WWII weapons in the Ayatollah’s Iran

The war between Iran and Iraq started in 1980 when Saddam Hussein sought to take advantage of Iran’s chaos by conquering and annexing Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan province, and in the larger sense, destroying the Iranian islamic regime’s military. In turn, the Iranians sought to first repulse the Iraqi attack and then knock Hussein out of power and replace him with an Iraqi theocratic government modeled on Iran’s.

The war ended up lasting eight years and was one of the worst of the 20th century. For the most part, Iran employed high-tech systems like the MIM-23 Hawk SAM and AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter, but there were some WWII weapons in Iran’s use as well.


(Iranian WWII-vintage M4 Sherman and M36 Jackson on the front lines of the 1980-1988 war.)


(Iranian WWII-era M115 artillery during the 1980-1988 war against Iraq.)

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The last Peashooters

Not all WWII fighter planes remained in use after WWII, and even fewer pre-WWII designs. One surprising exception was the 1930s-vintage P-26 Peashooter which was still in use in Guatemala as late as 1957.



(The P-26 Peashooter fighter in the colors of the 1930s US Army, and the 1950s Guatemalan air force.)

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Panzers in the Golan Heights

The last appearance by WWII German tanks on the world’s battlefields came in 1967, when Syria’s panzer force faced off against modern Israeli armor. Quite improbably, Syria had assembled it’s collection of ex-Wehrmacht vehicles from a half-dozen sources over a decade and a half timeframe.


(Syrian army Panzer IV tank)

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Ethiopians in the Korean War: WWII gear used

Sixteen nations sent forces to fight in the Korean War on the allied side. One of the lesser-known contingents was Ethiopia’s Kagnew battalion. It was equipped almost entirely with surplus American WWII gear.


(WWII-era Willys jeep of the Kagnew battalion in Korea.)


(Ethiopian soldiers in the Korean War. All of their kit – M1 steel pot helmet, OD green fatigues, web belt, M1911 sidearm – is WWII American gear.)

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MP 41/44 submachine gun: post-WWII use

Some items designed or built during WWII were “gifts that kept on giving”; having long successful careers after the war. Examples might include the Soviet T-34 tank, the American Gearing class destroyer, and the British Meteor fighter.

Neutral Switzerland’s MP 41/44 submachine gun was the opposite side of that coin, a military item developed during WWII which was not successful, but, that the nation was then saddled with after the war nonetheless.


(The MP 41/44 submachine gun.)

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ENS Ibrahim el-Awal: captured at sea

HMS Mendip, a  British WWII destroyer, served in four navies after the war and saw combat in two wars, including being captured on the high seas, certainly a rarity in the modern era.


(HMS Mendip serving in the Royal Navy during WWII.)


(The former HMS Mendip in Israeli service as INS Haifa after her capture at sea from the Egyptians.)

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Happy Independence Day

For my readers in the USA, I would like to extend wishes for a Happy Independence Day, 4 July 2016, as we celebrate 240 years of our nation.


(A nest of US Navy amphibious ships serving the occupation force at the former Imperial Japanese Navy base at Yokosuka on 4 July 1946, the first post-WWII Independence Day celebration. Most of these ships were soon scrapped but LSM-159 and LSM-439 were later transferred to the nationalist Chinese navy.)