Saturday, 17 August 2019

The Polish Army's Phantom Reserves

In the early 1930s, Poland built the TK-S, a very good design based on the British Carden-Loyd Mk.VI tankette. A similar thing happened with light tanks. Polish tank builders designed the 7TP tank based on the Vickers Mk.E. The next step, the development of a fully domestic design, turned out to be too difficult for Polish industry. Attempts were made, but progress did not move past several prototypes. The Polish army entered WWII with armoured vehicles at the technology level of the late 1920s. This article discusses experimental designs that did not manage to enter service with the Polish army.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Aquino Tank Weekend WWII Reenactment Part 2

After the Ontario Regiment's first attack on Aquino Airport was beaten back, the regiment did not give up. The Hitler Line fell fairly quickly, and the Canadians' contribution is celebrated in part 2 of the Aquino Tank Weekend 2019 reenactment.


Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Burn Before Reading

Translation from German

9th Army HQ
Intelligence department, counterintelligence division
#653743 Secret

Army HQ July 29th, 1943

Re: Operation Citadel

All documents relevant to Operation Citadel are especially valuable to the enemy even now. Because of this, all documents of the corps and division must be completely and thoroughly destroyed without exception. Report on the execution of this order by August 3rd, 1943. Copies of documents that are not destroyed are to be handed over to rear line organizations. Division HQs must surrender their documents to Corps HQs, which will take on the task of sending the documents to the appropriate locations in the far rear.

Army Chief of Staff

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Rejected by Infantry, Adopted by Cavalry

France entered WWII armed with three different types of modern light tanks. Two of them were the numerous Renault R 35 and rarer FCM 36, used by only two tank battalions. The third tank, and a very numerous one, was the Hotchkiss H 35 (and its improved variant, the H 39). Overall, the H 39 turned out to be the best French light tank. It turned out to be very reliable and more mobile than its cousins.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

F-34 Gun Mantlet

"Requirements for the F-34 gun mantlet
  1. The front facing shield covering the gun port needs to be 52 mm thick if cast and 45 mm thick if rolled.
  2. The armouring of the cradle and recoil elements can be stamped or rolled and welded. The front cover needs to be removable. The thickness of the front cover needs to be 35 mm, the vertical sides sides sloped at 20 degrees must be 30 mm thick, top and bottom at least 15 mm.
  3. The design of the gun mantlet needs to reliably protect the crew from bullets and splash from all elevation angles from -5 to +30 degrees. The armour strips that prevent bullets and splash from entering must be at least 15 mm thick.
  4. In order to balance the system, a weight of at most 50 kg can be installed on the recoil guard. If a weight of more than 50 kg is required, a balancing mechanism must be added underneath the gun cradle.
Representative of the BTU Chief, Military Engineer 1st Class, Korobkov
Representative of the 3rd Department of the BTU, Military Engineer 1st Class, Afonin
January 18th, 1941."

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Fuel Capacity

"Table of one full load of fuel per fighting vehicle."

Vehicle
Capacity in kg
Type of fuel
Notes
T-35
637
BK-70, B-70
Aux. tank 360 L
KV-1 and KV-2
834
RB-70 diesel

T-28
462
BK-70, B-70

BT-7M
619
RB-70 diesel

BT-7
547
BK-70, B-70, RB-70

BT-5
263
ditto

T-34
710/628
BK-70 diesel/B-70

T-26
204
RB-70

T-40
154
RB-70

T-50
255
RB-70

T-60
227
RB-70

T-70
321
RB-70

T-38
90
Automotive gasoline

T-37
90
Automotive gasoline

T-27
35
Automotive gasoline

BA-20 light
75
Automotive gasoline

BA-10 medium
88
Automotive gasoline

BA-11 heavy
115
Automotive gasoline

BA-64
68
Automotive gasoline

MK-3 Valentine
145
Gasoil “3”

MK-2
192
Gasoil “3”

American M3 medium
613
3 cubic cm of RD per 1 kg of B-70

American M3 light
146
2 cubic cm of RD per 1 kg of B-70 or B-74

Universal Carrier
45
B-74 2nd grade

Bren Carrier
68
B-74 2nd grade


Via Valeriy Lisyutin

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Diesel Engine, Take One

"May 31st, 1937
To the Head of the 1st Main Directorate of the NKOP, comrade M.M. Kaganovich
To the Head of the 8th Main Directorate of the NKOP, comrade K.A. Neiman
To the Head of the Planning Directorate of the NKOP, comrade V.A. Levin
To the Acting Director of factory #183, comrade Lyash

In order to unconditionally launch an experimental batch of the improved BD-2 (400 hp) engine and deliver them to state trials no later than October of 1937, I propose the following:

Monday, 5 August 2019

Anti-Panzerfaust Tactics

"How to combat Panzerfaust soldiers and counteract them

The Red Army's use of mass amounts of tanks and SPGs forced the German command to work at reinforcing their anti-tank defenses. This reinforcement went in the following directions:
  1. Introduction of high caliber anti-tank weapons.
  2. Replacement of anti-tank towed guns with SPGs (Ferdinand and others).
  3. Widespread use of AA artillery in anti-tank roles.
  4. Invention of new types of weapons, especially close combat ones: torpedo tankette, Ofenrohr, Faustpatrone.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

When Late is not Better than Never

The saying "fast enough is well enough" applies to a whole slew of armoured vehicles that arrived too late to take part in the war. One of them was the Heavy Tank T29, the next tank after the M6 to be built in any kind of series. This tank was supposed to be America's answer to the Tiger Ausf.B. The Americans got their King Tiger, but only two years after WWII ended. At that point the Heavy Tank T29 looked rather obsolete.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Aquino Tank Weekend Reenactment Day 1

The battle for Aquino airport in Italy on May 19th, 1944, was a difficult one for the Canadian Ontario Regiment and the British 26th Armoured Brigade that they were supporting. The attack against the German defensive line covered by fog failed. Even though the Hitler Line fell only a few days later, the sacrifice of the Ontario Regiment is still commemorated by the Ontario Regiment Museum at the Aquino Tank Weekend every year.