Bob Semple Lives! In Iraq…

Thanks to achtungbitte for this one.

Hello everyone,

you probably have already heard of the infamous Bob Semple, possibly the worst tank ever built (with serious intentions at least). If you haven’t, I suggest you look it up, because the story behind it is hilarious. Here’s how it looked (and yes, this was a completely serious tank project, designed to protect New Zealand from Japanese invasion – how well that went, you can probably imagine).


What you might not know however is that recently, the spirit of Bob Semple haunts the sandy areas of the Kurdish part of Iraq, where the infamous tank was reincarnated… into this:

1 4JoNg7IH4hNst0miB2Rmrg

The Kurdish security forces (YPG), not having access to either lawfully obtained (like the Iraq army) or looted (IS) modern arms, resorted to the good old human resourcefulness and built some of these weird improvised armored vehicles, based usually on the chassis of tracked tractors or bulldozers. They are planning to use these vehicles to fight the Islamic State fanatics – one must admire their bravery – riding into battle in such contraptions surely is a heroic act.

1 ntoUQn3sDLvQ2RVbo3O0rQ

The thing about these tanks is that they are actually quite dangerous – to their crews. While the “armor” (usually made from whatever sheets of metals the Kurds could find) is probably thick enough to protect the crew from small arms fire (probably just barely though), the vehicle is all but helpless against anything larger, including heavy machineguns and RPG’s (let alone anything heavier). As for their offensive capabilities, you can probably imagine yourselves how ineffective a MG turret is, when you don’t even see what’s going on outside.

Unfortunately for the Kurdish forces, IS terrorists (who, by any human standards, come as close to modern version of cardboard-cut villains as possible) looted a large number of various arms from the demoralized and undertrained Iraq government forces, including (serious) armor. While the concept of a homemade tank á la Bob Semple was theoretically reasonable in WW2 (especially in the beginning, when most armies lacked any sort of heavier weaponry against tanks apart from artillery), in the world where practically every unit has RPG’s, mortars and machineguns at their disposal, it’s almost a certain suicide.

With the Americans helping to push the IS terrorists back with air strikes and woving to supply the Kurdish forces with modern weapons, let’s hope these strange vehicles will not really be needed.

60 thoughts on “Bob Semple Lives! In Iraq…

      • They were used for fighting in the North when ISIS attacked.

        Unfortunately while the Iraqi army has made some strides in the equipment they possess…. their tendency to deploy tanks in static positions without support from infantry continues to cause certain… problems. As in there have been cases apparently where their opponents have been able to actually walk up to the tanks and place charges or otherwise attack them in touching proximity.

        You see the problems Iraq faces when that can happen…

    • Peshmerga and YPG are different groups. YPG is a offshoot part of PKK (which is a terrorist organization fighting against Turkish Government) YPG has no heavy modern weapon like tanks. But Peshmerga have too because of they have autonomous area on the northen Iraq.

  1. Good thing America helped Lybia and Iraq to get rid of their Dictators!
    Things are much better now in these countrys…..oh wait….

    • Why the US doesnt sends troops back to help them against these barbaric scums? nothing to gain this time perhaps?

      • US will not send their troops because this is not their war now. Yes, US caused to open new warzones in the Iraq but the people who lives in this land are enemies for centuries. america’s war on Iraq became just a new start to kill them each other easily.

        IS terrorists are used by a secret services of allies for “element of oppression” on Syria and Northern Iraq (peshmerga). There is a so big big and bad “secret” game for all these people who lives in there.

        IS was estabilished during Syria civil war and nobody didnt know them until northern Iraq attack of this barbars! Do you really believe this lie? I live in Turkey and we already knew that this barbars are in syria at the beginning of syrian civil war. They are a part of international al qaeda. They are saying “we kill in name of god and in name of Islam” but this is not real Islam. Their actions (collective executions, cutting heads) are just barbarousness. In the real Islam this actions are forbidden strictly. They have to killed to last man. Because they are parasite of Islam…

        • Very well put. And yeah, most terrorists and “enemy” states are actually supplied by the very people they attack at one point or another (in the 80s the US was supplying and training Al Quaeda Mujaheddin fighters in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation…in the 70s Iran became the only other country in the world to have F-14 Tomcats because they were an ally). As for the whole point of the attack on Iraq…it had nothing to do with 9/11, and everything to do with Dubya wanting to finish what daddy started (and was then smart enough to stop) in 1991…9/11 was just an excuse to go after Saddam, despite Saddam coming out after the attack and denouncing it. And yeah…throwing out all those governments REALLY stabilized the Middle East, didn’t it? *rolls eyes*

          • actually not saddam , 9/11 was to justify the war on afghanistan . not iraq .

            The lie to justify the war on iraq was “breaking 3 UN rules” .

            Israel broke 60~~

            • If you’re referring to the possession of WMDs as lies, there’s a reason we didn’t find them.

              Most were shipped off to Syria, and the rest were hidden and found by ISIS later (or so the ISIS has claimed)

        • Actually its because we have Obama and he wants to prove that they can “Work it out”

          I fought there, buddies died there and they gave it up for no other reason than politics

          IS was used by CIA whom I hate, but Obama and his left wing machine is in full damage control and wont lift a finger even for our allies who bled and died with us.

    • Yes, because after 40 years of oppression in Libya, things are TOTALLY going to get better after 3 years. Because stuff turns fine and dandy in an instant. amirite?

      • Lybia wasnt opressed , libians were living in litteraly heaven . NO taxes . No homeless , everything is cheap . Gold is cheaper than bread . you can buy whatever you want , even a tank . The places were amazing . They shouldnt have turned on their leader . But hey , monkey see , monkey do .

          • Unlike the rape and torture now?

            Muslim Brotherhood are the worst group of uneducated 12th century barbarians we could have asked for.

            The avg wage in Libiya was 120% higher than ANY OTHER IN THE REGION. Now they killed all the farmers because they were “Govt stooges” and now they are starving….Thank god for natural selection.

            • Oh look, all the idiots who support dictators are on the block. What to do, what to do…

      • If there was a strategic battle being fought against Japanese infantry alone, then it would be a game changer. Often in warfare it is not the quality of weapons used, it the way they are used, and the calibre of men using them. France 1940, French tanks better armed and armoured, out numbered the Germans 3:1, but poor use equalled failure, and lets not forget Vietnam, superior weapons defeated by drive and asymmetric warfare.

        • Some French tanks in 1940 were better armed and armoured (but generally had a lot less range), the majority were not – over 1000 FT tanks were still in French service, most equipped with MG only as the 37mm guns were removed and reused in later tanks

          1297 FT tanks were still in service : 1062 tanks in France and 235 in the colonies. From
          the 1062 FT tanks in France, 462 were in combat units on 10th May 1940.

          Allied tank strength in 1940 (France, UK, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Norway) was not even 2 to 1 to the Germans

          France had 2822 tanks in combat units in France on 10th May, 470 of which were obsolete (FT and Char 2C)
          Belgium 278
          Holland armoured cars only
          UK 308 (most Mk VIB) on 17th May a further 284 (134 Mk VIB) arrived

          Germany 2636 in combat units on 10th May (total including reserves 3465) of which approximately 970 were Panzer III, IV, 35(t) or 38(t) you also have approx 100 tank destroyers and 25 StuG’s

  2. The 3rd picture reminds me of the A7V. LOL

    They’d be better off with armed jeeps and trucks (technicals). Bulldozers are more useful clearing obstacles and digging ditches.

  3. ”While the concept of a homemade tank á la Bob Semple was theoretically reasonable in WW2”
    Silentstalker, ”á la” doesn’t exist, it’s ”à la”.

  4. This is Syria not Iraq. Kurdish forces in Iraq are better equiped than most of European armies. YPG operates in kurdish parts of Syria (on whose side? God knows, over there everybody is fighting everybody, if someone told me there’s a Zerg faction forming wouldn’t surprise me).

    Anyway what’s with all political crap articles recently? If u trying to make it political blog, at least get a month or two of reading before posting.

  5. “and yes, this was a completely serious tank project, designed to protect New Zealand from Japanese invasion – how well that went, you can probably imagine”

    It went very well thank you. The Japanese weren’t able to invade New Zealand. And if they did, this tank would have raped the Japs who didn’t have any proper anti tank weapons or tanks of their own.

    • More like “It went very well because Japan never invaded NZ”.

      Even the crappy Japanese tanks would have trashed this PoS, which certainly didn’t require anti-tank weapons to be taken down. This wasn’t a KV1, IS or B1-bis needing a 88mm gun. This was a rushed attempt at producing something in case the japs showed up. It failed in every possible way.

    • To be honest, no… I mean, we Aussies were left waving our dicks around with our ass on plain sight, but even we had more believable contraptions of death than that.
      And “Weren’t able to invade New Zealand”… Well, there was this big landmass with much more value around called Australia (And I’m not talking shit about your country, but objectively the north of Australia was a much more important target than N.Z, if only because it was closer and it would have been the perfect landing spot for Japanese forces) that the Japanese had to think about.

      The Japanese never started a full scale landing on either country though, and, to be honest, had they done it, things would have been tough. Likely tougher for N.Z, too, since Australia at least has the advantage of being huge and being pretty much made of desert and poisonous things.

      In the end, we are lucky we didn’t have to rely on our indigenous projects for the defense of Australia and New Zealand.

    • To be fair, this wasn’t a ministry of defense project, it was a civilian effort undertaken by the then minister of works, Bob Semple, who lent his name to the tank. It seems a little unfair to be belittling the desperation and drive of Bob as he was helping plan the defenses for an Island cut off from any re-enforcement against the hugely superior Japanese forces.

  6. lel. stronk tenk for stronk armee.

    Iraq should have been blown up into a thousand pieces, 11 years ago.

    I wonder why Coalition forces didn’t use TNW’s on Iraq…

    • Maybe because once people starts using nukes, everybody starts waving their nuclear penises around, and that’s lose-lose for everyone?

  7. So,

    USA needs German help regarding Ukraine – spying Merkel and recruiting german spies in Germany.
    USA needs Russian help with Iran nuclear program as mediators- USA introduces sanctions to Russia.
    USA needs Iran help with Iraq situation and Islamist radicals – USA introduces sanctions to Iran earlier.
    USA fights against sunites in Iraq – USA supports sunites in Syria.
    USA asks help from Egypt regarding calming down Israel-Palestine situation – USA overthrows egyptian goverment earlier.

    Level of facepalming is over 9000. One day whole world will turn against them.

    • Excuse me, are you implying that the US overthrew a regime friendly to it in Egypt when, quite publicly, you could see billions of US hardware on the streets during the revolution?

      The CIA ain’t responsible for everything, pal. Sometimes revolutions happen rather naturally.

      • I think hes talking about Morsi’s regime. And yeah, it could have actually been supported by the U.S., as Morsi was strongly anti-Israel (Israel was a leech on Egypt’s economy, they have oil shortages now because of Israel). Sisi is just Mubarak v2.0.

  8. a few years back an american made quite a bit of mischief with a homemade “tank” that witnesses nicknamed the “killdozer” though i dont think he killed anyone, besides himself. a strange and sad event. he used concrete poured between 2 sheets of metal to make its “armor”, i wonder if these fellows tried something similar. if so, it could offer quite good protection from small arms, but maybe not anything bigger.

    • I remember reading about this. Caused quite a lot of property damage, but no, no deaths iirc.
      Quite an impressive thing for one disgruntled man to build…makeshift composite armor, bulletproof camera ports instead of vision slits, armored gun ports…would have caused a lot more damage if he hadn’t managed to get himself stuck.

      Sure, it might not stand up to a tank, but it would be a hell of a lot better off against various flavors of infantry weapons than these silly sheetmetal monstrosities.

    • Yep he also had some weapons and ports through which he would fire, in the end it failed due to engine overheating. They had to cut for 12 hours to get in and were considering calling military with anti tank weapons.

  9. The grandson of Bob Semple and the great Grand-daughter of the designer of the A7V had a baby…. and this is what spawned in that second photo.

    I think the sheer sight of it also helps demoralize the enemy infantry – right up until someone takes a shot at it with a steel-core, heavy calibur bullet and watches it cleave straight through – then everyone’ll dogpile the poor thing.

    • Hopefully they’re dying with their fellow ISIS terrorists*

      I can sense the butt hurt being set free with your terrorist-supporting comment but I don’t blame you. After so long your pathetic and illegal Israel STILL can’t do any harm to Syria. I’m sure it gets frustrating to waste billions of stolen dollars to support and be the terrorists of the middle east without any outcome. Hopefully that shit state will soon fall by its own evil. Have fun wearing burkas and getting your head chopped off.

      Long live the SAA and its amazing people!

      • They’re fighting IS, so they aren’t their fellows.

        Typical Assad supporter. Always Israel Israel Israel. Never what’s happening in Syria. If Assad is so strong, and he hates Israel so much, why hasn’t he wiped them off the map already? Oh, I remember now, because his forces are busy worshiping him. Btw, I’m strongly anti-Israel, so your argument is invalid in the first place.

        If mass-murderers are amazing people, you may need to go to a mental hospital.

        • “If mass-murderers are amazing people, you may need to go to a mental hospital.”
          That irony. Lél.

          They’re both terrorist groups, and have only just recently began terrorizing each other. This is of course due to ISIS being the bigger rats in this whole operation.

          It is always about Israel because they’re the maggots behind all of this mess. They fund the terrorists in return for the downfall of Syria. If they tried to simply directly invade Syria like you said Syria should, the US and all of their allies would have no way of defending them, ending in Israel being nuked. Also, the FSA raises the flag of Israel in every barbaric protest they have. Does that not make them an army of Israel?

          • Terrorists are people who terrorize. IS and the Syrian Army have terrorized the population en masse. The FSA and co. have only small splinter groups doing such things (defying their superior’s orders, using FSA banner as a scapegoat.)

            Actually, the reason for this mess is the splitting up of the Middle East by the European powers, not Israel. However, there is highly debated evidence that says Mossad may have trained Baghdadi. It’s a long stretch, but it’s possible.
            Show me one video (video, not picture, because any idiot can photoshop) of the FSA raising the flag of Israel.

  10. The funny thing that most people do not realize is that tanks and other tracked war machines were based on bulldozers and vehicles of the sort.