The Soviet/Russian ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft mounting

By the mid-1950s, it was clear that the days of the ZSU-57-2 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun mounting were numbered in terms of the system’s operational capability. For all the destructive effect of its large projectiles, the S-68 cannon possessed too low a rate of fire; the poor rates of traverse and elevation made it all but …

The US M16 self-propelled anti-aircraft mounting

The M45 quadruple machine gun mounting was a weapon mounting with four 0.5-in (12.7-mm) Colt-Browning M2HB (heavy barrel) L/90 heavy machine guns in the form of M2 Turret Type weapons mounted in vertical pairs on each side of the gunner’s electrically open cab. The M45 was developed by the W. L. Maxson Corporation in 1942 …

The German ‘Wirbelwind’ self-propelled anti-aircraft gun

Despite developing Blitzkrieg tactics, the Germans were as slow as the other early WWII powers in developing self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery. This stemmed in part from the German leadership and armaments industry’s primary concern with the development and manufacture of offensive weapons. Yet it was also a result of their belief that their breakthrough forces could …

The anti-aircraft cruiser – the British ‘Dido’ class

The ‘Dido’ class of British light anti-aircraft cruisers comprised 11 ships (three built by Cammell Laird, two by Scotts, two by Hawthorn Leslie, and single ships by Fairfield, Stephen, Chatham Dockyard and Portsmouth Dockyard), and there were also five generally similar ships of the ‘Bellona’ class, sometimes considered a sub-class of the ‘Dido’ class. The …

The anti-aircraft cruiser – the US ‘Atlanta’ class

While the ‘Worcester’ class ships with 6-in (152.4-mm) guns can be considered the heavyweights of the anti-aircraft cruiser, they were too late for service in World War II and built only in small numbers. The ‘Atlanta’ class ships with 5-in (127-mm) guns were the middleweights of the type, saw widespread service in World War II …

The anti-aircraft cruiser – the US ‘Worcester’ class

The world’s first powered, sustained and controlled aeroplane flight had been made only in 1903 by the Wright brothers. Furthermore, technical developments were made only slowly up to the start of World War I (1914/18),where many pioneers foresaw the emergence of the aeroplane as a weapon. The potential of the aeroplane as a war machine was …

The Soviet IS Series (Part 2)

There were two different Soviet tanks with the IS-4 designation. One of these was the Object 245, which was an IS-2 revised with a long-barrel 100-mm (3.94-in) D-10T gun. The other was a new vehicle projected in parallel with the IS-3 (Object 703) by the same LKZ design and development bureau. For this second iteration …

The Soviet IS Series (Part 1)

The designation Iosif Stalin was used for a series of Soviet heavy tanks developed as a successor to the KV series in World War II, and was created under the leadership of Zh. Kotin and N. Dukhov to provide the Soviet forces with a very heavy tank able to survive the fire of the German …

The German Panzerjäger Tiger (Jagdtiger)

Though technically not a tank as it lacked a rotating turret to carry its main armament, the weapon generally known as the Jagdtiger (hunting tiger) was a super-heavy tank destroyer operated in small numbers by the Germans in World War II. The vehicle was more formally known as the Panzerjäger Tiger Ausführung B as it …

The heavy tank – the British FV 214 Conqueror

Occupying the technical and operational border between the heavy and the super-heavy tank, the FV 214 Conqueror was also known as the Tank, Heavy No. 1, 120 mm Gun, Conqueror, and was a British heavy tank developed in the period after World War II which was only built in modest numbers. The spur for the …