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Thread: Question for Tank Experts

  1. #1
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    Default Question for Tank Experts

    I know a lot about armor but, what was the cylindrical canister on the back of this M3 Stuart for? Gas or water? If it's gas......I can't imagine having it sitting up there like that.
    I never understood the US tankers placing jerry cans or early gas cans on the front of the tank. That is just asking to die a flaming death.




    Sherman with cans on the front fender:

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Question for Tank Experts

    Quote Originally Posted by HAWKEYE View Post
    If it's gas......I can't imagine having it sitting up there like that.
    I never understood the US tankers placing jerry cans or early gas cans on the front of the tank. That is just asking to die a flaming death.
    As long as burning fuel on the outside of a tank doesn't ignite any of the fuel or ammo inside the tank it is not really a danger to the tank crew. Even if a jerry can full of gas exploded on the front of a tank it wouldn't penetrate the armor. If ignited and the crew had to bail out from another hit it may cause issues but keeping it on the front of the tank where it was farthest away from the engine and fuel tank actually makes sense.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Question for Tank Experts

    If that were so then Molotov cocktails would have never worked...., I know they were thrown at the engine compartment....just joking..

    I'll admit that I'd rather have it away from the engine but if that goes off on the fender or the front plate the driver and bow gunner would never be able to exit the tank. Can you imagine a 5 gallon "molotov" in your lap?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Question for Tank Experts

    That certainly isn't a pleasant scenario but I guess putting one person in more danger is better than putting the entire crew in danger....

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question for Tank Experts

    Its probable that the cannisters didn't contain fuel, but water, as both tanks are seen in a desert setting.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Question for Tank Experts

    The stuart seems to carry water, but the Sherman contained look very much like the british fuel cans.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question for Tank Experts

    the m3 stuart was equipped sometimes with 2 -25 gallon jettisonable fuel tanks,due to the short range of 70 miles or 113 km.depending on where you are from.i could find no other pictures with the tanks,

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Question for Tank Experts

    those are jettisonable fuel tanks to extend the tanks range ,they are meant to be jettisoned before going into a combat area and are provided with quick release catches for this purpose.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Question for Tank Experts

    The Sherman has what looks like two ammo cans (.50 BMG) one one fender, and what looks like a mermite can on the other. Mermite cans were insulated for storing food, and perhaps water,to keep them cool, or warm as occasion demanded. I admit that the cans this resembles were from the 70's, so I may be a victim of similarities.
    although this is again from later times, American tanks were arranged to carry one 5 gallon can of water on the side of the turret. No flammables were allowed outside of the vehicle.

  10. #10
    colonel hogan Guest

    Default Re: Question for Tank Experts

    it could be either but id think it would be water because they are in the desert but it could be gas.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Question for Tank Experts

    If I was a tank commander, I wouldn't want a flaming tank especially in an oven of a setting like that, it is most likely water since of the desert setting. But hey, I could be wrong.


    "A pint of sweat saves a gallon of blood."
    - General George S. Patton
    "War Isn't about Dying for your country, its about making the other basterd die for his." - Patton

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Question for Tank Experts

    Tanks burn a tremendous amount of gas.
    Often several gallons to the mile.
    These auxillery tanks would be in use far from any chance of combat.

    They are easily dumped off when nearing an area of possible engagement..

    Note pics of later Soviet armour with purpose made mounts for these.

    Water containers usually have prominent markings indicating they are for that purpose.

    One might assume tankers have some knowledge about their situations and equipment.

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