L21A1 .50 Calibre Machine Gun – 1960s Illustrated Spares List

We’re back with another video looking at an item from the TAB reference collection – an illustrated spare parts list for the L21A1. L21A1 is the British designation for the American Browning M2 .50 cal (12.7×99mm) machine gun. A past owner has written ‘Ranging’ on the cover, perhaps suggesting this booklet specifically covered the guns used by the UK’s Royal Armoured Corps in its Centurion and Chieftain tanks.

We have many more videos on important and interesting primary source materials in the works. If you enjoy our work please consider supporting us via Patreon for just a $1. Find out more here.

Check out videos on items from our reference collection here.

Fighting On Film: War Movie Sound Design with Sound Engineer Charles Maynes

Ever wondered how sound in films works? Ever wondered what goes into making a machine gun sound fearsome? What goes into making a battle sound realistic? This week we are lucky enough to be joined by Charles Maynes, an Emmy-winning sound engineer, who has worked on a dozen prominent war films including Flags of Our Fathers/Letters from Iwo Jima, Starship Troopers, The Alamo, The Great Raid, The Pacific and The Forgotten Battle.

The episode is also available on all other podcast platforms, you can find them here.

Here’s photos shared by Charles showing him recording weapons audio on location:

If you enjoy the podcast then please check out our Patreon here. Be sure to follow Fighting On Film on Twitter @FightingOnFilm, on Facebook and don’t forget to check out www.fightingonfilm.com.

Thanks for listening!

Fighting On Film: Testament of Youth (2014)

This week we are joined by historian Olivia Smith, one half of the brilliant Khaki Malarkey podcast, to examine 2014’s ‘Testament of Youth’. We discuss the book the film is based on, World War One nursing and Vera Brittain – the protagonist and author of Testament of Youth. Released around the centennial of the beginning of the Great War the film stars Alicia Vikander, as Brittain, alongside a stellar cast including Kit Harrington, Colin Morgan, Taron Egerton, Dominic West and Hayley Atwell.

The episode is also available on all other podcast platforms, you can find them here.

Here’s some stills from the film:

If you enjoy the podcast then please check out our Patreon here. Be sure to follow Fighting On Film on Twitter @FightingOnFilm, on Facebook and don’t forget to check out www.fightingonfilm.com.

Thanks for listening!

The Panzerfaust & Panzerschreck In The Rhineland

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of travelling to The Tank Museum in Bovington to film some segments for the new documentary on the Rhineland Campaign – ‘Rhineland 45‘. Not all of the segments I filmed discussing weapons could be included in the finished documentary – I filmed quite a few – so I’m pleased to share a couple here. This one looks at German infantry anti-tank weapons: the Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck. Thanks again to  Realtime History for inviting me to take part, check out the documentary here.

Check out the first video of this series on the use of the PIAT during the Rhineland campaign here.


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Fighting On Film: Memphis Belle (1990)

Join us this week as we discuss 1990’s ‘Memphis Belle‘, the fictionalised story of an 8th Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress’ last mission of her tour. Directed by Michael Caton-Jones and starring Matthew Modine, Sean Astin, Billy Zane, John Lithgow and Eric Stoltz the film is loosely based on the real ‘Memphis Belle’ which was the subject of the 1944 documentary film ‘Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress’.

The episode is also available on all other podcast platforms, you can find them here.

Here’s some stills from the film:

If you enjoy the podcast then please check out our Patreon here. Be sure to follow Fighting On Film on Twitter @FightingOnFilm, on Facebook and don’t forget to check out www.fightingonfilm.com.

Thanks for listening!

The StG-44 & How to Use It – Inside Military Aviation History & Military History Visualised’s Book

Today we’re taking a look at a primary source book put together by Chris of Military Aviation History  and Bernhard of Military History Visualized . The book came out a little while ago and is a very useful compilation of a few translated documents on Wehrmacht infantry tactics and the use of the StG-4.

Let’s take a look at ‘The Assault Platoon of the Grenadier-Company November 1944’!

The guys also now have a brand new project underway which compiles documents on the JU-87 Stuka dive bomber, check that out at www.stukabook.com


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Fighting On Film: Objective Burma (1945)

Lace up your jump boots, sharpen your machetes, load up your M1A1 Carbines and strap on your parachutes. This week we are joined by special guest historian James Holland as we discuss the 1945 Errol Flynn film ‘Objective, Burma!‘ We discuss the the war in Burma, the controversy around the film’s release in the UK and of course the film’s star Errol Flynn.

The episode is also available on all other podcast platforms, you can find them here.

Here’s some stills from the film:

If you enjoy the podcast then please check out our Patreon here. Be sure to follow Fighting On Film on Twitter @FightingOnFilm, on Facebook and don’t forget to check out www.fightingonfilm.com.

Thanks for listening!

British Home Guard Browning M1917 Booklet

During the Second World War the British Home Guard were extensively issued American .30 calibre Browning M1917 machine guns. These water-cool medium machine guns contributed significant firepower to the Home Guard fighting units. They began to enter service in late 1940 and by November 1942 there were some 6,330 in service.

A pair of Hounslow Home Guard man an American .30 calibre Browning M1917 (London’s Screen Archives via BFI)

With so many guns in service there needed to be a way of describing, categorising and identifying the weapon’s parts so an identification list booklet was drawn up giving the American and British nomenclature for the gun’s individual parts.

Front cover of the Parts Identification List for the Browning M1917 (Matthew Moss)

The booklet draws on the US Army Ordnance Corps’ Standard Nomenclature List A5 for the American parts names. The purpose of the booklet was basically to allow soldiers familiar only with British designations to know the necessary American nomenclature for the various parts. This would have been useful for when requisitioning replacement parts.

Page showing the gun itself from Parts Identification List for the Browning M1917 (Matthew Moss)

I plan on digitising much of what is in the TAB reference collection when I have the time and funds to do so, in the meantime a PDF of the pages from this booklet is now available here. Acquisition of this parts identification list booklet was made possible by our Patreon supporters – if you’d like to join us and help us share pieces of history like this one please check out the Patreon page here.

Check out videos on items from our reference collection here.

Fighting On Film: When Trumpets Fade (1998)

Join us as we look at ‘When Trumpets Fade‘, John Irvin’s HBO TV movie which follows a battle-weary squad leader torn between simply staying alive and leading his new recruits into action during the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest. Starring Ron Eldrad, Zak Orth, Frank Whaley, Timothy Olyphant and Bobby Cannavale the film shines a light on a largely forgotten battle and premiered just a few months before Saving Private Ryan.

The episode is also available on all other podcast platforms, you can find them here.

Here’s some stills from the film:

If you enjoy the podcast then please check out our Patreon here. Be sure to follow Fighting On Film on Twitter @FightingOnFilm, on Facebook and don’t forget to check out www.fightingonfilm.com.

Thanks for listening!

PIAT During the Rhineland Campaign

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of travelling to the Tank Museum to film some segments for the new documentary on the Rhineland Campaign – ‘Rhineland 45‘. We looked at various small arms used during the campaign ranging from Panzerfausts and Bazookas to MG-42s and M1A1 carbines.

Not all of the segments we filmed discussing the weapons could be included in the finished documentary, so I’m pleased to share a couple here. This one Brings Up The PIAT!

The Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank was used extensively during Operations Veritable and Varsity in March 1945. British and Canadian troops put them to use against enemy armoured vehicles and defensive positions within the forests, towns and villages of the Rhineland.

If you’d like a copy of my book on the PIAT you can pick one up here.

Thanks again to Real Time History for inviting me to contribute, check out the documentary here.


If you enjoyed this video and article please consider supporting our work here. We have some great perks available for Patreon Supporters. Thank you for your support!