This month sees the release of NVG 207, 'Medium Mark A Whippet'. It's a title that completes the New Vanguard mini-series looking at all the major British tanks for World War I. Whilst being brand new, the title is also subject to this month's 25% New Vanguard discount!

I asked commissioning editor of the NVG series, Tom Milner, why the Medium Mark A Whippet was called such. Was it fast? Was it lean? His answer was that, in comparison to other large WWI tanks that had preceded it, yes.

His emphasis was very much on in comparison to. So I began to wonder about the custom of naming pieces of military hardware, and pretty soon I realised I was in Friday list territory.

All of the following names are completely at odds with the dry, technical designations of the the warmachine or weapon that they represent - some are accurate, some not so, and some are just downright bizarre!

So, i give the greatest warmachine nicknames from around the world and throughout history!

 1.) Medium Mark A Whippet


As fast as a descending slinky, and as lean as a rhinoceros with child! It was a handy tank in its day though.

Further reading: NVG 207 Medium Mark A Whippet

2.) Mustang


A classy, characterful and above all-high performance aircraft that was indeed reminiscent of the sleek grace and power of the free-roaming horses that gave it its name. A name, and a plane to be proud of!

Further reading: AVG 1, Allison-engined Mustang. The inaugural Air Vanguard title uncovers the lesser known history of the very first Mustangs. What's more, it's on the discount store page and has thus had a massive 45% chopped from its price!

3.) Hedgehog


(Right-sided imaged image courtesy of

 Cute, insecting-eating and nocturnal? Not really, but the resemblance is plain to see. This highly effective anti-submarine weapon came to the fore during the Battle of the Atlantic. Throwing spigot mortar bombs, these spikey-backed implements sank more submarines than depth charges.

Further reading: None as yet. Does this call for a new Weapon title? Or perhaps a New Vanguard on anti-submarine weapons? Or maybe even a Campaign or General title on the Battle of the Atlantic!


4.) Big Bertha


Although not unanimously accepted, the general consensus is that the M-Gerät howitzer was called so by German troops in reference to Bertha Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, the heiress of the Krupp industrial empire and company which produced this monstrous heavy siege gun. But looking at pictures of her, Bertha looks neither so 'big' nor 'fat' (which was the other name assigned to the gun). She does, however, look rather formidable!

Further reading: NVG 205 42cm “Big Bertha” and German Siege Artillery of World War I. Recently released, and also subject to the fantastic 25% New Vanguard discount!

5.) The Onager.



Representing ancient weapons on the list, it was apparently so-called because it performed a kicking motion when fired. Naturally, the species of wild donkey it is named after also has a propensity to kick, although I would imagine that of the former would be a lot more painful...

Further Reading: NVG 205 Greek and Roman Artillery 399 BC-AD 363. Another interesting title that benefits from the 25% New Vanguard discount!


So what do you make of this list? I know there must be loads more weird and wonderful names for weapons and warmachines out there. Get in touch and tell us some more cool, funny or strange suggestions!