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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 23 Mar 17, 23:46
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Non-penetrating hits effects on tanks

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.
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  #2  
Old 24 Mar 17, 01:41
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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.
Tanks are actually quite delicate creatures, even a long train ride or road march results in it having to have it's sights re-calibrated never mind near misses from heavy artillery or non penetrating hits from other tanks.
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Old 24 Mar 17, 02:04
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Tanks are actually quite delicate creatures, even a long train ride or road march results in it having to have it's sights re-calibrated never mind near misses from heavy artillery or non penetrating hits from other tanks.
..
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Old 24 Mar 17, 02:20
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Question

Always used to make me laugh when the Tiger fanboys prattle on how invulnerable their tincans were to things going clang outside! How do you tell if it's a piddling anti tank rifle round, or a glancing hit from a 17pdr?

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Old 24 Mar 17, 05:14
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Old 24 Mar 17, 05:36
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"Flaking" was an issue,

even though not penetrating, a hit from a heavy enough gun could send small bits off the interior ricocheting and making casualties anyhow.

And obviously the crew inside is still human, hit it with 120mm HE or something they'll likely be incapacitated by concussion and the like.

Quote:
How do you tell if it's a piddling anti tank rifle round, or a glancing hit from a 17pdr ?
A sustained barrage with non lethal, small calibre hits would likely also work yes, if only on a psychological level.

If they can hit you repeatedly with something small, they can likely bring up something heavy, and it's time to move.
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Old 24 Mar 17, 07:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowygerry View Post
"Flaking" was an issue,

even though not penetrating, a hit from a heavy enough gun could send small bits off the interior ricocheting and making casualties anyhow.

And obviously the crew inside is still human, hit it with 120mm HE or something they'll likely be incapacitated by concussion and the like.



A sustained barrage with non lethal, small calibre hits would likely also work yes, if only on a psychological level.

If they can hit you repeatedly with something small, they can likely bring up something heavy, and it's time to move.
To be fair, it's relatively common for friendly tanks to machinegun each other if required.

While it makes things a little uncomfortable for the crew, it can severely inconvenience the enemy troops clambering over it.

It's also useful to point out that neither the reversed bullet, nor the more modern HESH, actually penetrate, but spalling from the first can be lethal, and the effects of the second don't bear thinking about.
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Old 24 Mar 17, 07:12
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Originally Posted by the ace View Post
To be fair, it's relatively common for friendly tanks to machinegun each other if required.

While it makes things a little uncomfortable for the crew, it can severely inconvenience the enemy troops clambering over it.

It's also useful to point out that neither the reversed bullet, nor the more modern HESH, actually penetrate, but spalling from the first can be lethal, and the effects of the second don't bear thinking about.
There is documented evidence from WW1 that sustained machine gun fire on a limited area of armour plate will transfer enough kinetic energy to heat the spot to a point that it becomes soft and penetration is possible.

Machine gunning a tank also forces it to stay closed down and may limit its commanders vision

Documented tests of reversed bullet versus correctly orientated ones (again in ww1) against various thicknesses of armoured plate suggested that the reversed bullet had little advantage over the normally orientated one unless used at suicidally close quarters
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Old 24 Mar 17, 09:29
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(...) but spalling from the first can be lethal, and the effects of the second don't bear thinking about.
"Spalling" is what I called "flaking" above ?
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Old 24 Mar 17, 10:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowygerry View Post
"Spalling" is what I called "flaking" above ?
Almost but not quite. Spalling is when pieces of the hull get fired off the inside by the same process as Newton's balls. With something like a squash head you can get quite a substantial piece; flaking when small flakes of paint, rust etc get shot off by the same process. Not be confused with bullet splash when a bullet strikes the hull where two plates join, melts on impact and squirts molten lead through the joint
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Old 24 Mar 17, 10:15
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"Spalling" is what I called "flaking" above ?
Yes, it is basically spalling; most modern AFVs have a spall-liner to mitigate against this. The other kind of non-kinetic effect is EFPs, which penetrate by explosive / blast direction rather than kinetic means.

Benefits of no AP-ammo (intended to kill by spalling or burning the interio) is that they do not require high energy to work, so their utility does not fall off so rapidly with range. They are, however, more likely to be neutralized by ERA or APS.
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Old 24 Mar 17, 10:51
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Hits to the tracks or running gear can immobilze the tank. A tank that can't move is mostly useless.
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Old 24 Mar 17, 11:02
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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.
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.

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Old 24 Mar 17, 11:13
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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
From Forczyk, I seem to recall that as German armour quality fell during the war, crew causalities and tank losses rose owing to lesser impacts inflicting far greater damage
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Old 25 Mar 17, 13:01
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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.
Guderian himself noted that Western tanks were more resilient to HE than German tanks.

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