What would a tank designed for purely urban warfare look like?
Answered by: Bill Soo,Handyman, software engineer
During WW2, the Germans found out the hard way that urban combat was the worst kind of combat and that tanks were not that useful. Even absent the threat of modern RPGs, tanks in close quarters were susceptible to infantry assaults with Molotov cocktails and grenades. At Stalingrad, the Germans sent in their best infantry, combat engineers, and while it worked, it was extremely expensive. So they brought in the Sturm-Infanteriegeschütz 33B:
This was a 150mm infantry gun mounted on a Pzkw III chassis. The armor was decent, up to 80mm on the front, and unlike mobile artillery it was fully enclosed so it was protected against infantry on rooftops. The idea was to knock down the buildings rather than clear them room by room. And while the Germans never fully captured Stalingrad, the idea had enough merit that versions based on Pzkw IV and Tiger chassises were developed:
这是一门安装在Pzkw III底盘上的150毫米步兵炮。装甲很不错，前部可达80毫米，与移动火炮不同，它是完全封闭的，因此可以在屋顶上抵御步兵的攻击。他们的想法是推倒这些建筑，而不是逐个房间地清理它们。虽然德国人从未完全攻占斯大林格勒，但这个想法有足够的可取之处，以至于基于Pzkw IV和Tiger Chassies的版本被开发出来：
Sturmpanzer IV (aka Brummbar)
The Sturmpanzer IV had a 150mm howitzer while the Sturmtiger had a massive 380mm rocket projector. Both had fairly heavy armor as well.
Later on, when the US was fighting in Europe, they used the M12 155mm self propelled howitzer in the direct firing mode for this purpose:
While it wasn’t designed for the job, it did well enough.
During the recent rebellions in Chechnya, the Russians incurred heavy tank losses fighting in urban areas. The problem was the high rise buildings in the cities allowed rebel infantry to target tank roofs with RPGs while the tanks had insufficient elevation to fire back. While it would be possible to level the buildings with massive artillery fire, the rubble would make the streets impassible. So the Russians developed the BMPT terminator:
This AFV had a pair of high angle 30mm auto cannon that could target the top floors of skyscrapers. It also carried 4 launchers for ATGMs as well as a pair of 30mm grenade launchers.
This is where we are today. The brute force of the Sturmtiger has given way to the finesse of the Terminator. If brute force is required, it can be delivered with laser guided bombs these days.