Military Review

What are tanks afraid of?

To overcome a tank The ditch invented and constructed many auxiliary devices and mechanisms - starting from fascines (formerly in the form of bundles of brushwood, now - pipes) and ending with tank-laying bridges. But, as a rule, at the right time all this is not at hand. Ideally, a tank should itself, without outside help, overcome the obstacles it encounters.

What are tanks afraid of?
One of the most accessible and at the same time effective anti-tank weapons remains the moat, the classic ancient obstacle, which even today represents a serious obstacle for formidable combat vehicles.

Tailed rhinos

The problem of overcoming the moat was particularly relevant in 1920 – 1930-ies, when the military doctrine provided for the assault of fortified areas "head-on." A classic obstacle in those days was a trapezoid ditch with a width of more than 2 m and a depth of more than 1,2 m, from which the tank could not get out on its own.

In all countries, research and development work was actively carried out to increase the patency of the tracked vehicle; a huge amount of original and even fantastic solutions were offered. In order not to increase the length of the combat vehicle, as a compromise option to the stern of the usual tank was attached a removable "tail" of steel beams, on which the tank rested while overcoming obstacles. In the absence of the need for steel "tail" could be dropped by the crew, and the tank received the desired freedom of maneuver.

In 1929, designer M. Vasilkov placed a second “tail” in front of the T-18, taken from another tank. The car received the nickname "rhinoceros" or "push-pull." Patency improved slightly, but the review from the driver’s seat became useless.

Back in 1930, Soviet designers developed a revolutionary idea: according to their plan, the tank had to simply jump over obstacles, overcoming powerful anti-tank defense lines - ditches, dolbes, "dragon teeth", "hedgehogs" and minefields.

Komkor S. Kokhansky supported another proposal by M. Vasilkov - the project of a “nose wheel extension”: a guide arrow fixed to the T-18 with trailing wheels and wire barriers and improving the cross-country ditches. The principle of operation of the device was based on a portable cylindrical fascine (there were two options: wooden and soft - a canvas cover stuffed with straw). When approaching the moat, the fascina wheel would fall on its bottom, and the tank would roll smoothly over it to the other side of the moat. This made it possible to overcome ditches up to 3,5 meters wide. The idea unexpectedly found wide support in the General Staff of the Red Army. For two years, there have been repeated requests to install a "wheel extension" on a particular type of tank, as a result, the device was mounted on T-26 (under the brand CT-26).

Legs, rollers, noses

Back in 1911, Lieutenant of the Austro-Hungarian Railway Regiment, G. Burshtyn, developed the design of the Motorgheshyutts tracked armored vehicle with an original lever-roller device. Controlled levers with rollers in front and behind the tank made it easier to overcome various obstacles.

Engineer V. Khitruk suggested installing walking movers on the tracked chassis. To do this, on the sides of the chassis, on a horizontal axis, approximately in the center of gravity of the tank, a pair of levers is attached. In the off position, they are located horizontally. When the car approaches the pit and hits it, the levers turn and rest against the bottom of the obstacle. As a result, the tank is literally “on hand” moving to the other side of the moat.

Hungarian Nicholas Strausler at the end of 1920-s developed in England a device for the Vickers tank, known as the "Strausler legs." Swinging spring-loaded supports increased the length of the tank and helped the war machine to climb over ditches and trenches up to 3 m wide and up to 1,5 depth meters.

Some rather exotic ways of overcoming obstacles were also proposed - for example, using a barrel of an instrument as a support. The length of the barrel of modern tanks reaches 5 – 6 meters, and by itself comes the idea to somehow use this long pipe ... In 1977, inventor Roger Fagel patented a wheeled self-propelled artillery system that could overcome the ditch, leaning the barrel of the gun on its opposite edge. For this purpose, a special supporting “heel” was carried out on the muzzle of the barrel, to which part of the weight of the machine was transferred when the obstacle was crossed. Lowering the barrel and resting the "fifth" in the ground, the armored car, having increased the length of its supporting part almost twice, could crawl to the other side of the obstacle. The barrel played the role of a “nose extension” of the machine. Engineering solution, I must say, unexpected, but usually gunsmiths refer to the trunk weapons more carefully ...

Various devices to improve the tank.

Grasshopper Tanks

But one wants to overcome in one fell swoop the entire strip of enemy barriers! In the 1930-x domestic designers developed a very revolutionary idea - according to their plan the tank should just jump over obstacles. Moreover, military theorists believed that all tanks in the future world war (now known as World War II) would fly over the obstacle course, literally in one leap overcoming powerful anti-tank defense lines - ditches, dolbes, dragon's teeth, hedgehogs and mine fields.

Tankers of the Red Army on the exercises specifically worked out a combat technique - a jump over an anti-tank obstacle. For this purpose, either a convenient terrain, or a counter-scarp, erected by the enemy, or a springboard specially created by sappers in front of the enemy defense zone, was used. The fact is that a typical 1920 – 1930-x tank was a light and speedy, albeit weakly armed and slightly armored armored vehicle, which allowed it to “fly over” obstacles so well.

Overcoming the anti-tank ditch fighting vehicles on different chassis.

Moreover, in 1937, a special machine was developed to overcome the obstacle by jumping. As a base for the CCI-2 (tank to overcome obstacles), the lighter chassis of the T-26 tank was used. The mechanism for making the jump consisted of four eccentrics with a lug grip (two on each side) and a special device that freed them at the time of the jump. The car accelerated in front of the obstacle, the eccentrics, turning at the right moment, literally threw the tank into the air. However, tests have shown that the speed of the machine is not sufficient to make the jump, and because of the rigid suspension system, the normal work of eccentrics was disrupted.

This is what happens if even a modern tank tries to overcome a counterscarp without training.

Pole vaulting

Interestingly, during the same period, a completely remarkable attachment for a combat vehicle was developed, which significantly lengthened its jump and increased its flight altitude. In 1940, the Soviet engineer M.M. Botvinnik received a copyright certificate on "Adaptation to the tank for the implementation of his jump" through the use of kinetic energy. For this, the tank was supplied with a special swiveling metal U-shaped frame attached to the body of the vehicle on the horizontal axis. In the usual position, the frame was thrown back, and when approaching an obstacle (boom), the special mechanism was thrown forward, so that the tank, having dispersed, rested against it with a frame. The armored vehicle at the same time began to move along an arc of a circle, whose radius is equal to the length of the frame, and jumped over the obstacle like a pole jumper.

The focus for the frame could serve as a specially arranged obstacle in front of the line of enemy defense, as well as the enemy barrier itself. In the case of soft soil on the frame housed dozer-type stops, gnawed into the ground. But then the width of the obstacle to be overcome was equal only to the length of the "pole", which gave few advantages in comparison with a conventional tank. To increase the length of the jump, the inventor equipped the frame with a powerful spring shock absorber. At the moment of impact of the frame on the obstacle, the spring was compressed and held in a compressed state by a special stopper, which released it at the right moment. As the spring opened, the spring transmitted a powerful additional impulse to the tank at the top of the trajectory.

Soviet CCI-2 with side eccentrics. At the time of the jump, a special device released the eccentrics, and they turned around, throwing the tank into the air.

As a result, the combat vehicle moved not along an arc, but along a parabola, that is, along a ballistic trajectory of a body thrown at a certain angle to the horizon! The height of the obstacle to be overcome was significantly increased by lengthening the flight path. After landing, the tank could drop the frame and go on the attack "light." Unfortunately, the practical application of the invention information could not be found.

Modern tanks are much heavier than their predecessors. Today, the weight of the combat vehicle reaches 60 T, so dashing jumps had to be abandoned. True, domestic tanks at military exhibitions and salons make spectacular spectacular jumps from springboards (counter-scars), but this is more likely a demonstration of constructive perfection and reliability of military equipment than a real combat technique.

Phase jump tank using the device MM Botvinnik.
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  1. svp67
    svp67 April 6 2013 08: 52 New
    Many thanks to the author, interesting, but the questions are dark good
    1. self-propelled
      self-propelled April 6 2013 09: 49 New
      Quote: svp67
      but the questions are darkness

      svp67 мое Вам "здрасте" hi
      in many ways utopian ideas (although I absolutely agree with you - interesting). a sort of flight of thought at the dawn of tank construction in search of a solution to the problem
      1. svp67
        svp67 April 6 2013 10: 23 New
        "Здрасте, здрасте" soldier Есть советский фильм 30-х "Танкисты", там показан интересный способ преодоления естественного препятствия - обрывистого берега танковым подразделением...
  2. Landwarrior
    Landwarrior April 6 2013 09: 18 New
    Speaking of articulated machines
  3. Iraclius
    Iraclius April 6 2013 09: 46 New
    I remembered ... laughing

    1. omsbon
      omsbon April 6 2013 10: 09 New
      Smiled! Good kind army humor.
  4. Nayhas
    Nayhas April 6 2013 10: 01 New
    The Second World War showed that ditches as anti-tank obstacles are useless, it is enough to undermine the opposite walls and drove on, five minutes of work for a trained sapper ...
    1. Stas57
      Stas57 April 6 2013 10: 25 New
      Obviously, ditches, barbed wire, nadolba, mines and so on. - is not an obstacle in itself, only in combination with conventional weapons,
      You can bury the moat, cut the wire, detonate the needles, remove mines ...
      1. LION
        LION April 8 2013 18: 26 New
        Занятия на военной кафедре в институте. Преподаватель: "Курсант, скажите какие бывают противотанковые заграждения?" Курсант стоит, мямлит, ответ дать не может. Преподаватель:" Запомните. Танковые заграждения бывают следующие: ежи, надолбы и долб...бы как ты"
  5. Iraclius
    Iraclius April 6 2013 10: 15 New
    In our country, nothing special to dig. Welcome Americans! fellow
  6. svp67
    svp67 April 6 2013 10: 19 New
    Quote: Nayhas
    The Second World War showed that ditches as anti-tank obstacles are useless, it is enough to undermine the opposite walls and drove on, five minutes of work for a trained sapper ...

    Не все так однозначно. Любое противотанковое, да и инженерное препятствие вообще должно плотно прикрываться огнем, поэтому чтобы не потерять саперов, тем более "подготовленных" все это время, а это не только те "пять минут работы", а еще и время на подход к препятствию, держать под плотным обстрелом, подвергая в частности жизнь своих солдат опасности, так как те находились в зоне разлета осколков. Но и еще, появление таких проходов - обозначение направления основных усилий наступающего противника, что тоже играет на руку обороняющихся...
  7. svp67
    svp67 April 6 2013 11: 07 New
    Quote: Iraclius
    In our country, nothing special to dig. Welcome Americans!

    Да "западники" пока до наших "грязей" доползут, в своей потонут
  8. svp67
    svp67 April 6 2013 11: 08 New
    They do not need to be helped in this
  9. svp67
    svp67 April 6 2013 11: 10 New
    agree so even better
    1. Iraclius
      Iraclius April 6 2013 11: 37 New
      It swims beautifully! laughing I think that in the turbine frogs are already croaking! laughing
  10. svp67
    svp67 April 6 2013 11: 14 New
    А это называется "сесть в лужу"
    1. self-propelled
      self-propelled April 6 2013 11: 34 New
      here you have a new bunker ready smile
      1. Iraclius
        Iraclius April 6 2013 11: 39 New
        Yeah! A new way to build bunkers - a square-nested American way! Traditionally for them - expensive and inefficient! laughing
    2. igor67
      igor67 April 6 2013 11: 50 New
      [quote = svp67] And this is called; sit in a puddle
      Well, and then on the site everyone claims that in Israel there is only one desert and no dirt laughing
      1. svp67
        svp67 April 6 2013 11: 54 New
        [quote = igor67] [quote = svp67] And this is called; sit in a puddle
        Well, and then on the site everyone claims that in Israel there is only one desert and no dirt laughing[/ Quote]

        Так понимаю "этого добра" везде хватает
      2. svp67
        svp67 April 6 2013 11: 55 New
        [quote = igor67] [quote = svp67] And this is called; sit in a puddle
        Well, and then on the site everyone claims that in Israel there is only one desert and no dirt laughing[/ Quote]

        As I understand it, this good is enough everywhere
        1. igor67
          igor67 April 6 2013 12: 13 New
          Yes, it can be paraphrased: Tank dirt will always find
          1. svp67
            svp67 April 6 2013 12: 48 New
            Quote: igor67
            Yes, it can be paraphrased: Tank dirt will always find

            Well, if he also has a little Russian roots, then snow repeat
    3. lazy
      lazy April 6 2013 17: 41 New
      not that it was just buried for the most I can’t wink
  11. Iraclius
    Iraclius April 6 2013 11: 36 New
    Who wrote that modern anti-tank fortification is outdated? Comrade, I think so, has never buried in mud in a tank ... lol
    Mankind has not yet come up with anything more ruthless to tanks than nature did with rugged terrain. And if she also has a little help. fellow
  12. Strey
    Strey April 6 2013 12: 05 New
    But they say, “Tanks are not afraid of dirt,” although on the other hand, a dirty tank is invisible in battle, a clean tank does not inspire fear, laughing
    1. Iraclius
      Iraclius April 6 2013 14: 41 New
      In the park, the driver drives his 72-ku. A brush on a long stick, a hose, scrapers - all a simple tool. Something mutters to himself under his breath. It became interesting and imperceptibly I come closer. It turned out, talking to the tank.laughing Точно не скажу, что-то типа такого. "Вася, изляпался ты весь. Хуже поросёнка. Ничего, сейчас намою, бока натру, блестеть будешь, кабанчик ты мой..." Я ржал на весь парк! laughing
  13. Kars
    Kars April 6 2013 13: 11 New
    Classes at the tank school.
    There are major obstacles for a tank.
    and most importantly --- YOU, fucking ..... fuck)
    1. Iraclius
      Iraclius April 6 2013 14: 44 New
      Absolutely fair joke! This is not even a joke, but a statement of fact! good
      Interestingly, and after such acrobatics, the tank and crew are badly damaged?
    2. Locksmith
      Locksmith April 7 2013 19: 08 New
      You don’t even have to call it an anode, I just heard how our chief of staff on a divorce gave an acceleration to a carrier, stood in a pose and wrote with his finger in his palm: dash drivers are asyr pi ... syes (they are on the eve of the TZM with a rocket ( !) Lada moved-right in the face, the civilian almost did not hug the Kondrat .. laughing
  14. saturn.mmm
    saturn.mmm April 6 2013 13: 24 New
    Quote: Kars

    There are good examples.
    1. saturn.mmm
      saturn.mmm April 6 2013 13: 27 New
      And there is a group misunderstanding, sorry for the small photo.
    2. Iraclius
      Iraclius April 6 2013 14: 45 New
      Is that how it is? belay
  15. xomaNN
    xomaNN April 6 2013 17: 19 New
    Забавные устройства! Вспомнилась публикации "Техника-молодежи" советских времён
  16. knn54
    knn54 April 6 2013 18: 07 New
    Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump. Nature is wise.
    And for how many jumps the resources of the suspension of the tank were enough, how often the tracks were torn after SUCH jumps. In the end, how many jumps were enough for the crew ...
  17. svp67
    svp67 April 6 2013 20: 58 New
    And here's another, Abrams stuck in a gutter in a city in Iraq
  18. Avenger711
    Avenger711 April 7 2013 01: 46 New
    M. M. Botvinnik, is it not Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik for an hour?
  19. Smirnov Vadim
    April 7 2013 05: 42 New
    Check comments
  20. Alex
    Alex 1 October 2013 20: 55 New
    Yes, in 20-30-e romance was enough in excess smile ! I think the designers themselves were not very serious about such projects, the field tests of those few samples that had survived before, sobering hot heads quickly.

    Thanks to all the forum participants for the cool photos!
  21. BM-13
    BM-13 7 August 2014 15: 34 New
    Да уж, интересного немало придумали, слава богу, что "гении" типа Тухачевского и на это глаза не положили.
  22. Hitmaster
    Hitmaster 24 March 2015 06: 06 New