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Armor/AFV
For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
Gun Tube Damage
obg153
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 07:23 AM UTC
A number of movies, as well as newsreel/combat footage, show tanks bashing through walls of large buildings. Since the gun tubes of most tanks extend well past the front end, doesn't this risk damaging the tube, or getting debris stuck in it and thereby disabling the tank? Or does the tube become something like a large battering ram? I googled "photos of gun tube damage" and found several with chunks of the tube shot away by enemy fire. A few more showed the business end of the tube split open like something out of a Road Runner cartoon. But I didn't find any photos with damage that looked like it was caused by bashing thru walls. I realize movies are "Hollywood" and newsreels are often for propaganda. But I was wondering if slamming thru buildings was frowned upon in actual practice.




Precious_rob
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 07:38 AM UTC
Hollywood is a poor representation of reality. Outside of some stuff you see in Sryia where the tanks are basically being driven by amateurs with very rudimentary training, just about any tanker is at the very least traverse the gun away from the point of impact, if not avoid running the entire machine thru a wall to start with. For various reasons, besides the impact potentially throwing the gun itself out of alignment, you run the risk of debris damaging sights and sensor, on top of the potential damage to the running gear or the risk of getting stuck.

Im not saying it doesnt happen ever, but your probably not going to find alot of impact references for main gun damage like your seeking out because professional tankers don't drive their tanks like theyre demolition derby cars.
Charlie-66
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 08:02 AM UTC
I agree with Rob's reply. Tanks are not bulldozers. At the very least you'd screw up the boresight and calibration on the fire control system. Getting stuck or throwing a track are other hazards. Much better to stand off at 1200 meters and blast a building!
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 08:19 AM UTC
and there is a risk of the dang building having a cellar and the inconsiderate buggers who built it forgot to design the ground floor to be able to carry 20 maybe 60 tons of tank .....
/ Robin
Frenchy
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 08:23 AM UTC
On a side note, things are different when there's no gun involved


Some AAV's in Iraq were fitted with a tow bar that could be used as a gate rammer ( of course it could also be used to pull a disabled vehicle out of the kill zone faster)



H.P.
ChurchSTSV
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 08:37 AM UTC
Don't mind me. Just being James Bond.

46123796-gary-powell-goldeneye-web
maximus8425
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 08:40 AM UTC
Barrels are surprisingly fragile when not used for the intended purpose. As an ex Royal Armoured Corps bloke I can say with certainty that even a minor barrel strike would have REME gunfitters all over your wagon so deliberately ramming a wall would be an absolute no no. And it would only get worse the smaller the calibre.
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 09:16 AM UTC
I think smashing down walls was likely something done for the propaganda cameras for all the reasons cited so far.
obg153
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 10:12 AM UTC
Interesting replies, and thanks to the guys who actually rode/ride in them for responding. To add to those who mentioned getting stuck, I recall an episode of the "Greatest Tank Battles" series which occurred during the BoB. In some Belgian town, a KT was moving down a narrow street when it encountered a US anti-tank position. The KT backed up the street and in order to get enough space to turn, it backed into a building, at which point the upper floors collapsed onto the tank, pinning it in the rubble.
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 10:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text

A number of movies, as well as newsreel/combat footage, show tanks bashing through walls of large buildings. Since the gun tubes of most tanks extend well past the front end, doesn't this risk damaging the tube, or getting debris stuck in it and thereby disabling the tank? Or does the tube become something like a large battering ram? I googled "photos of gun tube damage" and found several with chunks of the tube shot away by enemy fire. A few more showed the business end of the tube split open like something out of a Road Runner cartoon. But I didn't find any photos with damage that looked like it was caused by bashing thru walls. I realize movies are "Hollywood" and newsreels are often for propaganda. But I was wondering if slamming thru buildings was frowned upon in actual practice.







I PAY NO ATTENTION when it comes to Hollywood...
GazzaS
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 10:27 AM UTC
In the movie Iron Cross, the t-34 blows a hole in the wall before crashing through the factory wall.
jasegreene
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 12:51 PM UTC
Yes I remember in "Goldeneye" when 007 stole the tank and drove through the wall first and then the statue plus all that traffic in Saint Petersburg.Then after all of that it still fires it main gun.When I first seen it I knew that was about as real as the beginning with jumping off a mountain to regain control of a plane and fly away .
GulfWarrior
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 12:58 PM UTC
So you're saying that in Rambo III when he was in a T-72 playing chicken with a Hind that he probably wouldn't have survived the collision??

I supposed next you're going to say he couldn't have drove it and shot the gun from the same position...



Hohenstaufen
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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 10:29 PM UTC
Or in The A Team when the tank parachutes out of the plane and they manoeuvere it by firing the gun?
Seriously most pictures of guns which look like bananas are caused by muzzle burst. This is caused by worn barrels or faulty ammunition, or a round "cooking off" in a hot breech.
tankmodeler
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 04:13 AM UTC
Any tanker voluntarily running his track, gun first, through anything bigger than light brush will quickly have on his ass, in order, his platoon commander, his company/squadron commander, his battalion commander, the fitter sr. NCO and, last, and by far the worst, the RSM. Officer or not.

Even though tanks are nominally big strong things, the near perfection of alignment needed to hit targets out to 3-4 klicks away requires that the entire gun, mount and sighting system be treated as gently as possible consistent with operational requirements.

You don't risk the ability to perform the mission (i.e. killing targets at long distance) by voluntarily running into things or rotating the gun tube into walls or trees.

Paul
amoz02t
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 05:00 AM UTC
Gun damage per Los Angeles Times Magazine
December 7, 2003 and by David Zucchino book "The Thunder Run"

"The gunner had swung the main gun right to fire on a bunker. In the loader's hatch, Sgt. Carlos Hernandez saw that the gun tube was headed for a concrete bridge abutment. He screamed, "Traverse left!" But they were moving rapidly.

The gun tube smacked the abutment. The entire turret spun like a top. Inside, the crewmen were pinned against the walls, struggling to hold on as the turret turned wildly two dozen times before stopping. It was like an out-of-control carnival ride.

The crew was dizzy. Hernandez looked at the gunner. Blood was spurting from his nose. His head and chest were soaked with greenish-yellow hydraulic fluid. The impact had severed a hydraulic line. Except for the gunner's bloody nose, no one was hurt.

The main gun was bent and smashed. It flopped to the side, useless. The tank continued up Highway 8, Gruneisen on the .50-caliber and Hernandez on a medium machine gun. They rolled up to the spaghetti junction into a curtain of black smoke-and missed the airport turn. They were headed into the city center."
Hohenstaufen
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 06:54 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Even though tanks are nominally big strong things, the near perfection of alignment needed to hit targets out to 3-4 klicks away requires that the entire gun, mount and sighting system be treated as gently as possible consistent with operational requirements.



Yes Paul, you are absolutely right, probably more so in WW2. In fact I seem to remember reading that after the bombing preparation for "Goodwood" in Normandy, 503(?) sPz Abt found they couldn't hit anything because the shock of the bombing had thrown their Tigers sights out of alignment. They all had to be returned to the workshops; and this was vehicles that hadn't even been hit.
KurtLaughlin
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 10:36 PM UTC
Damage to the gun by collision was considered important enough in the 1930s and early 1940s that American tank main guns were shortened to keep them from extending over the hull when pointed forward, even when it was acknowledged that it reduced muzzle velocity.

KL
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 10:44 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Damage to the gun by collision was considered important enough in the 1930s and early 1940s that American tank main guns were shortened to keep them from extending over the hull when pointed forward, even when it was acknowledged that it reduced muzzle velocity.

KL



Not only in the US, other countries had the same concerns.
Some also worried about being able to fight when close to trees and the conclusion was that the barrel should not reach outside the hull sides either. That "restriction" got dumped rather quickly though ....
TopSmith
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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 12:19 AM UTC
For your entertainment.

https://www.defencetalk.com/military/images/t-90a-19th-mrb-tank-btln.42869/full?d=1514060940

https://i.redd.it/50lliww9fr511.png

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/08/15/article-0-148ECB52000005DC-438_634x356.jpg

https://tankandafvnews.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/iiqlihp.jpg?w=282&h=211

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2359/2203694588_876aefcc47_o.jpg


https://previews.123rf.com/images/zhukovsky/zhukovsky1502/zhukovsky150200161/36366768-broken-tank-gun-barrel.jpg