What's it take to blow the turret off an M1 ?

Over at Army Times there’s a story claiming that improvised explosives were used to completely blow the turret of an M1 Abrams tank last tuesday. Aren’t the turrets glued down rather tightly ? Would a stick of dynamite suffice, or are we talking 20 Lbs of C4 wedged up under the barrel here ?

Well, according to Tom Clancy, armor piercing 120mm tank shot from Soviet and U.S. tanks was barely able to dent an Abrams turret, if that’s any help.

But of course, “blow a hole into” is a little different than “blow off the hinges.” I’m guessing it took a lot of explosives to do it.

The palestinians a few month ago managed to blow the turrent off a merkava III tank, using 100kgs of explosives in a command detonated mine which the tank rolled over.

Generally tank experts consider the Merkava III to be even better protected( and quite a bit slower on the move) than the Abrams, although their criteria is more against rounds from tank guns striking the front of the tank than mines. The merkava has the engine in front of the hull, rather than in the back as with most tanks.

see this


If the ammo went off, that would do it, wouldn’t it? I always thought tank turrets were rather loosely held on, just like battleship turrets. The thing weighs a huge amount, it’s not going anyplace under normal circumstances.

In the case of the M1 ( or any modern western tank for that matter) the ammo for the main gun is stored in a locker at the read of the turrent, hence the large size of the turrent compared to Russian tanks. If hit the design allowd the ammo to explode out towards the rear of the turrent and keep the crew more or less safe.

COmpare this to RUssian tank turrents, where the amo is stacked around the turrent. Not much chance of surviving an explosion there…

I’ve seen footage of a full complement of ammo being detonated inside the turret of a MBT. The ammo storage compartment has a “blowout” panel, so the detonation vents outwards. Looked like the damndest batch of roman candles you can imagine going off but it didn’t budge the turret.

I don’t think you read the story correctly (if at all).

If you follow this link to the complete story at Army Times, and this link (look slightly down the page for a link which reads: Punching through the Abrams armor – slide show) you will see that it was actually an armor piercing round of unknown origion. The tank crew was inside the tank at the time and escaped with minor injuries. The photos show where the round pierced the tank in several places but clearly there was no explosion.

On the other hand…this is an effective way to remove the turret from a Russian T-72

Skybum, that’s a separate incident.

Your link is to a story dated October 27, referring to the August 28th incident where an unknown “something”

The OP’s link is to an article today referring to an incident this past Tuesday, in which an

Ahh damn…my mistake. Thanks for the correction Antonius Block.

Just my thoughts…i’m no military expert or anything…

The M1A1 is about 68 tons, with a 120MM cannon. Just guessing…let’s say that the turrent is about 30 percent of the total weight, for sake of argument let’s say that it’s about 22 tons or so.

So the question is, what would it take to blow 22 tons into the air sufficiently that it lands sideways and falls off a turrent?

No earthly idea… if I’m not mistaken…you could flip the tank upside down and the turrent would fall off. I think they’re built like battleship turrents, the weight keeps them in place…

I’m sure I’m wrong…but anyone feel free to correct me…