The Commonwealth Aircraft CA-15

Nicknamed Kangaroo, the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-15 was an advanced warplane designed in Australia during War II, but as a result of its lengthy development, it was not completed until after the end of the war. With turbojet-powered fighters coming rapidly to the fore during this period, the CA-15 was cancelled after the sole prototype …

The pioneering guided bomb: the German Fritz-X

The name Fritz-X was one of several applied to the German guided anti-ship bomb which was the world’s first precision-guided weapon, and the first to sink a ship in combat. Other names for this important weapon were Ruhrstahl SD-1400 X, Kramer X-1, PC-1400X and FX-1400. Together with the similar Azon weapon developed for the US …

The Raduga Kh-22

Succeeding the turbojet-powered Raduga KS-1 Komet and K-10S (AS-1 ‘Kennel’ and AS-2 ‘Kipper’) subsonic and supersonic missiles in the stand-off role against major surface forces, especially those centred on an aircraft carrier, the Raduga Kh-22 is known to NATO as the AS-4 ‘Kitchen’. This substantial long-range missile is still in service, and in an air-launched …

British anti-tank guns of WW2: the Ordnance QF 17-PDR

The Ordnance QF 17-pdr was a British anti-tank gun developed during World War II to succeed the Ordnance QF 6-pdr in the same role. Though the weapon was used primarily as an anti-tank gun on its own carriage, it was also used as the main gun of several British tanks and was also used to …

British anti-tank guns of WW2: the Ordnance QF 6-PDR

The Ordnance QF 6-pdr was a British 57-mm (2.24-in) gun which was the British army’s mainstay in the anti-tank role during the middle of World War II, and was also used as the main armament in several armoured fighting vehicles. It was first employed operationally in the North African campaign during April/May 1942, and quickly …

The first piece of modern artillery – the ‘French 75’

In the final stages of World War I, the ‘French 75’ or, as it was more formally designated, the Canon de 75 modèle 1897, became legendary in France as the piece of artillery which made it possible for the French army to win the war. Its real fame, in historical terms, rests in the fact …

Amphibious Warfare – Salvage & Repair Craft

By its very nature, amphibious warfare presents the men and equipment involved not just with the hazards of any military undertaking, but also with the possibility of destruction or damage as a result of the particular nature of the operation milieu. The most obvious problem faced by landing craft is that of becoming stranded as …

Amphibious Warfare – The Landing Vehicle Tracked (I)

Widely known as the amphtrack and amtrak (or amtrac), the LVT (Landing Vehicle Tracked) was a type of vehicle optimised for the amphibious warfare role, and was a small amphibious landing craft used initially by the US Navy, US Marine Corps and US Army during World War II. The vehicle was initially intended to carry …

Amphibious Warfare – The DUKW Amphibious Truck

World War II revealed, to an extent hitherto unconsidered and in any event unobtainable by the technology of the period, the very clear advantage of being able to carry men, light weapons and many types of equipment and supplies straight from the landing craft, either beached or lying just offshore, across the assault beach to …

Amphibious Warfare – The Tank Landing Ship (III)

For a transoceanic passage, the LST Mk 2 could carry one landing landing craft (LCT Mk 5 or LCT Mk 6) for side-launching, and this was a feature which was sometimes also used for the carriage of LCTs to the vicinity of an amphibious assault. In LST beaching operations, a satisfactory manner to bridge the …