Warships that never were – the US ‘Montana’ class battleship (II)

The secondary armament of the ‘Montana’ class battleships was planned as 20 5-in (127-mm) L/54 guns in 10 turrets located as five on each side of the ships’ central superstructure ‘island’. Designed specifically for the ‘Montana’ class ships, these guns were to replace the 5-in (127-mm) L/38 guns of the secondary batteries then in widespread …

Warships that never were – the US ‘Montana’ class battleship (I)

The ‘Montana’ class of battleships planned by the United States Navy were schemed as successors to the ‘Iowa’ class ships, but reverted to a more traditional concept inasmuch as they were slower but larger, better armoured and more heavily armed. Five such ships were approved for construction in World War II, but a major change …

Warships that never were – the British ‘Lion’ class

The ‘Lion’ class was to have comprised six battleships, and was designed for the Royal Navy in the late 1930s as what was in essence a larger and improved version of the ‘King George V’ class battleship with 16-in (406-mm) guns. The class design changed several times in response to the removal of treaty restrictions …

The Curtiss-Wright F-87 Blackhawk

Given the fact that it had ended the Pacific War of World War II through the bombing of the Japanese home islands, a strategic campaign that culminated in the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by single atomic bombs on 6 and 9 August 1945 respectively, the US Army Air Forces were well aware of the …

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 …

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 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 …

Amphibious Warfare – The Tank Landing Ship (II)

When the LST Mk I was being designed, the concept of distant raiding still featured strongly in British minds and thus influenced the design, but by the winter of 1941 the distant raiding concept had been largely replaced by a fear of invasion. At their first meeting at the Atlantic conference in Argentia, Newfoundland, during …

Amphibious Warfare – The Dock Landing Ship

A dock landing ship (often formally designated as a landing ship, dock, or LSD) is an amphibious warfare ship incorporating a docking well into the stern for the accommodation, transport, and launch/recovery of landing craft and amphibious vehicles. Some ships with docking wells, such as those of the Soviet/Russian ‘Ivan Rogov’ class, also have bow …

Soviet armoured river and coastal gunboats – the BKA and MBK types

Given its huge size and enormously varied geography, the USSR – like the Imperial Russia it succeeded in 1917 – found that there was considerable scope for the use of gunboats on the country’s many large rivers, major lakes, and even its shallow coastal waters (such as the Sea of Azov and the Gulf of …