From the Vault: The Rarden Cannon

Today we present an article from the Jan-Feb 1974 issue of ARMOR magazine looking at the British Rarden cannon.  The Rarden gun was introduced in the early 1970’s and  would go on to be one of the most important pieces of ordnance in British armored formations, being the primary armament of the FV510 Warrior IFV, as well as reconnaissance vehicles Fox, Scimitar and Sabre.  The author of this piece, F. W. A. Hobart, is known primarily as a writer of books on small arms.  While still in service with UK forces, the Rarden is considered outdated and is slated to be replaced by a 40mm weapon.  The article is posted below as individual images.  For those wanting to view the Jan-Feb 1974 issue of ARMOR, click here.

 

From the Vault: Tank Effectiveness: Conqueror, Conway and Charioteer

Fans of British early Cold War armor may find this item entertaining.  Sent to us by author and researcher P. M. Knight (see his excellent histories of WWII British armor here), this is an archival document from the British Army Operational Research Group.  The report is dated June of 1954.  The topic of the report is the combat effectiveness of the Conqueror, Conway and Charioteer tanks.  As might be guessed, this report is pretty theoretical since these vehicles never saw combat.  We take these sorts of reports with a grain of salt, especially when they come to the conclusion that the Charioteer has “an effectiveness of unity against this Russian tank (the IS-3)”.

The report is posted below as a series of pictures.  We have also posted the images as a PDF that can be downloaded here.

From the Vault: General Patton and the Sherman gun debate

One of the most enduring discussions regarding WWII armor revolves around the 75mm gun of the M4 Sherman tank.  Was it good enough?  Should the US Army had replaced it sooner with the 76mm gun?  While browsing through some old issues of ARMOR  magazine, we found this letter to the editor that we thought was worth sharing.  Written by Colonel George Eddy JR, son of Brigadier General George G. Eddy, he relates how his father got into an argument with General Patton over the 75mm gun issue.  This letter appeared in the March-April 1974 issue of ARMOR and it raises a few questions.  First, it must be acknowledged that this is second hand information.  Obviously, George Eddy Jr. was not a witness to this event.  As far as we know, there was not much “discontent” with the M4 after the combat experiences in North Africa.  We would be curious to know if there is any other record of this incident.  It’s worth pointing out that General George Eddy should not be confused with the more well known WWII XII Corps commander General Manton S. Eddy.

George Eddy letter

From the Vault: The Turtle Series of Armored Vehicles

From the January-February 1965 issue of ARMOR come this rather intriguing article by the late Robert Icks concerning a proposed series of vehicles called the Turtle Series by the NDRC.  The NDRC (National Defense Research Committee) was set up during WWII to promote and coordinate scientific research related to defense technology.  Some of the most successful programs they helped fund include the Manhattan Project, the DUKW, the proximity fuze and radar technology.  It seems they also proposed a series of tank designs, none of which ever got beyond the mockup stage.  Click on the page images below to read the full article.

From the Vault: Korea’s Ridge Running Tankers

Twin 50 pictureWhile the Sherman tank is so closely associated with the Second World War, it’s sometimes overlooked that these vehicles also served the US Army in a very different conflict, the Korean War.  This article from the May-June 1953 issue of ARMOR provides an account by a First Lieutenant who recounts how Sherman tank crews in Korea had to acclimate their tactics and vehicles to fighting a static war in mountainous terrain.  One thing we found rather interesting in this article was the mention that one of the Easy Eight Sherman tanks was equipped with twin .50 cal machine guns on the roof and one in the hull replacing the .30 cal machine gun.  A picture of the vehicle with the twin .50 cal guns is included in the article.  If any other photographic evidence of this particular vehicle exists, we would love to see it.

Click on the page images below to view them in full size.

From the Vault: Allison Transmission Newsletters

World of Tanks forum member Volketten shared with us a link to a digital library containing old newsletters from Allison Transmission company.  In regards to tanks and armored vehicles, Allison is primarily known for the CD-850 series transmission found in the Patton and M60 tanks and the X-1100 transmission of the Abrams tank.  We thought these newsletters might be of interest to anyone that had family that worked at Allison or is curious about the history of the corporation.  View the full library here.

We have created a gallery below of the 1952 AllisoNews Special Edition focusing on military transmissions.

From the Vault: Production video of Leopard I

Despite that fact that this video is in German, we thought the images were interesting enough even for those that can’t understand the narration.  A 1970 video showing the production process of the Leopard I MBT from beginning to end.