Category: Term of the day
Medium tank was a classification of tanks, primarily used during World War II. The medium tank, as the name suggests, represented a compromise in features between the reconnaissance and mobility oriented light tanks and the armor and armament oriented heavy tanks.
The most widely produced, cost effective and successful tanks of World War II (the Soviet T-34, the American Sherman tank and the German Panzer IV) were all medium tank designs, and the success of the concept would later lead to the development of the main battle tank (which sought to incorporate the best aspects of all three tank types).
Medium tanks are simply neither the heaviest nor lightest in weight, and many of the designs had successful balance of firepower, mobility, protection, and endurance, and could often be adapted to a variety of roles.
The first tanks to carry the name Medium appeared in the First World War with the British Medium Mark A "Whippet". It was smaller and lighter than the British heavy tanks and only carried machine guns.
The medium tank doctrine came into use in the interwar period. Its existence outlasted the super-heavy tank and heavy tank but eventually was eclipsed by the main battle tank.