Vintage Military Vehicles (AFV) & Battle Tanks.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Radio-controlled tanks, WW2 Jeeps, German Tanks, Soviet Tanks, World War II Cars, Military Scale Models, Tank Forces, Panzer Crews.
Rare 1940 Humber Snipe Heavy Utility vehicle found in Bodden
A rare military vehicle from WWII - with only five thought to be left in the world - has resurfaced into the 21st century. The post-war years have been brutal on a 1940 Humber Snipe Heavy Utility vehicle left rusting in the shed of Andy Stevens. An interest in military vehicles led to him picking the vehicle up in 1983 when he heard a shed had fallen on it in Croscombe. But he`s never found the time to do it up over the past 30 years. But a use for the Humber may yet be found with its new owner, military enthusiast and roofer Alec Small.
World War II-era amphibious U.S. truck found in Lake Garda, Italy
A WWII-era amphibious truck belonging to the U.S. military has been discovered in Lake Garda, Italy. The Voluntary Association of Lake Garda released underwater footage of the rusted truck after it was detected with sonar systems and a small, unmanned underwater craft used for deep-sea research. ProMare, a nonprofit team of marine archaeologists, was also involved in the search. Nicknamed "ducks," such amphibious trucks drive across land or float in water. 20,000 were produced during WW2 to transport goods and troops. They were also used in beach attacks to help the Allies win the war.
WWII photos of vehicle maintenance -thread on Axis History Forum
World War II photographs of vehicle maintenance -thread on Axis History Forum (39 pages so far).
Videos of WWII vehicles in working condition - Thread on Axis History Forum
Videos of World War II vehicles in working condition - Thread on Axis History Forum.
A 1941 BMW R75 - a German motorcycle with a machine gun mounted to the sidecar - restored and running
In October, 2011, Bob Clement test drove a piece of history as he cruised along Highway 212 on a World War II German motorcycle with a machine gun mounted to the sidecar and a cartridge belt of bullets dangling from the breech. Technically, the 1941 BMW R75 is a sidecar rig. "It`s not a trike. It`s not a motorcycle," explained Clement, a mechanic who works on vintage BMW motorcycles. For 15 years, the bike`s owner, Maj. Darren Purcell, has pursued the bike`s restoration. Purcell figures there are fewer than 25 of the bikes in the U.S. - and of those, only about 10 are actually running.
Dam Busters petrol tanker owned by Wiltshire museum for sale
A petrol tanker used by the 617 Dam Buster squadron in the Second World War is to be sold at auction. The AEC 1943 Bowser - reported to be one of only two of its kind in existence - has been on show at the Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum in Calne, Wiltshire for the past 20 years. Built in January 1943, the machine was sent to the 617 Squadron at RAF Scampton where it served with Bomber Command until 1949.
In Graphs: WWII Tank Production - Did Nazi Germany had a chance against the Soviet Union and the United States
People like to think that individuals can change the course of the history. That somehow Michael Wittman`s actions with his Tiger tank in June 1944 when he took out 14 Allied tanks in 15 minutes, or Erich von Manstein`s counterstrike during the Third Battle of Kharkov in 1943 when it for a moment seemed that the Red Army will wrap up the entire eastern front after their victory in Stalingrad, make a major difference in the outcome. However, in most wars, the reasons for victory come down to a significant economic advantage, as the following graphs about the Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) production during the Second World War reveals.
Panzer-Grenadier Divisions 1939-1945 : An Essential Vehicle Identification Guide
"Panzer-Grenadier Divisions - An Essential Vehicle Identification Guide" explores all the unit histories and the various military vehicle types they used during the Second World War. Some of the motorised divisions covered include: Grossdeutchland, Fuhrer Begleit, Fuhrer Grenadier, Sizilian Panzergrenadier, Panzer Corps Feldherrnhalle, 90th Leichte Afrika, 155th, 164th Leichte Afrika, Brandengurg, Hermann Goring, 22nd Luftlande and Luftwaffe Fallschirmjager divisions.
Spanish Civil War Tanks: The Proving Ground for Blitzkrieg by Steven Zaloga (book review)
There was German, Italian and Russian involvement in the Spanish Civil War as they all sent some "volunteers" and equipment to the conflict. Thanks to some new information available from Russia - like tankers diaries - Steve Zaloga has put together a 48-page account of the AFVs used in Spain. The experience gained included operating tanks in combat, how tanks endured a long period of combat time, the need of properly trained crews, and the need of repair and recovery operations. The era of small machine gun armed tankettes -- like the Italian CV33 and the German Pz-I -- came to an end.
The Churchill Tank: Part One: The gun tank, Mk I-VIII by David Doyle (Book review)
The Churchill Tank: A Visual History of the British Army`s Heavy Infantry Tank 1941-1945 (Part One: The gun tank, Mk I-VIII) contains 150 images in 9 chapters, one for each Churchill tank from Mark I to Mark VIII, and one chapter for Churchill NA75 (Churchill Mark IVs that had their main armament replaced by 75mm guns taken from knocked out Sherman tanks). Each photograph covers one page with brief notes on the tank, exploring any particularly interesting aspects. Within each chapter are some excellent sidebars, most noteworthy of them are the 8 pages about the Dieppe Landings.
Rasputitsa: Photos of German WWII tanks and vehicles sunk in the mud - Axis History forum thread
The term `rasputitsa` means the period (in the spring and in the fall) when unpaved roads become difficult or impossible to travel on in some parts of the Eastern Europe. The Wehrmacht, used to the great road networks of Germany and France, was completely unaware about the endless mud which stopped the tanks, trucks, motorcycles and other military vehicles on the spot, making any large scale operations impossible. This Axis History Forum -thread features dozes and dozes of WWII photographs about the topic.
Latest New Zealand adrenalin adventure: Drive military vehicles from Jeeps to 52-ton tanks
Tanks For Everything - New Zealand`s latest adrenalin adventure - takes you to the edge and then charges over it, literally. Created by former IT manager Jonathan Lahy-Neary, the experience enables visitors to drive a dozen military vehicles ranging from a jeep all the way up to the Russian T-55AM2 tank and the 52-tonne Centurion tank. Packages start at $495 (drive two vehicles) and go up to $995 (drive all the big vehicles). (tanksforeverything.co.nz/)
Panzer-Divisions in Battle 1939-45 by Tom Cockle (WWII book, includes 169 photos of German tanks)
Panzer-Divisions in Battle 1939-45, examines the role panzers had in Blitzkrieg (Lightning War) and WWII through a series of photos and illustrations. The volume begins with a summary of the battles and theaters in which Nazi tanks fought. This first volume covers the Invasion of Poland, the Battle for France, the Balkans, and the Desert War in North Africa. The black and white photographs show not only German tanks like the series of Panzer I, II, III and IVs (core of the panzer divisions), but also equipment such as the Pz.Kpfw.38(t) tank, a variety of armored cars, plus the Sd.Kfz.251 halftrack.
Czech Republic plans to buy unique Czechoslovak LTP 38 tank, made for mountain area, back from Peru (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Czech Defence Ministry plans to buy back a rare Czechoslovak tank, LTP 38, from Peru for the collection of the Czech Military Institute in Prague. The military institute has signed a deal with the Peruvian town Mollendo about the tank. LTP 38 tanks, variants of Panzer 38(t), were made in the 1930s especially for Peru. Special engines and gear allowed them to operate in high mountains of Latin America. In 2008 the military institute purchased the Panzer 35 from the US. Only five Panzer 35(t) tanks, used by the Third Reich after the occupation of Czech territory, are left in the world.
Photographs of knocked out Japanese tanks - Axis History Forum thread
World War II photos of destroyed Japanese tanks - Axis History Forum thread.
3-mile convoy of military vehicles travels to Bethune to mark its liberation
A convoy of World War II military vehicles rolled to France to mark an anniversary of the conflict. Military vehicle enthusiasts from Capel and Dorking (members of the Invicta Military vehicle Preservation Society) were among those who travelled to Bethune for a Liberation Day spectacular. They joined a 3-mile convoy of armoured vehicles, motorbikes and other vintage WW2 vehicles. The medieval town of Bethune was freed by the British 7th Armoured Division in September 1944 and 20 years ago the town started a commemoration of the event. Tank enthusiast John Dale took his Russian T-34 tank - which saw the fall of Berlin in 1945 - on board a military vehicle transporter.
1945 Studebaker M29 Weasel was a top secret Allied military vehicle
It was built by the US Army to move through the snowy battlegrouns of Nazi Germany with speed. Terry Welshans` 1945 Studebaker M29 Weasel was created to take down the Nazi empire, but these days has been relegated to car shows and off-road adventures on Kentucky land. "It`s just one of my toys. I collect and restore antique vehicles." The mini tank was built to compromise enemy lines but ended up with a simpler task: carrying military supplies. "It was one of the top secret projects of early World War II... Germans didn`t have a vehicle this fast on snow, they could move around, travel to power plants... and blow them up without being caught."
Kevin Kronlund collects tanks and World War II vintage military vehicles
If we ever have to fight WW2 again, Kevin Kronlund is ready. He`s saved the wheels that saved democracy. He has one of the comprehensive collection of WW2 vintage military vehicles in USA. It includes jeeps, trucks, half-tracks, staff cars, bulldozers, artillery pieces and a Sherman tank. His barns in Spooner, Wisconsin, are packed with 80 military vehicles, from the tiny Cushman scooter (made to be dropped by parachute behind enemy lines during the D-Day) to the colossal 90,650-pound tank retriever (the biggest wheeled vehicle the US Army used during the war). The cannons and machine guns can`t fire any longer, but everything else has been restored.
The Tank Story: Bovington Tank Museum expects opening to go with a bang
Bovington`s Tank Museum is making the last preparations for Saturday: the new 50,000 sq ft exhibition hall will open its doors to the public for the first time. The date also co-occurs with the 70th anniversary of the Bovington-based Royal Armoured Corps. Saturday will see an all-action tank display with 20 military vehicles traversing the new arena. The Army will re-enact an attack and the Royal Armoured Corps parachute display team will be visiting. Also featuring will be the Light Cavalry Band, and talks from serving soldiers. The new exhibition, The Tank Story, chronicles the history of the battle tank.
Tim Hayes uses German World War II armoured motorcycle halftrack for shopping
Shoppers stare when Tim Hayes rumbles up in his German WW2 armoured motorcycle halftrack. "The looks on people`s faces whenever I rumble down the street is priceless, I swear some of them think Birmingham is being invaded." The 2,500 lbs vehicle comes with tank-style tracks powered by a 1500cc engine. The vehicles appeared in the film Saving Private Ryan when American paratroopers used an empty Kettenkrad to draw the attention of German forces. The 3-seaters were used mainly on the Eastern Front to lay communication cables, pull heavy loads and carry soldiers through the deep mud.
Jacques Littlefield, owner of a huge military vehicle collection, passes away
Jacques Littlefield, a tank buff who supported many museums and made his huge private collection of military vehicles available to the public, has passed away aged 59. His collection of over 150 military vehicles is one of the largest private collections in the world. Housed at Pony Tracks Ranch the tanks, armored cars, and other antique defense mechanisms have attracted authors, educators, historians, veterans groups, model makers, and the defense and entertainment industries. The tanks will continue to be managed by the organization Littlefield started for their maintenance and restoration in 1998, the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation.
Soviet wartime domestic truck production - thread at Axis History Forum
This Axis History Forum - thread includes detailed figures on trucks produced in Russia during the Second World War. Soviet truck production was substantial, but Lend Lease trucks completely outclassed Soviet built trucks in performance, durability, load, etc. Soviet trucks were older designs mostly used in rear areas, while Lend Lease trucks gave the Red Army the tactical mobility which took the Wehrmacht by surprise during the last years of the war.
Old Cushman scooter restored to its World War II form
Dick Herriman sold his military surplus Cushman scooter to a neighbor in the late 1940s. The man gave it back to him in 2002 and Herriman just ended restoring. The 75-year-old handyman now drives the scooter, complete with a sidecar, in parades. Herriman spent a good chunk of his effort researching history. His scooter is one of 100 Model 34 M-70s ordered by the Army Air Corps 747th Bombardment Squadron - and it might be the only 747th scooter left. As Herriman scoured away the old paint, he saw military markings. He took photos and contacted the Military Preservation Society, finding printouts about his model from official archives.
25 World War II military vehicles and motorcycles under the hammer
History buffs have the chance to become owners of military vehicles which have contributed to the war effort. A collection of 25 WWII vehicles and motorcycles will auctioned off in Parish Street, Naxxar, Malta. Some of the vehicles, all swathed in nostalgia, are in a good state of repair while others require restoration. Vehicles include: a Fordson Middle Weight Truck, a Bedford Middle Weight Truck, A Ford V8 (4-ton) 1942 truck, a British Willis Jeep (original frame and chassis) and 3 motorcycles in good condition (a BSA, a Norton and a Matchless). In addition there will be several lots of spare parts for vintage vehicles.
Remembering the mechanized Army of World War II (Article no longer available from the original source)
Lee Holland has set up a museum filled with WWII Army vehicles. "What I try to present, is how we went from the horse and the mule to a truly mechanized Army." His restored vehicles include: a 1942 Willys-Overland -- the original Army "jeep" -- a 1942 Dodge command car -- a 1941 GMC 2 -- a 1942 Dodge -- a 1943 Checker Cab 1-ton trailer -- and a 1943 American Bantam Car Co. "This is where the jeeps all began. Every jeep out there is a direct descendent of this jeep [1942 Willys-Overland MB]." His 2160-square-foot museum also has exhibits from the life of a World War II GI Joe, including mannequin soldiers in WWII-era military uniforms.
Bulgaria scrambles to rescue hundreds of rusty German WWII tanks
Until recently, over 100 rusty military tanks lay half-buried near Bulgaria`s border, set up as a Cold War deterrent to NATO`s southern flank. But the theft of a rare vintage military vehicle forced the army to start an operation to save those still left from looters. Demand was such that a Russian collector made an effort to buy one of the museum`s models, a German Panzer IV, with 2.5 million euros. "Bulgaria received some 97 German Panzer IV tanks, 100 Sturmgeschuetz III assault guns and Jagdpanzer IV tank destroyers when it joined the Nazis..." said Blagoy Milenov, of Sofia`s military history museum.
Char B Tank, used during the WWII occupation of Jersey, heading back (Article no longer available from the original source)
A german tank used during the WWII occupation of Jersey is heading back to the island after 6 decades. After the 1945 Allied victory the Char B Tank was shipped to the Bovington Tank Museum: presently under a major rebuild. Now the 25-tonne former heavyweight is temporarily returning to its wartime home to form a display at the Jersey War Tunnels attraction. Tank museum curator David Willey said: "The Char B has great significance to the island as it was one of 17 tanks... stationed in Jersey." Andrew Ridgway explained: "knowing that there was a Renault Char B1 in the collection that had been based in Jersey... I offered accommodation for it in Jersey."
Super-heavy tanks of World War II
Super-heavy tanks were designed in response to the arms race of ever-increasing armament and armour in battle tanks. Although some models were built, they were impractical and saw no combat. Some extreme tank designs approved by Adolf Hitler were devised to be all-conquering monsters of the battlefield. A prime example being the Maus, which only reached the prototype stage. Ultra-heavy tanks of 1,000 tonnes were considered, like the Landkreuzer P. 1000 "Ratte", an enormous tank, and the P. 1500 "Monster", a gigantic self-propelled artillery platform. These were deemed impractical and neither was built, as Albert Speer put an end to these behemoths.
Vintage Bikes - Vintage World War II motorcycles (Article no longer available from the original source)
When the U.S. War Department asked motorcycle manufacturers to come up with military machines for WWII, Harley and Indian answered the call. At first, both produced models with V-twin engines derived from their existing streetbike lines. But the War Department also asked for designs to use for desert fighting in North Africa. Harley opted to copy the design of BMW`s R71 - used by the German Army - building a flat-twin boxer motor. Indian took a different route, creating the Model 841, but the military never adopted the machine. The same was true of Harley`s BMW-like XA. Instead, the motorcycle used by American forces was the 750cc V-twin Harley WLA.
DUKWs, World War II-era amphibious crafts, used for tourist tours
When James Healy gets behind the wheel of a 19,000-pound ex-military vehicle called a duck and begins maneuvering it over Boston’s streets, he becomes Cmdr. James Bernard Swampscott, a decorated military officer of his own creation. The commander wears khaki military uniform and displays a knowledge of Beacon Hill. But the best part of this trip - and of all the growing number of amphibious city tours - comes when the vehicle leaves land and plunges into water. Like the Boston tours, San Francisco’s use DUKWs, World War II-era amphibious craft that were used in operations like D-Day and commonly called ducks.
Restoring World War II military vehicles more than a hobby - an honor
Dave Wakefield found a 1942 Chevrolet World War II truck buried up to its axle in dirt in Ellensburg. For him restoring WWII vehicles is more than a hobby, it`s an honor: "It`s kind of an adventure. Like being an archaeologist and finding a historical treasure you can share with others." When he enters his 1943 Burma Jeep in parades, he dresses in military uniforms, which he also collects. A clean vehicle is out of the question: "I don`t think there ever was a vehicle that was spotless." In one parade, he felt uncomfortable because the jeep was too clean. He found a mud puddle and splashed through it for a genuine look.
Village tycoon fighting for right to party with warplanes, battle tanks
With low-flying warplanes, tanks and battle re-enactments, it was some birthday party for the American multimillionaire Charles Burnett III. For a man often driving a battle tank around the grounds of his Georgian mansion, it was nothing out of the ordinary. But some residents were dismayed as their village was turned into a battlezone. The hundred guests, who had been invited to wear vintage uniforms, danced to an orchestra performing military music. Althea Ayre: "There were lots of people going about in camouflage and tanks driving around, it was very frightening. I lived through WWII and I have painful memories of that time."
Battle tank and armored personnel carrier course meeting opposition
Tony Borglum has a thing for tanks. Last fall, after he and his father traveled to England to buy one, they bought 4 more with the idea of opening a tank-riding and obstacle course in their back yard. "We were there a day and a half, and I got to thinking: `There`s nothing like this in the U.S.,`" said Borglum, talking about the obstacle course in England where he bought the tanks and an armored personnel carrier. What happened has turned Waseca County into a battleground, because residents are less than thrilled by the idea of battle tanks and an armored personnel carrier rumbling across the land.
History buff collects tanks, combat vehicles, self-propelled guns
Jacques Littlefield has amassed the country`s largest private collection of tanks, self-propelled guns, armored personnel carriers, and anti-aircraft and other heavy combat vehicles on the lush, rolling hills of his 470-acre ranch. The real prize is the dreaded German Panzer V Panther, which the German army sank in a Polish river during World War II to keep it from the advancing Russians. The Panther sat submerged for 50 years until Littlefield acquired it and began a painstaking restoration four years ago. As an undergrad, he built a model tank from scratch in the campus machine shop. In 1976, he bought his first combat vehicle, a WWII Scout armored truck.
Military-vehicle enthusiasts march to drum of bygone era
Joe DiGiovanni and Warren Boekhout like to play with trucks: the big, green, antique kind that once fought the nation`s wars. When they meet at the Somerset Armory in Franklin as the Central Jersey Military Motor Pool, DiGiovanni, Boekhout and their fellow military-vehicle enthusiasts plan parades and trade knowledge and parts. "It`s a way of keeping military history alive and remembering the guys who went before us," said Dave Peters. DiGiovanni owns 7 WWII vehicles and a 1941 cannon. The Army later replaced the cannon with another model because it didn`t work against German battle tanks, the best it could do was chip the paint.
A WWII Jeep - Memorabilia and military vehicles (Article no longer available from the original source)
Paul Dooling spends many of his hours toiling away in his garage, or what he calls his "clubhouse" - for big boys that`s steeped in history and filled with memorabilia from World War II: including a rebuilt Army Jeep, old military magazines and newspapers, even a parachute that was used for carrier pigeons. I paid $4,000 for the Jeep. I had another one that I put together and last year sold it for $11,000. I also got this ammunition trailer that the Marines used in the Pacific in Iwo Jima in Kings Park. And when I was a mechanic, some of my customers gave me their WWII uniforms and some of the stuff in the trailer.
WWII vehicles retrace Patton`s route from D-Day Utah beach
A convoy of World War II military vehicles has set off from D-Day Utah Beach to retrace the steps of the Allied forces. Some 250 Americans, Britons, Canadians, French and Belgians mounted original WWII-era trucks and other vehicles for the 713-mile tour through Normandy and northern France. The trip started Monday and wraps up July 23 at a ceremony at General George S. Patton`s tomb at the American military cemetery. The path follows the itinerary of General Patton`s famous Third Army. One veteran is taking part: Belgian Maurice Sperandieu, who joined Patton`s force as a teenager during the Liberation.
Armoured and dangerous - Shermans, Panzers, Panther (Article no longer available from the original source)
When we tumbled at Jacques Littlefield’s 10,000 square foot vehicle restoration facility, we saw several old and battered looking genuine battle tanks sitting outside the facility. Battle tanks are not something everybody collects and there are 220 military vehicles, which reside at Pony Tracks Ranch. A muscular German Panzer IV - which under Rommel`s Afrika Korps attacked British forces in the desert of North Africa. A 1944 German Panther tank rescued after 40 years in a Polish bog. Numerous one-of-a-kind prototypes.
Museum of Vintage military vehicles used in war movies
Vintage military vehicles used in war movies make their home in Rusk — and belong to Tom Townsend, owner of Toyland Military Museum, East Texas’ largest, privately owned military vehicle collection. Tom, as a tank platoon commander in the 1960s, earned the rank of First Lieutenant. "It all began when I was hired to work on the movie, ‘Courage Under Fire.’ They couldn’t find a whole lot of people who could drive tanks." The museum consists of more than a dozen operational military vehicles from World War II through Desert Storm, plus weapons, uniforms and military artifacts.
Classic vehicles - Ferrets and Lynxes and Sherman tanks
Ferrets and a black-smoke-belching diesel-powered vintage Sherman make up part of the 72 vehicle collection of the Oshawa Aeronautical, Military and Industrial Museum located at the municipal airport, which served as a Second World War Commonwealth air-training base. One of the goals of the museum volunteers is to have all the vehicles actually run, and more than 40 currently do. A tour begins with the artifact section before moving out to the machinery hanger. This is tightly packed with a Sherman and Chaffee tank, Bren gun carrier, Chevy staff car, a Willys Jeep, a M37 Dodge Power Wagon...
75 Years of Porsche Engineering Services: Cars and Panzers
On 25 April 1931 Ferdinand Porsche founded an Engineering Office. The Type 64 racing car built in 1938/39 is the original ancestor of all sports cars to follow from Porsche in the decades to come. 1939 Porsche was requested by the German Army to develop a medium-weight battle tank, but work was discontinued due to greater demand for heavier tanks. So developing the Tank 101 "Tiger", Porsche KG submitted its bid to the Army Armament for the building of a tank in the weight category above 50 tonnes. In 1942 Porsche got the assignment to build a very heavy armoured car - known as the Tank 205 "Maus", but only two prototypes were built.
Museum acquired a rare M-36 Jackson tank destroyer (Article no longer available from the original source)
Tank destroyers were meant to combat the big-gunned, heavily armored German Tigers and Panthers that "badly outclassed" the American Sherman tanks during the war. They were basically fast, lightly protected gun platforms firing shells that could penetrate the German armor. Their survival — and that of their crews — depended on speed and elusiveness, rather than heavy armor. Only about 1,500 M-36s were manufactured, and they reached the front in 1944, replacing older, smaller tank destroyers like the M-10 Wolverine and M-18 Bearcat.
Chinese tanks during World War II
A list of Chinese tanks is difficult to put together because every sort of import and seized weapon was used. Many local armor versions were set up from materials on hand. Warlords would take trucks and have metal plates bolted to the sides and a machine gun mounted on the top. At the beginning of the conflict with Japan, the Chinese had a variety of old AFV and 7000 trucks. China had 2 armored battalions that fought around Shanghai when war broke out with Japan in 1937. Almost half of China`s armor was either captured or destroyed by 1938 as out of the 96 tanks they started with, only 48 remained.