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Comrade Commisar
08-26-2008, 01:45 PM
I know Im gonna get alot of heat for this but here it goes:
PzKpfw V Panther Heavy Tank

As World War 2 progressed, the Germans maintained there tank superiority by
bringing the PzKpfw V and VI heavy tanks into service in the 40,640-60,960kg/ ton range, well ahead of the Allies. PzKpfw V, or the Panther more commonly known, owes much of its design to a detailed study undertakenof the Russian T-34 which proved greatly superior to PzKpfw III and IV. The Ausk D model Panther, appearing in 1943, weighed 43,690kg/43 tons, mounted a 7.5cm/2.95in KwK42 L/70 gun and had a crew of five. With a top speed of about 45kph/28mph and a radius action of 200km/124.3 miles, it was a formidable opponent.
A total of 850 of the Ausf D model were built, and it was the first to go into service despite the fact that the next model following it was Aushf A! Some 2,000 Ausf As were built between August 1943 and May 1944. It had various improvements over its predecessor, including better running gear, thicker armour and a new commander's cupola. Teh Ausf G was produced as a result of combat experience with the Ausf D and A. Over 3,000 Ausf Gs were built between March 1944 and April 1945. The hull was redesighned, now without the driver's vision visor- which mus have been a vulnerable spot. Variants included command and obsevation tanks and also the ARV(Armoured Recovery Vehicle) Berepanther.

PzKpfw V Ausf G Heavy Tank
Entered service:1944
Crew:5
Weight: 45,465kg/45.5 tons
Dimensions: Length-8.87m/29ft 1in Height (over turret hatch)- 2.97m/9ft 9in Width-3.43/11ft 3in
Armament: Main- 7.5cm/2.95in KwK42 L/70 gun
Secondary- 2x7 .92mm/0.312m machine-guns
Armour: Maximum- 100mm/3.94in
Powerplant: Maybach Hl230P30 V12 petrol, 522kW/700hp
Performance: Speed-46kph/28.75 mph Range-200km/125

Comrade Commisar
08-26-2008, 01:47 PM
I know Im gonna get alot of heat for this but here it goes:
PzKpfw V Panther Heavy Tank

As World War 2 progressed, the Germans maintained there tank superiority by
bringing the PzKpfw V and VI heavy tanks into service in the 40,640-60,960kg/ ton range, well ahead of the Allies. PzKpfw V, or the Panther more commonly known, owes much of its design to a detailed study undertakenof the Russian T-34 which proved greatly superior to PzKpfw III and IV. The Ausk D model Panther, appearing in 1943, weighed 43,690kg/43 tons, mounted a 7.5cm/2.95in KwK42 L/70 gun and had a crew of five. With a top speed of about 45kph/28mph and a radius action of 200km/124.3 miles, it was a formidable opponent.
A total of 850 of the Ausf D model were built, and it was the first to go into service despite the fact that the next model following it was Aushf A! Some 2,000 Ausf As were built between August 1943 and May 1944. It had various improvements over its predecessor, including better running gear, thicker armour and a new commander's cupola. Teh Ausf G was produced as a result of combat experience with the Ausf D and A. Over 3,000 Ausf Gs were built between March 1944 and April 1945. The hull was redesighned, now without the driver's vision visor- which mus have been a vulnerable spot. Variants included command and obsevation tanks and also the ARV(Armoured Recovery Vehicle) Berepanther.

PzKpfw V Ausf G Heavy Tank
Entered service:1944
Crew:5
Weight: 45,465kg/45.5 tons
Dimensions: Length-8.87m/29ft 1in Height (over turret hatch)- 2.97m/9ft 9in Width-3.43/11ft 3in
Armament: Main- 7.5cm/2.95in KwK42 L/70 gun
Secondary- 2x7 .92mm/0.312m machine-guns
Armour: Maximum- 100mm/3.94in
Powerplant: Maybach Hl230P30 V12 petrol, 522kW/700hp
Performance: Speed-46kph/28.75 mph Range-200km/125

SS Ouche-Vittes
08-26-2008, 05:18 PM
Why did Germany make tigers and panthers? If panthers are better than tigers than they should of focused on the production of the panthers only. thus they would get more panthers and replacements would be more available.

Ardee
08-26-2008, 06:43 PM
Am I missing something, or wasn't the Panther a -- MEDIUM tank?

flamethrowerguy
08-26-2008, 06:46 PM
Am I missing something, or wasn't the Panther a -- MEDIUM tank?

Last thing I heard...yes. With 43-45,5 tons certainly at the upper limit but still "medium".

flamethrowerguy
08-26-2008, 06:49 PM
Why did Germany make tigers and panthers? If panthers are better than tigers than they should of focused on the production of the panthers only. thus they would get more panthers and replacements would be more available.

Panther = medium tank, Tiger = heavy tank. Different tanks for different tasks.

pdf27
08-26-2008, 07:03 PM
Threads merged. Do NOT spam the forum with multiple identical topics gentlemen!

Sickles
08-27-2008, 10:44 AM
Hey guys ? Why are we getting hung up on wether the Panther is a medium or a heavy Tank? The thread is about the most effective Tank of the War... No matter whether it was medium or heavy the Panther being called the most effective tank of the war should raise some eyebrows. It obviously was a great Tank but the most effective?

Was the Panther the MOST effective being able to take the fight to the enemy on difficult terrain? Most Effective means reliable, Was the Panther in the field ready to fight or was it being repaired? Individually it was effective but not enough numbers produced. This is a moot subject....

ptimms
08-27-2008, 11:07 AM
As far as I can see the Panther falls down in one place. It's lack of side armour means that as an offensive vehicle it is flawed. On defence it is great but in the attack you are much more likely to take flank shots. It has side armour of 45-50mm which is no better than a T34/76 and was vulnerable to almost any allied AT at combat ranges. That said strategically Germany was on the defensive and this was less of an issue.

Comrade Commisar
08-27-2008, 02:27 PM
Remember were talking about the second model PzKpfw V Ausf G Heavy Tank.

ww11freak34
09-09-2008, 10:07 PM
the way the us beat the panzers they outnumbered them and then killed them

ww11freak34
09-09-2008, 10:09 PM
for every 1 tiger tank the germans could have made 4 panzer mk 4s

Major Walter Schmidt
09-09-2008, 10:10 PM
dont they already have this thread?

Ardee
09-10-2008, 02:18 PM
the way the us beat the panzers they outnumbered them and then killed them

Don't forget air power!

Adrian Wainer
09-11-2008, 06:01 AM
Why did Germany make tigers and panthers? If panthers are better than tigers than they should of focused on the production of the panthers only. thus they would get more panthers and replacements would be more available.

Hi flamethrowerguy has allready answered your specific question, in that the Panther was a medium and the Tiger was a heavy, so that there was a legitimate requirement for both, but in having asked that question you may be under the impression that since the Third Reich was a totalitarian state in a country [ i.e. Germany ] with reputation for order and efficency, things were done in an well planned and somewhat rational manner in the Reich. The reality is that, contrary to what one would expect, Britain organized a much more efficent War economy than the Third Reich and in Germany numerous projects and activities were engaged in at huge resource cost purely for reasons of internal politics, personal empire building, monetary greed etc.

Best and Warm Regards
Adrian Wainer

Chevan
08-09-2010, 05:09 AM
About most effective tank of ww2 the Military CHannel bet me with arguments.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVg6gFmuRlE&feature=related

jungleguerilla
08-09-2010, 05:22 AM
T-34 rocks!

Uyraell
08-11-2010, 01:38 AM
About most effective tank of ww2 the Military CHannel bet me with arguments.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVg6gFmuRlE&feature=related

Most effective in combat?
No. That goes to the Tiger 1. Greater gun-range with more effective optics and main gun.
Against those factors, the Tiger 1 having less speed and greater weight does not count for much, because it can kill at a greater distance, more often, by reason of larger ammunition capacity than either the T34/76 or the T34/85.
A Tiger 1 carries 92 88mm shells in fully loaded condition, where the T34/85 carries 60. (I admit I'm open to correction on that T34/85 figure, but I certainly do not recall seeing any larger figure mentioned in recent years.)

Most effectively employed?
Yes. Very definitely the T34, especially in T34/85 form has to be just about THE most effectively employed tank in WW2.
Mainly because the Russians had VAST numbers of T34/85's to throw at just about any attack necessary.
Also, the T34/85 was designed for a war of mobility, where its' opponent was (in effect) designed for a snipe-then move, then-snipe, type of warfare. It has to be said that that design influence does have an effect on both main gun employment and ammunition capacity.

Kind and Respectful Regards Chevan my friend, Uyraell.

Chevan
08-12-2010, 04:00 AM
Most effective in combat?
No. That goes to the Tiger 1. Greater gun-range with more effective optics and main gun.
Against those factors, the Tiger 1 having less speed and greater weight does not count for much, because it can kill at a greater distance, more often, by reason of larger ammunition capacity than either the T34/76 or the T34/85.
A Tiger 1 carries 92 88mm shells in fully loaded condition, where the T34/85 carries 60. (I admit I'm open to correction on that T34/85 figure, but I certainly do not recall seeing any larger figure mentioned in recent years.)

the combat effectiveness is a relative value.It's far not only the Tank vs Tank battle. Say, as infantry support Tank the speedy T-34 was more effective.Sure the Tiger was a superior Tank killer( especialy King Tiger), especially acting from an ambush. However it might be deadly danger , if you drive the slow moving Tiger in City battle.Tiger also was more easy target in close tank's dog-fight like was in Kursk battle.So i wouldn't bet on Tiger in 100% of cases.
Although the Michael Wittman's Tiger1 was able to hit the 10+ of British tanks in single battle, at the same time if was Sherman Firefly( tank that twice more light and had twice thin armor) that eventually finished him. By single short.



Most effectively employed?
Yes. Very definitely the T34, especially in T34/85 form has to be just about THE most effectively employed tank in WW2.
Mainly because the Russians had VAST numbers of T34/85's to throw at just about any attack necessary.

Also, the T34/85 was designed for a war of mobility, where its' opponent was (in effect) designed for a snipe-then move, then-snipe, type of warfare. It has to be said that that design influence does have an effect on both main gun employment and ammunition capacity.
.
Same the USA.
The american command has enough numbers of Shermans to employ them wherever the infantry moved.And that's work just fine.Althought they survived the lack of conterpart for Tiger for the first period of war in Europe, nevertheless they was able to neitralise the german panzers in most of cases.

Uyraell
08-13-2010, 02:54 AM
the combat effectiveness is a relative value.It's far not only the Tank vs Tank battle. Say, as infantry support Tank the speedy T-34 was more effective.Sure the Tiger was a superior Tank killer( especialy King Tiger), especially acting from an ambush. However it might be deadly danger , if you drive the slow moving Tiger in City battle.Tiger also was more easy target in close tank's dog-fight like was in Kursk battle.So i wouldn't bet on Tiger in 100% of cases.
Although the Michael Wittman's Tiger1 was able to hit the 10+ of British tanks in single battle, at the same time if was Sherman Firefly( tank that twice more light and had twice thin armor) that eventually finished him. By single short.

Same the USA.
The american command has enough numbers of Shermans to employ them wherever the infantry moved.And that's work just fine.Althought they survived the lack of conterpart for Tiger for the first period of war in Europe, nevertheless they was able to neitralise the german panzers in most of cases.

I am almost tempted to agree with you, my friend.
However, in many cases, the Sherman and T34 were far from alone in targeting the various Panzers of whatever mark.
The Americans had a habit of calling in air support at the drop of a hat, and the Russians basically went no-where without it, wherever possible.

Some-one made the point elsewhere on the forum: if you're an ordinary infantryman with just your firearm and your battledress, any Tank coming at you is one hell of a threat.
Like wise though: if you're a German Panzertruppe Soldat and your Panzer is in action, chances are the enemy has air support on call while you do not: and therefore you're just as unprotected as your Schutze kamerad out on the battlefield.

The T34 and the Sherman might well be very good as infantry support on the battlefield and only marginal in a Tank versus Tank situation, but that is more than compensated by the availability of air-support, which is why My answer posted above in #18 seems focused on Tank vs Tank.

As to slow-moving Tiger in a city environment: I'm not aware over-all of very many cases where any tank of any combatant army was moving at high speed in built-up areas, be that in combat or otherwise.
Standard procedure for almost any Tank in a city area is proceed slowly and carefully, because attack from ambush is only ever meters away at the best of times, and a very good look-out must be maintained with great vigilance if the tank is to survive passing through a frontline city/village.
In such a situation, the Tiger or Koenigstiger is at no more of a disadvantage than a Sherman, T34 or Cromwell or Comet.
Speed simply is not relevant.

On an open plain, then yes, the T34 is the better vehicle in the infantry support role, going into an attack.
I discount the Sherman.
However: an open plain is precisely the type of circumstance the Tiger was built for, to attack from ambush rather than in a Tank "charge" as the RKKA often employed. This is another factor that influenced my reply in post#18.

Kind and Respectful Regards Chevan my friend, Uyraell.

Nickdfresh
08-13-2010, 05:56 AM
Reopening this thread...

Nickdfresh
08-13-2010, 06:08 AM
I am almost tempted to agree with you, my friend.
However, in many cases, the Sherman and T34 were far from alone in targeting the various Panzers of whatever mark.
The Americans had a habit of calling in air support at the drop of a hat, and the Russians basically went no-where without it, wherever possible.

....


I think it should be said that most historians now believe that relatively few panzers were destroyed from the air in Normandy in the West and reject the notion that air-power was all that (directly) effective against tanks. The Heer and SS used all their means to try to avoid Allied air superiority whenever possible by using the extensive cover and concealment of the bocage, moving at night on the roads when possible, and revealing positions only when the Allied ground troops were "danger-close" to friendly fire when possible. That's not to say that air-power wasn't indirectly a bane to the panzers as it severally restricted their strategic mobility and tactical movements and certainly hindered the critical support columns of Opel and Mercedes trucks...

Uyraell
08-13-2010, 06:18 AM
Many Thanks to you nick. :)

I'm interested in the different means/ways the various vehicles came to be employed, not least because the design parameters while different, also reflect the needs of the nation at the time.
That said, I'm not at all sure I'd wish to be in a Sherman or T34/85 going up against a Tiger or Koenigstiger.
Were I offered the choice between Tiger and IS-2 or IS-3, I'd probably opt for the IS-3, even though it carries less ammunition for the main gun.
Offered the choice between Koenigstiger and a Russian tank of whichever type, I'd absolutely take the Koenigstiger.

Yes, the vehicles were designed for what amount to different purposes, but their respective effectiveness in combat is nonetheless worthy of examination.

Kind and Respectful Regards Nick, Uyraell.

Uyraell
08-13-2010, 06:31 AM
I think it should be said that most historians now believe that relatively few panzers were destroyed from the air in Normandy in the West and reject the notion that air-power was all that (directly) effective against tanks. The Heer and SS used all their means to try to avoid Allied air superiority whenever possible by using the extensive cover and concealment of the bocage, moving at night on the roads when possible, and revealing positions only when the Allied ground troops were "danger-close" to friendly fire when possible. That's not to say that air-power wasn't indirectly a bane to the panzers as it severally restricted their strategic mobility and tactical movements and certainly hindered the critical support columns of Opel and Mercedes trucks...

I agree with you Nick.
Nonetheless, the average German tank crew would have been --highly-- aware of the availability of Allied airpower.
In that situation, the threat is almost as effective as the actual attack, and at times more so.

That the Americans and British in the bocage were able to call on air-power to accomplish what their tanks could not surely had an influence on their combat effectiveness, and the final outcome of events.
Contrast that situation with the average German Panzer crew, who not only knew that they did not have air-power available, but couldn't even be certain when the next load of fuel or ammunition was available for the tank they were fighting from.

That's a little off-topic, I admit, but I regard it as among the many relevant factors, when assessing the combat effectiveness of a tank.

Returning to matters on the Ostfront: I'd think the Germans were facing an even worse situation there, which again must affect the assessment of the combat effectiveness of the Panzers in which the Germans were going to battle.
Which means that I do assign those factors a certain "weight" when making any such assessment.

Kind and Respectful Regards Nick, Uyraell.

Chevan
08-13-2010, 07:10 AM
However, in many cases, the Sherman and T34 were far from alone in targeting the various Panzers of whatever mark.
The Americans had a habit of calling in air support at the drop of a hat, and the Russians basically went no-where without it, wherever possible.

Artillery.
Actually the RA used tjeir numerical artillery superiority against all sort of Panzer Kittens.BTW artillery work just fine in ambush too.
Not to mention some quantity of self-propelles antitank monsters like ISU-152 or Is-2 that RA had to neitralise the Panzers.



As to slow-moving Tiger in a city environment: I'm not aware over-all of very many cases where any tank of any combatant army was moving at high speed in built-up areas, be that in combat or otherwise.
Standard procedure for almost any Tank in a city area is proceed slowly and carefully, because attack from ambush is only ever meters away at the best of times, and a very good look-out must be maintained with great vigilance if the tank is to survive passing through a frontline city/village.
In such a situation, the Tiger or Koenigstiger is at no more of a disadvantage than a Sherman, T34 or Cromwell or Comet.
Speed simply is not relevant.

Speed is not right characteristic for my case , mate.
I meant manoeuvreability.If there will be the ambush the Tiger has the more chances to be hit from a close distance then medium but speedy tank. The bigger and slower target - the easy to hit.What is sense if Tiger might to hit enemy tank in a distance 2 km if itself might face the enemy's 76 mm gun in 200 metrest at side. Or get the bunch of grenades( or even Molotov's coctail) in its motor's compartmen. Will you feel safe , getting out of tank and putting out the fire of Petrol-use Maibach?
You might feel good , hunting the enemies tanks in plain, having 1+ km distance in reserve . But how about to meet the enemy tanks right after the nearest hill.Hardly one will be very happy to meen the enemy that can move faster the he can turn the Tigger's turret.
It's like Ferdinands - they were deadly effective against tanks, but were almost totaly destroyed by infantry for short time.

Chevan
08-13-2010, 07:16 AM
Offered the choice between Koenigstiger and a Russian tank of whichever type, I'd absolutely take the Koenigstiger.
.
Hope you will be lucky enough your transmission would has been broken after the first killometres of way to front-line.When you will just sit and wait when front-line comes to you?:):D
If GErmans had at least 2 additional years and repaired all the childrens-lacks of Koenigstiger- it might come up to the best Tank in history.

Uyraell
08-13-2010, 07:54 AM
Artillery.
Actually the RA used tjeir numerical artillery superiority against all sort of Panzer Kittens.BTW artillery work just fine in ambush too.
Not to mention some quantity of self-propelles antitank monsters like ISU-152 or Is-2 that RA had to neitralise the Panzers.

Speed is not right characteristic for my case , mate.
I meant manoeuvreability.If there will be the ambush the Tiger has the more chances to be hit from a close distance then medium but speedy tank. The bigger and slower target - the easy to hit.What is sense if Tiger might to hit enemy tank in a distance 2 km if itself might face the enemy's 76 mm gun in 200 metrest at side. Or get the bunch of grenades( or even Molotov's coctail) in its motor's compartmen. Will you feel safe , getting out of tank and putting out the fire of Petrol-use Maibach?
You might feel good , hunting the enemies tanks in plain, having 1+ km distance in reserve . But how about to meet the enemy tanks right after the nearest hill.Hardly one will be very happy to meen the enemy that can move faster the he can turn the Tigger's turret.
It's like Ferdinands - they were deadly effective against tanks, but were almost totaly destroyed by infantry for short time.

On manoeuverability, we might be in for a discussion, mate. :)
The Tiger 1 was in reality no less manoeuverable than a Sherman, and actually possessed less ground-pressure , better weight distribution.
I agree it somewhat lacked in speed, which is more to do with the HL230 Maybach powering a very geared-down transmission.
Fire-risk of a petrol motor? No more so than any other Tank powered by a gasoline motor.
That said, I'd not like to have to be the guy who had to put such a fire out in my tank, and I'd not greatly care which army I was serving in, faced with such a task.

The Tiger1 did have one huge disadvantage, but it was not in manoeuverability.

The big disadvantage of the Tiger1 was that it took 720 turns of the handwheel to turn the turret 360 degrees.
In short, the turret itself turned much slower than the turrets of enemy vehicles.
Say, 22 seconds for 90 degrees, where a Sherman or T34 could traverse that same 90 degrees in about 16 seconds.
Often, in preference to turning the Tiger turret, the entire vehicle was re-aligned onto the new target, and only the last couple of degrees traversed by turret for fine-alignment for the shot.
A Tiger 1 crew may have been in a damn fine tank, but the poor guys had to work damned hard to fight from it successfully.

And yes, I had overlooked RKKA artilllery, though I should not have.
Again though, they had artillery in vast numbers.

The SU vehicles, in which class one may as well include the ISU-152 and the IS-2 for the sake of this discussion, were themselves very fine vehicles for the tasks they had. And it was RKKA High Command policy that they had a dual role, either primary as Artillery and secondary as Anti-Tank, or primary as Anti-Tank and secondary as Artillery, depending on which model of SU one wishes to discuss.
The entire series had dual capability.

Close range combat in any Tank is a thing to be (rightly, imho) feared. And I'd regard 200 meters in Tank versus Tank to be "kissing distance" ... way the hell too close for comfort, very very bad for the nerves.
That said, I'd like to be secure in the knowledge that the armour around me would keep me alive, given good fortune and good teamwork between myself and my crewmates.

Which is pretty much where the Koenigstiger and IS-3 come into the discussion, the armour of both was of a very fine defensive profile, which itself was an improvement over the profile of the T34/85.

Again, while I'm no fan of raw speed in a tank, I do have to admit than in a battle on an open plain, such as Kursk, the T34 may well have the advantage over the Tiger, once the T34 gets close enough to use it's gun, or manoeuvers around the Tiger to get a flank shot in.
That factor itself had a big influence on the thickness of the armour in the Koenigstiger: it had to have better side armour precisely because of incoming flank-shots as had happened at Kursk and Prokhorovka.

Which brings me back to the topic of combat effectiveness.
I'd still take the Tiger 1 as preference to crew in: it was, in my humble opinion, a vehicle that had better survivability than many of its' contemporaries, and while the T34/85 was a very fine vehicle, I simply do not see the T34/85 as having the same survivability. That also means I rate the Tiger 1 as being more effective in combat.

Kind and Respectful Regards Chevan mate, Uyraell.

Uyraell
08-13-2010, 08:07 AM
Hope you will be lucky enough your transmission would has been broken after the first killometres of way to front-line.When you will just sit and wait when front-line comes to you?:):D
If GErmans had at least 2 additional years and repaired all the childrens-lacks of Koenigstiger- it might come up to the best Tank in history.

The AK 7400 D through G series of transmissions had effectively solved most of the early issues of the Koenigstiger.
However, you're right my friend, the Koenigstiger would have matured into an exceptionally fine vehicle, and a very formidable one.
I'm not certain it would have needed an additional 2 years, to get the childish problems of the vehicle solved though.
Had the war gone on to, say November of 1946, the Koenigstiger would very likely have had its' major problems solved a year earlier, November 1945.

And not that I have any wish to seem nasty, but I had the impression the T34/85 transmission and the KV-1 and IS-1 and IS-2 transmissions also had "childhood problems" which took a few months to solve.
I'm not certain between them all, Koenigstiger included, which vehicles' problems would have taken the longest to solve/produce a workable solution.

With the AK 7400 series transmissions, the issue was one of production.
Germany could not produce enough of them fast enough, and could not fit those produced to enough vehicles in the available time.

Kind and Respectful Regards Chevan mate, Uyraell.

jungleguerilla
08-13-2010, 08:16 AM
I read some article over the Internet about Tiger Tanks. They said that every Tiger I pilots suffer on every front the Tiger 1 Tank had been deployed. Every battle the Tiger were in, the hobby of the German Repair Crew of Towing it and bringing it back to Germany. For my opinion then, the T-34/85 deserves more, it's fast, has a powerful gun and it's easy to repair or manufacture. :)

Uyraell
08-13-2010, 09:05 AM
I read some article over the Internet about Tiger Tanks. They said that every Tiger I pilots suffer on every front the Tiger 1 Tank had been deployed. Every battle the Tiger were in, the hobby of the German Repair Crew of Towing it and bringing it back to Germany. For my opinion then, the T-34/85 deserves more, it's fast, has a powerful gun and it's easy to repair or manufacture. :)

The initial combat deployment of any World War Two Tank always brought to light the problems that vehicle had, and which thereafter needed solving as rapidly as possible.
Not only the Russians, not only the Germans, but everyone else had various issues at various times in the initial combat deployments of various tanks.
Sixty-five years on, we tend to forget that the engineers and designers of WW2 did not have the computer modelling available to them that the same professions these days take for granted.
Every single calculation was the result of some-one using a slide-rule, which tool is pretty much absent from the modern world, and fast disappearing from human memory.

Nor did operational testing always reveal the faults a vehicle may have had. In those times, it was pretty-much a hit and miss affair, wherein an inaccurate result could frequently be taken as reliable data and employed, only to later be proven inaccurate once the vehicle itself had been in combat a few weeks.

This is one of the reasons it took so long for the engineers of any nation to declare a vehicle fit for service in combat: data from testing the vehicle was always regarded as inaccurate, and by deliberate engineering policy treated with suspicion until repeatedly proven correct, and even then was often only "provisionally accepted".

"Provisionally accepted" often became the standard regarded as sufficient to justify deployment of a new vehicle type to a combat zone, because it was recognised that the operational testing (as opposed to domestic testing in the home nation) was the only reliable source of data about any vehicle and its' corresponding combat effectiveness.
All of this testing and obtaining of data took vast amounts of time, that today is obtained in a few minutes of number-crunching by a mainframe computer.

All of which goes a very long way to explaining why any given vehicle took so very long to be deployed to a combat zone.
Simply put, the engineers and designers had to convince themselves on the data they had in front of themselves.
Which meant their respective nations had to wait for new vehicles, often when same were desperately needed, and men were indeed dieing while waiting in the battle zone for new equipment.

It is a small example: but consider the case of the M3 Stuart tank.
That vehicle was known to be marginal at the very best for use in combat in Europe.
Yet: it was shipped and deployed in Europe.
Why?
Because: the data on it was known to be accurate, and the vehicle was at minimum a reasonably useful stop-gap untill a better vehicle (which finally emerged as the M24 Chaffee, one of the most successful light tanks of all time) could be designed, developed, tested, and deployed.

I have no doubt at all that the Russians were extremely fortunate to have begun production of the T34/76 series when they did, because the T34/85 series it led to was desperately needed on the battle-front.
But consider: had there been a delay of as little as 6 months in the design and production of the T34/76 then the T34/85 would not have been deployed in combat until late 1944 at the earliest, because it would have taken that long to design build and test it.

The clear parallel here is the case of the British Comet tank:
The British spent so long testing the thing that it was so late in arriving on the battlefield that it was effectively obsolete the moment it was deployed. Yet: that vehicle was built on known data, from the Cromwell vehicle.
Meanwhile, British soldiers died daily, fighting in vehicles their own high command knew were unfit for the task.

What "Saved" the British tank crews was, ironically, the Sherman M4. In much the same ways as the T34/85 and the IS-2 "Saved" the Russians. The vehicles were there in just enough numbers, in just enough time to be useful in battle, even though each vehicle had faults which were not corrected until many years after the last gun in WW2 had long fallen silent.

Kind and Respectful Regards, Uyraell.

colmhain
09-25-2010, 01:18 AM
Comrade commisar, are you asking what tank had the most effect to the outcome of the war, or what tank would I choose to get in to fight in that war? If it's the latter, then I would be hard pressed to choose. But if it is the former, then, the T34 series, or M4 Sherman series. Both had decent capability and reliability, and both were made in huge numbers. I'm not sure about T34 numbers, but the M4 Sherman and it's variants were numbered to about 55,000. 55,000! That would have an "effect" on a battlefield today!

The Fiendish Red Baron
11-18-2010, 10:32 AM
My first question is - Effective at what?

Breaking through enemy lines? Thats the traditional role of tanks.

Defeating enemy tanks? Well that a Tank Destroyers role.



Yes the Panther G was an improvement but they never really got over the transmission problems and even in 1944/45 they still had a habit of catching fire, it did become alot rarer though.

However the main drawback in late-war production of Panthers is the low grade steel used that produce spalling from non-pentrative hits. A serious worry for crews.


Regarding Tiger I manoeuverability, it was not as mobile as a Sherman. Tiger I drivers knew the Tiger had one distinct issue. When turning on its tracks to perform a very tight, or none moving turn, the Tiger I had a tendency to slip its tracks. This was noted by both Otto Carius and Balthasar Woll.


A tank at the end of the day is not effective. It can be fit for its purpose, best designed, most reliable, but its effectiveness stems from its crew.

Consider the actions of Hermann Bix who in 1941 reguarly duelled with KV-1s in his 38t. Was the 38t a more 'effective' tank than the KV-1? Unlikely. On paper its a dead 38t everytime. But with an effective crew, the tank could, and did, tank on the Russian heavies. Bix's prefferred method was to shoot holes in the KV-1s gun barrel. He accounted for two in this manner in one engagement, one of which then tried to ram him, but Bix avoided and the KV-1 crashed into a third, immobilising that.

So the crew are the effective element. You can take the best tank in the world, but give it a poor crew and it is useless. This can be seen with Panzer Brigade 106 who were throughly routed by the Yanks.

Deaf Smith
11-18-2010, 06:22 PM
Either T34 or M4 Sherman.

The big tanks like Stalins, Tigers, and KVs had their uses but they were special purpose tanks for either defense or breakthroughs.

So I'd look at the T34 or M4s first. Both were very good.

Deaf

alephh
11-19-2010, 10:59 AM
I don't know how effective T-34 was in reality.

(1) Lack of radios meant that T34s just drove around without any idea what what happening around them. Germans could take couple of coffee breaks and then take them out.

(2) Commander had to serve as a gunner, which was highly inefficient arrangement: some have calculated that it took three T-34s to destroy a tank weaker than T-34 because of this setup.

(3) Poor optics made the gun semi-useless

(4) Tracks broke down a lot

(5) Turret hatches jammed all the time

(6) During the last two years of the war German armament (75mm, 88mm) could effortlessly take down a T-34.

The Fiendish Red Baron
11-22-2010, 03:52 AM
I don't know how effective T-34 was in reality.

(1) Lack of radios meant that T34s just drove around without any idea what what happening around them. Germans could take couple of coffee breaks and then take them out.

(2) Commander had to serve as a gunner, which was highly inefficient arrangement: some have calculated that it took three T-34s to destroy a tank weaker than T-34 because of this setup.

(3) Poor optics made the gun semi-useless

(4) Tracks broke down a lot

(5) Turret hatches jammed all the time

(6) During the last two years of the war German armament (75mm, 88mm) could effortlessly take down a T-34.


Do you have any sources to back up your claims?

1 - Lack of radios? Well in 1941 only the command tanks had radios. Actually in 1942 tank radio production increased by two and a half times, supposedly to allow every tank to get a radio. Although tank production outstripped radio production, by the summer of 1943, 80% of T-34/76s had radios fitted. The T-34/85 had a radio as standard.

2 - German use of the T-34 doesnt point to this being a great hinderance. I would like to see your sources for this as you contradict your point 3. You say the two-man turret was responsible for taking more shots to hit a target, but you also state its the optics? Both of these are at odds with German anecdotal eveidence that mentions the accuracy of the Soviet gun. Once again I would put it down to poorly trained crews than any serious defect in the tanks design. It certainly didnt hinder its use during 42-43. This is of course a moot point as the T-34/85 had a three-man turret crew in a larger cast turret. I would view German willingness to use the tank as a indicator of its superior design, especially in 1941. First examples of T-34/76 were in service with 1st, 8th and 11th Panzer Division during the summer of 1941. Some peoples beloved Waffen-SS made heavy use of the T-34... 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich" and 3rd SS Panzer Division "Totenkopf" pressed significant number into service. T-34/76 tanks used by "Das Reich" are of particular interest. When in March of 1943, SS Panzer Corps recaptured Kharkov, some 50 various models of T-34/76 tank were captured. All of those were being repaired in a local tractor factory that was overrun and designated as SS Panzerwerkstatte. 25 of them entered service with newly created 3rd SS Panzer Battalion of 2nd SS Panzer Regiment of 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich". So despite your stated 'weaknesses' the Germans made extensive use of the tank.

3 - Please... Read some primary sources - "Time and time again our tanks our tanks have been split right open by frontal hits. Commanders cupolas have been blown clean off on both MkIII & MKIV, proving the armour is inadequate and the great accuracy and penetration power of the T-34s 76.2mm gun" - Officer from Pz. Abt. 4.

4 - Actually the tracks worked very well, if you have primary sources commenting on an inherent weakness I would be interested to see it. There were other problems with the intial production runs that fought in 1941. Transmission, gear and clutch failures amount for most problems. General-Major Morgunov, in an assessment in late-41 on the tank commented - "The lack of recovery vehicles and spare parts, combined with production defects and inept use by poorly trained crews and lack of anti-armour ammunition... all contributed to the great losses in armour". It should be noted that most of these problems, though the lack of recovery vehicles dogged the Russians till the wars end, were resolved successfully by 1942. It is also postualted that only 30% of T-34 losses were to combat, the rest were to more mundane issues.

5 - Please give some sources for this. Are you seriously telling me that all four different patterns of T-34 turret hatch 'jammed all the time'. Post-war analysis of the tank points to poor steering controls, hard to drive and ride in, lack of turret basket and issues with air filters. They all mention the tanks superior cross-country ability and its crude, but effective design, with some features and materials being superior to American designs (see Chrylser's 1951 assessment of a captured North Korean T-34/85).

6 - And? The T-34/85 could take out most German tanks during the same period, as could the JS-II, and both were more widespread than any German tank with an 88mm or a long 75mm. That arguement is spurious at best, and could be applied to the Sherman too. Yet both the Sherman and the T-34 saw extensive post-war use. Well what about in 1941? The German dispondency when meeting the T-34 is never understated. You like to try and fixate on the problems of the tank but forget its major advantages and the extensive use the Germans made of the T-34. In 1941 the T-34 was the most significant tank on the battlefield.


Lets just end with comments from those who fought the tank, they perhaps offer the best indication of the tanks ability...

"Very worrying" - Colonel-General Heinz Guderian, Commander of Second Panzer Army.

"We had nothing comparable" - Major-General F.W. Mellenthin, Chief of Staff of XLVIII Panzer Corps.

"The finest tank in the world" - Field-Marshal Ewald von Kleist, First Panzer Army.

"This tank adversely affected the morale of the German infantry" - General G. Blumentritt.

alephh
11-22-2010, 06:08 AM
Do you have any sources to back up your claims?

http://operationbarbarossa.net/Myth-Busters/MythBusters2.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-34#Defects


Are you seriously telling me that all four different patterns of T-34 turret hatch 'jammed all the time'.

No, but several Russian veterans talk about it, several books mention it, and even the superficial wikipedia mentions it, so the turret hatch design could have not been 100% happy happy joy joy design :-D

I'm not saying T-34 was the worst tank of the war, but IMO it wasn't the most efficient (which is the title of this thread). Sure T-34 caused some awe when it first appeared, because some of its design ideas were new, but even in 1941 and 1942 the kill ratio was horrible.

In "Tank Action" by George Forty, it is mentioned (page 175) that in 1941 more T-34s were lost due the low build quality than fighting Germans :-D

In later years, when some of the design flaws were fixed, T-34 had lost its momentum since Germans had also improved their tank designs.

In the end the Soviet Union produced such a large number of tanks, that it actually managed to overcome their appalling kill ratio on the field.

My question to you is this: If the T-34 was such a great tank, why did it have such a low kill ratio against the old German tanks, which suffered from the weather and the supply problems?

PS: I also dislike the over-engineered and inefficient German tank designs.

The Fiendish Red Baron
11-22-2010, 06:29 AM
My question to you is this: If the T-34 was such a great tank, why did it have such a low kill ratio against the old German tanks, which suffered from the weather and the supply problems?



Easy.

As I answered above - Crew quality. Not too mention once you get past 1943, the Germans are fighting defensively so will always accrue a higher kill ratio.


No tank is effective without an effective crew. You can have an effective design, which the T-34 is, but with a poor crew any tank is ineffective. So are you arguing against the tank design or the crew capabilities in 1941-42?

I already pointed out the loss rates of breakdown to combat losses in my post 70%-30% but this relates directly to the initial production runs and is no surprise. Take a look at Panther loss rates at Kursk. No tank starts perfect. All have a shakedown over production runs.

Im not sure how you say the T-34/85 lost 'momentum'... It didnt need any. Its effective and simple design allowed it to be mass produced, far outstripping German production. Thus it was effective.


I personally dont see any tank as being 'effective' for the war. Many were 'effective' at certain roles at certain specific points during the war, no tank was effective for the entire war, and could not be.

For example the British Matilda II was highly effective in the early years of the Desert War, until German intervention brought the '88' over and ended the reign of the 'Queen of the Battlefield'. Was the design ineffective? No, what had happened was that the design became obselete.

Rising Sun*
11-22-2010, 07:54 AM
This link ain't gonna settle any of the arguments in this thread, but it shows something about what the tankies thought and went through. http://donmooreswartales.com/2010/05/19/he-fought-the-desert-fox/

mkenny
11-22-2010, 08:20 AM
I like the reasoning in the linked 'mythbuster' site.

A T34 takes 30 hits and fights on..
This just proves the Russian tank's inferiority because it did not destroy the AT gun(s)

Elsewhere:

Tiger tank take 50+ plus hits and fights on.
This proves how wonderful the Tiger is because it can absord punishment.

I think you see my point?

The Fiendish Red Baron
11-22-2010, 08:24 AM
LOL! Aint biased historical writing great.

alephh
11-22-2010, 09:14 AM
Not too mention once you get past 1943, the Germans are fighting defensively so will always accrue a higher kill ratio.

If being on offensive/defensive was such a big factor, then why did the Germans had such a high kill ratio when they were attacking with their inferior tanks in 1941, 1942? Shouldn't the German kill ratio go up even more as Germans were forced to gave up offensives?


So are you arguing against the tank design or the crew capabilities in 1941-42?

I think the bad design was a bigger factor than the crew.

Okay, let's assume that the soviet crews are the best in the world.

STILL, during the battle, commander has to carry out way too many functions because of his multiple roles due to the tank design, enabling the opponent to fire several shots at you before you are even ready for your first. How can that not be because of the poor design? How does having the best crew in the world help in this case?

Then the best-in-the-world soviet crew finally takes a shot at their enemy -- assuming they haven't been annihilated before that and assuming that they have actually spotted their enemy (difficult to do, because of the poor visibility) -- unfortunately the poor gun optics mean their accuracy is low. Is that problem related to the crew or the tank design?

In 1941 Germans indeed had some troubles taking out T-34, as, at first, they were firing directly at the front armor, this, however, was evened out by:
+ T-34s broke down anyway
+ Lack radios meant they didn't know what was happening around them
+ Poor visibility meant they didn't notice their opponent
+ Poor optics meant they didn't hit the opponent, if they were lucky enough to notice them
+ It didn't take too long for Germans to figure out the weak spots (where to aim)
+ In 1941 there were't tens of thousands of T-34s on the battlefield

Also, people overestimate the armor of the T-34, let's see what can we learn from the numbers the Soviet tank authorities themselves calculated from the knocked out T-34s during the war: "Tanks sides are the most vulnerable details and are penetrated by both 50-mm and 37-mm guns"
Source: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?p=1170573#p1170573

So even the freaking Russians admitted that the early-war small-caliber German guns knocked out T-34s without too much trouble -- especially once the initial shock of the sloped front armor was dealt with, not to mention once they received better guns.

tankgeezer
11-22-2010, 04:13 PM
Few would expect fastidious metallurgy analysis, or sticking tightly to casting procedures during the emergency conditions of that time. I'm sure that it was often a matter of pour it as it is, and hope for the best. It can be seen in pics of T-34's on occasion, sections of armor fractured, and missing, not neat holes from gun fire, but ragged fractures. Poured too hot,too slow, porosity, inaccurate analysis, interrupted pour, lax if any heat treating. Poor quality in the mold making,all of these conspire to cause catastrophic failure in the finished armor. such has been found in the poorer quality German armor of the later war. Its very difficult to adhere to the fine points of technology when the enemy is a few miles away.

Nickdfresh
11-22-2010, 05:43 PM
If being on offensive/defensive was such a big factor, then why did the Germans had such a high kill ratio when they were attacking with their inferior tanks in 1941, 1942? Shouldn't the German kill ratio go up even more as Germans were forced to gave up offensives?

There were only a small number of T-34s available initially, and the Heer would have encountered a relative few in the summer of 1941. It was in fact their very initial mechanical unreliability that sort of deceived the Wehrmacht into dismissing the T-34 at first. And I think it's been stated that the T-34s, much like their German nemesis' at Kursk, suffered from initial teething problems which resulted in the majority of operational losses initially. So kill ratios in regards to the T-34 are moot. Especially since the Heer panzers froze and suffered high losses in the winter counteroffensive of 1941. And if German kill ratios were all important, then why did they have to give up the offensive? Furthermore, I think there is a thread here where some of the German kill ratios on the Western Front were debunked as improbable exaggerations. And even if high kill ratios are correct, the T-34 became cheap and easy to manufacture, especially when compared to the Tiger and, less so, the Panther...


I think the bad design was a bigger factor than the crew.

You'd be almost alone in thinking that. The German Army didn't as they used large numbers of beutepanzer T-34s despite the risk of friendly fire. Also, I've see the contention that it was the superiority of the machine to virtually anything the Germans fielded in 1941 that helped the Soviets to somewhat hold their own and compensate for poor training and tactical deficiencies...


Okay, let's assume that the soviet crews are the best in the world.

STILL, during the battle, commander has to carry out way too many functions because of his multiple roles due to the tank design, enabling the opponent to fire several shots at you before you are even ready for your first. How can that not be because of the poor design? How does having the best crew in the world help in this case?

This flaw was corrected in the T-34/85 with the advent of the three man turret. They also received radios..


Then the best-in-the-world soviet crew finally takes a shot at their enemy -- assuming they haven't been annihilated before that and assuming that they have actually spotted their enemy (difficult to do, because of the poor visibility) -- unfortunately the poor gun optics mean their accuracy is low. Is that problem related to the crew or the tank design?

Visibility was also corrected with the addition of a periscope, and while I'm certainly not an expert, I haven't ever heard of this as a major criticism regarding the optics. They were likely inferior to the sighting systems on the panzers, but good enough in the hands of a capable crew.


In 1941 Germans indeed had some troubles taking out T-34, as, at first, they were firing directly at the front armor, this, however, was evened out by:
+ T-34s broke down anyway
+ Lack radios meant they didn't know what was happening around them
+ Poor visibility meant they didn't notice their opponent
+ Poor optics meant they didn't hit the opponent, if they were lucky enough to notice them
+ It didn't take too long for Germans to figure out the weak spots (where to aim)
+ In 1941 there were't tens of thousands of T-34s on the battlefield

As stated, the T-34/85s received radios, and most everything else you posted above could apply to about any tank. The Germans would have only encountered a relatively small number of T-34s until the end of 1941. And many in the Heer did not share your views and considered the T-34 a game-changer. After all, if the German forces had almost no trouble with the T-34 and other Soviet tanks: then why did they upgrade the Mark IVs with bigger guns specifically to deal with them? essentially reverse engineer a T-34 for production only to decide instead to save their Teutonic faces by essentially designing a more sophisticated equivalent in the Panther Mark V? restart the virtually dormant "heavy breakthrough tank" project that became the Tiger?


Also, people overestimate the armor of the T-34, let's see what can we learn from the numbers the Soviet tank authorities themselves calculated from the knocked out T-34s during the war: "Tank’s sides are the most vulnerable details and are penetrated by both 50-mm and 37-mm guns"
Source: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?p=1170573#p1170573

So even the freaking Russians admitted that the early-war small-caliber German guns knocked out T-34s without too much trouble -- especially once the initial shock of the sloped front armor was dealt with, not to mention once they received better guns.

It would have been a very rare hit from a "doorknocker" 37mm. And the above comment seems rather nitpicky as nearly every tank is more vulnerable from the side. We could also mention that Soviet Red Army infantry also knocked out even the heaviest panzers with outmoded antitank rifles. Does that make a Panther crap?

The Fiendish Red Baron
11-23-2010, 02:31 AM
If being on offensive/defensive was such a big factor, then why did the Germans had such a high kill ratio when they were attacking with their inferior tanks in 1941, 1942? Shouldn't the German kill ratio go up even more as Germans were forced to gave up offensives?




You didnt even read my post did you? ;)

Why losses in 1941? I will point to the comments made in the post...


General-Major Morgunov, in an assessment in late-41 on the tank commented - "The lack of recovery vehicles and spare parts, combined with production defects and inept use by poorly trained crews and lack of anti-armour ammunition... all contributed to the great losses in armour".

The Germans got an easy ride.

ced381
11-24-2010, 12:42 AM
Very interesting thread here. :)

leccy
11-24-2010, 02:39 AM
Russian tank losses in 1941 do not show correctly the amount that were actually knocked out with a hit kill.

Like during any retreat, tanks that break down for minor reasons 'lack of fuel, breakdown, bogged down, abandoned, etc' get counted as battlefield casualties even though they are not destroyed as the retreating side has lost control of the battlefield and so has lost those vehicles.
The russians had limited recovery assets so they lost an inordinate amount of vehicles which were then recovered and could be used by the axis forces who took control of the battlefield.

Timbo in Oz
11-28-2010, 05:21 PM
Effectiveness means to me the biggest effect on the war's outcome.

In Europe, it has to be the T34.

I've met several ostfront Panzer crew here in Australia, and they were all quite aware how effective the T34 was once large numbers with the longest 76mm were available. The 85mm version was feared.

Second, and close the Sherman, for WWII as a whole.

The T34/85 gave 76Mm armed Shermans quite a fright in Korea. Held by two 'heavy' tanks M26 Patton (90mm) and Centurion (84mm/20pdr).

Against Japan, the most effective tank was the Sherman, through Burma and across the Pacific.

OTOH the thick armour of Matilda II's made them usable against bunkers around New Guinea's outlying islands, until the end.

The T34/76 may have been crude, but it was at least as effective a tank in 1942 as its main opposition the MkIII and IV were in 42, and still against the IVG and IVH by 1944. At real ranges, too.

Effectiveness is an outcome of gun-power and hit probability, protection, numbers (ease of production), reliability, and range.

There just were never enough German tanks on either front, mkIV's let alone Panthers/TigersI/II, or STUGs with >40cal 75's. Never enough.

The German obsession with technological excellence, and upgrades, severely affected production and availability/reliability in the field. So, they NEEDED recovery systems and units. And not just in AFV's.

Low production, late into service ....... and so on.

E.g. German Radar's were far better than necessary. The head of the RAF's Y service comment was that it was easy to identify a German radar transmission by it's very high stability. Post-war, many large and small Wurzburg's were used for radio astronomy. SFA Allied WWII equipment was so used.

tomo pauk
02-06-2011, 02:33 PM
Id vote for Pz-III.
The tanks maneuvrability & reliability enabled it to make pincer movement feasible, the armament was capable to defeat 99% of battlefield targets, while armor was good enough to force enemy AT guns to fire from uncomfortable distances. The crew of 5 made possible for a tank unit to fight like a coherent organization - being an organism almost.

rickker20
04-21-2011, 03:48 PM
The Soviet T34

Royal-Tiger
05-12-2011, 04:31 AM
As much as this pains me to say wouldn't the most effective tank be the T-34? because of it reliability, range, its fast numbers and it had a pretty good gun too. Don't get me wrong I love German amour. But if you really want to know the most effective tank i would have to say the T-34

burp
05-13-2011, 05:11 AM
The most effective tank of WWII for me is the Panzerkapmfwagen IV. Available from the beginning of WWII, it was easy to produce, reliable, with good balance between mobility, armor and lethality while it uses less fuel than huge Pz V and Pz VI. Trough his various version it keeps his qualities, and against other medium tanks (T-34 and M4) proved to be anytime effective. It was transformed in other tank type, destroyer (JadPanzer IV, Nashorn, and Sturmgeschtuz IV), assault gun (Hummel and Brumbar), AA tank (Mobelwagen, Wirbelwind and Ostwind), ammunition carrier, assault bridge, recovery vehicle and some other types, where it always proves to has good crossing capabilities and reliability.

flamethrowerguy
05-14-2011, 06:48 AM
The most effective tank of WWII for me is the Panzerkapmfwagen IV. Available from the beginning of WWII, it was easy to produce, reliable, with good balance between mobility, armor and lethality while it uses less fuel than huge Pz V and Pz VI. Trough his various version it keeps his qualities, and against other medium tanks (T-34 and M4) proved to be anytime effective. It was transformed in other tank type, destroyer (JadPanzer IV, Nashorn, and Sturmgeschtuz IV), assault gun (Hummel and Brumbar), AA tank (Mobelwagen, Wirbelwind and Ostwind), ammunition carrier, assault bridge, recovery vehicle and some other types, where it always proves to has good crossing capabilities and reliability.

Good thought, there's a reason why the Panzer IV was called the work horse of the armored forces.

Peacejager
05-28-2011, 08:32 PM
I like the Panther best....but best?....I think in some respects yes and in some ways no. What I wonder is how much of it's poor reliability figures can be attributed to the slave labor they used more and more as the war progressed. I have heard of slave laborers intensionally sabotaging the tanks they were forced to build. A Panther with a copied Sherman transmission with a T-34 diesel engine and upgraded side armor might have been the best tank lol

Nickdfresh
05-29-2011, 04:20 PM
Even a Panther with a reliable final drive would have been the best hands down, at least if we're talking cost vs. combat effectiveness ratio....

The Panzer Mark IV was also a very good overall tank. Sturdy, reliable, proven, and most of all highly adaptable and upgradable. The fact that it was combat proven from 1940 and steady improved to the end of the war makes it a very underrated tank. As is the Sherman. Had the Sherman been improved and modified earlier as it should have been, especially if the Americans had produced the 17-Pounder like the British wanted them too, I think we'd think of it less as "The Tommy Cooker" or "Ronson" and more a venerable, worthy tank that like the Mark IV. An M4A3E8 mounting a 17-Pdr. with a tad more armor would have been far more problematic for the Germans. Then there was the M-27, essentially a smaller M26 Pershing that probably could have been the best medium tank of WWII if properly developed...

Peacejager
05-29-2011, 10:29 PM
I agree...I read the thread that had the M-27 in it. When tanks was my main hobby I almost always built models of German tanks so that was my focus of study.

doc4aday
07-03-2011, 12:56 PM
I thought that the Russian T34 was the most effective tank that helped turn the tide on the Eastern front. If Germany had the ability to keep producing "quality tanks" at the same level as the US and the Soviets, the war would have taken a good while longer to determine the victor. I still think the allies would have prevailed. The problem the Germans had was that they liked to make things "too good" of which cut down on the numbers they could have produced that would have kept them in the war longer. I am glad things turned out the way the did in that my dad was in Patton's 7th army and knew Patton personally. Dad was a SFC and made Sgt Major towards the end of his long 37 year career. My dad told me that we had family in Germany that fought for the Reich. One great uncle that my dad told me about was a Colonel that played a part in the Valkyrie plot that failed. He was hung on a meat hanger hook like that of many of his fellow soldiers. My great grandfather came to the USA in 1889, and changed the family name from Von Braune to Brown in one fell swoop. I am a Vietnam vet & served in the Navy as a "Brown Water Sailor". I was proud to serve my country and have a deep respect for the military.
Doc B.

Der Toten Kaiser
07-06-2011, 09:13 PM
There some points of view. For the germans, the best tanks were the Tiger I and Panther, but their most produced tank was the Panzer IV, so it was this last one that had to hold the line in most of the fronts and had to face with some superior adversaries, such as the T-34/85, KVs, Josef Stalin's & Sherman Fireflies. For the Allies, were the Sherman M4A1 & T-34. The first because of the quantity an relyability, it was easy for manufacture and repair. The second, because of its quality, it was an excelent tank, superior to all german tanks until the arrival of the tigers and panthers, and because of its great numbers too

fredl109
07-26-2011, 06:48 AM
I agree with you Toten Der Kaiser, because for me, the Panzer IV and T34, both tanks are essential in this war. The first because it has been able to develop it throughout the conflict in his maintaining its excellent mobility despite a strengthening of its shielding and the contribution of a gun that had nothing to envy in terms of power to allied guns and the second by the fact of its ease of production and given its wide availability, and by the fact that the addition of the barrel 85 will give significant power to face German tanks, it should be noted also that the because of its simplicity of construction on a T34 tank will be much easier to maintain and repair than the German counterparts, who said that the Russians were not pragmatic and knew nothing about the standards.

Friendly Fred:):):)

Chevan
07-26-2011, 07:40 AM
I still believe that the best and most effective German tank was a T-IV with 75 mm gun. It was both effective in AT role and infantry support.The Kittyes ( Tigers and Panthers) has deflected the GErman war industry into the wrong way. The mass production suffer much. While USA and USSR was able to produce a huge number of medium tanks ( seems about 36 000 of shermans and up to 50 000 of T-34 total) the GErmany has built just about 5 thousand of Panthers and little more then 1200 all of Tigers. Even if as Hiler believed the "1 tiger is equal to 20 shermans/T-34"- the tank statistic was not in German favour.

leccy
07-26-2011, 09:30 AM
Chevan I had figures of around 52000 Shermans (1942 to 1945) as against 57000 T34 (1940 to 1945)

fredl109
07-26-2011, 09:57 AM
Hello Leccy, the Soviet authorities as data production number of 61,293 T34 all versions. Now I think it will be really difficult to get accurate numbers.

Friendly Fred

leccy
07-26-2011, 10:48 AM
fred109

Yes I was finding various figures and settled for a rough average of those produced during WW2 and assumed the higher figure was because they were still produced after the war.

Nickdfresh
07-26-2011, 08:38 PM
I also believe the Germans produced closer to 1500 Tiger I's, not 1200. And while I agree with Chevan that the Mark IV Panzer was a workhorse and was highly effective and adaptable, and the Heer might have benefited more from fielding the upgraded Panzer Mk IV prototype than they did with the Panther; but that being said, a Mark V Panther tank was only marginally more expensive and difficult to produce than a Mark IV. The relative low production numbers of the Panther are more the result of its late start, and the interference of Allied Strategic Bombing on industry, the inherent limitations of German industrial production, especially when using slave labor late in the war...

Chevan
07-26-2011, 11:03 PM
Chevan I had figures of around 52000 Shermans (1942 to 1945) as against 57000 T34 (1940 to 1945)
Well yes . I've checked out the sources and the most correct datas i found was
-34-76 - 35312
-34-85 - 21048
i.t. up to 56+ thousand total that's is closed to your figures.
As for Shermans M4
M4 Sherman (all) - 49234
including M4A3E8 - 3370
But i know not all the shermans were on service in Europe. While almost 100% of T-34 fought against GErmany.

Chevan
07-26-2011, 11:05 PM
I also believe the Germans produced closer to 1500 Tiger I's, not 1200..
Pz.6( Tiger 1) - 1365
Pz.6 B( Tiger 2) - 489

fredl109
07-27-2011, 02:40 PM
Hello JR, in my opinion the term "efficiency" includes many things, the capacity of the tank was moving, his armor, his weapons, but also its ease of production and therefore its availability in large numbers and is something that is very important , ease of maintenance. Why the T34 is often the favorite in these studies is simply that it brings together the largest number of factors, without diminishing our Russian friends, we must know at the time the majority of Russian people composed of farmers, is one of the factors considered by the designers of the tank, it can form a limited number of mechanics, given the urgency of the situation, and to circumvent the problem, they all just created a tank that is easy to maintain mechanical pieces with easily exchangeable, which is also found on many Russian productions of the time, thus the T34 was a machine easy to maintain, requiring no d enormous knowledge mechanic, over its cost of production and its implementation was much less than a Tiger or Panther, which required a lot more skilled labor and were much more difficult to repair in the field, despite excellent mechanical efficiency of the services of the Wehrmacht.
That's why I think the T34 is for my part certainly one of the best tanks designed in the Second World War despite its faults.
Friendly Fred:):):)

steben
08-05-2011, 10:13 AM
I'm still not sure whether it is in "WWII time scale" optimum to produce different types of tanks or simply one ideal tank. It is clear that WWII was the THE armor theatre of all times (remember Kursk) and since then tanks haven't had the same impact.

On the one hand you can go for production as quality of a tank. But there is a limit. A cheap tin can can be produced in loads and loads but it is worth shit.
On the other hand you can go for refined almost unbeatable small production tanks. But than you get outnumbered.
I sincerely doubt the "non-economic" Tigers were that removable. The psychological benefit was astronomic. Whether the Germans should have produced that much of them is another question, but the Tiger "worked" in a very broad meaning. I'm talking about the tiger I.
And what the Panther is concerned: they still managed to produce thousands of Panthers in one year, far more than Tigers. Again, why is the production of the IV that better than the V. I guess routine and experience by the crews, in maintenance alone for example. Yet the Panther was deadlier.
The most overdone production is the "assault gun / jagdpanzer" stuff on the wrong chassis. Jagdpz IV for example, or Jagdtiger are by no means better choice than the cost effective Stug's. And the chassis used was way to valueable to be used for fixed gun vehicles. In tis case 1 tiger is better than 2-3 JagdPz IV. And 4 StuG's definitely are.


"Effective" is misleading. Subjective in the way you want to read effectiveness.
I repeat : the T34 is the most effective shot up tank during WWII. ;)

h2so4
10-01-2011, 01:37 PM
The T34 is the most effective tank!

Churchill
10-01-2011, 02:06 PM
Based on what? Speed? Armor? Firepower? Combination of two or three?

doc4aday
10-02-2011, 11:33 AM
Looking back on WWII, if Germany would have produced the ME-262 a couple of years prior to when they actually came into service, and in greater numbers (7500), it is very scary to think what might have happened. I do not know if the USA would have been able to produce a jet fighter quickly enough to counter Germany. I know this thread is about Tanks, and with regard to that, Germany had a winner in the Tiger, but did not use it in ways that could have turned the tide of the war. If Germany had numbers in the thousands of the Tiger Tank and parts to keep them running, along with using them smarter, God only know what would have happened. Believe me, I am glad the war turned out the way it did. I think all of us has at one time or another, wondered what might have happened if things such as what I am talking about had occured. I am German by family tree with my great grandfather coming to America in 1889. When I did my family tree research, I found out that I actually had family that fought for Germany in WWII and died for Germany. The whole mess of WWII was and is still sickening to dwell over with the result of what happened to so many human beings from all sides, and of that, I hope and pray we never fight WWIII.

tankgeezer
10-03-2011, 01:03 PM
Posts concerning the outcome of an Alliance between the soviets, and the Reich have been moved to a new thread, found here.

http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?12282-Alliance-between-German-socialism-and-soviet-Socialism&p=180566#post180566

royal744
10-06-2011, 04:16 PM
Let's just put this ME-262 thing to rest. It was a great plane, but it wasn't the only jet around. The English had been flying their Gloster Meteor for some time and even located some squadrons to Europe before the end of the war. Had the Me262 threat become more, uh, well, threatening, the Meteors would have been used against them. The Americans were further behind, but not by much. The ME262 was not a war-changing weapon, at least not in WW2.

pdf27
10-07-2011, 01:28 AM
The Americans were further behind, but not by much.
The first P-80s arrived in Europe in the last few weeks of the war and didn't see combat. They were a hell of a lot more effective as jet fighters than Me-262s though.

One thing that isn't often appreciated is that the German jet engines were an evolutionary dead end. The Russians for instance got just about all the German jet engine research postwar, yet their engine industry is built on license built RR Nene engines and some limited Soviet prewar research. The German engines - particularly the "advanced" ones - were junk and not capable of expansion. That leaves the Germans stuck with the low-thrust engines of the Me-262 for the forseeable future, while the Allies have engines 5 or 10 times more powerful on the way. Jet fighters work for the Germans in the short term (and even then due to short ranges only in defence), but after that they work for the Allies.

steben
10-07-2011, 03:53 AM
The ME262 was not a war-changing weapon, at least not in WW2.

Wat is a war changing weapon? A nuke perhaps.
Combined warfare as in the blitzkrieg used weapons available by all relevant nations (airplanes, radio, tanks, mechanization), yet it was tactics that made the difference.

leccy
10-07-2011, 04:06 AM
Wat is a war changing weapon? A nuke perhaps.
Combined warfare as in the blitzkrieg used weapons available by all relevant nations (airplanes, radio, tanks, mechanization), yet it was tactics that made the difference.

Combined arms operations (popularly called Blitzkrieg) could not be carried out by all armies (at least in 1940), the French and Soviets had very few tanks with radios, they had no doctrine of how to actually use tanks in a combined arms role (they were purely infantry support). The British had no continental army and were desperately trying to make up for years of indifference and lack of money for the armed forces, they had a doctrine and tactics which with modifications served throughout the war but the equipment was lacking (mainly in reliability).

War changing weapons need not even have to cause death directly. Radar was a war winner finding many uses even down to artillery shells, Radio allowing quick reliable communications.

Churchill
10-07-2011, 03:00 PM
I don't mean to be a jerk, but isn't there an ME 262 topic we could move this to? This is about the best tank in the war, not German fighters...

tankgeezer
10-07-2011, 04:06 PM
Agreed Churchill, so please, no further discussion of the 262 in this thread. Please feel free to begin a new thread if those interested wish to pursue that topic.