The first tanks appeared on the battlefield on 15 September 1916 near the village of Fleur-Course during the epic battles of the Somme. The previous advance of the British bogged down with very serious losses, and then General Haig threw in the battle his last trump card – 49 new tanks Mark-1. However, to the front has reached only 32 cars. Has gone on the attack even less – 18 tanks. Along with the infantry they advanced deep into the German defense by 5 kilometers.
And died in the grueling trench warfare this breakthrough was considered a fantastic success.
Haig was delighted. New weapons with the strange name "tank" (translated as "Chan", "tank") reduced the losses of the infantry in dozens of times. The General immediately made a bid just a thousand combat vehicles.
A thousand, a thousand, but about a year later, in early December, 1917, near the French village of Cambrai, the British staged the first ever large-scale tank attack of the 360 military vehicles. A huge number of tanks coming at you like an avalanche of steel, stitching wire fences and climbing through the trenches, caused panic among the German soldiers. The British managed to break through all the defense lines of the enemy, but that was it. Due to the indecision of their own cavalry, the offensive bogged down, the Germans pulled reserves, and then the British and not returned to their former positions, having lost the hundred fighting machines.
Of the offensive at Cambrai, all the participants of the Second world made the same conclusion that in this world only tanks can break through enemy defenses. Thus began a century of tank marathon.
The ships go on land
Due to the rate of machine guns, the great mass of infantry began to dig into the ground, the cavalry instantly lost all his agility, and the participants of the First world frantically sought a way out of trench warfare. In October 1914 the Secretary of the Committee of Imperial defence of the British Colonel Swinton proposed to create some kind of armed with cannon and machine gun armored car that could easily overcome the enemy trenches, ditches and barbed wire. English soldiers only laughed. But the sailors took up the matter seriously. Under the patronage of the Admiralty came the Committee of land ships.
The first "land cruisers" on the inside actually looked like the engine room of the ship. Most of the space was occupied by the engine, transmission, drivetrain, and fuel tanks. The crew went on the tank, not ducking. But no more of which include continuous agony.
Due to the operation of the engine inside the tank, quickly accumulated a huge amount of exhaust, gasoline and oil vapors, and during the battle to this mixture was added a good portion of the propellant gases from the cannons and machine guns. The temperature inside the vehicle rises to 70 degrees. Alternately, the crew suffered from the heat and overheating, and then all at once.
Sometimes, the fervor has killed the whole crew. So the tank left doors and hatches ajar at your own risk. But this was of little help, and during the fight you sometimes had to jump out of the tank to get some fresh air. The benefit of this trailed machine with a speed of 3-4 kilometres per hour.
Despite the many observation slots of this steel box, almost nothing was visible. In the fumes and smoke of the battle the visibility generally decreased to zero – taxiing in the direction of the attack. Very often in peepholes flew splinters and bullets. Loss of vision and a disfigured face have become the main wound tank.
Suitcase still with handle
In a hundred years it appeared that on the battlefield the tank is better not to appear.
Who not only wants to kill this beautiful railroad car. Modern infantry is full of grenade launchers and portable anti-tank systems. Drones track the movement of tanks and bring upon them the artillery, some rockets, rocket systems of volley fire and other anti-tank weapons. For hunting tanks, helicopters, jet fighters, fighter-bombers. On the battlefield and in the path of the tanks can wait for modern cumulative mines instant setup. There was also a lot of so-called smart mines, which are triggered only on the appearance of a certain armor.
The troops of the different countries have already supplied weapons that could blind tanks with laser or infrared radiation. Appeared the latest missiles, shells and bombs, electromagnetic pulse kills all e-filling of the tank.
If after all this, some tank and you are lucky enough to get to the battlefield – he's waiting for a swarm of mini-robots armed with ATGM and other anti-tank weapons.
It would seem, who needs tanks?
While the leading countries of the world was preparing for world war III, they have set up so armored that it was too much. Began to decide what to do with all this stuff? Large-scale war is not expected. Sawed metal – very expensive. Use in local conflicts, to the Afghan farmer killed a cheap RPG-7 "Abrams", worth $ 8 million? Is that too much?
Slowly the military Ministers of different countries were to glance sideways in the direction of the tankers and sad sigh.
Judge for yourself. Tanks before rarely can act alone – they always required at least to support the infantry. In normal mode each tank lasts, as a rule, a "train" of cars: air defense, the combat vehicle support tanks, armored reconnaissance, artillery, infantry, electronic warfare, machine, mine, mobile pontoons, bridging systems, mobile command posts, machine communication. All of these machines need to operate side by side with tanks. So, to have good weapons and armor.
"Entourage" tanks also needs repair vehicles, fuel, communications and so on. In the result, the tank units become super expensive, bulky and unwieldy.
Come down to the fact that Canada refused the main battle tank and switched on the light trucks.
However, the experience of the war in Afghanistan quickly showed the canadian military, no tanks with the Mujahideen not cope. It tanks effectively cover the attacking infantry. They easily break through the gaps in dawalah and walls. Tanks on hills control district with a diameter of 4 kilometers. Yes, they should be protected. But for the military happiness it's worth it. Therefore, the Canadians hastily bought German tanks "Leopard 2" and Narada.
The cunning Afghans who are fighting, how many can remember, found a more efficient way. They are constantly purchasing from the reserve of the Ministry of defense of Russia tanks T-55 and T-62. The old tanks cheap. Their loss is not so sensitive for the budget. Armament and protection are quite suitable for the war with the militants of the jeep. And with the United States or Russia to fight in an adult it is still useless.
Also, the Afghan air force is striking handsome American helicopter "Apache" – like the old Russian Mi-8.
Even Pakistan is the main geopolitical ally of the US in the region – not buying "Abrams", and the Ukrainian T-80UD's and Chinese Type-85. For the troubled and rebellious provinces of the Pakistani tank forces amassed over 2 thousand T-55 tanks and more than 1200 T-55 kept in reserve. And why? Because Abrams and even cheaper than the Russian T-72 is too big for the bearded Mujahideen with an RPG-7.
Man tank obstacle
On the one hand, tanks need, but cheap. On the other hand, modern warfare is no place for them. In General, however, they generally reached the limit of its development.
How much more armor on them to hang? Meter? Two? These tanks will not budge. How many systems of protection against anti-tank weapons can be installed on every machine? How many computers need to keep track of shells and missiles flying at supersonic speed?
Add here and a reason: the situation on the battlefield changes so fast that a person, even a well-trained, are simply not able to adequately react to it. The soldier has become a real impediment for their weapons.
To realize this is not easy. How is it that: for a Kalashnikov is a major hindrance when shooting is the shooter himself? Nevertheless it is so. Modern tank system guidance and fire react to the appearance of the enemy and automatically take aim at him for a split second. Tankman just need to press the "fire" button. But even that he do not.
There is such an example. Imagine that for a thousand meters from us in our party took off a rifle bullet with a speed of 1000 meters per second. Our battle computer may not just make this a bullet – it will be at least 11 attempts. That is, the second computer is an awful long time. People thinking spending a few seconds. Almost an eternity.
The deadlock was suggested by the Soviet tank builders: need a single tank platform with interchangeable weapons.
Glory to robots
Such unification has already been used in the Soviet Union – a single platform has become a third-generation tank T-72. From him were born the howitzer "Msta-s", TOS "Buratino" and "the Sun", a fighting machine flamethrower BMO-T, fighting machine support tanks – just over a dozen different machines.
Development of universal bronzeplatte is in full swing in many countries that produce weapons. In Russia, this versatile platform has become the "Armata". While that is a tank. The machine has bronekapsuly for the crew. Tower with weapons deserted. In case of detonation of ammunition and fuel tanks with the engine separated from the tank.
On the platform "Armata" is planned to create a whole range of different machines: main battle tank, infantry fighting vehicle, heavy armored, fighting machine support tanks, armored repair and recovery vehicle, chassis for self-propelled artillery.
But the design idea of Russian arms went even further, and Syria was the first country in the world where participation in the war took military robots. Russian military robotic systems are not just shot and took enemy fire, but also corrected artillery fire using drones.
Apparently, in Syrian company, the robots proved to be excellent. At least the service in the Russian army is ready to take fighting robot "Nerekhta". This small nimble machine is equipped with modular weapons. The tower of the robot can be changed in accordance with the upcoming combat mission – for this you need to Unscrew all four screws. The arms can be removed altogether, turning the robot fighting in the car to evacuate the wounded and deliver up to 700 pounds of ammunition to the front. Robots "Nerekhta" are controlled by operators from a safe hiding place at a distance of 3 kilometers from the scene of hostilities, but they can act independently, by twos or threes: one robot scout, the second robot is attacking identified targets, and the third covers the rear of the other two.
Over time, combat platform "Armata" can also be uninhabited. Tower tank today is the same removable module as the fighting robots. Therefore, the platform can be installed gun with a caliber 152 mm. Shells with tactical nuclear weapons to destroy major enemy compounds also have a caliber of 152 mm.
In the future the "nuclear" gun can be put on fully robotic platform of "Armata" to get a combat robot of the first echelon, firing nuclear ammunition to break through enemy defenses, destroying his bases and factions.
With a single combat platform, with robots, with new Gauss cannons (railguns) tank troops are taking new forms. In this direction various modifications and improvements of the tanks will suffice for a hundred years.
Therefore, the tank corps along with the nuclear weapons remain a strategic deterrent. And replacement tanks not yet in sight.
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