The Chieftain’s Hatch: Turan III Prototype

Over at the World of Tanks forum, researcher Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran has posted a new article on the history of the Hungarian Turan III prototype.


t21testThe Turán started with an acknowledgement that the Toldi light tanks (which were basically Swedish Landsverk L-60s) weren’t really suited for a general tank role on the modern battlefield. After a bit of hunting, the Hungarians ended up talking with Škoda.

In 1938, Škoda took a crack at what was effectively a “heavy light tank,” the S-II-c. The family resemblance to the older S-II-a (later the LT Vz 35) should be obvious, though with 3cm of armor and the 47mm Vz 38 gun, the vehicle now came in at some 16.5 tons. A bit of tweaking later, and the 16.7-ton T21 was born. These ended up being developed for series production as the T2, with an order of 200 being placed for Romania before Germany put a hold on that sale.

Read full article here.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: Sentinel Part 2

Part 2 of the Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch video featuring Nicholas Moran on the Australian Cruiser Mk 1.

Sentinel tank finds new home at Queensland museum

7271734-3x2-940x627ABC Far North (Australia) has posted an article about an AC1 Sentinel tank that has found a new home at the Australian Armour and Artillery Museum in Cairns.  Only 65 Sentinel tanks were produced by Australia during WW2 and only 3 of the AC1 still remain in existence (as well as 2 AC3 models, an AC4 and a few AC1 hulls converted into agricultural tractors.)  This particular Sentinel AC1 was owned by the late Jacques Littlefield as part of his large private collection.  The video game company Wargaming purchased the Littlefield Sentinel and has donated it to the Australian Armor & Artillery Museum where it will be put on display after some minor renovations.  The ABC Far North article quotes Wargaming America’s director of militaria relations Nicholas Moran:

“Australia had never built a proper tank before, so by the time the tank was ready for testing in July 1942 it was a little outdated.”

“By the time the fighting really got going against the Japanese, the Americans and British had started producing tanks of their own in large numbers and to a standard design.

“So it just simply didn’t make sense for Australia to continue to produce their own tank.”

The closest any Sentinel tank ever came to seeing actual military service was in the shooting of the film The Rats of Tobruk.

“If you see The Rats of Tobruk they’ve got German iron crosses on the side of them,” Mr Moran said.

“That was pretty typical of movies in the post-war industry; they didn’t really think the audience cared if a tank looked realistic, as long as it had a German cross on the side.

“In fairness, at least the Sentinel was unusual enough that it wasn’t going to be confused with something the Allies were using.”

For the full ABC article, click here.

Earlier this month Wargaming released a short video about this particular AC1 Sentinel.


For a list of the remaining Sentinel tanks in the world, click here to view a PDF of surviving Canadian and Australian Cruiser tanks hosted by the Surviving Panzers website.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: T-55A Part 2

Part 2 of Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran’s look at the T-55A medium tank.

Chieftain’s Hatch: How Suitable was T29, Part 2

chieftains hatchAt the World of Tanks forum, Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran has posted part two of his article on US post-WW2 heavy tanks. This installment of the article looks specifically at concerns expressed by the Armored Board in a report regarding the the T-29 and T-30 heavy tanks. The Armored Board seemed to have a more than a few concerns regarding heavy tanks, particularly one the topics of logistical support and transportation, as well as gun performance and armor.


The US Army wanted a tank which I’m not sure even they believed was entirely possible with the level of technology then available. There was also a level of contradiction: They wanted a gun which was capable of defeating all likely armor possible of being placed onto a tank while, at the same time, wanting sufficient armor to be proof against any gun. The armor team and the gun team must have had some interesting discussions. More importantly, note the amount of emphasis placed on strategic and operational mobility. Getting a tank to move about the battlefield doesn’t seem to have placed anywhere near as many restrictions on the design, or taken as many processing cycles, as being able to get it to the battlefield in the first place. Granted, it was not wartime, but six weeks to collect enough railway rolling stock to move a battalion of medium tanks is a significant amount of time. Getting the rarer heavy capacity flatcars would have taken even longer. There is little surprise that Transportation and Engineering corps usually placed objections to heavy tanks when they came up.

It is interesting to note the comparative value of the T29 to the T30. T30 provided no particular improvement in anti-armor lethality, which seems to have been the driving force behind the heavy-tank criterion, and did better at dealing with bunkers and infantry at the cost of a very reduced rate of fire and ammunition capacity. Did the merits of the one bigger bang outweigh the overall weight-of-shell per minute that the two types of tank could fire? Perhaps T34 would prove to be the compromise blend. After all, when the US finally did decide to build a heavy tank in the M103, they went with the 120mm.

Full article available here.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: M56 Scorpion Part 2

World of tanks researcher Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran has released the second part of his “Inside the Hatch” video on the M56 Scorpion self propelled anti-tank gun.

For those that missed part one of this series, here it is.

Book Alert: Reprint of ‘Firepower” by Hunnicut is planned

Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran has posted on his facebook account that his employer WarGaming is planning a World of Tanks reprint edition of the book “Firepower” by R. P.  Hunnicutt.  This book is long out of print and typically commands several hundred dollars for used copies in good condition.  Here is the post:

11755787_988543301185451_5192717826878223814_nOK, so we’re suffering from a bit of a dilemma. We’re hoping to release a WoT Edition of a book. Improved on the original a bit, we’ve sent them recent scans of photos from the archives, foreword and some addenda by myself, and so on.

The idea is that we do a single print run, and pass on the economy of scale to you guys. So, the more that are sold, the cheaper it is for everyone. (We also don’t care much about the book profit, so that’s a cost reduction too. The bottom line is that it’ll never be cheaper). Fine in theory. The catch: Usually these low-volume books are made ‘print-on-demand’, which may be a slightly lesser quality, is certainly more expensive in volume, but is decidedly faster.To do this right, highest quality printing, lowest cost, etc, has a long turnaround time from the printer. In theory, if we went by “Announce on Day 1. Close orders Day 30. Tally number of orders. Print that many”, it could take up to three months between when someone clicks “Checkout, take my credit card info” to when the book is shipped. I don’t understand the technology/process, that’s just what the publisher has told me. In effect, it’s a pre-order. For ease, we may go with a fixed price, and then add gold codes of a value to make up the difference.

The alternative is that we take a wild guess as to how many might be sold, order that many in advance, and hope not too many people get disappointed (and that we didn’t wildly over-estimate). Those X many people will get their books pretty much immediately. We have absolutely no idea how big a number “X” should be, we don’t really have a basis for comparison.

So, on the basis that we want to get the most people to benefit for the least cost, the question becomes “Just how patient are you guys? Are you willing to wait several months for this?” My personal opinion is that anyone who’s willing to pay dollars for this particular book is also willing to wait, but you never know, especially when our customers are used to clicking ‘purchase’ and having their goods deposited in their account within a few minutes.

Photo is prototype. Expect the final product to look a little different (Author’s name on spine, etc)

Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran on Myths of American Armor

Att the recent TankFest Northwest event at the Flying Heritage Collection, World of Tanks researcher Nicholas Moran made a presentation on “The Myths of American Armor in WW2.” Fortunately for those unable to attend, his talk was video recorded and posted in the Chieftain’s Hatch section of the WoT forums.

Tankfest Northwest

For those that plan to be in the Seattle area on Monday May 25, the Flying Heritage Collection will be hosting Tankfest Northwest.  The event will feature educational speaker Nicholas Moran aka “The Chieftain.”

Event Description:

Tankfest Northwest
12:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Bring the family out to enjoy tanks, military vehicles and artillery weapons at this festive annual event, which includes driving and firing demonstrations of tanks and artillery. There will also be a Puget Sound Military Vehicle Collectors Club parade. This year we are proud to announce we will be joined by two military units, the 1-161 Combined Arms Battalion which will bring an M1 Abrams tank and the 1-303 Cavalry Squadron which will bring a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Both units are part of the 81st Brigade Combat Team and will demo their vehicles.


Articles on Nicholas Moran, WoT’s “The Chieftain”

2ebzecyMilitary Times has published two new articles about Wargamming’s North American tank researcher and “chief evangelist” Nicholas Moran, aka The Chieftain.  One article focuses on Moran’s role as an employee of Wargamming.  It also looks at “The Chieftain’s Hatch” section of the World of Tanks forum where Moran publishes articles based on his research.  Here is one of the more interesting excerpts from the article:

He sees part of his mission at Wargaming as helping dispel myths and misconceptions — perpetuated mostly by movies — about armored warfare during World War II.

Consider the M4 Sherman tank, he says, long disparaged as the scrappy, if inadequate, answer to the Nazis’ armored divisions. [Read more…]