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Tank classification

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Tank classification

Post by kosovohp on Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:06 pm

Tank classification is a taxonomy of identifying either the intended role or weight class of tanks. The classification by role was used primarily during the developmental stage of the national armoured forces, and referred to the doctrinal and force structure utility of the tanks based on design emphasis. The weight classification is used in the same way truck classification is used, and is intended to accommodate logistic requirements of the tanks
Modern tank designs have favoured a "universal" design that has generally eliminated these sorts of classifications from modern terminology, which tends to refer to almost all designs as main battle tanks despite sometimes significant weight differences.
A common division in the definition of roles has been between tanks intended to focus on supporting infantry in the assault, and tanks intended for classic cavalry missions of exploitation, screening and reconnaissance. The British referred to these as infantry tanks and cruiser tanks respectively. Other specialist roles include anti-tank vehicles or tank destroyers which are generally lightly armoured compared to similar generation multi-purpose tanks, and assault guns that mount oversized and typically low-velocity guns, for attacking fortifications.
Weight-based classifications are useful, but only in reference to a period's other tanks. For example, late-World War II medium tanks were as heavy as early-war heavy tanks. Light, medium, and heavy have other meanings than just weight, e.g., relating to gun size, the amount of armour, and, most importantly, tactical role.


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