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Tank bullets in real tank battles

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FishyPower #1 Posted 02 January 2016 - 07:03 PM

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The main bullets we use in WOT are called armor piercing (AP) shells. Based on my understanding, these bullets punch a hole straight through armor, so I don't really see how these shells would work in real tank battles, it is possible for a tank shell to punch straight through a tank without hitting anything vital in the tank. So I am wondering if it tanks in real life actually use armor piercing shells? Or does the shell actually penetrates the tank armor before exploding in the tank? Please tell me if you have any idea what bullets tanks in real life use. Thx

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AntifoulAwl #2 Posted 02 January 2016 - 07:06 PM

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Real tank bullets use custard.


WoT is not based on reality, so we do not use custard here.

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ForkUrEyes #3 Posted 02 January 2016 - 07:08 PM


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From what I know in real life tank, one or two penetrated shells is enough to destroy a tank or the crew inside.


Aoyama_Blue_Mountain #4 Posted 02 January 2016 - 10:06 PM

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From what I know in real life counter-terrorism, one or two penetration bullet is enough to kill a man

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Nimish_ #5 Posted 02 January 2016 - 10:13 PM


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The shell has so much energy in real life that it actually bounces inside the tank after penetrating and can cause severe damage to modules and crew.




Serene_Potato #6 Posted 03 January 2016 - 12:06 AM


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The shell isn't strong enough to stay in one piece as it penetrates.

It breaks up into fragments by the time it penetrates the tank, and the fragments bounce around like pieces of glass inside the tank flying at supersonic speed.

Such force kills any crew member, knocks out a lot.

Edited by Serene_Potato, 03 January 2016 - 12:07 AM.

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IVORK #7 Posted 03 January 2016 - 12:11 AM

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As well as the fragments from the shell / armour wizzing around as super fast hot pieces of metal, absorbing these is the purpose of spall liners hence why they prevent exactly that in game. However it is theoretically possible for a shell to go through a tank with no crew/modual damage although extremely unlikely. But then same could be said about why is it in WoT that shooting the cupola causes damage multiple times when the ready of the tank would be fine and in working order. 

Edited by IVORK, 03 January 2016 - 12:14 AM.

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Weebl #8 Posted 03 January 2016 - 07:00 AM


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A tank round which penetrates a tank, knocks the tank out in the large majority of cases. Tanks don't have a lot of room inside, so a round will hit something. The energy of the round hitting will also cause bits of shell and bits of tank to go whizzing about inside the tank chopping things up.

In reality, not all tank rounds are armour piercing, tanks fire a lot of HE at non tank targets, you can also get HESH type rounds which are designed to squash against the armour and explode, knocking off scabs of metal from the other side of the armour (inside the tank) which do the whizzing and chopping. SABOT, which are pure armour penetrators which discard part of the round after they leave the barrel and punch a very dense penetrator through, HEAT type rounds which are basically a shaped charge which explode on impact creating a plasma column which penetrates (and a superheated plasma column entering your tank will probably ruin your whole day), as well as a straight up armour piercing rounds.

H_87A_2CU #9 Posted 03 January 2016 - 12:22 PM

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As a lot of guys have said above, the simple solid shot (AP) can break up after impact/penetration, although not most of the time as many think. However it will produce spall all the time due to its method of armour penetration as it just punches a hole through the armour taking the armour in front of it into the tank.(see attached photo circled in red you can see the spall being formed by a round that hasn't quite penetrated https://www.flickr.c...eposted-public/).


Therefore tanks can sometimes be hit and penetrated, but the spall fails to find anything vital before running out of energy and falling to the floor of the tank, leaves the tank operational. However if the spall finds the soft squishy things inside tanks, or the hardware such as radios, ammo racks, sights, hydraulics etc it will either knock out or reduce the tanks ability to operate. If the round stays together and has enough energy (and depending on the tank armour itself (face hardened, cast etc)) then you can get a through and through shot, which is not desirable.


Then you get those clever little buggers called the Germans, who realised that solid shot that stayed together, and only produced the spall didn't kill the tank first shot every time, and came up with rounds such as armour-piercing capped ballistic capped - High Explosive (APCBC-HE), to give the round some assistance in breaking up.........Very rare after a penetrating shot from one of these rounds did the tank continue to operate.


Then you have the newer rounds Weebl1 refers to (HEAT, HESH, APDS etc). Most of these were either designed during WW2 or the principles identified, with the rounds following on later. Each works in slightly different ways to obtain the desired effect (some work chemically - ie HE, HESH, HEAT, others Kinetically - APDS, APHE, APFSDS etc)




Edited by H_87A_2CU, 03 January 2016 - 12:59 PM.

tlmitf #10 Posted 05 March 2017 - 10:23 PM


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A lot of AP shells are not solid like rifle bullets.
Most AP shells from the time contained a bursting charge - so when the shell enters the tank, it explodes like a hand grenade.

Other shells designed to have high penetration, such as HVAP, APDS, APCR, are generally solid. These shells punch into the tank, and then as others have said, fragment and/or bounce around inside the tank.
Shells such as HESH are designed to use the armour as a weapon - generating spalling, which is when the tank armour breaks off from the inside and becomes fragments.

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camdy #11 Posted 12 March 2017 - 10:40 AM

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have a read 



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