Shot trap

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A tank turret with a front face which curves up and down. The sides are slanted vertically and curved laterally.
A model depicting the curved front of the early Tiger II turret.
A tank turret with an almost square, flat, vertical face, the sides are almost vertical, and curve laterally only slightly.
A clear view of the flat front of the later Tiger II production turret

Shot traps are locations on the exterior of an armored vehicle where impacting shells are deflected to a weaker or vulnerable point in the armor, or simply guided to hit the vehicle, instead of bouncing or skimming off. Shot traps are undesirable features in armored vehicle design.[1]

Initial turret design of the Tiger II had a curved mantlet in the front. This acted as a shot trap by deflecting incoming shots that hit the lower part of the mantlet downwards towards the thinner hull roof armour, or into the turret ring where the shell could potentially jam the traverse mechanism. A new design replaced the front curved mantlet with a flat armor plate sloped at 81 degrees.[2]

However, modern armour piercing rounds have very little tendency to be deflected, so shot traps are no longer a major concern of armoured vehicle design.[citation needed]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Zaloga 1993, p. 37.
  2. ^ Jentz and Doyle 1993, pp. 13–16.

References[edit]

  • Jentz, Thomas; Doyle, Hilary (1993). Kingtiger Heavy Tank, 1942-45. London: Osprey. ISBN 1-85532-282-X. 
  • Zaloga, Steven (1993). Sherman Medium Tank 1942-1945. City: Osprey Publishing (UK). ISBN 978-1-85532-296-7.