Tanks and obstacles

Swedish test video of 1951 comparing Swedish light tank, Panther, Sherman and Churchill. The video is pretty much a Sherman bash and Panther praise. This may explain why they never bothered to buy surplus Shermans and introduced Centurion tanks later.

(hat tip to Nigel Wells)
related: 2010-08 Mean maximum pressure paper

This short excerpt from a wartime propaganda movie shows the same traction problem with the M3 Lee/Grant (same suspension and tracks as many Sherman tanks).

Please note that many "modern" tracked AFVs and almost all wheeled AFVs have their hull extending forward of the front wheel, which causes additional problems during trench crossing or obstacle climbing attempts (example). Dozer blades don't help in such situations either.

German test with Leopard in woodland:
(mostly wet soils, trees with flat instead of deep root network)

Upgraded AMX-13 climbing 45°:

Funnies' troubles:

A rather brazen way to cross a trench:

These buggers were specified to be slim enough to pass between trees:

In the end, remember it's often first and foremost about the driver:

For Germans:
Antiker BW-Lehrfilm über Geländefahren mit LKW etc.



  1. SO,

    1. What is striking is that in spite of the tremendous off-road performance of the Panther, no one, including Germany has used the interleaved road wheels design since WWII, and even the Russians have largely abandoned the slack track configuration. English language texts ascribe the problems associated with interleaved road wheels to “freezing mud” or “maintenance challenges,” but these explanations are vague and unchallenged. If a Panther tank parked overnight in a muddy field and froze; would a Pzkpfw IV fair any better in the same conditions? Removing multiple road wheels to get to the one affected is a hassle, but does the advent of pneumatic air wrenches reduce this maintenance problem to a tolerable level?

    2. Just how important Rowland’s MMP really is and how should it impact design? It is easy to understand that lower MMP is better, but Rowland gives us no real useful metric regarding the marginal cost or marginal utility of each improvement in MPP. Maddeningly, (and perhaps understandably) there are no real factors for climatic factors like snow or rain.

    3. The much derided Sherman (and others), nonetheless performed yeoman service in battlefields around the world (30% of which saw service in the pacific theater), and in spite its shortcomings, crews seem to have been able to overcome its limitations in jungle mud and volcanic ash. It is a shame that the Swedes chose not to test the late war HVSS model Sherman tanks that had a MPP of 205: roughly equivalent to the Leopard1/2. We might have some interesting comparisons and inferences about the effectiveness of modern tanks.


    1. Tonight we just have destroyed 2 T64 Ukrop tanks u Peski.