Category Archives: Military History

Kalashnikov or Schmeisser: who really designed the AK?

Kalashnikov or Schmeisser: who really designed the AK?


Anyone who read about the history of an AK, heard the theory of german involvement. Allegedly, german engineer Hugo Schmeiser, who worked in Izhevsk after WW2 really developed an AK and Kalashnikov had nothing to do with it. In this video, we are comparing the designs of AK and #STG 44 a trying to find some actual “relatives” of both weapons.
source https://en.kalashnikov.media

Kalashnikov or Schmeisser: who really designed the AK?

Kalashnikov or Schmeisser: who really designed the AK?

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Prototype of AK-47 made in 1948

Prototype of AK-47 made in 1948


Mikhail Kalashnikov began his career as a weapon designer in 1941, while recuperating from a shoulder wound which he received during the Battle of Bryansk. Kalashnikov himself stated…”I was in the hospital, and a soldier in the bed beside me asked: ‘Why do our soldiers have only one rifle for two or three of our men, when the Germans have automatics?’ So I designed one. I was a soldier, and I created a machine gun for a soldier. It was called an Avtomat Kalashnikova, the automatic weapon of Kalashnikov—AK—and it carried the date of its first manufacture, 1947.”

The AK-47 is best described as a hybrid of previous rifle technology innovations. “Kalashnikov decided to design an automatic rifle combining the best features of the American M1 and the German StG44.” Kalashnikov’s team had access to these weapons and had no need to “reinvent the wheel”. Kalashnikov himself observed: “A lot of Russian Army soldiers ask me how one can become a constructor, and how new weaponry is designed. These are very difficult questions. Each designer seems to have his own paths, his own successes and failures. But one thing is clear: before attempting to create something new, it is vital to have a good appreciation of everything that already exists in this field. I myself have had many experiences confirming this to be so.”

Kalashnikov started work on a submachine gun design in 1942 and with a light machine gun in 1943. “Early in 1944, Kalashnikov was given some 7.62×39mm M43 cartridges and informed that there were several designers working on weapons for this new Soviet small-arms cartridge. It was suggested to him that this new weapon might well lead to greater things, and he undertook work on the new rifle.” In 1944, he entered a design competition with this new 7.62×39mm, semi-automatic, gas-operated, long stroke piston, carbine, strongly influenced by the American M1 Garand. “The rifle that Kalashnikov designed was in the same class as the familiar SKS-45 Simonov with fixed magazine and gas tube above the barrel.”However, this new Kalashnikov design lost out to a Simonov design.

Prototype of AK-47 made in 1948

Prototype of AK-47 made in 1948


In 1946, a new design competition was initiated to develop a new assault rifle. Kalashnikov submitted an entry. It was gas-operated rifle with a short-stroke gas piston above the barrel, a breech-block mechanism similar to his 1944 carbine, and a curved 30-round magazine. Kalashnikov’s rifles AK-1 (with a milled receiver) and AK-2 (with a stamped receiver) proved to be reliable weapons and were accepted to a second round of competition along with other designs.

These prototypes (also known as the AK-46) had a rotary bolt, a two-part receiver with separate trigger unit housing, dual controls (separate safety and fire selector switches) and a non-reciprocating charging handle located on the left side of the weapon. This design had many similarities to the STG 44. In late 1946, as the rifles were being tested, one of Kalashnikov’s assistants, Aleksandr Zaitsev, suggested a major redesign to improve reliability. At first, Kalashnikov was reluctant, given that their rifle had already fared better than its competitors. Eventually, however, Zaitsev managed to persuade Kalashnikov.

In November 1947, the new prototypes (AK-47s) were completed. It utilized a long-stroke gas piston above the barrel. The upper and lower receivers were combined into a single receiver. The selector and safety were combined into a single control-lever/dust-cover on the right side of the rifle. And, the bolt-handle was simply attached to the bolt-carrier. This simplified the design and production of the rifle. The first army trial series began in early 1948. The new rifle proved to be reliable under a wide range of conditions with convenient handling characteristics. In 1949, it was adopted by the Soviet Army as “7.62 mm Kalashnikov assault rifle (AK)”.

Prototype of AK-47 made in 1948

Prototype of AK-47 made in 1948

President George H.W. Bush's Naval Service

President George H.W. Bush’s Naval Service


Among America’s few seafaring presidents, former President George H.W. Bush passed away Nov. 30 at his Houston, Texas home at the age of 94. Bush enlisted in the US Naval Reserve June 13, 1942 on his 18th birthday after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. He had preflight training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and became one of the youngest naval aviators. He was commissioned as an ensign in the US Naval Reserve June 9, 1943, days before his 19th birthday.

Bush was assigned to Torpedo Squadron (VT-51) as photographic officer in September 1943. As part of Air Group 51, his squadron was based on USS San Jacinto, part of Task Force 58 which participated in operations against Marcus and Wake Islands in May, and then in the Marianas during June 1944. The task force triumphed in one of the largest air battles of the war. Returning from the mission, his aircraft had to make a forced water landing, and then rescued by the destroyer, USS Clarence K. Bronson. On July 25, Ensign Bush and another pilot received credit for sinking a small cargo ship.

President George H.W. Bush's Naval Service

President George H.W. Bush’s Naval Service


During his service as a Navy pilot, Bush had a hit on his aircraft and was rescued by a submarine. According to Naval History and Heritage Command archives, after Bush was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade Aug. 1, San Jacinto commenced operations against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands, 600 miles south of Japan. Bush piloted one of four aircraft from VT-51 that attacked the Japanese installations on Chi Chi Jima in Sept. 1944. Although Bush’s aircraft was hit and his engine caught fire during the attack, he was able to complete the mission and bail out successfully. He was rescued by a Navy submarine, the USS Finback. Tragically, his two crew members were killed.

Naval History and Heritage Command archives also state that Bush returned to San Jacinto in November 1944 and participated in operations in the Philippines. When San Jacinto returned to Guam, the squadron, which had suffered 50 percent casualties of its pilots, was replaced and sent to the United States. Throughout 1944, Bush had flown 58 combat missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded San Jacinto. Bush was reassigned to Norfolk and put in a training wing for new torpedo pilots. Later, he was assigned as a naval aviator in a new torpedo squadron, VT-153. With the surrender of Japan, he was honorably discharged in September 1945, and then he entered Yale University. (U.S. Navy video/Released)

President George H.W. Bush's Naval Service

President George H.W. Bush’s Naval Service

JASDF F-4EJ Phantoms

JASDF F-4EJ Phantoms


From 1968, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) purchased a total of 140 F-4EJ Phantoms without aerial refueling, AGM-12 Bullpup missile system, nuclear control system or ground attack capabilities. Mitsubishi built 138 under license in Japan and 14 unarmed reconnaissance RF-4Es were imported. One of the aircraft (17-8440) was the very last of the 5,195 F-4 Phantoms to be produced. It was manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on 21 May 1981. “The Final Phantom” served with 306th Tactical Fighter Squadron and later transferred to the 301st Tactical Fighter Squadron.

JASDF F-4EJ Phantoms

JASDF F-4EJ Phantoms


Of these, 96 F-4EJs were modified to the F-4EJ Kai (the suffix “Kai” means “extra” or “augmented”)standard. 15 F-4EJs were converted to reconnaissance aircraft designated RF-4EJ, with similar upgrades as the F-4EJ Kai. The F-4EJ Kai is fitted with the Westinghouse AN/APG-66J pulse-Doppler radar, which is much smaller and lighter than the original APQ-120, but has more operating modes with better lookdown, shootdown capability. Externally, the installation of the new radar can be distinguished by the presence of a new radome which has fore and aft strengthening ribs.The F-4EJ Kai has a a new central computer, a Kaiser heads-up display, a Hazeltine AN/APZ-79 IFF system, and a license-built Litton LN-39 inertial navigation unit.
JASDF F-4EJ Phantoms

JASDF F-4EJ Phantoms


A new J/APR-6 radar homing and warning system is fitted. Twin aft-facing radomes for this system are mounted on the fin tip and forward-facing antennae are mounted on the wingtips. A new, much taller UHF blade antenna is mounted on the dorsal spine, and the lower UHF antenna on the undercarriage door is larger in size. These are about the only externally-visible distinguishing points between the F-4EJ and the F-4EJ Kai. The aircraft often carries a 610-US gallon F-15 fuel tank on the centerline. This tank is stressed to take higher g-loads than was the original F-4 centerline tank.
JASDF F-4EJ Phantoms

JASDF F-4EJ Phantoms


The F-4EJ Kai can launch the AIM-7E/F Sparrow and the AIM-9L/P Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. In addition, the F-4EJ Kai can carry and launch the Mitsubishi ASM-1 antiship missile. This missile has a launch weight of about 1345 pounds and is powered by a Nissan Motors solid rocket engine. It has midcourse guidance provided by an inertial system acting in conjunction with a radar altimeter which maintains an altitude just above the tops of the waves during the final run-in to the target. Terminal guidance is provided by an active radar seeker mounted in the nose. A 440-pound high-explosive warhead is carried. The F-4EJ Kai can also carry the Westinghouse AN/ALQ-131 advanced multimode electronic countermeasures pod. This pod has a wide range of modules and has reprogrammable software which make it capable of quickly countering new threats.
JASDF F-4EJ Phantoms

JASDF F-4EJ Phantoms


The goals of the program were to bring JASDF F-4EJs up to standards appropriate for the 1990s and to extend their service lives well into the 21st century. Japan had a fleet of 90 F-4s in service in 2007. After studying several replacement fighters the F-35 Lightning II was chosen in 2011. Delays with the F-35 program have meant that some F-4s have remained in service. As of 2017 all three of the JASDF’s remaining Phantom squadrons are based at Hyakuri Air Base in Ibaraki prefecture north of Tokyo. Some F-4s are also operated by the Air Development and Test Wing in Gifu Prefecture.
JASDF F-4EJ Phantoms

JASDF F-4EJ Phantoms


Russia celebrates Naval Infantry Day

Russia celebrates Naval Infantry Day


The Naval Infantry Day is celebrated in Russia on November 27. The Russian Naval Infantry (Morskaya Pekhota Rossii or MPR), is the amphibious force of the Russian Navy. First Russian naval infantry force was formed in 1705 and since than has fought in numerous wars. Russian Marines are equipped with amphibious tanks, mobile anti-tank and anti-missile systems and automatic small arms to operate in any regions and in any weather conditions. The total number of Russian marines now stands at about 12.500 marines.

Russia celebrates Naval Infantry Day

Russia celebrates Naval Infantry Day


The Naval Infantry of the Russian Navy includes the 55th Naval Infantry Division of the Russian Pacific Fleet, the independent brigades of the Northern (61st Brigade at Sputnik, Murmansk Oblast) and Baltic Fleets and of the Caspian Military Flotilla, and the independent regiment of the Black Sea Fleet. The Russian Infantry alongside the Coastal Defense Missile Artillery Forces, form part of a larger institution—the Coastal Troops of the Russian Navy (Russian: Береговые войска ВМФ России, Beregovye Voyska VMF Rossii).
Russia celebrates Naval Infantry Day

Russia celebrates Naval Infantry Day


The Russian Naval Infantry have been gradually phasing out PT-76 amphibious tanks, and started to receive a number of T-80s. A full-strength Naval Infantry Brigade may have up to 70-80 Tanks. The APCs used by the Naval Infantry are either wheeled BTR-80/82s (in Assault Landing Battalions) or tracked MT-LBs (in Marine Battalions). While Naval Infantry units were supposed to receive BMP-3 IFVs, BMMP (bojevaya mashina morskoj pekhoti) fitted with the turret of the BMP-2, few have been delivered, and it is far from certain such re-arming will take place. BMP-3s may equip one company per Marine battalion.
Russia celebrates Naval Infantry Day

Russia celebrates Naval Infantry Day


The Alligator tank landing ship and more modern Ropucha-class landing ship is a typical amphibious assault ship. Propelled by diesel engines, this ship is relatively small, displacing about 4,500 tons. The advent of the Ivan Rogov was taken in the West as an indication that the Russian Navy was planning to strengthen the power projection mission of Naval Infantry. Twice the size of earlier ships, it can launch amphibious vehicles from its open bow doors. It also carries helicopters. Among the various small assault landing vehicles to launch from the bow are hovercraft, such as the Aist, which can carry the naval infantry ashore at speeds of fifty knots.
Russia celebrates Naval Infantry Day

Russia celebrates Naval Infantry Day

British Army: Today When The Guns Fall Silent

British Army: Today When The Guns Fall Silent


To mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice, the British Army has released a video titled, ‘Today When The Guns Fall Silent’. The short film tells the story of a British soldier whose family members have served in conflicts over the last 100 years. The different conflicts and eras are represented by the seamless change in uniform worn by the soldier. The changes in uniform on the soldier also demonstrates the evolution of the British Army over the last 100 years. Throughout the video a poem is recited which delivers the narrative for this emotive film.

The video was filmed at Brookwood Military Cemetery, near Pirbright. Brookwood is owned and run by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC); it was established as the First World War ended, and then extended for the burial of Second World War service personnel. Those buried there represent all branches of service, and all six of the CWGC’s member governments: Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

 British Army: Today When The Guns Fall Silent

British Army: Today When The Guns Fall Silent


With more than 5,000 Commonwealth, and almost 800 war graves of other nationalities, and a further 3,400 servicemen and women commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial to the missing, the cemetery is a proud and moving reminder of the human cost of two world wars and the price paid by our Commonwealth servicemen and women to defend the freedoms we enjoy today.

This original film makes a very powerful and clear link between the men and women who have served in the British Armed Forces throughout the last century. It symbolises the human nature of our work by remembering those who dedicated their lives for our country whilst also paying tribute to those that currently serve with the same ongoing commitment.

 British Army: Today When The Guns Fall Silent

British Army: Today When The Guns Fall Silent

Sgt. Maj. John Canley - Fearless Marine to be Awarded Medal of Honor

Sgt. Maj. John Canley – Fearless Marine to be Awarded Medal of Honor


John L. Canley (born February 1, 1938) is a retired United States Marine and recipient of the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for actions in January/February 1968 during the Battle of Huế. At the time of this action Canley was a Gunnery sergeant with Company A 1st Battalion, 1st Marines. Canley was originally awarded the Navy Cross, but this was upgraded to the Medal of Honor which was presented on October 17, 2018. Canley was born in Caledonia, Arkansas. In 1953, Canley enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and retired in 1981. He lives in Oxnard, California.

On the morning of January 31, 1968, Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines was loaded onto trucks and sent to reinforce U.S. and South Vietnamese forces under siege in Huế. As the convoy approached the southern suburbs of the city, they began to come under increased sniper fire. In one village, the troops dismounted and cleared the houses on either side of the main street before proceeding. The Marine convoy stopped several times to eliminate resistance in heavy house-to-house and street-to-street fighting before proceeding again. During this fighting the Company commander, Captain Gordon Batchellor was wounded and Gunnery Sergeant Canley assumed command of the Company and he and Sergeant Alfredo Cantu Gonzalez led the Marines in the defense of the convoy, actions for which Gonzalez would later be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. At about 15:15 after bloody fighting the Marines managed to make their way toward the besieged Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) compound . Canley was awarded the Navy Cross. Sergeant Major Canley retired from the Marine Corps on October 23, 1981.

Representative Julia Brownley sponsored a bill in Congress for Canley’s Navy Cross to be upgraded to the Medal of Honor. On December 21, 2017 the House of Representatives waived the 5 year time limit for the award of the Medal of Honor and the Senate later took similar action. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (a former Marine General) recommended the upgrade to President Donald Trump who approved the award in July 2018.[1][6] On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, President Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Major John L. Canley, United States Marine Corps (Retired), for conspicuous gallantry. Sgt. Maj. John Canley will become the 300th Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Sgt. Maj. John Canley - Fearless Marine to be Awarded Medal of Honor

Sgt. Maj. John Canley – Fearless Marine to be Awarded Medal of Honor