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"Killers: The Most Lethal Tanks of World War II" Topic


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World War Two on the Land

916 hits since 16 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2019 3:11 p.m. PST

"The winner will surprise you……"

See here

link


Amicalement
Armand

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2019 5:24 p.m. PST

Interesting. Thanks.

Dave

Blutarski16 Jan 2019 5:33 p.m. PST

See "The Tanks of Operation Barbarossa" by Boris Kavalerchik for some interesting observations (and self-criticisms) from the Soviet point of view.

B

Berzerker7316 Jan 2019 5:44 p.m. PST

I really enjoyed the idea of a best tank for each year of the war.

Thanks for sharing!

Legion 417 Jan 2019 6:11 a.m. PST

Yes, that made sense as with each year, almost everybody's tech increased producing "better" AFVs, etc. But as the article states it was more that just that … E.g. Crew effectiveness, leadership, etc.

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2019 7:06 a.m. PST

A good read!

Fred Cartwright17 Jan 2019 7:38 a.m. PST

Interesting the M4 doesn't make the list though either as a tankers or commanders choice!

DeRuyter17 Jan 2019 9:55 a.m. PST

Fred – the Easy 8 made the list for 1945.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2019 10:35 a.m. PST

Happy you enjoyed it my friends!. (smile)


Amicalement
Armand

Fred Cartwright17 Jan 2019 2:00 p.m. PST

Fred the Easy 8 made the list for 1945.

That is not the impression the article gives. Not read the book myself. Not really interested in tank top trumps.

Mark 117 Jan 2019 6:16 p.m. PST

Fred the Easy 8 made the list for 1945.

That is not the impression the article gives. Not read the book myself.

Fred -

You may have missed:

In 1945, the American M-26 Pershing edging out the formidable, but overweight and unreliable, German King Tiger for Tanker's Choice, while the Sherman model M4A3E8 wins Commander's Choice for its reliability, quantity and high-velocity armor-piercing ammunition.

No need to buy the book. It was right there, no impression needed.

As much as I like that he chose "best" per year, I also very much like that he chose both the "tanker's choice" (ie: I want to be in something that can't be hurt!") and the "commander's choice" (ie: I want something that accomplishes the mission!")

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Fred Cartwright18 Jan 2019 2:15 a.m. PST

I was surprised the T34 got both tankers and commanders choice for 1941. The early models were very poor in terms of ergonomics, build quality, reliability and optics. I would have gone with the Panzer III as the commanders choice of 1941.

Legion 418 Jan 2019 7:02 a.m. PST

In 1945, the American M-26 Pershing edging out the formidable, but overweight and unreliable, German King Tiger for Tanker's Choice, while the Sherman model M4A3E8 wins Commander's Choice for its reliability, quantity and high-velocity armor-piercing ammunition.
Yes, I've always been a proponent of that the M-26 should have been fielded earlier. But we have covered this topic before. Regardless I think the M-26 was a better design to combat other tanks, etc., i.e., the German "Big Cats".


And IMO the M4A3E8 was the best version of the M4.

UshCha18 Jan 2019 8:28 a.m. PST

To be honest the Sherman should have been the Commanders choice.

A Tanks job is to win wars, that really does not mean just fighting tanks. There are other ways of beating tanks. Sherman vs Tigers is not a good exchange but Sherman's vs infantry is Massively better, 1 tiger vs probably 10 Sherman's. The truly scarce resource for both sides at the end was infantry. Sherman save more infantry so are better as a war winner.

Plus what happened to the Firefly as good or better gun than the Tiger AND more reliable on the Sherman Chassis.

Fred Cartwright18 Jan 2019 9:08 a.m. PST

Yes, I've always been a proponent of that the M-26 should have been fielded earlier. But we have covered this topic before. Regardless I think the M-26 was a better design to combat other tanks,

I was surprised by that. I think the JSII would have been a better choice. AFAIK they were still ironing out the bugs in the M26 and it was not particularly reliable and somewhat underpowered too. Also would have thought the Comet should have had a shot at commanders choice for 45.

Legion 418 Jan 2019 1:58 p.m. PST

Yes, IIRC they were still working out the bugs on the M-26. But had they decided sooner to develop it, etc., maybe many more would have seen combat sooner. But there is a lot of discussion on this pro & con. So we don't need to go there again.

Blutarski18 Jan 2019 7:13 p.m. PST

M26 bugs persisted into the first year of the Korean War.

B

Andy ONeill19 Jan 2019 7:32 a.m. PST

It's all a bit academic. But yes, not so sure about the t34 in 41.

I wonder whether the centurion was considered.
And the comet was a pretty good compromise.
If you consider actual advance rates and successes then the churchill did pretty well. The crocodile was often spectacularly successful in encouraging bloodless surrenders.

Legion 419 Jan 2019 7:48 a.m. PST

M26 bugs persisted into the first year of the Korean War.
Yes, that is why I think the US should have started on the M26 sooner. But that is hindsight and conjecture. But the US M4A3E8s were able to take on the Norths T34/85s. The US M24s … not so much. IIRC, even some US M36s were deployed as well. However, the North's Army and it's PRC ally were primarily a light Inf force. But as we know Tanks can be very useful as Inf Support. Which was their intent when designed and fielded in WWI. And that continues to this.


Also the Korean terrain is not really considered "good" tank country. But just like in Vietnam AFVs could be very effective if used properly. E.g. when I was with the 2ID in the ROK, '84-'85. The 2ID had 2 Tank(M60s) Bns and 2 Mech (M113) Bns. [I served in the forward deployed Mech Bn] Plus the 2ID had an Armored CAV Bn. old fart

Fred Cartwright19 Jan 2019 11:06 a.m. PST

Yes, that is why I think the US should have started on the M26 sooner.

Well Ordnance were working on stuff, it is just the things they came up with weren't any good. Take the M6 heavy tank, for example. After 2 years and a large amount of tax payers $'s they ended up with an unreliable tank as heavy as Tiger I with less armour and a worse gun. That was the basic story throughout the war. Follow on designs offered little improvement over the M4, and were more complex and expensive to build. The M26 was at least an attempt to produce a tank with better armour and firepower than the M4. What it didn't have was a decent drivetrain. The engine was underpowered, at 450 HP compared to the Panther at the same weight with a 700 HP engine and the transmission was unreliable. It remains a mystery to me how the US let its lead in tank design slip away. Much fun is poked at the Germans for their wacky designs, but US Ordnance came up with more that it's fair share of prototypes and short production run vehicles of limited utility and wasn't immune to pursuing untried technology such as electric drives.
The one country that got most consistently right were the Russians. Producing solid designs, upgrading them when necessary and replacing those such as the KV1 that had reached the end of their useful development with better designs. They produced well armoured and armed assault guns and tank destroyers and upgraded them as needed, which I would argue were better suited to the job than the thin skinned US types or the hodge podge of designs the Germans came up with.

I wonder whether the centurion was considered.

I don't think so. They seem to have confined their choices to tanks that saw combat, so the M26 just squeezes in and the Centurion and JSIII don't.

Lion in the Stars19 Jan 2019 3:14 p.m. PST

The difference is that US Ordnance Dept didn't try to deploy the dodgy ideas, the Germans did.

Fred, have you read the US review of the T34 and KV1? Comments were absolutely brutal, particularly on the air filter design. can't flow enough air, and doesn't filter the air it does flow.

Blutarski19 Jan 2019 9:53 p.m. PST

Read Kavalerchik's book. He really gives an excellent analysis of the T34 design, both its good features and its (numerous) defects – not only as seen by the surprisingly candid but confidential Soviet wartime self-evaluations, but also benefitting from the author's experience and training (ex-Soviet tank officer and trained design engineer).

B

Fred Cartwright19 Jan 2019 11:39 p.m. PST

Fred, have you read the US review of the T34 and KV1? Comments were absolutely brutal, particularly on the air filter design. can't flow enough air, and doesn't filter the air it does flow.

Yes I have, which is why I am surprised it made the commanders choice for 1941, but they did improve it and the build quality. The T34/85 was a much better tank all round than the early T34/76, which I think makes it a reasonable choice for commanders tank of 1944.

The difference is that US Ordnance Dept didn't try to deploy the dodgy ideas, the Germans did.

Except for the M26 of course! Ordnance would have, but the army rejected them. The M6 was all set to go into production.

Legion 420 Jan 2019 9:06 a.m. PST

Well Ordnance were working on stuff, it is just the things they came up with weren't any good. Take the M6 heavy tank, for example. After 2 years and a large amount of tax payers $'s they ended up with an unreliable tank as heavy as Tiger I with less armour and a worse gun. That was the basic story throughout the war. Follow on designs offered little improvement over the M4, and were more complex and expensive to build. The M26 was at least an attempt to produce a tank with better armour and firepower than the M4. What it didn't have was a decent drivetrain.
Yes, very true and aware of that. It was not the first or will be the last time that "the Brass", etc. et al made bad or wrong decisions. I could be wrong but if the M26 was not underpowered, etc. And all it's weakness "fixed". I don't see too many tankers saying, they'd rather have a tank with a smaller gun and less armor protection … evil grin

Fred Cartwright20 Jan 2019 2:40 p.m. PST

I could be wrong but if the M26 was not underpowered, etc. And all it's weakness "fixed". I don't see too many tankers saying, they'd rather have a tank with a smaller gun and less armor protection …

I always the thought a normally aspirated Allison engine would have been a good tank engine. It was compact, flexible and plenty powerful enough without a blower to power the M26. Although apart from the P38 the planes it powered were not the best performers in class it was a good design.

Blutarski20 Jan 2019 3:01 p.m. PST

That Allison engine was in fact quite good, so long as it was not called upon to operated at altitudes above 15,000 ft or so. The earliest Allison-powered iteration of the Mustang (Mk 1) gave good service in low altitude operations over occupied Europe.

The US (to the best of my kbowledge) never really developed a good mechanical supercharging system, instead going whole hog on turbo-superchargers.

B

Legion 421 Jan 2019 8:20 a.m. PST

Yes, a better engine would probably have made the M26 a much better MBT. Of course the next version the M46 was much improved in most areas. Hard to argue with that 90mm !

Blutarski21 Jan 2019 11:15 a.m. PST

There was a reason why the 90mm M36 TD was nicknamed "Slugger".

B

Legion 421 Jan 2019 2:51 p.m. PST

thumbs up

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