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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Armor in World War II

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Armor in World War II Discuss all aspects & disciplines of World War II Armor here.

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  #1  
Old 21 Apr 12, 15:18
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Lightbulb Mega-Poll - Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 - Master Thread

Greatest/Best Tank of WW2

Master Thread


Hi members,

Welcome to the 2012 ACG 'Mega Poll' for the 'greatest' or 'best' (choose your preferred word) tank of WW2; as determined by you people, the wonderful members of ACG.
This 'Mega Poll' in fact consists of 12 separate polls; one for each of the 12 criteria against which you will be invited to rate 21 different WW2 tanks.

The purposes of this 'Master Thread' are:

· To give members an outline of the options for participation
· To provide a central point for discussion of the progress of the polls
· An opportunity for members to give feedback and offer ideas for future polls
· General discussion and debate on the topic

There will be information specific to each individual poll on its respective thread but to cover the first dot-point above, and give you the outline, here's what's on offer with these polls:


Your choice to be a 'Level 1' or 'Level 2' participant

The structure of these polls is designed to accommodate everyone; the 'jump-in-jump-out-and-say-nothing' voters; the hard-core tank enthusiasts who can't get enough detail and love debating on the poll thread; and every variation in between.

What's Level 1?

Level 1 is for members who either don't want to get into the polls too deeply or simply don't have the time, but would still like to have a say in the polls and make a vote that counts. This is the 'keep it simple, keep it quick' option.
Each poll is in two parts; 'Part A' and 'Part B'. If you choose to be a Level 1 participant, you only need to do Part A.

What's Part A?

Go into the 12 poll threads and pick the tank you think measures up the best in each one. This can be a different tank in each case and there are 21 tanks to choose from but you can only pick one. Vote for that tank.

For example, in poll 1 entitled, 'Firepower' you vote for whichever tank you believe was the best in terms of its firepower. This tank becomes your personal 'champion' or 'benchmark' for that particular attribute only and will score 40 points, which is the maximum for that criterion. (The maximum number of points in each poll varies from 10 to 40 depending on the importance of the criteria.)

If you wish you can also, but there is no obligation to:
  • Join the thread and discuss what you voted for & why
  • Debate the subject of the thread
Please note: There is no minimum level of involvement if you stay in Level 1. If you only wish to vote in one of the 12 poll threads, that's fine. Vote in as few as you like or all 12, at your pleasure. However, as a Level 1 participant you always have the right to change to Level 2 if you wish but if you decide to do that, then you will first have to make sure that you have voted for the #1 tank in all 12 polls. There is plenty of time to decide on that, as the polls will be running until 31 July.

Also please note: The remaining 20 tanks in each poll that you have not given a score, will each be awarded points against your name based on the average of the the scores all other members have given them. If you are not happy with that, you might consider participating at Level 2, which will enable you to score all 21 tanks individually in every poll. See below.


Optional change to Level 2

If you started with the choice to be a Level 1 participant but you've now got more time on your hands; or you've decided you'd like to get deeper into the topic after all, you can change at any time to Level 2. Just let me know that you want to. Remember that as a minimum, you must have voted for the #1 tank in all of the 12 polls first, before being allowed to change your level but there are no qualifications beyond that. Once you have changed to Level 2, you do not necessarily have to rank all 20 remaining tanks in all 12 polls. (But be aware that tanks you do not rank will be given a score against your name, based on the average derived from the scores other members have given them.)


What's Level 2?

You can choose to be a Level 2 participant from the very beginning. Level 2 contains everything in Part A; but then you also do Part B afterwards.

What's Part B?

Part B is for those who wish to get more involved and go into greater depth. Especially tank nuts like me. After Level 2 participants have voted for the tank they think measures up best in each poll, they will then place the remaining 20 tanks into descending order of merit by posting their preferences in each thread using the methods provided. This tells me how you wish to rate those remaining 20 tanks in relation to a points bracket or scale; and those tanks will be awarded points accordingly. Instructions will be in each thread, but ...

Using the Firepower poll as the example again, you will need to post in the firepower thread, telling us how you rate the remaining 20 tanks for their firepower by placing them into brackets according to what you believe they deserve. With the bracket method, the number of brackets and their wording will vary between the different criteria but under 'Firepower' the choices will be:

Excellent (36 points)
Good (24 points)
OK (12 points)
Poor (0 points)

... so you will need to show us which of the 20 tanks, in your opinion, should go into each of those brackets.

I would also add at this point, that in three of the poll threads for Level 2 you will have the option of rating the tanks on an incremental scale instead of using the brackets. Those three will be #1, Firepower; #3, Protection & Survivability; and #9, Value to user nation/s and/or to Allied/Axis cause. For example in poll thread 1, Firepower, with the maximum score of 40 the incremental scale will look like this:

Incremental scale option

Please rate the remaining 20 tanks in descending order of merit (best at the top, worst at the bottom) against the following scale

2 (38 points)
3 (36 points)
4 (34 points)
5 (32 points)
6 (30 points)
7 (28 points)
8 (26 points)
9 (24 points)
10 (22 points)
11 (20 points)
12 (18 points)
13 (16 points)
14 (14 points)
15 (12 points)
16 (10 points)
17 (8 points)
18 (6 points)
19 (4 points)
20 (2 points)
21 (0 points)

... so if you want to use this option instead of the bracket method, you will need to indicate which of the remaining 20 tanks should go against each of these placings in your opinion, to score the points shown.

You then move on to each of the other poll threads and bracket or rank the remaining 20 tanks again, until you have completed the process in all 12 threads ( ... and to remind you once more, if you do not complete the process in all threads, those tanks you do not give a score to will be given points against your name, based on the average derived from the scores other members have given them.)




Final point on fairness and objectivity

It would be quite possible to have a different tank as 'champion' for each of the 12 criteria. It would also be quite possible for a particular tank to be your champion in two or more criteria. The call will be yours. However, it would be just about impossible (not to mention highly suspicious) for one tank to be 'champion' in all of the criteria or even a majority of them. We all have our favourite tanks but I would ask you please to do your best to be fair and balanced in your approach to this.


Thank you all for your enthusiasm and participation.
__________________
"England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

Last edited by panther3485; 01 May 12 at 06:45..
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  #2  
Old 21 Apr 12, 15:22
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The Tanks

The Tanks

These are the 21 tanks you will be judging:
  • Matilda II
  • Crusader
  • Churchill
  • Valentine
  • Cromwell
  • Somua S-35
  • Char B-1 bis
  • PzKpfw 38(t)
  • PzKpfw III
  • PzKpfw IV (short & long guns combined)
  • Tiger I
  • Panther
  • Tiger II
  • M 13-40/14-41/15-42
  • Type 97 Chi-Ha
  • BT-5/7
  • T-34 (76 and 85 combined)
  • KV-1
  • IS-2
  • M3 Medium
  • M4 Medium (all versions combined)
One important matter I would like to raise here:

A good number of these did not serve as first-line gun tanks for the entire war. For example, the PzKpfw 38(t) faded out during 1941/42; while the Char B-1 bis had, in the broader context, largely fallen out after the 1940 campaign. These should both be properly regarded as 'early war' tanks. At the other extreme, we have the Tiger II which only served during the final year of the war in Europe and is therefore well and truly a 'late war' tank. The IS-2 did not see front-line service until early 1944 so it too is 'late war'.

I would ask you please to take this factor into account as far as you reasonably can, when evaluating the various types against the criteria where it makes a big difference such as firepower and protection. Please make some effort to compare early war tanks more to other early war tanks to reach your conclusions; rather than to late-war tanks; and so on. Of course, some of the others such as PzKpfw IV and T-34 were in first-line service as gun tanks for all or most of the war so these can be compared against all other tanks across that whole period of service.

This 'compare within the period of first-line service' guideline is more important in some criteria than others and can be completely set aside for two of them. These two criteria - where you are actively encouraged to think outside of that constraint - are #8, Contribution to advancement of tank design and #9, Value to user nation/s and/or to Allied/Axis cause. Details will be contained in those poll threads.

__________________
"England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

Last edited by panther3485; 22 Apr 12 at 11:32..
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  #3  
Old 21 Apr 12, 15:23
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The Criteria

The Criteria


These are the 12 criteria against which you will be judging the 21 tanks (with quick links to the threads if you are finding them a hassle to locate):


1. Firepower
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122120


2. Mobility (under own power)
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122133


3. Protection & Survivability
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122135


4. Balance of Firepower/Mobility/Protection
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122147


5. 'Soft' factors impacting efficiency
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122148


6. The ‘edge’ factor and Psychological elements
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122150


7. Proven battlefield performance
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122153


8. Contribution to advancement of tank design
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122154


9. Value to user nation/s and/or to Allied/Axis cause
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122155


10. Effort/cost of running, maintenance and repair
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122157


11. Transportability & deployment
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122158


12. Production & consumption of resources
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122159


Details of what each of these should be taken to mean, and what they include, will be explained in their respective poll threads. At this point, suffice to say that a little careful thinking before voting will certainly help to do them justice.


How your votes and rankings will be processed

So, after you've finished casting your votes (and posted your rankings if you go to Level 2), what will happen?

I will have recorded every member's votes and rankings on an Excel spreadsheet by way of a points score for each tank. There will be one page for each of the 12 criteria; with a column for each tank and a row for each member who actively participates. I will then add up the tally of points for each tank across all 12 pages and divide by the number of participating members to arrive at the final scores. Highest scoring tank is the outright winner and will be declared "Greatest/Best Tank of WW2" as determined by the ACG Membership.



OK guys, that's almost it for my opening spiel. When you get to the poll threads, don't forget to read the Criteria Information (post #2) in every one of the 12 polls, before jumping in with your votes and ratings. I'll try not to make the Criteria Information posts too long but they'll say what they need to. (Post #1 in each poll thread will be Tips for Participants, advising members to come here and read the first three posts of this thread if they haven't already done so. Obviously, if you've read down this Master Thread page as far as here, you've already covered that. )

Enjoy.
__________________
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Last edited by panther3485; 28 Apr 12 at 04:41..
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  #4  
Old 23 Apr 12, 23:43
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Well, you sure went all-out with this one!

That's a LOT of stuff to work out for those participating... I'll get back to this on my next day off.
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Old 24 Apr 12, 00:40
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Speaking for myself here, but OMG...SE!!!
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Old 24 Apr 12, 05:42
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Wink Remember

Remember, this is not a poll to show which tank was best 5.5.45

Due to the nature of the choices (no fault of the poster), and the main nationality of people at ACG, I declare the M4 the winner .
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Old 27 Apr 12, 07:17
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As soon as the first post mentioned 'Tasks', I lost interest.
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Old 27 Apr 12, 07:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
As soon as the first post mentioned 'Tasks', I lost interest.
I'm happy to insert an alternative word, if that will help.


Edit: I just took my beloved dog, Otto, for his evening walk. Walking the dog is not only good physical exercise for both of us; but for me it is also a time of reflection and meditation. I've been giving this whole thing a bit of thought and I've decided that it would be beneficial to change more than just one word.

I want the polls to appeal to the widest possible range of members, to encourage larger numbers of them to participate. The gentle nudge you gave me has helped me to realize that certain parts of my wording may have made the whole thing seem ... well ... perhaps rather daunting to some members? Or maybe even a little bit 'elitist' in the sense of being designed to appeal only to the harder-core tank nuts among us, while possibly leaving some others feeling like they are holding a bad hand in a poker game? This is not the impression I would have intentionally set out to convey but it seems I may have done so. For the ardent enthusiast, it's all too easy to get caught in the trap of being carried away so much with a subject we love, that we can - for a time - overlook what should have been obvious from the start.

If I have conveyed such impressions to any of our members, could those members please accept my humble and sincere apologies. Everyone who has a desire to participate in tank polls here, should feel completely comfortable and welcome to do so whatever their level of knowledge or involvement is going to be.


Michael, my sincere thanks for the nudge. And +1.


Everyone: Keep your eyes on the opening posts of this and the other threads over the next couple or so hours. I hope you'll approve of the changes I'm about to make.


Best to all,
panther3485
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Last edited by panther3485; 27 Apr 12 at 10:54..
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Old 28 Apr 12, 04:32
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I think this poll will go to the tank that consistently gets second place.
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Old 28 Apr 12, 04:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
I think this poll will go to the tank that consistently gets second place.
Theoretically at least, that's entirely possible, brod.

A tank need not necessarily get too many #1 votes but if it scores consistently high enough in the placings (consistently being the key word here), it can still win. Placings could be more important than some might realize.
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Old 28 Apr 12, 07:26
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My shilling's worth!

I think this belongs in 'Armchair Attacks', apart from this 'Master Thread', with a 'sticky link'. That way all the different polls WILL stay together (which is a good thing) without making it appear that the WW2 section is dominated by a bunch of tank-heads (which isn't a good thing whether it's true or not)

Sorry, I've only got a Crown, but you can keep the change(s) as a tip!
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Old 28 Apr 12, 09:24
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Originally Posted by Full Monty View Post
My shilling's worth!

I think this belongs in 'Armchair Attacks', apart from this 'Master Thread', with a 'sticky link'. That way all the different polls WILL stay together (which is a good thing) without making it appear that the WW2 section is dominated by a bunch of tank-heads (which isn't a good thing whether it's true or not)

Sorry, I've only got a Crown, but you can keep the change(s) as a tip!
Kevin, if I'd thought of that beforehand I might have fomatted it as a tournament rather than a straight set of polls, which might have suited what I wanted to do with this. Not a bad idea, regardless.

In the meantime, I have very recently made a request in 'higher places' to allow me to have a sub-forum devoted to WW2 armour in general, within which the existing 'national' WW2 armour sub-forums would - I believe - fit nicely. So we tank freaks will have our own playground but other members will be welcome to play there too, as and when they want, just as happens with sub forums across ACG. That keeps the main page clear for the full general range of WW2 topics, which is what it's meant for.

I await the verdict of my fellow mods, and more to the point those above us.
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Old 28 Apr 12, 09:52
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It's easy to see from the outside when everything is in place, not so much so when you're building/painting it! (The image of Rolf Harris replete with large sheets of paper, assorted brushes, paint and beard murmuring 'Can you see what it is yet' is now stuck firmly in my mind). There are numerous ways around what is, in truth, a bit of a mess and I'm sure you'll choose something appropriate .... otherwise you may wake up with a burned out Sherman turret laying beside you in your bed!
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Old 28 Apr 12, 10:19
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Originally Posted by Full Monty View Post
It's easy to see from the outside when everything is in place, not so much so when you're building/painting it! (The image of Rolf Harris replete with large sheets of paper, assorted brushes, paint and beard murmuring 'Can you see what it is yet' is now stuck firmly in my mind). There are numerous ways around what is, in truth, a bit of a mess and I'm sure you'll choose something appropriate .... otherwise you may wake up with a burned out Sherman turret laying beside you in your bed!
Yep, thanks Kevin. If I get a 'No' on my first idea I'll consider whatever other options are available, including your suggestion.

Hope you are having a good weekend.

Rolf, btw, grew up just a few miles from where I'm living now.
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"England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)
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Old 28 Apr 12, 23:44
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