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Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Inspiration Part 16 - Tanks


Welcome back,

           In honor of Remembrance Day, I decided to try and have this inspiration post military themed. For those reading this who are not part of the Commonwealth, Remembrance Day is a memorial holiday celebrating the end of the First World War and commemorating the members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty. It is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918.

           Now, I did not have much in terms of military photographic content, but I did come across some that could serve today’s purpose. The pictures below were taken back in 2015, while doing some exploring in the town of Kemptville, Ontario. I was there for a vendor event, and decided to walk around the area to see if there was anything interesting to photograph. Not far from my location was a forest center, where a tank was parked in front as a monument.

After some research, I discovered more background information about this tank. It’s an American-made M109A4+ 155-mm Self-Propelled Howitzer, use by the Canadian Forces from 1967 until they were phased out in 2005. It carried a crew of six, composed of the section chief, the driver, the gunner, the assistant gunner and two ammunition handlers.  The gunner aims the cannon left or right (deflection) and the assistant gunner aims the cannon up and down (quadrant).  It’s cannon is an M185 155-mm Howitzer, and carries secondary armaments such as various models of machine guns and an automatic grenade launcher.


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Having the opportunity to get an up-close look at military vehicles such as tanks can contribute to invaluable research. Seeing small details like it’s parts, shapes and texture is good information that can be used in a story. Obviously, this kind of information is important when writing a story filled with military inspired elements. Here are some examples:

  • In tales that takes place during one of the World Wars, either fictional or historically accurate. One example I can think of in this case is the movie Fury, a story which follows the crew of a Sherman tank while on a mission in Europe in 1945.
  • In Horror stories, tanks could be used to fight against monstrous creatures, or as back drops for the setting. Any fans of the The Walking Dead series will remember the famous scene in the first season, where the main protagonist, Rick, gets trapped in a tank while trying to escape a zombie horde.
  • Tanks and other military vehicles have appeared in Science-Fiction for many of the same reasons as horror; as weapons or setting pieces. We have seen this approached used in many alien invasion stories, such as the movie adaptation of the classic novel War of the Worlds by author H. G. Wells.

I hope you enjoyed this month's inspiration post. I encourage you to go out there and learn more about the military; visit a war museum, check out some documentaries or better yet, talk to a vet.

Before closing, I would like to thank all those who have served for their incredible dedication, and for their sacrifice.

Until next time.

Cheers,

            Patrick Osborne