Tank-Corps

July 29, 1917 - British Tank Corps Established

Pictured - The Tank Corps cap badge.

Tanks never became a war-winning weapon in World War One, but they did become a staple of Allied offensives in mid-1917 and 1918. After their first use at the Battle of the Somme tanks were attached to the Machine Gun Corps as the Heavy Branch. But as more were pumped out of British factories, it was clear that armor should be consolidated into its own set of battalions.  The BEF did that by creating the Tank Corps on July 29, 1917.

The Tank Corps was to get its first taste of action at the Third Battle of Ypres the next month. The boggy Belgian ground, however, made terrible terrain for tanks, and added to the already considerable discomforts of being a primitive tanker.

Corporal A.E. Lee wrote about an attack on a German position:

“When we got to the furthest point of this little valley, one of our tracks broke through the soft ground and we went down into a deep hole. It was impossible to move the tank because she was lurched right over on to her side, one gun pointing to the earth and the other pointing to the sky. We were helpless.”

Private J.L. Addy’s description of the inside of a tank showed how the actual fighting was only part of what a tank crew (an officer, three drivers, and four gunners) experienced:

“When you’re enclosed in a tank and there’s so much racket, you don’t know whether it’s shells that’s hitting you or what you’re doing. The noise of the engine was tremendous, and we had to stand by with a pyrene fire-extinguisher and get ready to shoot it at the engine if it got too hot, because we had twenty gallons of petrol on either side of the tank and all round the sides were packs of ammunition.”

10

Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor, Fort Knox, Part 1

Although famous for its Bullion Depository, Fort Knox is in fact one of the largest military installations in America and houses about 30,000 military personnel. It is the U.S. Army’s Armor Center.
During the Second World War a number of armored vehicles and guns captured by the Third US Army were sent to Fort Knox for study and evaluation. After the war these vehicles aroused public interest and were collected together, along with various pre-war Allied vehicles as the “Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor”

1 & 2) M24 Chaffee.  American light tank of WWII which replaced the M3 and M5. Much more heavily armed than its predecessors, the M24 would serve in Korea and Vietnam, and can still be found in some militaries today. Originally lend-leased to France, this M24 saw service in Algeria with the 12e Regiment Chasseurs d’Afrique during the Algerian War

3) M48A2C Patton. American medium tank for the Cold War period, which succeeded the M47 Patton. The M48 Patton was in U.S. service until replaced by the M60 and served as the U.S. Army and Marine Corps’s primary battle tank in South Vietnam during Vietnam. Although largely resembling the M47, the M48 was a completely new design. It was the last U.S. tank to mount the 90 mm tank gun. This M48 was acquired from the Army in 1972 and is painted in the markings of the M48 Sgt. Gary Herschberger commanded on 25 November, 1969, when he was killed. Sgt. Herschberger received the Second Oak Leaf Cluster to the Silver Star for his actions that day.

4 to 6) Pzfpw III Ausf. F. German medium tank of WWII that saw extensive service throughout the war. It was intended to fight other tanks and serve alongside and support the Pzkpfw IVl; however when the Pzkpfw IV was redesigned to mount the long-barreled 7.5cm Kwk 40 gun, the Pzkpfw III effectively became obsolete in this role. This is an Ausf F, fitted with an Ausf G turret that has been rearmed with the long-barrelled 5cm L/60 gun of the later production Ausf J. It is believed to have been captured by the Third US Army from the 116th Panzer Division in Normandy during World War II.

7 & 8) StuG III Ausf. G. German assault gun and tank destroyer of WWII.  The StuG III was Germany’s most-produced AFV during WWII. It was built on the chassis of the Pzkpfw III, replacing the turret with a fixed superstructure mounting a more powerful gun. Initially intended as a mobile, armored light gun for direct-fire support for infantry, the StuG III was continually modified, and was widely employed as a tank destroyer. The Ausf G. variant increased the vehicles height, added side skirt spaced armor and an additional 80mm of armor welded to the front. This StuG was probably captured along with the Pzkpfw III above.

9) M2A1. American light tank of the interwar period. It saw limited use during WWII and was developed into the M3 Stuart. Its only combat use in American units was with the US Marine Corps 1st Tank Battalion during the Pacific War in 1942 and in the M2A4 format. The M2A1 is the initial production type with single fixed turret containing one .50 cal machine gun. Only 17 units were produced.  This tank was acquired from the Army in May 1965 and has a painted tube in place of its main armament.

10) M26 Pershing. American heavy tank of WWII, which saw limited service at the end of the war. The genesis of the Patton line. While terrifically armed and armored for its time, it was withdrawn in 1951 in favor of its improved derivative, the M46 Patton, which had a considerably more powerful and reliable engine as well as an advanced and improved suspension to better meet the demands of the specific terrain it operated in. The tiger face painted on the glacis harks back to a similar practice during the Korean War.

Battle traffic seen at Grevillers on 25 August 1918, following the village’s capture by the British 37th Division and the New Zealand Division at the start of the Hundred Days Offensive, a few days earlier. Mark V tanks of the 10th Battalion the Tank Corps and British and New Zealand infantry going forward. Also seen are captured German 4.2 inch guns etc.

5

“The Great Patriotic War”

The average tank T-34-85. Berlin, April 1945.

The first digit in the room 3 313 points to belong to the 56th Guards Tank Brigade, the two rings are tactical identification mark of the 7th Guards Tank Corps, the 3rd Guards Tank Army

9

The tanks of the composition of the 1st guards mechanized corps first broke into VisualAge in the area of assistant driver
Layout of ammunition
Test gradients
Track rollers 
Wrecked M4A2 76 mm at the grave of major I. E. Lagutin, the commander of a tank battalion of the 116th tank brigade. Konitz (Chennai), 1945
The tanks of the composition of the 1st guards mechanized corps first broke into the vein
Machines of the 9-th mechanized corps are in Brno, spring 1945

Tank from the composition of the 219-th guards tank brigade, 1st mechanized corps. On Board characteristic 1 MK tactical sign. Berlin, April 1945

M4A2(76)W in China, August 1945. American tanks took the most active part in the defeat of the Kwantung army