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This question takes place in the same setting as that of this post (tl;dr: the world is bathed in thick magic fog, the naked eye can't see past a hundred meters, an M4's effective range is 50 meters, advanced electronics fry if not fitted with expensive shielding and even Blue's best radios are underpowered and unreliable).

Blue's armored force is made up of 5 main vehicles: a light APC, a relatively light tank with a 30mm autocannon, an assault gun variant, an AA variant and, finally, the "Glory Hog", a stripped down Merkava MK IV with a 125mm gun, a light mortar, good frontal armor and, most importantly, enough space to cram 10 elite infantrymen in the back (and they're so brainwashed they won't even care if they're squished like sardines!).

Originally, I- ehrm, Blue high command hatched this idea as a cost-saving measure - why build two metal boxes when one can carry both infantry and a cannon? -, but then I also noticed a secondary benefit: self-reliance.

Combat in this setting gets extremely messy and chaotic, and deep penetration is usually hampered by poor communications and coordination - practically speaking, it's extremely easy for tanks to get lost from the infantry and be left almost helpless. But if a tank carries its own infantry, its own artillery and its own supplies, surely this will be mitigated somewhat, right? Does this make any sense at all?

(EDIT) Point taken. Allow me to change the question a little: is the concept so egregiously inefficient that it wouldn't just be suboptimal but downright ridiculous for it to pass? Due to historical reasons, the infantry branches (and infantry officers) of the Blue army are the second most respected branch by far, only bested by the almighty logistics corps. Could it make sense for a tank like this to be approved largely at the infantry's behest, founded on fears of tankers "charging off who knows where and leaving the real fighters to rot" and would it actually be a good idea from their perspective?

(EDIT 2) To clarify, the infantry isn't meant to sit inside the tank and eat compressed biscuit until whoops, we all died. Whenever the tank is in a dangerous area (and especially when it's actively in combat), they're supposed to dismount and fight like normal infantry (that knows the limits and tactics of their tank support very well). They would only mount up under the same circumstances where conventional mechanized infantry would enter their APC, like long-range drives or if they really, really needed the armor. Apologies if the original wording was misleading.

(EDIT 3) The tank's main gun can reach out to 200 meters (the optics are still only good for a hundred) and the mortar can hit out to around 150 meters.

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  • $\begingroup$ One of the primary rules of armored cavalry, since Patton's day, is that it's highly vulnerable without infantry. Tank commanders (in our world) are trained to work with infantry or in groups where they can protect each other -- otherwise, one guy with a willingness to die and a grenade can disable a Tiger... $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jul 8 at 16:07
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    $\begingroup$ I think there's a guideline about making question edits that invalidate existing answers... ...nah, it's fine. Mine stands. It's still not as good as a proper tank with one or two APCs in close contact. $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jul 8 at 16:40
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    $\begingroup$ I think your idea is neat, but I think you need to give up the notion that the fog's viscosity has anything to do with weapon range. Visibility is enough to put a range restriction in place. Your setting seems to be akin to WWII and any kind of magic viscosity fog of this nature will make almost all human activity impossible. Infantry will be lucky not to just suffocate on the spot. Certainly no combustion engine will run with fog viscous enough to stop a rifle round in 50m $\endgroup$
    – JonSG
    Jul 8 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Alexander Its possible to fit 9 if you take the turret off, thats what a Merkava IFV Namer is. $\endgroup$ Jul 8 at 19:29
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    $\begingroup$ Have you considered tank desant for troop deployment? If high command cares primarily about cost, you can’t get much cheaper than this, though of course it will have a much higher casualty rate. $\endgroup$ Jul 9 at 2:15
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This is going to heavily depend on what your supply chain looks like. The Merkava your Gory hog is based on, has space for 4 in the base configuration, or 9 in a turretless Namer configuration. This makes sense for Israel for several reasons:

  1. the IDF really values survivability compared to most nations. This is because they expect to be outnumbered in any war they engage in, and to have to engage in counter-insurgency operations. As such, they have significantly invested in heavy APCs like the Namer.
  2. Limited but high tech industrial capacity. Israel does not have that much military industrial capacity, but what they do have is relatively high tech. As such, they have adopted a practice of optimizing production to meet the needs of MBTs, and then use converted older MBTs, and new MBT chassis to build their APCs.

By comparison, your gory hog is trying to have the capacity of the Namer configuration, which is going to make it a worse MBT, and be the MBT at the same time.

Additionally, this is blue that is supposedly fielding it. As a lower tech state, it would not make sense for them to be trying to field higher tech lower quantity equipment than there opponent. Which means they need to focus on producing simple equipment and lots of it. If Blue can not outnumber Red in production of simpler equipment, blue will lose. So blue probably won't be fielding much in the way of APCs at all, preferring unarmored trucks where speed is needed.

As for tankers running off, you do what happened in the 1920-30s: Infantry tanks will be built to be heavy and slow with lots of Armour. If a tank has a maximum speed of 15mph, and a range of 100 miles its not going to run away.

Additionally, one of the key pieces of electronics in a tank is the stabilizer system. Without a stabilizer, a modern tank is significantly less capable. When combined with the inability to effectively communicate using radios to maneuver, it may be worth looking at designs like the swedish S-Tank, and WWI style tanks.

The primary advantage a modern tank has over a WWI style moving pillbox is its ability move quickly in maneuver warfare, and fire accurately whilst moving. If neither is practical, then prehaps blue would never have moved away from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_IV_tank style tanks.

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"Jack of all trades is master of none."

Generally, anything that does several jobs does none of them as well as a specialized version -- this is why we have specialized tools, animals, and people. Sure, you can buy a tool that works as a hammer, pry-bar, axe, and shovel, and it'll save a lot of weight over carrying all four -- but it's not as good a hammer as a hammer, kind of awkward as an axe, a little short for a pry-bar, and it just sucks as shovels go.

Your Glory Hog has the same problem. It's giving up armor, fuel, and ammunition to carry troops, the troops will be compromised by cramping and fatigue immediately after they deploy from the Glory Hog (because it's so cramped), and good front armor implies less than good side and rear (and bottom) armor. Run this thing over a mine, and you lose the tank and ten brainwashed elite troops.

You'd probably be better off deleting the troop compartment, adding rounds for the main gun, increasing fuel capacity (= patrol range) and side/rear/bottom armor (makes your expensive tanks last longer in combat), and adding one more crewperson to serve a machine gun for point defense -- and use that machine to defend one or two of your light APCs.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, don't put all your eggs in one casket and all that. Thank you for your feedback, I have edited the question. $\endgroup$ Jul 8 at 16:04
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Think of your land-based deployment in terms of a naval flotilla and what I'm about to say will make more sense

(Source) CSGs are not restricted to a specific composition and can be modified depending on expected threats, roles, or missions during a deployment, and one may be different from another. The Navy states that "there really is no real definition of a strike group. Strike groups are formed and disestablished on an as-needed basis, and one may be different from another. However, they all are comprised of similar types of ships." A U.S. Navy carrier strike group typically includes:

  • A supercarrier, which is the centerpiece of the strike group and also serves as the flagship for the CSG Commander and respective staff.
  • One or two Aegis guided missile cruisers (CG) of the Ticonderoga class—a multi-mission surface combatant, equipped with BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles for long-range strike capability.
  • A destroyer squadron (DESRON), with two to three guided missile destroyers (DDG), of the Arleigh Burke class—a multi-mission surface combatant, used primarily for anti-aircraft (AAW) and anti-submarine (ASW) warfare, but which also carries Tomahawk missiles for long-range strike capability.
  • Up to two attack submarines, used to screen the strike group against hostile surface ships and submarines, but which also carry Tomahawk missiles for long-range strike capability.
  • A combined ammunition, oiler and supply ship (AOE/AOR), usually Supply-class (T-AOE); provides logistic support.

The important take-away from that list is that the destroyers, submarines, and logistics ships are not combined into the role of the supercarrier. They serve very different purposes and must be where they are to make the group as a whole successful.

Your infantry are in the wrong place

While a specialized team could be rationalized as carried by your Glory Hog, regular infantry cannot. They're in the wrong place. Infantry serve the same purpose as destroyers and submarines in a carrier group: they shield the anchor (supercarrier = Glory Hog) from attacks too small to be stopped by that big, honkin' gun but large enough to pose a very real threat to the Hog.

And rather than being outside doing their job, they're inside enjoying MREs in a cramped space.

I don't believe the idea of using that big tank to haul things other than those uniquely needed by itself is a bad idea. At one time, U.S. aircraft carriers carried detachments of Marines that served the kind of role I suspect you're imagining. (Marine detachments were discontinued on U.S. naval ships in the 1990s... things change.)

My point is, if you stop calling those wonderful fanatics infantry and name them for what they are, special forces, then you have an excellent rationalization as they become a deployable force with a purpose unrelated to the security and operation of the tank.

But Infantry protects the tank, which they cannot do from the inside. If you want an enjoyable afternoon watching for a 3-minute scene that makes this point, rent or stream A Bridge Too Far.

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  • $\begingroup$ I will note, the tankfantry isn't meant to stay inside the tank under most combat situations. If the tank gets detonated because the infantry was sitting idly in the back, then I assume it would've also died if the infantry was sitting idly in the back of an APC. Thank you for your answer! I have edited my question to clarify. $\endgroup$ Jul 8 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ Hi @EngineerB-7214. Please note that Stack Exchange is not a discussion forum. Modifying your question in a way that invalidates answers is strongly frowned upon. It appears you've done that twice, making your question a moving target. Remembering that SE's basic model is one-specific-question/one-best-answer, what is it you're looking for that required the edits because, apparently, our answers didn't meet your needs? $\endgroup$ Jul 8 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ oh, uh, my apologies, should i just make a different question then? or go elsewhere? $\endgroup$ Jul 8 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ If what you're looking for is a discussion, then elsewhere is where you must go. If you're willing to work within the rules of Stack Exchange and this Stack, then we're delighted to help you work out the rules of your world - but we do expect you to adhere to those rules. Along with the first two bullets in the "Asking" section of the help center, it would be worth reading through the How do I ask a good question? section. $\endgroup$ Jul 10 at 4:34
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Armored vehicles can be stopped lots of different ways...given time to marshal the appropriate resources.

Fog limits visibility and slows mechanized movement. That means the enemy has less time to react to any particular attack, but much more opportunity to stage anti-tank resources closer to the users and to implement those anti-tank measures.

  • Example: Engineers can safely dig anti-tank ditches around the clock, within the range of an enemy tank's main gun, yet unseen.

  • Example: Those ditches can channelize aramored avenues of approach into specific kill zones. Some for artillery, some for mines. Covered observation posts only 100 meters away (danger close!) can use field telephones to report and trigger.

  • Example: An enemy can place (and repair) anti-tank and anti-personnel obstacles easily and rapidly, protected by the fog. A soldier can place and arm an anti-tank mine, and be safely out of sight again in a few seconds.

This suggests tactics of obstacles and frequent ambushes. If both sides are fairly evenly matched, it might stalemate into trench warfare.

Tanks are less useful when they cannot see the targets for their main gun. The situation seems to reduce tanks to their original WWI purpose: A support weapon to overwhelm known field fortifications. Infantry and artillery (if permitted) will be the kings of battle.

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Trailer.

Your infantry do not ride in the tank. They want to be able to boogie out of there fast if things heat up. They ride in an open trailer in back. They are not worried about snipers because no-one can see them. The tank protects them in the front. There are walls they can hunker behind if it is that kind of deal. But mostly they want to be able to jump out of the trailer and scatter if another tank shows up.

They are not worried how uncool the trailer behind the tank looks, because no-one can see it. In fact it is decorated like a Rose Bowl parade float.

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    $\begingroup$ Tank trailers are a terrible idea. They seriously restrict maneuverability, for minimal gain. On most MBTs, the infantry would be better off riding on top of the tank. Theres usually a reasonably large engine deck. $\endgroup$ Jul 9 at 3:20
  • $\begingroup$ Also, snipers are not a threat in this environment, as discussed in the other question, the main threats are going to be grenades, mines, and shotguns, which a trailer would not be able to protect against without being heavy. $\endgroup$ Jul 9 at 3:29

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