Tanks with front drive sprocket question: Does the idler wheel size matter?

So, I have been very into researching world war one and world war two tanks lately. I notice that on many of the German tanks, the rear idler wheel is smaller compared to the front drive sprocket that moves the track. An example would be on the German Panther G. Does the idler wheel size matter on a tank like the Panther G that has track driven by front-mounted sprockets? Do smaller idler wheels in the back provide less acceleration or more? Is there a benefit to a smaller or bigger idler wheel? 

Thank you.

1 Answer

  • 4 weeks ago
    Favourite answer

    idler wheels are just that, they provide no power or acceleration. The wheel size is a tradeoff as most design items are. Too large and it weighs more and provides a larger target. Too small and the track has difficulty making the sharp bend. 

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