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> Who was most successful in tank design?
 
Who was most successful in tank design?
Germany [ 25 ]  [119.05%]
Soviet Union [ 15 ]  [71.43%]
USA [ 1 ]  [4.76%]
Great Britain [ 2 ]  [9.52%]
France [ 2 ]  [9.52%]
Czechoslovakia [ 1 ]  [4.76%]
Total Votes: 46
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dragos
Posted on February 23, 2004 11:49 am
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In WW2.

What are your opinions ?
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Von Maybach
Posted on February 23, 2004 01:00 pm
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Well, from a technical point of view, Germany had the supremacy... even the poor equiped Panzer 1 is a technical marvel (it's gearbox, drivetranin + Maybach 6 cylinder engine) - plus, few know that the german tank war doctrine mentioned that tanks shouldn't be engaged with tanks, this role was taken by AT infantery, planes and tank destroyers, thus in theory there would be no need of a big gun mounted on regular tanks. The mechanics, electrics, optics and later, guns (the 88mm gun mounted on a Tiger) were far superior to any allied design. Plus, the german tanks were the first to use anti-magnetic protection -Zimmerit (a composition of iron powder and cement) and night vision. Also, the germans had a variety of specialised vehicles such as flakpanzers, Marders, The SturmTiger, Brumbar or the Elephant. Overall, the germans had the best tanks and trackes vehicles, their only drawback was that the german tanks were such fine complicated and precise maschines beeing hard to produce and to maintain in field conditions.



Another good tank design would be the soviet T-34, wich was a well balanced tank, cost and battle efective, easy to produce and maintain. Probably the best tank design of WW2 if you consider, besides technical criterias, the problem of production costs and maintaining it. But the t-34 and maybe the SU line of assault guns were the ONLY good soviet designs.
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tarzy
Posted on February 23, 2004 03:31 pm
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don't forget about heavy tanks develop by URSS like IS1, IS2 and KV85, etc , they have superior fier power than german tancks (122 mm guns) and better maintance cost.
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dragos
Posted on February 23, 2004 04:11 pm
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I would bring in attention the following facts:
- the Soviet KV-1 tank, accepted in service in 1939, became the first heavy tank in the world to see action
- in 1941, at the time of Operation "Barbarossa", the Soviet T-34 was superior to any German tank in service, and probably the best design in the world
- in late war, IS-2 was superior to Panther and Tiger I tanks, in both protection and armament, probably the most powerful in the world at the time of aparition.
- "Few IS-3s reached combat, and the tank was first revealed to astonished western observers in the Berlin Victory Parade of September 1945, remaining the yardstick for international tank design for many years after the war." -- Macmillan Dictionary of the Second World War, p.233

I see that Victor added other countries, but in the general context they did not even come near Germany and SU in the number and importance of new designs.
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Indrid
Posted on February 23, 2004 04:54 pm
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Germany.
what is Great Britain doing there?
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Von Maybach
Posted on February 23, 2004 05:01 pm
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The Iosif Stalin tank (Iosif Stalin 1 and 2 - don't know about 3...) was a worse tank design than T-34. Although it had a bigger gun it had less penetrating power than the gun of the Tiger 1 and 2 and in combat it proved to be inferiour to the humble t-34. What I really don't like at the russian tanks is their poor quality of work: a lot of them had lousy welds, I heard that in some cases low quality steel armour was used, the tanks had no heating for the crew, etc....

And I think in the last months of the war the germans had the most outstanding tanks: The King Tiger, The JagdTiger, SturmTiger and the prototype of the breathtakeing Porsche 205 Maus. And many people agree that the Panther was a better tank than its counterpart T-34.


It's a shame that the americans had no designs to match the german and soviet ones.
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dead-cat
Posted on February 23, 2004 05:47 pm
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it's not so much the caliber of a gun that describes its penetration power, more the number of calibers barrel lenght since a longer barrel increases velocity. high velocities are not desired when firing regulary artillery shells because they might bury in the ground and fail to explode on impact.

the early Pz. IV had a a 75mm/L24 IIRC, which was nearly useless against other tanks. the Panther however had a 75mm/L70 gun which was an entirely different story.
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dragos
Posted on February 23, 2004 05:59 pm
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QUOTE
The Iosif Stalin tank (Iosif Stalin 1 and 2 - don't know about 3...) was a worse tank design than T-34. Although it had a bigger gun it had less penetrating power than the gun of the Tiger 1 and 2 and in combat it proved to be inferiour to the humble t-34.


The JS-2 Comparison with Its German Counterparts

QUOTE
What I really don't like at the russian tanks is their poor quality of work: a lot of them had lousy welds, I heard that in some cases low quality steel armour was used, the tanks had no heating for the crew, etc....


Indeed, the Russian tanks had a rough unfinished aspect, but that doesn't mean this lowered their performances. At Stalingrad, some of the Soviet tanks were turned out without painting. The rough welding is an evidence of how quickly they could have been built.

Shortage of alloys in Germany made that poor quality steel to be used in the armor of King Tiger. At the end of the war, the production effort shifted from King Tigers to Panthers G, which could be turned out twice as quickly.

QUOTE
And many people agree that the Panther was a better tank than its counterpart T-34.


It is unfair to compare the two tanks, given the difference of weight.
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Victor
Posted on February 23, 2004 07:58 pm
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QUOTE
Germany.  
what is Great Britain doing there?


Ever heard of the Matilda? Not everybody may share your opinion and might want other options too.
I believe that all limiting the discussion to King Tiger/JS-2 etc is wrong. There is more to WWII than just the Eastern Front and 1944/45.
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Von Maybach
Posted on February 23, 2004 08:03 pm
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Yes, I heared of Matilda. Matilda Mk 1 had up to 60 mm frontal armour... at the beginning of the war was one of the best protected tanks. But it was underarmed.
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dragos
Posted on February 23, 2004 08:13 pm
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At a max speed of 13 km/h, Matilda was completely useless in the context of mobile armoured warfare. Matilda II was better, still hard to produce, with only two in service before September 1939, and in the Desert War was an easy prey for the German 88s, being used for the last time in the battle of Alamein. It was replaced by Grants and Shermans.
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Chandernagore
Posted on February 23, 2004 08:24 pm
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QUOTE
Indeed, the Russian tanks had a rough unfinished aspect, but that doesn't mean this lowered their performances. At Stalingrad, some of the Soviet tanks were turned out without painting. The rough welding is an evidence of how quickly they could have been built.


Exactly. The Russian tank was less "finished". It didn't matter. What really mattered were 2 things :

1. the overal design was good, sometimes substantially superior (T34).
2. the Russian could concentrate production on a few successfull models and build a shitload of them.

Meanwhile the Germans had not yet figured out how to max their production. One can argue that for tanks, they never did.
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Dr_V
Posted on February 23, 2004 08:25 pm
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I voted for Germany for 2 reasons.
One is that they had a number of good tanks (of course related to each stage of the war). Starting with the Panzer 1 ( as "Von Maybach" said, was a grate machine for its time), through the versatile Panzer 4 with its many variants and chasee conversions, to the fine Panther and the Tiger 1 and 2. [I don't believe that the Maus was a sucessfull design]

The other reason is that I see the Panther as the best tank design of WW2. It was fast, maneuvrable, powerfull and had an angled/curved armor, a feature that proved to be the best choice in tank design in WW2. (in fact, the sqare shape of the Tiger was its most important design fault)
The Panther suffered by being a bit too advanced in design for the time it was built, plus that it came too late in the war. By that time, Germany had limited production capabilitys and no time for crucial tests of the new design. That lead to the well known lack of fiability in the first Panthers used in combat, primarely due to the complexity of its mechanicks. The errors were corrected, but the consequences were thre loss of confidence in this machine, both amongst the troops and the German HQ.
I see the Panther as an unlucky machine that if would have had the propper conditions to be developped it would have ensured German supremacy in armored combat.

Let's be honest, the Allies won the tank war by quantity and superior resources. There were a few good allied designs, but they were at least evenly mached in quality (but not in quantity, of course) by the Germans.
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dragos
Posted on February 23, 2004 08:33 pm
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QUOTE
...The King Tiger, The JagdTiger, SturmTiger and the prototype of the breathtakeing Porsche 205 Maus...


For the King Tiger see the result of tests at Kubinka here:
http://www.battlefield.ru/library/bookshel...s/weapons7.html

The German were too short in resources to afford such highly specialized tools as Sturmtiger, although I don't question its utility.

The poor mobility of Jagdtiger reduced its use to static point of defense, the same for the Maus. It was more a moving fortress than a tank. Its operational value is highly questionable. At 188 tons, most of the bridges in Europe would have colapsed beneath it. :lol:
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dragos
Posted on February 23, 2004 09:01 pm
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Dr_V, at the time Panther A and G entered service (after the failure of Panther D at Kursk), the IS-2 also appeared. At the same weight, it was superior to Panther. The truth is that the German constantly lost the pace with the Soviets.
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