Tanks Steel Juggernauts Essay Research Paper

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Tanks: Steel Juggernauts Essay, Research Paper Tanks: Steel Juggernauts Tanks have been very influential in warfare ever since the first Great War. They started out as a way to cross the muck filled trenches of the first World War to one of the most powerful ways to attack the enemy. The United States Armed Forces tanks have been some of the greatest of the wide variety of tanks. The most interesting and powerful of these giants in the United States arsenal are: the Abrams, the M60, the Sheridan, the Patton, the Sherman, and the Chaffee models. Some of these tanks are small and some of them are large but all of these tanks have managed to strike fear into any country who have dared to oppose the United States at any given time. The Abrams was created in the 1970’s to

counter the newest generation of Russian tanks (Lloyd 14). The early models of the Abrams tank were used primarily for the Cold War against the Soviet Union however few if any shots were actually fired from there guns. Then in the early 1990’s the Abrams M1A1 was used against Saddam Hussein and his Iraqi troops in the Gulf war. The main advantage the Abrams had over the enemy tanks here was that because of it’s thermal viewer the American troops could see through the darkest cloud which was the case here due to the burning oil fields in Kuwaiti (Russell 132). The three main models of the Abrams tank are the original M1A1 model, The M1A1(HA) which was nearly identical to the M1A1 with the exception of the much heavier armor however this tank was primarily used in Europe,

Finally in mid 1992 the follow-up to the M1A1 the M1A2 went into field testing. This model alot of improvements over the M1A1 to numerous to mention (Russell 130). The weapons and armor on most tanks are not unique to their model, most guns and armor used on a wide variety of tanks. On the Abrams model for example it has the following weapons: A 105 millimeter tank gun or a Rheinmetall 120 millimeter smoothbore tank gun, It also has dual 7.62 millimeter machine guns to handle infantry. The armor on this tank is the still classified British Chobham armor, which is immune to a wide variety of anti- tank weapons in the Soviet arsenal. (Lloyd 14) The M60 was developed and put into service around 1959, then later on in the early 1980’s its life was extended when it was upgraded to

the M60A3 model(Lloyd 17). The most recent model the M60A3 was used in operation Desert Storm (Russell 144). However this tank is now being phased out in favor of the M1A1 Abrams (Lloyd 17). The M60 model which is very similar to a M26 tank in appearance, was the original model designed in 1959 (Anson 53). Then following the original M60 was the M60A1 Patton which had a narrower turret which offered a greater protection against ballistic projectiles and also had much of its internal and external equipment and components rearranged (144 Russell). The weapons on the M60 tanks Consisted of the following : a 105 millimeter tank gun, a 12.7 millimeter anti-aircraft gun, and a 7.62 millimeter co-axial machine gun. The armor on the M60 models is at a minimum 12.7 millimeters and at a

maximum 120 millimeters thick. (Lloyd 17) The Sheridan tank entered use in 1966 but due to the 152 millimeter gun/missile launcher and its light-weight construction the firing of the gun on it would almost result with it looking as if it was going to tip over. Due to that this light reconnaissance tank is not very useful because its aiming is so horribly off due to that flaw in construction (Hogg 29). There is only one model of the Sheridan, the M551 which is plagued by the problem that I have previously mentioned above. The amount of firepower this tank has is rather large for how small it is the weapons consist of the following : The 152 millimeter tank gun/missile launcher that causes the major problem it has, a 76.2 millimeter co-axial machine gun, a 12.7 millimeter