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Posted: 6/6/2008 4:54:33 PM EST
what makes one a tank and one a tank destroyer?

I have always wanted to know....Pics to help demonstrate the differences are OK too.....

Link Posted: 6/6/2008 4:55:31 PM EST
bigger gun
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 4:56:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2008 5:04:55 PM EST by Saber7]
Tanks were heavily armored all around and generally ment to combat everything, infanty other tanks, bunkers, ect.

Tank destroyers were generally lightly armored and ment to only destroy tanks. A good example of a Tank Destroyer being something like this death coffin

Link Posted: 6/6/2008 4:56:51 PM EST
rotating turret mostly, though a couple tigers did not have them
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 4:56:55 PM EST
The quick and dirty:

Originally in WW2 US tanks (aka shermans) were meant to support infantry, tank destroyers were meant to fight tanks.

Tank destroyers had less armor, but larger guns.

It didnt work out so well. Shermans were forced to fight tanks because there were never enough tank destroyers around.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 4:58:05 PM EST
Tank destroyers had thinner armor, no top armor and had bigger guns.

The idea was that tanks were for exploitation of breakouts, and tank destroyers were simply mobile anti-tank guns for taking out tanks.

Dumb idea, but when the technology at the time is taken into account, about the best they could do at the time.

Link Posted: 6/6/2008 5:05:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2008 5:07:48 PM EST by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By BURN:
what makes one a tank and one a tank destroyer?

I have always wanted to know....Pics to help demonstrate the differences are OK too.....



US version?

Difference came from a boneheadedly stupid doctrine that dicated tanks were not to be used in combat against tanks...

Rather, under said doctrine, tanks were to be used to support infantry against infantry...

And 'tank destroyers' were to fight enemy tanks....

So a 'tank destroyer' was a vehicle optimized to kill enemy tanks...

And a 'tank' was really an 'assault gun' on tracks, to be used as mobile fire support for infantry...

To apply this to modern US vehicles...

The Stryker MGS would be the primary 'tank' under this system...

The M1A2 would be a 'tank destroyer'....
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 5:08:57 PM EST
Thanks for the replies guys....
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 5:15:05 PM EST
Tank destroyers, past and present (yes, countries still make and deploy tank destroyers) were lightly armored, some having no armor on the top or rear at all (leaving the crew exposed to attack), and had no turret. If you wanted to aim the gun, the driver had to point the tank in the right direction. Some couldn't even elevate or depress the gun, they were so cheap and primitive, though most could and all modern ones do.

They're basically self-propelled anti-tank guns.

Tanks, on the other hand, are designed to combat a wide range of opponents (infantry, other tanks, bunkers, and sometimes even aircraft), have rotating turrets that the main gun is placed in, and are much more heavily armored (or at least, heavy tanks are. Light tanks rely more on speed than armor to keep them alive.).
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 5:17:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By BURN:
what makes one a tank and one a tank destroyer?

I have always wanted to know....Pics to help demonstrate the differences are OK too.....



US version?

Difference came from a boneheadedly stupid doctrine that dicated tanks were not to be used in combat against tanks...

Rather, under said doctrine, tanks were to be used to support infantry against infantry...


We were just copying the Germans there.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 5:19:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2008 5:20:06 PM EST by Drakich]

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
Tank destroyers, past and present (yes, countries still make and deploy tank destroyers) were lightly armored, some having no armor on the top or rear at all (leaving the crew exposed to attack), and had no turret.


Actually, American TD's had turrets.




Link Posted: 6/6/2008 5:25:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2008 5:53:21 PM EST by GoDrNo]

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
Tank destroyers, past and present (yes, countries still make and deploy tank destroyers) were lightly armored, some having no armor on the top or rear at all (leaving the crew exposed to attack), and had no turret. If you wanted to aim the gun, the driver had to point the tank in the right direction. Some couldn't even elevate or depress the gun, they were so cheap and primitive, though most could and all modern ones do.

They're basically self-propelled anti-tank guns.

Tanks, on the other hand, are designed to combat a wide range of opponents (infantry, other tanks, bunkers, and sometimes even aircraft), have rotating turrets that the main gun is placed in, and are much more heavily armored (or at least, heavy tanks are. Light tanks rely more on speed than armor to keep them alive.).




ETA. damn beat to the punch by Drakich

Not all WWII era tank destroyers had no turret, the most prolific Ally tank destroyer of the war, the M-10 Wolverine and its British counterpart the Achilles, both had rotating turrets, tank destroyers were generally much more lightly armored and quicker than tanks. Tank destroyers were likely to be deployed in ambush type situations where they could get the opening shot and get out of Dodge using their speed. One of the German British tank destroyers (can't remember which off hand, edited to add, it was the Archer) even had its gun mounted rearward to facilitate it's ambush role, also the gun was rear facing because of the weight of the gun vs. the chassis they used. (Can't for the life of me find which model it was, but I swear I remember reading about one with this set up)

ETA 2: I know why I couldn't find which model had the rear facing gun, it was the British Archer, which mounted a 17 pounder on a Valentine chassis, and not a German TD.

British Archer
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 5:31:41 PM EST
Here's another of a tank destroyer (M18). Still runs and has a live gun..







And here's an anti-tank gun...



Link Posted: 6/6/2008 5:54:55 PM EST
Jagdtiger
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 6:03:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By Cpt_Kirks:
Tank destroyers had thinner armor, no top armor and had bigger guns.

The idea was that tanks were for exploitation of breakouts, and tank destroyers were simply mobile anti-tank guns for taking out tanks.

Dumb idea, but when the technology at the time is taken into account, about the best they could do at the time.



It's not entirely a dumb idea and the concept of a tank destroyer is still with us today in some ways.

If we look at WW2 US forces, we have the Sherman starting out as a general infantry support tank that was eventually upgunned as neccessity dictated (eg: the UK Firefly version of the Sherman), and then there were dedicated tank destroyer tanks, like the M-10 "Wolverine" (other ww2 armies had their own equivilents). If we look at US forces today, can we see the descendents of the Sheman and the Wolverine still in use? Yes. The infantry support role of the Sherman is now the task of the M-2 Bradley, and the tank destroyer role of the Wolverine is now the task of the M-1 Abrams. Sure, an M-2 can take out tanks (it has an anti-tank missile launcher built onto the turret for anything the 25mm gun can't penetrate) and an M-1 can support infantry, but the lineage of infantry support/M-2 and tank destroyer/M-1 is there. In the past there have also been tank destroyer versions of APC's such as the M-113 TOW that carried a TOW anti-tank missile luncher and extra reloads for it instead of infantry like regular M-113's.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 6:07:43 PM EST
Jagdpanther



Better armor slope and suffered less mechanical failures than the jagdtiger.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 6:28:56 PM EST
StuG III



Originally intended as an assault gun to support infantry ended up being maybe the most successful tank destroyer of all.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 6:46:37 PM EST
I kinda like the look of the Stug III, just seems so busisness like.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 7:09:30 PM EST
One thing you'll notice about the Stug III is its profile.

The Wehrmacht became very proficient in using the assault gun/TD in fixed defensive/ambush positions.

As someone mentioned eariler, the concept meant the Stug was a mobile AT gun.

The Swedes fielded the S-tank

Link Posted: 6/6/2008 8:20:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By GoDrNo:
Jagdpanther

img.photobucket.com/albums/v286/BloomingCrocus/Forza%20Cars/ARstuff/jagdpanthergcw_10.jpg

Better armor slope and suffered less mechanical failures than the jagdtiger.


And interleaved roadwheels FTW!

Oh, wait. Nevermind.

Link Posted: 6/6/2008 8:28:22 PM EST
A tank is generally a heavily armored gun platform. A tank destroy is a lighly armored gun platform. The tank destroy was designed to shoot and scoot. To shoot a tank and get the the hell out of dodge. Speed is a tank destroyer's armor.
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