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* [[ItsRainingMen Paratroops]] in general. True, they are the cream of the crop in each and every army, provide a potentially unexpected avenue of attack, and jumping out of a perfectly good plane mid-air is just plain awesome. However, paratroops suffer from a number of downsides. First, unless the drop zone is secured, the jump planes are easy to shoot down and the descending paratroopers are similarly vulnerable to ground fire. Second, paratroops are generally unsupported by heavy weapons such as artillery and armored vehicles, which cannot be easily carried by planes and are ''very difficult'', if not downright impossible, to safely drop by parachute. Third, parachute operations are heavily dependent on the element of surprise: once lost, the paratroop is at a disadvantage, as their opponent can call for more firepower and reinforcements. Fourth and finally, if the paratroop cannot link up with friendly forces in a timely manner, then it will eventually run out of supplies, at which point surrender is the only option. The experience of WWII paradrop operations was that large scale paradrops usually fail (Market Garden is an obvious example) and even successful ones (Normandy, Crete and Operation Varsity) are costly, but small scale operations (up to company level) usually succeed (an example would be the POW rescue in Los Baños). Helicopters have more or less superseded both gliders and paratroops in most armies around the world.

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* [[ItsRainingMen Paratroops]] in general. True, they are the cream of the crop in each and every army, provide a potentially unexpected avenue of attack, and jumping out of a perfectly good plane mid-air is just plain awesome. However, paratroops suffer from a number of downsides. First, unless the drop zone is secured, the jump planes are easy to shoot down and the descending paratroopers are similarly vulnerable to ground fire. Second, paratroops are generally unsupported by heavy weapons such as artillery and armored vehicles, which cannot be easily carried by planes and are ''very difficult'', if not downright impossible, to safely drop by parachute. Third, parachute operations are heavily dependent on the element of surprise: once lost, deployed, the paratroop is at a disadvantage, as their opponent can call for more firepower and reinforcements. Fourth and finally, if the paratroop cannot link up with friendly forces in a timely manner, then it will eventually run out of supplies, at which point surrender is the only rational option. The experience of WWII paradrop operations was that large scale paradrops usually fail (Market Garden is an obvious example) and even successful ones (Normandy, Crete and Operation Varsity) are costly, but small scale operations (up to company level) usually succeed (an example would be the POW rescue in Los Baños). Helicopters have more or less superseded both gliders and paratroops in most armies around the world.



** And finally, not to put too fine a point on it, the value of the superbattleships is evident in their abysmal performance during the war. The ''Yamato'' engaged US surface ships in only one engagement, the Battle off Samar, where (despite ''weighing more than the entire force she opposed'') she only contributed to the sinking of three small ships. The ''Musashi'', meanwhile, was sunk by aircraft[[note]]The same fate suffered by her sistership ''Yamato'', in a totally pointless sacrifice[[/note]] in the Sibuyan Sea prior to the Battle off Samar, and never fired a single shot at an enemy surface vessel in the entire course of her career. In the end, neither ship ever came into gun range of an enemy capital ship. And those hundreds of AA guns were underpowered and obsolete even before they were installed, serving mainly to increase the number of men who went down with each ship.

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** And finally, not to put too fine a point on it, the value of the superbattleships super battleships is evident in their abysmal performance during the war. The ''Yamato'' engaged US surface ships in only one engagement, the Battle off Samar, where (despite ''weighing more than the entire force she opposed'') she only contributed to the sinking of three small ships. The ''Musashi'', meanwhile, was sunk by aircraft[[note]]The same fate suffered by her sistership sister ship ''Yamato'', in a totally pointless sacrifice[[/note]] in the Sibuyan Sea prior to the Battle off Samar, and never fired a single shot at an enemy surface vessel in the entire course of her career. In the end, neither ship ever came into gun range of an enemy capital ship. And those hundreds of AA guns were underpowered and obsolete even before they were installed, serving mainly to increase the number of men who went down with each ship.



** An argument can equally be made that the battleship became obsolescent (if not necessarily ''useless''), the moment the submarine became a viable weapons platform. The essential point remains the same - the extreme construction and operational costs of a battleship can only be justified if it is essentially invulnerable to lesser ships. The moment that a vessel or collection of vessels of significantly inferior tonnage/cost can stand a reasonable chance of crippling or destroying a battleship, then the battleship becomes too great a concentration of military resources to justify. The same can be said of aircraft carrier, too - more aircraft carriers were sunk by submarines than by any other means in WWII. Carriers, however, have become more efficient at subhunting with the development of effective hunter-killer aircraft - something battleships were and remain incapable of.
*** ANY capital ships, not just battleships, started to become obsolete as soon as the torpedo was invented. Being a powerful warhead that could damage or destroy a capital ship for a fraction of the cost made them ideal and a precursor to modern missiles and rockets. The main problem was getting a torpedo launcher within range. Battleships gained longer distance guns, recon planes, and even radar to fight long distance where torpedoes couldnt reach them. Pre-dreadnoughts began using anti-torpedo nets and many small guns to shoot any torpedo ships, while later battleships have other kinds of anti-torpedo defense but that wasn't enough. Capital ships eventually needed (and need today!) fleets to protect them from torpedoes, changing their roles to mobile artillery. When aircraft were invented that made them very effective torpedo platforms as even the longest range battleship could have attacked by torpedoes launched by squadrons of aircraft from carriers. In World War 2 most of the Italian battleships were neutralized just by a number of torpedo planes attacking in them in harbor regardless of any defenses.
*** For that matter, antiship missiles took the battleship from obsolescent to full-on obsolete. Now ''any'' ship could provide torpedo-grade antiship firepower at a range battleship guns couldn't respond to. Vessels of inferior tonnage had moved from having a reasonable chance of crippling/destroying a battleship to a near certainty, and it also provided far better means for aircraft to destroy them than torpedoes and bombs. It's not a coincidence that the last battleships began to disappear right around when viable antiship missiles began to proliferate. At the same time, antiship missiles pose a huge threat to any ship, especially aircraft carriers, which don't even have the armor plating of battleships to give them a little more survivability. It's for this reason that the [[RedsWithRockets Red Navy's]] tactics for facing US carrier battle groups to attack with a combination of submarines and [[MacrossMissileMassacre a crapload of surface and air-launched missiles]], while the Chinese are threatening with a long-range "carrier-killer" missile that can be fired from ships or even a mobile launcher on land.

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** An argument can equally be made that the battleship became obsolescent (if not necessarily ''useless''), the moment the submarine became a viable weapons platform. The essential point remains the same - the extreme construction and operational costs of a battleship can only be justified if it is essentially invulnerable to lesser ships. The moment that a vessel or collection of vessels of significantly inferior tonnage/cost can stand a reasonable chance of crippling or destroying a battleship, then the battleship becomes too great a concentration of military resources to justify. The same can be said of aircraft carrier, too - more aircraft carriers were sunk by submarines than by any other means in WWII. Carriers, however, have become more efficient at subhunting with the development of effective hunter-killer aircraft - something battleships were and remain incapable of.
of doing.
*** ANY capital ships, not just battleships, started to become obsolete as soon as the torpedo was invented. Being a powerful warhead that could damage or destroy a capital ship for a fraction of the cost made them ideal and a precursor to modern missiles and rockets. The main problem was getting a torpedo launcher within range. Battleships gained longer distance guns, recon planes, and even radar to fight long distance where torpedoes couldnt couldn't reach them. Pre-dreadnoughts began using anti-torpedo nets and many small guns to shoot any torpedo ships, while later battleships have other kinds of anti-torpedo defense but that wasn't enough. Capital ships eventually needed (and need today!) fleets to protect them from torpedoes, changing their roles to mobile artillery. When aircraft were invented that made them very effective torpedo platforms as even the longest range battleship could have attacked by torpedoes launched by squadrons of aircraft from carriers. In World War 2 most of the Italian battleships were neutralized just by a number of torpedo planes attacking in them in harbor regardless of any defenses.
*** For that matter, antiship anti-ship missiles took the battleship from obsolescent to full-on obsolete. Now ''any'' ship could provide torpedo-grade antiship anti-ship firepower at a range battleship guns couldn't respond to. Vessels of inferior tonnage had moved from having a reasonable chance of crippling/destroying a battleship to a near certainty, and it also provided far better means for aircraft to destroy them than torpedoes and bombs. It's not a coincidence that the last battleships began to disappear right around when viable antiship anti-ship missiles began to proliferate. At the same time, antiship anti-ship missiles pose a huge threat to any ship, especially aircraft carriers, which don't even have the armor plating of battleships to give them a little more survivability. It's for this reason that the [[RedsWithRockets Red Navy's]] tactics for facing US carrier battle groups to attack with a combination of submarines and [[MacrossMissileMassacre a crapload of surface and air-launched missiles]], while the Chinese are threatening with a long-range "carrier-killer" missile that can be fired from ships or even a mobile launcher on land.



** The Royal Navy's ''Nelson''-class battleships, the first battleships built under the restrictions of the Washington Naval Treaty, attempted to maximize armour and firepower within the tonnage limit via an unconventional armament layout in which all three of the main gun turrets were grouped together forward of the superstructure. This resulted in a shorter ship relative to its weight and armament, and thus a smaller area that needed to be armoured. The first two turrets were superfiring, as had become universal by this point, but the third had to be placed ''below'' and behind them because making it superfiring as well would've made the ship so topheavy as to be at risk of capsizing. As a result, the third turret was of very little use due to its limited arcs of fire. It was also discovered that the third turret was placed so close to the superstructure that the blast from firing its guns would shatter the windows on the bridge. The windows were replaced with thicker tempered glass...which still shattered when the guns were fired at a high angle.

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** The Royal Navy's ''Nelson''-class battleships, the first battleships built under the restrictions of the Washington Naval Treaty, attempted to maximize armour and firepower within the tonnage limit via an unconventional armament layout in which all three of the main gun turrets were grouped together forward of the superstructure. This resulted in a shorter ship relative to its weight and armament, and thus a smaller area that needed to be armoured. The first two turrets were superfiring, as had become universal by this point, but the third had to be placed ''below'' and behind them because making it superfiring as well would've made the ship so topheavy top-heavy as to be at risk of capsizing. As a result, the third turret was of very little use due to its limited arcs of fire. It was also discovered that the third turret was placed so close to the superstructure that the blast from firing its guns would shatter the windows on the bridge. The windows were replaced with thicker tempered glass...which still shattered when the guns were fired at a high angle.



*** Shortly after Admiral Yamamoto conducted the attack on Pearl Harbor, he conceived the idea of long-range submersible carriers which would be used to stage surprise attacks on American mainland cities. This fit in with his overall strategy against the much bigger United States, which amounted to a desperate gamble that Japan would be able to terrorize the military and population United States so much within a short period that they would decide the cost of opposing Japan was too high, and thus be forced to make concessions in exchange for peace without having had a chance to mobilize their full warmaking potential. Sadly for Yamamoto's ambitions, it was an issue of starting too late, lacking resources, and the result having a limited payload. If such a weapon had been available in numbers immediately following Pearl Harbor, it might have at least been able to inflict panic on American civilians. As it was, the development process was doomed to run longer than Japan's narrow window for taking the initiative, so that by the time they came out the Americans were already outproducing the Japanese by a huge margin and defeating them in one battle after another. Any such submarines would now face a steep challenge getting in and out of coastal striking distance in the face of such enemy naval and air superiority, and their construction took up scarce resources that the rest of the Japanese fleet wanted for themselves. After Yamamoto was killed in a U.S attack on his plane in April 1943, his pet project was no longer safe against cuts: initial plans to make 18 of these vessels were reduced to nine, five, and finally to the three that were actually completed (the third was finished after conversion to a tanker submarine).

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*** Shortly after Admiral Yamamoto conducted the attack on Pearl Harbor, he conceived the idea of long-range submersible carriers which would be used to stage surprise attacks on American mainland cities. This fit in with his overall strategy against the much bigger United States, which amounted to a desperate gamble that Japan would be able to terrorize the military and population United States so much within a short period that they would decide the cost of opposing Japan was too high, and thus be forced to make concessions in exchange for peace without having had a chance to mobilize their full warmaking war-making potential. Sadly for Yamamoto's ambitions, it was an issue of starting too late, lacking resources, and the result having a limited payload. If such a weapon had been available in numbers immediately following Pearl Harbor, it might have at least been able to inflict panic on American civilians. As it was, the development process was doomed to run longer than Japan's narrow window for taking the initiative, so that by the time they came out the Americans were already outproducing the Japanese by a huge margin and defeating them in one battle after another. Any such submarines would now face a steep challenge getting in and out of coastal striking distance in the face of such enemy naval and air superiority, and their construction took up scarce resources that the rest of the Japanese fleet wanted for themselves. After Yamamoto was killed in a U.S attack on his plane in April 1943, his pet project was no longer safe against cuts: initial plans to make 18 of these vessels were reduced to nine, five, and finally to the three that were actually completed (the third was finished after conversion to a tanker submarine).



** Much of this has always been true (and has been argued since before WWII), but the problem has been magnified by procurement decisions of the United States Navy over the last 50 years. Most specialized strike aircraft, anti-radar aircraft, anti-submarine aircraft, and everything else that isn't a COD or a helicopter have been folded into the Hornet and Super Hornet programs, sacrificing operating range in order to maintain the two aircraft as supersonic-capable air superiority fighters. The lack of long-range interdiction capability requires carriers to operate closer to land, and within anti-ship missile range. The problem will be magnified in the future, as fifth-generation stealth aircraft are expected to complete the vast majority of their missions on internal fuel, as to not compromise their stealthiness.

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** Much of this has always been true (and has been argued since before WWII), but the problem has been magnified by procurement decisions of the United States Navy over the last 50 years. Most specialized strike aircraft, anti-radar aircraft, anti-submarine aircraft, and everything else that isn't a COD or a helicopter have been folded into the Hornet and Super Hornet programs, sacrificing operating range in order to maintain the two aircraft as supersonic-capable air superiority fighters. The lack of long-range interdiction capability requires carriers to operate closer to land, and within anti-ship missile range. The problem will be magnified in the future, as fifth-generation stealth aircraft are expected to complete the vast majority of their missions on internal fuel, as to not compromise their stealthiness.stealth.



** The Vickers [=A1E1=] Independent, a single prototype ordered in 1924 and delivered in 1926, was the design that started the multi-turreted dreadnought fad. It was very long in order to cross wide trenches, and had four machine gun turrets surrounding a main turret with a three-pounder gun. One machine gun turret could point its weapon straight upwards for anti-aircraft use. The penny-pinching government refused to pay for a production run, but various contries around the world were inspired to copy it. Both Germany and Russia obtained the plans through espionage, and a British officer named Norman Baillie-Stewart was court-martialled in 1933 for selling its plans to Germany.

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** The Vickers [=A1E1=] Independent, a single prototype ordered in 1924 and delivered in 1926, was the design that started the multi-turreted dreadnought fad. It was very long in order to cross wide trenches, and had four machine gun turrets surrounding a main turret with a three-pounder gun. One machine gun turret could point its weapon straight upwards for anti-aircraft use. The penny-pinching government refused to pay for a production run, but various contries countries around the world were inspired to copy it. Both Germany and Russia obtained the plans through espionage, and a British officer named Norman Baillie-Stewart was court-martialled court-martialed in 1933 for selling its plans to Germany.



** The M3 Lee Medium Tank was developed as a stopgap so the U.S. would have a medium tank with a 75 mm gun while they waited for the M4 Sherman to arrive; this meant putting the 75 in a limited traverse sponson in the hull. Ordinance Department head Gladeon Barnes wanted it to be a turretless tank, but the Infantry arm which still held sway demanded that the 37 mm in a turret also be retained because of its ability to fire canister shot. So in addition to the hull 75 there was also a turret with the 37... and on top of the turret was a rotating commander's cuppola with a .30 cal machine gun that he could fire. Basically, a mini superimposed turret. The machine gun cuppola was replaced with a simple hatch in the M3 Grant variant made for the British, because by this time even they realized it was silly.

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** The M3 Lee Medium Tank was developed as a stopgap so the U.S. would have a medium tank with a 75 mm gun while they waited for the M4 Sherman to arrive; this meant putting the 75 in a limited traverse sponson in the hull. Ordinance Department head Gladeon Barnes wanted it to be a turretless tank, but the Infantry arm which still held sway demanded that the 37 mm in a turret also be retained because of its ability to fire canister shot. So in addition to the hull 75 there was also a turret with the 37... and on top of the turret was a rotating commander's cuppola cupola with a .30 cal machine gun that he could fire. Basically, a mini superimposed turret. The machine gun cuppola cupola was replaced with a simple hatch in the M3 Grant variant made for the British, because by this time even they realized it was silly.



* Throughout World War II, having a hull-mounted machine gun with its own gunner (usually doubling as an assistant driver/radio operator) in addition to the coaxial machine gun on the turret was viewed as a necessity. If an enemy foot soldier happened to pop up in the front arc of the tank with a Panzerfaust or somesuch, the bow gunner could react quicker. He could potentially shoot more accurately on the move--if not with pinpoint accuracy, then at least supressively--because turret gun stabilization was either non-existent or imperfect, while the BOG could somewhat compensate for the bumps by moving the gun up and down with his body. On the other hand, the weak point created by drilling a hole in the front armor to stick a machine gun through was increasingly dangerous as tanks got more powerful guns, and by removing the machine gunner's position it would be possible to either add much-needed ammo racks for the larger shells that tanks were now using, or move the driver to a more optimal central position and give the hull front a glancing "beaked" shape. By the end of the Korean War, the improvement of turret gun stabilization and the benefits to be gained by deleting the bow gun caused it to finally disappear.
* Electric transmission on heavy armored vehicles, which has been tried in various prototypes and production vehicles since World War I. In theory it could avoid the reliability problems of a mechanical gearbox, respond better to the fluctuating torque requirements of a tracked vehicle driving off-road, enable neutral steering in the days before that was a standard feature, allow the vehicle to drive as fast in reverse as it did forwards, and accelerate quickly. On the other hand, electric tank drive has tended to be bulkier and heavier than the mechanical equivalent because of the need for both combustion engines and generators to supply the motors with electricity, and many vehicles with this system were underpowered or had overheating problems. The quantities of copper required were also problematic during World War II. Today's vehicles could ditch the internal combustion or turbine engine and be purely battery-electric, which would also lower their noise and heat signatures, but even lithium ion batteries are still expensive, heavy, and slow to charge. An electric powertrain requires specialist electricians to repair instead of your normal AFV mechanic. And furthermore, some of the extra abilities arenít really practical to use: driving in reverse at 60 kph would be potentially dangerous and in almost every case quite pointless. Because theyíve been through decades of refinement, diesel engines and mechanical transmissions for tanks have reached such a level of efficiency that electric canít get enough of a performance edge to justify the bother.

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* Throughout World War II, having a hull-mounted machine gun with its own gunner (usually doubling as an assistant driver/radio operator) in addition to the coaxial machine gun on the turret was viewed as a necessity. If an enemy foot soldier happened to pop up in the front arc of the tank with a Panzerfaust or somesuch, some such, the bow gunner could react quicker. He could potentially shoot more accurately on the move--if not with pinpoint accuracy, then at least supressively--because suppressively--because turret gun stabilization was either non-existent or imperfect, while the BOG could somewhat compensate for the bumps by moving the gun up and down with his body. On the other hand, the weak point created by drilling a hole in the front armor to stick a machine gun through was increasingly dangerous as tanks got more powerful guns, and by removing the machine gunner's position it would be possible to either add much-needed ammo racks for the larger shells that tanks were now using, or move the driver to a more optimal central position and give the hull front a glancing "beaked" shape. By the end of the Korean War, the improvement of turret gun stabilization and the benefits to be gained by deleting the bow gun caused it to finally disappear.
* Electric transmission on heavy armored vehicles, which has been tried in various prototypes and production vehicles since World War I. In theory it could avoid the reliability problems of a mechanical gearbox, respond better to the fluctuating torque requirements of a tracked vehicle driving off-road, enable neutral steering in the days before that was a standard feature, allow the vehicle to drive as fast in reverse as it did forwards, and accelerate quickly. On the other hand, electric tank drive has tended to be bulkier and heavier than the mechanical equivalent because of the need for both combustion engines and generators to supply the motors with electricity, and many vehicles with this system were underpowered or had overheating problems. The quantities of copper required were also problematic during World War II. Today's vehicles could ditch the internal combustion or turbine engine and be purely battery-electric, which would also lower their noise and heat signatures, but even lithium ion batteries are still expensive, heavy, and slow to charge. An electric powertrain requires specialist electricians to repair instead of your normal AFV mechanic. And furthermore, some of the extra abilities arenít really practical to use: driving in reverse at 60 kph kilometers per hour would be potentially dangerous and in almost every case quite pointless. Because theyíve been through decades of refinement, diesel engines and mechanical transmissions for tanks have reached such a level of efficiency that electric canít get enough of a performance edge to justify the bother.



** The KV-2 version was created in response to the Red Army's difficulties with the Finns' fortified Mannerheim line, and the problems went from bad to worse. In order to equip the huge bunker-busting 152 mm howitzer, the Soviets built a very tall turret for it, increasing the tank's overall height to 4.9 m (16 ft)! Unfortunately, this turret was a giant, impossible-to-conceal target. So, to protect the poor bastards who had to lay, load, and fire the massive gun, the Soviets made the turret armor a whopping 110 mm thick on the front and 75 mm on the sides, hoping to compensate for its huge profile and lack of sloping. Now the turret alone weighed 12.9 tonnes, so that the traverse motors couldn't ''turn it against gravity''. The tank couldn't operate at even a slight angle, or the turret would seize, and on a more pronounced lateral slope the topheavy turret put the whole tank in danger of toppling over. The extra weight added to the tank further reduced reliability, and the recoil of the gun was so powerful it could damage the turret ring, gearbox, or engine. Production was discontinued after only 203 were built. With hindsight we can say they should have never bothered with the turret at all, and instead made it an unturreted casemate SPG, which is what they subsequently did with the much more useful SU-152.
** The KV-1S--the S stood for ''Skorostnoy'', meaning "fast"--was an attempt to correct the mobility problems of the KV-1. Armor was reduced to save weight; the old turret was replaced by a new low-profile cast turret with a commander's cuppola; and a new planetary transmission was used to improve reliability and replace the old clutch-and-brake steering. Production began in August 1942, then stopped in late 1943 because they realized they'd gotten the tradeoff all wrong: a slight increase in speed wasn't worth sacrificing armor--the only advantage that the KV had over the T-34, especially considering the cost--when what the Soviets really needed was a tougher and more powerfully armed heavy tank to deal with increasingly gnarly German guns and tanks.
** In conclusion, the downfall of the KV was that it cost more to make than the T-34, yet in practice it wasn't significantly more capable. Not only did it have less mobility, but the KV-1 never received a gun that couldn't also be mounted on the T-34. The armor was good at the start of the war, but became obsolete: in 1942 the Germans fielded the 7.5 cm Pak 40 and Kwk 40 guns, ending the KV's invulnerability, followed by Tigers and Panthers in 1943 which were superior to the KV in firepower, mobility, ''and'' protection. None of the various KV upgrades provided the radical change needed, so the Soviets used the KV chassis to start developing their next generation of heavy tanks, the IS series.

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** The KV-2 version was created in response to the Red Army's difficulties with the Finns' fortified Mannerheim line, and the problems went from bad to worse. In order to equip the huge bunker-busting 152 mm howitzer, the Soviets built a very tall turret for it, increasing the tank's overall height to 4.9 m (16 ft)! Unfortunately, this turret was a giant, impossible-to-conceal target. So, to protect the poor bastards who had to lay, load, and fire the massive gun, the Soviets made the turret armor a whopping 110 mm thick on the front and 75 mm on the sides, hoping to compensate for its huge profile and lack of sloping. Now the turret alone weighed 12.9 tonnes, so that the traverse motors couldn't ''turn it against gravity''. The tank couldn't operate at even a slight angle, or the turret would seize, and on a more pronounced lateral slope the topheavy top-heavy turret put the whole tank in danger of toppling over. The extra weight added to the tank further reduced reliability, and the recoil of the gun was so powerful it could damage the turret ring, gearbox, or engine. Production was discontinued after only 203 were built. With hindsight we can say they should have never bothered with the turret at all, and instead made it an unturreted casemate SPG, which is what they subsequently did with the much more useful SU-152.
** The KV-1S--the S stood for ''Skorostnoy'', meaning "fast"--was an attempt to correct the mobility problems of the KV-1. Armor was reduced to save weight; the old turret was replaced by a new low-profile cast turret with a commander's cuppola; cupola; and a new planetary transmission was used to improve reliability and replace the old clutch-and-brake steering. Production began in August 1942, then stopped in late 1943 because they realized they'd gotten the tradeoff all wrong: a slight increase in speed wasn't worth sacrificing armor--the only advantage that the KV had over the T-34, especially considering the cost--when what the Soviets really needed was a tougher and more powerfully armed heavy tank to deal with increasingly gnarly German guns and tanks.
** In conclusion, the downfall of the KV was that it cost more to make than the T-34, yet in practice it wasn't significantly more capable. Not only did it have less mobility, but the KV-1 never received a gun that couldn't also be mounted on the T-34. The armor was good at the start of the war, but became obsolete: in 1942 the Germans fielded the 7.5 cm Pak 40 and Kwk [=KwK=] 40 guns, ending the KV's invulnerability, followed by Tigers and Panthers in 1943 which were superior to the KV in firepower, mobility, ''and'' protection. None of the various KV upgrades provided the radical change needed, so the Soviets used the KV chassis to start developing their next generation of heavy tanks, the IS series.



** In 1937, responding to shortcomings of Soviet tanks in the Spanish Civil War, the Armor and Automobile Management Bureau initiated a total review of red army stocks and put out a specification for an improved "universal tank" that would replace the BT series cruiser tanks and the T-26 infantry tanks. Mikhail Koshkin, director of Design Bureau #190, rose to the occasion with the A-20 and A-32 prototypes which evolved into the T-34. The new tank had a powerful engine, wide tracks and Christie suspension for cross-country mobility, 40-45 mm of sloped armor on all sides of the hull, and an effective 76.2 mm gun. German intelligence failed to discover this new model during the planning of Operation Barbarossa, and it was a nasty shock to German vanguard forces in the summer of 1941 when they started running into a surprise Soviet supertank.
** However the initial version had a very narrow and cramped two-man turret (the idea was to make the turret as small a frontal target as possible) where the commander also had to serve as the gunner. He had very bad vision and situational awareness because he had no cupola, and the enormous front-hinged hatch was no good for commanding unbuttoned because it would totally block his view when opened; all he could see out of was a single traversible periscope. He was distracted from gunning by the need to command the tank (and vice versa), and if he was also a platoon commander he had yet another thing to worry about. The Germans estimated that one of their tanks could get off about three accurate shots for every one that a T-34 could, and the Soviets started with such low stores of 76.2 mm shells that T-34s would sometimes run out of ammo and resort to ''ramming'' the enemy! Only the platoon commanders' tanks had radios, leaving signal flags as the only way to attempt communication, so they tended to clump together "like a hen with its chicks" when they attempted any coordination at all. Primitive metallurgy was evident in defective armor, and badly manufactured parts such as clutches and transmissions caused frequent mechanical breakdowns. The Christie suspension, despite enabling high speed and obstacle crossing, had huge springs contained inside the hull which reduced crew space and were a pain to access for repairs. What's more, because it was a new model there were only 967 of them at the start of hostilities. At this early stage most of the tanks standing in the way of the Germans were old models like the T-26, BT series, and T-28. The T-34's reputation with the Germans for being unkillable partly came about because they would mistake [=KVs=] for T-34s, and although T-34s could reliably bounce the 3.7 cm round fired by the Pak 36 antitank gun they were still vulnerable to 8.8 cm Flak guns or to the Pak 38 firing 5 cm armor-piercing at close range. The bad state of Soviet logistics and leadership led to many unsupported tank attacks that got chewed up by the Germans.

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** In 1937, responding to shortcomings of Soviet tanks in the Spanish Civil War, the Armor and Automobile Management Bureau initiated a total review of red army stocks and put out a specification for an improved "universal tank" that would replace the BT series cruiser tanks and the T-26 infantry tanks. Mikhail Koshkin, director of Design Bureau #190, rose to the occasion with the A-20 and A-32 prototypes which evolved into the T-34. The new tank had a powerful engine, wide tracks and Christie suspension for cross-country mobility, 40-45 mm of sloped armor on all sides of the hull, and an effective 76.2 mm gun. German intelligence failed to discover this new model during the planning of Operation Barbarossa, and it was a nasty shock to German vanguard forces in the summer of 1941 when they started running into a surprise Soviet supertank.super tank.
** However the initial version had a very narrow and cramped two-man turret (the idea was to make the turret as small a frontal target as possible) where the commander also had to serve as the gunner. He had very bad vision and situational awareness because he had no cupola, and the enormous front-hinged hatch was no good for commanding unbuttoned because it would totally block his view when opened; all he could see out of was a single traversible traversable periscope. He was distracted from gunning by the need to command the tank (and vice versa), and if he was also a platoon commander he had yet another thing to worry about. The Germans estimated that one of their tanks could get off about three accurate shots for every one that a T-34 could, and the Soviets started with such low stores of 76.2 mm shells that T-34s would sometimes run out of ammo and resort to ''ramming'' the enemy! Only the platoon commanders' tanks had radios, leaving signal flags as the only way to attempt communication, so they tended to clump together "like a hen with its chicks" when they attempted any coordination at all. Primitive metallurgy was evident in defective armor, and badly manufactured parts such as clutches and transmissions caused frequent mechanical breakdowns. The Christie suspension, despite enabling high speed and obstacle crossing, had huge springs contained inside the hull which reduced crew space and were a pain to access for repairs. What's more, because it was a new model there were only 967 of them at the start of hostilities. At this early stage most of the tanks standing in the way of the Germans were old models like the T-26, BT series, and T-28. The T-34's reputation with the Germans for being unkillable partly came about because they would mistake [=KVs=] for T-34s, and although T-34s could reliably bounce the 3.7 cm round fired by the Pak 36 antitank gun they were still vulnerable to 8.8 cm Flak guns or to the Pak 38 firing 5 cm armor-piercing at close range. The bad state of Soviet logistics and leadership led to many unsupported tank attacks that got chewed up by the Germans.



* The whole German approach to half-tracks was a tad over-engineered, even if you allow for the fact that the Sd.Kfz. 250 and 251 were supposed to be more like Armored Personnel Carriers or Infantry Fighting Vehicles than just trucks with improved corss-country mobility. While the Americans, inspired by French designs, basically took the existing M3 Scout Car and replaced the rear wheels with sprockets to drive a short bogey suspension track unit, the Germans came at it from the opposite direction by making an almost fully-tracked caterpillar chassis with a wheeled steering axle added to the front. American developers sometimes called what the Germans made a "three-quarter track". Unlike the American M2 and M3 half-tracks which relied entirely on the front wheels for steering, and used the rear tracks only as a means of reducing ground pressure, the German Sd.Kfz. 250 and 251 had a more complicated steering system where the wheels would take care of slight turns to preserve momentum, and when the steering wheel was turned more sharply the differential steering of the tracks would kick in to assist with the turn. This did meet the criterion of the vehicle handling more like a truck and being easier to drive than a tank, but the expense of producing it and the complexity of maintainence was equal to or greater than that of a fully tracked vehicle. The manager of the factory that made the Sd.Kfz. 8 said that for every three of them, he could have made ''five'' Panthers. At the same time, while it had better cross-country mobility than American versions and wasn't as crippled if the front axle got taken out, the front wheels reduced its obstacle climbing ability compared to a fully tracked vehicle.

to:

* The whole German approach to half-tracks was a tad over-engineered, even if you allow for the fact that the Sd.Kfz. 250 and 251 were supposed to be more like Armored Personnel Carriers or Infantry Fighting Vehicles than just utility trucks with improved corss-country cross-country mobility. While the Americans, inspired by French designs, basically took the existing M3 Scout Car and replaced the rear wheels with sprockets to drive a short bogey bogie suspension track unit, the Germans came at it from the opposite direction by making an almost fully-tracked caterpillar chassis with a wheeled steering axle added to the front. American developers sometimes called what the Germans made a "three-quarter track". Unlike the American M2 and M3 half-tracks which relied entirely on the front wheels for steering, and used the rear tracks only as a means of reducing ground pressure, the German Sd.Kfz. 250 and 251 had a more complicated steering system where the wheels would take care of slight turns to preserve momentum, and when the steering wheel was turned more sharply the differential steering of the tracks would kick in to assist with the turn. This did meet the criterion of the vehicle handling more like a truck and being easier to drive than a tank, but the expense of producing it and the complexity of maintainence was equal to or greater than that of a fully tracked vehicle. The manager of the factory that made the Sd.Kfz. 8 said that for every three of them, he could have made ''five'' Panthers. At the same time, while it had better cross-country mobility than American versions and wasn't as crippled if the front axle got taken out, the front wheels reduced its obstacle climbing ability compared to a fully tracked vehicle.



** After limited success with an experiment to create a flying jeep - basically a modified jeep with helicopter rotors allowing it to be towed into the air and for it then to fly under its own power for limited distances - there was serious work done on extending the "flying jeep" idea to a ''Cromwell tank''. This was scrapped on saner reflection when it was realised the rotor blades necessary to support a tank would need to have a two hundred foot span, and at least two heavy bombers would be required, plus a one-shot wheeled undercarriage, to get nearly thirty tons of tank into the air.

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** After limited success with an experiment to create a flying jeep - basically a modified jeep with helicopter rotors allowing it to be towed into the air and for it then to fly under its own power for limited distances - there was serious work done on extending the "flying jeep" idea to a ''Cromwell tank''. This was scrapped on saner reflection when it was realised realized the rotor blades necessary to support a tank would need to have a two hundred foot span, and at least two heavy bombers would be required, plus a one-shot wheeled undercarriage, to get nearly thirty tons of tank into the air.



* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convair_X-6 The Convair X-6]], a ''nuclear powered'' bomber. The X-6 had potential if it was practical, such as being able to stay aloft in the air for ''weeks'' at a time without refueling. But to shield the crew at a minimal safety level required ''12 tons'' of lead and rubber. There were also concerns about the fact that peacetime crashes carried the possiblity of contaminating large swaths of civilian land, both yours and your allies, not to mention the fact that even the best shielding scheme wouldn't guarantee against the constant emission of hot radioactive byproducts directly into the open atmosphere above everyone's heads. While test flights with an operational nuclear reactor on board were conducted on a similar aircraft as a testbed, the all-nuclear X-6 never got off the drawing board.

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* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convair_X-6 The Convair X-6]], a ''nuclear powered'' bomber. The X-6 had potential if it was practical, such as being able to stay aloft in the air for ''weeks'' at a time without refueling. But to shield the crew at a minimal safety level required ''12 tons'' of lead and rubber. There were also concerns about the fact that peacetime crashes carried the possiblity possibility of contaminating large swaths of civilian land, both yours and your allies, not to mention the fact that even the best shielding scheme wouldn't guarantee against the constant emission of hot radioactive byproducts directly into the open atmosphere above everyone's heads. While test flights with an operational nuclear reactor on board were conducted on a similar aircraft as a testbed, the all-nuclear X-6 never got off the drawing board.



* The TOG II, a British interwar tank prototype whose name was an abbreviation for "The Old Gang", referring to its designers who had been responsible for tank design in World War I. It was based around the idea that WWII would be just like WWI; thus, the TOG was to be a "breakthrough tank". Slow, lumbering, but heavily armed and armored, designed to dismantle enemy trenchlines and allow smaller tanks to pour into the gap and exploit the hole the [=TOGs=] had made. It was ''33 feet long'', propelled by petrol-electric drive, and weighed eighty tonnes; despite this, it reportedly trialled successfully, reporting no reliability or mechanical issues. Sadly, WWII was not like WWI, and this feat of engineering - though not common sense - was not put into mass-production and never saw action.

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* The TOG II, a British interwar tank prototype whose name was an abbreviation for "The Old Gang", referring to its designers who had been responsible for tank design in World War I. It was based around the idea that WWII would be just like WWI; thus, the TOG was to be a "breakthrough tank". Slow, lumbering, but heavily armed and armored, designed to dismantle enemy trenchlines trench lines and allow smaller tanks to pour into the gap and exploit the hole the [=TOGs=] had made. It was ''33 feet long'', propelled by petrol-electric drive, and weighed eighty tonnes; despite this, it reportedly trialled trialed successfully, reporting no reliability or mechanical issues. Sadly, WWII was not like WWI, and this feat of engineering - though not common sense - was not put into mass-production and never saw action.


** Case in point, the Serbians managed to shoot down an F-117 during the Kosovo War by increasing the wavelength their radar operated on, catching a glimpse of the F-117 while its bomb bay was open. This was done with an 'obsolete' S-125 SAM launcher of old Soviet design from the early 1960s.


** The IS-3 used the same giant 122 mm gun D-25 as the IS-2 which had struck terror into the Germans. It also incorporated a new "pike" nose with compound sloping which made the upper glacis almost impenetrable, and a turret shaped like an upside-down soup bowl which was more protective and presented a lower profile. Although it didn't get into action before the Germans surrendered, it was shown off to the world in the Berlin Victory Parade on September 7, 1945, crewed by the 71st Guards Heavy Tank Regiment of the 2nd Guards Tank Army. The sight of 52 of these things thundering by caused the Western generals at the parade to metaphorically crap their pants, and when they got home their countries spent huge effort coming up with their own tanks to counter it. However, the IS-3 wasn't as great as it looked. The low turret may have been protective but it also reduced gun depression and headroom for the crew, especially the loader. The gun and fire control lacked accuracy at long range; its two-piece ammunition was unwieldly, meaning that just 2-3 shots per minute were possible and only 28 rounds could be stored. Shoddy wartime production also caused welds in the hull to crack, and the quality control issues caused production to be discontinued in summer 1946 at 2,311 units. Its initial weight of 46 tonnes was pretty reasonable for a heavy tank, but it was still slow and difficult to transport, and increased in weight to 49 tonnes with the 1948 fixes and modifications.

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** The IS-3 used the same giant 122 mm gun D-25 gun as the IS-2 which had struck terror into the Germans. It also incorporated a new "pike" nose with compound sloping which made the upper glacis almost impenetrable, and a turret shaped like an upside-down soup bowl which was more protective and presented a lower profile. Although it didn't get into action before the Germans surrendered, it was shown off to the world in the Berlin Victory Parade on September 7, 1945, crewed by the 71st Guards Heavy Tank Regiment of the 2nd Guards Tank Army. The sight of 52 of these things thundering by heavy tanks rumbling in formation caused the Western generals at the parade to metaphorically crap their pants, and when they got home their countries spent huge effort coming up with their own tanks to counter it. However, the IS-3 wasn't as great as it looked. The low turret may have been protective but it also reduced gun depression and headroom for the crew, especially the loader. The gun and fire control lacked accuracy at long range; its two-piece ammunition was unwieldly, meaning that just 2-3 shots per minute were possible and only 28 rounds could be stored. Shoddy Furthermore, wartime production also caused was shoddy and there was a tendency for hull welds in the hull and turret castings to crack, and the quality control issues caused which is why production to be discontinued was ended in summer 1946 at 2,311 units. Its initial weight of 46 tonnes was pretty reasonable Engine, transmission, and running gear breakdowns were also frequent. IS-3s were being constantly rebuilt afterwards to correct these issues, reducing the number that were ready for a heavy tank, but it was still slow and difficult to transport, and increased in weight to 49 tonnes with the 1948 fixes and modifications.action at any given time.


* The famous German half-tracks for used for supply and as infantry armored cars all used the same ''Schachtellaufwerk'' type of chassis and track, only scaled up or down to their respective size. Unlike tank tracks, which were classic links held together by pins, in ''Schachtellaufwerk'' tracks designed to allow high road speeds all track links were fitted on needle bearings with individual sealing and lubrication. That makes ''a few hundred'' lubricated bearings for each vehicle, with expected costs and hardships when building them in large numbers. And all for no useful purpose, since there were strict orders to drive them at lesser speeds than possible anyway. The interleaving and overlapping wheels were also a big maintenance issue, namely that mechanics would have to disassemble the running gear assembly just to replace ONE wheel.
* The whole German approach to half-tracks was of questionable net value. While the Americans, inspired by French designs, basically took the existing M3 Scout Car and replaced the rear wheels with sprockets to drive a short bogey suspension track unit, the Germans came at it from the opposite direction by making an almost fully-tracked caterpillar chassis with a wheeled steering axle added to the front. American developers sometimes called what the Germans made a "three-quarter track". Unlike the American M2 and M3 half-tracks which relied entirely on the front wheels for steering, and used the rear tracks only as a means of reducing ground pressure, the German Sd.Kfz. 250 and 251 had a more complicated steering system where the wheels would take care of slight turns to preserve momentum, and when the steering wheel was turned more sharply the differential steering of the tracks would kick in to assist with the turn. This did meet the criterion of the vehicle handling more like a truck and being easier to drive than a tank, but the expense of producing it and the complexity of maintainence was comparable to that of a fully tracked vehicle. At the same time, while it had better cross-country mobility than American versions and wasn't as crippled if the front axle got taken out, the front wheels reduced its obstacle climbing ability compared to a fully tracked vehicle which wouldn't have cost any more to produce.

to:

* The famous German half-tracks for used for supply and as infantry armored cars all used the same ''Schachtellaufwerk'' type of chassis and track, only scaled up or down to their respective size. Unlike tank tracks, which were classic links held together by pins, in ''Schachtellaufwerk'' tracks designed to allow high road speeds all track links were fitted on needle bearings with individual sealing and lubrication. That makes ''a few hundred'' lubricated bearings for each vehicle, with expected costs and hardships when building them in large numbers.hardship of maintainence. And all for no useful purpose, since there were strict orders to drive them at lesser speeds than possible anyway. The interleaving and overlapping wheels were also a big maintenance issue, namely that mechanics would have to disassemble the running gear assembly just to replace ONE wheel.
* The whole German approach to half-tracks was of questionable net value.a tad over-engineered, even if you allow for the fact that the Sd.Kfz. 250 and 251 were supposed to be more like Armored Personnel Carriers or Infantry Fighting Vehicles than just trucks with improved corss-country mobility. While the Americans, inspired by French designs, basically took the existing M3 Scout Car and replaced the rear wheels with sprockets to drive a short bogey suspension track unit, the Germans came at it from the opposite direction by making an almost fully-tracked caterpillar chassis with a wheeled steering axle added to the front. American developers sometimes called what the Germans made a "three-quarter track". Unlike the American M2 and M3 half-tracks which relied entirely on the front wheels for steering, and used the rear tracks only as a means of reducing ground pressure, the German Sd.Kfz. 250 and 251 had a more complicated steering system where the wheels would take care of slight turns to preserve momentum, and when the steering wheel was turned more sharply the differential steering of the tracks would kick in to assist with the turn. This did meet the criterion of the vehicle handling more like a truck and being easier to drive than a tank, but the expense of producing it and the complexity of maintainence was comparable equal to or greater than that of a fully tracked vehicle. The manager of the factory that made the Sd.Kfz. 8 said that for every three of them, he could have made ''five'' Panthers. At the same time, while it had better cross-country mobility than American versions and wasn't as crippled if the front axle got taken out, the front wheels reduced its obstacle climbing ability compared to a fully tracked vehicle which wouldn't have cost any more to produce.vehicle.


** France's military policy was shaped by its perception of what had worked in World War I, as well as the limitations imposed by the war's lasting damage to population and economy: The fighting of the Western Front had largely taken place on her soil, with over a million men killed or missing in action, and more than four million wounded. The Great Depression hit in the 30s, reducing the amount of money for defense, and all the men who didn't come home from the war to start families led to a significant dearth of young men for the army 20 years down the road. French politics was unstable, with Prime Ministers changing frequently, and the left wing government was suspicious of letting the traditionally right wing professional military grow too large and powerful for fear of a reactionary coup. With all of this in mind, the French came up with the defensive strategy they would use in case of invasion by Germany: a [[EliteArmy small but elite]] professional military would be used in peacetime to train reservists, who would be summoned for refresher training from time to time, and in wartime the professionals would [[YouShallNotPass hold back]] the Germans to prevent France's industrial areas on the border from falling, thus buying time for the [[TheCavalry massive reserves]] to be brought up. Since the professional military's reservist teaching duties didn't leave them with much time for new courses or exercises, and reservists coming for refresher training would have a hard enough time shaking the rust off of what they'd learned before, most tactics including those for tanks would have to stay simple and relatively unchanging. The UsefulNotes/MaginotLine along the sourthern border with Germany could be held with fewer men, allowing the bulk of the army to be concentrated in the north where they could move into Belgium and establish a defensive line as soon as the Germans violated Belgian neutrality. If the Germans tried to come through the Ardennes forest, they would presumably be slowed down enough by the rough terrain that the French could detect them and send reserves to intercept.

to:

** France's military policy was shaped by its perception of what had worked in World War I, as well as the limitations imposed by the war's lasting damage to population and economy: The fighting of the Western Front had largely taken place on her soil, with over a million men killed or missing in action, and more than four million wounded. The Great Depression hit in the 30s, reducing the amount of money for defense, and all the men who didn't come home from the war to start families led to a significant dearth of young men for the army 20 years down the road. French politics was unstable, with Prime Ministers changing frequently, and the left wing government was suspicious of letting the traditionally right wing professional military grow too large and powerful for fear of a reactionary coup. With all of this in mind, the French came up with the defensive strategy they would use in case of invasion by Germany: a [[EliteArmy small but elite]] professional military would be used in peacetime to train reservists, who would be summoned for refresher training from time to time, and in wartime the professionals would [[YouShallNotPass hold back]] the Germans to prevent France's industrial areas on the border from falling, thus buying time for the [[TheCavalry massive reserves]] to be brought up. Since the professional military's reservist teaching duties didn't leave them with much time for new courses or exercises, and reservists coming for refresher training would have a hard enough time shaking the rust off of what they'd learned before, most tactics including those for tanks would have to stay simple and relatively unchanging. The UsefulNotes/MaginotLine along the sourthern border with Germany could be held with fewer men, allowing the bulk of the army to be concentrated in the north where they could move into Belgium and establish a defensive line as soon as the Germans violated Belgian neutrality. If the Germans tried to come through the Ardennes forest, they would presumably be slowed down enough by the rough terrain that the French could detect them their movement, and send reserves to intercept.intercept the invaders while they were still caught up in a bottleneck.


** France's military policy was shaped by its perception of what had worked in World War I, as well as the limitations imposed by the war's lasting damage to population and economy: The fighting of the Western Front had largely taken place on her soil, with over a million men killed or missing in action, and more than four million wounded. The Great Depression hit in the 30s, reducing the amount of money for defense, and all the men who didn't come home from the war to start families led to a significant dearth of young men for the army 20 years down the road. French politics was unstable, with Prime Ministers changing frequently, and the left wing government was suspicious of letting the traditionally right wing professional military grow too large and powerful for fear of a reactionary coup. With all of this in mind, the French came up with the defensive strategy they would use in case of invasion by Germany: a [[EliteArmy small but elite]] professional military would be used in peacetime to train reservists, who would be summoned for refresher training from time to time, and in wartime the professionals would [[YouShallNotPass hold back]] the Germans to prevent France's industrial areas from falling, thus buying time for the [[TheCavalry massive reserves]] to be brought up. Armored fighting vehicles were divided into ''chars'' (tanks), which by law were exclusively attached to the infantry arm, and ''automitrailleuses de combat'' (combat cars), which was what the cavalry named their tanks in order to [[LoopholeAbuse get around the law]]. Since the professional military's reservist teaching duties didn't leave them with much time for new courses or exercises, and reservists coming for refresher training would have a hard enough time shaking the rust off of what they'd learned before, most tactics including those for tanks would have to stay relatively simple and unchanging.
** Towards the end of World War I the French had come up with their first good tank design, the little two-man, 6.5 tonne Renault FT. The FT was the TropeMaker of the modern tank layout: tracks that extended the whole length of the vehicle, the driver in front, the fighting compartment in the middle with a 360 degree revolving gun turret, and the engine in back. The French decided on a strategy of using a "swarm" of light tanks to overwhelm the Germans, ordering 3,530. This seemed to work well with their overall strategy in 1918, and after the war there was a strong school of thought emphasizing relatively small two-man tanks. After all, if they wanted to swarm the Germans with a huge number of tanks despite lack of money and recruits, they'd need tanks that were cheaper to produce and required fewer men to operate. At the same time there was a conflicting view that they should build fewer, more powerful tanks, leading to the creation of some heavies such as the Char 2C and the Char B1 bis.

to:

** France's military policy was shaped by its perception of what had worked in World War I, as well as the limitations imposed by the war's lasting damage to population and economy: The fighting of the Western Front had largely taken place on her soil, with over a million men killed or missing in action, and more than four million wounded. The Great Depression hit in the 30s, reducing the amount of money for defense, and all the men who didn't come home from the war to start families led to a significant dearth of young men for the army 20 years down the road. French politics was unstable, with Prime Ministers changing frequently, and the left wing government was suspicious of letting the traditionally right wing professional military grow too large and powerful for fear of a reactionary coup. With all of this in mind, the French came up with the defensive strategy they would use in case of invasion by Germany: a [[EliteArmy small but elite]] professional military would be used in peacetime to train reservists, who would be summoned for refresher training from time to time, and in wartime the professionals would [[YouShallNotPass hold back]] the Germans to prevent France's industrial areas on the border from falling, thus buying time for the [[TheCavalry massive reserves]] to be brought up. Armored fighting vehicles were divided into ''chars'' (tanks), which by law were exclusively attached to the infantry arm, and ''automitrailleuses de combat'' (combat cars), which was what the cavalry named their tanks in order to [[LoopholeAbuse get around the law]]. Since the professional military's reservist teaching duties didn't leave them with much time for new courses or exercises, and reservists coming for refresher training would have a hard enough time shaking the rust off of what they'd learned before, most tactics including those for tanks would have to stay simple and relatively simple unchanging. The UsefulNotes/MaginotLine along the sourthern border with Germany could be held with fewer men, allowing the bulk of the army to be concentrated in the north where they could move into Belgium and unchanging.
establish a defensive line as soon as the Germans violated Belgian neutrality. If the Germans tried to come through the Ardennes forest, they would presumably be slowed down enough by the rough terrain that the French could detect them and send reserves to intercept.
** Towards the end of World War I the French had come up with their first good tank design, the little two-man, 6.5 tonne Renault FT. The FT was the TropeMaker of the modern tank layout: tracks that extended the whole length of the vehicle, the driver in front, the fighting compartment in the middle with a 360 degree revolving gun turret, and the engine in back. The French decided on a strategy of using a "swarm" of light tanks to overwhelm the Germans, ordering 3,530. This seemed to work well with their overall strategy in 1918, and after the war there was a strong school of thought emphasizing relatively small two-man infantry support tanks. After all, if they wanted to swarm the Germans with a huge number of tanks despite lack of money and recruits, they'd need tanks that were cheaper to produce and required fewer men to operate. At the same time there was a conflicting view that they should build fewer, more powerful tanks, were some people who championed the need for "fortress tanks" and "battle tanks" for the breakthrough role, leading to the creation of some heavies such as the Char 2C and the Char B1 bis.


** Since 1942 the US had been testing the 76 mm gun M1, which was actually the 3 inch gun re-designed using stronger alloys to make it smaller and lighter so that it could be put into a tank. The initial "quick fix" turret with the 76 mm in the standard Sherman turret had already been rejected as impractically cramped, so Army Ground Forces would have been unlikely to accept the even bigger 17-pounder in the same turret. Ordinance ended up putting the turret of the cancelled T23 tank onto the Sherman to create the eventually accepted Sherman E6; ironically, the 17-pounder could not be installed in the larger T23 turret because it had been specifically designed around the 76 mm, and the trunnions were located far forward in a "pinched" section of the turret nose which didn't have enough room for all the mechanisms that came attached with the 17-pounder.

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** Since 1942 the US had been testing the 76 mm gun M1, which was actually a version of the 3 inch gun re-designed using which was only half the weight because it used stronger alloys to make it smaller alloys, and lighter so that it could was thus small enough to be put into mounted in a medium tank. The initial "quick fix" turretójust a normal Sherman turret with the 76 mm in the standard Sherman turret had stuffed into itóhad already been rejected as impractically cramped, so Army Ground Forces would have been unlikely to accept the even bigger 17-pounder in the same turret. Ordinance ended up putting the turret of the cancelled T23 tank onto the Sherman to create the eventually accepted Sherman E6; E6, since fortunately they had made the turret ring the same size; ironically, the 17-pounder could not be installed in the larger T23 turret because it had been specifically designed around the 76 mm, and the trunnions were located far forward in a "pinched" section of the turret nose which didn't have enough room for all the mechanisms that came attached with to the 17-pounder.


** In reality, the there were only a handful of times when the Germans made the kind of massed armor attack the TD force was designed to counter, and US forces were mostly on the attack, fighting against infantry much more often than tanks. Meanwhile, tank support wasn't available to all infantry units at all times, and they desperately wanted help from anything that had tracks and a gun on it. Almost as soon as the US began ground combat in the European Theatre, the TD doctrine was basically thrown out the window: the battalions were split up into companies or platoons and sent to support the infantry on the attack. Thus, contrary to what the doctrine prescribed, they were now being used as pillbox destroyers, indirect fire artillery (in which role they fired the majority of their rounds), and sometimes even as substitutes for tanks in close infantry support. This kind of combat didn't always play to their strengths: their armor was relatively thin, and their open tops made their crews vulnerable to infantry assault and shrapnel. They also lacked hull or coaxial machine guns for defense against infantry, and instead had to use the pintle-mounted .50 cal anti-aircraft machine gun or their small arms.

to:

** In reality, the there were only a handful of times when the Germans made the kind of massed armor attack the TD force was designed to counter, and US forces were mostly on the attack, fighting against infantry much more often than tanks. Meanwhile, tank support wasn't available to all infantry units at all times, and they desperately wanted help from anything that had tracks and a gun on it. Almost as soon as the US began ground combat in the European Theatre, the TD doctrine was basically thrown out the window: the battalions were split up into companies or platoons and sent to support the infantry on the attack. Thus, contrary to what the doctrine prescribed, they were now being used as pillbox destroyers, indirect fire artillery (in which role they fired the majority of their rounds), and sometimes even as substitutes for tanks in close infantry support. This kind of combat didn't always play to their strengths: their armor was relatively thin, and their open tops made their crews vulnerable to infantry assault and shrapnel. They also lacked hull or coaxial machine guns for defense against infantry, and infantry--which had been a deliberate design decision to discourage them from going outside their role--and instead had to use the pintle-mounted .50 cal anti-aircraft machine gun or their small arms.


** In reality, the there were only a handful of times when the Germans made the kind of massed armor attack the TD force was designed to counter, and US forces were mostly on the attack, fighting against infantry much more often than tanks. Meanwhile, tank support wasn't available to all infantry units at all times, and they desperately wanted help from anything that had tracks and a gun on it. Almost as soon as the US began ground combat in the European Theatre, the TD doctrine was basically thrown out the window: the battalions were split up into companies or platoons and sent to support the infantry on the attack. Thus, contrary to what the doctrine prescribed, they were now being used as pillbox destroyers, indirect fire artillery (in which role they fired the majority of their rounds), and sometimes even as substitutes for tanks in close infantry support. This kind of combat didn't always play to their strengths: their armor was relatively thin, and their open tops made their crews vulnerable to infantry assault and shrapnel. They also lacked hull or coaxial machine guns for defense against infantry.

to:

** In reality, the there were only a handful of times when the Germans made the kind of massed armor attack the TD force was designed to counter, and US forces were mostly on the attack, fighting against infantry much more often than tanks. Meanwhile, tank support wasn't available to all infantry units at all times, and they desperately wanted help from anything that had tracks and a gun on it. Almost as soon as the US began ground combat in the European Theatre, the TD doctrine was basically thrown out the window: the battalions were split up into companies or platoons and sent to support the infantry on the attack. Thus, contrary to what the doctrine prescribed, they were now being used as pillbox destroyers, indirect fire artillery (in which role they fired the majority of their rounds), and sometimes even as substitutes for tanks in close infantry support. This kind of combat didn't always play to their strengths: their armor was relatively thin, and their open tops made their crews vulnerable to infantry assault and shrapnel. They also lacked hull or coaxial machine guns for defense against infantry.infantry, and instead had to use the pintle-mounted .50 cal anti-aircraft machine gun or their small arms.


** The FCM 36 two-man infantry tank was welded and angular in construction, because ''Forges & Chantiers de la Méditerrannée'' was a shipbuilding company. However, at this time welding was only done by skilled workers who required higher pay, and while the tank's welded construction was quicker than the alternatives of casting or riveting it also cost more. The welding technique was also imperfect, as the welds could burst if the tank was hit. When they tried to replace the underpowered SA 18 cannon with the more powerful SA 38, the turret welds couldn't handle the recoil. A new, strengthened turret for the SA 38 was not available in time for the German invasion. Of 400 orders for the FCM 36, only 100 were early enough to be built in time for the German invasion. They may have been the best of France's two man tanks on the whole, since they had sloped armor, a reliable diesel powertrain, and a turret less cramped than the APX, but with too many of the same vision and crew comfort problems as the others it just wasn't better ''enough'' to be considered good.
** In addition to relying on primitive vision slits that were hard to see out of and didn't protect against bullet splatter, the French lineup also demonstrated why a one-man turret can be a major disadvantage. When France was rearming between the world wars, it was a lot cheaper for the cash-strapped French to make just one standard model of turret that would fit all of their tanks, so they decided to make a cast, one-man turret. Compared to a two- or three-man turret, a one-man turret would make a smaller target, use less metal and add less weight, be more heavily armored for the weight, and be backwards compatible with the small turret rings of their old tanks such as the FT and D1. However, the drawbacks were so horrible that in hindsight it seems unbelievably boneheaded. The ideal, codified by the German Panzer III, is to have a three man turret in which the gunner aims and fires the main gun, the loader loads the shells and perhaps shoots the coaxial machine gun, and the commander looks out the roof hatch with his binoculars, guiding the gunner onto the target and feeding him range adjustments. In contrast, the commander in a French tank had to do all the work of loading and operating the gun himself, in addition to having to actually command the tank or--god forbid--several tanks if he was the platoon leader. Rate of targeting and fire was rock bottom, and try as he might to juggle his different tasks, he could only do everything poorly. As for situational awareness, the standard APX turret didn't even have a commander's hatch in the roof above him, just a dome-shaped rotating cupola which on early versions had only one vision slit, making it a sort of poor man's periscope. The only way for the commander to stick his head out was a door on the back of the turret, and in order to see forward over the turret he'd have to leave the gun unmanned, crank open the turret door, and sit on it so he could see over the top of the turret with his head. This was allegedly to ensure he'd be protected by the turret armor while he was looking out, and it worked well enough on road march, but it was ridiculous to think they would do this in battle. As you could imagine, there wasn't much room in the turret for ammunition and most of it was down in the hull. The SOMUA and the B1 bis were only slightly better for the commander in that regard because they had a version of the APX with a bigger turret ring, so that the radio man--who usually ''had'' no radio and thus had nothing better to do--could pass 47 mm shells from the ammo racks up into the turret. German commanders noted that the French tanks would usually roll into battle and then stop in one place as soon as they began firing, not moving at all because the poor commander couldn't handle the demands of scoot-and-shoot all by himself. When the Germans captured large numbers of French tanks in the Fall of France, they did the best they could by installing turret roof hatches in place of the dome cupola.

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** The FCM 36 two-man infantry tank was welded and angular in construction, because ''Forges & Chantiers de la Méditerrannée'' was a shipbuilding company. However, at this time welding was only done by skilled workers who required higher pay, and while the tank's welded construction was quicker than the alternatives of casting or riveting it also cost more. The welding technique was also imperfect, as the welds could burst if the tank was hit. When they tried to replace the underpowered SA 18 cannon with the more powerful SA 38, the turret welds couldn't handle the recoil. A new, strengthened turret for the SA 38 was not available in time for the German invasion. Of 400 orders for the FCM 36, only 100 were early enough to be built in time for the German invasion. They may have been the best of France's two man tanks on the whole, since they had sloped armor, a reliable diesel powertrain, and a turret less cramped than the APX, APX (which is what the next bullet is about), but with too many of the same vision and crew comfort problems as the others it just wasn't better ''enough'' to be considered good.
** In addition to relying on primitive vision slits that were hard to see out of and didn't protect against bullet splatter, the French lineup also demonstrated why a one-man turret can be a major disadvantage. When France was rearming between the world wars, it was a lot cheaper for the cash-strapped French to make just one standard model of turret that would fit all of their tanks, so they decided to make a cast, one-man turret. Compared to a two- or three-man turret, a one-man turret would make a smaller target, use less metal and add less weight, be more heavily thickly armored for the same weight, and be backwards compatible with fit the small turret rings of their old tanks models such as the FT and D1.D1 that they might want to retrofit. However, the drawbacks were so horrible that in hindsight it seems unbelievably boneheaded. The ideal, codified by the German Panzer III, is to have a three man turret in which the gunner aims and fires the main gun, the loader loads the shells and perhaps shoots the coaxial machine gun, and the commander looks out the roof hatch with his binoculars, guiding the gunner onto the target and feeding him range adjustments. In contrast, the commander in a French tank had to do all the work of loading and operating the gun himself, in addition to having to actually command the tank or--god forbid--several tanks if he was the platoon leader. Rate of targeting and fire was rock bottom, and try as he might to juggle his different tasks, he could only do everything poorly. As for situational awareness, the standard APX turret didn't even have a commander's hatch in the roof above him, just a dome-shaped rotating cupola which on early versions had only one vision slit, making it a sort of poor man's periscope. The only way for the commander to stick his head out was a door on the back of the turret, and in order to see forward over the turret he'd have to leave the gun unmanned, crank open the turret door, and sit on it so he could see over the top of the turret with his head. This was allegedly to ensure he'd be protected by the turret armor while he was looking out, and it worked well enough on road march, but it was ridiculous to think they would do this in battle. As you could imagine, there wasn't much room in the turret for ammunition and most of it was down in the hull. The SOMUA and the B1 bis were only slightly better for the commander in that regard because they had a version of the APX with a bigger turret ring, so that the radio man--who usually ''had'' no radio and thus had nothing better to do--could pass 47 mm shells from the ammo racks up into the turret. German commanders noted that the French tanks would usually roll into battle and then stop in one place as soon as they began firing, not moving at all because the poor commander couldn't handle the demands of scoot-and-shoot all by himself. When the Germans captured large numbers of French tanks in the Fall of France, they did the best they could by installing turret roof hatches in place of the dome cupola.


* Most if not ''all'' tanks in general get this treatment when the battlefield switches from open terrain to urban combat, especially prevalent for the M1 Abrams. Being supported by a 60-ton heavily armored, turbine-powered 120mm smoothebore monster while going house to house is one hell of a way to make your presence known, but that monster too wide to navigate any streets narrower than two lanes, too heavy to move traverse light structures and bridges built only to withstand cars at most, and is essentially navigating blind, unless the commander opens a hatch to get a good look, which would expose him to sniper fire. Even with the TUSK modifications and infantry support, American tank commanders are ''very'' leery of entering close quarters where they can easily by ambushed and disabled by any yahoo with an RPG. It's for this reason that the US Army is interested in looking into IFV's and light support vehicles for urban combat, which, while not nearly as impressive as tanks, are lighter and more maneuverable, allowing them to move with infantry to support them, instead of having to rely on support ''from'' infantry themselves.

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* Most if not ''all'' Main battle tanks in general get this treatment when the battlefield switches from open terrain to urban combat, especially prevalent for the M1 Abrams. Being supported by combat are something of an imperfect solution. On one hand, putting a platoon of four 60-ton heavily armored, turbine-powered 120mm smoothebore monster while going house to house M1 Abrams tanks in the streets is one hell of a way to make your presence known, but that monster awe and intimidate the population, or if need be to blast out stubborn enemies who are fortified inside buildings. On the other hand, such monsters are too wide to navigate any streets narrower than two lanes, too heavy to move traverse light structures and cross bridges built only to withstand cars at most, cars, and is essentially navigating blind, largely blind unless the a commander opens a hatch to get a good look, which would expose him to sniper fire. Even with the TUSK modifications and infantry support, American tank commanders are ''very'' leery of entering close quarters where they can easily by ambushed and disabled by any yahoo with an RPG. It's for this reason that the US Army is interested in looking into IFV's [=IFVs=] and light support vehicles for urban combat, which, while not nearly as impressive as tanks, are lighter and more maneuverable, allowing them to move with infantry to support them, instead of having to rely on support ''from'' infantry themselves.


* Machine pistols in general. A machine pistol is a small submachine gun using a small-size pistol cartridge and capable of being fired using only one hand. Unfortunately their lightness and handiness is at the same time their undoing. They are usually horribly inaccurate and their rate of fire is so great that they easily spray the ''whole magazine'' empty with just one squeeze of trigger (assuming the user is stupid enough to yank hard first). One of the most famous failures is [[https://warisboring.com/the-mac-10-was-an-over-hyped-hunk-of-junk/ Ingram MAC-10]], whose immense rate of fire (1200 rounds per minute) and flimsy stock made the weapon so inaccurate it was nicknamed as "bullet sprayer". But, hey, they can be ''fun!'' Just look at the Trejo machine pistol, a Mexican Colt 1911 look-alike with a 7-shot magazine of 22lr. Just good enough for giggle-factor...

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* Machine pistols in general. A machine pistol is a small submachine gun using a small-size pistol cartridge and capable of being fired using only one hand. Unfortunately their lightness and handiness is at the same time their undoing. They are usually horribly inaccurate and their rate of fire is so great that they easily spray the ''whole magazine'' empty with just one squeeze of trigger (assuming the user is stupid enough to yank hard first). One of the most famous failures is [[https://warisboring.com/the-mac-10-was-an-over-hyped-hunk-of-junk/ Ingram MAC-10]], whose immense rate of fire (1200 rounds per minute) and flimsy stock made the weapon so inaccurate it was nicknamed as "bullet sprayer". But, hey, they can be ''fun!'' Just look at the Trejo machine pistol, a Mexican Colt 1911 look-alike with a 7-shot magazine of 22lr. Just good enough for giggle-factor...[[WebVideo/ForgottenWeapons giggle-factor]]...


* Dragon's Breath shotgun shells. Imagine a shotgun that ''shoots fire''. That's what a dragon's breath shot is. It's also incredibly expensive, costing anywhere from one to five US dollars per shell, and that's if it isn't banned outright, due to the inherent fire hazard of the rounds. Dragon's Breath rounds can also only be used in pump-action shotguns, since the recoil on the shells isn't sufficient enough to auto-load the next shell in an automatic shotgun. There's no record of them being used in actual combat, because regular shotgun shells would do just fine for lethality, and there's less chance of setting the whole room on fire. But most importantly of all, it fouls your shotgun's barrel after just a few shots.

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* Dragon's Breath shotgun shells. Imagine a shotgun that ''shoots fire''. That's what a dragon's breath shot is. It's also incredibly expensive, costing anywhere from one to five US dollars per shell, and that's if it isn't banned outright, due to the inherent fire hazard of the rounds. Dragon's Breath rounds can also only be used in pump-action shotguns, since the recoil on the shells isn't sufficient enough to auto-load the next shell in an automatic shotgun. There's no record of them being used in actual combat, because regular shotgun shells would do just fine for lethality, and there's less chance of setting the whole room on fire. But most importantly of all, it fouls your shotgun's barrel after just a few shots.shots, making its use rather limited to impressing the neighbors, scaring small children or animals, or starting a big campfire.


* Most if not ''all'' tanks in general get this treatment when the battlefield switches from open terrain to urban combat, especially prevalent for the M1 Abrams. Being supported by a 60-ton heavily armored, turbine-powered 120mm smoothebore monster while going house to house is one hell of a way to make your presence known, but that monster too wide to navigate any streets narrower than two lanes, too heavy to move through parking garages built only to withstand cars at most, and is essentially navigating blind, unless the commander opens a hatch to get a good look, which would expose him to sniper fire. Even with the TUSK modifications and infantry support, American tank commanders are ''very'' leery of entering close quarters where they can easily by ambushed and disabled by any yahoo with an RPG. It's for this reason that the US Army is interested in looking into IFV's and light support vehicles for urban combat, which, while not nearly as impressive as tanks, are lighter and more maneuverable, allowing them to move with infantry to support them, instead of having to rely on support ''from'' infantry themselves.

to:

* Most if not ''all'' tanks in general get this treatment when the battlefield switches from open terrain to urban combat, especially prevalent for the M1 Abrams. Being supported by a 60-ton heavily armored, turbine-powered 120mm smoothebore monster while going house to house is one hell of a way to make your presence known, but that monster too wide to navigate any streets narrower than two lanes, too heavy to move through parking garages traverse light structures and bridges built only to withstand cars at most, and is essentially navigating blind, unless the commander opens a hatch to get a good look, which would expose him to sniper fire. Even with the TUSK modifications and infantry support, American tank commanders are ''very'' leery of entering close quarters where they can easily by ambushed and disabled by any yahoo with an RPG. It's for this reason that the US Army is interested in looking into IFV's and light support vehicles for urban combat, which, while not nearly as impressive as tanks, are lighter and more maneuverable, allowing them to move with infantry to support them, instead of having to rely on support ''from'' infantry themselves.

Added DiffLines:

* Most if not ''all'' tanks in general get this treatment when the battlefield switches from open terrain to urban combat, especially prevalent for the M1 Abrams. Being supported by a 60-ton heavily armored, turbine-powered 120mm smoothebore monster while going house to house is one hell of a way to make your presence known, but that monster too wide to navigate any streets narrower than two lanes, too heavy to move through parking garages built only to withstand cars at most, and is essentially navigating blind, unless the commander opens a hatch to get a good look, which would expose him to sniper fire. Even with the TUSK modifications and infantry support, American tank commanders are ''very'' leery of entering close quarters where they can easily by ambushed and disabled by any yahoo with an RPG. It's for this reason that the US Army is interested in looking into IFV's and light support vehicles for urban combat, which, while not nearly as impressive as tanks, are lighter and more maneuverable, allowing them to move with infantry to support them, instead of having to rely on support ''from'' infantry themselves.

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