Friday, September 25, 2015

Walkaround vol.19: M4 Sherman cast hull with HVSS

Subject: M4 Sherman tank with cast hull and Horizontal volute spring suspension (HVSS)
Location: Musée des Blindés, Saumur, France, 2015
Comments: When the Sherman Tank was initially created, it was designed around US theory about how medium tanks, and full-track armored vehicles in general, should be utilized on the battlefield. In US doctrine, the medium tank's job was to assist infantry in the assault and provide a base of fire to fight from. Taking on enemy tanks were the job of purpose-built tank destroyers. The UK, which was a major user of the Sherman, differed in doctrine - tanks were expected to engage enemy tanks.The wide array of special duties that a tank could be used for were just being explored by armies around the world in the early 1940s. Theories of what vehicles were supposed to be engaging enemy tanks changed as vehicles like the Shermans often found themselves up against enemy armor, and consequently some of the most important initial changes centered around upgunning the basic vehicle. Improving the vehicles mobility, protection, and creating specific variants for infantry support roles soon followed. Similar modification of the main armament would be done by the British who received a number of Shermans during the course of the war. Turning earlier variants of the Sherman into Armored Personnel Carriers or "Kangaroos" was also common, as was turning them into recovery vehicles. This tank displays the cast hull of a M4A1, but is up gunned with a 76mm cannon and the later suspension, the Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension that offered a more confortable ride o the crew. It was designated M4A1E8 or M4A1(76)W HVSS.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Weapons walkaround vol.8: V2

Subjecy: V2
Location: Deutches Museum, Munich, Germany, 2012; Museum of science and technology, London, Great Britain, 2013; RAF Museum, London, Great Britain, 2013; USAF Museum, Dayton, Ohio, USA 2014,
Comments: The V-2 (German: Vergeltungswaffe 2, "Retribution Weapon 2"), technical name Aggregat-4 (A4), was the world's first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile with liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a "vengeance weapon", designed to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket was also the first man-made object to cross the boundary of spaceBeginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched by the German Wehrmacht against Allied targets during the war, firstly London and later Antwerp and Liège. According to a 2011 BBC documentary, the attacks resulted in the deaths of an estimated 9,000 civilians and military personnel, while 12,000 forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners were killed producing the weapons. As Germany collapsed, teams from the Allied forces—the U.S., Great Britain and the Soviet Union—raced to capture key German manufacturing sites and examples of German guided missiles, rocket and jet powered aircraft. Wernher von Braun and over 100 key V-2 personnel surrendered to the Americans. Through a lengthy sequence of events, a significant portion of the original V-2 team ended up working for theUS Army at the Redstone Arsenal. The US also captured enough V-2 hardware to build approximately 80 of the missiles. The Soviets gained possession of the V-2 manufacturing facilities after the war and proceeded to re-establish V-2 production and move it to the Soviet Union. The Redstone team, led by von Braun, was transferred to NASA on its formation in October 1958. For NASA this new Marshall Spaceflight Center (MSFC) helped design a series of booster rockets in the Saturn family. (ref: wikipedia)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Aircraft walkaround vol.53: Gloster Meteor F4

Subject: Gloster Meteor F4
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2015.
Comments: The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' only operational jet aircraft during the Second World War. The Meteor's development was heavily reliant on its ground-breaking turbojet engines, pioneered by Sir Frank Whittle and his company, Power Jets Ltd. Development of the aircraft itself began in 1940, although work on the engines had been under way since 1936. The Meteor first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with No. 616 Squadron RAF. Nicknamed the "Meatbox", the Meteor was not a sophisticated aircraft in its aerodynamics, but proved to be a successful combat fighter. The F4 version was powered by Derwent 5 engines with strengthened fuselage of witch 489 were built by Glosters and 46 by Armstrong Whitworth for the Royal Air Force. The F.4 was also exported to Argentina (50 aircraft), Belgium (48 aircraft), Denmark (20 aircraft), Egypt (12 aircraft) and the Netherlands (38 aircraft). (Ref.: Wikipedia)