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In the film Ghost in the Shell Major Kusanagi engages in a fire fight with a tank. At the end of the fight the Major attempts to pull open the hatch on the tank, presumably to kill the pilot. Her cybernetic body is not up to this task and she breaks. Did the Major actually expect to be able to open the tank in this manner or was she trying to accomplish something else?

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Well - lacking input from the creators I don't think there is any way to know her intentions for sure. But I can see two possibilities, either she jumped onto the tank to avoid its weapons, or in the hope of damaging it.

Looking at her actions, she waits untils after the tank expends its ammo to mount the tank, and the major is clearly using much more force than would be required just to hold onto the moving tank, so I think it's safe to say she wanted to open the hatch pretty badly.

In the manga it is established that the majors cybernetic body is a custom model, so we can probably assume that even if she didn't know for certain she was capable of tearing the hatch off, she decided it offered a better chance than simply running from the tank.

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Side note: I don't think the tank had a pilot. It was an automaton.

She wanted to open it to disable it so she could rescue the Puppet Master, which it was guarding. She gambled that her body could handle the strain of opening it and found it she couldn't do it. Luckily Batou showed up in time to save her.

That's my interpretation of it.

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    Hmm. This linee always made me assume that the tank did have a human pilot: It's not much, but I'll monitor you through this guy's cyber-brain. – Xantec Oct 29 '13 at 12:23

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