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Wednesday, July 12, 2017
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What was the best Allied tank of WWII?

What was the best Allied tank of WWII?  

220 members have voted

  1. 1. What was the best Allied tank of WWII?

    • Sherman M4A3E8 Easy Eight
      22
    • Sherman Firefly
      31
    • M26 Pershing
      28
    • T-34-85
      103
    • IS-2 Stalin
      25
    • Tank, Cruiser, Challenger (A30)
      0
    • Other (please specify)
      11


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On 11/7/2017 at 5:02 PM, Brian Martin said:

The T34 . It did what it was designed to do. A superb medium tank with intuitive design and easy to maintain, product and repair.

designed for semi literate troops, simple and easy tol fix. it was very effective with a decent gun, the Sheman had a useless gun, except for the firefly. i will take the t-35/85mm

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On 11/8/2017 at 11:21 AM, Oberst Hanover said:

My vote would be with the Pershing, if it was introduced earlier. I have to go with the E8 in performance compared to the M4A1. 

PERSHINGS AND COMETS AND CENTURIONS WERE NOT INVOLVED LONG ENOUGH TO QUALIFY. T34/85 MM. CHEAP EFFICIENT AND MASS PRODUCED. THEY DEFEATED THE BULK OF THE GERMAN ARMOUR. 

PERHAPS THE FIREFLY SHERMAN, BUT IT WAS ONLY ABLE TO FIRE ARMOUR PIERCING ROUNDS. IT WAS AS GOOD A GUN AS THE GERMAN 75. AS GOOD AS THE 88 FOR TANK KILLING PURPOSES. LONG RANGE AND PENETRATING POWER.

THE 88 WAS THE BETTER OVERALL WEAPON,  OF COURSE.

MY OPINIONS, LOVE TO HEAR FROM SOMEONE WHO DISAGREES. MAKES FOR LIVELY DEBATE.

 

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7 hours ago, SCOTT said:

designed for semi literate troops, simple and easy tol fix. it was very effective with a decent gun, the Sherman had a useless gun, except for the firefly. i will take the t-35/85mm

Semi literate?! Russia, before the Putin era. was a country in which poets were loved like rock stars. Yevgeni Yevtushenko could fill a football stadium with people if it was announced that he was giving a reading of his poetry - and then KEEP it full all week. The country still venerates Pushkin. If there was one country in the world where the description "semi literate" is wildly inaccurate, it would have been the USSR.

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methinks the question should read best in the world, that way the European theatre wouldn't be just the only area being judged.  the Sherman saved the day in the North African campaign, and did great in the Pacific campaign as well. 

let the admins make the change, and give credit where it is due. 

Reb

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t34 had some 80-90% losses I guess...considering that U.S.S.R. was winning side at the end, it does not look like the best tank....Most propaganda-pumped - that certain...

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On 11/10/2017 at 5:11 PM, Marcin Terlecki said:

t34 had some 80-90% losses I guess...considering that U.S.S.R. was winning side at the end, it does not look like the best tank....Most propaganda-pumped - that certain...

They had high losses due to their tactics (the Russians were on the offensive from 1943 , higher losses are expected) and due to the power of the Nazi AT guns,  self propelled tank destroyers, the German tanks with powerful main guns  and panzerfausts.

The Sherman lost lots also again in attack. The Germans were on the defensive from 1943 on. Fighting from prepared defenses.  

The T34 was a good tank for the Russians. Especially when fitted with the 85mm gun.

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3 hours ago, SCOTT said:

They had high losses due to their tactics (the Russians were on the offensive from 1943 , higher losses are expected) and due to the power of the Nazi AT guns,  self propelled tank destroyers, the German tanks with powerful main guns  and panzerfausts.

The Sherman lost lots also again in attack. The Germans were on the defensive from 1943 on. Fighting from prepared defenses.  

The T34 was a good tank for the Russians. Especially when fitted with the 85mm gun.

Nah...this way one can explain everything...Russians were loosing tanks (also T34) 1941-43 because they were in defense, and 1943-45 because they were on offense. T34 was perfect, is just their opponents were 'perfecter'.

Technically, T34 was far better (relatively to german tanks) in 1941 than it was in 1945. T34-85 was still worse than say Panther. Yes, you could probably produce two T34 for one Panther...but the question is which allied tank was better, not cheaper. T34 was perfectly designed to soviet tactics but exactly that made it quite disposable tank, good in masses and used in masses.

So I believe that $1mln. worth wave of T34's would be better that $1mln. wave of Sherman Fireflies...just because you would have far more tanks and that would made a difference in generic situation. But 1 to 1 T34 was not better than Firefly...despite what soviet propaganda claimed...

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Sherman Firefly was just an up-gunned Sherman with all its faults. The larger gun only gave it some ability to pierce the armour of a Tiger or Panther, but defensibly it was still a "Ronson" The T34/85 was certainly not immune to the firepower of German tanks but with its diesel engine and sloped armour it had a slightly better chance of survival than the Sherman and the 85mm gun was capable of inflicting punishment

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11 minutes ago, Robert Abraham said:

Sherman Firefly was just an up-gunned Sherman with all its faults. The larger gun only gave it some ability to pierce the armour of a Tiger or Panther, but defensibly it was still a "Ronson" The T34/85 was certainly not immune to the firepower of German tanks but with its diesel engine and sloped armour it had a slightly better chance of survival than the Sherman and the 85mm gun was capable of inflicting punishment

Well...T34-85 was just up-gunned T34-76 with all its faults ;). Poor quality, visibility, inter-tank communication, crew conditions..etc. Again, I am not saying that specifically Firefly was superior to T34...All I am saying is that T34 legend was born mainly from mass production/use and the fact that soviets won the war. Technical solution used (sloped armor and diesel) were indeed very good...in 1941.

Percentage of T34 losses (operational and not!) shows that this tank was far from perfect...very far...

So I think comparing 1 on 1 tank vs tank is something different than comparing their actual tactics and usage. If we are saying that T34 was perfect war machine since it was suited for mass production in low-quality factories and soviet 'sophisticated' all-out-assault tactics...we can easily say that Sherman was perfect as well since it was ideal match to allied air and artillery superiority...that makes different comparison though...

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The T34 was used by the Germans as a basis for the design of the Panther (although they could never admit to drawing inspiration from the "untermensch"). The Panther was generally accepted to have been the best tank of the war. As far as I'm aware, they never made any effort  to copy the Sherman.

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59 minutes ago, Robert Abraham said:

The T34 was used by the Germans as a basis for the design of the Panther (although they could never admit to drawing inspiration from the "untermensch"). The Panther was generally accepted to have been the best tank of the war. As far as I'm aware, they never made any effort  to copy the Sherman.

Oh...what exactly did Germans copy? Panther was much heavier and expensive, with totally different armament type (specialized AT vs all-purpose), engine (petrol vs diesel) drivetrain (e.g. front drive vs rear drive), much more advanced communication and observation instruments..etc. Whole concept of the tank was very different in my opinion...The only thing they copied was sloped armor...first proposed by Leonard da Vinci BTW ;) So no, I don't think one cay say that T34 was the best allied tank because Panther used similar armor concepts. I think T34 was in fact the best tank in the world (from technical point of view) in 1940-41. But then Russians decided to go with numbers rather than technical improvements, what made perfect sense in context of factories being transferred to Ural, quite low tech culture of crews and quite simple tactics. Again, losses ratio is horrific taking into account that starting from mid 1944 Germans were in constant retreat...

Operation Unthinkable had not been commenced so we don't know the direct comparison T34-85 vs Firefly...I believe it would be close match...

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On 10.11.2017 at 12:58 PM, Ron Walker said:

Semi literate?! Russia, before the Putin era. was a country in which poets were loved like rock stars. Yevgeni Yevtushenko could fill a football stadium with people if it was announced that he was giving a reading of his poetry - and then KEEP it full all week. The country still venerates Pushkin. If there was one country in the world where the description "semi literate" is wildly inaccurate, it would have been the USSR.

Blueprints are not to be read by poetry lovers...but engineers ;) It's not a question of Pushkin vs Goethe vs Byron...It's a question of peasants' sons being able to take care about pieces of machinery in the field...

And BTW one can easily find sources on censorship in U.S.S.R.....

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The T34 was good enough to survive until the Korean War where it was faced by much improved UN tanks, beyond the Firefly (although Shermans did see use in Korea). In fact the Firefly was largely a British adaptation rather than American. The beauty of the T34 (76 or 85) was its simplicity. It was designed for mass production and for use by largely unsophisticated peasants. Their training, compared to the already experienced panzer crews, combined with leadership which had survived the purges and lacked initiative and talent for mobile warfare, made high losses inevitable while they learned their trade. This contrasted with the US which had ultra efficient and sophisticated production techniques and generally more educated crews and some degree of continuity in its tank leadership.

I do not claim that the T34 was the "best" tank of WWII, it was certainly the best at the time of its introduction, but it was definitely the tank which made the most notable impact on the war. If I was sent off to war in a WWII battle and was given the choice between a T34/85 and a Sherman (Firefly or otherwise) I know which I would be happier to entrust my ass to.  

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10 hours ago, Marcin Terlecki said:

Blueprints are not to be read by poetry lovers...but engineers ;) It's not a question of Pushkin vs Goethe vs Byron...It's a question of peasants' sons being able to take care about pieces of machinery in the field...

And BTW one can easily find sources on censorship in U.S.S.R.....

RON WALKER YES MANY OF THE RUSSIAN TROOPS WERE SEMI LITERATE PEASANTS. THAT IS NOT MEANT TO DENIGRATE THEM. BUT IT IS A FACT. RUSSIA HAS MANY WONDERFUL ARTISTS AND INTELLECTUALS AND MAYBE SOME OF THEM CREWED T.34'S. HOWEVER, THE SIZE OF THE RUSSIAN ARMY AND THE REACH OF THEIR ""RECRUITING -MONGOLS  & TAJIKS ETC MEANT THAT MANY WERE PEASANTS WITH LIMITED WRITING AND READING SKILLS.

READ UP ON THE RAPE OF BERLIN AND YOU WILL GET THE PICTURE.

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