Best Tank of WW2

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by carman1877, Aug 13, 2009.

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Best Tank of WW2

  1. King Tiger

    14 vote(s)
    14.1%
  2. Panther

    46 vote(s)
    46.5%
  3. Sherman

    8 vote(s)
    8.1%
  4. T-34

    31 vote(s)
    31.3%
  1. carman1877

    carman1877 Member

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    Which was the best tank of WW2: King Tiger, Panther, Sherman, or T-34
    (All versions of thye tanks such as the firefly)
     
  2. Doughboy

    Doughboy Member

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    I don't know how you can start a thread labeled 'Best tank of ww2' and only include four tanks in your poll?

    Anyway, the T-34 is probably the best of the tanks in the poll because it had speed, sloped armor, and a good main Armament. IMHO.
     
  3. carman1877

    carman1877 Member

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    I was going on the four main tanks of World War two, I would have included the Pershing, and others but I felt that they did not have as big an impact on the war as the others that I listed.
     
  4. Doughboy

    Doughboy Member

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    Okay. That makes sense.
     
  5. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    Panther is the best in my opinion, superb tank. Its a selection of the best bits from all the above tanks. Good main gun, strong armour, relatively mobile.
     
  6. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    For arguments sake, A34 Comet
    Plusses
    Excellent gun (almost as good in A/T work as the Panthers 7,5cm KwK 42)
    Fast
    Very good power weight ratio
    Reliable
    Reasonable good armour protection

    Minusses
    old-fasioned boxlike hull
    narrow tracks

    Juha
     
  7. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    You guys obviously know a lot about tanks whereas I know jack. I love buying those coffee table style WW2 picture books but they tend to let themselves down in the captioning and text department. This is captioned as "Russian troops capture a German tank."

    What's the tank?
    And what are those Jet Turbine looking wheels(?) on top?

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #8 Juha, Aug 14, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
    Hello Graeme
    the tank is PzKpfW IV and those mysterious rotors are for engine cooling.

    Juha
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Best tank would probably be the Panther. But in terms of serviceability, ease of use and bang for the buck I went with the T34. It's just a very good tank, especially the T34-85. Panther is a better design but a maintainence nightmare in comparison.

    IMHO, best tank would have to cover all the way from manufacture to logistics. Just considering battlefield use is too limiting.
     
  10. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    IMHO for Allied the best tanks for deep penetration attacks were T-34-85 or Comet. T-34-85 had a little better protection, better HE shell and broader tracks. Comet was probably more reliable, had gun with better penetration power and had better power/weight ratio.

    Panther on the other hand was a good tank for Germans in late 44 onwards. In 43 Germans would have needed more reliable tank, even slightly less powerful would have been perfectly adequate. But during last 9 months of war Germans were fighting almost purely defensive war along much shortened frontlines so Panther in much more reliable form with excellent gun for A/T work and with very good frontal armour suited well for Germans.

    On the other hand IMHO King Tigers didn’t help much Germans. They were simply too heavy, underpowered and expensive and still vulnerable for flanking fire.

    Juha
     
  11. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I can't remember which book it was in, but I think the author summed it up well:

    "If you want to win the battle, choose the Panther. If you want to win the war, choose the T-34."

    Having said that, I'd still probably choose the Panther just for quality, and I would focus production on that instead of the King Tiger, Tiger, Jagdtiger, Panzer IV etc as the list goes on and on. Keep the StuG IV and Jagdpanther and maybe the odd other specialized tank, but do away with the massive numbers of types that the Germans had. I think they would have been fine (armor-wise) if they kept with the Panther only and developed the Panther further.
     
  12. carman1877

    carman1877 Member

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    I picked the King Tiger becuase it has great armor and amarment. heres how I see it, OK it did not have ghreat mobility so then the germans could use the panther or Panzer but when you need a a heavy tank go with the Tiger, Plus Tigers were usually brought to the battle area by trains i think, could be wrong. The gun could destroy a target at over 3km that means that even if it could be flanked they would not get close enough. also the US would send 5 shermans against it, 4 decoys and one that would flank, three were almost always destroyed by the time the 5 tank had destroyed the Tiger if it did, the fouth and fifth would usually make it. The production totals were low becuase they could barely find materials to make it, if they had been doing better than there would have been more.
     
  13. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I had to go with the T34. It had a good mix of the qualities needed for a tank. Speed, firepower, armor and most of all numbers.
     
  14. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #14 Juha, Aug 14, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
    Hello Carman
    77mm cannon of Comet could pierce the turret front of King Tiger from 500y with APDS and turret sides from over 2000y with normal APCBC shot. The latter was more than adequate in normal NW Europe environment.

    The first 3 King Tigers lost at the Eastern Front were destroyed by a well camouflaged T-34-85, if we believe the Russian version on what happened. The few German tankers from those King Tigers who got back to their own troops by foot claimed that they had run into a Pak front and overwhelmed. Anyway the Russian version is fully possible, according to it the Russian crew observed three very big German tanks rolling past them, the commander ordered the use of the special APCR rounds and to aim to rear sides of turrets. Hits destroyed 2 of the King Tigers, as Germans later found out to their horror a penetrating hit onto the rear sides of the King Tiger turret usually resulted an ammo fire among the ready use ammo on the racks along the rear sides of the turret. Because of that those ready use ammo racks were removed by some King Tiger units. The crew of the third King Tiger panicked and got stuck when they tried to escape and run into a big ditch.

    Sometimes Allied simply bypassed King Tigers, somewhere around Beauvais Germans lost 7-8 King Tigers. Germans at first kept US tanks at bay by long range gun fire but then noticed that US troops were bypassing them and when they tried to withdraw they lost their tanks, mostly because technical defects.

    Of course sometimes KTs were very effective, 2 platoons from 3./sPzAbt 507 destroyed 17 Shermans and 17 M3 half-tracks from TF Welborn on evening 30 March 45 near Paderborn without own losses. But Panther was powerful enough against Allied tanks so MHO King Tiger was a bit superfluous, an overkill.

    Juha
     
  15. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Juha! It just looks odd to me. I'll google and have a gander.
     
  16. carman1877

    carman1877 Member

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    #16 carman1877, Aug 14, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
    Hello Juha,

    I believe what you said, however I dont know about turret but I read in several articles that the front armor of a King Tiger has never been pierced by a Allied tank. I aslo believe that any tank woule be disabled by any turret shot ot the rear less armoed spots. I am nopt familiar with the Comet, I just looked it up, thanks for mentioning it. Also just want to point out that i just favor the Tiger for its technology and that it was the Germans most feared weapon, also my Grandfather told me how fierce it was he served in (I think) an m3 half-track, he was the .50 gunner.
     
  17. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Carman
    Quote:"I read in several articles that the front armor of a King Tiger has never been pierced by a Allied tank..."

    It is also my impression that the hull front armour was more or less invulnerable to Allied tank and A/T guns. But also glacis plate of Panther was very difficul to penetrate, 17pdr ABCBC shot had sone 1/4 chance to penetrate a good quality one from 400y, 17pdr APDS, if hit, had a good chance to penetrate it. Not all Panther glacis plates were that good but one could not know beforehand had the Panther he was fighting against a good, an average or a poor quality glacis plate.

    Juha
     
  18. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

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    I think we are missing some candidates:

    How about the regular garden variety Tiger I, or a KV-1, KV-85, or a JS1, 2, or 3? The Pershing and Comet have already been mentioned.

    - Ivan.
     
  19. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #19 parsifal, Aug 15, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
    Dollar for Dollar, the T-34, unquestionably. It cost about 1/2 that of a Sherman to build, and about 1/4 to 1/5 that of a Panther. Crew costs aside, that means you could have 4 or 5 T-34s for every Panther, and about 9-12 for every Tiger.

    However as an overall battle package, costs aside, its hard to go past the Panther. It was a good blend of armour, power/mobility and protection. It had some very good incidentals like optics and communications. Its only drwaback, early on at least, was reliability. It appears to have had some issues with its transmission, but these were eventually solved
     
  20. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #20 Juha, Aug 16, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
    IMHO Panther's Achilles Heel was its final drive. According to Jentz from early 44 onwards most of its problems were solved but it could still not take the strain of turning in reserve on soft ground and that last try to solve the problems was made in Oct 44 but no word on how that succeeded. According to Spielberger the final drive problems originated from original design and were unsolvable without fundamental redesign of the system /change to other system than the original, which was never made.

    Juha
     
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