Antitank Ditch

antitank ditch

[¦an·tē¦taŋk ‚dich]
A deep ditch prepared as an obstacle to enemy tanks. Also known as tank ditch.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Antitank Ditch


a man-made obstacle in the form of a broad, deep earthen ditch dug in front of the forward line of a defensive position or in the depth of the defense to stop enemy tanks and destroy them by the fire of antitank weapons.

Breaks are left when digging the ditch, and the approaches to the ditch are mined and covered by all types of fire. Antitank ditches were used extensively in the first part of the Great Patriotic War of 1941‣45.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Late in the planning cycle, we received a fragmentary order from the brigade attaching two bulldozer blade teams that would be responsible for constructing an antitank ditch. I made the mistake of thinking that the inorganic teams were as efficient as our organic teams, but they didn't complete the job as expected.
The ABV reduces cross-country maneuver time to the point of penetration, decreases the number of vehicles and personnel exposed to direct fire at the point of penetration, and cuts the time to reduce an antitank ditch. To fully realize the advantages of this new breaching asset, task force engineers must be fully integrated into the MDMP and maneuver units must devote particular attention to actions at the breach during rehearsals.
Teamed with an armored combat earthmover (ACE), it can be used to reduce enemy antitank ditches. The ABV dozer blade is not well-suited for filling in antitank ditches, but its power makes it very effective in reducing the berm on the enemy side of the ditch.
It is worth noting that bridging assets in the form of armored vehicle-launched bridges were once organic to brigade combat team engineers and integral to the reduction of antitank ditches and berms.
The Grizzly is designed to clear--within 21 minutes--a full-width lane (analogous to a wide pathway rather than two separate left- and right-side wheel tracks) through a designated complex-obstacle system of 600 meters in depth (length) that includes antipersonnel wire, an antitank ditch, and antipersonnel and antitank mines laid to standard densities and depths.
* A heavy assault bridge (HAB), such as a Wolverine, or an armored vehicle-launched bridge (AVLB), for spanning the antitank ditch or the wire entanglements.
The presence of the antitank ditch adds serious complications since neither the BCS-equipped tanks nor the MICLICs are effective against this obstacle.
Complicate minefields with other obstacles--such as wire entanglements, antitank ditches, natural and devious man-made devices--in the right place, and even the most powerful tank will have its greatest asset--mobility--slowed or reduced to a standstill.
The Grizzly defeats a wide range of obstacles, to include natural obstacles (streams, dry gaps, rocks/boulders, and fallen trees), simple/man-made obstacles (wire, bomb craters, berms, abatis, rubble, and constructed structures such as log cribs, antitank ditches, and minefields), and complex obstacles (combinations of natural and simple obstacles in mutually reinforcing arrays).
In support, the light-equipment platoon can construct antitank ditches to shape the terrain in favor of friendly forces.
The rocky soil in southern Spain enabled the engineers to use the hydraulic picket pounder on their high mobility engineer excavator to emplace more than 1,000 meters of triple-standard concertina wire in just 4 hours after they had completed work on a 2-kilometer engagement area consisting of berms, antitank ditches, and improvised craters.
(5) The balkas south of Sowchos 79 acted as natural antitank ditches, but the western side of Sowchos 79 is mostly flat with low hills.