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Best German Tank of WW2
casailor
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Posted: Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - 09:27 AM UTC
My point was that the German's had multiple types of tanks all requiring different parts. This was the be changed by the E series of paper panzers, but you couldn't take parts off a tiger and put them on a Panther or a PZKW IV. The Soviet and American tanks were designed for simplicity and ease of production even when it compromised battle ability.

Yes the Geman's could drive away from the battle if they had spare parts to repair their tanks, or another of the same type to cannabilize for parts. If a German tank's engine broke down it took a team of skilled mechanics to repair it, IF a Sherman M4 or M4A1' engine broke down the crew could swap out the engine in a couple of hours with nothing more complicated than a block and tackle and tree branch. If the tranny on a Tiger or Panther broke down the entire front end of the tank and to be taken apart to get to it, on a Sherman, you just unbolted the tranny cover. The story goes on and on, simplicity wins wars. A weapon should never be more complex than it absolutely has to be do do the job. German engineers never were introduced to Murphy's Law, it's the first thing American engineers were taught.

Everything the Germans built was complex, the US built half-tracks by using comercial trick chassis and components and added a track unit to replacr the rear axle. The Germans built a complex vehicle with specialized parts that needed skilled crews to maintain. About the only thing the Germans used was the Kar 98, it was simpler than the Garand, buit no more reliable.
mmeier
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Posted: Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - 10:53 PM UTC
Apples and oranges. You can't take a single tank (M4 Ronson) and compare it to a decade worth of tank series. How big is the chance to swap parts between an M3 and M4 and M24 and a T26? THAT would be the equivalent of swapping parts between a PIV and a PV.

Your M4 example was swapping between a Panther D and a Panther G or between a PIV-D and a PIV-H. That could be done in the german army as well.


As for the rest: The tanks where as complex as they needed to be. Germany could not afford to waste 70 man to take out three enemy tanks holding a village so they had to build complex tanks that could survive. Other nations could wast the man so they could build simple tanks that died. In the end "quantity had a quality of it's own" but the germans never had enough crew to take that approach.
spongya
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Posted: Thursday, May 06, 2010 - 01:05 AM UTC
Exactly the complexity caused these tanks to be almost worthless in war. Let me give you a little parallel to think about. If you want to equip your army with watches, you'd probably go with Casio or Timex, and not Omega, right? How many Casios can you buy for the price of one Omega? How well do the Omega watches handle dust, cold, grime, and rough handling compared to the Casio ones?
In war simple seems to beat complex most of the time. (Except for nuclear weapons vs conventional explosives.) As we discussed with the servicing, the operational mobility, and so on all suffered because of the complexity of German supertank (Tiger I-II, Panther) design. And having a bigger gun did not compensate for this. On the contrary.
mmeier
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Posted: Thursday, May 06, 2010 - 01:34 AM UTC
Sorry but the german tanks worked as designed. The job was "Kill 35 Amis or Iwans for every 5 germans" (7 Shermans/T34 per Panther) and that they did beautifully. You can't use "mass" if you only have some 60 Million people to start with. And you can't get a decend kill ratio with something that equals the enemy.

NATO used the same doctrin in the Cold War for similar reasons.
Fitz
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Posted: Thursday, May 06, 2010 - 07:45 AM UTC
And you can't conduct offensive operations with 8 working tanks in your Panzer Division that is supposed to have 200. But that is exactly the kind of thing that happened precisely because of these German tanks that "work as they were supposed to", or so you claim.
spongya
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Posted: Friday, May 07, 2010 - 01:04 AM UTC
Plus I would have not bet on a NATO-WP all-out war, either... Those lowly Russian tanks were/are more capable with a trained crew than they get credit for. (Plus the kill ratios are, as we established, very much dubious. Not to mention the fact that you might want a 1:5 ratio, but when you make 10000 tanks vs the 100 000 tanks of combined Allied output, you'd better rethink your priorities.)
The thing is: simplicity does not mean inferior design. Look at the Beetle, the T-34, B-52 -these are/were in service for more than 50 years.
Those uber-German tanks were not kept in service after the war -I wonder why. The pnzIV was used until the '60s, though - again, a telling information. Those big tanks were intimidating, excellent pieces of engineering, had big guns, and they had a great part in Germany's defeat.
mmeier
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Posted: Friday, May 07, 2010 - 02:17 AM UTC
Actually the Panzer V WAS kept in service post WWII (France until the 1950s).

And the post WWII Beetle was massively reworked TWICE in the drivetrain/transmission sector. And "Unsafe at any speed" as Nader rightly stated. The "famous" beetle was technically outdated when it came out compared to i.e the Opel Kadet or the Citroen Avant. Having driven Beetles I'd say it was outdated compared to the Citroen 2CV

As for the rest: Take a close look at Leopard I and AMX-30 and a Panther-F.

OTOH nobody tried to make a tank using the drivetrain/suspension of a Panzer IV post WWII nor did the Sowjets continue production of the T34 (any version)

Same with the Käfer btw. The only guy to copy the concept was Ferry Porsche (in the 911 "Pimpmobile", the earlier Porsche 356 and the Karman Ghia where Käfers under the hood)

spongya
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Posted: Friday, May 07, 2010 - 05:11 AM UTC
As for the French keeping the Panther in service, you can argue that the KT is still in service, too -after all, a few are still in running condition.
A few derelict leftover tanks kept are not really "in service".
As for the design philosophy - people who, unlike me, are actually experts, agree that the T-34 was THE influence in tank design; no one tried to emulate the success of German design philosophy. (How good was the AMX series?) Nevertheless, these arguments are going in circles, and getting a bit tiresome. I can only repeat what I read in books by people who knew their [auto-censored]. And they overall agree that the complexity, cost and sheer size was too much to handle both economically, on tactical and on operational levels.
I believe them. That's what they do. After all I'd expect my doctor to have the final word about my health, and a scientist to have the final word about evolution.
trickymissfit
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Posted: Friday, May 07, 2010 - 05:59 PM UTC

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I've heard it said that the loss ratio of the Panther vs the Sherman was 5 to 1, 5 Shermans lost for every Panther. I doubt the Pz IV would have as high a loss ratio. Without digging out the stats it seems the Panther has the edge in every category, except possibly number built.



it actually was either 5.2 or 5.8 Shermans to knock out one Panther (per Patton).
gary
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Posted: Saturday, May 08, 2010 - 06:32 AM UTC
@Spongya:

Well your sources seem to be rather second rate when you claim a few museum pieces was all the French operated. Actually a few BATALLIONS are more correct.

And AMX-30 / Leopard I (There's not much difference since they are both MBT-60 derivates) where quite successful during their days.

But stick to your sources. I won't take them too serious.
trickymissfit
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Posted: Saturday, May 08, 2010 - 07:05 AM UTC

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The suspension was just fine and basically the only one that could do the job back then. The germans actually tried others but if you want a huge travel (> 500mm) and a low nick rate (< 30) than this is basically the only way to go. And many "claims" on the Internet about the maintenance problems of the torsion bars are blarney. The suspension was within the hull and therefor quite well protected and the suspension bars where good for > 10.000km

The gear reducer (Vorgelege) was the one weak point that could not be fixed without a new gearbox or switching to the one used in the Tiger. The latter was stopped by decree of the lil Painter since it would have required a production stop. The former was under way in late 1944 and prototypes where tested.

The engine had teething problems but the switch to the HL230 fixed those. These problems where due to the rushed introduction. The problem was solved and the HL234 was looking quite good



I looked at the final drive once, and saw two major design flaws in it that were easilly fixable with a tooling change out. The splines on the main shaft are nothing but simple square splines, and the sharp corners will often crack under heavy loads. Had they gone to a basic involute spline that was also finer (more splines)they probably would have stopped that problem. The other problem was in the bearing setup. A bearing change here would have also been needed to fixed that problem. There was also a problem with gear and shaft thrust under a heavy load that was obvious to see when you pictured all the parts working together. The needed to add a good heavyduty thrust bearing in two places to help fight off the thrust problems. All this could have been done in the same basic casting used on the Panther. It was fixable, but guess the powers to be were not interested
gary
ejasonk
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Posted: Saturday, May 08, 2010 - 11:00 AM UTC
The Panther ofcourse
But you can´t compare all tanks and say someone is the best. The tank is as best,as good the crew is.The tactical use and the weapon make it good or maybe the best.
Fitz
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Posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 06:13 AM UTC

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@Spongya:

Well your sources seem to be rather second rate when you claim a few museum pieces was all the French operated. Actually a few BATALLIONS are more correct.

And AMX-30 / Leopard I (There's not much difference since they are both MBT-60 derivates) where quite successful during their days.

But stick to your sources. I won't take them too serious.



Actually the French were able to recover and repair enough Panther's to equip just one understrength Regiment as I recall and they only lasted 5 years. The AMX-30 was quite frankly, a dud. It is amazing how quickly the armies that operated it were happy to be rid of it when at the first opportunity. AMX-30 and Leopard 1 grew out of the same original set of requirements but otherwise they have nothing in common. So to say there "isn't much difference" suggests perhaps you may need to check YOUR sources.
casailor
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Posted: Saturday, May 29, 2010 - 07:54 PM UTC

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Apples and oranges. You can't take a single tank (M4 Ronson) and compare it to a decade worth of tank series. How big is the chance to swap parts between an M3 and M4 and M24 and a T26? THAT would be the equivalent of swapping parts between a PIV and a PV.

Your M4 example was swapping between a Panther D and a Panther G or between a PIV-D and a PIV-H. That could be done in the german army as well.


As for the rest: The tanks where as complex as they needed to be. Germany could not afford to waste 70 man to take out three enemy tanks holding a village so they had to build complex tanks that could survive. Other nations could wast the man so they could build simple tanks that died. In the end "quantity had a quality of it's own" but the germans never had enough crew to take that approach.

The problem is exactly what I said, you could take guns, suspension units, roadwheels, sprokets, idler wheels, engines, transmissions of any M3 or M4 built any time in the war as long as the donor and reciever tanks were air-cooled or water-cooled. The time period we are talking about in 1940 all the way throough 1945. You couldn't take parts of the panzer three and put them on a panzer four let alone a panther or tiger I or II. The M24 and M26 wer a different story, but both were limited production.
metooshelah
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Posted: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - 11:30 PM UTC
comparing tanks between nations is never easy, as long as they are on par with each other. that is becuase each nation designs it's tanks according to it's own needs.

that being said, I think the T34 could easily pick the trophy for best tank, considering it's main gun, the Christye type tracks which gave it speed and maneuverability, alongside with the use of sloped armor (which is a technique still used today).
DutchBird
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Posted: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - 11:55 PM UTC

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I would definately treat the "kill ratio" thing with a giant grain of salt. I hear people say all the time it took X number of Sherman's to kill a Tiger or a Panther. But then I look at the actual loss records and find the German's lost more tanks than the western allies did. How does that compute? And it is not too hard to find records of engagements where Panther's and Tiger's were absolutely trounced by Sherman's too so it is all so much nonsense. Way too much fuss is made about tanks fighting other tanks. I know people like to fixate on hot tank-on-tank action because its sexy and fun, but in reality, it just wasn't that common. Just recently a German Panzer veteran from WW2 attended a model convention as a speaker and the transcript was posted on this site. As I recall in 2 years on the Eastern Front in P III's and IV's he only shot at Soviet tanks twice! I would argue that was not atypical.



How is the number of losses possible? Well, for some units over 50% of losses was not combat related. Either mechanical breakdown or lack of fuel, and then destroyed by their own crews.
This of course is a major difference with all of the allies.



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The basic point is, the German's utterly failed to meet the needs of wartime design and production on a fundamental level and tried to design gee-whiz wonder machines instead of the more pragmatic products that could have won them the war.



This might sound harsh, but neither did the Germans have the soldiers to spare that would get killed in the less inferior designs, unlike the Americans and Russians. The difference in that regard and the impact it had on the combattants is often overlooked, hence much undeserved criticism towards the British and Commonwealth (who had to deal with the same problem).
casailor
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Posted: Thursday, June 03, 2010 - 05:26 PM UTC

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I would definately treat the "kill ratio" thing with a giant grain of salt. I hear people say all the time it took X number of Sherman's to kill a Tiger or a Panther. But then I look at the actual loss records and find the German's lost more tanks than the western allies did. How does that compute? And it is not too hard to find records of engagements where Panther's and Tiger's were absolutely trounced by Sherman's too so it is all so much nonsense. Way too much fuss is made about tanks fighting other tanks. I know people like to fixate on hot tank-on-tank action because its sexy and fun, but in reality, it just wasn't that common. Just recently a German Panzer veteran from WW2 attended a model convention as a speaker and the transcript was posted on this site. As I recall in 2 years on the Eastern Front in P III's and IV's he only shot at Soviet tanks twice! I would argue that was not atypical.



How is the number of losses possible? Well, for some units over 50% of losses was not combat related. Either mechanical breakdown or lack of fuel, and then destroyed by their own crews.
This of course is a major difference with all of the allies.



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The basic point is, the German's utterly failed to meet the needs of wartime design and production on a fundamental level and tried to design gee-whiz wonder machines instead of the more pragmatic products that could have won them the war.



This might sound harsh, but neither did the Germans have the soldiers to spare that would get killed in the less inferior designs, unlike the Americans and Russians. The difference in that regard and the impact it had on the combattants is often overlooked, hence much undeserved criticism towards the British and Commonwealth (who had to deal with the same problem).

The Germans still could have designed cutting edge armor that was designed for mass production. It almost seems like they have an innate need to build complicated machinery. They could have used a PZKW IV chassis with sloped armor instead of the complicated, expensive Panther.
Fitz
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Posted: Friday, June 04, 2010 - 02:42 AM UTC

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The Germans still could have designed cutting edge armor that was designed for mass production. It almost seems like they have an innate need to build complicated machinery. They could have used a PZKW IV chassis with sloped armor instead of the complicated, expensive Panther.



I don't think the Panzer IV was necessarily a less complicated, simpler design to produce than the Panther so simply slapping sloped armor on it (not as easy as it sounds) was not an answer. Neither tank was in the category of the M4 Medium or T-34 on the mass-producability scale. It is clear to me from watching the decline of the Panzer force, which coincided with the decline of German war fortunes that something truly mass-producable yet significantly (but not orders-of-magnitude) better than the competition was required. What was needed was a fundamentally different design than what the Germans got but I suspect they simply were not up to doing things any differently.

Overall in the German war effort you see a fundamental lack of long-term thinking and planning and that extended to tank production as much as anything else. Germany didn't think the war was going to go on very long so there was no need for a next-generation, mass-production design. The American's and the Soviet's were coming at it from a different direction and ended up with vehicles that IMHO were more appropriate for a long war of attrition, even if they did not compare well in dubious one-on-one comparisons. But those supposedly inferior designs allowed the allies to go on and maintain the offensive, something the supposedly superior German armor did not allow the German's to do.
DutchBird
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Posted: Friday, June 04, 2010 - 03:26 AM UTC

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The Germans still could have designed cutting edge armor that was designed for mass production. It almost seems like they have an innate need to build complicated machinery. They could have used a PZKW IV chassis with sloped armor instead of the complicated, expensive Panther.



I don't think the Panzer IV was necessarily a less complicated, simpler design to produce than the Panther so simply slapping sloped armor on it (not as easy as it sounds) was not an answer. Neither tank was in the category of the M4 Medium or T-34 on the mass-producability scale. It is clear to me from watching the decline of the Panzer force, which coincided with the decline of German war fortunes that something truly mass-producable yet significantly (but not orders-of-magnitude) better than the competition was required. What was needed was a fundamentally different design than what the Germans got but I suspect they simply were not up to doing things any differently.



What is more, the Pz. IV chassis was not even capable carrying the additional armor or the gun required to have a significant advantage over either the American or the Soviet designs. Evidence for this is the fact that the gun needed (like the Panther 75mm gun) could only be mounted in a turretless vehicle and was in fact even then too heavy (see the issues with the Pz. J. IV design).




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Overall in the German war effort you see a fundamental lack of long-term thinking and planning and that extended to tank production as much as anything else. Germany didn't think the war was going to go on very long so there was no need for a next-generation, mass-production design. The American's and the Soviet's were coming at it from a different direction and ended up with vehicles that IMHO were more appropriate for a long war of attrition, even if they did not compare well in dubious one-on-one comparisons. But those supposedly inferior designs allowed the allies to go on and maintain the offensive, something the supposedly superior German armor did not allow the German's to do.



I think you are only partially correct here. You are probably correct in thinking that the Germans did not expect the war to last long (or at least Hitler did not think so). You are probably incorrect in thinking that the Germans were not thinking about upgrading their forces or mass production. The Germans were already looking into upgrades before the war even started (The problems were probably caused other factors:

1) The too rapid expansion of the German army. The Germans had a hard enough time equipping the army with tanks in general and needed the input of the Chech produced tanks to fill the numbers required (and barely at that). Many smaller infantry units started the war using requisitioned civilian vehicles, and pressing captured allied equipment into service just to motorize themselves. Producing the tanks and other vehicles for the newly raised motorized units came at the expense of the speed of development of new designs. It was as much if not more a case of inability than unwillingness or lack of foresight.

2) The whole planning of production (and design) was based on the assumption that Germany would go to war years later than it actually did (IIRC the naval planning assumed a start of hostilities in 1944!). To my understanding the completely obsolete Pz. I and Pz. II were not even supposed to be in service anymore by 1940 or 1941. Yet the rapid expansion of the army and the early start of the war prevented this from happening.

3) The trauma of WW I, where the German population came close to starvation. As a consequence the political decision was made to not go to a state of total war - and thus maximum production of weaponry - until very late. This was one of the reasons why the Germans were capable to increase arms production almost to the very end, as gradually the Germans were forced to go to a state of total war. This is not to be confused with designs not being capable for mass production.

4) Unlike the US or the Soviet Union it was virtually impossible to relocate or develop from scratch new mass production facilities. The Germans had to make use of the existing infrastructure and facilities. Again this was a limit on mass production that did neither exist in the US or the Soviet Union.


In stark contrast, the US was completely safe from invasion, could start from scratch designing new equipment, and apply the early lessons of the war into the design. Almost similar was the situation for the British, especially when the US started producing their tanks. Likewise they were in a situation that allowed them to rebuild their army almost from scratch. Both in organisation and equipment - the US pretty much had no army before the war started, and the British lost almost all their equipment in May 1940.
Under less ideal circumstances - there was much more pressure to institute the reforms and reorganisation for them, for obvious reasons - the same can be said for the Soviets.

This was a major advantage over the Germans who were never in a position to do the same the moment the war had started.
casailor
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Posted: Friday, June 04, 2010 - 06:34 AM UTC

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The Germans still could have designed cutting edge armor that was designed for mass production. It almost seems like they have an innate need to build complicated machinery. They could have used a PZKW IV chassis with sloped armor instead of the complicated, expensive Panther.



I don't think the Panzer IV was necessarily a less complicated, simpler design to produce than the Panther so simply slapping sloped armor on it (not as easy as it sounds) was not an answer. Neither tank was in the category of the M4 Medium or T-34 on the mass-producability scale. It is clear to me from watching the decline of the Panzer force, which coincided with the decline of German war fortunes that something truly mass-producable yet significantly (but not orders-of-magnitude) better than the competition was required. What was needed was a fundamentally different design than what the Germans got but I suspect they simply were not up to doing things any differently.



What is more, the Pz. IV chassis was not even capable carrying the additional armor or the gun required to have a significant advantage over either the American or the Soviet designs. Evidence for this is the fact that the gun needed (like the Panther 75mm gun) could only be mounted in a turretless vehicle and was in fact even then too heavy (see the issues with the Pz. J. IV design).




Quoted Text


Overall in the German war effort you see a fundamental lack of long-term thinking and planning and that extended to tank production as much as anything else. Germany didn't think the war was going to go on very long so there was no need for a next-generation, mass-production design. The American's and the Soviet's were coming at it from a different direction and ended up with vehicles that IMHO were more appropriate for a long war of attrition, even if they did not compare well in dubious one-on-one comparisons. But those supposedly inferior designs allowed the allies to go on and maintain the offensive, something the supposedly superior German armor did not allow the German's to do.



I think you are only partially correct here. You are probably correct in thinking that the Germans did not expect the war to last long (or at least Hitler did not think so). You are probably incorrect in thinking that the Germans were not thinking about upgrading their forces or mass production. The Germans were already looking into upgrades before the war even started (The problems were probably caused other factors:

1) The too rapid expansion of the German army. The Germans had a hard enough time equipping the army with tanks in general and needed the input of the Chech produced tanks to fill the numbers required (and barely at that). Many smaller infantry units started the war using requisitioned civilian vehicles, and pressing captured allied equipment into service just to motorize themselves. Producing the tanks and other vehicles for the newly raised motorized units came at the expense of the speed of development of new designs. It was as much if not more a case of inability than unwillingness or lack of foresight.

2) The whole planning of production (and design) was based on the assumption that Germany would go to war years later than it actually did (IIRC the naval planning assumed a start of hostilities in 1944!). To my understanding the completely obsolete Pz. I and Pz. II were not even supposed to be in service anymore by 1940 or 1941. Yet the rapid expansion of the army and the early start of the war prevented this from happening.

3) The trauma of WW I, where the German population came close to starvation. As a consequence the political decision was made to not go to a state of total war - and thus maximum production of weaponry - until very late. This was one of the reasons why the Germans were capable to increase arms production almost to the very end, as gradually the Germans were forced to go to a state of total war. This is not to be confused with designs not being capable for mass production.

4) Unlike the US or the Soviet Union it was virtually impossible to relocate or develop from scratch new mass production facilities. The Germans had to make use of the existing infrastructure and facilities. Again this was a limit on mass production that did neither exist in the US or the Soviet Union.


In stark contrast, the US was completely safe from invasion, could start from scratch designing new equipment, and apply the early lessons of the war into the design. Almost similar was the situation for the British, especially when the US started producing their tanks. Likewise they were in a situation that allowed them to rebuild their army almost from scratch. Both in organisation and equipment - the US pretty much had no army before the war started, and the British lost almost all their equipment in May 1940.
Under less ideal circumstances - there was much more pressure to institute the reforms and reorganisation for them, for obvious reasons - the same can be said for the Soviets.

This was a major advantage over the Germans who were never in a position to do the same the moment the war had started.

I don't agree. None of the war-designed vehicles saw action in large numbers. The US forced fought wioth the tanks that were designed prior to our entry intot he war. The M4 was just a modified M3 which was a modified M2 medium. What the US had done, unlike most if not all other countrys, was to develop components (suspension systems, Engines, gun systems and prototype armor) that could be quickly combined into effective tanks under wartime pressure. Did this result in state of the art armor? no, but it did result in well engineered designs that were rubust and soldier proof unlike German and British armor. The Soviet armor was soldier proof, but not particularly durable.
spongya
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Posted: Friday, June 04, 2010 - 06:53 AM UTC
T-34... need I remind you of the T-34 and it's effect on German morale? (Not to mention German equipment?) How about the IS-2, that was capable to take on the heaviest German tanks, while being effective against other targets than tanks, as well? I know we don't like the Russians, I know we secretly think they're inferior, but they are not. Give them the credit they deserve. The Sherman -in any version- does not go close to the quality of the T-34.

As for the previous quality vs quantity argument, it does not ring true. In a battlefield tank vs tank combat was not very common; and when your tanks can be destroyed by cheaper AT guns, hand-held rockets, or airplanes, regardless if they're a mighty King Tiger, or a pak mounted on a Citroen chassis, then you end up spending a lot on equipment that will be destroyed by other forces, than tanks.
casailor
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Posted: Friday, June 04, 2010 - 09:45 AM UTC

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T-34... need I remind you of the T-34 and it's effect on German morale? (Not to mention German equipment?) How about the IS-2, that was capable to take on the heaviest German tanks, while being effective against other targets than tanks, as well? I know we don't like the Russians, I know we secretly think they're inferior, but they are not. Give them the credit they deserve. The Sherman -in any version- does not go close to the quality of the T-34.

As for the previous quality vs quantity argument, it does not ring true. In a battlefield tank vs tank combat was not very common; and when your tanks can be destroyed by cheaper AT guns, hand-held rockets, or airplanes, regardless if they're a mighty King Tiger, or a pak mounted on a Citroen chassis, then you end up spending a lot on equipment that will be destroyed by other forces, than tanks.

The T34 was a good tank, it was crude, lacked radios and intercoms, had poor visibility, lacked a three man turret, but had good armor and was easy to produce. The IS2 was a linited production, special purpose tank. It carried very few main gun rounds and was too cramped for the crew to operate easily. It was essentially the biggest gun that could be crammed into the smallest chassis, it wasn't a well rounded design it concentrated on firepower at the expense of the other two sides of the tank design triangle. Once the towed anti-tank gun got larger than the 50mm/57mm was too heavy too move easily by hand and, except in prepared defensive positions, just wasn't very effective. If you doubt this just look at the compare the results of the towed tank destroyer units vs the self propelled tank destroyer units.