Translated articles from Tank

It’s time to go see what’s been going on over at the Tank blog.  Here is a sample of the latest Russian language articles they have translated into English for your reading pleasure.  Click on the headline to read the full article.


Czechoslovakian Dead End

skodat17s01-b4f2551f614d1f29af13cee926b3a5f0The greatest success of the Czechoslovakian tank industry was with light tanks. The LT vz. 35 and LT vz. 38 turned out to be excellent vehicles, used by several nations during WWII. Despite the fact that Skoda’s T-15 and Pz.Kpfw.38(t) n.A. did not make it past the prototype stage, the chassis of the latter was used for the Jagdpanzer 38(t) tnak destroyer. It is not surprising that, after the end of the war and start of work on the TVP medium tank, work on a new light tank began in parallel. The result of that work was several interesting prototypes, such as the TNH 57/900, Skoda T-17, and the amphibious Letak.


Frenchman in German Hands

pak_97_3-fc97722cd0dbdb7e69e69fd08b16fb8fThe belligerents in WWII had to improvise time and time again. Obsolete weapons, no longer suitable for their initial purpose, found surprising new applications. One of the most notable examples of such a “second life” is the German conversion of the French 75 mm Mle. 1897 field gun, as a result of which the 19th century weapon became an effective anti-tank gun.

Devourer of Tungsten

10-f75c5e043d40773be0ac9424bce612e2In late summer of 1942, the Red Army captured a German weapon that piqued the interest of the Red Army Main Artillery Directorate. This was the new German tapered bore 7.5 cm Pak 41. Several shells were captured along with the gun, which allowed trials to be performed and several characteristics to be determined. What was this gun, and what were the results of its trials in the USSR?


Adventures of the Centurion in Scandinavia

strv81s02-961eacd33634cb3d26b0e0a149ee4589Despite Sweden’s goals to arm itself with domestic designs, foreign tanks in the Swedish army were not a rare sight. In cases when their industry was too slow or designers put out unsatisfactory results, the Swedish military made up the shortfall with foreign purchases. Recall that the Strv m/37, Sweden’s most numerous tank at the start of WWII, was actually the CKD AH-IV-Sv tankette. Later, the Swedes acquired the Strv m/41, a licensed copy of another Czechoslovak vehicle, the LT vz. 38.


The Swedish Army’s Tough Choice

strvm21s05-f6015ceeef1104becdb15db5ef40c6a6The time between the World Wars was that of rapid technical progress. Even tanks, a relatively new invention, could become obsolete quickly. Even though only several wealthy countries could afford a large number of the newest tanks for their armies, experimental vehicles and small batches cropped up in many nations. Sweden, who managed to retain neutrality during WWI, was among them. Its army was engaged in a lengthy and difficult search for a suitable tank.


British Tank for Soviet Infantry

valentine2ussr01-ad9fdcdf6039d601c6bc1b71519e925aOn September 29th, 1941, the first regular Arctic convoy departed from Britain to the USSR. It was indexed PQ-1. On October 11th, 11 transport ships arrived at Arkhangelsk, where they delivered 193 Hawker Hurricane fighters and other military cargo. Among it were 20 Matilda III and Valentine II tanks. So began the delivery of the Valentine tank, which became the most numerous British tank in the Red Army.


Infantry Sweet Spot

valentinep1s02-22260cfb1392e304317bf1c614cbfa47The Valentine infantry tank was the most common British tank of WWII. Like the Matilda, it didn’t last long as a front line tank in the British army, but commander versions and SPGs on the chassis made it to Germany. Its career in other countries was even more eventful. The Red Army used them until the end of the war, and they were widely used in the Pacific theater of war. In some nations, these tanks served as training tanks until the 1950s. What was the history of the creation of this extraordinary tank, and how did the first modifications of the Valentine serve?


Multiturreted Independence

independent01-01d219742f998219dddf6167fa4862e1Towards the end of WWI, the French reached first place in the heavy tank development race. A little longer, and the FCM 2C would have seen combat. The French created the first breakthrough tank in the world, which combined powerful armament with armour that, at the time, could be considered shellproof. In addition, the French vehicle became the first multiturreted tank in the world, and its main turret was large enough for three men.


Heavyweight Brainstorming

chryslerk08-ccbb2b097e0cf87289e4b90870b157f6During the years of WWII, American industry made excellent light and medium tanks. SPGs built on their chassis were no less excellent. The only field where American engineers encountered misfortune was the development of heavy tanks. Although the Heavy Tank M6 was built, and even entered service, it was quickly left behind. The tank turned out to be too heavy and insufficiently mobile, without a place in American tank doctrine. Nevertheless, work on American heavy tanks never stopped, and projects like the Chrysler K kept coming.


Exhibit with a History

11-102caeda7c1a0d5152b4efd417630e11The German Tiger tank currently on display in Saumur is one of only six tanks of this type that survive to this day. Out of the six, the history of this one is the most interesting. This tank fought with two armies on both sides of the front, and had its own personal names.


Pz.Kpfw. Löwe: The German Lion

lowe11-c89c3e92ed8de90e3285a4b282eeb889During the Third Reich, the German tank building school was defined, in part, by monsters such as the Maus and E-100. However, the German system of armament from the 1930s had no superheavy monsters like these, and no heavy tanks at all. In the second half of the 1930s, the plan was to have two types of light tanks and two types of medium tanks. How did Germany end up with monsters like the Pz.Kpfw. Löwe, and how were they developed?

Video: Military History Visualized on Panzer Tactics

The youtube channel Military History Visualized has released a new video on German Panzer tactics in the early years of WWII.

Forgotten Weapons: PIAT anti-tank weapon

Forgotten Weapons youtube channel takes a look at the WWII British PIAT anti-tank weapon.

Cambrai Tank Chats Special: The Mark IV Tank

A special episode of the Tank Museum’s Tank Chats series focusing on the Mark IV used at the battl eof Cambrai 100 years ago.

AFV News from Around the Web

Here is another assortment of recent news articles on armored vehices. Click on the headline to go to the complete piece.  It’s been a while since we did one of these, so this one is a bit longer than usual.

Jane’s 360 – USMC’s AAV7, ACV programmes trade capacity, terrain capability for survivability

1709064_-_main.jpgThe US Marine Corps’ (USMC’s) two-pronged amphibious vehicle modernisation effort will include some significant survivability upgrades to its legacy AAV7 amphibious assault vehicles, and be complemented with a new personnel carrier with mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP)-levels of protection.


Jane’s 360 – Over half of Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2 MBTs are not operationally ready

p1195545German media reported on 16 November that only 95 of the 244 Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBTs) in service with the Bundeswehr are operationally ready. A further 53 vehicles – thought to be Leopard 2A6Ms – are being converted to the new Leopard 2A6M+ standard, and 86 are in a state of disrepair without any spare parts. The German report states that “the unavailability of the required replacement parts would be detrimental”.


Jane’s 360 – Ukraine to purchase more BTR-3DA IFVs

1712535_-_mainThe Ukrainian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has placed an order with the Kiev Armoured Plant for BTR-3DA vehicles, Ukraine-based industry sources reported on 30 October.  The order is for an unknown quantity of BTR-3DA infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), a locally developed upgrade for the BTR family of armoured fighting vehicles. The order follows a series of delays because of MoD concerns that the vehicle was not suitably priced.


Jane’s 360 – Challenger 2 trialled with ROSY, Iron Fist APS

Rheinmetall’s ROSY rapid obscurant system has been demonstrated on a British Army Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT), Jane’s has learned, with components of Israeli Military Industries’ (IMI) Iron Fist hard-kill active protection system (APS) also understood to have been integrated.


Defense News – Industry expresses ‘fears’ over India’s future combat vehicle program

INFHSKYNOFDJFC4NBC2PY7HHUY (1)NEW DELHI — India has launched a $4.8 billion program for the domestic production of 1,770 multipurpose future ready combat vehicles by private companies partnered with overseas original equipment manufacturers, but some leaders in the local industry are hesitant about what they consider an overly ambitious program that lacks clarity.


The Telegraph – Government has spent £381m upgrading army’s ageing armoured vehicles even though half could be scrapped

download (1)The Ministry of Defence has spent £381 million upgrading the army’s  ageing infantry fighting vehicles even though half of them could now be scrapped to cut costs.  Lockheed Martin was hired six years ago to overhaul and fit new gun turrets to Britain’s ageing fleet of Warriors, which have served in the Gulf, Bosnia and Iraq.  But Ministry of Defence documents forecast the Warrior upgrade is a year behind schedule, with the programme incurring extra costs as a result of delays.


Bangkok Post – Five Ukraine tanks on way to Thailand

A new batch of five more tanks from Ukraine will be delivered late this month as the Royal Thai Army has so far received 31 of the Ukraine-made T84 Oplot tanks, according to an army source. Ukraine was contracted to supply a battalion of 49 T84 Oplot tanks worth 7.2 billion baht in 2011 but was slow to press ahead with production and delivery due to security problems in the country.


BBC News – Commander says tanks as ‘relevant’ now as 100 years ago

_98817047_hi043091711The regiment, based at Tidworth in Wiltshire, has commemorated the anniversary of the Cambrai battle.  Formed out of the Tank Corps, the tanks broke the stalemate of trench warfare in World War One.  Lt Col Simon Ridgway said the soldiers “changed the course of the war” with their courage.


Reuters – Turkey received bids in tender for 500 battle tanks last week: minister

Turkey received bids last Friday for the production of 500 Altay battle tanks, of which 250 are optional, Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Wednesday.  Speaking to parliament’s budget commission, Canikli said the tender would be finalised in the coming days. The domestic Altay tank project is worth an estimated 7 billion euros ($8.24 billion).


Newsweek – Russia says it has more tanks than any other nation in the world

1108russiantanks.jpgRussia has boosted its arsenal of tanks and armored vehicles by more than 25,000 over the last half a decade, one of its deputy defense ministers boasted on Wednesday.  Russia’s Deputy Minister of Defense and Army General Dmitry Bulgakov told army newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda: “Over the five years between 2012 and 2017, the army has received more than 25,000 units of new armored tank and automobile kit, as well as 4,000 modern items of rocket and artillery weaponry.”


The Sentinel – Tanks a lot: Welder helps build replica tank

Pictured-on-the-tank-is-Chris-Sheldon-with-TV-presenter-Guy-MartinJPGA Staffordshire Moorlands welder has helped TV presenter Guy Martin build a replica of a WW1 tank for the Armistice Day commemorations in France which marked 100 years since tanks were first used in battle.  Welder Chris Shenton, from Leek, has been part of excavator giant JCB’s team to help TV personality Guy Martin to engineer a tribute to the role tanks played in helping change the course of the First World War.

The Tank Museum Presents Cambrai: The Tank Corps Story

Here are all three parts of the Tank Museum video series on the Battle of Cambrai, 100 years ago.



The Tank Museum presents Cambrai: The Tank Corps Story Part 1/3

Part of the three part video series by the Tank Museum on the Battle of Cambrai.

Video: King Tiger: Why No MG-42

If you have ever wondered why late war German tanks retained the MG-34 machine gun despite the fact that it had been replaced by the MG-42, the Military History Visualized youtube channel answers your questions.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: Char В1 Bis part 2

Here is part two of World of Tanks researcher Nick Moran exploring the interior of  the French Char B1 Bis tank.

Video: Forgotten Weapons looks at the Super Bazooka

The popular firearms channel Forgotten Weapons takes a look at the M20A1B1 Super Bazooka anti-tank weapon.