Universal Carrier

The Universal Carrier, also known as the Bren Gun Carrier is a common name describing a family of light armoured tracked vehicles built by Vickers-Armstrong.

Produced between 1934 and 1960, the vehicle was used widely by Allied forces during the Second World War. Universal Carriers were usually used for transporting personnel and equipment, mostly support weapons, or as machine gun platforms. With some 113,000 built in the United Kingdom and abroad, it was the most numerous armoured fighting vehicle in history.

This carrier was on display at the Bovington Tank Museum.

Universal Carrier

This carrier was part of the Imperial War Museum Duxford Land Warfare Exhibit.

Universal Carrier

SU-100

The SU-100 was a Soviet tank destroyer armed with a 100 mm anti-tank gun in a casemate superstructure. This is one on display at the Imperial war museum in Duxford.

SU-100

The SU-100 was used extensively during the last year of World War II and saw service for many years afterwards with the armies of Soviet allies around the world. It is still in active service today in many countries.

Reading the Hot War books from Harry Turtledove has inspired me to think about gaming some scenarios from the books. British Comets and Centurions versus T34-85 and T54 Soviet tanks, along with tank destroyers such as the Su-100. In the book there are also Sherman tanks manned by (West) German forces.

Battlefront make a very nice plastic 15mm version of the SU-100.

Flames of War 15mm SU-100

IS-2M

This huge IS-2M is on display at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.

IS-2M

The IS-2 tank first saw combat in early 1944, equipping elite Guards Heavy Tank Regiments of the Red Army. A regiment had 21 IS-2 tanks in four companies of five tanks each and one being used by the regimental commander.The special tank regiments were reserved for important attacks, often to spearhead attempts to break through fortified German positions like anti-tank defence lines and bunkers. The tanks supporting infantry in the assault by destroying bunkers, buildings, dug-in weapons and engaging German armoured vehicles. Once a breakthrough was achieved, lighter and more mobile tanks were used for exploitation and mopping-up. The IS-2 tank first saw action in Ukraine in early 1944 and claimed to have destroyed more than forty Tigers and Elefants for the loss of only eight tanks. While the German heavy tanks could knock out the IS-2, they had no real answer to its 122 mm gun, which easily outgunned them.

The IS-2M is a 1950s modernization of IS-2 tanks.

IS-2M

Reading the Hot War books from Harry Turtledove has inspired me to think about gaming some scenarios from the books. British Comets and Centurions versus Soviet tanks, such as the IS-2 or the IS-3. In the book there are also Sherman tanks manned by (West) German forces.

Daimler Armoured Cars

The Daimler Armoured Car was a successful British armoured car design of the Second World War that continued in service into the 1950s. It was designed for armed reconnaissance and liaison purposes. During the postwar era, it doubled as an internal security vehicle in a number of countries.

When the British Daimler Company took over BSA in 1939 they inherited two superb armoured vehicle designs. One was the famous Dingo scout car, which was already in production, the other this armoured car, which was still in the design stage.

This car was on display at Duxford.

Daimler Mark I Armoured Car

The car at Duxford has mismatching chassis and turret numbers and was built using parts obtained from range wrecks in the late 1970s.

There is also a Daimler Mark II Armoured Car at the Bovington Tank Museum.

Daimler Mark II Armoured Car

The Tank Museum’s example is a Mark II. It is painted in the markings of a unit that served in the successful counter insurgency operations against communist terrorists in Malaya in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The multi-barrel smoke grenade launchers fitted to the turret were a post-war modification.

Movie Tiger

In one of the displays at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford is a “Tiger” tank hiding in the ruins of a building.

"Tiger" Tank

I say “Tiger” as this is no Tiger Tank, this is a fake Tiger Tank.

"Tiger" Tank

It’s one of two tanks made for the film, Saving Private Ryan. They are based on the chassis of the T-34 with a new superstructure and a new turret. The wheel arrangements are obviously not like a real Tiger tank, but as they have hidden it in a building, you could be mistaken…

Loyd Carrier MkII

The Loyd Carrier was one of a number of small tracked vehicles used by the British and Commonwealth forces in the Second World War to transport equipment and men about the battlefield. Alongside the Bren, Scout and Machine Gun Carriers, they also moved infantry support weapons.

This Loyd Carrier MkII was part of the Land Warfare Exhibit at Duxford.

Loyd Carrier MkII

British World War Two tracked armoured universal carrier, unarmed, crew of 1 with capacity for up to 8 personnel or similar load, powered by Ford 8-cylinder Vee petrol engine.

Albion CX22S Heavy Artillery Tractor

This is the Albion CX22 Heavy Artillery Tractor in the Land Warfare Exhibit at Duxford.

Albion CX22 Heavy Artillery Tractor

British WW2 6×4 heavy artillery tractor, crew of 1 and capacity for 6 gun crew with stowage for ammunition, powered by Albion EN244 6-cylinder diesel engine.

Albion CX22S Heavy Artillery Tractor

The Albion CX22S was designed and built by Albion Motors in late 1943 to supplement the Scammell Pioneer heavy artillery tractor, which was not available in sufficient numbers. In service the CX22S was used by the British Army to tow the 155mm Long Tom and the BL 7.2-inch howitzer.

 

T-34-85 Soviet Medium Tank

The T-34-85 was a Soviet WW2 medium tank, crew of 5, powered by 12-cylinder diesel engine, armed with 85mm gun and two machine guns.

T-34/85 Soviet Medium Tank

It went not be used well beyond the second world war in major conflicts across the world, and I still in service today.

The T-34, a Soviet medium tank, had a profound and lasting effect on the field of tank design. At its introduction in 1940, the T-34 possessed an unprecedented combination of firepower, mobility, protection and ruggedness. Its 76.2 mm (3 in) high-velocity tank gun provided a substantial increase in firepower over any of its contemporaries while its well-sloped armour was difficult to penetrate by most contemporary anti-tank weapons.

A project to develop a new tank following the introduction of improved German Panzer IVs with the high-velocity 75 mm gun, was started by the Soviet Union. The T-43 was  designed to have improved armour, better suspension and a bigger gun. However it was decided that manufacturing a new tank would cause a significant slow-down in production so it was cancelled.

However the T-43 turret was then modified to fit the T-34 and was armed with a new 85mm gun. The T-34-85 was a compromise between those in the Soviet Union who wanted to build as many 76mm armed T34s and those who wanted to build the new T-43 tank.

The T-34-85 gave the Red Army a tank with better armour and mobility than the German Panzer IV tank and StuG III assault gun. While it could not match the armour or weapons of the heavier Panther and Tiger tanks, its improved firepower made it much more effective than earlier models.

The development of the T-34-85 led directly to the T-54 and T-55 series of tanks, which in turn evolved into the later T-62, T-72, and T-90 that form the armoured core of many modern armies.

This T-34-85 was on display at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, and they even put Tank Riders on the back.

T-34/85 Soviet Medium Tank

Reading the Hot War books from Harry Turtledove has inspired me to think about gaming some scenarios from the books. British Comets and Centurions versus T34-85 and T54 Soviet tanks, along with American M26 Pershing and M48 Patton tanks. In the book there are also Sherman tanks manned by (West) German forces.

OM Autocarretta 37

The OM Autocarretta 37 was an Italian WW2 4×4 4-wheel steer light artillery tractor designed for use over harsh terrain, capacity for driver and 1 passenger.

This was on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

OM Autocarretta 37

The OM Autocarretta 37 entered service with the Italian Royal Army in 1938, they were widely used throughout the second world war, especially on the Russian front and in the Balkans

British BL 7.2 inch Howitzer on an US Long Tom gun carriage

British BL 7.2 inch Howitzer on an US Long Tom gun carriage in the Land War Exhibit at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

British BL 7.2 inch Howitzer on an US Long Tom gun carriage

The BL 7.2-inch howitzer was a heavy artillery piece used by the British Army throughout the Second World War.

The usual gun tractor for the 7.2-inch howitzer in the early war years was the Scammell Pioneer, although this was never available in sufficient numbers and from late 1943 the Pioneer was supplemented by the Albion CX22S.