Book News: WoT Ad for the Hunnicutt “Firepower” Reprint

We don’t usually post ads here, but we will make an exception for this one.

WoT: Virtually Inside the First Tanks

World of Tanks has created a “VR experience” video in tribute to the 100th anniversary of the first tanks used in combat in Sept of 1916. Featuring Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran and Richard “The Challenger” Cutland, this video shows the interior of the surviving Mark IV tank housed at the Bovington Tank Museum.  Be sure to click over the mouse and move the camera around as you watch the video.

The Chieftain’s Hatch: Equipping the Force Part 4

chieftains hatchNicholas “The Chieftain” Moran has posted part 4 of his series of articles on the history of US tank development during WW2.  This segment tells the story up to the end of the war with particular focus on T23, T28, T29, T30 and T26E3.


Last of the T23

In order to insure a completely fair evaluation of the T23 tank, Army Ground Forces had proposed in the spring of 1944 to equip the 785th Tank Battalion and expose the tank to extended field service tests in this country. Army Ground Forces was convinced that the tank was not satisfactory but did not want to be in a position of overlooking any advancement which the electric drive might accomplish. Ordnance had claimed that all the initial deficiencies found had been corrected in the ten production models, which were tested by the Armored Board in the summer of 1944. But again results were very disappointing. It was found, for example, that 300 man-hours of maintenance were required for each 100 hours of operation. The track and suspension system was inadequate; the cooling system was easily clogged with dust and prevented satisfactory operation in high ambient temperatures or dusty conditions; no steering or braking was possible if the engine failed, and finally the tank could not be operated satisfactorily at slow speeds without imposing a heavy burden on the traction motors. The Board listed 26 urgent deficiencies in this vehicle. Army Ground Forces approved the Board’s recommendation for a correction of these deficiencies and stated that if they were corrected two battalions would be equipped with the tank and sent to the theater. It was also found in the field test of the tank by the 785th Tank Battalion that the armored engine compartment grilles could not withstand even 20mm fire from the ground or plunging fire from aircraft.

Full article here.

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.

World of Tanks: Virtually Inside the Tanks videos

fish eyeWorld of Tanks has released a new website featuring a series of videos titled “virtually inside the tanks.”  These videos feature WoT personalities Nick Moran (The Chieftain) and Richard Cutland (The Challenger) as they ride around inside a tank.  The videos are filmed with a series of cameras, providing a rotatable panoramic view of the inside of the vehicle.  This filming technique creates a very strong “fisheye” effect which is frankly a bit disorientating.  That said, people may find these videos informative and they do provide some good images of the vehicle interiors, albeit a distorted one.  Currently the line up of vehicles featured in this series included the Leopard 1, the Chieftain, the M4 “Fury”, the T-34 and the T-55.

To view the videos, click here. 

WoT History article on T-14 Armata

The Archive Awareness blog has translated a Russian language article on the T-14 Armata tank that originally appeared on the World of Tanks History page.  While numerous articles have appeared on the T-14 recently, this one seems to have a good bit more detail than most we have seen.


30 years ago, engineers from Nizhniy Tagil created a foundation for a new tank with Object 187 and Object 187A. The innovative but unfortunate Object 195 was then built in metal. What was the fruit of the labours of Ural engineers?

On the way to a breakthrough

Successful decisions in the 1960s allowed Soviet engineers to achieve a tank with a very tight layout. The tanks were compact, not very heavy, and had excellent protection. On the other hand, if the enemy shell did punch through the armour, it was nearly guaranteed that it would destroy components or kill the crew. The ammunition rack in the fighting compartment was especially worrying.

In the end of the 1980s, all major Soviet tank factories were working on new tanks. Engineers aimed to boost the firepower (including by means of increasing the gun caliber), increase protection, and automate the vehicles. Additionally, a new layout was necessary, as the classic layout was no longer sufficient for survivability on the battlefield.

obiekt_195_150203_01Soviet engineers had a difficult task. They needed to develop an innovative solution to protect the crew and fighting compartment, separating them from the ammunition rack. Kharkov, Nizhniy Tagil, and Leningrad were working on this task. The Nizhniy Tagil project from Uralvagonzavod, Object 187A, was never built in metal, but was the basis of the experimental “Perfection-88” program. In 2000, the Object 195 vehicle was created based on that research, a predecessor for the T-14 tank built on the heavy universal tracked Armata platform.

Read the full article at Archive Awareness blog.

WoT’s Chieftain posts new article: US Centurion Part 4

chieftains hatchWorld of Tanks researcher Nicholas Moran, aka “The Chieftain” has published part 4 of his article on US testing of the Centurion III tank.  Part one dealt with the US assessment of the Centurion III’s fighting compartment.  Part 2 dealt with automotive tests.  Part three covered the gun control systems.  Part four examines the fire on the move capability of the Centurion.

All the Chieftain’s articles can be read at The Chieftain’s Hatch.

Article excerpt:

This is the last in the series of articles stemming from the US Army’s testing of Centurions II and III in late 1949/early 1950. We’ve already seen that they concluded that Centurion was a fairly competent vehicle, albeit that it was expected that the next generation of American tank would be no worse than equal in various characteristics, but they were particularly curious about the stabilization system as up until that point, nothing had been put into service on a tank which was claimed to provide a true fire-on-the-move capability. The gyrostabilised guns on American tanks in WWII, being single-axis only, could not make such a claim. As we go through the observations below, I suspect that even in the M4 the Americans had already started noticing such things, but it is still interesting to see how they are officially reporting them below. Anyway, I’ll let you read the observations, and will come back to you afterwards.