Medium Tank A8

Medium Tank A8

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Medium Tank A8

The Medium Tank A8 was a design for a 17.5 ton medium tank that would have been powered by two Rolls-Royce Phantom engines. It was under development from 1934 to 1937 at the Royal Ordnance Factory, and work began on the first prototype. This was never completed and the project was abandoned.

Tank Française watch

Tank Française watch, medium model, quartz movement. 18K rose gold case set with brilliant-cut diamonds. 18K rose gold octagonal crown set with a brilliant-cut diamond. Silvered dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal. 18K rose gold bracelet. Dimensions: 30 mm x 25 mm, thickness: 6.65 mm. Water-resistant to 3 bar (approx. 30 metres).

About the Collection

The Tank Française updated the legacy of the Tank wristwatch with a chain-link bracelet. The curved case, boldly set right at the centre of the bracelet to seamlessly mimic its lines, announced an all-new Tank family that subscribed to the same modern design aesthetic.

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Overview [ edit | edit source ]

A completely new medium tank design, the Panther was the result of a rapid development program meant to reestablish tank parity on the Eastern Front. Although initial work started in 1938, it wasn't until the superior T-34 and KV series tanks demonstrated the need for a new tank capable of fighting them on equal terms. Two competing designs were submitted by Daimler-Benz and MAN, with the contract eventually awarded to the latter. The prototype was completed in September 1942, with the first Panthers rolling off the assembly line in January 1943.

The Panther was conceived in order to counter the Soviet T-34 and to replace the Panzer III and Panzer IV. Nevertheless, it served alongside the Panzer IV and the heavier Tiger I until the end of the war. It is considered one of the best tanks of World War II for its excellent firepower and protection, although its reliability was less impressive due to the tank being rushed in service. Indeed, many early Panthers broke down on their way to the battlefield and mechanical reliability would continue to plague the vehicle until the end of the war.

The characteristics of the Panther was such that the Allies classified the Panther as a heavy tank, while the German designers considered it a medium tank. Mistakenly thought to be only available in little numbers in France, the big cat was not considered to be a real threat to the Americans, and as a result the US Army did not adequately equip their tanks and tank destroyers with guns capable of facing the panther head-on. They preferred to rely on their mainstay Sherman tank, as it had performed well in earlier engagements and introducing a new Sherman variant would complicate logistics (another problem was that the American 76 mm gun was not as effective against soft targets as the 75 mm was). This decision soon proved to be a mistake, as Panthers were produced in much bigger numbers than first anticipated, and Shermans with 76 mm guns had to be hurriedly brought in. The British were better prepared for fighting the Panther, as they readily had 17-pdrs and Fireflies available in the first months after the Normandy invasion.

On the Eastern Front, the Panther's initial performance was abysmal. Operation Zitadelle at Kursk was delayed by two months in order to deploy the first batch of 200 Panthers, allowing the Soviet Union to prepare an intricate system of defenses in depth. Mechanical failures also resulted in a fraction of them being actually committed, which contributed to the dismal failure of the Nazi offensive and forever crippled their ability to conduct strategic offensives. However, once the teething problems were resolved, the Panther became a respectable adversary: Its excellent options and powerful gun enabled it to fight Soviet tanks even while outnumbered and seemingly outgunned.

The Panther Ausf. D was the first variant of the Panther. While it mounted the powerful 7.5 cm KwK 42 L/70 and offered a respectable 80mm of frontal armor, it was an immature design plagued by mechanical failures and teething problems. 842 Ausf. Ds were produced before production switched to the mature Panther A.

Each Panzer Division should have one Abteilung with Panther and the other with Panzer IV.

1. SS-Panzer deployed 72 Panthers to the Normandy Campaign. While 12. SS-Panzer deployed 66 Panthers to the Normandy Campaign. These tanks includs tanks shipped over during the Normandy Campaign.

Strategy [ edit | edit source ]

The Bef. Panzer IV H is basically a panzer IV H with a leadership ability, retaining all stats. Command tanks usually possess good veterancy, making the Bef. Panzer IV H a good investment in most battlegroup compositions. They are available in fewer numbers than normal Panzer IV H's, but in reality it doesn't happen often that a player fields all his tanks in a fight due to income restraints.

The Bef. Panzer IV H is a rather squishy yet hard-hitting command tank. It can be employed as a regular Panzer IV H (see strategy section Panzer IV H), but the player could also take full advantage of its leadership ability and use it in concert with other supporting units.

Important Tanks

M4 Sherman, Medium Tank, 75 mm M3 Cannon

The United States introduced the Sherman tank to counteract the battlefield superiority of early generations of German Panzers. The M4 Sherman proved highly maneuverable, and its gun had enough stopping power to strike fear in the hearts of German heavy tankers. Sherman tanks excelled at hitting targets on the move, and they came to dominate the Western Front.

T-34, Medium Tank, 76.2 mm F-34 Cannon

No single tank did more to change the course of history than the Soviet T-34. This medium tank revolutionized the design and construction of tanks with its sloped armor and internal layout, and it was a key player on the battlefield because of its ability to withstand assaults from contemporary anti-tank weaponry. Soviet factories produced almost 100,000 T-34s during World War II, due in large part to the tank&rsquos intuitive design.

Tiger I, Heavy Tank, 8.8 cm L56 Cannon

The Tiger I was the most iconic German tank of the war. It combined Hitler&rsquos obsession with &ldquosuper weapons&rdquo and Germany&rsquos expertise at tank design. The Tiger I had the best armor and armaments Germany could produce, and a small number of Tigers could take over a battlefield. The design did contain serious flaws that led to frequent track problems and mechanical failures, but its battlefield performance compensated for its shortcomings.

Armoured cars [ edit | edit source ]

Tanks [ edit | edit source ]

    - CKD/Praga P-11 light tank. Fifty built for Czechoslovakia. ⎛] - Škoda S-IIa light tank built for Czechoslovak army. Captured examples used by Germany as Panzer 35(t). ⎛] - CKD/Praga TNH light tank built for Czechoslovakia and export. Adopted by German army as Panzer 38(t) and continued in production until 1942. ⎜] - Two man light tank built for export. ⎝] - 1937 prototype three-man amphibious light tank. ⎝]
  • Škoda S-IIb - Medium tank design rejected by Czechoslovakia in favour of St vz 39, but developed into 40M Turán I for Hungary. ⎛] - Prototype medium tank design by CKD/Praga. Ordered by Czechoslovak army but production plans stopped by German takeover. ⎞]

Tankettes [ edit | edit source ]

    - CKD/Praga two man tankette design - about 70 ordered by Czechoslovakia. ⎛] - Two man tankette, rejected in favour of the vz. 33 by Czechoslovakia, but S-1d version armed with 47 mm gun built for Yugoslavia. ⎟]

Armoured cars [ edit | edit source ]

M4A3E9 Sherman Tank

The Museum’s Sherman is an M4A3, built by Ford Motor Company in 1943. No unit markings were discovered when previous coats of paint were removed from the tank. Because the tank was manufactured in 1943, it is almost certain that it was deployed overseas during the war, although no battle damage was discovered.

When the Sherman tank arrived at the Museum in December 2000, its engine was completely rusted and it was painted in a color appropriate to the Korean War era rather than World War II. Restoration work began in late October 2004, when the tank received a running Ford GAA engine and a new paint job. The tank was restored with the markings of an actual vehicle which served with D company, 1st Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division. The tank’s nickname, “Draftee,” is from a tank in the unit commanded by Staff Sergeant Julian Czekanski of Cleveland, Ohio. It was common practice in the US Army and Marine Corps to have nicknames for armored vehicles. The names typically started with the letter of the company to which the vehicle was assigned.

Gift of the West Bank Optimist Club, 2000.216



Date Produced: 1943
Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company
Number Produced: 12,500+

Specifications (M4A3)

Crew: 5 (Commander, Loader, Gunner, Driver, and Assistant Driver)
Speed (sustained, level ground): 26 miles per hour
Engine: Ford GAA-V8 4-cycle, 8-cylinder (500 hp)
Weight: 68,000+ pounds
Armament: One 75 mm main gun two .30 caliber machine guns one .50 caliber machine gun

Tank Chess

The bombs (of either type) only explode when their owners decide them to, and this uses up a move. In particular, there is no chain reaction when a bomb explodes and takes out another bomb, when a bomb is pushed off the board by a tank, or when the bomb is captured.

The game is played as if it were normal chess, except for the modifications mentioned in this text.

Other rules

  1. Pawns pushed to the first rank can move one space forward only. Pawns at the second rank can always move two spaces forward, without the ability to jump. Pawns pushed to the eighth rank promotes as per normal, the pusher (or perhaps this should be the owner) decides its new rank.
  2. Pawns may promote, instead of to a knight or a bishop, to a bomb, an atomic bomb, or a tank. There is no normal queens or rooks in this game.
  3. There is no castling.
  4. If tanks keep pushing each other, declare a draw. This is derived from the three-moves draw rule in normal chess.
  5. If one king disappears, either because of a bomb explosion or a tank push, the owner loses. If both kings explode at the same time, the game is a draw.
  6. Checks and checkmates are as per normal. Mention check when it is possible to eliminate the opponent's king at the next move. Mention checkmate when it is check and it is impossible for the opponent to parry it.

A sample position

Black can move Me2, checkmate. Because wherever the White King moves to, the Black Bomb will simply explode.

Another sample position

White moves Tf6(Nf6-g7), check. Because after that White can move Tf6-g7, pushing the Black King off the board. This is not a good move, since Kxg7 wins the White Knight.

The M103 Was America's Tiger Tank

By 1945, the U.S. Army had cause to regret one of its most fateful choices of World War II: the decision not to build heavy tanks. Its M4 Sherman medium tank was a decent enough armored fighting vehicle when it entered combat in 1942. Yet by the end of the war, the thirty-ton Sherman had repeatedly been pulverized by heavier German tanks like the sixty-ton Tiger, which had a bigger gun and thicker armor.

The Germans and Soviets both employed heavy tanks as breakthrough vehicles, which traded speed for heavier armament and armor to enable them to penetrate fortified lines. The British had the Churchill, a heavy but slow infantry support tank to help riflemen get through German trenches.

The United States was the exception. From World War I until after World War II, the U.S. military had a requirement for a heavy tank that was never really fulfilled, notes tank historian R. P. Hunnicutt in his book Firepower: A History of the American Heavy Tank. Until the 1930s, the United States made do with British Mark VIII tanks from World War I. During World War II, only a few M6 heavies were built, and they never saw combat.

World War III was going to be different. In the 1940s and 1950s, several nations fielded heavy tanks. The Soviets, whose T-34 medium tanks had also been chewed up by German heavies, had developed the forty-five-ton JS-III and the fifty-two-ton T-10, armed with massive 122-millimeter guns. The British had the sixty-four-ton Conqueror with a 120-millimeter gun, and even the French had the AMX-50 heavy tank. The United States had fielded the forty-six-ton M-26 Pershing at the the end of World War II as a heavy tank, but it was outmuscled by the competition.

“Prior to World War II, a tank weighing 30 tons or more was regarded as heavy,” Hunnicutt writes. “But by the early postwar period, medium tanks had reached 45–50 tons and heavy tanks weighing over 70 tons were being considered.”

The U.S. Army experimented after 1945 with various heavy tank designs. But spurred by growing Cold War tensions, the Army opted to push an untested design—the T-43 heavy tank armed with a 120-millimeter gun—into production. In a story all too familiar in Pentagon arms procurement, the Army built three hundred tanks before rejecting the vehicle because of defects such as problems with the turret and gun controls, gun sight and accuracy of the 120-millimeter ammunition.

This triggered congressional hearings. “But the Army position was that the tank had been available for combat and that the modifications made were actually only refinements and improvements in design,” according to author Robert Hicks.

The solution was to modify the T-43 into a new vehicle called the M103, the first operational American heavy tank since the Mark VIII. The M103 was a sixty-two-ton vehicle with a crew of five. It had a maximum speed of just twenty-one miles per hour, and even with a 268-gallon gas tank, it only had a range of eighty miles, It was armed with a 120-millimeter M58 cannon alongside a .30-caliber coaxial machine gun, and a .50-caliber machine gun on the turret.

The M103 arrived at a time when the commander of the U.S. Seventh Army in Europe wanted a heavy tank to back up his new M48 medium tanks. “He felt that it would be desirable to have the Ml03 in Europe to overwatch the M48 tanks and that the tests should determine whether the vehicle was capable of playing that role as well as whether it possessed adequate ‘reliability in retrograde operations,’” Hicks writes.

That last point is particularly interesting, because the Germans had found that while they didn't lose many heavy tanks in combat, they abandoned a lot more during retreats: towing a broken down seventy-ton King Tiger from the battlefield was no easy task. Faced with the prospect of an overwhelming Soviet armored assault, the Seventh Army had every reason to want a heavy tank that could survive a retreat as well as an advance.

Nonetheless, the M103 still suffered from traditional heavy tank problems. “In Europe it was found that the engine was underpowered, requiring replacement of engines and transmissions after average mileage distances of only about 500,” Hicks writes. “The ammunition stowage was not convenient, repeated firing of AP ammunition caused excess chamber erosion, tracks were easily thrown, crew safety, comfort and ability to function were impaired by poor interior arrangement and the same compensating idler defect encountered on the M48 tanks was found to exist in this one.”

But even with its flaws, the M103 was still useful. “Although it was felt that the tank was sluggish, it could do the job intended,” Hicks writes.

The Army received seventy-four M103s, enough to equip a single battalion—the Second Heavy Tank Battalion, Thirty-Third Armor—in Europe. “During the service in Europe, the heavy gun tanks were well liked by their crews and they proved to be capable of being used in almost any place that the M48 series of medium tanks could be employed,” according to Hunnicutt. “The troops recognized that the powerful 120mm gun was far superior in penetration performance lo the 90mm cannon of the medium tanks.”

Ironically, while the M103 was an Army design, it was the Marine Corps that ended up with most of them. The Marines received 220 M103A1s (plus the Army's vehicles in 1963). The Marine M103 was supposed to be an interim solution until the MBT-70 tank arrived. But when the MBT-70 was canceled, and rather than take the Army’s M60 tank, the Marines added M60 components to the M103. The resulting M103A2 had a higher speed than the base model, and a range of three hundred miles.

Finally, in 1972 the Marines retired the M103 and ended up with the M60. And that was the end of America’s heavy-tank experiment. What doomed it was the same issue that has eliminated heavy tanks around the world. Post–World War II armies have shifted to the Main Battle Tank concept, in which a single model is expected to fulfill the breakthrough functions of a heavy tank while retaining the mobility of medium and light tanks.

“Such an all purpose tank required armament capable of engaging any target on the battlefield combined with enough armor to insure survival until its mission was completed,” Hunnicutt writes. “Needless to say, such a combination resulted in a heavy vehicle. However, the development of extremely powerful and compact engines improved the mobility of the later main battle tanks until it equaled that of the light tanks a decade earlier. Thus the relatively slow, heavily armored tank disappeared from the inventory of modem armies.”

Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Image: M103A2 at Bovington Tank Museum. Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons/Max Smith

Description [ edit | edit source ]

In spite of being outweighed by the German tanks later in the war, the Sherman still proved more effective overall than the Panther according to a US Army Ballistic Research Lab study. The Addition of the new gun (M1A1) only made the Sherman more effective. Thousands were distributed to the Allies, including the British Commonwealth and the Soviet Union, in the lend-lease program. The M4 was the second most produced tank of the World War II era, after the Soviet T-34, and its role in its parent nation's victory was comparable to that of the T-34. The M4A3E8 variant was upgraded with widetrack Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension (HVSS) and fitted with the 76mm High Velocity cannon.

Interestingly, the M4A3E8 version was sometimes referred to as the "Easy 8" by its crew and certain officers, similar to the postwar "Hetzer" nickname for the German Jagdpanzer 38(t).