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Top Five Tanks of WW2


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Walter_Sobchak #601 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 05:29

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View PostZinegata, on Jan 27 2014 - 23:15, said:

Okay, I'll go ahead and post my own (likely extremely controversial) top 5:

 

1 - Panzer III + Stug (Germany)

2 - T-34 (Soviet Union)

3 - Sherman (United States)

4 - Panzer IV + TD derivatives (Germany)

5 - Panzer 38(t) + Hetzer (Germany)

 

These rankings are based on actual historical performance on a front-wide level as well as their strategic effect on the war. And yes, there is no tank above 35 tons in this list, because quite frankly the Panthers, KVs, and other heavies only played a minor role in the war. The Panther in particular was, in an actual warfare, such a grossly poorly-performing monstrosity that it should be counted among the five worst tanks of all time because the Nazis were actually dumb enough to mass-produce it. The King Tiger, while being just as stupid, was at least a limited production item so the level of self-inflicted damage was far less.


Actually, i like your list.  My only caveat would be that I am not sure I would bother noting the "+ hetzer" after Panzer 38.  Panzer 38 was in my opinion one of the most important tanks of the war.  Without it, it's doubtful Germany would have had enough indigenously produced tanks to equip their Panzer divisions in 1940.  The Hetzer was a somewhat poor design (from an ergonomics standpoint) that appeared rather late. It's impact on the war was rather negligible. 



Priory_of_Sion #602 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 05:32

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View PostBabyOlifant, on Jan 27 2014 - 23:26, said:

 

I dunno that I'd include Hetzer. The_Chieftain absolutely hates it.

The Pz 38(t) deserves a spot in the top 5. Maybe more than the Panzer IV(which is sorta useless because of the StuG III + Pz III combo). The Panzer 38(t) was the tank that spearheaded the Battle of France and Barbarossa and was kept in service as a rather successful assault gun(discount StuG).  

 

My top 5 list would be:

  1. Pz III + variants
  2. M4 + variants
  3. T-34 + variants
  4. Pz 38t + variants
  5. IS-2

*note 1-3 can be swapped around and I wouldn't care. 

 

 



Unraveler #603 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 05:34

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View PostZinegata, on Jan 28 2014 - 06:19, said:

 

Nonesense. Properly trained Allied units did not fear Panzers to an unnecessary degree; not anymore than getting hit by Panzerfauts or towed AtGs. Besides which, everyone in ETO preferred to flank - the Wermacht, the Western Allies, and even the Soviets. Banzai charges are for the Japanese.

 

Actually, the Japanese were very good at flanking in difficult terrain - at least in the early years of the war when they were on the offensive.



DracoArgentum #604 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 05:36

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Let the battle commence!

 

http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/326027-five-worst-tanks-of-ww2/


Edited by DracoArgentum, Jan 28 2014 - 05:36.


xthetenth #605 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 05:37

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View PostBabyOlifant, on Jan 27 2014 - 23:26, said:

View PostZinegata, on Jan 28 2014 - 04:15, said:

Okay, I'll go ahead and post my own (likely extremely controversial) top 5:

 

1 - Panzer III + Stug (Germany)

2 - T-34 (Soviet Union)

3 - Sherman (United States)

4 - Panzer IV + TD derivatives (Germany)

5 - Panzer 38(t) + Hetzer (Germany)

 

These rankings are based on actual historical performance on a front-wide level as well as their strategic effect on the war. And yes, there is no tank above 35 tons in this list, because quite frankly the Panthers, KVs, and other heavies only played a minor role in the war. The Panther in particular was, in an actual warfare, such a grossly poorly-performing monstrosity that it should be counted among the five worst tanks of all time because the Nazis were actually dumb enough to mass-produce it. The King Tiger, while being just as stupid, was at least a limited production item so the level of self-inflicted damage was far less.

 

I dunno that I'd include Hetzer. The_Chieftain absolutely hates it.

 

It's a bad tank as a combat machine, but it's a very good tank as an instrument of industrial war. It took an obsolete tank production line and made something rather useful if not optimal out of it at a time when retooling time was not exaclty plentiful.



Krieger_07b #606 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 05:40

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Well, since everybody else is wrapped up in the Great Shitstorm of This Week, I might as well regurgitate my uninformed opinions that may or may not be relevant to the topic at hand.

 

So without further ado, Krieger's list of the top 5 second world war tanks* that nobody really wants to read

*(Filthy Dumb AFV Scum need not apply)

 

5. Char B1 - Simply put, this was the tank that the Nazis wanted their big cats to be. Impervious to nearly all of the Nazi tank park, with a gun that could deal with everything it came up against to boot, it was pretty much a supertank. Even though it was horrible in hindsight and terrible to fight in, it's performance in France made the Nazis seriously rethink their tank design, and if I am remembering correctly, is the reason that the Tiger originally came into being.

4. Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) - The real backbone of the Wehrmacht in the early war. It was the little machine that made it possible for the Nazis to take on France, Pz. III notwithstanding. Fast enough to exploit breakthroughs and tear apart the French rear, well-armed enough to deal with everything it faced sans the Char B1, and since the Nazis took over ČKD it was available in numbers and they had the capacity to make more. It also was deemed suitable for further modernization, which is saying a lot considering that it was a foreign vehicle used by the second most xenophobic regime in history.

3. IS-2 - The soviet pulverizer made manifest. A gun big enough to flatten anything it came across, including the big cats, and frontal armor impervious to ~90% of the Hitlerite arsenal. A REAL breakthrough tank, unlike the sub-par turreted tank destroyers the Nazis had the audacity to call heavy tanks, capable of dealing with fortifications that would stop a KT dead in its tracks. It also paved the way for later Soviet heavy tanks, which consistently made the west crap themselves whenever they appeared on parade.

2. T-34 - The praise of the T-34 has already been sung in this thread, and I can only repeat the melody of it's greatness. Capable of being constantly upgraded, with the newest models mounting 122s. Armored enough to shrug off nearly everything in the opening days of Barbarossa. Mobility nearly unmatched the world over. A gun for every occasion, from the humble F-34 to the S-53. The only weakness was the suspension and lack of crew comfort, although the fighting compartment was greatly improved in later versions of the vehicle.

1. Sherman - The tank that could do everything. Need some fortifications blown to bits? Call in the 105's. Enemy armor slowing your advance? Radio in for some 76's. Infantry is dug in and making your own groundpounders' lives miserable? They've got 20 tanks worth of 75mm HE making their day just a little bit easier. It could clear minefields, fire rockets, burn up bunkers, and could even swim. Mobile enough to be wherever it needed, easy to repair, had the best crew survivability of the war (British crews in Africa being the exception), and simple enough to manufacture previously unthinkable amounts of the things. And the crew wouldn't get fatigued as easily, since the interior was the tank equivalent of a 5-star hotel. As close to perfect as one could make a tank.



Zinegata #607 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 05:40

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View PostBabyOlifant, on Jan 28 2014 - 12:26, said:

 

I dunno that I'd include Hetzer. The_Chieftain absolutely hates it

Gah, meant to say Hetzer and other Panzerjaeger derivatives; not just the Hetzer.



BabyOlifant #608 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 05:49

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My perfectly-serious top 5 list:

5. M3/5 Stuart. This reconnaissance asset was considered indispensable by many. One of the few things in life better than that which was slated to replace it.

4. M3 Lee. The Lee is terrible. But it did exactly what it was designed to do, and made a big splash when it was first introduced.

3. T-34. People often forget just what a terror the T-34 was. Critics of its terrible layout inevitably are comparing it to much later designs, without regard for the norms of the period. Literally the single best tank of 1940.

2. M4 Sherman (76mm). The best medium tank of the war.

1. M4 Sherman (105mm). The single most desirable tank of the war.



EnsignExpendable #609 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 05:55

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The Lee was designed to be a temporary measure until the US built a real medium tank. If American engineers were better, it would be a footnote in history.

BabyOlifant #610 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 05:56

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View PostEnsignExpendable, on Jan 28 2014 - 04:55, said:

The Lee was designed to be a temporary measure until the US built a real medium tank. If American engineers were better, it would be a footnote in history.

 

And it did that job excellently!



Jeeps_Guns_Tanks #611 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 06:04

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View PostEnsignExpendable, on Jan 27 2014 - 20:55, said:

The Lee was designed to be a temporary measure until the US built a real medium tank. If American engineers were better, it would be a footnote in history.

 

American Engineers are best engineers because they made a shitty kinda tank that kicked German ass, thus letting us troll Wehraboos with that fact. 

 

Plus as bad as it was, it was Awesom in the Movie Sahara! And was the first tank model I ever built. 



EnsignExpendable #612 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 06:13

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To this day, my Lend-Lease Lee remains my coolest looking plastic tank.

Jeeps_Guns_Tanks #613 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 06:50

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View PostEnsignExpendable, on Jan 27 2014 - 21:13, said:

To this day, my Lend-Lease Lee remains my coolest looking plastic tank.

 

Hell Yeah! 

With all the Machine gun it looks like it's begging to kill fascist scum!



xthetenth #614 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 06:51

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With the machine gun turret on top of the 37 mm turret it's always reminded me of a wedding cake.

rossmum #615 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 10:26

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View PostBabyOlifant, on Jan 28 2014 - 12:29, said:

i have been very nice i havent even dropped all my capital letters punctuation and grammer yet

 

oops

 

It's spelled grammar, you illiterate dork

 

View PostTreetop64, on Jan 28 2014 - 12:39, said:

You and Oliphant need to go back to my post, read it again, then think and reconsider where this discussion has gone.  You have taken this dicaussion to the dark side and turned it into some juvenile dick-measuring contest.  Especially you, Jeep.

 

There is nothing to "debunk", because it was an opinion-based list.  Don't like it?  Then stuff it.  Take your pretentious, overbearing corrective-action attitudes elsewhere.

 

Opinions aren't inherently beyond criticism, such an attitude is so profoundly backwards and anti-intellectual that I do not know how the society of whichever country you are from can operate if it encourages such abhorrent lines of thought.

 

View PostTreetop64, on Jan 28 2014 - 13:37, said:

Yep.  Keep talking.

 

Either I communicated poorly or too basically, or some are just too full of themselves to make an effort of considering that maybe they misunderstood, but I explain:

 

Individually, given tanks that are actually on the battlefield, in an actual tank v. tank battle, functional, and in proper fighting trim, with crews that know what they are doing, I'd rather be in the Panther or Tiger than the Sherman.  This is what I based my post on.  Had I known it would encourage the sort of "feedback" it's gotten, I've would have gone through the trouble to point that out specifically to mitigate this godawful bloody mess.

 

Strategically, the Sherman absolutely wins hands down.  Ease of manufacture, standardization of parts, logistical compatibility and minimal logistical footprint, relative ease of strategic and tactical mobility, operational flexibility, and - against most other armor it could potentially face - stands a good chance of beating, particularly against PzIIIs and PzIVs and all their chassis-based variants.  The Sherman wasn't primarily designed to fight tanks because, within American armored doctrine of the time (before that got "debunked") M4s would support the infantry and exploit breakthroughs, while the M10s with their (at the time) larger 76mm guns would specifically deal with enemy armor.  Allied air superiority over Western Europe went a long way in making the M4 crews lives a little easier.

 

The thing that the late-war German armor had going for it was it's ability to fight and destroy tanks - as long as they were in good working order.  They were, however, over-engineered, logistical and maintenance nightmares, complex and expensive to produce, and requiring relatively lengthy training periods.  I also know that that latest model Panthers had issues with it's front glacis owing to a lower production standard reducing the quality of face-hardened armor.

 

Yes, I've learned all this already, because - to your doubtless utter disbelief, Jeep -  I also own and read books on the subject.  Obviously, there is much more to get into, but for the sake of expediency I'll stop there.

 

I know the M4 is a good tank.  For pete's sake, it's my favorite tank of the war.  But in an actual tank v. tank fight, there are better performers, and like it or not, that's established fact.

 

Individually, tanks don't run into each other headlong in 1v1s on the battlefield. They spend their time thusly:

 

  • Sitting around waiting for something to happen, crew bored out of their skulls
  • Sitting around waiting for something to happen, crew shitting themselves
  • Driving some place
  • Trying to spot a supposed target that the infantry are busy hollering about over the telephone
  • Shooting HE at buildings, bushes, and treelines, because somebody might've seen something move there
  • Actually firing at infantry and AT gun positions
  • Crushing AT guns
  • Shooting at some nebulous enemy "tank" one of the infantrymen or the half-asleep commander thinks he saw in a haystack
  • Driving around to try and angle on a "tank"
  • Shooting an already burnt-out hulk that the commander was spooked by after driving around like headless chickens for half an hour
  • Actually shooting at tanks.

 

Welcome to the WWII tanker's experience. Outside of edge cases where large armoured formations crashed into each other in suitable terrain, most tank-on-tank engagements were a case of vehicles supporting an infantry assault accidentally bumping into each other. A far greater risk (and far more common target) for any tank was the AT gun, and by golly did the Panther suck at dealing with those. Both Tigers also sucked at it, since the gunner had to be talked onto the target by the commander without being able to see properly himself, but they got decent HE unlike the Panther so if they survived long enough to lay the gun they would be able to cope with the target.

 

Take your movie-and-WoT-fuelled ideas about "tank duels" and hurl them out the window. If you want to see a better indicator of how WWII tanking played out, find videos of combined arms gameplay from any of ArmA's WWII mods, from Iron Front, or from Red Orchestra. You will find a bunch of dudes sitting around for fifteen minutes at a time talking crap, driving around a bit, getting spooked by a wreck and wasting several shells on it before confirming it was actually an already-dead tank (or car, or shed, or pile of junk).

 

Combat in general is about 90% utter and complete boredom and milling around aimlessly, even today and even in an urban environment.

 

View PostTreetop64, on Jan 28 2014 - 13:52, said:

You can keep your explanation, and I don't care to read through 25 pages of this thread just to satisfy your indulgent self-righteousness.  I posted an opinion, and I took the time of specifying what I based those opinions on.  That is sufficient.  You don't have to like it.  You don't have to agree with it.  I don't care either way now.

 

Calling something "MY OPINION!!!!" does not magically shield it from being wrong. If your opinion is that the Earth is flat, you're still an idiot. If your opinion is that two plus two equals thirteen and nine elevenths, you're still an idiot. Opinions can be wrong just as much as anything else.

 

Also, great use of the classic "I don't care". I can see how much you don't care by how many pages you've continued posting about how much you don't care.

 

View PostDSWBeef, on Jan 28 2014 - 14:23, said:

Im sorry but its plan ignorant to think the german tanks werent good tanks. Made with poor materials? Sure. But on design they were good tanks hampered by low material supplies. There plenty of images of smoking shermans aswell.

 

No, it's plain ignorant to think they were better at it than anyone else. Some of their prewar designs were good, and some of their adaptations (assault guns in particular) were excellent. The majority of their designs, however, were bad. Notice I said "designs", not "tanks". That is because materials had nothing to do with it. Tanks like Panther and Tiger II were just bad designs, and would have remained bad designs even with the best magical Rearden Steel that creepy sperglord fantasy could buy. They were plagued by problems caused by fundamental flaws in their design, problems which were only exacerbated by Germany's poor construction methods. Bad materials (a drastically overplayed element of their failure, used as an excuse to try and absolve Germany of their sins against sound engineering principles) were so far down the list of "THINGS THAT WERE WRONG WITH TANKS IN NAZI GERMANY 1933-45" that they scarcely even warrant a mention.



Toxn #616 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 18:04

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It's actually amazing, when you read diaries and first-hand accounts of tankers, how often they ended up shooting at random targets which only seemed to be threatening in some way. Or at things that were obscured enough to be invisible. Or at a general area. Or...

 

- Edited for teh links:

http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/1471110680


Edited by Toxn, Jan 28 2014 - 18:06.


Ogopogo #617 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 18:55

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Any thoughts on the 7-TP?

EnsignExpendable #618 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 20:34

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I'd say it was the worst out of all the Vickers clones, but that's still pretty good. For 1931, at least.

Tolos #619 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 20:39

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The Germans enjoyed fighting the IS2 as they always knew when it was reloading due to the fact that they had to depress the gun to its maximum to load a shell. The IS2 shouldn't even be in the top 20 nevermind top 5. 



balmung60 #620 Posted Jan 28 2014 - 20:43

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View PostTolos, on Jan 28 2014 - 13:39, said:

The Germans enjoyed fighting the IS2 as they always knew when it was reloading due to the fact that they had to depress the gun to its maximum to load a shell. The IS2 shouldn't even be in the top 20 nevermind top 5. 


Except it didn't have to do that.  In fact, I'm fairly certain that no tank actually HAD to do that (or similar).  However, the gun of any tank is going to be easier to load at some angles than it will be at others.






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