Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by mp38, Oct 28, 2002.
I see Von Poop, alrighty, back 2 favorite tank thread again at ure service. XD
Matador Halftrack? - World War 2 Talk
Nice CMP jobby on there too.
That's the baby, thanks
CMP? copy my parts? carry-off my plans?
My favorite is the Centurion. OK, I know it isn't strictly a WW2 tank, but that's only because the Bomb settled the invasion of Japan issue.
The Centurion could handle anything out there, no exceptions. It had a great gun, in fact it had several great guns. The Mk.1 had the famous and lethal 17-pounder, that equipped the Sherman Firefly. Firing the APDS round it could kill anything on tracks, except, maybe, the Jagdtiger and the Maus (but the Centurion could still win by its far greater mobility) Very shortly later the Centurion got the 84mm 20-pounder, a gun fully the equal of the vaunted KwK 43 L/71, the best tank gun on the WW2 battlefield by most expert opinion. Later it got the deadly 105. Just a handful of Centurion/105s put hordes of Syrian T-55s to sleep permanently.
The Centurion had the best optical range finding sights of any tank in the world until the M-60 series. The Chieftain, the best tank in NATO from its introduction until the arrival of the M-60A3, had the same ranging sights. The sights made the Centurion the likely winner in any first shot on target duel. Who cares if the IS-2 had a monster gun and foot of armour up front. A Centurion could shoot it three times -- left side, right side and one up the ass -- before the Russkies inside their steel tomb even knew the Centurion was there.
The Centurion also had a great engine coupled to a tough and effective drive train and suspension. The Meteor was a variant of the Merlin. Any version of the Merlin has to be loved without question. Sweet.
Lastly, there is the influence factor. Cool as the King Tiger is, it has no heirs. The Centurion was the best tank in Europe until its direct descendant the Chieftain came on the scene. The Chieftain held the best tank laurels until the Abrams/Challenger Chobham monsters made their debut. And the Centurion is still out there.
Not dissing the Cent, but personal experience with the Meteor and it's awful gearbox makes me understand why the Israelis ripped them out and replaced them.
I thought the Israelis changed the Meteor gasoline engine (RR) for a diesel unit (Continental/Allison) because:
1) the British refused to sell them spares (Even today there is a considerable market for Meteor spares because the Centurion was so widely exported)
2) the Israelis went for crew survivability and rough terrain performance over dash speed as a matter of design philosophy, continuing today as expressed in the Merkava, thus the change to diesel - lower top speed traded for greater torque and improved climbling, less explosive fuel.
3) American engine means American spares, a source unlikely to ever get cut off.
All true I'm sure, but the increased HP, the increased reliability, and the reduced maintenance skill and time needed, along with the chance to have a better, easier to use gearbox must have also made the crews happy. Admittedly ours were old when I knew them, but we were rarely getting a day without some sort of breakdown, which was good for the drivers who were exhausted from having to change gear with both hands while trying to still see out
The Merlin was a great aero engine, but it was underpowered for the Cent from the start even using the MerlinIII if i remember right, with the Meteor modifications. It was always very prone to fuel leakage and needed constant attention out of proportion to any benefits. I understand it was used because it was the best we had essentially 'on the shelf' at the time, allowing Cent deployment in 1945, and it gave some commonality with the Cromwell and Comet, but for such a revolutionary (For Britain at least) tank in all the other respects, It's a shame they didn't go for an all new engine. The fact they never replaced it later in British service I am guessing is for budget reasons, although it could be because the new plant for the Chieftain was being developed from the early 50s, and by the time it was ready, it wouldn't fit in a Cent and the Chieftain was coming into service anyway - but not sure.
As for increased HP, I'm not sure. The specs say that the change from RR to Continental actually netted a slightly lower output, although the net torque increased markedly. Also the Continental engine / Allison transmission configuration is heavier than the Meteor and its transmission so the hp per ton ratio went down a bit. A Mk.3 with the 20-pounder rated about 12.5hp/ton. which is anaemic compared to the Sherman "Jumbo" at more than 22hp/ton, but about the same as a Tiger I. What the Meteor provided was rapid acceleration -- from a dead halt to full speed quickly. Of course full speed wasn't that high, but the Centurion could sustain that speed for quite a while. The Tiger was actually faster, but that speed advantage was hard to exploit -- it was very sluggish to accelerate (floor a Tiger and the transmission would seize up) and after five miles at full throttle the tracks were shot.
So the Israeli Centurion (re-engined with the American diesel it was known as the Sho't) got better rugged terrain performance and ease of maintenance for lower top speed and acceleration.
Sorry,but the first "Haunted Tank"was a M-3 Stuart,not a Sherman. Later on(because it became too unbelievable for a Stuart to keep knocking out a Tiger) the crew assembled a homemade tank out of scrap parts.
My favorite tank is the Tiger Ausf. B aka (Konigstiger). This tank was the perfect heavy tank for world war II Panzer battalions. Implemented as a support role to support the advance of the lighter Panther or Panzer IV's this tank could not be matched on the battlefield. Its 88 mm. gun was the best all around tank killer gun of the war and the King Tiger had unbelievable protection. This tanks only weakness was from the air which is a weakness of any tank. I disagree with most of the negative comments i hear from people about this tank. While training in Germany I had the opportunity to study their tank designs dating all the way to world war 2 and the King tiger was not what most critics say about it. It was costly to produce and used alot of resources (it was a large tank) however to that the KT could not be produced in a reasonable amount of time is untrue. First only one company (Henschel) was producing the KT. Second only 1500 KT's were ordered for production. The KT was not a MBT. That was the Panther. The KT was meant to be a support tank to the Panther. They were never to be produced in large numbers. Next Allied bombing raids leveled more than half of the Henschel plant and yet the plant still managed 513 KT produced (only 487 became operational). That is pretty good production coming from only one plant.
The next myth is when people say the King tiger is slow. The King Tiger or Tiger I for that matter were not slow at all. 25 MPH was as fast or faster than other heavy tanks of the war. Yeah the tank is slow compared to a medium tank half its size..... Also for note the Tiger models had a great turning radius that was actually better than a M4 Sherman.
Next, are the people who claim the KT was unreliable. Yes at first the KT had head gasket problems and due to inexperience its drive-train was always being overridden to the point of break. However every tank has its problems when it is first introduced. (Panther, Sherman, and even the T-34 that boasts its reliability all had bugs). As crews learned how to handle their new tank it became the most reliable tank killer you could have. The KT did use alot of gas that the Germans did not have but the Germans did not have enough fuel for anything so that is not a valid argument especially after the Ploesti oil fields were bombed in 43 and 44. Most KT were lost due to lack of fuel or lack of air support.
The last note that makes the KT so good is that all 3 of the top German tank aces who were also the 3 top aces of the war manned a Tiger I and II tank. Of those 3 Knispel is the only one who lost his life. Carius and wittmann both survived. Even though some allied tank aces probably could have matched kills of Knispel, they could not survive long enough to do so. Most allied tank aces made many kills in short periods and then were either killed or un-able to return to action. If they had a Tiger chances are they would have lasted long enough to compete with Knispel.
I imagine that's a typo there mate. Unless there's something actually new to be told... or even better; a new conspiracy theory...
Hello, by the way.
For me it'd be the Tiger I, second would be the StuG III. Both proved to be very effective
yes my fault. Michazel Wittmann always comes to mind when thinking of a Tiger Ace as he is the most popular but I actually meant Karl Korner. I dont believe Wittmann ever manned a KT either. Just a Tiger I.
I am still wondering whether or not Ernst Barkmann manned a KT. I remember studying the Journals and he did man a Panther most of the war, yet there is a part in his entries where his panther is in-operable and he temporarily fought in the Ardennes with a KT crew that had lost its commander in battle. But thats really the only info i have ever seen.
My favorites would be
1, M4 Sherman(weakness, gun later in war)
2, M18 Hellcat(weakness, Armour)
3, Panzer 4(Gun pen)(made slower by more armour later)
4, Stug III(no turret made close quarters weakness)(still a good tank)
5, SaumaS35 (no HE shells leading to inability to take out gun positions)
1, M4E8, for the sherman, (better gun)
2, M10 or M36(based on time period, but the speed of the Hellcat does give it an edge)
3, Panzer 3(early on and up till 41-42 this was a better tank, faster with more armour)(small turret made upgunning impossible)
4, Pz38(small turret)(great tank used in different variations by many nations)(good armour, firepower and speed)
Tiger, Heavy tanks like this only make good snipers, this is a defensive weapon only as it could not move fast enough to exploit and breakthrough it created. As a result it was not an effective tank because it had little ability to controle its engagements.
Panther, This tank is a medium tank, but its weight relative to its actual capasity to move itself left it not agile enough to react to battlefield conditions. This tank also excelled as a sniper, but was less effective than the tiger for an assault dew to its poor reaction and side Armour leaving it unable to defend itself effectively. this compiled with serius mechanical difficulties is suffered resulted in a tank that would turn into a bunker when its drive train failed when the driver pushed it to hard in a attempt to react to changing conditions.
T34, this tank has a lot of good qualities, its Armour was impregnable to all tank/antitank ammunition used by the Germans in 41, its gun was more than enough, and it was very fast, agile, and easy to produce. It did however have two huge failings, it was only produced with a radio in every ninth tank and only had a telescope, which meant that they were searching for enemy tanks through binoculars when on the move and in battle. this resulted in a lack in good vision and poor ability to acquire a target. The result was with only platoon leaders having radios, along with the poor sights, the order of battle used was comonly refered to as the duck line. the germans would often just shoot the duck in front and watch as the ones behind crash into the ones in front, no organized resistance and the germans could kill at will.
Pershing, to late in the war to realy count, also a realy bad performance(this is kind of a joke, but i continue)The T26 Pershing, was designed to combat the tiger, it is said, but, according to records, only fought the tiger once, and lost... Yes it was a good tank, but the tiger still got it, and i think that's funny.
I get that this is not a serious forum but i am giving some facts because i can, the top five list i gave is still my fav.
I agree with everything said here, except that the King Tiger was a good tank. The king tiger, like most heavy tanks, was slow compared to medium and light tanks. This does not matter much when facing other tanks head on but it is everything when dealing with artillery, the main enemy of a tank. The inability to change positions quickly means that anti tank artillery and heavy artillery would always be able to hone in and take out the heavy tank regardless of how much Armour was put on it. Also being heavily armored doesn't help at all when assaulted by infantry who will simply climb onto the tank and drop a grenade into the top hatch. The failing of the King tiger is simply that it was a heavy tank, it was a good heavy tank but still just that.
I thought heavy tanks were designed for breakthrough operations rather than exploitation. In any case tanks should be accompanied by infantry to prevent opposing infantry from doing just that. Although dropping a hand grenade down a hatch isn't as trivial as seems to be assumed above. IMO the most serious issues with both the Tiger and the King Tiger were the RAM issues. The Panther on the other hand had not only RAM issues but a gun that was highly optimized for anti tank work as well as thin side armor which handicapped it in both breakthrough and exploitation work but may it very near ideal for defensive work both "sniping" and counter attack. I've always liked the Stugs but don't really consider them to be tanks. The Hellcat isn't normally considered a tank either. Of course this is a favorites thread which doesn't require a tank to be perfect or even good. Personally I have always liked the early war tanks more because of their often interesting flaws than in spite of them.