Tanks and Fighting Vehicles

In this section you can learn all about armored transports like tanks and Humvees. Find out what makes them so tough and how they are used in combat situations.


During the Cold War, the U.S. and USSR kicked nuclear submarine production into high gear. But if the Cold War is over, why are we still making them? What are our nuclear subs up to these days?

The Type 61 Main Battle Tank was the first armored vehicle designed and built in post-war Japan. The Type 61's design is conventional and maybe that's why tank was never exported. Check out the Japanese Type 61 Main Battle Tank at HowStuffWorks.

Before producing the Type 97 SHINHOTO CHI-HA Medium Tank, Japanese Army observers watched tank developments in Europe and studied as avidly as any other military officer. Read about the history and design of the Type 97 SHINHOTO CHI-HA Medium Tank.

It was not until 1967 that the Israeli government turned its attention to the creation of a main battle tank, the Merkava. Israel and the surrounding area are either desert or rolling hills, which form ideal tank country. Read about the Merkava tank.

The most ubiquitous of all Imperial Japanese tanks was the Type 95 KE-GO Light Tank. The Type 89 was intended to be a light tank, but armor and the 57mm gun raised it to medium class and made it very slow. Read about the Type 95 KE-GO Light Tank.

The Stridsvagn 103 Main Battle Tank, or S tank, is the first practical turretless MBT to be developed. The low profile makes the tank hard to see when moving and very hard to find when lying in ambush. Check out the Stridsvagn 103 Main Battle Tank.

The Type 89 CHI-RO tank was suited to fight a war where the enemy was infantry equipped with small arms, machine guns, and a few larger guns. It was this type of war that the CHI-RO fought in the 1930s. Check out design of the Type 89 CHI-RO tank.

Scientists are working on a cloaking method that would render tanks effectively invisible. New metamaterials may bend light, making the tank and its shadow indiscernible.

Tanks are armored military vehicles designed to break through enemy lines. However, as time has passed, tanks can be just about anything that the designer wants it to be. Check out profiles of historical tanks with photos and specifications.

The Infantry Tank Mark II A-12, or Matilda II, signified a change in Britain's thinking about tanks. Fortunately, this change in tank design came just in time for the start of World War II. Learn about the Infantry Tank Mark II A-12.

The Cromwell A-27M Infantry Tank was fast and agile but still outmatched by opposition tanks. This tank featured a 57mm barrel that was bored out to accommodate a 75mm round. Learn about Britain's Cromwell A-27M Infantry Tank.

The Centurion Main Battle Tank was heavily armed and used by many countries. This tank was the most heavily armored tank ever produced in the post-war years. Learn the history and design of Britain's Centurion Main Battle Tank.

The Chieftan Main Battle Tank had excellent firepower and protection capabilities. Nuclear-biological-chemical protection is featured on this tank through the help of a forced-air filtration system. Learn the history and design of Britain's Chieftan Main Battle Tank.

The AMX-13 Light Tank was modified to suit the needs of various countries. This tank could be used as both a tank destroyer and a reconnaisance tank. Learn about the history and design of France's AMX-13 Light Tank.

The AMX-30 Main Battle Tank served as the principal Main Battle Tank for the French Army. This tank is unique in that it features its own built-in anti-air defense system. Learn about the history of the AMX-30 Main Battle Tank.

The Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger I was a formidable battle tank in World War II. This tank featured armor that was over four inces thick that hurt this tank's agility. Learn about the design and history of the Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger I.

The Panzerkampfwagen V Panther was a well-designed German World War II tank. This tank featured a 700 horsepower engine that had a range of 110 miles. Learn about the history and design of the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther.

The Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger II was the most massive and heavily armored tank of World War II. This tank carried an 88-mm gun that was capable of penetrating 7.2 inches of armor. Learn about the Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger II.

The Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank was post-war Germany's first tank designed and built in West Germany. This tank can be sealed and pressurized for use in biological warfare situations. Learn more about the Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank.

The M-60 Main Battle Tank entered production in 1960, developed in response to increasingly advanced Soviet tanks. More than 15,000 of these tanks were manufactured before production ceased in 1987. Explore the M-60 Main Battle Tank.

The T-34 Medium Tank had few amenities but enough power to help the Soviets beat back a Nazi invasion in World War II. This tank was well armored and heavily gunned, which made it the toughest tank the Germans encountered in Russia. Explore the T-34 Medium Tank.

The T-54/T-55 Main Battle Tank series, one of the most popular in Soviet history, is still in use today. These tanks were more heavily gunned than previous versions and were distributed to military forces around the world. Learn about the T-54/T-55 Main Battle Tank.

The T-62 Main Battle Tank was the second generation of Soviet MBTs, based on the T-54/T-55. This tank signaled the end of heavy tanks throughout the world. Learn about the T-62 Main Battle Tank at HowStuffWorks.

The T-64 Main Battle Tank was long mistaken for another Soviet tank, the T-72. The main weapon on this tank was capable of firing anywhere from 5 to 8 rounds per minute. Explore the features of the T-64 Main Battle Tank at HowStuffWorks.

The Soviet T-72 Main Battle Tank was heavily armored and served through the fall of the Soviet Union. This tank featured up to 11 inches of armor on the front of the turret and eight inches everywhere else. Explore features of the T-72 Main Battle Tank.