Why the heck did someone necro this topic?
Taerkar, on Apr 30 2012 - 21:42, said:
Later in the war German armor quality really started to go down, as did the reliability of their rounds, so that is a factor against them. German tanks also tended to have face-hardened armor before 1944, especially on the smaller thickness plates that the Pz IV had, which was better against Russian shells but worse against US/UK shells. The reason for this is that the US/UK used APCBC rounds while the Soviets did not.
Incorrect; this appears to be a myth.
German steel composition changed as various materials ceased to be available later in the war, but the overall quality did not
German steel maintained (and actually slightly improved) in hardness and overall quality throughout the war.
A large number of Panther tanks were produced with flawed glacis armor, but this appears to have been manufacturer specific rather than an overall problem.
The weld quality of German armor was pretty bad throughout the entire war though; there were reports of the weld points on Tiger I and Tiger II armor coming apart under hammer blows, nevermind enemy fire.
This was due to the high carbon content of German steel, which lead to German tanks being designed with interlocking plates (to reduce reliance on welding).
This was rather expensive, and was one of the causes of much higher production costs for German tanks than simpler Western and Russian designs.