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Subject: That's not a tank rss

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Bill Cook
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I thought many here would enjoy (thought not necessarily agree with) this article:

https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/thats-not-a-tank-an-explai...
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Joeseph McCarthy
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Well, I would call the Swedish vehicle an "Assault Gun," or "Tank Destroyer," and the gun size and tonnage aren't necessarily determinants either, but for the most part I agree with the guy.
World War I tanks don't always follow the mold, but I would define a tank as a turreted, fully enclosed, fully-tracked armored vehicle designed to engage in combat utilizing direct fire weaponry. Though modifications, like putting a 105-mm howitzer in a turreted Sherman, might stretch things a bit, for the most part I believe my definition holds true.

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John Iverson
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It would be interesting to survey 100 citizens of a given country and ask if photo 1 (below) from the article is a tank.



In the US I would think 73 of 100 would correctly say not a tank (and probably 40 could even call if for what vehicle class it really is). Is my 73 high or low?
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Runs with scissors
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I've always classified most assault guns and tank destroyers as subclasses of tanks, but this may be bad mental organization on my part.

I've also always thought of tanks as having the crew enclosed. If it's an open turret or the crew is exposed on the back of the mobile platform then it's not a tank. Hellcats and the SIG 33 self propelled artillery are things that I would not count as tanks.

Most of my mental classification and organization centers around WW2 vehicles.
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Wayne Hansen
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"That's not a tank!" - Luftwaffe pilot, probably
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Daniel Blumentritt
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He's got a tank!



Heh, that's not a tank.



THAT'S a tank!
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Wendell
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Love this illustration...
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Carl Fung
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Tank or not a tank?
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Greg Moore
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johnnyi wrote:

It would be interesting to survey 100 citizens of a given country and ask if photo 1 (below) from the article is a tank.



In the US I would think 73 of 100 would correctly say not a tank (and probably 40 could even call if for what vehicle class it really is). Is my 73 high or low?


I would say that 73% would say it was a tank.
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Lance McMillan
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johnnyi wrote:
It would be interesting to survey 100 citizens of a given country and ask if photo 1 (below) from the article is a tank.


That's a flawed test. I suspect that you're right that roughly 3 out of 4 might not classify it as a tank, but that's because it doesn't meet most people's definition of "tank," which would be a combination of tracks and a turret. Now, show folks a picture of an M2/M3 Bradley and you'd get a more accurate assessment. Then try showing them a photo of a French AMX-10 and see what they say. It ain't as cut-and-dried as you might think.
 
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James Thompson
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Richard Irving
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johnnyi wrote:

It would be interesting to survey 100 citizens of a given country and ask if photo 1 (below) from the article is a tank.



In the US I would think 73 of 100 would correctly say not a tank (and probably 40 could even call if for what vehicle class it really is). Is my 73 high or low?


Way High! (Unless you asked right outside a military base.)

Since there hasn't been a draft in over 40 years, most Americans don't have military experience. For many, anything that kind of looks like a tank (i.e. armor plate, treads) is going to be called a "tank".

An equivalent might be after saying you play wargames, someone responding with "Like Risk?"
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Richard Irving
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wifwendell wrote:
Love this illustration...


The original painting is called "The Treachery of Images":



It is not a pipe. It is the IMAGE of a pipe.

In the parody, It is an IMAGE of something that is not a tank. (But people might confuse it for one.) Not quite the same the same thing.

And while I am being pedantic: It should be "Ceci n’est pas un char" in French.
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Joeseph McCarthy
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johnnyi wrote:

It would be interesting to survey 100 citizens of a given country and ask if photo 1 (below) from the article is a tank.



In the US I would think 73 of 100 would correctly say not a tank (and probably 40 could even call if for what vehicle class it really is). Is my 73 high or low?

I wouldn't speculate about BGG subscribers and other wargamers, but among the general U.S. population, I think that is way, way high. Keep in mind, most high school graduates in this country today couldn't tell you whether World War I happened at all, let alone who was involved. As a wearer of authentic Union Kepis as my normal, signature hat, you would not believe the people who identify that blue kepi as Confederate. And upon further discussion, many do not know when the civil war was. And I find these historical blank spots worse among young women than young men. Most are absolutely uninterested in anything that happened before they were born.
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Michael McCalpin
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calvinboy24 wrote:


Tank or not a tank?

A tank. Perhaps a Church-hill?
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Bill Eldard
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rri1 wrote:
johnnyi wrote:

It would be interesting to survey 100 citizens of a given country and ask if photo 1 (below) from the article is a tank.



In the US I would think 73 of 100 would correctly say not a tank (and probably 40 could even call if for what vehicle class it really is). Is my 73 high or low?

As a 1974 graduate of the US Army Armored Personnel Carrier Driver Course at Ft. Knox, and an infantryman in a mech infantry battalion stationed in West Germany ('74-'76), I have both fond and unpleasant memories of the M113A1. I even learned how to sleep inside one while it was moving across rough terrain. To this day, I have an unpleasant reaction to the smell of diesel exhaust.

rri1 wrote:
Way High! (Unless you asked right outside a military base.)

Since there hasn't been a draft in over 40 years, most Americans don't have military experience.

There's never been a point in American history when most Americans had military experience. But I get your point. Certainly there was a much higher knowledge of things military among the generations of the WW2 era than any other time, and higher percentages of Americans -- both adults and children -- who could tell the difference between a tank and an APC, or even a tank and an assault gun/tank destroyer. This was mainly due to so much visual and print media coverage which explained things, offered illustrations, etc. Some of it was part of deliberate civil defense education after Pearl Harbor so that citizens could identify aircraft, ships, and vehicle should the US mainland come under attack and civilians be called upon to perform as scouts and guerillas, or be rapidly inducted into the armed forces.

rri1 wrote:
For many, anything that kind of looks like a tank (i.e. armor plate, treads) is going to be called a "tank".

Agreed. We even see this on news broadcasts in the US. Tracked APCs are frequently referred to as tanks. Similarly, every automatic weapon is a machine gun, every naval combatant of destroyer-size or greater (except for aircraft carriers) is a battleship, etc. Since news media often get the terminology wrong, it's not surprising that the public's understanding of these terms has diminished. Even back in the 1980s when I served in the US Navy, I found many Americans who believed that the planes on carriers were flown by Air Force pilots, and a couple who had always thought that the Green Berets (US Army Special Forces) were a branch of the US Marine Corps.


rri1 wrote:
An equivalent might be after saying you play wargames, someone responding with "Like Risk?"

Good analogy.

Anecdote: Back in the '90s, my son and I were making a purchase at a Sam Goody's music store in Springfield, VA. I was writing a check (remember those?) at the check-out, and the young lady at the cash register asked me to produce two photo IDs. I got out my driver's license, and my active duty military ID card. She asked me if I was in the Air Force (she said her brother was an airman), and I replied, "No, I'm in the Navy." She pondered the card for another 5 seconds or so, and asked, "That's the one with the water, isn't it?" "Yes," I replied with a grin. "A whole lotta water."
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Joeseph McCarthy
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I am supremely thankful that the Navy is there, making sure we have water. Heaven knows what would happen if it was disbanded and all our water went away.
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Andrew
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Hey, folks.

I figured I'd weigh in and give my opinion of how the general public might classify a tank:

1) Military use* (but not engineering)
2) Tank tracks/treads
3) Appears armored
...
4) [Bonus] Turret and main gun

* meaning, guns, soldiers

That's my 2 cents. I'd say most people would call that thing a tank. By these criteria, they wouldn't call a truck, humvee, or armored car a tank, and they probably wouldn't call a half-track a tank.

I guess I'd say that means of locomotion, purpose, and context are the most obvious identifiers of a tank. For an example of something the general public should not be expected to acknowledge when evaluating what is and is not a tank, I would've forgotten to include enclosure for explaining a tank to someone.

Tank tracks are very unusual to the general public eye (especially NA). The only times they see them are movies, the occasional construction/civil engineering vehicle, and museums. And, as mentioned above, it's been a long time since the average civilian has engaged with war, even in the classroom. That's how I came to my conclusion about the general public classification criteria. (and experience in hearing people call things just like pictured tanks)
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Confusion Under Fire
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mmccalpin wrote:
calvinboy24 wrote:


Tank or not a tank?

A tank. Perhaps a Church-hill?


I am betting there is a Priest in there somewhere?
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Bob Zurunkel
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whatambush wrote:
mmccalpin wrote:
calvinboy24 wrote:


Tank or not a tank?

A tank. Perhaps a Church-hill?


I am betting there is a Priest in there somewhere?


Perhaps even a Bishop.
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Michael McCalpin
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Westie wrote:
whatambush wrote:
mmccalpin wrote:
calvinboy24 wrote:


Tank or not a tank?

A tank. Perhaps a Church-hill?


I am betting there is a Priest in there somewhere?


Perhaps even a Bishop.

Does that make it an armoured (armoured personnel) carrier? Or an armoured tank carrier? This is so confusing.
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Bill Eldard
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mmccalpin wrote:
Westie wrote:
whatambush wrote:
mmccalpin wrote:
calvinboy24 wrote:


Tank or not a tank?

A tank. Perhaps a Church-hill?


I am betting there is a Priest in there somewhere?


Perhaps even a Bishop.

Does that make it an armoured (armoured personnel) carrier? Or an armoured tank carrier? This is so confusing.

Whatever it is, it's perfect for the metro-Washington DC rush hour traffic:

1 - protect yourself
2 - be assertive, and
3 - pray
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Bruce Jurin
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Similarly, people in the media seem to think any automatic weapon larger than a hand pistol is a ' machine gun'; no distinction for assault rifles, sub- machine guns, etc.
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Jim F
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I remember the BBC described a Warrior as a tank while reporting on the British operating in Bosnia. Naughty BBC.
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Tim Goose
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johnnyi wrote:

It would be interesting to survey 100 citizens of a given country and ask if photo 1 (below) from the article is a tank.



In the US I would think 73 of 100 would correctly say not a tank (and probably 40 could even call if for what vehicle class it really is). Is my 73 high or low?


ALL news reporters will call this a tank.
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