Best Medium-light tank

Discussion in 'Polls' started by MacArther, Feb 3, 2009.

?

Best Medium-Light Tank

  1. M5 Stuart

    6 vote(s)
    8.6%
  2. M3 Grant/Lee

    1 vote(s)
    1.4%
  3. Pnzer II

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Pnzer III

    35 vote(s)
    50.0%
  5. Crusader series

    6 vote(s)
    8.6%
  6. Russian tank

    10 vote(s)
    14.3%
  7. Other

    12 vote(s)
    17.1%
  1. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    Okay, I know that heading seems confusing, so I'll explain. Anything below a Pnzer IV, Pnzer V, Sherman, Cromwell, or any other classic "Medium" tank in terms of firepower, armor, weight, etc. Also, these would be heavier than something like a Pnzer I, in terms of armament, weight, and armor. An example off the top of my head would be the Pnzer III. I'll let a few of you go first before revealing my "best" tank for this category. Also, I made this poll because although there is a "Favorite Western Tank" poll, there is not much in terms of early-mid war stuff, where as there is plenty of talk about the tanks that carried on into the assault on Fortress Europe.
     
  2. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    The British Matilda tank seems to have been very popular with its crews, however I don't know much about tanks so cannot justify that, except to say that I've seen it mentioned a lot.

    edit, just found out that the Matilda weight 30 tons so 'probably' doesn't qualify. Sorry for making the first reply such a clunker
     
  3. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    Well, the Sherman was considered a ‘medium’, as was the T-34. Both of these ended up topping out at over 30 tonnes.

    If we are looking at “light mediums” that are around 20 tonnes, then you’d also have to include:

    Britain:

    Centaur: I-III: 21 tonnes
    Valentine I-XI: 17-17.5 tonnes

    US:

    M-24 Chaffe: 18.5 tonnes (my vote for the best “light” tank);

    Russia:

    T-50: 14 tonnes
    BT-7: 13.5 tonnes


    Japan:

    Type 97: 15 tonnes
    Type 1: 17 tonnes
    Type 3: 18.4 tonnes – no combat use, but theoretically the most powerful “medium” the IJA had at its disposal


    Hungary:

    Turan: 18.2 tonnes. Well outclassed when it was introduced though...
     
  4. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    If we're talking early-mid war, I opted for the Panzer III. I don't believe the Russians had a effective medium-light tank besides the T-34. The KV tanks and SU assualt guns sure, but those were heavier then 30 tons.
     
  5. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    I agree. The Panzer III lasted the whole war. In the beginning nothing could stop the advance of the Panzer III and short barreled IV. Until the Kv-1. And then the Panzer crews would shoot holes in the barrels of the soviet armor rendering them inefective in armor battles.
     
  6. Konigstiger205

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    Definitely Panzer III, very versatile, was the workhorse of the Wehrmacht. Plus after its retirement out of service, it still served as a tank destroyer and mobile artillery until the end of the war. Also I really like how it looks :)
     
  7. dragonandhistail

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    Your characterization of the PZ III and short barreled MK IV is inaccurate. They were easily "stoppable". Just read about what happened to everybody's favorite overrated Nazi Rommel at Arras in 1940 when he ran into well trained British armored forces. They shot the heck out of the 7th Panzer Division and were only stopped by the quick placement of a few 88mm anti-aircraft guns. The PZ III and PZ IV were very lightly armored and easily penetrated by the British 2 pounder, the French 47mm and 75mm. Even the US 37mm penetrated both models at 500 yards in side, rear, and sometimes frontal engagements depending on where they were hit. The Mk III did not have much more armor than a US M5 Stuart. The key to German armored success in the early part of the war was not the vehicles but the tactics, crew training, and the fact that every German tank had a radio in it. They were not unstoppable and in fact were rebuffed on the battlefield quite often. The Matilda, Char B, and Russian T-70 were more than a match for these vehicles if crewed properly. That is why the T-34 and early Shermans were such a shock to MK III and IV crews in Russia and North Africa. By the way, in the initial year of the Barbarossa campaign 1/2 of all German tanks were Panzer IIs. The Germans were successful not because of their vehicles but because of the men and equipment in them.
     
  8. dragonandhistail

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    MacArther,

    I think you have lumped apples and oranges here together. The M3 grant was a serious medium and not in the category of the Stuart, early PZ IIs or the PZ II. It was a beast in comparison. Choose light or medium not both. Pick a weight threshold as well. A better list of light tanks would have included: Russian T-70 and BT 7, US M3 /M5 Stuart series, PZ II series, British Cruiser tanks, French Hotchkiss, US M-24 Chaffee, Japanese light tank series, etc. Anything toting a 50mm gun or larger should be excluded before 1944. The Crusader, PZ III, M3 Grant were main battle tanks and thus mediums.
     
  9. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    If I recall correctly, the M3 Grant was based on the body of the M3 Stuart. Also, it had something like 1.9~ inches of armor tops, which is why I lumped it with light mediums. Also, although it had a powerful main gun, it also had shot-traps out the wazoo, and I would imagine that the 37mm gun was used more often than the 75mm gun, at least early on due to the transversing mechanism of the 75mm (see: turn the whole tank towards the target). But yes, I can see how the classification system I used was confusing. Keep in mind though, I have NONE of my military guides, books, etc. with me at the moment, so I'm only able to do vague classifications. As for my choice, M5 Stuart. Yes, it did not have the same hitting power as a M24, but the M5 could load canister rounds, and was sufficient enough for either reconnaissance or light infantry support (so long as it kept its front towards the enemy anyway).

    Ah, but wasn't its main gun on the original based off of a German gun design? But yes, I will agree, from the get go, the opponents it faced were far better off.
     
  10. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    Your last sentence sums up what I intended to be understood. I know the early panzers were not heavily armored. They were the best small tanks at the time. I have studied the war from both sides and even in North Africa the panzers were feared. I believe my assessment was corrrect but was misinterpreted to believe I meant it could take on everything. It obviously couldn't. Are Shermans on the list?
     
  11. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    The Sherman was a fast tank, but it wasn't the scariest tank to it's opponents. It couldn't punch holes in the German tank armour very easily, and it caught flame like a stove top.

    In some ways, it was a little like the Japanese Zero, fast and manuverable but vulnerable to enemy fire.
     
  12. dragonandhistail

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    Vassili,

    The T-70 was built in huge quantities and has to be considered for sheer numbers. T-70 Light Tank was the direct heir of the T-60, as it used the same chassis, it was actually a major redesign (two engines instead of the T-60's single one, stronger suspensions and springing, a bigger gun). Production started in 1942 and, between March 1942 and October 1943, more than 8,200were manufactured. The T-70 was seriously overshadowed by the T-34 thus we know little of its operational history. The 45mm cannon was a peashooter but against a MK III on the side or rear it was deadly. Frontally it could penetrate an early MK III. The T-70's major operational limitation was that of every other "two-man-crew" tank; the commander can't command or be situationally aware while acting as a gunner / loader / radio operator as well. That is why light tanks like the US M5 were so successful in the recon role because they had a four man crew. After 1943 the T-70's chassis were adapted for manufacturing ths new self-propelled assault guns like the SU-76. As for best light tank I like the Stuart, but if the Chaffee was on this poll it would have my vote.
     

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  13. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Cool, thanks for the info! The lack of crew reminds me of the French Char.
     
  14. dragonandhistail

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    Vassili,

    I misread your initial post. You are certainly correct that the Russians did not have an effective "light" tank. The T-70 was so light it was almost in the tankette category. With masses of T-34s avaialble for use in every role the T-70 was a definite to be relegated to obscurity. THe crew is everything.
     
  15. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Hey, thanks for the info anyway, I'm no expert on tanks, so every little bit helps!
     
  16. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    The Chaffee would be my pick as well but it isn't on the list. So I voted other.
     
  17. dragonandhistail

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    I know a lot about tanks but need to learn a lot more from you guys about planes! I left off that study in my 20s. I look forward to learning more from you.
     
  18. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I don't know a lot about planes either. I've learned a lot on this site.
     
  19. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Sorry for a belated reply :)

    If something could be called a tankette, those are Pz-I and Vickers Mk-VI; both mainstay of the tank fleet of their respective countries in the 1st year of WWII.

    T-70 was a proper light tank, with decent armor gun, intended for combat rather then recconaisance . The issue is the 2 man crew. It really plagued the use of the T-70, but e light (under 10t) tank was produced by factories unable to produce medium tanks.

    Sure enough, with masses of T-34 available, T-70 T-70A were discontinued in production in 1943. The modified chassis was used for SU-76, a much more useful vehicle.
     
  20. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    I voted "other". The Souma S35 would have been my pick for the Medium category, though the Char B1 is my favorite but considered a heavy. The only problems with the French tanks was that the one man turrent required the commander to be both operator and loader, plus other manuevering tasks that were required. An inexperienced commander would have found the multi-tasking daunting and exhaustive. However, well trained crews were quite effective against the Panzers IIs and IIIs like at Gembloux and Stonne.
    I have a book by J-P. Pallud, "Blitzkrieg in the West", and it has some interesting photos of what resulted from encounters between Soumas and Panzer 2 and 3. How the Souma could have fared against the Stuarts or Crusaders I don't know.

    For sheer speed I probably would prefer the Stuart. I didn't realize the Grant was considered a "medium".
     
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