Rank the Tank! - Page 6




 
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April 9th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charge_7
Tonight The Military Channel had a program listing the top ten tanks of all time. They were evaluated in context with their times and in regards to five catagories of capabilities which where: Armor, Fire Power, Mobility, Production, and Fear Factor.

Commentary was made by military analysts and militarian historians from around the world. Included were Anthony Davis from Janes, Dr. William Atwater from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Dr. Aryeh Nusbacher from Sandhurst and others.

Here is their listing in reverse order:

10. M-4 Sherman (US)

9. Merkava (Israel)

8. T-54/55 (Soviet Russia)

7. Challenger (UK)

6. Mark IV Panzer (Nazi Germany)

5. Centurian (UK)

4. Mark IV (UK - WWI)

3. Tiger I (Nazi Germany)

2. M1 Abrams (US)

and the greatest tank of all time:

1. T-34 (Soviet Russia)

I was glad to see that they agreed with my picks virtually right down the line. For those who may wonder how the M1 Abrams could've ranked second they explained (and I think quite rightly) that it was because the Abrams has never gone tank on tank with a worthy adversary. The only tanks in the world that are comparible to it are all tanks of America's allies. However, should any of those tanks one day be fielded against the Abrams then we could see a difference.
I have several comments to make. Firstly why did the M1 and Challenger make the list (and why is the M1 so much higher than the Challenger?) and not the Leopard 2? I haven't seen any studies that determined that either was better than the latter - on the contrary I've seen reports that state that the latter is the better tank. Certainly they are extremely close in capability. I'm presuming it might be because the Challenger and M1 have seen combat and the Leo 2 hasn't.

Secondly no place for the Panther? Although it was a German copy of the T-34 it was a better copy and the best German tank of the war. I'm frankly astonished that it didn't rank when a far inferior tank like the Sherman did.

Thirdly what does production have to do when determining how great a tank is? And fear factor?!?

They should have ranked the tanks with the traditional categories of armour, firepower and mobility. And maybe a 4th category of impact or importance. The T-34 and British MK IV would score highly on those counts. Fear factor is a nonsense when ranking a tank and production only matters when it was so low as to mean that the tanks never saw a decent amount of service. For the Sherman to sneak in at number 10 is absurd.
April 9th, 2005  
MontyB
 
 
I tend to agree, its a pretty odd list in terms of all time ratings.
I am not convinced that 7-10 are particually good choices (I would have dropped the Centurian and pushed the Challenger series up a bit higher) and I agree that leaving the Panther and Leopard out was an odd move although I am assuming the Sherman made it into the list on shear numbers produced because it had nothing else going for it.

I also would have thought that the T64 would also have been a better choice than the T54/55.

Positions 1 and 2 seem ok although I probably would have one of the German tanks in postion 1 (Panther, Mark IV Panzer (if production was that important) or Tiger I).
April 9th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Well, I didn't make the list. Send your comments to The Military Channel. I think they did a very good job. You can argue with them if you don't agree.
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April 9th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charge_7
Well, I didn't make the list. Send your comments to The Military Channel. I think they did a very good job. You can argue with them if you don't agree.
I had a look at the site but there doesn't seem to be much way of doing that except through the forums and they're dead.

You didn't make the list but you stated that they corresponded with your picks virtually right down the line. So therefore my criticisms apply to your judgement also.
April 9th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Quote:
You didn't make the list but you stated that they corresponded with your picks virtually right down the line. So therefore my criticisms apply to your judgement also.
That's fine. However, I have already stated the importance of production in this forum so I don't see any need to rehash it.

When analysts and historians from Janes, Aberdeen, and Sandhurst agree with me I think I'm in good company.
April 9th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charge_7
Quote:
You didn't make the list but you stated that they corresponded with your picks virtually right down the line. So therefore my criticisms apply to your judgement also.
That's fine. However, I have already stated the importance of production in this forum so I don't see any need to rehash it.

When analysts and historians from Janes, Aberdeen, and Sandhurst agree with me I think I'm in good company.
Production is more a measure of a nation's industrial output and logistical capability rather than a measure of how good said output is. By placing the Sherman 10th it is a recognition of the massive industrial and logistical capability of the US in WW2 rather than the Sherman itself as an tank. We are talking about a tank that the Germans called the 'tommy cooker' due to its inclination to burst into flames at the drop of a hat and a tank that required five to knock out a single Panther or Tiger, often with a loss of some of the Shermans.

The credentials of the experts consulted cannot be questioned but I suspect that production was added as a category so to enable the Sherman to qualify (gotta have 2 US tanks in there because the Germans and the British had 2 etc etc). How else can those experts justify leaving out the universally best regarded tank of WW2 along with the T-34/85? Ask anyone of those experts which was the better tank between a Panther and a Sherman and I seriously doubt that any of them would pick the Sherman.

Have you ever heard of 'production' being used to rate a tank before? I haven't. Just because one tank can be built many more times than another that does not make it better. Many more Volkswagen Beetle cars have been made than Rolls Royces. The production of the Beetle has been much higher than the Roller so that makes it a better car right?
April 10th, 2005  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
10. M-4 Sherman (US)

First produced in 1942. Top speed: 24 mph. Range: 100 miles. The tank's radial nine-cylinder engine gives a power-to-weight ratio of 15.8 horsepower per ton. Armor thickness: 62 millimeters. Primary armament: 75-mm high-velocity gun.

The Sherman scored low on firepower and armor. Its Ford eight-cylinder engine was efficient and reliable, so the tank scored slightly better for mobility. But it is ease of manufacture that won the M-4 its place among the top 10 tanks: a staggering 48,000 of them were produced over just three years. Thus, the Sherman received a top production rating.
Well heres how the Sherman won its spot, I am thinking that giving each scoring class an even weighting has produced a somewhat pointless result.
April 10th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Their justification for including production, and since I already said as much earlier I quite agree with them, is that although the Tiger was a greatly superior tank one on one, it wound up being one Tiger against four or five Shermans. With a numerical advantage like that, it doesn't matter how good you are - the Tiger still loses. That is just what the Allies did. They knew they couldn't match the Germans for quality but they sure as heck knew they could out produce them. The Tiger may knock out the first three Shermans but while doing so the fourth one kills it. Production wins wars and is thus a perfectly allowable quality in rating a tank.
April 10th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charge_7
Their justification for including production, and since I already said as much earlier I quite agree with them, is that although the Tiger was a greatly superior tank one on one, it wound up being one Tiger against four or five Shermans. With a numerical advantage like that, it doesn't matter how good you are - the Tiger still loses. That is just what the Allies did. They knew they couldn't match the Germans for quality but they sure as heck knew they could out produce them. The Tiger may knock out the first three Shermans but while doing so the fourth one kills it. Production wins wars and is thus a perfectly allowable quality in rating a tank.
Production by itself does not win wars. That is a wholly simplistic and misleading statement to make. Production is only one of many factors and I'm sure you're aware of this. The Tiger 1 is at #2 on the list which I don't have an issue with. The Panther being excluded I do. To state that the Sherman is better than the Tiger or Panther just because there were far more of them is a deeply flawed argument. By your argument the Sherman should have been rated above the Tiger no?

'More' does not equal 'better'.

The numbers of Shermans available did not win the Western Front for the US and her Allies. Indeed, all the sheer numbers of Shermans did was to offset how weak a tank design it really was. The reasons why the Allies won are much more complex and multi-dimensional.

So why was the Panther excluded and not the Tiger? Why was a tank that almost all consider better than the Tiger 1 excluded?
April 10th, 2005  
SHERMAN
 
 
well, ill have to side with charge on one thing. it is very important that a tank is easy and quick to manufacture in war time. Some very good tanks were flops or a burden on their countrys production capabilty because they were to damn hard to make. Look at Tiger 1 and 2 in germany, the T-64 in the USSR and the M60A2 in the USA. all good and highly advanced machines. But they were very expensive, too advanced for their time and hard to mass produced. Had the Germans made more Panzer Mk 4 and Panthers instead of Tigers, Konigtigers and Jagedtigers, they might have done much better production and war wise. The Russians ended up building the T-72, which was a simplefied T-64, since the T-64 was too advanced and xpensive. The M60A2 was an utter faliure, becaue it was too complicated.

As to the list:

10. M-4 Sherman (US)- I Would definetly put it much higher up than this. Made in huge noumbers and allowed the alllies superiority in noumbers that countered the quality of German tanks. In my eyes it is the American T-34

9. Merkava (Israel)- While I apriciate the gesture, the Merkava has not been tested enough against tanks to tell if its a"great" tank. It is a good tank no bdoubt...

8. T-54/55 (Soviet Russia)- Certinly. Maybe even higher. Served in countless conflicts, still serves. Dirt cheap, reliable, Classic piece of soviet gear.

7. Challenger (UK)- Why? I reall think this is the same as the Merkava.

6. Mark IV Panzer (Nazi Germany)- Yes. Altohugh id put it loer in the list. All round dominated the first half of the war. Good tank, espcially in the later models.

5. Centurian (UK)- With out a doubt. Great tank. Never stopped evolving, served in countless wars with exellence. Superb.

4. Mark IV (UK - WWI)- I guss. But WWI is so diffrent than all wars that came after, that its hard to tell. Actually, my WWI pick would be the Renault FT17, first tank with a 360 degrees rotating turret.

3. Tiger I (Nazi Germany)- Sorry, but i really dont think so. The Panther would make more sens. The Tiger was unreliable, expensive, slow....A waste of German resources.

2. M1 Abrams (US)- Same as the Merkava and Challenger, in my eyes.

and the greatest tank of all time:

1. T-34 (Soviet Russia)-I actually tend to agree with this one.