Wednesday, 24 August 2016

French Char B1 Heavy Tank

French Char B-1 heavy tank with crew, date unknown, found at:
In 1940 the French actually outnumbered the Germans with it's tanks (over 3,000 compared to Germans over 2,000), but the Germans were more adept at using them than other armies. The Blitzkrieg tactics were very successful, Germany occupying most of Europe by June 1940.
The French Char B1 served with armored divisions of the French infantry, during the Battle Of France most Char B1's were put out of action by aerial bombing or anti-tank guns. Against the German panzers the Char B1 was superior, having a 75mm cannon and thick armour. At Sonne, a Captain Pierre Billotte attacked and destroyed 13 Panzer MK III & MK IV's. His Char B1 was hit 140 times, but not knocked out. This is an incredible story, how I haven't heard about it before now must only be because war historians dismiss the French army in the early part of the war due to their swift capitulation? After the fall of France, Pierre Billotte was imprisoned by the Germans, then escaped to join the French Resistance.  For more information on this event please go here:

Pierre Billotte

Char B1 bis specifications

Dimensions (l-w-h)6.37 x 2.46 x 2.79 m (20.8 x 8.07 x 9.15 ft)
Total weight, battle ready28 tons (56,000 lbs)
Crew4 (driver, main gunner, sec. gunner, commander)
PropulsionRenault 6-cyl inline, 16.5 l, 272 bhp
Speed (road/off road)28/21 km/h (17/13 mph)
Range (road/off road)-fuel200 km (120 mi)-400 l
ArmamentMain: 75 mm (2.95 in) ABS SA35 Howitzer (hull)
Secondary: 47 mm (1.85 in) SA 35 AT gun (turret)
Secondary: Reibel 7.5 mm (0.295 in) howitzer
Maximum armour60 mm (2.36 in)
Total production781

Wednesday, 30 March 2016


Otto Skorzeny, infamous in the Second World War for rescuing Benito Mussolini in 1942 from a mountain top hotel, and training German soldiers to cause chaos behind Allied lines in December 1944 in the Ardennes, was today confirmed as being a Mossad agent and assassin. 

Otto Skorzeny in uniform, #ww2.
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Skorzeny was recruited by Mossad after he escaped to Spain dressed in U.S army uniform. He was recruited by German rocket scientist Otto Krug as a boyguard after Adolph Eichmann had ben kidnapped and taken to Israel for trial. It is alleged that Skorzeny drove Krug to woods outside Munich, shot him and destroyed the body with acid. You can read more about it here:

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Armoured Vehicles In World War 2 #WW2

OK, after much deliberation I have decided to blog about armoured vehicles used in the Second World War, Axis & Allied. I am starting with the Mk I Infantry tank, better known as the Matilda.
MK I Infantry Tank found at:

Infantry tanks in the mid 1930's were not required to attain any decent speed, as their name suggests they were primarily used as infantry support weapons. One advantage of this was that they had heavier armour than faster tanks. They were used in the Battle of France, MK 2 Matilda's proving better, any surviving MK I tanks were destroyed before the BEF evacuated in May-June 1940. One major problem of the MK I was the vulnerability of the tracks which were too exposed.

Matilda Mk.I specifications
Dimensions 4.85 x 2.28 x 1.86 m (15.91×7.48×6.1 ft)
Total weight, battle ready 11 tons
Crew 2
Propulsion Ford V8 petrol
70 bhp at 3500 rpm
Speed 8 mph (13 km/h)
Range 80 mi (130 km)
Armament 0.303 or 0.5 in (7.7 or 12.7 mm) heavy machine-gun
Armor From 10 to 60 mm (0.39-2.36 in)
Total production 140 in 1938-1939

Sunday, 31 January 2016

2016 - What To Do?

I am looking for ideas as to what to blog about in 2016 - any suggestions welcome, I need a break from #WW2.