Today’s wars are fought with drone and missile strikes, a mere push of a button now capable of ending numerous lives. But to truly take territory from the enemy and to break their formations and fortifications, there is none better than these armored behemoths of death and destruction called tanks. Here are the biggest of these titans, the superheavy tanks, those that at least reached the prototype stage, that are sure to strike desperate fear into the hearts of infantrymen everywhere.
5. Char 2C
The largest tank (in terms of physical dimensions) produced and used during a war, the Char 2C was the product of French “tank envy” of the British. Origins of its production started in the waning days of the first World War, with the French military and government looking on with envy at Britain’s Mark I tanks. Weighing 69 tons, it was armed with a main gun that was first produced in 1897, one that was primarily an anti-personnel weapon, which would have been a liability in the heavily armored tank battles of World War II. Char 2C would miss out on the First World War and would be a fringe participant in the Second, its slow movement speed and obsolete weaponry making it easy prey to the more advanced and more maneuverable German tanks. Additionally, its high profile made it a prime target for German destruction or capture, it was thus only used as a propaganda device, with movies about it showing the superiority of France’s army.
4. Tortoise heavy assault tank (A39)
Technically a mobile gun platform since its gun was fixed to its hull, this 78-ton heavily armored lumbering dreadnought was designed to hammer through the heaviest fortifications Europe could offer. Only a few prototypes were produced by the British army.
3. TOG1 and 2
Another British class of superheavy tanks, TOG1 and 2 both weighed 80 tons and were designed to be able to attain significant mobility while crossing trench- and tunnel-infested battlefields. It did not see production, with only a few prototypes for TOG1 and a single one for TOG2 ever being produced.
2. Ò28 SuperHeavy Tank
This tank destroyer/siege tank was America’s answer to the German heavy and medium tanks as well as the solution to Germany’s heavily fortified front line. An anti-antitank, its 12-inch armor was considered impervious to the prevalent enemy armor piercing ammunition. The slow and cumbersome, the T28 project was halted and World War II ended without a single one being able to see action in a battlefield.
1. Panzer VIII Maus
These 188-ton juggernauts were supposed to be named Mammut (Mammoth), but for some reason, their name was changed to “little mouse” and then finally to just Maus. This is obviously not in reference to their size but could be pertaining to their reason for existence-to create huge holes in the enemy’s walls. Ten meters in length and 3.71 meters in width, this rolling bunker was designed for a crew of 6, who operated 1 main 12.8 cm Pak 44 “tankstopper” gun and 2 coaxial 7.5 cm KwK 37 secondary guns. Alas, Germany could only churn out 2 prototypes before production was halted by the advance of the Allies.