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  • Proposed tank 'campaign' (tournament)

    Hi guys,


    I am in the process of preparing for a new 'campaign' (tournament) to be placed in the Armchair Attacks sub-forum.
    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...play.php?f=287
    Something new in there would be nice, I think.

    The theme for this proposed campaign is to be the 'Most Significant/Influential Tank', covering the entire history of the tank from 1916 to the present day, not just WW2. It is anticipated that a ribbon will be awarded for participation, as is normal with campaigns in Armchair Attacks.

    I've been working on a list of tanks that might be considered. At first, I was thinking in terms of 64 candidates if possible but I am perfectly ready and willing to go with 32 if 64 proves too cumbersome or there is some other difficulty that would make 64 impractical.

    64 would give us 6 elimination rounds. (64 tanks on the start line, then 32, 16, 8, 4 and then 2 'finalist' tanks to decide the 'outright winner'). Obviously, 32 tanks on the start line would give us the more 'traditional' 5 rounds.

    Either way, I've been needing to think about just what kinds of criteria would qualify a tank to be included under the general theme of 'Significant/Influential'.
    Would it be just those tank designs that had a substantial influence on the design of other tanks? Or should it include considerations such as longevity of service, battlefield success, ubiquity/distribution of use, numbers manufactured and other factors? Which other factors?

    If we confine ourselves purely to those designs that had an outstanding or very significant influence on subsequent tank designs, this narrows the field down quite a lot and it might be a struggle to come up with a truly meaningful 32 candidates, let alone 64. On the other hand, if we allow some other criteria to be included, then we'll have no trouble getting 32 or even 64 if that's what we want.

    Incidentally, whether we have 64 or 32 tanks on the 'starting line', it is intended that they should be evenly divided into 4 distinct eras as follows:

    1916-1938 (Infancy and childhood of the tank - a new weapon shows some promise)
    1939-1945 (Adolescence of the tank - rapid development and change)
    1946-1979 (Young adulthood - distillation and crystallization of concepts)
    1980 on (Maturity - the era of the MBT)

    (For the arithmetically challenged among us, this means 16 tanks per group if we start with 64, or 8 per group if we start with 32. )

    ... so, by the time we've gotten down to just 4 tanks, each one of those 4 will have been voted by you members as being the Most Significant/Influential Tank of it's particular period.
    These will be our semi-finalists, only one of which can become the Most Significant/Influential Tank of all time.


    So, my question is this:

    What criteria should we include, as qualifying factors for a tank to be a candidate in this proposed campaign?

    Your thoughts please, guys.


    I'm hoping to get some sort of consensus to finalize the listing of tank types for this tournament. At the moment, a degree of uncertainty in my own mind around the qualifying criteria, is impeding my decision making process.

    Over the next couple of days and with the help of some input from you guys, I'll post the list of tanks (either 16 from each period or 8 from each period), and be ready to receive further feedback from you as to my selection.

    Your input and suggestions are invited.
    Last edited by panther3485; 04 Apr 14, 10:28.
    "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!)

  • #2
    Count me in.
    I think some of the criteria could be:

    How much impact they made to the conflicts of their time period.

    How much influence they had on their "descendents"

    How influential Pro and/or Con were they to the doctrine and actual practice of waging war.
    BoRG
    "... and that was the last time they called me Freakboy Moses"

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm interested.

      I believe the criteria should be 'greatest impact on the battlefield' and 'duration of combat service'; for example the T-34 series, which saw action in many wars on nearly every continent.
      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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      • #4
        Looks good .
        How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
        Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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        • #5
          Sounds great.

          Criteria:
          how influential they were on succeeding designs,
          how they compared with contemporary designs,
          durability/length of service.

          Comment


          • #6
            Suggestion:

            Firepower
            Mobility
            Armour quality
            Numbers produced
            Reliability
            Logistical support required (How far can it go before needing fuel and ammo)
            Impact on the battlefield

            Comment


            • #7
              Maintenance intervals
              One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think "impact on battlefield" has to be an if applicable criterion. For much of the interwar period there was too little warfare where tanks were involved, and in the Cold War period it was either US or Soviet designs against minimal opposition.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What criteria, the inevitable conundrum.

                  1.) It has to be a tank. If it lacks a turret, carries passengers or has wheels it is not a tank. It doesn't have to float, but it can, for extra points.

                  1a). It has to be fully enclosed, to eliminate the Marder and M10.

                  2.) The burden should be on service. A tank that was widely used should be included. Tanks like the M26, IS-3 or T-44 may not have sufficient length of service in a Second World War context.

                  3.) It will be necessary to determine how well the vehicle meets the three basic requirements: mobility, protection and firepower. Every tank is a compromise.

                  4.) If different production versions of tanks are to be considered, it should be directed to significant changes in the armament: T-34, Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf E, M4A3 versus T-34-85, Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf H, M4A3(76). There many not be enough pigeonholes.

                  5.) The timeline is important. A tank should be assessed against its peers, other tanks in service during the year it was introduced, not against tanks designed later. It was an arms race, in the classical style, so it was important to be at the front of the pack.

                  6.) At some point reliability must enter the equation, either as it affects mobility or service. Sound design and serviceability are also part of that.

                  7.) Another factor may be cost, raw materials, manpower and energy needed to build each tank. This was particularly important during the Second World War.

                  8.) It gets extra points if its painted green.

                  That's all I can think of for now.

                  Regards
                  Scott Fraser
                  Last edited by Scott Fraser; 05 Apr 14, 18:29. Reason: add 1a
                  Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                  A contentedly cantankerous old fart

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So, with criterion 1, we're to immediately eliminate Strv 103, Merkava, and every World War I tank except the FT?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DogDodger View Post
                      So, with criterion 1, we're to immediately eliminate Strv 103, Merkava, and every World War I tank except the FT?
                      Yes, I was asking myself the same thing.

                      But input from a reasonable number of members is desired, so that such questions can be nutted out.
                      IMO, the very early machines (in WW1, as you have pointed out, just about everything except the FT-17 didn't have a revolving turret) do properly qualify as tanks even though they lacked rotating turrets. In fact, I do not regard the presence or absence of such a turret as being one of the fundamental defining features of a tank and have said so on previous occasions here on ACG.
                      But I'm waiting to see how many other members share Scott's opinion. If there turns out to be a substantial majority insisting on turrets as a qualifier - including the period containing WW1 - I may feel compelled to go with that but if I do, it will be with the greatest reluctance.

                      As for the Merkava, the ability to carry a few troops (or evacuate a few wounded) was always intended as secondary to its role as an MBT if I understand correctly. It was a 'bonus' capability made possible by the front-mounted power pack. That makes it unusual but it doesn't stop it from being a tank, IMO.


                      Guys: I have entered each separate suggestion into a cell on my spreadsheet and I'm condensing them down (amalgamating those suggestions that essentially are repeats of what someone else has said) and abbreviating/tweaking the wording here and there.

                      I'll allow for more suggestions to come in overnight (I'm GMT + 8hrs here) and during the later part of tomorrow morning I'll incorporate anything else that's been added.

                      My intention is that the condensed and edited final product will head-up the opening page for the tournament, as a list of suggestions for criteria that participating members might like to take into consideration when voting. (Note: Suggestions. At the end of the day, I think it should be up to each individual member to apply criteria they see as being reasonably applicable to "Most Significant/Influential Tank". However, some well considered suggestions should be of assistance in keeping members focussed.)

                      Last edited by panther3485; 05 Apr 14, 12:06.
                      "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!)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Agreed. Any requirements that focus on the vehicles' physical characteristics are flawed, IMO. There's more than one way to skin a cat, and focusing on the missions the vehicle was designed to perform would be more beneficial, I'd say. Click for another example; although obviously not a candidate for the poll, both versions were considered to be medium tanks, and to be honest there probably wouldn't have been much practical difference between them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DogDodger View Post
                          Agreed. Any requirements that focus on the vehicles' physical characteristics are flawed, IMO. There's more than one way to skin a cat, and focusing on the missions the vehicle was designed to perform would be more beneficial, I'd say. Click for another example; although obviously not a candidate for the poll, both versions were considered to be medium tanks, and to be honest there probably wouldn't have been much practical difference between them.
                          Ah, yes. Some of the Christie designs.

                          I had already tentatively placed the following 'combination' in my initial list. I have a few combinations there, where I think a grouping of types that were essentially variations of the same basic design might reasonably be considered as a single entry for this tournament; especially if as a group they had a very substantial influence on tank design, as I believe these did. It may not necessarily remain there but I think it at least deserved consideration even though it will probably end up being removed from the line-up for this tournament (copied and pasted directly from my Excel spreadsheet):

                          1916-38 Christie Mediums M1919-36 & T3 (USA)

                          "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!)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am in, even though we kNow it is the centurion. I mean come on, come on
                            you think you a real "bleep" solders you "bleep" plastic solders don't wory i will make you in to real "bleep" solders!! "bleep" plastic solders

                            CPO Mzinyati

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by andrewza View Post
                              I am in, even though we kNow it is the centurion. I mean come on, come on

                              Gut instinct, is that it was probably the best tank in the world for a greater duration than any other.

                              The problem with the Centurion is that the same name is given to tanks of completely different designs. For example, each major design phase of the Centurion was a massive leap forward, such as the Centurion I's 17pdr to the Centurion III's 20pdr to Mark V's 105mm with respect to AP.
                              How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                              Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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