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Hull Down and Turret Positioning

by Maurice Fitzgerald

Hull Down

The fundamental mission of the tank platoon is to close with and destroy the enemy. The platoon's ability to move, shoot, communicate, and provide armored protection is a decisive factor on the modern battlefield. It moves, attacks, defends, and performs other essential tasks to support the company team or troop mission. In accomplishing its assigned missions, the platoon uses fire, maneuver, and shock effect, synchronized with other maneuver elements and with combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS) assets. When properly supported, it is capable of conducting sustained operations against any sophisticated threat.

The tank platoon can survive and win in battle, however, only if it is well trained, effectively led, and highly motivated. Crews must be aggressive, and their tactics must reflect the tempo and intensity of maneuver warfare. Platoon training must prepare them to operate in hostile territory with the enemy to their front, flanks, and rear.


There are two positions that are advantageous to a tank and will extend your lifespan quite a bit. They are the turret down and the hull down and they work in concert together. You will want to go to a turret down first to observe any enemy activity before silhouetting yourself from a hull down, so remember to move from turret down first to observe, then hull down to engage. The turret down is when the only thing exposed is the TC, this way he can spot and direct arty and air assets as well as observe the amount and direction of the enemy.


To get into a turret down do the following: When climbing a hill, switch to the TC's position and watch the hill in front of you. As soon as you start to see over the hill to the terrain beyond that, hit to tell your drivers to stop. Do this while in an in-line formation so as to bring all guns to bear on the direction you are facing. Otherwise you will be forced to micromanage each tank and move them into position which gets old and the enemy will be on you before you are all set.

The hull down is basically the same thing albeit from the gunners point of view. As you are climbing the hill switch to the gunners’ primary sight and keeping your gun level wait until you are able to see over the hill to the terrain in front of your position. Once you do hit to stop your drivers, again do this from an in-line formation to bring all guns to bear. Remember to wait until the targets are within optimal range before engaging. Fire a few rounds and then scoot to another alternate firing position repeating the hull down procedure. A good tactic to use is to move to a turret down, observe the enemy then call for fire.

Once the arty is hitting (you hear "splash" meaning rounds are hitting the deck) move to your hull down and start engaging. Once the arty is over and you've shot off a couple of rounds, move to your alternate firing position. There is alot of planning that goes into positioning your vehicles and if you get too involved in a slugging match you will get ranged and destroyed. If you sit too long you open yourself up to the same you have brought down on your enemy, tank fire, ATGM fire and artillery. Fire then MOVE!! Armor

A couple more notes on basic tactics to keep in mind. Once you are engaged you hear your gunner call out "bmp right front" for example, use the arrow keys on the keyboard to direct the front plate of your tank towards the enemy you are engaging. Fire one missile vehicles right away to cause them to miss, as these are wire guided and if you case their gunner to flinch he is off target. This DOES work in the game I have done it many times already. Always place the strongest point of your armor the "glacis plate" or "front slope" towards your enemy. The reason for this is it is the strongest part of your armor and it is sloped (it’s also called the front slope for this reason) which causes the round to not impact dead on and can help in decreasing the force the round would hit you at in say the side or rear. Never, NEVER if you can help it, give a broadsides to your enemy, your silhouette is larger and armor is more easily defeatable.

A couple gunnery tips. Aim for the base of the turret as much as possible, for those of you who shoot firearms you will recognize this as your targets "center mass". When leading with a fast round such as SABOT and your target is moving at an oblique angle towards you, aim for his furthest track and possibly a bit lower. This takes a lot of practice and timing to get the proper lead and range through a good solid lase. For formation and movement tactics go to Tactics Part II

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Last Updated August 2nd, 1998

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