April 30, 2015

Stuarts Without Turret

The British Army used turretless variants of the M3 Stuart Light Tank as command tanks, recon vehicles and artillery tractors.

General Montgomery
1. General Montgomery with Lt. Colonel A. C. Clive of the Grenadier Guards
in a turretless Stuart command tank in Tunisia on March 8, 1943. 

April 29, 2015

Renault UE Chenillette

The Renault UE Chenillette was a French light armored carrier, which was used for towing and supplying light cannons and mortars. 

A captured Chenillette
A captured Chenillette in France in 1940.

April 26, 2015

Canal Defense Light

The Canal Defense Light (CDL) was a British device which could be fitted on a tank’s turret. Its purpose was to light enemy positions during the night. The searchlight was initially placed on a Matilda tank and later on a U.S. M3 Grant. It was used during the Battle of Remagen.

M3 Grant CDL
1. M3 Grant CDL.

April 25, 2015

Buffaloes Crossing the Rhine

Buffaloes crossing the Rhine
1.

M22 Locust in Operation Varsity

The M22 Locust was an airborne light tank. It weighted 7.4 tn and was armed with a 37mm gun. The M22 was used by the 6th Airborne Division during Operation Varsity. Operation Varsity was launched on March 24, 1945. Its purpose was to assist Montgomery’s crossing of the Rhine. The British 6th Airborne Division and the U.S. 17th Airborne Division were parachuted on the eastern bank of the Rhine near the village of Hamminkeln and the town of Wesel. The operation was successful and the Rhine was crossed two days later. Operation Varsity was the last large-scale airborne operation of World War II.

M22 Locust leaving a Hamilcar glider
1. An M22 Locust leaving a Hamilcar glider.

April 24, 2015

Vickers Light Tank A/A Mk I

Vickers Light Tank A/A Mk I
An A/A variation of the Vickers Light Tank, armed with four 7.92mm Besa machine guns. 
The photo was taken in North Africa in September 1942.

Geilenkirchen. November, 1944

Geilenkirchen is a German town in north Rhine-Westphalia, near the Dutch border. It is located some twelve miles north of Aachen. In November 1944 it was the site of Operation Clipper, which was launched by the British XXX Corps, which at the time included the American 84th Infantry Division. Nowadays the town is home to NATO Air Base “Geilenkirchen”.

November 18 – 25, 1944

Repairing the track on a Sherman tank
Repairing the track on a Sherman tank.

April 23, 2015

April 22, 2015

Churchill as a Self-Propelled Gun

Churchill as a Self-Propelled Gun
The Churchill SP Gun had a fixed superstructure and carried an old naval 3in anti-aircraft gun
Fifty of them were built for home defence.

April 21, 2015

Kleve. February, 1945

Kleve (Cleves) is a German town near the Dutch border. During WWII it was heavily bombed by the Allies. Montgomery’s 21st Army Group after Operation Market-Garden advanced towards the Rhine. By mid-January 1945 it had reached the Rur.  In February the Canadian First Army launched Operation Veritable. Elements of the British XXX Corps entered Kleve on February 11.

Churchill tanks of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade and infantry of the 2nd Gordon Highlanders in Kleve

Churchill tanks of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade and infantry of the 2nd Gordon Highlanders in Kleve


The “Petard”

Churchill AVRE


April 18, 2015

Death & Destruction in the Babruysk pocket

On June 22, 1944 the Red Army launched Operation “Bagration”, which led to the destruction of the German Army Group Centre. The Babruysk Offensive took place at the early stages of Operation “Bagration” and resulted to the encirclement of XXXV Armeekorps and XXXXI Panzerkorps in a pocket east of Bobruysk. When the battle ended 50,000 German soldiers were dead and 20,000 were taken prisoners.


1. A Soviet soldier inspecting two destroyed Panzer IVs, of the 20th Panzer-Division,
in the Babruysk pocket on June 28, 1944.

April 17, 2015

SU-101

SU-101 and SU-100
SU-101 was supposed to replace SU-100, but only one prototype was built before the end of WW II.

April 16, 2015

Panzergruppe Kleist and the Fall of France (part 1)

A German panzer advancing through the Ardennes


Early in the morning of September 1, 1939 the German Reich invaded Poland. The same day Monsieur Coulondre, French ambassador in Berlin, visited Herr von Ribbentrop and handed over a communication demanding the withdrawal of German troops. With no answer coming from the German side Coulondre presented himself to Ribbentrop two days later. Their meeting ended at 5 p.m. France and Germany were officially at war.

April 15, 2015

German Captured Tanks & AFVs

StuG III
1. A StuG III captured during the Battle of the Bulge in US service with the 104th Infantry Division.

April 14, 2015

Crossing the Weser River

After crossing the Rhine on March 23, 1945 the British Second Army headed across northern Germany towards Osnabrück. The 11th Armoured Division crossed the Rhine on March 28 and headed for the Weser river. The leading elements of the Division reached the river on April 5.

Comet tank
1. A Comet tank of 11th Armoured Division in the Weser bridgehead on April 7, 1945.