The breakthrough for the idea of many small tanks over a few expensive ones.
Char 2C - 1922, France
68 tons - 12 m long, 4 m tall, 3 m wide
The only "super-heavy" tank to ever enter service, with 10 built. Outdated when WW2 began, they were only used as propaganda assets, being advertised as invincible super-machines. When the Germans stopped their train during transport, the French blew all up exept for one which was transported to Berlin and disappeared at the end of the war. Might still be in a Russian museum, secretly.
Char B1 - France, 1936
28 tons - 2,79 m tall, 6,37m long.
Panzerkampfwagen I - Germany, 1934
5,4 tons - 1,72 m tall, 4 m long
Panzerkampfwagen III - Germany, 1936
22 tons - 2,5 m tall, 5,5 m long.
Was supposed to become the main battle tank for the Wehrmacht, until experiences in France and Russia proved that it wasn't strong enough for that purpose. Still recieved many upgrades.
Panzerkampfwagen IV - Germany, 1937
25 tons - 2,68 m tall, 7 m long.
Uparmed and -armoured and produced until the end of the war. Originally concepted as a support tank, it became the work horse of nazi Germany as it had a high upgrading potential. Both pictures show later versions of the tank.
KV-1 - Soviet Union, 1938
43,5 tons - 2,7 m tall, 6,8 m long
A heavy tank that was an important reason how the Russians could keep the Wehrmacht away from Moscow until winter came. It was so heavily armoured that the Germans simply didn't have anything to destroy it from a range. However it proved inferior to the T-34 in the long run.
KV-2 - Soviet Union
57 tons - 3,2m tall, 7m long
Built on the KV-1 chassis, it was a heavy breakthrough tank supposed to take out bunkers with its giant 152mm howitzer.
The pictures show KV-2 in German service, so called Beutepanzer (captured tanks).
T-34 - Soviet Union, 1940
31 tons - 2,6 m tall, 6,8 m long.
A tank that outclassed anything nazi Germany could field in 1941 and remained highly important throughout the war. Exeptional price-power ratio, built in absurdly high numbers.
T-34-85 - Soviet Union, 1942
32 tons - 2,65 m tall, 8,1 m long.
T-34 with a bigger turret and bigger gun. Highly versatile and successful. About as powerful as later PzKpfw IV variants.
M4 Sherman - USA, 1941
M4A3: 34 tons - 2,97 m tall, 7,54 m long.
The original version had a much shorter gun. This picture shows a Sherman Firefly, a strongly upgunned British modification.
The workhorse of US-American troops. Designed to be average, mobile and maintainable. Approximately on par with T-34 and PzKpfw IV, vastly inferior to Panther and Tiger, the designers knew that tanks would spend most of their time fighting infantry instead of tanks. They also had to keep the maximum capacity of harbour cranes in mind.
"Ferdinand" Tank Destroyer - Germany, 1942
65 tons - 3m tall, 8,14m long.
Ridiculously armoured and sufficiently armed to destroy any known target at maximum range (2000-4000 meter). Named after engineer Ferdinand Porsche, later renamed to "Elefant" (Elephant).
PzKpfw VI "Tiger" - Germany, 1942
57 tons - 3 m tall, 3,7 m wide, 8,45 m long.
The legend - required high maintance and was more often under repair than in field, but was an incredibly scary opponent. Just imagine - each track link weights 30kg, bringing each track to 2,88 tons - each track has the weight of two modern cars.
PzKpfw V "Panther" - Germany, 1943
44 tons - 3 m tall, 8,85 m long.
Inspired by the Soviet T-34, this tank was supposed to fulfill a similar role and surpass its enemy. After initial mechanical problems considered the maybe best tank of WW2.
PzKpfw VIB "Tiger II" - Germany, 1943
70 tons, 3,1 m tall, 3,75 m wide, 10,28 m long.
PzKpfw VIB "Tiger II"
Also known as "Königstiger" (lit.: Royal Tiger; actually means: Bengal Tiger).
Basically Tiger I squared - even more problems, even stronger in combat. Most were abandoned and blown up by their own crews after they ran out of fuel or getting immobilised by other means.
PzKpfw VIB "Tiger II"
The design resembled Panther more than Tiger. The sloped armour increases its power against shots that come from a flat angle, therefore is much more powerful than the boxy, flat one of Tiger.
PzKpfw VIII "Maus", Prototype - Germany, 1944
188 tons - 3.8 m tall, 3,76 m wide, 10,1 m long.
PzKpfw VIII "Maus", Prototype
Two prototypes manufactured, production abandoned after a bombing of the Adlerwerke. Theoretically much impenetrable to enemy anti-tank weapons, this vehicle would have been a logistical nightmare as it would have been unable to be transported unless by very special means, and could not have crossed any bridges. It could hold 2,700-4,200 litres of fuel and only drive 60-160km with it, at a top speed of 13-20 km/h.
One survivor can today be seen in the Russian tank museum of Kubincka.
Jagdtiger - Germany, 1944
70 tons - 2,95 m tall, 10,5 m long.
The 12,8cm anti-tank gun combined with ridiculous armour resulted in an almost invincible vehicle in theory. Practically they mostly ended up isolated and flanked, or immobilised and abandoned due to the poor supply situation towards the end of the war. Based on Tiger II chassis.
IS-2 - Soviet Union, 1944
46 tons - 2,73 m tall, 9,9 m long.
Also known as JS-2: IS/JS stands for Joseph Stalin.
Successor to the KV-series. Heavily armoured, huge 122mm gun. Was able to take on Panther and Tiger, but was mostly designed to fight fortifications. A more compact design than German tanks of similar power, in return suffering from a very low rate of fire.
IS-3 - Soviet Union, 1945
46 tons - 2,45 m tall, 9,85 m long.
Very compact for a tank this heavily armoured and armed, but with many technical problems.
IS-4 - Soviet Union, 1945
Around 60 tons
"IS-2 on steroids" - Incorporating some new technology and much heavier armour, it was fundamentally a stronger IS-2.
M26 Pershing - USA, 1945
41 tons - 2,8 m tall, 8,79 m long.
The heaviest tank the USA fielded in WW2, even though it hardly saw action. Was able to take on Panther and Tiger on par.
Later served in Korea.
Centurion - GB, 1945
52 tons - 3 m tall, 9.8 m long.
Versatile British main battle tank that recieved wide distribution and had a long service live with many upgrades.
T-54/T-55 - Soviet Union, 1947
40 tons, 2,3 m tall, 9 m long.
Originally named T-54 (1947), officially named T-55 in the early 1960s to account for the many upgrades done step-by-step until then. The most produced tank of all times. Versatile and good design for its era, still in use in some countries.
Type 59 - China, 1958
Chinese version of T-55.
AMX 13 - France, 1952
14 tons - 2,35 m tall, 6,36 m long.
French light tank. Instead of pointing just the gun up and down, the whole turret nods in a layout known as "oscillating turret". This allowed the installation of an automatic loading system, replacing a crew member with an automat.
M46 Patton - USA, 1949
49 tons - 3,18 m tall, 8,48 m long.
Replacement to the M26 Pershing.
M47 Patton - USA, 1952
Upgrade to the M46.
The tank Arnold Schwarzenegger served in in the Austrian army, and which he owns now.
M48 Patton - USA, 1953
45 tons - 3,1 m tall, 9,3 m long.
In service in Vietnam.
T-62 - Soviet Union, 1961
40 tons - 2,4 m tall, 9,34 m long.
Leopard 1 - Germany, 1965
42,5 tons - 2,62 m tall, 9,55 m long.
M60 - USA, 1961
45 tons - 3,2m tall, 9,3m long.
Magach 6 - Israel, 1982
Israeli modernisation of the M60.
Olifant MK1 - South Africa, 1979
54 tons - 2,94 m tall, 9,83 m long.
South-African upgrade of the British Centurion tank.
T-72 - Soviet Union, 1970-present
42 tons - 2,23m tall, 9,53m long.
M1 Abrams - USA, 1980-Present
61 tons - 2,86 m tall, 3,66 m wide, 9,77 m long.
Leopard 2 - Germany, 1979-present.
2A4: 55-60 tons - 3 m tall, 9,7 m long.
2A6: 60 tons - 3 m tall, 11 m long.
T-90 - Russia, 1990-present
46 tons - 2,23 m tall, 9,53 m long.
Upgrade of T-72. The picture shows an Indian variant.
Sunday, April 06, 2014
0 responses to "The history of tanks from 1916 to today"