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Subject: Tanks in the American civil war?
god of war    7/3/2003 4:11:52 PM
A friend an i were argueing on the fesability of a tank being built with American Civil War technology. I insisted that is would be a steam powered giant thing that would barely be able to keep up with infantry and would have a cannon which could fire canister or exploding shells and maby a gattling gun in 1865. My friend says i am wrong and that it is not possible because the steam powerplants could not be powerfull enough at the requited size. Who is right?
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Heorot    RE:Tanks in the American civil war?   7/3/2003 4:43:43 PM
Your friend.
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roolix    RE:Tanks in the American civil war?   7/3/2003 5:13:38 PM
However ,steam made full metal trains advance... Depends on the mass of the object and the size of thec "powerplant"...
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god of war    RE:Tanks in the American civil war?   7/3/2003 7:15:52 PM
i would imagine it would be huge would need a lot of refueling would work wonders, though
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Horse Soldier    RE:Tanks in the American civil war?   7/3/2003 8:27:55 PM
I think it would be hard to sort out with 1860s technology -- you do have steam engines, and lord knows I don't know enough about them to say that a "land battleship" sort of thing would not work, but also you get into all kinds of other problems. Treads were not, so far as I know, invented until sometime much later. Mechanisms to deal with recoil from artillery one might notionally equip such a vehicle with were also pretty basic if not completely non-existant. All told I think it would be a pretty serious trick to sort out a tank-type vehicle from Civil War era technology.
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Idaho    RE:Tanks in the American civil war?   7/3/2003 9:16:44 PM
It would be possible, but useless. Remember steam is external combustion, uses tons of coal or wood, tons of water, and utilizes a boiler putting that water under pressure, vulnerable to outside weapons fire. The weight of the engines of that age were in the 10's to over a 100 tons & that is without an ounce of armor. They also would be limited to tracks because of the concentration of weight. The late 19th century saw the introduction of steam tractors with large metal wheels, but the size of those rigs with only a hitch for pulling plows or harvestors is incredible.
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oldbutnotwise    RE:Tanks in the American civil war?   7/4/2003 1:32:34 AM
The nearest thing you could get with that type of technology is an armoured train, which they did have. Remember that other than trains the other form of transport was horses, armoured horse drawn carrages had been tried but proved to be a disaster, too slow and the horses got dead to easy
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kukri    RE:Tanks in the American civil war?   11/4/2003 12:08:47 PM
There was a steam-powered *artillery tractor* used around the time of the American Revolution, 1771. Do a websearch for *Cugnot, steam* It could be considered a forerunner of the SP artillery piece, or possibly as an early *assault gun* capable of moving in and dealing with a fortified position, then pulling out again. It would have been possible, if not real practical. Of course, you could consider a siege mortar delivered via railroad to be a forerunner of the WWI and later railway guns, a sort of self-propelled artillery piece. Think about something like a naval Parrott rifled cannonon a fixed flatcar mounting- mobile artillery, if not quite a tank as we now use it.
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Dancing Johnny    RE:Tanks in the American civil war?   11/6/2003 3:27:29 PM
Steam power was really limited to the railroads, it wasn't sophisticated enough to put onto anything but railroads or ships. Tracks wern't invented yet. Artillery was still muzzle loaded. And there wasn't really an adacuate road system (why the railroads were so important).
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Sikman    RE:Tanks in the American civil war?   11/6/2003 6:32:36 PM
What about that giant spider from Wild Wild West?
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Question    RE:Tanks in the American civil war?   11/7/2003 2:22:50 AM
Would not be pratical.Firstly it would be slow...VERY would also be pretty large.Due to the size and speed,and probably the lack of any significant armor,canons would rip them apart.
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