Wednesday 29 September 2021

Video: Hetzer in Action

The Jagdpanzer 38(t) "Hetzer" tank destroyer at the Ontario Regiment Museum has been under restoration for the past several years. This year, the museum crew put the finishing touches on this vehicle and it was finally able to take part in the Aquino Tank Weekend event. Like many Hetzers in museums today, this is a post-war G-13, but thanks to a thorough restoration process it is nearly indistinguishable from the real deal.

Monday 27 September 2021

Armoured Confusion: Victorious '45

There are many misconceptions about the use of tanks in 1945, same as any other period of the Great Patriotic War. These myths muddle the characteristics of tanks, their application, and sometimes even introduce tanks that were not there at all. The final chapter in the series dedicated to myths on Soviet armour in the Great Patriotic War is dedicated to this period.

Friday 24 September 2021

Aquino Tank Weekend 2021

Aquino Tank Weekend at the Ontario Regiment Museum is back, and with it another fresh set of reenactments. This year's was a little bit different than before, featuring a newcomer: the Red Army with a T-34-85 tank!

Wednesday 22 September 2021

Repair Crews

 "Order of the People's Commissar of Tank Production of the USSR #438s
June 6th, 1942

For rapid repairs of hulls and turrets of T-34 tanks in front line conditions, I order that:

  1. A repair base must be organized at the factory #37 branch in Moscow.
  2. Acting Chief of the 3rd Directorate of the NKTP comrade Habahapashev must provide for technical repair organizations and ensure timely repairs according to requirements from the front and from the BTU.

Monday 20 September 2021

Long Living IS

Production of the IS-2 ended in June of 1945. The IS-3 replaced it in production. The IS-3 was supposed to replace it in service as well, and many considered the IS-3 to be a temporary tank as well. However, plans and reality are often different. Like its successor, the IS-2 stuck around for decades after the end of its production, undergoing two waves of modernization, which will be covered in this article.

Friday 17 September 2021

IS-4 Green Light

"State Committee of Defense Decree #5583ss
Moscow, Kremlin
April 8th, 1944

On production of experimental prototypes of a new heavy tank at the Kirov factory of the NKTP

The State Committee of Defense decrees that:

  1. The NKTP is permitted to produce two prototypes of a new heavy tank and one hull at the Kirov factory in April of 1944 and conduct trials of the tanks and penetration trials of the hull jointly with the GBTU.

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Video: Sherman Tanks of the Red Army Q&A

A few months ago, I did an AMA on Reddit dedicated to my new book, Sherman Tanks of the Red Army. Some questions came up repeatedly, so I decided to make a video about them. Enjoy!

Monday 13 September 2021

Armoured Confusion: Mid-war

The history of Soviet wartime armoured vehicles bore several misconceptions. There are many reasons for this. A number of myths came from a lack of information. Sometimes historians' own guesses that had little to do with reality were interpreted as fact. Unfortunately, the authors of some myths are still considered experts to this day and these exercises in fiction are still cited as fact. Initially the author planned on two articles dedicated to misconceptions about the Great Patriotic War, but there were too many misconceptions for 1942-1943, and so the second article won't be the last.

Friday 10 September 2021

Warspot Article: Shermans at Kursk

 The M4A2 tanks began arriving in the USSR in late 1942, but for various reasons they did not see action until the summer of 1943. The Battle of Kursk was one of the first major engagements these tanks were used in. Read how well they did in my latest article on Warspot.

Wednesday 8 September 2021

85 mm for Dummies

 Death to German occupants!

Areas of


vulnerable to the 85 mm gun

Directorate of the Commander of the Armoured and Mechanized Forces of the Red Army
Military publisher of the USSR NKO, Moscow, 1944

Monday 6 September 2021

Soviet Camo that Came Too Late

The appearance of tanks on the battlefield in September of 1916 quickly forced many to reconsider some preconceived notions about their use. The first to make changes were the British, who pioneered the concept on the battlefield. The pair of wheels that aided in turning the tank was quickly dropped. There were two other important changes: one was the use of fascines and logs for crossing obstacles, the second was camouflage. WWI marked a turning point in the use of camouflage. Previously uniforms were bright and colourful, but now being hidden was very important. Camouflage was used in uniforms, artillery, and military vehicles. This did not mean that camouflage would entirely displace single tone paint schemes, but tanks were repainted soon after they were involved in their first battles. The use of camouflage decreased after the end of WWI. Most major tank building nations dropped the idea of widespread camouflage, with the exception of the French, who kept on using it. The Germans also returned to three colour camo in the late 1920s. A second wave of camouflage swept through all nations in the mid-1930s. Some tanks remained in camouflage at the start of WWII, but the Germans dropped it, moving from Feldgrau Nr.3 (don't be misled, this is actually a shade of olive green) and then black-gray RAL 70121 as the base coat.

A T-28 tank with three colour camouflage developed for the Middle Asian Military District, summer of 1939.

Friday 3 September 2021

New Gun for the KV-2

 "To the Director of the Kirov Factory, comrade Zaltsman
CC: Chief of the GABTU, Lieutenant General of the Tank Forces, comrade Fedorenko
CC: Chief of the GAU, Colonel General of Artillery, comrade Yakovlev

Following government decree, we produced two experimental prototypes of 107 mm ZIS-6 tank guns and began mass production. According to the decree, we installed one of the two prototypes into a KV-2 tank and conducted trials, the second prototype is to be installed in a KV-3 tank.

Due to a delay in the mass production of the KV-3, we propose installing ZIS-6 guns into the KV-2 tank.

In order to reduce the time spent on developing the mount, we send out blueprints for the frame and mantlet developed by our factory for the ZIS-6 prototype.

Attachments: blueprints and specifications on 4 pages (only on the copy sent to the Kirov factory).

Factory Director Elyan
Chief Designer Grabin

July 22nd, 1941"

Via Padikovo Museum.

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Arty Intel

 "To the Chairman of the GAU Artillery Committee, Major General of Artillery, comrade Hohlov

There are three captured weapons at army trophy warehouse #2375 (Budka Chichakovo railroad junction) belonging to the 31st Army that are of interest for study at the Artillery Committee, namely:

  1. A 57 mm anti-tank gun with a conical barrel, presumably designed according to the Gerlich principle. The barrel length is 65 calibers. The gun has a muzzle brake and split trails.