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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 tank was the least burdensome for running costs, maintenance and repair?
Matilda II 0 0%
Crusader 0 0%
Churchill 0 0%
Valentine 0 0%
Cromwell 1 2.56%
Somua S-35 0 0%
Char B-1 bis 0 0%
PzKpfw 38(t) 6 15.38%
PzKpfw III 0 0%
PzKpfw IV (short & long guns combined) 0 0%
Tiger I 0 0%
Panther 0 0%
Tiger II 0 0%
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) 6 15.38%
KV-1 0 0%
IS-2 0 0%
M3 Medium 0 0%
M4 Medium (all versions combined) 26 66.67%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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  #16  
Old 07 May 12, 04:09
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Originally Posted by wellsfargo View Post
10. Effort/cost of running, maintenance and repair (30) M4

(a) Very low (24) IS-2 PzKpfw 38T T-34

(b) Low (18) M13-14 Somua S35 M3 PzKpfw III

(c) Moderate (12) Type 97 Churchill Cromwell Matilda II Valentine Matilda II PzKpfw IV

(d) High (6) Tiger I Tiger II Panther KV-1 Char B-1 Crusader

(e) Very high (0)………………….


“Attack with aggression, but always have a plan of retreat”
Up Date for Criteria 10....... Missed BT 5/7


10. Effort/cost of running, maintenance and repair (30) M4
(a) Very low (24) IS-2 PzKpfw 38T T-34
(b) Low (18) M13-14 Somua S35 M3 PzKpfw III

(c) Moderate (12) Type 97 Churchill Cromwell Matilda II Valentine Matilda II PzKpfw IV BT 5/7

(d) High (6) Tiger I Tiger II Panther KV-1 Char B-1 Crusader
(e) Very high (0)………………….



“Attack with aggression, but always have a plan of retreat”
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  #17  
Old 07 May 12, 07:47
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Thanks Martin, all sorted and you are 100 percent now.
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  #18  
Old 20 May 12, 08:09
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Interesting to see that out of all 12 polls, this one so far has the lowest participation rate, with only 24 members voting. Most of the other polls have about 30, with the highest being 32. Perhaps this question is one of the tougher ones for many of us, which would explain the lower level of participation?

The poll question asks us:

"Which tank was the least burdensome for running costs, maintenance and repair?"

At this point, and looking at the primary votes only, 18 out of 24 members have voted for the M4 Medium. Other tanks getting an endorsement were:

T-34 - 3 votes
PzKpfw 38(t) - 2 votes
Cromwell - 1 vote

I think the Sherman definitely does deserve a high mark against this criterion but for my money, I'm inclined to believe that the PzKpfw 38(t) would be a very dark horse and a worthy challenger, with T-34 snapping at the heels of both. I'm guessing Cromwell would be pretty good too.

At this point, 6 of the 24 voting members have gone to Level 2 and made placings. From my own assessment of these tanks, after T-34 and PzKpfw 38(t), I would also expect PzKpfw III & IV to do well along with the M3 Medium and the Type 97 Chi-Ha which, from the little I've read, was fairly maintenance friendly. This has only been partially reflected in the results to date, though. It will be interesting to see what the final outcome is by the time the polls close, when (hopefully) some more members will have voted and the 'blank areas' where participating members have not cast a vote are balanced out with averages.
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Last edited by panther3485; 20 May 12 at 08:35..
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  #19  
Old 24 May 12, 00:03
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As much as I wanted to vote for the Sherman, I had to go with the T-34. I am not going to say that I know a whole lot about the costs involved between the tanks, but to me the T-34 has got to be the cheapest to keep in the field.
I am merely going off the 'crudeness' of the T-34 compared to the Sherman. That, and the diesel engine. I know that a few Sherman had diesel's, just not standard like the T-34.
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  #20  
Old 24 May 12, 06:32
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Thanks Chad, got that.
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  #21  
Old 06 Jun 12, 18:52
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Wow, another tought choice. Gave the top spot to the M4, could almost have come either way.

Very low: T34, Cromwell, PzKpfw IV, PzKpfw III, BT 5/7, M13-40 (what is there to do on the thing?)

Low: PzKpfw 38(t), Valentine, Matilda II (not really sure on this one), KV1, IS2, M3.

Moderate: Tiger I, Panther, Churchill.

High: Somua S-35, CharB, Crusader.

Very High: Type 97 (given the horrible Japanese logs system.) Tiger II.
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  #22  
Old 06 Jun 12, 21:27
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I voted what I saw as the obvious choice in the 38t. Did anyone happen to notice the tank weighs only 10 tons and was noted for its rugged simplicity and overall reliability? In the realm of maintenance and field sustainment this tank is a class of its own, but considering it cant compete with anything here in combat for the most part it probably shouldnt be here.

Amounts of fuel, oil and other consumables needed.
It weighs 10 tons...

· Level and intensity of regular maintenance requiredIt weighs 10 tons...and has less moving parts and subassemblies (less to go wrong). The heavier the equipment, the more maintenance required.

· Frequency of need for repair"The main advantages of the Panzer 38(t), compared to other tanks of the day, were a very high reliability and sustained mobility. In one documented case a regiment was supplied with tanks driven straight from the factory in 2.5 days instead of the anticipated week, without any mechanical breakdowns (in: History of the 25 Panzer Regiment of the 7 Panzerdivision). In the opinion of the crews, the drive components of the 38(t), engine, gear, steering, suspension, wheels and tracks were perfectly in tune with each other. The 38(t) was also considered to be very easy to maintain and repair" -wiki

· Degree of requirement for expensive and/or very heavy specialized equipment for maintenance/repairMinimal

· Effort required to recover an immobilized tank
It weighs 10 tons.

· Design aspects that made the tank easier or harder to service and repair in the fieldLightweight design, fewer moving parts and sub assemblies, easy engine access and all German recovery vehicles could tow it alone.
German heavy trucks and trailers could also haul it.

· Effort required to backload a severely damaged tank for more extensive repairs, when it was too badly damaged for field workshops to fix.Minimal effort when taken in context with German recovery assets and compared to other tanks here.... Again, a 10 ton tank, not really fair comparison.
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  #23  
Old 06 Jun 12, 23:53
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Why does it have fewer parts because it weighs less. Without knowing one way or the other I would guess the parts were simply smaller.
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  #24  
Old 07 Jun 12, 04:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javaman View Post
I voted what I saw as the obvious choice in the 38t. Did anyone happen to notice the tank weighs only 10 tons and was noted for its rugged simplicity and overall reliability? In the realm of maintenance and field sustainment this tank is a class of its own, but considering it cant compete with anything here in combat for the most part it probably shouldnt be here.

Amounts of fuel, oil and other consumables needed.
It weighs 10 tons...

· Level and intensity of regular maintenance requiredIt weighs 10 tons...and has less moving parts and subassemblies (less to go wrong). The heavier the equipment, the more maintenance required.

· Frequency of need for repair"The main advantages of the Panzer 38(t), compared to other tanks of the day, were a very high reliability and sustained mobility. In one documented case a regiment was supplied with tanks driven straight from the factory in 2.5 days instead of the anticipated week, without any mechanical breakdowns (in: History of the 25 Panzer Regiment of the 7 Panzerdivision). In the opinion of the crews, the drive components of the 38(t), engine, gear, steering, suspension, wheels and tracks were perfectly in tune with each other. The 38(t) was also considered to be very easy to maintain and repair" -wiki

· Degree of requirement for expensive and/or very heavy specialized equipment for maintenance/repairMinimal

· Effort required to recover an immobilized tank
It weighs 10 tons.

· Design aspects that made the tank easier or harder to service and repair in the fieldLightweight design, fewer moving parts and sub assemblies, easy engine access and all German recovery vehicles could tow it alone.
German heavy trucks and trailers could also haul it.

· Effort required to backload a severely damaged tank for more extensive repairs, when it was too badly damaged for field workshops to fix.Minimal effort when taken in context with German recovery assets and compared to other tanks here.... Again, a 10 ton tank, not really fair comparison.

Certainly tanks like the 38t and Valentine should be scoring high here.
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  #25  
Old 07 Jun 12, 07:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
Why does it have fewer parts because it weighs less. Without knowing one way or the other I would guess the parts were simply smaller.
Yes, there were fewer parts and many of which were lighter. 5 Road wheels, smaller turret ring means less bearings, shorter track, etc. The lower weight means less stress on the metal and the 38t by all accounts seems to have had its parts optimized for its size/weight. The Sherman which is the gold standard of reliability is actually surpassed by the 38t in this regard. Certainly not because the 38t was a better tank, it's just a different weight class and that goes a long way with heavy equipment all by itself. Now add in the fact that is was a great design and very reliable and this is a no brainer.

From wiki-
"[edit] PeruA Peruvian mission went to Europe in 1935 and looked at tanks from several major manufacturers before settling on the Czech LTL. Peru bought 24 of them, organizing them into two companies. This small armored force was complemented by truck-mounted infantry and artillery pulled by tractors (the Czech CKD). Peruvian doctrine was influenced by the French military mission operating in Peru at the time, and emphasized the use of tanks to support infantry attacks rather than in independent mobile columns (as in the German Blitzkrieg).[4]

The Peruvian tank battalion played an important role in the 1941 Ecuadorian-Peruvian War, spearheading the attack across the Zaramilla River and at Arenillas. This was helped by the fact that the Ecuadorian Army had no modern anti-tank guns and their artillery was horse-drawn. "The LTL tanks performed extremely well in the 1941 war and remained in front-line service for more than 50 years."

50 yrs of use with no source for parts? The Swiss used Hetzers until the 70's also.
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  #26  
Old 07 Jun 12, 09:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javaman View Post
Yes, there were fewer parts and many of which were lighter. 5 Road wheels, smaller turret ring means less bearings, shorter track, etc. The lower weight means less stress on the metal and the 38t by all accounts seems to have had its parts optimized for its size/weight. The Sherman which is the gold standard of reliability is actually surpassed by the 38t in this regard. Certainly not because the 38t was a better tank, it's just a different weight class and that goes a long way with heavy equipment all by itself. Now add in the fact that is was a great design and very reliable and this is a no brainer.
Good points. Can you provide any citation for the points you are making? Sadly the few books I have that might discuss the 38T don't go in to any detail on reliability, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Javaman View Post
50 yrs of use with no source for parts? The Swiss used Hetzers until the 70's also.
It is not that difficult, with proper industry, to make the parts.
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  #27  
Old 07 Jun 12, 09:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javaman View Post
I voted what I saw as the obvious choice in the 38t. Did anyone happen to notice the tank weighs only 10 tons and was noted for its rugged simplicity and overall reliability? In the realm of maintenance and field sustainment this tank is a class of its own, but considering it cant compete with anything here in combat for the most part it probably shouldnt be here.

Amounts of fuel, oil and other consumables needed.
It weighs 10 tons...

· Level and intensity of regular maintenance requiredIt weighs 10 tons...and has less moving parts and subassemblies (less to go wrong). The heavier the equipment, the more maintenance required.

· Frequency of need for repair"The main advantages of the Panzer 38(t), compared to other tanks of the day, were a very high reliability and sustained mobility. In one documented case a regiment was supplied with tanks driven straight from the factory in 2.5 days instead of the anticipated week, without any mechanical breakdowns (in: History of the 25 Panzer Regiment of the 7 Panzerdivision). In the opinion of the crews, the drive components of the 38(t), engine, gear, steering, suspension, wheels and tracks were perfectly in tune with each other. The 38(t) was also considered to be very easy to maintain and repair" -wiki

· Degree of requirement for expensive and/or very heavy specialized equipment for maintenance/repairMinimal

· Effort required to recover an immobilized tank
It weighs 10 tons.

· Design aspects that made the tank easier or harder to service and repair in the fieldLightweight design, fewer moving parts and sub assemblies, easy engine access and all German recovery vehicles could tow it alone.
German heavy trucks and trailers could also haul it.

· Effort required to backload a severely damaged tank for more extensive repairs, when it was too badly damaged for field workshops to fix.Minimal effort when taken in context with German recovery assets and compared to other tanks here.... Again, a 10 ton tank, not really fair comparison.
Welcome to the forums and to these polls, Javaman.

Your vote for the PzKpfw 38(t) has been recorded.
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Old 07 Jun 12, 10:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

Certainly tanks like the 38t and Valentine should be scoring high here.
Darn right they should, IMO. Not necessarily outright champion (although they could arguably be strong contenders; especially the 38(t)) but certainly among the top handful at the very least.
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  #29  
Old 07 Jun 12, 10:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llkinak View Post
Wow, another tought choice. Gave the top spot to the M4, could almost have come either way.

Very low: T34, Cromwell, PzKpfw IV, PzKpfw III, BT 5/7, M13-40 (what is there to do on the thing?)

Low: PzKpfw 38(t), Valentine, Matilda II (not really sure on this one), KV1, IS2, M3.

Moderate: Tiger I, Panther, Churchill.

High: Somua S-35, CharB, Crusader.

Very High: Type 97 (given the horrible Japanese logs system.) Tiger II.
Thanks Lance, all recorded.
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  #30  
Old 07 Jun 12, 12:24
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Javaman Javaman is offline
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Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role  Aircraft Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
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Thanks all...


Quote:
Good points. Can you provide any citation for the points you are making? Sadly the few books I have that might discuss the 38T don't go in to any detail on reliability, etc.
Unfortunately I don't have proper citations, there isn't much out there on the 38t because its just simply not a popular sexy topic like the cats, T34, Sherman, etc.
The best info easily accessible is probably: achtungpanzer

The Germans were very lucky to get a great tank just when they needed it. I don't see their early campaigns going the same way they did without the Czech tanks.
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