Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Panzer Aces No.23

The tank had a weight of 14 tons and was powered by two petrol engines placed in a forward compartment. Its on-road maximum speed was of 13.5 Km/h and 9 Km/h cross-country. The armament consisted of four Hotchkiss 7,92 machineguns. placed in the four sides of the turret, each covering one direction. Whippets were assigned to three brigades, specifically to the 3rd and 6th battalions of each brigade. The tank saw action for the first time in March. 1918 in the Battle of Amiens, having an outstanding performance. Some Whippets were sent to Ire and after the Armistice as part of the British occupation forces. Seventeen units were also sent to the post-Czar Russia to help the white Russians in their civil war. The red army captured twelve, using them until the thirties. They fitted at least one vehicle with a French 37 mm Puteaux gun. Russians called them "Tyeilor" as a misnomer, assuming the name of the engine was "Taylor" instead of "Tylor".

Panzer Aces No.22

The Autoblinda AB 41 was developed in 1939 to mitigate those needs and supply the Regio Esercito and Polizia Colonial with an armoured vehicle that was to be deployed in their new north African colonies. The Ansaldo Fossati company was chosen for the construction of the armoured body and the turret, while the mechanical section and chassis was made by Fiat-SPA. The first two prototypes were shown to the Duce and his High Command on May the 15th, 1939 in Rome's Mechanization Studies Center. After satisfactory results in the testing period, the first production vehicles were ordered with the official title of AB 40. The first units were built in march. 1941. having twin machineguns mounted on the turret. In a later version. titled AB 41, the turret was replaced by the same one mounted in the L 6/40 light tank. The Autoblinda AB 41 was a fast, light and highly manoeuvrable car with a maximum on-road speed of 76 Kph and 40 kph cross-country.

Panzer Aces No.21

After closely examining captured T-34 tanks, the Heereswaffenamt (German Army Ordnance Department) requested both MAN and Daimler Benz to design a tank weighing no heavier than 35 tons, with sloped armour, a powerful main gun, and with large wheels carrying wide tracks to provide a stable and manoeuvrable vehicle. In short, they were requesting an improved version of the T-34. In fact, two other companies, Henschel and Porsche, had been investigating the matter as early as 1937 and. even though no significant advances had been made, some of the experiences gained were applied to the MAN and Daimler Benz projects. By the spring of 1942. two prototypes were ready. Testing of these resulted in the MAN version being chosen for immediate production with the addition of a Rheinmettal-designed turret, allowing Daimler to participate in the manufacturing process. The new battle tank was officially titled Panzerkampfwagen V Panther (Sd.Kfz. 171), having a classic configuration with the driving compartment in the front, a central fighting compartment and a rear-mounted engine.

Panzer Aces No.20

I am fortunate because I know many military historians and specialists who have interesting stories to relate. By far the best of them is Mirko Bayerl and the following model is a direct result of the stories written by Mirko and posted on the Internet. My idea was to represent a battle-damaged Panzer IV during the fighting in Hungary in the final throes of the Second World War. I am taken aback by the images and stories emanating from this theatre of operations. I was especially drawn to the idea of representing a white vehicle but with the paint partially washed off. So, with this goal in mind, I began my quest for a project that would fit the idea. It was at this point that my friend Mirko once again became my guide, as he is an authority on all aspects of the bat-t es that took p!ace in, and around Hungary. The result is a mode of a tank manufactured in September 1944 and was assigned to the famous, or infamous SS 'Wiking' Division.