Here we see the multiple different rounds fired from various guns and how they are compromised. While each nation will have differences in material, amounts of charge used and shape, this shows you a general idea of how they function and how complex in operation a tank round really is.

Early rounds were nothing but a solid shot, but as time and the need to penetrate ever thicker armour arose, multiple part rounds were introduced to both increase their penetration potential at longer ranges and increase their stopping power.

A tank round is compromised of 2 parts, the propellant and the projectile. These are then fixed together using a brass case, although it is also a possibility that these parts come separate. When the round is fired only the projectile leaves the barrel, while the brass case is removed from the breach so the next round can be loaded. Some tanks were equipped with ejectors, that would remove the case from the tank entirely, otherwise the spent cases would rattle around on the floor.

A tank round does not have to penetrate to cause a considerable amount of damage and put the crew through a serious traumatic event. Spalling is a serious issue early tanks had, were parts of the inner armour would shatter and chip, throwing small projectiles around the inside of the tank. Spall liners were introduced to help reduce this issue.

As you can see, the spall liner is effective in reducing the chance of the crew suffering injuries in the event of a partial or complete penetration of the armour. While a spall liner is not 100% effective, there is no doubt they save lives and reduce casualties.

There are several different ways a rounds may damage armour, like previously mentioned not all of them have to achieve 100% penetration to knock out a tank, below is an image showing multiple types of penetration models.

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