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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.

View Poll Results: In your opinion, which of these tanks was best for its 'soft' factors?
Matilda II 0 0%
Crusader 0 0%
Churchill 2 5.13%
Valentine 0 0%
Cromwell 0 0%
Somua S-35 0 0%
Char B-1 bis 0 0%
PzKpfw 38(t) 0 0%
PzKpfw III 1 2.56%
PzKpfw IV (short & long guns combined) 8 20.51%
Tiger I 10 25.64%
Panther 2 5.13%
Tiger II 1 2.56%
M 13-40/14-41/15-42 0 0%
Type 97 Chi-Ha 0 0%
BT-5/7 0 0%
T-34 (76 and 85 combined) 0 0%
KV-1 0 0%
IS-2 0 0%
M3 Medium 0 0%
M4 Medium (all versions combined) 15 38.46%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 29 Apr 12, 22:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
That is true up to a point, although the driver did have two periscopes as well. In reality, the only person with a reasonable field of view in any WW2 tank was the commander. That was when he took his head out of the turret.
Thanks for the clarification.
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  #32  
Old 29 Apr 12, 23:25
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... remembering also, though, that during WW2 if a commander had to stay buttoned-up, the setup that gave him the best view in that situation was a well-designed all-round-vision cupola.

IMO, that's a rather important point because the Commander is in control, both to co-ordinate the actions of his tank with that of other tanks and to issue directions to his crew (including the driver) and his gunner in particular. And (again IMO), it was the German tanks that had the advantage over most others in this way; at least until quite late in the war when similar cupolas began to appear on more substantial numbers of Allied tanks.

I think some folks are forgetting or under-playing this when they compare 'buttoned-up' visibility between different tanks; and placing a lot of emphasis on what a particular other individual crew member can see (not saying that isn't important) while not placing enough emphasis on what the Commander can see.

Overall situational awareness for a tank crew depends primarily on the Commander; and situational awareness is critical. Even a slight advantage can sometimes be decisive here, IMO; especially if the crew is well trained.
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Last edited by panther3485; 30 Apr 12 at 08:45..
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  #33  
Old 09 May 12, 13:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Therefore, given my possible erroneous vote in this category, I feel it is not unnecessary to ask why people are voting for the M4.
This will be a tough category, as many of the factors usually go ignored by references. I'm not sure the M4 should be given top marks, either. For example, a veteran tanker remarks on the M26 in Marines under Armor: "...steering was done the same as the M4's, pull the levers with 'brute' strength, good way to build the arms and upper body." Compared to T-34, though, Loza notes that the M4 was easier to use, burned rather than exploded, was quieter, had better interior appointments, was equipped with a very useful compass and auxiliary generator, and the optics weren't as affected by dust.

Smithers says that after examining the Tiger, the British paper "German and British Tank Armament Policy" noted "British users would not accept...the cramped fighting space which the Germans and Russians appear to accept." Contrary to this paper, the School of Tank Technology's "Report on Pz Kw VI (Tiger) Model E" asserts that, despite the gun breech almost reaching the rear of the turret, "the turret is unusually spacious." Part II of the report again notes that "[b]y comparison with those of present British tanks, the turret is fairly roomy and comfortable." Section II of Part II contradicts the earlier impressions, however: "Although crew comfort has been given great consideration during design, in actual fact the commander's and gunner's positions are somewhat cramped."
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  #34  
Old 09 May 12, 20:14
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Speaking for myself, I won't have so much trouble with the crew working space aspect, for most of these tanks. Btw, for the interior of Tiger I the School of Tank Technology's verdict comes closest to the mark. Compared to most British tanks - and Soviet tanks too - it was relatively spacious. Relatively is the key word here because all tanks are cramped inside; just that some are relatively less so. Layout makes a diffference too, of course.

I anticipate that some of the other aspects of 'soft' factors will make me think quite a bit harder than crew space, which I find less of a puzzle when considered in isolation. But then, of course, one has to juggle the various components of this criterion as an overall mix which is the hardest part IMO.
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  #35  
Old 10 May 12, 05:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
This will be a tough category, as many of the factors usually go ignored by references. I'm not sure the M4 should be given top marks, either. For example, a veteran tanker remarks on the M26 in Marines under Armor: "...steering was done the same as the M4's, pull the levers with 'brute' strength, good way to build the arms and upper body." Compared to T-34, though, Loza notes that the M4 was easier to use, burned rather than exploded, was quieter, had better interior appointments, was equipped with a very useful compass and auxiliary generator, and the optics weren't as affected by dust.

Smithers says that after examining the Tiger, the British paper "German and British Tank Armament Policy" noted "British users would not accept...the cramped fighting space which the Germans and Russians appear to accept." Contrary to this paper, the School of Tank Technology's "Report on Pz Kw VI (Tiger) Model E" asserts that, despite the gun breech almost reaching the rear of the turret, "the turret is unusually spacious." Part II of the report again notes that "[b]y comparison with those of present British tanks, the turret is fairly roomy and comfortable." Section II of Part II contradicts the earlier impressions, however: "Although crew comfort has been given great consideration during design, in actual fact the commander's and gunner's positions are somewhat cramped."
Sounds like the British report was written by several different authors in different rooms, and then nailed together.
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  #36  
Old 10 May 12, 06:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
Sounds like the British report was written by several different authors in different rooms, and then nailed together.
The various reports are found here.

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  #37  
Old 16 May 12, 22:06
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I voted Pz IV for the benchmark here, admittedly short of comfort that I am as knowledgeable in this category. I have to think the Germans have the rep for most of what falls in soft factors with some exceptions.


Excellent-M4 Medium, PzKpfw III


Good -M3 Medium, PzKpfw 38(t), Valentine, Cromwell


OK -T-34,KV-1,IS-2,BT-5/7,Somua S-35, Char B-1, Tiger I
Panther, Tiger II, Type 97 Chi-Ha, Churchill, Matilda II, Crusader


Poor -M 13-40/14-41/15-42
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  #38  
Old 17 May 12, 04:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I voted Pz IV for the benchmark here, admittedly short of comfort that I am as knowledgeable in this category. I have to think the Germans have the rep for most of what falls in soft factors with some exceptions.


Excellent-M4 Medium, PzKpfw III


Good -M3 Medium, PzKpfw 38(t), Valentine, Cromwell


OK -T-34,KV-1,IS-2,BT-5/7,Somua S-35, Char B-1, Tiger I
Panther, Tiger II, Type 97 Chi-Ha, Churchill, Matilda II, Crusader


Poor -M 13-40/14-41/15-42
Thanks John.

All scores added to the spreadsheet now.
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  #39  
Old 24 May 12, 00:11
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Sherman all the way on this one. That tank was the Cadillac of them all. Enough said.
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  #40  
Old 24 May 12, 06:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triggerjockey View Post
Sherman all the way on this one. That tank was the Cadillac of them all. Enough said.
Thanks Chad, score recorded.
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  #41  
Old 06 Jun 12, 17:54
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For the best I picked Tiger I. It was a (relatively) spacious tank with good sights and a comfortable ride. (They even protected the bow gunners head with the lamp shade thingy) I know about the slow turret traverse, but I don't know how often this became a problem. My understanding of this category is limited, but I'll make the best selections I can.

Excellent: Tiger II, Panther, M4, Churchill, Cromwell.

Good: PzKpfw IV, PzKpfw III, M3

OK: Matilda II, Crusader, Valentine, Type 97, PzKpfw 38(t), T 34, IS2, KV1

Poor: Somua S-35, CharB, M13-40, BT 5/7
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  #42  
Old 07 Jun 12, 07:43
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Thanks Lance, all done.
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  #43  
Old 11 Jun 12, 04:14
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I just agree with the majority here, the Sherman.
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Old 11 Jun 12, 06:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
I just agree with the majority here, the Sherman.
Thanks Michele. Your vote for the Sherman has been recorded.
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  #45  
Old 11 Jun 12, 14:46
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Voted: PzKpfw IV.

Excellent: Panther, Tiger I, Tiger II, PzKpfw III.

Good: T-34, PzKpfw 38(t), Churchill, Cromwell, M3, M4.

OK: IS-2, KV-1, BT-5/7, Matilda II, Type 97 Chi-Ha, M 13-40/14-41/15-42, Valentine, Crusader.

Poor: Char B-1 bis, Somua S-35.
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