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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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  #16  
Old 30 Mar 17, 07:30
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Thanks for the answers.

So it could be common that the tanks sights became unusable after deflecting hits?

How long time would it take for the crew to adjust the sight again?
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  #17  
Old 30 Mar 17, 16:49
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Good post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
From a fairly serious hit, what you'd expect is an ear shattering "Klang!" as the round smacked into the vehicle. There'd be a cloud of dust and paint chips inside the vehicle the were raised by the hit. Spalling of some of the interior armor surface might occur, depending on the quality and type of armor in use. This could cause minor wounds to the crew.
It does depend on the quality of the armour. The British noted that Italian armour plate was extremely poor. The Soviets noticed that the Panthers glacis gave reduced protection over time (once certain metals were unavailable). The IS-2 was particularly known for spalling effects shredding its crew although no penetrating hit was made.

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Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
There'd be a hot, anything to orangish colored patch where the round struck that has discolored the interior paint to burnt it off. The armor itself might be bulged and might even be cracked in places.
Depending on the experience of the crew anything from being stunned momentarily to sheer panic could result.
Another possibility is shown in this picture:



The round goes through partially and remains in place. Here, the result is an "non-penetration" but sufficiently damaging that it might as well be one. You would have armor cracking off and spraying the inside of the vehicle in this case anyway. The hit penetrated sufficiently to definitely cause that effect. This would be sufficiently devastating to the inside that the surviving crew would likely abandon the vehicle on the spot. It'd take a really dedicated and veteran crew with experience of previous hits like that to consider staying with and fighting the vehicle.
It appears Soviet tankers were not allowed to exit their tank unless totally immobilised or on fire. Given the consequences the Soviets sometimes inflicted on their own troops, these tankers may have been more likely to continue fighting.
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  #18  
Old 01 Apr 17, 16:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireGodHamster View Post
Thanks for the answers.

So it could be common that the tanks sights became unusable after deflecting hits?

How long time would it take for the crew to adjust the sight again?
Short of an almost direct hit on the sight housing the amount that a gun sight may be knocked 'out of true' is slight. That being said, even a slight variation will effect accuracy until the gunner sees something is off and adjusts after watching his 'fall of shot'.

In my days in Canadian tanks instructors would deliberately take a gun sight off centre and then watch to see how the gunners adjusted. It doesn't take much once you know how to use the BAM (battle aiming marks).

To get a gun back into basic alignment doesn't take long. An open breech and some string is all that is needed.

- You unlock the x and y axis togs and cross the barrel centre with the string
- point the gun at a target a few hundred meters away by looking down the barrel and through the '+' made by the string
- center the gun sight on the same aiming point.
- lock the x and y axis togs
- swing the turret and gun away from the target 20-30 degrees.
- swing the gun back onto the aiming point.
- centre the gun on the aiming point (down the barrel again)
- adjust the x and y axis again
- repeat a couple more time

Not something you do in combat but it can be done in 10 minutes once out of the line. If the squadron B echelon is nearby one of the RCEME lads can probably check for more serious damage. Later on a few test rounds to check the setting can be done and more fine adjustments made.

Of course a direct hit on the sight or its housing may shatter the glass in which case the sight is useless.
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  #19  
Old 02 Apr 17, 13:06
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Great reply, that answered my question and more.

Somehow i remember two examples of damage from non penetrating hits from combat storys I read about Tiger tanks.

One is about two King Tigers that stood guard some miles east of Berlin. A turretless tank appeared on a hill near max effective range, fired one shot and backed away, the shell ripping off most of the cupola on one Tiger but not hurting the crew. The sight had become damaged by the shock however and unusable and the tank was abandoned.

Another example of damage I remember is that one of the Tiger I's during their debut near Leningrad was hit in the side by a smaller gun which didn't penetrating but caused the engine to shut down and it couldn't be started again.

So it seems even the most heavily armoured tanks can have bad luck and become unusable for combat despite the actual amount of damage. In the Tiger I's case it makes me wonder r how the shockwave really affect all the important inner mechanical parts. Especially things that are attached to the outside hull at the sides, like the final drives and all that stuff.
The forces passing through the armored plates when hit must be tremendous.
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  #20  
Old 02 Apr 17, 13:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireGodHamster View Post
I'm curious about what can happen to tanks that takes hits that don't penetrate the armor, and what kind of effects this still can have on the tank, i .e. how sensitive or resistant tanks still are in these cases.

Like effects on sight alignment, automotive parts, the number of hits an armor plate can take before becoming weak etc..

Hope you find the topic intresting enough to answer.
The most vulnerable part of tanks to non-penetrating hits are the crew. An explosion against the hull can cause effects from ruptured eardrums and bleeding from the nose to dizziness, disorientation, vomiting and unconsciousness. The shock wave is transmitted through the hull and absorbed by the humans inside.

As for the tank itself, tracks can be broken, road wheels damaged, periscopes and optical sights knocked out, radio antennae blown off and a host of other mechanical damage short of actual hull penetration. A tank can easily be rendered non-operational without the hull being penetrated at all.

In fact, as demonstrated by Allied bombers, a Tiger tank can be completely overturned without hull penetration and left upside down like a turtle.
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  #21  
Old 05 Apr 17, 18:36
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If a round doesn't penetrate it's still dangerous because you'll have something called spawl witch is small fragments flying witch can do serious damage. Them you have the concussion of the shell hitting the tank witch will rattle everyones inside and have their ears ringing like the "Gong Show"
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  #22  
Old 06 Apr 17, 14:32
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Ther Germans did some tests relating to noise inside tanks when fired upon, probably to determine the difference between rolled and cast armour. Test subjects were a Panzer III and a Somua S-35. They were fired upon by machinegun fire using both the standard s.S. and the S.m.K. projectiles and a 2cm FlaK, projectile not specified.

Measurements are in phon. AFAIK, 80 phon is where things start to get unpleasant (very loud music), 100 phon is a pneumatic hammer at 1 meter, permanent hearing damage even at short periods happens at 120 phon and the pain threshold is at about 130. Hits by the 2cm FlaK against various parts of the tanks reached from 125 to 135 phon, rifle ammo between 114 and 125.

Another tale of Tiger IIs damaged by non-penetrating hits comes from the fighting around La Gleize during the Battle of the Bulge. Two Tigers (211 and 213) were so battered by non-penetrating hits from gun fire (Shermans, probably 76mm guns, APC and HVAP) that they were both abandoned by their crew. One allegedly suffered terminal damage to the gun controls and the other ended up with its gun barrel shot off (guess that was a penetrating hit...).
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  #23  
Old 30 Apr 17, 07:48
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Came across a couple of examples where the radios in Soviet tanks and SP-guns were damaged by non-penetrating hits and indeed the firing of the tanks own main gun (SU-152).
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  #24  
Old 30 Apr 17, 08:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbo View Post
Came across a couple of examples where the radios in Soviet tanks and SP-guns were damaged by non-penetrating hits and indeed the firing of the tanks own main gun (SU-152).
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