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

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Because French tanks were poorly utilized and sacrificed piecemeal,
    Irrelevant. The failures of the French and British high commands at this time are well documented. This has no bearing on the actual tanks themselves.
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    and France fell in a matter of weeks?
    Whats cool about that?
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    The PZ IV was initially intended as an infantry support tank, and it performed very well in that role.[/FONT]
    No it was not. It was intended to supply HE support for the PzIII's. It was a tank support tank, rather than an infantry support tank.

    As a soldier, would you rather be in a Matilda or IV?
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    • #32
      Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
      As a soldier, would you rather be in a Matilda or IV?
      Kind of depends on what you're facing wouldn't it?

      I'd rather have a Pz IV going up against a line of 105mm field guns or 88mm flak guns any day over the Matilda. On the other hand, if I were going up against early war tanks the Matilda would be the preferred vehicle, but the Pz IV could still acquit itself in that situation, unlike the Matilda going in against field pieces and antitank guns where its lack of an HE round is a major negative.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        Kind of depends on what you're facing wouldn't it?

        I'd rather have a Pz IV going up against a line of 105mm field guns or 88mm flak guns any day over the Matilda. On the other hand, if I were going up against early war tanks the Matilda would be the preferred vehicle, but the Pz IV could still acquit itself in that situation, unlike the Matilda going in against field pieces and antitank guns where its lack of an HE round is a major negative.
        You are thinking 2d.

        No tank in WW2 was best at everything.

        The Matilda's lack of HE could have be alleviated with supporting arms.

        The Panzer III's and IV's lack of armour and gun vs the heavier French tanks were not a problem after all. The reason for this was in how they were used.
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        • #34
          Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
          You are thinking 2d.

          No tank in WW2 was best at everything.

          The Matilda's lack of HE could have be alleviated with supporting arms.

          The Panzer III's and IV's lack of armour and gun vs the heavier French tanks were not a problem after all. The reason for this was in how they were used.
          No, I'm thinking this problem through quite clearly. The tanks can't always rely on supporting arms. They may not have artillery support or getting it called in may take far too long to be useful. There may or may not be infantry support, and even if there is, it may end up pinned and the armor unable to bring useful fire on the pinning forces due to lack of the proper ammunition etc.

          If you look later in the war, one of the universally appreciated things about the US 75mm M3 on later Lee / Grant tanks and on the Sherman was its outstanding ability to hurl HE rounds on targets, both directly and indirectly.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
            No, I'm thinking this problem through quite clearly. The tanks can't always rely on supporting arms. They may not have artillery support or getting it called in may take far too long to be useful. There may or may not be infantry support, and even if there is, it may end up pinned and the armor unable to bring useful fire on the pinning forces due to lack of the proper ammunition etc.

            If you look later in the war, one of the universally appreciated things about the US 75mm M3 on later Lee / Grant tanks and on the Sherman was its outstanding ability to hurl HE rounds on targets, both directly and indirectly.
            Germany did not win the Battle of France because they had tanks with 75mm guns firing HE. They won because they used their tanks properly, and Pz IV's were a minority tank anyway.

            Further, if you are going to ignore numbers, why not go A10, which had a superior HE round, and better armour protection?
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            • #36
              Voted Matilda II, as did the majority here, I see.
              "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

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              • #37
                If we are talking purely from a tank on tank comparison, I'd have to go with the Matilda as well. Crew survivability is always a priority for the 'guys on the inside'.
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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                  Germany did not win the Battle of France because they had tanks with 75mm guns firing HE. They won because they used their tanks properly, and Pz IV's were a minority tank anyway.
                  My I ask what you base this on. My observation is that most of the war saw armor using HE primarily...if I read it correctly (Zaloga of course.)
                  John

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by JBark View Post
                    My I ask what you base this on. My observation is that most of the war saw armor using HE primarily...if I read it correctly (Zaloga of course.)
                    Pz IV tanks were a minority in the Battle of France. From Panzertruppen 1:

                    Pz I : 554/412
                    Pz II : 920/680
                    Pz III : 349/214
                    Pz IV : 280/183
                    35t : 118/56
                    38t : 207/153
                    SdKfz 265 Bef : 154/85

                    Numbers are starting and finishing numbers available for action.

                    Only around one in eight German tanks had a 75mm howitzer and most had a 20mm cannon or smaller weapon.
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                    • #40
                      Char B1 bis.
                      It's very survivable; and if I were the man inside the vehicle rather than the general ordering them around, I would prize that first, I'm fond of my own skin.
                      The Matilda Mk II also is a good choice as to protection; but it's less well equipped to deal with the whole gamut of what as a tanker I might have to face. The Char B1 bis is by definition armed to deal with anything.
                      Michele

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Michele View Post
                        " ... The Char B1 bis is by definition armed to deal with anything."
                        True; but at the same time I would argue that compared to Matilda II, the crew layout inside the obsolescent B1 bis was considerably less efficient, which IMHO degrades the real-life effective useability of its armament to a considerable extent. Otherwise, I would probably have voted for the B1 bis myself.

                        Crew layout inside Matilda II - a tank developed in the late 1930s and in general terms easily among the more advanced designs of its time - comes much closer to the most effective, modern layout we see in today's tanks. Efficiency in battle is (again IMHO) a factor that effectively multiplies the already excellent protective qualities of the armour.
                        "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                          True; but at the same time I would argue that compared to Matilda II, the crew layout inside the obsolescent B1 bis was considerably less efficient, which IMHO degrades the real-life effective useability of its armament to a considerable extent.
                          True ;-)... but the most significant effects of the general poor ergonomics and crew overload in the Char B1 bis would be, very probably, less battlefield awareness and a slower rate of fire. Yes, the crew would be uncomfortable too, but that's secondary.
                          Less awareness and slower firing can kill you - in a less well protected tank. In the Pz III, spotting the enemy first, firing first, and sending a lot of lead downrange quickly might be a life saver. In the B1 bis, you can accept a slower reaction. I think.
                          Michele

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Michele View Post
                            True ;-)... but the most significant effects of the general poor ergonomics and crew overload in the Char B1 bis would be, very probably, less battlefield awareness and a slower rate of fire. Yes, the crew would be uncomfortable too, but that's secondary.
                            Less awareness and slower firing can kill you - in a less well protected tank. In the Pz III, spotting the enemy first, firing first, and sending a lot of lead downrange quickly might be a life saver. In the B1 bis, you can accept a slower reaction. I think.
                            Lower battlefield awareness would also lead, I'm guessing, to a longer time lag in acquiring targets as well as an increased possibility of missing them altogether.
                            Even with the superior armour, this is not an additional exposure I'd prefer to choose. The Matilda II, albeit with a poorer choice of weaponry, at least had a similarly high level of armour protection, but with significantly better situational awareness/target acquisition, as well as (I would think) a better ability to respond quickly once an enemy is acquired.
                            For my money at least, the latter choice is somewhat preferable to the former. Perhaps not by a great deal, but still preferable.
                            "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                              Lower battlefield awareness would also lead, I'm guessing, to a longer time lag in acquiring targets as well as an increased possibility of missing them altogether.
                              Well yes, that's what I meant by a worse battlefield awareness, it's what is usually meant by that. And by contrast I mentioned the Pz III having better chances of spotting the enemy first and firing first.
                              Michele

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                                Lower battlefield awareness would also lead, I'm guessing, to a longer time lag in acquiring targets as well as an increased possibility of missing them altogether.
                                Even with the superior armour, this is not an additional exposure I'd prefer to choose. The Matilda II, albeit with a poorer choice of weaponry, at least had a similarly high level of armour protection, but with significantly better situational awareness/target acquisition, as well as (I would think) a better ability to respond quickly once an enemy is acquired.
                                For my money at least, the latter choice is somewhat preferable to the former. Perhaps not by a great deal, but still preferable.
                                Actually, spotting and being able to fire first is a massive advantage on the battlefield.

                                In simplest terms two opponents that know the other is present and can fire simultaneously the probability of success is equal to the probability of killing the opponent and surviving his fire.

                                When you have a situation where one side spots and can engage before the other side does, the equation changes to the probability it will kill the other tank times the probability it will survive multiplied by the probability the opposing tank survives the hit.
                                In other words, now the one firing first, assuming a half decent chance of hitting and knocking out the opposing tank will almost certainly survive the encounter while the probability of destruction of the vehicle that didn't see it coming is very high.

                                If you look at WW 2 tanks, the US added a cupola to the Sherman and other tanks. The Russians did the same to theirs. That argues that they recognized the value of having the vehicle commander having more visibility when buttoned up.
                                Since WW 2, such cupolas have been the norm on most tanks.

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