Jump to content
Sturgeon's House

Reload speeds for tanks


Recommended Posts

Hi guys,


Does anyone know of any military studies that analyzed the reload speeds for different tanks? The question occurred to me when I watched this video tour of the T-55's interior: 




At the 10:00 mark, Mr. Moran demonstrates how the loader would put a shell into the tank's cannon, and the effects of the turret's small size and of the loader's awkward seating make it clear that the process would be slow. My question is: how slow? 


Side question: Am I right to assume that storing the tank shells all over the inside of the turret like that is an inherent design flaw of the T-55 that makes it inferior in that regard to modern tanks? 


Thanks in advance. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do not make the mistake of comparing the T-55 to modern tanks. It was fine in its time. The ammo wasnt stored all over inside the turret. The loader had 2 rounds next to him, and another 5 behind the gun, this was all that he had in the turret. These rounds were easy to reach no matter where the turret was rotated, and allowed fast reload speed (as low as 6 seconds). In the hull ammo was stored everywhere, advantage is that loader always had access to easily reachable rounds, disadvantage is that these were easy to hit.


But lets see other tanks:

M-48/60: The loader had 8 rounds in the bustle, and ~10-12 next to him. The rest was in the hull, on both sides of the driver.

M-60A1/3: 21 rounds in the bustle, 16 in the ready rack, the rest on both sides of the driver. Huge amounts of ammo in the turret, advantage is very fast reload speed (~4-5 seconds), disadvantage is that the tank was very prone to ammo detonation, its not a good idea to store large amounts in the turret, unless there is safe ammo storage, like in the Abrams or Leo-2.

Leopard-1:  18 in the ready rack, next to the loader, rest next to the driver in a huge rack. Fast reload speed, but the tank had virtually no armor, and was cramped inside, old fashioned 100mm full caliber AP hits from T-55 would almost always result in penetration (from any range), and catastrophic kill.

Centurion: 4-8 rounds in the ready rack, rest in the hull next to the driver and some below the turret in a not very accessible position.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is interesting that during WWII, the early Shermans had very M60/M48 like ammo storage.


They found this is why the Sherman was prone to fires, and the second gen models have most of the ammo in armored bins under the turret,  with a 6 or 8 round armored ready rack. 


The M26/46, they were back to large un-armored ready racks, but the rest was still in the floor. 


By the M48/60, it seems like they forgot the lessons of WWII?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...