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. #31
    Military Professional 667medic's Avatar
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    T-34, heard that it is still used by Egypt....
    Seek Save Serve Medic

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by shek
    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.

    Agreed on all counts.

    Standardized production of just the Panther, with all German tank factories focused on that one design would've resulted in a pretty staggering production output, and would've left the Nazis in much, much better shape.

    I'll take Panthers over the competition in WWII any day.

  3. #33
    Lord High Hullabalooster Senior Contributor dalem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparten
    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

    Who ar we to argue with Field Marshals?
    We are not on the losing side, that's who we are.

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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparten
    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

    Who ar we to argue with Field Marshals?
    Yet the Soviets still lost far more T-34s then the Germans lost of any of their tank designs. The only reason Soviet kill/loss ratios improved towards the end was better tactics and gaining of air superiority, plus the Germans just didn't have many tanks left.

    By the way Runstedt and von Kleist lost.
    "We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be, detested in France."
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  5. #35
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    Even more than any tactical improvement or better soviet equipment or less german equipment, the men that the nazis were shoehorning in tanks by the last year of the war were of far lower quality than the elite and well drilled tankers they forged their fearsome reputation with.

    The elite troopers of Afrika corps and the various SS divisions were almost all dead or disfigured cripples by the start of 1944, and in their place were young boys and old men, and others of 'questionable' motivation or loyalty.

    That is not a recipe for a low casualtie rate.

    It was the same for the Luftwaffe. Sure the Nazis kept building and putting planes in the air right to the end of the war, but for all intents and purposes, by the morning of 6 June, 1944, the Luftwaffe had effectively ceased to exist as an effective fighting force. This despite the fact that fighter production, and fighter quality, were both much higher in mid-44 than pre-war levels.

    Again, and as always....it is the men, not the machines. Men win wars. The machines only make us more effective at killing one another.
    Last edited by Bill; 19 Feb 06, at 02:30.

  6. #36
    Actus Reus Senior Contributor sparten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith601
    Yet the Soviets still lost far more T-34s then the Germans lost of any of their tank designs. The only reason Soviet kill/loss ratios improved towards the end was better tactics and gaining of air superiority, plus the Germans just didn't have many tanks left.
    A lot of those were lost in the first weeks of the war.



    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith601
    By the way Runstedt and von Kleist lost
    So did Napoleon, Hannible, Robert Lee....
    "Any relations in a social order will endure if there is infused into them some of that spirit of human sympathy, which qualifies life for immortality." ~ George William Russell

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparten
    A lot of those were lost in the first weeks of the war.
    .
    And a hell of a lot of them weren't.

    The russians lost 2000 tanks at the battle of Berlin alone.

    At Kursk they lost another 1500.

    To say that early war tank losses skew the numbers against the T-34 is IMO disingenuous because the Russians kept on losing them in droves right up until the very last day of the war.

  8. #38
    Actus Reus Senior Contributor sparten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    And a hell of a lot of them weren't.

    The russians lost 2000 tanks at the battle of Berlin alone.

    At Kursk they lost another 1500.

    To say that early war tank losses skew the numbers against the T-34 is IMO disingenuous because the Russians kept on losing them in droves right up until the very last day of the war.
    Not really, German losses were very high, esp when viewed as a %.
    Berlin what do you mean? The actual battle itself or the whole campaign?
    "Any relations in a social order will endure if there is infused into them some of that spirit of human sympathy, which qualifies life for immortality." ~ George William Russell

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparten
    Not really, German losses were very high, esp when viewed as a %.
    Berlin what do you mean? The actual battle itself or the whole campaign?
    I mean the Battle for Berlin.

    German losses were never as high as the Russians, hell, it's not even close. At Kursk the Nazis attacked into a triple thick defensive belt with less than 1:1 odds and damned near broke through! Considering that you SHOULD have a 5:1 edge in numbers when attacking into prepared defenses, that the Nazis could almost break through with a roughly .75/1 numerical deficit is utterly amazing, and does NOT AT ALL speak well of the T-34, or the Russian military in general.

    Fact is, that when faced against a Tiger(I or II) or a panther the T-34 was hopelessly outmatched, and had to rely on sheer weight of numbers to overwhelm the much better German tanks.

    The Sherman and T-34 get credit for being easy to produce, but IMO, both of them were widowmakers.

  10. #40
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    I mean the Battle for Berlin.

    German losses were never as high as the Russians, hell, it's not even close. At Kursk the Nazis attacked into a triple thick defensive belt with less than 1:1 odds and damned near broke through! Considering that you SHOULD have a 5:1 edge in numbers when attacking into prepared defenses, that the Nazis could almost break through with a roughly .75/1 numerical deficit is utterly amazing, and does NOT AT ALL speak well of the T-34, or the Russian military in general.

    Fact is, that when faced against a Tiger(I or II) or a panther the T-34 was hopelessly outmatched, and had to rely on sheer weight of numbers to overwhelm the much better German tanks.

    The Sherman and T-34 get credit for being easy to produce, but IMO, both of them were widowmakers.
    really? i was under the impression that the northern german attack failed pretty badly, and the southern german attack broke through (after almost completely exhausting themselves) the first two defensive belts- but there was five more (albeit lesser) defensive belts to break through...

    perhaps the fighting itself did not necessarily prove the unworthiness of the tank, but merely the differences in training and experience of the tankmen themselves.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparten
    A lot of those were lost in the first weeks of the war.

    Only 5% of the Soviet tank force was T-34s when the war began. Pray tell how thousands of T-34s were lost so early when only 1 in 20 tanks were T-34s?
    "We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be, detested in France."
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  12. #42
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    Courtesy of Wikipedia:
    An obvious comparison can be made between the T-34 and the US M4 Sherman. Each tank formed the backbone of the armoured units in their own and allied armies. Both were good designs at the time they debuted. Both were improved significantly without much loss of effectiveness. Both could be manufactured in large numbers and maintained in difficult conditions. Neither could take on the best German Tiger and Panther tanks on equal terms, but too much has been made of this fact, as these heavy vehicles were both in a class more comparable to the Soviet IS-2 heavy tank (Zaloga & Grandsen 1983:37). Tanks were expected to have many roles on the battlefield, the foremost being infantry support and exploitation. The tank-vs-tank role is nonetheless very important. That German tank production was limited to relatively small numbers of superior but complex vehicles (in part because of production diversion into self-propelled guns) told against them. The Soviet decision to build large numbers of T-34s, gradually improving and simplifying the design, was a much better decision and helped to win WWII.
    Wikipedia


    To claim the T-34 was the best tank of the war simply by its capabilities is foolish. It was outclassed by the Panther, Tiger and the Soviet IS-2, but there were simply so many it didn't matter.

    In the words of a German tanker:
    "You need five of your tanks to destroy a single German one, but you always have six"
    "We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be, detested in France."
    -Sir Arthur Wellesley

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis
    really? i was under the impression that the northern german attack failed pretty badly, and the southern german attack broke through (after almost completely exhausting themselves) the first two defensive belts- but there was five more (albeit lesser) defensive belts to break through...

    perhaps the fighting itself did not necessarily prove the unworthiness of the tank, but merely the differences in training and experience of the tankmen themselves.
    Yeah, Von Manstien in the South came within something like 1.5 miles of breaking entirely through the soviet defensive line. It's been a while since i read about it, so i really can't give you any details.

  14. #44
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    To claim the T-34 was the best tank of the war simply by its capabilities is foolish. It was outclassed by the Panther, Tiger and the Soviet IS-2, but there were simply so many it didn't matter.
    Tanks don't only fight other tanks.

    "You need five of your tanks to destroy a single German one, but you always have six"
    And it is advised that one outnumber the enemy before an attack. That is where most of that came from.

  15. #45
    Lord High Hullabalooster Senior Contributor dalem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    Tanks don't only fight other tanks.



    And it is advised that one outnumber the enemy before an attack. That is where most of that came from.
    No, most of it comes from statistical analysis, a la the "it took five Shermans to destroy one Panther" blurb. That doesn't mean that a platoon of Shermans could, would, or should trade itself for a single PzKwV, it simply means that logistics-wise, five Shermans were the logistical equivalent of one Panther.

    And when the Allies' replacement rate of Shermans in the field is above (say) 1.0, and the Germans' replacement rate for the Panther is below 1.0, the Sherman wins that logistical battle.

    -dale

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