By Steven Zaloga
Armor professional Zaloga enters the conflict over the simplest tanks of global warfare II with this heavy-caliber blast of a publication armed with greater than 40 years of research.
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Additional info for Armored Champion: The Top Tanks of World War II
Although thickness is the primary determinant in the protective quality of armor, it is not the only one. By angling the armor relative to the enemy weapon, the effective thickness of the armor can be increased. So for example, in the case of a tank with 20mm armor, the vertical plate has an effective thickness of 20mm. When angled 30 degrees, the effective thickness increases to 22mm, and when angled to 45 degrees its effective thickness is 28mm. Armor at extremely inclined angles can also increase the chances that the enemy projectile will deflect off the surface.
Besides their use for communication between tanks, radios also proved useful in communicating with the infantry units that the tanks were supporting. In most armies, the pattern was for the platoon or company commander to communicate with the headquarters of the infantry unit being supported, usually no lower than company or battalion level. This was a cumbersome and time-consuming procedure, since the tanks were often assigned to support smaller infantry formations at company level. So for example, if an infantry platoon spotted an enemy antitank gun that threatened the accompanying tanks, the platoon had to inform the company headquarters, which used its radio to inform the tank platoon commander.
Army favored volute springs over leaf springs, and this system proved robust enough for tanks into the 30-ton class. Torsion bar suspensions began to appear in the late 1930s, first widely used on the PzKpfw III Ausf. F. This was gradually adopted by most tank manufacturers by the end of the war since it offered good road-wheel travel while not taking up much internal hull volume. Track design has a considerable impact on mobility, both in terms of rolling resistance and ground pressure. Most armies relied on simple, narrow-pitch cast metal track with simple pins.
Armored Champion: The Top Tanks of World War II by Steven Zaloga