AFV Alphabet: G is for Gvozdika

2S1 Gvozdika in artillery range

The 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled 122mm howitzer was accepted for service with the Soviet army in 1970 and began volume production in 1971. The hull is made of welded steel, based on the automotive components and running gear of the MT-LB. The driver sits at the front with the engine behind him, and the turret and fighting compartment at the rear. Within the turret, the commander sits on the left, with the gunner below and in front of him, and the loader to the right. The gun has sights for indirect and direct fire. A rate of fire of 5-8 rounds per minute can be maintained for a protracted period. 40 rounds of ammunition are carried in the vehicle, but standard practice during a fire mission would be for ammunition to be supplied from outside.

An odd feature of the Gvozdika is that the suspension can be adjusted to make the vehicle shorter, useful when transporting the vehicle by air. The standard tracks are 400mm wide, but like the MT-LB, 670mm wide tracks can be fitted for use in snow, swampy ground, etc. The 2S1 has NBC protection, infra-red driving lights, and a small infra-red searchlight on the commander’s cupola. It is fully amphibious, propelled in the water by its tracks. Before entering the water, a bilge pump is switched on, shrouds are fitted to the hull front, water deflectors are lowered at the rear, the trim vane is erected at the front of the hull, and covers are fitted around the engine air intakes. Only 30 rounds are carried when swimming; any excess have to be removed before entering the water.

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AFV Alphabet: F is for Fox

Fox Scout Car (6553547749)

Theoretically, there are many choices for “F”, since the British army gives its armoured vehicles an FV designation. The Fox armoured car, for example, is more formally known as “FV721 Fox Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Wheeled)”. However, choosing something like “FV4034 Challenger 2″ would have felt like cheating, so I’ve gone for the Fox. Introduced in 1973, it served with the British army for about 20 years.

It has a crew of three (commander, gunner, and driver). The commander and gunner are seated in the turret, which is armed with a 30mm RARDEN cannon and a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun. The driver sits in the centre front of the hull. The vehicle has aluminium alloy armour sufficient to protect from small arms, but not from 0.50″/12.7mm HMG fire. The Fox can swim with the aid of a flotation screen, which takes about two minutes to erect, and can be dropped by parachute.

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Discontinuing direct sales

Due to changes in EU VAT law, I need to stop selling ebooks directly from my website. The direct sales facility has therefore been removed.

I still want to offer a discount to mailing list members, but this will now be done via Wargame Vault. Details have been sent to mailing list members.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

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Shilka Publishing’s 2014 Advent Calendar

Make it a war savings Christmas
My publishing company, Shilka Publishing, is hosting an online advent calendar. It is online now, but the windows can’t be opened until 1st December. Each day will have a different giveaway, discount code, or interesting fact. Make sure you check it every day – the giveaways and discounts will only be valid for a single day.

Go to the advent calendar

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AFV Alphabet: E is for EIFV


The EIFV is the Egyptian Infantry Fighting Vehicle, an interesting hybrid of an M113 armoured personnel carrier mated with a turret from an M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. It was developed by BAE Systems for the Egyptian Ministry of Defence, with design starting in 1995, and production starting two years later.

The M113 chassis is enlarged, with an extra road wheel. The armour is improved to a point where it is proof against 14.5mm AP rounds in all aspects. A more powerful engine is fitted, to compensate for the extra weight caused by the additional armour and turret. It has a crew of three, and can carry seven infantrymen. A standard Bradley turret is fitted on top of the M113 hull, armed with a 25mm chain gun, coaxial 7.62mm machine gun, and twin launcher for TOW anti-tank missiles.

The combination of M113 hull and Bradley turret makes for a cheap and reasonably effective infantry fighting vehicle. The upgraded engine allows the vehicle to keep pace with the Egyptian army’s M1A1/M1A2 Abrams MBTs.

Image source: BAE Systems via Wikipedia (GFDL)

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