Super-heavy tank

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Super-heavy tanks are armored vehicles of very large size, generally over 75 tonnes. Programs have been initiated on several occasions with the aim of creating an invincible vehicle for penetrating enemy formations without fear of being destroyed in combat; however, only a few examples have ever been built, and there is no clear evidence any of these vehicles saw combat. Examples were designed in World War I and World War II, along with a few in the Cold War.


The earliest examples of super-heavy designs date to World War I, when the British worked on their Flying Elephant concept as a way to break through any potential defensive line. During World War II all of the major combatants introduced prototypes for special roles. Adolf Hitler was a proponent of "war winning" weapons and supported projects like the 188 tonne Maus, and even larger 1,000 tonne Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte and 1,500 tonne Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster. The British, Soviets and Americans all built prototype designs similar to the Jagdtiger, but none of these saw combat as the need for such a weapon turned out to be extremely limited.

The idea of super-heavy tanks saw less development after the war, except in the Soviet Union where some relatively heavy tank prototypes were tested for the Cold War nuclear battlefield. These might be considered super-heavy by the standards of Soviet tank design, where the emphasis was on small size and low weight, but they were no heavier than the standard...
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