If you thought battle tanks of our generation are intimidating, it is time for some history lessons. Wars have always given us some of the most fascinating machines, in spite of all the gore and disorder. And to justify this conviction, we shall take a trip down memory lane to unearth a behemoth of the early 90s. Nicknamed the King Tank or Tank Lebedenko, this battle tank could cream enemy wheels without breaking a sweat. Reason – it was and is the biggest tank ever built. Standing massively at 18 meters above the ground, this ungainly monster weighed a mind-boggling 40 tonnes. Named after N. Lebedenko, the engineer who created it, the King Tank was designed to overcome ‘petty’ obstacles at 17km/hr. Surprisingly, the tank had a combination of large and small wheels (unlike the tanks we have seen), which apparently offers better impediment overcoming abilities.
Initial test runs indicated that the tank was vulnerable if it encountered a pit. Moreover, the low engine design and the large size made the tank cumbersome and hence a liability during war. Twin Meybah engines powered the King Tank, but proved quite inadequate in the end. Research on the machine eventually stopped due to a lack of funds and by 1916, the Tank Lebedenko witnessed its demise. However, like all things unique, the machine continues to enjoy an elevated status…literally!