I agree with you here Wiley. There are, and have been, many weapons systems over the years that so called "experts" or engineers have touted as excellent or garbage and once put to the test by the soldier that has to fight with it the opposite has proven true. The soldier that employs the weapon in combat is the one that knows if it's effective, all other opinions are second hand. I'm wondering if you remember that the peole that design our weapons systems are working for a company? The whole system of procurement for our weapons is a mess that often takes a long time to find the best weapon for our fighting men. Dothey believe the weapon is excellent? Maybe. Can they speak their true opinions? Probably not? Are they still trying to "sell" the weapon? Unfortunately yes. All that said I do not think that the user, the grunt, is the expert in the weapons he uses. In some cases he sees it or uses it for a year or two and in some cases much more. In the long run he knows whether it works well. He knows how to use it. To me an expert can study those things and the same for comparable weapons used all over the world. He can discuss knowledge of metals used, explosives used, electronics used, etc. There is a world of difference between an experienced user and an expert. It's really not really necessary to break it down as you suggest. While the Tiger was a formidable tank, it was produced in too few numbers to have any real effect on the outcome of the war. The Sherman and T-34 were fine tanks in their own right, not a match for the Tiger one on one but that is not what they were designed for and both were produced in such numbers they did effect the outcome of the war. So influential has to go to one of these two contenders.[/QUOTE] Agreed. One fellow on another forum put it; the Sherman and T-34 were examples of weapons that were able to achieve a strategic influence while a Tiger I can only have an occasional tactical influence, despite the fearful reputation it had.