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3 minutes | Mar 11, 2019
Soviet 100mm T-12 & MT-12 Anti-Tank Gun
The T-12 was developed as a replacement for the D-48 85mm anti-tank gun, and was the first smoothbore anti-tank gun to enter service, in 1961. The decision to adopt a smoothbore barrel led to improved HEAT performance, higher muzzle velocity, and longer barrel life than an equivalent rifled barrel. The kinetic energy penetrator was very long and thin, further improving penetration.
4 minutes | Dec 18, 2018
I'm not a fan of Christmas songs, so I thought it would be interesting to make a playlist of music related to, or about history. With one exception, all the songs here are from my personal collection. Consequently, there's a lot of folk and rock, particularly Billy Bragg and Iron Maiden. I've added a few notes about some tracks.
3 minutes | Nov 28, 2018
M65 “Atomic Annie” Was Not The Only Nuclear Gun
Recently, I saw a link to an Atlas Obscura article about the M65 “Atomic Annie”. The M65 was a US 280mm artillery gun that could fire nuclear ammunition. The article claims that it was the world’s first and only nuclear gun. Atomic Annie was the first nuclear gun, but it wasn’t the only one. 2A3...
0 minutes | Nov 11, 2018
Remembrance Day 2018
I choose to wear a red poppy. Some wear a white one, others choose to wear nothing. I have no argument with any of those people. I save my anger for those that think it is acceptable to send teenagers to die. I direct my anger at those that demand war, then ask why our...
2 minutes | Oct 25, 2018
New Song About Lidice
I’ve just discovered that the band Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate have included a song about Lidice on their new album, Out of Mind. I was both surprised and very proud when one of the band, Malcolm Galloway, contacted me to tell me that the song was inspired by my interview on The WW2 Podcast...
0 minutes | Oct 10, 2018
Weapons and Equipment of the Warsaw Pact – Ebook box set now available
I’m happy to announce that I’ve just released an ebook of the first three books in the Weapons and Equipment of the Warsaw Pact series. If you haven’t already bought the ebooks, this will give you the chance to get all three in a single file at a reduced price. It is available at all...
8 minutes | Oct 8, 2018
The Swedish Strv 103 (S-Tank)
Development of the Stridsvagn 103 began in 1958, led by Bofors. A contract was awarded in 1959 for two prototypes, followed by a pre-production order from the Swedish army for 10 vehicles in mid 1960. The initial two prototypes were finished in 1961, and differed from production vehicles. They had no return rollers, no support...
1 minutes | Aug 22, 2018
Artillery of the Warsaw Pact now available
I’m happy to announce that Artillery of the Warsaw Pact, the third book in my Weapons and Equipment of the Warsaw Pact series, has been released. Artillery of the Warsaw Pact provides a compelling and detailed account of the artillery used by Warsaw Pact countries and the important role it played during this period of...
3 minutes | Jul 10, 2018
Czech vzor 77 Dana SP Gun-Howitzer
In the late 1970s, Czechoslovakia began development of a wheeled 152mm self-propelled gun-howitzer. The result was the vzor 77 Dana, which entered service with the Czech army in 1981. It had an eight-wheeled chassis based on components of the Tatra 813 8×8 lorry, rather than the more usual tracked chassis. The Tatra 813 had been...
6 minutes | Apr 24, 2018
FV4401 Contentious: Britain’s S-Tank?
In the 1950s, the British army investigated the possibility of a main battle tank weighing around 20-30 tons. Named the FV4401 Contentious, it was part of Project Prodigal, which eventually led to the highly successful CVR(T) range, some of which are still in service today. Contentious was envisioned as a small tank, but with armour...
6 minutes | Jan 10, 2018
Soviet Military Innovation in the Cold War
During the Cold War, there was a tendency in the West to believe that the Soviet system, and in particular the Soviet army, could not innovate. It was sometimes assumed that innovation was the sole preserve of the West, and that Soviet designers merely copied Western inventions. This article will outline some Soviet military innovations...
2 minutes | Nov 11, 2017
Remembrance Day 2017
Today is Remembrance Day in the UK. I have a red poppy, and I shall be observing the two minute silence at 11:00. For me, Remembrance Day is a time to remember everyone that has been harmed by war. Any war, any nationality, civilian, military, whatever. That’s a lot of people, and so each year I focus...
5 minutes | Oct 17, 2017
Ghosts of the East: Soviet AFVs that never existed
During the Cold War, both sides did what they could to hide the capabilities of their military equipment. As Sun Tzu advised, “A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective“. Naturally, both sides also tried to discern what the other side was hiding,...
2 minutes | Sep 19, 2017
RIP Stanislav Petrov
Yesterday, I found out that Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov has died. He was not well-known. In fact, he died in May, but the news only came out by chance, and even then, news outlets didn’t pick it up immediately. Many people owe their lives to him, but few realise it. Petrov was on duty at...
2 minutes | May 22, 2017
When fighting atrocity, how much is enough?
In March, my wife and I spent a week in the Czech Republic on holiday. Whilst there, we visited Lidice, and I think I now understand Sir Barnett Stross a little more. It always puzzled me slightly that he kept close ties to Czechoslovakia, even after the communists took over. He had no sympathy for...
4 minutes | Mar 21, 2017
Getting Kids Started in Wargaming
For some time, I’ve been planning to introduce my nine year old son, Doug, to wargaming. He likes playing board games, including some aimed at adults, and he’s interested in history. We’ve now played a few games, and so I thought I’d write about the lessons I learned, to help anyone else wanting to introduce...
2 minutes | Jan 24, 2017
The CIA did not try to force Britain to hand the Falklands over to Argentina
Last week, The Sun ran a story about how the CIA wanted to force Britain to hand over the Falkland Islands to Argentina and force British citizens living there to relocate to Scotland. The Daily Mail published a similar story. At best, the stories are sensationalist. At worst, they’re deliberately misrepresenting the truth. The document...
1 minutes | Nov 10, 2016
Remembrance Day 2016
Today is Remembrance Day in the UK. I have a red poppy, and I shall be observing the two minute silence at 11:00. For me, Remembrance Day is a time to remember everyone that has been harmed by war. Any war, any nationality, civilian, military, whatever. That’s a lot of people, and so each year...
15 minutes | Sep 13, 2016
Bridging the Gap: Warsaw Pact River Crossing
During the Cold War, the Warsaw Pact armies studied the disposition of rivers in western Europe. It concluded that they would have to cross water obstacles up to 100m wide every 35 to 60km. Every 100-150km, they would encounter a water obstacle between 100m and 300m wide. Every 250-300km they would encounter one that was...
2 minutes | Aug 15, 2016
AFV Alphabet: Z is for ZSU-57-2
The ZSU-57-2 entered service in 1955, providing the Warsaw Pact armies with a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun that could accompany the advancing armies. The hull is based on a lightened T-54 chassis. The armour is much lighter and it has four road wheels instead of the T-54’s five. Two air-cooled 57mm S-68 guns are fitted in...
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