This threads having trouble dying & hits most of the bases.
If talking overall its got to go to the Panther, in my view the T-34 was not the best it had a few problems BUT it is the tank that defined everything that followed. The Panther after all was Germanys answer & version of it with better armour & a great gun to boot.
Begining of the war you have to give the French Char bis a shout outclassed everything & think one of the few Frenchies with a radio, tactics let it down though.
Next along came the Matilda II as the hard boy to stop, well I say stop the thing only just moved. Poor gun & no HE capability let this down & the Germans discovered another use for the 88.
Then admitedly in small numbers came the T-34 & KVs who would have ruled the battlefield if it was not for a total lack of tactics.
Then came the Tiger & it ruled, this was the last of the square tanks because it was not concieved to counter the T-34 threat but because before war broke out Germany was the only country that decided tank on tank was the way things would go everybody else was still really thinking infantry support with perhaps the exeption of the T-34. For all its cost & man was it expensive it had an extraordinary battle record & was I think the first tank concieved of truely as a tank killer.
All the other heavies really turned up to little to late to count & as noted the Sherman was capable of doing its job just. It was nowhere near as good as the T-34 for most of its life but luckily spent most of its life firing HE at troops as Russia & bomberforce had done there job.
People have said about Germany rationalising design but it would have made no diffrence the main factorys were gone raw materials were not availabe & there was no fuel to run them with.
More Tigers were destroyed by there crews or became sitting ducks because of it Shermans ran rings round them because they could not move. This was the price paid for Stalingrad instead of the oilfields it really was the begining of the end though even if Hitler hadnt meddled cant see it lasting any longer than it did. I am sure the Americans could have rustled up one more bomb to drop & say game over.
You have to give it to the Panther & really the Tiger for being around long enough & generaly well used to make a diffrence. Air killed them either directly or by denying the supply chain in my opinion.
good grief my spelling is terrible