Friday, May 26, 2017

LK I - the Leichter Kampfwagen

The German A7V had obvious flaws when it entered service. It had poor off-road mobility, it required an absurd number of crew, and it was so large that its armor couldn't be properly hardened with the equipment available to Germany. Joseph Vollmer began designing a light tank, called the "light combat car" (Leichter Kampfwagen).

Monday, May 22, 2017

Motorcycles of the Great War

One of the vehicles used heavily in the First World War was the motorcycle, which was a replacement for the horse for scouts and couriers. American soldiers used Indian and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, which produced around 15 horsepower and had 2.5 gallon fuel tanks.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The tank that wasn't - the Saint-Chamond

The Saint-Chamond was France's second vehicle considered to be a tank, though to modern eyes it's closer to a self-propelled gun. With a long 75mm in a fixed-forward mount, it bears even less resemblance to a modern tank than the British rhomboidal tanks.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Hauling freight - the Standard B Liberty Truck

In 1911, an article was published in the Infantry Journal urging the U.S. Army to mechanize and replace horse-drawn wagons with trucks. The Army's response was that they already had 12 trucks, and that was quite enough. Of the twelve, three were at the quartermaster depot in San Francisco, one at Fort Sam Houston (Texas), one at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and seven in the Philippines.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The first tankette - Ford 3-Ton M1918

As the United States tooled up for production of the licensed version of the Renault FT, they also decided they wanted a lighter, cheaper vehicle as well.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Medium Mark B

The Medium Mark B was the result of Sir William Tritton, one of the designers of the Mark I, not including the other lead designer, Lt. Walter Wilson, in the development of the Medium Mark A. When it was felt that the Mark A was underpowered, Wilson, now a Major, began developing a replacement, the Medium Mark B. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the prototype wasn't completed until September 1918, it never had serious production - only 102 were built, and only 45 of those entered service.

Friday, February 10, 2017

War Truckin' - the Putilov-Garford Armored Truck

While the most enduring image of the Western Front is trench warfare, the Eastern Front was more open. Armored cars delivered valuable service. One of the more eye-catching ones is the Russian Putilov-Garford, built by the Russian Putilov factory on an American Garford truck body.