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Posted: 5/10/2003 3:49:59 PM EDT
Vote. For me, it had to be the Tiger 1.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 3:59:11 PM EDT
Soviet T-34. Simplicity that allowed production numbers of the American Sherman. One of the first tanks with slopped armor and a Christie suspension that made it well protected and agile. Tigers were well armored and heavily armed, but they were large, slow, and a field maintenance nightmare.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 3:59:40 PM EDT
I guess it depends on what you're judging it by. Most people consider the T34 the best. The Tiger was heavily armored and had a good gun, definately outclassed most American tanks. It was, however, VERY compicated to keep running & repair, expensive and when it faced the T34, which was cheap, had better armor (In a metalurgical sense) and could take a Tiger out (I believe it was faster also) the T34 came out on top.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 4:13:13 PM EDT
The Tiger II. Had a better suspension and more speed than the Tiger 1. Also had a bigger main gun.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 4:16:35 PM EDT
Wasn't the Tiger 2 used during the siege of Bastogne?
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 4:36:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/10/2003 4:44:36 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
PzKpfw MkV Panther Aust.G. Reliable, fast, well armored, well armed. Not over weight like King Tiger, which was really too heavy for its engine- it weighed nearly as much as a M1A1 at 68.5 tons but had only 600hp. At 45 tons Panther got around well with that horsepower. Tiger E was a good tank too. But it was nine tons heavier than Panther but not any better protected-actually some what less due to its square shape. And with more or less that same engine, gear box, and suspension as Panther mobility suffered. The best German tank they only built one of- the Tiger King prototype that Ferdinand Porsche built that was hybrid gasoline/electric powered, with the engines in FRONT like a Merkava. A Maybach V12 like in Panther and Tiger E connected to a generator, and 450hp electric motors attached to each drive sprocket. Crusader doesn't even rank, it always was a unreliable tin can. Cromwell was better and Comet was the most powerful UK tank put into service that actually saw combat-Centurion missed seeing combat by days. On the other hand enough M26 Pershings saw combat in the spring of 1945 in Europe, and in the summer on Okinawa, to justify including them.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 4:44:57 PM EDT
The T-34 was a good match for the earlier Panzers but not the Tiger tanks. I was watching a show on tanks on The History Channel and the Russian tankers said they wanted nothing to do with the Tigers. They even talked about hitting a Tiger 200 times without knocking it out. No shit it had 200 impact points on it. Then they went to the German tanker who drove that very same Tiger and he's like "We were invincible, we just drove around the battlefield killing T-34's at extreme distances and point blank range." It was a thirsty machine and true to german design a bit too complicated but when it was ready for action it outclassed everything on the battlefield.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 4:51:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/10/2003 7:50:24 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Originally Posted By DoomPatrol: The T-34 was a good match for the earlier Panzers but not the Tiger tanks. I was watching a show on tanks on The History Channel and the Russian tankers said they wanted nothing to do with the Tigers. They even talked about hitting a Tiger 200 times without knocking it out. No shit it had 200 impact points on it. Then they went to the German tanker who drove that very same Tiger and he's like "We were invincible, we just drove around the battlefield killing T-34's at extreme distances and point blank range." It was a thirsty machine and true to german design a bit too complicated but when it was ready for action it outclassed everything on the battlefield.
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In Korea, the NKPA T-34/85's APCBC rounds bounced off of Pershings and Centurions like spitwads too. Quite refreshing to the called up US and UK reservists who had had things the other way fighting Tigers and Panthers with Shermans. Of course even the Shermans didn't do too badly against T34's in Korea and in the 1956 war in the Sinai. In the 5 year interval prior to Korea the US Ordinance department had finally seen the light and introduced a APDS round for the 76mm gun. Shermans still were underarmored and prone to fire though. Only one Russian tank gave Germans fits, and probably should be counted in place of the T-34-cause for one thing it served longer-The Josef Stalin 3/T10 and its 122mm gun.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:03:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:14:17 PM EDT
Most tank experts, then and now, say it was the Panther. It had the best weight to power, and gun to weight ratios of any tank of the war. It had thick armor, was very agile, fast, and was simple to build. A little know fact about the Panther, was that the French used captured late models as their main battle tank up into the late 50's. The most scary tank of the war would have been the late 1945/46 Panther II. This model was the "small turret" version. It was lighter than a standard Panther V and still had thicker armor. The Germans had the "Vampir" IR sight and vision gear about ready to go, but fortunately for the Allies, the war ended before they could produce any of the Panther II's. For sheer bulk, how about the model the Germans had on the drawing boards: A 400 ton PLUS monster with two massive turrets and powered by two U-boat engines. As good as the Tiger's were, they were very expensive in time, materials, and money to build. They were under powered, and prone to break down. If the Germans had concentrated on Panther Production, we might well had been in trouble in 1944/45. Fortunately for us, Hitler insisted on production of the two Tigers, and on lunatic wastes of effort on "Super Tanks" like the Maus and the E-100.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:19:13 PM EDT
The Stalin 2 was judged the best of the Soviet tanks. I don't think the Stalin 3 was in combat before the VE parade. The 85MM gun of the t34 was inferior to the 76MM of the Sherman WRT armor peircing. IT excelled at killing infantry, which is what medium tanks are all about. The Panther was fast, with as good a AP gun as the Tiger 1, very well armored on the frontal arc, and available in numbers. Too bad the Germans ran out of air cover and gas. The Tiger 1 and 2 excelled in the support role - sitting on a hilltop with medium tanks 500 meters ahead, and blasting everything that moved or shined. Their relative invulnerability and heavy firepower inspired skilled crews to undertake incredibly risky maneuvers and stay alive. One of the key advantages of the tiger, according to the Russians, was superior optics.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:27:07 PM EDT
Cool! A new best tanks thread! The one on the history board went about 5-6 pages. Oh yeah - the russians, just before the war, considered the Pz 3 superior to the T-34. Better crew layout, ease of mantenance, better communications. The T-34 was VERY unreliable in the early war era. American consultants regarded some elements of the design as the work of saboteurs (their word, not mine). The engine was prone to breaking down, as an example, because the "air filter" was merely an oil bath the incoming air passed over or through. After the fall of France, the Russians somehow figured German tanks were very heavily armored and decided to drop 76 mm tank gun production in favor of a 107 mm tank gun. Try answering to Stalin for that judgement call made several months before the Germans invaded.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:30:35 PM EDT
Now what would be neat is a face off between the immediate post war tanks - the Centurion of 1945, the Persing of 1945, the Panther 2 of 1946, and the T-54 of 1947.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 8:39:15 PM EDT
I would have to go with the Panther version G tank also as the best all around tank. The T-34 would be close but based on my tie-breaker rules I decided the T-34 looked ugly and thus gave the nod to the Panther.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 8:55:57 PM EDT
The T-34 The best tank is the one you can produce and use… the Germans produced a few thousand Tigers and Panthers the Soviets produced 40,000 T-34 variants. If you cannot produce the numbers necessary to win because the designs are to complicated and technical... and the tank produced is to complicated to keep running in the field you do not have the best tank design. From a purely technical drawing board point of view the Panther wins from a realistic and practical battlefield point of view the T-34 wins hands down.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 9:05:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Max_Mike: The T-34 The best tank is the one you can produce and use… the Germans produced a few thousand Tigers and Panthers the Soviets produced 40,000 T-34 variants. If you cannot produce the numbers necessary to win because the designs are to complicated and technical... and the tank produced is to complicated to keep running in the field you do not have the best tank design. From a purely technical drawing board point of view the Panther wins from a realistic and practical battlefield point of view the T-34 wins hands down.
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If this were true the T72 would be the best tank in the world today. BTW we built 45,000 Shermans. If you add the tank destroyers built on Sherman hulls (M10 and M36) that goes over 50,000. So even by that standard the T34 is second best to the Sherman. The Allies were victorious because of the tactics of the Swarm, possible because our factories were not being bombed and we had pleanty of fuel and the will at the time to sacrifice the lives of thousands of tank crewmen. The "few thousand" Tigers and Panthers might have been enough had the Germans only had to fight against either the West or the Soviet Union and not both.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 9:08:46 PM EDT
Question.... Ive heard that the germans turned Tank Production over to Heavy equipment manufacturers and this was the reason not very many were made true? Because they werent used to producing large volumes of product. the day hitler invaded russia was the day germany lost the war. before that it dint matter what the russians fielded. And I think it just put too much strain on his forces just not enough to go around. Any Ideas on what germany could have done differnt that would have won them the war?
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 9:18:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By OregonShooter: Question.... Ive heard that the germans turned Tank Production over to Heavy equipment manufacturers and this was the reason not very many were made true? Because they werent used to producing large volumes of product. the day hitler invaded russia was the day germany lost the war. before that it dint matter what the russians fielded. And I think it just put too much strain on his forces just not enough to go around. Any Ideas on what germany could have done differnt that would have won them the war?
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All they had to do was invade Russia earlier in the year, not hold the advance of Army Groupe Centre as it advanced on Moscow, and treat the people of the occupied countries a bit more nicer. What I have heard regarding German production was that some items where not produced in high quanities because of the complexity of the item. In the cases of some tanks such as the Strumshultzes and Hetzers production was very brisk.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 9:20:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Atencio: In the cases of some tanks such as the [red]Strumshultzes[/red] and Hetzers production was very brisk.
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The what?
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 9:27:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kar98:
Originally Posted By Atencio: In the cases of some tanks such as the [red]Strumshultzes[/red] and Hetzers production was very brisk.
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The what?
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heh, so I changed a few letters..well actually quite a few but I bet you knew what I was talking about. Next time I will just use the Stug abreviation Sturmgeschütz
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 9:28:38 PM EDT
The T34 probably early in the war was superior,but the soviets went into the war using tanks that had no radios(except for command types).They were still using flags and hand signals,which pretty much negates any technical advantage the single vehicles might have. I'd have to agree that the Panther was the best all around by the end of the war,once everything was worked out. I thought I read that the Panther was pretty much custom designed,using all the input and experience from battle,to be superior to anything the russians could field. I spose in a purly defensive(where high mobility wasn't a main concern) type of situation,on open ground the Tiger would be hard to beat.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 9:32:45 PM EDT
There is no mystery. Germany is a resource poor country, especally in petroleum. They were blockaded and under bombardment. Even the supplies they did have became difficult to move due to increasing attacks on the rail system and the fuel shortage. Pauses due to the need to repair bomb damage, move factories to more secure locations, and shortages of supplies due to either distribution problems caused by declining transport situation or to the outright lack of proper materials kept the Germans from producing more of their top of the line vheicles. Germany should have waited longer before invading Russia. Perhaps 3-4 years. They should of followed the pattern of Bismark, who let time pass between his wars against Denmark(1864) Austria(1866) and France (1870). Which gave the country time to recoup economically between mobilizations.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 9:45:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By PsyWarrior: The Tiger II. Had a better suspension and more speed than the Tiger 1. Also had a bigger main gun.
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Both Tiger I and II tanks used the 88mm gun.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 9:59:11 PM EDT
Those are interesting comments armedlibrl. I'm of the belief that the Germans took their shot when the time was right and had a chance(if slim) of knocking the russians out of the war.Certainly mussolini's shinanigans didn't help,neither the military leadrship of corporal hitler.Still IMO they had a shot.Course once it was a WW1 style war of attrition it was all over. An interesting read(if you havn't already) is "hitlers panzers east". As far as 1944 was concerned,the russians were on their own massive and rapid military buildup(both regemes racing against time and eachother)so I'm not so sure if the outcome would have been much different. I guess if they had consolidated their gains,gotten Britain out of the war one way or another and secured the Mediteranian and north africa????? Who knows what might have been possible?
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 10:03:42 PM EDT
Best, German Panther. Second, T-34 TS
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 10:14:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By byron2112: Those are interesting comments armedlibrl. An interesting read(if you havn't already) is "hitlers panzers east".
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Yeah it was good book. I base much of my opinions from that book.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 10:16:26 PM EDT
I'll buck the trend.. Late variants of the MkIV Panzer. Versatile, with a good combination of armor, performance and in the later marks,armament. Easy to produce, and supposedly easy to maintain and drive. Another overlooked champ? The M3/M5 lights. Argueably the finest light tank the allies had til the Chaffee was deployed in appreciable numbers. Meplat-
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 10:22:07 PM EDT
Yeah Antecio, I learned alot about hitlers ideas of war and the germans russian plans,or lack there of,that I hadn't really read about before. It was one of those books that I read right threw a weekend,couldn't put it down.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 6:18:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By pogo: One of the key advantages of the tiger, according to the Russians, was superior optics.
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The Germans were the only ones who had range finding optics on all of their tanks.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 6:29:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By chuck1:
Originally Posted By PsyWarrior: The Tiger II. Had a better suspension and more speed than the Tiger 1. Also had a bigger main gun.
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Both Tiger I and II tanks used the 88mm gun.
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It's like comparing a .40 S&W to a 10mm...same caliber, different cartridge... The Tiger I (PzKpfW VI ausf E) used the KwK36 /L56, while the Tiger II (PzKpfw VI ausf B) used the KwK43 L71. Both 88mm, but completely different guns. The L56 was essentially the Flak36 (what everyone calls the Flak 88) with a double baffle muzzle brake, and electric firing mechanism and a different recoil mechanism. The ammunition if fired was identical to that fired by the FlaK 18,36 and 37. Basically the Tiger I used an anti-aircraft gun adapted for a tank turret. The KwK43 was a monster. It used the same ammo as the PaK 43/1 and 43/71, and was the longest barreled gun (in terms of caliber lengths) to be employed on a tank. Stats KwK36 : shot the 7.3 kg Pzgr39 at 720 m/sec. KwK43: shot the 7.3 kg Pzgr39-1 at 1000 m/sec.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 6:39:30 AM EDT
I think the Panther was the best all around tank of WWII.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 6:45:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/11/2003 7:10:18 AM EDT by Atencio]
Originally Posted By blatherman:
Originally Posted By chuck1:
Originally Posted By PsyWarrior: The Tiger II. Had a better suspension and more speed than the Tiger 1. Also had a bigger main gun.
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Both Tiger I and II tanks used the 88mm gun.
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It's like comparing a .40 S&W to a 10mm...same caliber, different cartridge... The Tiger I (PzKpfW VI ausf E) used the KwK36 /L56, while the Tiger II (PzKpfw VI ausf B) used the KwK43 L71. Both 88mm, but completely different guns. The L56 was essentially the Flak36 (what everyone calls the Flak 88) with a double baffle muzzle brake, and electric firing mechanism and a different recoil mechanism. The ammunition if fired was identical to that fired by the FlaK 18,36 and 37. Basically the Tiger I used an anti-aircraft gun adapted for a tank turret. The KwK43 was a monster. It used the same ammo as the PaK 43/1 and 43/71, and was the longest barreled gun (in terms of caliber lengths) to be employed on a tank. Stats KwK36 : shot the 7.3 kg Pzgr39 at 720 m/sec. KwK43: shot the 7.3 kg Pzgr39-1 at 1000 m/sec.
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The Tiger 2 if I remember properly used the Flak 41 gun which indeed had a muzzle velocity of 1,000 m/sec. The Nashorn, Ferdinand, and Hunting Panther all used the same gun. Edit: I am not positive the Flak 41 is exactly the same as the Pak 43/1 which is as you said the gun was based on. I assume the guns are the same given the characteristics but as in a post on the 128mm AA gun earlier the whole subject was kind of vague on differences between AA and AT guns. Forgot: some Jagd Tigers also came with the Pak 43/1 88mm though most came with the 128mm.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 7:37:57 AM EDT
T-34 came out earlier. It was up against Mk-III and MK-IV panzers, that had limited AT ability and fairly light armor. The Panther came out later, so it was up against T-34's. 6,000 Panthers were made. Some claim that it's 75L70 gun was superior to the 88L56 gun in the Tiger I's. Panthers were great, good speed, good armor that was well sloped, and capable weapons. A version of the Panther even had IR night vision. They were used at Bastogne with frightenening effect. The US tankers didn't understand how the Germans were able to fire at night in near totally darkness, accurately. The difference between German tanks and Russian tanks....... the Russians built tanks to throw projectiles around. Many of their guns were smoothbore, minute of barn door accuracy. They also had rudimentary optics. The German tanks had guns that they used like giant match rifles, with spectacular optics. Tank ace Otto Classius (sp) took 2 tanks from his Tiger I company (16 tanks, due to losses) and went at a Brigade of Russian Guards tanks Including T-34/85's and SU-85's. Those 2 tanks stopped the Russian Brigade, and suffered no losses. The crews of the Tigers and Panthers were elite. They made those weapons perform. Most American tanks were actually designed to be used as infantry support. That's why many Shermans were built with the low velocity guns. The job of attacking other tanks was supposed to be done by the tank destroyers.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 7:50:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 8:08:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Atencio: The Tiger 2 if I remember properly used the Flak 41 gun which indeed had a muzzle velocity of 1,000 m/sec. The Nashorn, Ferdinand, and Hunting Panther all used the same gun. Edit: I am not positive the Flak 41 is exactly the same as the Pak 43/1 which is as you said the gun was based on. I assume the guns are the same given the characteristics but as in a post on the 128mm AA gun earlier the whole subject was kind of vague on differences between AA and AT guns. Forgot: some Jagd Tigers also came with the Pak 43/1 88mm though most came with the 128mm.
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The PaK43/1 and 43/41 fired the same ammunition as the KwK 43. The FlaK41 fired the same PROJECTILES, but did not use the same cartridge case. I don't know of any JagdTigers with any 88mm gun. They all had the PaK44 L55 (12.8 cm). The JAGDPANTHER had a Pak43...
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 8:21:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By OregonShooter: Question.... Any Ideas on what germany could have done differnt that would have won them the war?
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Yeah, the answer is simple. If Germany had not embarked on its genocidal policies against the Jews, they would have had many loyal, German Jewish physicists who could have made them the bomb. Crazy Germans!
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 9:11:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By blatherman: The PaK43/1 and 43/41 fired the same ammunition as the KwK 43. The FlaK41 fired the same PROJECTILES, but did not use the same cartridge case. I don't know of any JagdTigers with any 88mm gun. They all had the PaK44 L55 (12.8 cm). The JAGDPANTHER had a Pak43...
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(Sf)Sd.kfz.185 88mm, they made four (Sf)Sd.kfz.186 had the 128mm As far as the FLAK guns go you are correct. I made a post on the history forum discussing this point. It's been a point that that has been bugging me for a while now.
Link Posted: 5/13/2003 7:05:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/13/2003 7:06:50 PM EDT by blatherman]
Originally Posted By Atencio:
Originally Posted By blatherman: The PaK43/1 and 43/41 fired the same ammunition as the KwK 43. The FlaK41 fired the same PROJECTILES, but did not use the same cartridge case. I don't know of any JagdTigers with any 88mm gun. They all had the PaK44 L55 (12.8 cm). The JAGDPANTHER had a Pak43...
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(Sf)Sd.kfz.185 88mm, they made four (Sf)Sd.kfz.186 had the 128mm As far as the FLAK guns go you are correct. I made a post on the history forum discussing this point. It's been a point that that has been bugging me for a while now.
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And after I went back to [I]Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two[/I] to prove you wrong (regarding the SdKfz 185, which I had never heard of), I found out I was wrong! You learn something new every day. Thanks for the info...
Link Posted: 5/13/2003 8:14:22 PM EDT
Late war Panthers were SOPHISTICATED. And I do mean sophisticated. They had targeting and night-vision technologies not surpassed until the mid 1960's; I could only imagine what the engineers would have come up with had the post-war world funded their reaserch. We would we atleast another 20 years ahead of where we are now, perhaps more. Anyways, The T-34 is my other fav; Not just because I am from the USSR (eerr, Russia/Ukraine), but because they had the biggest impact on the war. The series was built in greater numbers than any other tank.
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