Tanks are heavily armed and protected armored combat vehicles. They are one of the most important part of the 20th century and 21st century armies. They have played key roles in 20th and 21st century battles and conflicts ever since their invention and beginning of production in the early 20th century.
These metal beasts were widely used during the First World War and the Second World War. Tanks have drastically evolved since the First World War and the Second World War. The most famous one back then was the British ‘Mark V’ tank. British ‘Mark V’ tanks were the first ones built in the world and used in warfare.
British ‘Mark V’ tank model used in the First World War
Tanks can be used for many purposes such as offensive, counter-offensive missions. They are also used for holding the lines. They can also inflict heavy damage and casualties during a combat. Tanks are of three types depending on their sizes- Light, Medium and Heavy.
There are a total of 106,951 tanks operational in the world. Out of this, 7500 are retired and are used for training purposes.
Armament in Tanks:
Most of the tank models of the 20th century had limited armament capabilities and technology. They could only fire shells from a main-battery at slower pace, bullets from machine guns over the turret and anti-tank mines for slowing down the advancing enemy tanks.
Many of them during the Second World War had an operational distance of only 60-70 km. After traveling this distance, many had breakdowns and failures. But nowadays, these beasts have high functioning time at a single time and they can be used decades with frequent repairs and servicing.
But, modern tanks have a much better, and advanced armament. They have weapons for different purposes such as High-Explosive (HE) shells by main-battery of higher caliber, Smoke grenade launchers for invisibility, turrets equipped with more advanced machine guns, more effective armor safeguarding tank the and its crew members.
Modern tanks are also being equipped with guided missiles. Guided missiles include missiles for aircraft and enemy vehicles. Guided missiles are also used by laser-guidance.
Different modern tanks have crew capacity from 3-4. Some special ones not only take part in combat, but also facilitate movement through rough and hard terrains. Such vehicles include bridge launching ones and the ones with anti-aircraft technology.
Tanks are expected to evolve a lot in the upcoming years.