Best Tank of WW2


Active member
Dont know if this topic has already been covered but I thought I would give it a shot!

What Tank do people consider the best performer during WW2 in the following categories...

Light TAnk
Medium Tank
Heavy Tank
Self Propelled Gun
Tank Destroyer/Hunter

My own preferences are...

Tiger I
SU-100 or JAgdPAnther

I will go into my reasons for the above choices in a bit, but what do the rest of you think were the best tanks to come out of the war?
I'd say the JagdTiger. :tank:

The damn thing was so heavy that it couldn't cross most bridges in Europe. Thats why it wasn't used that much but when it got to an open battlefield at long range it KICKED ASS :rambo:

The T-34 was good but in my opinion the numbers made it Great :D
hmmmmmm, SHERMAN, perhaps this should be in the hardware section, but I think this is in the right forum in that the question is the "best tank in World War II". As for my opinion, I am still thinking! As for your answer, you might want to reconsider?
And I'm the Admin, so I'm moving it back to the history forum... ;)
*flexing muscles*
(just kidding, it can stay here)
Military Hardware, Military Gear and Technology
This is the place for Hardware, military gear and technology related discussions. (historical and modern)

Perhaps I should make a history of military hardware forum..

There has been a similar thread before, but that one was about best medium tank of WW2:

And we do also have a worst tank of WW2 thread going on:

But you can continue with this thread here, since it's about other tank categories as well, not just medium..

Cary on.. :)
Here's one to start some controversy!

I vote for the Sherman tank.

Three things are important for a tank: Lethality, Mobility and Survivability. The Sherman gets a C for Lethality, a D for Survivability, but an A+ for Mobility (plus they were built in vast quantities).

What made the Sherman so valuable to the US Army in WWII was that there was usually one around when you needed it. They traveled fast and they were built with reliable Detroit engines. They typically didn't break down, and when they did, they were pretty straightforward to fix (mainly because they were mass produced like Chevys, so there were lots of parts around).

The German Tiger IIs killed Shermans 20 to 1 in open-field tank battles, but the German tanks were so mechanically unreliable that they were typically hauled to the battlefield on transporters. Unless there was a lot of advance planning, German soldiers could pretty much count on a friendly tank NOT being around when they needed it.

Repair on a Tiger II was kind-of like repair on that Mercedes -- you better have a factory mechanic and the parts are only available at the Mercedes dealer.

I don't know the reliability of the Panther, but they were built in such small quantities they were pretty much irrelevant to the outcome of the war.

Now the Panther with a US powertrain cranked-out in vast quantities on Detroit assembly lines -- that would have been a formidable tank!!
Light tank Stuart
Med tank Panther hands down
Heavy tank Tiger 1 Tiger 2 JS 2
SP Gun STUG 4 /SU 152
Tank destroyer Panzer Jagd 4 Knockedout the most amount of tanks in History cheap to build perfect for a defensive war.
But it is a very hard if not Impossible subject to finalise. The T 34 was produced in massed Quantity with 50000 built and around 40000 knocked out. It was reliable cheaper to build but suffered greatly to the 76/ 88 and 128 mm german guns. As with the Sherman origanly could be destroyed with HE shells due to unseccured ammo stowages. For performance the Panther was the best tank of the war hands down and the Tiger not to far behind. with only 10% of Tiger 1 knocked out by Allied tanks and AT guns the rest by air or break downs. The ratio of Tigers knocked out to tanks destroyed was 8:1 the highest in history. It is belived that if break downs and those knocked out from the air are Substracted the figure was up to 40:1 pretty good. But to look at the basics they didn't stop what was coming at them so in Military terms they where a failure, which means the most successful tanks of WW2 was the Sherman (tommy cookers) or the T34 strenght in numbers. the two highest loses of classes of tanks in history.
My vote goes to the Panther G type for best all around design although there weren't enough of them at that point to make a large enough difference for the jerrys. The T-34 then would get my vote as having had the greatest influence.
About the best tank

Well dudes I am a Tank enthusist and well haha here ya go.
the best over all tank needs to be rated on the following

crew quality/training
fire control

First off regarding of the T34. it had great armor good speed but a crappy weapon. it was a 76mm L38 gun. very weak gun. It couldn't penetrate a Panther D front glacis plate or any portion of Tiger armor over 100 meters. the later /85 had a better chance 200 -300 yards. Those same german tanks could penetrate and punch the T34 armor at over 1000 yards. the tiger had a 88mm L51 mark gun very powerful during the time. the Panther had a 75mm L71 gun which was longer range and had better penetration the the Tiger's 88. the Tiger came out around 1942 which the T34B model came out way before that. I think the biggest advantage the guns the Germans had over the russians was their guns and the use of Sabot, simply put the Russians didn't know what sabots were till the later end of 1944. which in effect gave germans the firepower advantage on their caliber size throughout most of the war. They shot farther, had better penetration close and far then any Russian contemporary design till 1944. During this time the russians enjoyed a great armor advantage in turn over most of the german tanks at the time. the tank that could reasonably counter russian armor up to the mid part of 1942 wass the Pz IIIj - n series and the Stug IIIb models which held 50mm L60 and 75mm L 4? guns that had the ability to shoot sabot rounds. I like the Stug quite a bit as well being low siloette and the later models having thick frontal armor and a good close support gun. in the city I would bank money on Stugs then most other tanks because they where nasty and could fit themselves just about anywhere the larger (later) tank destroyers could not go.

After 1944 almost near the wars end in Europe saw the advent of the ISU II and ISU III in 1945 series of tanks which dominated the world for the next 9 years as the most powerful tank in the world. These tanks mounted a monster gun at the time which set the standard for any future russian tank to the modern era being the 122mm.

Most british tanks where so so, The churchill and Matilda had armor but not effective enough weapons to deal with German hvy armor. Most of the British tanks where design to function hand in hand with infantry and not to directly to challenge armor head on. the Cromwells and Crusaders where later made for this in mind but like the Sherman it's gun wasn't to adequate to counter German armor in the field.

The most common German tanks enountered where the Pz III and pz IV which where crewed by very trained and motivated dudes in the early to mid portion of the war even though the tanks themselves where under armored to handle most of the weapons they where going up against.

I think another thing that really hurt the russians was their armored regiments were very poorly lead where as the germans has the best tank crews and commanders in the world at that time. They had good tanks overall for tactical procedure and many where more maneuverable in formations then the German units. The biggest advantage the Russians had with the T34 was it's simple design, cost efficient weight and construction compared to it's better the Tiger and Panther. There where mass numbers of these tanks which was in a term the Russians Sherman tank. Had hitler not been an idiot to go after russia at the time he did go in and just sent west instead of east and just waited till the following year to consolidate and continue to build. I think the war would have had a very different turn. The german army had everything from top down. good leadership, good equipment. best trained army at that time. Just it had the sole directive from a leader whom wasn't to tactically smart with his troops. Oh well not like I ain't complaining :)

the jagerpanther even as good as it was as a tank destroyer wasn't good in a field environment and was eventually replaced by the Jadgertiger which mounted a much heavier gun and thicker frontal armor. Still the JGP was one of the best tank destroyers of the war at the time it was created. Many don't celebrate the Elephant though which was the best early anti tank platform in the war. mounted a 88mm 71kwk gun. and had enough armor to defeat any gun head on. the allied combined forces had at that time they where employed..

Overall the Tiger was the best tank in the war. some talk about it's maintence issue which I find is funny because if it has been given more importance in making them they would have had more parts around. It was a theater combat tank. It's only drawback was it wasn't produced in the numbers it should have been. if this happened the ground war would have been much different in Russia. Where most of the tanks there where the PzIIIj-n and IVh models. the PzIVh had a very effective gun which had an average performance against russian armor and mid to short range. The Tiger and later King tiger where only in the veteran SS units at limited numbers. They outclassed any russian tank they came up against and we all know how they spanked allied armor like children.

The US tanks biggest advantage was numbers. there was enough spare parts around from destroyed tanks to keep the active tanks going. They where easily to be repair. On many accounts where tank recovery crews going out to recover taking the tanks back to the fix up center, removing the remains of the dead crewman and that tank was seen back in service just months later if not sooner, depending on the damage. most hits by german tanks just punched clean straight holes through the tanks. a lower caliber weapon would have done more damage to the tank. but the german idea was just to knock a tank out of battle effectively and efficiently as possible. The US Army was the only army in the world that had these field repair and recovery stations. No other army had that and to the US army's credit kept their stuff maintain and constantly moving. Big big plus for tactical availibility.

my favorite tank has to be the Pz IIIj honestly. it was a very neat tank. it fit perfectly in the middle of most of the tanks during the war. it was agile. decent armor for support missions had an effective gun and was easily maintained to what I gathered. in the hands of an experienced crew it outclassed the TA34 on many occasions. the important thing of this tank was it needed to get close to the TA34 and flank it while heavier german units got in positions to take on the russian formations. the PzIIIe-m series of tanks were in all theaters the germans where in. The germans saw the most use out of their Pz IIIh-js throughout most of the war and was one of the mostly used tanks for them.

Early war the Russians had the tank advantage. their early tanks mounted an effective TA26 and TA70 serisseries mounted a 45mm L35 or such gun which went though most German early tanks at close and medium ranges. I think the tank the germans found the most problematic was the hardass TA28 during the time. It's armor was just to thick for any german gun at the time even though it was mainly a close support tank.

I think the russians had a great efficient armor design and weight layout for their tanks they where lighter and much faster then most german tanks. The only exception was the excellent Panther series of combat tanks. The Panther was a great long range field tank but it got tore up quickly in the city. While the Panther's front armor was thick and heavy a 50mm round could go through it's side which if ya think about it, kinda sucked. The Tiger's armor could defeat most rounds on all sides over 300 or so yards. Mainly talking in refereferencesthe 75mm L38 and later L45 guns of the russian TA34 and KV series of tanks. there was two distinct model of TA34 that was the 76, and 85, labeled for the type of gun they had. the TA35/85 was only slightly more effective then the /76, many don't know about the TA34/85c that came out in limited numbers either. over all it was a good tank just managed poorly and it's gun was comparably weaker to their equivalent german counterpart.

I wonder how many heard about the super heavy sherman Jumbo we made in the later portion of the war. I think it was the precurser to the M26 Pershing. slow, lacked an effective weapon honestly but it's armor was good to counter the german 88 tank guns which it was designed for but don't think they saw any action because the war ended before they had a chance to test themselves...

during this time the german's capitulated and such they where making a monster 150ton tank called the Maus.I don't think it would have been to versatile of a tank but in the field it would have been invincable. it had enough armor to deflect and stop a 155mm howizter round and had I think a 128mm L50+ gun. I think later was concepted to have a 150mm. but only two prototypes where made and never got going enough to even be a conceptual threat.

more later if any interested
You have some pretty good knowledge there Shodawk.

Best 3 tanks of WW2 were, surprise surprise, the Panther Ausf 'G', Tiger Mk 1 and the T34/85. The Tiger Mk 1 however would not have been suitable for fast mobile thrusts typical of Blitzkrieg and really was a defensive tank, although it could dominate a battlefield.

Honorable mentions go to the Josepf Stalin IS II and the M26 Pershing.

The Sherman may have been one of the most important tanks of WW2 but only because of it's availability in huge numbers. I guess compared to Shermans the numbers of Panthers built were low but still, over 5000 were built which is hardly inconsequential. But there's no way the Sherman can ever be considered as one of the best tanks in WW2.

Put it this way. If you had to fight another tank crew 1 on 2 and you had every WW2 tank to choose from would you pick a Sherman? 8)

Well honestly If I had a two on one scenario I would go with two Pz IVh's. they had armor to defeat heat rounds by point blank shots from bazoka's and good against other 75mm L40-L50 type weapons at ranges of 500 or so yards. Yeah they couldn't move over 4 mph while they shot but to some that could be an issue. They had a good comparable weapon in turn which could penetrate T34 armor about the same range of a T34/85B model. Surprizingly these tanks where easy to make and only a little more problematic then the Pz III to maintain. They kept on slipping their tracks in muddy conditions if I am not mistaken.

The Sherman had issues taking on these types of tanks as well even though they where consider a medium tank just under the panther in combat capability. the later sheman that had the upgrade ot the 76 L5? gun was more able to deal with german tanks but that this tank didn't see service till the campaign slowed down just before the rhine and for the same issue most of the Pz IVh's where deployed on the easter front so go figure about that same time frame. going 2 v 1 gotta set a setting being in city or in the field as well. in the city I would bank two Stug IIIg's for harrasment in there while in the field I would grudgingly go with two T34/85c's. if not them for open areas I would still stay with the Pz IVh's because they had smoke dispensors :) good stuff in the field.

Now switched the other way around for a 2v1 ordeal. I would of course go with a Pz VI. King Tiger in the field. it was built like the tiger to move to an objective unhindered " ie and slow as hell" and take it out. The russians couldn't stop this tank head on at all nor could anyone else honestly which indeed lead to the development to counter it.. the IS series of hvy tanks.
The more I learn, the more that I lose faith in the rhetoric that the T-34 was the best tank of WW2. It had better traction in the snow, ice and mud but there is more to be considered. If it was so superior, why did so many of them get killed? Obviously better than offerings from the Western Allies, but I don't think the T34 was the end all beat all of the war. And frankly, I don't like its main gun. Its still a damn good tank of course.

The tank that scared the crap out of people by its presence on the battlefield more than any other was the Tiger. I hate the boxy shape and think a better sloped armor layout would have been more effective, but its the tank of of Whitman, so its pretty hard to argue with. The Panther G was pretty damned amazing too, but I'd have to say the Tiger made the biggest splash.

Later monster-tank models never were produced sufficiently to make any great difference in the war's outcome.

If the Tiger II had been available 2 years earlier, I think that it might have changed the war's outcome or at least greatly prolonged it's end. If they just could have sped the damn thing up!

German 88 mm anti-tank weapon killed more tanks and was more effective against Armor of every category than any other anti-tank device I can think of. Its often the unsung secret of German success. It was implemented on a number of chasis and deployment types.
If you're saying that Tiger was the best, you must know that Germans designed Tiger when they saw that they tanks wasn't good enough to beat T-34...Very important T-34's advantage was used in Tiger...I am talking about caterpillars...They were wide...This made driving in snow easier...In Panther, Germans used slanting armour...So I think that T-34 is the best tank of WWII
I must say the Panther Mk.4 was the best. But the Easy Eight and T-34/85 come quite close.

I myself am an armor and tank enthusiast but am not going into the long list of pro's, con’s and spec’s of the vehicles since most of us here are educated, intelligent people.
Wildcat said:
If you're saying that Tiger was the best, you must know that Germans designed Tiger when they saw that they tanks wasn't good enough to beat T-34...Very important T-34's advantage was used in Tiger...I am talking about caterpillars...They were wide...This made driving in snow easier...In Panther, Germans used slanting armour...So I think that T-34 is the best tank of WWII

The first T-34's used a Low Velcoity 76mm cannon, then later in '44 upgraded to a 85mm. The Germans use HV 76mm and 88mm. The Panther used a 76mm, I think the PazerWagon Mk.5 Had a 76mm and the Tiger's used 88mm. So in all simplicity the Germans had the jump on the Russian from the begining. The T-34 was just like the Sherman, easy, cheap to build, and large numbers. The armor on the T-34 wasn't as advance as the Germans. It was like shale, it would chip and fall apart.

I don't get what you mean when you say"slanting armor" as if its a bad thing. Sloped armor is a really good thing, armor at a angle gives more strength. four inch armor at a 45 degree angle acts as eight inch armor at a 90 degree angle, and small arms tend to ricohet of sloped armor. And the Germans really never used sloped armor.