Purpose of this blog

Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Sunday, September 15, 2019


 Last week we looked at the background to the mighty A-10 and its development, now we continue the story.

The A-10 has been made famous by its weapon, the GAU-8 Avenger. A weapon so massive that the A-10 has to have a special jack under its tail should the GAU-8 be removed for servicing. The weapon itself is offset to one side, and the barrel that fires is actually the 9 o'clock one. This barrel is the one on the centreline of the aircraft. In later years it would be related to another US procurement mess. 

Video doesn't seem to be working correctly, so here's a link. http://i.imgur.com/2TFpP1G.gif
In the mid to late 1970's the US Army was facing a number of new issues, mostly helicopters performing pop-up attacks and a new generation of vehicles, the M1 Abrams and M2 Bradley's entering service. The later had a higher degree of mobility than previous chassis and would therefore leave those older vehicles behind. This included the M163 Vulcan and Chaparral SAM's. For that reason, the US Army instigated the Advanced Radar-directed Gun Air Defence System (ARGADS) program. The hull in all versions was to be a M48A5 with a new engine, and rear deck. This seems utterly perplexing, as this would not have been able to keep up with the new front-line equipment either. 
Several companies were invited to tender designs. These included General Electric with an AA vehicle based around the GAU-8. All four entrants received a designation number. Although there has been no documentation to confirm it, it is likely the General Electric’s entry was given the number XM248. This is down to published numbers of all the other competitors, XM246 (General Dynamics), XM247 (Ford) and XM249 (Sperry Rand). There was a fifth competitor in the shape of Raytheon, but they were proposing a German Gepard turret mounted on the M48 chassis, and it is not entirely clear what happened to this project. 

The General Electric entry, with its GAU-8 was only ever created as a model. But one can get an idea of how devastating it could have been. On 7th of November 1979 an A-10 was used to attack a company of tanks, spread out in an attack formation. These tanks were M47's, fully stowed with ammo and fuel. The A-10 made ten passes, with one quick burst per tank, a total of 174 rounds were fired (total ammo capacity for an A-10 is over 1,000 rounds by the way). Each burst lasted for about 0.57 seconds. 
Interestingly, the attack angle for this was only about 3-4 degrees, so the A-10 must have been almost flat to the ground! This dive angle was to simulate the nap of the earth flying needed to avoid Soviet air defences. 
Of the 174 rounds fired, ninety rounds hit the vehicles, thirty of which penetrated the tanks armour. Three of the tanks were destroyed, four more were immobilized, of which two had their main armament destroyed and one final tank suffered a minor degradation in its ability to use its main gun. Thus, the A-10 had rendered an entire company combat ineffective as only two tanks were still operational, and a third mostly operational. 

The ARGADS project seemed to roll on for a while, and then was re-named to DIVisional Air Defence System (DIVADS). At this point General Electric brought out their scale model, re-worked it with a new radar fit, and new optics modelled on and resubmitted. Of the competitors only the Ford (XM247) and General Dynamics (XM246) designs were selected for comparative trials. In a shootout the XM246 thrashed the XM247. The XM246 achieved twice the number of hits, at over twice the range of the Ford entry. By the end of the shoot out the XM246 had shot down fifteen helicopters and the Ford just 8. 
So, the contract was awarded to the Ford with the XM247 becoming the ill-fated Sgt York SPAA. I have no idea how this happened, but I suspect the words "Congress" and "Committee" will be included somewhere. 
If you read the US Air defence journals.. this is the most awesome Air defence tank of all time...
The Sgt York went on to perform disastrously badly, on one occasion managing to lock onto the spinning blades of a ventilator fan on a toilet block on the range. Another time, the gun locked onto, and laid its guns onto, the viewing stands containing large numbers of the Army's brass, only to be prevented from firing by the gunner. 

As the Army had no other backup they continued to press forward with the project. Eventually Congress stepped in again, this time for good. The Sgt York was ordered to be put through a series of battlefield tests to prove it was capable. At first the Sgt York could not score hits on the drones, even when just flying along in a straight line. So, the drones were just set to hover, and still the Sgt York missed. In the end the drones were covered in radar reflectors to increase the strength of the radar return. Further tests and checks showed that while the gun was sufficient the tracking and laying system was fault ridden. Operational reliability was given as just 33%, which means that only 1/3 of all Sgt Yorks would be working at any one particular time. In 1985 the program was terminated.

Image credits:

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Empire Building

The US equipment procurement system is complex and impenetrable to an outsider. On at least one occasion it has been the subject for a comedy (Pentagon Wars). But today I feel we should cover that, and a few other items that are related to the A-10 Warthog, and the issues of US procurement run through the entire story. 

Roughly my reaction to this story... If you ever think your nation is bad at weapon procurement (I'm looking at you Czech Republic) refer back to this story.
The big argument was between the US Army and USAF, it was over Close Air Support (CAS). For the longest time the USAF had concentrated on high tech shiny supersonic marvels of the jet age. The Army, however, thought that CAS might be quite useful, while the USAF disagreed. The first inter-service agreement on the subject was from 1948. But by the outbreak of the Vietnam War the USAF had no way of providing CAS, and so started strapping bombs onto its planes. It was quickly found that these planes were somewhat ineffective. Luckily the US Navy and Marines operated the A-1 Skyraider, a plane designed in 1945, and the USAF begrudgingly brought these into service. It was from the experiences of the A-1 over Vietnam the A-10 would grow. 

Us Army Airborne Rocket Artillery from Vietnam, there's another bank of rockets on the far side of the aircraft. These were so heavy they were almost beyond the Huey's lift capabilities.
 In the early years of the Vietnam conflict the Army began to increase its rotary wing assets, much to the annoyance of the USAF which kept on trying to limit the Army's flight capabilities. The USAF view appears to have been if it flies it is part of the USAF’s remit, even if the air force was not working on the subject. Let’s not forget the main reason for the increase in rotary winged firepower was to provide the airmobile units sufficient firepower to do their jobs. By 1966 the air force relented and surrendered the control of rotary winged assets, but did come to the agreement that fixed winged assets were entirely within the scope of only the USAF. 

Rear of the AH-56 Cheyenne. Note the two tail rotors. One to prevent the body spinning, the other to provide forward thrust. Equally look at the size of the stub wings, these would actually provide a good chunk of lift when in motion.
The Army, then brought out their newest project, the AH-56 Cheyenne attack helicopter. This was vastly more capable attack helicopter than the AH-1 Cobra had been. It also bridged the gap between fixed and rotary wing aircraft. The USAF saw this as erosion of their responsibilities and immediately started putting up a fight against it. One of the responses to this threat was to launch the Attack Experimental (A-X) program to create a dedicated CAS aircraft. 

The A-X program was utterly despised by the air force brass. One Colonel was even fired after he was caught a bit too blatantly trying to sabotage the program. The core of the program was a group of experienced A-1 pilots, all with combat experience over Vietnam. The USAF then saw the US Marines working on the AV-8 Harrier program. They immediately attempted to use the A-X program to halt that development. Congress became involved as well. The result was the USMC's AV-8 was deemed not to be under the CAS umbrella and could go ahead. The AH-56 was also killed off partially for cost reasons. However, Congressmen had been approached by the manufacturers of the A-7 Corsair, which was suggested as a CAS aircraft by Congress, urged on by interests from Texas (The home state of the company that builds the A-7) . So, the Congressional hearings demanded that the winner of the A-X program would compete against the A-7, because reasons... 
A-7 pretending to be a dedicated CAS Aircraft over Vietnam. I mean it has a sharks mouth painted on it and everything!
The A-X program came to the conclusion that their plane needed the following abilities: massive cannon firepower, long loiter time and extreme survivability. Thus, two aircraft were selected. Both mounted the monstrous GAU-8 Avenger 30mm Gatling cannon, which we'll talk about later. The aircraft were the Northrop YA-9 and the Fairchild YA-10. The YA-9 bares a passing resemblance to a SU-25 Frogfoot. After comparative trials it was decided that the YA-10 was the winner and would go on to face the A-7. 
The YA-9 with its distinct SU-25/Warthog combination of looks.
Now the A-7 was in no way a dedicated CAS aircraft like the A-10. It was faster, with less loiter time, a lot less survivable, lacked the cannon armament and had a smaller payload. 
In 1974 the A-7 comparative trial was carried out. Despite the air forces utter disregard for the A-10, their hatred for the A-7 was greater. It appears the main reason for this was simply because it was a US Navy plane. The USAF was able to rig the trials to use the worst weather conditions they could, and thus prejudice the tests against the A-7. 
Even then with the A-10 coming out the winner of the A-X project, over the next few years it struggled to get into service with the USAF brass attempting to discredit or otherwise delay the project. It finally entered service in 1977, eleven years after the project was started, and five years after its first flight.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Tank Action!

The QF 4.5in howitzer had been designed off the back of the British experience in the Second Boer War, and by 1909 was entering service with the Royal Artillery. This stumpy looking gun formed a major part of the artillery arm of the British Army up until the arrival of the 25-pounder. Modernised with new shells and carriage improvements the gun finally went to war with the British Army in the Second World War. First the BEF took some with them, then the 8th Army used some in its campaign against the Italians. Their final combat use, by the British, took place in 1942 in Malaya against the Japanese.

The 155th Field Artillery Regiment had arrived in India in mid-1941, there they had remained while the unit underwent acclimatisation. Two batteries, one with eight 18-pounders and one with a similar number of 4.5in howitzers were dispatched to Malaya, arriving in October. Their first action was on the 11th of December, when the battery supported the 11th Indian division with a number of well performed shoots which checked the Japanese assaults on the positions. However, in a story that would become all too familiar the Japanese flanked the position, and the defenders were forced to withdraw.

What followed was a gruelling 176 mile retreat, over the next three weeks, with only three days not in action. Several of the shoots were performed point blank, and some were instrumental in allowing infantry formations to disengage, while the 155th's guns held the Japanese back. One Japanese officer, Colonel Masanobu Tsuji, stated that after a particularly severe pummelling from the British guns (which nearly killed him), if they had mounted a counterattack, they could have thrown the Japanese quite some distance backwards. However, the British forces were not in a position to conduct an offensive move like that.
4.5in guns in battery for the battle of Arras in 1917.
The next halted defensive position was at Trolak. Due to terrain there were limited positions to site artillery. Indeed, the only artillery unit ready to support the soldiers was the 350th battery of the 137th Field Artillery Regiment. The 155th was some six miles away. On the 6th of January 1942 the Japanese tried a new tactic. They conducted a frontal assault with tanks, at night. Around 0330 a force of ten Type 97 Chi-Ha's and five Type 95 Ha-Go's attacked the Commonwealth line, closely followed by lorried infantry. The first regiment on the road, the 4/19th Hyderabad Regiment, was overrun after bitter fighting. The next, the 5/2nd Punjab Regiment, managed to stall the Japanese attack by knocking out a tank with a Molotov, bottling the entire column up. The Japanese were now a sitting duck for artillery, and such a fire would have caused devastation, only the rain and darkness had cut communications, so the message could not be relayed to the artillery. Then the Japanese found a side road which would bypass the wrecked tanks. Still the Punjabi's resisted, it was not until about 0700 that they hit the third regiment on the road, the 2nd Bn, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
The situation deteriorated almost instantly in the darkness, the Argylls had only the briefest warning then they heard tracks approaching. The first four Japanese tanks appeared. The Argylls had mistaken them for Punjabi Bren Gun carriers and did not open fire. After realising their mistake, they began to fight, but were soon cut into small packets by the Japanese attack. Even so the bitter resistance held up the Japanese for some time.

The three tanks that were in the lead of the renewed attack were led by Lieutenant Sadanobu Watanabe. These made a charge down the length of the main road, a rampage that would capture a number of bridges and last for 16 miles. Three regiments of Indian infantry, two of which were Gurkha's and one Punjabi were caught on the march by the tanks as they raced along. The tanks just machine gunned them as they went past at full speed. Then the tanks spotted the 350th Battery, and all the turrets were turned to face that side and the gunners raked the 350th. The tanks carried on and approached the First Bridge. Here two Bofors 40mm's of the 16th Light AA battery awaited them. Due to the total air superiority of the Japanese these guns had been loaded and waiting for aircraft. Then they had heard the commotion at the 350th's position and laid their guns to fire up the road, just in time. At a range of 100 yards the 40mm's opened fired. However, they only fired HE. If this was because they only had HE ready for AA work or confusion is unknown, but the shower of rounds had no effect. The return fire soon killed or wounded the crews. As the tanks passed over the bridge Lt Watanabe leapt out of his tank with his sword and cut the wires to the demolition charges. He was under fire while doing this, and it seems he was wounded although he was able to regain his tank. At the next bridge he did not dismount, but instead used his tanks machine gun to disable the demolition charges.

Earlier the 155th Field Artillery Regiment was ordered forward to help support the situation, although at this time no one realised that the front had collapsed. The guns were moving forward with 400 yards between vehicles. At 0845 the lead gun, still limbered, met the Japanese tanks head on and was destroyed, this was at or near the bridge as one surviving British officer recounts how he took cover and watched as Japanese tankers dismounted and began to slaughter all the light AA gun crews they could find.
 The second gun was approaching a bend in the road when an officer met it and warned that there were Japanese tanks ahead. The Royal Artillery command "Tank Action" is for when enemy tanks are expected to appear immediately. The gun was unlimbered and aimed up the road, and not a moment too soon. The First Japanese tank rampaged around the corner. It was just 125 yards away. The gun spoke and the HE round smacked squarely into the tank, to no effect. Another round was fired setting the oncoming Japanese tank on fire. The other two tanks then advanced into sight and a brief firefight followed. The 4.5in fired another four rounds before being ordered to withdraw. As the gun was limbered up several Japanese tankers tried to rush the gun. It is likely that the rounds fired earlier had disabled one, or more of the tanks. Standing in their way was L/Bdr Mair and Capt Brown. The latter was badly wounded, having had one arm so badly injured that it would later be amputated, and was also missing two fingers from his left hand. Despite this Cpt Brown and L/Bdr Mair pulled their service revolvers and fought off the Japanese tankers. L/Bdr Mair was killed as he tried to board the gun tractor as it pulled out, Brown's fate is not recorded, however, he was awarded a Military Cross.
In this demonstration the gun has been modernised, including new wheels for mechanised towing, while the gun limber still has the old spoked wheels.
Now, the only force blocking the road was the remains of the 155th. Forming an ad-hoc infantry patrol several of the regiment’s personnel went forward and took the Japanese tankers under fire. Soon they were joined by a battery of anti-tank guns, which forced the Japanese tanks to fall back to the bridge. While successful, the end result would be the same. The gruelling retreat would continue all the way down Malaya to Singapore and the eventual surrender.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Immediate Take Off!

Just after 0300, on the morning of the 17th of January 1991 Lieutenant Zuhair Dawood, of the Iraqi Air Force, was on duty. The day previously the deadline set for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait had passed, and it seemed war was imminent. What Lt Dawood did not know was that the war had already started. The exact sequence of events is confused, however by about 0330 a flight of US AH-64 Apache's had struck at radar sites along the border knocking them offline. At the same time B-52's were hitting Talha with a pair of Iraqi MIG-25 Foxbat's attempting to intercept. While the low-level Iraqi radars were destroyed, their longer-range high-altitude systems were still intact. These picked up a large formation of Coalition aircraft heading towards Iraqi airspace. The phone rang at Alqadisiya air base, and Lt Dawood answered, to hear the yelled command of "MIG-25 immediate take off!".

Lt Dawood sprinted to the nearest MIG-25PD on his airbase and began to start his pre-flight sequence. In just three minutes the Foxbat was climbing away from the runway on full afterburner. During his climb out Lt Dawood was warming up his Saphire-25 radar.
Off in the distance there was a FA-18 Hornet, the pilot could see the afterburner flame from the Foxbat, equally he had a good radar return. The FA-18 locked onto Lt Dawood and prepared to fire. However, before he could release, he needed clearance from the E-3 Sentry controlling that part of the battlefield. The E-3 had more issues. The Foxbat was climbing on the edge of the radar, it also was not transmitting with its radar (which was still warming up) that would allow a positive Identification. For that reason, the FA-18 was not given permission to fire. With the lock obtained Lt Dawood knew he was under attack, and made a tight turn to the south, this meant he was heading towards the Hornet. The Hornet began to turn in towards the Foxbat, and the two planes created a circle, with each plane taking half the turn.
Please do not think of this as an old school, Second World War dogfight. There were hundreds of meters between the planes in this battle.
After both planes had covered about 180 degrees of the circle, Lt Dawood's plane was behind the Hornet's area of vision, and Lt Dawood was able to roll out of the turn and headed off south towards the main strike package. This meant he flew over the Hornet's wingman, who was over two miles from the first Hornet. By now Lt Dawood's radar had warmed up. The first thing that flashed up was a third Hornet, who was accelerating to fire a HARM towards the radars at Alqadisiya air base, so that the strike package of A-6E's could dive bomb the facility. At a range of 29km Lt Dawood fired a AA-6 Acrid missile, he held the lock until he saw the explosion. The missile detonated on the left side and below the cockpit. Containing 154lbs of explosive the blast threw the Hornet to the side about 60 degrees and inflicted 6G's onto the airframe. This caused several of the wing stores to be sheared off. The pilot, Lieutenant Commander Scott Speicher immediately ejected, but died later. Lt Dawood saw the plane spin into the ground as it burned. This was the first air-to-air kill of Operation Desert Storm.
An A-6 over Alqadisiya air base, only this is after 2003 and when the Airbase became one of the largest US bases in Iraq.
At about this time the A-6E's begun their attack, so Lt Dawood turned back towards his base. He then locked up another target and requested permission to fire from his ground controller. This was refused. Ground control stated that another MIG-25 had gotten away from base before the bombing started, and the aircraft shelters had to be sealed. However, ground control had lost track of it in the confusion. Fearing that Lt Dawood might be about to engage a friendly he was ordered to obtain a visual identification. Lt Dawood stated the target was too slow moving to be the missing MIG (in fact it was a A-6E), however, he was refused again, and ordered to return to base.

An Iraqi MIG-25 in a Hardened Aircraft Shelter, which was significantly less lucky than the one flown by Lt Dawood.
But which way was base? Lt Dawood asked for directions, as his navigation instruments were malfunctioning. Ground control stated they had lost radar contact as well but suggested a rough course. Then the connection with ground control dropped out. Now Lt Dawood was airborne, lost, with fuel running out. There were no lights as the power had been cut, all he could see were streaks of AA fire in the darkness. Then he spied Haditha train station still lit up. He knew its location and headed towards his base. He had no contact with the base tower as he approached the main runway. Suddenly a voice crackled over the radio warning him off the main approach. Lt Dawood was able to abort and land on a secondary runway. Later he found out that the main runway had been cratered.

Image credits

Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Box of Polish

In August 1944 a small group of Poles were surrounded in an area just two kilometres across, cut off and running out of ammunition they were fighting to hold the Germans at bay, then the SS soldiers arrived. I am not talking of the betrayal in Warsaw, but the battle of Mont Ormel in Normandy.

As the Allied battle plan for Normandy unfolded, with the British holding the German’s attention, and grinding forwards, while the Americans swept through the weakened portion of France, the Falaise pocket began to form. As the sides of the pocket began to form the Germans began a retreat through the mouth of the pocket. The last evacuation route from the pocket was a single road that ran through a pass on the ridge line numbered Hill 262, and on past the nearby village of Mont Ormel. The points of the hill were split into 262 north and south (denoted by "n" or "s" after the hill number), with the road running between the two.  On the 19th of August the 1st Polish Armoured Division was launched across the opening of the pocket, with the aim of zipping it up and trapping the German 7th Army. They would be supported by the rest of the Commonwealth forces on the north side and the US forces approaching from the south. The initial attacks were a great success, with Polish forces penetrating all the way across the pocket and linking up with the US forces. However, the 4th Armoured Division ran into stiff resistance and was held up. The Germans were able to attack the Poles from both sides and clear the way to begin evacuating along the Mont Ormel road again. There remained one tiny thorn in the Germans side. 

Polish Sherman's driving past German POW's. Looks like a bit of an exchange is occurring between the Loader and Commander, and the POW's.
At the start of the attack a detachment was sent to capture Hill 262. It consisted of the 1st Armoured Regiment, the 9th Infantry Battalion, which was re-enforced by a battery of anti-tank guns. There were scatted groups of Germans to be rounded up, some put up a fierce fight, others collapsed immediately. This force split into three groups, two capturing the village of Coudehard and the Manor House of Boisjos, the final group wound its way up a very narrow track onto the top of Hill 262n. As the lead tanks filtered into position on 262n, they came into view of the road through the pass. After a short while two massive German columns approached from two directions, both aiming to use the pass to reach safety. The roads became crammed with a colossal traffic jam of all the Wehrmacht’s vast and varied weapons and equipment. Everything from Panther tanks to bicycles. Motor transport from across Europe were laid out below the guns of the Polish forces. A Canadian observer tank had accompanied the Polish onto the hill, and in the short lull between arriving and the German columns approaching the observer had registered his guns on the crossroads. The massed artillery and the direct fire of the Polish force annihilated the two German columns. The Canadian observer later recounted:
"Men trying to flee. Their efforts were in vain, a shell soon found them and I saw bodies flying through the air. Another shell lifted the turret from a tank; a tank nearby caught fire. Our machine-guns carried on the slaughter. Ten minutes later everything on the road was in flames. Ammunition exploded inside the vehicles, killing the occupants."

The devastation wrought by the opening ambush.
Return fire from the Germans was inaccurate and no casualties were suffered by the Polish forces, who rapidly set about expanding the German trench lines they had seized earlier into better defensive works, extending all the way around the position. It was none too soon, as realising their route out was blocked the Germans began to plaster 262n with Nebelwerfers. With dusk approaching and a massive smoke cloud from the burning German columns it was decided to await first light to attack and seize 262s.

Overnight Germans managed to surround and cut off 262n and the Polish forces. Upon learning of this, the Poles considered counterattacking but realised this would be risky, and so decided to hold on and do what they could to cut the road. While the broken ground made it possible for some Germans to escape, especially at night, the road was seriously dangerous, and utterly unusable during the day. This would severely hinder any attempts to evacuate from the pocket and would certainly prevent any equipment being evacuated. Outside of the pocket the Germans brought up re-enforcements to open the way. Starting at midday 262n was subjected to concentrated artillery bombardment from within the pocket. This was followed up by assaults at about 1400 that penetrated some 300m into the Polish lines. Bitter hand to hand fighting erupted. It took until 1900 for the Poles to restore their lines. In doing so nearly all the ammunition in the Poles position was used up.
The closeness of the fighting. Here a German Panther and Sdkfz 251 are knocked out almost on top of each other. The Sherman tank was also knocked out.
The next morning things were looking bleak. The Poles had around 110 men unwounded, and were down to around five shells per tank, and the infantry less than 50 rounds per man. Of the detachment’s officers only four were still unwounded, three Lieutenants and the Canadian Observer. There had been an attempt to resupply using aircraft, despite the terrible weather knowing the desperation the cargo planes had tried. All their efforts were for nought as the ammunition was scattered outside of the Polish box. Throughout the following morning there were several assaults, but all were fought off, using up the final drabs of the Polish ammunition.

At 1100 SS troops had infiltrated through a wooded area to the rear and were close to the units dressing station which they took under fire. At the same location was the POW cage for the Germans that had been captured over the previous days. At a range of 50 yards the Germans poured small arms fire into the position, killing around 20 of the POW's. A Pole attempted to climb a tree with a red cross flag but was shot in the hand. The fire continued despite the POW's yelling to their comrades to cease. Then the German infantry charged en-mass. The Polish defenders were literally down to sticks, stones and bayonets with not a round between them. They knew it was useless to try surrendering to the brutal killers of the SS, and so readied themselves for their final fight.
Two Polish soldiers on 262n.
Twelve streams of glowing tracers ripped out of the Polish position and tore into the SS ranks. These ploughs of light ripped through the German lines, like a finger of destruction the tracers were drawn through the German lines. In desperation, the two AA troops of the headquarters squadron had been brought up. Each troop consisted of six Crusader AA Mk.II tanks. Each tank was armed with twin 20mm Polsten guns. Each gun was fed from a 60-round drum. The ammunition load out was all HEI. The attacking SS were caught out in the open, and utterly obliterated. The rounds also set fire to the vegetation on that flank, quickly forming a roaring wall of flame.
Polish Crusader AA Mk.II's before the battle of Mont Ormel.
Shortly afterwards, at midday, the first Canadian tank reached the Polish outpost. The Canadians had been fighting bitterly for some five hours pushing forwards as fast as possible to reach the beleaguered Poles, finally the Pocket was closed.
Vehicle Collection Point after the battle of 262n.
Image credits:
ww2today.com and www.nam.ac.uk