A great collection of military color photos from the Second World War


Type 97 Chi-Ha Japan's main battle tank during the Second World War, the Type 97 Chi-Ha saw widespread service in the Pacific and in China. A distinctive feature of the tank was the radio antenna around the turret top. Due to its feeble armor, relatively small gun and low-powered engine, this tank was less effective than most of American and British counterparts.
Crusader III

Famous for its skirmishing and advanced reconnaissance roles in the North African campaigns of the Second World War, the Crusader III cruiser tank combined a modern (albeit poorly armored) hull design with an obsolete short 57 mm gun. The result was that this tank was practically defenseless against the Panzer IV F2 armed with a long 75 mm cannon and specially against the powerful 88 mm anti-tank cannon.
M3 Lee

Armed with a hard hitting 75 mm gun, the American M3 Lee tank proved a formidable fighting machine in battles with the Germans in North Africa and the Japanese in the Pacific. Produced as a stop-gap measure in 1940 prior to the introduction of a more battle-worthy tank, the Lee fought the German Panzer IV and Tiger I in Tunisia and despite heavy losses turned the tide of battle in favour of the Allies. This tank is clearly recognizable because of its outdated design, with the main armament placed in the hull instead of the rotating turret.
M3 Grant

The M3 Grant was a modified version of the M3 Lee that joined the British 8th Army in North Africa in 1942, and for the first time the German Panzer IV units found themselves matched in both firepower and armour. This was one of the few multi-turreted tanks to see successful combat in the Second World War, despite of the fact that having the main gun mounted on the hull was certainly a tactical disadvantage. Other disadvantages were a tall profile and poor cruising performance on countryside.
Panzer III

The Panzer III was the German main battle tank when the Second World War started; halfway the conflict this tank was completely obsolete, due to its weak armor and reduced size that made impossible to mount powerful anti-tank guns on its rotating turret. In the African Campaign the successive versions of this tank could withstand the British Crusader tanks, but in the Russian Campaign the T-34 marked its retirement from the battlefield. However, the chassis of these retired tanks was reused to built the Sturmgesch├╝tz III tank destroyers until the end of the conflict.
Panzer VI Tiger

The PzKpfw VI Tiger was released to the battlefield for the first time in Tunisia; failure was not an option, since this tank had everything to oppose any tank existent in the late 1942. It was a German response to the Soviet T-34; in comparison with the monstrous Tiger, the Russian tank could only impose a higher mobility and mechanical reliability, since the L/56 88 mm cannon and the very heavy armor of the Tiger clearly surpassed those featured by the T-34. With the Tiger, the Germans mounted their famous 88 mm cannon in a tank for the first time; this cannon had greater firepower than any other tank cannon used in that moment and allowed to engage targets at larger distances, and to fully take advantage of this, the Tiger was equipped with an advanced stereoscopic gunsight that gave an improved sight over the monoscopic gunsights mounted in the Soviet tanks. The Tiger was not perfect, however; its outdated hull design, featuring vertical surfaces, required a massive thickness in comparison with the sloped plates of the T-34, which made the Tiger too weighty and therefore prone to mechanical failures and high fuel consumption.

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