The Chieftain's Hatch: Landcruiser!

For those of you who like lots of pretty pictures, I'm afraid this week's Hatch is going to be a little disappointing for you. However, after coming across this in the Archives, I figured it was deserving of greater exposure. There's a picture at the very end if you must see it sooner. The original document combined block caps and lower case as below.

HANDICAPS OF PRESENT ARMY TANKS -·WITH COMPARATIVE DATA OF THE NEW "LAND CRUISER" BY R. G. SCHNEIDERAIEE, ENGINEER

THE BRIEF LIST OF THE MAJOR HANDICAPS AND SHORTCOMINGS OF PRESENT DAY ARMY TANKS AS OUTLINED HEREINAFTER, EVIDENCES IN A LARGE DEGREE THE LIMITATIONS OF THE MODERN CATERPILLAR TYPE TANK. THERE IS A COMPARATIVE LULL AND SLOW PROGRESS IN THEIR IMPROVEMENT 'PROGRESS COMPARABLE TO AIRCRAFT AND WATERCRAFT, WHICH MAY BE DUE TO THEIR BASIC PRINCIPAL OR DESIGN. IT ALSO EVIDENCES THE NEED FOR GETTING THEM UP "OUT OF THE MUD", SO TO SPEAK, AND SOME NEW BASIC DESIGN THAT WILL ALLOW HUGE STRIDES IN IMPROVEMENTS AS TO ARMOR, SPEED, GUN CARRYING CAPACITY, FUEL AND AMMUNITION CAPACITY AND THE OVER COMING OF ALL ORDINARY LAND AND WEATHER OBSTACLES.

A SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT DAY TANK HANDICAPS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:- (THE COMPARATIVE DATA OF THE NEW "LAND CRUISER", INVENTED IN HOUSTON, TEXAS IS GIVEN AFTER EACH ITEM) .

 

1. PRESENT DAY TANKS HAVE A SMALL CRUISING RANGE OF 100 TO 150 MILES, OWING TO THE SMALL FUEL CAPACITY SPACE. THIS REQUIRES FREQUENT REFUELING AND CONSTANT FUEL DEPOTS AVAILABLE IN MOVEMENT WARFARE. ONLY SHORT FORAYS ARE ALLOWABLE INTO ENEMY TERRITORY UNLESS FUEL FOLLOWS IMMEDIATELY BEHIND THE TANKS.

(The Land Cruiser has a range of 10,000 miles with food.and supplies for thirty days of cruising in enemy territory.)

2. SMALL SPACE AVAILABLE FOR MOTOR WITH HEAVY POWER LOAD ON SAME. EACH H.P. HAS TO PULL APPROXIMATELY 320 IBS. OF TANK WEIGHT.

(The Cruiser tank has two 2000 H.P. Motors and· space for two or four more. Each H. P. has to pull only 100lbs., of tank weight for 1" overall armour, 150 lbs for 2" armor, 200 lbs. for 3" armor and 225 lbs. for 4"  armor which can be cut in half by using four motors.The armor is overall, not including only the turret.)

3. GREAT LOSS OF POWER IN THE CATERPILLAR TRACK TRACTION AND GEAR, NUMEROUS WHEELS, ETC·., AND IRON TO IRON CONTACTS OF TREADS. APPROXIMATELY 4 TIMES AS MUCH POWER IS REQUIRED TO MOVE THE THE TANKS THE SAME RATE OF SPEED AS AN AUTOMOBILE OR TRUCK

(The Cruiser Tank has the smallest power loss possible in modern mechanical engineering science comparable to car and truck wheel traction efficiency. By varying the design the load pull per H.P. can be reduced to nearly same as an automobile or truck, although carrying 3" or 4" armor.)

4. THE CATERPILLAR TREAD IS IMPRACTICAL FOR CONTINUOUS MAXIMUM SPEED AND THE LIMIT OF TREADS IS APPROXIMATELY 25 MPH IF EXTREMELY SHORT LIFE OF THE TRACK IS TO BE AVOIDED. THE MAJORITYOF THE FASTER AMERICAN TANKS IN THE LATEST BRITISH DRIVE IN LIBYA WERE OUT OF COMMISSION AFTER THE FIRST TWO AND ONE HALF WEEKS OF THE ADVANCE, REQUIRING WHOLESALE REPAIRS BEFORETHE ADVAN CE COULD BE CONTINUED

(No caterpillar track type traction is used on the Land Cruiser. The traction is characteristic of a wheel, the simplest mode of locomotion known to man,and having the least possible loss of power by friction,even at great speed.)

5. THE EXPOSED CATERPILLAR TRACKS, WHEELS, ETC., ARE EASILY PUT OUTOF COMMISSION BY A SINGLE SHELL HIT, WHICH ACCOUNTS FOR THE MAJORITYOF THE TANK CASULTIES IN THE PRESENT WAR.

(The Land Cruiser traction section is the most heavily armored portion of the cruiser. The traction sections have 3'' or 4" overall armor protection and cannot beput out of action by light artillery. A large part of the traction surfaces can be damaged by heavy artillery fire, and cracked without disabling the tank except perhaps slow the speed by a large shell into the vital area. If a heavy caliber shell penetrates the traction armor both sides (8"), disables the motor, etc., the land cruiser can still travel at one half speed with the rear motor and traction section. The land cruise rhas two traction sections, front and rear, operating independently, with independent fuel tanks, and each one alone can propel the tank at nearly half speed. Either section can be practically smashed and the tank can still crawl away dragging the other section with it for hundreds of miles.)

6. THE ARMAMENT OF MODERN TANKS IS INSUFFICIENT AGAINST MODERN ANTITANK OR 75mm COMBINATION A.A. GUNS. GREAT WEIGHT LIMITATIONS ON TRACTOR GEAR LIMITS WEIGHT OF ADEQUATE ARMAMENT WHICH SHOULDBE FROM 21/2" to 41/2' ON ALL EXTERIOR EXPOSED AND VULNERABLE SURFACES. [Chieftain's note: I suspect he means "armor", which is an unfortunate combination for a tank designer to mix up]

(75mm shells are harmless to the 4" armor of the Land Cruiser. The limits as to weight are large, and Land cruisers with 6" or 8" armor can be designed and built as easily and nearly as quickly as with 4 "armor. The name Land Cruiser has been adopted for the reason its design is the only practical answer for future huge Land Cruisers. Its easy method of locomotlon forsees the coming of huge future destroyer Land Cruisers, and the ease of overcoming artificial and natural land obstacles and obstructionsmay bring large scale improvements and progress of these cruisers in the future. Its possibilities are nearly limitless and far reaching, as the Land Cruiser picks up where the tank leaves off)

7. THE ROCKING MOTION OF THE TANK ON ACCOUNT OF ITS NARROW WIDTH, AND ROUGH SHAKY TRAVEL, MAKES FIRING WHILE TRAVELING ERRATIC AND REQUIRES STANDING STILL TO ENABLE ACCURATE FIRING, MAKING THE TANK AN EASY TARGET

(The firing turret of the Land Cruiser, if used on same, is suspended between two points 40 feet apart and most of the shocking and rocking is absorbed in this distance or greatly neturalized, allowing steady aim for firing while underway.)

8. ANY PRESENT DAY MEDIUM TANK CAN RAM AND PUT ANY OTHER TANK OUT OF COMMISSION OR DISABLE IT, REGARDLESS OF SIZE, IF THE RAMMING TANK IS ITSELF SACRIFICED

(The .Land Cruiser can ram and crush any present day heavy tank including the Russian 100 ton type without damage to itself and can continue crushing one after another without serious harm to itself. They can ram and disable tanks up to 225 tons that have caterpillar treads.)

9. 12" to 24" OF MUD ON UNEVEN GROUND OR CREEKS, DITCHES, ETC., WILL MIRE MOST PRESENT DAY TANKS. IF AN OBSTACLE IS ENCOUNTERED, THE TREADS WILL SCRAPE OUT THE MUDDY SOIL TILL THE BELLY. OF THE TANK RIDES ON THE GROUND, CAUSING THE TREADS TO SPIN.

(The Land Cruiser can travel through mud with great speed and in up to 4 feet deep mud with ease.Special design may increase this to 6 or 7 feet deep mud. The bottom of the tank body is approximately 8 feet from the ground and this can be increased to 10 or 12 feet or perhaps 15 feet in the future.)

10. IF.THE BANK OF A DITCH, CREEK OR STREAM IS,WET OR MUDDY, THE TANK TREADS SCRAPE OUT A VERTICAL SLOPING TRENCH FROM THE BANK THE WIDTH OF THE TRACK AND DEEP ENOUGH UNTIL BODY OF TANK BETWEEN TRACKS RAMS THE EARTH BANK AND BLOCKS FUR'l'HER MOVEMENT. IF TANK IS IN A DITCH BETWEEN TWO BANKS, THE PROCESS IS REPEATED IF BACK!NG UP IS ATTEMPTED.

(Ditches, creeks or streams are no obstacle to a Land Cruiser unless the bank is absolutely vertical and over 7 or 8 feet high)

11. WHEN TREADS OF TANKS CLOG UP WITH MUD THE TRACK BECOMES A SMOOTH SURFACE, AND IF AN OBSTACLE IS ENCOUNTERED OR CLIMBING BECOMES NECESSARY, THE TRACKS-SLIP AND SPIN, ESPECIALLY IF THE MUD IS VERY WET. THIS ACCOUNTS FOR MOST OF THE TANKS THAT GET MIRED IN DITCHES OR CREEKS, ETC

(There is nothing on a Land Cruiser that mud can clog up. Lugs are spaced 18" apart and staggered on traction section to prevent filling up with mud between lugs)

12. THE NARROW WIDTH OF PRESENT TANKS CAUSES THEM TO TIP OVER IFTHEY GET OFF A ROAD AND ON THE SLOPING SHOULDERS ALONGSIDE HIGHWAY, DRAINING DITCHES, OR OTHER SIDE SLOPING GROUND

(The 25'-0" width of the Land Cruiser and 20 feet height makes it nearly impossible for same to tip over on sloping banks of highways, ditches, etc.It can also straddle the entire width of' ditches.The ratio of its width to its height lends the cruiser to bumping into obstacles at high speed without tipping over.)

13. ALL PRESENT DAY TANKS ARE CROWDED FOR SPACE FOR PERSONELL AND THEIR CRAMPED POSITIONS DURING OPERATIONS IS UNENDURABLE FOR ONLY VERY FEW HOURS AT A TIME BY THE MOST HARDY SOLDIERS.

(There is ample moving room . for personnel in the Land Cruiser and there are separate spaces for sleeping quarters. No cramping or crowding is necessary.)

14. THE NUMEROUS OILED BEARINGS, ETC., REQUIRED BY THE NUMEROUS TRACTION GEAR AND TREAD JOINTS lS A GREAT FIRE HAZARD WHICH TROOPS HAVE EXPLOITED BY THE. USE OF SIMPLE BOTTLED GASOLINE BOMBS WHICH ARE VERY EFFECTIVE lN SETTING PRESENT DAY TANKS ON FIRE.

(The Land Cruiser has only 4 exposed bearings in the traction sections. If same are on fire there is no harm. One will not ignite the other as·. they are 40 feet apart. Fire can cause no damage unless fuel is spread over the cruiser and set on fire and becomes intensely hot)

15. A SMALL BOMB, MORTAR EXPLODING SHELL, OR LAND MINE, WILL DISABLE MOST PRESENT DAY TANKS.

(Small or medium bombs, mortar shells or land mines do not harm a Land Cruiser. Only a direct hit on the very center of the traction section by a large bomb can damage same, as the 4"  traction armor is stronger as used on the Land Cruiser than flat on a battleship deck. Also, if one section is damaged the other traction section can still propel the Land Cruiser. The high speed of the Land Cruiser makes it nearly impossible to hit by large airplane bombs)

16. TWO TO FIVE FEET OF WATER WILL STALL ALL PRESENT DAY TANKS, EXCEPT THE SPECIAL LIGHT AND THlNLY ARMORED AMPHIBIAN TANKS

(!The Land Cruiser can travel through 9 feet of water, and can be designed to travel in up to18 feet of water)

17. THE SLOW SPEED OF MOST TANKS MAKES THEM AN EASY TARGET FOR SMALL ARTILLERY

(The Land Cruiser can travel from 60 to 120 miles per hour and is difficult to hit while underway. Heavy artillery is difficult to aim at such af ast moving target, especially if it zig zags. Light artillery fire does not disable it)

18. PRESENT TANK GUNS ARE LIMITED TO ABOUT 21/2" TO 3" CALIBRE WITH PERHAPS 4" GUNS FOR RUSSIAN 100 TON TANKS OWING TO WEIGHT AND OPERATING SPACE REQUIRED FOR LARGER GUNS

(Land Cruisers can carry 6° and 8" guns and can bemade to carry 12" or 16" Coastal Defense Railway, guns, and also climb hills or travel across streams,canals, etc., where Railway guns cannot go)

19. AMMUNITION CAPACITY IS SMALL, WITH SPACE FOR ONLY ABOUT 75 ROUNDS FOR THE LARGER 3" or 4" GUNS. IF AMMUNITION IS EXHAUSTED WHILE IN ENEMY TERRITORY THE TANK IS HELPLESS AND LOST, AND THE GREW PERHAPS KILLED IF SURROUNDED BY ENEMY TROOPS.

(!The Land Cruiser has space for .from 500 to 1.500 roundsof 4" or 6" shells, depending on the designs and use of same, which can be increased by special design)

20. THE LOSS OF WASTE H.P. IN THE TRACK TRACTION GEAR, THE HEAVY 320 LB. WEIGHT EACH H.P MUST PULL, PLUS THE SMALL ROTATION SPEED LIMIT OF THE TRACK AROUND THE WHEELS, HAS KEPT THE SPEED OF THE HEAVY TANKS TOO SLOW FOR SAFEY. IF CONTINUOUS SPEEDS TO 50 OR 70MPH WERE AVAILABLE, TANKS WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO HIT WITH ARTILLERY FIRE OR BY AIR BOMBING

(The Land Cruiser, owing TO it's high efficiency in traction power, transm1ssion, minimum amount of friction, and the simple traction mechanism, which make cross country traveling as easy and nearly as smooth as highways, enables same to travel at high speed up to 120mph with ease. By special design and with increased power units for which there is ample space, tremendous speeds can be obtained up to 150 or 200 mph)

21. MOST BOMB OR SHELL CRATERS WILL BLOCK PRESENT DAY TANKS.

(The Land Cruiser can travel over, into and out of any size bomb or land mine crater)

22. RAILS OR CONCRETE PIERS EMBEDDED IN THE GROUND WILL STALL TANKS WHEN THE BELLY OF THE TANK GROUNDS ON SAME

Present day rail or concrete pier tank blockades cannot stop a Land Cruiser and it would require a tremendous array of steel rails or concrete obstructions to block the path of a Land Cruiser. It can crush through two or three times as large rail or concrete obstacles used to block present day tanks. 

23. PRESENT DAY TANKS CAN BE BLOCKED BY BARRIERS BUILT HURRIEDLY OF LOGS, STONE WALLS, ABRUPT DITCHES, DISABLED TANKS, CONCRETE LEDGES, ETC. MOST HOUSES, MACHINERY, :BRICK BUILDINGS, ETC., BLOCK NEARLY ALL ORDINARY HEAVY TYPE TANKS 

(No hurriedly constructed obstacles can block Land Cruisers. Log or stone barriers, trucks, tanks, concrete ledges cannot stop them)

24. TANKS CANNOT CLIMB A VERTICAL CONCRETE EMBANKMENT 5' or 6' HIGH. 

(Land Cruisers can climb over a vertical earth or concrete embankment 7 or 8 feet high) 

25. ORDINARY CATERPILLAR TANKS TIP OVER INTO NARROW TANK TRAP 20 FEET DEEP AND BECOME TRAPPED. THE FRONT HALF WILL PROJECTOUT OVER ANY LEDGE UNTIL OVERBALANCED, AFTER WHICH A TANK TOPPLES OVER ON END OR IT'S BACK 

(It would take a 30' wide excavation, 30' deep to allow only one of the two traction sections of a Land Cruiser to drop into same, but it could still pull itself out of same with ease. It will not tip over unless the trap is 45 feet deep or more with straight vertical walls)

26. HEAVY WIRE, LONG IRON RODS OR STEEL TRACK CLOGGING DEVICES WILL TANGbE IN THE TRACK TREADS AND GEAR AND STALL MOST TANKS. 

(No kind of wire coil, rods, etc., or present known special devices can clog up the traction sections of a Land Cruiser) 

27. TANKS ARE BLOCK:ED BY NEARLY ANY SIZE BUNCH OF TREES AND ALL FORESTS.

(A Lend Cruiser can crush 12" to 16" dia. trees and crush slowiy through a dense forest of 12" trees by slightly larger design.)

28. PRESENT TANKS HAVE SPACE FOR ONLY EMERGENCY RATIONS WITH NO SPACE FOR LENGTHLY SUPPLIES; NO SLEEPING SPACE, REQUIRING SLEEPING IN THE OPEN AND AT THE MERCY OF ENEMY TROOPS IF IN ENEMY TERRITORY. NO SHELTER AVAILABLE FOR RESTING IN BAD OR FREEZING WEATHER, EXCEPT IN TIGHT CRAMPED TANK OPERATING SPACE. 

(A Land Cruiser can carry 30 day regular army rations for from 5 to 30 men. There is also ample space for sleeping quarters for the crew)

29. TANKS REQUIRE BRIDGES TO CROSS SMALL STREAMS

(Land Cruisers can cross creeks or streams of water in up to 9'-0" .high, requiring no bridges)

30. BELOW ZERO WEATHER MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO OPERATE PRESENT DAY TANKS OWING TO FREEZING OF LUBRICATION, FREEZING OF MOTORBLOCKS, BEARINGS, ETC., WHICH HAS PROVED DISASTROUS FOR TANKS IN THE PRESENT RUSSIAN OPERATIONS

(Land Cruisers are not affected by sub-zero weather as there are only 4 large diameter bearings exposed·whose  freezing cannot effect operation of the Cruiser. Motors, fuel tanks, and all operating mechinisms are tightly enclosed in warm compartments of the traction units.)

31. IF ANY PRESENT DAY TANK IS WETTED TO COVER SAME ON ALL EXTERIOR SURFACES WITH A TWO OR THREE INCH HARD COATING OF ICE, THE TANK IS RENDERED INOPERATIVE OWING TO FROZEN CATERPILLAR TRACKS, WHEELS, AND GEARS ETC.

(A Land Cruiser can be frozen over with a 4" or 5" thick coat of ice and it will not affect the starting of same, as there is no exterior operating apparatus that a crust of ice can clog up or freeze up)

32. PRESENT DAY TANKS CARRY ONLY ENOUGH MEN TO OPERATE SAME, AND CANNOT CARRY EXTRA MEN FOR RAIDING OR OTHER OPERATIONS

(Land Cruisers can carry from 75 to 100 men in addition to fuel, guns, armament and supplies of fuel for only a 1,500 mile cruise is carried. This would allow placing of many strong detachments of soldiers far behind enemy lines quickly to capture strong points, bases, etc.,and perhaps for quick incirclement or infiltration operations. The men are inside the Cruisers, protected behind the heavy armor in comfort and warmth in any weather. The Cruiser can carry an extra relief crew to enable continuous traveling operations)

33. THE SHORT RANGE OF PRESENT DAY LARGE TANKS, AND THE LIMITS OF TERRAIN THAT CAN BE TRAVERSED WITHOUT DIFFICULTY WHATSOEVER, AND THE LIMITS OF THE PRACTICABILITY IN THE  SIZE OF LARGER CATERPILLAR TRACKS WITH ALL ITS HANDICAPS, CONFINES THE PRESENT .DAY 60 AND 100 TON TANKS WITHIN THE UPPER LIMITS IN SIZE FOR SOME TIME TO COME 

(Land Cruisers can be increased in size in large steps up to tremendous 500 ton monsters in a very short time as size is a minor matter of design and of easy and quick construction. The 225 ton Cruiser can be designed to carry 16" coast defense guns with the same speed and ease over difficult terrain, four feet deep mud, nine feet of water, and up 55 degree grades, by simply reducing the armor to 1' to compensate for the weight of the gun. This would eliminate railraod cars and railroads for mobile heavy railway coast defense guns and allow access to locations now impossible to approach by railway and also eliminate the laying of expensive railroad beds. There would be no railroad bed open to enemy air bombing which can easily put railroad guns out of action and manouvre.)

34. FLOATING AND WATER DISPLACEMENT

The watertight traction sect:ions of the Land Cruiser have a water displacement ratio of approximately 12 cu. ft. displacement to each cu. ft. of its steel weight for the standard size, and ranging up to 24 cu. ft. displacement to each cu. ft. of its steel weight for the large size. The standard size cruiser will carry up to .75 times its own weight in addition to its own weight before submerging totally below the surface of the water, while the large size will carry 2.1 times its own weight additional. The proportion of the displacement ratio to its weight increases far greater than the proportionate increase in size of the Land Cruisers. The calculations are based on 62 1/2 lbs. per cu. ft. for water and 475 lbs. for steel plus weight of motors fuel, etc. The Cruisers will submerge from two fifths to five ninths of its total height in the water which enables it to float and propel itself in water in the same manner and with the same propulsion sections as on land. By adding paddle struts on same it can travel as fast on water as the fastest destroyer or torpedo boat, depending on the use for which it is designed and the kind of propulsion mechanism used. The low center of gravity of weight will assure buoyancy

Although it will crawl along the bottom of streams up to 9feet deep, if the water becomes deeper the Land Cruiser will commence to float without any necessary attachments or changes similar to amphibian tanks. 

This double use of the Land Cruiser eliminates the building of bridges across rivers, bays, etc., while under disastrous enemy fire, and the lost tlme necessary to build them 

There is no indication in the archives as to whether or not the proposal was even responded to.

Bob will take you to the forum thread. Bob's twin brother will take you to my Facebook page.

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