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Thread: Armor Question

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    Armor Question

    I've been searching online, but I can't find an answer. What do tankers call the front of their tank?

    In this specific case, what might a tank commander tell his driver about keeping the nose/front/bow/whatever from going up too high while cresting a hill in order to minimize exposure to the tank's underside?

    Thanks.

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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    In the early days of tank warfare, the Brits did use the term bow to refer to the front of the tank. I don't think it caught on in the US Army. Since Patton was the "early adopter" of tanks in the US Army, I pretty sure he would have crushed that suggestion quickly

    I am unaware of a particular command, but armored vehicles strive to maintain a defilade position as much as possible. This is taught from the basics of tanker school for enlisted and officers. As you mentioned, terrain will cause exposure of the bottom of the tank, but I can assure you that the driver needs no encouragement to make that exposure as brief as possible.

    In prepared fighting positions to repel an advance from the enemy, the preferred position is hull-down... meaning that the turret is exposed while the rest of the tank is basically underground. Like a fox hole for a tank. This provides both cover and concealment from the enemy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by efmbman View Post
    In the early days of tank warfare, the Brits did use the term bow to refer to the front of the tank. I don't think it caught on in the US Army. Since Patton was the "early adopter" of tanks in the US Army, I pretty sure he would have crushed that suggestion quickly

    I am unaware of a particular command, but armored vehicles strive to maintain a defilade position as much as possible. This is taught from the basics of tanker school for enlisted and officers. As you mentioned, terrain will cause exposure of the bottom of the tank, but I can assure you that the driver needs no encouragement to make that exposure as brief as possible.

    In prepared fighting positions to repel an advance from the enemy, the preferred position is hull-down... meaning that the turret is exposed while the rest of the tank is basically underground. Like a fox hole for a tank. This provides both cover and concealment from the enemy.
    Thanks for your response. I was infantry, and I spent time with a Dragon's Platoon, and our Holy Grail was to catch a tank cresting a rise. Very unlikely, but that was the school-book solution. Now, I write military fiction (scifi and "normal"), and I'm attempting to write about a tanker. In the book, I have an overbearing TC who always states the obvious, and I use him sometimes to say things so that the non-military reader understands. But for the life of me, I can't find any reference to a front of a tank other than "the front."

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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonobo View Post
    Thanks for your response. I was infantry, and I spent time with a Dragon's Platoon, and our Holy Grail was to catch a tank cresting a rise. Very unlikely, but that was the school-book solution. Now, I write military fiction (scifi and "normal"), and I'm attempting to write about a tanker. In the book, I have an overbearing TC who always states the obvious, and I use him sometimes to say things so that the non-military reader understands. But for the life of me, I can't find any reference to a front of a tank other than "the front."
    I hope I did not come across as condescending. "Front" is as good as it gets I bet. Tom Clancy was known for his meticulous research into terminology regarding military equipment and tactics. His early work, Red Storm Rising has several chapters devoted to the tank clashes that would happen in Germany along the Fulda Gap. Neither Clancy (nor his characters) had a special name for the front of the tank. He also wrote a nonfiction piece - Armored Cav and I don't remember anything in there either. That one is a pretty good reference for armored vehicle systems and capabilities.

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