Oh, and we can't forget the Magella Attack, a tank with a turret(Magella Top) that can detach and become a flying hovercraft.that can only fly for less than 5 minutes and often find the Magella Bottom destroyed by enemy fire since it was unprotected and with minimal armament with its 3 barrel 30mm gatlings and crash for running out of fuel
Or wielded as an anti-armorcannon by a mobile suit.what can you do with the ones that crashed other than this?
Zeon also rigged together wrecked Zakus and Magella Botton chassis to form the Zaku Tank. Sometimes just used as a construction machine, sometimes as an actual fighting vehicle.
Don't forget the good'o Type 61, with its double 150/155mm cannons, got its own Crowning Moment Of Awesome in MS Igloo 2, King of Ground battles.
Speaking of Igloo, the Hidolfr pretty much epitomizes the top quote from this page. Just one of these 220 Metric ton, super-heavy-armored, semi-transforming behemoths with a top speed of 110km/hr is a match for about six Zakus and their artillery support.
In the Alternate Universes, we have the Tragos (Gundam Wing, also a Hover Tank), Daughtress Tank (Gundam X), ZuOOT/GaZuOOT and, Linear Tank (with its hexagonal INNER barrel; railguns don't need rifling, after all), and in a sense, the BuCUE and LaGOWE (Gundam SEED) and Union Realdo Hover Tank (Gundam 00).
The minitank Bonaparte from Masamune Shirow's Dominion Tank Police manga is a partial Aversion. The whole police force uses tanks and the Bonaparte is the smallest one, and has the lightest weaponry. But it pulls its share of the workload partially because of its small size (it can go places the others cannot), and because its driver is a little crazed.
Bonaparte was made from the salvaged remains of a larger tank, Squad Leader Britain's Tank Special. It was the only tank on the force made from steel instead of bioplastic.
In the "Cannon Fodder" segment of Memories there's an entire city that is effectively one gigantic tank. It sports many, many turrets of all sizes built into its structure and creeps slowly through the desert on treads. The biggest turrets have entire work-crews loading and firing automobile-sized shells but only get off a few shots per day. They appear to be at war with a similar city-tank, though it's never seen on screen.
Desert Punk features the massive tank Fire Dragon Kong. It was the most dangerous machine in the desert, but Desert Punk managed to beat it by shooting a rock structure down on it, then the Machine Gun Brothers shot it until they hit the gas tank and it exploded. Until then, it was pretty freaking deadly.
Joshiraku may be a slice of life show about rakugo performers, but in the opening credits the main characters are shown riding on top of a Type 61 tank.
Girls und Panzer is all about high-school girls who drive tanks, in particular those made during World War II. The school team consists of a Panzer IV, a Pz.38(t), M3 Lee, a StuG-III, and Type 89 I-Go. Other schools have Churchills, Matildas, Shermans, Tigers, Panzer III, T-34/76, T-34-85, IS-2, KV-2, Elefant, JagdTiger, Panther, and Kuromorimine takes the cake with a goddamned Maus. There's a reason why it's popularly called World of Tanks: The Anime.
One of Calvin's daydreams has him doodle a tank on his homework and blow up his school. His rampage ends when Miss Wormwood shows up, takes away his paper and gives him detention (in the doodle she's a giant monster that is strong enough to resist the tank's cannon fire).
In Preacher, Herr Starrr uses the resources of The Grail to commandeer a US tank battalion as part of his operation to capture Jesse Custer and simultaneously fend off the Saint of Killers. While Starr definitely approves of the tanks, declaring that the mere sight of them gives him a hard on, they're just as helpless and ineffectual as anything else that tries to fight with the Saint.
Considering the page quote, it should come as no surprise that badass tanks are common in Tiberium Wars. Tanks are depicted fairly realistically, with the interior of the tanks being cramped, noisy, and hot, and realistic tank tactics being used. The interior of the Mammoth Tanks are described as being more spacious, but still loud and uncomfortable.
Despite the rise of Mecha and Engels, tanks are still viable and effective in Aeon Entelechy Evangelion, and the tank crews joke about various disadvantages of the mecha and boast about the advantages of the tanks.
Under the Bridge has The Exterminator, a glue-shooting tank-like vehicle fashioned out of a 10" Dalek toy. Its name is somewhat ironic, considering it was built and is operated by small rodents.
In Worldwar: War of Equals, The Race's landcruisers are not so tough facing 21st century tanks. While several models of tanks such as the Al-Khalid and the Leopard 2 work just fine against them, some tanks such as the Argentinian TAM tank requires an armor upgrade to fight them more equally.
In Pink Alert 3, most Soviet Pony Republic Commanders place great emphasis on their many tough and highly capable armored fighting vehicles. While the Equestrian Alliance's tanks have all kinds of nifty special tricks and the Aquestrian Empire's amphibious mecha armies look plain awesome, in a traditional armoured slugging match the Soviets can be relied upon for coming out on top.
In Stalingrad, the German unit assaulting the apartment building can't break the stubborn Russian defense—until a squad of panzers show up and start shelling the Russian position inside the building.
The Expanded Universe (and Episode 3) has the Juggernaut vehicle, which could be turned into a full-fledged tank just by replacing the wheels (all ten of them) with tracks. It's essentially a slab of metal with guns.
The AT-TE of Episode 2 is designed very similarly to a tank despite technically being a mecha, with a low profile, multiple antipersonnel weapons, no real head, and a massively powerful swivel-mounted weapon on top. If you removed the legs and added treads, it would look like a tank. (The cockpit is transparent, but it's Transparisteel.)
The third level from the Licensed GameGoldenEye 007, where you must find a plane in a runway and escape from the dam, also lets you shoot down the heavy machineguns with a tank. (there is also the level based on the movie's chase scene, but it's just a timed level, no chasing occurs)
When the Batmobile in Batman Begins was first revealed to the world, fan opinion was mixed. Then the movie came out. Gordon wants one.
The Beast Of War is about a Soviet tank in Afghanistan that becomes separated from the rest of the army. As the lone tank battles through mujahadeen guerrilla attacks, its crew slowly tears itself apart.
The Sgt. Bilko movie had a hover-tank which didn't work because firing the gun produced so much force that it couldn't be controlled. They faked it with some fireworks.
Of course, the movie ends before the military figures out they've been duped. It's not clear why they can't be satisfied with a hover-APC, as it can simply fly over landmines and Czech hedgehogs.
In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Sultan of Hatay lends support to the Nazi Grail expedition by providing them with transportation including tanks. The film shows one modified WWI tank, a Mark VIII with a turret dropped on top with the Rule of Cool.
Kelly's Heroes features some great tank action. The soldiers have on their side Oddball, a proto-hippie tank commander with three Shermans manned by gypsies. The Shermans provide the backbone of the group's offense along the way to the loot, which is guarded by German Tiger tanks. A big tank battle ensues, but ultimately the final Tiger is just too much to handle, so the soldiers negotiate with the German tank commander to split the loot he's guarding.
The A-Team movie (as seen in the trailer) involves a battle between a tank and airplanes. Said tank is is in midair, in the middle of parachuting down. Awesome.
And after they shoot down said aircraft, what do they do next? They fire the tank's cannons to adjust its course and allow for a safe landing. They are flying a goddamn tank.
In Tank, James Garner's character uses a WWII Sherman tank he'd bought and restored to break his son out of prison, then drives it to the Tennessee border to seek a fair trial for his son and others framed by a corrupt Georgia sheriff.
The animated Korean film Aachi and Ssipak starts out with a tank battle between police and a gang of mutants who drive small one-man tank, motorcycle, roller blade machines. Yeah, they're hard to describe and yes, the cartoon is weird.
In the 1987 homage/parody Dragnet, Friday assaults the bad guys' headquarters with the police version of this; instead of a gun, the tank sports a battering ram with a smiley-face on it.
In G.I. Joe: Retaliation Roadblock drives a tank-like dune buggy built by Coulton to battle some Cobra tanks.
Sahara (the film with Humphrey Bogart and the remake with James Belushi, not the Clive Cussler novel and its adaptation) has the protagonists using an M-3 Lee to escape from the Nazis overtaking the Allies' battle lines in Africa. It is one of the few advantages that the heroes have on the Hold the LineLast Stand that makes the bulk of the movie.
Shoot 'em Up. With every freelance hitman in the city trying to kill the Badass and Baby, Smith puts the baby and his Love Interest inside an M24 Chaffee in a museum. "You'll be safe from gunfire and most explosives."
Fury (2014). Is about an entire armored unit of Sherman Tanks. While that in itself may not sound all that spectacular, this does mark the film debut of an actual Tiger Tank. Not a mockup, not a CG render. A Real Tiger Tank. note The tank itself was donated by the Bovington Tank Museum, and is the only fully operational Tiger Tank in existance.
The Bolo series in Keith Laumer's stories, especially the Continental Siege Units (the Mark XXXIII's were called Planetary Siege Units). Their firepower is usually given in megatons per second and have an AI far above human level in both intelligence and ethics. And don't even get started on the Planetary Siege Units that are deployed in independent brigades of 24 units each!
The eponymous tracked Base on Wheels in Michael Moorcock's The Land Leviathan.
Tramp In Armour by Colin Forbes features the crew of a British Matilda tank who get trapped behind enemy lines in the last days of the Battle of France, and their journey to Dunkirk in order to escape. An excellent representation of armored warfare. The Matilda's limitations are thoroughly explored, but thanks to the way her crew fight her, she remains a thoroughly awesome weapon.
Discworld featured a steam tank of sorts in Small Gods — notably, because its existence was enough to shift the balance of power and change history, Lu Tze of the History Monks sabotaged its construction.
John Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata features upgraded modern tanks by the bucketful, as well as totally new designs like the Tiger IIIs based on alien tech from Watch on the Rhine.
To get an idea of the "landships", think of a WW2 battleship that goes overland like a tank!
The Draka Hond tank is the king of the battlefield in the Eurasian War, and the Draka produce them in Soviet Union-like numbers from their massive transcontinental empire.
The Sovremenyy. the Russian jaggernaut (ice cruiser) rumbling across the south polar plains in Swedish dieselpunk novel Iskriget.
Fyodor Berezin is in love with this trope. As an example, the modern Soviet tanks from an alternate reality in his Red Stars duology (where the USSR dominates the world) are four-tracked monstrocities with huge cannons. This is explained by the fact that USSR struck first in World War II, destroying Germany's military-industrial complex instead of the Soviet one, allowing factories to keep building heavier and heavier tanks, like KV-3, and KV-4 (for reference, the Real Life KV-2 was armed with a howitzer cannon and 5 of these obliterated over 20 German tanks in one battle).
While this seems to be the case with the Race landcruisers in Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series, they're no more (and probably less) advanced than modern-day tanks. However, they're monsters in the books' World War II setting, compared to what the human "empire and not-empires" can put out. The shells are laser— sorry, skelkwank-guided and can punch through any human armor. As mentioned by several characters on both sides, had the Race arrived only a generation later (as some of them wanted), the humans would've wiped the floor with them.
By the Colonization series, taking place 20 years later, the major "independent not-empires" have caught up and, in some cases, passed the Race's military technology. When the Reich invades the Race-controlled Poland, it's stated that the new German tanks are a 1-to-1 match for the Race's landcruisers, and the Germans actually know how to fight with tanks which was pointed out as the biggest weakness of the Race's tanks by Germans in the previous trilogy. To the Germans, they fought like Russians: "Their tanks are great but their tank skills are shit."
World War Z: Averted at the Battle of Yonkers. Tanks do very little to kill the massive hoard of zombies that start flooding the bridge.
It is mentioned that they are used again against human opponents who don't want to rejoin the United States.
In the Honor Harrington series, they have largely been replaced by Powered Armor, but they do turn up from time to time. One plotline in Shadow of Freedom revolves around a planetary government's Praetorian Guard using tanks to put down protests and riots, and the local resistance movement's escalating efforts to counter them. The tanks prove to be vulnerable to dedicated Anti Armor weaponry, which the rebels have limited supplies of, and a substantial number of them are destroyed when a truck bomb flattens a parking garage they were staged in to provide cover from the aforementioned anti armor weaponry.
In Literature/Animorphs, Marco and Tobias acquire a tank in book 51. They steal it off a train, drive it the wrong way down a freeway, and leave it parked on top of the remains of Vice Principal Chapman's house.
Live Action TV
One of Carter's few Crowning Moments Of Awesome in Hogan's Heroes is when he infiltrates a German unit to recover confiscated TNT so they can blow up a bridge. However, rather than just getting the TNT and leaving, he requisitions and drives off with a German tank and they use that to blow the bridge.
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The original Megazord has a tank mode, although this is used sparingly. Titanus' attack mode is tank-like and was even branded as such in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. The original Ultrazord is also basically a tank, guaranteed to obliterate the Monster of the Week by rapid-fire shelling it to dust. The only being to survive a barrage fron Ultrazord was Lokar, and he was badly scarred when next he showed up.
Mitch Dolgen uses an old Patton tank against the prison but it's destroyed during the fight.
In one episode of M*A*S*H, after a commander of an army tank unit has to have a rather embarrassing problem treated at the 4077th ("carnal flu", as Hawkeye calls it), the camp is plagued by snipers, and Hawkeye "convinces" him to park one of his tanks in the center of the camp to scare the snipers away. (In return for "losing" the record or the treatment. It works, but later, Frank Burns tries to impress Margaret by telling him he can drive a tank, and then actually tries to. (Long story short, he can't. Still, after he almost wrecks the camp, Hawkeye and BJ are able to "convince" Potter it was an accident in exchange for Frank providing a third signature on a document to bend the rules and let a soldier go home by ship instead of by plane, something they had been trying to do the whole episode.)
Mr. Game'sMac Attack has the Mac Mobile, a rocket-powered tank with two massive cannons on top. During gameplay, the player must move it into position to expose a ball lock for one of the game's Video Modes.
Warhammer 40,000takes this Trope and makes sweet, sweet love to it. All races have access to some form of armoured death machine, with the exception of the Tyranids (who have a broad variety of armoured death biomechanoids, but they all walk, crawl, hover, fly or slither rather than rolling). But it is the Imperial Guard who have access to the widest range of vehicles - from the ubiquitous Leman Russ main battle tank and Chimera armoured personnel carrier/infantry fighting vehicle to the Baneblade super-heavy tank (it really does haveeleven barrels of hellExplanation Baneblade battle cannon mounted in the turret, with a co-axial autocannon, Demolisher cannon mounted in the hull, two sponsons mounting twin-linked heavy bolters with two lascannons mounted on top of those, and a further twin-linked heavy bolter mounted in the hull.) Then there's the Shadowsword, which is basically a Baneblade chassis housing a Volcano cannon — usually the main armament of Titans the size of buildings. As for the other armies, the Space Marines and their Chaos counterparts (who can daemonically possess their tanks) have access to Predator tanks based on the Rhino APC along with the awesome troop transport/battle tank that is the Land Raider, while the Eldar and Tau use highly maneuverable skimmer tanks, although they tend to take their personnel carriers and turn them into tanks by adding an appropriately powerful gun that removes the capacity to carry troops. The Orks? Well, they use cobbled-together battlewagons and looted Imperial vehicles that shouldn't even be able to move, let alone fight in combat. The Necrons have the titanic Monolith, a horribly-beweaponed flying tomb that is ludicrously hard to kill.
A lot of the credit also has to go to Forge World, which is apparently what happens when you give Warhammer 40K fans/World War II buffs a Games Workshop license and a load of resin. Even counting old discontinued designs, they're responsible for about half the tanks of the Imperial Guard, and up to 70% of the tanks for the Eldar and Tau.
The Imperial Guard's Leman Russ has to be considered the most successful design of them all though, in terms of overall utility and practicality (Baneblades may be powerful, but are exceedingly rare and used sparingly) note What's even scarier is that during the Great Crusade era the Baneblade was the designated medium tank and the superheavy tanks were even bigger. It wasn't uncommon to see entire battalions of the thing in numbers of 100+ at the time. Oh how the mighty have fallen... The vanilla Leman Russ is already an excellent vehicle that is powerful against infantry (even Space Marines) with a decent anti-vehicle punch, but it can be customized using a wide variety of variants. The long-barreled Vanquisher, for example, is an excellent tank killer, while the Exterminator mows through infantry like a scythe through wheat.
There are now at least 7 variants of the Leman Russ in the codex, as well as an equal number of artillery tanks, including one that has a nuke as its standard armament.
There's a special tank commander, Knight Commander Pask, whose use and effect in battle is basically "put him in a Leman Russ of your choice, then use it to kill everything." In-universe, he's considered the best tank commander in the Imperial Guard, if now the entire Imperium. Must be something to do with the fact that he destroyed Chaos Warlord Titans and Ork Gargants one multiple occasions with the aforementioned Leman Russ tank.
With the 5th ed. Imperial Guard Codex, the Guard now have Tank squads, meaning they can have up to eighteen tanks (compared to three for most armies)
The Space Wolves used to get the Exterminator variant, in tribute to the face that the Leman Russ is named after their Primarch, Leman Russ.
In addition, almost every single Space Marine (and Chaos Space Marine) army can take a ridiculous number of Land Raiders (due to them being Dedicated Transports). The Blood Angels and Deathwing are the biggest violators, the former capable of taking a whopping 17 Land Raiders (one for every choice on the list) while the latter is at a humbler 12. Blood Angels also take this trope Up to Eleven and Airdrop every single tank into battle. If 17 adamantium boxes of death filled with supersoldiers isn't enough to make you shit your pants, imagine them raining from the skies like bird poop.
One Tau tactic relied on using their antigrav transports as a protector from incoming fire; the enemy couldn't charge them without going through the tank first, but the Fire Warriors could "pewpewpew" their targets with impunity.
The infamous Fish of Fury and its variant the Double Fish of Fury.
The Dark Eldar are pretty much the only race to avert this trope. Big heavy tanks aren't that useful for lightning raids.
Twilight 2000 lets you come out of character creation with your squad having an M1 or a Challenger II (mentioned above); unfortunately in the context of the game this is likely to prove Awesome, but Impractical.
The Ogre in Steve Jackson Games' wargame of the same name is a computer-controlled mobile fortress with a size measured in acres. It was heavily influenced by the first Bolo book, which came out in 1976, one year before Ogre.
The main and secondary guns of an Ogre fire SATNUC rounds. That's SATuration NUclear Cluster; a round splits into submunitions over the target, each of which takes a split second to aim, and then detonate, producing a shaped charge of nuclear plasma.
The Biphase Carbide armor of the Ogre is several meters thick. It cannot be breached even by nuclear weapons. The only hope a defense force might have of stopping one is to destroy its exposed tractor-treads — and even these require nukes to put a dent in them. Of course, good luck getting your forces in close enough to do damage to its treads; the Ogre's arsenal can vaporize a whole tank battalion without even blinking.
Another miniatures game: Brigade Models makes a game called Land Ironclads, which takes ground combat to a World War One as forseen by H. G. Wells and friends. They explore a world where tank combat did as these futurists expected, and followed the same model as their present-day naval combat, with scout tanks, cruiser tanks, and dreadnought-tanks.
While BattleTech unabashedly assigns the 'king of the battlefield' role to its Humongous Mecha, conventional combat vehicles are still very much in evidence and frequently use the very same engines, armor, and weapons that BattleMechs do. Well-designed tanks in particular (available in hover, tracked, and occasionally wheeled, though the last seriously suffers in terms of terrain restrictions) can readily match 'Mechs of comparable weight in terms of firepower; the 'Mechs' primary advantages are superior terrain handling and toughness (due mainly to having more hit locations to soak up damage and even being able to lose some and still walk off the battlefield), not arbitrarily bigger and better guns. Tanks, meanwhile, are canonically cheaper and easier to produce...
Epitomized by the Demolisher series of tanks. Massive tanks ranging from 80 to 100 tons carrying dual Autocannon-20s, some of the largest ballistic weapons in the game, and with enough armor to weather assaults. In the canon, it was specifically designed to hunt and kill BattleMechs, which it could do readily—few units, even in the assault weight class like the Demolisher, can carry two AC/20s, and even fewer can shake off a hit from just one of those cannons.
In Weird War Two, a dice and paper WWII RPG which basically mixes myth, horror, and WWII, there are demonically possessed Nazi tanks from hell. There are also super haunted ghost tank hunters for the allies. These tanks can have special abilities and Special Ammo. Tanks in this game are downright deadly to anyone not sporting big guns or lots of infantry with AT weapons. So having a tank on your side is Tank Goodness.
Paranoia has the Mark IV Warbot, designed by R&D in hopes of replacing the entire Armed Forces. While Nigh Invulnerable to conventional firepower, it can be disabled by attacking its bot brain (including an overzealous scrubot with a steel scrub brush, and an inferiority complex due to a barometer falling off), or flat-out destroyed by firing into a thermal exhaust port. At one point, another Alpha Complex captures one and renames it the OGREbot (a Shout-Out to the Steve Jackson game).
The Tank form in Mekton gets you a 2pt bonus to your armour and lets you appoint either the 'head' or the 'torso' to have a 360 degree arc of fire as the turret. Of course, you can also build a mecha that turns INTO a tank, thereby getting Humongous Mecha and Tank Goodness bonuses at the same time.
Rifts first introduced tanks to the game in the Traix and the NGRsourcebook, and has pretty much made a point in outfitting nearly every country on the planet since with outrageous tanks to go along with their Powered Armor and Humongous Mecha. The standout examples include the Karthum-Terek, a massive tank with guns capable of harming starships and enough redundancy built in that it literally has to be blown to pieces in order to destroy it, and the Neo-Abrams, which manages to combine both realistic practicality (by real-world standards, no less!) and overwhelming munchkinism in the same package.
Dystopian Wars has a large number of War Machines. For scale, a Small Tank base is the size of a Modern Tank. A Land Ship in game is so large they can mount Saint Paul's Catherdral on its chassis.
One ride at Action Park was the aptly-named "Tank Ride", where visitors would ride around in giant tank and shoot each others' weak points, stopping them for 15 seconds. It was also known for being the worst place to be an employee, since the riders would shoot them with no mercy when they had to get in the area.
The mostly-forgotten RTS 7th Legion had several tank variations, including three that were mostly identical except each successive iteration added another main cannon to the turret.
Act of War RTS brings all kind of cool tanks including Real Life the T-80 and Abrams, along with the more exotic stealth tank Akula and the S.P.I.N.N.E.R, a drone vehicle also capable to convert into an AA platform or a suicide bomb drone factory.
Laughably subverted by the Blitztank from Akatsuki Blitzkampf. With its baby-blue color scheme, cheesy skull ornamentation and tiny mounted cannon that tragically resembles a micropenis, Blitztank is pretty much ridiculed by the entire fanbase. Really, we're talking about a tank that can be beaten up; of course it's going to be lame.
Armored Core 4 and for Answer allows tank legs to store oversized backup weapons, like, oh, another set of Chain Guns. Or Bazookas. Or damn near anything else in the game. Unfortunately, in a game where only speed matters (at least in for Answer), using tanks are usually a good way to get yourself killed.
Armored Core V has given this trope a hefty nod with its opening cinematic which shows a tank AC dropped from a transport chopper. Said AC-tank then promptly gets shot by a real tank, shrugs the attack and runs the regular tank over. In a gameplay perspective, tanks are the only weapons that can carry Ready Position weapons (heavy folding weapons that require other AC types to kneel first) and fire them at the same time, while moving. To make matters even better, there are your regular, ultra-heavy Mighty Glacier defense tank builds, and the Lightning Bruiser light tank builds, which strips your regular heavy tank of any defense, marches into battle with high-maneuver tank tracks, and use exclusively autocannons, which enables them to actually pursue nimbler enemies, subverting the hell out of the "slow but deadly up close" tank image.
In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, one part of the story requires Ezio to retrieve a tank built from Leonardo da Vinci's plans as well as burn said plans so the Borgias cannot build more.
Said tank is a steam-powered bloated wooden barrel with a dozen cannons sticking out in all directions. You can fire only one at a time, though. Also, the cannons appear to be breech-loaded. The entire beast can be operated by three people, which is pretty impressive.
The Battlefield 2 mod Project Reality gives the player no less than eight different playable tanks, ranging from the rustbucket T62 & T72 all the way up to the cutting edge, hell on treads M1A2 Abrams and Challenger 2.
How you youngsters ignored a pioneer video game like BattleTanx is a mystery. It had the honorable M1A1 Abrams, the hulking Goliath Tank that was commonly attached on a rail in front of bases, a tiny wheeled tank able to dart about at high speeds and blast at the enemy's rear with heavy machine guns, a tank that exclusively spammed missiles, a tank built around a chaingun, a tank with a gyroscopic cockpit and jets that allowed it to Do a Barrel Roll and sidestep incoming fire, a hovering tank, and an Abrams variant with two cannons.
The sequel included such gems as a tank outfitted with a flamethrower, guns that shot green lightning, a tank whose sole weapon was a laser cannon, a tank with a trainload of armor on the front (and virtually none on the sides or back), and an UPGRADED Goliath with two machine guns on the side.
The 1980 Coin Op game BattleZone had you driving a tank against other tanks in a first person view.. The US Army expressed enough interest that it was the first basis for electronic simulators.
SOPHIA THE 3rd. NORA MA-01 from Blaster Master, a 4-wheel tank that has destructive blaster cannon, three sub-weapons, and is capable of jumping, hovering, swimming, and climbing wall/celling when it's fully customized.
The most popular early online game after Net Trek was a Macintosh title by the name of Bolo. Gameplay consisted of a fight over stationary bases that could refuel ammo and armor, destructible automatic pillboxes that could be rebuilt anywhere on the map, and your tank's ability to almost completely alter the terrain of a map thanks to a construction worker that could stockpile building materials in your tank.
The Rock Crusher from Brütal Legend has a spiked roller and about six mortar cannons. It also has a stage on the top. You can double team with it to summon a BFS that couldn't possibly be used by any other mortal than a Titan from the heavens to smite your foes.
To clarify: Your Soviet character in Call of Duty gets transferred temporarily into tanks, while in Call of Duty: United Offensive and Call of Duty 2 you briefly play as a dedicated tank commander separate from the infantry soldiers you usually play as.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare may not have tanks in the traditional sense, but you do get several opportunities to blow them up with Javelin missiles.
War Pig, from the levels "The Bog" and "War Pig". They even get a Gunship Rescue ...well, Tank Rescue moment.
In the Civilization series, at least in the first one, armor units, that is, tanks, were by far the best ground units, with an attack strength of 10, a defense strength of 5, and a movement rate of 3 (10/5/3). The only other ground units that were at all comparable were artillery (12/2/2) and mechanized infantry (6/6/3). Only under very rare circumstances was it ever worth trading 3 defense points and 1 movement point for 2 additional attack points, or giving up four additional attack points for 1 extra defense point. As a general rule, tanks were the dominant weapon on the Civ 1 battlefield, at least late in the game.
A very early example was the simple, 4-bit graphics of the tanks games in Combat for the Atari 2600.
Command & Conquer is probably the RTS franchise with the most tanks ever created — tanks with guns, tanks with missiles, tanks with guns, tanks with lightning guns, tanks with guns that can buildmore guns, tanks with guns that build more tanks with guns — younameit, ithasit! If it doesn't, a list of Game Mods as long as your arm will fit it in, anyway. The use of tanks so deliberately ingrained into player minds because they're cheap, lethal and durable that infantry can become obsolete quickly in a typical arms race, to the point that an early Zerg rush with low-tier tanks is actually a valid tactic. If you're going to duke it out there, you might as well take a tank with you, because nine times out of ten, the fight will have one. It's even a custom for every Command And Conquer story to incorporate newly-discovered technology onto a tank. For measure of how much Command and Conquer loves its tanks, its de facto poster boy is... a Mammoth Tank.
As a World War II game, Company of Heroes quite naturally features a goodly array of armor, tanks and otherwise. For the Germans, the Panther and the Tiger are, respectively, the Infinity Minus One and Infinity Plus One Swords. In a very nice piece of detail for an RTS, tanks have strong armor to the front and weaker armor to the sides and rear, meaning that flanking and ambush tactics are vital for defeating them, especially since anything short of dedicated anti-tank weapons it useless against them. Additionally, send them forward without infantry support against a half-decent opponent, and they will get chewed up.
By far the strongest tank is the Tiger Ace, changed in later patches to the King Tiger. Other tanks are paper compared to it, though it's still not invincible, extremely slow, and needs to support. Another super tank was added in the expansion used by the Panzer Elite faction called the Jagpanther. Unlike the other big tanks, this a specialized tank killer, capable of even beating the King Tiger in a head to head fight, but it doesn't have machine guns like the King Tiger.
A neat (and necessary) feature in the game is the ability of the tanks to drive backwards. After all, you don't want to turn your weakest armor towards the enemy when retreating.
Dark Reign has three HUGE ones: the Tachyon Tank for the Imperium (hovering plasma-cannons with self destructs), the Triple-Rail Hover Tank for the Freedom Guard (which was enormous and orange), and the Shockwave for same (which took Tank Goodness to new extremes: it self-destructed, causing a shockwave (hence the name) the width of the screen to travel one screen-length, destroying nearly ANYTHING in the way. Also, it had a shark-face on it).
Probably the most terrifying tank, though, was the Freedom Guard's Tank Hunter. It wasn't that big, but it was designed to take out anything, including the above three, within mere moments.
The basic Plasma Tank (Imperium) and Skirmish Tank (Freedom Guard) had full AA capability— two of the very few instances of a RTS 'bread-and-butter' vehicle that could protect themselves against aircraft. The Plasma Tank was amphibious too (the standard for Imperium vehicles). To compensate the Freedom Guard had the Phase Tank, which could burrow underground and pop up to roast enemies with its distinctive laser blasts.
Dune II included the Harkonnen Devastator Tank, a nuclear-powered super-heavy tank equipped with two fixed heavy cannons and a self-destruct switch. Though it was changed to a humongous mecha in the follow-up game, Emperor.
Lance of the Epic Battle Fantasy series has a tank called the Valkyrie. It's a fully-fledged WWII supertank with several different types of turrets. In fact, the scan data for it says that it didn't get finished in time for WWII.
Fallout Tactics eventually gave the player access to a tank. Contrary to the trope name, most players probably never made use of it since there were very few things (and even less ammo) to actually use it on, but it was still satisfying as hell to use at least once.
It also has a crew of five which makes it a fine way to transport between missions except for the sixth member of the squad who tends to get run over a lot.
Gears of War 2 introduces the Centaur. Being a Light Tank, it can't take much punishment, but damn if it isn't a speedy little thing. The gun packs a decent punch, too.
The Rhino tank of Grand Theft Auto. Many players never bothered with the plot, but simply used the cheat to summon a tank and rampaged about the town. (with the 'Civilians Have Weapons' and 'Riot' codes on, Hilarity Ensues.)
Especially funny as the regular police try using spike strips to stop the tank. Yeah, that'll work.
GTA San Andreas is even greater fun, at least on the PC, as the mouse aiming on vehicles makes it easy to even shoot pursuing police helicopters out of the sky.
Graviteam Tactics features many tanks and their variants that were used on the Eastern Front in early 1943. The Cold War campaigns feature the Soviet T-55A, South African Olifant, and the British Chieftain tanks, among others.
The Ground Control series has a number of cool tanks, ranging from light to heavy. In the first game, the Crayven Corporation has a private army using traditional wheeled and treaded vehicles collectively known as terradynes armed with ballistic weapons. Their Grizzly terradynes are large, slow, and double-barreled. The Order of the New Dawn utilizes much mroe high-tech equipment. For example, all their vehicles hover and are thus called hoverdynes. They're armed with energy weapons. The heavy Volans hoverdynes are armed with powerful energy cannons and are an even match for the Grizzlies (the latter have less firepower and maneuverability but heavier armor). The sequel takes place several centuries later with different galactic powers but nearly same equipment. The Terran Empire uses old Order tech but makes a few additions, so hoverdynes share a battlefield with Walking Tanks. The Northern Star Alliance uses abandoned Crayven equipment, while making some modifications. For example, the new heavy terradynes are able to rotate their side armor forward to provide cover for any unit behind them.
The Scorpion Tank from Halo. "66 tons of HE-spewin', ceramic-titanium armored, dee-vine intervention!" Comes with 90mm or (novels only) 105mm main gun.
In Halo Wars, the super upgrade for Scorpion Tanks turns them into a Mammoth Tank expy called the Grizzly, featuring the double barrelled turret and quadruple treads. Dedicated anti-vehicle counters and aircraft tend to at best break even with them.
The campaign also has the M-145D Mobile Artillery Assault Platform, AKA "Rhino". It's based on the Scorpion chassis, but is armed with a plasma howitzer. And yes, it can destroy a Scarab with half-a-dozen shots. Too bad you can't build them in skirmishes.
There's also the Covenant Type-26 Assault Gun Carriage, known to laymen as the "Wraith". A big chubby blue thing with front armor over a foot thick (made of a polymer that human scientists previously thought was impossible), and instead of firing shells out of a barreled gun it launches huge "mortars" of superheated plasma capable (in the novels) of pretty much flash-vaporizing any poor sap that gets hit by it... and everyone within about 10 ft. of said poor sap as well. And as tanks go, it turns on a dime.
Iron Tank, a relatively obscure NES game by SNK, had the player blast his way through forests, towns, fortresses, and the like battling tanks of all kinds, running infantry over, and mixing tank shells (don't ask how that works) for devastating effect. The tank's driver was apparently Ralf from Ikari Warriors.
Iron Tank was the sequel to an arcade game called TNK III, that featured Ralf. Ikari Warriors was basically a More Popular Spin-off.
In Jak II: Renegade, the Krimzon Guard defend their Fortress with a "Security Tank". This does exactly as much collateral damage to the area as it sounds like it should, possibly explaining why you never face another one. The War Factory in Jak III is defended by mobile AA tanks (or perhaps AA trains) that move on paths around the place trying to shoot your gunship.
In Makai Kingdom, starting with the boss of Episode 3, characters will be seen driving around in tanks, mechs, and other such vehicles of destruction. Soldier, engineer and professor units can get the most mileage out of them, and get major stat bonuses when riding one (the vehicle gains up to 50% to all stats depending on the driver's TEC stat). The downside is that the vehicle itself that gains experience from defeating enemies, and not the rider unless the driver has a certain skill.
Chrono Trigger example: an early boss (the second, if I recall correctly) was the Dragon Tank. Three guesses as to what it looks like.
Mass Effect 1 has the M-35 Mako, a futuristic IFV designed for exploring and combating military threats on distant planets. It has firepower and durability only matched by the most powerful on-foot equipment in the game (and you get it much earlier), ridiculous off-road ability, complete protection from planetary hazards, and of course makes exploring the game's more open areas much faster. And to clarify "ridiculous off-road ability": it can drive up near-vertical slopes, and if it goes off the edge of a massive cliff, it will suffer at worst minor damage to the right front wheel. (Yes, the right front wheel. Not the left front wheel. Not any of the other wheels or any of the other parts of the tank. Just that wheel.) It's so durable that, when you visit the Normandy SR-1's crash site in Mass Effect 2, you find the Mako completely intact. Stuck in the level geometry, but still intact.
Keep in mind, the standard operating procedure for planetary deployment seems to be to have Shepard drive the Mako out of the cargo-bay, while the Normandy is travelling at hundreds of miles an hour, several hundred feet in the air, then wait to the absolutely last possible second to kick in the landing jets. Even with the mass-effect core reducing its mass, the landing jets and the shock absorbers, it still lands with the force of a brick.
Mech Commander and its sequel had tanks again ranging from 'barely a threat' to 'that thing just blew off everything below my kneecaps.'
Many of the MechWarrior games have had tanks as enemies. The level of threat inherent to these enemies has ranged from 'minute threat' to 'kill it now or pay for it later.' In the former category, 2's occasional vehicular enemies and most of 3's ground vehicles. 4 allowed pilots to stomp on vehicles for easy kills, but in turn many of the tanks available can now dish out a serious case of hurt, including the Quad Panzer, the Myrmidon, and the aforementioned Demolisher. One mission in 4:Mercs actually has you facing a massive tank swarm fit to put the fear of God into Assault 'Mech pilots, in case you thought killing vehicles was an easy no-brainer.
The first game in the franchise is the only one that doesn't have you fighting at least one tank. Well, it did have a Tiger tank, in the town square during the second mission, but it was essentially a set-piece and was never a threat. Though the preview for the game showed the cannon moving, the tank just sat still the whole time.
In Metal Gear Solid, Vulcan Raven uses a tank during his first boss fight. The Metal Gears themselves have been described as giant walking tanks.
The Nintendo Wars series, especially Advance Wars, has a few of these. Black Hole Rising introduced the Black Hole Neo-Tank, a giant cannon surrounded by a spherical hull that drove on four wheels. Dual Strike then one-upped that with the Green Earth Mega Tank, a three-story tall tank with five cannons (one turret with three and two smaller ones). The Mega Tank makes a reappearance in Days Of Ruin/Dark Conflict (renamed the War Tank in the American version) — in both cases the Mega Tank is the only land unit that comes in a unit of one, and that one tank will still wipe the floor with units of other tanks.
Unfortunately, because of high cost, low speed, and for the Megatank low ammunition and fuel, both units aren't worth using unless you're already winning or defending a very small area. The normal tank, however, is probably the best all-around land unit - fast, armored, relatively cheap, enough firepower to destroy or cripple all other land units (except the bigger tanks).
Battalion Wars takes it a step further with the Battlestation, a small Land Battleship.
Operation Flashpoint features tanks heavily. As the infantry character in the campaign, you soon learn you have a lot to fear from enemy tanks, especially after a whole platoon of them chases you out of a town you'd only just managed to take, mowing down many of your allies in the process. Later, you take control of a different character who is a rookie tank commander, and he soon gets command of an M1A1 Abrams tank (the strongest vehicle in the game, by far).
Tanks also play a big role in the Resistance expansion pack, the poorly-equipped guerillas the player leads have no tanks to start with, so one mission involves stealing a bunch of enemy tanks while they're being serviced at a remote depot. A couple of missions later you make full use of them when you lead a huge tank force (more than a dozen vehicles) in a pitched battle with a larger force of Russian tanks.
The Turret Shadows in Persona3 and Persona 4 are sentient tanks. The Chariot and Justice Shadows are also combined into a tank form, but can split apart into independent turret and hull forms.
Planetside and its sequel Planetside 2. Even with the lack of variety, a tank in the middle of a firefight is a good thing. A few tanks is better. Two entire platoons loaded to the gills with tracked vehicles duking it out, complete with support crews and the occasional air support? Awesome.
In Planetside 2, each of the three factions has their own impressive Main Battle Tank. The Terran Republic Prowler◊ features two barrels, the fastest movement, and an optional co-axial 30mm minigun. The New Conglomerate Vanguard◊ is the most heavily armored, can raise a shield to make it temporarily invulnerable, and has a 150mm 'Titan' main gun. Finally, the Vanu Sovereignty's Magrider◊ hovers above the ground, can activate a speed boost powerful enough to let it drive up cliff faces, and can mount a Plasma Cannon and a Heavy Rail Beam.
Prototype has the Thermobaric Tank, armed with two small cannons on its turret and a main gun that fires a missile with a huge explosion. Blackwatch calls for it after their standard APCs and tanks fail to breach some particularly tough hives, and it one-shots all the hives in its way. Unfortunately, you only get it for the one mission, and while there are two more in the game world as part of events, they are despawned the second you destroy a military base or hive, or even if you walk a few feet from it after taking it from the event spot.
In Psychonauts, the Big Bad plans to take over the world via tanks controlled by psychic brains, which are extracted from young children. Normal tank not good enough for you? How about a tank that can telekinetically fling things and shield itself with the environment and mess with the heads of its foes as they try to fight back? All this in addition to the giant gun.
A tank was one of the various equipable weapons available during the second half of Sa Ga 2 (Final Fantasy Legend II in the west), and had the distinction or allowing one to guard against physical attacks while also attacking in the same turn. The Japanese versions named it the less generic Leopard 2.
Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron had a 40 ft. invincible (sort of) purple Nazi tank in World War I! Of course, that game doesn't care about real life anyway..
The Siege Tank from Starcraft. In competitive play, it makes up the backbone of about 4/5ths of viable Terran strategies. Most range of any unit in the game, check. Most single attack damage of any unit (other than one that costs money to use), check. It transforms into self-propelled artillery, check.
They get even better in the sequel with MORE range, MORE firepower (against most units) and an even cooler transform.
The Landmaster from Star Fox. It has jet boosters for the sake of allowing it to jump over obstacles that would impede an ordinary tank, and can also roll to move to the side quickly.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, The Landmaster is available as a Final Smash for all three of the Star Fox characters, though it functions somewhat differently for each of them. It'll hog almost the entirety of a smaller level, frequently forcing the opposition to jump over or on top of it to avoid getting rammed or shot by it, but being in such a position can instead allow you to send them flying with a barrel roll, or more amusingly, simply carry them off the top of the screen using its jets for an instant KO.
Star Wars: Empire at War gives the Rebels 3 tanks, a hovering light tank, a tracked heavy tank, and a tracked mobile artillery piece. The Empire also gets tanks, the tracked TIE Crawler and the hovering 2-M. The expansions adds in teh Juggernaut A6 for the Empire, and the new Zann Consortium gets w tanks of its own: The tracked Canderous assault tank and MZ-8 Mobile Pulse Cannon.
Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds features hovertanks. For some reason, a Rebel hovertank can be upgraded (if the game settings are right) to a heavy version which stops hovering and runs on tracks.
Steel Beasts is a tank simulator that has painstakingly accurate depictions of various tanks from around the world. It originally focused on the American M1A1 Abrams and Leopard 2A4, but has expanded to include other NATO and Warsaw Pact tanks including the Challenger 2, T72, and newer versions of the Abrams and Leopard 2. The development staff included real-life tank crews, and the simulator is so realistic that come countries even use specialized versions to train their own tankers.
Steel Panthers, the venerable hidden hex strategy game, wasn't so named because it contained furry cats in cages.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 has Bowser's Jr's Boomsday Machine, which is a cross between a huge tank and a castle. It shoots homing electricity, electrifies itself, sucks in the surroundings and has a giant firebar spinning around it about halfway its side. It's about 50+ feet tall and found as the boss in the Boom Bunker level.
Super Mario 3D World features tanks that look very similar to the ones from Super Mario Bros. 3, but made with a more haphazard mix of materials.
Used in droves in Supreme Commander where anything with treads that is Tier 2 or above qualifies. The UEF Pillar heavy tank follows the relatively normal two-barrel turret model, the Cybran Rhino mounts a heavy laser chaingun, and the Aeon Obsidian just mounts one huge cannon. Anti-infantry weapons are not a concern because infantry are too small a scale to exist in this game, and even the heavy tanks are small compared to later units, which usually become either towering mechs are Land Battleships. The UEF Fatboy probably stands out even then-sure, it's a king Military Mashup Machine, but it's the only one with tank-style treads. That can crush buildings.
The first game has Welkin's Edelweiss, passed down to him from his war hero of a father. Many Imperial generals will show up with a custom tank as well. One of the main "Boss" fights in the game is against an enemy tank the size of a large building. So much so, that the player has to move his characters onto the enemy tank to take out power cores, before the players anti-tank and actual tanks will stand a chance against it.
Also, near the end of the game, the Empire fields a tank so huge, that it can run over entire villages.
Valkyria Chronicles II gives you a fully customizable tank, as all classes get a tank, and you even get to name it. Different kinds of tank and APC chassis, choice from three turret types, various armor, shoulder and back parts and decal and sticker options.
Valkyria Chronicles III uses the same mechanic as II, but further refines it and adds more customization options, as well as making the heavy tank easier to move around.
Politank-Z from Waku Waku 7, which is a bizarre amalgamation of tank and Humongous Mecha that walks on two legs but has treads for feet anyway. It has the slowest, but one of the most powerful super moves, and can turn into a helicopter if necessary. To top it all off, it's actually a police vehicle, piloted by the chief of police.
Of course, Warhammer had them before, yet another bone of contention between their respective fans.
They started out as Steam Tanks (a Warhammer unit) before being rapidly renamed "Siege engines" in Frozen Throne.
Warcraft started out as a Warhammer game before the deal with Games Workshop fell through. Then it was rapidly spun off into its own 'verse.
World of Warcraft gives us player-controlled siege tanks, and the first boss of Ulduar, the Flame Leviathan.
Wargame: European Escalation brings a vast array of tanks from both NATO and PACT units developed during the Cold War, and most tanks come with their variants so, for example, you will find 5 variants of the T-55, from the basic T-55 to the ATGM armed, well armoured T-55 AMV-1, another example for NATO, the Leopard 1A tree brings from the 1A1 to the 1A5, each one stating consecutively better stats like speed, armoure, AP capabilities, inbuilt machine gun, etc.
The real Tank Goodness comes when you unlock and deploy the MB Ts into the game, from the incredibly well armoured and armed bust slow Challenger to the fast and manouverable yet fragile AMX-32 you have all kind of high tier tanks to further expand your tactical possibilities.
And then you get even more tanks with Wargame: Airland Battle, featuring nothing less than 12 nations and their respective array of tanks, also, the new armor stats system has made most MB Ts far more resistant to ATGM weaponry.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. Yes, tanks are powerful, but enemies such as Fire Dragons, Wraithlords, Sanctioned Psykers, Heavy Destroyers, and more, are so good at destroying them that tanks become more of a fire support vehicle, to aid your infantry than the damage sponges they are presented as in many other games.
Except the Baneblade. Which has 11 weapons, each acting idependently, tons of hit points and the most powerful cannons in the game. Unless you bring your entire army/superunits, changes are it's going to wipe your base out.
In Wing Commander IV, one of the missions in the Circe mission series puts you in the position of halting an offensive by laser-armed hovertanks. For the most part, though, they serve as not much more than cannon fodder for your guns (in real life, ground attack aircraft are tanks' Weaksauce Weakness, so this is justified).
World in Conflict has quite a number of tanks, exactly 3 per faction: the Soviets, NATO, and USA
The Soviets have the T-80U as their Heavy Tank, T-62A as the Medium, and the PT-76 as their Light. NATO has the Leopard 2A4, Chieftain, and Scorpion, while USA has the M1A1, M60A3, and M551, all taking on identical roles.
World of Tanks in spades. the tanks in the game stretch from the interwar period through World War 2 and into the postwar period, including tanks that existed only as prototypes or only on paper. But they've made the tanks as close to real life as possible without becoming a sim game. There are Light, Medium, and Heavy Tanks, Tank Destroyers, and Self-Propelled Guns. All from (as of Patch 8.11) the USA, USSR, France, Germany, Britain, China, and Japan.
The Heavy Weapons Platforms in X-COM. You can buy ordinary ones that can fire powerful armor-piercing rounds or launch explosive rockets at the start of the game, but you can later develop tanks that shoot laser beams. And then there are the Hover Tanks.... The sequel takes them underwater.
The game doesn't specify if they're remote-controlled or automated. Vladimir Vasilyev's novelization goes with the former. In fact, in the book, the tank controllers stay in the transport plane during missions, as the signal is too weak to penetrate the force field thrown up by the UFOs. Another Russian novel, inspired by the game (but taking place a century later), has the crippled general in charge of the task force pilot the tank using a VR helmet.
Apocalypse adds a fearsome looking AFV with huge tracks, massive armour and mighty cannon that is made totally useless by unaccountably being unable to leave the road and getting destroyed if it hits a pot hole.
X-COM'sSpiritual Successor, Xenonauts feature more realistic (albeit very light) tanks and scouting vehicles. Their efficiency is somewhat disputable.
Prevalent in Vietcong, such as the NVA in the last level of the first game and the Americans in the second game. Earlier in the first game, air recon picks up what appears to be a couple of VC tanks. Turns out they're actually just rusted French armored cars.
Nhut: Look trung-si! Tanks will no shoot. This old French tank, me know it.
Hornster: So this is what a VC tank platoon looks like?
You can also drive tanks in some of the second game's multiplayer maps.
Bally/Midway'sTRON has a Tank mission as one of its four minigames where you drive a tank around a maze shooting at other tanks (and in some levels, Recognizers).
Dynamix's old Humongous Mecha simulator Starsiege had pilotable tanks in its game. Interestingly for a game where the focus was on giant walking death machines, the tanks were still able to pose quite a considerable threat in spite of the lack of Deflector Shields, which the HERCs were able to mount. Tanks are often faster and easier to circle-strafe with, and usually carry heavier armor and larger weapons to make up for their lack of shields. Several of them are also tailor-made for ramming enemies, which is a good way to bring down a HERC (and much less damaging to the tanks).
The Swedish Power Metal band Sabaton, given their fondness for singing about militaria in general and World War II in particular, naturally feature this trope quite heavily throughout their oeuvre. Special props to "Panzerkampf" (about the Battle of Kursk), "Panzer Battalion" (about the 2003 invasion of Iraq), and "Ghost Division" (about Erwin Rommel's "ghost" tank division)."
Armored tanks of mass destruction Killers in the east Rats who dares to stand before us Feel our guns go live
Sheila of Red vs. Blueis a tank, in addition to being a major character.
In the The Salvation War, tanks turn out to be HIGHLY effective against the demon hordes. Not only do the main gun blast through demonic flesh like tissue paper, but many demons are crushed under the tank treads and just the sight of the "iron chariots" made one demon army route.
Decepticons, while they started out as being primarily aerial combatants (to contrast with the ground-pounding Autobots), like to take tank alt-forms when they're on the ground. Megatron himself has taken particularly awesome ones, in "Generation 2" and Armada.
Warpath, Brawl, Guzzle, Quake, and others also had tank altmodes. RiD!Armorhide also has a tank alt mode. The triple-changer Blitzwing usually has a tank as one of his alt modes.
Megatron's toy has a tank form in the upcoming sequel to the Live-Action Adaptation, but the movie itself, rather than make him a jet/tank triple-changer was was theorized by some fans, made him a jet/tank hybrid—i.e., a flying tank.
SWAT Kats has several cool tanks, including the infamous Metallikat Express - a high-speed hovertank loaded to the brim with weaponry and missiles.
The Simpsons. Bart drove one when he got addicted to ADD meds. Mr Burns used one to lay siege to the Simpson home when he found out that Mona Simpson was back in town.
Family Guy. Peter bought Meg a tank instead of a car. Brian and Stewie used it to destroy Superstore USA.
In Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn ended up being chased by one driven by General Vreeland after accidentally kidnapping his daughter Veronica.
(While driving away) Veronica: Wait-what are you doing? That's my father. Harley Quinn: No, that's your father, IN A TANK!
ReBoot had two games where the User character was a tank. Unfortunately one of the games crashed and a dinosaur game was loaded on top of the crashed game, merging the games. The result was a User character that was a t-rex with a tank turret for a head.
In the Young Justice episode "Bereft", the Bialyan Army uses tanks effectively against the Team and manage to get them on the run until Superboy arrives.
There's a good case for Truth in Television with this trope. Even though a single tank may not be a rampaging fortress of badassery in itself without combined arms support, it doesn't mean that they're not cool. The M1A2 Abrams, Leopard 2A6, Challenger 2, Merkava Mk.4, T-90,Type-99, Khalid, Leclerc and several others are all examples of Real Life tanks that are pretty damn cool and fairly badass. Plus, they don't suffer from the Crippling Overspecialization of fictional tanks (though most of them fall somewhere separate of the others in terms of speed, armour, firepower, and cost (the hidden factor!), ensuring no two nation's tanks are exactly alike). Most of them also have the neat feature of being totally modular - swapping the entire engine, suspension, armor plates, etc is easier and faster than actually repairing the components.
The Israeli Merkava is the most versatile tank of the lot. Not only is it big, bad and extremely powerful, it has been designed first and foremost with crew survivability in mind. Also, its gun/Fire control system allow it to shoot attacking helicopters out of the sky, fire air bursting munitions and launch laser guided missiles. in addition to these features, it can also carry troops into battle,allowing the tank to double as an APC, Mobile command center and even a Medevac platform. Can one possibly ask more of a tank?
As of 2010, the Merkavas are being outfitted with 'Trophy' Active Protection Systems - point defense mini-turrets designed to shoot down enemy rockets, missiles and shells before they hit, saving the tank's armor a lot of trouble, and to an extent countering the threat that infantry with RPGs and missiles present to modern tanks. The Americans and Germans have been working on their own versions, Quick Kill and AMAP-ADS, and the Russians already have a similar system, 'Arena' installed on their tanks.
To save heavily on logistics, much of Israel's modern armored vehicle platforms just use the Merkava with the tank turret swapped out for something else.
As a by the way the word "Merkava" means chariot. As that is in a way what a tank is, a "horseless chariot", it makes sense.
Unfortunately for Israel, ambulance vehicles claiming protection under the Geneva conventions aren't allowed to be armed, meaning that they have to choose between being protected by their medical status, and being protected by, well, being in a main battle tank. Also unfortunate is that the Merkava has to choose between either carrying troops or carrying ammunition. Awesome, but Impractical perhaps?
Israel is designing a new main battle tank, with possible weapon systems to replace the main gun including an EMP cannon or a laser cannon. Estimated finish date is 2020.
The somewhat older gas-turbine-powered T-80, though in a peripheral role in service due to the fragmentation of industry with the Soviet breakup, is still famed for its nickname as the "flying tank"—capable of accelerating fast enough to jump off ramps and even fire its main gun in midair◊ at demonstrations to this day.
The T-80U, the top variant of the T-80 tank, was, during its time, the Soviet Union's answer to the best the west offered. With Explosive Reactive Armor panels covering most of the tank's frontal armor, the T-80U was an exceptionally tough target to kill, and a fast moving one at that. Its 1G46 fire control system was not as good as those on the western tanks, but was still able to get the job done, able to fire APFSDS rounds at a range equal to M 1 A1s and Leopards, albeit with slightly less accuracy.
The newer T-90, which is a major "upgrade" (if you can call the all-new engine, transmission, turret, armor, gun, and control system an "upgrade") of the T-72, could give bursts of speed around 90 kph (though seriously overloading its engine and transmission, its designed speed is about 70 kph) pretty much on every terrain, leading to quite a spectacular leaps that earned it the nickname of Flying Tank as well, and it can execute a literal Multi-Track Drifting while shooting at a target. The diesel engine is somewhat less powerful than gas turbine variants, but it has the benefit of far superior range and much lower fuel consumption.
The still-more upgraded T-90MS introduce an entirely new turret with integrated ammo bins in the bustle and radically improved protection (and digital FCS and new autoloader). The Army decided not to order it, as they're developing a radically new MBT, but was very pleased with the turret design and will probably use it to upgrade the existing inventory of T-90s and T-72s.
Of course, Jeremy did make the mistake of trying to outmaneuver the Challenger 2 on broken, muddy ground and steep inclines—their home turf, in fact, in the very field that the tankers practice in. It was there he proved that tires are for speed (which his LR Sport has quite well, if on a well paved road), tracks are for rough terrain. As he puts it "Oh no, I seem to have brought Puff Daddy's car to The Somme. This is where I've had it. You can't drive a car, even as one as good as this, over this kind of surface fast. And you can with a tank." The tank crew also feels free to use some of their other abilities, such as neutralizing his speed advantage by blinding him with obscurant smoke — not a problem to a tank that can avoid large trees with infrared vision and roll over smaller obstacles, but plenty of problems to an unaided driver of a car that doesn't dare hit anything - and the fact that trying to put the pedal to the metal results in a huge dust trail that gives the tankers an easy target to chase. They catch up to him when he tries to drive in a straight line, presenting a predictable target. They're also good sports in that they never say "You know, we don't really have to use the 120mm main cannon to destroy a civilian SUV...man the machine gun."
It also demonstrates the skill of the British tankers, in that, despite Jeremy being in a car with a lot of "viewing ports" and essentially 360 degree vision, they still managed to hide from him. I repeat: a 63 ton MBT managed to jump a man in a vehicle designed to have high visibility.
The Dorchester/Chobham II armour, oft considered among the front runners for "toughest tank armour in the world." It certainly has an almost untarnished combat record to prove it. In Iraq, one CR2 returned to the British operating base with the remains of 70+ detonated RPGs all over it after 24 hours in the field. It was described as looking like an evil, 62.7 tonne hedgehog. Another, after getting stuck in a ditch, spent four hours under sustained RPG fire (14 impacts reported), and survived a hit to the top of the turret (usually a weakspot on a tank) from a modern MILAN ATGW missile. The damage? A few broken sight units and periscopes. REME (the British tank mechanics) repaired it 8 hours (after rescue) and had it in service the next day. Simon Dunstan also describes an incident of one taking an Iraqi tank shot at near point blank range with the crew not even realising they were hit. To sum up, this is a seriously hard tank.
The only 'Chally' to ever be destroyed was in a blue-on-blue accident. The Hi-Explosive round from another Challenger 2 detonated in the turret after being deflected by an open crew hatch. The shell unfortunately killed two crew members who were outside the tank at the time, throwing them from the vehicle and left hot shards setting a fire inside it. Eventually, this fire reached and detonated the ammunition in the turret bins. (Hard to put out a fire in the middle of a warzone in time when half the crew is gone and the others injured) Despite the resulting explosion, the hull, aside from fire damage, was for the most part fine.
There were only two instances of their fighting compartments breached, by probably-Syrian RPG-29 Vampirs for the first and a colossal IED for the second. Still, given that the RPG-29 is one of the most modern anti-tank weapons in the world, some injury isn't that bad, even if it is a black-mark on their aura of invulnerability. The RPG-29 had been placed almost like an IED, firing at unarmoured belly. The detonation set off the ERA on the lower front plate from shards hitting it too. Even then, the British only lost three toes. (The driver even drove the basically undamaged tank home) Since then, the British had placed Dorchester armour on the lower front and the belly, a material that has stopped RPG-29s in the past. It is an oft cited myth that it "penetrated the frontal armour" of the Challenger, but this has been oft disproven. The second incident involving the IED strike, of course, was rather similar. Once again, the tank was essentially undamaged barring an injured crew member who still serves in the British Army to this day.
Don't forget the brew-up, people. The Chally: a virtually impenetrable, go-anywhere tortoise with teeth that can calmly boil water for a decent cuppa (or, you know: heat up a meal) when you've got five or ten minutes to spare when not under direct fire. That's pretty cool. And, can find you friends in strange places willing to hog your ability to make their meal breaks more interesting. It's a British tank: not being able to make tea for a break any time, anywhere? Inconceivable! Arguably the strongest-armoured, best-armed, fastest, heaviest, manoeuvrable and well-engineered kettle you'll ever meet. Until the next version rolls up, that is.
The M1 Abrams is also no slouch. It's powered by a literal jet engine and can go so fast, that its treads will actually tear off if you remove the engine governor. The Abrams can also demolish most other tanks and is incredibly resilient with its depleted-uranium reinforced Chobham armor. In both Gulf Wars, not a single M1 Abrams was knocked out by an enemy tank. The majority of damaged/destroyed Abrams resulted from accidents, ambushes with anti-tank weaponry, friendly fire, and scuttling. They're so resilient, that even American weaponry has a hard time destroying them.
The Abrams is ridiculously hard to permanently put down even by the full firepower of OTHER Abrams shooting at them. At best, you get temporary knockouts; one M1A1 took a hit directly in the rear from an Iraqi T-72 in the first Gulf War. The crew survived with minor injuries, the assailing tank was quickly destroyed, and the stricken Abrams was quickly recovered and repaired. There's also a story of an Abrams that got bogged down and four T-72s decided to rush it. None of their shots penetrated. The Abrams killed two of them, shot the third as it was running away, and the forth hid behind a sand berm. The Abrams, using the thermal imaging camera, was able to see the hot exhaust rising and shot through the sand berm, killing the final T-72. When other tanks came, it was decided to abandon and destroy the Abrams rather than have to get up specialized equipment to pull it out(The other tanks couldn't). The other tanks tried to kill the now-abandoned Abrams but couldn't. One round exploded the ammunition magazine but the blowout panels directed to force of the explosion upwards. Eventually, a tractor came and pulled it out. The turret was sent back the the US for examination and the tank got a new one and was back in action pretty soon.
The Abrams also drinks fuel. As in, 20 gallons per mile. No, not miles per gallon. It consumes about 20 gallons of fuel for every mile it travels. Without a steady supply of tanker trucks keeping it topped up, they quickly become very expensive, hard to kill bunkers. Jet Engines are fuel hogs, after all. There's a reason everybody else uses Diesel Engines: you give up performance but get a massive increase in combat range. Still, almost all tanks have maximum speeds around 40-45mph: It's the Abrams which is almost unique in being able to exceed this with the governor disabled.
Not quite true with regards to the Abrams' governor. The same trick was possible with M60 Patton as well. It might have been true with all US tanks with engine governors.
The one thing that the Yanks with Tanks are uncontroversially best at is logistics. No other country can ship supplies from point A to point B faster or more reliably than the US (in fact, ironically, this emphasis on logistics is actually partly why the Abrams is such a fuel hog. All US vehicles are designed to run on JP-8 fuel, which is jet fuel), which means that the Abrams can and do meet most of its fuel requirements. After all, there are thousands of Abrams deployed all over the world, and there has only been one instance where an Abrams ran out of fuel in the field. Plus, the Abrams is multi-fuel capable, so it's perfectly able to run on everything from gasoline to moonshine (though not as reliably), which means it can make use of captured enemy fuel supplies.
Some of the Advantages of the jet turbine include making the M1 Abrams the tank version of an Extreme Omnivore, put anything that a sane man could consider fuel such as kerosene and it'll work, albeit at the cost of reduced power and efficiency (but hell, that's far better than not being able to run at all!)
It's also reallly quiet compared to the loud as hell diesels in most tanks.
One downside of the gas turbine engine is that the enormous heat being dumped by it makes it impossible for infantry to sit on the tank or work as close support. Future variants of the Abrams, optimized for more of an urban combat environment, may use the same diesel engine as on the Leopard 2.
The Chobham armor is one of the key components of the M1 Abrams and the Challenger - this ceramic/metal combination is suppose to be the toughest that Dorchester armor centre has ever produced. So, naturally, the French rejected it for being too weak and came up with the AMX-56 Leclerc, starting full-scale production in 1993. Instead, the French use a steel inner-shell overlaid with ceramics, titanium, and ERA blocks. Designed from the beginning with active protection in mind, the Leclerc is one of the fastest tanks in the world, as well as one of the lightest. It also incorporates an autoloader which, unlike Russian equivalents, is actually faster at loading shells than an extra crewman. Though it has yet to be tested in combat, its predecessor, the 1960-vintage AMX 30 still destroyed more advanced Iraqi tanks during the First Gulf War, and the same people make the AMX-56...
M1's armor is not Chobham. "Chobham" refers to a particular composite armor array that is used on the Challenger, not to composite armor in general; and the M1 doesn't have the same armor as the Challenger.
Actually, it is Chobham. Challenger I and M1 use the same armor. Challenger II uses more advanced version of Chobham known as Dorchester.
Then there is the also aforementioned Leopard 2, which is a sibling of the M1 Abrams; both tanks were developed out of the original joint American-German project Kampfpanzer/Main Battle Tank 70 (which became too expensive). For a tank it's absurdly fast (capaple of driving 120 kph on road). The only drawback is, that it is nearly uncontrollable and only drives in a straight line; add the most powerful main gun of any tank to that, though, and you are ready.
Most Leopard 2s used the same 120mm L/44 gun as the M 1 A 1/2note Which is actually the other way around. All M 1 A 1 use the Rheinmeltall 120mm L/44, which is ddesignated M256 in the U.S. armed forces., though the new Leopard 2A6's have the more powerful L/55 version which is shared with the South Korean K2 Black Panther.
The Bundeswehr is currently testing the Leopard 2 A7+/A7 PSO. A tank build for MOUT operations. It has (again) the Rheinmetall 120mm L/44 installed. It also got a remotely controlled weapon station, a dozer blade and a 360° protection for the turret and programmable HE munitions. The tank is a supplement to the normal Leoard 2 forces of the Bundeswehr and not meant to replace the A6 and earlier variants.
Word of God has it that, if you get a skilled technician to tinker with the engine, you can boost the engines 1500PS to 1800PS, or exceed 2100PS at the expense of killing the engine before the fuel runs out. It was apparently tested once, where it reached the aforementioned 120kph on paved roads, and a whopping 80kph on mud.
It is still unclear how good the Leopard 2 would fare in a real combat with tank against tank, since it has never been in one. If the regular exercises are any indicator at all the Leopard 2 is at least on par, if not better. However it is imperative to note that comparisons are fishy at best since the Leopard 2 has a totally different modus operandi than say the Challenger II, which is also reflected it it's design. From an armour standpoint it is by far the weakest armoured tank of the modern tanks, however it packs the most punch (disregarding Soviet ATG Ms fired from tank cannons), beating the Challenger I Is rifled gun (as tested by the British army in the Challenger Lethality Improvement Programme (CLIP)) and being the fastest of the western tanks. The doctrine of the German army is to quickly drive up to the enemy, fire a few rounds and then get the hell out. In training, experienced Leopard 2 crews hit around 95% of the target while standing and only 3% less accurate while moving. There are even (forbidden) techniques of getting out three rounds in about five to seven seconds, which includes one round in the cannon, one in the hands of the loader and the other on the foot of the loader. After the first round is fired the loader rams the second in and pushes the third up with his foot, after that he can quickly ram down the third one. Much faster than any auto loader on the Russian T-90 series. To put is simple: This tank is fast and packs a hell of a punch.
It is however to note that the combat performance out of a strict tank versus tank environment has been very good so far. The Canadian army uses Leopard 2 a few years in Afghanistan and they are very pleased with it. At one time a Leopard 2 A 6 Mdrove onto an IED and the crew surviving with minor injuries, the tank was repaired and put back into action. Denmark had almost the same experience in January 2008, where a Leopard 2 drove onto an IED and lost one of it's tracks. The tank could crawl back into bas on it's own and was repaired quickly (the crew was unharmed). the only reported combat casualty on a Leopard 2 was a IED ambush in mid 2008, where a Leopard 2 A 5 DK drove onto an IED and the driver was killed, this however was due to the fact that that Leopard 2 was not upgraded with a mine protection, as now almost all Leopard 2 have.
A fact that furthermore makes the Leopard highly moveable is it's engine which is the engine itself and the transmission in one big block. You simply loosen the screws that hold the block, lift it out and put a new one back in. The Bergepanzer Büffel, which is equipped with the same engine and has the same chassis than the Leopard 2 can even lift out his own engine (yes you heard right, it is the only vehicle to be able to do that) and put it into the Leopard 2. The Büffel can also tow the Leopard out of harms way without the crew leaving the tank (if the towing equipment was prepared beforehand).
The MBT-70 was the prototype for the M1 Abrams, ultimately rejected as too expensive at a per unit cost of $5 million a pop in the 1970's. To put that in perspective the M1A1, is one of the most expensive tanks in the world today, and it costs $5 million now, $5 million in the 1970's would be about $26 million now.
To put it more into perspective the last batch of F-4 Phantoms built in the 70s cost about 3 million a piece.
More Truth in Television: In a recent episode of MythBusters, the cast addressed the idea that the friction between pages of two interleaved phone directories is impossible to overcome. They tested this one first with two people trying to pull it apart... then ten people... then two cars... and, instead of going with trucks or other large civilian vehicles, invoked The Rule of Cool and rented a couple of M551 Sheridan light tanks (which, yes, finally did manage to separate the books... effortlessly).
Point-of-fact, the pages were completely torn out of their respective bindings, but not many of them were actually separated from each other.
Actually, while one of the tanks used in the episode was a Sheridan, the first to start moving was not a tank at all, but an M113 armored personnel carrier fitted with a tank turret. I guess it classifies.
Modern MBTs have large diesel or turbine engines that can give between 1000 and 1500 hp on average. The biggest Detroit Diesel truck engine (still in the prototype stage) is just 600 hp. That's more than double increase in the power, and then there's the matter of traction as well. Tanks grip the ground with the whole surface of the track, while trucks has only the points of contact — the rather smallish areas where the tire contacts with the ground, greatly increasing the possibility of slippage. And, last but not least, tanks are friggin' HEAVY — just upward of 40 tons for the modern ones, while only biggest 18- or 22-wheelers can be this heavy when fully laden. This also leads to slippage in such tests. In short, tanks make much better tugs than any wheeled vehicle.
Heavy tanks may be, but those tracks distribute the load well, so the M 1 A 1 has only twice the ground pressure of a man standing still (the ground pressure goes up when walking).
Early heavy tanks designed and built toward the end of WWI era and some years later — Real Life examples of "Games Workshop tank".
French Char 2C◊, outclassing and outweighing any other tank of its time, it was armed with a primary 75mm gun and 4 sponson mounted machine guns. Only, this tank was not produced before early 20ies, and even then would have been grossly inadequate for a WWI battlefield (think "political meddling"). As for WWII... Let's just say that given its size, it had great psychological value, so French command made sure to keep it out of harm's way, because even a small cannon would have pierced its WWI-era armor. Of course, this allowed the Germans to capture them and show them in Berlin as "supertanks", even though both armies knew what was the truth. Oh, irony...
The Char B1 was pretty good: in one battle, one was lured into an ambush by a bunch of Panzer IIIs and IVs, and flattened them (destroyed 13), and still managed to drive home afterwards (it was hit 140 times, but took no serious damage).
The 2C was equally used by the French in propaganda movies. B1-bis' advantage was that only Flak 88 used as Pak could destroy it; so was T-34 in 1941. Hence the German Blitzkrieg doctrine of not fighting tanks with tanks, but to retreat and lure enemy tanks into a trap by "Pak-Fronts" proved sensible. Only when they had to, in later war pretty much all the time, did the Germans use tanks against tanks.
Red Army has T-35 (built in 1933-1939) with five turrets, mounting a total of three cannons and six machine guns. Wiith 7-11 crewmen depending on the model. Even more of a Lego-machine, since first it got its four side-turrets from BT-2, later replaced with combination of BT-5 (slightly modded) and T-37 turrets.
And proved, like its predecessor, the Vickers A1E1, to be a flop. If you look on the list of how they were lost, most were to various malfunctions due to the combination of complicated machine and USSR tech/craftsmanship.
KV-2, which mounted a 152mm howitzer (largest caliber weapon ever fitted on a production tank), but was virtually immobile and couldn't traverse its turret unless it was on perfectly level ground. Its intended role was an assault gun, i.e. self-propelled bunker-buster, better compared with the German Jagdpanzers or StuGs. As such neither did it need much mobility, nor lack of ease of use would be all that detrimental for it. Of course, these lumbering behemots performed well enough slowly chewing through Mannerheim's concrete, in highly mobile warfare of the summer campaign of 41 they acted more as mobile fortifications — unable to hit anything that doesn't stand and wait for it, but armored heavier than KV-1 that were able to survive over a hundred cannon hits and beat lighter tanks by ramming. One well-placed KV-2 was enough to stop a division: tanks and anti-tank cannons failed to penetrate its armour, so Germans stuck until they brought in 88-mm anti-air guns. 105-mm howitzers were able to only to blow off tracks off these monsters, but not destroy them. KV's worst enemy were the Stukas (bombs were more practical against heavy armored but slow tanks) and Red Army's own logistical troubles. Still, the scheme was good enough to reuse production lines, upgrading both assault gun and tank branches, and later turn KV series into IS series.
The KV 2's biggest flaw was that it could only be used on the flat. The top-heavy turret not only made it problematical on slopes, if tipped too far from the horizontal, its sheer weight displaced in one direction caused it to jam solid in its bearings, making it impossible to traverse.
Talking about IS tanks ( Iossif Stalin, by the way), don't forget the IS-2, a heavy, breakthrough tank developed to counter the German Panthers & Tigers whose main armament was a 122mm gun.
Although the Soviets won the war by mass-producing the awesome-in-its-own-way T-34 and KVs, they were also prone to Crazy Awesome experiments, such as the unmanned, remote-controlled Teletank and the Antonov A-40flying tank or strapping a pair of 245-mm rocket rails on top of BT-5 light tank (reappeared in more sane variant as side rockets on KV-1, but cancelled due to low accuracy).
One battle in 1941 involved 5 KV-2's ambushing a German tank column. The Soviet tank commander made sure to utilize the KV-2's strengths by trapping the entire column on a narrow road going through a swamp by blowing up the leading and trailing German tanks. Any Panzer that tried to go off-road found itself bogged down and just as trapped. The camouflaged KV-2's rolled out one at a time, fired, and rolled back into cover, making sure the Germans had no idea where they were. By the end of the shooting gallery, sorry, battle, the Germans lost 43 tanks with no casualties on the Soviet side. The Soviet commander's crew counted the hits on their tank - there were over 200 with no penetrations.
The Finnish army captured two intact KV-I tanks in the Continuation War, which were quickly put into action against their former owners. They stood the battle quite well - they were always employed as the "spearhead" tanks. They both still exist in driveable condition and were used in making the film Tali-Ihantala 1944. This must be a unique situation in war movies where not only actual vehicles are used in the movie, but also the actual individual tanks which have taken part in the Real Life actions the film depict.
Even moreTruth in Television, as far as the coolness aspect is concerned. Any Superheavy tank would count even if most of them don't work. They make the list based on sheer principle.
During World War IIThose Wacky Nazis developed the Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus, a 188 ton superheavy tank (it means 'mouse' — who says the Germans don't have a sense of humor) with a 128mm and a 75mm coaxial gun. Two were built, and both were pressed into combat against the Soviets in the last days of the war. Both were scuttled by their crews to prevent the Soviets from capturing them. Unfortunately for them, one crew destroyed their turret and the other their hull, so the Soviets stuck the working turret on the working hull and put it in a museum.
Incidentally, on the drawing board was the Landkreuzer P-1000 Ratte , theoretically 1000 metric tons (in practice it would have been twice that) with two 280mm naval guns, a 128mm antitank gun, eight 20mm anti-aircraft guns and two 15mm heavy machine guns! And topping it all was the P-1500 Monster, which would have the 800mm Dora artillery piece with its railroad running gear replaced with about eight sets of tracks. With two 150mm howitzers and multiple machine guns for backup. Both these tanks are in fact even larger than the Baneblade from Imperial Armour, which is comparably tiny (at only 250 tons). If the Maus was impractical, such behemoths would be virtually useless; they would've likewise been easy targets for allied bombers mistaking them to be buildings. Hitlerwas a badass for curbstomping fiction before it even came up with its own, wasn't he?
As ludicrously impractical as these concepts were (Hitler's own top tank general, Heinz Guderian, dismissed the notion as a ridiculous fantasy), they were in fact technically possible; certain civil vehicles were in fact as big (or even bigger), such as the NASA Crawler-Transporters and the insanely huge Bagger 288 coal excavator (roughly the same size as the RMS Titanic). This proves that tank sizes could certainly be increased to this extent, but would be militarily worthless.
Americans meanwhile tried T28 Super Heavy Tank / Gun Motor Carriage T95, redesignated back and forth due to lack of turret. 95-ton monstrosity with 8 mph top speed and 4 sets of tracks for different soils wasn't much more usable than the rest, but at least got to move on its own — there are two prototypes.
The author of the book My Tank Is Fight!, which specifically looks into the various super projects of World War II and puts forth hypothetical scenarios involving their deployments, mentioned that were the Rattes or Monsters to be built they would likely have to be built in naval shipyards (and be subject to the same allied bombing raids as the other ships). They would be devastating, sure...for the first encounter, after which they would likely be bombed out of existence from the air. Even as heavily-armored as they were planned to be, a single 500 pound bomb was all it would take to pierce that armor. That's not counting even narrower list of accessible terrains and inability to cross most contemporary bridges. Awesome, but Impractical.
Somewhere in between is Obyekt 279 ("Object 279"), a Soviet prototype heavy tank with a maximum armor of 305mm and a 130mm cannon. It is designed to withstand a nuclear attack, and it seems that it doesn't fail its purpose. Two pairs of tracks and 1000 horsepower to move 60 tons allowed it to be a tank and not a self-propelled bunker — velocity on a road is claimed to be 55 km/h and you can see how it plows through snow and swamp. Canceled, like most projects of its time not related to either nuclear missiles, space race or overdue upgrade of production capabilities.
Speaking of the heavy Objects, there's some more that should be noted. The 279 would probably have been a logistic & maintenance nightmare with its overly complex chassis, but another project of that time - the 277 - is also notable. The main drawback of Heavy Tanks (low mobility) would not have really applied to it; it wasn't too heavy (a lot of modern MB Ts have more weight than its 55 tons); its power-to-weight ratio would have actually been better than most medium/MB tanks of its time (about 18 HP/ton), and its ground pressure was on par with the MB Ts. It would have had a 130mm rifled gun with mechanized loading (same as the 279) and its armor, while less than that of the 279, would have been thicker than that of the medium/MB tanks. The project (as part of the whole heavy tank development program) was killed by Khrushchev himself, who believed that dedicated missile tanks were the future. They were not.
For reference, Khrushchev was a firm believer in missile superiority over armor. He fought any proposal for large armored ships, calling them floating targets for missiles.
Speaking of the failed German superheavy tanks from World War II, there's also what was without a doubt Nazi Germany's scariest war machine — if not its most reliable — the PzKpfw VI, otherwise known as the Tiger. Yes, its design suffered from being overengineered, lacking sloped armour and being costly to produce, but it's arguably the most iconic armoured vehicle to ever have existed, with its thick armour and enormous 88mm cannon. Allied forces suffered "Tiger terror" for a reason, and recommended tactics for Sherman tanks — at least before stuff like the Firefly came about — was to outnumber it five to one, and it was still generally accepted that four of those were likely to be destroyed. Since there were many more Shermans than Tigers, though... (Specifically, 25 Shermans for every Tiger I, II, or Jagdtiger.)
Awesome as the King Tiger was, the Jagdtiger tank destroyer had even more armour (a freakish quarter of a metre thick in places - ten inches, all but a hairsbreadth) and an even bigger 128mm gun that could trash any enemy tank from two miles away. Fortunately, few were built and mechanical problems were common (along with fuel and equipment shortages). And mobility issues, since a lot of bridges couldn't actually take its 70+ ton weight.
Tiger? See also the Panzer V Panthers. The US Army Armor Officers Basic course used to (might still) require an essay on the Panther vs the T-34/85, which was quite comparable. They were close enough that picking either one was acceptable, as long as you gave good reasons and covered the pros and cons of each. A battle between a Panther and a T-34/85 would most likely be decided by the quality of the crews — terrain and surprise being equal.
Shermans upgunned with 76mm (American) and Ordnance QF 17-pounder (British) guns didn't do too badly either, and in fact Sherman Fireflies (armed with 17-pounder guns) could penetrate Panther turrets at a decent range and were almost a match for Tiger 1s.
Panthers actually were tanks in the blitzkrieg tradition. That is they were made to be heavy cavalry without horses. Tigers were anti-tank guns on tracks.
Tigers were anti-aircraft guns on tracks. It's just they realized that their 88mm FLAK gun was really good at destroying armored vehicles but was difficult to deploy, so they decided to build a tank around it.
In the hands of skilled drivers, Tigers did actually have good mobility on rough terrain on par with the Panzer IV, contrary to popular belief.
One fact that is often left out is that the Panther had huge flaws, like its secondary gear shift and complicated intersected wheels for example. It was poorly constructed and held together for a whopping 150km, before needing a maintenance overhaul. The turret had a weak motorisation that left the crew with hand cranking it while tilted, and the intersected wheels made changing the inner row a pain, since you had to remove 3 wheels to change one. The motor and tracks also didn't hold together that much, needing to be swapped every 1000 and 500km respectively. That said, the good did outweigh the bad by a huge degree, and in combat the design's merits were proved beyond a doubt. Despite this, the Panzer IV remained the workhorse of the German Army until the end.
Some of these problems were corrected in later variants, but more than half of the Panthers lost in Normandy were due to the weak final drive that caused the Panther to break down after just 150km of use (or less than half of its gas tank). The Germans simply made the mistake of making the tank too heavy (45 tons, or the same weight as the original specifications for the Tiger heavy tank) for the technology of the time.
Panthers represent an interesting case. In terms of size and design parameters, Panthers belong with immediate post-war medium/main battle tanks such as Centurion, M-46, or T-54, all of which were designed with the recognition that the relatively small World War II mediums could not be satisfactorily equipped with sufficiently heavy armor, armament, and other equipment. They were all physically bigger and much heavier than World War 2 mediums such as Shermans or T-34s (40-50 tons rather than 25-30 tons), but were designed to operate as medium tanks rather than as specialist vehicles that the heavies were. While Panthers were armed and armored to be superior to the contemporary mediums, it was not enough to stand up to tanks in their own class—which, to be fair, didn't exist just yet. Consequently, they were better (but not dramatically) than most of their adversaries, but quite inferior to the more appropriate counterparts that showed up just a few years later (US M-26, the tank that M-46 would be developed from, was starting to show up on the battlefield by early 1945. The Centurion was about to enter mass production when the war in Europe ended. The Soviets were starting to field T-44, from which T-54 would be developed from, by the end of the war as well. Each one of these outclassed the Panther, by considerable margin in some respects.). Speaking of which....
The British Centurion deserves some votes as the best tank of its era. It was designed on the same premise as the Panther, the recognition that the World War II era medium tank was too small to accommodate the kinds of armor, weapons, and other equipment needed for a future war. Originally designated as a 45-ton "heavy cruiser" tank, it was better armed (originally with the 17 pounder (basically, the equivalent of the long 75mm of the Panther), then the 20-pounder (equivalent to the long 88mm of the Tiger II), and eventually the revolutionary 105mm L7), better armored, fairly fast, and utterly reliable. It was good enough to be remain in service as a frontline tank for 30 plus years and in supporting roles (modified as engineer vehicles or heavy armored personnel carriers) for 30 years or more and counting. Not bad for what is essentially a late World War II tank.
Statistically, the best "tank" of the German army was actually the Panzer III, which then transitioned to become the Stug III assault gun. All types of Tigers are claimed (but not verified) to have killed 10,000 Allied tanks. The Stugs alone claim to have killed twice that number by 1944.
On the other side of the scale, you have the French Leclerc, one of the fastest main battle tanks in the world. And the fastest one when firing; while other tanks have to slow down to shoot, it can pummel you with twelve 120mm rounds a minute (it has the fastest autoloader of any main battle tank too) while running at 50km/h.
The Leclerc also deals with the poor fuel efficiency of jet engines by using a hybrid diesel/gas turbine setup. The main engine is a mostly conventional diesel, but instead of the usual supercharger it's got a small gas turbine.
The British Churchill AVRE mounted a 290mm spigot mortar, designed for breaching fortifications. The projectile weighed 40lbs, and was known as a "flying dustbin." That wasn't the only modification it received either.
Sturmtiger, anyone? The thing was build on the Tiger's chassis. Although smaller, stockier, more armored and armed with a repurposed and modified large naval rocket launcher, the 380 mm Raketen-Werfer RW 61 L/5.4. It had a crane at the back to help loading the enormous shells.
What happens when you take an already crawler-tracked bulldozer, weld a few tons of steel to it, seal it up and go nuts? The Killdozer.
Done over right by the IDF's 'Doobi' armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozer.
They had to modify the design; as originally drawn, the wheels would counter-rotate and result in it going nowhere, as well as cannons having to stick through the wheels themselves. It was mentioned on the show that Da Vinci would occasionally do this sort of boobytrapping if someone picked up his notes.
This design is used in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood as one actually built by Leonardo for Cesare Borgia. It was actually pretty fast, although only firing one cannon at a time. The mission involves destroying all prototypes and the original plans. It can be assumed that Leonardo then made a second set of plans deliberately flawed.
The T-34, the tank that broke the Nazi armies. It was built in 1940, and its appearance completely shocked the Third Reich, who did not think the Russians could design good tanks. The T-34 was cheap, fast, reliable, tough and very powerful. Its 76mm gun outclassed the 37mm and 50mm guns of early Panzers, whose shots would simply bounce off the T-34's sloped armor. The 1943 upgrade of an 85-millimeter gun allowed them to deal with upgunned Panzer IV variants, Panthers and Tigers. Although not the first tank ever to have sloping armor, it was the first to use it so well in its design that it became an obvious factor to its battlefield survivability, thus prompting the Germans to come up with what eventually was the Panther. Consequently, sloped armor became a standard feature on pretty much every tank post-WW2.
While the Russians have had a reputation for poor build quality, the T-34's armor quality was consistently excellent and the much-vaunted German armor had highly inconsistent quality (verified by both Soviet and American tests on Panther tanks as well as by a prewar Russian test on a Panzer III tank). The consistently good armor quality on the T-34 was a factor in keeping the sloped frontal plate and allowing it to bounce shots - the Germans, with their hard but often brittle armor, decided against copying the T-34's armor until they devised the Panther with its less sloped but far thicker frontal armor.
Unlike most other tanks, the T-34 was also built to operate well in winter conditions - its diesel engine could start easily and keep running in such freezing conditions (diesel fuel had a lower freezing point than petrol which the German tanks ran on) and cold even nullified defects in radiators that earlier tanks suffered from in summer, and its wider tracks were like snowshoes, allowing it to race across ground that German tanks couldn't hope to cross (the German tanks had narrower tracks meaning they bogged down in mud and snow, and outfitting them with "snowshoes" just didn't work).
Being cheap also goes well with the fact that it was relatively easy to manufacture them by the numbers. Crew compartments were crude, sure, but all that time saved furnishing for comfort could result in more tanks being made and sent straight away to push back the Germans at Leningrad and towards Berlin. The Russians learnt that a tank that could not be pushed out and sent to the front lines was as good as no tank at all, especially when the front lines were less than a dozen miles from the factory where the vehicles were being built.
All wasn't rosy for the T-34, though. Initial T-34 designs came with a turret that was too small to allow for more than two people to operate(a common failure of many early-war tank designs, with French tanks having only one horribly overworked man in the turret), and were often built without radio equipment (another drawback of many early war designs). Both of these factors severely hindered the combat effectiveness of T-34 units and made them difficult to command. Hard-pressed factory workers also often pushed out half-finished T-34s with no gunsights and shoddily-built machinery that would literally fall apart after running for a few dozen miles. This understandably happened in factories that were at the verge of being run over by the Germans or which had to be shifted thousands of miles in a matter of days, although according to reports the best T-34s by far were from Factory No.183 (based in Kharkov pre-invasion, and the factory that first developed the T-34) and the worst were from Factory No.112.
Early T-34s could barely accommodate two men in its turret, leaving them cramped internally. The T-34S, which was under testing when Operation Barbarossa began, would have rectified this, but these new developments were hurriedly abandoned due to the necessity of cranking out as many tanks as possible before factories were overrun. The late T-34s armed with modified 85mm anti-aircraft gun managed to enlarge the turret but the turret design, like the Panther's, had shot traps that could make it vulnerable against guns that would otherwise fail to penetrate it. Armor protection, high for 1941, was inadequate against the guns of Panthers and Tigers, although it was still effective against smaller weapons at long ranges.
While simple to manufacture, T-34 was not exactly "cheap." Its engine was largely made of aluminum(the design began as a project to fit lightweight diesels to long-range bombers), which USSR was very short of until the later stages of World War II. The heavy use of aluminum is one of the factors caused the Germans to decide that T-34 cannot be economically copied.
To quote creator of this tank, M.I. Koshkin: "Even a fool can invent something complicated". And this tank was simple.
The Military Channel show Top Tens episode on tanks ranked the T-34 as number one, ahead of M1 Abrams. One of the main ranking categories were production numbers and historical impact. The M1 Abrams, while arguably the best modern tank, has not yet made significant historical impact. Also, they're very high-tech and expensive, meaning there aren't very many of them made. The T-34 is the second most produced tank in history(after the T-54/55) and was crucial in turning the tide of a world war. It is basically, the AK-47 of tanks.
"Aren't very many" being a relative term. There are roughly 9,000 Abrams rolling around the world today which is much more than any other entry in its generation. The reason why such a respectable number is considered small? Over 84,000 T-35's rolled off the assembly lines. That is a lot of tanks.
The Kubinka Tank Museum near Moscow has got tanks of just about all degrees of awesome in one place. Including the five-turret T-35, including Obyekt 279, and including a 188-ton Maus formed from the hull from the turretless first prototype mated to the turret from the second prototype.
The humble M4 Sherman has a poor reputation nowadays due to its performance during the Second World War, when it was forced to fight Panthers and Tigers with an inferior gun and Zerg Rush tactics. However, that all changed when the Israelis got their hands on some Shermans and gave it the love it deserved. Their first major kitbash, the M50 Sherman, ironically replaced the original 75mm gun with a more powerful French 75mm gun derived from the German Panther's Kwk 42. Another kitbash, the M51, did away with the 75mm altogether and opted for a 105mm gun. Both types saw extensive action during the many Arab-Israeli Wars, facing tanks that were far superior to any Tiger or Panther. The Israeli Shermans, along with other more modern Western contemporary designs, consistently beat the crap out of these newer tanks.
Just like when inferior German tanks faced superior Soviet ones, or were far outnumbered; one suspects that crew and general army quality has something to do with this. The fact that Soviet export models were greatly inferior to the original models used by the Soviet military is also a factor.
The most massively ironic factor? Syria fielded, among more modern Soviet export tanks, surplus Panzer IVs.
The Sherman, despite being outgunned and out-armored by the Panther and Tiger, did have some real advantages. It was the very first tank to have a (vertically) stabilized main gun, which helped make firing after moving easier since the elevation didn't have to be adjusted after stopping. It also was quite agile for a medium tank of its era and relatively compact, allowing it to go places a Panther or especially a Tiger could never dream of. In an era where most tanks made use of a hand crank that would allow for a full 360 degree turret rotation in one minute, the Sherman had an electrical system that could do the same in as little as fifteen seconds. And finally, it was probably the most reliable tank of World War II, with some Shermans managing to make it through the entire Western Europe campaign with no more than a single major overhaul.
There's also the fact that Tigers and Panthers were exceedingly rare, with around 1,500 Tiger Is, 500 Tiger II's and 7,500 Panther tanks being made. The US built almost fifty thousand Shermans. Shermans did reasonably well against the more common Panzer III and IVs since they were closer to its weight class than the heavier Tiger and Panther. Plus, the Sherman was never intended to fight other tanks head on due to the US Army's belief in the "tank destroyer doctrine", which delayed much needed upgrades. However, once said upgrades were implemented Shermans became far more effective against German armor.
The Sherman actually performed very well historically with the US Army, and its failures are much exaggerated by many modern "history" shows that only did very basic research (the oft-quoted "It takes five Shermans to kill a Tiger / Panther" for instance was largely a myth.). They actually won the majority of the major tank vs tank battles, even when outnumbered by the Germans. The textbook case is the Battle of Arracourt wherein the US Army lost only 30 Shermans while destroying over 90 German tanks, mostly the vaunted Panthers - despite being outnumbered and lacking air support for most of the battle. Moreover, the US Armored Divisions were far superior to their German equivalents, because the US Army paid careful attention to supporting their tankers with mechanized infantry and artillery units. Somewhere between one third to one half of a US Armored Division's strength was actually mech infantry or artillery, while the equivalent German formations were lucky to have some infantry (often marching on foot and getting left behind) to support them.
Better tactics and training can make up for a lot of deficiencies in tanks—and the Sherman was not too far behind the tanks of 1940s or even 50s, with appropriate upgrades. During conflicts in Middle East and in South Asia, Israeli and Indian Shermans made mincemeat of Jordanian and Pakistani M-48s on several occasions.
Well before the Israelis created their Super Shermans, the British upgraded the Sherman to carry the enormous and powerful 17-pounder anti-tank gun, having decided that the US Army's tank destroyer doctrine was complete horseshit. The resulting tank, the Sherman Firefly, was rightly feared by German tank crews and Fireflies became priority targets to the extent that the Firefly's main gun was often camouflaged to resemble the Sherman's original 75mm gun◊. Famously, it was likely a Firefly that did in German tank ace Michael Wittmann's Tiger.
The 75mm gun-armed Sherman, although not as powerful as the 76mm variant, was able to penetrate Tigers from flank and frontal shots during Soviet testing. Also, it fired a superior high explosive shell than the 76mm variant (making it much more effective against enemy infantry). The "Sherman Jumbo" assault variant had additional armor but retained the 75mm gun.
The US also eventually got their own Sherman variants that performed better against German armor, such as the Sherman Jumbo and Easy Eight, which had significantly more armor and were commonly fitted with the more powerful 76mm cannon. To put it in perspective, Jumbos had almost as much frontal armor as a Tiger I.
The main problem with the Sherman was that since it was so simple and successful at the start of its career, the powers that be saw no reason to do any serious planning to replace it. Shermans at El Alamein in late 1942 were regarded with mild fear by the Axis due to the massive increase in firepower and armour compared to what they were used to facing. By Normandy in 1944, when faced by what was effectively the same tank, the Germans had moved ahead with equipment and now refered to Shermans as Tommy Cookers (more due to lousy ammunition storage practices than any fault of the tank itself, and remedied with "wet" storage).
Some credit has to be given to the Medium Tank M3, built by the Americans but primarily fielded by the British, who chose to dub the tanks "General Lee" (with the original American-designed turrets) and "General Grant" (with a newer British-designed turret, which was enlarged to fit a radio set). In addition to starting the American tradition of naming armored vehicles for generals (Sherman, Pershing, Patton, Sheridan, Bradley, Abrams, etc.), the M3 also carried an unusual armament mix of a light high velocity gun in the turret paired with a heavy low velocity gun in the main body of the tank. Pulled from service with the arrival of the Sherman, many Grants and Lees were retooled into various unusual vehicles, including one version that used a high-intensity turret-mounted spotlight to blind German defensive positions during night battles.
The M3 Lee was also sent to the Red Army. While the Russians were not happy with the high profile, the poor hull shape, inadequate armor and the need for gasoline fuel (as opposed to Diesel), they liked the high explosive capacity of the weapon, and the spacious crew compartment allowed them to function as heavy Armored Personnel Carriers in summer, carrying ten troops armed with submachineguns.
A word on gasoline engines: One of the (many) myths that gets passed around regarding the inferiority of American tanks mentions that they burned gasoline rather than diesel fuel, making them far more likely to catch fire in combat. While it is true that many American tanks (including the Lees and Shermans) burned gasoline, it is also true that most German and British tanks did as well. For various reasons, including the state of the art of engine design at the time, only the Soviets were big into diesel-engined tanks. Gasoline-engined Lend-Lease tanks probably presented more of a logistics problem than a safety problem for them.
The very first tank battle took place at Villers-Bretonneaux in 1918. It involved a battle between 10 tanks on the British side (1 male Mark IV, 2 female Mark IVs, 7 Whippets)note :In World War I British parlance, a "female" tank was one armed solely with machine guns, while a "male" tank had cannons as its main armament and 3 German A7V Sturmpanzerwagens. None of them were very good tanks, yet the battle looked awesome, with both sides accquiting themselves quite well: the Germans lost their lead tank, Nixie (whose crew later stole her back), but knocked out 4 Whippets and forced the female Mark IVs to retreat, while the British and their Australian allies ultimately won the battle.
British Infantry Tank II Matilda. Before late 1941 it completely outclassed anything the Germans and Italians could throw in, and the only weapon which had chances to destroy it was the 88 mm anti-aircraft gun. It gained the nickname Queen of the Desert during the Operation Compass in 1940. Obsolete at West by 1942, the surviving Matildas were shipped to Far East - where it proved superior against anything the Japanese had. The Australians dubbed Matilda as Queen of the Jungle. One of the more whimsical modifications was to equip Matilda with Hedgehog depth charge launcher. [No, it was not used against submarines, but Japanese bunkers.]
The Matilda II has this distinction: it is the only British tank of WW2 that was in continual front-line service from September 1939 to August 1945.
The Matilda's "companion", the Valentine, was no slouch. Although not nearly as heavily armored as the Matilda, it was still a small, well-protected and versatile tank that could fit a variety of roles. The diesel versions of the Valentine were very reliable, had superb fording and terrain-crossing capabilities, far better off-road speed than one would expect, and excellent fuel economy.