View Poll Results: What do you think was the best tank of WWII?

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  • Sherman

    13 5.46%
  • Churchill

    6 2.52%
  • Panzer IV

    15 6.30%
  • Panther

    53 22.27%
  • Tiger/King Tiger

    27 11.34%
  • T-34

    118 49.58%
  • Other(please specify)

    6 2.52%
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Thread: Best Tank of WWII

  1. #16
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    The "zippo" Sherman has big problem with its gas tank, easily set on fire after being hit, Patton warned about them before, but no one listen till it is too late.
    It was the ammunition stowage which caused the fires hence the wet stowage brought into later models.

    But by the time Normandy came up , it was out classed completely. Perhaps the US would have been better off going the Firefly route.
    The regular 76mm M-62 AP round would put a hole in the front of a Panther at 600 meters while the 76mm HVAP shot would hole the Panther at 1000 meters. And the Shermans were only outclassed by a handful of tanks taking into account the large amount of Shermans. And then one has to factor in support for the Shermans such as air power, artillery and infantry.

    Plus this is only looking at tank versus tank not the various other things tanks get called upon to do. Infantry support, indirect fire and so forth.

    A company of Shermans supporting a local operation is a lot more usefull then a Tiger 20 miles down the road worried about breaking downor running out of fuel if it moves and the ever present threat of air attacks killing it before it gets to the battle to rumble with the company of Shermans.

    And I know those German FT-17s were not outclassing Shermans in France... I don't believe you...

    The Elefant, more frontal armour than the Bismarck!
    And less defensive weapons then an FT-17...

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by leibstandarte10
    Only problem with the Panther was its complexity and its hydraulics system, which could be set on fire if hit. Also the Ausf. D had a nasty shot trap, but this was corrected on Ausf. A and later models.
    That's why i specifically mention the Panther G.

    It had hammered out the earlier reliability issues, and had even heavier frontal armor while still maintaining excellent mobility. Great tank.

  3. #18
    Banned Defense Professional Bluesman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    That's why i specifically mention the Panther G.

    It had hammered out the earlier reliability issues, and had even heavier frontal armor while still maintaining excellent mobility. Great tank.
    Right on. If you could keep those fast Yank TDs and light armor from getting past your covered area and onto your flank, you only had to worry about the HVAP round from close, or the lucky hit that takes a track off, finds a weak point, or dings your gun.

    But almost anything you face is going to have to worry about ANY touch from your 75/L70. No matter where you hit or from however far away, he's going to have a bad day.

  4. #19
    HKHolic Senior Contributor leib10's Avatar
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    Yep. Even the heavily armored Josef Stalin tanks were vulnerable against the L70 gun, which had even better penetration than the infamous KwK 36 88mm gun found on Tiger I's.
    "The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world. So wake up, Mr. Freeman. Wake up and smell the ashes." G-Man

  5. #20
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    It just occured to me that the Centurian aint on the list either.

    That was a great tank too....although it did most of it's tail kicking after the war(MkIII version), first in Koldrea, but mostly in the Mideast and then later in India against Pakistan(i'm not really sure if the Centurian actually saw any combat at all in WWII, but it was one of the truly great WWII tank designs).


    http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-.../centurion.htm

    "History

    In 1943, after a succession of unfortunate tank designs the British War Office commissioned a new specification calling for a tank with durability, reliability, a weight of 40 tons and the ability to withstand a direct hit from the German 88mm gun. Six prototypes were developed before the end of World War 2, but arrived to late to take part in the war on German soil.

    It was soon recognised that the weight restrictions had to be lifted as the original specification could not be achieved within the 40 ton weight limitation.

    The early vehicles were equipped with a 17 pounder main gun and a 20mm Polsten cannon. They also featured frontal, glacis plate armour to deflect shot, a partially cast turret and Horstmann suspension.

    However, modifications to the original design were quickly made and the changes resulted in the adoption of a 20 pounder, fully stabilised, main gun and the replacement of the 20 mm cannon by a Besa mg (thus allowing the turret to be fully cast). These changes resulted in the Mk 3 version of the vehicle. NB: It was reputed that the performance of the 20 pounder gun (when firing APDS) was twice that of the 88mm gun of the German, Royal Tiger Tank.

    In order to maintain its combat effectiveness, continuing modifications have led to numerous changes to main gun armament (e.g. 105 mm), fire control equipment, infra-red driving aids, engines (particularly diesels) and semi-automatic transmissions.

    The Centurion was Britain's first attempt to produce a universal tank and do away with divisions between Infantry Tanks (e.g. Matilda) and Cruiser Tanks

    (e.g. Covenanter). The original design was rapidly changed in the light of performance reports and led to the production of the Mk 2.

    Further modifications resulted in the production of the Mk 3. This mark introduced the 20 pounder gun and the fully cast turret, plus a number of engine modifications. In this form, the Centurion first saw action in Korea in 1951 and soon proved itself to be the best performing tank in this theatre of operations. Particularly notable was its excellent cross country performance."
    Last edited by Bill; 17 Feb 06, at 14:43.

  6. #21
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    Found this rare photo of a M-26 Pershing engaged in a gun duel with a Nazi Panther while browsing the net. Pretty cool stuff...


    The M26 was the first US heavy tank to see extensive action, and was born of the realization that the Sherman was far outclassed. An excellent tank, it was not introduced to combat units until 1945, woefully late to help the thousands of US tankers killed as they fought across Europe in Shermans. It was armed with a 90mm high velocity stabilized gun, allowing it to fire accurately on the move. While not decisively powerful, it was strong enough to penetrate Panthers and usually Tigers at either close range or on a flank.
    http://history.acusd.edu/gen/st/~cshimp/m26.htm

  7. #22
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    I excluded the Pershing and the Centurion because while they were WWII designs they really had little impact on the war itself. They really came of age in Korea where they really owned the T-34/85. This is main reason for not voted the T-34 as it really had no staying power, it was already outclassed in 1943 by many larger German tanks and as I recall never could survive hit from a 88.

    The Panther was an excellent tank, better than the Tiger if you ask me, but still too complex and far too expensive when you're fighting a war of attrition against much more umerous Shermans and T-34s. I think the Germans would have best served by putting all the resources from the Panther and Tiger projects into upgraded Panzer IVs, the real backbone of the Panzerwaffe.
    "We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be, detested in France."
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparten
    Sir, I must disagree. there. The M-4 Sherman was a very good tank circa, 1942 Battle of El-Amein. Indeeed thats why the Germans actually sent the Tiger to N Africa first. But by the time Normandy came up , it was out classed completely. Perhaps the US would have been better off going the Firefly route.
    Remember this isn't just which tank was the best, it's which one had the biggest impact on the war. I'll admit I chose a bad name for the thread and poll though.
    "We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be, detested in France."
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  9. #24
    Banned Senior Contributor dalem's Avatar
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    I'd like to offer the wishy-washy notion that ANY tank design that we are still talking about 60 years later has to be considered VERY highly.

    I mean sure, we can discuss finer points and differences between the M4, T-34, and PzKwIV and V and VIE, but they are all "Great" designs in their own right.

    Now, which one would I rather have a bunch of from a strategic point of view? The M4, hands down.

    Which one would I rather have if I have an army with no logistical tail and no education? The T-34, hands down.

    Which one would I rather BE in once the strategic and other problems have been solved and someone is shooting hurty bits at me? The Panther, hands down.

    -dale

  10. #25
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    Also bear in mind the Sherman did EXACTLY what it was designed to do. Prewar US doctrine was that tanks didn't fight tanks, that was the job of dedicated tank destroyers and artillery, with help from airpower. Tanks were designed to support infantry and achieve tactical breakthroughs. Only problem was that the Germans disagreed and built their tanks early on to fight and kill other tanks much more effectively. It was only 6 months after the combat debut of the Panther that the Sherman began getting more armor and the 76mm gun. Eventually the US realized two seperate types of AFV wasn't the best way to go and the Pershing was put forward to fll both the infantry support and tank killing role.

    The Brits had a similar doctrine with their Cruiser tanks and infantry tanks, untill they consolidated ont he Centurion.

    Even the Germans started the war under this line of thought. The Panzer III was designed as a tank killing breakout vehicles and the Panzer IV was for infantry support. Of course the Panzer IV eventually became a fearsome tank killer in it's own right with a longer gun and more armor.
    "We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be, detested in France."
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  11. #26
    Actus Reus Senior Contributor sparten's Avatar
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    Sherman shots bounced off Tigers and Panther IV's. If it had been upgunned to Firefly standards, at least those two tankes, would have been forced to fire at a longer range.
    Not to mention actually take some damage.
    As for the T-34, let a better man than me have the final word

    http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/t-34.htm
    Built in Ukraine in the Kharkov Steam-Engine Factory (KhPZ), the German general von Runstedt called the T-34 the "best tank in the world" and von Kleist said it was the "finest in the world."
    Who ar we to argue with Field Marshals?
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith601
    I excluded the Pershing and the Centurion because while they were WWII designs they really had little impact on the war itself. They really came of age in Korea where they really owned the T-34/85. This is main reason for not voted the T-34 as it really had no staying power, it was already outclassed in 1943 by many larger German tanks and as I recall never could survive hit from a 88.

    The Panther was an excellent tank, better than the Tiger if you ask me, but still too complex and far too expensive when you're fighting a war of attrition against much more umerous Shermans and T-34s. I think the Germans would have best served by putting all the resources from the Panther and Tiger projects into upgraded Panzer IVs, the real backbone of the Panzerwaffe.
    If the nazis had switched immediately from PzIII and IV and Tiger production to solely focus on Panthers they'd have been much better off. Same with all the crazy tank killer vehicles they made.

    From the moment the Panther was ready for production IMO the nazis should've built nothing but.

    The PzIV was vulnerable to all the allied high velocity anti tank guns, both east and west.
    Last edited by Bill; 18 Feb 06, at 05:17.

  13. #28
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Single tank wise, Panther without a doubt. It's agile, thick-skinned, and had a powerful 75mm gun (some say more powerful than the mighty 88).

    T34/85 would be my close 2nd. Huge numbers, easy to maintain, great agility, good firepower, good armor.

    The problem with Germany weapon philosophy was that they either built monuments or Swiss watches. Neither can be mass produced quickly. One takes more men to operate than its own good, the other is not "soldier proof."

    The perfect tank for WW2 would probably be the T34/85 with German crew and American organization.

  14. #29
    Banned Defense Professional Bluesman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut
    The problem with Germany weapon philosophy was that they either built monuments or Swiss watches. Neither can be mass produced quickly. One takes more men to operate than its own good, the other is not "soldier proof."

    The perfect tank for WW2 would probably be the T34/85 with German crew and American organization.
    That's actually a GREAT answer. Well-reasoned.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut
    Single tank wise, Panther without a doubt. It's agile, thick-skinned, and had a powerful 75mm gun (some say more powerful than the mighty 88).

    T34/85 would be my close 2nd. Huge numbers, easy to maintain, great agility, good firepower, good armor.

    The problem with Germany weapon philosophy was that they either built monuments or Swiss watches. Neither can be mass produced quickly. One takes more men to operate than its own good, the other is not "soldier proof."

    The perfect tank for WW2 would probably be the T34/85 with German crew and American organization.
    The issue with the Germans was that they didn't sustain production runs because they were always introducing modifications which shut down the assembly lines for retooling, and introduced a non-commonality of parts effect. Additionally, because they rarely finished out production runs, they never built up a large spare parts system. This results in large amounts of vehicles being abandoned - they just didn't have the parts to repair them on the lines and often had to evacuate the equipment to the factory to be repaired.

    It wasn't until 1943, I believe, that Speers finally convinced Hitler to shut out the generals from war production decisions (they were the ones constantly introducing marginal improvements/modifications and calling for a wide variety of designs). Only at this point when production systems were truly centralized did Germany start cranking out equipment at the rate they were capable of. This is why Germany's largest production numbers were highest in 1944 despite having lost air superiority, being subjected to a vast bombing campaign, and moving production sites to scattered locations in less than optimal conditions to avoid Allied destruction.

    On the contrary, the Americans to an extent and the Soviets to a huge extent decided to go with a few models in each category (tanks, planes, transport, etc.) and produce large amounts. They completed production runs and then produced spare parts to support the fielded vehicles.

    For those who are interested in reading more about this, all the info is from Richard Overy's "Why the Allies Won the War." It covers about 7-8 topics that he saw as most critical to Allied success and is a very good and quick read.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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