In this post-modern age, technology has taken hold in every field to a considerable level. The defensive and offensive equipment have great importance in securing borderlines of countries and preventing the enemy from breaching them. In this regard, where we’ve got a lot of modern weapons, tanks have their own specific importance, which cannot be denied (Battle of tank). So, here we’ll discuss the different aspects of these modern battlefield elephants.
⦁ Evolution of Tank
⦁ Importance of Tanks
⦁ Types of Tanks
⦁ 5 Leading tanks in the world
⦁ Greatest tank battles
The tank is an armored vehicle, with a combination of a tank gun, several machine guns, an armored vehicle, and sometimes radars and other helpful modern equipment. It is a military vehicle with a strong steel foil along its sides; with exceptions in some cases, and some types it’s capable to tolerate a large amount of heat produced by nuclear radiations. Although now there are many advanced tanks, conventional tanks move by heavy chains, with gear wheels, inside the chain, called tracks or continuous tracks.
Here, are a few properties of tanks:
⦁ Its weight varies from 2 to 40 tons, depending upon its type.
⦁ Its length usually ranges from 20 to 30 ft.
⦁ To the most, five persons (including operators) can sit in it.
⦁ Its width ranges from 8 to 18 ft.
Evolution Of Tanks
Starting from the very beginning, cannons were invented by Chinese, but super-sized cannons were used by Mehmed 2, for︠ first time in 1453, when he sieged the strong walls of Constantinople. He used huge cannons which were pulled by a lot of oxen, and a lot of experts were required to operate them. Sultan used these cannons efficiently, and after a long siege, he captured Constantinople (current Istanbul). We can say this advancement towards artillery was unknowingly a step towards battlefield elephants of today.
With the passage of time, innovation also settled its feet in weaponry. The advancements in those cannons turned them into artillery guns, which are smaller in size and provide good cover fire to advancing troops. When the first vehicle was made by Karl Benz in 1886, unknowingly this invention was also following the making of tanks.
Combining the two advancements in technology, the first tank was made by Lancelot de Mole on September 06, 1915. Was called Little Willie. Couldn’t prove its worth because of its low speed and heavyweight. Had a speed of 2 miles per hour and weighed around 14 kg.
Name of “Tank”
Usually, we think of this improper name to such a huge invention. It doesn’t make sense that such a heavy armored vehicle has given the name of a water tank. Actually, the scenario is quite similar to that. The preparation of tanks was kept secret from Germans. At first, the tanks were brought to the battlefield in the large water tanks and it was roamed that these tanks are for providing water to troops. For this reason, this giant armored vehicle was named as a tank.
The First Battle Of Tanks
Tanks were used by Britain for the first time on the battlefield in Battle of Somme against Germany, on September 15, 1916. The firstly used tanks were British Mark 1. As a newly created machine, it was highly unreliable, but it proved a lot more beneficial in trench warfare against Germans. In this battle, only one-third of the tanks could perform according to their desires. Others got mechanical and technical problems.
The Modern Battle field
As the tanks proved their worth in land combat, its importance increased to a threefold. After the WW1, many countries in the world started making tanks with a lot of new innovations. In the Second World War, Germany, Russia, England, and America developed tanks with a lot of modernism. Even now, tanks are being created annually with a lot of modern features.
Importance Of Tanks (The Modern Battle field)
The invention of tanks was thought to be used as a mobile artillery gun, but it proved very much beneficial than mere a moving cannon. Here are a few important features, highlighting its importance in land combat:
⦁ First and foremost feature, tanks can hit moving targets by great accuracy.
⦁ Tanks provide a good cover to infantry from frontal fire and clear hurdles in their way.
⦁ The armor provides easy access to buildings for breaching out.
⦁ They can easily penetrate a heavy fire to destroy the enemy’s weapon position.
⦁ It requires a little crew to operate.
⦁ They are also used to assist the military engineers to clear IEDs.
⦁ In modern tanks, radars nuclear missiles, and powerful machine guns are also planted.
Types Of Tanks (The Modern Battle field)
With the adoption of technology, tanks are also modernized from year to year. So, there are a few types of tanks:
⦁ Infantry Tank:
These were among the firstly created tanks. They were used heavily in the Second World War. The concept of these tanks was to protect the foot soldiers. They were used in close land combats. These tanks were generally made of heavy armored, with relatively slow speed than other tanks due to heavyweight, but could travel faster than soldiers. They used to provide complete protection to the crew, that’s why; they were called Infantry Tanks. The best example of such tanks is Churchill, which was used in the Second World War.
⦁ Cruiser Tanks:
Cruiser tanks were made with the sole purpose of assisting the foot infantry and riders in the Second World War. England was the first one who put these tanks in combat. These tanks were used over a large scale due to its special features which distinguished it from other types. This tank has got better mobility and modernized armored. Now, it is mostly used for attacking the enemy from back. It is also called a cavalry tank. Mark 1 (A9) was the first cruiser made by England.
⦁ Specialist Tanks:
These tanks are great assistance to military engineers. Specialist tanks are made with the purpose to facilitate the other light or heavy vehicles. Sometimes they also lose their weapons for service. Several tasks done by these tanks include lying bridge, providing service to other vehicles, and most of all, a few of them get mine-clearing equipment like plows. There is also a type of specialist tank that is waterproof and can move through open water. Hobart’s Funnies were the specialist tanks used in WW2.
⦁ Main Battle Tanks:
The modern tanks are basically the battle tanks, which are used in close land encounters. They can be put in direct fire because of their strong armors. Usually, the crew inside the tank doesn’t die because of damage to tank armor but they die to inner collisions and heat. So, the main battle tank (MBT) is the key component of the modern armies. Al- Zarrar is the main battle tank of Pakistan.
5 Leading Main Battle Tanks
The development of technology has opened the gates for defensive and offensive equipment. This modernization has also made its way in converting the tanks from “Little Willies” to “Leopard 2A7”. Armored corps has got non-deniable importance in armies. So here are the 5 Best Tanks of the world. Though there are a lot of opinions regarding the best tanks, here we have enlisted the tanks by researching a few sources:
Leopard 2A7 tank is owned by Germany and most of the time, it is considered as the best tank in the world. This tank is made by merging several versions into it.
⦁ It can be operated in small as well as tense encounters.
⦁ The armored has been upgraded so that its armor endurance has been increased to three folds. It can bear mines and rocket launchers (RPGs).
⦁ It consumes less fuel as compared to a few others in its field.
⦁ It has got different processing programs for automated fire on desired targets.
⦁ Its main field is urban areas.
K2 Black Panther
K2 Black Panther is manufactured by South Korea, with a lot of distinct features. Currently, it is used by the South Korean Army. It was created in a lot of numbers.
⦁ It is the combination of an auto-loaded gun and advanced armor.
⦁ It has also been installed with programs, which help identify the friend or enemy.
⦁ The sight of the commander and gunner are stabilized.
⦁ The vehicle is provided with an air-conditioning system and GPS service.
⦁ It has got an in-arm suspension system, which enables it to move on different surfaces.
Abrams M1A2 SEPV3 MBT
Abrams M1A2 SEP V3 (SEP: System Enhanced Package) is an upgrade version of Abrams MBT, and it is currently in service of the US Army. This tank has got a lot of features of sustainability and survivability.
⦁ It has got smoothbore cannon, with AMPs (Advanced Multi-purpose Rounds) to protect VIPs and flying aircraft.
⦁ There are a few network connection systems with a few radios, ensuring the continuous connection with command.
⦁ A program of Infrared radiations has been added to automatically detect the targets and to engage the gun.
Challenger 2 is the MBT in service of the British Army. It is one of the best tanks in the world. It has the most protected armor out of all the tanks.
⦁ It offers protection against different direct fire weapons.
⦁ It possesses a rifled gun, contrary to a smoothbore gun, which all other modern tanks have.
⦁ Its maximum fire range is approximately 5km
⦁ It has the distinction of the longest tank to tank kill.
T-14 Armata is a new generation main battle tank made by Russia. The Russian officials ordered its first batch in 2018.
⦁ It is mounted with a 125 mm smoothbore gun.
⦁ It is installed with laser range finders.
⦁ The crew has got a multispectral view.
⦁ It is provided with almost all the modern and digital equipment like automatic fire control and wind sensors.
⦁ It can run with a speed of 90km/hr.
Greatest Tank Battles
The tanks proved to be game-changers in many battles. Here are the main battles of tanks:
Battle of Kursk:
It was the engagement between German and Soviet forces in 1943 during WW2. The Germans assaulted on Kursk with around 9, 00,000 troops of 50 divisions and around 2700 tanks and vehicles. But, the Soviets had withdrawn their troops from threatened positions. Soviets had planned everything. When the Germans launched their operation, they encountered anti-tank weapons and mines, which the Soviets had placed there. It was the largest tank battle in history. It included 6000 tanks, 2000000 troops, 4000 aircraft in the epic battle. Although the city was severely damaged, Germans were defeated in this battle of elephants.
Battle of Brody
Battle of Brody is one of the greatest tank battles of the Second World War. It was considered as the greatest tank battle ever, until the Battle of Kursk. It took place from 21-30 June 1941 in three towns mainly Brody. The two powers of battle were Germans and Soviets. The Germans had around 750 tanks while soviets attacked with around 3500 tanks. After a tense land and air combat, Soviets were left with more than 800 destroyed tanks, while Germans suffered a loss of 200 tanks. Some historians consider it the greatest tank battle ever.
Battle of Chawinda
The battle of Chawinda is the largest tank battle after World War 2. During the Indo-Pak war of 1965, India wanted to cut off the supply of Sialkot from other nations and to make it a hub for future decisions after capturing. For this purpose, they selected the town of Chawinda to advance. So, they came up with 80,000 1, 50,000 infantry, and almost 225-600 tanks. Contrary to it, Pakistan had only 30,000-50,000 infantry and almost 150 tanks. Initially, Pakistan was repelled from its defensive positions and had to bear a loss of about 10 tanks. But as the reinforcement arrived, Pakistan pushed the Indian troops back to its positions.
On that day, Pakistan gave a hard blow to Indian armored divisions. It was a direct tank battle. And, at the end of the day, the field was just like a graveyard of Indian Tanks. It was confessed by International media. Finally, the UN made a cease-fire agreement between the two countries. Pakistan lost 40 tanks while India lost more than 120 tanks.
No matter how strong an army is, by a number of its men. Till the time it doesn’t have mobilized and mechanized guns, it can be easily defeated. So, tanks are the backbone of an army. This the reasons why in cantonments, armored regiments feel so much pride. Because tanks undergo a continuous process of up-gradation, these modern elephants are much more useful than the ancient ones.