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.

Photo of the Day: Carden Loyd Light Tractor

Today’s photo is of a British Carden Loyd Light Tractor.  This particular example has, rather amusingly,  been armed with a light machine gun.  One would think that they might have at least provided the poor gunner with a gun shield of some sort…

carden loyd light tractor

This photo comes from Tanks and Armored Vehicles 1900-1945 by Col. Robert J. Icks, published in 1945 and reissued in 1970.

From the Vault: Robert Icks on the best Tanks books circa 1972

Today we present a two part series written by tank expert and author Robert Icks originally published in ARMOR magazine in 1972.  The subject of the article is simply “books about armor.”  Obviously, many of the books mentioned in this article are out of print and forgotten, although a good number of them are still available through used book sellers online.  Good stuff for the serious tank book nerd.

From the Vault: The Fighting Tanks since 1916

Today we present “The Fighting Tanks Since 1916” written by Ralph Jones, George Rarey, and Robert Icks.  This book was published in 1933 and represents the most complete examination of the topic up to that point.  The book was reprinted in 1969, copies of the reprint can be found from online book vendors at relatively reasonable prices.  Fortunately, the book is also available for reading on the Hathitrust digital library website.  For those that would like to give it a look, click on the image below.

fighting tanks since 1916

From the Vault: Robert Icks on Liddell Hart

Today we present an article from the November-December 1952 issue of ARMOR written by Colenel Robert J. Icks title “Lidell Hart: One View.” Icks was a pioneer in the writing and researching of tanks and armored warfare, writing numerous books on the topic starting in the 1920’s up through to the 1970’s. In “The Fighting Tanks 1916-1933“, which he co-authored with Ralph Jones and George Rarey, Icks is described as possessing “one of the most complete individual tank libraries in the world.” At the time of his death in 1985, his library was bequeathed to the Patton Museum. A list of his collection can be viewed here, it is listed as 70 linear feet of material!

In the course of his research on tanks, Icks carried on a correspondence with British journalist, historian and military theorist Basil Liddell Hart.  Widely credited as one of the prophets of modern mechanized warfare, Liddell Hart was one of the most prolific writers on military matters in the 20th century. A WW1 British Army captain, Liddell Hart retired from the army in 1927 to embark on a career as a journalist and historian. Following WW2, Liddell Hart continued to write, among his most well known works were his books based on interviews with surviving German Generals (The Other Side of the Hill, The German Generals Talk) , his editing of the Rommel Papers as well as his single volume history of the war.  Liddell Hart was no stranger to controversy, and his strong opinions on matters often have drawn strong replies from historians and military thinkers.  This article presents Colonel Icks view on Liddell Hart and his writings.