The Wonderful World of Yoh - Part 1

Yoh tanks are distinctive in terms of their unusual looks and then some. Each project featured unique shapes and mechanics, but those designs never got to the production line. What's special about these tanks?

Here's the original mapped out tank proposal.

Tank Plan: Gun Shield and Turret

The new gun shield incorporated many desirable factors. The primary feature consisted of the weight being concentrated aft of the trunnion, helping to balance the gun. The shield is composed of a light weight cored casting, to which the gun cradle is attached, permitting the gun to recoil. The sloped front provided excellent obliquity. The turret opening was completely sealed by the unique contour which maintained a minimum gap between the shield and turret.

Functional and space-saving. Reasonable indeed.

Tank Plan: Ammunition Grab

The second suggestion was an ammunition hoist, to help the loader grab those heavy rounds.

An ammunition grab was developed in an effort to provide the simplest possible kind of assistance in lifting heavy shells. The grab was held in the loader's left hand, leaving his right hand free to guide and control the movement of the round. All controls for the hoist and grab were incorporated in the grab itself. Squeezing the latch grips locked the grab on the shell. Pressure is released by squeezing the trigger. The grab could also be used to replenish the ready racks. When not in use, the grab could be compactly stowed near the turret roof.

While the concept may work for larger artillery shells, it may not be faster than traditional loading of a 90mm round. The clamp may also be tight enough to prevent the round from slipping, but not too much that it deformed the shell casing and prevented it from being chambered.

Tank Plan: Armored Ready Rack

This method of stowing the "Ready" ammunition offered maximum safety to the crew. It eliminated the fire hazard through which 90% of the tanks were lost in World War II. The device was made to prevent fragments from striking the ammunition. If a projectile entered the rack, the resulting ammunition fire would be vented out of the tank, saving crew and equipment. In addition to the protection feature, the commander could select the proper round by remote control. The loader would receive the round in a position that allows ease of handling.

While it is a great idea, it is largely similar to the revolving ready rack/semi-autoloader on the Merkava IV tank. On the downside, it seems to take a lot of room inside the turret.

The diagram may be understating things a little the hatch may not be strong enough to divert an ammunition explosion up through the bottleneck chimney. Still, interesting example of thought.

Tank Plan: Automatic Loading Mechanism

This proposal indicated a method of loading the gun automatically. Eighteen rounds of 105-mm ammunition were stowed in the mechanism located in the "Bustle" of the turret. The commander pressed a button indicating the desired type of ammunition. A tray then received the round from the storage compartment and conveyed it to the center of the gun. A pushing arm rammed the round into the breech and waited above the breech for the gun to be fired. After recoil and shell ejection, the pusher reversed and discarded the empty casing out of the tank, and came to rest in a position to receive the next round.

The bustle autoloader was most sensible, and indeed bears a good resemblance to the cassette autoloaders found in modern tanks. The only difference seemed to be a gravity feed to the conveyor belt.

Find out about the special tracks and more in the next part of The Wonderful World of Yoh!

Meanwhile, players can enjoy the new line of Yoh tanks in World of Tanks!

Originally published on World of Tanks NA in 2013: "The Chieftain's Hatch: The Wonderful World of Yoh".