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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Armor in World War II

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Armor in World War II Discuss all aspects & disciplines of World War II Armor here.

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  #1  
Old 27 Apr 12, 05:11
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Question Engine Fires- Question

Hello!
Lately I have passed through large amount of WWII first hand literature concerning armored warfare. What comes to light is that in many cases tank fires starts from the engines even if the tank was not shot from side or rear. How come?

The next note of interest is that many fires doesn’t seem to be critical as long as they don’t spread to the ammunition. Although they can be extinguished by fire extinguishers some seem to actually die out by themselves and the tank can actually be used soon afterwards.

One guy I talked to claimed it was small oil leeks from pipes ruptured from the vibrations in the hull caused by the hit that leaked on to the hot engine. Once it burned out (or extinguished) it was just to tighten “some knobs” and drive off to a repair dump for an engine overhaul.

So to my understanding maybe up to 3/5 of all claims of enemy tanks “burning” (counted as enemy tank losses) in an action was operational within the next few hrs.

Comments?


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  #2  
Old 27 Apr 12, 14:06
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the vibration thing is quite true, even in modern tanks (well,... at least in my cold war days).

In my days bouncing around in one of those cans we constantly had the driver checking hoses and other lines to make sure they were tightly secure. the rational was that if your tank is hit, a hell of a lot of energy is passed from the projectile into the hull (assuming a hull hit) and things get knocked loose.

It would make sense that a tank hit but not knocked out could potentially have an engine fire and the crew bails. The fire burns itself out for lack of fuel or air and the tank is later easily recovered. I would think such numbers would be rather low.
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Old 27 Apr 12, 22:52
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in WW2 most of the tanks used gasoline as a fuel.

gasoline has a flash point of about -40 degrees Fahrenheit..
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