Tanks and Armour through the Century. Part 2.

After yet another visit to the Bovington Tank Museum, my second home according to my wife, I wanted to share some photos of the tanks they have on display. I will look at tanks and armour from just before the start of WWI up until present day. I am not a tank expert, so if you spot something that is incorrect, please let me know and I can edit and update.

 

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The most enduring image of Lord kitchener urging young men to sign up to fight in the trenches. The poster was actually never used as a recruitment poster during the conflict and was only widely used after the event.

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The recruitment Sergeant all us ex soldiers love dearly….

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British WW1 Tank – Mark I. Born out of the need to breach the German Trenches which were heavily fortified with barbed wire, this was the first vehicle to be called a ‘Tank’.

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The British WW1 Mark II. With a few minor differences from the Mark I, and still not ready for use in a war setting, only a few were built. It was mainly used for training. Only a few Mark III’s were ever built, and was again used as a training tank. The last two were melted down during WWII.

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The Mk IV tank, HMS Excellent.

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An order was placed for over 1,000 of these tanks in 1916. Over 1,200 were built, and it became the mainstay for the rest of the Great War.

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One of the 57mm guns visible in a turret. It weighed 28 tonnes and had a top speed of 6kph. The armour was 12mm thick and carried a crew of 8.

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 Its full weapons compliment was two, 57mm guns and three, .303 machine guns. It was manufactured by William Foster & Co. Ltd. of Lincoln.

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The Mark IVs, were mechanically identical to the Mark I and IIs. But, the armour was thicker and there was now a proper exhaust and silencer for the engine. The fuel tank was placed outside the tank at the back.

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 The Mark IV was built in such numbers it became the key armoured vehicle for the Tank Corps.

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Although very similar in appearance to the earlier models, the Mark V was a much better tank. It was more powerful and easier to drive.

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The markings shown are of the 8th (H) Battalion, Tank Corps.

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It also had 12mm of armour and weighed a slightly heavier 29 tonnes.

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It had a top speed of 7.4kph.

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Equipped with the Ricardo six-cylinder engineered the Wilson epicyclic steering, meant that one man could handle all the controls. In the Mark IV, it required 4 crew members to do the same job.

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It was armed with two, 57mm guns and two, machine guns.

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An uditching beam can just be seen carried on the top.

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The ditching beam would be chained to the tracks and drawn under the tank when stuck in the mud. The beam gave the tracks something solid to grip.

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The tank saw action the time of the Battle of Amiens.

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Service date from 1918 to 1923 and with the Red Army, 1920 to 1928.

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It had a rear cab for the commander and a rear machine-gun position.

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Mark V

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I do plan on writing a WWI trilogy in 2016, but in the meantime please read either my Cold War trilogy or my WWII books on the famous Fallschirmjager.

The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There are three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980′s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the posts is to give the reader some additional background information to enhance their reading experience..

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.

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The Blog and photographs are copyrighted to Harvey Black.

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Kindle and Paperback version out now! The Cold War that became a Hot War.

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The Cold War Years. A Hot War in reality. Part 10.

My ‘Cold War’ trilogy is complete. I enjoyed writing it and the empty space it has left will be filled with a new set of books, based on the outcome of a strategic nuclear exchange. An Apocalyptic trilogy, survival at its worst.

The Cold War era started very soon after the end of the second world war, when the communist east, led by the Soviet Union, and the Western world, led by the United States and its NATO allies, faced each across what became known as the ‘Iron Curtain’.

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The Cold War era started very soon after the end of the second world war, when the communist east, led by the Soviet Union, and the Western world, led by the United States and its NATO allies, faced each across what became known as the ‘Iron Curtain’.

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The capital of Germany, Berlin, was divided into four Sectors. The consequence being, that the three Western Allied powers now controlled territory deep within the Soviet Union Zone of Germany.

Over time, the tensions between the four Allied powers increased, eventually resulting in the Berlin blockade in 1948, when the Soviets attempted to starve West Berlin into submission and force the other three Allied powers out. This failed and the Soviets eventually relented, but an ever-increasing number of East Germans fled to the West; between 150,000 and 300,000 a year during 1951-1953. As a consequence restrictions were placed on movement between the divided country. From 1961, the border was closed and Berlin completely encircled, first by barbed wire, then bricks and finally a concrete wall, along with the infamous ‘death strip’.

Access was now restricted between Berlin and the West. A wall, 124 mile miles in length, was placed around the three sectors of West Berlin, cutting off the city from the rest of the world.

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The famous photograph of the East German soldier making an escape to the West. The soldier in the photograph died recently. – The Cold War had begun.

 

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The four zones of Berlin – 1984

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In East Berlin, and other countries under the control of the Soviet Union, the communist state imposed ruthless control over the people of those countries.  A section of the cells in the Stasi Prison, East Berlin.

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The Soviet Army occupied East Berlin, like they did many countries in Eastern Europe.

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First there was World War I

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The ‘Little Caterpillar’, the first tracked vehicle bought by the British Army in 1907.

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The Mark IV tank, H.M.S Excellent. Entered service in May 1914.

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Troops on the march.

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Then came World War II, the battle of the giants.

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From the famous Panther…

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…to the Panzer VI…

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…the Tiger II

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The Russian famous KVIB

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The American Sherman Firefly.

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The British Churchill Mark VII

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Then there was World War III

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“Today, West German imperialism is United States’ chief ally in Europe in aggravating world tension. West Germany is increasingly becoming the seat of the war danger, where revenge-seeking passions are running high… The policy pursued by the Federal Republic of Germany is being increasingly determined by the same monopolies that brought Hitler to power.

The Rhineland politicians fancy that once they get the atomic bomb, frontier posts will topple and they will be able to achieve their cherished desire of carving up the map of Europe again and taking revenge for defeat in the second world war.

One of the most ominous factors endangering peace is the bilateral military alliance that is taking shape between the ruling circles of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. This factor remains an objective of unflagging attention.”

Leonid Brezhnev

23rd Party Congress

March 1966

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The US M-60. They also had the more modern Abrams M1

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105mm. Abrams M1

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The 120mm, Chieftain main battle tank, the mainstay of the British Army of the Rhine in the 80’s. 

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During the early-mid 80’s, the Challenger was being introduced as a replacement for the Chieftain.

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The German Leopard

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The Soviet T-72. This was very much a tank made for Export. The T-64 would have been the mainstay of any Soviet invasion of the West.

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Soviet T-64.

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The T-80, being introduced into the Soviet elite armies of the Group of Soviet Forces Germany in the 80’s

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Soviet Hind-D. The Soviet Army had hundreds of these available in the 80’s. They would have been a major issue for NATO forces.

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My intention is not to portray a particular message, but just share some of my research and experiences with you.  This is the first of my new ‘Cold War’ series, supporting the writing of my new ‘Cold War’ series of novels, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany by the Warsaw Pact in the 80’s. ‘The Red Effect’.

The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black.

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – due out in April 2013. The Cold War that became Hot

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Normandy Landings, June 6th, 1944. The Allied invasion Europe.

In remembrance of the brave soldiers who gave their lives during this historic day, I shall be looking at some of the Allied tanks on display at the Bovington Tank Museum.

The Royal Tank Regiment Memorial Statue, Bovington Tank Museum.

The above exhibit is the fibreglass model used to create the bronze statue that stands in Whitehall Place, London.

The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, commenced on the 6th June, 1944 (D-Day).

The first phase, just after midnight, consisted of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and free French airborne troops landing behind enemy lines. There were also two decoy operations, Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable, used to distract the German forces from the real Normandy landings.

Armour played a key role in helping secure the beaches, particularly Hobart’s Funnies. Below are pictures of some of the tanks displayed at the Bovington tank Museum and a few of the specialist tanks used on the day.

The Mark II’s were used as training tanks at Bovington camp. Due to a shortage of armour, they were sent to the front.This is the last surviving Mark II.

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The Medium Mark A, the fastest tank of its time. A top speed of 8mph.

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Crew of 3, 12mm armour.

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14 tons. three -303in machine guns.

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Medium tank Mark II. New sprung suspension

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3 pounder gun. Serving in Egypt when WW2 broke out. Too slow at 15mph, so were buried with only their turrets showing and used as static defence.

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Light Mark VIB. 35mph carrying a .50in machine gun.

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Crew of 3, Reconnaissance tank weighing 5.2 tons.

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The Cromwell Cruiser Tank. Powered by a Rolls-Royce V12, fighter engine.

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76mm main gun.

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56mm of armour and a top speed of 35mph.

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Churchill Crocodile. Modified by fitting of a flame-thrower. The flame-thrower had a range of 120 yards.

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Churchill Crocodile with trailer, which held 400 gallons of fuel for the flame-thrower.

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Sherman Firefly. The first tank to match the Tiger.

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 76.2mm gun, 22mph, 75mm of armour.

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The Bobbin. A reel of 10-foot wide canvas cloth reinforced with shell poles. Unrolled onto the ground to allow tanks to move across the soft sand.

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Sherman Crab mine-clearing tank.

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A real Mark IV tank?

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Well?

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No. It is in fact a prop that was made for the Steven Spielberg film ‘War Horse’.

My intention is not to portray a particular message, but just share some of my photographs and information with you and help set the scene for some of my novels.

Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black

Normandy Landings, June 6th, 1944. The Allied invasion France.

In remembrance of the brave soldiers who gave their lives during this historic day, I shall be looking at some of the Allied tanks on display at the Bovington Tank Museum.

The Royal Tank Regiment Memorial Statue, Bovington Tank Museum.

The above exhibit is the fibreglass model used to create the bronze statue that stands in Whitehall Place, London.

The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, commenced on the 6th June, 1944 (D-Day).

The first phase, just after midnight, consisted of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and free French airborne troops landing behind enemy lines. There were also two decoy operations, Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable, used to distract the German forces from the real Normandy landings.

Armour played a key role in helping secure the beaches, particularly Hobart’s Funnies. Below are pictures of some of the tanks displayed at the Bovington tank Museum and a few of the specialist tanks used on the day.

The Mark II’s were used as training tanks at Bovington camp. Due to a shortage of armour, they were sent to the front.This is the last surviving Mark II.

.

The Medium Mark A, the fastest tank of its time. A top speed of 8mph.

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Crew of 3, 12mm armour.

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14 tons. three -303in machine guns.

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Medium tank Mark II. New sprung suspension

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3 pounder gun. Serving in Egypt when WW2 broke out. Too slow at 15mph, so were buried with only their turrets showing and used as static defence.

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Light Mark VIB. 35mph carrying a .50in machine gun.

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Crew of 3, Reconnaissance tank weighing 5.2 tons.

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The Cromwell Cruiser Tank. Powered by a Rolls-Royce V12, fighter engine.

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76mm main gun.

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56mm of armour and a top speed of 35mph.

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Churchill Crocodile. Modified by fitting of a flame-thrower. The flame-thrower had a range of 120 yards.

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Churchill Crocodile with trailer, which held 400 gallons of fuel for the flame-thrower.

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Sherman Firefly. The first tank to match the Tiger.

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 76.2mm gun, 22mph, 75mm of armour.

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The Bobbin. A reel of 10-foot wide canvas cloth reinforced with shell poles. Unrolled onto the ground to allow tanks to move across the soft sand.

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Sherman Crab mine-clearing tank.

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A real Mark IV tank?

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Well?

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No. It is in fact a prop that was made for the Steven Spielberg film ‘War Horse’.

My intention is not to portray a particular message, but just share some of my photographs and information with you and help set the scene for some of my novels.

Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black