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. #1
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    Best Tank of WWII

    Not sure if this has been before so hear it goes. What do you think is the overall best tank od the Second World War? I'm referring to designs in general, but if you feel a specific variant is the best by all means mention it.

    I'm not just referring to capabilities but also to the tank's overall effect on the outcome of the war.
    Last edited by Wraith601; 16 Feb 06, at 18:00.
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  2. #2
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    I voted for the Sherman. Even though it wasn't the most capable tank one on one, at least early on, it's later versions were very capable tanks. Plus it's small size and ease of construction allowed the US to overwhelm the Germans.

    The T-34 is close second and had it not struggled heavily against upgraded Shermans in Korea it could have edged out a victory.
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  3. #3
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Either the T-34 or the M-4 Sherman. They were easier to keep operational then opposing tanks, they both were mobile and were issued in very large numbers.

    Wraith.

    I would clear things up and say the 76mm Shermans that served in Korea also saw widespread service in the Second World War among many allies, from South Africa to the USSR. And if we look at post war versions the 105mm armed M-51 Sherman would easily kill anything that served in the war, making it less then fair.
    Last edited by troung; 16 Feb 06, at 18:06.

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    Quote Originally Posted by troung
    Either the T-34 or the M-4 Sherman. They were easier to keep operational then opposing tanks, they both were mobile and were issued in very large numbers.

    Wraith.

    I would clear things up and say the 76mm Shermans that served in Korea also saw widespread service in the Second World War among many allies, from South Africa to the USSR. And if we look at post war versions the 105mm armed M-51 Sherman would easily kill anything that served in the war, making it less then fair.
    Good points. The 76mm version was around, not in great numbers but it was there.
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  5. #5
    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Quick numbers...

    M-4A1 - 3426
    M-4A2 - 2915
    M-4A3 - 1925
    M-4A3E8 - 2617

    Total 76mm armed Shermans built during war 10883
    About 100 M-4A3E2s were converted to use the 76mm gun

    2073 M-4A2s entered service with the Red Army during late 1944 and early 1945. They were most commonly used in Mechanized units such as the 8th Guards Mechanized Corps which had 185 M-4A2s and only 5 T-34s. 250 were used in the offensive in Manchuria against the Japanese.

    Britian recieved 1350 during the war.

    After the war a good number of other Shermans were convereted to use the 76mm gun as well.

  6. #6
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    The M-4 Sherman (any and all mods) made the greatest impact on the Western Front of Europe and even in the Pacific Theater.

    On the Eastern Front you have to give the nod to the T-34.

    Both the T-34 and M-4 tanks could be mass produced and it was the numbers more than the "quality" of the tanks that beat the Germans.

    On the History Channel former German tank crewman admitted that the Shermans were much more reliable and maintaince free than the Tigers and Panthers. The T-34 tanks could have been much more effective but the crews were badly trained, had no virtual tank commanders and only one in five (at best) had a radio.

    Both the US and USSR tried to match the Tiger's 88mm main gun with a 90mm gun on the M-26 Pershings and an 85mm the Joseph Stalin II (added to the next series of T-34s later). But not enough of them were made to really show a tipping of the scales that late in the war.

    Therefore my vote has to go for the M-4 Shermans because of their numbers (five times as many tanks available as for crews), better trained crews and less breakdowns.

  7. #7
    HKHolic Senior Contributor leib10's Avatar
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    It would be the T34. Rugged, fast, reliable, well armored, good gun, and good cross-country mobility, and most of all sheer numbers made it the tank that won the war in the East, even though it was clearly inferior to the Panther or Tiger one on one. However, the Panther was also an excellent tank, possibly the best of the war because it, like the T34, was an great all-around tank.
    Last edited by leib10; 16 Feb 06, at 19:07.
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    Lord High Hullabalooster Senior Contributor dalem's Avatar
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    Overall I fight through my anti-German bias and let the Panther edge out the Sherman. The Panther, although over-engineered, had the best combination of armor, gun, and mobility of any of the tanks fielded by any participant in WWII. It was a great tank in 1943 and it was still a great tank in 1945.

    -dale

  9. #9
    HKHolic Senior Contributor leib10's Avatar
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    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith601
    I voted for the Sherman.
    I think most of the people who fought in them would disagree, werent they nicknamed tommycookers?

    I think the t-34 85mm, cheap, reliable and powerful

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    Quote Originally Posted by leibstandarte10
    It would be the T34. Rugged, fast, reliable, well armored, good gun, and good cross-country mobility, and most of all sheer numbers made it the tank that won the war in the East, even though it was clearly inferior to the Panther or Tiger one on one. However, the Panther was also an excellent tank, possibly the best of the war because it, like the T34, was an great all-around tank.
    The T-34 really wasn't that reliable though. The Russians just had so many they could abandon broken ones and remont the crews and leave them for recovery crews. Plus they had a nasty habit of spalling very heavily when hit and blew up impressively if their armor was pieced. Contrast that to the Sherman which while easier to knock out was easier to return to service and crew losses were lower on average per knocked out tank than the T-34(at least according to some numbers I've seen). Let's not forget that neither tank really stood up to the 88 very well.

    The Sherman gets the edge by virtue of its successes in Korea. While a different war the doctrine and equipment were close enough to give you an idea of comparative capabilities of the vehicles.
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  12. #12
    Actus Reus Senior Contributor sparten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship
    The M-4 Sherman (any and all mods) made the greatest impact on the Western Front of Europe and even in the Pacific Theater.

    On the Eastern Front you have to give the nod to the T-34.

    Both the T-34 and M-4 tanks could be mass produced and it was the numbers more than the "quality" of the tanks that beat the Germans.

    On the History Channel former German tank crewman admitted that the Shermans were much more reliable and maintaince free than the Tigers and Panthers. The T-34 tanks could have been much more effective but the crews were badly trained, had no virtual tank commanders and only one in five (at best) had a radio.

    Both the US and USSR tried to match the Tiger's 88mm main gun with a 90mm gun on the M-26 Pershings and an 85mm the Joseph Stalin II (added to the next series of T-34s later). But not enough of them were made to really show a tipping of the scales that late in the war.

    Therefore my vote has to go for the M-4 Shermans because of their numbers (five times as many tanks available as for crews), better trained crews and less breakdowns.
    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.
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    If you are asking for the single best tank in WWII...

    Both T-34 and M4 Sherman had good numbers, but they ain't the best in the sense of its quality, and I think they were produced so damn many was because of the Soviet/US war productions, especially when they brutally standardized all parts.

    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.

    T-34 is all-around tank, but the tank commander has to play the role of gunner, with its narrow turrent view, made them to fire once while a Panzer IV can fire five/six times. The real killer is the lack of radio, but it really isn't the problem with the tank itself, there were simply not enough available.

    Panther was, in my view, the most reliable tank in WWII, as it enjoyed all the advantage, fire power, speed, armor... But its complexity made it impossible to mass produce.

    My vote, finally, for the best tank in WWII, would go to Panzer IV Type H. It might not be the strongest tank in the German warehouse, but its reinforced skirt made the Russians' lives much harder, especially the equipment for anti tank rifle was embrassingly outdated. In addition, it has a longer, more powerful gun that pack some firepower. According to many Eastern Front sources, those Type H tanks were able to outmatch the T-34s, plus they could be produced in good numbers.

    I really do believe if Hitler didn't invest so much money on those animal tanks, the Germans would have a better chance of winning, or at least prolonging the war.

  14. #14
    Actus Reus Senior Contributor sparten's Avatar
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    Who needs a tank when you got a Tank Destroyer?


    The Elefant, more frontal armour than the Bismarck!
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    Elefant wasn't a tank, and was about as mobile as British WWI Mk1 tank.

    The Panther G is my pick as best overall tank of the war. Speed, mobility, firepower, protection. The Panther G had it all.

    The British Firefly should also be a selection on the list, technically it was a sherman, but one with the very powerful 17lb AT gun, a gun that could penetrate the frontal glacis of any tank(note this would not include the Elefant and Tiger Tank Destroyers) that saw service in the war.

    The best US version of the Sherman was the M4A3E8/76, and that was actually a very good tank, with very good armor and a powerful 76.2mm high velocity gun.

    The M-26 should also be on the list. Came at the end of the war, but it is generally felt that it was a good match for the best German heavy tanks.
    Last edited by Bill; 17 Feb 06, at 05:27.

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