Questions tagged [tanks]

Questions related to the history of a specific category of armored fighting vehicles, being primarily for offensive capability, usually tracked, with an optimum balance of armor, maneuverability and firepower. Often classified as light-, medium-, and heavy tanks.

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64
votes
8answers
23k views

What damage did anti-tank rifles hope to inflict on tanks in WW2?

Initially I was surprised to learn that such a thing as an anti-tank rifle even exists. It seems a ludicrous idea to try to shoot a tank with a rifle. But let's suppose that the bullet really hits a ...
48
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2answers
6k views

How were tanks scrapped after World War Two?

Both Axis & Allied nations produced thousands of tanks during the Second World War. However, not many of these vehicles survive to this day (there are exceptions of course). When reading about the ...
29
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4answers
5k views

In WWII, what were the major differences in tank combat on the eastern and western fronts?

Nearly every nation deployed tanks in World War II. What are some differences in tactics between the eastern front in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the western front in France, the Low Countries, and ...
28
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5answers
4k views

How was the United States able to produce excellent tanks in 1942?

Most military histories of the war in North Africa, and especially those produced from a British point-of-view, emphasise the greenness of the American troops which landed there in 1942. There is a ...
27
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10answers
12k views

Are tanks the only reason for the abandonment of trench warfare?

The First World War in the West was for 4 years restricted to trench warfare. Gaining enemy territory cost many human lives for both sides. The main (or maybe most spectacular) battles were Verdun and ...
26
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4answers
5k views

Battle of Norfolk (1991 Gulf War): How could the losses be so lopsided?

During the 1991 Gulf War there were a lot of lopsided tank battles where such a large number of Iraqi vehicles got destroyed for very little Coalition losses. For example in the Battle of Norfolk ...
19
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3answers
5k views

Is this a Sherman, and if so what model?

A River Oaks, Houston, TX, attorney recently purchased and parked outside his home a fully functional World War Two tank. Note: The original newspaper article claimed the tank was "fully functional" ...
17
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1answer
2k views

What was the first successful mass tank battle of WW1?

What was the first big scale (over 50 tanks used) battle with the use of tanks in WW1? Please note that the typical examples don't constitute good answer: Battle of Flers-Courcelette (Somme) was ...
12
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10answers
2k views

At what point did Soviet armored units have qualitative parity with Wehrmacht armored units?

Was the T-26 a match for the Panzer II,III, and IV in the early stages of Barbarossa? The T-34 has been given a lot of credit as the tipping point where Soviet technology created a weapons platform ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What Was the State of German Tank Design In Between the World Wars?

I am reading about the Spanish Civil War in a book by Antony Beevor entitled "The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939". According to Beevor while the nationalists were able to control ...
11
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1answer
3k views

Can anyone identify this tank?

It is from this BBC page on landmarks being preserved from D-Day. The body looks a bit like a Sherman, but the turret isn't like anything I've ever seen before.
9
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3answers
4k views

Was the Flakpanzer IV used against infantry? If not, what was?

I know it's not good to take video games' word for it when it comes to history. However, in the game "Company of Heroes 2", the German team can deploy an "Ostwind" Flakpanzer IV, which to my ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Why are modern tanks regiments called cavalry?

The word cavalry is derived from the French word cavalerie which means horse. Historically the term cavalry has been used to represent troops mounted on horseback. After the invention of battle tanks ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Why was the first production PzKpfw V (Panther) called the Ausf.D, and the second production version called the Ausf.A?

Background The first Panther (PzKpfw V) production variant, produced from January 1943 through September 1943 was called the Ausf.D. (see below) The second Panther production variant, produced ...
6
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3answers
2k views

What was American anti-tank doctrine during WWII on paper, and how did it differ from in practice?

What was the prevailing doctrine in the US Army on how to deal with German tanks during WWII? In an ideal situation, what sort of unit (anti-tank infantry, tank destroyers, towed AT guns, etc.) would ...
6
votes
1answer
327 views

British way in construction of AFV

Why have British tanks not changed very much? The USA have moved from the VSS, VVSS, HVSS (Lee and Sherman) suspensions to the torsion bar suspension (T26 and Patton family), USSR - from twin bogies (...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

How did an unditching beam work?

Some of the second generation British tanks in World War One carried "unditching beams" atop the hull. I know the beams were used to extricate the tanks from holes, but I have never found any ...
5
votes
2answers
942 views

What is the gun traverse limit of the 75mm armament on M3 Lee/Grant?

What is the gun traverse limit of the 75mm armament on M3 Lee/Grant? http://www.onwar.com/weapons/tanks/firearms/fm3a4med.html and http://afvdb.50megs.com/usa/m3lee.html say 15 degree L/R. Does ...
5
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5answers
2k views

Was “Death Traps” by Belton Y. Cooper historically accurate?

Was the WW2 memoir "Death Traps" by Belton Cooper historically accurate?
5
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1answer
753 views

What was the outcome of the first tank battle?

Today, April 24th, is the anniversary of the first tank battle. As noted on this Wikipedia page, it was three British tanks against three German tanks, but there is no mention of the outcome in ...
4
votes
1answer
536 views

Why was the German system of interlocking plates not used after WWII for armored vehicle construction?

During World War II, Germany constructed many armored vehicles using a system of interlocking plates. This is visible at the seams of armored vehicles. The welds are not a straight line, instead the ...
4
votes
1answer
367 views

Which types of tank are on this photo?

One of the more iconic photos of the Prague Spring is this: A high Res version is on wikimedia, who took it first from a CIA flicker post. It is labeled there as "1968. During the Soviet invasion of ...
4
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0answers
327 views

Did Cossack cavalry defeat German tanks during WW2?

I came across a reference in a history book to the Soviet 4th Cossack Cavalry Corps attacking and defeating Axis tanks during the Battle of Kushchevskaya. In the book this is presented as an "actual" ...
3
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2answers
876 views

Why didn't Syria operate the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther tank?

Given that Syria operated numerous Nazi-era vehicles during the Cold War, why didn't it operate the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther tank? Syria acquired plenty of Panzer IVs, including some from France. ...
3
votes
1answer
643 views

Is this quotation authentic (88mm versus Sherman)?

Have seen in several places a supposed quotation from a German WW2 battery commander or gunner, either in Italy or Normandy, to the effect that he ran out of shells before the enemy ran out of tanks (...
3
votes
3answers
843 views

Did USSR ever consider invading West Germany during the Cold War seriously?

I know there were many strategic and theoretical preparations around the Fulda Gap. There were several serious crises between the USA and the USSR in the Cold War, and I have not been able to find out ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Missing link in the German tank development?

As you know, the Leopard 1 was not the first tank of postwar Germany. Germany work on different new tanks. There are prototypes as medium tank Indienpanzer (later developed into a Swiss KW30 and its ...
2
votes
2answers
552 views

What's the reason for wider streets in East Germany? [closed]

I heard* that in the GDR towns were planned so that most streets were wide enough for tanks to get through - in order to be able to fight the people more easily if they should rebel (even though it ...
2
votes
2answers
263 views

Does the T-34 tank engine use different strokes in the banks of the pistons?

It's relatively well documented the T-34 tank uses a V arrangement engine in all variants. I found this CIA document that was declassified: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP82-...
2
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1answer
530 views

How effective were anti-aircraft defences mounted on tanks such as Panther/Tiger etc?

It seems, based on anecdotal evidence, that anti-aircraft defences on tanks were very ineffective during WWII. Is there any solid evidence to back this up? I am specifically interested in German ...
2
votes
1answer
390 views

Does this CIA report describe the Soviet T-54 tank?

This CIA report from March 1954 describes an "Improved T-34 Tank" at the "V.I. Lenin Works at Pilsen". The report lists Czechoslovakia as the country of origin. This logically makes since as the T-34 ...
2
votes
1answer
872 views

Can you identify the “Tank Limo”?

Dame Vivienne Westwood uses a "tank" to protest fracking. It's not a tank, but a strange Armored Personnel Carrier that I cannot identify. The markings indicate it is the "Tank Limo" hired from Tanks-...
2
votes
1answer
739 views

Has ramming ever been considered a viable tanking tactic?

Has any nation's tank doctrine ever used ramming as a primary or secondary means of combat? I'm aware that Soviet tanks at the Battle of Kursk would ram German tanks once they (the Soviets) ran out of ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Did ramming tank battle tactics occur in WW2? [closed]

In one of his War thunder (a realistic tank battle simulator) videos, Oxide used a small, quick tank with a high armor penetration weaponry, and proceeded to ambush and flank German tanks from alleys,...
2
votes
1answer
243 views

How many crew for the LT vz 38?

I have seen a claim in some English online encyclopedias claiming that LT vz. 38 was originally supposed to have a crew of 3 and only after it fell into hands of Nazis was it changed to 4. However, I ...
1
vote
2answers
344 views

Vietnam war: did infantry really have to clear the way for tanks as depicted in “Full Metal Jacket”? [closed]

In the Stanley Kubrick movie "Full Metal Jacket" a soldier being interviewed tells the reporter that his platoon's job is to pave the way for the tanks because the army doesn't want its tanks to run ...
1
vote
2answers
347 views

Why the M24 Chaffee was not used as a tank at Dien Bien Phu?

According to the Wikipedia page of the M-24 Chaffee, ten of these tanks were sent to the french forces in Dien Bien Phu, where they provide "fire support". Considering the French were outgunned by ...
1
vote
2answers
606 views

Nicknames of M36 Gun Motor Carriage

During World War 2 and Korean War United States Army used tank destroyer M36 (90mm Gun Motor Carriage M36). British soldiers gave one of nicknames to it, "Jackson", after general Thomas Jonathan "...
1
vote
0answers
185 views

Are tungsten ammunition cores still to be found on European WW2 battlefields?

With ammunition sometimes missing target and penetrator cores sometimes exiting the other side of the target, i imagine tungsten cores fired during WW2 were seldom collected. Are they still found ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

What was the best tank of WW2 ? [closed]

I believe it's the T-34, but a friend of mine argued that it was the Tiger. It all depends on which period of WW2 you look at, but overall, which was the best ?
-1
votes
1answer
152 views

Where can I buy a tank trap? [closed]

Where could one procure a full size tank trap? I am looking for a reproduction of a full size hedgehog style tank trap meeting whatever specs exist for that sort of thing.
-1
votes
3answers
512 views

Has a sniper ever disabled a tank?

In theory, a sniper can disable a tank. shoot out the gun sight shoot out the driver sight wait for crew to open the hatch because they can't see shoot the crew Has this ever happened? The snipers ...
-3
votes
1answer
277 views

What are tanks for? [closed]

I asked myself the simple question: "what is the purpose of tanks?", and I came up short. It is said that a common misconception of tanks is that they are designed to destroy other tanks. That is ...