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Weapons of War The machinery of warfare. .

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  #16  
Old 04 Apr 12, 15:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain General View Post
I don't think thats how it works in the US Army.

I've personally known several tankers (officers and enlisted) and they all told me the newest and lowest ranking member of the tank crew was the driver, which is the position all US Army enlisted tankers start at.

You then worked your way up to loader, then gunner, then tank commander.
Well,... in my day the troopers got assigned depending on the needs of the army. After basic training you went off to the armour school and your course was assigned either 'driver' or 'gunner' training. The loaders were usually surplus gunners or drivers waiting for their course as gunners (they could wait a year or so and take other courses as availability permitted).

After about a year in the regiment you could be sent off for additional training either by request or order as determined by the squadron OC. It was common practice to find Canadian troopers qualified to drive every sort of track or AFV in the army and be trained as a gunner as well as having the recce course under their belts within 3 years of joining the regiment. At that point the troopers got their "corporals", if not before. Then came JLC courses so you could reach Master Corporal and off you went on your way up the ranks.
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Last edited by The Purist; 04 Apr 12 at 17:23..
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  #17  
Old 06 Apr 12, 11:23
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When I was an LT back in the early `80s, a new troop coming into an existing crew usually went to the loader's position first. That way the TC and gunner could keep an eye on him while he got trained up to speed.

Even on the M60 series, the loader would be up in the left side turret hatch most of the time, observing his sector. When he got his own MG on the M1 series that made even more sense.

The loader maintains the coax MG, the turret, and the ammo.
The loader is commonly dismounted to act as a ground guide when moving in tight spaces and to man an OP or LP when in a defensive position.
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  #18  
Old 06 Apr 12, 20:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonsterZero View Post
If that kid gets anywhere close that breech when the main gun fires, he can kiss his skull goodbye.
Wouldn't the cannon have a recoil guard like the Abrams? They do use the same cannon.
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  #19  
Old 14 Apr 12, 22:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain General View Post
Actually, I believe the driver is the low man in a tank crew.
I was a tanker for 21 years in the USMC and the US Army Guard and the junior man on the tank was the loader.

Quote:
Wouldn't the cannon have a recoil guard like the Abrams? They do use the same cannon.
The only recoil guard on the Abrams is on the TC side
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  #20  
Old 15 Apr 12, 18:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johns624 View Post
Wouldn't the cannon have a recoil guard like the Abrams? They do use the same cannon.
If the recoil guard was on the loader's side then it's logical to assume it would interfere with the loading of the main gun. He needs all the room he can get in there but that breech is death if he's not paying attention.
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  #21  
Old 18 Apr 12, 18:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasel_burger View Post
You can see why the russians use autoloaders on their 125mm guns, the 120mm is pretty much the practical limit for a human loader.
The Americans believe that a physically strong 18 year old will always be faster and infinitely smarter than the best auto-loader. That's why the continue resisting installing the auto-loader decades after the Russians have adopted it.

The Russian auto-loaders very in quality, some of them had very slow reload rates that were unacceptable. Also, the T-72 auto-loader was responsible for very tragic accidents because it would grab a crewman's arm and amputate it attempting to ram it down the breech.

However, I think they will always have a strong case for eliminating crew members and making the crew just 3 (in the future maybe just 2?) people because in wartime conditions unfortunately tanks will get penetrated and people inside killed and wounded. American Sherman tanks in WWII often went into combat with just 3 crewmen instead of 5 because so many guys had gotten killed and wounded there weren't enough replacements. An ideal tank is not labor-intensive and requires few crewmen.
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  #22  
Old 19 Apr 12, 19:37
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Early autoloaders on T-64 were inadequately shielded from the crew, but tales of arm-eating autoloaders are largely a myth. Every tank is labor-intensive, and tankers perform many more duties besides maintenance; dropping a crewman is hotly debated for the increased workload that would necessarily be forced on the remaining men. Some countries have decided that the tradeoff is worth it, and some hitherto have not.
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  #23  
Old 22 Apr 12, 20:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
Early autoloaders on T-64 were inadequately shielded from the crew, but tales of arm-eating autoloaders are largely a myth. Every tank is labor-intensive, and tankers perform many more duties besides maintenance; dropping a crewman is hotly debated for the increased workload that would necessarily be forced on the remaining men. Some countries have decided that the tradeoff is worth it, and some hitherto have not.
To be fair on the T-64, it was really the first mass produced autoloader.

On the other hand, autoloaders have never overtaken the reputation for eating the gunner.

Personally, i do think right now, there is no replacement for a crack loader. On the other hand, autoloaders do represent a vision of the future.
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  #24  
Old 26 Apr 12, 20:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 737tanker View Post
I was a tanker for 21 years in the USMC and the US Army Guard and the junior man on the tank was the loader.


The only recoil guard on the Abrams is on the TC side
In Canada they are often the driver, then they are easily under the crew commanders supervision and guidance. The Loader or the Guy-In-Back are usually the 1st to demount for whatever reason and usually have some experience in them. I can't Recall if the gunner or the GIB have more experience. both have important duties that they have to do.
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  #25  
Old 26 Apr 12, 21:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
Early autoloaders on T-64 were inadequately shielded from the crew, but tales of arm-eating autoloaders are largely a myth. '....'
Yeah I've read about this several times, is there any practical reason how or why such a story started spreading?
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