A character in 'The Matrix'. Crew member on the Nebuchadnezzar, possibly the head Systems Manager. He certainly seems to be the guy that always answers the phone. 100% genuine child of Xion.

Somewhat derogatory nickname for a RPG, MUD or video game character whose sole purpose is to have a lot of strength, armor and/or hit points to use for protecting the weaker, yet more important characters who stand behind the tank.

Tanks are armored ground vehicles that travel on a tracklaying chassis (also known by its most visible characteristic, treads), and mount weapons designed to engage other vehicles of their own class (at a minimum) as well as be as lethal as all hell to anything on the battlefield smaller or less protected than themselves. Tanks do come in various sizes, from light tank all the way up to the behemoths known as Main Battle Tanks.

Although fearsome in capability, tanks are not without several glaring and well-known vulnerabilities. First of all, they are extremely large, heavy and in most cases relatively slow-moving. This means that, barring other factors, hitting a tank with an aimed weapon once you've gotten a good look at it isn't a large problem. Therefore, designers and operators of the things have had to come up with various means to ensure that you don't get that good look, or that even if you do hit it, it doesn't care.

Second of all, because they're large and heavy, tanks are limited in where they can travel. A modern MBT can weigh as much as 75 tons and measure in at 8 meters by 5 meters! Running one of these through a cramped cityscape isn't possible unless you're trying to knock the city down as you go. This sometimes is the case. See Grozny for a recent example. However, in a more frequent problem area, tanks are limited to strong bridges and large transport vehicles, meaning bodies of water such as large rivers or lakes can cause real trouble for them. They are extremely difficult (although not impossible) to move by air.

Third, modern tanks are extremely complex machines, are require an enormous amount of routine (and, unfortunately, sometimes not-so-routine) maintenance in order to remain operational. They cannot typically be used to travel long distances; in between actual engagements (and sometimes during protracted ones) tanks must be carted about on large trucks or railway cars. At any given moment, a significant number of these large expensive and crucial assets may be out of service. They also, therefore, require a huge logistical tail to keep running, with a steady flow of fuels, lubricants, ammunition, spare parts, etc.

Fourth, tanks suffer from their very success. By their nature and due to their deadly capabilities, tanks are regarded as primary targets on any battlefield on which they appear. This results in an amusing dichotomy between tank crew and infantry - tankers profess to not understand why you'd want to be on a battlefield without several inches of high-grade armor around you, and infantry profess to not understand why on earth you'd want to spend all your time inside a high-visibility target, methods of whose destruction have spawned entire industries and technologies.

At the strong suggestion of the Management, this writeup has been split off. For a more (mind-numbingly) complete discussion on the modern tank, see the remainder of this exposition at Tanks: A Brief History and Hunting Guide!

Tank was an old arcade game released by Kee Games (a division of Atari), way back in 1974. This game was also sold by Fun Games Inc. under the name Tankers (same game, different hardware and cabinet).

The story

This is a rather historical title, as it was the first game ever to use solid, contiguous characters, and is the earliest known use of ROM chips for video game graphics. This title was so popular that it allowed Atari to drop the Kee name entirely, and put most future games under the Atari label alone (distributors used to require exclusivity, which was why Atari had about 8 names back in the early 70s).

Tank was followed up by four sequels, Tank II, Tank III, Tank 8, and Ultra Tank. It was also modified for the Atari 2600, where it was called Combat (Combat added airplane sequences, dropped the mines altogether, and had different levels).

The game

This is a rather basic game. Each player uses a set of two levers to control a simple tank inside a maze. Blast mines and your opponent to win. (This is a two player only title, so you will need a friend to play).

The Machine

There were two different types of Tank cabinets made. The first was an upright with woodgrain sides, and no sideart at all. The main monitor bezel and marquee have all the art (they are done in orange with primitive pictures of tanks). The control panel has four joysticks mounted on it (two for each player). These are of the lever type, and only move up and down.

The cocktail version was a spanking round table, done up in woodgrain, with a black surface. This only had minimal decoration (a simple instruction card by each players joysticks), and the control were mounted directly into the tabletop (most cocktail game had control panels that poked out of the side of the machine).

Where to play

This title has not been emulated, or properly ported to any other architecture. Atari's Combat is a watered down version, but it isn't the same.

You may want to add this to your arcade game collection. It isn't a bad title, but it does require two players at once, which severely limits home use. Luckily black and white games like this often sell for very cheap prices, so you may be able to pick up this historical title for next to nothing.

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Tank is a work by Patrick Wright, a professor of cultural studies, on the cultural impact of tanks in the 20th Century. At first this seems like a rather select subject to write a book about, but even with the specialized subject matter, Mr. Wright doesn't manage to cover all the ground of the tank in twentieth century warfare.

This book is not a military history, although it includes plenty of details of military history. The book talks about such famous cultural images as the man standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square and the Polish Cavalry charging Nazi tanks in World War II. Other than that, the book also talks about the initial conception of the tank was not just a break through in technology, but involved a reconceptualizing of warfare.

Of the books 19 chapters, at least 4 are primarily concerned with General JFC Fuller, the commander of the United Kingdom's tank brigade in the First World War and an important theoretician of blitzkreig in the interwar period. He was also a member of the Ordo Temporalis Orientalis and the British Union of Facists, a point that Professor Wright explores in some detail.

Apart from the intial development of the tank, the next most indepth discussion is the efforts of Israel Tav to develop the Merkava Main Battle Tank for the Israel Defense Force, and some of the attending cultural issues of this development. Scattered around the book are such interesting discussions as the initial artistic depictions of the tank, of the charge of the Polish Cavalry (which according to Professor Wright, never really happened), the Tiananmen Square incident, the painting of a tank pink in Prague, and the like.

This is a very entertaining book, and well written with some interesting points. On the other hand, while there is some interesting points brought up about the general role of economy, society, and the like, this book doesn't really have a central thesis as far as I could tell, so it is not a "serious academic book" as much as just a book of ideas. About tanks. And their cultural imagery.

Tank (?), n.

A small Indian dry measure, averaging 240 grains in weight; also, a Bombay weight of 72 grains, for pearls. Simmonds.

 

© Webster 1913


Tank, n. [Pg. tanque, L. stangum a pool; or perhaps of East Indian origin. Cf. Stank, n.]

A large basin or cistern; an artificial receptacle for liquids.

Tank engine, a locomotive which carries the water and fuel it requires, thus dispensing with a tender. --
Tank iron, plate iron thinner than boiler plate, and thicker than sheet iron or stovepipe iron. --
Tank worm (Zoöl.), a small nematoid worm found in the water tanks of India, supposed by some to be the young of the Guinea worm.

 

© Webster 1913


Tank (?), n.

A pond, pool, or small lake, natural or artificial.

We stood in the afterglow on the bank of the tank and saw the ducks come homa.
F. Remington.

The tanks are full and the grass is high.
Lawson.

 

© Webster 1913

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