Pilot Aces in Two Wars (WWII and Korea)

There were seven US and seven Soviet combat pilots who achieved ace status in two different wars. These men developed and honed their dog fighting skills while flying piston engine fighters during WWII and then later they advanced to the next level while flying faster jet fighters over Korea. Francis S. Gabreski Francis Stanley "Gabby" … Continue reading Pilot Aces in Two Wars (WWII and Korea)

M551 Sheridan in combat 1969-91

The M551 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicle (AR/AAV) was a US light tank designed to be dropped by parachute, swim across rivers and was the last light tank employed by the US Army. It was armed with the technically advanced but problematic 152mm gun/launcher, which fired both conventional ammunition and the MGM-51 Shillelagh guided anti-tank … Continue reading M551 Sheridan in combat 1969-91

Captured Allied Planes 1940-45

The Allies strategic bombing campaign main goal was the destruction of the German industrial base and the dislocation of the civilian population. Heavy industry, aircraft production, oil and petrochemical facilities were the main targets. The Allies paid a high price where many bombers and fighters were lost to flak, enemy fighters and other circumstances. The … Continue reading Captured Allied Planes 1940-45

Allied Jet Killers 1944-45

In mid 1944, the Germans introduced jet and rocket propelled aircraft against the Allied bomber forces flying over the Germany. The allies first operational jet fighter, the British Gloster Meteor saw limited action but never encountered the German jets in aerial combat. The Allies propeller driven fighters escorting the bombers began encountering these fast bogies … Continue reading Allied Jet Killers 1944-45

US Liaison Planes WWII

Liaison planes are small lightweight, usually unarmed aircraft used for artillery observation or transporting commanders and messages. The concept was developed before WWII and also included battlefield reconnaissance, aerial ambulance, command and control, light cargo transport and other duties. With short takeoff and landing capabilities, these planes were able to operate from small, unimproved fields … Continue reading US Liaison Planes WWII

Großdeutschland Panzers 1942-45

The Panzergrenadier Division Großdeutschland was an élite German Army (Heer) combat unit which fought on the Russian front during WWII. Originally a ceremonial unit, it first became an infanterie regiment and over the course of the war expanded to become an "over sized" panzergrenadier division with its own organic panzer regiment which included Tigers and … Continue reading Großdeutschland Panzers 1942-45

British Armour 1991 Gulf War

Operation Granby, commonly abbreviated Op Granby, was the code name for the British military operations during the first Gulf War in 1991. During the ground phase, the British 1st Armoured Division took part in outflanking Iraqi forces. It participated in the Battle of Norfolk where British Challenger tanks destroyed approximately 300 Iraqi tanks and other … Continue reading British Armour 1991 Gulf War

Saipan 1944

The invasion of Saipan in the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) had been referred to as the "Pacific D-Day" because the invasion fleet departed Hawaii on 5 June 1944 (the day before Operation Overlord in Europe) and the invasion was launched 9 days later. The invasion became the most daring, and disturbing, operation in the … Continue reading Saipan 1944

Soviet Stalinets S-60/S-65 Tractors

The Soviet Union built the Stalinets S-60/S-65 tractors in the 1930s mainly for agricultural work. In June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union and the Soviets took heavy losses in troops and material. To replace their losses, the Soviet were forced to take desperate measures. Large numbers of these farm tractors were taken directly from … Continue reading Soviet Stalinets S-60/S-65 Tractors

Americans at Gazala Libya 1942

In June 1942, a small American tank detachment arrived in Libya and joined the British Eighth Army during the battle of Gazala to get experience in desert warfare under actual battlefield conditions. In combat, they destroyed a number of panzers. Time Magazine recorded this unit as being the first Americans to engage German ground forces … Continue reading Americans at Gazala Libya 1942

Czechoslovakia 1945 and 1968

During the 20th century, Czechoslovakia experienced two invasions by the Soviet Union. The first was in the spring of 1945 when the Soviet Union liberated Czechoslovakia from fascist Germany. The second was 23 years later in August 1968 when the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries "liberated" Czechoslovakia to stop the democratization of the … Continue reading Czechoslovakia 1945 and 1968

Ferdinands/Elefants on the Eastern Front

The Ferdinand Sd.Kfz.184 was a 70 ton panzerjäger (tank hunter) armed with a 88mm Pak 43/2 L/71 main gun and used by the Germans during WWII.    Its combat debut was during Operation Citadel (German: Unternehmen Zitadelle, AKA the Battle of Kursk) in July 1943 where it was misused as a direct assault weapon and suffered … Continue reading Ferdinands/Elefants on the Eastern Front

Bologna 1945

During the winter of 1944-45, the Italian campaign was a stalemate due to the winter weather.    The country was sodden from winter rains and the mud made armored operations impossible.    The Allies spent the winter in highly inhospitable conditions.    Bologna is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy and is … Continue reading Bologna 1945

Bouncing Bombs, Dam Busters

Since the outbreak of WWII, hydro-electric dams were considered one of the many important strategic bombing targets in Germany.    By 1942, they were heavily protected by flak guns and torpedo nets and the Allies Air Forces had no effective means of destroying them.    The existing bombs and bombing methods at the time would had little … Continue reading Bouncing Bombs, Dam Busters

US 767 Tank Battalion Pacific 1944

In 1944, the 767th Tank Battalion supported the US 7th Infantry Division during two campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO).    This battalion was the first unit to employ the M10 Tank Destroyer in combat in the PTO on Kwajalein Island and later participated in the Leyte invasion landing on the most southern beaches … Continue reading US 767 Tank Battalion Pacific 1944

Régiment Blindé de Fusiliers-Marins

The Régiment Blindé de Fusiliers-Marins (RBFM) was an unique French unit formed during WWII.    A group of French sailors (whose ships were either immobilized or destroyed) interned in Britain volunteered and formed an infantry battalion fought the Axis forces along side the US troops in French North Africa.    Later the battalion was transformed into a … Continue reading Régiment Blindé de Fusiliers-Marins

Chinese-American 1st Provisional Tank Group

The Chinese-American 1st Provisional Tank Group (1st PTG) was a joint US and Nationalist Chinese unit formed during WWII.   This lesser known unit gain little recognition while fighting in the China-Burma-India theater (CBI).   While the USAAC was flying critical supplies from India to China over the 'hump', the 1st PTG supported the allies effort to reopen … Continue reading Chinese-American 1st Provisional Tank Group

Panzer-Kompanie Mielke

On 17 September 1944, Operation Market Garden surprised the Germans when Allied airborne troops dropped behind the front lines around Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem.  Although scattered elements of the SS 9th "Hohenstaufen" and SS 10th "Frundsberg" Panzer-Divisions were around Arnhem at the time, the Germans still had to rush all available armour units to counter … Continue reading Panzer-Kompanie Mielke

URAL 4320 Broom

A field modification made by Александр Михайлович Метла (Alexander Mikhailovich Metla, "Metla" is "broom" in Russian) for the Soviet VDV airborne forces in Afghanistan in 1987 to protect convoys moving through valleys and ravines which were exposed to attacks by Mujahideen rebels.  The modification mounted a section of a BRDM-2 armored car with the turret mounting … Continue reading URAL 4320 Broom

US 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment 2003

The US 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR), the "Brave Rifles" was formed on 19 May 1846 and under different names fought in 11 major conflicts: Indian Wars, Mexican–American War, American Civil War, Spanish–American War, Philippine–American War, World War I, World War II, Desert Shield/Storm, SFOR in Bosnia, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in … Continue reading US 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment 2003