Tactical Aviation

The most badass military vehicles, tanks and planes

Jessica Evans Avatar
bradley fighting vehicle

Troopers with 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division firing the 25mm canon on a Bradley fighting vehicle.

When it comes to warfare, one thing is certain. Tanks, planes, and other badass military vehicles have played a crucial role in shaping the course of history. From the trenches of World War I to the deserts of Iraq, these machines of destruction have inspired awe and fear in equal measure. But let’s be real, there’s something undeniably cool about watching a tank barrel through a city street or a fighter jet scream across the sky at supersonic speeds. So buckle up and prepare for a ride through the most iconic military vehicles of all time. We’ll be exploring everything from the nimble and deadly P-51 Mustang to the hulking and imposing Tiger I tank.


When it comes to military vehicles, one name comes to mind: tanks. Of course, planes and other vehicles are important, too. But nothing’s changed the face of battle like the tank. In fact, this armored beast has been a staple of military warfare since World War I, and it’s not hard to see why. With its thick armor, powerful cannons, and unstoppable treads, the tank has become synonymous with strength and power. But what are the most iconic tanks of all time? Let’s take a look.

World War II

U.S. World War II M4 Sherman tank on static display during the Chièvres Air Fest, Chièvres, Belgium, Sept. 25, 2021 (U.S. Army photo by Pascal Demeuldre)

M4 Sherman: Known as the workhorse of the American Army during World War II, the M4 Sherman was one of the most reliable tanks of the war. Soldiers the world round found M4s in all theaters and it was known for its durability and ease of maintenance. It was also a favorite among tank crews, who appreciated its speed and agility.

T-34: The T-34 was the mainstay of the Soviet army during World War II, and it was a game-changer. With its sloped armor and powerful cannon, the T-34 was able to take on the much heavier German tanks and come out on top. It was also much easier and cheaper to produce than the Tiger I, which allowed the Soviet Union to build a massive tank army.

On the other side of the battlefield was the German Tiger I, a massive tank feared by Allied soldiers. With its thick armor and powerful cannon, the Tiger I was a formidable opponent. However, it’s high cost and complexity made it difficult to produce in large numbers.

Post-World War II

The British Centurion was one of the most successful tanks of the post-World War II era. It saw action in various conflicts, including the Korean War and the Six-Day War. The Centurion was a reliable and versatile tank with plenty of mobility.

Israel’s main battle tank, the Merkava, has a unique design that places the engine in the front of the vehicle. This helps protect the crew in case of an explosion. It also has advanced technologies, including a laser rangefinder and a computerized fire control system, making it a formidable opponent on the battlefield.

The Japanese introduced the Type 90 in the 1990s. It features advanced technology and design, including composite armor and a smoothbore gun. In fact, due to its design, it’s one of the most capable tanks in the world.

China’s main battle tank is a force. With its composite armor and powerful cannon, the Type 99 can hold its own against some of the best tanks in the world. It also has a modern fire control system and a top speed of over 50 mph.


Tanks may be the most iconic military vehicle, planes have played just as important a role in military warfare. From reconnaissance to bombing runs, planes have been used in a variety of ways to support ground troops and engage enemy forces. Here are some of the most iconic military planes of all time.

World War II

P-51 Mustang: The P-51 Mustang was a game-changer in World War II. Its long range capabilities meant it could escort bombers deep into enemy territory and take on enemy fighters. It was also known for its agility and was a favorite among pilots. The P-51 Mustang’s success was due to its Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. That allowed it to fly at high altitudes and gave it impressive speed and range. Its laminar flow wing design also gave it superior performance at high speeds.

Vietnam War

F-4 Phantom II: The F-4 Phantom II was a rock of the Vietnam War, and it was used for a variety of missions, including bombing runs, reconnaissance and air-to-air combat. It was also known for its versatility and was used by the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The F-4 Phantom II’s advanced avionics and radar systems made it a formidable opponent in air-to-air combat, while its powerful engines and durable airframe allowed it to carry a variety of weapons and complete a range of missions.

A U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom II is returning to Holloman Air Force Base on November 18, 2008 after be painted at the Air National Guard Paint Facility in by Sioux City, Iowa. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo: Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot)

MiG-21: The Soviet-made MiG-21 is one of the most produced supersonic jets in history, with over 11,000 built. It saw action in numerous conflicts, including the Vietnam War, the Yom Kippur War and the Gulf War. The MiG-21 is simple, durable, and can maneuver with the best of them. The MiG-21’s simplicity and ease of maintenance made it a popular choice among many countries, while its small size and maneuverability made it difficult to detect and target.

Modern era

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a joint project of several European countries. It’s one of the most advanced fighter planes in the world. The Typhoon features advanced avionics, weapons systems, and aerodynamics and has seen plenty of action, including stints in the Libyan Civil War and the war in Syria. The Eurofighter Typhoon’s advanced technology and aerodynamic design allow it to achieve supersonic speeds and maneuverability. That makes it one of the top-performing fighter jets in the world.

All of these aircraft have played a crucial role in military warfare. They provide support to ground troops and engaging enemy forces. With their advanced avionics, powerful engines, and maneuverability, these planes have become synonymous with strength and power. From World War II to the modern era, military planes have evolved and adapted to new challenges, showcasing the ingenuity and innovation of human technology.

Other Vehicles

While tanks and planes may be the most famous military vehicles, there are plenty of other vehicles that have played important roles in military warfare. From transport vehicles to amphibious vehicles, these machines have helped troops get to where they need to go and support ground operations. Here are some of the most iconic military vehicles of all time.

World War II Era

During World War II, the Jeep played a crucial role in various military operations. The Jeep’s durability and versatility made it a valuable asset in combat situations. The vehicle’s compact size allowed it to navigate through rough terrain and tight spaces with ease, and its four-wheel drive enabled it to traverse even the most challenging landscapes. Furthermore, the Jeep’s ability to perform multiple functions saved valuable time and resources for the military. In addition to its practical uses, the Jeep also had a psychological impact on soldiers. It became a symbol of ingenuity and resilience early on in the war since it overcame plenty of obstacles and completed missions despite the odds. Its rugged appearance and reputation for dependability also instilled confidence in soldiers, who relied on it to transport them safely to their destination.

The LCVP (Higgins boat) played a critical role in the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II. You’re probably most familiar with this one as a transport vehicle. Higgins boats could traverse shallow water and land on beaches. That made it an invaluable tool in the D-Day landings.

Cold War Era

Russia’s amphibious infantry fighting vehicle, the BMP-2 has been around for a while. In fact, the Russians have used it in several conflicts, including the Soviet-Afghan War and the Chechen Wars. It is heavily armored and armed with a 30mm automatic cannon and a 7.62mm machine gun.

Russia’s BMP-2 is an amphibious infantry fighting vehicle armed with a 30mm automatic cannon and a 7.62mm machine gun. It’s been present in several conflicts, including the Soviet-Afghan War and the Chechen Wars. The vehicle’s heavy armor provides significant protection.

Post-Cold War Era

A V-22 Osprey aircraft from the “Thunder Chickens” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 conducts landing qualifications aboard the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan.

The V-22 Osprey is a unique aircraft that combines the vertical takeoff and landing capabilities of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing airplane. This tiltrotor aircraft has been utilized for a wide range of missions, including troop transport, search and rescue operations, and special operations support.

Due to its versatility, you’ll see the V-22 Osprey in various combat and non-combat situations. It has been instrumental in providing transportation for troops and supplies to and from the battlefield, allowing them to quickly and safely reach their destination. Its vertical takeoff and landing capabilities have also made it a valuable asset in search and rescue operations, where it can land in areas where traditional helicopters cannot.

The Bradley Fighting Vehicle is designed to transport troops and provide fire support. It has a 25mm cannon and a TOW missile launcher, making it a formidable opponent on the battlefield.


The impact of these powerful tanks, planes, and military vehicles on warfare is significant. They shape the way battles are fought and won. Tanks have been a formidable force on the ground, allowing armies to crush their enemies with their imposing presence and destructive power. Similarly, planes have been instrumental in achieving air superiority, providing swift and agile movements that allow them to strike enemy targets with deadly accuracy.

But military vehicles are not just about brute force. They’re used to transport personnel, supplies, and med evac the wounded. The versatility and adaptability of military vehicles have been essential in achieving military objectives, often providing the decisive edge in battle.

In addition, military vehicles have driven technological advancements and innovation. The challenges of warfare have forced engineers and scientists to push the limits of what is possible, resulting in the development of groundbreaking technologies and engineering feats.

Overall, military vehicles have played a critical role in shaping the course of history, demonstrating their incredible power and capabilities time and time again. As technology continues to evolve, it is likely that military vehicles will continue to play a crucial role in achieving military objectives and securing peace and stability in the world.