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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: Which of these represents the biggest contribution to the advancement of tank design?
Matilda II 0 0%
Crusader 0 0%
Churchill 0 0%
Valentine 0 0%
Cromwell 0 0%
Somua S-35 1 2.13%
Char B-1 bis 0 0%
PzKpfw 38(t) 0 0%
PzKpfw III 5 10.64%
PzKpfw IV (short & long guns combined) 0 0%
Tiger I 1 2.13%
Panther 7 14.89%
Tiger II 2 4.26%
M 13-40/14-41/15-42 0 0%
Type 97 Chi-Ha 0 0%
BT-5/7 5 10.64%
T-34 (76 and 85 combined) 26 55.32%
KV-1 0 0%
IS-2 0 0%
M3 Medium 0 0%
M4 Medium (all versions combined) 0 0%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 23 Apr 12, 09:08
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Greatest/Best Tank - Advancement of Tank Design

Tips for Participants

If you have not already done so, for an outline explanation of what is going on and how the polling and scoring processes will work please consult the Master Thread (Mega-Poll - Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 - Master Thread) and read the first three posts I have placed there, before beginning your participation in the 12 polls:

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=122093

After you've read those first three posts (or if you've already done so), you are ready to start on the 12 poll threads.

When you enter the poll threads, don't forget to read the Criteria Information (post #2 on each thread) for information on what's covered by that particular criterion; and precise details you'll need to register your score for all 21 of the tanks.
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Last edited by panther3485; 23 Apr 12 at 09:14..
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  #2  
Old 23 Apr 12, 09:17
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Criteria Information



Welcome to the Advancement of Tank Design Poll; one of twelve polls where you will have the opportunity to help decide the greatest/best tank of WW2, as determined by our ACG membership.
You are also invited to discuss/debate the contribution to advancement of tank design for all 21 tanks in this particular thread.


8. Contribution to advancement of tank design (max 10 points)

How advanced was this tank?
Did it have some significant innovations or new ideas, later copied by others?
Which of these were inherent to its basic design and which of them were readily transferable to other existing designs?
To what degree did the tank itself represent an important step forward?
How influential was it; or did it inspire - or lead to - much improvement or development on either side?
To what degree can we look back and truthfully say, "Yes, that was a real milestone in tank design"?

Please note: Unlike most of the other criteria, this one is asking you to extend your thinking outside these vehicles' periods of first-line service as gun tanks. Potentially, this 'contribution to advancement' factor - by its very nature - can easily continue long after a tank's natural period of service. To give what is undoubtedly one of the greatest examples if not the greatest example in terms of its overall design, the famous French Renault FT-17 of WW1 has had an influence that extended way beyond its main period of service and is still with us today. Examples from the WW2 era may not be of quite this stature but some of them are still very considerable. I am asking members to consider the long-term influences (i.e. both during and after WW2 up to today's era). However, those who wish to confine their deliberations to the influence exerted on other WW2 tanks alone, are free to do so. Your choice here.


All Participants

If you have not already done so, please vote for the one tank that you believe measures up best against this criterion.

Level 2 Participants Only

Brackets

Please rate the remaining 20 tanks by placing each of them into one of the brackets below:

In your opinion, which of the following statements best represents each tank's contribution to the advancement of tank design ...

Significant advancement for its time and quite influential (9)
Advancement in a few areas but not particularly influential (6)
Represented reasonable but unremarkable progress (3)
Represented no worthwhile progress in any area at all (0)
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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!)

Last edited by panther3485; 11 Jun 12 at 06:21..
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  #3  
Old 23 Apr 12, 18:25
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I went T-34 here. The Germans were taken back that so called inferior Soviets could make such an advanced machine, and almost copied it.

Significant advancement for its time and quite influential (9) - Panther, Tiger 1 and 2, Sherman, Churchill, Type 97 Chi-Ha, BT-5/7.
The German Cats were always influential. The Sherman was the best tank in WW2 when it first saw action, and the fundamentals/basic of the powertrain of the Churchill are with us today. Type 97 is here due to Listy. BT-5/7 is here due to its influence on the T-34 design.

Advancement in a few areas but not particularly influential (6) - Panzer III and IV, Somua S-35, IS-2

Represented reasonable but unremarkable progress (3) - Valentine, Cromwell, Matilda 2, Char B-1 bis, PzKpfw 38(t), M 13-40/14-41/15-42, KV-1, M3 Medium.

Represented no worthwhile progress in any area at all (0) - Crusader
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  #4  
Old 24 Apr 12, 05:26
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I voted Panzer III for its many small, but significant improvements to tank design like three man turret. Panzer III was father to late German tanks.

Significant advancement for its time and quite influential (9) - Panther, Tiger 1 and 2, Sherman, Churchill, BT-5/7.
I agree with Nick, but I don't really see Type 97 in this category.

Advancement in a few areas but not particularly influential (6) - Panzer IV, Somua S-35, IS-2

Represented reasonable but unremarkable progress (3) - Valentine, Cromwell, Matilda 2, Char B-1 bis, PzKpfw 38(t), M 13-40/14-41/15-42, KV-1, M3 Medium, Type 97 Chi-Ha.

Represented no worthwhile progress in any area at all (0) - Crusader


I went with nearly copy-paste with Nicks post as I saw that it didn't need major improvements.
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Old 24 Apr 12, 05:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senorankka View Post
I voted Panzer III for its many small, but significant improvements to tank design like three man turret. Panzer III was father to late German tanks.

Significant advancement for its time and quite influential (9) - Panther, Tiger 1 and 2, Sherman, Churchill, BT-5/7.
I agree with Nick, but I don't really see Type 97 in this category.

Advancement in a few areas but not particularly influential (6) - Panzer IV, Somua S-35, IS-2

Represented reasonable but unremarkable progress (3) - Valentine, Cromwell, Matilda 2, Char B-1 bis, PzKpfw 38(t), M 13-40/14-41/15-42, KV-1, M3 Medium, Type 97 Chi-Ha.

Represented no worthwhile progress in any area at all (0) - Crusader

I went with nearly copy-paste with Nicks post as I saw that it didn't need major improvements.
First up, Senorankaa, please allow me to offer you a warm welcome to the forums.

Thanks for your contribution here.

I notice you did not say anything about the T-34. Which bracket do you think it belongs in?

I hope you enjoy the rest of these polls.
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  #6  
Old 24 Apr 12, 11:28
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Thank you for welcoming and noticing me about T-34. I would rate T-34 as Significant advancement for its time and quite influential. Sloped armour and inspiration to T-44/45 and other late T-class tanks.
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  #7  
Old 24 Apr 12, 21:55
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I chose the Pz III. For its time when introduced it was ground breaking. The torsion bar suspension has since become a world standard. You can't really tell the difference between a Pz III's suspension and most modern tanks. The double bogie road wheel with return rollers is a standard.
The crew layout became a norm for over a decade. Giving the vehicle several machineguns (the early ones had two coaxial plus a useful hull mounted one) was a smart move that in modern tanks is copied to a degree with several external MG for engaging soft targets. The armament was not spectacular but efficent and capable with both an HE and AP round.
Overall, it was a serious advance in the mid to late 30's.

Significant advancement: T34, Panther. The T34 for its armor arrangement and drive train (rear driven). Otherwise, it was a pretty poor design. The suspension was nothing great. Crew layout was poor. Access was not well thought out with the front hatch for the driver and large single hatch on the turret.
The Panther made all the improvements that the T34 should have had.

Average advancement: The M 4 Sherman. It brings standardization and interchangability to tank design for the first time. The choice of a large standard size turret ring makes it possible to keep the vehicle competitive far better than other contemporaries. Ease of maintenance and access is unmatched. The engagement system for the gunner is something that has since become a standard too. A wide view periscope capable of allowing a rough fast lay and then a decent gunsight for final lay.
Interchangable engines, tracks, suspension, all make the Sherman significant in allowing for a really upgradable tank for the first time.

Little or no significance: The rest of the vehicles listed.
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Old 25 Apr 12, 00:11
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I voted the Panther as the top. Even though I steadfastly argue that it was bested by other tanks and that their were flaws to it I am voting for the Panther that should have been. Flaw free, tested and bug free. It was the precursor of the MBT of the future.

Significant advancement for its time and quite influential - M4, Tiger II, T-34

Advancement in a few areas but not particularly influential-IS-II, PzIV, PzIII

Represented reasonable but unremarkable progress- Somua S-35, IS-2, Valentine, Cromwell, Matilda 2, Char B-1 bis, PzKpfw 38(t), KV-1, M3 Medium, Type 97 Chi-Ha. Crusader

Represented no worthwhile progress in any area at all-M13-40
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  #9  
Old 25 Apr 12, 06:40
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I'm going with the BT series, not only was it more or less the embryo of the T-34, which I consider the second most influential and the progenitor of the MBT, it was also used as a testbed for almost everything the Russians used, at least engineering wise, from tank mounted rockets to fascine carriers. It also had highly advanced mobility, and a decent armament for its time.

Hence, my ratings are thus

Top Dog- BT 5/7 (an variants)

Significant advancement for its time and quite influential- IS-2, Panther, Panzer III, T 34

Advancement in a few areas but not particularly influential-Panzer IV, M-4 Sherman, Tiger II, Tiger, Churchill

the rest are scattered among the other two.
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Old 25 Apr 12, 07:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashy View Post
I'm going with the BT series, not only was it more or less the embryo of the T-34, which I consider the second most influential and the progenitor of the MBT, it was also used as a testbed for almost everything the Russians used, at least engineering wise, from tank mounted rockets to fascine carriers. It also had highly advanced mobility, and a decent armament for its time.

Hence, my ratings are thus

Top Dog- BT 5/7 (an variants)

Significant advancement for its time and quite influential- IS-2, Panther, Panzer III, T 34

Advancement in a few areas but not particularly influential-Panzer IV, M-4 Sherman, Tiger II, Tiger, Churchill

the rest are scattered among the other two.
+1 for BT. A smart choice.
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Old 26 Apr 12, 06:02
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Benchmark: T-34 - sloped armour, big gun, highly mobile. This one even got British tank designers thinking.

Significant advancement for its time and quite influential: PzKpfw III, Somua S-35, KV-1, BT-5/7: these all represented something important: three man turret, radios, first use of cast hull, heavy armour and big gun, torsion bar suspension, fast and a good gun, Christie suspension

Advancement in a few areas but not particularly influential: PzKpfw IV, Panther, M4 Medium, Char B-1 bis, PzKpfw 38(t), IS-2: these showed advancement of some of the technological factors, or appreciation of ergonomics, but nothing earth shattering.

Represented reasonable but unremarkable progress: Matilda II, Valentine, Type 97 Chi-Ha: They had some novel ideas, but not very many.

Represented no worthwhile progress in any area at all: Tiger I, Crusader, Churchill, Cromwell, Tiger II, M 13-40/14-41/15-42, M3 Medium: not one of these advance tank design a jot - they were just newer versions of older designs. I defy anyone to find a radical, new, successful feature among any of these.
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Old 26 Apr 12, 07:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
Represented no worthwhile progress in any area at all: Tiger I, Crusader, Churchill, Cromwell, Tiger II, M 13-40/14-41/15-42, M3 Medium: not one of these advance tank design a jot - they were just newer versions of older designs. I defy anyone to find a radical, new, successful feature among any of these.

How about regenerative steering? How about a differential that allows for neutral turns? The Churchill had several firsts with its powertrain, ones that are still used basically unchanged today. This is why its relatively underpowered engine could take the tank to places others could not.

The Churchill was also fitted (and refitted) with 6pdrs to take advantage of the first discarding sabot ammo, still a premier AT round today (albeit fin stabilized in modern forms).

Steering, differential, gearbox and apds, that's 4 firsts .
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Old 26 Apr 12, 10:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senorankka View Post
Thank you for welcoming and noticing me about T-34. I would rate T-34 as Significant advancement for its time and quite influential. Sloped armour and inspiration to T-44/45 and other late T-class tanks.
Thank you. Your figures have now been entered on the spreadsheet.
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Old 26 Apr 12, 10:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
I chose the Pz III. For its time when introduced it was ground breaking. The torsion bar suspension has since become a world standard. You can't really tell the difference between a Pz III's suspension and most modern tanks. The double bogie road wheel with return rollers is a standard.
The crew layout became a norm for over a decade. Giving the vehicle several machineguns (the early ones had two coaxial plus a useful hull mounted one) was a smart move that in modern tanks is copied to a degree with several external MG for engaging soft targets. The armament was not spectacular but efficent and capable with both an HE and AP round.
Overall, it was a serious advance in the mid to late 30's.

Significant advancement: T34, Panther. The T34 for its armor arrangement and drive train (rear driven). Otherwise, it was a pretty poor design. The suspension was nothing great. Crew layout was poor. Access was not well thought out with the front hatch for the driver and large single hatch on the turret.
The Panther made all the improvements that the T34 should have had.

Average advancement: The M 4 Sherman. It brings standardization and interchangability to tank design for the first time. The choice of a large standard size turret ring makes it possible to keep the vehicle competitive far better than other contemporaries. Ease of maintenance and access is unmatched. The engagement system for the gunner is something that has since become a standard too. A wide view periscope capable of allowing a rough fast lay and then a decent gunsight for final lay.
Interchangable engines, tracks, suspension, all make the Sherman significant in allowing for a really upgradable tank for the first time.

Little or no significance: The rest of the vehicles listed.
Thanks TAG. At the moment, I have distributed the points as follows for your name here:

'Champion' tank with 10 points: PzKpfw III

Significant advancement ... (9) T-34, Panther
Advancement in a few areas ... (6) M4 Medium

Based on your post, I attempted to place the remainder that you had grouped together as a single bunch, in these two brackets that are left:

Represented reasonable but unremarkable progress (3)
Represented no worthwhile progress ... (0)

However, your wording "Little or no significance" made that difficult so in the end, I decided to 'temporarily' give all of the following tanks the 'default'* half points score:

Matilda II
Crusader
Churchill
Valentine
Cromwell
Somua S-35
Char B-1 bis
PzKpfw 38(t)
PzKpfw IV
Tiger I
Tiger II
M 13-40
Type 97
BT-5/7
KV-1
IS-2
M3 Medium

.... which is a very blunt instrument indeed. I can leave them like this if you want but if you're not totally happy with that, could you please indicate which brackets you want these tanks to go into.


*Edit: The method of 'default' scoring for unplaced tanks has since been amended. These tanks will now be given an average of the scores derived from those members who have voted for them or placed them. If anyone is unsure how this works or would like clarification, please do not hesitate to ask me.
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Last edited by panther3485; 28 Jul 12 at 14:56..
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Old 26 Apr 12, 10:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I voted the Panther as the top. Even though I steadfastly argue that it was bested by other tanks and that their were flaws to it I am voting for the Panther that should have been. Flaw free, tested and bug free. It was the precursor of the MBT of the future.

Significant advancement for its time and quite influential - M4, Tiger II, T-34

Advancement in a few areas but not particularly influential-IS-II, PzIV, PzIII

Represented reasonable but unremarkable progress- Somua S-35, IS-2, Valentine, Cromwell, Matilda 2, Char B-1 bis, PzKpfw 38(t), KV-1, M3 Medium, Type 97 Chi-Ha. Crusader

Represented no worthwhile progress in any area at all-M13-40
Thanks, John.

Couple of things, though:

You placed the IS-2 in both the 'Advancement in a few areas ... ' (6) and the 'Represented reasonable but unremarkable progress' (3) brackets. I put it in the first one for 6 points because that's what I saw first; but can change it to the second one for 3 points if you prefer.

Also, you've not given me your scores for the following 3 tanks:

Churchill
Tiger I
BT-5/7

__________________
"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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