Could range ( of gun) be the most important factor of a tank? - Page 2

February 26th, 2016  
Originally Posted by Remington 1858
There is another approach that has been tried. That is to reduce the overall weight by reducing the size of the turret or eliminating it all together, such as was done with the Swedish "S" tank. That was a turret - less design, where the entire tank was pointed at the the target and elevation was accomplished with a variable height suspension system. This makes a very low profile vehicle. It does mean that the visibility is limited by the limited height.
I saw that but isn't it really the definition of a tank destroyer than a tank itself?
February 26th, 2016  
Remington 1858
Okay, here is the basic difference between a tank and a tank destroyer. A tank destroyer's basic job is, well, destroying enemy armor. So it is designed to fight from a hull-down position in defense or ambush. It's an anti-tank gun in a mobile chassis with just enough armor to allow it to survive against small arms fire and nearby artillery bursts. It depends on speed for protection while moving. U.S. tank destroyers and some others had thin armor and many were open - topped making them vulnerable to air burst munitions.
A tank is a weapon of offensive combat. It advances under the cover of it's own artillery fire, The infantry trails behind in armored personnel carriers, riding in the ballistic shadow of the tanks. The tanks drive up on the objective, crushing enemy positions and shooting at retreating enemy. The infantry debusses and kills anyone foolish enough not to have run away. Anyway, that's what the books says.
Needless to say, while this high speed armor attack in going forward the enemy is going to be throwing everything they have at the tanks. So they need armor capable of defeating whatever is coming their way. Hard to do with today's anti-armor weapons. A hurricane of fire is going on around the attacking tanks; their own artillery and enemy artillery and mortar fire. A thin-skinned vehicle can't survive in that environment.
In tank design, there is a balance that has to be struck between firepower, armor protection and mobility. All tank designs are compromises. However, the end product is supposed to be a machine that takes the fight to the enemy, instead of waiting for it to come to you.
April 27th, 2016  
Once again though what was the S-Tank.
It was a turretless armoured vehicle designed to take on other armoured vehicles, by virtue of its layout it had no independant gun traverse ability and its design gave it little gun elevation (no more than the rear suspension could be lowered) therefore it was a vehicle that could only really shoot in the direction the chassis was facing and had no ranged non-LOS ability.

At best it was an assault gun at worst a tank destroyer and the only reason it got designated a "Tank" is that it suited Swedish combat doctrine at the time.
April 28th, 2016  
Remington 1858
At the time that Sweden introduced the "S" tank, the country was pursuing a neutralist foreign policy and a defensive military policy. In a defensive situation a turretless tank might be okay, because there would be some idea of what direction the threat was coming from. In offense however, where the gun might have to deal with targets around the clock, a turretless tank would be a disadvantage.
On another note; during this neutralist period, Sweden had Special Forces units. They were DEFENSIVE special forces units ! There were air force SF units whose mission was to track down and destroy saboteurs. Naval infantry units whose mission was to lay ambushes for enemy naval and marine forces in the numerous fjords along the Swedish coast. Interesting approach!

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