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"Worst War to Be a Tanker? WWI!" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian26 Jun 2023 6:48 a.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

Which conflict would have been the worst for AFV crews?

33% said "World War I"

23% said "Russo-Ukrainian War (2022-23)"

10% [TIE] said "World War II" OR "Yom Kippur War (1973)"

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2023 9:52 a.m. PST

All good ways to die …

Korvessa26 Jun 2023 11:50 a.m. PST

I think a lot of that would depend on which side you are on.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2023 4:47 p.m. PST

That's true … At times certain Armor Forces were clearly superior to their enemies'.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2023 5:04 p.m. PST

So none of the wars with high tank crew losses rate as badly as riding in the worst tanks for noise and smoke, even though WWI tank crew losses were pretty modest?

This strongly suggests that the average TMP respondent would rather be dead than uncomfortable. Probably true.

Martin Rapier26 Jun 2023 11:04 p.m. PST

WW1 tank crew losses were generally 100% after eight hours in action. Either incapacitated or killed by enemy action, or incapacitated by their own vehicles.

UshCha27 Jun 2023 1:09 a.m. PST

Martin Rapier +1 Carbon Monoxide poisenting was endemic to those early tanks.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2023 2:27 a.m. PST

Good points, Martin, UshCha. Not a favorite period of mine, and my reading suggested breakdowns well before that point.

Griefbringer27 Jun 2023 5:35 a.m. PST

There were efforts to improve crew comfort already during the WWI.

The humble Renault FT-17 may have become obsolete quite quickly in the Interwar period, but when it originally rolled out it was rather modern: separated crew and engine compartments, suspension, easy to use transmission and rotating turret. Granted, the lack of intercom for the crew was a bit of shortcoming. But if I had to crew WWI era tank, that would probably be my choice.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2023 8:02 a.m. PST

If you wanted to be comfortable … join the Air Force ! 😎

This strongly suggests that the average TMP respondent would rather be dead than uncomfortable.
In the Infantry I was uncomfortable many times. old fart Mounted or dismounted …

3ADFAVet27 Jun 2023 9:03 a.m. PST

Probably not "uncomfortable", but rather "miserable" would be a more fitting description of some my limited military field service. Whether it was being Cold (and Wet) or Hot (and Sweaty & Sand or Insect covered), I can think of more than a few times it was less than fun.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2023 11:02 a.m. PST

I was 11 years ANG, 14 regular Army and about 10 DoD contracts. I could find you some uncomfortable moments. But yeah, better to be someone the Air Force didn't care about and had no obligation to help than to be left to the mercy of the Army. To the day I left, I was never sure when they were serious.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2023 3:24 p.m. PST

3ADFAVet +1 …In my 10+ years on active duty, '79-'90 With 4 Infantry Bns, yeah we had some miserable times as well. Jungles, ROK winters, Mojave, etc. miserable would describe those places very well at times.

robert +1 … you old fart !

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2023 6:15 p.m. PST

Thank you, Legion.

Just to check, how sure is the carbon monoxide business? Truthfully, I wouldn't have expected a WWI rhomboid to seal tightly enough. I do remember it being a problem with some Cold War Soviet stuff, but only because they came without heaters and crews would reroute the exhaust through the tank to avoid freezing to death.

With you on the FT-17 Greifbringer. All later tanks are FT-17 descendants, and many did good second-line service in WWII, especially rear security. I always wanted to do a convention game where someone landed paratroops on an airfield, and the defenders started up the FT-17(s). Not much of a tank, but paratroops usually aren't big on AT guns.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2023 3:12 p.m. PST

The WWI Tanks were really high-tech for their time. But AFAIK they were not airtight or have an over pressure system like todays AFVs. I'd think the crew may suffer from carbon monoxide based on how long they were in the AFV and the mechanical condition of the engine.

In the France '40 Campaign the still used FT-17s. They were one of the few or only WWI tanks that had a turret. They were the choice of US Army during WWI also.

LouisDesyjr18 Jul 2023 12:32 p.m. PST

World War II Russian tanks: I recall recently a YT video talking about the differences in tank construction between USA, Germany and Russia. In Russia they apparently did a study and found that the typical tank only last about 6 hours in combat so they put transmissions in them that were only expected to last 1,500 miles; the idea being that the tank probably would end up destroyed before the transmission needed to be replaced.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2023 3:30 p.m. PST

Right now, with all the Russian Tank losses in the Ukraine. Many having suffered catastrophic destruction. It may be the worse war to be a tanker, is you're a Russian.

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