When the tanks will enter into the city …

Tank was born in the smoke of field labor, so to break the barrier of Stitching wire and destroy so unsafe for the attacking infantry machine guns. Nobody expected that these combat vehicles have to fight in built-Fri, but it happened almost immediately. On the roof of the British and French tanks from enemy-occupied towns fences flew bunch of grenades, and had to defend …

British cars have iron mesh, from which a grenade rolled on the ground and on the French Saint-Chamond roof itself was not flat and saddle. Now the designers knew that the possibility of fighting in the town for the tank to be sure to take into consideration. Here exclusively to what extent? This question is fundamentally unresolved to this day.

■ French SainlChamond tank had to be reworked in urban combat in the First World

Towers and bottles

Already in the early British Mark I tank very soon had to cut the barrels of the guns, as they are not only driven into the ground when the tank get out of the craters, and hitched a stone fences cities. In general, about how to build a special "urban tank" for action in the town, even out of the question in those days was not as first tank battles in towns planned by anyone. Still, tanks, bristling at the end of the 1920s, 1930s, an abundance of first machine guns could repel from different directions at once, which is exactly what is required in the city's criteria.

The two towers in the UK, allows you to put at least some trench in the "two lights" and just shoot in different directions. The Three Towers at Vickers Medium Mark III, to develop a strong bow fire. 5 towers on the tank Vickers Independent, create a continuous Zahav fire around the tank [with a machine gun at some of them could have it all work differently and in zenith mode, in other words, to conduct fire and the upper floors of buildings]. "Neuzh is not that enough?" as if asking the designers of these combat vehicles.

Another thing is that the criteria of the economic crisis in 1929 as Independent in the singular, and remained, and the same is not received soon Vickerston two towers and one, and as such received a baptism of fire [his two-towered predecessors also had to participate in small wars of the 1930s) .

And it is here that rang true until very softly, the first call! Russian cannon tanks T26 and BT5 who fought in Spain (19361939), first established themselves very well, but their actions were successful only until such time as they do not have to go to the villages, representing an intricate network of narrow medieval streets, high fences and stone buildings.

Here 45mm cannon nothing could assist, while most skittish the Franco fighter, which is near the tank, previously had never seen, had no trouble with the roof structure or shed to throw a bottle with flammable consistency right on passing military vehicle.

It is clear that in the assault on the city FuentesdeEbro our tanks BT5 managed to break into the city. However, lacking the support of the infantry, they were all killed by specific fuel bottles. In this case, neither of which "Molotov cocktail", then by that same speech was not! In ordinary bottle poured petrol cars, the neck was wrapped with a cloth, and the tip pokes inside. Before the prominent fabric burned, and the bottle flew into the tank. All the same effect even from that erzatsoruzhiya was very large and ignore it became unsafe. Beginning of the second world war and the battle for Warsaw germanopolskie is absolutely confirmed.
It turned out that the tank in an urban environment more blind than when he was fighting in the field, he should be able to hide behind fences and at the same time because of their striking the enemy. Then it turned out that the tanks need reliable protection from falling on them from above "flaming bottles."

The designers took the challenge. It is on a promising tanks late 1930s, on which he worked and the famous Cat, planned to make a mask, gun, so she was able to fire the upper floors of large buildings and conduct fire at aircraft. As will be appreciated, neither the first models T34 nor KB, nor other Russian-volume tanks to such failed. But for the most experienced T80 last Russian light tank with a 45mm gun in a twin turret, released in 1943, this mask is still there, which is why this tank immediately dubbed the "zenith" and … "City"! But in a batch creation, he never did, because of its advantages at the moment can be read only speculative.

The problem of least partly tried to decide on the installation of anti-aircraft machine guns, tanks, that time just coincided with the events in Spain. At the same time in many Russian tanks were installed "Voroshilov" machine gun in the back of the turret to fire back. If the anti-aircraft machine gun tank commander could shoot at the planes and the upper floors of buildings, from the "Voroshilov" shoot anyone who would try to run up to the tank back, which is most easily done specifically in the town!

But it was not so easy. Indeed, while the tank commander fired a gun, bashner could not shoot out of a cannon, and the commander was very embarrassing to look at once, besides shoot and forward and reverse! Also open standing on the tower machine gun was vulnerable to the enemy. Because of this, an experienced French tank AMH40 (there are only 8 project) designers put him in a special niche behind the tower next to the motor to extract out only when needed.

Ultimately, the problem has not been completely resolved, and most of the war was standing on the doorstep!

■ British tank Vickers Independent bristled five towers, allows you to immediately conduct fire in all directions. The tank was put into service, but became a mockup for design and other Russian T35 tanks.

■ Russian T26 tank at first proved to be excellent at the front plainclothes war in Spain, but as the fighting began and villages Fri, he became easy prey bottles with gasoline, which supporters of Franco threw behind cover, created by the urban landscape.

The fire-breathing mantis

A truly original solution offered English designer EJ Tappe in 1942. Then it was designed and built to a very unusual tank Praying Mantis, or "Praying Mantis", which served as the basis for not even a tank, a crawler transporter Vgep. Another such war machine was not, and even the battered British military experts at gaze at her and shook their heads was what. Towers of the new "assault" tank had. Instead it was located between the tracks of the rising "frame" several advocates for the size of the tank in front of the autom
obile and placed on top of an armored machine gun. Inside, lying on the mat, housed a crew of 2 persons. With a lowered frame this tank was as low as possible, but raising it, the crew could shoot through the rubble and barricades, also bombard the upper floors of buildings and lofts. The fact that the car was two people at once, allowed to divide their duties: one was driving, and the other used the weapons, which provided an inflated combat effectiveness. But not very good overview, the weakness of the armor and weapons put an end to this unique project.

A more conventional approach at the time was thickening armor. So, on the part of Americans own Sherman tank's front armor set width 152 mm, turning them so Makarov "assault tanks" Jumbo. Even more massive booking hull and turret, also chassis had experienced South American Tank T14, but in mass creation of this machine is delivered and has not been.

When the second global war finally ended, much of the "urban" tanks simply forgotten and the main instrument was acknowledged nuclear weapon. Specifically, it was supposed to strike the towns, while the tanks still had to fight in the "open field".

■ Tower South American tank T92 was reinforced with 2 machine guns. Experienced standard. For service to be adopted.

■ left of the picture is the most unique car for street fighting: English "Mantis" (Praying Mantis]. Due climbing frame "Mantis" with a crew of commander, and fire an arrow could lead to targets hiding behind fences and barricades. Right tank with climbing tower: construction, proposed article creator

Editors asked renowned military historian, creator of many books on the history of the Second World War by Alexei Isaev give a little comment about the need for tanks in the towns.
■ The main principles for the use of tanks in the town were developed in the course of plainclothes war in Spain. The main way to "tree" when traveling on different sides of the street tanks covered each other with fire. So Makar, from the very beginning the question was put not on the need for armored vehicles in street battles, and on a good strategy for such action. The main means of combating tanks in a town in Spain were Molotov consistency.

During WWII tanks in the town used extensively by both sides. German panzer divisions were the leading participants storming Stalingrad. Street battles unfolded with the role of tanks in Voronezh, stately Luke and other towns. The most eye-catching page to become the battle for Berlin. On the streets of the German capital includes three tank armies and numerous infantry support tank units. The presence of "bazookas" fend off the waste strategy. Using the same "Christmas tree" 2nd Guards Tank Army, 100) held the high-spirited pace entire blocks of the German capital. Our tanks are also used short-range "Faust" and shot gun emplacements Germans with non-hazardous 50-100 m Losses tank armies of manual anti-guns were sensitive, but not tragic. 1st Guards. TA Katukova for the entire operation irrevocably lost 232 tanks, 104 of them in the street fighting, about a third of them from the "bazookas." 2nd Guards. TA Bogdanov lost in Berlin Fire "faustnikov" 70-80 tanks and self-propelled guns of 209, lost for the entire operation (to the beginning of the operation, it consisted of almost 700 vehicles]. 3rd Guards. TA Rybalko lost in the Berlin 114 tanks and self-propelled guns of 204 for the entire operation. 76 of 204 cars have become a victim of "faustnikov", mostly in urban warfare. At the 7th Guards. IS2 the heavy brigade of the 8th Guards. TA of 67 for the operation of tanks lost 11 cars were burned by "bazookas." General loss of the Red Army from the "faustnikov" in Berlin is estimated at 200-250 tanks and self-propelled guns of almost 1800 lost for the operation as a whole. Massive 75mm and 88mm guns in the open field were much more severe enemy. But on the streets of their share in the losses falling, while "faustnikov" grew.

■ You can not disagree with the commander of the 3rd Guards. TA PS Rybalko expressed in 1945 as follows: "The use of armored and mechanized" units and formations against villages Fri including cities, despite the undesirability hamper their mobility in these battles, as experience has shown great Russian war, very often becomes inevitable. Therefore, one should this kind of fight well to teach our tank and mechanized forces. " Perhaps this thesis burning to this day.

A small episode

It so happened that in the post-war 1957 South American designers decided to make a light tank T92 unusual for long assembly. The main highlight of his design was so wide turret that it apart from the gun itself enough space for 2-machine gun turrets with 12.7 mm machine guns M2. Through this placement of weapons, these two side towers could shoot all the space around the tank, creating a kill zone of 360 degrees, and in addition, lead to the same fire on highly placed targets. All this for the lack of the heavy armor of the tank and allowed to wage war in the town of successful than all else. Here are just adopted T92 for some reason did not take …

Application for the future?

As you know, made in Israel, through the efforts of Major General Israel Tal tank "Merkava" ["Vehicle"], transmitted by the army in 1978, is the world's main battle tank with the location motornotransmissionnogo compartment (ITO) in the front and in the back of combat of the housing. Removable top armor plate MTO several elevated relative to the rest of the body and its own edge overlaps the lower part of the tower, protecting the more vulnerable in tanks joint between the turret and hull. The internal partition separates the engine from the crew compartment, but the fuel tanks located either in front, between the armor plates and the rear, which also makes additional protection. Tower remotely similar to the tower of South American M60A2 tanks, and has developed spaced booking. But the most unusual design element of the tank hatch aft double door width of 600 mm, the lower part of which folds down and the top up. Behind it there is an additional amount that can be placed stretchers with the wounded, emergency crew, 10 paratroopers or additional ammunition. However, the strategy of using the tank "Merkava" does not provide for transportation of soldier on the battlefield. It is typical for a crew of four people plus ammunition in the rear compartment. On the turret of a tank installed just three machine guns: M2 over the gun barrel and one on each hatches for crew members. So Makarov, the commander and loader can conduct effective fire on the upper floors of buildings, while the gunner is able to continue to bombard targets in front of a tank with a machine gun M2.

The experience of fighting the introduction of tanks "Merkava" showed them the highest protection, fire resistance, and low level of losses in the middle of the crews. But conside
r this tank, "city" would be quite incorrect. They are usually placed at a crossroads, and in urban settlements were administered only when necessary and then priemuschestvenno in those where they own weight break apart fences and houses. For action in the middle of high-rise "high-rise" they are not provided exactly as though no other modern tank: from a shot from a grenade launcher on top of it will not protect no armor!

Tank "Merkava" alternately modernized, so that its last modification Mark IV [and earlier modification M Mark III] has a 120mm gun. It is similar to a gun Leopard and Abrams tanks and can shoot projectiles similar to them. But even with such a large caliber far not any target in the middle of campus buildings can be destroyed by the first shot.

■ Israeli tank "Merkava" (pictured model Mk IV) repeatedly took part in urban combat

The Chechen experience is knocking on the breastplate

Recognizable South American professional in the industry armored Steven Zaloga very clearly demonstrated the vulnerability of Russian tanks and infantry fighting vehicles on the results of the first Chechen campaign. He developed schemes demonstrate that our tanks such as T80 and T72, have significant lesion area behind the top and on the sides, whereas with respect to BMP situation even worse. There, no matter where you shoot, the defeat still guaranteed. In small towns especially effective fire on the tanks was conducted from manhole sighting between the wheels specifically for the tower. There also were shooting out of the windows and basements, and on the upper floors of buildings and balconies were aiming at the upper armor plate MTO also in the back of the tower.

To reflect this risk tanks had to be accompanied by infantry, which, as in the years of Russian majestically, their fire would have destroyed the enemy "faustnikov." With all this overtake the infantry tank should not have. In the end, so the fundamental properties of the tank, as its rapidity and agility were excluded completely.

A hypothetical "urban" tank

There is no doubt that it is better "to go bad than good to go." And why so let soldiers that protect the tank from enemy fire, move on it than go around the edges and the back. At the technical level, this solution could look like this: behind the tower at least some of the modern tank armor cradle arranged something like a box with sides, inside of which the Myagenko mats of non-combustible material is a fighter with some pretty huge with supplies of ammunition. In fact, it is the same landing, but with a different goal. After all, none of the criteria for pickup in limited visibility through the viewfinders will not be able to change the human hands and eyes. And here is the tank will be able to move with speed tactically profitable, while the men are in the tool tray will suppress the enemy fire.

Caliber guns could rise even more. The test now tank cannons 140 mm, of course, stronger today. Yes, and they can not hurt quite a big house by the first shell. That is why the gauge should increment up to 152/155 mm, and eventually up to 160/164, in other words to bring guns to the caliber of American engineering tanks, capable of one shell to disperse a small brick or stone house.

In general, there is another way to do tank "urban" to enhance its ability to conduct a fire on the upper floors of buildings, and because of the low fences and buildings. This is a modern interpretation of the idea of EJ Tapp tank with climbing tower, which will allow to shell targets located substantially below the common sighting of the strip. The enemy is behind a fence or barricade? Raise the tower and fire the enemy over obstacles. But the gun itself is sure to be a tank or shoot maloimpulsnoy jet guided missiles with a low-impact.

Of course, whether or not all the specific way and not somehow on another, it is very difficult to say. But the logic of military affairs is leading us in this direction, and it is very possible that the special "urban" tanks at some point will appear.

Are the Russian designers are now on the tank adapted to fighting in the town? With this question, "The popular mechanics" addressed to the staff of head tankostroitelnogo enterprises of Russia "Uralaagonzavoda"

■ How do we explain the control press service of the company BG Mineev, now hopes for special designed for "Uralvagoneavode" tank support combat vehicle (BMPT). In other words, the question is not about the development of the tank for urban combat and not on making a fundamentally configurations in the design of existing tanks, but a change in the concept of introduction of the tank in the town. Tank platoon will be able to act more perfectly accompanied by a special machine, built on the chassis of the T90 tank and having an uninhabited tower filled with various kinds of weapons to suppress infantry and anti-tank weapons of the enemy.

■ first option BMPT appeared in 2000, and in the 2002m was presented today at the standard of the last generation of this technology. Two coursework automatic grenade launcher AG17D PKTM 7.62 mm machine gun and two twin 30mm automatic cannon 2A42 can for a small clearance time for the infantry to release nine 30mm rounds, 600 30mm grenades and two thousand and 7.62 mm bullets. Four missiles "Attack-T" BMPT given the chance to get out unscathed from the duel with the tank. But most importantly, the machine can immediately conduct fire on three goals and act in complete darkness.

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