What’s an Autoloader Anyway?

Source: EU Portal

Reading our articles, you might have come across the terms “autoloader” and “autoloading guns”. But we never took the time to dig into the history of this technology. Fortunately, our latest Top of the Tree, dedicated to the AMX 50 Foch B,  is the perfect opportunity to talk about this mechanism and its origins.

The Basics

As you can probably imagine, loading the gun of a tank takes quite a while, especially when you have to do everything manually. In fact, tank specialists consider that 70 to 75% of the time necessary to fire a shot is spent loading the gun. Consequently, if you want to increase your firepower, one of the first things you can tweak is the reloading time. This question was asked pretty early on in tank history, and one of its answers is automating the loading process. Hence the name “autoloader” which we can define as the complex mechanisms that ensure loading the gun can be done without the participation of a human loader.

A Tiny Bit of History

Believe it or not, autoloaders are closely connected to the history of tanks in general, and the most essential qualities of these vehicles. Because of the early developments of tanks in World War I, such as the British Mark I and its side-mounted guns, the typical tank became a turreted vehicle. The Renault FT embodied this vision, and aboard this tank, all firing actions, from guidance to the aimed shot, were performed by one person.

The Renault FT (image source: Wikipedia)

This setup remained the same on most vehicles from World War I to early World War II, and was only refined by new mechanisms assisting these actions and their performers, whether that would be one or more persons. However, tank battles of the Second World War revealed the striking capabilities of different types of ammunition. Transitioning from one to the other with ever-increasing calibres confirmed the importance of rate of fire and cemented the need for a change from manual to automatic loading.

Continue reading “What’s an Autoloader Anyway?”

Frontlines Album – Collaboration between Sputnik and Wargaming to tell military stories of their families.

Frontlines Album (Site is in russian)

As part of a joint project between Sputnik Belarus and Wargaming, celebrities tell military stories of their families.
Continue reading “Frontlines Album – Collaboration between Sputnik and Wargaming to tell military stories of their families.”

IS-7: A titan too late for the war

Article from warspot.ru translated by comrade Robopon for TAP. It’s his first translation, so please provide feedback.

IS-7 (ИС-7) was born in a strange and difficult time for the soviet tank industry. The Red Flag over the Reichstag brought not only the joy of victory but also problems for all aspects of Soviet post-war industry. Destroyed cities needed to be rebuilt, evacuated factories needed to be brought back, everything needed to be changed.

The Commissariat of Tank Industry was reformed into the Commissariat of Transport Engineering and in early 1946 it was renamed into a Ministry of the same name. Wartime fighting vehicles needed to be upgraded according to a new doctrine for the time of peace. They needed to be more reliable in order to provide longer service, since immediate war losses weren’t a factor anymore. A lot of works on future projects were terminated and others were developed with lesser enthusiasm.

Among those post-war projects was a tank later named “Object 260” («Объект 260»). The works on this one started way back in 1944. It was planned that this vehicle would embody all advancements of Soviet heavy tank design at that time. The project was assigned to the design bureau of Josef Kotin at Experimental Factory № 100.

Other variants of this project were created in the spring of 1945: “Object 257”, “Object 258” and “Object 259”. After all considerations, the final variant of the vehicle was presented and designated “Object 260”, more known as IS-7.

Over 20 institutions and science facilities were assigned for its development. They proposed a lot of unique technical solutions never used before in such machines.

The working blueprints of IS-7 were finished already in September 1945. The frontal armor was made similar to the IS-3, but much thicker, 150 mm of upper front plate (pike nose) instead of 100 mm of its predecessor. The mass of the vehicle was quite impressive at 65 tons.

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WoT NA – Claim Your Patch: The History of Army-Navy Cooperation

Claim your free Army Birthday in-game emblem!

Mission: U.S. Army Birthday

MISSION STARTS: Friday, June 14, 04:20 PT | 06:20 CT | 07:20 ET
MISSION ENDS: Monday, June 17, 04:20 PT | 06:20 CT | 07:20 ET

Rewards: Conditions: Restrictions:
  • ×6 Emblem: “This We’ll Defend”
  • Login to the game
  • Once per account

The storied history of the US Army and US Navy partnership is as old as the branches themselves. Working together, this interbranch cooperation comes in three different forms: Supplies, Transport, and Direct Support.

Here’s what The_Chieftain has to say about the three:

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Romanian tanks in detail: TACAM T-60/T-60A

Welcome to the second part of the ‘’Romanian vehicles (in detail)’’ series by davidblader! Today we take a look at another tank destroyer made by Romania during the Second World War: the TACAM T-60, and its rather unknown version, the TACAM T-60A.

Click here for my previous article on the TACAM R-2.

Let’s start with a short description:

TACAM T-60 vehicles at the National Day parade (10 May, 1943)

The TACAM T-60 (Tun Anticar pe Afet Mobil T-60) is one of the converted Romanian tank destroyers made during World War II. This vehicle combined the hull of T-60 tanks, captured by the Romanian Army, with the Soviet 76.2mm F-22 gun, also captured by the Romanians. The turret was replaced with a 15mm thick cabin. It was similar to – and probably modeled after – the German Marder-series.

Continue reading “Romanian tanks in detail: TACAM T-60/T-60A”