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Old 11-04-2016, 08:32 PM
Gunslinger Gunslinger is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Texas.
Posts: 3,140
Remember, though, the armor's thinnest on the top, so a sufficiently big artillery shell (or trebuchet-flung rock) will splat a tank like a bug.

But if the rock hits the side (good luck aiming a trebuchet at a fast-moving vehicle, though) and knocks off a track, well, now it's a pillbox that still has 3-4 heavy machine guns (with longer range than the trebuchet) and one REALLY BIG gun (and probably at least several rounds each of HE and canister, in addition to the lawn darts). And they're going to be extremely angry at the trebuchet crew. Better hope the second rock-flinger in the battery has better aim.

Originally Posted by muldoonthief View Post
In the long run, sure. But in the middle of a battle, rendering an enemy tank unusable is good enough for now.
Yeah, but not all that great if they get it back and fix it (or the crew bailed, and climb back in once you move on to find the interior damage isn't as bad as they thought/hose out what's left of the driver) and continue on as soon as you drive away. There's a reason one of the big rules of antitank gunnery has traditionally been "keep shooting it until it burns or explodes." Especially if there's a chance you may not end up holding the ground at the end of the day.

There was one M1 temporarily knocked out during Desert Storm (penetrating hit of "unknown origin*" killed or seriously injured the driver, IIRC, but no major damage to the tank itself aside from a hole in it). They sent the casualty back to collect his Purple Heart and kept going for two or three weeks with just three crewmen, until somebody happened to walk by the tank with a Geiger counter and realize it was hot as hell, and not in the sun-baked sense. Turns out, whatever had hit it had filled it with mildly radioactive dust.

Fun fact: tank crewmen start as a driver, then train to become a loader, loader trains on how to work the gun, gunner learns to be a commander as they advance up the ranks, that way if somebody gets knocked out, the next guy up can cover his position, the guy above that covers that guy's, and the commander does double duty as gunner. (And I guess if the CDR gets whacked the gunner gets a promotion.)

(*-- i.e., they never found out which of its platoonmates the shot came from; there's not much that'll get through the front of an Abrams, and only one thing that's radioactive)