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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Armor in World War II

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Armor in World War II Discuss all aspects & disciplines of World War II Armor here.

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  #46  
Old 31 May 15, 23:12
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One point of order... the T 26 is really just a Russian copy of the Vickers 6 ton tank. That vehicle was widely copied in the 30's and is probably the most successful tank of that period hands down.
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  #47  
Old 01 Jun 15, 04:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Whereas I would say it was either the T 34 or Sherman. If they were to be primarily battlefield tanks either could be up armored (and were as the M4A3E2 and T 43) to levels equal to or better than a Churchill. Both could and did accept upgraded guns and such.
The Sherman has great flexibility in its drive train and could take a variety of engines.

Since both the US and Russians found their up armored versions of limited value it kind of argues against the battlefield role as predominate. Neither made widespread use of heavily armored medium tanks. The Jumbo was mostly relegated to separate tank battalions as a result. The T-43 never got into mass production.
Instead, the best tanks were ones that could provide good infantry support (HE firing main gun... something that came late to the Churchill, and several machineguns.), and was reliable enough to be available in quantity when needed. This is because all-too-often the only opposition a tank faced was an AT gun or field artillery.

Reliability and ease of maintenance is also a critical value for a truly successful tank. In this aspect the Sherman is far and away the winner. But, the Pz IV and T-34 are decent enough and light enough that recovery isn't a problem. The Russians, Germans, and US all provided tracked ARV for this purpose something, surprisingly, the British forewent.

British ARV's tended to be the same tank as the troop it was attached to, ie tracked.

The uparmoured T-34, ie the T-43, proved to be a failure as it was not armoured enough.

The Jumbo M4 added almost 10 tons of weight, and suffered the same problems as the Panther, also about 10 tons heavier than its original design. However, Whites report, plus two scathing journalist articles in the Washington Post and NY Times convinced Patton to create more Jumbo's. There was aneed for armour, as current Western designs have proved again and again.
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  #48  
Old 01 Jun 15, 05:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
Author's picks:


Top tanks of the 1930s: T-26, T-28, BT-5

<Tanker's Choice, Commander's Choice>

1939-1940 'Blitzkrieg era': Somua S35, Panzer IV

1941 Eastern Front: T-34, T-34

1942 Eastern Front: Panzer IV G, Panzer IV G

1941-1943 Desert war: Panzer IV G, Sherman

1943 Eastern Front: Tiger I, Stug III

1944 year: Panther, T-34-85

1945 year: M26 Pershing, M4A3E8
Mine would be different

<Tanker's Choice, Commander's Choice>

1939-1940 'Blitzkrieg era': Matilda 2, Panzer III or A10 (Later if tracks were not a true problem).

1941 Eastern Front: T-34, T-34

1942 Eastern Front: T-34, T-34

1941-1943 Desert war: III/Tiger, III/Sherman (Pre 2nd and Post 1st El Alamein).

1943 Eastern Front: Tiger I, T-34

1944 year (ETO): Churchill, Sherman.

1945 year (ETO): Churchill, Comet.

Added areas:
Sicily/Italy 43: Sherman, Sherman.

Italy 44/5: Churchill, Churchill.

PTO : Sherman, Sherman.

Eastern Front 44/5: IS-2, Sherman A2 76mm/T-34-85 (can't decide).

The above is based on what was actually used in each area.
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  #49  
Old 01 Jun 15, 09:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
I....There are two main roles the tank is called on to participate in. The first is to help win a battle, and the second is then being able to exploit that local success.

Almost any tank can be useful in the first stage if employed correctly, even Italian or Japanese ones. The second stage is different. If a tank is not reliable enough, it cannot be used to exploit.

How much reliability you need is up for debate, but an almost unreliable tank in the Matilda 2 is actually okay, since after weeks of hard driving, they were employed successfully at Beda Fomm. You don't necessarily need Sherman levels of reliability, albeit it helps....
I'll only pick one nit in your post Nick.

None of the Matilda 2 made it past Tobruk. The few remaining runners that could be dragged forward were used there and that ended their participation until the siege. The British managed a couple of squadrons of Mk VI light tanks and another squadron (give or take) of cruisers at Beda Fomm but none of the Matildas ever got that far.

The Matilda fought, in every decreasing numbers, at Italian camps near Sidi Barrani, Bardia and Tobruk. Their numbers dwindled so rapidly for want of tank transporters and they had to waddle forward on tracks. Beyond these set piece attacks the Matilda was too slow and unreliable to be used in truly mobile operations. I don't have access to sources at the moment but iirc, the numbers fell from about 50 on Dec 9 to just a handful of runners for Tobruk.
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Last edited by The Purist; 01 Jun 15 at 20:20..
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  #50  
Old 01 Jun 15, 10:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Purist View Post
I'll only pick one nit in your post Nick.

None of the Matilda 2 made it past Tobruk. The few remaining runners that could be dragged forward were used their and that ended their participation until the siege. The British managed a couple of squadrons of Mk VI light tanks and another squadron (give or take) of cruisers at Beda Fomm but none of the Matildas ever got that far.

The Matilda fought, in every decreasing numbers, At Italian camps near Sidi Baranni, Bardia and Tobruk. Their numbers dwindled so rapidly for want of tank transporters so they had to waddle forward on tracks. Beyond these set piece attacks the Matilda was too slow and unreliable to be used in truly mobile operations. I don't have access to sources at the moment but iirc, the numbers fell from about 50 on Dec 9 to just a handful of runners for Tobruk.

For want of better info, I'll defer to your post in the main.

However, note that the Matilda 2 did not make my list of potential best tanks.

The bit in bold I've highlighted might not be correct. The Matildas, had done 1200 track miles, not bad in such desert conditions. However, slow in the open is bad against heavy AT weapons, and why I tanks are usually not the right tanks in the desert, nor on the Steppes.

Some good history here, although heavily biased.
http://www.4and7royaltankregiment.com/1940-1941.html
http://www.4and7royaltankregiment.com/1941-1942.html
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  #51  
Old 01 Jun 15, 20:22
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Absolutely,... that's why the Grant was such a wonder weapon. It was tall enough to almost see over the horizon and could start lopping off the opposition while they were still choking on their own dust down at ground/track level.

High Silhouettes - an often over looked advantage in armoured warfare

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  #52  
Old 02 Jun 15, 07:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

British ARV's tended to be the same tank as the troop it was attached to, ie tracked.

The uparmoured T-34, ie the T-43, proved to be a failure as it was not armoured enough.

The Jumbo M4 added almost 10 tons of weight, and suffered the same problems as the Panther, also about 10 tons heavier than its original design. However, Whites report, plus two scathing journalist articles in the Washington Post and NY Times convinced Patton to create more Jumbo's. There was aneed for armour, as current Western designs have proved again and again.
The T-43 was not a failure due to lack of armour. It was a failure due to lack of gun.
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  #53  
Old 02 Jun 15, 07:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
The T-43 was not a failure due to lack of armour. It was a failure due to lack of gun.
If you are going to be pedantic so will I .

It was both . Its armour of 90mm max was not going to stop an 88mm round, and its 3" gun was not powerful enough for the (flat) terrain being fought over.
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  #54  
Old 02 Jun 15, 08:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Purist View Post
Absolutely,... that's why the Grant was such a wonder weapon. It was tall enough to almost see over the horizon and could start lopping off the opposition while they were still choking on their own dust down at ground/track level.

High Silhouettes - an often over looked advantage in armoured warfare


The Grant used the Azimuth Indicator M19, which allowed the main gun to fire indirectly from the gunners view, but directly from the commanders position. Find a hole or depression large enough, and you could have only a small target, ie the 37mm turret, the enemy can hit, while still lobbing decent HE back at them.
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  #55  
Old 02 Jun 15, 16:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

The Grant used the Azimuth Indicator M19, which allowed the main gun to fire indirectly from the gunners view, but directly from the commanders position. Find a hole or depression large enough, and you could have only a small target, ie the 37mm turret, the enemy can hit, while still lobbing decent HE back at them.
I was always under the impression the Grant/Lee was a mobile observatory...
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  #56  
Old 02 Jun 15, 16:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
If you are going to be pedantic so will I .

It was both . Its armour of 90mm max was not going to stop an 88mm round, and its 3" gun was not powerful enough for the (flat) terrain being fought over.
The terrain isn't that flat - more a case of more bang being needed to eliminate threats, such as guns over 74mm from an acceptable distance. The 88mm was only a small part of the equation.
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Old 02 Jun 15, 16:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
The terrain isn't that flat - more a case of more bang being needed to eliminate threats, such as guns over 74mm from an acceptable distance. The 88mm was only a small part of the equation.
The fact remains that a single Tiger could hold up a brigade of T-34's, in the open, and more powerful weapons were needed.

From my previous post here: http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...4&postcount=43

Source: http://translate.google.co.uk/transl...26prmd%3Divnso

Quote:
"Valentine was a more successful tank, small in size, with good maneuverability. Sometimes you could approach a Tiger unnoticed on a Valentine. There was such a case during the Kamenets-Podol'skii Operation. A tank platoon went to reconnoiter -- three T-34 tanks. In the bushes, they ran into a German Tiger in an ambush, which shot them up after letting them approach to the distance of 500 meters. Then we sent a 57mm Valentine, which outflanked the Tiger, moved stealthily through the bushes to the distance of 250-300 meters, and destroyed it with only one round. The Tiger burst into flames, and the way forward was open! Otherwise, an entire tank brigade might've been held up for three or four hours.
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Old 02 Jun 15, 20:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

The Grant used the Azimuth Indicator M19, which allowed the main gun to fire indirectly from the gunners view, but directly from the commanders position. Find a hole or depression large enough, and you could have only a small target, ie the 37mm turret, the enemy can hit, while still lobbing decent HE back at them.
It was indeed a weapons system ahead of its time.

And people scoff at Grant's potential as a war winner.

Pushaw! I say. I scoff at them who doth scoff at Grant.

<<Scoff!!>>

<<Scoff!!>>
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Old 04 Jun 15, 15:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
The fact remains that a single Tiger could hold up a brigade of T-34's, in the open, and more powerful weapons were needed.

From my previous post here: http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...4&postcount=43

Source:
"Valentine was a more successful tank, small in size, with good maneuverability. Sometimes you could approach a Tiger unnoticed on a Valentine. There was such a case during the Kamenets-Podol'skii Operation. A tank platoon went to reconnoiter -- three T-34 tanks. In the bushes, they ran into a German Tiger in an ambush, which shot them up after letting them approach to the distance of 500 meters. Then we sent a 57mm Valentine, which outflanked the Tiger, moved stealthily through the bushes to the distance of 250-300 meters, and destroyed it with only one round. The Tiger burst into flames, and the way forward was open! Otherwise, an entire tank brigade might've been held up for three or four hours.
I'm wondering if that might have been more tank commander than tank.
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Old 04 Jun 15, 17:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBark View Post
I'm wondering if that might have been more tank commander than tank.
2 points.
First, the US 75mm M3 and the Soviet 3" were about equal, and the 6pdr had superior AP performance than both.
Secondly the 6pdr seems to have been a success against the Tiger whether in Normandy, Tunisia or on the Eastern Front. It was a 6pdr shot that knocked out the only Tiger at Prokhorovka as an example.

However, I think we can agree that we have a capable commander, who knows his particular tank can stalk the Cat, and has a decent enough weapon to take it out.
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