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Could a Tiger charge through tank traps, destroying them?

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces.
Long-time forum member Ron Klages (1939 - 2007) generously shared his knowledge and the results of his impressive research with the forum, and this section has therefore been renamed in his honour.
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Could a Tiger charge through tank traps, destroying them?

Postby Trenchgun on 23 Jul 2006 13:15

The metal and concrete kind, placed above ground as obstructions designed to stop tanks from moving.

I ask because the game Company of Heroes has decided that most vehicles and tanks cannot pass through the barriers, except for heavy tanks like the Tiger and Pershing.

Theorhetically is seems possible, given the sheer mass and armor of these vehicles when moving at full speed... But it seems unlikely...

I mean, if tank barriers could be defeated by simply charging them then why bother?
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Postby LWD on 23 Jul 2006 14:28

It depends a lot on how the barriers were designed. If they were designed to stop a 20 ton tank then a Tiger would have a pretty good chance of moving through them. The bigger the tank designed to be stopped the more resources it would take to build the barrier. So if you design for lighter tanks the barrier can be built quicker, or deeper, or longer, or cheaper, or some combination of the above. If the barrier is combined with mines and well overwatched even if your opponent has heavy's it might still make sense to build it vs the lighter tanks.
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Postby K-9 on 23 Jul 2006 15:00

I think a Tiger could break through barriers made out of metal ( designed for lighter tanks, of course ) - thus, a Tiger could simply bend the metal making it flat on the ground. Concrete barriers however, even though designed foir lighter tanks are not easy to break ( bending is out of the question :) ) , and I suspect a Tiger would just end up on top of those, without a track ...
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Postby Christian Ankerstjerne on 23 Jul 2006 15:50

The main problem is that such traps - even if ineffective against the tank itself - would be likely to damage the tracks and the drive train.
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Re: Could a Tiger charge through tank traps, destroying them

Postby Ace31 on 23 Jul 2006 16:07

Trenchgun wrote: I mean, if tank barriers could be defeated by simply charging them then why bother?


Because only a "stupid" or reckless tank-commander could risk to damage his tank or to remain iimmobilized charging them...
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Postby ChristopherPerrien on 24 Jul 2006 03:48

Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:The main problem is that such traps - even if ineffective against the tank itself - would be likely to damage the tracks and the drive train.


Which is all tank traps are expected to do. Tree stumps work as well as metal and concrete obstacles too. What is more suprising is that barbed wire is also highly effective at stopping most modern post WWI tanks.
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Postby Christian Ankerstjerne on 24 Jul 2006 08:07

Which is all tank traps are expected to do.

That depends - anti-tank ditches and Dragenzähne was more of a general blokade, as far as I know.
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Postby LV on 24 Jul 2006 14:21

Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:
Which is all tank traps are expected to do.

That depends - anti-tank ditches and Dragenzähne was more of a general blokade, as far as I know.


I agree. People often think that even fully exposed antitank obstacles, e.g. Dragon Teeth, are supposed to damage tanks. I think that they were built just to prevent tanks even from trying to breach the obstacles and to guide enemy armor into certain 'killing fields'.
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Show me your belly, baby! Thunk!

Postby AikinutNY on 24 Jul 2006 15:09

Tank traps are not left unguarded. You don't put a minefield in place and walk away from it. But, if you have a flat open spot that your enemy can charge right thru, you put something in his path to stop of slow him down. An anti-tank minefield will have anti-personnel mines to keep engineers from cleaning them out, you also put a MG or squad of soldiers to shoot at anyone trying to clear the area. The tank traps or anti-tank ditch will force their tanks to slow down or come to a complete stop while they try to clear the device, very slow tanks make great targets. A tank climbing over a "Dragon's Tooth" will expose that very thin belly and even a 37 mm anti-tank gun could stop Tigers as they expose that soft belly.

Unless you have something like the Grand Canyon you have no way of making sure that no tanks come thru a certain route. But, you can made them pay very dearly for choosing to use that way. Minefields and any other obstacles will allow you to concentrate your forces else where and not divide up your forces too much. You can also have the position presighted for your artillery to fire on if the enemy force uses that route.
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Postby Panzermacher on 29 Jul 2006 17:01

Very interesting image of a Polish 7TPjw crashing through/over a concrete Tank Trap, although this Vehicle is very lightly armoured (10mm to 17mm) on the front Hull, I think the picture says more about the ineffectiveness of the Tank Barrier than the strength of the Tank itself, as you can see the "Tank Trap" has infact beeen dislodged & rolled over.
http://www.achtungpanzer.com/pol/pol7tp.htm
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Dragonteeth

Postby Radar on 29 Jul 2006 20:51

The problem with the dragonteeth were the uneven hight of the teeth. The tank would sit with the hull on it and the tracks would be ineffective.
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Postby ChristopherPerrien on 29 Jul 2006 21:07

Looks like a good way to keep "rednecks" from tearing up your cow pasture. Yes dragon's teeth will stop a tank but only if they are continuously covered by fire , without that they are easily blowned up or filled over with rocks in a matter of minutes. Which makes hash of the massive expense that went into building such obstacles. A newer "Great wall of China".
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Postby ChristopherPerrien on 29 Jul 2006 21:24

Panzermacher wrote:Very interesting image of a Polish 7TPjw crashing through/over a concrete Tank Trap, although this Vehicle is very lightly armoured (10mm to 17mm) on the front Hull, I think the picture says more about the ineffectiveness of the Tank Barrier than the strength of the Tank itself, as you can see the "Tank Trap" has infact beeen dislodged & rolled over.
http://www.achtungpanzer.com/pol/pol7tp.htm

That is what a "caltrop" obstacle like that is suppose to do. It "bellies up" a tank and rendereds the tank seriously immobilized and probably damaged as well.

What they don't show you , is that I don't think that tank went much further. It probably busted or had ripped off a whole side of its suspension sytem in the next few feet. Too bad we don't have picture of that. Glad I ain't the fool who had to fix it.
Nothing like beating on steel with a hammer (i.e. fixing a tank) , I think I would wack that tank driver a couple times too.

For those new to the forum I am an old tanker myself.

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Dragon Teeth

Postby Radar on 29 Jul 2006 21:39

Just for information, the lower part of the teeth are facing the attacker.
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Re: Dragon Teeth

Postby ChristopherPerrien on 29 Jul 2006 22:03

Radar wrote:Just for information, the lower part of the teeth are facing the attacker.


A good observation, must be "French cows" :lol:. Really it doesn't matter much, but to comment further on the "Dragon's teeth", they would have been SLIGHTLY more effective if the teeth had been of varying heights though the widthe of the obstacle rather than a uniform increasing of the height toward the back. I don't understand the "logic" of this feat of German engineering , I am just looking at it from what I know about driving tanks and the difficulties such an obstacle would present.
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