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2 cm Flak 30 Antiaircraft Gun

Three ordnance intelligence illustrations of the German 2 cm FlaK 30 (Fliegerabwehrkanone 30) antiaircraft gun show the major components of the gun and mounting:

2 cm FlaK 30 on Trailer Ready for Transport
2 cm FlaK 30 on Trailer Ready for Transport
2 cm FlaK 30 Mounting
2 cm FlaK 30 Mounting German Antiaircraft Gun
1. Sub Mounting, 2. Carriage Body, 3. Cradle, 4. Elevation Hand Wheel, 5. Traversing Hand Wheel, 6. Slipper, 8. Firing Pedal (Single), 10. Layer’s Seat, 11. Flakvisier, 12. Elevation Arm, 15. Travelling Clamp
2 cm FlaK 30 Mounting
2 cm FlaK 30 Mounting
1. Sub Mounting, 2. Carriage Body, 3. Cradle, 4. Elevation Hand Wheel, 5. Traversing Hand Wheel, 6. Slipper, 7. Compensator, 9. Firing Pedal (Automatic), 10. Layer’s Seat, 11. Flakvisier, 12. Elevation Arm, 13. Sight Bracket Arm, 14. Transmission (Carriage to Sight), 15. Travelling Clamp, 16. Compensator Lock

Japanese Army Uniforms

The February 7, 1944 issue of NEWSMAP illustrated Japanese uniforms, equipment, and insignia:

Japanese Army Uniforms of World War II

Two examples of the detail drawings:

Japanese Private Infantry Rifleman PRIVATE, INFANTRY RIFLEMAN: M1938 BLOUSE, FRONT
Sampachi (Meiji 38) rifle, rubberized fabric or leather cartridge pouches; gas mask carrier under left arm. The chevron worn on right arm is a diligence stripe.
The fibre material of which the jacket is made may vary with the color of the foliage in the area in which jacket is worn.
Japanese Camouflage Jungle Jacket

(For another view of the Japanese camouflage uniform, see Japanese Camouflage Garment, Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 14, Dec. 17, 1942.)

Source: NEWSMAP, Volume II, No. 42F, February 7, 1944 by Army Information Branch.

Trek of the 5th Armored Division

Trek of the U.S. 5th Armored Division into Germany

“Trek of the 5th Armored Division” from the G.I. Stories booklet: The Road to Germany: The Story of the 5th Armored Division published by the Information and Education Division, ETOUSA in 1944-45.

Firing the PIAT

PIAT Anti-Tank WeaponThe Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank (PIAT) was an infantry anti-tank weapon used by the British during World War II. The PIAT used a lightweight steel tube which held a hollow-charge bomb and a heavy firing spring. When the PIAT was cocked, the firing spring was compressed and when the trigger was pulled, the firing spring pushed a spigot forward which fired the propelling charge in the bomb. The recoil of firing would then automatically cock the weapon for firing again.

The PIAT was light (32 pounds) with an effective range of 115 yards against tanks and 350 yards against buildings and other targets. The PIAT’s hollow-charge bomb was capable of penetrating 100 mm (4 in.) or armor. The PIAT had a number of disadvantages compared to the American bazooka, and it was generally an unpopular weapon. However despite its drawbacks, the PIAT did give the British infantry an effective anti-tank capability. Six British and Commonwealth soldiers received the Victoria Cross for use of the PIAT.

The following instructions for loading, aiming, and firing the PIAT are excerpted from the British training manual Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank, Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 24, 1943.


1. Introduction

When choosing a firing position for the projector, it should be remembered that the weapon is easier to swing with a moving target if the elbows are not rested. Owing to its limited range every effort must be made to obtain concealment. A slit trench should be dug whenever time permits.

Two men will be required to maintain the projector in action. No. 1 will fire; No. 2 will load and assist No. 1 in every other possible way.

Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank (PIAT)

2. Loading

Before loading. see that the projector is cocked. No attempt must EVER be made to place a bomb over a protruding spigot. When time permits No. 2 will also make certain that the guide ring is sound and firm on the bomb tail.

To load, No. 2 removes the dust plug from the bomb tail, then the muzzle plug With the drum tail to the rear, the bomb is placed in the bomb support nose first so that the guide ring is engaged between the loading guide plates. No. 2 must make certain that the tail is pressed as far down as possible by pressing on the drum tail ring with the flat of his hand; while doing so he must take care not to place his fingers in front of this ring. No. 2 will immediately prepare another bomb for loading….

4. Sights and aiming

Raise the foresight and becksight. The foresight is in the form of a bead; the backsight consists of two apertures, the top sighted for 100 yards and the bottom for 70 yards.

Rules for aiming

Against head-on and retiring tanks: keep the furesight in the centre of the aperture and aim at the centre of the tank.

Against crossing tanks: Keep the foresight in the centre of the aperture and aim one length in front of the tank from the centre. The swing of the projector must not be checked at the moment of firing.

These rules must be applied with common same. Depending on the range and speed of the tank, the lead may have to be lengthened or shortened. Moreover, when using the 100-yard aperture, aiming up and down may be necessary, since a comparatively small increase or decrease in range affects the trajectory of the bomb considerably. The top aperture should be used for ranges between 85 and 115 yards, and the bottom one for ranges below 85 yards. It should be noted that the distance from the top of the bead to the shoulder of the foresight, when viewed through the backsight aperture, represents a height of 6 feet at 100 yards.

Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank (PIAT) Firing

5. Holding and firing

Raise the shoulder piece into the shoulder. Push the safety catch forward. Hold the projector firmly into the shoulder with the left hand either over the webbing gaiter or grasping the front of the trigger guard: place the thumb of the right hand behind the trigger guard grip and the first two fingers on the trigger. Aim as taught.

To fire, press the trigger when the aim is correct. The trigger pressure is long and heavy. After pressing the trigger there is an appreciable delay before the bomb is fired; it is essential to maintain correct hold and aim during this delay.

After firing, No. 1 will observe the flight of the bomb. No. 2 will reload immediately, first making certain that the spigot is not showing. Owing to the limited range of the weapon, quick reloading is essential in case the first bomb misses the target. No. 1 must take care to keep his finger clear of the trigger while No. 2 is reloading.


“The Man Who Owns a Tank Corps”

The June 1960 issue of Popular Mechanics tells the story of Walter Ising, president of a steel company in Chicago, who bought 500 surplus Sherman tanks from the government for $305,000. He then had to disarm the tanks, move them by rail to his salvage yard, and find a way to make a profit.

• “The Man Who Owns a Tank Corps” (Google Books)

The Man Who Owns a Tank Corps


Quest for a Full-Scale Tiger Tank

Today’s blog post highlights several efforts to build full-scale replicas of the German Tiger tank from WWII. Two separate teams, one from Russia and one from Hungary, have almost finished building their own mobile Tiger replicas. In addition, John Nicholson in New Zealand is well underway in a project to build a precise wooden replica of the Tiger turret.

Tiger Tank Replica Full-Scale - Russia 
 Tank Factory – Russia (

WWII Tiger Tank Replica - Hungary 
 Tiger Tank Team – Hungary (

[Website seems to be down at this time.]

Eva Project: Full Scale Wood Tiger Tank Turret 
 Eva Project: Replica Tiger Turret (


Dodge WC54 Ambulance

Mig Productions Dodge WC54 Ambulance

Dodge WC54 Ambulance

MIG Productions is adding a resin 1/48th scale Dodge WC54 Ambulance kit to their lineup. The Dodge WC54 ambulance was a 3/4-ton 4×4 light truck which served as the main ambulance vehicle used by the U.S. Army during WWII. Following WWII, the Dodge WC54 saw action in Korea and served with France, Greece, Austria, Belgium, Norway and Netherlands. The MIG Productions resin kit includes interior detailing, photo-etched parts, and transparent plastic parts for the windshields. Clear colored step-by-step instructions and decals are also included.
Mig Productions U.S. 3/4-ton Dodge WC51 Weapons Carrier

Dodge WC51 Weapons Carrier

This kit should make a nice addition to MIG Productions’ 1/48th resin kit of the U.S. 3/4-ton Dodge WC 51 weapon carrier.

U.S. Army Air Force WWII Films

Public.Resource.Org is a non-profit established to digitize government public-domain material for online use. The following two full-length U.S. Army Air Force films have been digitized by the organization and uploaded to YouTube.

Normandy: The Airborne Invasion of Fortress Europe (50 minutes)

Expansion to Air Power (40 minutes)


Library Photo Collections

WWII Cameraman

Soldiers Phil Richardson and Lester Haycock with Camera

WWII Photographs by J. Malan Heslop

This digital collection at Brigham Young University contains over 1,350 photographs by Sergeant Heslop covering the last nine months of World War II in Europe, from September 1944 through May 1945. The photographs were scanned from the original negatives, prints, and slides deposited by Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University. Sergeant Heslop served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, 167th Signal Photographic Company.

The collection includes detailed photos on the installation and testing of “duck feet” tank track extensions. What is this?

M4 Sherman Tank Destroyed near Cassino, Italy

M4 Sherman Tank Destroyed near Cassino, Italy

Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs
Frank J. Davis World War II Photographs

The Melvin C. Shaffer collection of World War II photographs and images depicts the conflict in North Africa, Italy, Southern France, and Germany from 1943 to 1945. The Frank J. Davis collection of frontline photographs and images cover both Europe and the Pacific including images from Washington, D.C., Italy, France, and Saipan. Both collections are hosted at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

American Red Cross Clubmobile - Augusta

American Red Cross Clubmobile Augusta

World War II Veterans of Mount Horeb

This digital collection at the University of Wisconsin includes extensive sets of photographs from Ray Cunneen and Pat Hitchcock, including over 200 color photographs.


Eighth Air Force: Stars over the Reich

Stars over the Reich: U.S. Eighth Air Force  
In January 1945, Army Talks published a special edition “Stars over the Reich” for the men of the Eighth Air Force. With a forward by commander Lt. General James H. Doolittle, the special edition told the story of the men and machines of the Eighth Air Force as the unit approached its third anniversary.

The centerfold graphic highlighted the accomplishments of the Eighth Air Force over Europe from August 1942 to November 1944: U.S. Eighth Air Force History

However, the Eighth Air Force really came into its own as long-range fighter escorts became available. The following map showed the increasing range of the escorting fighters:

U.S. Eighth Air Force Escort Fighter Range

The Growth of Fighter Escort Range

1. For the first nine months of their operations the Eighth’s heavies had little fighter escort over the Continent.
2. Beginning in May, 1943, the P-47s regularly escorted missions within a 200 mile range.
3. Fitted with auxiliary fuel tanks, on 28 July the P-47s extended their range to 260 miles.
4. Two months later technical improvements and new tactics enabled the Thunderbolts to escort the bombers to Emden, 325 miles distant, and over the borders of the Reich.
5. By March ’44 the P-47s, with greatly improved fuel carrying equipment, had lengthened their escort range to Helmstedt, 470 miles.
6. In the same month P-38s, similarly equipped, began reaching the 500 mile mark.
7. On 6 March ’44 P-51s made their appearance over Berlin, escorting the heavies, 560 miles from base.
8. Five months later, 6 August, the Mustangs broke all records for Eighth fighter escort range when they accompanied a bombing mission to Gdynia, in the Polish Corridor—a round trip of more than 1,600 miles.