Is the Main Battle Tank obsolete?

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Pistolenschutze, Mar 3, 2007.

Is the Main Battle Tank obsolete?

  1. Yes, get rid of the MBTs and concentrate on newer weapons systems.

    0 vote(s)
  2. Yes, but they still play a significant role. Phase them out slowly.

    7 vote(s)
  3. No, the MBT will be the key to land warfare for the foreseeable future. Build more tanks!

    10 vote(s)
  4. No, but we should not neglect newer weapons systems in favor of tanks.

    30 vote(s)
  1. Not to mention the fact that far too often military leaders tend to fight the new war using the tactics of the last one, USMC. That seldom works very well, as we found out in Vietnam. :cool:
  2. Yes. sir! Like the US Army's battle drill 1-A...squad attack or battle drill 2...react to contact (fix and flank)'s been around since man figured out how to launch rocks.

    The tools for killing change...but the methods and the outcome stay the same.

  3. Yep. That's why we'll be hurting the next big high intensity war we fight (China). The insurgent battles have gontten us away from training for the huge manuever battles with chemical/nuclear threats. High intensity battles involve many perishable skills that are being forgotten.

    I'm not mad yet though. Our learning curve is fast. And our military is still far far finer than the society it protects can even begin to deserve.
  4. And the Revolution, and the War Between the States, and WWI, and WWII, and Korea, and the Gulf War, and Iraq. At lease we usually learn, adapt and prevail, although slowly.
  5. Dakota Red 1

    Dakota Red 1 New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    And I was going to burn all my AIR-LAND BATTLE pubs in the stove this winter. Maybe I ought to keep them for my son.
    MBTs are just one round in the mag. Arty has been getting the short end lately. I only dropped into one FOB (Balad?) where I found cannon-cockers bragging about jerking a lanyard. Mostly they are on force protection and convoy security. They even got some 13Bs cleaned up enough to stand outside the Amb's office at the Embassy Annex.
    Combined arms, dolloped out into self-contained blocks that can be assembled and disassembled at need from RCT to corps is something that's going away in our current shadow divisions. They should keep warfighting some of the old scenarios at Leavenworth, so we have command staff ready for continental war.
    At the local level my old bunch is teaming up with tanks but in a 2X2 company configuration. Holy Hegel that freaks me! I'm used to doing everything in threes.
    I love arty and tanks. They are masters of destruction. They humble me and my little rifle. I saw the inside of a reinforced concrete building (they weren't all mud brick) that some DAT crew had fired a sabot through. If nothing else, I would have died of fright if I had been in there. And even though I was not impressed with some recent close rocket and mortar hits from them other people, years ago our 155s had me spittless when our 113 broke down while crossing the impact area during a Combined Live Fire Exercise.
    As a new private, I was told that a tanker wouldn't leave his machine to take a dump. Well I had been hearing a lot of stories (box of grid squares) but sure enough, within a week we came busting through the brush and there was an M60 crewman, facing the turret, heels hooked over the front of the glacis, squatted down with his arm around the gun tube and his coveralls undogged. And that is why we need to keep tanks and tankers. They are constant. They crap like birds on a perch and they run down range, coaxing and main gunning the crap out of stuff that a grunt (crunchie in DAT lingo) wouldn't want to have to deal with.
  6. Super wildcat round for the Sherman

    One thing I think would have made the Sherman better is if it had a "super wildcat from he11 round" for both the 75mm and 76 mm guns.

    The idea of tanks not fighting tanks makes a lot of sense when you are on the offensive. It's the old "hit them where they ain't strategy". But some times you are going to meet other tanks, it's unavoidable. And on the defensive tanks will have to be used to stop breakthroughs of tank forces.

    Towards the end of the war the Allies had h.v.a.p. rounds for their tank guns which could defeat all German armor. But these rounds were difficult to produce, and in short supply. What was needed was a "wildcat round". One that would only be used against tanks. A round that was just barley safe to use due to it's high velocity and or heavy weight of projectile.

    The vast majority of rounds fired by our tanks were high explosives (h.e.). Our tanks spent a lot more time shooting at enemy troops, bunkers, strong points, trucks, halftracks, self propelled guns and armored cars than at true tanks. All these targets could be destroyed with h.e. rounds.

    But the relativley few times we were shooting at enemy tanks our guys needed a round that would have a lot more "umpf". Such rounds might be hard on barrel life, but sinse used so little it wouldn't be much of an issue.
  7. FPDoc

    FPDoc New Member

    Apr 3, 2008
    That's a Patton rationalization to justify losses in armor while advancing through Europe. Great from a desk or a jeep, but not encouraging to the tanker who is likely to get the second shot in after the Panzerfaust or the PAK40. Tanks have a role just as infantry as they are the only battlefield assets that can take and hold objectives. The gun/ missle and armor balance has been seesawing forever. After the 73 Yom Kippur War, every one thought armor was obsolete by the presence of cheap HEAT weapons like the sagger. So far, that hasn't panned out. Given current political climate, large armored clashes such as a Fulda Gap are less likely, hence a doctrine to shift to a lighter more rapidly deployable force. Abrams M1A2 was a Block 2 vehicle. Block 3 was a new concept that emphasized lighter weight and increased mobility. I haven't seen it yet. You get 2 armies with well trained crews in comparable generation vehicles, then you'll see some changes. IMHO.
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