Tac Error wrote:
Soviet tanks are designed with limited gun elevation and depression in mind as they would primarily fight over open plains-type terrain, but their silhouette is lower. Western tanks are designed to exploit hilly terrain, but this requires a tank with a higher height.
As I have stated there is a very small difference in the gun elevations (3 degrees max). Also soviet tanks with TGM have an advantage over western tanks in gun elevation.
Also you have an extreme (amercian) bias in this post, as most nato nations were preparing to fight the war in the northern german plain (germans as well), so "designed to exploit hilly terrain" is incorrect.
Also you do not take into account M60-XM1 changes in height, works on MBT70 (where height was also reduced).
The reason why the western tanks were heavier and taller was not due to protection or gun elevation issues, but rather due to inability to create a small, dense and light tank
Actually, on the t-55 tank, the gun depression is -4 degrees vs. the -10 degree average. That's a 6 point difference.
And this was used to great effect during the Yom Kippur war, with t-55's going against Centurions. But again, the rocky, hilly terrain of the Golan Heights is much different from the terrain of Germany, so that would probably be negated. There's also a discrepancy between crew training: I would assume soviet training and tactics would have been much better than Syrian training/tactics.
Another common problem with the t-55, t-62, and t-72, and with all horizontal autoloading tanks, is that the gun must crank up a couple of degrees after every shot to load another shell. This hampered its ROF in initial contact, but held the advantage of being able to keep a consistent pace and require 1 less crew member. A manual loading tank is faster for the first 3=5 shots, but the loader quickly gets tired out. It was also a point of weakness, as one hit in the autoloader carousel mechanism, with all the stored ammo, would blow the turret right off. This was a common occurrence in the battle of 73 Easting (Desert Storm).