Category Archives: Military

WWI 4.7-inch Gun Number 395 At The VFW Post 1137 in Watervliet, Michigan

One day when we were driving around, a WWI-era cannon caught my eye. It was positioned in front of VFW post 1137 in Watervliet, MI. Artillery of that era has a number of distinct markings – notably wooden wheels! So, I stopped and took photos – two times actually. One time in the Winter of 2019 and again in July of 2020.

Well, age and the elements are taking their toll but you can still see the 4.7″ M1906 and get a pretty good idea of what it looked like in its prime. Kudos to someone for making a stand to take the load off the old wooden wheels that could never handle it at this point.

Getting The Clues I Needed To Research The Cannon

In most artillery of this age, you can find what you need to start digging on the muzzle and the carriage. With this in mind, I made sure to get some photos as best I could of the info at those points.

The markings were hard to make out with the naked eye due to paint but with some digital photo editing, I could pull out the details. Northwestern Ordnance Co. 2665 Pounds. No. 395.
Getting in even closer and seriously tweaking the photo to enhance clarity, you can see that it says Northwestern Ordnance Co. 1918. The weight is definitely 2665. The initials in the lower right I am not sure of. I wonder if they were the inspector’s initials or some code. I can make out the letter H but not what is before it. You can see the bore area near muzzle still has its rifling.
It looks like there were three initials to the right of the gun’s number – “NO. 395”. The first two initials are too worn for me to make out but the last one looks like an “H”. I’m guessing but “R.B.H” maybe?
The emblem on the carriage was far easier to read and also our single best clue as to where to start digging. It was carriage number 702 for the Model 1906 4.7 inch gun. The carriage was made by Studebaker in 1918.

Doing The Research

From the carriage, I knew to start my Internet searching on M1906 4.7″ guns and Google immediately returned images, books and blog posts that confirmed that.

Here it back in the day! This is from the Handbook of Artillery: Including Mobile, Anti-Aircraft and Trench Materiel, May 1920.

Wikipedia gave me some info but then thanks to the Internet Archive Project, I found two scanned copies of US Army books that had lots of old pictures, diagrams and really comprehensive information about the 4.7″ gun. There is so much detail in these books that I am just going to give a quick overview in this post and you can learn more from these books:

Source: Handbook of Artillery: Including Mobile, Anti-Aircraft and Trench Materiel, May 1920.
Source: Handbook of Artillery: Including Mobile, Anti-Aircraft and Trench Materiel, May 1920.
Source: Handbook of Artillery: Including Mobile, Anti-Aircraft and Trench Materiel, May 1920.
Source: Handbook of Artillery: Including Mobile, Anti-Aircraft and Trench Materiel, May 1920.
Source: Handbook of Artillery: Including Mobile, Anti-Aircraft and Trench Materiel, May 1920.
Source: Handbook of Artillery: Including Mobile, Anti-Aircraft and Trench Materiel, May 1920.

More Details

The 4.7 inch (120mm) field gun was designed and issued by the US Ordinance department beginning in 1906 with the first units being delivered in 1911. It was manufactured by the Northwest Ordinance Co and carriages were made by three firms groups: Rock Island Arsenal, Walter Scott Co and Studebaker Co.

Apparently there were logistical problems with the unique ammunition it used resulting in limited numbers being built. Despite larger orders being placed, only 209 guns and 470 carriages were produced. 64 of the units were sent to France. 994,852 of the 4.7 inch shells it used were produced. Most of the units were used for training and the guns stayed in reserve storage until 1932. [Source – Wikipedia]. Note, that Wikipedia link is pretty cool for a quick high-level summary of the 4.7″ gun.

More Photos of Number 395

The photos below were taken on the two different visits mentioned above. If you click on one, you can see the full-size photo and navigate around as well.

Summary

I’ve heard from guys who grew up in this area and they tell me the gun moved around some over the years before landing at its current location in front of the VFW post. If anyone has more information, I’d sure be curious to hear it.

With that said, I now know a little bit more and hope you found this post interesting.


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Video: Russian Spetsnaz – Into Battle – Some very cool Shots of AK-12s and PKP Pechengs

When I have time, I like to watch videos of foreign militaries. Some dedicated folks create motivational videos that have catchy music and often some very interesting clips set to the music. One of these gifted groups is Military Forces XXI Century that has a channel on Youtube.

They have a new one featuring some very interesting clips of Russian Spetsnaz teams training entitled “Russian Spetsnaz – Into Battle”. What especially caught my eye was the extensive use of optics – both red dots by themselves and with magnifiers – on their PKP Pecheng machine guns. The PKP is the modernized PKM.

PKP with both a red dot and a magnifier.
That’s either a large red dot or some form of prismatic scope — it’s big enough.

Here’s The Video

Be sure not to miss when they are throwing their famous shovels 🙂

I hope you enjoyed the video as much as I did.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.



Video: Birth Of the Alien Tiger Czech Hind Attack Helicopter

I recently posted a video that shows the amazing paint job the Czechs did to one of their Mi-35 Hind-D attack helicopters. Little did I know that there was a “behind the scenes” short documentary about the decision making that went into that paint job and that they won an award for it.

They had a number of conventional ideas that didn’t really wow anybody until they thought of a guy who specialized in the bio-mechanical look.
They do have some footage of the fellow doing the work. It was he, his brother and a few technicians who spent about 200 hours doing the paint job. I wish they had more footage of it and at a higher resolution.

The Documentary Video

Again, if you haven’t seen it already, check out the other post with a ton of footage of this awesome Hind. I hope you enjoyed these!


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Ever Hear About The Time US Special Ops Snatched a Mi-25 Hind D Attack Helicopter?

Back in 1987, a damaged Libyan Mi-25 Hind D attack helicopter was captured by French and Chadian troops. The US wanted to inspect the helicopter and negotiated with the government of Chad to retrieve it.

Libyan MI-24 Hind D captured by Chadian forces at Wadi Doum, Chad .
Source: Wikipedia

On June 10, 1988, Operation Mount Hope III commenced to retrieve the Hind. The famous NightStakers (the 160th Special Operations Regiment) flew almost 500 miles at night with two MH-47 Chinooks to successfully retrieve the Hind and load it on a C-5.

On 21 June 1988, the captured Mi-25 arrived in N’Djamena where it was loaded into a USAF C-5
Source: Wikipedia

Videos

There are a couple of cool videos on Youtube that can give you some good background. The first one is very informative but please note the Hind D is not the fastest helicopter currently.

The next video has the same cover photo but is different:

Reading

If you want to read more, check out:

I hope you found this as interesting as I did.


Please note that the still photos are from the Wikipedia page listed above.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Video: The Alien Tiger – The Mi-35/24V of The Czech Air Force

I’m a huge fan of the Hind family of attack helicopters. This video is of the Czech Air Force’s Mi-35/24V that they painted special for the NATO Tiger Meet exercise. This is one of the most badass paint jobs seen on a Hind. It’s got the H.R. Giger Alien feel for it and the result is just wicked. I had to screen shot a few photos to share but boy, you have to watch the video below.

The Video

Kudos to the team that did the filming as well as the Czech 22nd Helicopter Air Base and the 221st Helicopter Squadron.

What a wicked video! I sure hope you liked it as well.


Please note that all images were extracted from the video and are the property of their respective owner.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Video: Manufacturing an Eight Inch High Explosive Howitzer Shell Circa 1917 – Shows a Ton of Machining Operations

If you like to watch old school machining, this video from the Library and Archives Canada is pretty amazing. It’s a silent black and white video that is just shy of 54 minutes long. The title of the video is “Manufacturing an Eight Inch High Explosive Howitzer Shell At The Works Of The John Bertram & Sons Company, Ltd., Dundas, Ontario – Canada”.

The video steps you through the process as well as general view of the shop. This shows you manufacturing in an era where a lot of artisan skill was required to turn out products. It’s really fascinating to watch. The following are some screen shots from the video:

Here’s the Video:


I hope you enjoyed this bit of history!


Please note that all images were extracted from the video and are the property of their respective owner.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Motivational Video: US Navy Seals and SWCC – “Never Quit”

Many folks have heard of the US Navy’s Sea Air and Land (SEAL) teams. The SEALs have been in a ton of movies and books but they are supported by another critical special warfare group – the Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman (SWCC). These are the teams that man the small boats that deliver and pick up the SEALs.

I have a lot of respect for the SWCC crews and get a real kick out of their boats – wow. These things are packing some serious firepower.

So, I ran across this cool motivational video this morning and thought I would share it:


Please note that all images are extracted from the video and remain the property of their respective owner(s).

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.



Motivational Video: Wolves || UkraInian SOF – Shots of the Malyuk Bullpup and UR-10 Sniper Rifle

Military Division makes some kick ass motivational videos of different special forces groups. They released this video entitled “Wolves || Ukrainian SOF” on December 6, 2019. It has some great videos and a wicked track.

What caught my eye is a number of shots of the Ukrainian Malyuk Bullpup Assault Rifle. I’m not sure what caliber they are running in the video but you can get it in 5.45×39, 7.62×39 and 5.56×45.

You can see a combination of AKs and also the Malyuk bull[pup.
Another view of two Malyuks
Pretty cool shot of a modern AK – note the EOTech and magnifier.
Another Malyuk shot
This is another cool rifle to show itself. It’s an AR pattern sniper rifle – the 7.62×51 UR-10 – with a can. It was in trials in for a number of years and announced in February 2018.

The Really Cool Video

I hope you enjoyed it!


Please note that all photos were extracted from the video and remain the property of their respective owner(s).


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.