Military Review

Tanks ... from the most different!

Tanks - this is armor. It doesn't matter which one is thick or thin, but armor. Tanks are just made of iron - not tanks! However, it was also that they were made from improvised materials of the most diverse properties and were still called tanks. And sometimes these strange cars were even in service.

Tanks ... from the most different!

Plywood tank MK I horse horse.

Yes, there were plywood tanks. And a lot. The real tank was created in England - probably, therefore, plywood tanks also appeared there. And the reason is simple: how else would the infantrymen learn to fight with tanks on the battlefield? Real tanks were expensive, and they were replaced by plywood mock-ups with wheels. And they were set in motion with the help of horse sleds. The plywood tank was a copy of the English tank model MK-I "female" (armed with machine guns). True, the soldiers were impressed with this new type of weapon by a little dragging the horses pulling it.

Tank-tribune from the city of Armidale in Australia.

Moreover, plywood tanks were used to increase the efficiency of subscription for military loan bonds. There is a photo taken in Australia in the city of Armidale, in April 1918. On it is an advertising tribune in the form of a tank - residents of the city are asked to buy shares of a military loan. Stretching over the tank called for: "Do it now." Sly Machine helped build £ 237 000! Good performance for such an unusual advertisement!

Tank of raisins.

Advertising with the help of a tank made “of anything” sometimes played a greater role than the imitation of the same tank on the battlefield. In America in September of a distant 1917, Popular Science magazine wrote about the city of Fresno, which is the center of raisin production in California. The Day of Raisin is celebrated there in May, and this holiday never went without a parade. In that 1917, a tank made of plywood, which was pasted over with blueberries, raisins and sprinkled with poppy seeds, became the highlight of the parade! Fourteen feet in height, twenty feet in length - that’s how the car turned out, and this “miracle” of four horses was set in motion!

Tanks-cars on parade in San Francisco.

Outside, this tank was similar to the English "diamond-shaped tank", inside - the car "Ford-T". After the end of the war, such tanks rolled out in American cities for military parades and showed the citizens that not only the French or the British had tanks, but we, the Americans, also had them.

T-34 tanks of plywood, in which German soldiers were trained to storm real tanks.

Back in 30, the revived German Wehrmacht also indulged in motorcycles, which were covered with plywood cases in the form of tanks. They were intended for training soldiers, and for commanders it was important to acquire skills in managing tank formations. Naturally, after the start of the war, the belligerents beat wooden models of tanks in vulnerable places in the exercises! The usual military uniformity of the models was not developed. Each unit did as needed tank mock-ups "from anything." To increase the number of their tanks and fool the enemy, tank models were installed: thatch in summer, and in winter they were snowy, flooded with water. There is even a manual for the Wehrmacht published in Germany, where with German pedantry it was told how to make these tanks out of snow.

Polish tank "Sherman".

Well, and if there is no straw, no snow, no stones, like on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima? Yes, there used stones for tank mockups, and even hewn ones! However, mockups were still used to participate in the parades. For example, a Sherman tank made of plywood, but on a car’s chassis, was used at celebrations in the Belgian town of Sleyding, where he represented the Polish division, commanded by General Machek, and which liberated the city in 1944 year. And this is the most amazing thing! The question is, well, did the Americans not have enough tanks, or did they feel sorry for a couple of Shermans to give the allies to ride them at this parade?

Tank "Renault", made from soap.

“A tank is a symbol of pressure and power, unstoppable movement forward!” Somehow the organizers of the soap exhibition in 1937, in Germany, thought so. There are no other reasons to spend one and a half centners of soap in order to revet even a plywood model of a Renault tank built specifically for plywood. The French tank was small in size and therefore for one of the exhibitions it was made from butter. This is the fantasy of advertising masters in the early 30 of the last century. But this is not the limit.

Tank M3 of cigars.

In Florida, the 11-th Annual Cigar Exhibition unveiled a mock cigar tank. The 38 of thousands of real cigars was used by Tampa to build the General Lee M3 tank. Of course, this tank was less than its actual size, but still, the people who were looking at such a “miracle” were probably twisting their fingers at their heads. And it was why - 1942 year, the war in the Pacific, and then a tank of cigars and girls in shorts! So they lived in America! But next year there was already a plane of cigars, and the girls were in "cigar dresses"! Truly a smoker’s dream.

Airplane made from cigars!

There is no need to talk about inflatable rubber tanks, which today are in service with the armies of the whole world. The tank, which was created and shown in the movie “Indiana Jones. The Last Crusade. In this film, the tank looks quite like a real one. Thanks to this mock-up, Indiana's famous chase for the German tank was shot. Interestingly, on its basis, Hasbro even released toy figures: the main character, a tank, and a horse!

Indiana Jones Tank.

In the script, initially there was no chase for the tank! The producer and director thought about how to show in the film a huge English tank of the First World War. A large number of tanks in the museums of the world were considered and then two tanks were built that looked identical. One model had an engine and transmission, i.e. he could move on his own, so he was filmed on the general plans. And the second mockup of the engine was not there, so he dragged after the truck with the platform. Here on the second layout and shot close-ups of Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, as well as tank fights.
Most of the tricks the actor in these scenes performed himself, only occasionally allowing a little work for his backup stunt Vik Armstrong - the famous stuntman. He performed many stunts in the film, the most dangerous was Indiana's fourteen-foot jump on a moving tank with a galloping horse. Vic Armstrong asked Harrison to refuse to perform dangerous stunts, arguing that the understudy was out of work without money. Only after such explanations did Ford reluctantly give way to a stuntman.

Indiana Jones Tank - a frame from the movie.

It is clear that in reality such a machine never existed, but in terms of body shape this invention of cinematographers most of all resembled the American tank Mk VIII since the end of the First World War.

English tank from the movie "Makar-pathfinder."

We have also filmed various kinds of "armored miracles." Take at least such a children's film as “Makar-Pathfinder” (1984). What the English tank 1914 of the year is shown there is - this is a real flight of engineering! Yes, he didn’t look like anything really existing, but how he traveled! After all, the chassis he had wheeled. It was possible to make an English tank with fake caterpillars that would just rewind just like that, and he would drive on wheels hidden from his eyes. Harder, more expensive, but what would be the effect. But no, they simplified everything to the limit!

German tank from the movie "The brave bullet fears or Bear takes the fight."

But even earlier, namely in 1970, in the USSR, they shot the movie “The Brave Is Afraid of the Bullet”. Events take place there at the beginning of World War II and it is clear that T-34 / 85 of model 1944 is acting on our side and we had to put up with it then. But how and from what were those two German T-4s made that act there? To say that they do not look like German, it means to wry a soul. It looks very similar! But the Germans didn’t have such tanks at that time, although they were made for 1970 very well!

The tank, as you know, is a serious machine. The tank mockup is an imitation of a serious vehicle. And if the layout itself is imitated, then it is an imitation of imitation. In 2014 one of news TV channels showed a plot filmed by Ukrainian operators at a tank training ground where tankers were trained. And they didn’t even study on mock-ups: their tank was a regular rhombus made of wooden bars with sides of 1,5 m. On these wooden bars ... ordinary door handles are fixed. Ahead was the driver, followed by the commander and the gunner-radio operator. On command, they all grabbed the doorknobs, raised the diamond and began to move.

For all its simplicity and simplicity of the product, quite specific skills needed by each tank crew were studied: coordination, mutual assistance, ability to hear and listen to the commander, to get used to his voice and command style, to timely execute commands. And all this does not require virtually any additional costs (of course, except for the manufacture of the simulator), does not require fuel, repairs, storage space for "technology". Very economical!

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  1. qwert
    qwert 29 July 2015 07: 54
    And plus Svetlana Denisovna. Interesting article.
    1. mirag2
      mirag2 30 July 2015 17: 40
      Air and cigar tanks ... We did not think about the dangers of smoking.
      I remember watching the movie "M", and I was struck by the number of smokers, offhand with 32.40:
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 29 July 2015 08: 03
    Cool .. smile Thanks .. but the coolest tank builders are filmmakers smile
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. U-47
      U-47 29 July 2015 16: 46
      Quote: parusnik
      but the coolest tank builders are filmmakers

      well, not all)
  3. Mad dok
    Mad dok 29 July 2015 09: 33
    There are photos of paper models of tanks. The Germans stuck them together and thus learned to recognize tanks and remember their weak points.
  4. Fitter65
    Fitter65 29 July 2015 09: 57
    "Mosfilm Tiger" is generally difficult for a non-specialist to distinguish from the real one, especially from the frontal part. And from the side it can only be identified by walking.
  5. bald
    bald 29 July 2015 10: 14
    Now I understand why the Polish cavalrymen in 1939 believed that the Wehrmacht had plywood tanks. Apparently, the commanders explained to the Polish soldiers that the Germans had training tanks.
    1. Argon
      Argon 29 July 2015 13: 00
      "Cinema" tanks (especially in Soviet cinema) is a separate topic, which was not there - from BMP-1 with beamed crosses to "hung" T-72s in "Battalions are asking for fire." Russian cinema at some stage showed in on this issue, progress until the "White Tiger" happened with the IS-2 in the lead role.
      1. Meh-forester
        Meh-forester 29 July 2015 13: 36
        Quote: Fitter65
        It is generally difficult for a non-specialist to distinguish "Mosfilm Tiger" from the present, especially from the frontal part.

        Yes, quality props tried
        And on the side it can only be identified by hodovke.

        Quote: Argon
        until "White Tiger" happened with the IS-2 in the lead role.

        Of course it looks scary, but not toooooooooo

        But the T-4 turned out well ...
        1. U-47
          U-47 29 July 2015 16: 43
          Quote: Meh-forester
          Yes, quality props tried

          In Rage (photo), it’s, like, shot real.
          And judging by the Liberation, the Panzerwaffe is entirely the Tigers)
          But the work of props on the level. By the way, Spielberg also made a T-VI from thirty-four for Ryan. It turned out pretty tasty, even with concrete)
        2. The comment was deleted.
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. U-47
      U-47 29 July 2015 16: 50
      Quote: kele
      Now I understand why the Polish cavalrymen in 1939 believed that the Wehrmacht had plywood tanks. Apparently, the commanders explained to the Polish soldiers that the Germans had training tanks.

      Yes, there was such a version that, like, the jollers were very surprised. But this is most likely nothing more than a myth)
      And, by the way, about Poles and tanks - not only "Tanks ... from the most different!", But "The most different from tanks": in the photo - a monument to Polish tankmen near Monte Cassino. Made from a swaggering Sherman.
  6. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 29 July 2015 13: 46
    Thanks to the author for the article!
  7. Type 63
    Type 63 29 July 2015 15: 31
    Quote: parusnik
    Cool .. smile Thanks .. but the coolest tank builders are filmmakers smile

    And the developers of computer games. Tanks "Mammoth" and "Mirage" from the C&C Red Alert universe, for example.
  8. Alf
    Alf 29 July 2015 21: 45
    But how and from what were those two German T-4s made that operate there?

    This is a converted IS-2. The shape of the wings, the hatch, the inclined side, the reflector, the tracks on the bottom sheet.
  9. Denimax
    Denimax 29 July 2015 22: 13
    The tank from the movie "Makar Pathfinder" is quite suitable for a German tank. But not the English of those times.
    1. Alf
      Alf 30 July 2015 21: 43
      Quote: Denimax
      The tank from the movie "Makar Pathfinder" is quite suitable for a German tank. But not the English of those times.

  10. xomaNN
    xomaNN 30 July 2015 14: 46
    Well, at Mosfilm, the existing tank collection is not bad. Although, it must be admitted, in the 40-50s there would have been military men and a citizen. the bosses are not so bureaucratic, many models and foreign armored vehicles could be kept on the go and used in the movies.
    1. kalibr
      kalibr 30 July 2015 18: 09
      In the movie Bold People have shots with real German T-3 and T-2, but did not save them.
  11. .Basil
    .Basil 5 August 2015 13: 42
    But what about the pink tank, with hatches on the door hinges of
    "Inhabited Island".