Culture & Literature
History of War

History of War No. 67

From the conquering legions of Ancient Rome to the thunderous tank battles of World War II and beyond, History of War takes you deeper inside the minds of history’s fighting men, further under the bonnets of some of the world’s most devastating war machines, and higher above the battlefield to see the broad sweep of conflict as it happened.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Issues

In this issue

1 min.

From the debut of the Mark I in 1916, to the devastating attack of the Abrams and Challengers in Desert Storm, tanks have played an important and often decisive role on battlefields around the world. In this special issue of History of War, we asked experts and historians to pick their ‘greatest’ tanks from across the century and around the world. Of course, comparing a Panzer I with a T-80 would be facile, so our ‘50 Greatest’ list is made based on contributions to and importance within the history of the tank, be it accurate weaponry or impenetrable armour. Don’t agree with our selections? As always you can get in touch with the team at: frontline@futurenet.com…

1 min.

TOM GARNER This issue Tom spoke with Keith Quilter, a Fleet Air Arm pilot veteran, who witnessed devastating kamikaze attacks on HMS Formidable during WWII (p. 72). In the Frontline, he explores the role of “Hobart’s Funnies” on D-Day (p. 14). MICHAEL HASKEW Mike is an author and historian, with several published books on a range of WWII topics, as well as the history of armoured warfare. For this special issue he tackles the greatest examples of armour produced from around the world. STUART HADAWAY Located in the border region between Syria and Israel, the Golan Heights saw a brief but bloody tank battle during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. For this issue’s Great Battles, Stuart recounts each stage of this armoured struggle (p. 56). FOR MORE FROM THE HISTORY OF WAR TEAM VISIT: WWW.HISTORYANSWERS.CO.UK…

1 min.
war in focus

INSPECTING BRITISH PANZERS Taken: 18 May, 1937 German War Minister and Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshall Werner von Blomberg, inspects British tanks during a visit to the Royal Tank Corps at Bovington Camp, Dorset, England. The following year Blomberg was ousted from power by his rivals in high command, and the Ministry of War was incorporated into the new Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. A CENTURY OF ARMOUR Taken: 15 September, 2016 A British Army photographer takes a photograph of a Mark IV replica on display in Trafalgar Square, London. The full-size and working replica, called ‘Big Brute’, was built for the 2011 film Warhorse. In 2016 it appeared in the capital alongside a Challenger 2 tank, to commemorate the centenary of the first ever deployment of tanks in battle, at the Somme in 1916. A ‘TIGER’ TANK? Taken: 1951 American soldiers…

4 min.
d-day tank operations

March 1943-June 1944 HOBART’S FUNNIES Unusual tanks are developed by the British 79th Armoured Division for the planned invasion of Normandy. Based on Churchill or Sherman tanks, these armoured vehicles can – among other things – demolish concrete structures, fill trenches, lay matting and clear mines or barbed wire. April 1943-June 1944 DEVELOPING THE DD TANK The Duplex Drive (DD) tank is an amphibious M4 Sherman tank. The Sherman is selected after years of experimentation with other armoured vehicles. As a “swimming” assault tank, the DD can be launched off landing craft. It is provided to American, British and Canadian tank battalions for D-Day. December 1943-March 1944 OPERATION FORTITUDE Fortitude is the deception strategy during the build up to the Normandy landings. Phantom field armies are created in Scotland and the south of England, which include inflatable decoy…

3 min.
where were the us tanks?

Germany First! This was the strategy agreed between Great Britain and the United States during the Second World War. Ever since Dunkirk the British had been aiming at getting back to the continent by one means or another. This idea was well understood in the UK, even in 1940 there were plans to return, for example one officer in September 1940 suggested the forming of Air-Mobile Divisions carried by helicopter for a return to Europe in 1941. There were also discussions about amphibious tanks for any potential landing operation. These deliberations would result in the Duplex Drive tanks used on D-Day. Indeed a great many of the technologies the British developed during the Second World War were used to create the successful landings as part of Operation Neptune. When the leading…

8 min.
6 june armour

On 6 June, and during the days afterwards, two armies grappled with all their might, including armoured vehicles. Both sides were using odd-looking tanks. The allies had modified their front line tanks to ensure success and even the odds, while the Germans were using old captured machines, some of which had been modified as well. This meant that D-Day could be called the battle of the Funnies, as both sides employed unusual machines. CENTAUR A DISPOSABLE TANK THAT WENT THE DISTANCE As the invasion’s landing craft approached the beaches, their covering fire from distant warships would lift. In the minutes after this support fire ceased, but before the tanks could unload and provide direct fire, the landing craft were exposed to enemy action with no means of reply. To this end some solutions…