Jump to content
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Joris

What was the most important tank of World War II?

What was the most important tank of World War II?  

90 members have voted

  1. 1. What was the most important tank of World War II?

    • Tiger I
      19
    • Sherman
      16
    • T-34
      55


Recommended Posts

In order to keep it simple, we have narrowed it down to these 3 choices.

Tell us, what do you think! 

Sherman_tank_and_Horsa_glider.jpg

Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-299-1805-16,_Nordfrankreich,_Panzer_VI_(Tiger_I).2.jpg

RIAN_archive_1274_Tanks_going_to_the_front.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Without doubt the T-34. Scared the heck out of the Germans and was a game changer. Way too much hype around the Tiger 1.  Shermans get a bad press as they were a infantry support tank and not an MB tank.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me it is the Sherman tank, it was used by all the Allies and was available in massive numbers.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, The_MadMan said:

To me it is the Sherman tank, it was used by all the Allies and was available in massive numbers.

It really was but was very well gunned :-(

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were enough of them that they were expendable. They could lose 5 to 1 and still have enough Shermans to spare.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, The_MadMan said:

There were enough of them that they were expendable. They could lose 5 to 1 and still have enough Shermans to spare.

 

Totally agree but production numbers doesn't make it a good tank - many faults in a Sherman tank.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never said it was the best tank of WWII but I think it was the most important one. Sure it had it's flaws but if you look at the Tiger tank, that was a massive gun built on a tank that had nothing but flaws....

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Tiger was impressive and was initially a terror on the battlefield - but it was so unreliable and thirsty it broke down more times than not. The T-34 was simply and very effective - it had slopping armour as a starter.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The T-34 simply because they were mass produced in such numbers that the Germans although their Tanks were usually more advanced couldn't kill them fast enough .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 7/18/2017 at 10:20 AM, Able502 said:

In order to keep it simple, we have narrowed it down to these 3 choices.

Tell us, what do you think! 

 

 

Edited by Able502
removed quoted images
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The T-34. It was a solid, reliable tank that was the inspiration for many tanks to follow. I am disappointed that the much hyped Tiger was the top German pick though. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Sean Patterson said:

The T-34. It was a solid, reliable tank that was the inspiration for many tanks to follow. I am disappointed that the much hyped Tiger was the top German pick though. 

What would have been your pick? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The T-34 got my vote based on its impact on the Eastern front, where (arguably), armor played a more significant role.  It stood up well against Panzer III's and IV's leading to the up-gunning of the IV.  T-34s were less sophisticated than M4s, but they did their job well when they were needed.  The M4 is a close second for their reliability (ease of maintenance) and effectiveness in the medium tank role.  The Tiger(s) were monsters.  However, I'd opt for the later Panzer IV or Panther as being more impactful in a war of attrition.  Fun topic!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A number of factors should be considered in my opinion. Was the tank STRATEGICALLY influential on the war? Was it reliable in that numbers were available to be on the battlefield when needed? Could it fulfill the main role (in WWII tanks spent most of their time blowing stuff up with HE rounds) of a tank well? Was it available in numbers?  The Tiger tank had a powerful gun but was built in small numbers and guzzled gas so greatly it could not stay in a moving battle for long. This tank represented a tactical winner but could not influence the war strategically.  

The T-34 had a few flaws which took it out of this contest. A four man crew is a major design flaw for this tank and resulted in the destruction of many T-34's as the commander of the tank tried to perform double duty. The USSR needed to field tanks fast and Stalin called for a reduction in time and expense in the manufacture of this tank, resulting in a reduction of quality as well.  These two factors, I believe, resulted in the T-34/76 receiving a poorer rating and forcing it into second place in this contest.

The Sherman was an extremely reliable tank, easy to service, easy to modify and showed great versatility (numerous other AFV's used the same chasis as did the M4.) Flaws in the tank were not difficult to alter and fix. It moved well, had good visibility, good firepower (remember what tanks spent most of their time doing in this war), good internal layout and could be armed with any number of guns (75mm, 76mm, 17-pdr and 90mm if necessary.) The M4 was used by every ally using armor in the European and Pacific theater and thus represented a tremendous strategic influence in the war. I don't think any tank can boast the credentials of the M4. (This contest should have included a few other tanks, btw.)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Its easier to answer this question if there was a scenario and a time frame. If either the red army or the allies were advancing, it all depended on scenario. Either way if you encountered panthers or tigers you had your hands full. If there wasn't any panthers or tigers, I'd have to say the Sherman because as infantry support it was great. Can't take anything away from the T34 though, it was a real work horse. I'd never think a few years ago id say the Sherman may have been the most effective but it may have. A bunch of 30's, a 50 and a 76 cannon coming at ya if you aren't a tank doesn't sound fun! 

Edited by machineman
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I voted T34 but all three where influential. The Tiger created a technical benchmark that drove the opposition to compete with although it was too complex for long term reliability. The shear number of Shermans in the west kept troops moving east  quickly once supply lines were fortified. But the T34 endured the worst conditions and held on with just enough armor, mobility and reliability. If Hitler wasn't so focused on building humongous weapons it could have been much tougher for the allies. I believe if more Panthers were built and fitted with the 8.8, instead of slow to build Tiger II and Maus, their presence may have changed the course of several battles.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still think the Sherman tank is underrated and wrongly being protrayed as a bad tank that killed it's crew. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there can be only one the T34 was a shock for the Germans and with its well sloped amour and a reasonable gun (76'2) and later T34 85 with a gun that could defeat the amour of most German tanks .

The Sherman thin amour under gunned but fast and manovrable the gun a little ore than a pop gun compared to the Germans 75 mm on the panther and later MK IVs even when fitted British 17lb Dr in the firefly good gun the tank was under armoured it was the numbers available which made a difference the top brass didn't care about the fate of the crews so thought it ok to lose five or six Sherman's to knockout one Tiger 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Tiger is not really in contention.

Great looking, powerful and effective in the small numbers in which it appeared. But also over-engineered, difficult to fix and only produced in small numbers. Psychological effective huge also.

Its between the Sherman and t-34 in my opinion.

The Sherman was a decent tank in its own right but not much good against larger vehicles when they occasionally appeared. However in was produced in large numbers and used by the allies extensively with effect. It deserves its place as a successful and important weapon of world war 2.

However, the t-34 can be attributed the same praise in regards numbers. Loads were built and quickly but they were also an excellent tank in their own right with the balance of firepower, mobility and protection.

t-34 wins it for me.

Not my favourite tank but it was the most important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A far better choice for a German tank in the poll would have been the Panzer IV. It served right through the war in every theatre that the Germans fought in. It went through numerous changes during those years with various upgrades of gun and armour additions which always made it a formidable foe. Its chassis was also used as the basis for a wide range of other very effective gun platforms from SPAA such as Mobelwagon, Whirlwind and Ostwind through to the SPG such as the Stug IV, Jagdpanzer IV/L70, and Brummbar, something which neither of the other two tanks in the poll can claim.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has to be the T34. Because (almost) every tank since has a fundamental part of the T34 in its basic design. The sloped armour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

interesting side note regarding the Sherman - the initial engine was based on a aircraft engine (Continental radial engine?) which could develop more HP but then the tank tended to brew up quicker on gasoline. the aggressive tactics used by Allied Armor divisions made up for this by just outnumbering the Axis. two variants ran on diesel but not sure if this made them substantially safer. the British modified the Sherman Firefly to take their best AT cannon (17 lb'r or 76.2 mm with APDS shot making it one of the most lethal Shermans in WWII). historically they did this with most equipment they rec'd on LendLease (e.g. the Stuart was called the Honey and used extensively in N Africa). 

in regards to the T34, Stalingrad was producing them while it was being attacked by the German 6th Army and rolling them out into action as soon as assembled (as well as being ammo'd up). Crews could be raw army recruits or even factory workers. Many of them did not survive long as the Wehrmacht was very efficient about destroying them as they showed up. 

as stated, the tiger had a certain reputation but could be often taken out of action by flanking. by 1945, there were tanks that could knock out a Tiger but having a 1/2 dozen Shermans roll up behind it at speed did a good job as well. the loss of crews was the worst component of that strategy. all German armor suffered from being overproduced - meaning they were built so technically well and complicated that the factories could not turn out the numbers needed to replace losses.                                                                                                                               in some circles the Panther is considered superior to the Tiger and then there are the TD lines.                                                                                                                                                The PzIV series was very well implemented tho by 1944, other tanks were being considered for use in other roles. Porsche, Daimler Benz, Rheinmetal Borsig and Krupp all competed to give the Wehrmacht the newest best and biggest tanks each year. 

total Shermans built in WWII approx - 50,000 units

total Tigers built approx - less then 2000 of which almost 1400 were Tiger I's

total T34s built - 64,000+ ( largest amount were the T34-85 at almost 1/2 )

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×