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Posted: 12/30/2005 4:37:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2005 4:52:28 PM EDT by OrionSix]
Sherman


T-34


Tiger



Other - you forgot . . .


ETA - your "best" criteria will be of course highly subjective; Tiger clearly outclasses the Sherman and the T-34 toe to toe; tank a tanko, but they were made at a such faster rate they overwelmed the German Tanks. What do YOU think makes the best tank?
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 4:42:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2005 4:43:28 PM EDT by DOW]
You forgot the Panther - better than the T34, and not as maintenence intensive as the Tiger, etc
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 4:42:38 PM EDT
Tiger 1. King Tiger was pretty bad ass though.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 4:43:22 PM EDT
Sherman?

Link Posted: 12/30/2005 4:43:42 PM EDT
I/JS-3 Stalin

Link Posted: 12/30/2005 4:52:54 PM EDT
Panzer MkIV
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:00:50 PM EDT
Germans to this day are renowned for their engineering. Tiger.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:08:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2005 5:14:40 PM EDT by Zardoz]
Later model Panther gets my vote. Good protection, a great gun, and pretty fair speed. The transmissions in the earliest models had a tendency to spontaneously combust, though; nearly all of the Panthers at kursk were taken out of action by superior German engineering.

The Tigers were all plagued by a poor power-to-weight ratio, plus the overly complex transmission made for a lot of breakdowns. German crews often referred to Tigers as "furniture vans" because they drove so poorly. On top of this, their turrets were VERY slow in traverse, and they were too heavy for a lot of bridges. Since they were too heavy for most bridges, they had to be transported by rail, which meant removing the outermost layer of roadwheels and replacing the wide "combat" tracks with a set of thinner "transport" tracks. The only things the Tiger really had going for it were the optics in it's sights, it's gun, and it's armor. Even with all it's drawbacks though, the Tiger was an excellent tank when used in ambush. Still my favorite, just because it looks like it means business. VERY impressive if you ever get a chance to see one up close.

Shermans were almost universally crap, with the exception of the Firefly. The gun wasn't worth a shit, unless you were in a firefly, and very little in the way of armor. The Germans didn't call them "Ronsons" or "Tommy cookers" for nothing. The only thing the Sherman had going for it was automotive reliability and speed.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:10:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JCHammer:
Germans to this day are renowned for their engineering. Tiger.

Unfortunately it was very prone to breakdowns.

I have to say the T34.

It was made for an army of near illiterate soldiers.
It could drive through mud that would stall every other contemporary German tank.
And it was reliable as you could make a tank during World War II.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:13:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
I/JS-3 Stalin

img.photobucket.com/albums/v171/deathray187/IS3.jpg



yes that and the King Tiger and Panther
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:14:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GiggleSmith:

Originally Posted By JCHammer:
Germans to this day are renowned for their engineering. Tiger.

Unfortunately it was very prone to breakdowns.

I have to say the T34.

It was made for an army of near illiterate soldiers.
It could drive through mud that would stall every other contemporary German tank.
And it was reliable as you could make a tank during World War II.



+10000000
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:15:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:16:14 PM EDT
I agree with those saying bad form for leaving out the Panther.....

While the Tiger I was good, as others said, poor power to weight ratio, slow turret traverse, and rather vertical armor were it poor points.

Panther had it all....the 75mm gun was very good (not the same 75mm gun that was in the long barreled PzKfW IV's or the StuG III's, which was a good gun, the Panther gun was even better, very high velocity, flat shooting). Well sloped armor, engine and transmission more reliable than the Tigers, good speed....

Tank for tank, I go with the Panther....
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:16:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zardoz:
...nearly all of the Panthers at kursk were taken out of action by superior German engineering.



Good stuff.

You should have the Pershing on the list in place of the Sherman.
I'd vote for the T-34 over the Panther, as the Panther still has the overlapping wheels.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:16:34 PM EDT
T-34/85

Good gun, good armour, good speed and very simple. Easy to make and ran on diesel so no gasoline fires. Amazing compromise between protection/firepower/speed.

G
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:17:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By echo459:
Panzer MkIV

It's too bad that the Tigers and the Panther get all the glory, because the PzKfw IV was the real workhorse, especially the F2 and later versions.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:17:36 PM EDT
Pershing
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:18:24 PM EDT
Tiger-

For sheer Firepower and Fear Factor

Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:20:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
Sherman?




Uh huh... The Histroy Channel said so...
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:21:02 PM EDT
M-26
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:28:58 PM EDT
I'd pick the Tiger I even though the Panther is a superior design, without tungsten, its long 75mm gun wasn't as lethal as the 88.

The Tiger was the most feared tank in WWII for good reason, heavy armor and good God it packed a wallop with its 88mm gun. It could take out T-34's at 2000+ yards, the same T-34 had to get well under a 1000 yards to even have a chance at penetrateing the beast.

One also has to look at German tactics with the Tiger too, they would often bait the Russians into going after their smaller tanks. The Russians would soon find themselves in the sights of 88mm AT guns and Tigers. Tigers were also employed to strengthen key areas in their lines.


Problems with German tanks in general, they like to over farking engineer their equipment. Their tanks for the most part were not geared for mass-production, they were practically custom made. Gen Heinz Guderian pointed this out, he would rather of had more Panzer IV's made but a certain Austrain liked things that were BIG!!!
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:29:26 PM EDT
The M-26E1 Super Pershing as described in "Death Traps".
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:37:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pzjgr:
I agree with those saying bad form for leaving out the Panther.....

While the Tiger I was good, as others said, poor power to weight ratio, slow turret traverse, and rather vertical armor were it poor points.

Panther had it all....the 75mm gun was very good (not the same 75mm gun that was in the long barreled PzKfW IV's or the StuG III's, which was a good gun, the Panther gun was even better, very high velocity, flat shooting). Well sloped armor, engine and transmission more reliable than the Tigers, good speed....

Tank for tank, I go with the Panther....



IIRC, the Panter was used in anger as recently as the Six Days War. It did pretty well in the desert.

efxguy
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:40:56 PM EDT
King Tiger.


We shouldnt even include the Sherman. What a joke.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:41:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Krazny13:
The M-26E1 Super Pershing as described in "Death Traps".



It's good to see several posters agree on what was essentially the best tank in the war, by a long margin.

If we had the M26 in 1941 in quantity, it would have shortened the war effort by 8 months at least.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:45:49 PM EDT
sherman was good for what it was designed for...

easy to ship over seas and masproduce...

the alies where more intrested in quantity...

its armor sucked as well as its gun"75mm"

the 76mm was "ok"

panther was considered the best alround"armor,gun,and speed"
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:46:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
Problems with German tanks in general, they like to over farking engineer their equipment. Their tanks for the most part were not geared for mass-production, they were practically custom made. Gen Heinz Guderian pointed this out, he would rather of had more Panzer IV's made but a certain Austrain liked things that were BIG!!!



For that reason IMO the Tiger and Panther do not qualify as the best tank of the war.

If you cannot make enough tanks due to their complex nature I don’t see how it qualifies as the best… then you consider reliability and maintenance and IMO the Tiger and Panther actually become liabilities.

Seriously the T-34 was probably the most important tank.

As a pure weapon without production considerations I will still say the M-26.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:53:59 PM EDT
Mause! 150mm gun, heavy, slow, but if it would have been made it would have killed anything out there!
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:54:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:04:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CFII:
King Tiger.


We shouldnt even include the Sherman. What a joke.



I wouldn't say that - the first rule of a gunfight is to... bring a gun.

In our case, that meant the Sherman. We were able to bring plenty of them to the game, and outproduced the Krauts, even though we were on their continent. The Sherman was fast, too, and manueverable.

I wonder if the Hellcat or the Bulldog, even though they were light/recon tanks, could be considered?
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:14:50 PM EDT
I read on another site that the Pershing was renamed to the Patton and that tank was the foundation for the M-60 (and that the M-60 was the "most successful American tank ever built).
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:24:31 PM EDT
I vote the Panther. Once they got the bugs out, it was the best combo of protection, firepower, and mobility.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:26:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By uncle_frank:
I vote the Panther. Once they got the bugs out, it was the best combo of protection, firepower, and mobility.



+1 on the Panther.

WBK
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:28:31 PM EDT
I love getting into discussions with people are "the best" of anything. The best LMG of WWII. The best fighter airplane of WWII. The best battleship. The best handgun. The best infantry rifle. The best bomber. Etc. Etc.

So much of the discussions are based on individual performance of said topic. "The BAR had a higher rate of fire than the BREN", or "the Panther has better armor than the Sherman". Etc etc.

The BIG picture really needs to be looked at. Could the US and UK have made a tank that could have gone toe to toe with the German Panther or Tiger? Of course. But, producing them in a short period of time, shipping them over seas, and maintaining them would have been a nightmare. I believe that the Sherman with the 75mm and later the 76mm main guns were sufficient for the task at hand. Remember, we didnt have to rely solely on our tanks to defeat the Germans. We have total air support for one thing, and secondly we had a much more mobile army once the ground war began on the Western Front.

I could go on for HOURS talking about this stuff... but since it was asked below are my picks.

Most Reliable: Sherman M4A3 (US)
Most Ugly: Churchill AVRE
Most Combat Worthy: PzV (GE)
Most Awesome: King Tiger (GE)
Most Under-Rated: Pz IV/Cromwell (GE/UK)
Honorable Mention: T-34/Firefly (Sov/UK)
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:55:32 PM EDT
The Panther. For reasons already stated. That said I'm really rather fond of the looks of the Tiger I and especially the King Tiger. But the Panther was a better balanced machine.

The most influential tank was the Russian T34. It introduced sloped armor that gave the Germans PzKfw lV's fits. So the Germans came out with the sloped armor on the Panther and King Tigers.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:04:20 PM EDT
Later model German Panther by far.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:04:37 PM EDT
T-34.

Not only quantity, but quality (not pretty machining, welding, and beutiful, but they ran well, never broke odwn, could take on any kraut tank one on one, etc.).
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:09:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By echo459:
Panzer MkIV



I always thought that was the best looking tank of the war.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:16:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
I/JS-3 Stalin

img.photobucket.com/albums/v171/deathray187/IS3.jpg



They were not used in the war. They were in the victory day parade. Besides, you could shoot through the top of the turret with anything bigger than a rfle. Very short lived tank in service.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:18:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2005 7:19:26 PM EDT by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
(and that the M-60 was the "most successful American tank ever built).



I think the Abrams has claimed that title by now...

(Think... We finally designed a tank with such effective armor & weapons that the only thing it struggles to kill is itself)
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:21:33 PM EDT
mouse
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:22:31 PM EDT
A note on the SHERMAN:

US Army 'official' tank doctrine in WWII sucked ass... Period... This is why the Sherman was what it was...

Quite simply, back then the Army did not intend (officially) to fight tanks with tanks.... Tanks were intended to clear fortifications & bunkers in support of the infantry... Fighting enemy tanks was 'left' to 'Tank Destroyers'...

So the Sherman was never built to go up against the Panthers & Tigers...

Ergo small gun, etc...
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:28:30 PM EDT
If we're talking 1939, for a one-to-one tank battle, the T-34/76 is the tops. Good armor & speed. The German PzKw IV had a short barrel low velocity 75 gun. The best it could do was to break a track and cause the T-34 crew to bail out. The T-34 has some disadvantages. Inferior optics. Only 1 in 10 have radios so unit coordination is impossible once contact has been made. There is no separate gunner in the cramped turret so efficiency is reduced when the tank commander is reduced to serving as its gunner.

Ditto for 1940.

Ditto for 1941. I believe the U.S. finally got the 75 mm Grant/Lee in action. However, limited traverse of its main armament and very high silhouette. The Russians are fielding their Klimenti Vorishilov 1 76 mm gun tank and infantry support tank armed with the 152 mm howitzer (KV-1 and KV-II). While heavier armor than the T-34, they also lack radios and do not have the mobility of the T-34.

1942 The M-4 Sherman enters production. Superior over the Grant/Lee because its main armament offered 360 degree traverse, it was reliable but underarmored. Luckily the very heavy German tanks had yet to make their debut. The British had the early Churchills but they were armed with the 6 pdr (later ones had the 75 mm). The German PzKw IV by now was upgunned to (f2 model) with the 75 Kwk L43 high velocity gun. While it's armor was still inferior to the T-34 and it didn't enjoy the mobility of the latter, it could deal out death further away and the optics (as well as radio when it came to platoon/company combat) over the Russian T-34.

1943. The Tiger and Panther make their debut. However, both are plagued with engineering problems and a lot of the latter broke down during the Kursk offensive and had to be destroyed by their own crews.

1944. Both the KV and the T-34 are upgunned to 85 mm. A decent turret at last with a separate gunner. Better hatch for commander with greater visibility. Still, no radio for each tank though. Panthers are being refined and are much more reliable. Ditto for the Tiger and the Tiger II is being introduced. Trouble with both Tigers is that they're heavy and their turret traverse is very slow. The British realize that the Sherman is undergunned and equip some with their splendid 17 pdr anti-tank gun which is capable of penetrating the armor of the Tiger I. The Russians also develope a new series of heavy tanks. Based on the KV design but with heavier armor and a 122 mm gun, it can destroy any German tank in existence. However, the 122 mm gun has an extremely slow rate of fire since loading is slow because of the two piece cartridge (war head and powder charge).

1945. M-26 Pershing, Centurion and the JS-III debut. The JS-III is the toughest of all three, but it doesn't arrive in time to see combat. The M-26 Pershing does and is capable of taking out a Tiger. One special model of the M-26 with an extra long gun and extra mantle armor sees combat and does indeed take out a Tiger.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:53:15 PM EDT
T34,great off road capability due to low ground pressure(wide tracks). Easy to build,diesel motor,sloping armour,good speed and range. Guderian wanted Germany to start production of a German T34 in late 1941. He was overuled and the result was the Panther. An over enginered knock of the T34.

The T34 had some defects, esp in the T34/76 but by the T34/85 version most were solved.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:54:00 PM EDT
Nothing ground borne was taking out the "Koenings Tiger"(King Tiger) or the "JagdPanzer"

Sorry but 12 inches of armor is just too much for that French Pea shooter on the Sherman!

I saw a Jagdpanzer on display at Aberdeen proving grounds, hit six times i could see with the 75MM BB gun and not a gouge was more than a inch and a half deep, they finnally hit it in the road wheels, So the Germans did what Germans do shrugged and drove on minus three road wheels until they ran out of fuel!! I'm sure most of those guys who did manage to ping the French 75mm we used off them left widows and orphans behind. because a SHERMAN TANKS ARMOR WASN'T STOPPING THE 120MM ROUND THE BEAST THREW BACK!

GOOD THING THE GERMANS ONLY BUILT 12 OF THEM!!
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:58:15 PM EDT
BTW, the sherman wasn't known as the "Tommy cooker" and the "Ronson Lighter " for nothing!

Because like a Ronson Lighter......The Sherman lit first time every time!!!

The only reason we won against German armor is we could withstand losing 4 tanks to every surviving sherman, due to manufacturing capacity.

In Concluding....... SHERMANS SUCKKED!!!!!
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:06:07 PM EDT
Gong back to an earlier best tank thread it all depends on what role a tank is intended for. Define that and I will answer your question.

Infantry support, which ultimately is what wins a battle, or tank vs. tank? Tanks like the Sherman excelled in infantry support, while the Panther is more optimized towards tank vs. tank.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 9:11:19 PM EDT
tiger tank, my 2 cents
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 9:17:47 PM EDT
T-34
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 9:33:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 4v50:
If we're talking 1939, for a one-to-one tank battle, the T-34/76 is the tops. Good armor & speed. The German PzKw IV had a short barrel low velocity 75 gun. The best it could do was to break a track and cause the T-34 crew to bail out. The T-34 has some disadvantages. Inferior optics. Only 1 in 10 have radios so unit coordination is impossible once contact has been made. There is no separate gunner in the cramped turret so efficiency is reduced when the tank commander is reduced to serving as its gunner.

Ditto for 1940.

Ditto for 1941. I believe the U.S. finally got the 75 mm Grant/Lee in action. However, limited traverse of its main armament and very high silhouette. The Russians are fielding their Klimenti Vorishilov 1 76 mm gun tank and infantry support tank armed with the 152 mm howitzer (KV-1 and KV-II). While heavier armor than the T-34, they also lack radios and do not have the mobility of the T-34.

1942 The M-4 Sherman enters production. Superior over the Grant/Lee because its main armament offered 360 degree traverse, it was reliable but underarmored. Luckily the very heavy German tanks had yet to make their debut. The British had the early Churchills but they were armed with the 6 pdr (later ones had the 75 mm). The German PzKw IV by now was upgunned to (f2 model) with the 75 Kwk L43 high velocity gun. While it's armor was still inferior to the T-34 and it didn't enjoy the mobility of the latter, it could deal out death further away and the optics (as well as radio when it came to platoon/company combat) over the Russian T-34.

1943. The Tiger and Panther make their debut. However, both are plagued with engineering problems and a lot of the latter broke down during the Kursk offensive and had to be destroyed by their own crews.

1944. Both the KV and the T-34 are upgunned to 85 mm. A decent turret at last with a separate gunner. Better hatch for commander with greater visibility. Still, no radio for each tank though. Panthers are being refined and are much more reliable. Ditto for the Tiger and the Tiger II is being introduced. Trouble with both Tigers is that they're heavy and their turret traverse is very slow. The British realize that the Sherman is undergunned and equip some with their splendid 17 pdr anti-tank gun which is capable of penetrating the armor of the Tiger I. The Russians also develope a new series of heavy tanks. Based on the KV design but with heavier armor and a 122 mm gun, it can destroy any German tank in existence. However, the 122 mm gun has an extremely slow rate of fire since loading is slow because of the two piece cartridge (war head and powder charge).

1945. M-26 Pershing, Centurion and the JS-III debut. The JS-III is the toughest of all three, but it doesn't arrive in time to see combat. The M-26 Pershing does and is capable of taking out a Tiger. One special model of the M-26 with an extra long gun and extra mantle armor sees combat and does indeed take out a Tiger.



Later models of the Pz IV and StuG III had a L48 gun improving it even more.

The Soviet 122 MM was a howitzer and not an anti-tank weapon as designed. It was good, but not as good as it should have been due to size. Same with the 152mm cannon on the "Amimal Killer" JSU-152 tank destroyers. The weapons still could not penetrate the frontal armor of a Tiger II or JagdPanther even at ranges of 400 meters. Side armor is a whole other story.

A Persing was lost to a German 88mm L/71 tank destroyer at 300meters. The shot went through the frontal armor through the crew compartment into the engine. I don't think anyone was killed.

Link Posted: 12/30/2005 9:47:11 PM EDT
Sherman= Death trap 1 to 4 kill ratio not uncommon thin skinned and gun was to weak
Tiger= to slow but still formidable.
Panzer= sufficient at start of war against pushovers not a real match for T-34
T-34 best all around enough armor, ease of maintainence, reliable in bad conditions, and a gun to make it a match for anything of the day. Think of the T-34 as an AK-47.
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