by that time, far beyond the Germans’ ability to supply. With this volume, Michael Fröhlich continues the legendary Spielberger series and delves into one of the most curious military vehicles produced by Germany―the Maus super-heavy tank. For the first time, this book tells the complete story of this vehicle, including its inner workings, accompanied by many previously unpublished illustrations. But that is not all: the book includes another novelty, the complete operating instructions for the tank’s crew!

Kampfpanzer Maus: The Porsche Type 205 Super-Heavy Tank is available from Amazon here.

Book Alert: Haynes Manual Panzer III

Haynes Publishing has released a new entry in their Owners’ Workshop Manual series for the WWII era German Panzer III tank.  Titled Panzer III: Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. A to N (SdKfz 141) (Owners’ Workshop Manual), this book is authored by Dick Taylor and Michael Hayton. This book follows the same format as previous books in this series, being a 160 page hard cover volume with plenty of photos and full color illustrations and charts.

Publishers Description:

When Hitler unleashed Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union in June 1941, the 23-tonne Panzer III was in the vanguard of the German assault. The German Panzer III tank (official designation Panzerkampfwagen III, Sd Kfz 141, abbreviated to PzKpfw III) saw widespread use during the Second World War campaigns in Poland, France, the Soviet Union and the Balkans, and in North Africa with the famous Afrika Korps. A small number were still in use in Normandy (1944), at Anzio (1943), in Norway and Finland and in Operation Market Garden (1944). Some 5,774 were built between 1937 and 1943. Although the Panzer III was conceived to operate alongside the infantry-supporting Panzer IV to fight other tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, the roles were reversed when the German Army came up against the formidable Soviet T-34 tank. A tank with a more powerful anti-tank gun was needed so the Panzer IV with its larger turret ring and long-barrelled 7.5cm KwK 40 gun was used in tank-versus-tank battles, with the Panzer III being redeployed in the infantry support role. Production of the Panzer III ended in 1943, although its dependable chassis provided hulls for the Sturmgeschutz III (StuG III) assault gun, one of the most successful of the war, until the end of the war. Centrepiece of the Haynes Panzer III Tank Manual is the Bovington Tank Museum’s PzKpfw III Ausf L, which has been restored to running condition. This tank belonged to the same battalion as the museum’s famous Tiger I (the 501st (Heavy) Panzer Abteilung) and is an early production Ausf L, modified for tropical service. It was shipped via Naples to Benghazi in Libya in July 1942 and was issued to the 8th Panzer Regiment, part of the 15th Panzer Division and probably fought in the Battle of Alam Halfa. It was subsequently captured by the British Army and shipped to the UK.The Tank Museum has restored the tank to running order, has repainted it in its original camouflage and markings and is currently replacing many of the ancillary tools and equipment that it carried.

Panzer III: Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf. A to N (SdKfz 141) (Owners’ Workshop Manual) is available from Amazon here.

Video: PLZ52 at IDEX 2017

Here is one more video from IHS Jane’s 360 showing one of the weapons systems on display at IDEX 2017, the Chinese PLZ52 SPG.