Marty Mornhinweg’s Wacky Weapons: The Tančík

The Maestro
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The Maestro

The Maestro is a mystical Canadian internet user and New England Patriots fan; when the weather is cooperative and the TV signal at his igloo is strong enough, he enjoys watching the NFL, the Ottawa Senators & REDBLACKS, and yelling into the abyss on Twitter. He is somehow allowed to teach music to high school students when he isn’t in a blind rage about sports, and is also a known connoisseur of cheap beers across the Great White North.
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Everyone’s talking about the quarterback revolution these days; it’s certainly a different landscape than what I was used to with Charlie Batch and Joey Harrington back in the day with the Lions. Sure, they talk about Russell Wilson and Marcus Mariota and Baker Mayfield and guys like that, and I guess it’s true that you don’t have to be huge to be effective necessarily. My boy Lamar started slow last week, but had a strong fourth quarter – even with the loss, I’m already looking forward to working with him next year – perhaps even as his head coach! Wait, scratch that – I get ahead of myself sometimes. Who knows what’ll happen there. At any rate, though, this week’s edition is about how size is most certainly a detriment on the battlefield. Let’s take a look at 1930s Czechoslovakia and their engineering ingenuity, or lack thereof.

THE TANČÌK

Panzernet.net
[source]

Country of origin: Czechoslovakia

Purpose built: Strengthening the Czechoslovak army against skirmishes vs. Nazi Germany, Poland and Hungary

Years used: 1934 – 1944

What is it? A little mini-tank, or tankette, designed to be a cost-effective and easy-to-use method of infantry support in a variety of battle situations. The Tančík was developed in Czechoslovakia starting in 1930, after the army purchased a few British Carden-Lloyd tankettes, which had been decommissioned after the First World War. These tanks also came with a production license in order to improve upon the design and construct more. 70 of these tankettes were built in all, though they had very limited usage in combat situations, up until the 1944 Slovak Uprising. The Tančík really was tiny – it was just 8.86 feet long by 5.74 feet wide, and just 4.76 feet tall, weighed 2.3 tons, and had a top speed of 22 mph, and a range of 62 miles in on-road usage; the crew of two featured a driver and a gunner.

4 view drawing
[source]

Why didn’t it work? Oh good God, so many reasons:

  • The engine, a 1.95-litre water-cooled inline 4-cylinder Praga, making just 30 horsepower, was severely underpowered and prone to constant breakdowns.
  • The line of vision was absolutely terrible – the driver could hardly see at all while driving.
  • The steering was incredibly difficult, and the transmission, lifted from the Praga AN armored truck, was inadequate for the much heavier tank hull.
  • The suspension was virtually nonexistent, which made negotiating off-road terrain extremely difficult.
  • The bumpy ride meant that the driver, who had one of the two machine guns mounted in his seating place, had virtually no way of aiming it effectively when the tank went faster than six miles an hour. Also, the driver could only shoot his gun or drive the tank – not both at the same time.
  • The driver’s machine gun was fixed in place, and couldn’t be aimed at all, other than by ensuring the tank was pointed directly at the target.
  • There was no radio onboard due to lack of space, so the only way to communicate with other tanks was to have the driver literally stick his hand out of a hatch to give hand signals.

What could make it better? What is there to say? I mean, literally everything.

  • Engine technology has clearly improved since the 1930s, but even a child could’ve told you 30 horses isn’t nearly enough.
  • Perhaps consider a periscope set instead of a series of small slits for your driver?
  • If you can solve the issue of driving and shooting at the same time, you could probably do away with one of your crew members, lightening the load and hopefully increasing speed/range.
  • If your gun is top-mounted as opposed to front-mounted, it makes for a more versatile weapon if it’s on a swivel mount. Perhaps that means that the weapon itself is more exposed to damage, but this could also possibly be rectified with an additional cowling overtop the gun that could provide additional plating for protection.
  • Maybe include an actual suspension system this time around? A tank is remarkably useless if it’s essentially forced to stick to flat, smooth areas only.

Anyways, here’s a video of this thing driving in the modern era. Doesn’t it just strike fear into your heart? No wonder the Nazis annexed the Sudetenland so quickly.

Still, put a few of these in your starting lineup and I’m sure you could run a few play-action plays effectively! Stick ’em in the slot and just let them get hit, but pile up the short yardage situations. They may be slow and small, but hell, New England still pulls that formula off successfully every year, it seems…

Information for this article taken from here, here and here. Banner image by The Maestro.

The Maestro
The Maestro
The Maestro is a mystical Canadian internet user and New England Patriots fan; when the weather is cooperative and the TV signal at his igloo is strong enough, he enjoys watching the NFL, the Ottawa Senators & REDBLACKS, and yelling into the abyss on Twitter. He is somehow allowed to teach music to high school students when he isn't in a blind rage about sports, and is also a known connoisseur of cheap beers across the Great White North.
https://www.doorfliesopen.com/index.php/author/the-maestro/
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SonOfSpam

If I wanted to see a junior-size ineffective gun, I’d lose 40 pounds and look down.

Petronel

Further evolution as of 1974. Lighter, more maneuverable, and with a rotating turret.

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WCS

What if Power Wheels made a tank?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Drunk driving become even more of an issue.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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I wonder what country has the highest rate of DaTWI…… Russia probably has the highest number, but rate has to be one of the Slovak countries.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Tank can be very useful in a psychological way.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Armour use and tactics were at a very primitive state for most at the beginning of WWII. Budgets were very low and the only practical experience that people used was Soviet and German supply to the sides in the Spanish civil war. Heinz Guderian was the earliest adapter of these experiences; thus the ass kicking until the opposition revised their own tactics and equipment. For instance right after WWI the US brass didn’t think tanks would be useful in any situation other than the entrenched type of warfare in Europe and canceled programs and research and went back to horses which offer somewhat less projectile protection than the above. Stalin killed or imprisoned tank research and manufacturing people, which set them back a bit.

Pedantic moment over.

The ride in this tank bounced soldier dicks around so much that…..

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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nomonkeyfun

I think these things will offer better off road mobility.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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ArmedandHammered
ArmedandHammered

You could just armor up and arm one of those multi-person four wheelers every well to do redneck owns and have a better tank than that.

See already in camouflage:comment image

King Hippo

reminds me of this (which actually offended a redneck friend of mine in law school):

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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nomonkeyfun

Hell, I think this might offer better protection.

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Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

That’s actually quite beautiful.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

IF ONLY REDNECKS COULD BUY THE HONDA TIME MACHINE THEY COULD GO BACK AND HELP THE CZECHOSLOVAKIAN PEOPLE AGAINST THE HUN TIDE.

Oh, shit; rednecks are fine with nazis.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Wait, where’s the vehicle you’re talking about? All I see are some trees and bushes.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Some people think they should get waxed.

King Hippo

so…War Yugo?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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ballsofsteelandfury

“They may be slow and small, but hell, New England still pulls that formula off successfully every year, it seems…”

Don’t forget white. So very very white.