Restoration of a 1944 GMC – Crowdfunder Appeal

David Chambers and his father are looking for supporters of their project to restore this 1944 GMC 353 H1 tipper that he and his father have saved from the scrapheap. Based in South Wales, the father and son duo have saved and restored several US World War II vehicles in the past and displayed them at numerous events for enthusiasts and the public alike to experience these pieces of history first hand.

1944 GMC 353 H1 tipper

As well as helping restore the vehicle, there are benefits to donating a list of which can be found on the group’s crowdfunder page which you can link to below.

Just three of their collection.
I had the pleasure of viewing some of their impressive collection recently so I can I promise you they know what they are doing.

Do you have an event or charity you would like to promote on Defence of the Realm? If so then feel free to email the details to 



British Army Bayonet Training Manual, 1916

The following extracts are taken from a US-produced reproduction of the British Army’s Bayonet Training Manual revised in 1916 to take in to consideration the nature of the fighting on the Western Front of World War I. With the US declaring war on Germany and the other Central Powers on January 9th 1917, they looked to take advantage of the lessons the Allied powers had learned in the previous two and a half years and apply them to their own troops.


World War II battle re-enactment (with Sherman tank) at Fortress Wales 2016

Allied forces are pushing through Germany and a group of German Whermacht and the Volkssturm (Home Guard) get set to meet American and British soldiers supported by a Sherman tank.

Demonstration carried out at Fortress Wales 2016 held at Caldicot castle and includes the Sherman tank Lily Marlene

Rolling Thunder Vietnam War battle re enactment at Fortress Wales 2016

The members of the Rolling Thunder, a UK-based living history group dedicated to the US soldiers who served in Vietnam re-enact a battle that took place in 1968 between the 1st Air Cavalry Division and the Viet Cong.

Not “British” but a fascinating demonstration nonetheless.

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NEWS: US General now serving in British Army

Emphasizing the special relationship between British and American forces a US Army General has assumed the role of Deputy Commander, 3rd (UK) Division at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire. Addressing the men and women under his new command Brigadier General Michael J. Tarsa said;

This is a distinct honour and I couldn’t be more delighted to be stood here abrest with you. I wear my nation’s uniform as a member of the US Army, but I now have the privilege to be part of the British Army and 3rd United Kingdom Division. I hope to serve both with great distinction and I’m proud to be stood here in your ranks.

The 3rd (UK) Division has a rich heritage as the oldest fighting division in the British Army having earned the nickname The Iron Division in the trenches of the Western Front during the First World War. Among its battle honours are Waterloo and Normandy while today it commands more than 16,000 troops forming the British Army’s high-readiness ‘Reaction Force.’

This latest appointment is only the most recent example of just how intermixed and closely coupled British and American forces. In the past RAF pilots have been the only foreign pilots to fly the F-117 Nighthawk ‘stealth fighter’ while during operations over Iraq Tornado missions were flown entirely by US crews on exchange. The US Navy regularly send officers to take part in the Royal Navy Submarine Corps’ infamous ‘perisher’ command training course considered by many to be the most intensive submarine training course in the world.

NEWS: 5000 troops needed to defeat Islamic State

Islamic StateLord Dannatt, the former head of the British Army has voiced his opinion that air strikes alone have failed to stop the spread of Islamic State. In the wake of the terrorists making dramatic new gains in Syria and Iraq he outlined a plan he felt would achieve victory over the brutal terrorist organization. Number one on the plan is the deployment of up to 5000 British/American troops.

Lord Dannatt said;

We have now reached a point when we must think the previously unthinkable and consider that British troops, acting as part of an international coalition, may be required to mount a ground campaign in Iraq and Syria.

Lord Dannatt called for London and Washington to seriously consider putting troops on the ground working with Russia and China in achieving a resolution even if it means making concessions to Moscow such as allowing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad political asylum in another country. Dannatt himself admits that the political challenges are great but given the threat posed by Islamic State they are justified.


The question I am putting to you is do you feel the situation has become such that it is now necessary to commit British (or international) ground forces to the fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq?

Please comment below.

– Tony

“The Illustrated Directory of Tanks of the World” by David Miller


This is a well illustrated reference book chronicling tank development in nearly every country in the world that has produced tanks at some point. I picked it up off Amazon for less than £5 including postage and packing several years ago and have read it right the way through probably several times now. I used to take it to work with me and read an entry or two during my lunch break which meant it lasted me a good few weeks.

What I liked…

This is rich in technical detail about the tanks. Miller is clear enough in his writing to help you build a good mental picture of the vehicle he is describing. If that’s not enough there is an abundance of photographs to feast upon and each entry has a detailed specification sheet before the text. There are a wealth of AFVs listed in here and there were a large number I had never heard of which is a positive. There is plenty of development history in most of the entries and the text is quite technical in places. The chronological layout of the entries for each nation help build up a good picture of the evolution of that country’s tank line.

What I didn’t like…

The value of a small number of the pictures are questionable. They either have limited recognition value or are reproduced quite poorly. Two whole pages are devoted to a single picture of several T-62 tanks but it is so grainy and abstract that when I first saw it I almost couldn’t make it out. Fortunately these are the exceptions. While the technical detail is rich the operational history and experience is quite limited. One thing I discovered and thought was unacceptable in a published book were a number of spelling and grammar mistakes. I am guilty of making mistakes too but I am not being paid to write nor do I have a publisher with a quality control department. I also noted that the font seemed to change in several entries which I think was done to squeeze more information on to two pages rather than have the entry spill over on to a third page. One final criticism that I am only including in the interest of fairness is that some entries seemed unnecessary. Four pages are devoted to the French AMX-32 even though it existed in prototype form only. The average number of pages for an operational tank is two to three.


This is a good book for people who are starting their interest in armored fighting vehicles and is well worth picking up. Despite one or two of its flaws I would recommend it. As I said I discovered a lot of new vehicles I never heard of before which is one of the advantages of a book over the internet. On the internet you have to look for new types but here they are all listed for you to browse.