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. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garry
    that goes to quality of the crews and generals. T-34s in good hands scored many victories in one to one battles against Tigers. The problem was that there were very few experienced crews in soviet troops.... most were having just 3 month training before the battle.

    For example names of T-34 commanders who burned more than one Tiger in battle:
    Lt. Georgiy Besarabov destroyed 4 Tigers of which 3 in single battle
    Lt. Mikhail Zamula destroyed 7 Tigers
    Hero Lt. Alexander Milyukov destroyed 6 tigers and 1 Panter. The panter and 3 tigers he destroyed in one battle.
    Lt. Georgiy Brazhnikov destroyed 5 tigers, of these 4 tigers destroyed in one battle with 8 shots
    Hero Lt. Ivan Khitsenko - a young commander who met sudden advance of 10 tigers. He did not retreat but destroyed 5 tigers before his T-34 was burned.
    Hero Lt Vasiliy Nikolayev destroyed 4 tigers, all in one battle. He used up all his armor piercing shells for 3 tigers. Without shells he managed to get close to 4th tiger and hit it on full speed with his burning T-34 - destroyed last tiger and died. (besides tigers he also destroyed 2 other tanks in that battle)
    Lt. Ivan Golub destroyed 3 tigers and 2 panters
    Lt. Georgiy Chesak destroyed 3 tigers
    Lt. Nikolai Lazeikin destroyed 3 tigers in one battle besides the 6 other tanks.
    Lt. Mikhail Frolov destroyed 3 tigers and two other tanks in one battle
    Lt. Vladimir Maksakov destroyed 3 tigers out of his total of 18.
    Lt. Alexandr Oskin destroyed 3 king tigers and captured!!! 3 more abandoned by crews, when he attacked alone a column from an ambush in August 1944

    These tankers were trained, brave and ..... some of them lucky to prove your earlier point - it is up to a man not the hardware to decide who wins. They were outnumbered but managed to win

    ps. There must be others as well I can not name all of them and hence don't mean to undermine their achievements

    I MOST CERTAINLY DON'T mean to belittle the accomplishments of the Russian tank crews. Their feats were legendary, precisely BECAUSE of who they faced.

    But to be honest, while you do cite some excellent Russian commanders- one that even had 7 Tiger kills(wow!)- if you were to list the records of the top Tiger and Panther crews- some of the top Tiger and Panther crews killed hunrdreds of T-34s in their careers. Oft times dozens of them recorded in a single day!

    It's hard to blame the T-34 crews of course, they were totally overmatched by both the Pz V Panther and Pz VIa Tiger.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    I MOST CERTAINLY DON'T mean to belittle the accomplishments of the Russian tank crews. Their feats were legendary, precisely BECAUSE of who they faced.

    But to be honest, while you do cite some excellent Russian commanders- one that even had 7 Tiger kills(wow!)- if you were to list the records of the top Tiger and Panther crews- some of the top Tiger and Panther crews killed hunrdreds of T-34s in their careers. Oft times dozens of them recorded in a single day!

    It's hard to blame the T-34 crews of course, they were totally overmatched by both the Pz V Panther and Pz VIa Tiger.
    I agree. T-34 is not best to fight Panther and Tigers. But the hundreds killed by single german crews were more due to low level of soviet crews training. Most of them were tracktor drivers from collective farms who were trained for 3 month and sent to front. Every month Russian industry produced few thousand new T-34..... and it was hard to populate all of them with trained and skilled crews. Hence training was real bottleneck and it was reduced to 3 month and sometimes shorter. Same with pilots.

    I just wanted to illustrate with the examples above that a TRAINED and SKILLED tank crews in T-34 could face Tigers and Panters in one to one battles. Like my grandfather who met tiger in 1943 while covering retreat from Kharkov in his T-34 type 42.

    This tiger ambushed a two tank reconnaisance team. First T-34 was killed with a single hit from long distance. Using speed, manuevrability, terrain and HUGE LUCK my grandfather managed to escape 6 shots from tiger. Shot the track of tiger. Came close to burt him. He was surprised to learn that Tiger's turret had such a slow speed in rotation. It was useful only for a long- range battle. Later he was in that place again and he went to see the burned hull. He realized that his 4 shells did not penetrate the side armor but there was something inside which detonated and burned that tiger.

    I also remember him telling that so many young crews were comming and were burned in first battles...... he was considered "old" for surviving through the war. After war he was training Chinese and Korean tankers in Mongolia plains.

  3. #63
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    The greatest strength of the Tiger and Panther was also it's fatal flaw. It's armor was certainly heavy, but it was so heavy the things constantly broke down, you couldn't keep them fueled and you never had enough spares. Also they take so long to build that the Germans could never muster anywhere near enough to really affect the war's outcome.

    I'd take a Pershing or Centurion any day over any German tank.
    "We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be, detested in France."
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith601
    The greatest strength of the Tiger and Panther was also it's fatal flaw. It's armor was certainly heavy, but it was so heavy the things constantly broke down, you couldn't keep them fueled and you never had enough spares. Also they take so long to build that the Germans could never muster anywhere near enough to really affect the war's outcome.

    I'd take a Pershing or Centurion any day over any German tank.
    All that is true of the Tiger, and most of it true of the early Panther D, but the Panther G was much more reliable, actually had very good range considering it's performance, and with it's 700hp V-12, had better mobility than even an early war(ie light) M-4 sherman!

    The G model Panther also had a frontal armor RHA equivelancy of over 400mm(the Tiger was claimed to offer 385mm equivelancy). Finally, the 75mm Hv gun using late war german AP ammo actually outpenetrated the legendary "88" of the Tiger.

    At typical combat ranges, the frontal armor of the Panther(and especially the A2 and G models) was essentially immune to almost all allied antitank fire(as evidenced by the photos above).
    Really only the 17lb gun of the GB Firefly could reliably penetrate the frontal armor of a Tiger or Panther at any range beyond 100 meters!

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garry
    I agree. T-34 is not best to fight Panther and Tigers. But the hundreds killed by single german crews were more due to low level of soviet crews training. Most of them were tracktor drivers from collective farms who were trained for 3 month and sent to front. Every month Russian industry produced few thousand new T-34..... and it was hard to populate all of them with trained and skilled crews. Hence training was real bottleneck and it was reduced to 3 month and sometimes shorter. Same with pilots.
    During the first days of the Allied invasion of Normandy the US lost so many M-4 crews that Infantrymen were literally being pulled randomly out of line units as they headed to the front and stuffed right into patched(and oft times re-patched) up Shermans, allowed to fire 3 or 4 rounds, and then sent right into the fight. I saw a WWII tank mechanic that was at the battle relate that story in a TV interview, i think on the history channel.

    According to him, at the first bend in the road leading away from Omaha beach, something like 27 Sherman tanks were knocked out, most of them the guys that had just been pulled from the infantry units. It was at this point in the story that the vet broke into tears and the tale ended...

    Craziness.

    Your GF is/was one BRAVE AND LUCKY man!

    My GF on my father's side was a tanker in Patton's 8th Army. He never got a scratch. I guess he was lucky too.

  6. #66
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    You're more than free to, but i think a serious effort to verify my claims based on the historical record would show that i'm correct(there is no shortage of specific examples of single Nazi Tiger and Panther tanks taking on entire Russian Armored units by themselves and winning the day.) Shermans and T-34s were pretty much pure cannon fodder when directly facing Panthers and Tigers.
    Yeap and we could dig up stories of 37mm guns killing Tigers.

    Both Tiger's and Panther's were completely immune to US Bazookas(whereas a Bazooka would easily penetrate the frontal armor of an M4A1 Sherman).
    Not really. Those were not the best weapon to face down a Panther or a Tiger but they could do the job with the right shot.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    You're more than free to, but i think a serious effort to verify my claims based on the historical record would show that i'm correct(there is no shortage of specific examples of single Nazi Tiger and Panther tanks taking on entire Russian Armored units by themselves and winning the day.)

    Shermans and T-34s were pretty much pure cannon fodder when directly facing Panthers and Tigers.
    I am far less knowledgeable about the Eastern Front, but in the West Front it was generally the attacker who lost lots of tanks no matter which kinds of tanks he used. None of that detracts from the tactical AT superiority of the Panther as compared to even the Easy Eight, of course.

    But my point is that every dead Panther was not surrounded by the burning husks of 5 dead Shermans - that's not where that stat comes from.

    -dale

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    Yeap and we could dig up stories of 37mm guns killing Tigers.

    Not really. Those(Bazookas) were not the best weapon to face down a Panther or a Tiger but they could do the job with the right shot.
    Unless you can show me direct quoted testimony by someone that saw or did it(preferably saw or did it more than once), i am completely skeptical of that claim(feel free, i'd like to see it if it exists). Bazookas sucked. Short of a possible engine grill mobility kill, there's just no way i see a bazooka ever putting a tiger or panther out of action.

    37mm cannon fire delivered from above, sure. Lots and lots of stories(Sturmoviks and P-39s).

    The only way i can see a Stuart(example of a 37mm armed tank) besting a tiger is if the odds were absolutely immensely in favor of the light tanks and they managed to get behind the tiger and could put several rounds through the engine grill at very short range. I would not wish to participate in such a drill, thank you.

    Against the side or frontal armor a 37mm AP round would not come close to penetrating a tiger or panther.
    Last edited by Bill; 20 Feb 06, at 21:21.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalem
    I am far less knowledgeable about the Eastern Front, but in the West Front it was generally the attacker who lost lots of tanks no matter which kinds of tanks he used. None of that detracts from the tactical AT superiority of the Panther as compared to even the Easy Eight, of course.

    But my point is that every dead Panther was not surrounded by the burning husks of 5 dead Shermans - that's not where that stat comes from.

    -dale
    One of the places that stat comes from is where one Panther or Tiger(or a pair of them) in a holding action would delay an advance by a much larger allied unit taking out several allied tanks before it was eventually flanked and encircled by allied armor, or until it was pounded into oblivion by Allied air or arty.

    That happened many times, on both the eastern and western fronts.

    My specific statement related to a meeting engagement though.

    In a meeting engagement a Panther G company with good personnel would rape a US Sherman armored bn.

    In a matter of minutes.

    They did that many times too, but mainly on the Eastern front against T-34s. There were actually very few large tank on tank battles on the Western front, certainly nothing even remotely approaching the scale of any of the big E.Front tank battles.

  10. #70
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Bazookas sucked. Short of a possible engine grill mobility kill, there's just no way i see a bazooka ever putting a tiger or panther out of action.



    The only way i can see a Stuart(example of a 37mm armed tank) besting a tiger is if the odds were absolutely immensely in favor of the light tanks and they managed to get behind the tiger and could put several rounds through the engine grill at very short range. I would not wish to participate in such a drill, thank you.
    Yep.

  11. #71
    Banned Senior Contributor dalem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    Against the side or frontal armor a 37mm AP round would not come close to penetrating a tiger or panther.
    Actually the side armor of the Panther was very thin (approx. 50mm) and quite vulnerable to penetration by the 37mm AP round at ranges under 500m (penet. approx 70mm at 500m).

    -dale

  12. #72
    Banned Senior Contributor dalem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    One of the places that stat comes from is where one Panther or Tiger(or a pair of them) in a holding action would delay an advance by a much larger allied unit taking out several allied tanks before it was eventually flanked and encircled by allied armor, or until it was pounded into oblivion by Allied air or arty.

    That happened many times, on both the eastern and western fronts.

    My specific statement related to a meeting engagement though.

    In a meeting engagement a Panther G company with good personnel would rape a US Sherman armored bn.

    In a matter of minutes.

    They did that many times too, but mainly on the Eastern front against T-34s. There were actually very few large tank on tank battles on the Western front, certainly nothing even remotely approaching the scale of any of the big E.Front tank battles.
    I still contest your assertion that such things would have happened on the Western front. Shermans handled themselves quite well against Panthers in the Stolberg Corridor battles and in Lorraine.

    Again, NONE of that detracts from the fact that you are also illustrating - that a lone Panther with proper positioning could back up a column of Shermans for hours and hours.

    -dale

  13. #73
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    I'm sorry Garry, but I'm afraid that a single T-34 vs. a single Tiger or Panther has no chance against either in a meeting engagement. I agree with Snipe in this discussion. Due to (generally) higher crew training and battle experience, and superior equipment, I think a Panther G company would annihilate a T34 or Sherman battalion.
    "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

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by leibstandarte10
    I'm sorry Garry, but I'm afraid that a single T-34 vs. a single Tiger or Panther has no chance against either in a meeting engagement. I agree with Snipe in this discussion. Due to (generally) higher crew training and battle experience, and superior equipment, I think a Panther G company would annihilate a T34 or Sherman battalion.
    Except, again, that it never happened - the company annihilating the Sherman battalion. Heck - look at some of the battles I've mentioned, and the Ardennes battles too, and you will see that things did not always go the way of the Panther unit - even when opposed by nothing more than vanilla M4s with their medium velocity 75mm cannon.

    -dale

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalem
    Actually the side armor of the Panther was very thin (approx. 50mm) and quite vulnerable to penetration by the 37mm AP round at ranges under 500m (penet. approx 70mm at 500m).

    -dale
    That figure is EXTREMELY misleading because it does not take into account either sloping, composition(ie layered or unitary plate), or the type of armor used(ie cast or rolled, just for instance).

    This fellow says it well:
    http://www.strategypage.com/messageb...es/2-15169.asp
    bunkerdestroyer RE:Frontal KT Kills-George Parada Says There's No Evidence - Carl 10/14/2005 12:20:55 PM

    "In reguards to which tank can beat the other, I have read several of the postings and have not seen this point yet: There are several factors to consider when talking about which is better. Example: Thickness of the armour is not the only factor. Number on sheets do not tell the story. One thing that needs to be considered-and this was touched on when discussing the t-80 and k-5, was the quality of the armour on said tank. For the most part, russian armour quality was poor. This means that though the IS-2 might have had 120mm frontal armour(IS-2M sloped somewhat) it was probably only as effective as 90 mm sloped at that angle and design-and due to the superiority of german slope and armour quality, the 80mm of the panther was probably better protected than the 120mm of the IS-2m and definitely the general IS-2. German armour quality-until the last days-perhaps after march was always better than the russians and mostly the us/uk. In addition, for those who do read the statistics, remember that most of the testing was done against the verticle, not sloped and of general armour plates. Few books I have read makes this distinction-I have a book: Weapons of the waffen-ss by Bruce Quarrie that attempt to give performances of german atg and tank gun with different rds and at verticle and 30degree slope. The M-26 was much better than the m-4 in almost every aspect. In general-and the first models issued, they were inferior to the panther in all but mechanical reliablity. The 90mm gun would not penetrate above 500 meters and failed staight on at 300 mm often. When new 90mm were issued-longer barrels, better propellants and different ammo(like sabot), then the penetrative power increased significantly and thusly, kills were probably normal at probably any range. As far as the KT is concerned-frontal armour was 150mm on the hull and 185 mm on the turrent front. Sloped and quality of the 150mm-I believe from what I can deduce(not read as no books I have seen back this) is that it is equal to about 345mm verticle-formula-for QUALITY german sloped armour-#x2 and then origional #x.3=verticle-so panther was 80mm....80x2 is 160mm and 80x.3 is 24mm, so 160+24 is 184mm verticle, thusly you can now see why most allied weapons could not penetrate only 80mm plate though the paper statistices say the could.....also, before I go after all this....it also depends on the angle of hit and the quality of the rd....the 122mm of IS-2 was NOT a good weapon-2 piece shot and only 22 rds carried and it relied on mass not velocity-which was low. At 1000m it was said to be able to penetrate 185mm armour-not very good for such a large round-and with a poor quality projectile-material, 185mm was often wishfull thinking. I think a panther could take a frontal shot(general) at 600+meters...."

    Here is the actual armor thickness of the various facings of the panther with the sloping as well. Remember, a 45 degree slope effectively doubles armor protection(sloping also greatly increases the chance of a riccochet). Unfortunately, this chart does not give an actual RHA equivelancy rating for the various facings of the Panther.

    PANTHER D(Panther A is significantly better armored, and the G is significantly better armored than the A):

    ARMOUR:(mm/angle) FRONT SIDES REAR TOP / BOTTOM
    Turret: 100 mm/12 deg 45 mm/25 deg 45 mm/25 deg 16mm/84 deg
    Upper Hull: 80 mm/55 deg 50 mm/30 deg 40 mm/30 deg 16 mm / 90 deg
    Lower Hull: 60 mm/55 deg 40 mm / 0 deg 40 mm/30 deg 30 mm/90 deg
    Mantlet: 100 mm/round

    BTW, i seriously doubt a WWII 37mm round would not penetrate even 40mm of RHA.

    I looked for penetration data for the 37, but all i could find was some snippets for the WWII Soviet 76mm Hv gun and the Soviet 57mm Hv gun. The 57 is actually a bit of a 'hot rod', and penetrates more armor than the 76(35mm more, the 57mm will penetrate 104mm of RHA at 500meters), but somehow i just don't see a steel WWII full bore penetrator 37mm round penetrating anywhere on the sides of a panther expect perhaps the lower sides(40mm, 0deg slope). Both the upper hull and the turret appear to be far outside the penetration capabilities of the 37mm AP round. The ogive of the 37mm(the nose) is just not ideal for 'biting in' to sloped armor. Probably because when the 37mm was fielded very little was known about tanks or what worked best for killiing them.

    Remember that the 37mm is essentially the same as the British 2lb'er AT gun, a weapon that proved to be woefully inadequate against even early war Pz IIIs!

    A 57mm Hv gun would likely easily penetrate the lower hull sides on a zero degree horizontal deflection shot(remember, you can have horizontal as well as vertical sloping. Horizontal sloping can actually be far more pronounced because the impact angle is entirely dependent on the aspect of the target tank that is presented to the engaging tank), but again, i am very doubtful it would penetrate the turret sides or upper hull sides on any kind of a regular basis.

    Of course, i could be wrong. I don't think i am....but i could be...

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