American (left) and Wehrmacht (right) Tank Traps across a bridge.
|Prereq.||Varies; usually none.|
Tank Traps are a type of obstacle built by both the American army and the Wehrmacht in Company of Heroes. These Passive Defenses prevent passage by vehicles through a specific area, either blocking that area completely to vehicle access or forcing vehicles to take a longer route, preferably into a pre-set kill-zone or minefield. Heavy tanks can crush Tank Traps.
Several engineering units in the game can construct long fences of Barbed Wire to prevent enemy infantry from easily moving through a gap in your defenses. However, these obstacles do nothing against Vehicles, which normally drive straight through the fence and destroy it in the process.
Tank Traps provide the anti-vehicle counter-measure. Essentially large, obstructive metal or stone obstacles, they prevent movement by (most) vehicles. Vehicles cannot drive through Tank Traps, and must instead seek another way around the obstacle to reach the destination behind it.
Tank Traps are constructed by the American Engineer Squad and the Wehrmacht Pioneer Squad. While the American and German versions have very different appearances—Americans deploy Czech hedgehogs while Germans build dragon's teeth—they are identical in all other respects. The American Riflemen Squad can also construct Tank Traps, but requires the Infantry Company: Defensive Operations Global Upgrade to do so.
Tank Traps cost nothing to construct and so many be placed liberally as required. However, it's important to remember that they block movement for both friendly and enemy vehicles. Tank Traps also may not be scuttled on command.
Tank Traps can be used to prevent all vehicle access to an area, by blocking it with this obstacle from all sides. More often, only smaller or harder-to-defend gaps are blocked up with Tank Traps, forcing enemy vehicles to drive through a major gap that's left accessible - and straight into a minefield or defensive emplacements built to protect that gap.
Infantry units are not blocked by Tank Traps, and can move freely between them. For this reason, truly blocking a gap against the enemy requires setting up a Barbed Wire fence properly—usually behind the tank traps as heavier vehicles can easily move onto and crush away Barbed Wire.
Tank Traps are most commonly used for blocking particular passageways against enemy movement. The best locations to block would be narrow alleyways, bridges or other such routes leading into your territory, that cannot be easily defended with Active Defenses. This prevents enemy vehicles from infiltrating your sectors through these passageways, rerouting them towards major roads which are normally easier to defend.
Alternately, you can try blocking off the major road, forcing enemies to use the narrower passageway, and concentrating firepower against it.
Since infantry units are not blocked by Tank Traps, they are often backed up by a Barbed Wire fence. This way, enemy infantry cannot pass through the gap, and enemy vehicles, cannot drive over the Barbed Wire (since they can't get through the Tank Traps in front of it). Some players will place a minefield in front of the Tank Traps to ensure that enemy units attempting to tamper with this obstacle, whether through explosive charges or wire cutters, will pay for it with blood.
Instead of blocking a gap entirely, you can leave a small opening to act as a funnel. This turns a wide passageway into a narrow one, forcing enemy vehicles to pass through one-by-one. Placing mines at the mouth of this funnel will destroy any enemy unit that makes it through.You also use Tank Traps to turn a straight road into a zig-zag pattern, by placing them on alternating sides of the road as shown in the image to the right. This will slow down enemy vehicles as they must twist and turn through the obstruction, buying time for anti-tank unit to bombard them from further down the road. If possible, plant Mines within the zig-zag.
Tank Traps are generally sturdy, and would take quite some firepower to destroy. Even artillery bombardment may not take out a set of Tank Traps in a single volley. Nonetheless, heavy anti-building explosives (like the Engineer Squad's Demolition Charges) can blow up a large gap in a line of Tank Traps.
Heavy Tanks are also a problem: they can drive straight through Tank Traps, destroying them in the process. This includes the Panther,Tiger I,Tiger II, M26 Pershing Tank, and all varieties of the Churchill Tank, among others. An M4 Crocodile Sherman medium tank equipped with the Bulldozer upgrade can also bust through Tank Traps easily while the Bulldozer is activated.
Therefore, do not expect your Tank Traps to hold forever. If you do not entice your enemy coming through the gaps in some way, he will eventually find a way to break through where there is no gap, bypassing your defenses entirely.