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Best Soldiers Tank of WW2 - W Europe & N Africa 39-41

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  • Best Soldiers Tank of WW2 - W Europe & N Africa 39-41

    Europe and North Africa 39-41.

    Which tank would you believe to be the Soldiers choice of best tank for this era?

    PzIII


    https://67.media.tumblr.com/aea5d07f...dapo1_1280.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_III

    PzIV


    http://www.achtungpanzer.com/images/pz4e_7.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_IV

    Pz 38t


    http://germandressdaggers.com/panzer38(t)a.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_38(t)

    Char B1 bis


    http://ww2photo.se/tanks/fr/char/07003.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Char_B1

    Souma S35


    http://www.worldwarphotos.info/wp-co...erman_tank.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOMUA_S35

    Renault R35


    http://carinsuranceav.com/data_image...ult-r35-03.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_R35

    Matilda A12


    http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor...matilda-ii.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matilda_II

    A10


    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...CruiserMk2.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruiser_Mk_II

    M11/39, M13/40 & M14/41


    http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/wp...14-41-tank.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_M11/39
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_M13/40
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_M14/41
    65
    Pz III
    10.77%
    7
    Pz IV
    16.92%
    11
    Pz 38t
    1.54%
    1
    Char B1 bis
    7.69%
    5
    Somua S35
    3.08%
    2
    Renault R35
    3.08%
    2
    Matilda A12
    55.38%
    36
    Cruiser II & IIA A10
    1.54%
    1
    Fiat M11/39, M13/40 and M14/41
    0.00%
    0
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  • #2
    Zaloga went Somua here.

    There are probably only 3 real options, the Somua S35, the Char B1 bis and the A12 Matilda. All did remarkably well against German opposition, when given the chance, and probably all similarly capable.

    I went A12 simply because it had a proper 3 man turret, and the thickest armour, but the HE on the B1 bis, or the greater speed of the S35 may prove reasoms to sway the vote elsewhere.
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    • #3
      Matilda II gets my vote. The one tank that really scared the Germans according to what I read. Panzer III and IV fall short due to operational requirements.
      Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

      "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

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      • #4
        Tough choice. While German operated tanks would be my command and also purely tactical choice, as a simple soldier I would definitely give precedence to French (Char B1 bis and SOMUA S35) and British tanks in form of Matilda.

        On paper SOMUA S35 had good speed, range, a gun powerful enough to easily destroy its probable opponents and armour thick enough to be practically immune to the enemy tank fire at normal combat ranges. 47mm SA35 sacrificed some of the performance but it had useful HE shell while 47mm SA37 field anti tank gun and 2 pounders had slightly better penetration performances for example, but no high explosive rounds issued in operational use.

        But what made me to opt for Matilda was certainly three men turret and commanders hatch, and what I perceive as greater reliability compared to French models.
        It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

        Косово је Србија!
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        • #5
          I think the Matilda II was the soldier's choice.

          Pruitt
          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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          • #6
            Hard choice, but went with the Pz IV.
            My worst jump story:
            My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
            As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
            No lie.

            ~
            "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
            -2 Commando Jumpmaster

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 101combatvet View Post
              Hard choice, but went with the Pz IV.
              Love to read your reasoning .
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              • #8
                still not 100% decided.
                Mathilda or Somua...

                Somua gets bad reputation for being in service with the defeated French Army.
                It's well armored, sufficiently armed to deal with soft and hard targets.
                And much faster than the Mathilda. I think i would prefer the more mobile Tank.
                Somua it is
                One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hanov View Post
                  still not 100% decided.
                  Mathilda or Somua...
                  2 of the probably 3 correct choices .

                  Originally posted by Hanov View Post
                  Somua gets bad reputation for being in service with the defeated French Army.
                  Only by those who do not read about tank warfare. Really.
                  Originally posted by Hanov View Post
                  It's well armored, sufficiently armed to deal with soft and hard targets.
                  And much faster than the Mathilda. I think i would prefer the more mobile Tank.
                  Somua it is
                  I've read plenty of war diaries that have tankers believe speed is important, including Soviet tankers in T-34/85's.
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                  • #10
                    One rule of thumb is to look and see which French Tanks the Germans took from the French Army. The Germans liked most of the French Tanks. Some were used as was in the Balkans to fight Partisans. The Somua was also used in conversions to SP Artillery.

                    Pruitt
                    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Minor pick of nit, but the first photo in the first/OP looks to be an early version of the Mark IV;
                      Eight pairs of boogie wheels(common to MK IV chassis) where the MK III had six pairs and the main weapon looks like a short barrel 75mm.
                      TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                      • #12
                        Nick is correct; the vehicle in the picture is a Panzerbefehlswagen III Ausf.D1. The Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.A had 5 large road wheels sprung by coil springs and 2 return rollers, Ausf.B to Ausf.D had eight small road wheels sprung by differing arrangements of leaf springs and 3 return rollers. The familiar torsion bar suspension didn't show up until Ausf.E. The one in the picture had a nonrotating turret, a dummy 37 mm gun, and extra radios for the unit commander.

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                        • #13
                          As a tactical vehicle on the battlefield, in the early war period it would be the Matilda. The staid pace, with heavy armor and a useful gun against armored opponents, the Matilda was definitely the best. From the infantryman's viewpoint, it was the vehicle that was right there beside him giving him the support he needed.

                          In a set piece battle it beat everything on the battlefield. That's where it shined: Tactically.

                          The two French vehicles have issues. The Souma was designed as a battlefield cavalry tank. It was for scouting and screening on the battlefield. The three man crew was set up to perform that function. You have a driver, radio operator (without weapon), and a turret operator / commander. Offensive firepower is limited by the one man turret. It's really a scout vehicle designed to survive enemy antitank fire.

                          The Char B1 is the embodiment in a tank of the Maginot line. It's a petite ouvrage. That is, it's a small Maginot line-like mobile bunker. It has a 75mm fortress gun in the front hull for HE support of advancing infantry. The gun is aimed and fired by the tank's driver.
                          The turret is more like a cupola on a Maginot line bunker in use. That is, it provides all-round defense of the tank as it sits and plops 75mm HE fire on the enemy.

                          Both were conceived for a war that was never going to happen.

                          As an operational / strategic weapon, that is, a General's tank, the Matilda was the wrong vehicle. But, it was certainly everything a soldier or enlisted tanker wanted in their vehicle.
                          Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 05 Oct 16, 10:59.

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                          • #14
                            I agree for all its faults the Matilda is clearly the best of the list.

                            I'm surprised the Grant didn't make the list.

                            http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww..._Lee_Grant.php

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bwaha View Post
                              I agree for all its faults the Matilda is clearly the best of the list.

                              I'm surprised the Grant didn't make the list.

                              http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww..._Lee_Grant.php
                              Title of thread gives time period of 1939-1941. M3 Lee/Grant did not see combat until May 1942.

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