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Tanks, the evolution of tank technology

Uploaded by agatina on Mar 03, 2002

Ever since the introduction of the tank into modern ground combat, it has been a bold symbol of armies of all countries. Its beginnings based on that of a farm tractor, the tank now looms large over battlefields as a worthy foe, and is in many cases the backbone of most modern day ground maneuvers. The tank was first developed by the British and the French during World War I. These tanks were very slow (road speed was about 5 mph) and were used only for infantry protection. Although they had some success in the battlefield, they failed to penetrate German lines. After World War I the Germans used the inter-war period to develop tank technology and tactics. The results of their efforts showed in the Blitzkriegs of 1939 in Poland and of 1940 in France. The tactics involved using newer, faster models of tanks that operated as a single unit, instead of just as a shield for infantry. In 1943 the Russians turned the tables at the Battle of Kursk, at the time the largest tank battle in history where almost 4,000 Russian tanks stopped a German offensive of more than 2,000 tanks. This battle was a turning point in the war as it ended the German offensive capability in the East. Its status as the largest tank battle in history lasted until 1973, when the Israeli army counterattacked against the Egyptian offensive in the Sinai during the Yom Kippur War. Interesting about this battle was the fact that the Egyptians used Russian tank tactics involving massed maneuver, while the Israelis used essentially the German blitzkrieg technique, which emphasized single-unit maneuver. The Israelis won this battle. Most recently the tank dominated in Desert Storm where United States tanks once again proved that maneuverability is more useful than massing, and the Western tanks proved dominate over the Russian.

The tank has developed in many different areas since its introduction during World War I. The speed, range, lethality, survivability, and the ability to communicate with or control a tank on the battlefield have all improved greatly, but there haven’t only been advancements in actual tanks when it comes to this kind of warfare. Anti-tank warfare has also seen great improvements in many of the same areas like weapon range and lethality.

One of the most remarkable areas of improvements has been that of speed. During World War I where tanks first saw battle,...

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Uploaded by:   agatina

Date:   03/03/2002

Category:   Technology

Length:   7 pages (1,666 words)

Views:   3909

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