Tag Archives: ISIL

French gun trucks are making it ran across Iraq

Below we see a series of three really great shots of what the French label as TF Wagram, shown showing ISIS/ISIL/Daesh west of Mosul in support of the Iraqi troops engaged on the ground there. The force consists of just 150 gunners, security and supply troops and four truck-mounted 155mm guns. They arrived in Iraq last September and have been proving fire missions directed by forward observers embedded with Kurd and Iraqi troops.


The GIAT CAESAR (CAmion Equipé d’un Système d’ARtillerie; French: Truck equipped with an artillery system) is a self-propelled 155 mm/52-calibre howitzer, installed on a Renault Sherpa 10 6×6 chassis. Adopted by the French in 2000 for rapidly deployable troops, the set up is pretty light (17~ tons) when compared with the U.S. M109A6 Paladin which weighs 28 tons and monstrous German Panzerhaubitze 2000 which tips the scales at 55-tons.

Caesar was just adopted by the Danish Army last week and is in service with Indonesia, Lebanon (via French military aid) and Thailand who used them against the Cambodian army in a 2011 border dispute to good effect against 190-era Soviet-supplied Grad rocket trucks which they outranged.

Balsa wood, is that you? Is this me?

A tank made of wood that was used by Islamic State militants as a diversion tactic is seen in Bawiza, north of Mosul, Iraq November 13, 2016. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

A tank made of wood that was used by Islamic State militants as a diversion tactic is seen in Bawiza, north of Mosul, Iraq November 13, 2016. REUTERS/Ari Jalal

Reports from Iraqi and allied forces advancing around Mosul is that the Islamic State forces are using bearded mannequins, wooden tanks and other props to help draw fire away from their positions.

While easy to discern as fakes up close, from the soda-staw eyes of a drone camera hundreds of feet in the air, or the binos of a commander a half-mile out, they look a lot like the real thing.

The thing is, the U.S. military has done this for 150 years.

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More in my column at Guns.com

Dat bayonet, doe

You have to admit the PEQ-15, bayonet and mono-pod forward grip combo on an old-school M16 with a steel mag warms your heart

SOUTHWEST ASIA (Sept. 17, 2015) U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan Ripoyla moves to his next firing position during a bi-lateral training exercise. Ripoyla is a rifleman with India Company, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The 15th MEU, embarked aboard the ships of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, is a forward-deployed, flexible sea-based Marine air-ground task force capable of engaging with regional partners and maintaining regional security. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jamean Berry/Released)

SOUTHWEST ASIA (Sept. 17, 2015) U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan Ripoyla moves to his next firing position during a bi-lateral training exercise. Ripoyla is a rifleman with India Company, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The 15th MEU, embarked aboard the ships of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, is a forward-deployed, flexible sea-based Marine air-ground task force capable of engaging with regional partners and maintaining regional security. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jamean Berry/Released)