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Much has been written about Operation Market Garden, normally following the exploits of the paratroopers, or trying to pin blame on why it failed. However as well as the air operations there was also a sizeable ground force, led by the Guards Armoured Division.

One officer in the Coldstreamers was Robert Boscawen; this account follows his part in Operation Garden, as the ground element of the operation was known. It is based largely upon his book "Armoured Guardsman" which covers his part in World War Two, and is well worth a read.

As the Coldstreamers were a follow on unit to the Irish Guards, they did not move out from their start positions until twenty four hours after the lead elements. Throughout the day all could be heard was a constant drone of aircraft ferrying troops to Operation Market.

When the Coldstreamers moved out, the first thing they had to do was drive past nine Irish Guards tanks that had been knocked out by German anti-tank guns. The ambush was within 100 yards of the Dutch border: despite the massive creeping bombardment, the Germans had been dug into a farm complex on the flank. This position was only silenced by some of the Typhoons from the seven squadrons deployed to cover the advance. From then on the Typhoons kept up constant coverage of the flanks of the advance, much to the appreciation of the Irish Guards.

For the next five days the Coldstreamers only had to contend with the deteriorating weather, however the main advance was running into trouble beyond the village of St Oedenode. German forces had launched a counter-attack into the flank of the Guards Armoured Division, the attack had reached the road and several trucks had been destroyed.

The first Robert Boscawen knew of this attack was when the road turned from a massive traffic jam to being utterly deserted. Peering into the driving rain the soldiers could not see far so quickly dug in with what they had: a few small arms with limited ammunition. Boscawen himself only had his revolver with six rounds. Further down the column, a 17-pounder gun was found, brought up and dug in. However, there were no shells. This scratch defence held on in the cold and wet, unable to light any fires for fear of attracting German attention. Even so the Germans sent a few mortar bombs in their direction.

The following day tanks and fighting troops arrived in the form of US Paratroopers and some Shermans. The Shermans were from the replacement squadron of the Coldstreamers, and so they were not a coherent unit and had no experience or preparations. The attack failed.

Finally the following day, after another stressful night, saw the arrival of the 7th Armoured Division whom had been widening the hole punched in the German lines by the Guards Armoured Division. The battle-hardened soldiers quickly re-opened the road and the advance could continue. However by now it was clear Operation Market had failed, so Operation Garden was suspended.

David “Listy” Lister
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
As the development of military aviation in Greece began to ramp up in 1911, the Hellenic government turned to France and sent six of their officers to be trained as pilots, whilst ordering their first aircraft from the French firm Maurice and Henry Farman. Emmanuel Argyropoulos performed the first flight in Greece in February 1912 using a small, 50-hp Nieuport. Later that day a second flight took place when Argyropoulos took off again, this time carrying the Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos.

In May of the same year 1st Lieutenant Dimitrios Kamberos flew the first Hellenic military flight in a Henry Farman. Just a month later Kamperos flew his seaplane - a converted Farman 'Daedalus'. Flying at 110km per hour he set new world records and highlighted possibilities of a Greek naval air arm. Sadly, whilst flying from Phaleron to Patras in a Bleriot in 1912, Alexandros Karamanlakis lost his life during an unsuccessful attempt to ditch and became the first Greek pilot to be killed in a flying accident.

By September 1912, four military pilots established the first Greek air combat unit in Larissa. During the Balkan war the first air reconnaissance sorties were flown; in October - just a month after the birth of the first air combat squadron - a successful bomb drop on the Bizani strongholds was carried out.

During the First World War, both the Greek army and navy utilised air squadrons for carrying out reconnaissance and bombing missions. The two separate organisations continued to act within their own remits until 1930, when Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos founded the Aviation Ministry and the Royal Hellenic Air Force (RHAF) was added as an independent organisation within the Hellenic armed forces. The following year the Air Force Academy was established. In 1934 the RHAF began an extensive period of modernisation, developing the rank structure used to this day and importing new aircraft from as far afield as Germany, Poland and Britain.

World War Two saw conflict between Greece and Italy; 77 RHAF aircraft entered combat against some 460 Italian aircraft. Largely outnumbered, the men of the RHAF showed immense courage; with comparatively few aircraft they were still able to collect vital information regarding Italian movements whilst providing protection across the Greek skies. The greatest noticeable impact was the damage to the enemy's supply line during the conflict.

During November 1940 a RHAF Breguet 19 flew at low level along the front line near Albania, managing to attack an Italian Alpine Division . This impacted greatly on operations in the area. Shortly after this, Flying Officer Marinos Metralexis showed great initiative and bravery when, after expending all of his ammunition against an Italian three engined bomber, he then rammed the propeller of his PZL P.24 into its rudder to bring the aircraft to the ground. These two incidents signalled to Italy that although outnumbered, the Greeks had great courage and posed a greater threat than envisaged.

The RHAF continued its unceasing defences, successfully seeing of a large attack in Spring 1941. When Germany invaded it was again an unbalanced battle. But, once again Greece showed great courage. The RHAF shot down 64 Luftwaffe aircraft; sadly this came at the cost of 52 Greek aircrew killed.

Following a spirited fight, defeat at the hands of the vast German military was tragically inevitable. A few Greek aircraft escaped - fleeing to Cairo these surviving crews reformed under the British RAF to continue serving throughout the remainder of the war. After the liberation of Greece in 1944 the RHAF was heavily involved in both the Greek Civil War and the Korean war.

Today the Hellenic Air Force is a modern fighting force spearheaded by US aircraft such as the F-16. Currently in a period of transition, the Hellenic Air Force is about to take another quantum leap forwards in terms of capability and is assessing its options for the future.


War Thunder Team


To honor the Hellenic Air Force, we are proud to present the Hellenic Air Force roundel, which will be added to War Thunder in the one of the upcoming updates
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
From 18:00 GMT on September 21 to (approximately) 20:00 GMT on September 21

The Dev Server with Update 1.43 will be open for public!

Dear Players!



The dev server will be opening tonight, featuring the new War Thunder Update 1.43. Find the current change log and be invited to provide feedback in our forums!

Download the launcher for the dev server client here. Be sure not to install it to your regular War Thunder folder.

The War Thunder Team
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
From 12.00 GMT on September 20th to 12.00 GMT on September 22nd

+30% RP gain for Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F1, F2, G & H

Kurt Knispel was born on September 20th 1921 in a small town called Salisfled in Czechoslovakia. Knispel spent most of his childhood in Mikulovice, where his father worked in an automotive factory. Knispel disliked factory work and in April 1940 Knispel joined the Wehrmacht as a volunteer.

Knispel started basic training at the Panzer Replacement Training Battalion at Sagan. There he was subjected to his general military training: PT, how to march, salute and use weapons such as the P38 pistol, Kar98k rifle, and hand grenades. After basic training Knispel went onto Panzer training to operate the Pz I, II, and IV. On October 1st Knispel was transferred to a “Field Unit” of the 3rd Company of the 29th Panzer Regiment, 12 Panzer Division where he finished his training as a loader/gunner on the Pz IV. During training at Putlos he first demonstrated his abilities as a gunner; he had a gift of total three-dimensional vision as well as extraordinary reflexes. But to Knispel’s dismay, he remained a loader.

Knispel first saw action in August 1941 in a Pz IV tank. During Operation Barbarossa he quickly rose to the position of gunner under the command of Lt. Hellman. By January 1942 Knispel had returned to Putlos to undergo his training in the new Tiger tank and at the time he was already credited with 12 tanks victories. His next home was the 1st Company of the 503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion where he took part in the Battle of Kursk as flank cover to the 7th Panzer Division. From there he went on to commanding a Tiger II within the same unit.

Knispel was recommended four times to the receive the Knight’s Cross, an award he never received. This did not concern him as he was not driven by fame or decoration. Knispel’s record lists 168 confirmed tank kills, but when unconfirmed victories are included, the total adds up to 195. Even at 168 confirmed, this makes Knispel the most successful tank ace of World War II.

He scored an incredible kill of a Soviet T-34 tank at a range of 3,000 meters. Knispel was awarded the Iron Cross First-class (15 kills) and then the Tank Assault Badge in Gold after more that 100 tank kills. After destroying 126 tanks Knispel was awarded the German Gold Cross while becoming the only German NCO to receive this honor to be mentioned in the Wehrmacht communique in World War II. It is also said that he credited many kills to others that he could have called his own. Knispel most often shied away from this type of argument and was known for his affable nature. Knispel as a tank commander was in his own element, at times he even faced superior enemies alone to give the units he was supporting the best chance to advance or the safest passage of retreat. Alfred Rubbel, one of Knispel’s first commanders, stated that when he was on the field of battle he never abandoned anyone, even in the worst of situations and conditions.

Knispel was battle-hardened by conflict in many areas which included Kursk, Vinnitsa, Jampol, Kamenets-Podolsk, the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket, Cean in the retreat from Normandy then to the Eastern Front in the battles near Mezotur, Torokszentmiklos, Kecskemet, Cegled, Gran Bridgehead, Bab Castle, Laa, Nitra, Gyula, and his final battle in Wostitz, where he was fatally wounded on April 28th 1945, ten days before the war ended.

His lack of authority towards the higher ranks of the German command contributed towards his slow advancement through the rank. On one occasion Knispel assaulted an officer who he saw was mistreating Soviet POWs. Knispel had a tattoo, a goatee, and longer than regulation hair, but spite all of that he was well liked by his fellow soldiers and his skills were never matched. At the age of 23 Knispel had more tank kills than Michael Wittmann, Ernst Barkmann, Johannes Bolter, or Otto Carius.

The end of this sad story of the death of a legend has a positive as Knispel’s remains were found by historians in Vrbovec in an unmarked grave behind a church. “He was identified by the military tattoo on his neck” a spokesperson said from the Moravian museum. On April 10, 2013 Czech authorities confirmed that Knispel's remains were found among 15 other German soldiers behind a church wall in Urbau. It is likely that he will be reburied at the military cemetery in Brno. Rest in peace Kurt Knispel.

Andrew "Tzeentch_Chaos" O'Sullivan
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
From 15.00 GMT on September 19th to 10.00 GMT on September 23rd

'Curling' (+20% RP and +20% SL) will be available in the 'Events' tab of the game menu

The objective of the "Curling" event is to escort an allied armoured column through the lines of enemy artillery fire heading to a capture zone. On the way to the capture zone, tanks are invincible to the players’ fire, but as soon as the columns reach the capture zone, players get the opportunity to destroy the enemy tanks.

Players from both teams can either destroy the artillery in the path of the allied armored columns, or interfere with the enemy team by destroying enemy planes and limiting their effectivity. In the capture zone every destroyed tank slows down the capturing process of the territory, so you can also focus on the destruction of armoured vehicles in the capture area! Independent on what way you choose to go, only a coordinated effort of all players will lead to victory!


The War Thunder Team
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
The Belgian Air Force (today known as the Belgian Air Component) was officially founded on the 16th April 1909. At first, the new branch consisted only of one balloon company. However, just before the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, 4 squadrons of Farman HF.16 and HF.20 reconnaissance aircraft were added into their ranks.

During the Great War, the Belgian Air Force took part in the fierce combat over the Western Front. Many Belgian aircrew were involved in pioneering acts, such as air patrols, dogfights with German airplanes and attacks on observation balloons. What was more astonishing was that most of the time they were not flying in fighter aircraft. The first Belgian fighter squadron was the 1ère Escadrille de Chasse, equipped with French Nieuport 10 fighters. Overall, during the war, the Belgian Air Force conducted over 700 sorties, with 71 confirmed victories. The top Belgian ace of the war was Willy Coppens, credited with 36 observation balloons and 3 German aircraft destroyed during the conflict

In the interwar period, Belgium mainly operated the Breguet 19 light bomber. Just before the outbreak of the Second World War, the country was desperately seeking to upgrade the Air Force. This resulted in the acquisition of more modern designs, such as Fiat CR.42, Gloster Gladiator and Hawker Hurricane fighters, as well as Fairey Battle light bombers. One interesting transaction was the acquisition of a license to produce the Polish PZL.37 Łoś medium bomber. However, none were ever built.

In May 1940, the Belgian Air Force consisted of three full regiments of battle ready aircraft. However, the German forces conducting the offensive of the Low Countries and France severely outnumbered the Belgian Air Force. In the ensuing combat, the force was eradicated by the Luftwaffe, as it held air superiority. This defeat did not stop the Belgians. After escaping to the British Isles, many Belgian pilots found their way to serve in RAF squadrons during the war.

Two fully Belgian squadrons – No. 349 and No. 350 - were also created as part of the RAF Volunteer Reserve. Both of those squadrons took active part in fighter sweeps and ground attack duties in Western Europe. They were mainly equipped with Supermarine Spitfire fighters and Hawker Typhoon fighter-bombers. The top scoring Belgian ace of World War II was Remi van Lierde, credited with 6 aircraft and 44 V1 flying bombs destroyed. For his service, he was awarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Bars.

After the Second World War, the Belgian Air Force was deemed as a very important force multiplier for NATO operations in Western Europe. At first operating late Supermarine Spitfire models, it stepped into the jet age with the acquisition of the Gloster Meteor F.4 and F.8 jet fighters. Later on, it operated aircraft such as the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak, SABCA Hunter, Avro CF-100 and the SABCA F-104 Starfighter. Currently, the Belgian Air Force's main warplane is the SABCA F-16.

Adam "BONKERS" Lisiewicz


To honor the Belgian Air Force and Belgian pilots, we are proud to present the Belgian Air Force roundel, which will be added to War Thunder in the one of the upcoming updates
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
The USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on 18th of September, 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. One must surely then think - “Why does a force so important as this only receive recognition after the Second World War, where it proved it’s worth?”. The answer is fairly simple.

The United States Air Force was brought into life with the signing of the National Security act in 1947. Before that, air power was prevalent in the American military. The first air corps was created on the 1st of August 1907, with the creation of the Aeronautical Division in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army. In the First World War, American pilots took part in the conflict as part of the American Expeditionary Force. After the “Great War”, the US Army Air Corps was established and started to pioneer new advancements in the field of aviation, such as mid-air refueling or the adoption of full-metal monoplanes instead of biplanes seen in the arsenal of other Air Forces around the world.

In 1941, the Air Corps was transformed into the United States Army Air Force. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the consequence of which was the United States of America actively joining the second world war, the USAAF began combat operations. The US pilots fought in Western Europe, Africa and Asia, along with other allied air forces. Even so, they were controlled by the Army and were not autonomous.

Regardless of this, the war effort of the pilots and ground crews of the USAAF cannot be downplayed - it was the Air Force that suffered 12% of the overall Army casualties in the war. Also, 36 members of the USAAF received the highest American decoration - the Medal of Honor - for their bravery in face of combat.

After the Second World War, the American Congress, with President Truman decided, that the Air Force should be separated into a standalone branch of the US Military. After some initial planning, President Truman ordered the creation of the Department of the Air Force in 1947, separate from the Army. Since that day, the United States Air Force has taken part in several conflicts around the globe, such as the Korean War, the Vietnam war and Operation Desert Storm. Currently, it’s strength lies with over 5000 aircraft, 450 ICBM’s and nearly 700 thousand personnel, ready to defend their homeland.

We salute all who serve and who had served in the US Air Forces throughout the years.

The War Thunder Team
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
From the 17th September 12:00 GMT to 18th September 12:00 GMT
+30% research points for all modifications of Ju 87


Compared to its contemporaries, the Douglas SBD Dauntless or Aichi D3A “Val”, there is nothing uniquely special about the Junkers Ju 87, yet no aircraft before or since has achieved the fearsome reputation. Its generic designation “Stuka”, shorted from “Sturzkampfflugzeug”i (diving attack aircraft), was elevated into a dictionary entry.

Legendary German aviator Ernst Udet used a Curtiss Hawk II (D-IRIK, exists today purchased to demonstrate the well known dive bombing tactic in May 1934. This generated enough interest to officially pursue the tactic and act on designs by Karl Plauth and Hermann Poh. Pohlmann used a Junkers K 47 as a test bed, strengthening the airframe with twin tails for clear view.

The Stuka followed the typical Junkers design philosophy of the time of tapering wings, this time to nearly a point, and a slotted plain flap mounted below the main wing, a design invented and named after Professor Junkers. The Doppelflügel (double-wing) seen on Ju 52 and Ju 86 offered excellent slow landing speed, an important ability in the days of grass runways but also improved maneuverability a nominal amount. When the Ju -87-V1 prototype first flew in 17 September 1935 it included twin tails like the K 47 looking like a single engine Ju 86.

The famous "inverted gull wing" of the Stuka was a common tactic to keep the landing gear as short as possible, a design seen on the F4U Corsair and Loire-Nieuport LN.401. The Stuka's speed was considered too low to gain worthwhile advantage from retractable gear, as the weight and complexity penalizes a significant portion of speed gain. Also in 1933 retractable gear was at the limits of technology and failures were common. There is every indication the drag of the gear was deliberately planned feature to control dive speed also.

The initial prototypes were equipped with Rolls Royce Kestrel engines (forerunner of Merlin), but the native German offerings, BMW "Hornet" and later Jumo 210Aa was was underpowered. The twin tails of the first prototype were too weak and broke on testing causing fatality of test pilot and his engineer. The situation became so dire for the the new aircraft that at one point the recently minted RLM cancled the entire Ju 87 project for a rival Heinkel He 118 design; fortunately for Junkers, Ernst Udet immediately reversed the decision citing a previously disastrous test flight.

The travails and tribulations were not over yet for this future legend, as performance was still far from adequate with Wolfram von Richthofen, cousin of the famous Red Baron, highly critical of the slow speed. Still, Richthofen and others did overall praise the aircraft and shortly the Ju 87A rolled out to participate in the Spanish Civil War.

Experiences form the SCW were incorporated into the new B model with early units also going to Spain where the new design finally matured to a powerful machine with a highly sophisticated automatic dive bombing mechanism and bomb drop pattern controls. By the time WW2 started with the invasion of Poland, the Luftwaffe had 336 Ju 87B units on hand. A new dive bombing sight improved combat accuracy to within 10 meter radius. The most unique and memorable feature installed was the "Horns of Jericho", a feature attributed to Ernst Udet. While it penalized its top speed, the ear splitting screech was incredibly terrorizing to those in the sights to the point it became more destructive than the bombs itself, becoming the only thing victims spoke about.

While the mythos grew, the combat effectiveness diminished. The slow Ju 87 was becoming an easier target as the defensive fighters became faster and heavier armed. Attempts to improve performance only delayed the inevitable, yet despite its age the Stuka managed to do better than expected; it had to because no effective successor materialized. Its slow, steady flight proved a perfect platform for twin 37mm cannons that devastated all manner of ground vehicles. To that end, when Fairchild Aircraft designed the A-10 Warthog, they studied the combat record of the Ju-87 above all other WW2 combat aircraft.

Joe “Pony51” Kudrna
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
Many post war commentators wrongly accuse and the inactivity of France and the United Kingdom during the invasion of Poland by German forces. But few people know that there was actually an offensive made by France in Germany which aimed to stop or slow down the Blitzkrieg over Polish territory. An agreement was signed on May 19th, 1939 , in Paris between General Gamelin and the Polish Minister of War, General Kasprzycki. The most prominent issue was the material support by France, which was accomplished by the delivery of fifty R35 tanks in July 1939. Also, in the event of an invasion or a large numbers of German soldiers heading to Poland, the French army could be asked to act as quickly as possible to ensure that the enemy redirected its forces on a new front.

The Saar offensive consisted of substantial numbers of soldiers and tanks supported by artillery. An ambitious frontal attack was launched on September 4th, on the initiative of the 4th Infantry Division. They were progressing well and almost all their targets and objectives were completed by September 7th. Unfortunately, the Germans had heavily mined and trapped certain strategic points en route, causing the first losses in the French ranks. They faced a kind of mine that was later copied by French engineers where the user guide was actually a direct translation of the German instruction booklet. The famous S-mine , an explosive leaping device, was able to kill within 20 meters by using numerous small steel balls; this revolutionary device was the reason for the loss of many soldiers taken off guard. The armored forces mainly composed of R35 and some FT-17 tanks; the significant threat to these vehicles was the Teller mine, which also proved itself to be successful during the war.

The German First Army, commanded by General Erwin von Witzleben, were relatively few in number with no armor available to oppose the French mechanized units, a great lack of cannons and artillery and, of these 17 units, 10 were reservists. The Germans had no other choice but to withdraw and conduct rearguard combats. By chance, the multiple traps significiently slowed the advance of the invasion and the heavily fortified Siegfried line stopped them completely. The French did not have the necessary means to break through, and an attempt ended in failure near Brebach.

Their initial instructions were to take and hold the conquered territory, and to dig in to establish a first line of defense. Unfortunately, the French general-staff decided otherwise due to the turning tide of the war. The Polish army was almost defeated and German units were transferred to the West starting on September 14th, whilst French air power was now losing its foothold in the skies with the reinforcement of Luftwaffe units in the vicinity. French reserve forces were also unready, and the divisions were more or less scattered. A retreat was decided on September 30th and French units withdrew slowly and gradually while trapping many bridges built by the French engineers. Many anti-tank barricades were established and farm vehicles were used to block village entrances guarded by the French. The German army, meanwhile, was preparing for the attack and launched their counter-offensive on October 16th to reclaim their territory. The last French forces returned to France on October 24th, leaving the borders unchanged in any way. France had failed to lighten the incredible burden on Polish forces.

2 French fighter pilots were lost during the action, their MS.406s were shot during fighting against the Bf-109. The Morane-Saulnier (MS) 406 was one of the most popular French fighter aircraft at the beginning of the war. Reliable, extremely strong and highly maneuverable but lightly armed, it was popular with its pilots.

The War Thunder Team
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
Award-winning developer and publisher Gaijin Entertainment and the Central Museum of Armoured Vehicles in Kubinka, have announced a dual partnership to fully restore a World War 2 era Soviet T44 tank.

“This is a rare opportunity to bring a piece of military history back to life for our players and tank enthusiasts,” said Creative Director Krill Yudintsev. “The T-44 was one of the first tanks in War Thunder and we are excited to restore one of the last surviving examples currently on display in the Kubinka museum."

Upon finalization of the restoration, the T44 will take pride of place in the Kubinka tank museum and will play a central part in historic reconstruction festivals and other museum events and exhibitions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bLBV2YAs_w
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