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Greatest/Best Tank - Protection & Survivability

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  • JBark
    replied
    Originally posted by Michele View Post
    However, slowness, I suppose, would be covered in the mobility part of the poll.

    I realize the factors overlap; speed contributes to survivability, evidently. Nevertheless, it's not a factor I considered for my vote in this part of the poll, I'll consider it in the mobility part.
    It's that overlap that I have difficulty with and represents, for me, the difficulty with even the most well thought out poll. Discussion is good, right? I'm reading a paper by an officer presenting his masters thesis to the US Army Command and General Staff College entitled "Lessons Learned From 20th Century Tank Warfare: Does a Common Thread of Lessons Exist?" He emphasises the importance of the speed of a tank, putting it paramount to increases in gun or armor in the survivability of the tank. Just a thought.

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  • llkinak
    replied
    I almost hated to do it, but I had to give the top spot to Tiger II. For all it's other short comings the armor pretty darn effective, and probably would have been for a while after the war as well.

    Excellent: Tiger I, Chruchill, Matilda II, KV1, Panther (Almost went good with Panther but gave it the benefit of the doubt.)

    Good: Valentine, T34, IS2, M4, M3, Char B-1 bis, Souma (despite the bolts), Cromwell.

    OK: PzKpfw III, PzKpfw IV, PzKpfw 38(t), Crusader, BT 5/7

    Poor: Type 97 Chi-Ha, M13-40/14-41/15-42

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  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by Michele View Post
    However, slowness, I suppose, would be covered in the mobility part of the poll.

    I realize the factors overlap; speed contributes to survivability, evidently. Nevertheless, it's not a factor I considered for my vote in this part of the poll, I'll consider it in the mobility part.
    Quite so, Michele, and that's exactly the way I'll be approaching this. Speed will be dealt with separately, under the Mobility criterion.

    Having said that, the Tiger I was pretty darn good for a 57 ton heavy tank of 1942-44. Faster and more agile, and/or with better cross-country mobility, than some other tanks that were considerably lighter. And provided it received the maintenance & tech support it needed, it could be kept at reasonably high levels of serviceability.

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  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by JBark View Post
    I thought I would share some of what I had recently read in Rude Mechanicals, by A.J. Smithers. He wrote that the Tiger was thought of as unbeatable in the hull down but once it started moving it's size, weight and slowness all worked to getting it dead.
    However, slowness, I suppose, would be covered in the mobility part of the poll.

    I realize the factors overlap; speed contributes to survivability, evidently. Nevertheless, it's not a factor I considered for my vote in this part of the poll, I'll consider it in the mobility part.

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  • JBark
    replied
    Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
    Benchmark: Tiger I

    Therefore my Benchmark is the Tiger I, superior protection, superior gun to let it engage the enemy where its protection made it nigh invulnerable, and enough speed to allow it to protect itself from being flanked operationally.
    I thought I would share some of what I had recently read in Rude Mechanicals, by A.J. Smithers. He wrote that the Tiger was thought of as unbeatable in the hull down but once it started moving it's size, weight and slowness all worked to getting it dead.

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  • panther3485
    replied
    Thanks Michele. Your vote for the KV-1 has been recorded.

    This will be a tough one for me too and I'm not entirely sure which way I'll go just yet; but certainly the KV-1 is very worthy for the reasons you have given.

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  • Michele
    replied
    It's the KV-1.
    The Matilda Mk II and the Tiger II made me think hard, but generally speaking, at the time when it was first fielded, the KV-1 caused more consternation than the other two in those who had to pierce it.

    One thing I remember from an Italian veteran's memoirs is that the botton hull of the Matilda was not that thick. They had learned that mines worked well, and additionally that if the Matilda had to cross over the small walls made of rocks that were often featured in the defense networks, that was the time when a 47mm ATG had a chance even against its front aspect.

    Survivability alone might have swayed me towards the Tiger I, instead, also taking into account close-defense features, smoke cartridges, and what seem to be the chances of the crew to survive even in a disabled tank. But that was not a separate consideration.

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  • panther3485
    replied
    Thanks Robert.

    All scores recorded.

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  • TacCovert4
    replied
    Benchmark: Tiger I

    Excellent: Char B1 bis, KV-1, Matilda II, IS-2, Tiger II,
    Churchill
    Good: Valentine, Somua S-35, Panther, T-34 (76 and 85 combined), , Cromwell, PzKpfw 38(t), Type 97 Chi-Ha
    PzKpfw IV (short & long guns combined)
    OK: M3 Medium, BT-5/7, PzKpfw III, M4 Medium (all versions combined)

    Poor: Crusader, M 13-40/14-41/15-42

    I might have jumped a little hard to the 'survivability' side vice the 'protection' side of this equation, however, I will justify my logic.

    Certainly for its period in the war the Matilda II was the most obscenely heavily armored SOB deployed (the Char I, I personally can't count as deployed since it showed up about like a drunk elephant at a party). However, your average fat man could keep up with a Matilda, if she was moving at speed. If she wasn't moving flat out she could be caught by a snapping turtle. Suffice it to say that on the attack only the Matilda was survivable. If she was needed for a mobile defense, she was screwed as every other tank out there could run circles around her, not to mention her gun didn't give her a lot of range to counter that lack of maneuverability with. Therefore my Benchmark is the Tiger I, superior protection, superior gun to let it engage the enemy where its protection made it nigh invulnerable, and enough speed to allow it to protect itself from being flanked operationally.

    For the rest of my excellent category, they were great heavily armored tanks, but sacrificed in one or another area too much to make them truly 'survivable'. In the good category you have tanks that had an edge in survivability when they were first introduced, but lost it quickly....or started off without an edge and then a later version sigificantly pumped them up to a good level. The PzIV is an example of the latter, started off with poor protection, but the Ausf F and G models brought it up to state of the art, if only temporarily, for a medium tank. In the Ok category you have those that were well, ok. The III was never upgraded quite as much as the IV, so it fits here. The Sherman later on got some one-offs that made it better, but it was always outclassed in protection. The poor normally speak for themselves.

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  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by triggerjockey View Post
    Thank you for the elaboration on the instances about the penetration of the Tiger II Paul. I usually always leave something out of a statement, IE. "never known to be penetrated frontally in combat". Leaving out penetrations from the side and or rear leaves a door wide open to bite me in the a$$. Thanks again Panther.
    Cheers,
    Chad
    My pleasure, Chad, and thanks for your participation.

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  • triggerjockey
    replied
    Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
    With the thing about Tiger II never being penetrated in combat, you need to add "no known proven instance" and "frontally"; i.e. there is no known proven instance of Tiger II being penetrated frontally during combat. It was penetrated from the sides and rear in combat on a very substantial number of occasions; and frontally under test range conditions.

    That said, I believe Tiger II is indeed a very worthy candidate against this particular criterion. IMO, its protection was equal to or better than any other series production tank that served in combat in WW2. Outside of what would normally be thought of as protection, it also had the 'reach' to out-gun any of those opponents (even though that factor did not come into play very much during the last year of the war). Beyond protection, some attributes of Tiger II are dubious but those are for the other polls, not this one.

    Thanks Chad, your score has been recorded.
    Thank you for the elaboration on the instances about the penetration of the Tiger II Paul. I usually always leave something out of a statement, IE. "never known to be penetrated frontally in combat". Leaving out penetrations from the side and or rear leaves a door wide open to bite me in the a$$. Thanks again Panther.
    Cheers,
    Chad

    Leave a comment:


  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by triggerjockey View Post
    I went with the Tiger II on this one. The Matty II was way up there and almost swayed me. The only thing keeping from voting otherwise is the difference in the penetration power of other tank and AT guns between the two in their prime. As far as my knowledge goes (not very far) is that a Tiger II was never penetrated in combat.
    Another thing that almost swayed me to the Matilda II was the mechanical reliability of the tiger II not being that great. A tank stuck in the field is as good as dead. However, primarily being crew protection and survivability, all other factor's being omitted, the Tiger II gets my vote.
    With the thing about Tiger II never being penetrated in combat, you need to add "no known proven instance" and "frontally"; i.e. there is no known proven instance of Tiger II being penetrated frontally during combat. It was penetrated from the sides and rear in combat on a very substantial number of occasions; and frontally under test range conditions.

    That said, I believe Tiger II is indeed a very worthy candidate against this particular criterion. IMO, its protection was equal to or better than any other series production tank that served in combat in WW2. Outside of what would normally be thought of as protection, it also had the 'reach' to out-gun any of those opponents (even though that factor did not come into play very much during the last year of the war). Beyond protection, some attributes of Tiger II are dubious but those are for the other polls, not this one.

    Thanks Chad, your score has been recorded.
    Last edited by panther3485; 25 May 12, 02:38.

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  • triggerjockey
    replied
    I went with the Tiger II on this one. The Matty II was way up there and almost swayed me. The only thing keeping from voting otherwise is the difference in the penetration power of other tank and AT guns between the two in their prime. As far as my knowledge goes (not very far) is that a Tiger II was never penetrated in combat.
    Another thing that almost swayed me to the Matilda II was the mechanical reliability of the tiger II not being that great. A tank stuck in the field is as good as dead. However, primarily being crew protection and survivability, all other factor's being omitted, the Tiger II gets my vote.

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  • panther3485
    replied
    Originally posted by JBark View Post
    "The multiple question marks mean I am questioning my own recollection. ... "
    Yeah, I know but I thought you might need a little help with the questioning.

    Originally posted by JBark View Post
    "I stand corrected. Don't let it happen again."
    We shall both do our best, no doubt.

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  • JBark
    replied
    Originally posted by JBark View Post
    The multiple question marks mean I am questioning my own recollection. Remember what I told you. I'll look in to it with what little I have.
    I stand corrected. Don't let it happen again.

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