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Finest and Most Influential Tanks of WWII


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#1 DesertWolf

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:11 AM

Here is a list of mine on World War II tanks listed in two categories of the most influential and the finest tanks of World War II classified by year. It is important to note that in these two lists neither TDs, Assault guns, or SP guns are listed. Furthermore, I have not included any Russian tanks until 1941 as their KV and T-34 tanks would have reapetedly swamped out all the competition.

Please also note that for the greatest tank list, I have largely discounted mobility so I tend towards selecting the heavies. Needless to say, this is by no means a very scientific list.


1939
Influential : Panzer II
Greatest : Char B1 bis
Reasoning :
For the most influential tank of 1939, I have narrowed my perspective to the German invasion of Poland. The Germans fielded vastly more Panzer Is and IIs than IIIs and IVs and and therefore it seems to me that the Panzer II was probably the tank that contributed the most to Germany’s victory .

For the greatest tank, the Char B1 bis held a decisive edge not only in terms of armor (Matilda II being the exception but not fielded in any quantity yet) but also in terms of firepower vis-à-vis all the other tanks in 1939. The Char B1 bis did have some significant weaknesses, but it seems to me that it definately was the finest tank of 1939.


1940
Influential : Panzer IV
Greatest : Matilda II

Reasoning :
For the most influential tank, I chose the Panzer IV although quite honestly I could have easily chosen the Panzer III . Both were finally fielded in substantial numbers for the invasion of France and the lowlands and they undoubtedly made a massive contribution to Germany’s victory.
The Matilda II is not only the ‘Queen of the Desert’ but also the Queen of 1940. Its massive armor and more than adequate little gun more than made up for its low speed and lack of anti-infantry capabilities .

1941
Influential : T-34/76
Greatest : KV-1

The T-34 tank undoubtedly made a massive contribution to Russia’s ability to stem the tide of the German Blitzkreig while the KV-1 , although slower, had a massive armor suit and at times seemed invincible.

1942
Influential : Sherman Tank
Greatest : Tiger I
The Sherman in 1942 finally gave the Western Allies a tank with which they can face the German long gunned Panzer IVs on equal terms. The Sherman was massively influential in North Africa and gave a large morale boost to Alled tankmen.

The Tiger in 1942…. Greatest gun, armor, and optics.


1943 :
Influential : T-34/76
Greatest : Panther
The T-34/76 again claims the tital for most influential tank due to its massive contribution in the Eastern Front. The ever present T-34 was without a doubt one of the biggest factors in Russia’s victories over the Germans such as Kursk.

The Panther, with its sloped armor, phenomenal gun, and substantial speed claims the crown in 1943.


1944 :
Influential : T-34/85
Greatest : Tiger II
The upgunned T-34/85 is the most influential tank in 1944 due to the new life and opportunity it provided to the Russian tank corps to effectively engage German armor.

The Tiger II simply had the best armor and gun of World War II.


1945 :
Influential : JS-II
Greatest : Tiger II
The JS-II finally provided a near complete match against the German big cats. The Pershing was not chosen due to low production numbers.

Tiger II once more, with JS-III close second.

I do realise that I have tended towards a little bias for the heavy tanks. I also have not adequately considered the importance of reliability and the many technical problems that many of these tanks had that prevented them from giving their best. However, when making the Greatest list, I have acted with the presumption that all tanks had no mechanical breakdowns and were working in perfect order.
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#2 CrazyD

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 06:55 PM

Hmm, we don't really talk about tanks and such around here.

;)

Interesting idea to create a category soley for "most influential". Though for that list, I'd note the Tiger I starting in 42, and just stop the list there. I might be biased on that one though!

However, when making the Greatest list, I have acted with the presumption that all tanks had no mechanical breakdowns and were working in perfect order.


Doesn't that somewhat shoot a big hole in the list? I'd say some of the more technically impressive tanks of the war were seriously hamstrung by reliability issues (early Panthers being a great example), while some of the more crude tanks (T34 being the obvious candidate) were highly valued for their comparative reliability and durability.

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#3 DesertWolf

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:22 PM

Haha, the reason I put in so much caveats is that I for one am sure that there is no way to be able to adequatly categorize what is the "Greatest" tank. It just depends too much on role, task, mission, terrain, if the tank works to specs, etc. This was just my way to be able to even put up a list!

#4 JBark

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:01 PM

"I do realise that I have tended towards a little bias for the heavy tanks. I also have not adequately considered the importance of reliability and the many technical problems that many of these tanks had that prevented them from giving their best. However, when making the Greatest list, I have acted with the presumption that all tanks had no mechanical breakdowns and were working in perfect order."

This is a concept I can't understand. How can a tank be considered influential if it doesn't make it to the battlefield in adequate numbers? A commander must have equipment he can rely on and a division commander that finds out his tank battalions are reaching the battle understrengthed can not work effectively. Along the same lines if tanks are spending a greater period of time at the maintenance depot they are not doing their jobs. If they require more parts and fuel they are a greater logistic handicap...how can they be considered great?

Your emphasis on the heavies falls in to the trap of believing that the tank of WWII was primarily used to kill other tanks; this is not necessarily so. Different theatres saw different levels of tank v. tank fighting, and I'd hazard a guess that all theatres had commanders hoping to use their armor in a combined arms offensive mode (what I would consider its most effective role.)
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#5 brndirt1

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:23 PM

Well put JBark, if a tank is broken down it is just a pillbox. Pillboxes are much cheaper to produce and maintain.
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#6 JBark

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:31 PM

1939
Greatest-Char 1B
Influential- Pz II

Hard not agree with these choices.

1940
G - Char 1B
I - Pz IV

To me nothing changes for the Char 1B.

1941
G - T-34
I - Pz IV

T-34 is the superior tank at the time but not enough numbers to be influential. Pz IV is influential because it is chewing up Soviet real estate.

1942
G - Sherman
I - Pz IV

1943
G - Sherman
I - Tiger

Tiger is influential as it is terrifying many troops but in the long run its effect on the battlefield is not as great as its reputation. Both Tigers drank fuel, were slow and mechanical problems. Reliability wins wars.

1944
G - Sherman
I - Panther

The Panther is influential because its tough frontal armor has everyone shaken up and it has been fielded by the Germans in numbers they did not expect.

1945
G - T-34/85
I - IS-II

Got to give the Ruskies some credit for forcing the Germans back and taking Berlin, an incredibly hard fight.

Hard to make the distinction between the two categories. Not many think much of the Sherman but look at what was accomplished with it. Yes, the same can be said for the Russian tanks but I don't factor out reliability and quality and in these categories I don't see Soviet tanks beating American tanks. Look at the numbers on the guns of the M4 and the T-34, nearly identical, BTW.

Didn't like this but I did it anyway. I am handicapped by not being at my resource material and using a European keyboard. Where did they get this set up?

#7 Mark4

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:34 PM

uhh the Tiger was not in service until 1943 and i have to disagree with the sherman with 1944 because it lacked the armor and penetrating power to take on anything heavier than a panzer4.
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#8 brndirt1

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:41 PM

uhh the Tiger was not in service until 1943 and i have to disagree with the sherman with 1944 because it lacked the armor and penetrating power to take on anything heavier than a panzer4.


The Tiger I was in service in Africa in 1943, and against the Soviets in 1942.

The M4 (Sherman) is listed, and I agree with that for 1943 because at that period in time it was on the cutting edge of tanks as applied in American tank warfare tactics. They weren't designed as "tank killers", whe had another class of vehicle for that task. At which the tank destroyers were quite successful BTW.
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#9 Mark4

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:46 PM

O i have 1943 right here and i was saying that its hard to avoid tank on tank combat and TDs were not all ways their to provide support. Tiger 2 great tank but it broke down to much and was to slow and less than 500 was produced and did not make a change in the war like the T-34 and Sherman did.
Celer, Silens, Mortalis("Swift, Silent, Deadly") Force Recon Motto
Whenever in future wars the battle is fought, armored troops will play the decisive role.Heinz Guderian
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#10 brndirt1

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:50 PM

August of 1942 in the east against the Soviet, 1943 in Africa for the Tiger I's. Now by 1944 the Sherman M4 had been upgraded to the wet (W) version which pretty much cut down the "brew ups", and the 76mm cannon had begun to replace the 75.
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#11 Mark4

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 10:22 PM

I don't know if this is accurate but the M1a1c With the Hvap which was the best ap rounds in the "Arsenal of democracy" I think its catchy. Could penetrate armor 94mm of armor at 500 meters not enough for a Panther or any thing heavier but Perfect for anything else like Stugs and the Obese Mark4 H.

For the panther we got the monster 90mm gun which can penetrate 122mm of armor at 1,000 yards is that enough?
Celer, Silens, Mortalis("Swift, Silent, Deadly") Force Recon Motto
Whenever in future wars the battle is fought, armored troops will play the decisive role.Heinz Guderian
http://www.ww2f.com/...line=1283185049
Regards, Sam

#12 Sentinel

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 12:00 AM

I'd consider the T-34 the most influential tank overall, as it influenced the design of almost every tank that came after it. The single dual-use big gun in the central turret, the sloped armour, the wide tracks for decreased ground pressure - all combined to create a near-ideal mix of firepower, mobility and protection. The T-34 was the first of the "modern" tanks.

#13 Landsknecht

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 12:34 AM

Note that I don't count tanks that weren't actually used to a significant extent during said year for both categories, and I also take theater of war into account; during 1941-1943 the significance of the land fights between the Axis and the Allies were dwarfed by comparison of the war in the east.

1939
Most influential: Panzer II
Finest: Panzer IV

Motivation: The Panzer II was the most influential tank of 1939 since it was the most commonly used tank in the Polish campaign, and the Panzer IV was the finest because of its able 75mm tank gun that was excellent at fighting soft targets.

1940
Most influential: Panzer IV
Finest: Panzer IV

Motivation: The Panzer IV was common during Fall Gelb. Other than that, what I said above.

Additional commentary: I find it wortwhile to point out that I don't consider the Char B1 bis the finest tank because of its 47mm tank gun. While it would outclass a Panzer IV in a tank to tank battle, it wouldn't be as capable of fighting soft targets, which is what tanks for the most part fought.

1941
Most influential: Panzer III
Finest: KV-1

Motivation: The Panzer III was the most common tank during Barbarossa, being roughly twice as common as the Panzer IV. And as for the KV-1, it was a beast with its thick armor and able 76mm tank gun, that was capable of effectively fighting enemy armor and infantry alike.

Additional commentary: I chose not to pick the T-34/76 as the most important tank of 1941, simply because the T-34/76 didn't have a nearly as great impact in 1941 as in the later years, since "only" ~3000 were deployed, and they suffered from various issues.

1942
Most influential: T-34
Finest: Panzer IV

Motivation: At this time, the T-34/76 had entered massproduction, and was the main tank of the Russian forces. The Panzer III with its new 50mm L/60 tank gun was capable of fighting it, and the German crews still had superior training, but I chose to vote for the T-34/76 simply because of the scope of its usage.

And the finest tank of 1942 was definitely the Panzer IV Ausf.G. It was capable of knocking out the Russian T-34/76s with impunity, and although it was yet to become common, it did see service and perform well when encountering enemy armor.

1943
Most influential: T-34
Finest: Tiger I

Motivation: Basically the same as above for the T-34/76. And as for the Tiger I, I naturally chosed it for its tactical prowess.

1944
Most influential: T-34
Finest: Panther

Motivation: The T-34 was still the most widely used Russian tank, and by now it had been upgraded to carry a 85mm tank gun slightly superior to the Panzer IV's 75mm L/48.

The Panther I picked as the finest because it was a good all around tank, capable of engaging both enemy infantry and armor. And unlike the Tiger I, it wasn't that bad on an operational level.

Additional commentary: The M4 Sherman would be a decent candidate, but I'm going with the T-34 because it was extensive service since January, and the Shermans didn't start seeing action to a comparable degree until June.


1945
Most influential: M4 Sherman
Finest: Panther

Motivation: The M4 Sherman was at this time used significantly by the American, British, Commonwealth and even Russian forces. It was also a better tank tactically and operationally.

And the same as above for the Panther.

1939-1945
Most influential: T-34
Finest: Panzer IV

Motivation: The T-34 was the most common tank on the eastern front from 1942 until the end of the war and it also made up the base of the SU-85 and SU-100 tank destroyers, and the SU-122 self-propelled artillery. By contrast, the influence of the German medium armor was relatively split between the Panzer III, Panzer IV, Panzer V and the SPGs the first two made up the base of, and the Sherman, despite massproduced, didn't enter the European theater for real until 1944.

And the Panzer IV is the best overall tank of the war because of its long service history, being a formidable tank throughout the war, and becoming tactically superior over the T-34s and Shermans already in 1942 with the upgrade to the long 75mm tank gun; it took until 1944 before the Russians and Americans started to mount comparable (anti-)tank guns on their medium tanks.

Edited by Landsknecht, 11 September 2010 - 12:47 AM.


#14 brndirt1

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 01:26 AM

Without doubt, the T-34 was the most influential tank of WW2. Not only was it produced in gargantuan numbers, its sloped armor, rugged simple construction, and diesel power plant changed the design of all tanks after its appearance.

It was ranked, and rightly as the top; number one tank of all time (not just WW2) by the Discovery Channel, but that included many of the WW2 tanks discussed here. I am glad the M4 Sherman at least made the ranking (at 10), but the IV, Panther and Tiger were beat out by the T-34.

Top Ten Tanks: T-34 : Video : The Military Channel

The criteria for their rankings are very straight forward, and defensible. Armor and weapons, speed/mobility, ease and length of production, and "fear factor" which is the psychological impact of the unit on the enemy.

The T-34 is without doubt "top o the mark" for WW2.

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#15 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 03:34 AM

1939
Greatest- Pz III This is without a doubt the best tank of the day
Influential- Pz 38t Without it the Germans weren't going to win. They simply didn't have anywhere near enough of their own tanks.


1940
G - Pz IV
I - Pz III

The French tanks are garbage. The Char B1 bis is nothing but a mobile Maginot Line artillery bunker while the Souma is a mobile Maginot Line antitank cloche. The above two German tanks were making the difference.

1941
G - T 34
I - Pz III

T-34 was a shock but between its poor ergonomics and lack of crew quality it didn't live up to its potential. Pz III is the most influential as it is stil the mainstay of the German military.

1942
G - Tiger I
I - M3 Grant

The Tiger comes on the scene in Russia and shows what a well made heavy tank is capable of, even in small numbers. The Grant is a shock to the Germans in North Africa much like the T 34 was in Russia. It gives the British parity in firepower for the first time and causes another German rethink of tactical armor requirements.

1943
G - Sherman
I - T 34

This is the year where the Allies get their two winning tanks into service. The Sherman and T 34 begin to chew up the real estate and the German army. Germany scrambles to replace the now aging Pz III and IV with new vehicles. The Tiger's influence is very limited due to its small numbers in service while the Panther is not really a servicable tank yet.

1944
G - Sherman
I - Panther

The Panther is influential because it changed both Soviet and US expectations along with the less common Tiger. Both the US and Soviets work to field a new generation of heavy tanks (the IS II and M 26). The Sherman has become the "universal" tank. It is in the Pacific, CBI theater, on the East Front, in the MTO, ETO and, virtually everywhere the Allies are fighting. The ubiquity of the Sherman makes it dominate.

1945
G - M 26
I - Sherman (76mm)

The M 26 is the future of tanks. The Centurian is the British equivalent that follows shortly after the war. These are the MBT type tank of the future. Large, powerful, adaptable and, well armored. The Sherman 76mm is sufficently better and available in numbers. It beats the T34/85, a similar upgrading, in ergonomic terms as shown by its post war performance against that vehicle.

#16 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 03:37 AM

Without doubt, the T-34 was the most influential tank of WW2. Not only was it produced in gargantuan numbers, its sloped armor, rugged simple construction, and diesel power plant changed the design of all tanks after its appearance.

It was ranked, and rightly as the top; number one tank of all time (not just WW2) by the Discovery Channel, but that included many of the WW2 tanks discussed here. I am glad the M4 Sherman at least made the ranking (at 10), but the IV, Panther and Tiger were beat out by the T-34.

Top Ten Tanks: T-34 : Video : The Military Channel

The criteria for their rankings are very straight forward, and defensible. Armor and weapons, speed/mobility, ease and length of production, and "fear factor" which is the psychological impact of the unit on the enemy.

The T-34 is without doubt "top o the mark" for WW2.


Thought experiment here:

Let's replace the Sherman with the T 34 and vice versa. Could the T 34 have functioned in the CBI? How about in the Pacific or in amphibious assaults? Would the T 34 be capable of long range road marches? How would it fare in hot climates?
Could the Sherman have operated effectively in Russia as a substitute for the T 34?

I think the answers to those questions are obivious and it also demonstrates the myopic thinking that went into that military channel program.

#17 Totenkopf

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 04:47 AM

Thought experiment here:

Let's replace the Sherman with the T 34 and vice versa. Could the T 34 have functioned in the CBI? How about in the Pacific or in amphibious assaults? Would the T 34 be capable of long range road marches? How would it fare in hot climates?
Could the Sherman have operated effectively in Russia as a substitute for the T 34?

I think the answers to those questions are obivious and it also demonstrates the myopic thinking that went into that military channel program.



I wouldn't put as so simple. There were many days where the Germans slaughtered the Russian T-34s by the dozens just as it happened in France. I dont see the Sherman in Russia speeding it up because as we know the German's fielded the bulk of everything in the East, so that means that the Sherman's have to face all best of the German AT weapons in Bulk.

Picture all of the Russian offensives that faced the German's head on, but rather with the Sherman, I should think that all that AT fire flying at the Sherman's front is going to have much more Ronsons lighting up. The T-34s at least had a decent chance with their sloped front.

#18 DesertWolf

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:06 AM

This is a concept I can't understand. How can a tank be considered influential if it doesn't make it to the battlefield in adequate numbers? A commander must have equipment he can rely on and a division commander that finds out his tank battalions are reaching the battle understrengthed can not work effectively. Along the same lines if tanks are spending a greater period of time at the maintenance depot they are not doing their jobs. If they require more parts and fuel they are a greater logistic handicap...how can they be considered great?


Pay attention please. I don't mean to sound rude, but in the two days that I have been here, I have had to draw attention to my posts again and again due to comprehension failiures.

I agree with the above quote. There is a reason I seperated the list into 'influential' and 'greatest' categories. Influential is without any caeats, simply which tank had the most influence in a year in WWII. Greatest is heavily laden with caveats. Which tank if working properly and to specs would be king of the battlefield in a one one one. Again, with caveats.

Your emphasis on the heavies falls in to the trap of believing that the tank of WWII was primarily used to kill other tanks; this is not necessarily so. Different theatres saw different levels of tank v. tank fighting, and I'd hazard a guess that all theatres had commanders hoping to use their armor in a combined arms offensive mode (what I would consider its most effective role.)


Please don't tell me what I believe or don't believe. I certainly believe no such thing.

As to your list: I might agree with you that the B1bis is still king of 1940 in the 'greatest' category, however it was out of FRENCH service by the middle of the year so I chose the Matilda II. But you may be right, perhaps I should have still chosen the B1 bis. As for 1941 I personally would rather be serving in a KV tank than in a T-34, but I understand the choice of T-34 for greatest. For Influential, I still maintain the T-34 for 1941. As for the rest of the years, you misunderstood the nature of the categories as mentioned above....

#19 USMCPrice

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:14 AM

Totenkopf wrote:

I should think that all that AT fire flying at the Sherman's front is going to have much more Ronsons lighting up. The T-34s at least had a decent chance with their sloped front.

In it's original configuration the Sherman had a 2" (51mm) glacis, sloped at 55 degrees.

The T-34 had 1.77" (45mm) sloped at 60 degress. So they're actually quite similar in frontal armor protection.

The Sherman's later versions also had improvements in this area with 2.5" (63.5mm) being standard on later variants and the "Jumbo" with 4" (101.6mm) inclined at 47 degrees.
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#20 DesertWolf

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:17 AM

I find it wortwhile to point out that I don't consider the Char B1 bis the finest tank because of its 47mm tank gun. While it would outclass a Panzer IV in a tank to tank battle, it wouldn't be as capable of fighting soft targets, which is what tanks for the most part fought.


The Char B1 bis carried two guns, (much like the M3 Lee/Grant), including one 75mm gun. Your list is interesting, if you take out the very big cats that did not see much service your list makes sense.

#21 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 03:59 PM

I wouldn't put as so simple. There were many days where the Germans slaughtered the Russian T-34s by the dozens just as it happened in France. I dont see the Sherman in Russia speeding it up because as we know the German's fielded the bulk of everything in the East, so that means that the Sherman's have to face all best of the German AT weapons in Bulk.

Picture all of the Russian offensives that faced the German's head on, but rather with the Sherman, I should think that all that AT fire flying at the Sherman's front is going to have much more Ronsons lighting up. The T-34s at least had a decent chance with their sloped front.


I'm not arguing that the Sherman would be better in Russia just that it would operate there at least as efficently as the T 34 did while the T 34 has many shortcomings that would preclude it from replacing the Sherman in other theaters and uses it served in.

On the Char B1 bis:

From an earlier thread on this board I posted:

As I see it, the Char B1 could best be described as a self propelled field fortification; an artillery bunker with a motor. The 75mm in the hull was fixed in train (no traverse). Using it against anything other than a stationary target or as an artillery piece was difficult or impossible. As an antitank weapon it was useless.
Note, like its cousins in the Maginot line it was a very heavy piece for its size. It also had a pneumatic blow out to remove fumes from the tank like guns in the Maginot line did.
The driver of the tank was the gunner for this weapon having a bionocular sight for this purpose (in addition to a single view port for driving the tank). Obviously, driving and operating the gun were largely mutually exclusive functions.
A dedicated loader for the 75 was provided. This crew member had one function, select, fuze, and load the 75 in action. He had no other weapon (like a machinegun) to operate. He was provided no vision devices or other means to assist the tank in locating targets etc when not engaged in loading.
Up in the turret there was a single gunner also. Describing this crewman as the commander is something of a misnomer. He was far more a observer for the 75mm and when necessary could defend the tank using the 47mm and machinegun in the turret. Since he was the loader, gunner and, observer he had far too much to do to be efficent at any one of those tasks.
Last, there was a dedicated radio operator who like the loader had a single task to perform.
In design, the Char B1 also had an additional weakness. Its hull was bolted, yes, bolted together. Not riveted, bolted. This is a poor choice. The bolts represent a real hazard if hit; far more so than rivets. The bolts could easily be sheared off and ricochet around the inside of the vehicle. Also, they could work loose imparing the sturcturial stability of the vehicle. The side mounted radiator was also a big weak point as was the side mounted entry door.
If anything, the only really cutting edge technology in the Char B1 was the steering system using a regenerative hydraulic system to allow very fine turning movements of the vehicle (necessary to aim the 75mm).
French doctrine saw the Char B1 being used in support of infantry in literally the way described earlier....as a mobile bunker firing away with its 75mm and machineguns on enemy strongpoints. If an enemy tank were to appear the 47 could handle the problem. Mobility need only be sufficent to keep up with the walking infantry and cross a shell torn battlefield.
On the whole, it was an archaic throwback to WW 1, not the forward looking tank say the Pz III was.

Edited by T. A. Gardner, 11 September 2010 - 04:07 PM.


#22 JBark

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:25 PM

uhh the Tiger was not in service until 1943 and i have to disagree with the sherman with 1944 because it lacked the armor and penetrating power to take on anything heavier than a panzer4.


Good to remember a couple of things.

-The Sherman did kill Panthers and Tigers.
-The majority of the tanks a Sherman might encounter were Pz IV's.
-The penetrating power of the Sherman's weakest gun could penetrate the side armor of the Panther under 1000yds. Typical combat range between tanks in the ETO was under 1000yds.
-Studies showed that tactics, not technology, won tank v. tank battles.
-Studies showed that in late 1944 the Sherman had the upper hand in Sherman v. Panther battles (it won more often than the Panther.)

#23 JBark

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:30 PM

August of 1942 in the east against the Soviet, 1943 in Africa for the Tiger I's. Now by 1944 the Sherman M4 had been upgraded to the wet (W) version which pretty much cut down the "brew ups", and the 76mm cannon had begun to replace the 75.


I love how the Sherman got the rep for brewing up. Is there a tank that doesn't burn if hot shrapnel goes through its ammo or gas tank. Could be worse, it could burn like the Panther by turning on the engine and driving it about.

#24 JBark

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:43 PM

I'd consider the T-34 the most influential tank overall, as it influenced the design of almost every tank that came after it. The single dual-use big gun in the central turret, the sloped armour, the wide tracks for decreased ground pressure - all combined to create a near-ideal mix of firepower, mobility and protection. The T-34 was the first of the "modern" tanks.


I think the T-34 gets a reputation it does not deserve, probably because it shocked the Germans so much when many of their AT guns didn't penetrate it. Of course the 88 dual purpose did. Bad intel on the part of Germany doesn't make for a great tank though. Of what I have read it was cramped, had bad optics, was horrible to drive, had such poor ventilation that the loader often passed out, had a very bad engine and transmission (improved later), bad visibility, no radio, and the very bad feature of only 4 crewmen. When the tank commander must also act as gunner it slows down that critical time to get a shot off, a very important factor in combat. Some of these things were improved as the war went on but some were not. Best to remember that its guns was not superior to the guns of the M4.

#25 JBark

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 08:25 PM

Pay attention please. I don't mean to sound rude, but in the two days that I have been here, I have had to draw attention to my posts again and again due to comprehension failiures.

No comprehension failure here. I read the post that started this thread and commented on it. I don't mean to fight with you but the concept makes no sense to me no matter how it is explained. Are you rating a machine based on its performance while standing still in a tank museum?

I agree with the above quote. There is a reason I seperated the list into 'influential' and 'greatest' categories. Influential is without any caeats, simply which tank had the most influence in a year in WWII. Greatest is heavily laden with caveats. Which tank if working properly and to specs would be king of the battlefield in a one one one. Again, with caveats.

If this is in the original post please feel free to point it out but please don't expect that I should accept it as gospel. It is not how I would think.

Please don't tell me what I believe or don't believe. I certainly believe no such thing.

My apologies but I was confused by the emphasis on the heavies and the commentary after '42,'43,'44, and '45 which seems to weigh tank v. tank battles heavily. My bad.

As to your list: I might agree with you that the B1bis is still king of 1940 in the 'greatest' category, however it was out of FRENCH service by the middle of the year so I chose the Matilda II. But you may be right, perhaps I should have still chosen the B1 bis. As for 1941 I personally would rather be serving in a KV tank than in a T-34, but I understand the choice of T-34 for greatest. For Influential, I still maintain the T-34 for 1941. As for the rest of the years, you misunderstood the nature of the categories as mentioned above....


I didn't feel restricted by something I didn't understand or agree with so I played by my own rules. The criteria I use for evaluating tanks has to do with the role they play, their ability to fulfill that role, how easily it is produced, the cost of that production, how reliable it is, how durable it is, how easy it is for the crew to use, etc. A tank which is excessively expensive to produce, guzzles gas, is slow and breaks down often is of little value to the nation fielding it. Ignoring these things when discussing military hardware of any kind is not what I do.




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