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#4017497 - 10/03/14 08:43 AM Tankfest 2013  
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Due to popular demand (well, Chucky asked for it!), Im pleased to share with you some pictures I took at Tankfest 2013 unfortunately I missed this years event frown

For those of you who arent familiar with Tankfest, its a two day historic vehicle 'extravaganza' held at The Tank Museum at Bovington, Dorest - the museum of the Royal Tank Regiment & Royal Armoured Corps. It boasts the worlds best collection of tanks:

http://www.tankmuseum.org/home

BTW - Tankfest 2015 is on 27th and 28th June one for diary!

Anyway, given this is the centenary of the start of WW1, Ill start with some replicas from the Great War. The replica British tank was made for the Steven Spielberg film, War Horse. The replica German tank is an A7V built in 2009 by Bob Grundy of British Military Vehicles, a company that specialises in the restoration of old military vehicles. The replica is constructed of plywood and angle iron, using the engine, transmission, and tracks from two Fordson County Crawlers - tracked agricultural vehicles - and is painted to represent A7V number 504, Schnuck. It was purchased by the Tank Museum in November 2012.




















The living history re-enactment guys dressed the part Ive seen the same bunch at the Shuttleworth Collection airshows at Old Warden. Theyre obviously equally at home fighting the Hun in the air or in the trenches .. biggrin













From the same era, a Rolls Royce armoured car lovingly maintained by the Irish Army:





Thirteen 1920 pattern Rolls-Royce armoured cars, all fitted with the standard .303 Vickers water-cooled machine gun were issued to the fledgling Irish forces. They were given the Irish military numbers ARR1 (Armoured Rolls-Royce) to ARR14 - the number 13 was not issued. On the 22nd August 1922, General Michael Collins was carrying out an inspection of West Cork, which was his own home territory, when he was shot dead during an ambush near the hamlet of Bal na mBlth. In his motorcade that day was the armoured Rolls-Royce ARR2 named Sliabh na mBan (the vehicle above)which was used to transport General Collins mortally wounded body from the ambush site.

You can find more information about this vehicle here:

http://www.jamesblackrestorations.com/1920-rolls-royce-armoured-car-sliabh-na-mban/

Feedback and requests always greatly received smile

To be continued

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#4017510 - 10/03/14 09:39 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Thanks FlatEric. No offence but I had to have a little chuckle at that first pic. I mean,look at the size of that guys 'willy' biggrin

Looking forward to the continuation of the thread.Can anyone give me the translation of 'Schnuck'?


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#4017526 - 10/03/14 10:26 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Lol - yes, he does look very proud of himself ... thumbsup

I'll have to dig out a picture of a WW2 Australian tank I took at Bovington a few years ago. If you think old 'Tom Todger' is well endowed, wait to you see what the Aussie tank designers came up with .. biggrin

Last edited by FlatEric; 10/03/14 04:56 PM.
#4017873 - 10/04/14 02:10 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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smile I am saving my pennies to attend the 100th in 2016.

#4018099 - 10/04/14 06:33 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Oh boll*cks!! I've run out of bandwidth again on Photobucket frown

I get another 10GB on Wednesday or Thursday, so the show will continue then. Apologies for the interruption!!

Cheers

#4019256 - 10/07/14 03:05 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Try imgur. smile

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#4020145 - 10/09/14 08:08 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Bandwidth restored, so on with the show biggrin

Two things I forgot to include in my first post firstly, heres another Rolls Royce armoured car, this one owned by the Tank Museum:



Secondly, I forgot to mention that in WW1 British tanks came in two varies male and female. Clearly the one on display at Bovington is a male tank distinguishable by the two 6 pounder guns in the side sponsons (the female version was armed solely with machine guns). The designs were based on the experimental tank built for the Landships Committee by Lieutenant Walter Wilson and William Trittonin 1915 its name Little Willie :o Stop sniggering and get on with it!

Jumping forward to WW2 now ..

The Tank, Infantry, Mk I, Matilda I (A11) was a British infantry tank of the Second World War. It is not to be confused with the later model Tank, Infantry Mk II (A12), also known as the "Matilda II". They were of totally different design and did not share components, but did have some similar traits because they were both designed to be infantry tanks, a type of tank that tended to sacrifice speed for increased armour protection.





Interesting comparison between the A11, a Panzer III and a Panzer VI (Tiger)! Note what looks like a penetration hole just above the shovel head on the A11:





At the back of the museum I discovered the remains of an A11 that had clearly been used as a target on a firing range:



Sticking with the early war years and allied armour, next we have an amercian M3 Stuart. In British service, it also had the unofficial nickname of Honey after a tank driver remarked "She's a honey". The M3 Stuarts were the first American-crewed tanks in World War II to engage the enemy in tank versus tank combat. This one is shown in British desert camouflage:







The Tank, Infantry, Mk III, Valentine was a British infantry tank. More than 8,000 of the type were produced in 11 marks plus various purpose-built variants, accounting for approximately a quarter of wartime British tank production. There are several proposed explanations for the name Valentine. According to the most popular one the design was presented to the War Office on St. Valentine's Day, 14 February 1940. Valentine was the middle name of Sir John V. Carden, the man who was responsible for many tank designs including that of Valentine's predecessors, the A10 and A11. Another version says that Valentine is an acronym for Vickers-Armstrong Ltd Elswick & (Newcastle-upon) Tyne. Alternatively it may just have been an in-house codeword of Vickers with no other significance. The one on display below is a Mark IX and looks to be commanded by Ray Winstone!! :):







By 1944, the Valentine had been almost completely replaced in front-line units of the European Theatre by the Churchill and the US-made Sherman tanks. Here is Churchill Mk I tank on static display outside the museum note the 3 inch howitzer mounted in the hull and 2 pounder mounted in the turret:



Here we have some of the living history boys showing off their Sherman (an M4A3E8 with a 76mm gun, I think):







Next we have the Tank, Cruiser, Comet I (A34) - a British cruiser tank that first saw use near the end of World War II. It was designed to provide greater anti-tank capability to Cromwell tank squadrons. It was armed with the 77mm HV gun which was effective against late war German tanks and a superior weapon to the 75mm KwK 42 gun of the Panther when firing APDS rounds. As a development of the Cromwell, it was an interim design before the Centurion tank appeared in 1945.

The Comet saw post World War II combat during the Korean war, and remained in British service until 1958 (and with some other countries until the 1980s).













To be continued ..

#4020606 - 10/10/14 07:09 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Now its time now for some WW2 German stuff.

First up a Panzer III Aus L tank this was introduced in June 1942 and had a long 50mm. The Tank Museums example is an early production Aus L, modified for tropical service. It was shipped from Nuremburg via Naples to Benghazi in Libya, arriving on the SS Lerica on 18 July 1942. It was issued to the 8th Panzer Regiment, part of the 15th Panzer Division and probably fought in the Battle of Alam Halfa. It was subsequently captured by the British Army and shipped to the UK.








Next we have a PaK 43 (an abbreviation of Panzerabwehrkanone 43) 88mm anti-tank gun being towed behind an Sd.Kfz. variant (Sonderkraftfahrzeug - special motorized vehicle). In addition to the towed version of this gun, there were also self-propelled versions, including the lightly armoured Nashorn, and the strongly armoured, fully casemate-enclosed Elefant and Jagdpanther tank destroyers.







The ubiquitous Kubelwagen:



The SdKfz 2 or Kettenkrad for short (Ketten = chain/tracks, krad = military abbreviation of the German term for motorcycle), started its life as a light tractor for airborne troops. The vehicle was designed to be delivered by Ju52 aircraft, though not by parachute. The vehicle had the advantage of being the only gun tractor small enough to fit inside the hold of the Ju 52, and was the lightest mass-produced German military vehicle to use the complex Schachtellaufwerk overlapped and interleaved road wheels used on almost all German military half-track vehicles of WW2. Approx. 8,300 of these were produced.





Waiting for the Challenger II, Megatron, to shift!


Next up the mighty Tiger tank! On 21 April 1943, a Tiger I of the 504th German heavy tank battalion, with turret number 131, was captured on a hill called Djebel Djaffa in Tunisia. A 6-pounder solid shot from a Churchill tank of the British 48th Royal Tank Regiment hit the Tiger's gun barrel and ricocheted into its turret ring, jamming its traverse and wounding the commander. The crew bailed out and the tank was captured. After repairs, the tank was sent to England.

The captured tank was officially handed over to the Tank Museum on 25 September 1951. In June 1990, the tank was removed from display and work began on its restoration. This was carried out both by the museum and the Army Base Repair Organisation and involved an almost complete disassembly of the tank. The Maybach HL230 engine from the museum's Tiger II was installed (the Tiger's original Maybach HL210 had been sectioned for display), along with a modern fire-suppressant system in the engine compartment. In December 2003, Tiger 131 returned to the museum, restored and in running condition. This Tiger was used in the recent film Fury, the first time a real Tiger tank has appeared in a movie since WW2.















Who ever said that size doesnt matter ?








More to come if there is interest ... smile

#4020638 - 10/10/14 09:39 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Lovely pics FlatEric and some good info to go with them yep

The Living History guys look great,the last pic of the Sherman is a superb shot. Do any of the actual crews of the tanks dress for the occasion or do they all wear black overalls?

Keep it coming.


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#4021145 - 10/11/14 01:06 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Hi Chucky, glad you like them smile

I didn't see any of the tank crews dressed in period uniforms, except the guy commanding the WW1 replica british tank - in all other cases black overalls seemed to be de rigueur.

Next up some tanks from the Cold War period.

#4021395 - 10/12/14 11:25 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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On to the Cold War years, which was actually the theme of TankFest 2013. British tanks first smile

First up, the Centurion, development of which began in 1943 and manufacture began in January 1945, six prototypes arriving in Belgium less than a month after the war in Europe ended. The Centurion was the primary British main battle tank of the post-World War II period and was also used by many other armies, notably the Israelis. The original Centurions had 20 pounder main guns, but these were subsequently replaced by the NATO standard British 105 mm L7.

An Australian Army Mk 3 Centurion was involved in a small nuclear test in Australia in 1953 as part of Operation Totem 1. It was placed less than 460m from a 9.1kt blast, left with the engine running and a full ammunition load. Examination after detonation found it had been pushed away from the blast point by about 1.5m, and that its engine had stopped working, but only because it had run out of fuel. Antennae were missing, lights and periscopes were heavily sandblasted, the cloth mantlet cover was incinerated, and the armoured side plates had been blown off. Remarkably, the tank could still be driven from the site. Had it been manned, the crew would probably have been killed by the shock wave. Subsequently nicknamed The Atomic Tank, the same vehicle continued for another 23 years of service, surviving a 15 month tour of duty in Vietnam.

On display were British Army MBT and ARV versions, as well as the up-armoured Swedish Stridsvagn 104 variant:















In the British Army, the Centurion eventually gave way to the Chieftain, said to be the best tank in the world as long as it broke down in a good fire position! The Chieftain FV4201 was the main battle tank in the British Army from the mid 60s to the end of the 80s. At the time of its introduction in 1966 had the most powerful main gun and most effective armour of any tank in the world. The versions on display were a British Army Mk11, fitted with additional Stillbrew armour which was meant to face Soviet 125 mm tank guns and heavy anti-tank missiles; the Chieftain ARV and the FV4211 Khalid /Shir 1 variant (intended for Iran before the Revolution):















The Chieftain evolved into the Challenger 1. Originally designed for Iran, with the fall of the Shah and the collapse of the UK MBT90 project, the British Army became the customer and the design was further developed to meet Western European requirements. 221 Challenger tanks were deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Granby, the UK operation in the first Gulf War. In total, British Challengers destroyed roughly 300 Iraqi tanks without suffering a single loss in combat. The Challenger, in comparison with the M1A1 Abrams tank deployed by the US Army, was more fuel efficient and achieved far greater serviceability. A Challenger 1 achieved the longest confirmed kill of the war, destroying an Iraqi tank with a DU round fired over a distance of 5,100 metres (over 3 miles)the longest tank-on-tank kill shot recorded. The tank on display is Churchill, as used by the commanding officer of the Queens Royal Irish Hussars, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Denaro.






To be continued biggrin

#4021410 - 10/12/14 12:07 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Wonderful pics again FlatEric of some wonderful machines. The Centurion was indeed a ground-breaking tank,put to good use by the Israeli's.

*edit*

Hope you don't mind me slipping this in here FlatEric,it's the Centurion episode from the 'Tank Overhaul' series.


Last edited by Chucky; 10/12/14 03:54 PM.

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#4021575 - 10/12/14 11:49 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Excellent run, thanks for sharing!

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#4021619 - 10/13/14 02:01 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Great photos, great info- thanks for sharing! Amazing collection of vehicles. Would be on my must-see list if I ever got over there, along with the Imperial War Museum.


"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" -- Mark 8:36
#4021719 - 10/13/14 12:24 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Thanks for the comments guys biggrin

Chucky, no problem - I remember watching that series on TV and seeing the Duxford Centurion from the 'tank bank' when visiting Flying Legends.

Cheers

Last edited by FlatEric; 10/13/14 12:24 PM.
#4022651 - 10/15/14 08:10 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Some more British Cold War era armour, this time from the FV430 series of vehicles.

The FV432 was designed to be the armoured personnel carrier in the FV430 series. Production started in 1962 by GKN Sankey and ended in 1971, after constructing approximately 3,000 vehicles. The FV432 is an all-steel construction. As in many designs of its era, there are no firing ports for the troops carried - British Army doctrine has always been to dismount from vehicles to fight, unlike Russian infantry fighting vehicles that largely incorporate ports.
The need to upgrade the FV432 to extend its service life further led the MoD to sign an 85m contract with BAE Systems Land Systems to update over 1,000 FV 432s to Mark 3 standard (called "Bulldog").

Many FV432s are privately owned in the UK due to the relatively low price they are available for. Several FV432s have been modified into replica Panzer III tanks and Sturmgeschtz III assault guns and are used by re-enactment clubs (e.g. see the re-enactment STUGIII in Gunslinger5577s Airfield Assault thread the sand coloured museum examples are the real deal), and have appeared in the television mini-series Band of Brothers.






FV433 Field Artillery, Self-Propelled "Abbot" is the self-propelled artillery variant of the British Army FV430 series of armoured fighting vehicles, using much of the chassis of the FV430 but with a fully rotating turret at the rear housing the 105mm gun and given the vehicle designation of FV433. Its correct designation was "Gun Equipment 105mm L109 (Abbot)"; L109 was little used, probably to avoid confusion with 155mm M109 that entered UK service at about the same time. The name "Abbot" continued the WW2 style of naming self-propelled artillery after ecclesiastical titles.




Now for some non-British NATO Cold War era armour, starting with the Leopard 1.

This main battle tank was designed and produced in West Germany and first entered service in 1965. Developed in an era when HEAT warheads were thought to make conventional heavy armour of limited value, the Leopard focused on firepower in the form of the German-built version of the British L7 105mm gun, and improved cross-country performance that was unmatched by other designs of the era. The Leopard quickly became a standard of European forces, and eventually served as the main battle tank in over a dozen countries worldwide. Since 1990, the Leopard 1 has gradually been relegated to secondary roles in most armies.

On display were Leopard 1s from the German and Canadian forces (the Canadian Leos in particular were in exceptional condition). In all cases they were wearing applique turret armour, highlighting the main weakness of the original design lack of armour protection.











During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, a Soviet T-54A medium tank was driven onto the grounds of the British embassy in Budapest by the Hungarians. After a brief examination of this tank's armour, British officials decided that the 20 pounder on the British Centurion tank was apparently incapable of defeating it. Hence there was a need to adopt a 105mm gun, which emerged as the famed Royal Ordnance L7. This information made its way to the United States, where the Army had been experimenting with a series of upgrades to their M48 Patton tanks. Most of these were relatively minor upgrades, and all of them retained the Patton's T-48 90mm gun. The British reports led the Army designers to choose the L7 for future work on their own tanks, and a somewhat hurried program to develop a platform for the L7 followed. In 1957, plans were laid in the US for a tank with a 105mm main gun and a redesigned hull offering better armour protection. The resulting M60 series largely resembles the M48 it was based on, but has significant differences / improvements.

On display were two M60A3s:







To be continued smile

#4022937 - 10/15/14 08:51 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Great stuff again yep

Why is it you think that the Canadian Leo's were in such great condition?


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#4023125 - 10/16/14 10:45 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Whilst all of the exhibits on display at the museum were well maintained, some of them just felt 'tired'. The Leo's on the other hand were much more energetic and lively. I think the commentator may also have mentioned that the two Canadian Leo's arrived at the museum in excellent running order and little or no maintenance was required for public display purposes.

Although many (all?) have now been replaced by second hand Leo 2's from Holland or Germany, I think some Leo 1's may still be in service in Canada - others may be able to confirm or correct me on this. Some certainly served in Afghanistan.

#4024799 - 10/20/14 12:54 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Before the OPFOR armour was displayed, we had a bridge building competition competing teams from the Royal Engineers had to construct a modern day equivalent of a Bailey Bridge using nothing but brute strength. Hard to imagine that these self-assemble (IKEA?) bridges are capable of carrying a 70 ton Challenger II MBT!

The teams 'get in the zone':


And theyre off!


.. and lift!


The winners:


Then some of their mates parachuted in:





All under the appreciative gaze of the gender neutral (!) audience that these sorts of events usually attract smile


The Museum commentary tower (think they also use this to direct fire on any approaching hostiles):


Then it was time for the Warsaw Pact armour. Rather than simply displaying individual vehicles in the arena, we were treated to a mock battle between NATO and WarPac forces. OPFOR included the ethnic Russian living history chaps, whilst the NATO infantry came in the guise of the Dorset Army Cadet Force (which is why they all look quite young!).

Soviet armour starts massing on the West German border. Here we have a Russian T-55. The T-54/55 series became the most-produced tank in history; estimated production numbers for the series range from 86,000 to 100,000.


This is a T-59, a Chinese copy of the T-55. This version has been upgraded with a British L7 105mm and smoke grenade launchers:




'Track blur' the equivalent of 'prop blur' for tank photographers . .. biggrin


Soviet recon vehicles scout ahead of the main force. Here we have a BRDM-1, an amphibious armoured scout car. Note the extra set of semi-recessed wheels that can be lowered to improve the vehicles cross-country performance by reducing its ground pressure:


This is the BDRM 2. It was intended to replace the earlier BRDM-1, compared to which it had improved amphibious capabilities and better armament. It also had an extra set of cross country wheels:


Here we have a BTR-80, an 8x8 wheeled amphibious armoured personnel carrier (APC) designed in the USSR. Adopted in 1986, it replaced the previous versions, BTR-60 and BTR-70 in the Soviet Army:


This is an Artillery Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle (ACRV) 1V12 series based on an MT-LB chassis. Based on the PT-76 amphibious light tank chassis, the MT-LB entered production in the early 1970s. It was cheap to build, being based on many existing components, e.g. the engine, which was originally developed for trucks.


Crossing the border ..




NATO recon vehicles try to locate the Soviet forces. Here we have a Canadian Lynx M113 and a British Scorpion light tank searching for the bad guys.

The Lynx is a small command and reconnaissance vehicle built as a private venture in 1963 by FMC Corp., the manufacturer of the M113 armoured personnel carrier. The Lynx uses M113A1 components, including aluminium armour, but with only four road wheels on each side and the engine in the rear instead of the front. The U.S. Army adopted the M114 in favour of the M113, but it was employed in the reconnaissance role by the Netherlands and Canada (where it was officially designated the Lynx).


The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle. It was the lead vehicle and the fire support type in the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked), CVR(T), family of seven armoured vehicles. Manufactured by Alvis, it was introduced into service with the British Army in 1973 and served until 1994 (although other variants of the family are still in service). It holds the Guinness world record for the fastest production tank; recorded doing 82.23 kph (approx. 51 mph) at the QinetiQ vehicle test track, Chertsey, Surrey, on 26 March 2002.


WarPac troops prepare for the counter-attack:


Bring it on ..! This DShK made a heck of a noise when it started firing!


A British Army Lynx helicopter (not to be confused with the M113!), spots the enemy and calls in artillery:



Following this softening up, the infantry launch their attack:





Notice how the officer is totally impervious to the inferior WarPac bullets .. wink


To be continued biggrin

#4024801 - 10/20/14 01:10 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Excellent and informative as usual yep

Since when has the 'Gangnam Style' of exiting a plane been the norm?


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#4025622 - 10/22/14 02:10 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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The theme of this update ... track / wheel blur biggrin















For a change I'll invite the viewers to identify the vehicles above smile

And finally, a guest appearance by two stars of British TV comedy ...



To be continued ...

#4025633 - 10/22/14 02:37 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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I'm not really sure but I'll have a go.

I think the 1st is a LAV-300.

The 2nd maybe a Snow Weasel?

3rd is an IKV-91 I think.

I'll leave the rest to others or to correct my answers.


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#4025644 - 10/22/14 03:09 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Great pictures and narrative. Thanks for this posting.

Just great stuff.


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#4025706 - 10/22/14 05:23 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Thanks oldgrognard biggrin

Chucky, the fifth image (assume that's what you meant!) is indeed a Swedish Ikv 91, or Infanterikanonvagn 91, a high mobility tank destroyer that was developed to meet the operational requirements of the Swedish Army. It employed common components with the Pbv 302 armoured personnel carrier series.

Any more takers for the rest smile ?

#4025708 - 10/22/14 05:32 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Ah my bad,I got confused.

Yeah I meant 5th image for the IKV-91

*edit* Is it too late to change my mind? The 3rd image may be a Bv206.



Last edited by Chucky; 10/22/14 05:37 PM.

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#4025716 - 10/22/14 05:55 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Whoooooah ! Second to last photo of those infantry. That's a big guy. Hate to have to lift and carry him if he was wounded.


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#4025733 - 10/22/14 06:55 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Chucky, close! It's actually the forerunner to the Bv206 - it's a Bandvagn 202 (Bv 202).

oldgrognard, that's why he was impervious to small arms fire biggrin [The infantry section he was leading were in fact members of the local Army Cadet Force i.e. school kids (probably 16-17 years old). They made him look even bigger!]

Last edited by FlatEric; 10/22/14 06:58 PM.
#4025747 - 10/22/14 07:09 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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I was in the Army Cadet Force at school.We had a few teachers in it who looked like him biggrin


EV's are the Devils matchbox.
#4025838 - 10/22/14 10:10 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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No more takers for the vehicle identification quiz .. ?? frown

I'm sure there must be some turret heads out there! Vehicles 1,2,4,6 &7 above still to be correctly identified. No more piccies until we at least have some attempts ... wink

#4026019 - 10/23/14 09:10 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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I'd like to have another go,but I'm tied up this morning.I'll put the brain to work this afternoon if no-one beats me to it.


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#4026052 - 10/23/14 11:45 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Good man! thumbsup

#4026106 - 10/23/14 02:57 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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I'm convinced the 1st is an LAV of some sort. LAV 600?

The 2nd is a DAF YP-408?

I'm struggling with the 4th.

The 6th and 7th are M548's?

I'm not sure about the last one.Is it the supply delivery vehicle for G&T to the officers quarters?


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#4026183 - 10/23/14 05:37 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Chucky, not bad!

The first is a Canadian Cougar. The AVGP (Armoured Vehicle General Purpose) series of armoured fighting vehicles were ordered by the Canadian military in 1977 and consisted of three variants - the Grizzly, Cougar and Husky. These were based on the six-wheeled version of the Swiss MOWAG Piranha I. The Cougar variant mounted the turret of a British Scorpion light tank. The Canadian Army retired all AVGP variants beginning in 2005.

You correctly identified that the second one is a Dutch DAF YP408, a 68 armoured personnel carrier. Production took place in the 1960s and YP408s were used until the 1980s.

Fourth is a Brazilian EE-11 Urutu, a combat proven 6x6 armoured personnel carrier developed by Engesa. It shares many components with the EE-9 Cascavel armoured fighting vehicle. This variant mounts a turret with a 25 mm cannon.

You got six and seven, which are indeed M548s, tracked cargo carriers based on the American M113 armoured personnel carrier.

And you also got the bonus question correct as well - GAV is a container of gin, whilst STACEY contains tonic water, both destined for the Officers Mess!

Congratulations biggrin

#4026186 - 10/23/14 05:44 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Thanks FlatEric biggrin


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#4026280 - 10/23/14 08:57 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Now for some modern British Army equipment in this mega-update!

The Jackal or MWMIK (pronounced EmWimmick) or Mobility Weapon-Mounted Installation Kit is a family of vehicles designed and developed by Supacat Ltd. It was built to meet the British Army's specific requirements for an agile, well-armed, light patrol vehicle, and has an innovative height-adjustable air suspension system. The vehicles can be fitted with a range of weapons, such as a 12.7mm or 7.62 mm machine guns, or the 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. Shown here is the upgraded Jackal 2 version.








The Scimitar 2 consists of an upgraded turret from the FV107 Scimitar light tank coupled with the upgraded hull of an FV103 Spartan armoured personal carrier, which provides greater internal volume and protection and a new fuel system, environmental control system and suspension. It is armed with a 30mm RARDEN cannon in the first Gulf War, Scimitars of the 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers engaged and knocked out Iraqi T62s, penetrating their armour with sabot rounds (not bad for a 30mm calibre weapon!).







The Warrior tracked vehicle family is a series of British armoured vehicles, originally developed to replace the older FV430 series of armoured vehicles (although some FV430 variants still remain in service). On display was the FV510 Infantry Section Vehicle, and on static display the FV512 Mechanised Combat Repair Vehicle (or FV513 Mechanised Recovery Vehicle (Repair), not sure which!).












The FV4034 Challenger 2 is the British Armys main battle tank and is an extensive redesign of the Challenger 1. Although the hull and automotive components seem similar, they are of a newer design and build and fewer than 5% of components are interchangeable with those of the Challenger 1. Challenger 2 is one of the most heavily armoured and best protected tanks in the world. The turret and hull are protected with second generation of Chobham armour (also known as Dorchester) the details of which are classified but is said to be more than double the strength of steel.

During the 2003 invasion of Iraq the Challenger 2 tanks suffered no tank losses to enemy fire, although one was penetrated by an IED. This was, at the time, unprotected by "Dorchester" armour. In one encounter a Challenger 2 came under attack from irregular forces with machine guns and RPGs. The driver's sight was damaged and while attempting to back away under the commander's directions, the other sights were damaged and the tank threw its tracks entering a ditch. It was hit directly by fourteen rocket propelled grenades from close range and a MILAN anti-tank missile. The crew survived remaining safe within the tank until the tank was recovered for repairs, the worst damage being to the sighting system. It was back in operation six hours later after repairs. One Challenger 2 operating near Basra survived being hit by 70 RPGs in another incident.

On display was Megatron, from the Armoured Trials and Development Unit (ATDU).











The Challenger Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle (CRARRV) is an armoured recovery vehicle based on the Challenger 1 hull and designed to repair and recover damaged tanks on the battlefield. It has five seats but usually carries a crew of three the extra two seats are for crew members of the casualty vehicle.






In the first photograph below, the smaller vehicle on the left is a Husky, a variant of the US MXT-MVA modified to satisfy the UK MoD's Tactical Support Vehicles requirements for the British Army. The bigger vehicle on the right is a Ridgeback (I think?), which is a 4 x4 variant of the famous Mastiff 6x6 Protected Patrol Vehicle.




To be continued ... smile

#4026712 - 10/24/14 05:01 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Bump (homepage not refreshing to reflect the update above)

#4026739 - 10/24/14 05:45 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Nice update. Of course I am bound to be biased but the Challenger 2 is a superb tank. The incident you mentioned with the multiple strikes,that must have been harrowing for the crew as they waited for rescue whilst brewing up a cup of tea with the BV biggrin

Interestingly,only 1 Challenger 2 has ever been completely destroyed and that was in a blue-on-blue incident with another Challenger.

I think my interest in tanks stems from a parade I saw when I was just a lad. There were Scorpions (or maybe Scimitars) from our local regiment and I remember thinking they were the greatest sound I had ever heard.


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#4027948 - 10/27/14 06:46 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Chucky, I agree - the Chall'y looks very ... purposeful!

Here's the 'best of the rest' ... smile

Tupperware tank! The ACAVP was an experimental armour concept that used a Warrior chassis and composite armour mixing steel and glass fibre. It was never intended as a combat vehicle or even a prototype - it was a rolling test bed.





Canadian Cougar, as mentioned earlier in this thread:



Dutch DAF YP408:



Brazilian EE-11 Urutu:



The Panzer 61 was a Swiss Cold War era medium tank. The tank had a weight of 36.5 tons and was powered by a 630hp diesel engine which gave it a top road speed of 31 mph (50 kph).[1] The primary armament of the Panzer 61 was he British L7 105mm main gun:






Swedish Ikv 91:





Tank Park (Meet the tanks!):






He doesnt look pleased!



M548


Last installment soon smile

#4027953 - 10/27/14 07:27 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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That actually looked a great day for such an event. You could have stuck me in that 'Tank Park' and left me all day. So much armour biggrin


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#4027958 - 10/27/14 07:42 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Yep, fabulous day - both weather and content. I definitely felt like a 'pig in muck!' biggrin

The tank park was great, as you got to talk to the guys who use / maintain these fabulous machines. However, to some extent it was just an extension of the in-door museum, but with blue sky instead of a ceiling. The high point for me was seeing, hearing and feeling the machines roaring and clattering around the arena. [Same thing with airshows - walking the flight line is great, but the real deal is seeing the aircraft take to the sky. In this case it was seeing tanks kicking up clouds of dust!]

#4028765 - 10/29/14 10:15 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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And finally, some more of the living history guys.

Judging by the holes they dug and the firepower they brought with them, I think these chaps were expecting trouble !












This guy even brought his own bamboo plants with him - now that's dedication!!





Goooooooood morning Vietnam!!





Thats all folks! biggrin

#4036325 - 11/15/14 05:03 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Now 'technically' the following photos aren't part of TankFest 2013. However, they were all taken inside the Bovington Tank Museum during an earlier visit I made in 2010. Rather than start a new thread, I thought I'd post them here instead.

Here's the first batch - you need to correctly identify these in order to release the next batch (i.e. a bit of audience participation IS required thumbsup).

Enjoy biggrin

#1


#2


#3


#4


#5


Good luck! biggrin

#4036337 - 11/15/14 06:01 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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#2 is an M46.

#3 Sentinel? *That's a sensational looking weapon btw*

#4 I thought was a Churchill but with parts missing? *track covers* Not too sure on this one.

Last edited by Chucky; 11/15/14 06:07 PM.

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#4036561 - 11/16/14 06:12 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Hi Chucky, good start!

#2 it is indeed an M46 General Patton tank. The M46 was the first tank to be named after General George S. Patton Jr. (the second one being the M47). The M46 evolved from the M26 Pershing, essentially being an upgraded version with an improved engine and gun.

#3 correctly identified as an Australian AC1 Sentinel cruiser tank. It was the first tank to be built with a hull cast as a single piece, and the only tank to be produced in quantity in Australia. The few Sentinels that were built never saw action as Australia's armoured divisions had been equipped by that time with British and American tanks. [Youve got to admire the sense of humour of the aussie designer who came up with that bow machine gun housing classic!!]

#4 - it is a Churchill tank of sorts. Think D-Day and Hobarts funnies. Have another go..?

Which still leaves #1 and #5. Would anyone else in the audience like to take a guess (go on, dont be shy :))?

#4036582 - 11/16/14 10:23 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Originally Posted By: FlatEric

#4 - it is a Churchill tank of sorts. Think D-Day and Hobarts funnies. Have another go..?



I don't think it's the Crocodile. Didn't they mount a 95 mm howitzer on some,maybe it's that one. A MK V perhaps?


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#4036595 - 11/16/14 12:05 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Getting close #4 is a Churchill AVRE - Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers. Its a Churchill III equipped with the Petard, a 290 mm Spigot mortar, throwing a 40lb (18kg) "Flying dustbin" with a 28lb high explosive warhead; a weapon designed for the quick leveling of fortifications!

The petard was reloaded by traversing the turret to the co-driver's hatch. The co-driver then breaks down open the petard barrel and pushes the petard round into the barrel and then closes it. The co-driver's hands are briefly exposed during the process. The AVRE was designed after the Canadian defeat at Dieppe, and could also be equipped with numerous other attachments, such as mine flails, fascine rollers, explosive placers etc. The crew of six were drawn from the Royal Engineers, except for the driver who came from the Royal Armoured Corps. One of the RE crew was a demolitions NCO sapper responsible for priming the "Flying dustbin" and who led the crew when they dismounted from the tank to place demolition charges ("Wade" charges).

Here are some more pictures of it:






Which just leaves #1 and #5 wink

Last edited by FlatEric; 11/16/14 12:11 PM.
#4036597 - 11/16/14 12:11 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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I'll leave those for a while but if no-one steps in I'll have a go.


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#4036690 - 11/16/14 04:58 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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On number three. What the hell is that big lumpy looking thing with the little hole in it. Full frontal nudity on a tank? That's obscene!


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#4036705 - 11/16/14 05:16 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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I'm assuming it's one of the Vickers machine guns although why they would have that huge phallic casting on the end I'm not sure.

I just noticed that it's powered by 3 Cadillac V8 engines.


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#4036752 - 11/16/14 07:16 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Pooch, Chucky, one theory behind the bow machine gun design on #3 was that the enemy would p*ss themselves laughing, making them easier targets biggrin

#4036754 - 11/16/14 07:22 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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I'm not too sure about #1 and #5. It would be too easy to google Bovington's list of vehicles so I won't.

#1 is a light tank I guess and #5 some sort of command vehicle. I'll keep on it.


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#4036755 - 11/16/14 07:22 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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*double post*

Last edited by Chucky; 11/16/14 07:23 PM.

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#4036844 - 11/17/14 12:11 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: Chucky]  
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#1 is something French and #5 is something japenese.

Close huh? winkngrin

Awesome pics man, thanks.


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#4036928 - 11/17/14 07:32 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Hi Nixer, thanks for the feedback and having a go - always great to have audience participation biggrin

Unfortunately, #1 is Swedish and #5 is German ... wink

Any more takers..?

#4037010 - 11/17/14 01:45 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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My wife's father commanded a troop of 'Crocodiles' right at the end of the war, which he told me would work with the AVRE immolating the strongpoint with the flamethrower after the mortar had cracked the concrete, the effect of which would be to deplete the oxygen within the fortification causing abandonment by the unfortunates within.
He never actually used this terrible weapon in anger apart from 'burning a few old huts'. Perhaps at a typhus infested KL? He would never expand on it.
He was somewhat incensed that the set-up of the Crocodile at Bovington is incorrect, a Breda mounted where the nozzle for the flamethrower should be. When the Armoured Corps was reduced at the end of hostilities, he transferred to the RCT, serving in such places as Aden & Cyprus during the troubles there. He was very interested in an earlier thread in this section, with many of the aircraft shown that he 'used to chuck stuff out of the back of'.
I remember my children (and I must admit, me with my immature humour) sniggering at the todger on the Sentinel. smile



#4037020 - 11/17/14 02:13 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Am I anywhere near #5? I thought it was German,it seems to have no gun and an antenna so I thought some sort of scout/command vehicle.

I got #1 thanks to the country of origin you gave.It's a Stridsvagn M/40L although you would be forgiven if you thought it was German also.

Thanks for the info BD-123,always interesting to get 'first hand' accounts of these things.

Last edited by Chucky; 11/17/14 02:13 PM.

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#4037038 - 11/17/14 02:52 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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We have a winner! biggrin

Yes, #1 is a Swedish Stridsvagn M/40L. Armed with a 37mm cannon and two machine guns, and protected by 24mm of armour, its a fairly typical example of late 1930s light tank design, though the welded construction was fairly atypical at the time, most designs relying on rivets or bolts.

Here are a few more pictures of it:





I'll put you out of your misery regarding #5.It's a German Panzerbefehlswagen - command version of a Panzerkampfwagen I. An early 1930s design, PzKpfw I was hopelessly obsolete by the time WWII got going, but the Germans didnt waste material if they could help it, and there were a lot of Panzer Is produced. So many were converted into specialized vehicles munitions transporters, self-propelled howitzers, tank destroyers, or, as shown here, command vehicles with an enlarged superstructure and extra radio gear.

BD-123, my dad served in Aden - he was in the RAF (didn't fly anything, just involved in civil protection duties and raids on suspected trouble makers etc..).

On with the show! No guesses required on the next lot (too obvious)...

Tiger II is the common name of the Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B, or Sd.Kfz. 182. The informal German name was Knigstiger (German for "Bengal tiger"), often mistranslated as King Tiger or Royal Tiger by Allied soldiers.

The Tiger II was the successor of the Tiger I, combining the latter's thick armour with the sloping design used on the Panther medium tank; it also featured the same interlocking mortise joints on the glacis plate as pioneered on the Panther.

Two turret designs were used on the Tiger II. The initial design is often misleadingly called the "Porsche" turret due to the belief that it was designed by Porsche for their prototype; in fact it was the initial Krupp design for both the Porsche and Henschel prototypes. This turret had a rounded front and steeply sloped sides, with a difficult-to-manufacture curved bulge on the turret's left side to accommodate the commander's cupola. Fifty early turrets were mounted to Henschel's hull and used in action. The more common "production" turret, sometimes called the "Henschel" turret, was simplified with a significantly thicker flat face, no shot trap (created by the curved face of the initial-type turret), and less-steeply sloped sides, which prevented the need for a bulge for the commander's cupola.

The Bovington museum has both variants on display. The Porsche turret example is actually the second soft steel prototype the Germans made and did not see active service.


Notice the interlocking mortise joints at the edge of the glacis plate:



The Henschel turret version was from SS Pz.Abt. 501, with hull number 280093, turret number 104, and has a comprehensive coating of Zimmerit. It was claimed by Sergeant Roberts of A Squadron, 23rd Hussars, 11th Armoured Division in a Sherman tank near Beauvais, although it had already been disabled and abandoned by its crew following damage to its tracks and final drive.






The photograph below shows this vehicle after its final action in a beet field in France (I didn't take this one!).


To be continued .. smile

#4037066 - 11/17/14 03:56 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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That's a fearsome looking beast!

I thought that crews had to disable the tank if they abandoned it? Weren't there charges just for that occasion or have I read too many Sven Hassel books?


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#4037447 - 11/18/14 07:52 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Yes, they did carry charges to destroy the tank. However, sometimes they wouldn't have time to place them, or couldn't, or they chose not to if they thought there was a possibility of being able to recover it later. Guess we just got lucky with Tiger II 104 biggrin

#4037518 - 11/18/14 01:59 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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OK, 4 more tanks to identify smile

#6:


#7:


#8:


#9:


Good luck! biggrin

#4037536 - 11/18/14 02:38 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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#7 looks Japanese. I'll work on that.*Type 95 HA-GO* ?

#8 is a Cruiser Mk V: Covenanter.I recognise it from World of Tanks. In fact my WoT name is British Cruiser biggrin

Last edited by Chucky; 11/18/14 04:23 PM. Reason: added answer

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#4038050 - 11/19/14 08:46 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Correct! biggrin

#7 is indeed a Type 95 'Ha-Go', a light tank used by the Imperial Japanese Army in combat operations during the second Sino-Japanese war, at Nomonhan against the Soviet Union, and in WW2. The Type 95 was produced in 1935 (year 2595 in the Japanese Imperial Calendar, hence the 95 in the title) and remained in front line service throughout the war.

Like the American M3 Stuart, it was not designed to fight other tanks. It weighed only 7.5 tons and had a crew of 3. Only the commander was seated in the turret, hence he was responsible for observation, loading, aiming, firing the main gun, as well as decision-making and commanding the crew. The hand-operated turret was small and extremely cramped.

The primary armament of the most produced version was a Type 98 37mm gun firing high-explosive and armour-piercing rounds. For the latter, muzzle velocity was 675700 m/s, and the armour penetration was 25mm at a distance of 500m in other words pretty hopeless against other armour! Similarly the thin armour of the Type 95 made it very vulnerable; Allied forces soon realized that standard infantry weapons were capable of penetrating the minimal armour around the engine block, and even its thickest armour could not withstand anything above rifle calibre.

The exhibit at Bovington is a tank from 14th Sensha Rentai (Tank Regiment), 3rd Sensha Shidan (Tank Division). It was captured in Malaya and examined in Calcutta before being sent to Britain.

Here's a few more photographs of it:





Also correct on #8! The Covenanter was a revolutionary new design of cruiser tank dating from 1939. It was built under the control of the London Midland and Scottish Railway (why?!), and was designed to be of all welded construction, with many aluminium components, a special low-profile engine and the new Merritt-Brown transmission. Unfortunately by the time it entered production many things had changed. Riveting replaced welding, armour thickness was increased and aluminium could not be used (it was now a priority material for the RAF). This all conspired to increase the weight. To make matters worse the selected transmission was not available and the tanks suffered dreadful cooling problems through having the engine at the back, and radiators at the front.

For all that it was a striking design with a low silhouette and well shaped turret. In all some 1,400 Covenanters were built but they never saw action, being regarded as unbattleworthy by the authorities. Instead they were used extensively for training and some were converted into bridgelayers.

The example at Bovington was, for some unknown reason, buried after the war on a farm near Dorking. It was subsequently rediscovered, dug up and restored by 18 Command REME Workshops at Bovington for the Tank Museum in the mid-80s.



You can clearly see the glacis mounted radiators in this picture:


Any takers for #6 and #9? smile

Last edited by FlatEric; 11/19/14 08:48 PM.
#4038122 - 11/19/14 11:26 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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I can't think of a worse place to put the radiators on a tank can you?

I'll leave it for a while to see if anyone else wants to chip in,if not I will continue the identification.


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#4038252 - 11/20/14 07:54 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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I guess that's what you get when you let a train company build your tanks biggrin

#4039303 - 11/22/14 10:49 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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No-one? Ok,here I go.

Is #6 a Vickers Light Tank? Not sure on the exact model.

#9 is I think British but the type eludes me.


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#4039350 - 11/22/14 01:46 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Correct again! smile Shame nobody else wants to join in .. frown

#6 is a Vickers-Armstrong Commercial Light Tank ("Dutchman"). In the interwar period, Vickers-Armstrong began exporting tanks all over the world. They sold the 'Dutchman' to China and the Dutch East Indies (hence the nickname). The 'Dutchman' light tank was almost identical to the Vickers Light Mark IV tank, except that the 'Dutchman' had a hexagonal turret. It weighed less than 4 tons, had a Meadows 6-cylinder 88 horsepower engine and could travel at a maximum speed of 40 mph (65kph). It had a as a weapon.

This particular example was intended for the Dutch East Indies, but when war broke out in September 1939, British government seized the shipment. Armed with a single 0.303 inch (7.7mm) Vickers machine gun and armored against rifle caliber bullets, its a good example of a colonial tank of the time.

#9 is a Tank Cruiser Mark IIA A10, Close Support - a tank for laying smoke screens!!

The A10 was designed as a Heavy Cruiser Tank by Sir John Carden of Vickers-Armstrongs. It was intended to be a more heavily armoured companion for the A9, with which it shared many mechanical components. Most British cruiser tanks of this time mounted the 2 pounder gun but a few were equipped with a 3.7 inch howitzer, in fact a breech-loading mortar, and these were classified as Close Support (CS) tanks. According to British doctrine at the time the role of the close support tank was to fire smoke shells to cover an advance or retreat. Experience against German combined arms tactics in the desert in 1941 showed the fallacy of this concept.

A10 tanks served with 1st Armoured Division in France in 1940 and then in the Western Desert while a few ended up in Greece. The gun was quite capable of firing high explosive shells which might be deemed more useful, particularly when dealing with enemy anti-tank guns, but the official stowage charts for this tank show that smoke shells vastly outnumbered HE rounds.

Here's another photo of this vehicle:


#4039357 - 11/22/14 01:50 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Damn it,that gun on the Cruiser should have made it easier to find banghead


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#4040156 - 11/24/14 11:12 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Naunton Beauchamp Worcestershi...
Yes Chucky; being slight variations on the usual variants threw me on both these. Vickers mostly having cast turrets for example.
Nice pics though Flats.
Have you been to the Cobbaton Tank Museum in Devon?
Cobbaton
Well worth a visit though framing a good shot is tricky as it is so crowded with interesting stuff. Also don't wear your best clothes; I got into hot water bring my two lads home looking like tar babies due to climbing over greasy exhibits.

Last edited by BD-123; 11/24/14 11:12 AM.


#4040300 - 11/24/14 03:46 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Hi BD-123, glad you could join the 'FlatEric & Chucky Show' smile

Never heard of the Cobbaton Tank Museum, so thanks for the heads up. Had a look at the website - I can understand why your lads got a bit mucky! If I'm ever down that way I'll definitely drop in for a look around thumbsup

#4042197 - 11/27/14 04:14 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Hi folks, some more tanks to identify ... wink

#10


#11


#12


#13


A clue - the first three are British ... thumbsup

Good luck! smile

#4042346 - 11/27/14 09:22 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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#10 Can't ID this one.
#11 is a Cruiser MK III.
#12 looks like some sort of Matilda variant,will continue to research.
#13 That's a lot of machine guns. American maybe?


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#4042595 - 11/28/14 12:26 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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You know your Cruiser tanks ... thumbsup

#11 is indeed a Tank Cruiser Mark III A13. J Walter Christie was a cantankerous American inventor devoted to the development of high speed tanks. He made very little progress at home but managed to sell some prototypes to Russia. In 1936 the British General Wavell, accompanied by Colonel Martel, visited the Red Army manoeuvres and they were amazed by the number of tanks the Russians had, and the speed of their Christie machines - the BT series of light / medium tanks. Once home they persuaded Lord Nuffield to purchase a tank from Christie and from that time all British cruiser tanks up to 1945 had Christie suspension.

This is the Cruiser Mark III with an up-armoured turret, bringing its appearance close to that of the Cruiser Mark IV. The additional armour on the turret sides was spaced from the body of the turret in an effort to defeat rounds from anti-tank rifles.

The Tank Museums example is painted to represent the vehicle commanded by one of the Museums volunteers, Ron Huggins, of the 10th Royal Hussars, the 1st Armoured Division, France 1940.

More clues - #10 and #12 are related ... and #13 is indeed American wink

#4042621 - 11/28/14 01:21 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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The angle you took #13 is causing me much difficulty.

I wanted to say that #13 was an M3 Lee Grant because it has that style of 'joint' at the front plus I found one with 2 fixed forward firing machine guns in the hull but on the LHS.

I reckon it's a Sherman what with the position of those 2 hatches and that pivoted machine gun but I can't find the variant that has those extra machine guns.

#12 is a Matilda CDL however I feel I cheated because as I was googling Matilda variants the pic came up of the one at Bovington. banghead

I did wonder what that vertical slit was for though.

Last edited by Chucky; 11/28/14 01:27 PM.

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#4042641 - 11/28/14 02:27 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Yes, #13 is a Sherman M4A1 smile

The British established a Tank Mission in Washington DC in 1940 under the leadership of Michael Dewar, head of British Timken. The original idea was to persuade the Americans to build British tanks but it was later deemed wiser to stick to American designs. At first tanks, like other munitions, had to be paid for but in March 1941 President Roosevelt's Lend-Lease Act came into force. Equipment was loaned to Britain in exchange for American use of British bases.

Design of the M4 Medium Tank dates back to April 1941. A pilot model was ready in September 1941 and production began in February 1942. The first version, classified M4A1, featured a cast hull whereas other versions were welded. Production began at the Lima Locomotive Works and the Tank Museum exhibit is the second production model.

In Britain the tank was christened the 'Sherman' and this is almost certainly the oldest example of a Sherman tank to survive. It has two significant features not seen on later production Shermans. One is the main armament sight, set in the top right of the turret; the other is the extra pair of machine-guns, operated by the driver, at the front. The tank was named MICHAEL in honour of Michael Dewar and when it arrived in London it was displayed on Horse Guards Parade as the first Sherman tank to be delivered under the Lend-Lease scheme.

Here's a few more photographs of it:





Updates on #10 and #12 to follow later smile

#4043034 - 11/29/14 10:29 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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As Chucky correctly identified, #12 is a Matilda II CDL.

The CDL - Canal Defence Light - was an early attempt to exploit darkness by using a very bright, flickering light as an offensive weapon. It was the brainchild of Mr A.V.M. Mitzakis, a Greek citizen living in the UK. His idea was to use a 13 million candle power light. This would dazzle, disorient, and possibly temporarily blind any one that looked at it. Furthermore by making the light flicker at a particular frequency the pupils of the eyes of anyone looking at it would expand and contract very rapidly, reinforcing the effect.

Mr Mitzakis interested General Fuller, the tank pioneer, and also the Duke of Westminster in his idea in 1937 and the device was demonstrated to the Army. The War Office expressed no interest until 1940 when it was decided to build prototypes mounted on the Matilda II chassis. They were given the cover name of Canal Defence Lights, possibly suggestive of a project to defend the Suez Canal. The work was conducted in great secrecy. The light source, a carbon arc lamp, was housed in a new armoured turret. There was a vertical slit down the front of the turret. A mechanical shutter that opened and closed over the slit created the flickering effect. The light operator sat on the left side of the turret was provided with asbestos gloves so that he could change the hot carbon arcs when they burned out. He was also provided with a machine gun in the turret front.

Eventually CDL turrets were fitted to 300 Matilda II and V tank chassis, enough to equip one tank brigade in Britain and one in the Middle East. A total of five British Battalions were trained, two of which were sent to the Middle East. They were never used in their intended role.

Early in 1943 it was decided to convert some M3 Grant medium tanks to CDLs after M4 Shermans superseded them as gun tanks. The CDL turret replaced the Grants 37mm turret, but they retained their hull mounted 75mm guns. These tanks were sent to North West Europe following the Normandy invasion. They were never deployed in an offensive role but some of them were used to provide illumination when the Rhine was crossed in 1945. Other CDL tanks were sent to the Far East but were not used against the Japanese. The CDL turret was also mounted on the chassis of the Churchill tank.

The US Army adopted the CDL in 1943 and 335 M3 tanks were converted. Eventually six battalions were trained as CDL units for operations in NW Europe. The US Army called the CDL tanks T10 Shop Tractors as a disguise. Again, the vehicles were never used in combat.

The CDL is an early example of an incapacitating or non-lethal weapon, a type of weapon that some modern armies are increasingly interested in.



Which just leaves #10. Any takers ...??

PS/. Whoops - forgot to post this additional picture of the Cruiser MK III that Chucky correctly identified above:




Last edited by FlatEric; 11/29/14 10:35 AM.
#4043038 - 11/29/14 10:55 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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If #10 and #12 are related then it must either be another Matilda variant or another CDL yep

I've seen those mounting brackets on another Matilda but they were missing what I presume are the smoke launchers,fired by a cable from inside the tank. However other tanks may have the same design. Hmmm. The paint scheme suggests the Med.

I'm going to say a Matilda MK II.




Last edited by Chucky; 11/29/14 11:07 AM.

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#4043484 - 11/30/14 11:40 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Correct, #10 is an Infantry Tank Mk II A12, otherwise commonly known as a Matilda II.

The Matilda II was a British infantry tank of the WW2. It was the only British tank to serve from the start of the war to its end, although it is particularly associated with the North Africa Campaign. It was replaced in service by the Infantry Tank Mk III Valentine. With its heavy armour the Matilda II was an excellent infantry support tank, but with limited speed and armament.

Like many other British infantry tanks, it was heavily armoured. The heavy armour of the Matilda's cast turret became legendary; for a time in 194041 the Matilda earned the nickname "Queen of the Desert". The sheer thickness of its armour made the tank impervious to the 37mm and 50mm calibre anti-tank guns that were then commonly used by the Germans, as well as the 47 mm used by the Italians in North Africa. Only the 75 mm PaK 40 anti-tank gun and the legendary 88mm anti-aircraft gun could penetrate its armour reliably.

The slow speed of the Matilda was further exacerbated by a troublesome suspension and a comparatively weak power unit, the latter of which was actually created using two bus engines linked to a single shaft. This arrangement was both complicated and time-consuming to maintain, as it required technician crews had to work on each engine separately and subjected automotive components to uneven wear-and-tear. It did however, provide some mechanical redundancy, since failure in one engine would not prevent the Matilda from travelling under its own power using the other.

One of the most serious weaknesses of the Matilda II was the lack of a high-explosive round for its QF 2 pounder (40 mm) main gun. A high-explosive shell was designed for the 2 pounder but for reasons never explained it was not placed in production.

As well as the 2 pounder main gun the turret also mounted two smoke grenade launchers on the right side. The grenade launcher mechanisms were cut down Lee-Enfield rifles, each firing a single smoke grenade. The unique camouflage scheme used on Matildas based in the desert was designed by Major Denys Pavitt of the Camouflage Development And Training Centre, and was based on the 'Dazzle' paintings of first world war ships.

Here's a few more pictures of the Bovington exhibit.




#4043567 - 11/30/14 05:22 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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One of the worst tanks ever built the Tank, Infantry, Valiant (A38) was a British tank design of WW2 that (thankfully!) only reached the prototype stage.

Valiant was ordered as an Infantry Assault Tank for service in the Far East and the designers were instructed to keep the weight down as low as possible but to apply the thickest armour. In order to save weight the hull was reduced in size as far as possible. The front casting was virtually moulded around the driver while the turret ring actually stuck out from the sides of the hull. The turret, on the other hand, was enormous since the War Office insisted that a minimum of three men were to be accommodated.

The Valiant's suspension was tested by the Fighting Vehicle Proving Establishment at Chertsey in May 1945. The first day gave minor problems and was abandoned after only 13 miles (21 km) of easy on-road driving. The driver was then found to be exhausted and almost crippled by the driving position and in some danger of injury from the controls. The steering levers needed his full weight to operate and the seat, foot brake and gear lever all carried risk of physical injury in using them. The Officer in Charge decided to abandon the trials there and then as it was impossible and unsafe to continue. There were also issues with weight distribution and the ground clearance of only 9 inches, and by that point of the war there was no longer a need for the tank. The Valiant project was terminated.

The sole Valiant was retained by the School of Tank Technology, where students were treated to an inspection of it at the end of their course and invited to find fault. Tank historian David Fletcher wrote of this: "One hopes they started early in the morning!"



Another rarity at Bovington is this example of a Schmalturm, or narrow turret, an attempt to improve the Panther tank that was initiated by Rheinmetall in late 1943. It was an ingenious arrangement. Being narrower than the regular Panther turret the Schmalturm presented less of a target area to incoming fire but it had thicker armour if it was hit. It fitted the same turret ring as the standard version and still had sufficient room inside to permit the crew to work comfortably. There was little saving in weight but a considerable saving of between 30 and 40 percent in man hours required to make it.

The plan was to introduce a new version of Panther, the Ausfuehrung F which would carry the new turret but with the same 75mm KwK42 gun as the production Panther. By the time production was ready to begin the war in Europe was coming to an end and German industry was under sustained and heavy air attack.

At least two turrets survived the war; one went to the USA, the other to Britain where, in due course it was handed over to the Tank Museum. However it was later disposed of and taken up to the Royal Artillery range at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain as a hard target. Some years later the badly damaged remains were recognised, rescued and brought back to Bovington where staff at the Tank Museum workshops cleaned up and repainted what was left.



For comparison, heres a picture of The Museums Panther G:


The Model G was the last main production variant of Panther and the example at Bovington was one of a group built, under British control, at the end of the war. These were tested in Britain and Germany and may have contributed to the design of the British Centurion.

This Panther was found partly completed on the production lines after the German surrender and was finished by REME troops. It has features characteristic of the Ausf G, including increased armour, a one-piece side plate and hinged hatches in the hull.

#4043569 - 11/30/14 05:29 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Very interesting info as usual FlatEric,thanks for your efforts thumbsup


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#4044566 - 12/02/14 08:41 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Three more 'oddities' before we look at some of the more familiar vehicles.

With the Fall of France in July 1940, the British Government made efforts to prepare for the threatened invasion. One problem was the defence of airfields against airborne troops.

An ideal solution for protecting the open space of an airfield was by tanks and armoured cars. However, the British Army lacked heavy equipment, having abandoned much of it during the evacuation of Dunkirk. An alternative was needed which would not compete for resources with conventional armaments.

The 'Bison' was effectively a mobile pillbox that could be driven to defensive positions when needed, or even used to block runways against landings.

The Bison was the invention of Charles Bernard Mathews who was a director of Concrete Limited. At this time, there were many attempts to improvise armoured vehicles, but Mathews had the resources and experience to take a professional approach.

Mathews bought twenty-four old lorry chassis on which to base the vehicles and made up a prototype to show to local military authorities. Helpful criticism was forthcoming and Mathews was able to produce a version which met the requirements of the Army. Mathews said: "[mobile] concrete pill-boxes will never take the place of armoured cars and tanks, but the enemy would find them a serious obstacle. Their great attraction is that anybody can make them once he knows how".

Mathews' company trademark was a Bison, a name which became a generic label for any of these concrete armoured vehicles.

The walls (armour?) on the Bisons were about 6 inches (150 mm) thick and were found to stand up well to Bren gun and armour-piercing bullets. It is not clear how many Bisons were produced; estimates vary between two and three hundred. Note how the suspension of the Museum example rests on axle stands to avoid flattening the tyres!




The Light Tank Mk VII (A17), also known as the Tetrarch, was a British pre-war design, offered by Vickers-Armstrongs as a new generation light tank, but considered by the Army as a light cruiser on account of its 2 pounder gun. In the end it became an airborne tank by default, due to its size, not its fighting powers, which were negligible by 1944.

For the Normandy invasion the 7.5 ton Tetrarchs were carried in General Aircraft G. A. L. 29 Hamilcar Gliders which were towed typically by a Handley-Page Halifax. The Hamilcar was not an attractive aircraft but apparently it flew very well. It was fitted with a large hinged door in the nose, for loading and unloading, while the undercarriage consisted of two large wheels attached to the sides of the fuselage with long oleo-pneumatic shock absorbers which could be deflated to bring the fuselage down to as near ground level as possible. Failing that, if the undercarriage was damaged, ash strips beneath the fuselage acting as skids held the plane steady as it skidded to a halt.

During the landing the driver fired the tank up so that it would be ready to drive out at soon as the glider stopped. As the tank moved forwards it pushed against a strap which in turn caused the nose door to open and as soon as it started to emerge the entire fuselage tilted forwards but this didnt matter anymore, the Hamilcar wasnt going anywhere.

In all eight tanks, belonging to 6th Airborne Reconnaissance Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps took part in the initial airborne landings by 6th Airborne Division, all apparently manned by Royal Tank Regiment crews. Once outside the glider the Tetrarchs were on their own. Most of them ran over discarded parachute lines that became tangled around the suspension and took most of the night to remove but the few that avoided this fate went out on patrol and at least two of these ran into German self-propelled 88mm guns, against which they had no chance at all. Come to that there were very few things in the 1944 German armoury that they could cope with so one is entitled to ask whether there was any point in sending them at all, except for the fact that it could be done.

The Museums own Tetrarch, seen here in a mock-up of a Hamilcar Glider is a close support version mounting a 3 inch howitzer.




The Black Prince was a futile attempt to update the design of the Churchill Infantry Tank by fitting a new turret with the 17pdr gun to an enlarged Churchill hull.

Vauxhall Motors designed the Black Prince to General Staff specification A43 in 1943. It was seen as interim design, pending the availability of the universal tank - what would become the Centurion - that would replace both Infantry and Cruiser tanks. The Black Prince was based on the design of the Churchill but the hull was enlarged to carry a bigger turret that mounted a 17 pounder tank gun. The Churchills suspension was modified and the tracks were 10 inches wider than those of the Churchill, (24in vs. 14in), to carry the 10 tons of extra weight due to the bigger hull, new turret and the larger gun.

Despite the increase in weight the Black Prince used the same 345hp Vauxhall engine as the Churchill, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of about 7hp/ton. As a result the new tank lacked agility and was very slow with a maximum speed 10.5mph on roads, about 7.5mph across country. This severely limited its tactical usefulness. Many believe that the Black Prince should have been fitted with the proven Rolls Royce Meteor engine of about 600hp. Contemporary documents suggest that this was investigated but never done.

Six prototypes were built. By the time that these appeared in May 1945 the 17 pounder gun was already well in service in the Sherman Firefly, the recently introduced Comet had the similar 77mm gun and the Centurion was about to makes its debut. All of these had much better cross-country performance than the Black Prince and as there was no need for an improved Churchill the project was abandoned.

The Tank Museums exhibit is the fourth prototype and is the only survivor.


#4044574 - 12/02/14 08:52 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Such a wonderful name,'Black Prince'.

Bovington must hold the world's finest collection of military vehicles,does it not?


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#4045859 - 12/05/14 10:16 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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The Medium Tank M3 was an American tank used during World War II. In Britain the tank was called by two names based on the turret configuration. Tanks employing US pattern turrets were called the "General Lee", whilst variants using British pattern turrets were known as "General Grant".

With much of their equipment left on the beaches near Dunkirk, the equipment needs of the British were acute. Though not entirely satisfied with the design, they ordered the M3 in large numbers. British experts had viewed the mock-up in 1940 and identified features which they considered flaws the high profile, the hull mounted main gun, the lack of a radio in the turret (though the tank did have a radio down in the hull), the riveted armour plating (whose rivets tended to pop off inside the interior in a deadly ricochet when the tank was hit by a non-penetrating round), the smooth track design, insufficient armour plating and lack of splash-proofing of the joints. The British desired a number of modifications be made for the tank they were purchasing, including the turret being cast rather than riveted. A bustle was to be made at the back of the turret to house the Wireless Set No. 19 radio; this modification required one fewer crew member than the US version. The tank was to be given thicker armour plate than the original U.S. design, and the machine gun cupola was to be replaced with a simple hatch. With these modifications accepted the British ordered 1,250 M3s.

The main asset of the tank, from the British point of view, was the 75mm gun which could fire high explosive and armour piercing ammunition. The former was the perfect answer to Rommel's imaginative use of anti-tank guns and there is no doubt that Grant tanks were largely responsible for halting Rommel's attack during the key battle of Alam Halfa.

For all that the Grant was a difficult tank to fight in. The low position of the main gun meant that it was impossible to conceal and the tank often had to swing round in order to bring this gun to bear. Riveted construction was also a serious liability by 1942 while the 37mm gun, in the turret, was all but useless.



The chassis and running gear of the M3 design was adapted by the Canadians for their Ram tank. Rams were used by Canadian forces in Britain for training but were never used in action - their regiments all fought in M4 Shermans. Some Rams went to Europe as Observation Post tanks for the Royal Artillery but they are best remembered as turretless Kangaroo armoured personnel carriers.

Workshops in Britain embarked upon a major programme converting the tanks which, in the main, involved removing the turret and finding a new location for the radio.

As a personnel carrier the Ram was not ideal. It was difficult to get in and out of, there was nowhere to sit and little protection from the weather. However it was capable of keeping up with the tanks in an advance, so the infantry did not have to march, and it provided adequate protection, at least from horizontal fire.
Kangaroos were also used in Italy with considerable success and the British Army operated a Churchill version after the war. Since then most countries have designed more practical personnel carriers and now only the Israeli Army converts old tanks to this role.




#4045879 - 12/05/14 11:12 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Thanks FlatEric,I was unaware of the different naming convention for the M3.

Good job you never chose that last pic for the I.D parade,I think I would have struggled.


EV's are the Devils matchbox.
#4046313 - 12/05/14 11:29 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Originally Posted By: FlatEric


For comparison, heres a picture of The Museums Panther G:


The Model G was the last main production variant of Panther and the example at Bovington was one of a group built, under British control, at the end of the war. These were tested in Britain and Germany and may have contributed to the design of the British Centurion.

This Panther was found partly completed on the production lines after the German surrender and was finished by REME troops. It has features characteristic of the Ausf G, including increased armour, a one-piece side plate and hinged hatches in the hull.


But it seems to be lacking a crucial change to the mantlet- the Panther G had a 'chin' mantlet, since on earlier models the rounded type mantlet could cause shot deflections into the hull in the area around the driver's and machine gunner's compartments. This looks like the rounded type to me.

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/german/images/panthergcw_2.jpg

#4046601 - 12/06/14 01:52 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Hi Mechanus, good spot thumbsup but it is a Panther G wink

The major external differences between the Panther G and the earlier A and D variants were the redesigned hull. Side armour was increased on the upper hull side, and the side plate was now a single piece. The drivers vision port was removed from the front glacis plate to increase strength. Vision was provided through a rotating periscope on the hull roof.

At the back of the hull effective flame trap exhaust mufflers were introduced. In September 1944, a proportion of turrets delivered were fitted with a new gun mantlet on which the under curve was eliminated (by a forward angled projection) to prevent downward deflection of hits through the thin hull roof armour.

So, all Panthers with the redesigned turret mantlets that you mention were G variants, but not all Panther Gs had this feature it was only applied to a proportion of them. A more reliable way to distinguish a Panther G, at least from the front, is the absence of the drivers vision port on the glacis plate (which is clearly missing from the Museums exhibit).

Hope this helps smile

PS/. Cool model - is it yours?


Last edited by FlatEric; 12/06/14 01:54 PM.
#4046979 - 12/07/14 10:39 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Hi Chucky, yes, that lost shot of the Ram Kangaroo would have been a bit tricky to ID on its own wink

Heres some more better known stuff from the North African campaign, including your favourite

The Crusader was developed by Lord Nuffield's company as a rival to the Covenanter, which it closely resembles. Its sleek lines gave it a modern appearance, which made it a popular subject for war photographers, and it had a remarkable top speed for a tank of that period (26 mph, 42 kph). This was due to a combination of the excellent Christie suspension system and a powerful V12 engine, both of American origin.

The Crusader made its name in the desert campaign. The Germans certainly admired it for its speed but British crews began to complain of unreliability and in the end staff from Morris Motors had to visit North Africa to sort things out. Serious faults were discovered in various components, from air cleaners and fan drives to the water pump and engine lubrication system; all matters to do with cooling, which was so vital in the desert.

In its original form the Crusader was armed with a 40mm 2 pounder gun and carried a crew of five. By 1942 this gun was obsolete and Nuffield engineers redesigned the turret to take a 57mm 6 pounder gun but had to reduce the crew to three. This made the tank difficult to fight (the tank commander was also the loader!) and in any case many British troops had lost faith in it. It was last used, as a gun tank, with 6th Armoured Division in Tunisia in 1943.

The Museums exhibit is a Crusader III armed with a 6 pounder.




Another important British tank of that era was the Valentine. At Tankfest 2013 a Valentine IX armed with a 57mm 6 pounder gun was displayed. This exhibit in the Museum is a Valentine II armed with a 40mm 2 pounder gun.

Although classed as an Infantry Tank the Valentine was not as heavily armoured as the Matilda, but what it lacked in protection it made up for in terms of reliability. It made quite a name for itself in the North African campaign and also served with New Zealand forces in the Pacific and with Soviet troops on the Russian front.

Although the Valentine had a number of defects these were counter balanced by its high reliability, at a time when other British tanks like the Crusader were noted for their unreliability.



The Valentine was obsolete as a gun tank by 1944. The ready availability of surplus hulls meant that they were widely used in other roles and for training. The Valentine chassis was used for two self-propelled guns.

The first of these was the Bishop. It mounted the 25pdr field gun in a high box shaped hull. They werent very successful as the mounting limited the guns elevation and hence its range. They were rapidly superseded by the American 105mm M7 Priest and then by the 25 pounder Canadian Sexton.

The second gun based on the Valentine was the self-propelled anti-tank, the Archer. By 1942 Britain had the excellent 17 pounder anti-tank gun. Unfortunately no tank was available to carry it. As a first step Vickers-Armstrongs decided to adapt their Valentine tank although it was much too small to take the gun in its turret. Indeed the gun was so long that it proved impossible to fit it facing forward which accounts for the unusual design. The driver sits at the front, with his back to the gun and the gun points backwards, across the engine deck.

With this kind of layout it was impossible to fire on the move although the driver had to remain in place since it might prove necessary to swing the vehicle to engage a target. However the Archer had a low profile and there was the additional advantage that it could get out of action quickly in an emergency!

Archers were supplied to the Egyptian Army after WW2 and used in action against Israeli armour in the various Middle East conflicts.

The Museums example is painted in the markings of a self-propelled anti-tank regiment of the Canadian Army in Italy in 1944.



#4047005 - 12/07/14 11:50 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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I have a keen interest in WW2 armoured vehicles but I think the Archer is a new one to me. That 17 pounder is a great weapon. I also didn't know that the Sexton was a Canadian design.I recently saw a running Sexton at an artillery show,pretty awesome.


EV's are the Devils matchbox.
#4047476 - 12/08/14 02:33 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Yes, you don't hear or see much about the Archer, probably because only 665 were produced and they didn't enter service until fairly late in the war (October 1944). It's also hard to find much operational history written about them - most of the references you come across are solely of the 'technical' nature (e.g. weight, speed, ammo stowage etc..).

What little I have found suggests that it proved to be a very useful weapon with a low silhouette. The rearward-facing gun, rather than being a problem, was soon seen to be a virtue. The Archer was especially useful as an ambush weapon where its low silhouette made it easy to conceal in a hide. As enemy tanks approached a few shots could be quickly fired to kill a few targets and then the Archer was facing the right way to make a quick getaway, perhaps to alternative hide, before enemy retaliation arrived.

Back to the North African campaign - Axis forces this time ... smile

Italy was relatively slow off the mark when it came to tank development and, when WW2 began the best they could put into the field was the Medium Tank M11/39 which was underpowered, poorly armoured and mounted its 37mm gun in the hull. It was gradually superseded by the M13/40 from 1940, which featured a 47mm gun in a proper turret yet was not, surprisingly, adequately prepared for desert operations. A year later an improved, but virtually identical model was introduced, the Carro Armato M14/41, which had a more powerful engine and proper air filters.

The tank was first employed in the North African Campaign where its shortcomings quickly became apparent. The suspension, was somewhat complex and the vehicle was unreliable and cramped. But the real problem was the armour - at 30mm it was not thick enough to resist any existing anti-tank guns and, being bolted on, could easily be damaged by high explosive rounds.

Following the withdrawal of Italian forces from North Africa the M14/41 was rarely encountered, though many captured vehicles were pressed into service by British and Australian forces to fill the serious shortage of allied tanks in 1941. These vehicles did not remain in Allied service for long.




Here is the Museums Sd Kfz 141/1 Panzerkampfwagen III Ausf L that took part in Tankfest 2013:



And the owner of the gun the Panzer III was nestling under no introductions needed here!



#4047491 - 12/08/14 02:53 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Italian tanks I know very little about other than they were relatively ineffective against Allied tanks,would that be correct?

I wondered what that was in the background in the first pic,the sign says Carro Veloce I think. Googling that introduced me to the term 'tankette'.Not sure I've heard that term before. At just over 3 tons I would have called it a 'baby tank' biggrin


EV's are the Devils matchbox.
#4047505 - 12/08/14 03:28 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Tankette.... think fully armored bren carrier. An idea that did not work remotely well. In theory a decent support weapon, in practice not so much. Just another concept of the lean years of the 30's that well, sucked. At least a Bren could also carry infantry and no one would ever try and use it to actually fight tanks. Well after the Boys rifle became next to worthless. But the Italians did try and press this thing to fight armor. And it is hopelessly out classed.

#4047520 - 12/08/14 03:43 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Hi Chucky,
yes, it's a Carro-Veloce 3-33 plus trailer (you can't really see the trailer as it's hidden behind the M14/41).

As FlashBurn says, it's a pre-war design which is actually based upon the British Carden-Loyd Carrier. These tiny vehicles were built and used in vast numbers by the Italian Army in WW2. They were employed by the Italians in Ethiopia and Spain and sold to other nations including Hungary, China and Brasil. Against unarmoured troops they had some potential ... but when confronted by tanks, or even armoured cars, they were death traps!

The Museum's example was captured in North Africa, and is a flamethrower version which carried 500 litres of flame fuel in a special two-wheel trailer. Fuel was delivered by a pump, driven off the gearbox, which gave it a flaming range of about 40 yards. In fact the pump was so weak that crews were instructed not to use flame, when driving at full speed, for fear of setting themselves alight.

Although a number of these flamethrower carriers were captured in the Tobruk area there is no evidence from British sources of them ever being used. The tiny vehicles were very cramped inside and must have been horrendous when closed down in desert conditions. Add to that the risk of having fuel pumped through the centre of the vehicle and any reluctance to use them is understandable.

So, 'Tankette', 'Baby Tank' or whatever ... these lethal 'Biscuit Tins' were more risk to those inside than to the enemy .. wink

Last edited by FlatEric; 12/08/14 05:33 PM.
#4047963 - 12/09/14 10:13 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Naunton Beauchamp Worcestershi...
Italian Tanks; current joke at the time amongst Brit troops 'up the blue' was that they had one forward gear and eight reverse.



#4048473 - 12/10/14 10:41 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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BD-123, the old ones are the best ones .. thumbsup

Design of the French Char B dates back to 1926 when three prototypes were built. Subsequent developments saw the appearance of the Char B1 in 1935 and the Char B1 bis, an up-armoured version, about a year later. Although classed as a medium tank the Char B was clearly designed for infantry support. Its main armament, a 75mm howitzer, is located in the hull, alongside the driver who aims and fires it. The tank commander, in the turret, has to load and fire the 47mm gun and the 7.5mm machine-gun (talk about overloading the crew!).

In its day the Char B was regarded as one of the most powerful tanks in the world, yet still had many features which harked back to the First World War; the tall hull, all-round tracks and side entry doors, for example. On the mechanical side, however, it was quite sophisticated. The Char B saw extensive combat in the summer of 1940. There is evidence to suggest that visibility from the tank was poor and, undoubtedly, the crew of four was over stretched.

Of the 365 Char B-1 bis built, large numbers were captured intact by the Germans in France in 1940. Those tanks that survived were later incorporated into the German Army and modified in various ways. They were used to equip German armoured units, serving as the PzKpfw Renault B-1 bis 740(f) and fighting in 1941 in Russia and the Balkans.

The Museums exhibit was issued to 1st Platoon, 1st Company, Panzer Abteilung 213, Panzer Division Schweizingen for service in the Channel Islands, where it was captured on Jersey at the end of the war.






#4048591 - 12/10/14 04:20 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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That tank has a Steampunk style look to it.


EV's are the Devils matchbox.
#4049515 - 12/12/14 10:47 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Never thought about it that way before - but you're absolutely right! Could imagine it on the front cover of a late Victorian 'sci-fi' penny dreadful ... yep

#4049526 - 12/12/14 11:22 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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I was thinking it looks a bit like the sort of machine my son built when he played 'Warhammer' at the Games Workshop.



#4054781 - 12/23/14 03:15 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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I just got home from seeing "Fury". They did an awesome job with getting the equipment to look right, and there was an unrelenting intensity throughout the whole movie that was quite fitting for the subject. The engagements were generally not so "Holywood" that it ever got in the way of conveying what combat feels like. I feel drained. Well done...


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#4054854 - 12/23/14 09:45 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Sorry for the slight delay in posting Ive spent the last 6 days in Venice (Italy, not Florida .. ;)) for a pre- Christmas chill out.

Hi Major, Ive yet to see "Fury" definitely on my Blu-Ray list when it comes out! As well as Tiger 131, the Museum also provided the Sherman M4 tank used in the lead role as Fury. It provides great marketing for the Museum and they have a special Fury exhibition on at the moment:

http://www.tankmuseum.org/year-news/bovnews52758

On with my penultimate post from Bovington

The Russians have always been enthusiastic about artillery and the Red Army was in the forefront when it came to developing mechanised guns. This normally involved placing field guns on self-propelled tracked chassis. The SU-76, which was first built in 1942, used the chassis of the light tank T-70 to mount the superb 76.2mm gun.
An unusual feature of the T-70, which was repeated on the SU-76 was the use of a pair of GAZ six-cylinder petrol engines arranged in line on the right hand side of the tank.

The Museums exhibit is a later model SU-76M which had a slight redesign of the rear end (side armour extended to the rear of the hull while the rear hull armour was extended upwards). It was used by Communist forces during the Korean War where it was captured by the Allies. Museums exhibit was captured from the North Korean Army in 1950. Note the KV-1 heavy tank in the background.



Although classed as a light tank by American standards the armament and protection of the M3 Stuart equated to British specifications for a cruiser tank in 1940 and they were used in this way for much of the desert war. Mass production techniques involving the use of machine tools resulted in high standards of reliability which, according to legend, caused a young British tank man in the desert to refer to his first Stuart as a Honey, and the nickname stuck.

For all that the Stuart was a difficult tank to fight from. The drive shaft cover effectively bisects the fighting compartment; this made it awkward to traverse the turret and British experience required that the tank should have an internal turret basket so that the crew could go around with the gun. The Museums exhibit is in fact a hybrid, with an M3A1 turret (without basket) on an M3 hull. It is also unusual in being one of only 211 built with a seven cylinder air cooled Guiberson radial diesel engine.

Stuart tanks were the first to be supplied to Britain under the Lend-Lease scheme and they were very popular. However, none survived to join the original Tank Museum collection. This example was supplied by the Brazilian Government and is displayed here in recognition of the fact that Brazilian troops served with the Allies in Italy.



Late in 1941 the Americans began work on an improved version of their M3 light tank. It would have a larger hull, improved engine and transmission but the same firepower. Production began in 1942 and some 10,000 were built by 1944. The new model had twin Cadillac engines and a Hydramatic, automatic transmission.

They were used by the Reconnaissance Troops of British armoured regiments and by most other Allied armies. They were fast, reliable and popular with their crews but were outclassed, in terms of firepower and protection, by the German tanks of 1944.

In the Pacific, on the other hand, they continued to be satisfactory. Japanese tanks were generally of such poor quality that light tanks such as the M5A1 were more than adequate to deal with them right up to the end of the war. The United States Army and the Marine Corps used them extensively and the Museums exhibit is painted to represent a US Marine Corps tank.



The Comet was probably the best British tank developed during WW2 and was roughly comparable to the German Panther, although the German tank entered service 18 months earlier than the British one.

Leyland Motors designed the A34 Comet in 1943 in response to a War Office requirement for a Cruiser tank armed with the 17 pounder (76.2mm) high velocity anti-tank gun. As an interim measure the Royal Armoured Corps found that the 17 pounder could be shoe-horned into the turret of the M4 Sherman tank and a large number of conversions, known as the Firefly, were made in 1944/45.

Leylands new tank was based on the A27M Cromwell, although it was heavier because the armour was increased in thickness. The increased weight made it necessary to strengthen the Christie suspension and return rollers were added to carry the top run of the track. In the end the modifications to the A27M were so extensive that only about 40% of the parts were unchanged.

To avoid having to widen the Comets hull to accommodate a turret ring big enough to accommodate the 17 pounder, Vickers developed a modified version of the gun that was slightly shorter, known as the 77mm. This had a similar performance to the 17 pounder but used a shorter cartridge case and could be fitted into a turret ring on an unmodified hull.

The Comet prototype was running by February 1944, deliveries began in September 1944 and the Comet finally entered service with the 11th Armoured Division in the spring of 1945. Although these tanks participated in the final actions of WW2 they were too late to play a prominent part in the war.

The Comet was finally withdrawn from British service, in Hong Kong, in 1960. Small numbers were exported and overseas users included the armies of Burma, Finland, Eire, and South Africa.



In the early 1950s, in an attempt to give extra firepower to the units of the Royal Armoured Corps serving in West Germany, some Cromwell tanks received a 20 pounder gun 84mm gun (the same as used by the Centurion) in a new but lightly armoured two-man turret. The resulting vehicle was designated as the FV 4101 Charioteer tank destroyer.

In practice the Charioteer was only used by British Territorial Army units and by the late 1950s most of the vehicles were sold to Austria, Finland, Jordan and Lebanon. I believe the Museums exhibit is shown in Jordanian Army markings.



Continuing the theme of tank destroyers, this M10 tank destroyer is the British version, Achilles, mounting a 17 pounder in place of the American 3 inch gun. The Achilles could most easily be distinguished from the American version as the 17 pounder had a counter-weight mounted towards the end of the gun barrel (although its missing from the Museums exhibit).



The M8 was unusual in being built primarily for service with the United States Army. Most armoured cars developed in America in the early years of WW2 were designed to meet British requirements whereas the M8 was selected for American service.

Powered by the Hercules 6 cylinder engine the M8 had an excellent performance but was very lightly armoured and somewhat vulnerable with its open topped turret. On the other hand it had a remarkably low silhouette, particularly for a vehicle with six-wheel drive, which was an asset in the reconnaissance role. It served with United States forces in all theatres and with many Allied armies, notably France.

The M8 was christened Greyhound by British forces but it was not popular, due to a supposed vulnerability to mines. Some did enter service with 6th Armoured Division in Italy and Austria towards the end of the war but too late to have any effect. Yet, like most American vehicles of this period, the M8 was useful, reliable and available in large numbers so it remained in service with many armies well into the post-war era.

One notable story concerns an M8 of Troop B, 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron - during the Battle of St. Vith in the Battle of the Bulge, it was able to destroy a German Tiger tank. The M8 fired three 37 mm rounds through the relatively thin rear armour of the Tiger from only 25 meters setting it on fire. Not sure who was most surprised by this the Americans or the Germans!


#4054862 - 12/23/14 10:34 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Thanks FlatEric,I really am enjoying this thread yep

I look forward to the final instalment.


EV's are the Devils matchbox.
#4055330 - 12/24/14 09:38 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Hi Chucky, you're welcome - glad you and others are enjoying it biggrin

Would be cool to get 10k views ... thumbsup

#4055456 - 12/24/14 02:58 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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My final Tankfest post was going to be of a few of the Cold War tanks in the Museum, but I discovered Id missed two iconic WW2 German vehicles. So this will be the Penultimate Post - Part 2 - instead smile

The Panzer IV could well be described as the workhorse of the German Panzer arm. Classed originally as a close-support tank for panzer regiments its short, stubby 75mm gun fired high explosive and smoke rounds. At around 18 tons it was the heaviest front line tank in German service at the outbreak of war but, apart from the suspension, bore a strong family likeness to the Panzer III. Various improvements were introduced over the years but the most significant, dating from the winter of 1941/1942, was the fitting of the much longer 75mm KwK 40 which, at a stroke, made the Panzer IV one of the most powerful tanks on the battlefield.

British troops first encountered this improved model in the Western Desert in the summer of 1942 and dubbed it the 'Mark IV Special' and soon learned to respect it. It was a measure of the good basic design that the Panzer IV underwent this major change, and others involving additional armour, without suffering any loss of performance or reduction in crew; something that no contemporary British or American tank could manage. There are those who believe that if the Germans had continued to develop the Panzer IV and increased production they might have stood a better chance against Allied tanks than with the small quantities of heavier machines that they did produce.

The Museums exhibit was completed as an Ausf D with factory fitted applique armour 30mm on the superstructure front and 20mm on the hull and superstructure sides. In 1943 additional armour was put on the front and the original 75mm KwK L/24 replaced with the KwK 40 L/43. The tank was further improved by the installation of spaced armour (or schurzen) around the sides and back of the turret. Schurzen provided protection against the shaped charges contained in infantry anti-tank rockets and demolition charges.

After all these changes the Museums Panzer IV more closely resembles an Aus G rather than the Aus D that it really is. Numerous upgrades were added to many early Panzer IVs in varying combinations, a process that can make it difficult to identify the precise Ausfuhrung of a particular tank.

The Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrerkorps, (NSKK or National Socialist Motor Vehicle Training Corps) used the Museums Panzer IV Aus D as a driver-training tank; nothing is known of its earlier military career. A total of 229 Panzer IV Aus Ds were built between October 1939 and May 1941.







The Sturmgeschutz, or assault gun, was a very popular weapon in German service. Many different versions were made but the most common type was based upon the chassis of the Panzer III. The advantages of such a design were that it was simple and cheap to build, it had a low profile and could carry a larger gun than the turret of a regular Panzer III could accept.

These advantages exact a price. The limited traverse of the gun (12 degrees each way) means that the whole vehicle has to be swivelled on its tracks to aim the gun laterally; this necessitates good co-ordination between the gunner and the driver and reduces tactical flexibility. The Sturmgeschutz is also vulnerable to attacks from the flanks.
The Sturmgeschutz performed best in a defensive role, often in conjunction with heavy tanks such as Tigers, and they came into their own during the Italian campaign which suited these ambush tactics very well. The gun, a 75mm StuK L/48, could penetrate 85mm of armour at 1,000 metres range, which effectively meant every Allied tank except the Churchill.

The Museums example is an Aus G, 7,893 of which were manufactured between December 1942 and March 1945. The Aus G was distinguished from the early versions by a modified superstructure with sloping front and side plates and by the fitting of a proper cupola for the commander. In addition a self-defence machine gun was installed in front of the loaders hatch. The Aus G was improved during its long production run: changes included a new sows head (saukopf) gun mantlet, a co-axial machine gun, a close-in defence weapon (a grenade thrower) mounted in the roof and a remote controlled machine gun for close defence, also carried on the roof.

In 1943 thirty of these weapons were supplied by Germany to the Finnish Army to aid their struggle against the Russians. The Museums exhibit was supplied from Finland and is displayed in its original Finish colours. It also includes certain features that are peculiar to the Finnish Army Sturmgeschutz including: a bin on the right front, gun cradle on front and a second bin at the rear (possibly to contain a radio). In Finnish service they would also have carried a Russian 7.62mm DT machine gun in place of the German MG34.








#4055619 - 12/24/14 08:46 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Ten thousand views - yeeeaaa haaa biggrin !!

A very Merry Christmas to one and all CT

#4055622 - 12/24/14 08:51 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Nice one FlatEric,and if I may say so,much deserved thumbsup


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#4056949 - 12/28/14 10:24 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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FlatEric Offline
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FlatEric  Offline
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FV4007, Tank, Medium Centurion Mark 3 - the Centurion tank had originally been built to take a 76.2mm gun, the famous 17 pounder, but the design allowed for improvements. By 1947 the Royal Ordnance Factory had designed a new main gun and this was adopted for a new model Centurion, the Mark 3, which also featured an improved version of the Rolls-Royce Meteor engine.

The Mark 3 was derived from the similar Centurion Mark 2. The most important change was the fitting of the new and very powerful 20 pounder (calibre 83.4mm) tank gun and an improved electric stabilisation system to the gun that allowed targets to be accurately engaged while the tank was moving. The 20 pounder gun fired a variety of types of ammunition including Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) rounds at 1,477 metres/second, Armour Piercing Ballistic Capped (APCBC) rounds at 1,006 metres/second and High Explosive (HE) rounds.

The gun was aimed by a periscopic sight and was electrically stabilised in elevation and traverse. All the main gun ammunition was stored below the level of the turret ring, reducing the risk of ammunition fires in the event of a hit on the turret. The turret traverse was electrically powered, eliminating hydraulic oil from the turret and removing another major fire risk. (In contrast the American M48 tank suffered frequent hydraulic fluid fires when the turret was penetrated).

The Centurion Mark 3 first saw action in Korea with the 8th Battalion of the Kings Royal Irish Hussars in 1950. It quickly established an excellent reputation for hill climbing, reaching the places that other tanks couldnt in Koreas mountainous terrain. The 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards relieved the 8th Hussars in December 1951. The 1st Royal Tank Regiment, in turn, relieved the Dragoons in December 1952.

The Museums Centurion Mark 3 is displayed in the markings of a tank of 3 Troop, C Squadron, 1st Royal Tank Regiment, part of the Commonwealth Division, during the Korean War. Commanded by Sergeant A Wallace, Military Medal, it participated in a fiercely contested action defending a location called The Hook against Chinese forces in Korea in May 1953. Sergeant Wallace was awarded his Military Medal for his bravery during this action.

Although painted as a Korean War tank, this vehicle was in fact the prototype Centurion Crocodile flame throwing tank, a type that never entered production. It may originally have been a Mark 2.



[Note: Although a C Squadron tank, unusually the exhibit has a vehicle name that starts with an A (Arromanches just visible in the yellow rectangle on the tool boxes on the side of the tank) rather than a C as you might expect. After the Second World War, the naming policy of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment was as follows: A Squadron adopted the names of A Battalion tanks from the first world war; B Squadron took their tank names from locations where the regiment had seen action in North Africa in WW2, while C Squadron used names of action locations in Italy and NW Europe. Thus Arromanches was a C Squadron name, being the first place that the regiment landed in NW Europe.]

FV214 Conqueror was the last British tank to be officially designated as a Heavy Tank and at the time of its introduction it was the heaviest tank to have served with the British Army (65 tons). It was developed as a direct response to the Soviet IS III Iosif Stalin heavy tank, first seen a Soviet Victory Parade in Berlin in September 1945. The War Office view was that the thick armour and 122mm gun of the ISIII outmatched any tank in the Western armoury.

The search for a counter to the ISIII led to consideration of a 120mm gun based on the American T53 gun. Firing Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) rounds at 1450 metres/sec, the new gun could penetrate 220 mm (8.7in) of homogeneous steel armour sloped at 30 degrees at a range of 914 metres (1,000 yards). This performance should have been sufficient to penetrate the armour of both the IS III and its successor the T10. The ammunition was separate (i.e. the round and cartridge were loaded individually) and the expended cartridge cases were automatically ejected from the turret. This gun was also fitted in the American M103 heavy tank.

Clearly any tank that mounted a 120mm gun with commensurately thick armour was going to be large and heavy. However Conqueror was undoubtedly underpowered. It was propelled by an up-rated version of the Rolls Royce Meteor petrol engine fitted in the Centurion, driving through a Merritt-Brown transmission. Unfortunately Conqueror weighed 15 tons more than the Centurion and mobility and agility suffered accordingly. It employed a Horstmann suspension system fitted with steel rimmed resilient road wheels that made it very noisy. Like many British tanks the Conqueror acquired a reputation for unreliability. However accounts written by men who actually crewed Conqueror, contradict this view.

Two of the tanks most interesting features were the turret and the commanders post. The turret was a massive cast structure that weighed 18 tons in its own right. The commander operated from a cupola mounted at the rear of the turret. This rotated independently of the turret and was fitted with its own range finder that enabled the commander to acquire a second target while the gunner was dealing with the first (similar to the hunter / killer systems found on modern day MBTs). The gun could then be quickly laid on the target found by the commander who was free to search for a third target.

Only a small number of Conquerors was made; production of the gun tank amounted to 159 vehicles, excluding the prototypes. A further 28 vehicles were built as FV219 and FV222 Armoured Recovered Vehicles, (ARV Mk 1 and Mk 2).
Conqueror started to enter service in 1955 and was issued to armoured regiments equipped with the Centurion Medium Tank. It served with the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) and was supplanted by the Chieftain, starting in 1966.



FV4201 Chieftain was the British Armys first Main Battle Tank (MBT), in other words a single design that replaced both heavy (FV214 Conqueror) and medium (FV4007 Centurion) tanks.

Design studies began in the early 1950s and some experimental vehicles were produced to evaluate particular technical features. One of the most important was the 40 ton Centurion (FV4202) which introduced a semi-reclining position for the driver and a main gun mounting without an external mantlet. The first of these features was intended to reduce the overall height of the tank; the second made the gun mounting less vulnerable.

The prototype Chieftain was shown to the press in the summer of 1961. The design emphasised firepower and protection. Following extensive trials the Chieftain Mark 2 entered service with the 11th Hussars in the autumn of 1966. The Chieftain introduced a number of innovations, some of which gave considerable trouble in service.

The L11 120mm gun used a self-combusting bagged charge instead of a brass cartridge case: the gun proved to be highly successful. The engine, the Leyland L60 specially developed for the Chieftain, was a different story.

It had six vertical cylinders each containing 2 opposed pistons working on the two-stroke principle. A diesel, it was capable of running on a variety of fuels. The engine was intended to produce 750bhp; early versions managed 585bhp. Eventually the engine delivered 720bhp but it continued to be chronically unreliable. After extensive modifications reasonable reliability was eventually achieved. The L60 was coupled to a TN12 gearbox and transmission with six forwards and two reverse speeds.

The Chieftain was continually upgraded during its service life. This particular tank, a Chieftain Mark 11, was originally manufactured as a Mark 5. It was subsequently fitted with a laser range finder; a computerised fire control system (IFCS), thermal sights (TOGS located in a redesigned searchlight bin on the left hand side of the turret) and additional compound armour on the front of the turret and around the drivers hatch (so-called Stillbrew armour). The L60 engine was continually modified and improved to increase its output and reliability. The end result of all these changes was a very formidable tank.

In all more than 2,200 Chieftains of all types were manufactured by the Royal Ordnance Factories and Vickers Ltd - 900 of these served with the British Army while the remaining 1,300 tanks were exported to Iran, Jordan, Kuwait and the Oman.

The Museums Mark 11 served with the 10th Hussars, the 4th Royal Tank Regiment, the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, the Royal Hussars and the 2nd Armoured Delivery Squadron, all in the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR).

Chieftain gun tanks were withdrawn from front-line service with the British Army during the late 1980s and early 1990s.







The FV4211 Experimental Chieftain holds two world firsts. When it was produced in 1969 it was the world's first vehicle fitted with special composite armour (Chobham armour), and the first MBT in the world with an aluminium hull. Based on Chieftain automotive components, it influenced the design of the US M1 Abrams Battle Tank. The Museums exhibit (04SP28) is believed to be TV-A, the first of nine Test Vehicles scheduled for production following the trials of two prototypes MTR-1 and MTR-2.



The Museums Challenger 2 is a development prototype (V5). Challenger 2 was conceived in the mid-1980s when the British Army planned to run a fleet of some 1,200 MBTs, made up of Challenger 1 and late model Chieftains, until the year 2000. Both tanks would then be replaced by a joint Anglo-German project, FMBT 2000.

Although there were plans to upgrade Chieftain to improve its armour protection (the Stillbrew package) and its night fighting capability (by fitting the TOGS thermal sight), continuing reliance on Chieftain was thought to be risky given the expected improvements in Soviet MBTs. The British Army was increasingly dissatisfied with the turret systems of Challenger 1 while the future of the FMBT 2000 was beginning to look bleak.

A series of improvements to Challenger 1 were planned, including CHIP (Challenger/Chieftain Improvement Programme) and CHARM (Challenger/Chieftain Armament. CHARM embraced the development of a new high pressure rifled 120mm gun, the L30, as well as novel types of very high performance depleted Uranium projectiles. It became clear that FMBT 2000 would not be ready in time to replace Chieftain. At about this time (1987) Vickers Defence Systems offered to build a replacement for Chieftain under a fixed price contract. The new tank, called Challenger 2 Mark 2 by Vickers, would combine the hull and automotive systems of the Challenger 1 with a new turret developed as a private venture by Vickers for their Mark 7 MBT.

A major review of the tank procurement programme was undertaken. This included an evaluation of Challenger 1 against the M1A1 Abrams and the Leopard 2. The review showed that Challenger 1 needed considerable improvement and that a replacement was urgently needed for Chieftain. Although there was a strong lobby in favour of buying the American Abrams a further evaluation was undertaken that matched Challenger 2 against the M1A2 Abrams, an improved Leopard 2 and the French Leclerc. All were found to be highly capable. Eventually, against the background of the excellent performance of Challenger 1 in Operation Desert Storm, the government awarded a contract in 1991 to Vickers Defence Systems for 127 Challenger 2 gun tanks and 13 driver training tanks. This decision maintained a tank design and manufacturing capability in the UK.

At the same time the Soviet Union was collapsing; the Warsaw Pact finally disintegrating in late 1991. Major cuts in defence spending followed in the West and as a result the plans to upgrade Challenger 1 and Chieftain were abandoned. Chieftain was withdrawn, partly as a result of major arms control agreements with the former Soviet Union. In July 1994 the MoD decided to order a further 279 Challenger 2 gun tanks so that the eight armoured regiments remaining in the Royal Armoured Corp (RAC) could all be equipped with Challenger 2, albeit with only 38 tanks in each regiment.
Challenger 2 entered service in June 1998 and although a logical development of Challenger 1, the new tank is greatly superior. It has a new digital fire control system that includes a panoramic commanders sight and a new version of the Thermal Observation and Gunnery Sight (TOGS II). The turret mounts the high pressure L30 120mm gun that fires conventional APDS-FS, HESH, smoke and depleted uranium projectiles with great accuracy. The Chobham armour is an upgraded version of that fitted to Challenger 1 (called Dorchester).

As a result of exercises in Oman in 2002, extensive modifications were made to desertise the Challenger 2. These changes included the fitting of canvas skirts covering the wheels to reduce the dust cloud created by the tank and changes to the engine air filters. The combat survivability of the tank was improved by the addition of reactive armour to the hull front, additional composite armour panels to the hull sides, a special cover to the exhaust to reduce the tanks heat signature and visual Combat Identification Panels. These modifications raise the tanks combat weight to about 65 tons.

In the event Challenger 2 performed superbly during the invasion of Iraq and played an important role in the early capture of Basra by British Forces.





The main vehicle in this photo is a Polish built T-55K Enigma command tank that was used by the 5th Iraqi Mechanised Division. It has been fitted with extra armour around the front and sides on both turret and hull. One armour pad has been cut open to reveal he multi-layer arrangement inside which consists of alternate plates of steel, rubber and aluminium. This is intended to defeat HEAT projectiles. Trials in the USA indicate that, crude as it appears, this system works quite well. However it increases the weight of the tank and reduces performance while the counter-balance, at the rear of the turret (barely visible in the photo), suggests that it is affected by the extra weight. The sectioned armour pad is above the drivers hatch. Unless the turret is in this position, and the pod raised as shown, the driver would be trapped.

Behind the T-55 is a Chinese built version of the T-54. It was manufactured in 1984 and is typical of a late production Type 69-II. This exhibit was also captured during the Gulf War and it appears to have served as a command tank. The crude plumbing on its left side (just visible) was designed to duct smoke from the exhaust and release it at the front of the tank as a smoke screen.




The T72 is probably the most widely used main battle tank in the world today. It has been manufactured in six countries, is in service with the armies of 35 nations and has fought in all the major wars of the last 20 years.
In 1967 the Soviet Army adopted the T64 as its future standard tank. The most revolutionary aspect of the new tank was the use of an auto-loader to feed its 125mm smooth bore gun. The T64 was very complex and very expensive; characteristics that made it unsuitable for export to the Soviet Unions allies. Moreover the T64s high cost would limit the number of tanks that could be bought and worse, the early versions proved unreliable.

The Vagonka Design Bureau was running out of work as T62 development finished. Its leader, Leonid Kartsev, persuaded the Minister responsible for tank production to allow him to modify the T64 and also to permit the Vagonka Bureau to build six prototypes. This decision was made without reference to the Main Armour Administration in the Soviet Defence Ministry who were supposed to control tank policy! The revised tank, Obiekt 172, had a new, more reliable, Vagonka auto-loader, a 125mm gun, a redesigned suspension and a new engine and power train.

The Obiekt 172 tanks were tested during 1968-70. Following modifications Kartsevs new tank was accepted as the T72 in 1971. This was a compromise between the advocates of the T64 and those who wanted a cheaper tank that could be bought in large numbers. It gave the Soviet Army a high/low mix of vehicles: the T64 at the high end would equip first echelon units in East Germany, the low end T72 would go to the follow up forces and for export. The adoption of the T72 also kept the Vagonka Bureau in business.

The Museums exhibit was in service with the former East German Army; it is the model T-72M (official name Obiekt 172M-1, Ural) which was produced for export only. Tanks of this type were employed by the Iraqi Republican Guard during the Gulf War (1991), by the Syrian Army in Lebanon, by various elements in the former Yugoslavia and, of course, in Chechnya.





Finally, some 'random' shots that I havent posted so far:

German Army Leopard I


Canadian Army Leopard C2 (updated Leopard 1A5)


Variety of tank guns and projectiles


Scorpion


Example of the effect of an armoured piercing round (possibly 120mm APDS?) on steel plates; penetration is from top to bottom. For scale, the tripod is about 45-50cm in length.


From left to right Cromwell, Sherman Firefly and Churchill Crocodile


Hope you enjoyed the show and a Happy New Year to everyone biggrin

#4056985 - 12/29/14 12:12 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Chucky Online sosad
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An excellent conclusion to 'Tankfest' FlatEric, thanks for the superb effort. Very well done.


EV's are the Devils matchbox.
#4057089 - 12/29/14 10:46 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Birthplace of the spitfire!!!



As its about 40 mins down the road from me i will be going again this year

tanksalot

Last edited by flying-hamster; 12/29/14 10:51 AM.

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#4057109 - 12/29/14 12:01 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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FlatEric Offline
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FlatEric  Offline
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Thanks Chucky thumbsup

Nice video flying-hamster smile I've already got the 27th and 28th June in my diary for 2015 - just need to book a Travel Lodge or some such. Unfortunately Bovington is about 4-5 hours from where I live, but at least that gives me a good excuse to go on both days and justify the long journey smile

For my encore in 2015 I was thinking of a post about the Firepower Museum in Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, London - fabulous place which unfortunately will be closing in December 2015 due to lack of visitors / funding frown For those living in the UK or visiting the capital, I highly recommend a visit - you won't be disappointed! More details to follow in 2015 smile

#4057114 - 12/29/14 12:24 PM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Chucky Online sosad
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Chucky  Online Sosad
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It's a least a 3 hour drive for me. I have a mate who wants to go with me which is just as well as he has a car biggrin

Ideally,like you FlatEric,a two day stay sounds a good idea,I would hate to rush through the place in one day.

Nice video Flying-Hamster yep


EV's are the Devils matchbox.
#4057980 - 12/31/14 05:13 AM Re: Tankfest 2013 [Re: FlatEric]  
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Eric, great set of pictures and descriptions! I still have not processed all of the photos I took at the Latrun tank museum in the summer of 2013, partly because I know it would take up practically all of my free time. Speaking of which, that is another world-class tank museum worth visiting. yep I felt kinda bad that I dragged my Israeli tour guide there, but he didn't seem to mind too much. biggrin

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