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  • Reflections on your own voting (only)?

    I've been analyzing whether I felt I voted correctly on each of the polls. In most cases I'm more than happy, even if it didn't win a round. The majority are not always right after all.

    However, there is one vote that was probably a mistake, and that is moi choosing the Centurion over the T-54/55.

    The Centurion has been in front line service for over half the time period that tanks have been around. For much of its life, it was one of the best, if not the actual best in service, at least until the next generation of tanks appeared. Upgraded variants still remain in front line service today as a choice, rather than merely being available.

    However, this poll is about significance/influence, and on that element, the impact of the T-55 in sheer numbers alone is worth examining. It was the most produced tank ever. Further, it is often kept in reserve while more modern, but now outdated tanks eg T-62, were taken for scrap. This is due to the inherent simplicity of the T-55 design.

    If I were to choose the most significant/influential small arm, post WW2, I would have to choose AK-47. Given that the T-55 is the AK-47 of the tank world, this is one vote I almost certainly got wrong.

    Some I almost certinly got right, such as the T-64 vs Leopard 1, or Centurion vs Sherman, despite the fact that neither of my choices progressed to the next round.

    While there is nothing inherently wrong with the leopard 1, the T-64 formed the basis for modern Soviet tank designs, pioneered more modern Soviet tank tech, and was thus more influential. I'm struggling to find the Leopard 1's impact on tank design. Its concept of the unimportance of armour proved wrong, and this is its only real impact on tank design afaik. Since neither the T-64 or Leopard 1 were particularly significant, and were built in similar numbers, I feel my choice here was correct.

    Likewise, the Sherman may have been the best tank in the world when it first saw combat, but the decision to continue to build an exceptionally reliable machine in numbers, rather than one that was individually more capable on the battlefield, proved to be a design dead end in the West. Its only real design influence was that tanks needed to be reliable, but the British had already learnt that lesson from the M3 Grants and 'Honeys'. The M4's significance is that the US Government decided to build the M4 in greater numbers rather than substantially upgrade. It was used everywhere, but that it was because it was often the only option. Like the Sherman, Churchill and Comets were also excellent tanks, but design dead ends. These were replaced by the Centurion which was a complete cruiser/infantry/TD package and heralded the beginnings of the MBT. By the next major conflict, what you essentially got with the Mk III was a tougher Panther with the reliability of a Sherman and the firepower of a King Tiger. Once you get to the Mk5/2 and beyond, sporting the 105mm, you have a fine weapon system that is extremely capable on every battlefield it appears upon. While these are attributes for best tank, it was because it was initially designed to be one tank does all, that made it decent, and thus influenced all future tank designs.

    Just some thoughts.

    Please note that this is a thread to reflect on your own voting, not one to discuss what you think of other peoples votes or what you believe others think of your patterns.
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  • #2
    An interesting question

    What made this campaign different was the historical angle of Paul's question. In some cases, the greatest influence of a design was the response of the nations who would be fighting against it. This required the participants in this contest to look beyond armor thickness and gun size and consider how history has treated the ideas that went into a given tank's design.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by GCoyote View Post
      What made this campaign different was the historical angle of Paul's question. In some cases, the greatest influence of a design was the response of the nations who would be fighting against it. This required the participants in this contest to look beyond armor thickness and gun size and consider how history has treated the ideas that went into a given tank's design.
      Agreed. The FT-17 would be most unlikely contender to win any best tank thread, but as most influential tank, it was the first modern design in many respects.

      This is one of the many reasons Paul (Panther3485) should be commended for this poll.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
        I've been analyzing whether I felt I voted correctly on each of the polls. In most cases I'm more than happy, even if it didn't win a round. The majority are not always right after all.
        I think I look at this differently than you are now doing in reflection. I know I voted correctly and had anyone asked me if you had I would have said the same. I can't see you not voting correctly.

        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
        Likewise, the Sherman may have been the best tank in the world when it first saw combat, but the decision to continue to build an exceptionally reliable machine in numbers, rather than one that was individually more capable on the battlefield, proved to be a design dead end in the West.
        You make reliable sound so blah. It is pretty damn important compared to Panthers burning up on the way to battle or breaking down during battle. In addition M4 had a lot more going for it. Versatility for one; four different guns were mounted in its turrets, numerous engines, changes in suspensions, hulls and without any major hiccups in machines on the field...which is what counts. If machines aren't on the battlefield in numbers the tank will have no influence or significance and it must be able to return to the battlefield rather quickly lest its user will suffer.

        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
        Its only real design influence was that tanks needed to be reliable, but the British had already learnt that lesson from the M3 Grants and 'Honeys'.
        Perhaps but it did influence history dramatically.

        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
        The M4's significance is that the US Government decided to build the M4 in greater numbers rather than substantially upgrade. It was used everywhere, but that it was because it was often the only option.
        I'd say its significance is that it was one of the machines that won WWII. Comparing it in an anti armor role or with post war 20/20 hindsight is simply not fair nor accurate.

        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
        Just some thoughts.
        I think it good that you examine your participation though second guessing your self can have its drawbacks.
        John

        Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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        • #5
          I seem to remember changing my mind about at least one or two of my votes, some time after voting. I'll have to look back over the whole thing to accurately recall which ones they were.

          I also seem to remember a few decisions that were so close and difficult for me (in terms of greatest significance/influence) that in the end, I voted on which tank I liked the most. I found some of the choices far from easy but I think that's not a bad thing. IMO, a poll set is good if you not only enjoy it but also if you find it challenging at least some of the time.

          Above all though, the example that stands out in my own mind was the T-64. I think I was right on the money to stick to my position on that design; and to try to persuade others to vote for it. IMO it is one of, if not the most influential design of the modern era of the tank. I think it was Zaloga who rated it as being the post-WW2 equivalent of the T-34; in terms of influence. I agree with him.
          "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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          • #6
            A thread for second guessing!!!!

            Learn, live and carry-on!

            Although I am still a bit miffed about the M1 Abrams not doing better as an influential tank...But I blame that on my bias for being around Leo Is, Leo IIs, Challengers and M1 Abrams during my military career (including being on the wrong end of M1s during an exercise) vs all these great knowledgeable armchair generals coming out with all these great theories and wiki references...What weight did my arguments really have?

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            • #7
              ... and yet, the M1 Abrams did very well in the polls, getting as far as or further than any other modern MBT. It was equalled by Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 in getting to Round 4.
              I believe the Abrams deserved to get that far; with Leopard 2 possibly close behind; but I don't think Leopard 1 deserved to be in Round 4 at all, for whatever that might be worth. (IMO, T-64 should have been there instead of Leo1. It was vastly more influential.)
              Last edited by panther3485; 08 Nov 14, 02:46.
              "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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              • #8
                We were supposed to vote which tank was most significant/influential? I voted for which was the best and when I couldn't decide I just flipped a coin.
                “When you're in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, 'Damn, that was fun'.”
                ― Groucho Marx

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                • #9
                  Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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                  • #10
                    Give Nick ...

                    Originally posted by GCoyote View Post
                    ... my donut, I had 30 years worth
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JBark View Post
                      I think I look at this differently than you are now doing in reflection. I know I voted correctly and had anyone asked me if you had I would have said the same. I can't see you not voting correctly.



                      You make reliable sound so blah. It is pretty damn important compared to Panthers burning up on the way to battle or breaking down during battle. In addition M4 had a lot more going for it. Versatility for one; four different guns were mounted in its turrets, numerous engines, changes in suspensions, hulls and without any major hiccups in machines on the field...which is what counts. If machines aren't on the battlefield in numbers the tank will have no influence or significance and it must be able to return to the battlefield rather quickly lest its user will suffer.



                      Perhaps but it did influence history dramatically.



                      I'd say its significance is that it was one of the machines that won WWII. Comparing it in an anti armor role or with post war 20/20 hindsight is simply not fair nor accurate.



                      I think it good that you examine your participation though second guessing your self can have its drawbacks.


                      Your post would be more than valid in another thread under a different title.

                      I did write in the OP:

                      Please note that this is a thread to reflect on your own voting, not one to discuss what you think of other peoples votes or what you believe others think of your patterns.
                      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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                      • #12
                        I regret abstaining from the T-34 vs. Renault FT thread. I have been reading recently about the T-34 and it was just the best tank in the field by quite a margin in 1940/41 -- a critical time in the USSR. In fact, I suspect it and the KV-1 actually saved the USSR. I should have voted for the T-34 over the FT in that thread, but I dont feel too bad because I didnt make a mistake and vote for the FT....
                        O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy. And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs, sloths, carp, anchovies, orangutans, breakfast cereals, fruit bats

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Blair Maynard View Post
                          I regret abstaining from the T-34 vs. Renault FT thread. I have been reading recently about the T-34 and it was just the best tank in the field by quite a margin in 1940/41 -- a critical time in the USSR. In fact, I suspect it and the KV-1 actually saved the USSR. I should have voted for the T-34 over the FT in that thread, but I dont feel too bad because I didnt make a mistake and vote for the FT....
                          If you genuinely believe you voted correctly, then you probably did. Everybody has a different criteria on what is 'right' and 'best' and as long as you voted with consistency and integrity, then damn what anyone else posts or thinks .
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                          Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                            Your post would be more than valid in another thread under a different title.

                            I did write in the OP:

                            Please note that this is a thread to reflect on your own voting, not one to discuss what you think of other peoples votes or what you believe others think of your patterns.
                            I think it is valid no matter where I write it. I don't see a need to restrict myself as you suggested.
                            Last edited by JBark; 12 Nov 14, 23:38.
                            John

                            Play La Marseillaise. Play it!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JBark View Post
                              I think it is valid no matter where I write it. I don't see a need to restrict myself as you suggested.
                              Instead of hijacking this thread, start your own .
                              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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