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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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  #61  
Old 24 Aug 12, 06:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
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 .
I think to some extent it has to be about the order even if we don't like that; especially when looking at the Level 2 votes. The number of points in each increment will see to that. If you believe that tank X should only be a point or two below tank Z, but there are several tanks gaining a rating in between those two, this means you'll get more of a gap. Yes, we could have variable increments (say from 2 or 3 points down to only half a point or even a quarter of a point). Alternatively, do away with increments altogether and give each tank a score out of 100 under each criterion, which would allow highly variable degrees of difference. Better yet, maybe, combining a percentage score with the ranking may have done the trick? Possible idea for a future poll set? Maybe, but maybe not. Management of these polls; getting enough members to readily understand how to use them; and trying not to scare too many people away with the complexity of it was a real challenge and a juggling act.

Perhaps the whole idea has certain inbuilt limitations that would be very difficult, if not impossible, to overcome in this kind of forum environment.
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  #62  
Old 24 Aug 12, 11:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
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 .
I did, I answered as I saw fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
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 .
It was simply meant to indicate that your own votes probably helped create the issue you've brought to everyone's attention more recently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
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.
I would suggest not diluting the poll with so many tanks that clearly could not be considered the best tank of WWII.
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  #63  
Old 24 Aug 12, 23:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I would suggest not diluting the poll with so many tanks that clearly could not be considered the best tank of WWII.
If there was enough support and enthusiasm for the idea, nothing to stop us running a 'Final' in the nearer future with, say, just the top 10 or 12 tanks as determined by these polls. Maybe even just the top half dozen or so.

Anyway, further to my post #61 above, now I've had time to think about it:

If it's me running the next poll/poll set (and it doesn't have to be), then I will most certainly be ready to listen to any reasonable suggestions. I do see some value in Nick's idea. Each member would be able to rank the various tanks in order of merit against a criterion; the one with greatest merit (in their opinion) at the top and in descending order towards the tank with least merit at the bottom. Then, assign each tank a score out of - say - 100. This would enable varying degrees of difference, instead of the fixed increments that applied in my recent effort.

Plenty of time available to consider and discuss the alternatives. However, if we are to continue with such discussion I would prefer that we do it on the thread that was set up for it:
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...13#post2323713

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Last edited by panther3485; 24 Aug 12 at 23:31..
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  #64  
Old 26 Aug 12, 18:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I did, I answered as I saw fit.
You mean you did not like the message that cherry picking quotes was wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
It was simply meant to indicate that your own votes probably helped create the issue you've brought to everyone's attention more recently.
I've been very careful in my voting. I've been promoting a 'best tank' that most would not initially see as such. On paper it looks slow and underarmed. On the wargames table it is usually next to useless. However, to illuminate others on my opinion, I have been more than careful NOT to state the Churchill is the best at everything. For example, I would never say the A22 was as good as a Sherman in the exploitation/pursuit role, especially if roads are involved. Only the Cromwell would be better in 44 imo.

There are several roles for tanks in attack. First, they are to support an attack in breaking through the enemy lines. Second they are to be used exploit localized successes and complete the rout.

The attributes a tank requires to perform each of these roles are different. Historically the first role was performed by infantry, the best example probably being the average Roman legionary who for centuries was generally able to dispatch whatever he faced. He was slow, but well armoured and had a light handy weapon. He could fight in terrain other similar foot could not, eg the Macedonian phallanx. The Legionary won far more times than he did not.

Historically, the second role is best carried out by light cavalry. Whether Numidian skirmishers, Hungarian Hussars, Polish lancers or Mongol archers, these type of troops can often turn a battle once the situation becomes favourable.

Sometimes the latter type can win by themselves, especially if defenses have not been drawn up in strength. This is certainly true of France 1940 when lighter German tanks, which lacked the armour and weapons to directly take on the heavier French tanks, was able to outmanoeuvre the enemy at the operational level. In this case, the most important element was that the German tanks fought as part of a team.

The Churchill is certainly a better 'legionary' using this example, while the Sherman is certainly the better light cavalry.

My point has always been that the Churchill was a better tank than the Sherman as the war was actually fought. If the war had been more fluid, the Shermans virtues would have been more apparant. With a few exceptions the war was not. That is why Churchills were replacing Shermans in units where the fighting was toughest, and why Churchill units, and not Sherman ones were earmarked for the invasion of Japan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I would suggest not diluting the poll with so many tanks that clearly could not be considered the best tank of WWII.
1st: Vote on best top 10 tanks of ww2.
2nd: Vote on their relative positions in each category.
3rd: Then assign scores in each category.
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  #65  
Old 27 Aug 12, 01:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
You mean you did not like the message that cherry picking quotes was wrong?
I'm thinking I missed your message, whatever it was. Why don't we drop it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
I've been very careful in my voting. I've been promoting a 'best tank' that most would not initially see as such. On paper it looks slow and underarmed. On the wargames table it is usually next to useless. However, to illuminate others on my opinion, I have been more than careful NOT to state the Churchill is the best at everything. For example, I would never say the A22 was as good as a Sherman in the exploitation/pursuit role, especially if roads are involved. Only the Cromwell would be better in 44 imo.

There are several roles for tanks in attack. First, they are to support an attack in breaking through the enemy lines. Second they are to be used exploit localized successes and complete the rout.

The attributes a tank requires to perform each of these roles are different. Historically the first role was performed by infantry, the best example probably being the average Roman legionary who for centuries was generally able to dispatch whatever he faced. He was slow, but well armoured and had a light handy weapon. He could fight in terrain other similar foot could not, eg the Macedonian phallanx. The Legionary won far more times than he did not.

Historically, the second role is best carried out by light cavalry. Whether Numidian skirmishers, Hungarian Hussars, Polish lancers or Mongol archers, these type of troops can often turn a battle once the situation becomes favourable.

Sometimes the latter type can win by themselves, especially if defenses have not been drawn up in strength. This is certainly true of France 1940 when lighter German tanks, which lacked the armour and weapons to directly take on the heavier French tanks, was able to outmanoeuvre the enemy at the operational level. In this case, the most important element was that the German tanks fought as part of a team.

The Churchill is certainly a better 'legionary' using this example, while the Sherman is certainly the better light cavalry.

My point has always been that the Churchill was a better tank than the Sherman as the war was actually fought. If the war had been more fluid, the Shermans virtues would have been more apparant. With a few exceptions the war was not. That is why Churchills were replacing Shermans in units where the fighting was toughest, and why Churchill units, and not Sherman ones were earmarked for the invasion of Japan.
Excellent post. Thank you. I have a limited budget and am doing my best to increase my knowledge of the tanks of WWII and how they were used. As of yet my education on the Churchill has shown that it has good points but went through some growing pains...pretty obvious. If Fletcher is going to write (speculate) that Churchills were restricted from use early on in Italy because the British had lost faith in their own tanks then I would have to say that its problems lasted too long for it to get top dog position over the Sherman. There are many possible reasons for the Churchill to replace Shermans, money, pride, thicker armor. This would not tip my choice to the Churchill.

I realize the war was not fought allowing the M4 to shine to it's fullest but I still see it's virtues coming through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
1st: Vote on best top 10 tanks of ww2.
2nd: Vote on their relative positions in each category.
3rd: Then assign scores in each category.
Why not toss around a poll of your own design?
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  #66  
Old 30 Aug 12, 05:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
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.
We should have included the KV-85 in with the KV-1 as well then. All three used the same basic hull/engine combination, the only difference being the turret and armament. The trouble is that sometimes we forget about the interim designs (like the T-34/57) when focusing on the questions.
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  #67  
Old 30 Aug 12, 05:53
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panther3485 panther3485 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
We should have included the KV-85 in with the KV-1 as well then. All three used the same basic hull/engine combination, the only difference being the turret and armament. The trouble is that sometimes we forget about the interim designs (like the T-34/57) when focusing on the questions.
Yep, 'KV tanks' or maybe just 'KV' would have covered them all but then, I'm still strongly inclined to regard the KV-2 as a turreted assault gun rather than a tank proper, so for me the dilemma would remain.
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