Best Tank Design of WWII

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by ysacres, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. artabr

    artabr New Member

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    As much as I hate to say it, I'm going with the IS-2 Stalin heavy tank.
    It entered service in the spring of 1944 and was the worlds most powerful tank for over a decade.
    It's not the best as the OP ask, but I'd say it was the most powerful.

    122mm main gun
    600 hp powerplant
    23 mph road speed


    .

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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  2. 1 CAV

    1 CAV New Member

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    I was going to ask if the Pershing was allowed to be considered. It was a fine tank and essentially the progenator of the M48 and M60.
  3. GatorDude

    GatorDude New Member

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    +1 on the Russian T-34. The German tanks were too complex.
  4. Freebore

    Freebore New Member

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    I just like 'em all.........

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  5. pjschulze30

    pjschulze30 New Member

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    I stumbled across this post, and don't even have any idea if it's still active? The answer has to be the T-34. It was the best of both worlds....good design, yet simple for production. Was not nearly as sophisticated as the german tanks, but engineered just well enough to match them 1 vs.1 unlike the Shermans we produced in numbers...then add to the fact that the T-34 was just as easy to mass produce as a Sherman makes-it a clear choice as the overall best tank of that era. If you want to go with cutting-edge technology for the time, then hands-down it would be any german product.
  6. whirley

    whirley Member

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    If this post is still active. According to the German General who commanded the Metz area in Aug. 1944. "Twenty American tanks from Pattons army drove into the middle of the city of Metz and stopped. My command consisted of about 200 clerks and cooks. I expected to see truckloads of infantry. After 24 hours, the tanks turned around and went back. There was no one to stop them and they could have been in Berlin in three weeks. After the war (Ww2) I asked a staff officer from Pattons army to explain. He said the Monygomery insisted on controlling all supplies for his attack to nowhere. Patton had his own fuel supplies. His men weree very good at diverting gasoline, and they hadcaptured a german fuel dump. Montgomery went to Churchill, Churchill to Roosevelt, Roosevelt ordered Eisenhower to cooperate, and they shut off Pattons lubricating oil. "
    You know the rest, that stopped Patton, giving the Germans 3 weeks to move 200,000 combat troops into the Metz area. They had to bring maps and keys for the Metz fortifications from Berlin. Finally Patton attacked and it took 4 months to go 35 miles. If you ever visit the American cemetery at St. Avould, near Nancy, there are almost 11,000 Americans buried there. Most were killed after Sept.5 1944. My cousin is one of them! Monty was a lousey general. My brother was wounded in the village of Ensheim in March 1945.
  7. Old Steve

    Old Steve New Member

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    I thought this thread was dead, but since Whirley sees fit to reopen it, I will suggest those interested go to Google Earth and search out the following city, selo Pokrovka,Belgorod, Russia and scan about 0.4 miles on a heading of 210 degrees from the city center. There you will find a picture of a rather substantial monument. It is to the place where Fifth Guards Tank Army (Rotmistrov) charged through Hoth's Sixth Panzer Corp (about 650 tanks, mostly upgunned MKIVs with some Tigers and Panthers) in mid July 1943,

    This broke Hoths advance, and got Rotmistrov Marshal's Stars. It also won the Great Patriotic War (and WWII). Fifth Guards Tank had about 700 T34C (76mm, the 85 was not quite ready) and a modest number of KVs.

    You might ask why I think this won the war, simple, Stalingrad had convinced Germany that Russia could not be knocked out of the War, so from then on from Hitler's side it was simply a war to get the most advantageous position. The failure of Citadel at Kursk convinced Stalin that Germany could be finally beaten, so he had no real need to negotiate. From then on, Germany's war was a 1000 mile-22 month retreat that ended in Berlin

    But look at the other possibility, that Citadel succeeded and captured the roughly half-million Russian soldiers in the Kursk salient, and was again in a position to threaten Moscow. Do you suppose that if that had happened Stalin might have settled for an armistice that left Germany peace and possession of the Ukraine up to the Dneiper river, of course this is conjecture but it is one that had Roosevelt deeply concerned. Russia was very damaged and weary.

    So look at the position if that happened. Germany would be at peace in possession of Europe from the Spanish border to the Dneiper, and D-day at Normandy was still 11 months away, Normandy was a close-run thing, do you imagine it would have happened if the 4 or 5 million German soldiers in Russia had been released and re-equipped to defend "Fortress Europe". The western allies had at that time just landed in Sicily, and never did capture Italy.

    In short Hitler would have won the war, it would have been over, the Allied campaign in western Europe never would have happened.

    So why do I think the T-34 was the best tank of the war? Because it won it
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  8. Esteban

    Esteban New Member

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    My opinion.
    The German's had the best armor at the beginning of the War, but once the T-34 was in use,,, it became the best.

    I was in Armored Cav in Vietnam.
  9. Old Steve

    Old Steve New Member

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    While the T-34 was a brillant design, I also think the KV-1 has been underestimated, partly because it had the same gun as the early T-34 and was slower. But its chassis design was carried into the Stalin 1, 2, 3 and T10, but if you contemplate the pictures on this thread, you might agree that distinguishing between the Stalin 2 and our M26 Pershing requires some attention to detail, they appear very similar. Stalin 2 has a bigger gun, 122mm over 90mm, and is I think a bit larger. Both were long-barreled serious guns that could deal with anything they encountered.

    The similarity with the Pershing is I think significant because the Pershing chassis was the prototype of the whole US line M47 and M48 Patton and the M60.

    So just as the T-34 was the design base of the Russian cruiser tanks through the T-62, it might be said that the KV-1 was the design basis of all of the heavier tanks of both sides into the 1980s
  10. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The Soviet JS-2. Late, but there was no better practical tank. I can't count the Maus as a serious tank; somewhat mobile pillbox, maybe, but not a tank.

    Jim
  11. Old Steve

    Old Steve New Member

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    Thinking about Jim K's comment. The first combat use of the Pershing I have been able to find is they were used, about 20, to provide supressive artillery fire across the Rhine during the capture of the Ludendorff bridge at Remagen, March 7, 1945. To get there they would have been designed late 43-early 44.

    The JS-2 went into combat in Feb 44, a website indicates about 4500 were built, the JS-3 did not make it into combat, ready in May 45.

    I have heard somewhere, I think from a pilot in the early postwar period, that the gunsights for the Stalin tank were made in the US and delivered by air though Alaska, I can't confirm that. I noticed that http://www.battletanks.com/potogallery.htm , states that the IS-2 had a greatly-improved fire control system that made it "more than a match for Tiger 2 and Panther", possibly this is related.

    Based on the timing and appearance of the vehicles, I think it probable that Russian engineers contributed or were consulted in the design of the Pershing, the timing was right. It is little noted that there was significant cooperation during those war years, Stalin was willing to do anything practical to keep lend-lease coming and to encourage the western front invasion of Europe, and the loan of a few engineers from the tank design bureau would have been cheap insurance. Certainly the excellent performance of the Russian tanks was well noted in the US. There was plenty of empty shipping from Russia to the US in those days.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  12. Kent Detective

    Kent Detective New Member

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    Probably the U.S designed and made SHERMAN tank. Without this the war would have lasted even longer.

    BUT we Brits invented the things in 1915. :eek:

    Thanks for giving us so many of your brilliant Sherman's. :D

    The Sherman's were simple, robust, reliable and effective in firefight. Most importantly they were produced very quickly and were cheap to make (compared to other designs).

    The British Crusader tank was a pretty good weapon towards the end of the war.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  13. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

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    Frickin Moles
  14. whirley

    whirley Member

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    I agree completely with OLD STEVE. The T-34 was the best of WW2. They ran over us in Korea. In WW2 our tanks used 100 octane gas, and the Germans said they were like a match. Strike it and it lights. My brother after three years in Africa, Italy and France said our tanks were like Ronson lighters, they did not always ignite. My previous comment referred to Gen Monkey and his almost fanatical insistance of complete control. Read about his planning at El Alemain or Tunisia. Our tanks in WW2 were undergunned with that 75Mm, but we made lots of them. The Russians made scads of T-34 with a diesel engine, and everything was hand cranked, but it beat the socks off the Germans.Perhaps if Patton had been unleashed, my cousin and many others would have survived WW2. We'll never know!
  15. DGG!

    DGG! New Member

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    Being totally objective I would say that in a one-on-one fight in an open area nothing could beat a Tiger, with the Panzer a close second. If you gang up on them with multiple T-34 or Sherman tanks you could defeat them. The Panzer and Tiger served in more areas of the world than any other WWII tank. If the German tankers and pilots had had the fuel supply the Battle of the Bulge and perhaps WWII would have been vastly different.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_IV

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_I
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  16. Blackhawk Dave

    Blackhawk Dave New Member

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    One on one the T-34, with its gun and wheel design (actually a rejected US design). What won on the US side with the Sherman was the number. One Tiger commander was quoted as saying, they'd take out 10 Shermans and there would still be more. More of a human wave approach to tank warfare than a technical approach - quantity over quality.
  17. Bigbill

    Bigbill Member

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    This was on the history channel and i believe the t34 won the best tank in ww2.

    On the sherman our numbers in manufacturing them was much higher. It wasn't until we interduced the 90mm cannon on the tanks is when we had better success.

    In one of the last orginal battle video's in germany is when a german tank was playing hind go seek with our larger gun and it got taken out very quickly. I believe it was in berlin and its on the world at war video's.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  18. aqbill

    aqbill New Member

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    Have to go with the T-34 - all things considered. But, notwithstanding the wonky engine, you gotta love the Panther. & of course there's the Firefly with its 17-pounder...
    :D:dancingdots:
  19. marlin795

    marlin795 New Member

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    Best 2 tanks, Tiger II and T34. Best mass produced tank the Sherman and T34. I'm partial to the current M1 Abrams though. Death Before Dismount HOOAH!
  20. G_Hebel_MD

    G_Hebel_MD New Member

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    I would have to say tossup between T34 and Sherman

    T34 had the innovative (well the creator initially offered the design to USA and we said that's dumb) suspension that allowed it to move fast across fairly rough terrain while maintaining decent accuracy. they also were mass producible which was great for the Russians whole policy at the time seemed to be throw enough at them and we'll win. kinda funny seeing as T34 was downsize from their earlier armor (KV-1 and, KV-2 were huge but slow, ponderous things) there were tons of variants of T34 as well and, was reliable enough model that was in service for a long time i think someone said Israel had them in service until the 80's

    Sherman on the other hand was a solid medium sized tank, we probably could have given it thicker armor or a bigger gun but it was pretty much designed around what the port facilities in Europe could handle and, that was what we went with. the 76mm was a solid cannon like the rest of the Sherman well rounded. decent accuracy, decent punch for the size (but had issues getting through German armor) they also had the above mentioned issue with lighting up like christmas tree's due to them leaking quite easily.

    there were likely better tanks around at the time (UK's Crusader for a example) but these two stood out as being game changers.
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