Main battle tank
A main battle tank, known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the armor-protected direct fire and maneuver role of many modern armies. Through the 1960s, the MBT replaced almost all other tanks, main battle tanks are considered a key component of modern armies. Modern MBTs seldom operate alone, as they are organized into armoured units which involve the support of infantry and they are often supported by surveillance or ground-attack aircraft. In World War I, tanks were classed into light and heavy based on weight, as tank combat evolved, tank design suffered from a number of limitations due largely to engine power and transmission capability. A designer could produce a tank with high maneuverability, armour, or a large gun, the first prioritised maneuverability, and thus had a limit on weight. These were known variously as cavalry tanks, light tanks, medium tanks and these tanks had different uses depending on the countrys tank doctrine, but were generally used to exploit holes in the enemy lines and run far into the rear areas in self-supporting armoured groups.
This would disrupt enemy logistics and command-and-control, as well as delay the movement of reserves to the front and it was believed operations of this sort would undermine or completely destroy the ability for the front-line troops to continue battle. The second class prioritised armour and thus weighed more, limiting maneuverability and these were known as infantry tanks, heavy tanks, or assault tanks. They were generally designed to assault enemy lines, working in concert with front-line infantry, as these were expected to move forward at the same speed as the men, higher speeds were not required and the engine power could instead be used to carry a much greater load. Infantry tanks featured much larger amounts of armour, heavier guns, as the nature of tank warfare evolved, tanks designed for other specialised roles saw development. This included dedicated tank destroyers, and engineer tanks such as Hobarts Funnies, Tank destroyers had varied successes, and often ended up engaging enemy infantry instead of their intended targets.
German assault gun armoured vehicles like the Sturmgeschütz III were found effective in an anti-tank role, in spite of a great amount of theory and pre-war testing, the plans for armoured combat quickly proved themselves outdated. The battlefield did not bog down like it did in World War I and this was especially evident in the great sweeping battles in North Africa and the Soviet Union, where armoured forces executed drives of hundreds of miles. In these cases the problems with having two became especially evident, the tanks able to go toe-to-toe with the enemy were generally found miles to the rear. Those able to maintain the drive were lightly armoured, and proved easy prey for enemy anti-tank guns, as these evolved, the tanks own weapons had to grow larger in order to deal with enemy tanks with the same level of armour. This evolution led to the development of a more general-purpose medium tank, medium tanks formed the bulk of the tank combat forces. Generally these designs massed about 25-30 tonnes, were armed with cannons around 75 mm, notable examples include the Soviet T-34, the German Panzer IV, and the US M4 Sherman.
The widespread production of designs led to most others being pushed out of service or into niche roles
A mortar carrier, or self-propelled mortar, is a self-propelled artillery piece in which a mortar is its primary weapon. Simpler vehicles carry an infantry mortar while in more complex vehicles the mortar of is fully integrated into the vehicle. Mortar carriers cannot be fired while on the move and some must be dismounted to fire, the mortar carrier has its genesis in the general mechanisation and motorisation of infantry in the years leading up to World War II. Provision to allow the mortar to be fired from inside the vehicle resulted in the most common form of the mortar carrier. In the battlefield taxi role mortar carriers have traditionally avoided direct contact with the enemy, many units report never using secondary weapons in combat. Some light armoured fighting vehicles, such the Panhard AML-60 and Ratel-60 and this combination allowed a light vehicle to engage targets both directly and indirectly. In addition to traditional infantry mortars, the Soviet Union introduced into service the 2B9 Vasilek, the Soviet 2S9 Nona and its successor the 2S31 Vena are true self-propelled mortars, being tracked turret mounted 120mm gun-mortars.
Attached to light units, such as the Russian Airborne Troops the Nona and Vena, provides Russian commanders with additional mobile direct fire anti-armour. Other self-propelled gun mortars are the Chinese PLL-05 and the Nordic AMOS, in U. S. Army doctrine, mortar carriers are to provide close and immediate indirect fire support for maneuver units while allowing for rapid displacement and quick reaction to the tactical situation. The ability to not only allows fire support to be provided where it is needed faster. Prior to the Iraq War, American 120mm mortar platoons reorganized from six M1064 mortar carriers, the urban environment of Iraq made it difficult to utilize mortars. New technologies such as mortar ballistic computers and communication equipment are being integrated, list of mortar carriers Media related to Self-propelled mortars at Wikimedia Commons
The Tank Museum
The Tank Museum is a collection of armoured fighting vehicles at Bovington Camp in Dorset, South West England. It is about 1 mile north of the village of Wool and 12 miles west of the port of Poole. The collection traces the history of the tank, with almost 300 vehicles on exhibition from 26 countries it is the largest collection of tanks and the third largest collection of armoured vehicles in the world. It includes Tiger 131, the only working example of a German Tiger I tank and a British First World War Mark I and it is the museum of the Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps and a registered charity. Bovington Camp, in which the museum is located, trains most sections of the British Army in tracked-vehicle driving as well as repairing and maintaining the vehicles in its workshops, in 1916 the British War Office established the Bovington camp as a tank crew training facility. At that time the army was introducing tanks into the First World War in an attempt to break the stagnation of trench warfare, in 1919 the tanks returned to Bovington from France.
Many of them were fit only for scrap, a small number of the least damaged vehicles were put to one side so that tank crews and designers could have an idea of the tanks early heritage. In 1923 the writer Rudyard Kipling visited Bovington and recommended a museum should be set up, the collection grew greatly after the Second World War, as many Allied and captured Axis tanks were added. In 1947 it was opened to the general public, the Tank Museum has continued to expand and today it is primarily seen as a means of educating and entertaining the general public, with the exhibition being geared in this direction. Many of the tanks are in working order and can be seen in action throughout summer months in special displays. The museum holds an annual TankFest display of their operating vehicles, in 2012, the museums historian David Fletcher, who had been an employee since 1982, was made an MBE for his services to the history of armoured warfare. World War I Hall Along with “The Trench Experience” this hall has recently been refurbished & renamed, as well as containing the majority of the museums World War I tanks it now tells the story of men who crewed the first tanks between 1916 and 1918.
The Lawrence of Arabia exhibition is no longer in the hall, featured tanks, Mark I tank, IV, V, IX & Mark VIII Libertytanks. Inter War Hall Refurbished in 2014, this hall now explores the rise of the tank, featured tanks, Vickers A1E1 Independent, Peerless Armoured Car & Vickers Light tank, Mark II. World War II Hall The biggest section, with tanks from most nations involved in the conflict and this hall contains the Battlegroup Afghanistan exhibition. The men of the Royal Armoured Corps who have involved in some of the fiercest fighting since World War Two. The hall contains a Conqueror, Challenger 1, the newly installed children’s soft play area is located there. British Steel Hall Explores the design & technology that goes into making tanks, there is a mock production line of Centurions, as well as prototype and experimental vehicles
Early light tanks were generally armed and armored similar to an armored car, but used tracks in order to provide better cross-country mobility. The fast light tank was a feature of the pre-World War II buildup. Numerous small tank designs and tankettes were developed during this period and known under a variety of names, modified IFVs are assuming these roles in many militaries due to their immediate availability, and as a cheaper alternative to developing and fielding a pure light tank. In World War I industrial initiative led to swift advances and it would be Renaults small tank design the FT, incorporating a proper climbing face for the tracks, that was the first tank to incorporate a top-mounted turret with a full rotation. Previous models had been box tanks, with a crowded space combining the role of engine room, fighting compartment, ammunition stock. The FT would have the largest production run of any tank of the war - with over 3,700 built it was more numerous than all British, the Carden Loyd tankette and its derivatives were adopted by several nations as small tracked vehicles carrying a machine gun for armament.
In 1928, the British firm of Vickers-Armstrong started promoting another design by John Carden and Vivien Loyd as the six-ton tank, although rejected by the British Army, it was bought by a large number of nations in small numbers. It formed the basis of the Soviet T-26 and the Polish 7TP tank, as the only tank fit for immediate manufacture, it was a key element in the expansion of the British Army in the period leading up to the outbreak of war. In general, French tanks of the 1930s were well-armored, innovative vehicles that owed little to foreign designs, the lack of radios with the light tanks was not seen as a major drawback, since French doctrine called for slow-paced, deliberate maneuvers in close conformance to plans. The role of small unit leaders was to execute plans, not to take the initiative in combat, in 1939, a belated effort was made to improve flexibility and increase the number of radios. Throughout the interwar period the US produced only a few hundred tanks, from the end of World War I to 1935, only 15 tanks were produced.
Most were derivatives or foreign designs or very poor quality private designs, the Christie designs were among the few better examples, but the US Army acquired only three Christies and did not pursue the idea any further. Budget limitations and the low priority given to the army meant that there were few resources for building tanks, the US Army instead developed and tested tank components such as suspensions and transmissions. This paid off when production had to be initiated on the outbreak of war, the Soviet BT tanks were the most advanced in the 1930s, extremely fast and mounting high velocity 45 mm cannons. Their only drawback were their petrol engines which caught fire often, the Japanese Type 95 Ha-Go light tank was equipped with a diesel engine, and although mounting a 37 mm cannon, it was a low velocity gun with a maximum effective range of about 700 meters. However, this conflict would be instrumental in developing the famous T-34 medium tank, germanys armored Panzer force was not especially impressive at the start of the war.
In the invasions of Poland and France, the German forces were made up of the Panzer I. The Panzer I was little more than a vehicle armed only with machine guns
History of the tank
Though initially crude and unreliable, tanks eventually became a mainstay of ground armies. By World War II, tank design had advanced significantly, the Cold War saw the rise of modern tank doctrine and the rise of the general-purpose main battle tank. The tank still provides the backbone to land operations in the 21st century. World War I generated new demands for armoured self-propelled weapons which could navigate any kind of terrain, the great weakness of the tanks predecessor, the armoured car, was that it required smooth terrain to move upon, and new developments were needed for cross-country capability. The tank was designed as a special weapon to solve an unusual tactical situation. It was a designed for one simple task, crossing the killing zone between trench lines and breaking into enemy. Few recognised during World War I that the means for returning mobility and shock action to combat was already present in a device destined to warfare on the ground. With increased firepower and protection, these forces would, only some 20 years later.
Numerous concepts of armoured vehicles had been imagined for a long time. With advent of trench warfare in World War I, the Allied French and British developments of the tank were largely parallel, in the 15th century, a Hussite called Jan Žižka won several battles using armoured wagons containing cannon that could be fired through holes in their sides. But his invention was not used after his lifetime until the 20th century, in 1903, a French artillery captain named Léon Levavasseur proposed the Levavasseur project, a canon autopropulseur, moved by a caterpillar system and fully armoured for protection. This arrangement gave them the maximum of adaptability to the contours of the ground and they crawled level along the ground with one foot high upon a hillock and another deep in a depression, and they could hold themselves erect and steady sideways upon even a steep hillside. In the years before the Great War, two practical tank-like designs were proposed but not developed, in 1911, the Austrian engineering officer Günther Burstyn submitted a proposal for a fighting vehicle that had a gun in a rotating turret.
In 1912, the Australian civil engineer Lancelot de Moles proposal included a model of a functional fully tracked vehicle. Both of these were rejected by their respective governmental administrations, benjamin Holt of the Holt Manufacturing Company of Stockton, California was the first to file a US patent for a workable crawler type tractor in 1907. The centre of innovation was in England, and in 1903 he travelled to England to learn more about ongoing development. Holt paid Alvin Lombard US$60,000 for the right to produce vehicles under Lombards patent for the Lombard Steam Log Hauler. Holt returned to Stockton and, utilising his knowledge and his companys metallurgical capabilities, he became the first to design, in England, David Roberts of Hornsby & Sons, obtained a patent for a design in July 1904
Tanks of Czechoslovakia
The first armored tanks and vehicles in Czechoslovakia were like most countries based on others designs and eventually evolved into their own tank designs. The Czech Army bought three Carden Loyd tankettes and a license for them in 1930, Českomoravská Kolben-Daněk building four copies that same year as prototypes for future orders. Furthermore, they were slow and often broke down, one of the P-1 prototypes was rebuilt to address these issues with additional vision ports in all directions, internal ammunition storage and the machine guns field of fire increased to 60°. It was extensively tested during 1931—2 and a few changes were made as a result. The armor was increased from 6 to 8 mm and from 9 to 12 mm, Two of the other prototypes were rebuilt to the same standard, all three were officially accepted by the Army on 17 October 1933. The other prototype was given to the Shah of Iran. The order for seventy was placed on 19 April 1933, all being delivered by October 1934, in 1919, during the chaos following the breakup of Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia was formed with numerous Germans and Hungarians within the newly set borders.
A Slovak patriot Milan Rastislav Štefánik, who helped organize Czechoslovak regiments against Austria-Hungary during the First World War, in the peace following the World War, Czechoslovakia emerged as a sovereign European state. It provided what were at the rather extensive rights to its minorities. During the Interwar period, democratic Czechoslovakia was allied with France, and with Romania and Yugoslavia, both Czechs and Slovaks enjoyed a period of relative prosperity. There was progress in not only the development of the countrys economy, the minority Germans came to accept their role in the new country and relations with Austria were good. Yet the Great Depression caused an economic downturn, followed by political disruption. Thereafter Czechoslovakia came under pressure from the revisionist governments of Germany. The Germans seized a large amount of the Czechoslovakian design tanks, the remainder of rump Czechoslovakia was renamed Czecho-Slovakia and included a greater degree of Slovak political autonomy.
Thus, Slovakia seceded from Czecho-Slovakia in March 1939 and allied itself, as demanded by Germany, the government of the First Slovak Republic, led by Jozef Tiso and Vojtech Tuka, was strongly influenced by Germany and gradually became a puppet regime in many respects. A bloody German occupation and a war followed. The territory of Slovakia was liberated by Soviet and Romanian forces by the end of April 1945, after World War I the Polish army began the design of tankettes, light tanks, and armored vehicles, many by Škoda. A German engineer Joseph Vollmer after the war, joined Škoda and designed a light tank
A self-propelled gun is a form of self-propelled artillery, and in modern use is usually used to refer to artillery pieces such as howitzers. Self-propelled guns are mounted on a wheeled or tracked chassis. As such the gun can be maneuvered under its own power as opposed to a gun that relies upon a vehicle or other means to be moved on the battlefield. Self-propelled guns are combat support weapons, they are employed by combat support units fighting in support of, or attached to, self-propelled guns are best at providing indirect fire but can give direct fire when needed. It may be armoured, in case it is considered an armoured fighting vehicle. Typically, self-propelled guns are more lightly armoured and may not have turrets, the greatest tactical advantage in the case of artillery guns is clearly the greater degree of mobility they have compared to towed artillery. A secondary advantage in the case of – even lightly – armoured guns is the protection offered to the gun crews. The first attempts to give artillery a greater degree of manoeuvrability was in World War I, although mechanical tractors had been used to tow some artillery, most were still towed by horses.
The Gun Carrier Mark I was a piece that was transported by. Between the wars, in the development of their armoured warfare tactics and it carried an 18 pounder gun on a chassis derived from their medium tank and as such was able to keep up and cross the same ground as the tanks it was intended to support. As well as use as a gun, the gun could be elevated sufficiently for use against aircraft. Self-propelled guns and howitzers are used in the way as their towed variety. Self-propelled artillery can include other types of weapons not considered a self-propelled gun. Assault guns are artillery pieces, meant to support infantry by direct fire with high explosive ammunition
Tanks in the British Army
Tanks first appeared on the battlefield as a solution to trench warfare. The British Army was the first to use them, who built them in secret to begin with, to keep the enemy from finding out about this new solution, the public were informed that the vehicles were large water carriers, or tanks, and the name stuck. World War I established the validity of the tank concept, after the war, many nations needed to have tanks, but only a few had the industrial resources to design and build them. During and after World War I, Britain and France were the leaders in tank design. This early lead would be gradually lost during the course of the 1930s to the Soviet Union who with Germany began to design and build their own tanks. While World War I saw the first use of the tank as a weapon of war, the British, American and Soviet armies all had different approaches to tanks and tank warfare, each with their fair share of successes and failures. The infantry tank was a developed by the British and French in the years leading up to World War II.
Infantry tanks were designed to support the infantry in the attack. To achieve this they were heavily armoured compared to the cruiser tanks. The extra armouring came at the expense of speed, which was not an issue when supporting relatively slow moving infantry, no one individual was responsible for the development of the tank. Rather, a number of technological developments brought the development of the tank as we know it closer until its eventual form was unveiled out of necessity by the British army. The British army designs were forced by the warfare in which neither side could achieve more than small incremental gains without heavy loss of soldiers lives. They were made to cross the trenches and quickly break into the enemy rear, the next development of the more heavily armoured and upgunned tanks was brought about by the tank on tank battles in World War II German Blitzkrieg. This continued throughout the war, and led to heavy tanks which became the basis of the current Main Battle Tanks seen throughout the armies today.
The Landships Committee commissioned Lieutenant Walter Gordon Wilson of the Royal Naval Air Service and William Tritton of William Foster & Co. Ltd. of Lincoln, constructed in great secrecy, the machine was given the code-name tank by Swinton. Nicknamed Little Willie, this prototype tank weighed 14 tons and could carry a crew of three, at speeds of less than 2 mph over rough ground. The great secrecy surrounding tank development, coupled with the skepticism of infantry commanders, the first use of the British tanks on the battlefield was the use of 49 Mark I tanks during the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916, with mixed, but still impressive results. Many broke down but nearly a third succeeded in breaking through, finally, in a preview of developments, the British developed the lighter Whippet
A tank is an armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat, with heavy firepower, strong armour, and tracks providing good battlefield maneuverability. The first tanks were designed to overcome the deadlock of trench warfare, now they are a mainstay of ground forces. Modern tanks are versatile mobile land weapon platforms, mounting a large-calibre cannon in a rotating gun turret. In both offensive and defensive roles, they are units that are capable of performing tasks which are required of armoured units on the battlefield. As a result of advances, tanks underwent tremendous shifts in capability in the years since their first appearance. Tanks in World War I were developed separately and simultaneously by Great Britain and this was a prototype of a new design that would become the British Armys Mark I tank, the first tank used in combat in September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. The name tank was adopted by the British during the stages of their development. While the British and French built thousands of tanks in World War I, Germany was unconvinced of the tanks potential, Tanks of the interwar period evolved into the much larger and more powerful designs of World War II.
Tanks in the Cold War were designed with these weapons in mind, improved engines and suspensions allowed tanks of this period to grow larger. Aspects of gun technology changed significantly as well, with advances in shell design, during the Cold War, the main battle tank concept arose and became a key component of modern armies. Modern tanks seldom operate alone, as they are organized into combined arms units which involve the support of infantry and they are usually supported by reconnaissance or ground-attack aircraft. The tank is the 20th century realization of an ancient concept, the internal combustion engine, armour plate, and continuous track were key innovations leading to the invention of the modern tank. Many sources imply that Leonardo da Vinci and H. G. Wells in some way foresaw or invented the tank, leonardos late 15th century drawings of what some describe as a tank show a man-powered, wheeled vehicle with cannons all around it. However the human crew would not have power to move it over larger distance.
In the 15th century, Jan Žižka built armoured wagons containing cannons, the caterpillar track arose from attempts to improve the mobility of wheeled vehicles by spreading their weight, reducing ground pressure, and increasing their traction. Experiments can be traced back as far as the 17th century and it is frequently claimed that Richard Lovell Edgeworth created a caterpillar track. It is true that in 1770 he patented a machine, that should carry and lay down its own road and his own account in his autobiography is of a horse-drawn wooden carriage on eight retractable legs, capable of lifting itself over high walls. The description bears no similarity to a caterpillar track, armoured trains appeared in the mid-19th century, and various armoured steam and petrol-engined vehicles were proposed
Tanks of South Korea
The history and development of the tank in the South Korea spans the period from their adoption after World War II with the foundation of the South Korean Army, into the Cold War and the present. Only the upgrades to the Pattons were carried out, with the results the Republic of Korea began to undertake a program to develop and produce a South Korean tank, heavily based on the M1. The development of the vehicle resulted in the South Korean K1 88-Tank was completed in 1983. In the North, a former anti-Japanese guerrilla and communist activist, in the South, elections supervised by the United Nations were held, a Republic of Korea was declared, and Syngman Rhee inaugurated as its first president. In December, the UN General Assembly declared this a lawful government, the United States engaged in the decolonization of Korea from Japan after World War II. After three years of administration by the United States, the South Korean government was established. On June 25,1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, sparking the Korean War, when the North Koreans invaded South Korea in June 1950, using T-34s, the South Koreans had no armor of their own so had to retreat in the face of North Korean tanks.
Soon after the invasion of South Korea, the United Nations voted to support the South Koreans, with the Korean War so closely following on the heels of World War II, many of the top tanks used in World War II were utilized during the Korean War. The first tanks to be used by UN forces in South Korea were American M24 Chaffee light tanks and they were sent to South Korea from Japanese army bases. While the Chaffee was useful for infantry support, it could not stand up to a T-34, upon the onset of the Korean War, U. S. forces were sent to defend South Korea against invasion by North Korea and China. At the time, the Soviet Union had boycotted the United Nations and this allowed the UN to intervene when it became apparent that the superior North Korean forces would unify the entire country. In the Korean War M24 Chaffees fared poorly against the North Korean T-34-85s, so the M24s were put in reconnaissance roles, supported by heavier tanks such as the M4, M26, and M46. Less than a thousand were upgraded to M46 standard, on 8 August 1950 the first M46 Pattons landed in South Korea.
The tank proved superior to the much lighter North Korean T-34-85, subsequent shipments of M46 and M46A1 Pattons allowed all remaining M26 Pershings to be withdrawn during 1951, and most Sherman equipped units were reequipped. By 1953 the M24 Chaffees were completely replaced by the new M41 tank in the United States Army which was designated the M41 Walker Bulldog. The M41 was an agile and well armed, the Walker Bulldog was rushed to the battlefield but saw limited combat. British tanks, the Centurion tank with Cromwell tanks for reconnaissance, the tanks had to operate in much colder conditions than their usual North German Plain deployments. The Centurions covered the retreat at the battle of the Imjin River and were used throughout the war, unlike in the Second World War, in which the tank proved a decisive weapon, the Korean War featured few large-scale tank battles
The tank destroyer on the other hand is specifically designed to take on enemy armour. Many are based on a tank chassis, while others are wheeled. Since World War II, gun-armed tank destroyers have fallen out of favor as armies have favored multirole main battle tanks, lightly armored anti-tank guided missile carriers are commonly used for supplementary long-range anti-tank work. Dedicated anti-tank vehicles made their first major appearance in the Second World War as combatants developed effective armored vehicles, some were little more than stopgap solutions, mounting an anti-tank gun on a tracked vehicle to give mobility, while others were more sophisticated designs. Except for most American designs, tank destroyers were all turretless and had fixed or casemate superstructures, the turretless design allowed accommodation of a more powerful gun, typically a dedicated anti-tank gun that had a longer barrel than could be mounted in a turreted tank on the same chassis. The lack of an increased the vehicles internal volume, allowing for increased ammunition stowage.
Eliminating the turret allowed the vehicle to carry thicker armor than would otherwise be the case, sometimes there was no armored roof to keep the overall weight down to the limit that the chassis could bear. Variants of the Polish TKS and TK-3 tankettes up-armed with 20 mm gun were operationally deployed in the invasion of Poland and they were used as an anti-tank component of the reconnaissance units. Due to the defeat of France, few French vehicles were built. The Laffly W15 TCC was an attempt to build a light tank destroyer by mounting a 47 mm SA37 anti-tank gun onto a lightly armored Laffly W15T artillery tractor. Other French tank destroyers were being developed, including the SOMUA SAu-40, ARL V39, for instance,202 obsolete Panzer I light tanks were modified by removing the turret and were rebuilt as the Panzerjäger I self-propelled 4.7 cm PaK. Similarly, Panzer II tanks were used on the eastern front, captured Soviet 76.2 mm anti-tank guns were mounted on modified Panzer II chassis, producing the Marder II self-propelled anti-tank gun.
The most common mounting was a German 75 mm anti-tank gun on the Czech Panzer 38 chassis to produce the Marder III, the Panzer 38 chassis was used to make the Jagdpanzer 38 casemate style tank destroyer. The Panzerjäger series continued up to the 88 mm equipped Nashorn, German tank destroyers based on the Panzer III and German tanks were unique in that they had more armor than their tank counterparts. One of the more successful German tank destroyers was actually designed as an artillery gun. Based on the Panzer III tank chassis, the Sturmgeschütz III was originally fitted with a low-velocity gun, after encountering Soviet tanks, it was refitted with a comparatively short-barreled high-velocity anti-tank gun, usually with a muzzle brake, enabling it to function as a tank destroyer. The Sturmgeschütz III from its 1938 origin used a new superstructure with an integrated design similar to the Jagdpanzer to completely enclose the crew. It was employed in support and offensive armored operations as well as in the defensive anti-tank role