Best light tank

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by MacArther, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    This DOES NOT include tank destroyers! Explain how you would approach a combat situation with your tank, and why you like or chose the specified tank. Any side is open to your disposal, but you can only use light tanks, not mediums. This would mean tanks like the M3/M5 Stuart.
     
  2. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    M-24 Chaffee. Best light tank of the war (in my opinion) and was used until Korea.

    In fast out fast, wouldn't stand much chance against bigger tanks, so this is the easiest way. Get in fire off a few rounds of 75mm and get out of there.
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with the M24 Chaffee as the best light tank of the war. However there is another question, was there a role for the light tank in WW2?

    My belief is that the only role for the light tank in WW2 was reconnaissance but it could be argued that this was better done by armoured cars, not tanks.
     
  4. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    Yes, I can see where that might be an issue. Still, weren't most armored cars less armored than most light tanks? And, while light tanks were mostly for reconissance, they were also very prevelant in the Pacific Theatre, and North Africa in roles they were not originally intended for. In NA, they were used as escort, and the Pacific Theatre, they actually fought against (and usually won against) Japanese armor, and strong points. Going back to the armored car bit, I would prefer a light tank, because at least I could repair a tread shot on my own, rather than having to jack up the vehicle to repair or replace a tire. In the recon/armored car role, I would, however, concede that the AEC Mk 3 and the Staghound Mk 3 were both nothing to leave alone, both packed 75mm guns. Back to the post, I would prefer a M5 Stuart (were they still called that?), because against enemy infantry I could use the 37mm cannon with the buckshot round (like they often did in the Pacific against massed Japanes infantry charges). Plus, the tank was compact enough to get through most streets and some side streets without worry of catching on something. Oh, and it was a good looking tank to top it off ^_^.
     
  5. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I think you will find that most of the British heavy armoured cars had more armour than the Chaffee. Around the middle of the war we were in a slightly stupid position in that our heavy armoured cars had more armour than some of our cruiser tanks.

    M5's were OK in the pacific due to the poor quality of the jap tanks. Against the Germans it was a very different story and a number of the M5's had their turrets removed to make them a smaller target.
     
  6. carpenoctem1689

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    I like the M5 for the pacific and the african campaigns. Lightweight, good for escort, recon, patrol, and anti-infantry/infantry support duties. I like the 37mm gun, its big enough for a light tank, and could punch into some bunkers, and shred infantry. Though to be honest i would prefer a dual 20mm auto setup in the turret, or a single 40mm gun like they had on big navy ships. In the ETO or korea, m24 chaffee all the way.
     
  7. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Must agree that a twin 20mm set up would have been very effective. British crusader AA tanks had this, pity the turret wasn't used.
     
  8. elmilitaro

    elmilitaro Member

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    Agreed with you.
     
  9. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    Personally, I would like something over 30mm in terms of main weapon on a light tank. 20mm is fine if it is a quick firing gun, but if it is a single shot gun reloaded like its larger breatheren, its pure suicide. The Japanese Type 70 (I think) anti-tank gun would have been good enough to mount in light tanks. It was a 47mm gun that penetrated 70mm of armor at 90 degrees. This is enough to deal with most enemy recon units, as well as give the tank some defense against heavier opponents that may show up. Another good weapon if the tank needed to be up-gunned would be the British 6 pounder with SABOT shot, although this would limit the light tank's infantry support capability until later in the war when HE round became available for the 57mm (/6 pounder).
     
  10. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking of the twin 20 AA guns in the Crusader so auto it would be. The Jap 47 was the only AT gun they had that had any real chance against allied armour but it was too few in number.

    Almost any allied AT gun could knock out the Jap tanks. I believe that Matida's were still in use later than most people realise until replaced by Lee Grants.
     
  11. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    You misunderstand me, I mean the ideal weapons for a light tank that might run into enemy armor could come in the form of the 47mm or the 57mm.
     
  12. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Matildas were still in use in 1944 in the CBI and, in fact, in Russia too.
     
  13. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    Yes, but the Russians had put 76mm guns on them by that time. Any way, what would your ideal armament be on a light tank if you were pressed into a combat situation? Be realistic, so nothing above 76mm guns.
     
  14. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    No they hadn't. The Matilda turret ring was too small to take anything above the OQF 2pdr (40mm) it was already carrying. A simple answer to your question is the M24 Chaffee for best light tank. However, in response to armament and usage I would say a twin-automatic 20mm would be ideal for the light tank as in combat against any other armour they are absolutely pointless. And in my opinion, light tanks had no place on the Eastern Front and in North West Europe. The only places they should have been used was the Pacific and Italy (Narrow track ways). They were used in the desert because the 8th Army didn't have much else except massive numbers of light tanks, Matildas and Crusaders.
     
  15. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Chaffee and shoot and scoot
     
  16. schwarzpanzer

    schwarzpanzer Member

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    Tetrach CS for me.

    I also have a fondness for the M3/M5 Stuart.


    A decent light tank gun IMO, would have been the Puppchen or the squeeze-bore gun (forget name).

    I've often thought the Pz38(t) Kugelblitz was a sound idea.

    IMO a WW2 light tanks armament needeed to be able to deal with side/rear medium tank armour and light armour, also HE ability is vital as is (to a lesser degree) a high RoF (for AA use).



    Glider:

    The later Chi tanks had 75mm guns that could deal with Shermans reasonably effectively (but not IS3's and Pershings!)

    Yes, including the M2 .50.:lol:

    Matilda's were used for special-purposes (AVRE, flamethrowers etc) 'till VJ day I think (and in'60's Dr No!)

    Nada, that was the Valentine.

    At the time of intruduction they were very capable and above all reliable.



    IMO a light tank can harass convoys and supply depots very well, heavy tank destroying should not even be an issue.
     
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