Jesse Beckett

Articles by Jesse Beckett:

Tanks are one of the most formidable forces on the battlefield. They are designed to be resistant against small arms fire, powerful anti-tank weapons and other tanks. Without specialist equipment, they are virtually unstoppable. One thing tanks are not immune to however, is mother nature. A tank may be able to shrug a hit off […]

The infamous Tiger I was probably the most feared tank of World War II. It didn’t have the thickest armor or the most powerful gun used by German tanks, but upon its introduction in 1942, no tank fielded by any nation could compare to it. It brought unprecedented protection and firepower that had never been […]

Imagine yourself as a modern soldier in Iraq, armed with the latest weapons, night vision, thermal optics, backed by jets, helicopters and main battle tanks, when you come up against an enemy operating the same weapons your grandfathers faced in the Second World War. This is a real life situation witnessed by soldiers who served […]

In the interwar period between WWI and WW2, the British had developed their tank doctrine that would be used in future combat. This involved three main classes of tanks: infantry, light and cruiser. Light tanks were small, mobile very thinly armored and armed, and would scout ahead of the main force, locating and identifying enemy […]

The beginning of World War Two saw Nazi Germany rapidly attack and conquer many nations and assuming control of the country. German forces became proficient at capturing and absorbing enemy equipment to bolster their own ranks in future combat. They would reuse trucks, field guns, cars, anti-tank guns, small arms and even tanks. This tactic […]

The modern flamethrower saw action during WWI, where it proved to be a deadly and terrifying weapon to face, but its capabilities were soon found to be limited. The man-portable flamethrower was heavy, unwieldy, had short usage time, and when the operator began firing, they immediately became a priority target on the battlefield. The flamethrower […]

The Universal Carrier started out in the 1930s as a development by Vickers-Armstrongs to provide a lightweight, highly mobile tracked vehicle capable of carrying a machine gun or towing a field gun. The design used was based on earlier 1920s tankette designs like the Carden-Loyd Mk VI. Starting production in 1934 as the Universal Carrier, […]

In regards to tank design, all countries involved in WWII learnt some brutal lessons, but none more so than those facing the Germans. Monstrous vehicles like the Tiger, King Tiger and Jagdtiger were virtually immune frontally to Allied tank weapons at the time, while simultaneously being able to destroy them from great distances. The appearance […]

The inspiration for the Hetzer started early in the Second World War, when Germany began mounting large, powerful guns on modified light tanks that were otherwise obsolete, to bring more firepower to the battlefield without needing new large and complex vehicles. This idea produced vehicles like the Marder series, and the more prolific StuG III, […]

The World War Two menace, the Jagdtiger, earned two reputations during its short career from September 1944 to May 1945; one of a fearsome tank killing beast, capable of punching through any Allied tank at extreme ranges while immune to virtually everything on the battlefield, and one of a overweight, underpowered, cumbersome mobile bunker that […]

The German Panzerkampfwagen IV medium tank, abbreviated to PzKpfw IV, Pz. IV, or T-IV and mostly referred to as Panzer IV, was a true workhorse of the Second World War. It was the most built German tank of the war, greatly outnumbering the more famous and heavy Tigers and Panthers. Production of the Panzer IV […]

Part 1 explored the US tanks used in the early stages of the Cold War, during the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. Most of these vehicles were improved WWII designs, and weren’t exactly ideal for this new age of combat. Part 2 covers vehicles designed and built from the ground up in the […]