Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Swimming tank (Schwimmpanzer/Amphibienpanzer)

Floating tanks are buoyant armored vehicles , the spectrum ranges from light reconnaissance and armored personnel carriers to main battle tanks .


1 Development
2 Drive concepts
2.1 Propellerantrieb
2.2 Chain drive
2.3 Hydrojet


Already in the First World War there were attempts to give tanks amphibious capabilities. As the former tanks proved to be too cumbersome, the experiments were not pursued.Moreover, contrary to a buoyant tank of that operational doctrine.

1931 developed Carden-Loyd Ltd.. a first prototype of a fully buoyant Tankette, the 11th AE She was very easy, had pontoons , which ensured the lift, and was an extra screw driven. Following their example soon to a whole range of vehicles occur. Because the Britishgovernment was not interested in the device, licenses were, among others, the Soviet Union sold. There one was not interested in a simple replica of the Tankette but constructed a whole series for educational purposes buoyant tanks, such as the T-37 and T-40 . During the Second World War proved to be the models of these armored Wehrmacht as inferior. In order to save weight for the lift, was aware of these vehicles with armor and armament weight has been saved.

Initial attempts to make heavily armored amphibious vehicles introduced, Americans and British in anticipation of the invasion of Normandy on. The Americans already had light amphibious armored transport as the LVT , the British on the Terrapin Mk.1 , the armor was too weak in both models. Therefore, they started with the modification of the M4 Sherman , the air sacs of parachute lines got that ensured the lift. A screw located at the rear enabled the excavation. The result was DD-tank called. These vehicles turned out to be a failure. On hard-fought Omaha Beach was almost no armor on.

In the postwar period, the concept of the floating tank was mainly from the countries of the Warsaw Pact continues to pursue. This is primarily due to the use of standards for tanks of the Warsaw Pact . To the Russian side light tank for the air transport as were the PT-76 , the BMD series or infantry fighting vehicle BMP-series developed. All these vehicles were buoyant. The aim was to cross quickly and without much technical effort pioneer waters to form bridgeheads. Compared to the models of World War II tanks that were heavily armed. They carried anti-tank missiles with or groups could fully equipped infantry carry.

Drive concepts


This kind of underwater propulsion was the first opportunity to provide propulsion in the water tanks. It was borrowed from the ship. Rear of the vehicle are to one or two propellers(screws). In the water ride, the drive is switched and the transmission shaft drives the propeller. In the early days the control was still a small rudder, now mostly be used to control the propeller.

Chain drive

The U.S. LVT armored transport for amphibious operations was the first tank to be driven in the water by its chain. Originally the car was for civilian use as a rescue vehicle in the Everglades in Florida thought. The military version was armored and armed. The drive with the chain in the water proved to be advantageous in several respects. Not changed on a drive must be and on the other does not change the controller. A disadvantage is that the vehicles are relatively slow in the water. Most vehicles with such a drive serve as a landing craft or supply vehicles, during the course of the Second World War and combat support vehicles were developed on the basis of the LVT.

Waterjet propulsion

The latest development is the drive of the water jet propulsion . Thereby suck bilge pumping of water, which is ejected at high pressure to the rear and so reaches the propulsion. The drive works on the reaction principle .