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A Military Question from a non-military person Question # 2

 
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A Military Question from a non-military person Question... - 9/21/2012 12:21:27 AM   
radic202


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Hey Gang, you were superb in helping my 11 year old nephew with his original ask about the Tanks and the gas barrels but he wants to end his project with a little bang.

After watching an episode of "Ice Road Truckers" where the Big Huge Trucks drive on Ice Roads delivering supplies to Northern Canadian and USA Communities, Jonathan ask me to ask you all if there were any times during WW2 or even the Korean War (can't think of any other winter wars) where Tanks would drive across frozen lakes without breaking the ice or sinking through?

I know a Tanks weights several tons (not talking about a King Tiger here!)and have no idea what an 18 fully loaded Rig weights but I told him I frankly don't know. I do know that in Russia during the Battle of Stalingrad planes would land and take off form frozen lakes but in that time it was one of the coldest winters on record.

I also remember reading that during battles in Poland several tanks were found at the bottom of large rivers and lakes and were recently salvaged to restore.

Again, any help form you military historian would be appreciated not only by Jonathan but by me.

Thanks in advance,




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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 9/21/2012 2:45:58 AM   
Jeffrey H.


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Hrrmm, Lake Ladonga I think near Leningrad. The Russians used the frozen lake to break the seige of the city. Not sure if they crossed with tanks or not, but I'll bet they gave it a try.


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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 9/21/2012 7:58:07 PM   
radic202


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This got me thinking: would the "treads" on the Tanks actually dig in and break the ice surface making it almost impossible to cross a large surface area?

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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 9/21/2012 8:05:20 PM   
Josh

 

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No don't think so, ice can be rockhard, the tracks would dig in to maybe the upper inches of ice. I've heard stories about light/medium tanks crossing frozen lakes and rivers but I can't recall where I've read it. Probably was at least a metre thick, so must've been in Russia. Ofcourse when in desparate situations anything can happen, I recall this story of a German heavy tank trying to cross a centuries old Roman bridge somewhere in Italy... it collapsed killing the commander. 

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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 9/21/2012 8:29:52 PM   
radic202


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Good Point Josh, Thanks!

Even if they could get their tank part way across a frozen Lake, I wonder if even firing their main gun would be a "stupid" idea? Actually a smart defender would only have to fire a couple of mortars or larger guns or even some German Stukas drop some bombs on the ice surface in front of the advancing tank column to break the ice and sink them all. Desperate or not, a Commander is this case would be taking one hell of a chance and loose his entire company?

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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 9/21/2012 8:49:58 PM   
danlongman

 

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I used to live up North where they make the ice road truckers shows. The operable concept is in the
title - the roads themselves are made of ice. Most Southrons do not know ice at all except in a cool
drink. At temperatures which can hover around -40F for weeks the ice is several feet thick and much
like rock. Shallow lakes freeze to the bottom...shallow parts of big lakes freeze to the bottom.
When the ice and water move it can become broken or thin and treacherous but otherwise it is stable until
spring breakup. Small explosions would crater the ice like solid ground bigger ones would punch a hole
in the ice but areas not far from the hole would remain stable. In warmer climes ice is unstable and dangerous
but in severe cold it is generally stable and makes good roads. Do you think they jazz up the show a bit?
Nah that never happens. Tanks can run over snow. Some tanks like the T34 were made to run on snow
they treat ice like nice hard dirt. In all snow is much more difficult to operate on than ice.
Tanks can get stuck in snow like in mud..just by sinking in until high centred.
There is no bridge over the Mackenzie on the way to Yellowknife, NWT. In summer there is a ferry because the river is very,
very wide..in winter the highway goes right over the ice no problem. Everything. From mopeds to heavy equipment for
the mines.

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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 9/21/2012 9:11:36 PM   
Orm


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During the last assault in the Finnish Winter War USSR attacked accross a part of Gulf of Finland. In this assault they included a lot of tanks. The tanks had not been painted white so Finnish artillery had nice targets to aim for and breaking the ice. The few Finnish air plane also had target practice on the ice. Note that the USSR soldiers had white uniforms and were harder to detect. But they had no cover so they suffered as well. The attack across the sea included several divisions.



Situation on the Karelian Isthmus on 13 March 1940, on the last day of the war.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Orm -- 9/21/2012 10:12:24 PM >


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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 10/29/2012 3:44:29 PM   
redcoat


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quote:

ORIGINAL: radic202

I also remember reading that during battles in Poland several tanks were found at the bottom of large rivers and lakes and were recently salvaged to restore.


The Poles discovered another tank at the bottom of a river a few days ago. This time it was a Red Army Valentine. It is believed to have fallen through the ice covering a tributary of the River Warta in January 1945. Here is a video of the recovery: Link. It may be up and running again in a few years time.

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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 10/29/2012 4:16:02 PM   
Josh

 

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Thx for that link, it never seizes to amaze me that after seventy years they re-appear almost unscathed... I mean not even rust and the wheels were turning even when they dragged it out of this swamp.

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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 10/30/2012 7:24:48 PM   
wodin


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yeah Finland\Leningrad lake ladogo is the most famous example on a large scale..during the height of winter under cover of darkness they'd bring supplies into the beleaguered city. Even arty had a job breaking it up. Also Stalingrad right towards the end the Russians could easily cross over the Volga.

As for finding tanks etc..many in the swamps and marsh lands in Russia are also found in near perfect condition..I expect many fully preserved bodies aswell inhabit those swamps..a chilling thought.

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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 10/31/2012 12:55:30 PM   
terje439


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Might be my memory that is failing me, but I seem to remember a story about a Valentine(???) that was lend-leased to the USSR, sank in a river as it fell through the ice, was then brought back up in the early 90s and sent as a token of goodwill back to Canada?
But might be my memory playing tricks...


Terje

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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 10/31/2012 5:28:09 PM   
redcoat


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Methinks your memory is serving you well terje439. A Canadian-made Valentine VIIA was retrieved in the Ukraine in 1990 and offered as a Glasnost era gift to Canada. It had fallen through the ice over a river near Telepino in January 1944. The newly independent Ukraine returned it to Canada in 1992 and it is now in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. There is a photo of it and other surviving Valentines in this rather good pdf:

http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_Valentines.pdf

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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 11/2/2012 2:00:59 PM   
ilovestrategy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Josh

No don't think so, ice can be rockhard, the tracks would dig in to maybe the upper inches of ice. I've heard stories about light/medium tanks crossing frozen lakes and rivers but I can't recall where I've read it. Probably was at least a metre thick, so must've been in Russia. Ofcourse when in desparate situations anything can happen, I recall this story of a German heavy tank trying to cross a centuries old Roman bridge somewhere in Italy... it collapsed killing the commander. 



Being a Roman history buff this breaks my heart. The bridge, not the moron.

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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 11/2/2012 3:27:33 PM   
Wolfe


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Not a tank but these were designed for snow/ice






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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 11/5/2012 12:10:44 AM   
radic202


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Just was watching this video on Youtube (Greatest Tank Battles - Balkans) and at the very end 43:28 you see them pull out an entire Russian T-34 with a WW2 German Logo on it (was captured and refitted I gather). So still chances of finding some good WW2 tanks in lakes and rivers all over Eastern Europe for sure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFm3YF-s-Ro



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RE: A Military Question from a non-military person Ques... - 11/6/2012 5:51:45 AM   
Neilster


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Tanks definitely crossed frozen rivers in the Soviet Union, so I'm guessing they crossed frozen lakes as well.

Cheers, Neilster

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