From the Vault: LIFE magazine on Tank Destroyers

Here is an article on US Tank Destroyer’s from the October 26, 1942 issue of LIFE magazine.  This article gives a pretty good idea of how the tank destroyer concept was being marketed by the Army to the general public.  People who like pictures of the M3 gun motor carriage will enjoy this.  Read the full issue of LIFE here, (article starts on page 86) or view the photo gallery of the five page article below.


From the Vault: LIFE Magazine ads

At least one person commented that they were having trouble seeing the image in this post.  We decided to redo and expand the post, adding another ad to the photo gallery.

The first ad comes from a 1943 issue of Life Magazine.  In it, Westinghouse is bragging up the gun stabilization system on the M4 Sherman.  It’s probably fair to say that Westinghouse is exaggerating just a bit in this ad.

The second ad also comes from 1943 and is from the Chrysler Corporation.  The tittle of the ad is “How to Jockey a General Sherman.”



From the Vault: RD&A Magazine Articles

A couple months ago someone posted a collection of US Army RD&A magazines (Research, Development & Aquisition)  from the late 80’s and early 90’s.  We browsed through them and picked out the handful of articles that directly related to AFVs.  We have arraigned the articles in photo galleries chronologically by year.


Composites Technology


TACOM Seeks Improved Vehicle Crew Environment

Yuma Proving Ground’s Automotive Test Mission



TACOM Seeks Quick Fix For Battle-Damage Vehicles

Single Fuel on the Battlefield

First Complete AIPS Hardware to Undergo Tests



Impact of Communications on Armor Crew Performance

Diagnostic and Repair Expert System for the Abrams Tank

A Non-Flammable Hydraulic Fluid for Future Combat Vehicles

Composite Infantry Fighting Vehicle Unveiled


TACOM Solved Hot Exhaust Problem for Desert Troops


The Army’s Tank Engine Adventure of World War II

Army to get New Smoke Vehicle

Yuma Initiative Extends Life of Abrams Tank Air Cleaner


Combat Vehicle Test Bed to Play Key R&D Role


New Track-Tensioning System May Cut Tank Maintenance Costs





From the Vault: Steam power for tanks

Our recent editorial lambasting the Fox Trot Alpha article on the Civil War Tank got us thinking about steam power and tanks. While steam is certainly not the ideal way to propel a tank, it has been looked at a number of times, and as recently as the 1960’s.  The document “Engine-Transmission Power Plants for Tactical Vehicles” by the Research Analysis Corporation from 1967 includes a chapter on steam power for military vehicles.  It’s a relatively short chapter but it makes for interesting reading.  We have reposted it below as individual images, or it can be downloaded as a PDF file  here: Steam engine tanks.

From the Vault: The Ram and Tank Production in Canada, 1939-1945

ram tank article

From the pages of Canadian Military History comes an article on the role Canada played in WW2 tank production and design.  “Not compentent to produce tanks” the Ram and Tank Production in Canada, 1939-1945 by Grahm Broad is a ten page long examination of the topic.  Aside from repeating some of the well worn myths about German tank superiority (a Panther is worth five Shermans!), it’s worth a read.

Download the PDF here.

From the Vault: The Development of American Armor 1917-1940

Dummy training tankThis article originally was serialized in four parts in the 1969 run of ARMOR magazine.  Written by Timothy K. Nenninger, it  gives a good description of the development of American armor from 1917 to 1940.  We have provided links to the four parts below which can be downloaded in PDF form.

Part I World War 1 Experience

Part II The Tank Corps Reorganized

Part III The Experimental Mechanized Forces

Part IV A Revised Mechanization policy

From the Vault: Six-Ton Tank

From the Nov-Dec 1968 issue of ARMOR we present this article by Konrad Schreier on the US Six-Ton Tank.  The article may be viewed as individual images below or you can download the entire ARMOR issue as a PDF here (article starts on page 183 of PDF)