How Tanks Work

Scott: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Car Stuff. I'm Scott Benjamin, the Auto Editor here at

Ben: And my name is Ben Bowlin. I write some videos, hang out with Scott and our listeners.

Scott: Man, you do cool stuff.

Ben: I do. You know what? I have done a couple - I have done a couple of cool things in my time.

Scott: Yes, you have.

Ben: As you. Look at - look at you. Right?

Scott: A few. A few.

Ben: Globe trotter. Every time we're not -

Scott: I've got the scars to prove it.

Ben: Uh-huh. Mental, as well.

Scott: That's right.

Ben: Every time we're not actually recording, I just assume that you are off on another amazing adventure.

Scott: That's right. In my evel knievel what do you call it, jumpsuit.

Ben: I would call it your evel knievel jumpsuit probably.

Scott: Yeah.

Ben: I'm not very creative.

Scott: Me either.

Ben: Yeah.

Scott: Me either. I don't know. I - I've been thinking about tanks recently.

Ben: Oh, have you?

Scott: Yeah because we get a lot of requests for military topics. Right?

Ben: We do. Military [inaudible] -

Scott: And - yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. A lot of military vehicle requests, so we thought we'd - we'd maybe talk about tanks. And I've been thinking about doing an entire episode about tanks, so here we go.

Ben: Yeah. And time to get - let's - let's ask our producers if we can get some here we go music? [Music plays] All right. And we're off.

Scott: With the official here we go music, here we go.

Ben: Yeah.

Scott: So Ben, you probably know a lot more about tanks than I do.

Ben: I have - well, you know I'm a military brat, so growing up, I was - it was part of our summer to go to the yards on the bases where they have old tanks and you can't fire them. They stopped you - they've stopped up the guns.

Scott: Oh, that's too bad.

Ben: If you're wondering.

Scott: Oh, that's too bad.

Ben: Well, you know, in retrospect, it may have been the right choice.

Scott: Probably.

Ben: For them. I - so growing up, I - I saw a lot of tanks and what always mystified me about tanks, Scott, is even as a kid I thought why on earth would you want to take this thing into a battle? Because they're so slow.

Scott: So cumbersome, just huge, big target, right?

Ben: Absolutely.

Scott: Yeah. Well, I mean, I guess there's a - there's a long, long history to tanks. And it goes way back, farther than you might think, as usually is the case. You wanna tell - you want me to tell you -

Ben: Yeah. Well, actually, it goes back to one of our old friends who you may recognize.

Scott: Go ahead.

Ben: No, no. You do it.

Scott: Oh, no, no, no.

Ben: Last time, I mentioned him. It's your turn.

Scott: No, no, no, no. Go ahead.

Ben: All right.

Scott: Please, I insist.

Ben: Leonardo DaVinci.

Scott: Of course.

Ben: Of course.

Scott: Yeah, of course.

Ben: And he didn't - I don't think he actually built his tank.

Scott: Nope. Sketched again.

Ben: Sketched again.

Scott: But the initial idea was Leonardo DaVinci, and once again, amazing, isn't it?

Ben: Hundreds of years. Was this guy a time traveler?

Scott: I don't know.

Ben: Was he secretly a time traveler?

Scott: I don't know. He just had some really great ideas.

Ben: Well, let's - let's - we had to drop a mention of our good buddy, Leo, there, but let's - let's go past the beginning - like we're fast forwarding through the movie of Tank Evolution. I'd like to take it to World War II. Do you have any pre- - pre-World War -

Scott: Oh - oh, I got way pre-World War II.

Ben: Yeah, yeah?

Scott: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah, yeah.

Scott: Something called a caterpillar tank was developed in 1770.

Ben: Ah, yes, the caterpillar.

Scott: Ah, yes, 1770. This is Richard Edgeworth, who used it in the Crimean War, which is a steam powered vehicle used to just kinda maneuver whatever they needed into the battlefield. And this is extremely primitive use of a tank-like device. It's not really what we think of as a tank.

Ben: It's more like an armored vehicle.

Scott: Yeah, kind of. Again, its steam powered. It just wasn't - it wasn't at all what you'd think of as a modern tank, really. It's not - it's not a driving, shooting type thing. It was more of a carrier, really. But once you move up into the - the - and really, it didn't really much go too far from there beyond that point until about 1914. You know why 1914 is significant?

Ben: Why is 1914 significant?

Scott: Beginning of World War I.

Ben: Ah, yes.

Scott: Now, that's when people starting thinking how am I gonna - how am I gonna breach this - this front?

Ben: Because that's trench warfare.

Scott: Exactly. Yeah. So how am I gonna get past this trench? It was - they had these strongholds all over the place. And it's like how - how are we gonna defeat this? Right? Well, a couple of guys - and I'm gonna shuffle my notes as I promised I would - a British army colonel named Ernest Swinton and William Hankey - howdy ho - Secretary of the Committee for Imperial Defense - and that was a terrible Mr. Hankey impression.

Ben: Do you wanna - do you wanna redo?

Scott: I don't know.

Ben: Okay.

Scott: No, no. I'll - I'll hit it later.

Ben: We'll fix an impost.

Scott: Yeah. That was bad.

Ben: I thought that was not - I thought it was -

Scott: Howdy ho.

Ben: There we go.

Scott: That's it. We'll stick with that one.

Ben: We'll stick with that one.

Scott: So anyways, they - according to this article, they came up with the idea of an armored vehicle with these conveyor-like tracks, these belts that would be able to break through enemy lines and go over all kinds of different terrain and be able to, most importantly, cross these trenches because they couldn't get past that point. There was just no beating that. They don't know how many people are in there, what they're up against.

Ben: Right.

Scott: This allows them to drive right to and over these trenches and - and then, create an opening to - to send their own infantry in and expose a weakness there. So they - they brought their idea to the British Navy minister, of all people, who was Winston Churchill. So Winston Churchill's involved in the development of the - the first tank, really.

Ben: Now, Winston Churchill is a European that some of you may recognize.

Scott: Maybe.

Ben: Possibly.

Scott: I would hope - I would hope so.

Ben: I would hope so, too.

Scott: So anyways, at the time he was serving as the British Navy Minister.

Ben: Yeah.

Scott: And the idea was that they - they took it to him and the idea that it's a land boat is what they called it because it was an armored vehicle. They had armored boats at the time. This is an armored vehicle that could do the same thing, that would just basically barge its way through the line and then create an opening. So they went to him and of course they began production on this - or not production, but really, development of the concept.

Ben: Right. R and D.

Scott: Yeah, exactly. And that - that led to a 1915 prototank type - prototype tank - that's tough - which they called Little Willie, which came off an assembly line in England. And it weighed 14 tons. It wasn't very - it wasn't very efficient at all. It was - it was really slow. I think it had a top speed of two miles per hour I have written down somewhere here, 14 tons. It was slow. It overheated. And it actually got trapped in the trenches. It was just a little too small.

Ben: Ouch.

Scott: So it would go into the trench and not come back out.

Ben: So we're halfway there.

Scott: Yeah. They're halfway there. But what that did was that gave them a starting point and they created something that they called Big Willie in 1960. And of course, and Big Willie was able to cross the trenches and it was a little bit more reliable, not much, bigger engine. It was just a little bit faster. I think it had a top speed of four miles per hour or something like that. But that - that's where it began and developed in World War I, really. And the French were involved in this. They - they built a lot of tanks. The British, of course, built a lot of tanks. Germans, they were surprised by it during the war, but they - but they - they didn't - they didn't buy into the idea of the tank.

Ben: Not yet.

Scott: So they built like 20 of them, I think is what they said.

Ben: Not very many.

Scott: By 1918. And the US was similar. I think - boy, I should have numbers here somewhere. But they said that the US had only built, at this point - because they had just really heard of it, and they - they've built something like 86 or something like that. It was in the 80s. Low, low numbers, relatively.

Ben: Yeah.

Scott: The Germans, they just weren't buying it at the time, and you know, later it became very important to them.

Ben: Right. And how wrong those Germans were in the - in the offset of World War I to sort of dismiss the tank because the Willie series, we first see that deployed by the British in the Battle of Somme, I believe, S-O-M-M-E.

Scott: Oh, you got me. I was trying to avoid all battle names.

Ben: Okay. Okay. Okay. So from now on, we avoid all battle names.

Scott: Yeah because they're French and I just can't do it.

Ben: So we're so close to the birth, though, of what - of the modern tank, right, and this is the part that - this is my favorite part of the story because you know I love a good - a good word pun, etymology thing, Scott.

Scott: Of course.

Ben: So during - while they were building these things, during the construction of them, and the shipping, they couldn't give away that these were weapons, especially when it go to, I believe, the Middle Eastern, North African parts of it.

Scott: Yeah.

Ben: So the way they would ship them, they would call them water tanks, or like tanks. They were not - they - they obviously were enormous crates, no matter how you do it. They're heavy at this point, so they have to come up with something that is not rolling - rolling -

Scott: Something - something believable.

Ben: Yeah. It can't be like rolling death salesmen or something.

Scott: So wait. They're - they're fooling the people that are shipping these things.

Ben: Supposedly.

Scott: By calling them tanks and - and they buy it because the tank had no other meaning at that point than a - than a vessel.

Ben: Well, yeah. That's a little - to me, that - that's a little convenient. That might be - I don't - I don't know how entirely true that is because it is - it does kind of beg - beg or belief for someone to constantly be shipping these things and not check the box.

Scott: Yeah. I guess so.

Ben: But we - we send mail and stuff all the time.

Scott: Oh, it's for water, huh? Well, what's the gun for?

Ben: Oh, shush, shush, shush.

Scott: The giant gun?

Ben: It's a water gun.

Scott: Yeah, sure.

Ben: It's a giant water gun.

Scott: Sure. Yeah.

Ben: Okay. So that is kind of the birth of the modern tank, but let's - let's step back for a second and talk about what tanks are. So a tank is - it's like an armored vehicle. Right?

Scott: Uh-huh.

Ben: But what's the difference between a Hummer - between actually - yeah, what's the difference between a Hummer and a tank? Well, the difference is obviously noticeable. Tanks are on treads, much slower, but also they're able to navigate a lot of different types of terrain that would be more difficult for a - for a Hummer or another faster wield armored vehicle. They're also designed for the front of combat, so with a - with a Hummer or some other faster armored vehicles, they're much more adaptive. Is adaptive the right word?

Scott: Yeah. I think so.

Ben: Flexible?

Scott: Sure, flexible is better.

Ben: Okay. Flexible is better, but tanks are supposed to be up there in the front blowing things out of the proverbial dirt. Now - no, Scott and I - you and I - you and I have talked about this before about tanks. I love them. I love reading about them. I would never wanna be one during a battle.

Scott: No.

Ben: And I think I'm starting to - rethink that conclusion because the more I read about modern tanks, the more I'm learning that it is not that - not quite the death trap I thought it was. So -

Scott: Why so?

Ben: Here we go. And I'll - I'll get to that.

Scott: Oh, okay.

Ben: We'll get to that at the end.

Scott: Yeah.

Ben: So people will argue about what makes a tank effective. Tanks try to do three things, and they're three contradictory things. So a tank can never do all of them perfectly. A tank wants to have fire power, bigger than you could carry on another device or soldier. A tank wants to be able to protect people and its perimeter better than a soldier could or perhaps other vehicles. A tank also wants to be mobile and be able to move this awesome force projection and force protection somewhere else. The problem with firepower protection and mobility - or if you think about it, guns, armor and movement, is that those three things past a certain point kind of start screwing with each other.

Scott: Uh-huh. Lots of weight, right?

Ben: Yes, sir. If I could be candid, we talk about weight a lot on this show because it's so important to the effectiveness of a vehicle. Now, when we talk about little Willie and big Willie and their just - their massive tonnage, we can already see the problems that come - that come into play when y ou try to take a thing like that and make it mobile. Let's see. We've got - so when we design tanks - even now, when we design tanks, we think about these three values and we think about how we can best get these together. And this part might - this part surprised me. When people are building tanks now - when companies and armies build tanks now, what determines the tank that they go with or the design they go with is more often than not the affordability of the design.

Scott: Oh, no.

Ben: Yeah. Because - and we see this in World War II, I think. A lot of the vehicles - let's see. Here's - where's a good example? Okay. A lot of the vehicles designed by the allied forces were simple designs and you could compromise them, you could cut some corners, not that I'm saying that the fighting forces do that, but they did in this point. And they actually out maneuvered and outnumbered the German tanks at the time because this is - in World War II, you guys, Germany got on the tank - the tank wagon.

Scott: Ah, so they made more than 20 in World War II, then?

Ben: Yes.

Scott: Okay.

Ben: But they were harder to build because they were more expensive. They were - they were well-designed.

Scott: They were better built.

Ben: Right. But they were - but if you are - if you're trying to fight another group that has a bunch of less well-designed but infinitely cheaper to produce tanks, you're - you're gonna lose out. And [inaudible], that's happens so now - now where are we with tanks? Here's where we are, Scott. Now in the modern age, we focus on how to improve a tank's performance by improving the way it integrates in the rest of the battlefield and by improving the way we - we still haven't really cracked the riddle of how do you get the best firepower mobility and armor on it.

Scott: So it's a balancing game between three separate possibilities, I guess?

Ben: Yes.

Scott: So - so what are - they cut armor thickness in - in - which is terrible, but they have to.

Ben: Right.

Scott: Maybe better materials, though. Maybe better, lighter materials.

Ben: There we go.

Scott: Which increases mobility, but then maybe they don't have the firepower that they want because it's a lighter vehicle and then it's - it's not able to have the firepower that it normally would because it would blow it right back.

Ben: Right.

Scott: Or flip it over or something like that, right?

Ben: Yeah. And -

Scott: That's the kinda thing you have to just - one - one of - well, a half dozen of one - well, what -

Ben: Six in one hand? Right?

Scott: Yeah, there you go. That's like -

Ben: A half dozen in the other?

Scott: Yeah. Sorry. Sorry.

Ben: Yeah. It's where - where can you -

Scott: Baker's dozen [inaudible].

Ben: If you have to compromise with everything, then in which of those areas or even any can you win?

Scott: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And you do it - and you have to account for, of course, safety, major concern of course, I would hope number one concern. I don't like the fact that the - the lowest bid comes into the factor - into the - into play in this whole thing, but I - I know that's a reality. I know that that happens.

Ben: Yeah. It's also - it's very time sensitive, not to say civilian vehicles are not time sensitive, but usually, people won't die as a result.

Scott: Yes. Yes. And you need to stay one step ahead of the enemy with whatever technology they have, so it becomes even more critical in this case.

Ben: And always I'm still thinking about that earlier podcast we did on the radar guns and radar gun detectors.

Scott: Uh-huh.

Ben: Okay. So I wanna point out what I think is a terrible flaw in all tanks.

Scott: Oh, please do.

Ben: Yeah. Let's g o ahead and if you are a tank commander, if you work - one of our coworkers here, actually, was on a tank crew in Iraq.

Scott: I didn't know that.

Ben: Yeah. And so I don't wanna offend anybody. I think everybody's pretty sure about this.

Scott: Was it you?

Ben: No, it was not me. It was not me that I know of. I have had some crazy weekends, but I think I would have remembered that one.

Scott: Okay. All right.

Ben: But -

Scott: Was it me?

Ben: Um -

Scott: No, it wasn't me.

Ben: It was the guy who looks a lot like - no, I'm kidding.

Scott: Okay.

Ben: But yeah, so the problem is - of course, we didn't factor this in there - you're never gonna see a tank win a hyper-miling contest.

Scott: No.

Ben: That's for sure.

Scott: No.

Ben: These puppies are thirsty. These engines are thirsty.

Scott: Well, how thirsty?

Ben: They're so thirsty that our current star tank in the US, the M1, which is probably my favorite tank, actually, gets less than one mile to the gallon.

Scott: Whoa. Really?

Ben: Less than one mile.

Scott: That's a pretty low range.

Ben: That is - that is incredibly low.

Scott: Well, okay, so that - that -

Ben: Unbelievably.

Scott: - that severely hampers them in the ability to go across the line and come back or out towards the line, even, and come back. They're - well, they're just - at a certain point, they have to turn around no matter what in order to make it back. Right?

Ben: Right. Right.

Scott: That's the case with any vehicle, of course -

Ben: Sure.

Scott: - but that's a really low, low range. What - do you have any idea how many gallons they carry or no?

Ben: I might have to take a paper shuffle for that.

Scott: That's - that's okay.

Ben: I actually - you know what, Scott? [Inaudible]

Scott: If you don't - if you don't know, that's fine. If it's - if it's handy, that's fine, too, but -

Ben: Oh, okay. Here we go. I gotcha. Let's see. It has - it holds - the newest one - this is from our awesome article on it in howstuffworks. The newest one holds 490 gallons.

Scott: Okay.

Ben: Which means that the tank can move about a little over 260 miles without refueling?

Scott: Okay.

Ben: So it's a massive, massive tank.

Scott: Okay. Well, that's a decent range still.

Ben: That - that's a decent -

Scott: I was - I was thinking we're talking in the order of 20 miles each way or something.

Ben: Oh, goodness, no.

Scott: No. I just had no idea that it had - it had that much fuel. These things have 1,500 horsepower engines. Right?

Ben: Yeah.

Scott: They're - they're massive, massive engines, so I can see why they're pretty thirsty.

Ben: They also have a speed of 30 miles an hour.

Scott: 30 miles an hour.

Ben: They can go 30 miles an hour.

Scott: Really?

Ben: Yes.

Scott: Really?

Ben: Which is - just so you know, for the average tank, that is the - that is superhuman.

Scott: So no kidding? That's like a - that's like a - a top speed run there at 30 miles an hour and it's impressive. Right?

Ben: Uh-huh. That's - yeah, that's impressive.

Scott: Okay. Well, what about - now, I have a good question for you. And you may or may not know this, too.

Ben: All right.

Scott: Is it true - is the M1 Abrams the one that is able to - the first one that's able to drive and shoot at the same time? Because I thought there was something at one point in history where they said you have to stop in order to shoot, and then - and then you're able to move.

Ben: I've heard that. I don't know if the M1 is the first one.

Scott: Well, you know what?

Ben: Is that what you heard?

Scott: Perfect opportunity for a listener to write in and tell us if that's true because -

Ben: Oh, yeah, guys, write in.

Scott: - because I - I thought I had heard this about the M1 Abrams is that it was the first one to be able to do that. There may have been one in the past and - and some other make and model, but I really thought that was one of the ones. You know what my dad had this weekend?

Ben: What did he have?

Scott: I - I saw my dad at a wedding. We were at a wedding.

Ben: Yeah.

Scott: I was up in Michigan, and it's in kinda the area where there's General Dynamics and there's a tank - there's a tank plant there.

Ben: What?

Scott: He's done some - he's done some work in their - freelance work, video, writing, that type of thing, producing. And he pulls out this coin that is a - called a Challenge Coin, I think, and it has the M1 Abrams tank on it. Right?

Ben: Uh-huh.

Scott: Have you ever heard of a Challenge Coin?

Ben: No.

Scott: If you're a member of a group of any kind - now, he's got one from several different groups, and this is common, I guess. I didn't know this.

Ben: Okay.

Scott: He's done work on a lot of different interesting places, but one was on like an icebreaker up in Lake Superior. This one was for the M1 tank guys. He's done one for - some other work for the military in other aspects. He's got a few of these things, but you have a Challenge Coin - and it's a - it's a relatively large sized coin, like maybe bigger than a silver dollar or silver dollar size.

Ben: Okay.

Scott: And it's got - it's embossed with the - the picture of the M1 tank, and it says the - the division and everything and - the armed forces type thing. If you are out to the bar with - with a group of guys from that - that area and they - they call a challenge, everybody puts their coins out on the - on the table. And if you don't have yours, you're the one buying beer.

Ben: I think - really?

Scott: Yeah.

Ben: Is that the whole purpose of it?

Scott: That's the whole purpose of it is that you - if you're not carrying your Challenge Coin at any time -

Ben: At all times?

Scott: They can do that at any point and pull - pull out the Challenge Coins and just call a challenge, put them out, and anyone who does not have their Challenge Coin is the one who's buying that night.

Ben: Or even if they're out getting coffee or at the restaurant?

Scott: Yeah, exactly. Any - that pertains to anything, I guess, and - and a lot of different groups have this, but just this last weekend, this whole M1 thing came up. I thought that was interesting.

Ben: That is weird.

Scott: Yeah. I've never heard of a Challenge Coin, so maybe we should have a howstuffworks Challenge Coin.

Ben: Yeah. Maybe we should get - man, I hate carrying change. Let's make it - can we make it something different instead?

Scott: This is one that you wouldn't spend, though, because it's so - it's different. It's like a - like a copper tone or something to it.

Ben: Yeah.

Scott: It doesn't look anything like a coin.

Ben: People wouldn't take it.

Scott: No.

Ben: But what if I was in the tank when I gave it to them and I leaned out and tossed it out the side. They would take it if it was an M1 because I would have 120 millimeter smooth board cannon, which is actually made by a German company.

Scott: Way to bring it back, Ben.

Ben: Hey.

Scott: And they'd say tanks for the coin.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's - let's see. If that didn't scare them, I would also have a - I would also have two different rounds I could put in there, high explosive anti-tank or heat rounds. I would also have a sabot - I guess that's - maybe - does that come from sabotage? You think that's related?

Scott: Maybe.

Ben: I doubt it. That's too -

Scott: You mean, the Beasty Boys song?

Ben: Yes, the Beasty Boys song.

Scott: Okay. Yeah. See, I - this tank talk, I'm - I'm kind of on the edge of it. I just - I know very little.

Ben: That's the other side of the coin is a picture of the Beasty Boys.

Scott: Yeah, sure. Sure.

Ben: Yeah. I guess we don't wanna go too far down into the - the M1 tank because we do have an awesome article on this. So I'll leave the weapons for people to discover. We do need to talk about the people that are in the tank.

Scott: Yes.

Ben: Because just like modern tanks don't go by themselves into the field, you can't just hop in a tank and steal it.

Scott: Not yet.

Ben: Despite what grand theft auto [inaudible] -

Scott: I don't mean steal it. I mean they don't go in alone.

Ben: Yeah. You don't go in alone.

Scott: Not that you can steal it. Hey, well, how many people can a tank hold? They look huge.

Ben: Yeah. They change - it depends on the model of the tank. For the M1, we're talking four people.

Scott: Four people, okay, so it's not really a transport system, then, really.

Ben: No, huh-uh.

Scott: It's just to operate that tank. Right?

Ben: Yeah. There are armor transport carriers, but they are built in a very different way to move people.

Scott: Okay.

Ben: This thing is to move force projection, so -

Scott: Uh-huh.

Ben: Yeah. So who do you have? You have your driver sits in the front section of the hole, and he's under the gun. Huh? Huh?

Scott: Yeah.

Ben: Okay.

Scott: So am I.

Ben: Sorry. And I don't - I really think that's the worst possible position because you're sitting back in one of these chairs that reclines, sort of like a - like a chair at a doctor's or a dentist office.

Scott: Okay.

Ben: And you're in the front of the vehicle.

Scott: That sounds all right.

Ben: I just - I don't - I cannot see - I can see how that could get very hectic very quickly.

Scott: Uh-huh.

Ben: And then, but everybody else works on the tank, reportedly, says this is by far the best seat in the house. And then, you've got the -

Scott: I gotta admit, dentist chairs are pretty - pretty comfy.

Ben: They are.

Scott: Yeah.

Ben: And the only thing comfortable about those places. And - and the rest of the crew is on the inside of the tank's turrant, the turrant basket, I guess.

Scott: Okay.

Ben: And there's a person, called the loader, and all they do is - guess.

Scott: Load shells?

Ben: Load shells. Of course, there's a lot more that goes to that. We're not - we're not trying to say it's an easy job, because it's certainly not. And then, there's a gunner on the other side, and the gunner, you would imagine, handles the guns.

Scott: Yeah.

Ben: And then, the commander is on the right side, so the commander is a little bit different because he talks to - he or she talks to every other tank commander. And that would be on the field, and again, there would be more than one. And so, they use this - they use their communication capabilities to keep them from being the slow kids on the playground. You know what I mean?

Scott: Uh-huh.

Ben: Because if you just have one tank there now, it would be difficult to see how that would work, but I was surprised how effective they were. I'll be honest. I was wrong. Almost 2000 M1s went to the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm, and all but 18 came back in working condition.

Scott: No kidding. Wow.

Ben: So - so that - I think a record like that speaks for itself.

Scott: Sure. Yeah. That's very - that's very impressive.

Ben: Now - yeah. Now, we've been asked not to tell you in too much detail how to operate tanks. I'm kidding. I'm kidding. No one - no one asked us that.

Scott: Yeah. Yeah. Sure. No. No.

Ben: But with - but things are looking good -

Scott: [Inaudible] do I know really.

Ben: - thing are looking good for tanks because in the future, we're gonna see a lot more innovation there. Maybe we'll have completely unmanned tanks, completely driverless.

Scott: Like the drone planes at this point.

Ben: Right, like the drone planes. Maybe like our buddy, Josh Clark, writes in an article on our website, maybe we'll be able to coat the tank with a silicon that will make it invisible.

Scott: Really?

Ben: Like predator style.

Scott: Really?

Ben: Yeah.

Scott: Invisible tanks?

Ben: That's - that's what people are hoping -

Scott: Crazy.

Ben: - they can do.

Scott: Yeah.

Ben: And that's - that's a long time away, I think.

Scott: Call it the Camelian, or something like that.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah.

Scott: Cool.

Ben: Well, you gotta add some numbers and letters at the end to make it official.

Scott: Oh, yeah.

Ben: Camelian 4386.

Scott: Sounds good.

Ben: Sounds good.

Scott: Yeah.

Ben: But that's pretty much all I got on tanks right now.

Scott: All right. Cool. Very good.

Ben: What do you think?

Scott: It's good to me. Yeah. That's far more than I knew, and you had the history with them. You were able to climb around and play on them. And the only place I ever really saw tanks were state fairs and things like that, where they have National Guard demonstration-type stuff going on. So I don't have much tank experience at all.

Ben: But again, they're amazing machines. And you know what? We should put a - a call out if anybody else wants to hear more about military vehicles.

Scott: We have a lot of military listeners.

Ben: Uh-huh.

Scott: And if any of them have experience in a tank, I think that would be great if we could hear from somebody who's been in that seat and - and could tell us what it's like.

Ben: Yeah, definitely.

Scott: Or somebody that has been a commander of a tank or a loader or a gunner, just tell us what - what it's all about, what it's like in that tank and - and how - how safe do you feel, relatively, compared to -

Ben: Good question.

Scott: - some of the ground soldiers or people driving the Humvees? How - do you feel better or about the same about your chances?

Ben: And - and if - let's go ahead and apologize in advance, Scott, if we got anything wrong. Please do correct us on this.

Scott: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Do correct us because that's the thing. These things are - these things are advancing so quickly that they're just - especially now. Like they say that during war time are when all these advancements are made.

Ben: Yes.

Scott: In military technology, just rapid fire. They're quick, quick, quick changes and they make them sometimes overnight. There is a good chance that some of the information that we had is - is outdated already. And even if we found something earlier this week, it's a good chance it's changed. So let us know. Let us know always if there's a correction. Hey, check this out. We've got something new that I think you might be interested in because you're an iPhone guy. Right?

Ben: I am an iPhone guy.

Scott: All right. Well, I've got a brand new app. It's called the app. And it does all kinds of crazy stuff. You learned about it, too. Right?

Ben: Yeah. This is a way that you can carry around some of the coolest parts of our websites and our podcasts in one handy device. You can use it in an iPhone. You can use it in an iPad. You can use it in an iPod Touch. And here's my favorite part. It's free.

Scott: No kidding. Now, you can - so you can get articles, videos, all kinds of stuff like that, and you can listen to Car Stuff, of course. And you can even check in on the blog and see what we're saying on Facebook and Twitter, too, right?

Ben: Right. So that's our new howstuffworks app for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch. Check it out, guys.

Scott: Sounds cool.

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