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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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  #46  
Old 21 Aug 12, 05:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
Final Scores for the 'Cost of Running/Maintenance/Repair' poll:

1st - M4 Medium (28.6)
6th - Cromwell (18.1)
9th - Churchill (12.5)
This is one area that the discrepancies of a poll are definitely too large.

In British armoured/tank battalions during 1944 NWE, it was usual practice to have 3 ARV's of the same tank type as the rest of the unit. However, while the 6th Guards Tank Brigade did have 4 Churchill ARV's per Battalion, the 7th AD had 3 Cromwell ARV's and 3 specialist M5 HT's, while the Guards AD had 4 Sherman ARV's and 3 specialist M5 HT's per Battalion, the highest number of specialist repair afv's of any British tank/armoured battalion I know of.

While I believe the M4 does have a slight edge here over the Cromwell and Churchill, the score difference between the tanks is probably far too high as shown by the number of maintenance afv's the units required.
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  #47  
Old 21 Aug 12, 05:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
This is one area that the discrepancies of a poll are definitely too large.

In British armoured/tank battalions during 1944 NWE, it was usual practice to have 3 ARV's of the same tank type as the rest of the unit. However, while the 6th Guards Tank Brigade did have 4 Churchill ARV's per Battalion, the 7th AD had 3 Cromwell ARV's and 3 specialist M5 HT's, while the Guards AD had 4 Sherman ARV's and 3 specialist M5 HT's per Battalion, the highest number of specialist repair afv's of any British tank/armoured battalion I know of.

While I believe the M4 does have a slight edge here over the Cromwell and Churchill, the score difference between the tanks is probably far too high as shown by the number of maintenance afv's the units required.
Don't forget, nick, that the 12 outcomes we have are simply reflections of the opinions of all the participating members, averaged out. I think there'd be at least a couple of outcomes I don't really agree with either. But I guess that's the way it goes with polls.
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  #48  
Old 21 Aug 12, 22:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
This is one area that the discrepancies of a poll are definitely too large.

In British armoured/tank battalions during 1944 NWE, it was usual practice to have 3 ARV's of the same tank type as the rest of the unit. However, while the 6th Guards Tank Brigade did have 4 Churchill ARV's per Battalion, the 7th AD had 3 Cromwell ARV's and 3 specialist M5 HT's, while the Guards AD had 4 Sherman ARV's and 3 specialist M5 HT's per Battalion, the highest number of specialist repair afv's of any British tank/armoured battalion I know of.

While I believe the M4 does have a slight edge here over the Cromwell and Churchill, the score difference between the tanks is probably far too high as shown by the number of maintenance afv's the units required.
What does availability of these AFV's do to the view of this comparison? Do you have figures on what the numbers of similar vehicles fielded by the US, French, Poles and Canadians was?
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  #49  
Old 21 Aug 12, 22:26
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KV II?

So why not talk about the KVII tank?

Had a main gun in a turret that rotated (very slowly) 360 degrees?
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  #50  
Old 22 Aug 12, 04:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
What does availability of these AFV's do to the view of this comparison? Do you have figures on what the numbers of similar vehicles fielded by the US, French, Poles and Canadians was?
Er ?
One would expect the number of armoured recovery vehicles per unit would be proportional to that required. The largest amount of specialist afv's for this task was in a Sherman division.

In WO 66/52/50 dated 20th July 1944, available in the National Archives, the British government states that while the M4 was superior to the Cromwell and Churchills in this area, it was only by a slight margin. I was merely pointing out that while the Sherman should score higher than British tanks, the score differences shown are probably excessive in this category.

PS: Free French followed US units and Canadians and Poles followed British units afaik.
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  #51  
Old 22 Aug 12, 06:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Kenneally View Post
So why not talk about the KVII tank?

Had a main gun in a turret that rotated (very slowly) 360 degrees?
I was in two minds as to whether I should include the KV-2, simply as a variant of the KV; much as all major gun-tank variants of the Sherman, PzKpfw IV and T-34 were grouped as single options. I hesitated because even though the KV-2 was turreted, its intended role was somewhat more akin to that of an assault gun than that of a tank. While constructing this set of polls, I was considering the possibility of a later assault gun/SP artillery poll set if this one was deemed successful and I reserved the KV-2 for that future idea. I'm not completely sure I made the right call on this, so my apologies to those who wanted to see the KV-2 in these polls and were disappointed.
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  #52  
Old 22 Aug 12, 22:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Er ?
One would expect the number of armoured recovery vehicles per unit would be proportional to that required.
You would? I should think that in units where fewer (ARV's) are available they might have to dole them out in fewer numbers then they might want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
The largest amount of specialist afv's for this task was in a Sherman division.
I should think that since the M4 was produced in greater numbers it would be easier to field the most desirable numbers of any and all vehicles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
In WO 66/52/50 dated 20th July 1944, available in the National Archives, the British government states that while the M4 was superior to the Cromwell and Churchills in this area, it was only by a slight margin. I was merely pointing out that while the Sherman should score higher than British tanks, the score differences shown are probably excessive in this category.
I understand this but I think this example might be a bad one if the numbers you provided are caused simply by availability of the vehicle or other factors. Perhaps I'm missing your exact meaning...what exactly do you conclude from the numbers of ARV vehicles in a unit?
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  #53  
Old 23 Aug 12, 05:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
You would? I should think that in units where fewer (ARV's) are available they might have to dole them out in fewer numbers then they might want.
Yes I would. We are talking OOB here, not what was available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I should think that since the M4 was produced in greater numbers it would be easier to field the most desirable numbers of any and all vehicles.
Again we are talking desired OOB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I understand this but I think this example might be a bad one if the numbers you provided are caused simply by availability of the vehicle or other factors. Perhaps I'm missing your exact meaning...what exactly do you conclude from the numbers of ARV vehicles in a unit?
Are you deliberatly being obtuse ? The greater the number of ARV's and other specialist maintenance afv's in one unit compared to another should be obvious if different tanks are involved.

I could suggest that a battalion that requires a greater number of maintenance afv's has tanks that need greater maintenance. The Sherman equipped GAD has the most dedicated maintenance afv's. I could poiunt out that in N Africa, unreliable Churchill III's had an engine life of 800+ miles compared to less than 600 for Sherman V's. I could also point out that of the 3 tank regiments of the 7th Armoured Brigade that finished the war in Italy, only two were 100% fit for service. These two, the 6th RTR and 8th RTR were both Churchill units. The third unit, the 2nd RTR, which had Shermans, and which fought over the same terrain was not fully fit. All this could suggest Churchills actually needed less maintenance than M4's.

However, I'm more than happy to accept the British governments report, dated 20th July, that Shermans were still better in this regard. It should be noted that the difference between the M4, A27m and A22 was slight in their opinion.

If the M4 has 28.6 points, I would suggest scores of 27 and 25 respectively for the Cromwell and Churchill as reasonable.
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  #54  
Old 23 Aug 12, 22:19
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This does seem a rather strange way of determining a vehicle's reliability. Looking here at authorized ARVs versus tank authorizations, though, Cromwell is more reliable than Sherman or Churchill using this methodology. I count 18.6 Cromwells per authorized ARV, 18.2 Shermans/ARV, and 12.9 Churchills/ARV even if discounting the assault brigade of 15 Churchill ARVs.

I'm happy to accept that Cromwell and Sherman are relatively close in this category. Later Churchills I'd happily lump in there as well. If looking at the vehicles' entire service histories, though, the early Churchills would certainly knock it out of contention, and placing it so high seems nonsensical unless we are only looking at examples of vehicles produced after the bugs had been worked out?

Last edited by DogDodger; 23 Aug 12 at 22:25..
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  #55  
Old 24 Aug 12, 01:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Yes I would. We are talking OOB here, not what was available.
I would think there would be a connection between the two. No? I would tweak my OOB based on what I have available. Ignorant speculation, I admit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Again we are talking desired OOB.
Understood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Are you deliberatly being obtuse ? The greater the number of ARV's and other specialist maintenance afv's in one unit compared to another should be obvious if different tanks are involved.
I'm asking you (politely) so that I am sure what point you are trying to make.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
I could suggest that a battalion that requires a greater number of maintenance afv's has tanks that need greater maintenance.
I'm asking if that is what you are suggesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
The Sherman equipped GAD has the most dedicated maintenance afv's. I could poiunt out that in N Africa, unreliable Churchill III's had an engine life of 800+ miles compared to less than 600 for Sherman V's. I could also point out that of the 3 tank regiments of the 7th Armoured Brigade that finished the war in Italy, only two were 100% fit for service. These two, the 6th RTR and 8th RTR were both Churchill units. The third unit, the 2nd RTR, which had Shermans, and which fought over the same terrain was not fully fit. All this could suggest Churchills actually needed less maintenance than M4's.
I would suggest you make the point if that is what you want to do. I'm guessing that you are saying "could suggest" because you know it might not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
However, I'm more than happy to accept the British governments report, dated 20th July, that Shermans were still better in this regard. It should be noted that the difference between the M4, A27m and A22 was slight in their opinion.

If the M4 has 28.6 points, I would suggest scores of 27 and 25 respectively for the Cromwell and Churchill as reasonable.
Maybe Panther will change your score?
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  #56  
Old 24 Aug 12, 01:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
This does seem a rather strange way of determining a vehicle's reliability. Looking here at authorized ARVs versus tank authorizations, though, Cromwell is more reliable than Sherman or Churchill using this methodology. I count 18.6 Cromwells per authorized ARV, 18.2 Shermans/ARV, and 12.9 Churchills/ARV even if discounting the assault brigade of 15 Churchill ARVs.

I'm happy to accept that Cromwell and Sherman are relatively close in this category. Later Churchills I'd happily lump in there as well. If looking at the vehicles' entire service histories, though, the early Churchills would certainly knock it out of contention, and placing it so high seems nonsensical unless we are only looking at examples of vehicles produced after the bugs had been worked out?
I was going to say that.
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  #57  
Old 24 Aug 12, 05:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
This does seem a rather strange way of determining a vehicle's reliability. Looking here at authorized ARVs versus tank authorizations, though, Cromwell is more reliable than Sherman or Churchill using this methodology. I count 18.6 Cromwells per authorized ARV, 18.2 Shermans/ARV, and 12.9 Churchills/ARV even if discounting the assault brigade of 15 Churchill ARVs.

I'm happy to accept that Cromwell and Sherman are relatively close in this category. Later Churchills I'd happily lump in there as well. If looking at the vehicles' entire service histories, though, the early Churchills would certainly knock it out of contention, and placing it so high seems nonsensical unless we are only looking at examples of vehicles produced after the bugs had been worked out?

Nice table, but misses out the three M5 specialist engineer afv's attached to each of the 7th and Guards armoured division battalions . Further, there were certainly 6pdr Churchills with the Guards Tank Brigade, not shown on the table.

Churchills in 42 were appalling from what I've read, having been introduced too early. By Tunisia 43 the bugs had been worked out. At Prokhorovka Churchill's were more reliable than T-34's and T-70's. It should also be noted that probably the best Churchill, the VII, was coming off the factory lines by the end of 43. Refering back to WO 66/52/50 again it states:
Quote:
The Sherman is still the most reliable tank if low maintenance is taken as one of the criteria of reliability. In actual operations the reliability of the Cromwell has been proved, but it is nevertheless true to say that the Churchill, and to a lesser degree the Cromwell, still require more maintenance than the Sherman. This is to be expected in view of the heavy weight of the Churchill and the high performance of the Cromwell. Tiger and Panther are relatively unreliable.
This statement is reasonable imo, and fits the facts. The Sherman should score higher than the A22 and A27, but the margin is simply unrealistic imho.
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Old 24 Aug 12, 05:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
The Sherman should score higher than the A22 and A27, but the margin is simply unrealistic imho.
Don't forget, Nick, that the polling was asking the membership about more than just those three tanks. So, what of the other tanks that rated in between the M4 and the other two? Are they all so thoroughly underserving of the positions they gained in our poll?
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Old 24 Aug 12, 06:09
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Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
Don't forget, Nick, that the polling was asking the membership about more than just those three tanks. So, what of the other tanks that rated in between the M4 and the other two? Are they all so thoroughly underserving of the positions they gained in our poll?
It's not about the order, although the T-34 is probably too high imho. The M4, M3, Valentine and 38t all deserve to be at the top. However, we have a best tank based on scores of the polls, and I'm simply pointing out that the points values do not necessarily work in all cases .
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Old 24 Aug 12, 06:21
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Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I would think there would be a connection between the two. No? I would tweak my OOB based on what I have available. Ignorant speculation, I admit.



Understood.



I'm asking you (politely) so that I am sure what point you are trying to make.



I'm asking if that is what you are suggesting.



I would suggest you make the point if that is what you want to do. I'm guessing that you are saying "could suggest" because you know it might not.



Maybe Panther will change your score?
If you had read the entire post before cutting it up into chunks you could have saved your time in posting this as my intent was obvious .

As for changing the scores, this is the first poll of its type I know of that considers all elements of the tank, and should be applauded . In a few years time, when another poll goes underway I would suggest putting the tanks into ranks, and then assigning scores. For example if a Sherman is considered best for maintenance, then the Cromwells score could be 95% and the Churchill 90% that of the M4.
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