Tank Parts: Beginners Guide

  • By: Richard
  • Time to read: 6 min.

The tank’s parts are what make tanks run. Tanks can’t move without tanks parts like trucks, wheels, and motors. Tanks need to get around the battlefield quickly to do their job of destroying enemy tanks or defending their position on the front lines. There are many different types of tanks parts that serve various functions for tanks. Without them, a tank is just an inert hunk of metal sitting idle until someone turns it into scrap metal with some artillery fire!

What is a Tank?

Tanks are a type of military vehicle, and tanks parts can be broken down into the following categories: The Hull, Turret, Armament.

The hull is the body or chassis that protects from enemy fire. The turret houses the main gun and one or more machine guns in tanks that have them. Tanks usually carry enough ammunition to last for days of combat operations without resupply.

In addition, tanks may provide other capabilities such as carrying foot soldiers onboard (as most tanks do), serving as artillery with their ability to shoot at long distances with a bit of warning before firing (also ordinary but not universal among tanks). Tanks can also serve as mobile command centers for armored formations; commanders would typically use an armored car or similar vehicle for the purpose.

Parts of a Military Tank

A tank is a type of armored fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat. The name originates from the French word “château de fer” (lit. iron castle). Tanks are usually armed with heavy machine guns or autocannons and sometimes anti-aircraft weapons but may also carry lighter weapons like mortars to provide infantry support. They’re often built on a tracked chassis which gives them better mobility in rough terrain than wheeled vehicles can achieve; however, this design makes it difficult to protect all of their crew against enemy fire when they are fully exposed outside the vehicle.

Most tanks have four parts:

  • The hull – This is the tank’s main body that protects its occupants and carries all of its weapons and other systems.
  • The turret is the rotating part on top of the hull that houses the tank’s main armament.
  • The engine – This powers the tank and allows it to move around.
  • The tracks – These help the tank move over rugged terrain.

Some tanks also have many secondary features, like:

  • A commander’s hatch on top of the turret so the commander can see what’s going on around them.
  • Smoke grenade launchers can be used to create a smokescreen to hide from or blind enemies.
  • An infrared spotlight for use at night.
  • A dozer blade or minesweeper attachment is attached to the vehicle’s front that helps it clear mines or other obstacles.

This article tells you about the best tank kits.

Parts of the Tank

Parts of the Tank

Leopards are German main battle tanks used by the militaries of Germany and South Africa. The Leopard was developed in 1965 to replace the ageing M48 Patton tanks while also serving as a platform for anti-aircraft weapons. Leopards have been upgraded several times throughout their service life to increase survivability and firepower; however, they were starting to become obsolete with more modern tank designs entering production at this time. The following sections will look into some parts that make up leopard tanks:

Coaxial Machine Gun

Coaxial Machine Gun

Coaxial machine gun: a mounted machine gun set up on the same axis as the main armament, typically operated by a dedicated crewmember and used to lay down fire along with or in support of (the) primary weapon.

Drive Sprocket

Drive Sprocket

Drive sprocket: a small wheel driven by the engine or track to rotate the tank’s main road wheels.

Escape Hatch

Escape Hatch

Escape hatch: a small, hidden door in the roof of an armored vehicle. This allows crew members to escape from inside the tank should it be put out of action or otherwise threatened by hostile fire.

Fender

Fender

Fender: Extensions, often thin sheet metal, found over the tracks. This helps protect the tracks and wheels from damage when traveling over rough terrain.

Fume Extractor

Fume Extractor

Fume extractor: a device fitted to the tank’s exhaust system that helps remove toxic fumes and smoke from the vehicle. This is important to protect the crew from breathing in harmful gases and particles.

Glacis Plate

Glacis Plate

Glacis plate: a thick, sloping armored plate fitted to the front of many tanks. This protects from directly incoming fire and deflects any shells that penetrate the vehicle away from more vulnerable areas such as the crew compartment or engine bay.

Gun Mantlet

Gun Mantlet

Gun mantlet: the armored housing that surrounds the tank’s main gun. This protects the gun and crew from enemy fire, usually removable with the weapon in a single assembly.

Idler Wheel

Idler Wheel

Idler wheel: the small, unpowered wheel at the rear of a tank track. This helps keep the track in contact with the ground and prevents it from ‘sagging’ or coming off altogether.

Lifting Hooks

Lifting Hooks

Lifting hooks: metal loops fitted to the outside of a tank that can lift it onto a loading ramp or transport vehicle.

Muzzle Brake

Muzzle Brake

Muzzle brake: a device fitted to the end of an armored vehicle’s gun barrel that helps absorb some of the explosive force generated when firing. This is important in reducing stress on the tank itself and any crew members operating it.

Periscope

Periscope

Periscope: a telescopic sight device that allows the tank crew to view objects and targets without exposing their heads or upper bodies outside of the vehicle. This is an essential piece of equipment when operating in hostile environments.

Return Rollers

Return Rollers

Return rollers: the small, rubber-covered wheels at the rear of a tank track help return it to its original position after passing over an obstacle.

Road Wheels

Road Wheels

Road wheels: the large, rubber-covered steel discs that make up the main contact point between a tank and the ground. These are responsible for transferring power from the engine to the tracks and play an essential role in cushioning the vehicle against bumps and shocks.

Smoke Launcher

Smoke Launcher

Smoke Launcher: a device fitted to the front of some tanks that can launch smoke grenades to cover an armored column.

Towing Clevis

Towing Clevis

Towing clevis: a metal U-shaped bracket used to attach a tow rope or chain to an armored vehicle. This allows it to be pulled or towed by another vehicle, for example, being stuck in mud or sand.

Turret

Turret

Turret: the rotating gun mount found at the top of most tanks. This allows the tank’s main armament to be aimed and fired in any direction and provides all-around protection for the crew.

Engine Bay

Engine Bay

Engine Bay: The area behind the crew compartment where the engine and other mechanical components are located. This is also usually armored.

Exhaust System

Exhaust System: The exhaust system is a series of pipes and valves that take toxic fumes from the engine away from the crew compartment and vehicle itself.

Fuel Tank

Fuel Tank: An armored tank containing diesel, petrol or other combustible fuel for powering the tank’s motor. These require regular refueling during long missions to ensure they remain effective.

Gun Barrel

Gun Barrel

Gun Barrel: This is a long tube attached to the main armament on an armored vehicle such as a tank or self-propelled gun howitzer (SPG). It allows shells to be fired at enemy targets in quick succession when required by powerful motors inside it.

FAQs about Parts of a Tank

What is the turret?

The turret is the main gun on top of the tank. It can rotate 360 degrees to shoot in any direction.

What is the fuel tank?

The fuel tank holds all of your gas. It’s located at the back of the vehicle. When it runs out, you can’t drive anymore!

What is the engine?

The engine is what powers the tank. It’s located in the front of the vehicle. If it breaks, you’re not going anywhere!

What are tracks?

Tracks are what help the tank move around. They wrap around each wheel and propel the tank forwards or backward. Without them, you’d be a big metal box on wheels!

What is the radio?

The radio allows you to communicate with other tankers. Without it, how would anyone know where they’re going or what’s happening in combat?

Hi! I'm Richard Baker, a miniature painter who has been painting for about ten years. My website is packed with great advice that I've learned from both books and personal experience on building and painting miniatures.

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