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Why has any Army Ever Bothered to Have Heavy Tanks?

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Richthoffen #21 Posted 18 February 2020 - 01:44 PM

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how many battles do you think took place without infantry and air support op a piece of land 2km square with a red outline you could not pass while tanks where face hugging?



Evilier_than_Skeletor #22 Posted 18 February 2020 - 01:48 PM

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Since modern MBTs are larger and heavier than so called heavy tanks, the question could just as well be Why has any army ever bothered with anything other than heavy tanks. Except OP just wanted to vent a bit, right? Just play meds and  wheelies then..

mateyflip #23 Posted 18 February 2020 - 02:06 PM

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Good question and I would answer with one word - evolution.   Check out the path from the first armoured vehicles to today's.

 

What what.



unhappy__bunny #24 Posted 18 February 2020 - 02:08 PM

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This is an interesting topic to debate, but Its relevence to WoT Gameplay is so miniscule that I will move it to Off-Topic.

Comparing real life military with WoT is futile, they are never going to be the same. 



Orkbert #25 Posted 18 February 2020 - 02:46 PM

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View PostRichthoffen, on 18 February 2020 - 01:44 PM, said:

how many battles do you think took place without infantry and air support op a piece of land 2km square with a red outline you could not pass while tanks where face hugging?

 

If only the maps were that big...



Tealo #26 Posted 18 February 2020 - 03:04 PM

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View PostTazoslo, on 18 February 2020 - 11:03 AM, said:

back in the days, with the quality of shells they had, bigger was better. The more armour the more invincible you were. Today, the penetration of modern shells make it impossible to make a tank that can rely on blocking power. In addition to that we have helicopters, drones and missiles that can take you out from a great distance. It just to be about armour, now its about speed, agility and stealth.

 

Actually it is possible to make a tank that is impenetrable to current covenantal weapons the problem is the cost! Such as multilayered Carbon-titanium alloys weaved like cloth (in a mesh) and Buckypaper with layers of Hafnium-carbide (melting point 3958c) which would also be very very light weight..

https://patents.goog...t/US5733390A/en

https://www.nature.c...icles/srep42423

https://www.imperial...heat-resistant/

 Do you have say about $500 billion ++ to build up the infrastructure and capacity to produce these materials in the quantities needed to produce 1000 armoured vehicles or just a destroyer.. Plus about 10 to 20 years to production at a unit cost at easy guess for a MBT would be $250 million ++ a unit.. 

  Government projects ie look at the F35 for example..

Oh your new very expensive state of the armour tank, IVF or destroyer>>

  Just got melted by a 20 KT thermonuclear warhead!

Which is the main reason why the Superpowers very quickly dropped the idea and building of large Battleships for example.

 

Edit I dropped a '0' in costs this The State doing it :facepalm:


Edited by Tealo, 18 February 2020 - 03:21 PM.


Captain_Kremen0 #27 Posted 18 February 2020 - 03:52 PM

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View PostTealo, on 18 February 2020 - 02:04 PM, said:

 

Actually it is possible to make a tank that is impenetrable to current covenantal weapons the problem is the cost! Such as multilayered Carbon-titanium alloys weaved like cloth (in a mesh) and Buckypaper with layers of Hafnium-carbide (melting point 3958c) which would also be very very light weight..

https://patents.goog...t/US5733390A/en

https://www.nature.c...icles/srep42423

https://www.imperial...heat-resistant/

 Do you have say about $500 billion ++ to build up the infrastructure and capacity to produce these materials in the quantities needed to produce 1000 armoured vehicles or just a destroyer.. Plus about 10 to 20 years to production at a unit cost at easy guess for a MBT would be $250 million ++ a unit.. 

  Government projects ie look at the F35 for example..

Oh your new very expensive state of the armour tank, IVF or destroyer>>

  Just got melted by a 20 KT thermonuclear warhead!

Which is the main reason why the Superpowers very quickly dropped the idea and building of large Battleships for example.

 

Edit I dropped a '0' in costs this The State doing it :facepalm:

 

20Kt warhead?

All it would need is to throw a track and it's basically a very expensive pill-box.



Tealo #28 Posted 18 February 2020 - 04:29 PM

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View PostCaptain_Kremen0, on 18 February 2020 - 02:52 PM, said:

 

20Kt warhead?

All it would need is to throw a track and it's basically a very expensive pill-box.

 

 Plus that :D

 Self repairing tracks are a bit more difficult and is anything from decades away to a century or something really silly like a hover tank in which case that's more a helicopter given the advances in material science (stronger, harder and less mass) better armoured Helios/Gunships with probably no pilot ie a drone is probably the future of warfare by about the middle of this century..


Edited by Tealo, 18 February 2020 - 04:30 PM.


Yaccay #29 Posted 18 February 2020 - 04:36 PM

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Because at the time the heavy tanks were created, they were effective.

 

Btw, nowadays, the MBTs (Main Battle Tank) unite the best part of the heavy and medium tanks. They have good armor, good fire power and good mobility.



Nishi_Kinuyo #30 Posted 18 February 2020 - 06:19 PM

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View PostYaccay, on 18 February 2020 - 04:36 PM, said:

Because at the time the heavy tanks were created, they were effective.

 

Btw, nowadays, the MBTs (Main Battle Tank) unite the best part of the heavy and medium tanks. They have good armor, good fire power and good mobility.

And some of them would even qualify as heavy tanks. :great:

I mean, Abrams, Challenger 2, Leopard 2, etc. they're at like what? 65-70 tons when fully equipped?

Go ahead and try to come up with a convincing reason as to why that should not be considered to be a heavy tank.

 

In the east, they're more like medium tanks, tbh, at around 45-50 tons.

Mostly because of strategic movement being a thing for a couple of them, and tactical movement as well for a few.

 

Take Russia (Savyet YunYun) as an example:

WWII and Post-WWII, they were big on designing all sorts of heavy tanks (I mean, just look at the techtree), but in the end, they simply abandoned the concept due to the practical limitations of their infrastructure.

Namely, they didn't have an infrastructure that could support tanks above a certain weight (50-ish tons or something) or beyond certain dimensions.

Which basically meant that any heavy tank that would be deemed strong enough at the time, would have to be driven everywhere since there was no means of moving them otherwise.

Bridges, railway cars, tunnels, railway tunnels, etc. most of them could not support such heavy tanks.

 

And even more recently with the Japanese Self-Defence Force, they had a tank (Type 90) that was simply incapable of operating in most of Japan precisely due to the above reasons.

Since then, they've designed a new tank (Type 10) that could be deployed in far greater areas of the country due to lower weight.

Lets look at the weight, and overall bridge-crossing capacity in Japan:

Type 74: 38 tons, could cross, afaik, almost every bridge in Japan.

Type 90: 50 tons, could cross only 65% of the bridges in Japan.

M1 Abrams/Challenger 2/Leopard 2/Etc.: 66-70 tons, can cross less than 40% of the bridges in Japan.

Type 10: 44 tons, can cross 84% of Japan's bridges.

And for a country with over 17.000 bridges, that is a vast amount.

 

Back to WWII era though, the heavy tank.

In those days, basically every tank was a compromise of sorts, and designed to fulfil a specific role (for the most part).

E.g. you had the "cruiser" or "cavalry", which was meant to exploit weak points in the enemy's battleline. The 'infantry" tank was a solid example of the exact opposite; to provide support to infantry units by suppressing enemy machinegun nests, etc. and assist in the advance of the infantry (most of the IJA's tanks were these). It was mostly after the war had started that the "anti-tank tank" or "universal" tank even became a concept, in-part due to necessity. Having an entire advance stall due to the need to bring in specialised equipment to deal with an as-of-yet unforeseen threat was simply a waste of time. Not to mention that the massive technological advances during the war saw that tanks evolved at a rapid pace, and had to increasingly deal with enemy tanks, which also evolved at a rapid pace.

 

An example of that would be the Type 97 Chi-Ha, which was originally equipped with a low-velocity 57mm cannon, primarily for infantry support purposes (intended role of the tank). Then, the battles of Халкин-Гол happened, and the conclusion they drew from that was that the IJA needed a tank with a cannon capable of dealing with other tanks. This led to the development of the ShinHoTo Chi-ha, armed with a high-velocity 47mm cannon capable of dealing with enemy tanks (especially those that existed at the time). The IJA also ordered the development of even stronger tanks, which were to be armed with high-velocity 57mm or 75mm cannons. This led to the Chi-He, the Chi-Nu, Chi-To and Chi-Ri (and other designs we don't know all the details of). For the most part, those tanks were to have a 75mm cannon because the 57mm was deemed not effective enough.

Now, mind you, that the entire idea to up-arm the IJA tank force was made in 1939-1940, when the M3 Lee (1941), M4 Sherman (1942), T-34 (1940), etc. simply did not exist yet, or were only just starting production.

 

Right, the heavy tanks.

At that time, the heavy tank was for most countries the only way to have good levels of protection and firepower, at the cost of a lot of speed.

The Matilda II, could theoretically be considered a heavy tank, if it weren't for the rather low-calibre cannon on it.

But the ability, in ~1939/1940 to have good armour, along with a 75/76mm cannon was seen as a good compromise (Char B1, KV-1, Aichi 96, Mitsu 97, Mitsu 104), and speed was only a last concern, afaik.

As the war, and technology progressed, the need for stronger armour and larger cannons became an issue, and various countries began increasing the size and weight of tanks in order to stay ontop of the enemy.

This led essentially to both heavier medium tanks as well as heavier heavy tanks; the Panther would 5 years before its introduction been described as a heavy tank, both in weight, size, protection, and armament. But by that time in the war was "merely" a medium tank (although a heavy one at it). The same can be seen for the two Tigers; an 8.8cm cannon and 100mm of armour was a lot at the time of introduction (1941), and the IS-2 was quite amazing in firepower at its introduction as well.

 

And then you had some flights of fancy as well, such as the Maus, Ratte, etc. which were simply ludicrous for the intended roles. The O-I on the other hand was, imo, less ludicrous due to the intended role of mobile bunker for use on the Manchurian/Mongolian steppe where the frontlines would vary too much from day to day or week to week.

 

In the end, advances in technology, especially that of engines, essentially helped kill the heavy tank concept, along with the above-mentioned transportation problems.

Tealo

   Just got melted by a 20 KT thermonuclear warhead!

Which is the main reason why the Superpowers very quickly dropped the idea and building of large Battleships for example.

 Eh... not quite... very not quite as a matter of fact...

The primary cause for the decline of Battleships was the creation and existence of aircraft carriers. Battleships can fire up to around... 40km or something I think it was, with extremely low accuracy. They cost a fortune to build and armour as well, which was one of the primary reasons for the Washington Naval Conference; all the major powers had just come from a massive and exhausting war, had thrown huge amounts of money into trying to win it, and simply did not have the economy nor money to enter a new battleship arms race. Aircraft carriers barely existed at this time, so their capabilities were unknown, and the planned uses for them would change dramatically as well. And as Operation Ten-Go showed, overwhelming numbers of relatively cheap aircraft can take down the mightiest of Battleships through the use of bombs and torpedoes. Every naval power in the world took note, and basically scrapped the entire notion of battleships for the post-WWII world. Although some existing ships were kept in service, basically none were built after 1945 unless already nearing completion.



Overlord93 #31 Posted 18 February 2020 - 06:43 PM

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View Postmalachi6, on 18 February 2020 - 12:01 PM, said:

Why are modern tanks generally called Main Battles Tanks?  Because they are a hybrid of medium and heavy tanks.

No, it's because of their role, they're supposed to be "universal tank" to fit all roles heavy, medium and tank destroyers would fit back in the day, one tank to rule them all. Being "hybrid of medium and heavy" is just kind of result of role requirements, but not all of them are like that, M1 Abrams and Merkava are heavy tanks no doubt.


Edited by Overlord93, 18 February 2020 - 06:45 PM.


Bulldog_Drummond #32 Posted 18 February 2020 - 10:15 PM

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Doesn't matter what sort of tank it is, it's useless without air superiority.

SIPU #33 Posted 19 February 2020 - 10:24 AM

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WG please fix this EBR [edited]. They are hard to hit and even then more than 50% hits say critical and do 0 damage. Do we really need light tanks with 3000 (60% being hidden under 0 damage hits) health?

Captain_Kremen0 #34 Posted 19 February 2020 - 12:44 PM

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Wrong thread mate





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