View Full Version : Determining the best tank: the "Effort ratio" or why it should bye bye big cats

08-23-2013, 08:15 AM
It all started with the discussion about "the best tank".
Usually the race is all about T34 vs Panther with focus on "medium design towards future" or Panther vs Tiger with focus on "kill ratio" or Sherman vs T34 with focus on "production".

But! Criticism came around. The III/IV stood up. Stats were brought up etc etc

Recent thinking put me to another point of view:
not the "kill ratio" but what one can call the "effort ratio" appreciates the total war scale. It is nothing more than a kill ratio with the value of the kills added: kill ratio x production ratio.

If let's say a Tiger tank has a kill ratio of 1 / (9 T34 + a JS-2) one would call it 10 / 1. Kill ratio philosophy woud label this a superb tank.
If however one side is capable of producing more than 9 T34 and a JS-2 per Tiger
(monthly stats can be produced) the side with the apparent low kill ratio prevails on the battlefield, having literally one or more tanks "still around".
If one knows 2.5 Panzer IV's substituted (only in cost alone) a Tiger we can make the following calculation:

2 Tigers would mean 5 Panzer IV's.
2 Tigers would kill 20 tanks, which means the equivalent investment Panzer IV's would need a kill ratio higher than 20/5 to defeat the Tiger = 4 / 1. This seems not unrealistic.

This can help explain why the Tiger is that much questioned. I dare to say that the kill ratio of a Tiger simply can't be high enough to make it that superb tank. I'll stick with the IV.

The Panther would fail utterly. Continuous Breakdowns definitely need to be counted in, since repair equates to reduced availability and thus reduced production.

Other things can be added in favour of the IV. for example simply the highest rate of fire power (shell / gun size) per weight unit in a turret tank for the Germans. In fact, the only tank that mattered at the end that got upgraded. Or the fact it weighed ( less material) less than it's enemy "peers".

08-25-2013, 01:01 PM

08-26-2013, 03:25 AM
Thanks for the input.
Are you a proponent of the Tiger?