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The T-26 was the first major Soviet armour program of the 1930s, beginning as a license-built version of the British Vickers 6-ton export tank. Although the T-26 retained the basic Vickers hull and suspension, the Red Army began to make extensive changes to the turret and armament, starting with the addition of a 45mm tank gun in 1933. The T-26 was built in larger numbers than any other tank prior to World War II. Indeed, more T-26 tanks were manufactured than the combined tank production of Germany, France, Britain, and the United States in 1931Â?40. This book surveys the development of the T-26 as well as its combat record in the Spanish Civil War, the war in China, the border wars with Poland and Finland in 1939Â?40, and the disastrous battles of 1941 during Operation Barbarossa.
The Polish army during the Blitzkrieg conjures up tragic images of infantry and dashing, but ineffective and ultimately doomed cavalry charges. In actuality the Poles, in the midst of a large-scale re-armament programme, had up to 600 armoured vehicles available at the time of the German attack, as well as a number of newer and better designs in various stages of development. Facing the inventors of the 'Lightning War', who attacked in great numbers, on multiple fronts and with total mastery of the air, the Polish armoured formations were up against it. But outdated equipment, doctrine and enormous odds did not stop these units from fighting with bravery and determination before being finally overwhelmed. This volume is a complete technical study of the machines that formed the backbone of Poland's defences on the ground, using never-before-seen photographs and a comprehensive design and developmental history that reveal a full picture of Poland's armoured forces in the context of their greatest challenge.
This book gives an account of the French model tanks used by Germany during WWII.
An updated edition of Red Phoenix leverages theb declassified Russian archival sources, combat documents and statistical information that has been revealed in the past 30 years to offer a complete account of the Soviet Air Force's rise from a ragtag squadron facing annihilation in 1941 to the word's biggest air force four years later.
The Italian army, unlike those of the British and French, did not use tanks in combat during World War I and, by November 1918, only one training unit equipped with French Schneider and Renault tanks had been formed. Consequently, during the 1920s the Italian army had just one single tank type in its armoured inventory – the Fiat 3000. Only in 1927 was the first tank unit formed as a branch of the infantry and not as an independent organization, while the cavalry rejected the idea of both tanks and armoured cars and decided to stand by the use of horses for its mounted units. Between 1933 and March 1939, a further 2,724 CV 33 / L 3 tanks were built, 1,216 of which were exported all over the world. By the time Italy entered the war in June 1940, the army had 1,284 light tanks, 855 of which were in combat units, including three armoured divisions. Variants of the CV 33 / L 3 tanks included flame-throwers, bridge-layers, recovery vehicles, and a radio command tank. Some L 3 tanks were still in use in 1945, by both the Germans and the German-allied Italian units of the Repubblica Sociale.
The M18 76mm Gun Motor Carriage was developed for the US Army's Tank Destroyer Command. It was the only tank destroyer deployed during World War II actually based on their requirements for speed and firepower. This book examines the development of this vehicle, the controversies over the need for high-speed tank destroyers, and its actual performance during World War II. Special emphasis is placed on examining its performance in its intended mission. Coverage also includes derivative vehicles of the M18 such as the M39 armored utility vehicle.
The highly successful 'stop-gap' M3 medium tank was designed in 1941, and as adequate turret casting facilities were not yet ready, the M3 used an unusual armament configuration patterned after a French tank. British lend-lease demands led to the design of a second turret type with the US version called the Lee and the British version the Grant. It could penetrate Panzer armor, and its explosive firepower was excellent for dealing with German anti-tank guns. This book covers the design, development, service and variants of a vehicle that was the backbone of many World War II forces.

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