In the fall of 1988, Massachusetts Governor and Democratic Presidential Candidate Michael Dukakis needed a way to demonstrate to the American people that he, as President, would be committed to building up the nation's conventional military. So, before a speech on national security at a Michigan factory, he put on a military helmet and rode in on a battle tank. Spoiler Alert: It didn't go well for him. [Remember when all it took was a bad photo op to destroy a presidential campaign?] [more inside]
BBC: Commemorations are taking place to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme in World War One. Guns were fired in central London ahead of a two-minute silence at the time the battle commenced at 07:30 on 1 July 1916. Ever wondered what life would have been like for you 100 years ago?, Why was the first day of the Somme such a disaster? [more inside]
You might call it the "small town struggle." The problem tiny communities have with getting noticed. The Tank is an acoustical marvel, a senses-altering experience found nowhere else on earth. A 60′ tall, 30′ across rusted steel water tank – never used – was discovered in Colorado by sound artist and sonic thinker Bruce Odland in 1976. [more inside]
A WWII Panzer tank and other military equipment has been found in the basement of a German pensioner.
The Australian Open takes an...innovative approach to tennis in this short video from Melbourne-based filmmaker Michael Shanks.
World War I in Color is a documentary designed to make the Great War come alive for a 21st-century audience. The events of 1914-18 are authoritatively narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who presents the military and political overview, while interviews with historians add different perspectives in six 48 minute installments annotated within. [more inside]
Полигон (Polygon), also called Firing Range, is a Soviet short film from 1977. It concerns a tank that is able to read the brain impulses of enemy soldiers, and the man who designed it. The generals have great plans for this tank, but the designer, and the tank, have other plans. [more inside]
The most well known of New Zealand's World War II home-built tanks was the Bob Semple tank, designed by New Zealand Minister of Works Bob Semple. There was only one made, but it served its purpose of "showing the people that something was being done to meet the enemy. It rumbled around, took part in parades, and inspired confidence." One problem: the tank, built on a Caterpiller tractor and armored with corrugated steel, would momentarily pause while changing gears, unless it was already headed down hill. During parades and public shows, its driver was instructed to change gear as little as possible, to prevent people from thinking their tank was stalling. The other New Zealand-built tank was the Schofield tank, built on the chassis of a Chevrolet heavy-duty truck, with the ability to drive quickly on wheels, then operate on treads, the transition only taking 7 to 10 minutes. Two prototypes were made, but neither the Bob Semple nor the Schofield tank were mass produced, as New Zealand started receiving tanks from abroad by 1943.
Danish author Sven Hassel (Wikipedia, official site) has passed away at the age of 95. (Danish - Translation) Hassel fought for the Germans during WWII and became famous after publishing Legion of the Damned, a semi-autobiographical account of the war. He went on to write thirteen more books following the adventures of his convict battalion, incuding Wheels of Terror which in 1987 was made into the movie The Misfit Brigade staring Bruce Davison and David Patrick Kelly (clip). He will be remembered fondly by all who browsed the bookshelves of charity shops as young men.
The artistic gas storage tanks of Japan. Some explanation Includes a NSFW image, strangely enough. [more inside]
"Tanks Are Mighty Fine Things!" And Other Tales Of Truthiness... At the end of World War II, Chrysler sent small hardbound books to shareholders chronicling ways the company had contributed to the war effort. Two have now been placed online at the Chrysler Imperial Club's website: "Tanks are Mighty Fine Things" and "A War Job 'Thought Impossible' (The story of the Chrysler-Sperry Gyro-Compass)" (Via) [more inside]
PanzerBlitz is a tactical-scale board wargame of armoured combat set in the Eastern Front of the Second World War. The game is notable for being the first true board-based tactical-level, commercially available conflict simulation (wargame). It also pioneered concepts such as isomorphic mapboards and open-ended design, in which multiple unit counters were provided from which players could fashion their own free-form combat situations rather than simply replaying pre-structured scenarios. (related)
I don't imagine it'll be everyone's cup of tea, but there'll certainly be some of you who'll find a measure of enjoyment in the viewing of Nightmare Tank's whimsical death machines and/or severed heads.
Military equipment drawn as anime girls. Probably SFW, but good luck explaining it to the boss. Wikipedia explains.
Tank on empty -- how far can your car go on an empty tank? Basically a collection of statistics and stories from users on just how far they pushed their car on reserve fuel. (via) [more inside]
The bad news is that you're controlling a lone, unarmed tank against countless enemies, and your fuel is limited. The good news is that you're completely indestructible, and can destroy the bad guys by hurling your own tank into them. Play Indestructotank!
Tank Limo! London only, kids
Battleship Extreme, Operation Tiger, Operation Thunderbolt, Operation Seahawk, Operation Allied Shield, are newly released online games from the Australian Defence Force. But where’s Operation Tank Rage?
WWII STUG Not sure how many people saw the post about the T34 pulled out of a peat bog a couple of weekends ago, but here is another story about German tank this time. Pulled out of the mud in the Czeck Republic. Decent amount of pictures with this one too.
Considering buying a tank from Amazon? Meet the JL421 Badonkadonk, a "a completely unique, extremely rare land vehicle and battle tank" from NAO Design that sells for $20,000. Yes, its real (and comes with a free T-shirt). Of course, its not on sale, unlike the mysterious $23,000 Gulbransen Bottle Organ - now 21% off!