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Tank types

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Main battle tank

A main battle tank (MBT), also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the armor-protected direct fire and maneuver role of many modern armies. Cold War-era development of more powerful engines, better suspension systems and lighter weight composite armor allowed a tank to have the firepower of a super-heavy tank, armor protection of a heavy tank, and mobility of a light tank all in a package with the weight of a medium tank. Through the 1960s, the MBT replaced almost all other tanks, leaving only some specialist roles to be filled by lighter designs or other types of armored fighting vehicles.

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Super-heavy tank

Super-heavy tank, also super heavy tank, is any tank that is notably beyond the standard of the class heavy tank in either size or weight relative to contemporary vehicles.

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T-35

The T-35 was a Soviet multi-turreted heavy tank of the interwar period and early Second World War that saw limited production and service with the Red Army. Often called a land battleship, it was the only five-turreted heavy tank in the world to reach production, but proved to be slow and mechanically unreliable. Most of the T-35 tanks still operational at the time of Operation Barbarossa were lost due to mechanical failure rather than enemy action.

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Light tank

A light tank is a tank variant initially designed for rapid movement, and now primarily employed in the reconnaissance role, or in support of expeditionary forces where main battle tanks cannot be made available. Early light tanks were generally armed and armored similar to an armored car, but used tracks in order to provide better cross-country mobility.

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Heavy tank

A heavy tank was a class of tank that generally provided better armour protection as well as equal or greater firepower than tanks of lighter classes, often at the cost of mobility and manoeuvrability and, particularly, expense.

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British heavy tanks of World War I

British heavy tanks were a series of related armoured fighting vehicles developed by the UK during the First World War.

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Mark V tank

The British Mark V tank was an upgraded version of the Mark IV tank. It was first deployed in 1918, used in action during the closing months of World War I, and in the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War on the White Russian side, and by the Red Army, after they were captured. The tank was improved in several aspects, chiefly the new steering system and engine, but it fell short in other areas such as mechanical reliability and its insufficient ventilation. However, the Mark V was successful, especially given its limited service history, and primitive design.

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Mark IV tank

The Mark IV was a British tank of the First World War. Introduced in 1917, it benefited from significant developments of the Mark I tank. The main improvements were in armour, the re-siting of the fuel tank and ease of transport. A total of 1,220 Mk IV were built: 420 "Males", 595 "Females" and 205 Tank Tenders, which made it the most numerous British tank of the war. The Mark IV was first used in mid 1917 at the Battle of Messines Ridge. It remained in British service until the end of the war, and a small number served briefly with other combatants afterwards.

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Cruiser tank

The cruiser tank was a British tank concept of the interwar period for tanks designed to function as modernised armoured and mechanised cavalry. Cruiser tanks were developed after the Royal Armoured Corps were not satisfied with many of the medium tank designs of the 1930s. The cruiser tank concept was conceived by Giffard Le Quesne Martel, who preferred many small light tanks to swarm the enemy, instead of a few expensive medium tanks. There were two main types of cruiser tanks, "light" cruiser tanks and "heavy" cruiser tanks. "Light" cruiser tanks were lightly armoured and relatively fast, while "heavy" cruiser tanks were more heavily armoured and slightly slower than "light" cruiser tanks.

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Medium tank

Medium tank is a classification of tanks, particularly prevalent during World War II which represented a compromise between the mobility oriented light tanks and the armour and armament oriented heavy tanks. The most widely produced, cost effective and successful tanks of World War II were all medium tank designs, and the success of the concept would later lead to the development of later generations of medium tanks such as the Chieftain. Many of the medium tanks lines became what are called main battle tank in most countries.

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Flame tank

A flame tank is a type of tank equipped with a flamethrower, most commonly used to supplement combined arms attacks against fortifications, confined spaces, or other obstacles. The type only reached significant use in the Second World War, during which the United States, Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom all produced flamethrower-equipped tanks.

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Infantry tank

The infantry tank was a concept developed by the United Kingdom and France in the years leading up to World War II. Infantry tanks were designed to support infantrymen in an attack. To achieve this, the vehicles were generally heavily armoured to allow them to operate in close concert with infantry even under heavy fire. The extra armour came at the expense of speed, which was not an issue when supporting relatively slow-moving foot soldiers.

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Tanks of Canada

This article on military tanks deals with the history and development of Canadian tanks: their origin during World War I; the interwar period; World War II; the Cold War; and the modern era.

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Fiat M14/41

The Fiat M 14/41 was a four-person medium tank that served from 1941 in the Royal Italian Army. The official Italian designation was Carro Armato M 14/41. The tank was first employed in the North African Campaign where its shortcomings quickly became apparent.

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Dummy tank

A dummy tank, usually inflatable or wooden, is a type of decoy that either is intended to be mistaken by an enemy for a real tank or used for training purposes. Dummy tanks emerged soon after the introduction of real tanks in World War I, but were not widely used until World War II.