Since steam dominated the world of cars until 1920s and trains until 1950, why not early tanks?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by RandomPoster, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. RandomPoster
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    RandomPoster Gold Member

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    The first cars and trains were steam powered. In 1906, a steam powered sports car set the land speed record at 126 mph. Most of the early massive trains until the mid twentieth century were steam powered. Heck, the Germans were even experimenting with a steam powered Messerchmidt with a coal furnace in the late stages of World War II.

    However, I have not been able to find anything on early steam powered tanks from World War I through the 1920s, 1930s, etc. What makes steam a poor choice for tanks?
     
  2. JGalt
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    JGalt Platinum Member

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    Why would anyone want to be enclosed in a smoky armored tank? The diesel fumes were bad enough in the WW2 tanks.
     
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  3. harmonica
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    harmonica Gold Member

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    totally different use for a tank:
    --tank used for combat/off road use--off rails/carrying a weapon [ large gun ] /much heavier than a car-yet smaller than a train engine =not enough room for steam mechanics/etc
    also--tanks are hotter than hell in the summer without a boiler!
    ...doesn't it take time for a steam engine to get enough steam to move?
     
  4. harmonica
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    harmonica Gold Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. harmonica
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    harmonica Gold Member

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    cooking eggs on a tank
    [​IMG]
     
  6. harmonica
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    harmonica Gold Member

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    hot as hell
    [​IMG]
     
  7. RandomPoster
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  8. cnm
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    cnm Diamond Member

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    Did thirty seconds of thought really not give you an answer to your question?
     
  9. Picaro
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    Picaro Gold Member

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    Steam engines even in autos were too short range, not enough torque, either. Even with a 4 to 1 compression ratio an ic engine was better and more efficient, and when refinery research finally began developing high octane gas that allowed 7 to 1 compression ratios and higher mileage per gallon, and also in better diesel fuel and aviation fuel by the 1920's steam was no longer competitive with even electric vehicles, which required frequent battery changes. Water is also heavier than gasoline and fuel oils, which isn't much at lower numbers of gallons but becomes a big deal when mileage per gallon improves. When you have to ship both coal and water a tanker full of fuel oil that requires far less space per weight equivalent of coal alone it becomes a no brainer within about 8 years in the early 1900's which fuel choice was going to win out in the mass production game.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  10. bripat9643
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    bripat9643 Diamond Member

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    Large boilers would be major targets on the battlefield.
     

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