HistoryNet.com RSS
ArmchairGeneral.com RSS

HistoryNet.com Articles
America's Civil War
American History
Aviation History
Civil War Times
MHQ
Military History
Vietnam
Wild West
World War II

ACG Online
ACG Magazine
Stuff We Like
War College
History News
Tactics 101
Carlo D'Este
Books

ACG Gaming
Boardgames
PC Game Reviews

ACG Network
Contact Us
Our Newsletter
Meet Our Staff
Advertise With Us

Sites We Support
HistoryNet.com
StreamHistory.com
Once A Marine
The Art of Battle
Game Squad
Mil. History Podcast
Russian Army - WW2
Achtung Panzer!
Mil History Online

Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Forum Resources > Armchair Attacks! > Greatest/Best Tank of WW2

Notices and Announcements

Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 An archive of the WWII Forum's Greatest/Best Tank mini-contest.

View Poll Results: Which of these tanks represented the most effective use of resources?
Matilda II 0 0%
Crusader 0 0%
Churchill 2 4.00%
Valentine 0 0%
Cromwell 0 0%
Somua S-35 0 0%
Char B-1 bis 0 0%
PzKpfw 38(t) 0 0%
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) 28 56.00%
KV-1 0 0%
IS-2 1 2.00%
M3 Medium 0 0%
M4 Medium (all versions combined) 19 38.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31  
Old 10 May 12, 20:23
DogDodger's Avatar
DogDodger DogDodger is offline
Colonel
United_States
5 Year Service Ribbon Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Chris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: WV
Posts: 1,605
DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
I think we may be looking too hard at the detail, and what happened in practise. Armoured and Tank brigades were to be used in the same way (according to Montry), and if one unit needs additional assets to do the same job, then the tanks in that unit can be considered of less combat value.

As for armoured formations in general, the British don't really appear to know what they were doing much of the time, concerning both kit and OOB, until July 44 imo. From memopry, early Armoured divisions had too many tanks (5 regiments of tanks to 4 battalions of infantry), and one had 6 regiments of light tanks, with just one battalion of motorised infantry. Then there was the issue of deploying the tanks properly, ie with infantry support. Until El Alamein, tank units in N Africa had been charging the enemy on site, getting shot up in the process. It took too long to pair tank regiments with infantry battalions, and this did not happen until after the initial combats in Normandy 44.

Concerning Armoured Brigades, I've done some digging, and it should be stated that not all had motorised infantry attached. The 8th Armoured brigade had the 147th (Essex Yeomanry) Royal Artillery Field Regiment as part of its formation instead, and armed with 25pdrs. Guns are very ammo hungry, and while less men would be required to man these weapons than an armoured infantry battalion, the supply requirements would still be greater than a Churchill brigade. Further, the 25pdrs would limit the mobility of this formation.

As I said earlier, Monty intended to use such units in the same way, regardless of kit, and said so himself. Shermans were really too fragile to be in the assault role, and had additional kit as a result. That is an example where an initially cheaper tank may not be as good as an investment as one with a greater initial cost.
Sorry, but I consider Buckley's hypothesis debunked if he's using the different formations as evidence. In Into the Vally, Taylor notes, "[During Operation Crusader, a]s usual in a Tank Brigade, the individual regiments were parceled out to support the infantry formations, as the latter did not possess any integral armor." Beale in Death by Design says, "The third group [of British tank types] were the slower moving tanks which were expected to work with infantry and to be capable of fighting against substantial defences; the three categories here are the assault tanks, the infantry tanks and the heavy tanks. Assault tanks were designed but never produced, and heavy tanks were produced only in prototype. But the infantry tank was produced in substantial numbers and performed effectively in the function for which it had been designed." (Emphasis added.) Later he remarks the infantry tank came about because, "In the early 1930s there began to be a demand for heavily armoured tanks designed for, and committed to, intimate support of the infantry." In The Great Tank Scandal, Fletcher says that Army Tank Brigades were intended for infantry support.

If Montgomery wanted to deliberately mishandle his tank formations that's his prerogative, and the US Tank Destroyers would sympathize with the British tankers. The doctrine was laid out before he was in command, and his misunderstanding or ignoring of it doesn't make the comparison any more valid. Far from having infantry added because cruisers were less effective than infantry tanks, the tank brigades did not need infantry because they were the ones attached to the infantry. Armoured divisions and brigades were intended for independent, sweeping, mobile attacks; and of course needed infantry attached to them since otherwise none was to be found. It doesn't logically follow that because the formations were designed to perform different functions, then the efficiencies of two tanks built years later can be somehow deduced from them, especially if the intended use of one of the formations made organic infantry totally superfluous. I don't have any of Buckley's books, but if this is typical of the conclusions he draws, you've saved me some money.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 11 May 12, 04:43
Nick the Noodle's Avatar
Nick the Noodle Nick the Noodle is offline
General of the Forums
Wales
Distinguished Service Award 5 Year Service Ribbon Greatest Westerns Campaign Greatest Spy Movies Campaign 
Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign 
Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role Aircraft C SPQR Campaign Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign CWiE 1939-45 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Tin Pot Noodle
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Land of the Red Dragon
Posts: 17,613
Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
Sorry, but I consider Buckley's hypothesis debunked if he's using the different formations as evidence. In Into the Vally, Taylor notes, "[During Operation Crusader, a]s usual in a Tank Brigade, the individual regiments were parceled out to support the infantry formations, as the latter did not possess any integral armor." Beale in Death by Design says, "The third group [of British tank types] were the slower moving tanks which were expected to work with infantry and to be capable of fighting against substantial defences; the three categories here are the assault tanks, the infantry tanks and the heavy tanks. Assault tanks were designed but never produced, and heavy tanks were produced only in prototype. But the infantry tank was produced in substantial numbers and performed effectively in the function for which it had been designed." (Emphasis added.) Later he remarks the infantry tank came about because, "In the early 1930s there began to be a demand for heavily armoured tanks designed for, and committed to, intimate support of the infantry." In The Great Tank Scandal, Fletcher says that Army Tank Brigades were intended for infantry support.

If Montgomery wanted to deliberately mishandle his tank formations that's his prerogative, and the US Tank Destroyers would sympathize with the British tankers. The doctrine was laid out before he was in command, and his misunderstanding or ignoring of it doesn't make the comparison any more valid. Far from having infantry added because cruisers were less effective than infantry tanks, the tank brigades did not need infantry because they were the ones attached to the infantry. Armoured divisions and brigades were intended for independent, sweeping, mobile attacks; and of course needed infantry attached to them since otherwise none was to be found. It doesn't logically follow that because the formations were designed to perform different functions, then the efficiencies of two tanks built years later can be somehow deduced from them, especially if the intended use of one of the formations made organic infantry totally superfluous. I don't have any of Buckley's books, but if this is typical of the conclusions he draws, you've saved me some money.
I think you are looking at this back to front. The British wanted 8 tank brigades to support the infantry, but could only raise 3. Therefore the rest were to be equipped with Shermans. These had additional kit, such as armoured infantry or field artillery regiments, and would therefore be a more expensive unit overall.

Monty knew what he was doing, and if he said he would use them interchangeably then I would expect that they were equal in ability overall, hence my opinion.

However, it has been known that what Monty says, and what Monty does, is not necessarily the same thing. During Epsom, the tank brigade supported the infantry while the armoured brigade supported the armoured division. The 4th Armoured had both a battalion of infantry and towed 25pdrs at that time, thus pretty much like a US Combat Command with 2 extra regiments of tanks, but less mobility!? Told you the British still had a lot to learn using armour.

As for Buckleys book, I wouldn't dismiss it, but wait until you can obtain a decent copy at a reasonable price.

However, my opinion remains that while a brigade of Shermans will be cheaper to buy than one of Churchills, the additional assets an armoured brigade requires makes it less cost effective.
__________________
How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 11 May 12, 17:35
DogDodger's Avatar
DogDodger DogDodger is offline
Colonel
United_States
5 Year Service Ribbon Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Chris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: WV
Posts: 1,605
DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200] DogDodger is walking in the light [200]
Thanks. I'm trying to ultimately submit that tank brigades aren't cheaper than armoured brigades. Combined arms is the idea behind each type of formation, and thankfully the tank-only ideas of British thinkers like Fuller and Hobart were either ignored or forgotten. Both armoured brigades (in their armoured divisions) and tank brigades needed infantry, artillery, etc. for success. The same of course goes for the other arms. The armoured divisions were set up for independent action, and therefore had their own infantry. Tank brigades, however, were not intended for independent action; instead they were attached to larger infantry formations to achieve combined arms. In essence, tank brigades did have infantry as "additional kit," only this kit as assigned on a per-mission basis. Infantry tank units didn't work on their own, which is what is being implied by saying they were more efficient by not having integral infantry in their brigades. By their very nature, infantry tanks worked with "additional kit," but the units weren't simply permanently assigned.

You were right in that this was a contentious topic, and I think it has produced an interesting debate on British doctrine and TO&E. I'd also be interested in hearing opinions besides our own. Anyone else want to weigh in?
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 11 May 12, 23:58
JBark's Avatar
JBark JBark is offline
Lieutenant General
France
5 Year Service Ribbon Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role Aircraft C 
Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: John
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Wayne
Posts: 3,427
JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
As for Buckleys book, I wouldn't dismiss it, but wait until you can obtain a decent copy at a reasonable price.
Google Play offers it for $31.16
__________________
John

Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

Last edited by JBark; 12 May 12 at 10:08..
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 12 May 12, 02:33
panther3485's Avatar
panther3485 panther3485 is offline
ACG Forums - Field Marshal
Australia
Distinguished Service Award - 2nd Award ACG Ten Year Service Award 5 Year Service Ribbon Most Decisive Battle Campaign, 2008 
Greatest Westerns Campaign Greatest Spy Movies Campaign Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II 
Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role Aircraft C Model Forum Group Build (Multiple) 
Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Paul
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 28,981
panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
Thanks. I'm trying to ultimately submit that tank brigades aren't cheaper than armoured brigades. Combined arms is the idea behind each type of formation, and thankfully the tank-only ideas of British thinkers like Fuller and Hobart were either ignored or forgotten. Both armoured brigades (in their armoured divisions) and tank brigades needed infantry, artillery, etc. for success. The same of course goes for the other arms. The armoured divisions were set up for independent action, and therefore had their own infantry. Tank brigades, however, were not intended for independent action; instead they were attached to larger infantry formations to achieve combined arms. In essence, tank brigades did have infantry as "additional kit," only this kit as assigned on a per-mission basis. Infantry tank units didn't work on their own, which is what is being implied by saying they were more efficient by not having integral infantry in their brigades. By their very nature, infantry tanks worked with "additional kit," but the units weren't simply permanently assigned.

You were right in that this was a contentious topic, and I think it has produced an interesting debate on British doctrine and TO&E. I'd also be interested in hearing opinions besides our own. Anyone else want to weigh in?
Just for the moment, in brief;

I've been reading this discussion of course, and considering it very carefully. I do see some merit in Nick's argument but not enough to sway me totally towards the Churchill in that regard. IMO, it could make the Churchill better 'bang for the buck' in certain specific situations, in certain theatres but I'm not persuaded that it would tip the balance totally, across the board, in the bigger picture of WW2.
__________________
"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!)
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 12 May 12, 05:00
Nick the Noodle's Avatar
Nick the Noodle Nick the Noodle is offline
General of the Forums
Wales
Distinguished Service Award 5 Year Service Ribbon Greatest Westerns Campaign Greatest Spy Movies Campaign 
Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign 
Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role Aircraft C SPQR Campaign Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign CWiE 1939-45 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Tin Pot Noodle
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Land of the Red Dragon
Posts: 17,613
Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Nick the Noodle has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
Thanks. I'm trying to ultimately submit that tank brigades aren't cheaper than armoured brigades. Combined arms is the idea behind each type of formation, and thankfully the tank-only ideas of British thinkers like Fuller and Hobart were either ignored or forgotten. Both armoured brigades (in their armoured divisions) and tank brigades needed infantry, artillery, etc. for success. The same of course goes for the other arms. The armoured divisions were set up for independent action, and therefore had their own infantry. Tank brigades, however, were not intended for independent action; instead they were attached to larger infantry formations to achieve combined arms. In essence, tank brigades did have infantry as "additional kit," only this kit as assigned on a per-mission basis. Infantry tank units didn't work on their own, which is what is being implied by saying they were more efficient by not having integral infantry in their brigades. By their very nature, infantry tanks worked with "additional kit," but the units weren't simply permanently assigned.

You were right in that this was a contentious topic, and I think it has produced an interesting debate on British doctrine and TO&E. I'd also be interested in hearing opinions besides our own. Anyone else want to weigh in?
Quote:
Originally Posted by panther3485 View Post
Just for the moment, in brief;

I've been reading this discussion of course, and considering it very carefully. I do see some merit in Nick's argument but not enough to sway me totally towards the Churchill in that regard. IMO, it could make the Churchill better 'bang for the buck' in certain specific situations, in certain theatres but I'm not persuaded that it would tip the balance totally, across the board, in the bigger picture of WW2.

I'm talking about the formations considering the way the war was actually fought, and what was actually required in a tank for that fight. Further, an armoured brigade is too tank heavy to operate alone in an armoured divisions role, and lacks enough integral infantry (sometimes none) to act in an assault role by itself. The same can be said of tank brigades as well, of course, but that merely shows that the weaknesses of both units are the same, ie independent action is not normally advisable.

Tank brigades support the infantry divisions with direct firepower once the artillery has stopped (aprox 150m from friendly infantry contacting the enemy in theory). Armoured brigades are less suitable for this. They lack arnour to cope with AT guns, and some have even have towed artillery which prevents them from being as mobile as a US combat command. Further, the British found that an armoured division with more tank regiments than infantry battalions was not balanced. Adding an armoured brigade to support an armoured division for an attack produces the same problems. Instead of 4 tank regiments and 4 infantry companies, you will have 7 tank regiments and (at best) only 5 infantry battalions. It could be worse, depending on the armoured brigade used. You could have 7 tank regiments and only 4 infantry battalions, plus a further towed artillery regiment that hampers an armoured divisions main asset, its mobility.

The problem with Britains armour in WW2 was that the design to production process was disjointed, and that in the wake of Dunkirk, any tank now was probably better than a decent one later. Further, Britain, due to its smaller army compared to the Axis, decided to use firepower to win battles. The theory before WW2 was that small groups of highly mobile, high firepower troops, would counter any deficiencies in manpower strength. The tank fits this bill, and it should be noted the CW always fielded a high proportion of armoured units.

Due to this manpower shortage, the British, like the Germans, needed higher quality kit, rather than more kit imo. Armoured brigades with their additional manpower were simply not balanced formations, whether used alone or in conjunction with armoured divisions. Of course, a brigade with 3 Sherman regiments and a 25pdr regiment would be a useful addition to an infantry division, but not as useful as a cheaper tougher Churchill brigade.

That is my position looking at the big picture. Shermans proved their worth when first introduced into N Africa, and the Easy 8 is definitely a candidate for 'best' tank 5.5.45. All marks were certainly better than any other Japanese or Italian tank they encountered, and they probably did extremely well during Bagration (it was their intended role afterall). I personally have given excellent to top marks for the M4 in many categories to reflect its strengths, and believe the M4 is vastly underrated in some circles. However, let's take the tank for what it was. It was reliable and transportable, easy to produce and maintain, and with a useful range of firepower options that made it more than suitable for the armoured role. That role simply did not happen enough in NWE, nor Italy.
__________________
How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 24 May 12, 22:59
triggerjockey's Avatar
triggerjockey triggerjockey is offline
General of the Forums
United_States
5 Year Service Ribbon Best Pin-Up Of World War II Model Forum Group Build (Multiple) Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Chad
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 5,749
triggerjockey has a spectacular aura about [400]
triggerjockey has a spectacular aura about [400] triggerjockey has a spectacular aura about [400] triggerjockey has a spectacular aura about [400] triggerjockey has a spectacular aura about [400] triggerjockey has a spectacular aura about [400]
T-34 here. Talking about making good use of resources, production assets, and labor, I don't think that you could get a bigger 'bang for the buck' than the T-34.
__________________
"You listen to the ol' Pork Chop Express on a dark and stormy night......"
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 25 May 12, 05:05
panther3485's Avatar
panther3485 panther3485 is offline
ACG Forums - Field Marshal
Australia
Distinguished Service Award - 2nd Award ACG Ten Year Service Award 5 Year Service Ribbon Most Decisive Battle Campaign, 2008 
Greatest Westerns Campaign Greatest Spy Movies Campaign Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II 
Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role Aircraft C Model Forum Group Build (Multiple) 
Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Paul
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 28,981
panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Quote:
Originally Posted by triggerjockey View Post
T-34 here. Talking about making good use of resources, production assets, and labor, I don't think that you could get a bigger 'bang for the buck' than the T-34.
Thanks Chad, your vote has been recorded.
__________________
"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!)
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 25 May 12, 15:35
Romani's Avatar
Romani Romani is offline
Sergeant
Canada
5 Year Service Ribbon Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Evan
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 122
Romani is on the path to success [1-99] Romani is on the path to success [1-99] Romani is on the path to success [1-99]
T-34 for Sure

The Sherman was built in greater numbers than the T-34, so one might vote for it, but I think that that was only because they had the world's strongest industry so they could build good weapons easy peasy. But the Russians built more T-34s than all other German tanks combined, and when you consider the Germans had 3 and 1/2 more raw resources than the Soviets, and more skilled workers in greater quantity, this is a remarkable achievement.

So I would definitely say T-34, but imagine for a minute if the AMERICANS built the T-34. With a simple tank, combined with the world's biggest industry, they might have built like 100,000 of them. If only that were true... because the late war T-34 was a match for the Sherman anyday.
__________________
It ain't an adventure until it all goes horribly wrong.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 25 May 12, 22:41
JBark's Avatar
JBark JBark is offline
Lieutenant General
France
5 Year Service Ribbon Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role Aircraft C 
Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: John
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Wayne
Posts: 3,427
JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200] JBark is walking in the light [200]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romani View Post
The Sherman was built in greater numbers than the T-34, so one might vote for it, but I think that that was only because they had the world's strongest industry so they could build good weapons easy peasy.
Of course the US had the world's greatest industry and this is why they were able to produce scores of warships and merchant ships, thousands of aircraft, thousands of tanks, thousands of trucks, machines, trucks, clothing, locomotives, raw materials...did I say trucks...and supply Britain, Poland, France, China and USSR. Did I say trucks? The US war machine was busy so I think an accomplishment like the 49000 M4's is tops. Considering the size of the Soviet tank park before the start of the war one would have to conclude that to produce the tank they did during the war not too much a stretch from pre-war. The US, on the other hand, had about 27 tanks pre-war so one might look at the achievement in terms of of increase in production and be wowed by the US effort as well. I will ignore the fact that the USSR was occupied and had to move their factories.
__________________
John

Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

Last edited by JBark; 26 May 12 at 12:14..
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links

  #41  
Old 26 May 12, 00:59
TacCovert4's Avatar
TacCovert4 TacCovert4 is online now
General of the Forums
United_States
ACG Ten Year Service Award 5 Year Service Ribbon March Offensive Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign 
Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role  Aircraft Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign CWiE 1939-45 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Nick
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Here and there
Posts: 14,584
TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] TacCovert4 has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Benchmark: M4

Excellent: M3, PzIV, T34

Good: PzIII, Churchill, BT7

My criteria for this one are pretty strict, of sorts. When I was picking my benchmark it had to be a tank that could and was upgunned, uparmored, and generally uprated rather than requiring total replacement and the associated costs with that. It had to be produced quickly, in high quantity, and with high standards without requiring inordinate man-hours. It had to be 'modern' for a decent period of the war as well, or after the war.

Note that not a single 'assault tank' made my list of even good, so far as allocation of resources. I picked the M4 as my benchmark because it was built in enormous quantities, it was designed and brought to production within a few years, it was eminently upgradeable both during the war and after, making it current or at least competitive for over 10 years. It had all the necessary amenities in it, and it was overall a very good use of resources, and it served in every theater of the war.

Next in line would have been a competition between the T-34 and the PzIV. The T-34 fulfilled the same role as the M-4 in the russian front, though there were also M-4s present and they were generally liked (with exceptions). The PzIV unwittingly pioneered the concept of an MBT, being a tank that was just big enough to be upgraded so it was competitive throughout the war. It was a great use of resources, and had the Germans had the foresight to standardize all tank production to the PzIV with the 75L43 in 1939 or 40 they would have been in a much better position. Also making my 'excellent' category was the M3, for its extremely good rating in the 'time to production' and 'resources spent for product' categories. It got out to the Desert with some AP and some HE assets when it was desperately needed, and then the hulls were used to form SPA once the utility of the tank itself had disappeared.

In the good category you have the BTs, which were both active tanks and testbeds, the Churchill....Britain's best production tank of the war IMHO, and the PzIII, which would have been able to cover the same capability I espouse in the IV until a long 75mm gun became necessary (there were III variants with Long 50mm guns and short 75mm guns that would have been perfectly adequate through 1942).

I left the rest alone as difficult to quantify.
__________________
Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 26 May 12, 10:50
panther3485's Avatar
panther3485 panther3485 is offline
ACG Forums - Field Marshal
Australia
Distinguished Service Award - 2nd Award ACG Ten Year Service Award 5 Year Service Ribbon Most Decisive Battle Campaign, 2008 
Greatest Westerns Campaign Greatest Spy Movies Campaign Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II 
Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role Aircraft C Model Forum Group Build (Multiple) 
Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Paul
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 28,981
panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romani View Post
The Sherman was built in greater numbers than the T-34, so one might vote for it, but I think that that was only because they had the world's strongest industry so they could build good weapons easy peasy. But the Russians built more T-34s than all other German tanks combined, and when you consider the Germans had 3 and 1/2 more raw resources than the Soviets, and more skilled workers in greater quantity, this is a remarkable achievement.

So I would definitely say T-34, but imagine for a minute if the AMERICANS built the T-34. With a simple tank, combined with the world's biggest industry, they might have built like 100,000 of them. If only that were true... because the late war T-34 was a match for the Sherman anyday.
Thanks Evan, your vote for the T-34 has been recorded on the spreadsheet.
__________________
"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!)
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 26 May 12, 10:56
panther3485's Avatar
panther3485 panther3485 is offline
ACG Forums - Field Marshal
Australia
Distinguished Service Award - 2nd Award ACG Ten Year Service Award 5 Year Service Ribbon Most Decisive Battle Campaign, 2008 
Greatest Westerns Campaign Greatest Spy Movies Campaign Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II 
Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role Aircraft C Model Forum Group Build (Multiple) 
Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Paul
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 28,981
panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacCovert4 View Post
Benchmark: M4

Excellent: M3, PzIV, T34

Good: PzIII, Churchill, BT7

My criteria for this one are pretty strict, of sorts. When I was picking my benchmark it had to be a tank that could and was upgunned, uparmored, and generally uprated rather than requiring total replacement and the associated costs with that. It had to be produced quickly, in high quantity, and with high standards without requiring inordinate man-hours. It had to be 'modern' for a decent period of the war as well, or after the war.

Note that not a single 'assault tank' made my list of even good, so far as allocation of resources. I picked the M4 as my benchmark because it was built in enormous quantities, it was designed and brought to production within a few years, it was eminently upgradeable both during the war and after, making it current or at least competitive for over 10 years. It had all the necessary amenities in it, and it was overall a very good use of resources, and it served in every theater of the war.

Next in line would have been a competition between the T-34 and the PzIV. The T-34 fulfilled the same role as the M-4 in the russian front, though there were also M-4s present and they were generally liked (with exceptions). The PzIV unwittingly pioneered the concept of an MBT, being a tank that was just big enough to be upgraded so it was competitive throughout the war. It was a great use of resources, and had the Germans had the foresight to standardize all tank production to the PzIV with the 75L43 in 1939 or 40 they would have been in a much better position. Also making my 'excellent' category was the M3, for its extremely good rating in the 'time to production' and 'resources spent for product' categories. It got out to the Desert with some AP and some HE assets when it was desperately needed, and then the hulls were used to form SPA once the utility of the tank itself had disappeared.

In the good category you have the BTs, which were both active tanks and testbeds, the Churchill....Britain's best production tank of the war IMHO, and the PzIII, which would have been able to cover the same capability I espouse in the IV until a long 75mm gun became necessary (there were III variants with Long 50mm guns and short 75mm guns that would have been perfectly adequate through 1942).

I left the rest alone as difficult to quantify.
Thanks Robert.

Your scores have been noted and recorded on the spreadsheet.
__________________
"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!)
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 26 May 12, 15:02
Romani's Avatar
Romani Romani is offline
Sergeant
Canada
5 Year Service Ribbon Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Evan
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 122
Romani is on the path to success [1-99] Romani is on the path to success [1-99] Romani is on the path to success [1-99]
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
Of course the US had the world's greatest industry and this is why they were able to produce scores of warships and merchant ships, thousands of aircraft, thousands of tanks, thousands of trucks, machines, trucks, clothing, locomotives, raw materials...did I say trucks...and supply Britain, Poland, France, China and USSR. Did I say trucks? The US war machine was busy so I think an accomplishment like the 49000 M4's is tops. Considering the size of the Soviet tank park before the start of the war one would have to conclude that to produce the tank they did during the war not too much a stretch from pre-war. The US, on the other hand, had about 27 tanks pre-war so one might look at the achievement in terms of of increase in production and be wowed by the US effort as well. I will ignore the fact that the USSR was occupied and had to move their factories.
Well you are quite right. The entire US rearmament was an incredible feat of organization considering the fact that they turned not just their tank force, but their whole army, into an effective fighting force in less than a year, where some countries would take years to fully gear for war.

Yes, the Soviet army had a large tank force at the start of the war, but they too had to make a huge effort to turn their fleet of largely obsolescent tanks into an effective fighting force as well, and when you take into fact that they had much fewer resources and industrial capacity than the US at the end of Barbarossa, then surely this achievement is just as remarkable as the American one.

But aside from that, I think the vote of this poll is to determine which tank had the best capacity for mass production. The T-34 was undoubtedly easier and cheaper to produce than the Sherman, and (at least this is what I think) was more effective in battle than the Sherman. So I think we all agree that both the US and the USSR accomplished great feats of engineering in WW2, but as far as tanks are concerned, I think the T-34 has the edge in ease of manufacture.
__________________
It ain't an adventure until it all goes horribly wrong.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 26 May 12, 22:34
panther3485's Avatar
panther3485 panther3485 is offline
ACG Forums - Field Marshal
Australia
Distinguished Service Award - 2nd Award ACG Ten Year Service Award 5 Year Service Ribbon Most Decisive Battle Campaign, 2008 
Greatest Westerns Campaign Greatest Spy Movies Campaign Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II 
Most Significant/Influential Tank Campaign Most Significant/Influential Fighter Campaign Most Significant/Influential Multi-Role Aircraft C Model Forum Group Build (Multiple) 
Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Paul
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 28,981
panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+] panther3485 has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
I agree that the T-34 probably became 'cheaper' to manufacture - in terms of overall consumption of resources - than the Sherman, once production had been rationalized. And this is the core point for the thread. However, as to effectiveness in battle I think I would rate them about the same overall; with the T-34 being better in some areas and the Sherman being better in others. For example, the T-34 did not get a 3-man turret into the field until early 1944 and the Sherman started out with that when it first entered combat in late 1942.
__________________
"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!)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Please bookmark this thread if you enjoyed it!


Thread Tools
Display Modes



Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:26.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.