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Tanks on Safehold

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Silverwall   » Sun Mar 07, 2021 12:45 am

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Erls wrote:Also, one point I may have forgotten to mention... Think of Tanks as yet another technology demonstrator. If Charis builds a 20 ton tank with a 4 inch breechloader that is protected against anything smaller than a 3 inch cannon - that can also travel at 25 miles an hour - everyone else is going to want one. And you cannot make said 20 ton tank without a robust industrial base as well as a solid grasp of steam and/or diesel.

It would be, along with their oil-powered cruisers, the biggest reasons why the rest of Safehold will embrace petroleum.


You do realise that we can't build a tank to that spec now right? 3" cannon = 75mm and 4" =100mm the closest we have to such a tank now would be the T54/55 series built in the mid 50s and they weigh 35+tons
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Louis R   » Sun Mar 07, 2021 4:14 pm

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Actually, I suspect that we _could_ come pretty close to that spec now - weapons, armour and drive-train components can all be made much lighter than was feasible in 1955 - although I think 20T would be pushing the envelope really, really hard. Mind you, nobody would want to given that the smallest weapons it would have to face are 105mm, with 120 & 155mm awfully common.

Given the composite materials that would be needed, of course, I'd agree that you are entirely correct in saying it's beyond the capability of anybody on Safehold.


Silverwall wrote:
Erls wrote:Also, one point I may have forgotten to mention... Think of Tanks as yet another technology demonstrator. If Charis builds a 20 ton tank with a 4 inch breechloader that is protected against anything smaller than a 3 inch cannon - that can also travel at 25 miles an hour - everyone else is going to want one. And you cannot make said 20 ton tank without a robust industrial base as well as a solid grasp of steam and/or diesel.

It would be, along with their oil-powered cruisers, the biggest reasons why the rest of Safehold will embrace petroleum.


You do realise that we can't build a tank to that spec now right? 3" cannon = 75mm and 4" =100mm the closest we have to such a tank now would be the T54/55 series built in the mid 50s and they weigh 35+tons
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Erls   » Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:59 pm

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Ok, so I was off on the tonnage.

My basic point remains, however. A tank with 2" steel plating and even a 2" gun that can travel at 10 MPH for 150 miles would be a fantastic technology demonstrator.

It would serve a functional and unique role in offensive combat. With no other nation having anything similar in their order of battle, all the tank has to do is traverse trenches and defeat small arms.
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Brigade XO   » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:59 pm

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If you want to get more performance/defense out of the tanks, try putting more slope to the armor. Early tanks, heck, most tanks, have mostly been a lot of flat surfaces which depended on thickness of iron/steel to defeat things fired at them. If you can get a projectile to ricochet off the turret and/or front slope or side of the vehicle you are going to be able to survive a lot more things. Not as it they are going to (yet) have to deal with various armor penetrating explosive shells but you get the idea.
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Dilandu   » Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:07 pm

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Erls wrote:Also, one point I may have forgotten to mention... Think of Tanks as yet another technology demonstrator. If Charis builds a 20 ton tank with a 4 inch breechloader that is protected against anything smaller than a 3 inch cannon - that can also travel at 25 miles an hour - everyone else is going to want one. And you cannot make said 20 ton tank without a robust industrial base as well as a solid grasp of steam and/or diesel.

It would be, along with their oil-powered cruisers, the biggest reasons why the rest of Safehold will embrace petroleum.


Please, stop giving RFC ideas how to make battles even more boring than they are now.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Hildum   » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:08 pm

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mhicks wrote:The thing that limited the size of Tanks on earth was the with of the standard size of railroad track/cars. With the standard size of rail being set by the standard size of horse drawn carriages... Earth set the size to be the width of two horses side by side. But what about the distance between two Draft Lizards pulling a cart being set as the width of the Safehold rails? tanks are going to be MASIVE!


While this is a common myth, in fact there are many different rail gauges, none of which are particularly related to the width of a horse (or two).
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Hildum   » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:12 pm

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Erls wrote:
mhicks wrote:The thing that limited the size of Tanks on earth was the with of the standard size of railroad track/cars. With the standard size of rail being set by the standard size of horse drawn carriages... Earth set the size to be the width of two horses side by side. But what about the distance between two Draft Lizards pulling a cart being set as the width of the Safehold rails? tanks are going to be MASIVE!


Do we know what gauge Charis has gone with for their railroads? I would assume that Siddarmark and the United Provinces, at least, followed suit - although maybe Siddarmark went narrower due to concerns about their mountain passes? And did Dohlar follow Charis' lead or go with their own gauge?


Wouldn’t canal transport be more practical at first?
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Silverwall   » Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:16 am

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Hildum wrote:
mhicks wrote:The thing that limited the size of Tanks on earth was the with of the standard size of railroad track/cars. With the standard size of rail being set by the standard size of horse drawn carriages... Earth set the size to be the width of two horses side by side. But what about the distance between two Draft Lizards pulling a cart being set as the width of the Safehold rails? tanks are going to be MASIVE!


While this is a common myth, in fact there are many different rail gauges, none of which are particularly related to the width of a horse (or two).


While rail logistics did limit tank development it was only really a factor by late WW2. The real limit on the size of a tank is the power generation of primitive engines coupled with a quirk of tank track design that means that there are only a small range of width to length ratios that are steerable. overly long tracks for the width between them warp and tear too much. In fact on a safehold scale the low life expectancy of the track is likely to be the real limiting factor.
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Talkregh   » Thu May 20, 2021 3:38 am

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Im very late to this discussion, but since I'm a historian and Second World War has always been one of my areas of interest I think I can contribute with sone information. Also, Im still coming down from my last read of the series :)

1. Im going to start with the most important thing in my eyes Tanks need certain prerequisites, especially second world war tanks. And I dont mean points you have already risen like engine, tracks, etc.
Tanks need roads. For armored warfare to be a reality, they need good asphalt roads. Yes they can deploy, attack and move cross country, but most of the time, whenever possible, they use roads that can take their weight. In other words, they go cross country strictly when they have to, and for good reasons: its faster, it reduces fuel consumption, and avoids the way higher wear on the machinery. I dont remember any description of Safeholds roads that would give me grounds to think they are up for mechanized warfare.
They also need a bunch of supporting weapons and services, mostly I was thinking we have not seen even one machinegun on Safehold, and tanks without their coaxial, driver and top machine guns would be of very limited use. There are more examples but those two were at the top of my head. Its not just the vehicle.

2. Steam engines should be a no go, and mostly for the same underlying reason you need radios. Doctrine. Tanks are versatile and mobile, a mechanized unit can move and react very quickñy. A steam engine needs to build up pressure before giving the required power. While Im uncertain how long that could be, Im certain it would not be the instantanous avalaibility of a combustion engine. The use of the tanks then would have to be under very safe parameters so as not to have inmobilized units at the worst possible moment. Usefull in set pieces situations probably, but not tank warfare.

3. Radios, or an equivalent comunication system, are a must for mechanized warfare. Theres plentiful historical evidence in this regard: it was simply not possible to coordinate units in anything resembling mechanized operations without it. To cite a few, from the Hundred Days Offensive in World War I it was observed that tanks operated better when there was a clear plan and objectives beforehand, but that once those objectives were achieved or the conditions of the operation changed tanks reacted poorly, in a disjointed fashion or not at all.
Closer in time, the infantry tanks attached to the french units have been mentioned here. Without radios, they simply could not either learn the information in time or react as a unit, even when numerically they should have had even numbers.
And a bit further in time, most soviet tank units in 1940-1941 did not have radio (and even later a doctrine to make best use of it) and it proved a major obstacle in the opening stages of Barbarossa, when the sovier command (Stavka) issued orders for counterattacks that were simply beyond the coordination possible for its units.
In summary, without communications you may have tanks, but not tank warfare.

4. Technically, and this is a very important point since most of what we are discussing or know about the topic is known too to the Inner Circle in splendid detail, I dont think Charis is far away from being able to design and produce a tank. Not a late war model like the Panzer V "Panther" (that yes was a disaster in 1943 and one of the best tanks of the war from 1944 onwards, after all it was design in less than a year so its not surprising that initially it was bug ridden) but IF diesel can be used there are excellent designs from the 30s, like the Panzer IV,the soviet BT-7 or the Czech 35t. With their real world data truly refine a design without any of their shortcomings.

5. Tanks are a force multiplier, and as such it makes sense for Charis to develop them and the doctrine that goes with them. They save lives and allow a small, highly ttained force to punch really above their weight. If you add the technology demonstation angle, its quite the idea.

Think thats enough
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Re: Tanks on Safehold
Post by Dilandu   » Thu May 20, 2021 2:25 pm

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Talkregh wrote:Im very late to this discussion, but since I'm a historian and Second World War has always been one of my areas of interest I think I can contribute with sone information. Also, Im still coming down from my last read of the series :)


Er... no.

1) Tanks moved on strategic distances mostly by ships, railroads or road trailers. Tanks do not move for long distances on their own. The tracks are quickly worn-out on paved roads (and the roads didn't like it too).

In 1920-1930s, there was a problem of moving tanks from railroad station to the frontlines - because tracks of this time were of low durability, and any prolonged road trip could worn them out. That's why many nations became interested in the concept of tanks, capable of moving both on tracks and wheels (Christie tank and its Soviet BT-series descendants). But by the end of 1930s, progress in metallurgy allowed to make durable tracks, so the problem was solved.

2) You are trying to view tanks as WW2-era weapons. Try to think instead in WW1 categories: tanks as infantry support weapon, armored "machinegun suppressors".

3) Again, radio is not needed as long as you use tanks for direct infantry support. Infantry platoons were not equipped by radios till WW2 (and even then, only US could afford it). Tank designed to operate with infantry does not need radio - better it have signal button on its rear, so infantry could attract attention of the tank commander (Japanese tanks have such arrangement from 1930s)

4) Why don't concentrate on something much more adequate, like Char B1? Slow, well-armored, compact infantry support tank, armed with hull-mounted gun and turret-mounted machinegun would be an order of magnitude simpler and more valuable.

Also, Panther was not "best" in any way. Look on their post-war service; while captured Pz-IV served for quite a long, Panthers were quite soon removed from arsenals.

5) The main concept of tanks, is to break the enemy frontline defenses fast.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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