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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Forum Resources > Armchair Attacks! > Greatest/Best Tank of WW2

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Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 An archive of the WWII Forum's Greatest/Best Tank mini-contest.

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  #16  
Old 05 Mar 12, 05:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
My pleasure, it's a labour of love for me. Thanks for your input, and I think I'll probably be using the breakup of fundamental attributes along lines very similar to, if not precisely the same as, your suggestion here which is simple but has great merit IMO.

Part of the reason for my original list of ten criteria back then, was that apart from a desire to cover all the necessary bases I was trying to keep to the magic number of 10, and end up with 10 x 10 = 100 for a 'final score' in my own mind; even though many others probably would not use it that way in any case.

My thinking since then is that this is not necessary; we can have 8, 9, 11, 13 or whatever we like as long as we don't have too many or it'll all get too unwieldy. Also the criteria do not need to be, and perhaps should not be (still open to opinions on this) equally weighted; but that discussion will be for Stage 2. This stage is just to thrash out the list of criteria.
Funny thing is...if you drop the three I don't like, you wind up with ten again.

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Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
I'm not sure how that would necessarily be unfair, especially in relation to #10. One could just as easily argue that if a particular characteristic, or set of characteristics, are sufficiently important and wide-reaching then they should indeed gain credit in more than one area of our criteria? So it could easily be seen as unfair not to do it that way? To my mind, the argument cuts just as easily both ways; but still, I do see where you are coming from with that and it is certainly worthy of re-consideration.
My reasoning derives from a little test. Take a well known tank innovation, let's say slanted armour. And put it on a ty tank, lets say an Italian M13/40. Ouala! Not only do you improve this tanks score in the Armour department, but it also gets high marks in category #10. And possibly #3 and #9. Now depending on the weight of these "intangible" categories, this tank could rise to the middle of the pack despite remaining what most would agree, a ty tank.
Just my opinion. And in case anyone wants to argue bias on my part...I want the T-34 to win! And this would not help my case at all!!!
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  #17  
Old 05 Mar 12, 06:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smallvillekalel View Post
" ... My reasoning derives from a little test. Take a well known tank innovation, let's say slanted armour. And put it on a ty tank, lets say an Italian M13/40. Ouala! Not only do you improve this tanks score in the Armour department, but it also gets high marks in category #10. And possibly #3 and #9. Now depending on the weight of these "intangible" categories, this tank could rise to the middle of the pack despite remaining what most would agree, a ty tank.
Just my opinion. And in case anyone wants to argue bias on my part...I want the T-34 to win! And this would not help my case at all!!!"
I respectfully disagree and I don't think the example you offered is applicable to the real-life scenario; nor to the way it would pan out in a poll. I can think of no single individual feature that could have this much influence on the overall outcome. Do you really want me to go through a lengthy session of digital gymnastics to explain why or is it almost a done deal from my end already? OK, I'll start with this much and hope it will be enough:

The example you have flagged - the T-34 - was IMO very significant in terms of the advancement of tank design but not because of any one individual feature; rather, it was a certain combination of features appearing in one tank design at one time. That was one of its upsides. It also had some very significant downsides where it did not compare so well with its adversaries, and which would tend to counterbalance any extra 'benefit' accruing from its combination of advanced features. If that combination of advanced features gave it some benefits in combat, and at the same time made it something of an influential 'trend setter' for future tank design, then so far as I am concerned it fairly deserves to gain benefit for both those aspects, not just one of them.

Bottom line: To me, having a criterion for contribution to the advancement of tank design is very important, especially in the context of WW2 where the state of the art advanced so much in such a short time. Indeed, such was the progress of tank design from the pre-war examples that started fighting in 1939/40, to the end, that I would see it as being little short of criminally negligent to exclude this criterion for a WW2 tank poll.
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Last edited by panther3485; 05 Mar 12 at 06:21..
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  #18  
Old 05 Mar 12, 07:49
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Being concussed (RL) at the moment; did you add in Ease of Production? Cost of Production? I.E How much did the production of Tank X burden the producing country?
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  #19  
Old 05 Mar 12, 07:59
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Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
Being concussed (RL) at the moment; did you add in Ease of Production? Cost of Production? I.E How much did the production of Tank X burden the producing country?
Under my old 2008 criteria, I believe # 8 does fairly well cover that:


8. Production & consumption of resources

War isn't just about battles, it's also a struggle of resources. This includes materials, manufacturing capacity, transport, fuel, human labour ('man hours') and drain of skills and technical assets. Did the tank in question make the best or most optimal use of available resources or was it too much of a burden, when weighed against its overall effectiveness?


Also, criterion #6 fits indirectly into that overall concept:

6. Effort/cost of routine running & maintenance, and repair in the field

Some tanks delivered very good or excellent battlefield performance but were also relatively expensive and difficult to run, maintain and repair. Others were much less expensive and difficult but may still have delivered very adequately, if not spectacularly well. Under this criterion, we should evaluate the full 'cost' of running the tank, to be weighed against whatever battlefield benefits it delivered.


Do you think these need further development or are they pretty much OK as they are?

(Hope your concussion goes away soon, Richard. )
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Last edited by panther3485; 05 Mar 12 at 08:09..
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  #20  
Old 05 Mar 12, 13:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
I agree with you totally, that this would be a more equitable way to approach it, and give some of the more 'specialized' tanks - such as the Churchill for example - a fairer shake of the stick; yet at the same time remain fair to the all-rounders.

The Churchill needs no favours . Providing my argument is persuasive and accurate enough that is .
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  #21  
Old 05 Mar 12, 15:40
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Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post

Do you think these need further development or are they pretty much OK as they are?

(Hope your concussion goes away soon, Richard. )
Yeah; that should work. And no not going away as soon as I thought/hoped.
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Old 05 Mar 12, 17:19
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Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

The Churchill needs no favours . Providing my argument is persuasive and accurate enough that is .
It's not a "favour".

Part of the aim of re-examining these criteria is the honest effort to remove any unfair 'favours' that might already exist. As far as reasonably possible, anyway. In this particular case, it's a suggested method of compensating for what could potentially be an unfair disadvantage to any tank that may have been very good on the battlefield, but could suffer too much of a penalty under the 'Balance of Fundamental Attributes' criterion because it may be perceived not to have a very good balance (when compared with the likes of, for example, T-34, PzKpfw IV or Sherman; all of which were generally perceived to have a near ideal balance of the core attributes for at least a part of their careers in WW2).

The Churchill was cited by me as a possible example only because it was the first one that sprang to mind. There are actually quite a few other tanks that might potentially be adversely affected in this way, to a greater or lesser degree. This is regardless of whether certain individuals may disagree in any particular instance, and fight valiantly to champion their particular favourite anyway - as I am sure will be the case with you, Nick.

I am striving here, for what I can go to the poll genuinely believing to be the fairest and most balanced set of criteria reasonably possible; consistent with my overall view of tank matters; yet still taking on board some of the suggestions from my fellow members to refine said criteria.

However, if you disagree with the change David (smallvillekalel) and I have agreed should be implemented, please feel free to say so, giving your reasons and bearing in mind this could impact a significant number of candidates. Not just your (apparent) favourite.
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  #23  
Old 05 Mar 12, 18:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post

The example you have flagged - the T-34 - was IMO very significant in terms of the advancement of tank design but not because of any one individual feature; rather, it was a certain combination of features appearing in one tank design at one time. That was one of its upsides. It also had some very significant downsides where it did not compare so well with its adversaries, and which would tend to counterbalance any extra 'benefit' accruing from its combination of advanced features. If that combination of advanced features gave it some benefits in combat, and at the same time made it something of an influential 'trend setter' for future tank design, then so far as I am concerned it fairly deserves to gain benefit for both those aspects, not just one of them.

Bottom line: To me, having a criterion for contribution to the advancement of tank design is very important, especially in the context of WW2 where the state of the art advanced so much in such a short time. Indeed, such was the progress of tank design from the pre-war examples that started fighting in 1939/40, to the end, that I would see it as being little short of criminally negligent to exclude this criterion for a WW2 tank poll.
Sorry I wasn't intending to use a T-34 as an example, just the slanted armour. I was looking for a tank innovation and that one sprang to mind first. I agree with your assessment of the tank though, slanted armour was in no way her only innovative feature.
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Old 05 Mar 12, 19:04
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One thing I have always thought was important on the battlefield was the speed of the turret and the barrel. I imagine it's as simple as the size of the gear being used for the crank. How long does it take a sherman to turn her turret 180*? And how long does it take her to raise her barrel 1 meter? The expertise of the gunner would effect these, but we surely cannot take that into account. Also, would this attribute fall under #2, or need its own category?
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Old 06 Mar 12, 03:39
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A open question

As this is to set the selection criteria for World War II tanks (1939 1945)

Should all criteria be based on knowledge ideas and requirements of the times A World at War

Design limitations

Tank v Tank v Tactics

Mobility/Logistics In battle – To the battle field

“Attack with aggression, but always have a plan of retreat”
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Old 06 Mar 12, 07:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
It's not a "favour".

Part of the aim of re-examining these criteria is the honest effort to remove any unfair 'favours' that might already exist. As far as reasonably possible, anyway. In this particular case, it's a suggested method of compensating for what could potentially be an unfair disadvantage to any tank that may have been very good on the battlefield, but could suffer too much of a penalty under the 'Balance of Fundamental Attributes' criterion because it may be perceived not to have a very good balance (when compared with the likes of, for example, T-34, PzKpfw IV or Sherman; all of which were generally perceived to have a near ideal balance of the core attributes for at least a part of their careers in WW2).

The Churchill was cited by me as a possible example only because it was the first one that sprang to mind. There are actually quite a few other tanks that might potentially be adversely affected in this way, to a greater or lesser degree. This is regardless of whether certain individuals may disagree in any particular instance, and fight valiantly to champion their particular favourite anyway - as I am sure will be the case with you, Nick.

I am striving here, for what I can go to the poll genuinely believing to be the fairest and most balanced set of criteria reasonably possible; consistent with my overall view of tank matters; yet still taking on board some of the suggestions from my fellow members to refine said criteria.

However, if you disagree with the change David (smallvillekalel) and I have agreed should be implemented, please feel free to say so, giving your reasons and bearing in mind this could impact a significant number of candidates. Not just your (apparent) favourite.

The major problem will be by what standard one would judge a tank. Do you judge them by their contemporaries, or by the campaign(s) they fought in. For example, in 39-40 the PzIII was equal or better than the 38t in a significant number of areas. However, the 38t could take on the lighter enemy tanks almost as well as the PzIII and neither could cope with the French and British heavies. Further, as a lighter tank, the 38t required less logistical support making it more ideal for a deep strike, exactly what Germany required in 39-40. I would contend that the 38t was a better tank than the PzIII up to and including the Fall of France. This is exactly the same reason why I would choose the M4 over the any Tiger for an Allied army in 1944.

So the question would be - do we focus on the campaigns that folded and the ground actually fought over, or do we just compare the attributes of the tanks and decide which is better in more areas?

The problem with the latter is that the results may be nonsense. Lets compare the M4 with the King Tiger using the scoring criteria suggested above:

Firepower - Tiger win.
Protection - Tiger win.
Mobility - Sherman win.
Balance of attributes - Sherman win.

Therefore a draw? That is where the problem lies imo.
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Old 06 Mar 12, 15:39
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Folks,

I have been called away on a business trip to a distant locality for a couple of days.
My access to ACG may be from limited to zero during this time.
Please continue to bring out your thoughts and I should be able to get back to you all by about Friday this week.

Best to everyone,
panther3485
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Old 07 Mar 12, 01:57
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Criteria Tanks

Governments Politics 1935-40 played just as much in tank design and operations as the requirements of the battlefield

The British and French Governments both had different approach to tank types and how to operate them. The Germans had completely different ideas on the use of tanks as their Army would fight a type of war. The rest of the world sat somewhere in the middle or just catching up.

By 1940 there were new rules for the battlefield a new player that would change tank design and operations……… Air Power

My choice
1. Firepower (main gun) and defence (armor)

2. Mobility

3. Psychological effect on the enemy

4. Reliability

Outside or other factors Limited/Surplus of National Resources

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  #29  
Old 07 Mar 12, 02:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
Folks,

I have been called away on a business trip to a distant locality for a couple of days.
My access to ACG may be from limited to zero during this time.
Please continue to bring out your thoughts and I should be able to get back to you all by about Friday this week.

Best to everyone,
panther3485


I wait you return…… This could be a great post……. lots of new info
Have a good and safe trip

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  #30  
Old 07 Mar 12, 13:52
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Panther, great work. Thank you for the efforts. I'll take this opportunity to throw my thoughts in to the mix.

1.) Balance of attributes-Helpful when it comes to discussing armor but often misused and abused. Problems- the M24 was a good well rounded machine and had the appropriate armor and gun for its battlefield role. Who will believe in a rating system that has an M24 outvoting a PzVI in this category? Concentrating on firepower who will see the M4's 75mm gun as achieving a rating comparable to the 88 of either Tiger even though for their purposes they were all good guns?

3.) The edge (not the movie)- I would suggest that this be balanced with effectiveness in breakthrough exploitation.

8.) resources- I find it hard to see how comparisons will be made here. How does one weigh the value of resources per country? In the US, which was resource rich their was still tremendous drain as our wartime production was immense.

10.) Contribution...- I struggle to see the importance of this. If one is a pure student of armor it goes without saying that seeing a tank which lends toward future upgrades (Leopard, Merkava) is important, as is seeing technology which will be improved on and used in future tanks. In the context of this rating system I don't see the importance of these factors. This war needed to be won and machines needed to be produced to defeat the enemy, plain and simple. If the US had fielded a heavier tank than the M4 with good thick armor, a 90mm gun, a sound engine and drive train requiring very little maintenance it would get little recognition in this category but I should think the tankers of the time and forum participants of modern day would think it the greatest think since toilet paper.

I have to admit this rating system gives you (Panther) way too much power. That troubles me deeply.
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