The Chieftain; Real World Experience for Virtual Reality – And an Engaging Resource

December 8, 2019

I’ve discussed before how some of the best research on military subjects is to be found online today. But The Chieftain manages to intersect between where mass entertainment and academia meets.

Nick Moran, A.K.A. The Chieftain is a former tanker who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the U.S. Army. Now he is probably best known as the face-of-and-historian-to-World of Tanks – an online game where players take control of a historic tank or vehicle and battle other players.

But it is The Chieftain Youtube channel that holds a great deal of material that will interest any student of armoured warfare. Moran has produced a range of videos that provide unique insights into various tanks themselves, as well as doctrinal history and interviews with some of the foremost current authors in the field.

For those seeking knowledge of the tanks themselves, The Chieftain features a dedicated series; “Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch”:

 

 

In this series Moran examines various tanks, explains their history and special features and explores the interiors. As a former tanker he is able to bring a professional appreciation to the vehicles he is examining and this comes across in the videos in a clear, concise presentation.

For those with an interest in the history of armoured warfare, and not just the vehicles, he has produced a dedicated series on the formation and evolution of different nations armoured doctrine in the Second World War:

 

 

(Including those that might not first occur as exponents.)

 

For the more serious academic there is also a specialist series featuring lectures given by Moran on several subjects, as well as museum tours:

 

 

 

Moran is an excellent presenter, able to make whatever subject he is talking about clear and interesting. He’s previous military experience means he brings a practicality to his examinations of the subject that isn’t that common.

In addition, this is no amateur effort. By combining with an online entertainment creator The Chieftain’s production values are exceptional. It is, in essence, far superior to offerings you might find on television due to its ability to offer greater focus on the subject.

As a result one can find something for anyone with an interest in tanks and armoured warfare on this channel – from the casually interested to the Professor of History.

The Westland Wyvern; Outdated Monster

The Westland Wyvern; Outdated Monster

There are a literal host of aircraft that, despite apparent good design, were doomed by the failure to provide them with a decent engine. But occasionally you come across one that manages to succeed despite repeated failures by powerplant manufacturers to get their...

Varga RMI-1 X/H; The First Turboprop…almost

Varga RMI-1 X/H; The First Turboprop…almost

In the run up to the start of the Second World War, air forces across the world were not just building up their respective strengths, they were exploring new concepts and designs that they hoped would give them the edge when conflict broke out. And the twin-engine...

Big Moves in Myanmar; The Hpapun Offensive and Drones Hit Naypyitaw

Big Moves in Myanmar; The Hpapun Offensive and Drones Hit Naypyitaw

There have been some major developments in Myanmar, also known as Burma, as anti-junta forces have struck several significant blows against the military regime that seized power in a coup in February 2021. On the 30th of March the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA)...

American Tiger; The Northrop F-5C

American Tiger; The Northrop F-5C

Bit of an unusual one today as the Northrop F-5 is far from a forgotten aircraft and the particular model we are looking at was only built in tiny numbers and has so few differences from the original production aircraft that the redesignation is barely warranted. But...

A Big Miss? The Gloster F.9/37

A Big Miss? The Gloster F.9/37

When you look at the primary fighter aircraft that the Royal Air Force (RAF) started the Second World War with in 1939, one really does look like an anomaly; the Gloster Gladiator. Very much an aircraft from a previous era to its illustrious stable mates, the...