Grav Tanks

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
AndrewW
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby AndrewW » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:31 am

phavoc wrote:The comparison is not always fair because different nations' tank designers had different sets of design desires. The Sherman wasn't meant to be an uber tank - it was built to be an adequate tank built in numbers. It COULD have been upgunned, or redesigned to be a Tiger equivalent - but that would have not necessarily helped the allies out.
It was, see the Sherman Firefly.
phavoc
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby phavoc » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:53 am

AndrewW wrote:
phavoc wrote:The comparison is not always fair because different nations' tank designers had different sets of design desires. The Sherman wasn't meant to be an uber tank - it was built to be an adequate tank built in numbers. It COULD have been upgunned, or redesigned to be a Tiger equivalent - but that would have not necessarily helped the allies out.
It was, see the Sherman Firefly.
Interesting. It had it's drawbacks, but seems like mixing the types would work well - as long as Germany was able to field panzers. :)
Condottiere
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:34 pm

The Shermans didn't have problems against the Japanese.

And the Israelis used them against the Arabs.
AndrewW
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby AndrewW » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:31 pm

Condottiere wrote:The Shermans didn't have problems against the Japanese.
Unless you count terrain.
phavoc
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby phavoc » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:04 pm

Condottiere wrote:The Shermans didn't have problems against the Japanese.

And the Israelis used them against the Arabs.
The Japanese never really fielded a true MBT, all they had were medium and light tanks. Which made sense because their doctrine called for tanks to operate in support of infantry. They never developed the tactics that the western powers did, and they certainly never had a Guderian in their midst.

Their primary opponents (China, Russia) never had much as far armor went, so there was never a need to develop tank tactics. And the terrain of asia is NOT favorable to tanks zipping across the battlefield. Too much damned ocean and jungles getting in the way.

The Israelis used Shermans because that's what they had. Arab's didn't really have a lot of modern armor, either, and the Isreali's, for the most part, always had superior leadership and tactics. Of course you have to identify which war you are talking about. There's a small handful to choose from.
Condottiere
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:51 pm

The Soviet forces beat up the Japanese prior to the Great Patriotic War, one of their reasons for their reluctance for a rematch; the Japanese had no answer for their tanks.

In the 1960s, 180 Sherman tanks received the even more powerful French 105 mm Modèle F1 gun. The barrel length of the gun was reduced from 56 caliber to 44 and equipped with a muzzle brake; ammunition was altered to use a smaller cartridge. In Israel the gun was designated M-51 and the tank the Sherman M-51. M4A1 hulls and the larger T23 turrets (from 76 mm armed Shermans) were used for the conversion.

I'm not going to say that they could hold their own against a then current MBT, but against less well trained opponents, the capability to exploit the tank to it's fullest performance could be the deciding factor.
collins355
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby collins355 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:53 am

Of course, what happened was that between about 1950 and 1980 a situation developed where any tank could kill another simply by using HEAT ammunition against which no real protection existed except not being hit in the first place. So a Sherman firing a 105mm HEAT round was quite sufficient to deal with almost any contemporary Arab tank. And you saw reputable nations field tanks like the Leopard 1 and AMX30 that had scanty armour and relied on speed or hulldown positioning for survival, while slinging 105mm HEAT rounds.

Anyway, back to MgT, maybe we should have a few designs built using the Vehicle Handbook posted here? A few grav tanks and a few gunships? People could explain their design philosophies.
Condottiere
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:34 pm

The air cushioned poor man's version, as well.
phavoc
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby phavoc » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:46 pm

Condottiere wrote:The Soviet forces beat up the Japanese prior to the Great Patriotic War, one of their reasons for their reluctance for a rematch; the Japanese had no answer for their tanks.
Are you talking about Khalkin-gol(sp?)? The Japanese never really fielded a true armor force. At Khalkin-gol it was more or less a stalemate. Russians lost far more tanks than the Japanese, but then again they had a lot more to deploy, ergo they had a lot more to lose. At the time AT guns were deadly to tanks, and they were relatively lower-caliber (37mm and up) because the tanks of the early era were lightly armored.
Condottiere wrote:In the 1960s, 180 Sherman tanks received the even more powerful French 105 mm Modèle F1 gun. The barrel length of the gun was reduced from 56 caliber to 44 and equipped with a muzzle brake; ammunition was altered to use a smaller cartridge. In Israel the gun was designated M-51 and the tank the Sherman M-51. M4A1 hulls and the larger T23 turrets (from 76 mm armed Shermans) were used for the conversion.

I'm not going to say that they could hold their own against a then current MBT, but against less well trained opponents, the capability to exploit the tank to it's fullest performance could be the deciding factor.
Those tanks would absolutely not stand up against modern MBT, either with their main guns or their armor. Those guns are insufficient against MBT armor today. The muzzle velocity of the shells is insufficient to penetrate the armor. Their only ability would be through side-shots to disable the tracks. Even a T-72 would eat their lunch. To be fair, tactics and deployment are always key to any armor victory. But when your guns can't penetrate the armor even poorly-led forces can do a lot.

Some of those Shermans were pulled from scrapyards and repaired (and later re-armed). Israel never had good armor until the deployment of the Merkava.
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:08 pm

I'm inclined to think that the high/low principle works with armoured forces as well, if the commander can get the lower performance tanks matched against the enemies' secondary forces, or combined with a hard edge of actual MBTs, which the Shermans never were, who then pick out the weaker elements in the opposition.

Arguably, the Centurion with a one oh five probably was the best tank in those days.
phavoc
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby phavoc » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:33 pm

The 105 was the standard, but the 120 is much better. The early m1a1 were refitted to the standard 120 rheinmetal.

Centurion was a good tank. It was the first fitted with chobram armor. The later upgraded m1s, with their new guns, electronics and stabilization are far better. I'm not sure if the bits kept upgrading their centurion as much or not.

I'm really interested to see how the the new armata russian tank fares. Will it live up to its hype?
Sigtrygg
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:00 pm

Chobham armour has so far only ever been fitted to three tanks, the US M1 and the Brit Challenger1 and Challenger 2.

The Israelis upgrades their Centurions with reactive armour - along with other pretty effective mods.
Condottiere
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:21 pm

That's probably a complicated and multipart answer, prefaced with if at each part.

If it works as advertized, how much does retooling the factory cost, how much is the unit cost, inflation (though the Ministry will pay in rubles, not dollars), how much money will be allocated for this weapons programme, which can apply to all the other ambitious programmes the Kremlin have in the pipeline, and so on, but you get the picture.

It's a logical development, separating the crew into an extra armoured partition, where they can cooperate with each other, with what I suspect is connected to enough sensors and cameras scattered over the hull.

I think they can afford it, and unlike their planes, where a critical failure tends to be fatal and costs so much, they need someone else to cover most of the development costs. The Armata may look like it works, but weaknesses in armour, electronics, the chassis, active defences, or the supposedly new gun can easily be covered up.

The Americans seem a lot more concerned with troop transports, and the Pentagon is trying to resist forced purchases of more Abrams.

While everyone can project an evolutionary path for armoured warfare, which at one point ends up with autonomous armoured drones, but no one in NATO seems panicked, though concerned at lack of numbers.

The Russians have their reasons for three men crews, but operational experience seems to indicate four is the minimum optimal for any amount of time, unless they have a relief crew trailing them.

Rumour has it that parts of the prototypes that tracked down Red Square were disguised wood. The chassis is going to be the foundation of a complete family of armoured vehicles.

It looks very expensive to me, and the more complicated you make it and load up on electronics. Maybe it needs Alexa, or in their case Olga, to act as a virtual crew member.

But let's assume it does work, all you need is a brigade to spearhead a mechanized breakthrough.
phavoc
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby phavoc » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:14 am

Sigtrygg wrote:Chobham armour has so far only ever been fitted to three tanks, the US M1 and the Brit Challenger1 and Challenger 2.

The Israelis upgrades their Centurions with reactive armour - along with other pretty effective mods.
My bad, got Centurion mixed up with Challenger.
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby wbnc » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:48 pm

Condottiere wrote:
The Americans seem a lot more concerned with troop transports, and the Pentagon is trying to resist forced purchases of more Abrams.

While everyone can project an evolutionary path for armoured warfare, which at one point ends up with autonomous armoured drones, but no one in NATO seems panicked, though concerned at lack of numbers.
The current trend in wars seems to be less in favor of direct force on force fights...seems everyone with the manpower n resources for large armies has decided it's not a game they want to play. It's now small forces fighting insurgencies, and localized forces....So infantry helicopters and air power are doing a lot of the heavy lifting. APCs, and IFVs are heavy enough to deal with the sort fo forces that are being engaged...with gunship support and a LOT of airpower. Tanks have been regulated to infantry support. the MBT is an insanely expensive fire support vehicle so right now it's a secondary budget item.
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Re: Grav Tanks

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:07 am

At some point, you have to show the Russians you mean business; the British seem to be trying to square that circle with re-organizing their army brigades, to give them a harder edge.

Wheels give you strategic mobility, but tactically it becomes circumstantial.

We could probably game the Traveller vehicle designer to get a fairly effective wheeled armoured fighting vehicle, rather than tracked.

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