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Father of Semple

Panzer of the Lake Miniatures has been unearthing some unique vehicles and producing stls of them. His latest model is of the Disston 6-Ton Tractor Tank. The Great Depression saw many companies try and find new ways of making income - particularly from Government. In 1933, the Disston Company—the same company which had assembled the Sutton Skunk — received a Caterpillar 35 tractor from Caterpillar Tractor Company and designed a tank on the C35’s chassis. The resulting tank weighed in at about six tons, could allegedly hold seven troops, and was modestly armed with an M1916 low-velocity 37mm gun and a Marlin machine gun. Its boxy superstructure was armored with up to thirteen millimeters of steel. The next step was to sell these tanks.

The US Army and US Marines, refused sales of the Disston. Disston then turned its attention to the export market. Kuwait however, no orders were placed. Romania received an offer to buy a unit of Disstons. The Romanian Ministry of Defense was interested, and sent an invitation to Disston to compete in a tank competition in Romania, but Disston stated that Romania should first purchase tanks. There are rumors of the Disston also being marketed to Canada and New Zealand, both not buying any (though the Bob Semple Tank is known to have taken inspiration from the Disston).

The only confirmed operator of the Disston Tractor Tank was Afghanistan. Five tanks were delivered to India and shipped via train to Kabul, where they were paraded around the city center before being sent to an armored unit. Afghanistan is known to have used Disstons up until the end of the Second World War. It is also believed that up to four tanks were ordered by and shipped to China, though this is unconfirmed. Tanks Encyclopedia article: Disston Tractor Tank – Tank Encyclopedia (

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