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tank damage

Article about: Hi, There are quite a few pictures of German ww2 tanks that have been hit be missiles showing holes in the tanks armour ....but otherwise the tank looks okay....is this because the shell did

  1. #1

    Default tank damage

    Hi,
    There are quite a few pictures of German ww2 tanks that have been hit be missiles showing holes in the tanks armour ....but otherwise the tank looks okay....is this because the shell did not explode inside the tank, or was it used to fragment the metal causing harm to the crew inside..
    thanks Jim

  2. #2

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    With AT shells the explosive power is usually designed to penetrate the armour rather than explode inside, although there were some that did I believe. A lot of Anti-Tank shells were made out of solid steel so had no explosive power at all and these shells used kinetic energy to penetrate the armour and then ricochet around the inside of the tank causing horrendous damage to the crew and equipment.

    Other shells such as HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) used an explosive charge to push a stream of molten metal at high speed through the tank armour which would then spray around the inside of the tank. This was a type of shaped charge in that the shell is designed with a cavity lined with copper with the explosive placed behind it. Think of the Panzerfaust or Bazooka.

    When you see pictures of tanks blown apart it is usually because one of these shells has also hit the ammunition or fuel lines inside the tank causing an explosive reaction. Or they have been blown up by the crew to prevent it falling into enemy hands.

    I know very little about ammunition and its types but if someone comes along that has a more thorough knowledge I'm sure they will expand on the answer for you.

  3. #3

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    Okay thank you that was very informative ......i wonder if there are any pictures to be seen of the inside of a tank after a shell had penetrated the armour ???
    thanks again jim tylee

  4. #4

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    Quote by JIM TYLEE View Post
    Okay thank you that was very informative ......i wonder if there are any pictures to be seen of the inside of a tank after a shell had penetrated the armour ???
    thanks again jim tylee
    Most photos are taken from the outside. I don't reckon that the photographers were very keen on sticking their head inside a burnt out tank hull.
    The insides would often catch on fire, since the molten metal would ignite everything flammable it touched.
    Sometimes the fire would burn so hot, that the ammunition stored in the tower would "cook of", and blow the tower right of.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	M4 tank of Sgt. George K. Cuthbert, Jr., Company C, 741st Tank Battalion, burns at the intersect.jpg 
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    Quote by Wikipedia
    M4 tank of Sgt. George K. Cuthbert, Jr., Company C, 741st Tank Battalion, burns at the intersection of Karl Heine Str. and Zschochersche Str., Leipzig, Germany, 18 April 1945. The entire crew perished in the battle. The tank was destroyed by a Panzerfaust. Two boys from the Hitler youth fired the Panzerfaust and killed the entire crew. It was the last tank from the 741st destroyed in WWII...

    Panzer 4 wreck - Russia:
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    And another German tank, apparently from Kursk:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here you can see, how the shaped AT shell, sort of "melts" the amour instead of exploding.
    Name:  Tiger Tank - Russian AT shell.jpg
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    If you search "ammunition cook of in tank" or similar on youtube, there will be a variate of different videos that will show you how that exactly looks.
    Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς.

  5. #5

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    Yes, when a tank is burning, you have fire and ammunitions ....
    The best Militaria forum in France is here : http://deutsch-militaria.forumactif.us/

  6. #6

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    A classic illustration of a knocked-out tank. Outwardly, the vehicle appears to be in good condition. The removal of the body from inside the tank tells a different story,

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  7. #7

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    An armor piercing round's purpose is to punch a hole in the armor plate and send the resulting spall (shrapnel) from the penetration flying around the inside of the vehicle causing huge personal damage as well as extensive material damage. That material damage often resulting in a fire. I have worked on the inside of more than one General Dynamics LAV that has been hit and can tell you that one punched hole from the outside translates into a horrible mess inside.
    Steve

  8. #8

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    There are some pretty gruesome youtube videos on this subject, i wont post links, they are really graphic . I dont mind viewing that in a historical context but many appear to be glorifying the awful deaths , some are old footage and some of them are modern

  9. #9

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    This is what happens when the ammo explodes and the hatch is open. As you see its an constant flame, so that means that is doesnt have the shells but it has the charges that are put separately after the projectile.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEwmYrcEQVU


    And when the hatch is closed:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dus9BEdzdI

  10. #10

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    Knocked-out Tanks were often recovered, repaired in the field, and sent back into battle, as not all hits would result in catastrophic damage...The Germans would also transport damaged tanks by rail back to Germany's repair-facitlities...A damaged tank that can't be repaired still contains precious spare parts for reuse, "Cannibalization" is the term we used in my days as an M1/A1 Abrams Tanker...
    cheers, Glenn
    Last edited by bigmacglenn; 02-03-2015 at 06:34 PM.

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