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History of Tanks....

Discussion in 'Military History' started by OverLoad, Mar 25, 2017.

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  1. OverLoad

    OverLoad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Tank Origins

    To no-one’s surprise, Leonardo Da Vinci drafted a primitive design for the first mobile armored land machine way back in the fifteenth century, but the tank as it stands today is really a twentieth-century concept. First conceived primarily to transport heavy artillery over variable – and vast – terrain, once the tank’s operational potential was realized, they were used to punch holes in static trench lines, lending much-needed mobility to armies that still felt capturing territory was king.

    During WW1, the Allies were the first to begin developing armored fighting vehicles, with the French and the British leading the way with sometimes (to the modern eye) hilarious designs. France’s earliest attempts at using armored vehicles on the battlefield were meant to clear away the seemingly endless swathes of barbed wire that had become a dangerous trench accessory from the very beginning of the conflict. Just as barbed wire was taken from the agricultural landscape and made into a deadly weapon for the war, so were the early tank-prototype chassis, which came from tractors. However, the wheel-based chassis soon gave way to the modern caterpillar tracks already in use in US farming, as they provided more grip on the chewed-up terrain found in the French battlefields and the Belgian soon-to-be swamplands.

    While the French did find some success with their mobile wire cutters, the potential for armoured and armed all-terrain vehicles on the battlefield eclipsed that narrow focus. In 1915, the First Lord of the Admiralty in the British Navy, Winston Churchill, caught wind of a few abandoned British experiments involving ‘trench-crossers’ and ‘machine-gun destroyers’. He thought there might be something to this concept of having a land vehicle that could sail over the terrain like a ship on water and, also like a ship, fire its own cannons. Churchill established the Landships Committee to take the experiment further, and what followed were a numbered of utterly failed designs as the engineers attempted to get the wheels right.

    The engineering challenges facing the Landships Committee were unique in 1915; the ‘landships’ required a type of traction that could cross shell holes, trenches that could be more than a metre wide and 2 metres deep (with parapets a metre higher), and ideally deep mud and waterlogged soil. After almost a year of unsuccessful trials, the British finally had some luck with their 'Little Willie' design in early 1916, which featured the rhomboid track frame still seen today. ‘Little Willie’ was of course a reference to the derogatory term for the German Crown Prince Wilhelm, and had nothing to do with the vehicle’s shape or intent.

    Having been known as ‘tanks’ since the end of 1915 (both due to their resemblance to water tanks and the British command’s deliberate subterfuge), Little Willie’s offspring, the British Mark I tank, was first used in active combat during the Battle of the Somme in September 1916. Although the British were the first to the finish line, the French continued to design and develop their own models apace; in fact, the French had the last word when their light, turreted Renault FT design of 1918 overtook the British Mark class in both operational ability and future influence.
    Some Early Tanks:
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    Early concepts[edit]
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    The Levavasseur project described a crawler-tracked armoured vehicle equipped with artillery as early as 1903.[4]:65[5]:101
    In 1903, a French artillery captain named Levavasseur proposed the Levavasseur project, a canon autopropulseur (self-propelled cannon), moved by a caterpillar system and fully armoured for protection.[4]:65[5]:99–100 Powered by an 80 hp petrol engine, "the Levavasseur machine would have had a crew of three, storage for ammunition, and a cross-country ability",[6]:65 but the viability of the project was disputed by the Artillery Technical Committee, until it was formally abandoned in 1908 when it was known that a caterpillar tractor had been developed, the Hornsby of engineer David Roberts.[5]:99–100

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    1904 illustration of H.G. Wells' December 1903 The Land Ironclads, showing huge ironclad land vessels, equipped with pedrail wheels
    H. G. Wells, in his short story The Land Ironclads, published in The Strand Magazine in December 1903, had described the use of large, armoured cross-country vehicles, armed with cannon and machine-guns, and equipped with pedrail wheels (an invention which he acknowledged as the source for his inspiration),[7] to break through a system of fortified trenches, disrupting the defence and clearing the way for an infantry advance:

    "They were essentially long, narrow and very strong steel frameworks carrying the engines, and borne upon eight pairs of big pedrail wheels, each about ten feet in diameter, each a driving wheel and set upon long axles free to swivel round a common axis. This arrangement gave them the maximum of adaptability to the contours of the ground. They crawled level along the ground with one foot high upon a hillock and another deep in a depression, and they could hold themselves erect and steady sideways upon even a steep hillside."[8]

    Some eight years later, in 1911, two practical tank designs were developed independently by the Austrian engineering officer Günther Burstyn and Australian civil engineerLancelot de Mole, but both were rejected by governmental administrations.

    American tracked tractors in Europe[edit]
    Benjamin Holt of the Holt Manufacturing Company of Stockton, California was the first to patent a workable crawler type tractor in 1907.[9] The centre of such innovation was in England, and in 1903 he travelled to England to learn more about ongoing development, though all those he saw failed their field tests.[10] Holt paid Alvin Lombard US$60,000($1,580,222 in 2016) for the right to produce vehicles under Lombard's patent for the Lombard Steam Log Hauler.[11]

    Holt returned to Stockton and, utilising his knowledge and his company's metallurgical capabilities, he became the first to design and manufacture practical continuous tracks for use in tractors. In England, David Roberts of Hornsby & Sons, Grantham, obtained a patent for a design in July 1904. In the United States, Holt replaced the wheels on a 40 horsepower (30 kW) Holt steamer, No. 77, with a set of wooden tracks bolted to chains. On November 24, 1904, he successfully tested the updated machine ploughing the soggydelta land of Roberts Island.[12]

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    A Holt tractor in the Vosges in early 1915 serving as an artillery tractor for a French army De Bange 155 mm cannon
    When World War I broke out, with the problem of trench warfare and the difficulty of transporting supplies to the front, the pulling power ofcrawling-type tractors drew the attention of the military.[13] Holt tractors were used to replace horses to haul artillery and other supplies. The Royal Army Service Corps also used them to haul long trains of freight wagons over the unimproved dirt tracks behind the front. Holt tractors were, ultimately, the inspiration for the development of the British and French tanks.[12][14] By 1916, about 1000 of Holt's Caterpillar tractors were used by the British in World War I. Holt vice president Murray M. Baker said that these tractors weighed about 18,000 pounds (8,200 kg) and had 120 horsepower (89 kW).[15] By the end of the war, 10,000 Holt vehicles had been used in the Allied war effort.[16]

    French development[edit]
    The French colonel Jean Baptiste Estienne articulated the vision of a cross-country armoured vehicle on 24 August 1914:[1]:38

    "Victory in this war will belong to the belligerent who is the first to put a cannon on a vehicle capable of moving on all kinds of terrain"

    — Colonel Jean Baptiste Estienne, 24 August 1914.[1]:38
    Some privately owned Holt tractors were used by the French Army soon after the beginning of World War I to pull heavy artillery pieces in difficult terrain.,[1]:187 but the French did not purchase Holts in large numbers. It was the sight of them in use by the British that later inspired Estienne to have plans drawn up for an armoured body on caterpillar tracks. In the meantime, several attempts were made to design vehicles that could overcome the German barbed wire and trenches.

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    The Boirault machine used a huge rotating frame around a motorized center, early 1915
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    The electric Aubriot-Gabet "Fortress", mounted on a tractorchassis, 1915
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    The Breton-Pretot machine was an armoured wire-cutting vehicle, tested in July 1915.
    From 1914 to 1915, an early experiment was made with the Boirault machine, with the objective of flattening barbed wire defences and riding over gaps in a battlefield. The machine was made of huge parallel tracks, formed by 4×3 metre metallic frames, rotating around a triangular motorized centre. This device proved too fragile and slow, as well as incapable of changing direction easily, and was abandoned.[5]:104

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    A Frot-Laffly landship was tested on 28 March 1915 in France.
    In France, on 1 December 1914, M. Frot, an engineer in canal construction at the Compagnie Nationale du Nord, proposed to the French Ministry a design for a "landship" with armour and armament based on the motorisation of a compactor with heavy wheels or rollers. TheFrot-Laffly was tested on 18 March 1915, and effectively destroyed barbed wire lines, but was deemed lacking in mobility.[5]:106–8 The project was abandoned in favour of General Estienne's development using a tractor base, codenamed "Tracteur Estienne".[5]:108

    In 1915, attempts were also made to develop vehicles with powerful armour and armament, mounted on the cross-country chassis of agricultural tractors, with large dented wheels, such as the Aubriot-Gabet "Fortress" (Fortin Aubriot-Gabet). The vehicle was powered by electricity (complete with a supply cable), and armed with a Navy cannon of 37mm, but it too proved impractical.[5]:109

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    The Souain tank prototype crossing a trench at Souain on 9 December 1915


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    Final caterpillar test, on 21 February 1916, before the mass order of theSchneider CA1 tank on 25 February


    In January 1915, the French arms manufacturer Schneider & Co. sent out its chief designer, Eugène Brillié, to investigate tracked tractors from the American Holt Manufacturing Company, at that time participating in a test programme in England, for a project of mechanical wire-cutting machines. On his return Brillié, who had earlier been involved in designing armoured cars for Spain, convinced the company management to initiate studies on the development of a Tracteur blindé et armé (armoured and armed tractor), based on the Baby Holtchassis, two of which were ordered.

    Experiments on the Holt caterpillar tracks started in May 1915 at the Schneider plant with a 75-hp wheel-directed model and the 45-hp integral caterpillar Baby Holt, showing the superiority of the latter.[5]:102–11 On 16 June, new experiments followed in front of the President of the Republic, and on 10 September for Commander Ferrus. The first complete chassis with armour was demonstrated at Souain on 9 December 1915, to the French Army, with the participation of colonel Estienne.[4]:68[5]:111[notes 1]

    On 12 December, unaware of the Schneider experiments, Estienne presented to the High Command a plan to form an armoured force, equipped with tracked vehicles. He was put in touch with Schneider, and in a letter dated 31 January 1916 Commander-in-chief Joffre ordered the production of 400 tanks of the type designed by Brillié and Estienne,[5]:119 although the actual production order of 400 Schneider CA1 was made a bit later on 25 February 1916.[5]:124 Soon after, on 8 April 1916, another order for 400 Saint-Chamond tanks was also placed.[5]:128Schneider had trouble with meeting production schedules, and the tank deliveries were spread over several months from 8 September 1916.[5]:124 The Saint-Chamond tank would start being delivered from 27 April 1917.[5]:130

    British development[edit]
    The Lincolnshire firm Richard Hornsby & Sons had been developing the caterpillar tractor since 1902, and built an oil engine powered crawler to move lifeboats up a beach in 1908. In 1909 The Northern Light and Power Company of Dawson City, Canada, owned by Joe Boyle, ordered a steam powered caterpillar tractor. It was delivered to the Yukon in 1912. Hornsby's tractors were trialled between 1905 and 1910 on several occasions with the British Army as artillery tractors, but not adopted. Hornsby sold its patents to Holt Tractor of California.

    In 1914, the British War Office ordered a Holt tractor and put it through trials at Aldershot. Although it was not as powerful as the 105 horsepower (78 kW) Foster-Daimler tractor, the 75 horsepower (56 kW) Holt was better suited to haul heavy loads over uneven ground. Without a load, the Holt tractor managed a walking pace of 4 miles per hour (6.4 km/h). Towing a load, it could manage 2 miles per hour (3.2 km/h). Most importantly, Holt tractors were readily available in quantity.[17] The War Office was suitably impressed and chose it as a gun-tractor.[17]

    In July 1914, Lt. Col. Ernest Swinton, a British Royal Engineer officer, learned about Holt tractors and their transportation capabilities in rough terrain from a friend who had seen one in Antwerp, but passed the information on to the transport department.[18]:12[19]:590 When the First World War broke out, Swinton was sent to France as an army war correspondent and in October 1914 identified the need for what he described as a "machine-gun destroyer" - a cross-country, armed vehicle.[18]:116[18]:12 He remembered the Holt tractor, and decided that it could be the basis for an armoured vehicle.

    Swinton proposed in a letter to Sir Maurice Hankey, Secretary of the Committee of Imperial Defence, that the British Committee of Imperial Defence build a power-driven, bullet-proof, tracked vehicle that could destroy enemy guns.[18][20]:129 Hankey persuaded the lukewarm War Office to make a trial on 17 February 1915 with a Holt tractor, but the caterpillar bogged down in the mud, the project was abandoned, and the War Office gave up investigations.[4]:25[20]:129

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    Wooden mock-up of the "Big Wheel Landship" project, under construction at Lincoln, early 1915


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    Tritton Trench-Crosser, May 1915


    In May 1915, the War Office made new tests on a trench-crossing machine: the Tritton Trench-Crosser. The machine was equipped with large tractor wheels, 8 feet in diameter, and carriedgirders on an endless chain which were lowered above a trench so that the back wheels could roll over it. The machine would then drag the girder behind until on flat terrain, so that it could reverse over them and set them back in place in front of the vehicle. The machine proved much too cumbersome and was abandoned.[4]:143–144

    Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, learned of the armoured tractor idea, he reignited investigation of the idea of using the Holt tractor. The Royal Navy and the Landships Committee(established on 20 February 1915),[21] at last agreed to sponsor experiments and tests of armoured tractors as a type of "land ship". In March, Churchill ordered the building of 18 experimental landships: 12 using Diplock pedrails(an idea promoted by Murray Sueter), and 6 using large wheels (the idea of T.G. Hetherington).[4]:25 Construction however failed to move forward, as the wheels seemed impractical after a wooden mock-up was realized: the wheels were initially planned to be 40-feet in diameter, but turned out to be still too big and too fragile at 15-feet.[4]:26–27 The pedrails also met with industrial problems,[22]:23–24 and the system was deemed too large, too complicated and under-powered.[4]:26

    Instead of choosing to use the Holt tractor, the British government chose to involve a British agricultural machinery firm, Foster and Sons, whose managing director and designer was Sir William Tritton.[17]

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    Articulated chassis made of two Bullock tractors back to back, July 1915 experiment


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    Killen-Strait tractor fitted with a Delaunay-Belleville armoured car body, shortly after the 30 June 1915 experiments


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    The No1 Lincoln Machine, with lengthened Bullock tracks and Creeping Grip tractor suspension, September 1915


    After all these projects failed by June 1915, ideas of grandiose landships were abandoned, and a decision was taken to make an attempt with US Bullock Creeping Grip caterpillar tracks, by connecting two of them together to obtain an articulated chassis deemed necessary for manoeuvring. Experiments failed in tests made in July 1915.[4]:25

    Another experiment was conducted with an American Killen-Strait tracked tractor. A wire-cutting mechanism was successfully fitted, but the trench-crossing capability of the vehicle proved insufficient. A Delaunay-Belleville armoured car body was fitted, making the Killen-Strait machine the first armoured tracked vehicle, but the project was abandoned as it turned out to be a blind alley, unable to fulfil all-terrain warfare requirements.[4]:25

    After these experiments, the Committee decided to build a smaller experimental landship, equivalent to one half the articulated version, and using lengthened US-made Bullock Creeping Grip caterpillar tracks.[4]:27[22]:27–28 This new experimental machine was called the No1 Lincoln Machine: construction started on 11 August 1915, with the first trials starting on 10 September 1915.[4]:26 These trials failed however because of unsatisfactory tracks.[22]:29

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    Little Willie design, December 1915


    Development continued with new, re-engineered tracks,[22]:29} and the machine, now renamed Little Willie,[22]:30 was completed in December 1915 and tested on 3 December 1915. Trench-crossing ability was deemed insufficient however, and Walter Gordon Wilsondeveloped a rhomboidal design,[22]:30 which became known as "His Majesty's Landship Centipede" and later "Mother",[22]:30 the first of the "Big Willie" types of true tanks. After completion on 29 January 1916 very successful trials were made, and an order was placed by the War Office for 100 units to be used on the Western front in France,[19]:590[20]:129 on 12 February 1916,[5]:216 and a second order for 50 additional units was placed in April 1916.[23]

    France started studying caterpillar continuous tracks from January 1915, and actual tests started in May 1915,[5]:102–111 two months earlier than the Little Willie experiments. At the Souain experiment, France tested an armoured tracked tank prototype, the same monthLittle Willie was completed.[5]:111Ultimately however, the British were the first to put tanks on the battlefield, at the battle of the Somme in September 1916.

    The name "tank" was introduced in December, 1915 as a security measure and has been adopted in many languages. William Tritton, stated that when the prototypes were under construction from August, 1915 they were deliberately falsely described in order to conceal their true purpose.[24] In the workshop the paperwork described them as "water carriers," supposedly for use on theMesopotamian Front. In conversation the workers referred to them as "water tanks" or, simply, "tanks." In October the Landships Committee decided, for security purposes, to change its own name to something less descriptive.[25] One of the members, Ernest Swinton[26]) suggested "tank," and the committee agreed. The name "tank" was used in official documents and common parlance from then on, and the Landships Committee was renamed the Tank Supply Committee. This is sometimes confused with the labelling of the first production tanks (ordered in February, 1916) with a caption in Russian. It translated as "With Care to Petrograd," probably again inspired by the workers at Foster's, some of whom believed the machines to be snowploughs meant for Russia, and was introduced from May 15, 1916. The Committee was happy to perpetuate this misconception since it might also mislead the Germans.[27]

    The naval background of the tank's development also explains such nautical tank terms as hatch, hull, bow, and ports. The great secrecy surrounding tank development, coupled with the scepticism of infantry commanders, often meant that infantry at first had little training to cooperate with tanks.

    Russian development[edit]

    Vasily Mendeleev, an engineer in a shipyard, worked privately on a design of a super-heavy tank from 1911 to 1915. It was a heavily armoured 170 ton tracked vehicle armed with one 120 mm naval gun. The design envisioned many innovations that became standard features of a modern battle tank – protection of the vehicle was well-thought out, the gun included automatic loading mechanism, pneumatic suspension allowed adjusting of clearance, some critical systems were duplicated, transportation by railroad was possible by a locomotive or with adapter wheels. However, the cost was almost as much as a submarine and it was never built.[28][29]

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    Russian Vezdekhod tank prototype, 1915


    The Vezdekhod was a small cross-country vehicle designed by aero-engineer Aleksandr Porokhovschikov that ran on a single wide rubber track propelled by a 10 hp engine. Two small wheels either side were provided for steering but while the vehicles could cross ground well its steering was ineffectual. In post-revolution Russia, the Vezdekhod was portrayed in propaganda as the first tank.

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    The Tsar Tank, also known as the Lebedenko tank after its designer – was a tricycle design vehicle on 9 m high front wheels. It was expected that such large wheels would be able to cross any obstacle but the smaller rear wheel became stuck when tested in 1915. The designers were prepared to fit larger engines but the project – and the vehicle – was abandoned.

    German Development[edit]
    The A7V was the only German tank of World War I. It was made in the year 1918. The A7V was produced in small numbers.[30]

    Operational use in World War I


    World War I tanks


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    A British Mark I tank in action on 26 September 1916 (moving left to right). Photo by Ernest Brooks.


    A first offensive using Mark I tanks took place on 15 September 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, under Field MarshalSir Douglas Haig. Forty-nine were committed, of which 32 were mechanically fit to take part in the advance and achieved some small, local successes.[31]:1153 In July 1917, 216 British tanks were employed in the Third Battle of Ypres but found it almost impossible to operate in the muddy conditions and achieved little. Not until 20 November 1917, at Cambrai, did the British Tank Corps get the conditions it needed for success. Over 400 tanks penetrated almost six miles on a 7-mile wide front. However, success was not complete because the infantry failed to exploit and secure the tanks' gains, and almost all the territory gained was recaptured by the Germans. The British scored a far more significant victory the following year, on 8 August 1918, with 600 tanks in the Battle of Amiens. General Erich Ludendorff referred to that date as the "Black Day" of the German Army.

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    A7V tank at Roye on 21 March 1918


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    Char Renault FT, Les Invalides


    Parallel to the British development, France designed its own tanks. The first two, the mediumSchneider CA and heavy Saint-Chamond, were not well-conceived, though produced in large numbers and showing technical innovations, the latter using an electro-mechanical transmission and a long 75 mm gun. Both types saw action on numerous occasions but suffered consistently high losses. In 1918 the Renault FT light tank was the first tank in history with a "modern" configuration: a revolving turret on top and an engine compartment at the rear; it would be the most numerous tank of the war. A last development was the superheavy Char 2C, the largest tank ever to see service, be it some years after the armistice.

    The German response to the Cambrai assault was to develop its own armoured program. Soon the massive A7V appeared. The A7V was a clumsy monster, weighing 30 tons and with a crew of eighteen. By the end of the war, only twenty had been built. Although other tanks were on the drawing board, material shortages limited the German tank corps to these A7Vs and about 36 captured Mark IVs. The A7V would be involved in the first tank vs. tank battle of the war on April 24, 1918 at the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux—a battle in which there was no clear winner.



    Film of WWI-era French and British tanks


    Numerous mechanical failures and the inability of the British and French to mount any sustained drives in the early tank actions cast doubt on their usefulness—and by 1918, tanks were extremely vulnerable unless accompanied by infantry and ground-attack aircraft, both of which worked to locate and suppress anti-tank defenses.

    But Gen. John J. Pershing, Commander in Chief, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), requested in September 1917 that 600 heavy and 1,200 light tanks be produced in the United States. When General Pershing assumed command of the American Expeditionary Force and went to France, he took Lt. Col. George Patton. Patton became interested in tanks. They were then unwieldy, unreliable, and unproved instruments of warfare, and there was much doubt whether they had any function and value at all on the battlefield. Against the advice of most of his friends, Patton chose to go into the newly formed US Tank Corps. He was the first officer so assigned.

    The first American-produced heavy tank was the 43.5-ton Mark VIII (sometimes known as the "Liberty"), a US-British development of the successful British heavy tank design, intended to equip the Allied forces. Armed with two 6-pounder cannons and five rifle-caliber machine guns, it was operated by an 11-man crew, and had a maximum speed of 6.5 miles per hour and a range of 50 miles. Because of production difficulties, only test vehicles were completed before the War ended. The American-built 6.5-ton M1917 light tank was a close copy of the French Renault FT. It had a maximum speed of 5.5 miles per hour and could travel 30 miles on its 30-gallon fuel capacity. Again, because of production delays, none were completed in time to see action. In the summer of 1918 a 3-ton, 2-man tank, (Ford 3-Ton M1918) originated by the Ford Motor Company was designed. It was powered by two Ford Model T, 4-cylinder engines, armed with a .30 inch machine gun, and had a maximum speed of 8 miles per hour. It was considered unsatisfactory as a fighting vehicle but to have possible value in other battlefield roles. An order was placed for 15,000, but only 15 were completed, and none saw service in the War.

    American tank units first entered combat on 12 September 1918 against the St. Mihiel salient with the First Army. They belonged to the 344th and 345th Light Tank Battalions, elements of the 304th Tank Brigade, commanded by Lt. Col. Patton, under whom they had trained at the tank center in Bourg, France, and were equipped with the Renault FT, supplied by France. Although mud, lack of fuel, and mechanical failure caused many tanks to stall in the German trenches, the attack succeeded and much valuable experience was gained. By the armistice of 11 November 1918, the AEF was critically short of tanks, as no American-made ones were completed in time for use in combat.

    Tanks in the World Wars


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    As one of the unholy trinity of WW1 killing inventions – along with machine guns and militarised aircraft – tanks played a significant part in both the War to End All Wars and the next big war after that. After all, when someone finally creates a mobile armoured death machine, you don’t just put it on the shelf for posterity. The tank has continued to be a major player in land operations in the twenty-first century, but it was born and raised in the world wars – a true baptism of fire.

    The British Mark I tank made its battlefield debut on 15 September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme, and while they inspired fear and triumph in the Germans and the Allies, respectively, they proved to be largely unreliable in combat. Of course they were rushed from the drawing board onto the field, as such times of desperation dictate, but of the 49 tanks that were deemed combat-ready, only 32 worked well enough to make it to the front. Of those, many floundered on the uneven terrain or broke down in the middle of No Man’s Land. Early tank designs also had a nasty habit of killing their occupants; the tank cabins were hellishly hot and filled with fuel fumes – a direct hit, or even just a spark, could ignite the entire crew, who then had an equally hellish time trying to escape their confines. Shell pieces, armour-piercing rounds and even rivets loosened by hits would bounce around the cabin like rubber balls, blinding anyone unlucky enough not to duck quickly, if ducking even helped. In addition to the mechanical shortcomings, such a new technology often left commanding officers unsure of the tanks’ value, and in the early days gains made by tanks (largely through shock value) were swiftly recovered when the infantry failed to follow up. As the war progressed, designs were improved – even if it took almost until the end of the war to find traction equal to the Belgian mud – and the Allies deployed almost 600 tanks at Amiens on 8 August 1918. (By contrast, the Germans only had about 90 tanks in operation during 1918.) In the end, tanks did manage to make breakthroughs in the static trench system, but they simply were not advanced enough to reach their full promise as the war machines they were designed to be.

    If the keyword for the tank in WW1 was ‘potential’, in WW2 that term would change to ‘power’. Development continued during the interwar years, and as the civilian automotive industry advanced, so did tanks. The WW1 French Renault FT provided the accepted design – crew in the front, engine in the back, with a fully rotating gun or cannon turret at the top – but it was lighter than even its WW1 British counterparts, and the trend in WW2 tank design was bigger, heavier, more firepower. Conversely, they also became faster. As the designs improved, the tanks’ remit widened, and they became offensive and defensive weapons as well as recovery and salvage vehicles. Some of them even had flamethrowers mounted on the top in lieu of guns. It’s interesting to note that while German tank design still lagged behind their Allied counterparts, the Germans’ proved tactically superior and often dominated the battlefield with their seemingly obsolete early Panzers.

    From primitive ‘landships’ to flame-throwing thunder gods, the history of the tank in the world wars was one of uncertain beginnings to dominating influence in just 20 years. By WW2, tanks were the tactical and operational giants of the war on land, and their position has only solidified since.

    Tanks of the major combatants[edit]
    Soviet Union[edit]

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    BT-7 tanks on parade
    The Soviet Union began and ended the war with more tanks than the rest of the world combined (18,000–22,000). At the start of World War II the most common tank in Soviet service was the Vickers-based T-26, armed with a 45 mm gun capable of penetrating most German tanks at normal combat ranges. Few had radios. The design was mechanically sound although incapable of further development. The BT tank series, based on the Christie suspension system, were usually armed with the same 45 mm gun and were the most mobile tanks in the world. Close-support versions of both tanks existed, armed with 76.2 mm howitzers. However, the BT was at the end of its design life. The Red Army also fielded thousands of light reconnaissance tanks such as the amphibious T-37 and T-38. These had limited combat value; although highly mobile, they were armed only with 7.62 mm machine guns and had very thin armour. The Red Army also had about 400 T-28 medium, multi-turreted tanks, which were in most respects equal to the German Panzer IV. Again, though, this design dated from 1931 and was obsolete.[2]

    The Soviet Union ended the 1930s with a huge fleet of tanks almost completely derived from foreign designs, but before 1941 developed some of the most important trend-setting tanks of the war. The problem the Soviet tank force faced in 1941 was not primarily the technical quality of its vehicles, but the very poor state of maintenance, the appalling lack of readiness, and the poor command situation brought on by the purges. The Red Army had in 1940 adopted an advanced doctrine that it was simply incapable of executing.[11]

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    Soviet tank troops (Battle of Budapest, October 1944)
    Several excellent designs were just entering production in 1940–41. On the eve of war, the Red Army had embarked on two closely related projects to reorganize its mechanized forces and re-equip them with modern designs incorporating the lessons of the Spanish Civil War, the Battle of Khalkhin Gol and the Winter War. Some of these designs leapfrogged other countries' tank designs. The most significant was the T-34, originally designed as the successor to the BT series, but with its heavier armour and heavy dual-purpose gun it became the best medium tank of the first half of World War II. The T-34 eventually replaced almost all other Soviet tanks. The basic design was good enough to keep it battle-worthy beyond 1945, having been upgraded with heavier guns, new turrets and other modifications. The second significant design was the KV-1 tank. These were armed with the same excellent 76.2 mm gun as the T-34, and had the same Kharkiv model V-2 diesel engine. However, the KV had a torsion bar suspension and much heavier armour than the T-34. The KV was slow, intended as a breakthrough tank. The KV-2 close-support version was armed with a 152 mm howitzer. The KV series was the main Soviet heavy tank until 1943, when production ended and most had been expended. Early in 1944 the KV's successor was the IS-2, armed with a 122 mm gun, having thicker armour and better mobility.[12] The new infantry-support tank of 1941, intended to be the replacement for the T-26, was the T-50, armed with a 45 mm gun, with torsion-bar suspension and excellent armour for its class. Production problems with its new engine led to the tank being cancelled after less than 70 had been made. Finally, the light reconnaissance role was to be filled by the amphibious T-40 and the cheaper, non-amphibious T-60.[2]

    At the beginning of German invasion most of the Soviet Union's tank forces were composed of the T-26 tank series and BT. A few T-40s had appeared, along with about 1363 mechanically unreliable early T-34 tanks, and 677 KV-1 and KV-2s.[11] Many early T-34s were captured or destroyed. Much of this early failure was due to lack of coordination, ill-supplied and ill-trained tank crews, and the lack of readiness of the Red Army in general. Another difficulty for the T-34 was that it had only a four-man crew, with the tank commander doubling as the gunner. Although spared from loading duties, unlike French tank commanders, it still crippled the tank commander's ability to maintain awareness of the battlefield while firing the tank's main gun, giving a tactical advantage to German armour.[12]

    [​IMG]
    A column of Russian T-26 mod. 1939 and T-26 mod. 1933 light tanks from the 20th Tank Brigade moving towards the front line.
    In 1941 great numbers of T-60s appeared, supplemented in 1942 with the similar T-70. Both light tanks had torsion-bar suspension, light armour, and small truck engines. Their simple construction kept them in production even though their combat value was limited. The T-60 had only a 20 mm gun while the T-70 had a 45 mm. However, both had one-man turrets, making them difficult to crew effectively. The T-70 formed the basis for the much more important self-propelled gun SU-76 later in the war.[2]

    By October 1942 Life magazine wrote, "The best tanks in the world today are probably the Russian tanks...".[13] The T-34 effectively made all German tanks produced to that date obsolete. In fact, at its height the T-34 was deemed so successful, and so capable in every role, that production of all other tanks except the IS-2 was stopped to allow all available resources to be used exclusively for this tank. The T-34 forced the Germans to adopt new, heavier designs such as the Panther and Tiger I, which in turn forced upgrades to the Soviet, United States and British tank fleets. Perhaps more significantly to the ultimate course of the war, the move to more complex and expensive German tank designs overwhelmed the already critically strained German tank-production capability, reducing the numbers of tanks available to German forces and thus helping to force Germany to surrender the initiative in the war to the Allies.[12]

    Later in the war the light tank role was increasingly filled by Lend-Lease supplies of United States M3 light tanks and British and Canadian-built Valentine tanks. Ironically, the T-34 was as fast or faster than many of the light tanks that were supposed to scout for it, further encouraging reductions in Soviet light tank production.[12]

    [​IMG]
    Early T-34-85 built at Factory 112
    In response to better German tanks, the Soviets began to produce the T-34-85 in the winter of 1943–44. This model had a much larger turret mounting an 85-mm gun and a 3-man turret crew, finally allowing the tank commander to concentrate fully on maintaining tactical awareness of the battlefield. The Soviets also responded with the 122 mm-armed IS-2 heavy tank, which carried heavier armor than the KV without an increase in overall weight; this was achieved by thinning the rear armor and moving most of the armor to the front of the tank, where it was expected to take most of its hits.[12]

    The IS-3 variant, produced in mid-1945, had a much more streamlined look and a larger, bowl-shaped tapered turret. Remarkably, the IS-3 had thicker armor but actually weighed slightly less than the IS-2, remaining under 50 tons (as compared to the Tiger II's 68). The armor design of the IS-3 was an enormous influence on postwar tank design, as seen in the Soviet T-55 and T-62 series, the United States M48 Patton and the West German Leopard 1.[14]

    Soviet tank production outstripped all other nations with the exception of the United States. The Soviets accomplished this through standardization on a few designs, generally forgoing minor qualitative improvements and changing designs only when upgrades would result in a major improvement.[11]

    Soviet tanks had turret and gun stabilization, starting with the T-28B, which had a rudimentary form as early as 1938.[15]

    United Kingdom[edit]
    See also: Tanks in the British Army § World War II
    Doctrine[edit]
    [​IMG]
    British Cruiser Tank Mark I (A9)
    Britain had been the worldwide trend-setter in tank development from 1915, but had lost its leadership position as the Second World War approached. Hampered by restricted expenditure in the years leading up the war and still organised for operations in Imperial defence as an expeditionary force, the British Army entered the war unprepared for the very sort of combat its influential theorists such as J.F.C. Fuller and B. H. Liddell Hart had advocated.[16]

    The British Army had developed two types of tanks - "Infantry Tanks" which were heavily armoured with good all terrain performance but were slow. This lack of speed was not considered a flaw as they were designed to support infantry assaults on enemy strong points or urban warfare where the ability to outpace a man on foot was deemed unnecessary. The other type were "Cruiser Tanks" which were intended for independent maneuvering, rapid breakouts and flanking attacks. Early Cruiser tanks gained performance at a cost in the armour they could carry. Reliability was an important issue especially in the harsh conditions of North Africa and the mountainous terrain of Southern Europe, where the A10 and A13 in particular were plagued by broken tracks and overheating engines.[16]

    [​IMG]
    Late model Churchill infantry tank
    British tank crews were trained to fire on the move and the armament was mounted for optimum balance such that the gunner could aim with his body rather than use geared elevation. This reduced available space inside the turret. Both early Cruiser and Infantry tanks carried the Ordnance QF 2-pounder, a 40 mm anti-tank gun, a good match for the contemporary German 3.7 cm KwK 36, and effective against tanks of the time but increasingly outclassed as the war progressed. Production shortages caused by losses in France and theBattle of the Atlantic forced the British to delay widespread introduction of the Ordnance QF 6-pounder (57 mm) anti-tank gun until 1942.[16]

    The lack of an adequate high-explosive shell for the 2-pounder and the growing number of 5 cm KwK 38 anti-tank guns in the Afrika Korpsgave the German army in Libya a huge advantage for much of late 1941 and early 1942. This began to be offset by late 1942 but theWehrmacht continued to enjoy an 12–18 month lead in tank and anti-tank gun development and production until the end of 1944.[16]

    Performance[edit]
    The A9 Cruiser Mk I was an effective tank in the French, Greek and early North African campaigns. The 2-pounder gun was better than comparable 37 mm weapons of Germany and the US, and lethal against tanks encountered during the North African campaign. However the minimal armor made the A9 vulnerable to most contemporary anti-tank weapons and the design was quickly superseded by the A10 Cruiser, Mark II.[17]

    [​IMG]
    A British Cruiser Mk II disabled by having lost a track (seen lower right) inGreece, 1941
    A number of A10s were part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) sent to France in the early stages of World War II. The A10's cross country performance was recorded as poor, due to narrow, easily thrown tracks, but materiel losses incurred in the aftermath of OperationDynamo (the evacuation of the BEF from Dunkirk in late May 1940) meant they could not be withdrawn from front line service quickly and so saw combat in small numbers North Africa, where reliability and suspension performance in the desert conditions was praised. Sixty worn out examples were also taken to Greece by the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment and although they performed well against the German tanks, over 90% were lost due to mechanical breakdowns as opposed to enemy action (mainly through broken tracks).[18]

    As war broke out, the British had placed into production the A13, a new faster Cruiser tank utilizing the suspension and running gear concepts of the American designer J. Walter Christie. This new suspension provided a fast, highly maneuverable design that became the basis for the rapid evolution of the Cruiser tank such as the Mk IV (A13 Mk II) a British cruiser tank derived from the original A13.[18]

    [​IMG]

    A Cruiser Mk IV tank destroyed in the North African Campaign


    The A13 Cruiser was developed into the A15 Crusader then the A27 Cromwell. The use of the powerful Rolls Royce Meteor engine, derived from the Rolls Royce Merlin, gave the Cromwell high speed and mobility. The final British cruiser design to see service was theA34 Comet; a development of the Cromwell, it carried a high velocity 77 mm gun derived from the Ordnance QF 17-pounder anti-tank gun; one of the most effective Allied anti-tank guns of the war.[19]

    Beginning about mid-1942, many British tank units were equipped with vehicles supplied under lend-lease from the United States, such as the Stuart light tank, the Lee (or the British specification Grant variant thereof) and the Lee's/Grant's replacement the Sherman. In late 1943, the British found a way to mount the QF 17-pounder anti-tank gun in the Sherman to create the Firefly, a tank with a more capable gun than the 75mm or 76mm gun normally fitted. From mid-1944, as more were produced and British designs were introduced into service the Firefly became increasingly the most common Sherman in use by the British.[20]

    Specialist tanks[edit]
    [​IMG]

    One of Hobart's Funnies a Churchill Crocodile tank in action


    Immediately before and during the war, the British produced an enormous array of prototype tanks and modified tanks for a variety of specialist engineering tasks (such as "Hobart's Funnies", produced for the invasion of France in 1944).[21]

    For example, the Churchill Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE) fired a short range 290 mm (11.4 inch) direct-fire mortar which was used for destroying buildings and clearing obstacles. It could also be equipped with a wide variety of combat engineering equipment such as small bridges, rolled-matt roadways, fascines, and mine rollers.[21]

    Many of the these ideas had already been tried, tested or were in experimental development both by Britain and other nations. For example, the Scorpion flail tank (a modified Matilda II) had already been used during the North African campaign to clear paths through German minefields. Soviet T-34 tanks had been modified with mine-rollers, fascines and flamethrowers. Close-support tanks, bridgelayers, and fascine carriers had been developed elsewhere also. However, the Funnies were the largest and most elaborate collection of engineering vehicles available.[21]

    By early 1944, Hobart could demonstrate to Eisenhower and Montgomery a brigade each of swimming DD tanks, Crab mine clearers, and AVRE (Engineer) tanks along with a regiment of Crocodile flamethrowing tanks.[21]

    United States[edit]
    See also: Tanks in the United States § World War II
    [​IMG]

    Light Tank M3 in Fort Knox, 1942


    Prior to the entry of the United States into the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Army had only a few tanks. During the Louisiana Maneuvers in September 1941, it used trucks with the word "tank" painted on their side. Even after Pearl Harbor the10th Armored Division did not have any tanks, so crews trained by marching down roads in groups and executing orders as if they were in tanks.[22]

    The Light Tank M2 series was the most important pre-war US tank. These light tanks were mechanically very reliable, with good mobility. However, they had a high silhouette — from the use of an air-cooled radial engine for power — and poor armor. Only a few saw combat, on Guadalcanal. Their importance lies in the fact that they formed the basis for the much more successful Light Tank M3 (a.k.a. Stuart) series beginning in 1941. The Stuart was an improvement of the M2, with heavier armor and a 37 mm gun. From the M3A1 version, this gun was gyrostabilized.[23]

    The new medium tank just entering production in 1940 was the M2 series. This was a poor design with thin armor, a high silhouette, a 37 mm main gun and seven machine guns.[24]

    [​IMG]

    An M2A1 Medium Tank (late production series)


    From 1940, new tank designs were prepared. The Battle of France had shown the importance of medium tanks.[24] The British Army sought to have the US manufacture British designs, but the US refused, offering instead to share the output of US factories building US designs. The United States Army had a requirement for a medium tank with a 75 mm gun, and developed the M3 Medium Tank as an interim design. The medium M3 tank was intended to quickly get a 75 mm gun into the field, pending the design of a tank with a 75 mm gun in a fully rotating turret. The British immediately ordered the M3 for their own use with modifications to their requirements.[25]

    By February 1942, American civilian automobile factories only made weapons and military vehicles.[26] Automobile manufacturers such asGeneral Motors and Chrysler used their experience with mass production to quickly build tanks. The country manufactured as many tanks in the first half of 1942 as in all of 1941, with 1,500 in May 1942 alone.[27] American production not only equipped its forces, but throughLend Lease also supplied all the tank needs of the free French (after 1942) and Chinese. By 1944 most British units were also equipped with US-built tanks. Finally, the US supplied over 8,000 tanks to the USSR, half of them the M4 Sherman. Similarly to the Soviet Union, the United States selected a few good basic designs and standardized on those models. Given the lack of tank design and production experience, it is remarkable that the United States designs were as good as they were.[24]

    The first tanks of the United States to see combat were the Light Tank M3.[28] They were deeply flawed in many ways, yet the M3 light ("Stuart") and M3 medium ("Lee" or "Grant") were the best tanks available to the Western Allies and were superior to many of their German counterparts in armor protection and firepower. The Light Tank M3 was about as well-armed as the British cruiser tanks with 2-pounder guns in the desert, yet was much more reliable mechanically. Its 37 mm main gun was more powerful than the main guns carried by German reconnaissance tanks. The name given by the British to the Light Tank M3 was 'Stuart'; a nickname used was 'Honey'. The M3 and its improved derivative, the Light Tank M5 series, remained in service throughout the war. By 1943, its 37 mm gun was obsolete, but no better replacement was available. The Light Tank T7 design was proposed as a successor in 1943, armed with a 57 mm gun and with better armor; however, the design was never standardized for production.[24]

    The appearance of the M3 "Lee" medium tank in the summer of 1942 finally gave the British a larger supply of medium tanks than they could otherwise have hoped for. Although poorly designed, with a very high profile, it was produced in great numbers and was very effective when engaging targets other than enemy tanks, such as infantry and gun positions.[29]

    [​IMG]

    Light Tank M5 passes through the wrecked streets of Coutances inNormandy


    [​IMG]

    The M4A1, A2 and A3 compared


    The M3 had the significant disadvantage of its 75 mm main armament being mounted offset in the hull meaning that it could not take hull down cover and use its main gun at the same time. It had a fully traversable turret with a 37 mm cannon as well, but the turret combined with a hull gun gave it a very tall profile. The United States 1st Armored Division also employed the M3 in Africa. It was a stopgap solution, never intended to be a design of major importance. In American and British service the M3 medium was phased out at the end of the North African campaign. It continued to serve in the Red Army for some time, and in a single campaign in the Pacific. Red Army crews nicknamed it "grave for seven brothers" referring to the seven-man crew.[24]

    The most important American design of the war was the M4 Sherman medium tank. The M4 became the second-most-produced tank of World War II, and was the only tank to be used by virtually all Allied forces (thanks to the American lend-lease program); approximately 40,000 M4 Shermans were produced during the war.[30] M4s formed the main tank of American, British, Canadian, French, Polish and Chinese units. The M4 was the equal of the German medium tanks, the Panzer III and Panzer IV, at the time it first saw service in 1942. The Red Army was supplied with about 4,000 M4s.[31] The M4, although reliable and easy to maintain, was already outgunned by the time the US encountered the up-gunned and up-armored German medium tanks in Italy and Northern Europe (the Panzer IV and various German self-propelled guns) and by late 1943 the arrival of German Panther and Tiger I were even graver threats due to the range, accuracy and penetrating power of their main guns. While it is commonly believed that the Sherman had a tendency to explode catastrophically due to their use of petrol fuel, this is incorrect. The Sherman suffered from thin armor and poor ammunition storage. Welded-on appliqué armor and water jackets were added to combat the problem. A U.S. Army study in 1945 concluded that 60–80 percent of the older dry-stowage and 10–15 percent of wet-stowage Shermans burned when penetrated.[32] The Sherman gained grim nicknames such as "Tommycooker" from the Germans, who called British soldiers "Tommies".[32]

    Flawed United States armor doctrine played a major role in keeping the M4 undergunned in 1944–1945. This doctrine emphasized that tanks were to be used primarily for infantry support and exploitation, while the role of fighting enemy tanks was to be carried out by the tank destroyer branch.[32] Technically, the M4's design was capable of handling larger guns than the 75 mm and 76 mm guns with which they left the factory. The British fitted Shermans with the more powerful Ordnance Quick Firing 17 pounder gun, a variant known informally as the Firefly.[32] By the time of the Normandy campaign, the M4 had become the workhorse tank of the Allied forces. Some Shermans were equipped with the Duplex Drive system (Sherman DD), which allowed them to swim using a collapsible screen and inflated rubber tubes. Along with this were the M4 Dozer (a Sherman with a bulldozer blade), the T34 Calliope (mounting a multiple rocket launcher above the turret), the M4A3R3 Flame thrower (flame tank), and theSherman Crab Mark I (a Sherman with a mine flail), as well as many other variants.[32]

    The United States eventually deployed the Light Tank M24, an improvement over the M3 light tank. The M24 had torsion-bar suspension, high mobility, and a compact 75 mm gun. Ergonomically the tank was quite good also. However, the M24 did not appear in combat until December 1944 and equipped only a few units by the end of the war.[24]

    Near the end of the war the M26 Pershing tank was deployed as the first operational heavy tank of the US Army. It was designated a heavy tank when it was designed in WWII due to its 90 mm gun, which was at the time the largest caliber gun found on a US tank. The Pershing was a very modern design with torsion-bar suspension, heavy armor, and an excellent 90 mm gun. However, it was somewhat underpowered, having the same Ford GAA engine as the M4A3. Intended as an improvement of the M4 Sherman, the prolonged time of development meant that only a small number saw combat in the European theater, most notably in the 9th Armored Division's dramatic dash to take the Bridge at Remagen. In combat it was, unlike the M4 Sherman, fairly equal in firepower and protection to both the Tiger I and Panther tanks. The M26 basic design was good enough to form the basis for all postwar American tanks through the end of the M60 series.[33]

    France[edit]
    See also: Tanks in France § World War II
    [​IMG]

    A Char B1 infantry tank in 1940 in Northern France


    At the start of the war, France had one of the largest tank forces in the world along with the Soviet, British and German forces. Like the British and the Soviets, the French operated two classes of tank: cavalry tanks and infantry tanks.[4]

    The French had planned for a defensive war and built tanks accordingly. Their infantry tanks were heavily armoured. But, also, generally, they were relatively sluggish, and operationally in terms of control of their forces, the French were at a disadvantage and were outmaneuvered by the German forces. When the French were able to mount an attack their tanks could be very effective. On 16 May, during the Battle of France a single Char B1 heavy tank, the Eure, attacked and destroyed thirteen German tanks lying in ambush inStonne, all of them Panzer IIIs and Panzer IVs, in the course of a few minutes.[34] The tank safely returned despite being hit 140 times (this event is not verifiable in German documents and relies on the statements of the crew). In his book Panzer Leader, Heinz Guderianwrote of a tank battle south of Juniville: "While the tank battle was in progress, I attempted, in vain, to destroy a Char B with a captured 47 mm anti-tank gun; all the shells I fired at it simply bounced harmlessly off its thick armor. Our 37 mm and 20 mm guns were equally ineffective against this adversary. As a result, we inevitably suffered sadly heavy casualties".[35]

    The total tank assets in France and its colonies were perhaps less than 5,800 during the time of the German offensive. After the armistice in the unoccupied Free Zone of France a clandestine rebuild took place of 225 GMC Trucks into armoured cars. When all of France was occupied in 1942 the secret hiding places were betrayed to the Germans.[36][37]

    Germany[edit]
    Main article: German tanks in World War II
    [​IMG]

    Panzer II tanks cross the desert


    [​IMG]

    Panzer Mk IIIs move off the factory grounds, 1942.

    [​IMG]

    Panzer III Ausf. D, Poland (1939)


    Germany's armored force was not especially impressive from a technical standpoint at the start of the war. As noted above, it was their advanced combined arms doctrine and unrivaled command-and-control capability that gave German mechanized forces their advantage on the battlefield.[38]

    Pre-war plans called for two main tanks: the main tank was to be the Panzer III medium tank, supported by smaller numbers of the howitzer-armed Panzer IV. However, by the beginning of the invasion of Poland, only a few hundred of these vehicles were available. As a result, the invasions of Poland and France were carried out primarily with the less capable Panzer I and Panzer II light tanks (armed with machine guns and a 20 mm gun respectively), with some gun armed light tanks of Czechoslovak design (Panzer 35(t) and Panzer 38(t), both armed with a 37 mm gun). Even in 1941, Panzer III production amounted only to about a thousand tanks, forcing the Germans to use Czech tanks as substitutes for the Panzer III. As the war proceeded, production of heavier tanks increased.[38]

    The Panzer III was intended to fight other tanks; in the initial design stage a 50 mm (2 inch) gun was specified. However, the infantry at the time were being equipped with the 37 mm (1.46 inch) PaK 36, and it was thought that in the interest of standardization the tanks should carry the same armament. As a compromise, the turret ring was made large enough to accommodate a 50 mm (2 inch) gun should a future upgrade be required. This single decision later assured the Panzer III a prolonged life in the German army.[39]

    [​IMG]

    Panzer IV Ausf. C


    The Panzer IV was intended to carry a gun that could be used in support of infantry or other tanks, and was initially armed with a short-barreled 75 mm howitzer to fire high explosive (HE) fragmentation shells. In 1941 an average of 39 Panzer IV models tanks per month were built, and this rose to 83 in 1942, 252 in 1943, and 300 in 1944.[39]

    During Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, it was discovered that the Soviet T-34 tank outclassed the Panzer III and IV. Its sloped armor could withstand most German weapons, and its 76.2 mm gun could penetrate the armor of all German tanks. This forced the Germans to improve their existing models. The Panzer III, which was intended to be the main medium tank, was upgraded to a longer, higher-velocity 50 mm gun.[39]

    [​IMG]

    Panzer IV Ausf. D


    Thus the Panzer IV, originally intended to be a support tank, became the de facto main medium tank re-armed with a long-barreled, high velocity 75 mm gun to counter the T-34; the Panzer III, with its smaller turret ring, could not mount a gun larger than 50 mm, which had become inadequate against Allied tanks.[39]

    [​IMG]

    Panzer V Panther Ausf. D tanks, 1943


    The Germans also started to develop newer, heavier tanks. This included the Panzer V Panther, which was intended to be the new main German medium tank. The Panther tank was a compromise of various requirements. While sharing essentially the same engine as the Tiger I tank, it had better frontal armor, better gun penetration, was lighter overall and thus faster, and could handle rough terrain better than the Tigers. The trade-off was much weaker side armor; the Panther proved to be deadly in open country and shooting from long range, but was vulnerable in close-quarters combat or to flank shots.[39]

    [​IMG]

    A Tiger I deployed to supplement the Afrika Korps operating in Tunisia, January 1943


    [​IMG]

    A Waffen-SS Tiger I tank in France


    The Germans also started to develop a new series of heavy tanks. The first was the Tiger, which outclassed all its opponents in terms of firepower and armor when it was first put into operational use. The even heavier Tiger II (deemed "King Tiger" by Allied troops) supplemented the Tiger I late in the war. Its powerful gun and very heavy armor made it superior to nearly every Allied or Soviet tank in a one-on-one confrontation, but poor mobility, speed and reliability limited its use.[39]

    Plans were made for a super-heavy tank, the Panzer VII Lowe, which was cancelled during the design stage in favor of the yet heavier Panzer VIII Maus of which only two incomplete prototype were made. Panzer IX and Panzer X were drawings only used for propaganda purposes.[40]

    Tanks of other combatants[edit]
    Czechoslovakia[edit]
    See also: Tanks of Czechoslovakia § World War II
    [​IMG]

    The LT vz. designated as Panzer 35(t) by Germans in France, 1940


    By the time of the Sudeten crisis, the Czechoslovak army used a complement of light tanks including 298 LT vz. 35 designed by Škoda, as well as 50 LT vz. 34 built by ČKD; 150 LT vz. 38were ordered but none were delivered before the German occupation. The LT-35 and LT-38 models were superior to the Panzer I and Panzer II light tanks used in the Wehrmacht, so the Germans ordered the production of these models to be resumed.[41]

    Before the end of production in 1942, 136 more LT-35 and a total of 1414 LT-38 were produced for the Wehrmacht at Škoda Works; these tanks saw operational use in the Polish campaign, the Battle of France and on the Soviet front. By 1942, Czech-built tanks became progressively vulnerable to Soviet T-34 medium tanks and new anti-tank guns and the LT-35 and LT-38 proved unsuitable for harsh winter conditions in Russia, so they were withdrawn from front line service in 1942; the remaining units were either redeployed in a light reconnaissance role or converted to Hetzer tank destroyers and artillery tractors.[42]

    Italy[edit]
    See also: Tanks in the Italian Army § World War II
    [​IMG]

    M13/40 tanks in the desert, April 1941

    The Italian army was mainly equipped with tankettes of the L3 series in the 1930s, and these, armed with machine guns, formed the main armor strength of Italy as late as 1940. Italy began fielding heavier tanks beginning with the Fiat M11/39 with a 37 mm main gun in 1940. This tank and its derivatives, the M13/40, M14/41 and the M15/42 (all with 47 mm main guns) were closely comparable in combat power to light tanks such as the Soviet T-26. A heavier design, the P40 with a 75 mm main gun, was designed, but saw no service with Italian forces as it became ready at the time of the Armistice of Cassibile with the Allies, after which the Germans took over production, and used roughly one hundred of them. Another tank design, the Fiat M16/43, was developed to match the British cruiser tanks but work on it was stopped when the Axis was pushed out of North Africa in May 1943.[38]

    The Fiat-Ansaldo M11/39 medium tank was used from 1940 through the early period of World War II. The M11/39 was developed as a "breakthrough tank" (Carro di Rottura). It was replaced by the Fiat-Ansaldo M13/40 medium tank which was used in the Greek campaign and in the North African Campaign. The M13/40 was not used on the Eastern Front; Italian forces there were equipped only with Fiat L6/40s and Semovente 47/32 tank destroyers. Armament was sufficient for 1940–41, but did not keep up with the increased armor and firepower on Allied or German tanks and anti-tank guns; its engine was underpowered and unreliable, a condition worsened by the harsh desert climate and the initial lack of training of their crews. Beginning in 1942, the Italian Army recognized the firepower weakness of the M13/40 series and employed the Semovente 75/18 self-propelled gun alongside the tanks in their armored units, which proved capable of destroying the enemy medium tanks.[43]

    The next tank in the series was the Fiat M14/41, a slightly improved version of the M13/40 with a more powerful diesel engine. The tank was also employed in the North African Campaign. Following the withdrawal of Italian forces from North Africa the M14/41 was rarely encountered. A few captured M11, M13 and M14s were pressed into service by British and Australian forces to fill the serious shortage of allied tanks in 1941.[43]

    The next in the series was the M15/42, a 15 tonne tank first built in January 1943. Some 90 vehicles were built before the Italian armistice in September 1943 and in connection to that event they were used in battle against the Germans by the 132nd Armoured Division Ariete in Rome. After that point they were confiscated and used by the Germans who also built another 28 M15/42 tanks. It had a more powerful engine and air filters to cope with the harsh conditions of the desert, and an improved version of the 47 mm gun; however, by the time it entered production it was already obsolete.[43]

    Italian tank classification[edit]
    Italy introduced a new tank classification scheme in 1938. Tanks were designated first with a letter (L, M or P, for light, medium or heavy respectively) followed by the weight in tonnes, separated by a slash followed by the year the tank was accepted for service. The classes of light, medium and heavy differed somewhat from other countries. Hence the P26/40, designated as "heavy" by the Italians with its 26 tonne weight, was more similar in weight to the medium M4 Sherman tank (30 tonne weight). The Italians also labeled the machine gun armed L3/35 a "light tank", although it is more commonly called a tankette.[38]

    Japan[edit]
    See also: Tanks in the Japanese Army § World War II
    Like the US Army (which utilized French and British tanks in World War I), the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) did not have tanks of its own in World War I, so it started out by purchasing foreign tanks for evaluation during World War I, and then began developing its own designs. Like many other nations, the Japanese initially didn't embrace the tank, as it didn't have the cavalry tradition. Cavalry was used for reconnaissance in the mountainous countryside, and initially, as with most other armies, the first designs were constrained by the tank's infantry support role. Inspired by European designs, the Japanese tank program designed and developed the tanks which facilitated their campaigns in China and the Soviet–Japanese border conflicts, prior to World War II. They introduced many innovations as they built their designs, including bell-crank suspensions, were pioneers in amphibious tanks, and the use of diesel engines that were less likely to catch fire compared with gasoline tank engines that were being used at the time. The Japanese generals had made a mistake in their assessment of the tanks used against China, a country whose army had only three tank battalions, and few anti-tank weapons.[44]

    [​IMG]

    A Type 97 Te-Ke Japanese tankette in New Britain


    By 1937, Japan fielded 1,060 tanks in 8 regiments, most designed for and used in the infantry support role. But this focus left the IJA without a tank capable of taking on other tanks, a deficiency that was brought home hard during the battle of Khalkin-Gol, a decisive defeat inflicted by the Soviet Union on the Mongolian border in 1939. This proved fatal later when they faced the new generation of Allied tanks, as the great majority of the Japanese models were lightly armored, and not heavily gunned. With the priority of steel going to the Imperial Japanese Navy and Air Force, the Japanese Army was relegated the remaining material for its tanks. Thus the 1930s designed vehicles went on being mass-produced, and the warning of Khalkin-Gol was too slowly recognized. By 1940 they had the fifth largest tank force in the world behind the Soviet Union, France, Britain and Germany, but were behind in medium and heavy tanks. After 1941, with the new focus on building warships and aircraft, and with the entry of the United States into the conflict, priorities shifted to weapons that were more conducive to naval warfare; attacking across the Pacific, and defending the Empire from the advancing Americans.[45]

    The tanks that Allied forces in the Pacific faced were primarily designs of the 1930s, such as the Type 97 Chi-Ha and Type 95 Ha-Go. Even so, these tanks were often delayed by shortages of raw materials, and even after arriving off of the assembly lines doctrine called for them to be held for the defense of the mainland, and not dispersed to the far flung Imperial Japanese Army or Navy forces. The Japanese built tanks to match up against the Allied tanks, such as the Type 2 Ho-I Infantry Support Tank with a 75 mm gun designed as a self-propelled howitzer or tank destroyer for the close fire support role, to provide Type 97 Chi-Ha equipped Japanese tank regiments with additional firepower against enemy armored fighting vehicles, but in limited amounts.[46] Between 1931 and 1945, Japan produced 6450 tanks. Half of them (3300) were made by the Mitsubishi Company. The sub-total of tanks produced between 1940 and 1945 is 4424, i.e. a yearly average comparable to Italy. For a country as large and as industrialized as Japan, that is modest. Before 1945, the fleet and the air force had priority. It changed when the homeland went under direct threat, but it was too late.[44]

    Poland[edit]
    See also: Tanks of the Polish Armoured Forces § World War II
    [​IMG]

    Single-turret 7TP


    Poland was the first to suffer the German Blitzkrieg, but it had some very good tanks in its armored forces. The most important was the7TP (siedmiotonowy polski - "7-tonne Polish") light tank, which was better armed than its most common opponents, the German Panzer I and Panzer II.[47]

    Like the similar Soviet T-26, the 7TP was a development of the British Vickers 6-ton (Mk.E) which the Poles purchased and licensed for local production. The main new features of 7TP were: a better, more reliable and powerful diesel engine (which made the 7TP world's first diesel tank), 37 mm anti-tank gun, and slightly thicker armor (17 mm in front instead of 13 mm). Only about 132 tanks were produced between 1935 and the outbreak of the war. The weight increased after the initial 7-tonne prototype was made and the actual serial tanks weighed approximately nine tonnes.[47]

    Like its British predecessor, the 7TP was initially produced in two variants: the twin turret version armed with 2 Ckm wz.30 machine guns, and a single turret version, armed with a 37 mm Bofors wz. 37 gun. After initial tests, it became clear that the twin-turret variant was obsolete and lacked firepower, so it was abandoned in favor of the more modern single turret design.[47]

    Poland also had the TK tankette (also known as the TK-3) which was based upon an improved chassis of the British Carden Loyd tankette. The 575 TK/TKS tankettes formed the bulk of the Polish armored forces but as their armament was limited to machine guns, their combat value was limited. They suffered heavy losses during the Invasion of Poland. Only the handful of tankettes armed with 20 mm guns had a fighting chance against the enemy tanks; in one instance on 18 September 1939 a 20 mm gunned TKS destroyed three German Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) tanks.[47]

    All of the 7TP tanks took part in combat in the Polish Defensive War of 1939. Most of them were attached to two light tank battalions (the 1st and the 2nd).[47]

    Polish forces in exile after the fall of Poland were reequipped by their allies. Polish LWP forces fighting alongside the Red Army were equipped with T-34, T-70 and IS-2 tanks, along with ISU-122 and SU-76 self-propelled guns. Polish forces in the west were equipped out of British stocks including M3 and M5 Stuarts, M4 Shermans and a small number of Cromwells. Polish armor units were participants in the Battle of Berlin and played an important role in the campaign in Normandy.[47]

    Tanks in Modern Warfare
    [​IMG]
    Originally invented during WW1 to break through trench lines, the tank didn’t reach its full maturity – or potential – until WW2, when it became a significant factor in warfare, both tactically and operationally. The tank’s contribution to operational success was so considerable that an entirely new tactical and technological system of anti-tank warfare was developed, using bazookas, minefields and even anti-tank dogs (with varying degrees of success). But today the concept of the tank is one hundred years old, and since its heyday 70 years ago there have been countless debates over whether tanks still have a place in modern warfare. Regardless, the story of the tank since WW2 has not been of obsolescence but of evolution.

    Tanks were no longer produced in such vast quantities after the end of WW2, but they continued to be developed and hoarded by Cold War countries, largely as a threat of force initiative – much like atomic weapons. There is no doubt that the tank remains a fearsome deterrent even to this day; news reports that tanks have been seen moving into any skirmish area around the world immediately raises alarms. But tanks of the Cold War era still required relatively flat and dry land to function effectively, so they proved to be far less useful as weapons and transport than helicopters in the jungles of Korea andVietnam.

    Cold War tank design trended away from the heavy armoured beasts of the WW2 battlefield, largely in response to increasingly sophisticated anti-tank measures and weapons. Light tanks were useful for reconnaissance and small-scale missions but too flimsy to withstand intense firepower, while their more heavily armoured siblings sacrificed manoeuvrability for endurance. As such, medium tanks became the norm, being heavy enough to take considerable fire while retaining a wider range of engagement.

    Despite a major tank battle having been fought at the very end of the Cold war – in the Gulf War Battle of 73 Easting, 1991, featuring hundreds of armoured vehicles in active combat– in the post-Cold War era, tanks have in many ways become a symbol of power more than a practical battlefield necessity. But unlike their naval counterparts, as wars on the seas are no longer a major feature of modern warfare, tanks are still considered a standard element of national armouries. With military budgets on the rise in the twenty-first century and technological innovation moving at the speed of a Pentium processor, modern tank design has just about hit that sweet spot of heavy armour, heavy cannon and lightweight manoeuvrability. However, with many modern battles being fought largely from behind a computer screen, tanks are no longer produced or kept in quantity; the United States has fewer tanks in total now than were employed by the Germans alone at Kursk.

    Despite the trend away from using them widely in active combat, tanks remain an important tactical and psychological element of national armouries. They’re big, they’re scary, and when we see a tank we know the battle is getting serious, so expect them to be around for quite a while yet.

    Some examples for worlds modren main battle Tanks.
    Leopard 2A7 (Germany)

    [​IMG]
    It is a recent version of the proven and successful Leopard 2 design. It has additional armor and updated electronics.
    The Leopard 2A7 is well protected against conventional and urban warfare threats, such as RPG rounds and IEDs.

    This tank has better accuracy and longer range of fire comparing with other tanks due to its powerful gun and advanced fire control system.

    This MBT is powered by a proven engine, developing 1 500 hp. Despite increase in weight vehicle has increased mobility due to improved suspension components. Cross-country performance is similar to other Leopard 2 series tanks.

    German Army ordered a first batch of 20 Leopard 2A7 MBTs, upgraded fromLeopard 2A6. Deliveries commenced in 2014. German army plans to upgrade 50 to 150 tanks to the 2A7 standard. Qatar ordered 62 of these MBTs and Saudi Arabia more than 200.
    Technical data[edit]
    Technical Data[79]
    Description Leopard 2A4 Leopard 2A5 Leopard 2A6/A6M
    Crew: 4
    Engine: MTU-12-cylinder-Diesel engine MB 873-Ka 501, with two exhaust turbochargers
    Capacity: 47,600 cm3, RPM: 2,600/min
    Power output: 1,500 PS (1,479 hp, 1,103 kW)
    Transmission: Hydro-mechanical control, reversing and steering gear HSWL 354 with combined hydrodynamic-mechanical service brake, 4 forward, 2 reverse
    Suspension system: Torsion bar spring mounted support roller drive with hydraulic dampers
    Length
    Turret forward: 9,670 mm 10,970 mm
    Width: 3,700 mm 3,760 mm
    Height: 2,790 mm 3,030 mm
    Ground clearance: 540 mm
    Wading depth without preparation: 1,200 mm
    Wading depth with snorkel: 4,000 mm
    Trench passability: 3,000 mm
    Climbing ability: 1,100 mm
    Empty weight: 52 t 57.3 t 57.6 t
    A6M 60.2 t
    Combat weight: 55.15 t 59.5 t A6 59.9 t (maximum mass; 61.7 t),
    A6M 62.5 t
    Maximum speed: 71 km/h; backwards 31 km/h
    Fuel capacity: 1,160 liters (limited to 900 liters when not in battle)
    Fuel consumption and operating range:
    Road: ca. 340 l/100 km, ca. 340 km
    Terrain: ca. 530 l/100 km, ca. 220 km
    Average: ca. 410 l/100 km, ca. 280 km
    Static test: 12,5 l/h, 72–93 hours (with 900–1,160 liters capacity)

    Rotation time (360°): 10 seconds
    Armament: Rheinmetall 120 mm smoothbore gun L/44 and 2 machine guns Rheinmetall 120 mm smoothbore gun L/55 and 2 machine guns
    Turret weight: 16 t 21 t
    Turret rotation time: 360° in 9 seconds (electric)


    K2 Black Panther (South Korea)
    [​IMG]
    Currently the Black Panther is one of the most advanced main battle tank in the world, outclassing anything North Korea or China have. Furthermore it is the most expensive main battle tank to date.
    This tank uses composite armor of undisclosed type and explosive reactive armor modules. The K2 is also completed with active protection and countermeasures systems. Its protection is broadly similar to the M1A2 Abrams, considering that the K2 is much lighter.

    This new South Korean tank is armed with the latest German 120-mm gun, similar to that used on the Leopard 2A6 and 2A7. This tank has a very advanced fire control system with can spot, track and fire automatically at visible vehicle-size targets, even low-flying helicopters, without needing any input from a human operator. The K2 also uses advanced munitions.

    The Black Panther is fitted with a powerful diesel engine. It is fast and has a state-of-the-art hydropneumatic suspension.

    Currently this main battle tanks is not yet in series production. It might enter service with the South Korean Army soon.
    Specifications
    Weight
    55 t (54 long tons; 61 short tons)
    Length Overall: 10.8 m (35 ft 5 in)
    Chassis : 7.5 metres (24 ft 7 in)
    Width 3.6 metres (11 ft 10 in)
    Height 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in)
    Crew 3 (commander, gunner, driver)
    Armor Classified type of composite armourwith ERA and NERA modular add-on armour in addition to soft-kill and hard-kill anti-missile defense systems
    Main
    armament

    120 mm (4.72 in) 55 calibersmoothbore gun (40 rounds)
    Secondary
    armament

    12.7×99mm (.50 BMG) K6 heavy machine gun (3,200 rounds)
    7.62×51mm NATO coaxialmachine gun (12,000 rounds)
    Engine 4-cycle, 12-cylinder water-cooled diesel
    1,500 hp (1,100 kW)
    Power/weight 27.2 hp/tonne
    Suspension In-arm Suspension Unit
    Operational
    range

    450 kilometres (280 mi)
    Speed Paved road: 70 km/h (43 mph)
    Cross country: 50 km/h (31 mph)
    Acceleration from 0–32 km/h (0–20 mph) in 7 seconds


    M1A2 SEP (USA)
    [​IMG]
    The M1A2 SEP is a successor to the
    M1A2 Abrams. This tank has incredible technology and armor. Also it has seen combat. It is one of the most feared MBTs.

    The M1A2 SEP offers significant protection against all well-known anti-tank weapons. This main battle tank uses advanced armor, reinforced with depleted uranium layers.

    Its gun and accuracy are slightly inferior to that of the Leopard 2A7. Yet it still packs a formidable punch.

    Its complex gas turbine engine offers good performance, but requires tremendous amount of maintenance, logistical support and is thirsty on fuel.

    A number of older
    M1, M1A1 and M1A2 tanks were upgraded to this standard. The tank can be also fitted with a Tank Urban Survival Kit (TUSK), that improves survivability in urban environment. To date very few Abrams tanks have been destroyed in combat.

    The M1A2 SEP is in service with United States Army (at least 900). It is planned that this tank will remain in service beyond 2050. The M1A2 SEP has not been exported yet. However the previous M1A2 has been supplied to Kuwait (218) and Saudi Arabia (373).
    Specifications[edit]
    M1
    M1IP M1A1 M1A2 M1A2SEP
    Produced 1979–85 1984 1986–92 1992 on
    Length 32.04 ft (9.77 m)
    Width 12 ft (3.7 m)
    Height 7.79 ft (2.37 m) 8.0 ft (2.4 m)
    Top speed 45 mph (72 km/h) 41.5 mph (66.8 km/h) 42 mph (68 km/h)
    Range 310 mi (500 km) 288 mi (463 km) 243 mi (391 km)
    Weight 61.4 short tons (55.7 t) 62.8 short tons (57.0 t) 67.6 short tons (61.3 t) 68.4 short tons (62.1 t) 69.5 short tons (63.0 t)
    Main armament
    105 mm M68 rifled 120 mm M256 smoothbore
    Crew 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)
    Note: All of the above produce a power of 1,500 shp (1,100 kW).

    Challenger 2 (United Kingdom)
    [​IMG]
    It is a very capable tank. The Challenger 2 has the latest Chobham armor and is one of the most protected MBTs in the world today. It offers very high level of protection against direct fire weapons

    This British tank is armed with a very accurate 120-mm rifled gun. Its gun is rifled as opposed to smoothbore guns used by all other modern MBTs. Its maximum aimed range is over 5 km. Currently the Challenger holds the record for for longest tank-to-tank kill.

    Engine of the Challenger 2 is less powerful than of its Western rivals. Also it is not as fast as other MBTs. However this tank is famous for its mechanical reliability.

    The Challenger 2 is in service with United Kingdom (386) and Oman (38).
    Specifications
    Weight
    62.5 tonnes (61.5 long tons; 68.9short tons)
    Length 8.3 m (27 ft 3 in), 13.50 m (44 ft 3 in) with gun forward
    Width 3.5 m (11 ft 6 in), 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in) with appliqué armour
    Height 2.49 m (8 ft 2 in)
    Crew 4 (commander, gunner, loader/operator, driver)
    Armour Chobham / Dorchester Level 2 (classified)
    Main
    armament

    L30A1 120 mm rifled gun with 58 rounds
    Secondary
    armament

    Coaxial 7.62 mm L94A1 chain gun EX-34 (chain gun), 7.62 mmL37A2 Commander's cupola machine gun
    Engine Perkins CV-12 V12 diesel 26 litre
    1,200 hp (890 kW)
    Power/weight 19.2 hp/t (14.3 kW/t)
    Transmission David Brown TN54 epicyclic transmission (6 fwd, 2 rev.)
    Suspension Hydropneumatic
    Ground clearance 0.5 m (1 ft 8 in)[2]
    Fuel capacity 1,592 litres (350 imp gal; 421 US gal)[2]
    Operational
    range

    550 km (340 mi) on road,[3]250 km (160 mi) off road on internal fuel[2]
    Speed 59 km/h (37 mph) on road,[4]40 km/h (25 mph) off road[2]

    Armata (Russia)
    [​IMG]
    The Armata is a new Russian main battle tank of new generation. It was first publicly revealed in 2015. Its full-scale production could begin in 2017-2018.

    The Armata is a clean sheet design with a number of advanced features. It shares little common with the current T-90. The Armata is much bigger.

    Its specifications are classified, however the Armata might be one of the most protected tanks in the world. It has newly-developed base armor, made of steel, ceramics and composite materials. Also Armata has a new add-on explosive reactive armor. It has been reported that Armata will be fitted with new active protection system. It also has a new countermeasures system that reduces the chance of being hit by enemy ATGW with semi-automatic guidance.
    This tank is operated by a crew of 3 men. All crewmembers are seated side-by-side in a well protected armored cell, located at the front of the hull. It is the first production MBT with such crew layout. The tank can operate even with penetrated armor, as far as the crew cell is intact.

    The Armata is also a world's first production MBT with completely unmanned turret. It is armed with a 125-mm smoothbore gun that can also launch anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. The gun is completed with an autoloader. This tank has a hunter-killer capability.

    It has been reported that this tank is fitted with a diesel engine, developing 1 200 hp.
    Specifications
    Weight

    48 t[2][6]

    49 t (with Urban Warfare Package)[2]
    Length 10.8 m (35 ft)
    Width 3.5 m (11 ft)
    Height 3.3 m (10 ft)
    Crew 3[2][5]
    Armor
    44S-sv-Sh[2][7]

    1,000–1,100 mm vs APFSDS and 1,200–1,400 mm vs HEAT[8]
    Main
    armament

    125 mm (4.92 in) smoothbore 2A82-1M tank cannon[5] with 45 rounds (32 of them in the autoloader)
    Secondary
    armament

    12.7 mm (0.50 in) Kord machine gun(6P49), 7.62 mm (0.30 in) PKTM machine gun (6P7К)
    Engine diesel 1,500 hp[9]
    2,000 hp[9]
    Power/weight 31hp/t
    Transmission 12-speed automatic gearbox
    Operational
    range

    min[9] 500 kilometres (310 mi)
    Speed 80–90 km/h[9]

    Merkava Mk4 (Israel)
    [​IMG]
    It is the latest Israeli development which is a further development of the Merkava Mk.3.

    The Merkava Mk.4 is one of the most protected tanks in the world. This MBT has an unusual design with a front-mounted engine which gives the crew additional protection and chance to survive if the tank is knocked-out. All Merkava series tanks have a rear compartment which ca be used to carry troops and cargo under armor. It can carry up to 10 troops when ammunition is unloaded.

    The Israeli tank is armed with indigenous 120-mm smoothbore gun. The Merkava Mk.4 is equipped with new fire control system, that includes some very advanced features. One of them is a high hit probability firing against low-flying helicopters using conventional munitions.

    Mobility of the Merkava Mk.4 is rather average due to excessive weight, even though it is fitted with a powerful engine.

    The Merkava Mk.4 is in service only with Israel (360), as this tank is not offered for export.
    Specifications
    Weight
    65 tonnes (143,000 pounds)
    Length 9.04 m or 29.7 ft (incl. gun barrel)
    7.60 m or 24.9 ft (excl. gun barrel)
    Width 3.72 m or 12.2 ft (excl. skirts)
    Height 2.66 m or 8.7 ft (to turret roof)
    Crew 4 (commander, driver, gunner, and loader)
    Passengers Maximum 6 passengers[4]
    Armor Classified composite/sloped armour modular design.
    Main
    armament

    120 mm (4.7 in) MG253smoothbore gun, capable of firing LAHAT ATGM
    Secondary
    armament

    1 × 12.7 mm (0.50 in) MG
    2 × 7.62 mm (0.300 in) MG
    1 × 60 mm (2.4 in) internal mortar
    12 smoke grenades
    Engine 1,500 hp (1,119 kW)turbocharged diesel engine
    Power/weight 23 hp/tonne
    Payload capacity 48 rounds
    Transmission Renk RK 325
    Suspension Helical spring
    Ground clearance 0.45 m (1.5 ft)
    Fuel capacity 1,400 litres
    Operational
    range

    500 km (310 mi)
    Speed 64 km/h (40 mph) on road
    55 km/h (34 mph) off road


    Leclerc (France)
    [​IMG]
    This French main battle tank entered service in 1992. A number of design features of the Leclerc were later used on other Western tanks.

    The Leclerc has advanced composite armor with add-on modular armor.

    This MBT has a crew of three and is fitted with an autoloader. It is fitted a powerful gun and has a high hit probability against stationary and moving targets. Also it has a hunter-killer capability.

    This tank has good mobility due to its 1 500 hp engine and hydropneumatic suspension.

    Currently it is in service with France (406) and United Arab Emirates (388).
    Specifications
    Weight
    series 1: 54.5 tonnes[2]
    series 2: 56.3 tonnes
    series XXI : 57.4 tonnes[3]
    Length 9.87 m (6.88 without gun[2])
    Width 3.60 m[2]
    Height 2.53 m[2]
    Crew 3[2] (Commander, gunner, driver)
    Armour modular composite armor
    SXXI version include titanium, tungsten and semi-reactive layers.
    Main
    armament

    GIAT CN120-26/52 120mm tank gun[2]
    40 rounds (1 round ready to fire in the chamber, 22 rounds inside the autoloader magazine with additional 18 rounds cylinder in the hull)
    Secondary
    armament




      • 12.7 mm coaxial M2HB machine gun (1,100 rounds)
      • 7.62 mm machine gun (3,000 rounds)
    Engine 8-cylinder diesel SACM (Wärtsilä)
    1,100 kW[2] (1,500 hp)
    Power/weight 27.52 hp/tonne[2]
    Transmission Automatic SESM ESM500[4]
    Suspension hydropneumatic
    Fuel capacity 1300 liters (1700 ℓ with fuel drums)
    Operational
    range

    550 km, 650 km (400 mi) with external fuel[2]
    Speed 72 km/h (45 mph)[5]


    Al-Khalid tank and MBT-2000
    [​IMG]
    The term Al-Khalid tank (Urdu: الخالد ٹینک‎—Al-Xālid Ṫaiŋk, pronounced [əl-ˈxɑːlɪd̪ ʈæːŋk] lit. The Immortal Tank) and MBT-2000 is a jointly developed main battle tank by Pakistan and China during the 1990s. About 300 Al-Khalid tanks were in service with thePakistan Army as of 2009. The Bangladesh Army ordered 44 MBT-2000s in 2011.[7][8] The tank is also used by the Royal Moroccan Army.[9] It was trialled by the Peruvian Army for possible acquisition, but was discarded due to financial problems.[1]

    Operated by a crew of three and armed with a 125 mm smooth-bore tank gun that is reloaded automatically, the tank uses a modern fire-control system integrated with night-fighting equipment and is capable of firing many types of anti-tank rounds as well as guided anti-tank missiles.[10] Al-Khalid is named after the 7th-century Muslim commander Khalid bin al-Walid (592–642 AD).[11][12]

    An evolution of Chinese and Soviet tanks, the design is considerably smaller and lighter than most Western main battle tanks. It is based on the Chinese Type 90-II, which combined technologies from several Soviet and Western tanks.[10] The Al-Khalid is unusual in that it was designed to be adaptable for manufacture, so that it can be easily integrated with a variety of foreign engines and transmissions. The current production variant of the Al-Khalid uses a diesel engine and transmission supplied by the KMDB design bureau of Ukraine.[13] The first production models entered service with the Pakistan Army in 2001.
    Specifications
    Weight
    46 t (51 short tons)[2]
    Length 10.07 m (33.0 ft)
    Width 3.50 m (11.5 ft)
    Height 2.40 m (7.9 ft)
    Crew 3
    Armour Composite armour, RHA, ERA[3]
    Main
    armament

    125 mm smoothbore gun, 39 rds
    Secondary
    armament

    7.62 mm coaxial MG, 3000 rds
    12.7 mm external AA MG, 500 rds[2]
    Engine KMDB 6TD-2 6-cylinder diesel
    1,200 hp (890 kW)
    Power/weight 26 hp/ton[4]
    Transmission SESM ESM500 5-speed automatic
    Suspension Torsion bars, hydraulic dampers
    Operational
    range

    500 km (combat range)[5]
    Speed 72 km/h[5][6]


    T-90 (Russia)
    [​IMG]
    The T-90 is currently the only tank produced in quantity in Russia. It is not as sophisticated as its Western rivals, however it uses proven technology and is cost effective. Currently it is the most commercially successful main battle tank on the global market. Also it is one of the cheapest among modern MBTs.

    The T-90 has a small profile which makes it a harder target to hit. Significant drawback of the T-90 is ammunition stored in the main compartment due to its carrousel-type autoloader. Once hit ammunition detonates by killing all the crew and destroying the tank. This drawback is common to all Soviet, Russian Ukrainian and recent Chinese MBTs. Western tanks have a separate compartment in the turret bustle with a blow-out panels

    The T-90 is not as accurate against long-range targets, however it can launch anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary munitions.

    Original version has poor power-to-weight ratio due to its underpowered engine. Later models were fitted with more powerful engines.

    The T-90MS Tagil is a recent version with new armor, new engine, new gun, improved turret, updated observation and aiming system.

    The T-90 is currently in service with Russia (approximately 700), Algeria (305), Azerbaijan (20), India (620), Turkmenistan (40) and Venezuela (50 ~100).
    Specifications
    Weight

    46 tonnes (45 long tons; 51 short tons) (T-90)

    46.5 tonnes (45.8 long tons; 51.3short tons) (T-90A)
    Length
    9.63 m (31 ft 7 in)

    6.86 m (22 ft 6 in) (hull)
    Width 3.78 m (12 ft 5 in)
    Height 2.22 m (7 ft 3 in)
    Crew 3
    Armor
    Steel-composite-reactive blend

    vs APFSDS: 550-650mm, with Kontakt-5 = 800–830mm; vs HEAT: 1,000mm with Kontakt-5 = 1,150–1,350mm[3][4][5]
    Main
    armament

    2A46M 125 mm smoothbore gun with 43 rounds (T-90)

    2A46M-5 125 mm smoothbore gun with 42 rounds (T-90A)
    Secondary
    armament

    12.7mm Kord Heavy machine gun,7.62mm PKMT
    Engine
    V-84MS 12-cyl. diesel (T-90)
    V-92S2 12-cyl. diesel (T-90A)
    840 hp (618 kW) for V-84MS 12-cyl. diesel engine

    950 hp (736 kW) for V-92S2 12-cyl. diesel engine
    Power/weight
    18.2 hp/tonne (13.3 kW/tonne) (T-90)

    20.4 hp/tonne (15 kW/tonne) (T-90A)
    Suspension Torsion bar
    Operational
    range

    550 km (340 mi) (without fuel drums)
    Speed 60 km/h (37 mph)


    Altay (tank)
    [​IMG]
    The Altay is an advanced main battle tank, designed and developed by Otokar of Turkey for the Turkish Army and export markets.[11][12][13] It is named in honor of Army General Fahrettin Altay (1880–1974)[14] who commanded the 5th Cavalry Corps in the final stage of the Turkish War of Independence.
    National Tank Production Project (Turkish: MİTÜP – Milli Tank Üretimi Projesi), an initiative developed in mid-1990s to establish independent and robust infrastructure for the production, development and maintenance of main battle tanks used by Turkish Armed Forces.[15][16] The project was initiated with an agreement signed between Otokar and Undersecretariat for Defense Industries of the Republic of Turkey on 30 March 2007, when the Defense Industries Executive Committee awarded a contract worth approximately $500 million to Otokar for the design, development and production of four prototypes of a national main battle tank. This is Turkey's first MBT development program since 1943, when prototypes of a Turkish national tank were produced in Kırıkkale,[17] but never reached full-scale mass production.

    Otokar, a company owned by Istanbul-based Koç Holding, is one of the major automotive manufacturers in Turkey. Otokar has produced more than 25,000 military vehicles as of 2008.[18]

    Subsequently, in accordance with the later Defense Industries Executive Committee ruling, subcontractors were selected as follows:

    • Technical Support Enabler, Rotem
    • Fire Control System, Command Control Communication Information System, Laser Warning System, Driver's Vision System, Navigation System, IFF system subcontractor, Aselsan
    • 120 mm 55 caliber Primary Weapon subcontractor, state owned MKEK (Mechanical and Chemical Industries Corporation),
    • Armour subcontractor, Roketsan[19]
    Specifications
    Weight
    65 tonnes (72 short tons; 64 long tons)[7]
    Length 7.3 metres (24 ft) (hull), 10.3 metres (34 ft) (gun forward)[8]
    Width 3.9 metres (13 ft)[8]
    Height 2.6 metres (8.5 ft)[8]
    Crew 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)[7]
    ArmorRoketsan composite armour[3]
    Main
    armament

    Aselsan/STM Volkan III assisted MKEK 120 mm 55 caliber smoothbore gun[9]
    Secondary
    armament

    1 × Aselsan STAMP/II stabilized remote controlled turret[3]
    1 × 12.7 mm heavy machine gun[3]
    Engine Multi-fuel[3]
    1,500 hp (MTU)[3] or 1,800 hp (local design)[3]
    SuspensionHydropneumatic
    Operational
    range

    500 kilometres (310 mi)[8]
    Speed 70 km/h (43 mph) max.[10]

    Type 99 tank
    The Type 99 (Chinese: 99式; pinyin: Jiǔjiǔshì) or ZTZ99 is a Chinese third generationmain battle tank (MBT).[2] The tank entered People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) service in 2001.[2][3]
    In the early 90's China developed its first third generation design, the Type 90-II prototype series. The Type 90-II was developed by studying the T-72 tank.[4] The Type 90-II's features included a 125mm smoothbore cannon with an autoloader, modular composite armor and a centered driver position.[4][5] While the Type 90-II series ultimately did not enter People's Liberation Army (PLA) service, it saw success as an export tank and was also built under license in Pakistan as the Al-Khalid.[4][6][7]

    The Type 98 or WZ-123 was China's domestic Type 90-II derivative.[4] It was first seen in rehearsals for the 1999 National Day parade and was officially revealed on 1 October 1999.[3][8][9][10] It sported a distinctive appearance with the hull and crew layout similar to the Russian T-72 but with a welded angular turret more similar to Western designs.[8][9]
    Specifications
    Weight
    52-54 tonnes
    Length Hull: 7.7 metres (25 ft)[1]
    Width 3.5 metres (11 ft)[1]
    Height Hull: 2.25 metres (7.4 ft)[1]
    Crew 3[1]
    Armor Exact is classified. Anticipated to be welded turret with applique and modular composite/reactive armor
    Main
    armament

    125 millimetres (4.9 in) smoothbore gun with ATGM capability
    Secondary
    armament

    Type 85 cupola heavy machine gun[1]

    Type 59 7.62 millimetres (0.300 in) coaxial machine gun[1]
    Engine Diesel
    1,500 hp (1,119 kW)
    Power/weight 27.78 hp/tonne
    Suspension torsion bar
    Operational
    range

    500 kilometres (310 mi)
    Speed
    Road: 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph)

    Off-road: 60 kilometres per hour (37 mph)


    When the tank went into service it was renamed the Type 99. According to military information website Global Security, the Type 99 has a lengthened T-72 hull.[3]

    An updated Type 99 model was officially introduced at the 2015 Victory Day Parade as the Type 99A.[11][12] This variant had previously been used by PLA troops during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) military exercises in 2014.[13]Although the PLA has not distinguished between this variant and older models, some sources have named this latest variant the Type 99A2.


    Oplot-M (Ukraine)

    [​IMG]
    With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine continued development of the T-80UD main battle tank. Their latest version is the Oplot-M.

    The Oplot-M is fitted with explosive reactive armor of new generation. This MBT inherited from its predecessor automatic ammunition loading system, however ammunition is stored in the main compartment, rather than a separate compartment with a blow-out panels.

    The latest Ukranian tank is not as accurate against long-range targets as Western rivals, however it can launch anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary munitions. The Oplot-M has a hunter-killer capability.

    The Oplot-M completed Ukrainian Army trials and is due to enter service with Ukrainian Army. Also it is in service with Thailand. This tank is broadly similar in terms of firepower, protection and mobility to the latest Russian versions of the T-90, however currently it is produced only in small numbers.
    Specifications
    Weight
    51 tonnes[2]
    Length 7.075 m (23 ft 3 in)[2]
    Width 3.400 m (11 ft 2 in)[2]
    Height 2.800 m (9 ft 2 in)[2]
    Crew 3 (commander, gunner, driver)
    Armor modular composite, ERA, APC[2]
    Main
    armament

    125 mm smoothbore KBA-3 cannon with 46 rounds[2]
    Secondary
    armament

    1 × 12.7 mm (.50) KT-12.7 anti-aircraft machine gun with 450 rounds

    1 × 7.62 mm (.308) KT-7.62Coaxial machine gun machine gun with 1250 rounds[2]
    Engine
    KMDB 6TD-2E 6-cylinder diesel (1,200 hp) or

    KMDB 6TD-3 6-cylinder diesel (1,500 hp)[2]
    Power/weight 24.7 hp/t (6TD-2E)
    30 hp/t (6TD-3)[2]
    Transmission Automatic
    Suspension Torsion bar
    Ground clearance 0.50 m (1 ft 8 in)[2]
    Fuel capacity 1,140 litres (250 imp gal; 300 US gal)[2]
    Operational
    range

    500 km (310 mi)[2]
    Speed Road 70 km/h (43 mph)
    Off-road: 45 km/h (28 mph)


    TK-X (Japan)
    [​IMG]
    The TK-X or Type 10 is the latest Japanese development. It entered service in 2012. Currently it is one of the most advanced main battle tanks in the world.

    This new lightweight MBT is more agile, however less protected than contemporary tanks.

    It is armed with a 120-mm smoothbore gun, broadly similar to that of the Leopard 2A5 and M1A2 Abrams. It also has advanced fire control system.

    This tank has great mobility due to its impressive power-to-weight ratio, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and state-of-the-art hydropneumatic suspension.

    The TK-X is in service with Japan (12).
    Specifications
    Weight
    44 tonnes (standard) 48 tonnes (fully)
    Length 9.485 m
    Width 3.24 m
    Height 2.30 m
    Crew 3 (commander, gunner and driver)
    Armor Nano-crystal steel (Triple Hardness Steel), modular ceramic composite armor, light-weight upper armor.
    Main
    armament

    Japan Steel Works 120 mm smoothbore cannon with automatic loader
    Secondary
    armament

    M2HB 12.7 mm machine gun
    Type 74 7.62 mm machine gun
    Engine 4-stroke cycle V8 Diesel engine
    1,200 hp/2,300 rpm
    Power/weight 27 hp/tonne
    Transmission Continuously variable transmission(Hydraulic Mechanical Transmission)
    Suspension Hydropneumatic Active suspension
    Operational
    range

    400 km
    Speed Forward: 70 km/h
    Backward: 70 km/h
     
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  2. Aqwoyk

    Aqwoyk Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    There are videos on youtube of M1A1 being blown by Kornets ............... So I think ATGM tech is far ahead of armour and most necessary thing for an MBT is a hard Kill APS and an unmanned turret and light weight hull .......................
     
  3. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Pattons were the badass of their time like F16s in fighter jets.
    Pakistan was armed to teeth and funded like anything during 60s and 70s.
    They were stars of Battle field in the whole Asia.
    BTW do you still have them ?
     
  4. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Post something about Tanks in PA arsenal too like Pattons, T80s, Al series etc
     
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  5. OverLoad

    OverLoad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    LIST OF MAIN BATTLE TANKS BY GENERATION
    Main battle tanks are often classified as belonging to a particular generation, although the actual definition and membership in these generations is not clearly defined. Soviet and Russian military planners organize tanks into a generation of tanks up to 1945, and four generations of main battle tanks,[1] while Canadian strategists organize main battle tanks into three generations.[2] The military of the People's Republic of China also recognizes three generations of its own tanks.

    In 1983 Rolf Hilmes saw three tank generations and three "intermediate generations", which consisted mainly of upgraded vehicles.[3] The first generation of main battle tanks were based on or influenced by designs of World War II, most notably the T-34 and the Panther tank.[4] The second generation was equipped with NBC protection (only sometimes), IR night vision devices, a stabilized main gun and at least a mechanical fire control system.[4] The third generation is determined by the usage of thermal imagers, digital fire control systems and special (composite) armour.[4]

    FIRST GENERATION
    The first generation consists of the medium tanks designed and produced directly after World War II that were later redefined as main battle tanks.


    Name Entered service in Origin Notes
    Centurion[3][5] 1945
    [​IMG]
    United Kingdom Culmination of the WWII cruiser tanks
    T-54[3][5] 1947
    [​IMG]
    Soviet Union
    M48 Patton 1953
    [​IMG]
    United States
    T-55[3][5] 1958
    [​IMG]
    Soviet Union Improved T-54
    Type 59[3] 1959
    [​IMG]
    China Licensed copy of the T-54A
    Type 61[3] 1961
    [​IMG]
    Japan

    SECOND GENERATION
    The second generation had enhanced night-fighting capabilities and in most cases NBC protection. Most western tanks of this generation were armed with the 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 tank gun.

    Name Entered service in Origin Notes
    T-62[3][5] 1961
    [​IMG]
    Soviet Union Based on the T-55, featured world's first smooth bore tank cannon
    M60 Patton 1961
    [​IMG]
    United States
    Leopard 1[3][5] 1965
    [​IMG]
    West Germany
    Panzer 61[3] 1965
    [​IMG]
    Switzerland
    T-64[3] 1966
    [​IMG]
    Soviet Union World's first composite armored tank
    AMX 30[3][5] 1966
    [​IMG]
    France
    FV 4201 Chieftain[3][5] 1966
    [​IMG]
    United Kingdom Armed with the British 120 mm Royal Ordnance L11A5 gun
    Vickers MBT[3] 1967
    [​IMG]
    United Kingdom British private venture design, license built as the Vijayanta for India

    Stridsvagn 103[3][5] 1968
    [​IMG]
    Sweden Turretless design developed and employed solely by Sweden
    T-72 1973
    [​IMG]
    Soviet Union Sometimes seen as 2.5th generation tank. Hilmes puts the T-72 in the first intermediate generation.[3]
    Olifant 1974
    [​IMG]
    South Africa Improved on the centurion tank.
    Type 74 1975
    [​IMG]
    Japan
    Merkava Mark I/II 1978
    [​IMG]
    Israel
    OF-40 1981
    [​IMG]
    Italy
    Tanque Argentino Mediano 1983
    [​IMG]
    Argentina

    THIRD GENERATION
    The third generation of main battle tanks is characterized by composite amour, smooth bore main cannons and computerized stabilized fire control systems, which allow firing on the move as well as very high first hit probability on targets up to 2000m.



    Name In service from Origin Notes
    T-80[3][6] 1976
    [​IMG]
    Soviet Union World's first turbine engine equipped tank
    Leopard 2[3][6] 1979
    [​IMG]
    West Germany
    M1 Abrams[3][6] 1980
    [​IMG]
    United States
    FV4030/4 Challenger 1[3][6] 1983
    [​IMG]
    United Kingdom
    EE-T1 Osório 1985
    [​IMG]
    Brazil Prototype, never acquired by the Brazilian Army.
    K1 1987
    [​IMG]
    South Korea
    Merkava III[6] 1989
    [​IMG] Israel
    Type 90 Kyū-maru[6] 1990
    [​IMG]
    Japan

    Zulfiqar MBT 1993
    [​IMG]
    Iran Iranian tank derived from T-72and M60 Patton. Zulfiqar 3 is the most advanced variant
    AMX-56 Leclerc[6] 1993
    [​IMG]
    France
    PT-91 Twardy 1995
    [​IMG]
    Poland
    C1 Ariete[6] 1995
    [​IMG]
    Italy
    T-90[6] 1996
    [​IMG]
    Russia Upgraded Russian version of theT-72 tank
    Type 96 1997
    [​IMG]
    China
    FV4034 Challenger 2[6] 1998
    [​IMG]
    United Kingdom
    T-84 1999
    [​IMG]
    Ukraine Upgraded Ukrainian version of the T-80 tank

    Type 98/99 2001
    [​IMG]
    China
    Al-Khalid MBT/MBT 2000 2001/Bangladesh- 2012
    [​IMG]
    Pakistan
    [​IMG]
    China
    [​IMG]
    Bangladesh
    Joint development between China and Pakistan
    Arjun MBT 2004
    [​IMG]
    India
    Merkava IV[6] 2004
    [​IMG]
    Israel
    Type 10[7] 2012
    [​IMG]
    Japan

    UNDER DEVELOPMENT
    Tanks that are currently under development and not yet in service.

    • [​IMG]
    • Leopard 2A7+ - planned modular upgrade for existing Leopard 2
    • [​IMG] M1A3 Abrams: Upgrade of the M1A2 model
    • [​IMG] /
    • [​IMG]
    • Al-Khalid-II: Introduction planned for 2012[8]
    • [​IMG] CSU-152:[9] - Prototypes in testing
    • [​IMG] Type 99KM

    [​IMG] Main Battle Tank 3000: Introduction slated for 2014
    • [​IMG] K2 Black Panther: Introduction slated for 2014[10]
    • [​IMG] T-99 Armata: Introduction planned for 2015
    • [​IMG] Altay: Four testbeds produced, serial production planned for 2015[11][12]
    • [​IMG] M-95 Degman: Under development
    • [​IMG] MBT Arjun Mk-II:[13] - Prototype in testing
    • [​IMG] M-84AS: Serbian-upgraded M-84 tank

    P.A acquire these Tanks from USA not home production.
    Some day I will post Tank History of India, Pakistan and some battles.
     
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  6. OverLoad

    OverLoad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    May be only in military museums, even in 60 and 70s they are considered old.
    Patons may have good repu before but during the war P.A considered it old enough to retire but have no choice.

    Tank can't survive ATGMs, ERA just protect crew so that they can escape, only active protection system can do good against ATGMs but still in early development stages.
     
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  7. Aqwoyk

    Aqwoyk Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Even Era can't protect ATGMs with penetrating capability beyond 1000- 1200 mm rhae ................
    Onlt trophy like system can provide real protection ......... installing two such systems on an MBT can provide better protection than making fat and heavy tanks ..............
     
  8. OverLoad

    OverLoad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    As I post above ERA just give a little chance for crew to jump out of Tank, Active protection system like Trophy still in pampers never tested in real war lets see what would these system brings.
     
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  9. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Bro. I have seen Sabra tank( M60Patton :mrgreen:) survived a direct hit without much damage in Syria. So Tank can withstand ATGMs.

    You can watch it in zero censorship.com
     
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  10. OverLoad

    OverLoad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Again depend on the ATGM, I believe that tanks probably hit by older RPG but newer RGPs can penetrate ERA protected tanks.
    RPG-29
    [​IMG]
    The RPG-29 (NATO designation: Vampir) is a Russian rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher. Adopted by the Soviet Army in 1989,[2] it was the last RPG to be adopted by the Soviet military before the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The RPG-29 has since been supplemented by other rocket-propelled systems, such as the RPG-30 and RPG-32. The RPG-29's PG-29V tandem-charge warhead is one of the few anti-tank weapons that can reportedly penetrate the frontal hulls of Western composite-armored main battle tanks
     
  11. OverLoad

    OverLoad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    History[edit]
    The RPG-29 was developed during the late 1980s, following the development of the RPG-26, and entered service with the Soviet army in 1989. It has recently seen intermittent use by irregular forces in the Middle East theater, including in combat against U.S./U.K. forces during the Iraq War, and the 2006 Lebanon War, when it was used against Israeli forces.

    2003 Iraq War[edit]
    The RPG-29 is believed to have been used in skirmishes against U.S. and British forces during the initial 2003 invasion of Iraq.[8] An RPG-29 round was reported in August 2006 to have penetrated the frontal ERA of a Challenger 2 tank during an engagement in al-Amarah, Iraq, maiming one and wounding several other crew members, but only lightly damaging the tank, which drove home under its own power.[9]

    On August 25, 2007 a PG-29V hit a passing M1 Abrams in the hull rear wounding 3 crew members.[10] On September 5, 2007, a PG-29V hit the side turret of an M1 Abrams in Baghdad, killing 2 of the crew and wounding 1, and the tank was seriously damaged.[11]

    In May 2008, The New York Times disclosed that another M1 Abrams tank had also been damaged by an RPG-29 in Iraq.[8][12] The US Army ranks the RPG-29 threat to armor so high that they refused to allow the newly formed Iraqi army to buy it, fearing that it would fall into insurgent hands.[13]


    2006 Lebanon War[edit]
    During the conflict, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz stated that the RPG-29 was a major source of IDF casualties in the 2006 Lebanon War.[14] A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry denied that Russia had supplied arms directly to Hezbollah.[15] Shortly before the end of the conflict the Russian Kommersant magazine acknowledged through anonymous sources the possibility of a weapons transfer between Syria and Hezbollah during the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon.[16]

    Syrian Civil War[edit]
    Syrian rebels and ISIS have been spotted using this weapon.
     
  12. OverLoad

    OverLoad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  13. OverLoad

    OverLoad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  14. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    I don't think so. Its flight trajectory seemed pretty advanced to me.
    This is the tank hit and later repaired by ISIS and again hit by Turkish Fighters
    [​IMG]

    Found the video

    ATGM most probably is Kornet

    PS: What's wrong with Turkish Army ,they are loosing Leopards and Sabras like toys. Mostly they are abandoning tanks and armourd vehicles intact.
    Is their fighting tactics are wrong because they are being ambushed repeatedly.
    Is there multiple factions among ISIS ?
    Cause as far as I know ,Turkish nourished ISIS to tackle their PKK and other Kurdish fighters , which were, as per Erdogens claim ,protected by Assad and America (sound weird through ,but that's Erdogen for you)
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
  15. OverLoad

    OverLoad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    When regular armies fighting war inside cities and rebels armed with ATGMs you can expect such losses.
     
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