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Any one lesson learned in tank design during WW2?


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Trakks #61 Posted Sep 22 2018 - 09:46

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#1 lesson learned: Speed and maneuverability are no substitute for heavy armor and a powerful gun. That's why the concept of separating tanks into weight classes was replaced fairly quickly after the war by the MBT. There were still lighter armored vehicles, but they were designed specifically for different missions than an MBT or to coordinate with MBT's to enhance their abilities. 

Edited by Trakks, Sep 22 2018 - 09:49.


The_Chieftain #62 Posted Sep 26 2018 - 00:57

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View PostTrakks, on Sep 22 2018 - 08:46, said:

#1 lesson learned: Speed and maneuverability are no substitute for heavy armor and a powerful gun. That's why the concept of separating tanks into weight classes was replaced fairly quickly after the war by the MBT. There were still lighter armored vehicles, but they were designed specifically for different missions than an MBT or to coordinate with MBT's to enhance their abilities. 

 

I'm not sure that's accurate.

Often times, in WW2, the side with the lighter armor tended to win. See France 1940, or France 1944. And then if you look at the vehicles which were produced after the war, the Germans and French came out with Leopard 1 and AMX-30, both of which sacrificed armor to a large extent for speed.

 

There is a place for heavy armor and a powerful gun, but I don't know if one can say it was a given that they should be present at the cost of speed and mobility. The opinion of the world's tank designers seemed to be split in the cold war period until engine and armor technology caught up to the point that one didn't necessarily have to make that choice any more. (This notwithstanding the Soviet matter of attempting to build tanks supportable in an offense involving built bridges and an increasing logistical trail)



Lesser_Spotted_Panzer #63 Posted Sep 26 2018 - 01:33

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Sep 25 2018 - 18:57, said:

 

I'm not sure that's accurate.

Often times, in WW2, the side with the lighter armor tended to win. See France 1940, or France 1944. And then if you look at the vehicles which were produced after the war, the Germans and French came out with Leopard 1 and AMX-30, both of which sacrificed armor to a large extent for speed.

 

There is a place for heavy armor and a powerful gun, but I don't know if one can say it was a given that they should be present at the cost of speed and mobility. The opinion of the world's tank designers seemed to be split in the cold war period until engine and armor technology caught up to the point that one didn't necessarily have to make that choice any more. (This notwithstanding the Soviet matter of attempting to build tanks supportable in an offense involving built bridges and an increasing logistical trail)

 

But isn't this a case of quantity over quality? 10 meds vs. 1 heavy, the meds will win. If it was 10 meds against 10 heavies, the heavies would win.

FrozenKemp #64 Posted Sep 26 2018 - 03:13

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View PostLesser_Spotted_Panzer, on Sep 25 2018 - 19:33, said:

 

But isn't this a case of quantity over quality? 10 meds vs. 1 heavy, the meds will win. If it was 10 meds against 10 heavies, the heavies would win.

 

France and Britain had more AND heavier tanks than Germany in 1940.  Germany didn't have anything like the Matilda II or the Char B1.

 

But AFAIK the French had their armour spread out all over, and while the British had some limited success with their tanks at Arras, the German armoured columns had moved so quickly that Allied communication and control was in total disarray, so they couldn't coordinate.

 

(In some cases the Germans did press 88mm guns into action to destroy enemy tanks as early as the Battle of France .)

 



YANKEE137 #65 Posted Sep 26 2018 - 03:37

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The whole point of the Armored Branches are speed and mobility on offense. Armor is not the focus. 

TristanXD6 #66 Posted Sep 26 2018 - 03:43

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I'd say that the biggest lesson of WW2 was that heavy tanks were becoming obsolete compared to more mobile tanks with the same weaponry. During the Cold War, only a few heavy tanks saw mass production, but they were quickly replaced by more mobile MBT's.

 

However, keep in mind that there was no singular 'grand lesson' for tank design that happened during WW2. Many technological and design features were discovered and used during the conflict, many of which were adopted for tanks made during the Cold War and even all the way to today.


Edited by TristanXD6, Sep 29 2018 - 00:45.


YawNiteMARE #67 Posted Sep 26 2018 - 06:41

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#1 Lesson: Once you have enough firepower to 'matter', then it's all about mobility.

The Frenchies learnt this the very hard way, as the Germans simply went around the hard defenses, and picked the fights where they could dominate. 

 

 



SparkyGT #68 Posted Sep 27 2018 - 15:51

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Radio communication is essential, alot of early war tanks didnt have them, using flags to communicate can lose the battle instantly

Edited by SparkyGT, Sep 27 2018 - 15:53.


The_Chieftain #69 Posted Sep 27 2018 - 23:20

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View PostFrozenKemp, on Sep 26 2018 - 02:13, said:

 

 

 

(In some cases the Germans did press 88mm guns into action to destroy enemy tanks as early as the Battle of France .)

 

 

Spain, actually.

By the time of the invasion of Poland, a number of Panzerjager-abteilungs had 8.8cm PaK guns. (Basically slightly modified FlaK-18s)

 

 

And, famously, there was the single heavy company of PzJgrAbt-8 which had SP 8.8s.

 



FrozenKemp #70 Posted Sep 28 2018 - 00:23

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Very cool - I did not know any of that.  Thanks!! 



YANKEE137 #71 Posted Sep 28 2018 - 14:46

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The biggest lesson would be along the lines of that going into the war there were a wide variety of vehicle designs with various features like multi turrets, multi guns. By 1945 the design template for the modern tank was established and it persists to this day.



PuddleSplasher #72 Posted Sep 28 2018 - 15:16

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Oh not this Convo again repeated so soon.:harp:

Goat_Rodeo #73 Posted Sep 28 2018 - 15:30

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That sir is a very multi leveled question you have put forth. It’s a good one though. If there were one major thing I believe that was taken away was that new post war designed tanks had to achieve a better balance of the armor, mobility firepower triad. The technology to make this happen wasn’t advanced enough for the post war design industry to capitalize on, so you still saw in the post war armories tanks like the M-103, Conqueror, and IS-3 alongside Pershing’s, Centurions and T55s. Those respective tanks had loads of armor and big guns with limited mobility while the later had a better balance of the 3. My answer is over simplified here and I could talk about it for hours but, reasons. (TLDR effect).

Another point was the ability of the crew to have the advantage to spot an enemy first, get off the first shot, make it connect and penetrate the target. Statistically there was a significantly better chance of achieving a kill that went to the crew that got off the first shot. Sounds simple enough but there’s a lot of individual points in play there. Tank ergonomics, optics, crew training, gun quality, ammunition type, and tactics just to name a few. 

Looking at today’s modern MBTs it’s pretty clear they’ve achieved the triad in spades. I think much of the time it’ll come down to pure fortune and crew training to see which tank would emerge the victor. 


Edited by Goat_Rodeo, Sep 28 2018 - 23:42.


ramp4ge #74 Posted Sep 28 2018 - 15:58

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on May 22 2018 - 14:25, said:

Why do people keep talking about sloped armor as being something developed in WW2?

 

Here, have a WW1 tank.

http://tank-photogra...umur-france.jpg

 

Or a different WW1 tank...

http://tank100.com/w...3-knocked_B.jpg

 

Very definitely includes sloped armor.

 

I'm not sure there was any one particular lesson. The idea of the 'universal tank' was certainly taking hold, but it's not as if development of Conqueror, T-10 or M103 were cancelled as a result. The issues of radio communications or maintenance were already well known. Maybe ergonomics took a slightly larger emphasis, but even at that, part of it was because of the increase in technology over time.

 

Basically this. Sloped armor had been a thing on naval warships since about the 1400s. Battleships built in the 19-teens had sloped armor to protect their interior spaces as well as sloped armored belts to increase their effectiveness. Sloped armor was most definitely not a WWII thing and it is absolutely not something the Russians did first by any means. 




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