Tanks of World War II – Episode 6: Char D1, D2 and FCM 36

We dive further into French tanks of 1940 with this new video looking at the Char D1, D2 and FCM 36 tanks.  While none of these vehicles were produced in great numbers, all three saw combat in the 1940 campaign and deserve mention.  Next episode, we will look at two more french tanks, the R 35 and H 35.

For reading recommendations for these vehicles, be sure to check out our picks here.

Book Review: Allied Armor in Normandy

In this video we review the new book Allied Armor in Normandy  This book is part of the Casemate Illustrated series and is written by Yves Buffetaut.

Publisher’s Description:

Tanks were the beasts of the Second World War, machines designed to destroy anything and anyone in their path. Throughout the summer of 1944, the Allied forces readily employed tanks and armored vehicles to gain ground in the bloody campaign of Normandy. Heavily armed, they provided a kind of support which no number of infantrymen could offer, battling their way through enemy lines with their guns blazing. From the US 2nd Armored Division named ‘Hell on Wheels’ to the British ‘Achilles’ tank, the encounters they had in battle were explosive.

This volume of the Casemate Illustrated series explores the Normandy invasion from the perspective of the Allied Armored divisions, looking at how armored vehicles played a central role in the many battles that took place. It includes over 40 profiles of tanks and armored vehicles, from the American Sherman and Stuart tanks to the bulldozers and amphibious vehicles designed for the beach.

With detailed diagrams and many photos illustrating the composition of the Allied armored divisions and tank regiments present at Normandy, this volume explains the crucial part played by tanks in gaining a foothold in Normandy after the D-Day landings, as well as the significance of many other types of armored vehicles.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: Crusader

World of Tank’s Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran takes a look at a late model Crusader tank armed with a 6 pounder gun.

 

Tanks of World War II – Episode 4: Panzer II

Here is episode four of our video series The Tanks of World War II.  This episode finishes up our look at the Polish Campaign of 1939 and examines the German Panzer II and it’s variants.

Video: NMAW Open House

Last September we went to the open house event for the NMAW at the Tank Farm in Nokesville Virginia.  We shot some video at the event and have edited it into something that we hope is relatively watchable.  This video will give people an idea of what to expect if they decide to attend this event the next time it happens.

General Barnes Tank Patent

Here is a short new video looking at an interesting tank patent we found from General Barnes, head of Ordnance during WWII.

 

Book Alert: Armor Camouflage & Markings of the British Expeditionary Force, France 1939–1940

A new entry in the Armor Color Gallery series has been released, titled Armor Camouflage & Markings of the British Expeditionary Force, France 1939–1940: Part 1: 1st Army Tank Brigade (Armor Color Gallery) by Robert Gregory.  This is an 80 page softcover book.

Publisher’s description:

During the inter war period, the British army decided upon two tank designs: the Infantry Tank, which featured thick armor and slow speed to attack defensive positions, and the Cruiser Tank, with thin armor and fast speed to exploit any breakthrough. The Infantry Tank would equip an Army Tank Brigade and the Cruisers would equip the Armored Brigades. These designs were based on the theory that any new war would resemble the static warfare of 1914–1918.

Early in the 1940 campaign in France and Flanders, the British Expeditionary Force, along with the Belgian army and the best French divisions, were encircled north of the Somme. Futile attempts were made to break the encirclement. One such attempt was made by the 1st Army Tank Brigade, launched south of the town of Arras. The appearance of these Infantry Tanks stunned the German commander, who did not realize how few tanks there actually were, which caused the Germans to slow their advance, thus buying valuable time for the Dunkirk evacuation. The only British tanks north of the Somme that were capable of fighting other tanks were the Infantry Tanks of the 1st Army Tank Brigade. The Brigade had only two of its three Battalions and only one Battalion with its full complement of the larger A12.

Part 1 of Armor Camouflage & Markings of the British Expeditionary Force, France 1939–1940 examines the tanks of the 1st Army Tank Brigade. For security reasons, photography by British soldiers was strictly forbidden but encouraged on the German side. These after-the-battle photographs taken by German soldiers are valuable in examining what the tanks looked like during the 1940 campaign. Included are 157 b&w photographs and 26 full-color plates. Using war diaries, training pamphlets and other documents, the camouflage and markings of these armored vehicles are described. A brief description of the three types of tanks used, and the movements of the Brigade during the campaign are also covered. The photo captions point out the differences in the three types of A11, the modifications made specifically to the A12s and other information when known, such as the vehicle’s location and tank crew. The color plates depict the Light Tanks, the A11 and A12 Infantry Tanks, and show the camouflage and markings on several of each type. This book is the best-captioned reference to date, companioned with charts, rare unpublished photographs and color plates. It is a valuable resource for the armor enthusiast and military modeler.

Available from Amazon here.