Were tanks left or right hand drive?

Vinnie

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Same question with trucks. I'd assume they went with country of nanufacture but I don't recall seeing any tanks that were right hand drive.
 

Gordon

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AFAIK, you are correct. All British manufactured vehicles were right hand drive (or middle if only one crewmember in the front hull). On this Cromwell, you see the BMG on the left and the driver's direct vision port on the right.

25891
 

bendizoid

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Left hand driver puts the right hand gear shifter closer to the center.
 

Vinnie

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Been trying to get pictures of a churchill. Those I've seen appear to be left hand drive. This got me wondering.
 

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Been trying to get pictures of a churchill. Those I've seen appear to be left hand drive. This got me wondering.
Churchills were right hand drive. You can often see a circular view port on the right in photos or diagrams.

This video shows outside and inside views with driver on the right:

 

Barking Monkey

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I was looking into Japanese tanks for the 'aligns with nation of origin' angle - most Japanese tanks seem to be right hand drive, but a few are apparently not (the TE-KE, at least.) Looking at them all, though, I wonder how the bow MG gunners in Japanese tanks knew what they were shooting at. Most (all?) of these tanks appear to be lacking vision ports for the bow gunner and periscopes appear to be similarly lacking - although this is a bit more difficult to judge. They generally also lack hull top hatches that the gunner could have stuck his head out of.
 

Tuomo

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This is why D-Day had to be put off til 1944. We shipped plenty of tanks over to England by 1943 but they insisted on converting them to right-hand drive. And adding cup holders for their tea.
 

Robert Fabbro

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Czech 35(t) and 38(t) were right-hand drive.

Many, if not most, Japanese tanks were right-hand drive, specifically the Japanese type 95 Ha-Go and type 97 Chi-Ha.

British tanks with a bow-gunner were generally right-hand drive, but tanks such as the A9 Cruiser, the Matilda, and the Valentine had the driver located in the center hull.

Canadian Ram tank was right-hand drive. However, the Ram never saw combat, but did see service as the Kangaroo APC.

Perhaps oddest of all, the American-built T-16 light tank came in left-hand and right-hand driver arrangements. This resulted in the MG turret being displaced to the right or left accordingly. Used by the Dutch only (I think).
 
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Robert Fabbro

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OK, sorry... One more odd one.

The Japanese type 89A had left-hand drive, but the type 89B had right-hand drive.
 

Gordon

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This is why D-Day had to be put off til 1944. We shipped plenty of tanks over to England by 1943 but they insisted on converting them to right-hand drive. And adding cup holders for their tea.
And installation of the brewing vessels, an innovation that U.S. tanks apparently finally seem to be adopting.
 

Robert Fabbro

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I was looking into Japanese tanks for the 'aligns with nation of origin' angle - most Japanese tanks seem to be right hand drive, but a few are apparently not (the TE-KE, at least.) Looking at them all, though, I wonder how the bow MG gunners in Japanese tanks knew what they were shooting at. Most (all?) of these tanks appear to be lacking vision ports for the bow gunner and periscopes appear to be similarly lacking - although this is a bit more difficult to judge. They generally also lack hull top hatches that the gunner could have stuck his head out of.
Japanese tanks (and other nations) of the post-WWI and early WW2 time period were seriously lacking in effective vision ports. In the case of the Japanese hull MGs, the gunner had a telescopic-like gunsight in the ball mount, and that was basically it!
 
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