Training, motivation, equipment, tactics, and experience obviously does but how important is the tank commander's talent in this equation? After reading their accounts, there are tank commanders like Poole and Barkmann that seemed to have an uncanny "6th sense" when they operated on the battlefield. When thrown in hopeless situations, these tank aces and their teams often had the talent to stay alive and blow away/escape the superior opposition. I remember reading a bit from a WW2 magazine years ago that stuck with me- it was about a US rifle company (supported by Shermans) that assaulted a town in the last months of the war that was defended by a platoon of German infantry, an AT gun, and a Panther. The Panther was described as the "toughest AFV crew" he had ever seen. It appeared, seemingly out of nowhere and blew away the Shermans before they could react. Then, for what seemed to be eternity, the Panther moved around, pinning down the rifle company with accurate MG and tank shell fire. His rifle company suffered many casualties. The Panther was described in his article as a "stalker" and a "demonic black knight". He had never seen a tank so skillfully employed by the enemy. The Panther would appear, fire a few shells and MG bursts, and then disappear-only to reappear somewhere else out of nowhere to shoot at them again. Eventually, the tank disappeared after all its ammunition was exhausted. More Shermans arrived and the rest of his rifle company was eventually able to take the town with relative ease. The Panther disappeared as it appeared.