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

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  #61  
Old 06 Oct 17, 10:47
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One simple reason for the larger proportion of light tanks at the beginning of the war was that they were cheap(er) and quicker to build. To western politicians in the late 30's trying to rearm whilst staying within budgetary constraints this was attractive.
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  #62  
Old 06 Oct 17, 10:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
I think you might be right. If you substitute Infantry for Medium, and Cruiser for Light, you appear to have the British doctrine in place.
Except that medium and cruiser were essentially the same class of tanks.

British tank doctrine was a little more complex and in open areas (like the desert) followed almost a naval pattern with the cruisers acting like cruisers (the clue is in the name) and the light tanks as destroyers. Some people seem to have taken landships too literally
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  #63  
Old 06 Oct 17, 12:09
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Except that medium and cruiser were essentially the same class of tanks.
The Cruiser tank was a sadly successful attempt at making a cheaper Medium tank.
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  #64  
Old 06 Oct 17, 13:13
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Except that medium and cruiser were essentially the same class of tanks.

British tank doctrine was a little more complex and in open areas (like the desert) followed almost a naval pattern with the cruisers acting like cruisers (the clue is in the name) and the light tanks as destroyers. Some people seem to have taken landships too literally
Later in the war, that is true, but if you read the primary roles the lights were to perform, alongside supporting mediums, you can read cruiser instead of light, and infantry instead of medium. In fact it may be even better to read lights as mediums, and mediums as heavies in early German/Soviet formations.
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  #65  
Old 06 Oct 17, 13:58
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First off, even though I am late to the conversation I am happy that this conversation is finally happening. That being said I feel that The M3 and M5 Stuarts should not be considered as one choice. The M3 is far cuter and jaunty that the M5. The M5 is like the younger brother that lifted weights and took protein powder until he's the muscular little brother that embarrasses the older cuter but smaller brother.

To be honest the M5 was a bit of a jerk that way, but being as they are thrown together My vote is still (and always) the Stuart.

Quick (for a tank), reliable, adaptable and fairly manoeuvrable. The Stuart (M3) was an excellent light tank, and really do you know any other light tanks that were the star of a comic book?
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  #66  
Old 06 Oct 17, 14:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthwys View Post
First off, even though I am late to the conversation I am happy that this conversation is finally happening. That being said I feel that The M3 and M5 Stuarts should not be considered as one choice. The M3 is far cuter and jaunty that the M5. The M5 is like the younger brother that lifted weights and took protein powder until he's the muscular little brother that embarrasses the older cuter but smaller brother.

To be honest the M5 was a bit of a jerk that way, but being as they are thrown together My vote is still (and always) the Stuart.

Quick (for a tank), reliable, adaptable and fairly manoeuvrable. The Stuart (M3) was an excellent light tank, and really do you know any other light tanks that were the star of a comic book?
Not for nothing was the M3 in British service known as the Honey
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  #67  
Old 06 Oct 17, 14:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooner View Post
The Cruiser tank was a sadly successful attempt at making a cheaper Medium tank.
Odd given that they came first
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  #68  
Old 06 Oct 17, 18:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Given that the proportion of mediums increased significantly in most AD's 1943 onwards (2nd and 3rd are exceptions), there was certainly a change in opinion concerning the use of lights as the main attacking arm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thfabn View Post
As the war went on the light tanks were becoming less effective, thus they became a smaller proportion of the tanks in the various armies.
Definitely. Later in the war--i.e., after getting actual experience at armored warfare--the US Army had changed its tune. The 19 December 1944 edition of FM 17-33 Tank Battalion says,
Quote:
The light tanks may be used--
(1) On reconnaissance and security missions.
(2) To feel out the enemy and develop weak spots in the enemy position for an attack by the medium tanks.
(3) To screen the advance of other tank units when enemy resistance is light or when the situation is vague.
(4) As a fast maneuvering force to attack the enemy flank or rear, or to exploit a success.
(5) To draw enemy armor into a trap. [Yikes!]
(6) On terrain impassable for medium tanks.
(7) To protect the flanks of the medium tanks during the attack.
(8) When medium tanks are not available, to accompany infantry and assist its advance by destroying enemy positions.
(9) To assist the infantry in mopping up.
So while exploiting a breach or attacking the enemy's rear is still listed, reconnaissance and security had by late 1944 become the primary mission of US Army light tanks, contrasting heavily with thought two years prior.
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  #69  
Old 07 Oct 17, 05:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthwys View Post
First off, even though I am late to the conversation I am happy that this conversation is finally happening. That being said I feel that The M3 and M5 Stuarts should not be considered as one choice. The M3 is far cuter and jaunty that the M5. The M5 is like the younger brother that lifted weights and took protein powder until he's the muscular little brother that embarrasses the older cuter but smaller brother.

To be honest the M5 was a bit of a jerk that way, but being as they are thrown together My vote is still (and always) the Stuart.

Quick (for a tank), reliable, adaptable and fairly manoeuvrable. The Stuart (M3) was an excellent light tank, and really do you know any other light tanks that were the star of a comic book?
I disagree. Let's take the Sherman, Churchill or Mk IV as examples. They each changed almost beyond mechanical recognition during the war, but remained essentially the same tank, in both basic outward appearance and role.
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  #70  
Old 07 Oct 17, 19:44
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Sherman and Pz IV went from anti-infantry tanks basically, to be more capable in ant-tank roles. Pz IV in beginning and in the end were very different vehicles.
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  #71  
Old 08 Oct 17, 21:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emtos View Post
Sherman and Pz IV went from anti-infantry tanks basically, to be more capable in ant-tank roles. Pz IV in beginning and in the end were very different vehicles.
Did any tank evolve as much as the PzKpfw IV did through out the war? It was a front line tank throughout the war. And its design lent it self to improvement.
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  #72  
Old 09 Oct 17, 07:03
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Odd given that they came first
Medium Mark A Whippet



Then Medium Mark B, Mark C, then the Vickers Mediums Mk I and Mk II which were the mainstay of the interwar RTC.
The War Office balked at the cost of the Medium Mk III from 1930 and suggested something much cheaper was developed. Hence the Cruiser Mk I from 1936

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruiser_Mk_I
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  #73  
Old 11 Oct 17, 18:04
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Originally Posted by 17thfabn View Post
Did any tank evolve as much as the PzKpfw IV did through out the war? It was a front line tank throughout the war. And its design lent it self to improvement.
Two tanks immediately spring to mind.

The first is the Sherman. It had four gun options, compared with two for the IV, and 5 basic body types, with several engines, turret traverse mechanisms etc etc.

The second is the Churchill. It had at least three different types of turrets, two bodies, six guns, three different hull mounted weapons etc etc.

The strength of the Pz IV was that it was an okay tank that had a large enough turret ring to be upgraded with next generation weaponry. In all other respects, by 1943 it was outclassed by everybody else's mediums.
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  #74  
Old 11 Oct 17, 19:41
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The problem is the Panzer IV was there in 1939. No other medium tanks were so long lasting.

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  #75  
Old 13 Dec 17, 15:39
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I wonder how much the Panzer Iv influenced the development of the Tiger tank?
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