Why Russian Tanks Explode When Hit

History and War

Russian tanks used in modern conflicts have had very bad tendency of suffering catastrophic explosions. When penetrated into the magazine (“ammoracked” for gamers), Russian designs (particularly T-72 and its derivatives) tend to be violently relieved of their turret, which can fly off even some dozens of meters away.

The reason for this tendency towards turret throwing championship is their design decision – but not the one that is typically blamed for it.

Usual answer for why Russian tanks tend to explode is their use of the autoloader. Decision for using the autoloader is a logical one for the Soviet tank doctrine. It makes the tank much smaller, especially the turret – T-72 is almost a foot shorter than the M1 Abrams, allowing it to take cover more easily. Smaller profile also helps make the tank more mobile, as the same amount of armor can be had at the lower…

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