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Best Tank(s) of the Cold War?

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  • Originally posted by Emtos View Post
    Well, you love USA when it's no less different from Canada than Belgium from Russia.
    I won't respond as to not derail the thread anymore then I already have.

    Comment


    • For just Vietnam, for the moment, the first big tank battle of that war was Dong Ha in April 1972. The US had pulled out, and the NVA sent a tank regiment + down QL-1 (National Highway 1) to lead the assault into S. Vietnam.

      The S. Vietnamese 20th Tank Regiment equipped with M48A3 tanks opened fire at 2,500 to 3,000 meters on the NVA tanks quickly destroying 9 PT 76 and two T 54. The NVA unit fell into confusion, unable to respond to the RVN M48's. By the end of the day, the NVA lost an additional 16 T 54 against the RVN having lost none of their vehicles.

      A few days later the NVA tried again, this time deploying AT 3 Sagger ATGM's for the first time. The S. Vietnamese tankers had never seen this weapon and were not trained to counter it. Even so, they continued to outscore the NVA losing just 3 M48's to another dozen T 54.

      The problem the 20th faced was their supporting infantry units started to crumble under the sustained assault of the NVA and they were forced to withdraw, leaving broken down tanks behind. At the Thach Han River, the bridges across were destroyed and the RVN lost two tanks that couldn't cross, and three more trying to ford the river.

      As the regiment ran out of supplies and couldn't keep their tanks running, they fell apart. But, it wasn't due to NVA tank operations but rather, much like the Americans or British faced with the Japanese in 1941 and early 1942, an opponent that had more determined and far more numerous infantry.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        Ah... An exception. Still, the overall picture doesn't speak well of Soviet armor.
        Yeah, it's an exception but probably not a battle either side could take much pride in how it unfolded.
        "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
        Ernest Hemingway.

        First get your facts straight, then distort them at your leisure. - Mark Twain.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Emtos View Post
          Korea turned into a stalemate, ...
          If you're going to look at it that way, then given it started off as a "stalemate" and ended as a "stalemate" then effectively, nothing had changed between 1950 and 1953.
          However, I don't think that's the appropriate way to look at it.
          The 1950-53 Korean conflict started when the North invaded the South.
          It ended in 1953 after the UN and South Korean forces had pushed the North Koreans (and their Chinese supporters) back to their starting line; essentially restoring the 1950 border between North and South Korea.
          So, given that the North's attempt to take over the entire peninsula had failed, I would count that as a win for the South and the UN forces supporting them.
          In addition, while the role of tanks in the conflict was probably not the most important or deciding aspect, I think it's beyond question that the UN forces enjoyed a clear advantage in the quality of its tanks.
          This is aside from any other disparities in tank numbers, supply/logistics, crew training etc.

          Originally posted by Emtos View Post
          Vietnam was won, ...
          Yes, the North ultimately won but this was despite, rather than because of, the quality of its tanks; and in any case, armour did not play as important a role in that conflict.


          Originally posted by Emtos View Post
          " ... a number of conflicts in Africa were also won, Iraq fought Iran to a stalemate, Arab-Israeli wars weren't that easy for Israel. So in general, it performed pretty well."
          I don't see how any of this can be an indicator of the Soviet supplied tanks being better in any significant way?
          Having said that, however, I would acknowledge that in the great majority if not all cases, the technical superiority of Western tanks in one or two aspects also usually had relatively little to do with Western/Israeli victories when they happened.
          I think it was most often mainly a matter of better training and other factors. So I'd agree with you to that extent, at least.

          However, getting back to the Centurion vs T-34/85 and especially T-54/55, apart from the factors that everyone seems to think of first - such as armour and gun-power:
          I would rate the Centurion as having been generally superior in its overall "fighting efficiency" dynamic.
          Perhaps the most significant factor here was its comparatively better ergonomics and interior working space.
          This translated to less fatigue and more efficient functionality for the crew.

          As for Vietnam, one of the main things that seems to have endeared Aussie crews to the Centurion (IIRC) was its ruggedness and ability to remain in action after taking punishment - including RPG hits - better than any other type.
          Last edited by panther3485; 11 Apr 18, 03:44.
          "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


          • For early period probably Centurion for late period Chieftain. The best Soviet tank units, the ones equipped with T-64 variants, were stationed in areas defended by Chieftains, which demonstrates how much respect the Soviets had for the British tank.

            "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
            --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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            • Originally posted by MonsterZero View Post
              For early period probably Centurion for late period Chieftain. The best Soviet tank units, the ones equipped with T-64 variants, were stationed in areas defended by Chieftains, which demonstrates how much respect the Soviets had for the British tank.
              Or maybe because the north German plain was the main invasion route and the BAOR just happened to be based there?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Emtos View Post
                Well, you love USA when it's no less different from Canada than Belgium from Russia.
                Tee hee.

                Tuebor

                Comment


                • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                  For just Vietnam, for the moment, the first big tank battle of that war was Dong Ha in April 1972. The US had pulled out, and the NVA sent a tank regiment + down QL-1 (National Highway 1) to lead the assault into S. Vietnam.

                  The S. Vietnamese 20th Tank Regiment equipped with M48A3 tanks opened fire at 2,500 to 3,000 meters on the NVA tanks quickly destroying 9 PT 76 and two T 54. The NVA unit fell into confusion, unable to respond to the RVN M48's. By the end of the day, the NVA lost an additional 16 T 54 against the RVN having lost none of their vehicles.

                  A few days later the NVA tried again, this time deploying AT 3 Sagger ATGM's for the first time. The S. Vietnamese tankers had never seen this weapon and were not trained to counter it. Even so, they continued to outscore the NVA losing just 3 M48's to another dozen T 54.

                  The problem the 20th faced was their supporting infantry units started to crumble under the sustained assault of the NVA and they were forced to withdraw, leaving broken down tanks behind. At the Thach Han River, the bridges across were destroyed and the RVN lost two tanks that couldn't cross, and three more trying to ford the river.

                  As the regiment ran out of supplies and couldn't keep their tanks running, they fell apart. But, it wasn't due to NVA tank operations but rather, much like the Americans or British faced with the Japanese in 1941 and early 1942, an opponent that had more determined and far more numerous infantry.
                  Exactly like the German accounts of Eastern Front. "We destroyed a brazillion of red tanks and lost just a couple because of mechanical breakdowns/were frozen/gunner wen mad after destroying so many targets. The next day we're retreating without tanks and commie tank armadas are advancing". Same here. Every time ARVN destroys many NVA tanks with no losses only to have no tanks left a couple of days later and NVA advancing.
                  It would be interesting to see how all of this happened according to NVA documents.
                  There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                    If you're going to look at it that way, then given it started off as a "stalemate" and ended as a "stalemate" then effectively, nothing had changed between 1950 and 1953.
                    However, I don't think that's the appropriate way to look at it.
                    The 1950-53 Korean conflict started when the North invaded the South.
                    It ended in 1953 after the UN and South Korean forces had pushed the North Koreans (and their Chinese supporters) back to their starting line; essentially restoring the 1950 border between North and South Korea.
                    So, given that the North's attempt to take over the entire peninsula had failed, I would count that as a win for the South and the UN forces supporting them.
                    In addition, while the role of tanks in the conflict was probably not the most important or deciding aspect, I think it's beyond question that the UN forces enjoyed a clear advantage in the quality of its tanks.
                    This is aside from any other disparities in tank numbers, supply/logistics, crew training etc.
                    The initial goal was to take over the South but after the UN forces arrived, it became a battle for survival for the North.

                    Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                    Yes, the North ultimately won but this was despite, rather than because of, the quality of its tanks; and in any case, armour did not play as important a role in that conflict.
                    I think with other armor, results would be worse. Heavier and more complex stuff is often a bad thing for such conditions.

                    Originally posted by panther3485 View Post

                    However, getting back to the Centurion vs T-34/85 and especially T-54/55, apart from the factors that everyone seems to think of first - such as armour and gun-power:
                    I would rate the Centurion as having been generally superior in its overall "fighting efficiency" dynamic.
                    Perhaps the most significant factor here was its comparatively better ergonomics and interior working space.
                    This translated to less fatigue and more efficient functionality for the crew.

                    As for Vietnam, one of the main things that seems to have endeared Aussie crews to the Centurion (IIRC) was its ruggedness and ability to remain in action after taking punishment - including RPG hits - better than any other type.
                    I agree that usually Western tanks had better crew conditions but it came at a price. Centurion weighted 16 tons more than a T-55, had a much lower speed, fuel range and costed more. We need to keep that in mind and compare the tanks not only on basis of tank vs tank fights in third world countries.
                    There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Emtos View Post
                      Exactly like the German accounts of Eastern Front. "We destroyed a brazillion of red tanks and lost just a couple because of mechanical breakdowns/were frozen/gunner wen mad after destroying so many targets. The next day we're retreating without tanks and commie tank armadas are advancing". Same here. Every time ARVN destroys many NVA tanks with no losses only to have no tanks left a couple of days later and NVA advancing.
                      It would be interesting to see how all of this happened according to NVA documents.
                      See: Armored Combat in Vietnam Donn A. Starry.

                      The exact number of tanks engaged, where they did so, including many photos, pretty much argues that the account is correct.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Emtos View Post
                        I agree that usually Western tanks had better crew conditions but it came at a price. Centurion weighted 16 tons more than a T-55, had a much lower speed, fuel range and costed more. We need to keep that in mind and compare the tanks not only on basis of tank vs tank fights in third world countries.
                        (my bold)
                        I wasn't comparing on the basis of tank vs tank (which, for the Aussie Centurions in Vietnam, rarely happened anyway IIRC.)
                        I was pointing to the ruggedness and extremely good survivability of the Centurion.
                        IMO, this was superior to ANY tanks used by the North and at the very least, equal to the best protected of all the other standard types used by either South Vietnamese or American forces, which was the M-48.
                        "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


                        • Originally posted by Capt AFB View Post
                          You, of course, mean the AMX 30.

                          The AMX 10 RC was a wheel reconnaissance vehicle equipped with a mean 105mm gun. French doctrine has its recce element fighting to obtain the required info...So the 105 becomes useful against Soviet armoured forces as French recce pokes around to find the required info.
                          Sorry for the mix up. Weren't the AMX-30s also used by the gulf forces during Desert Storm?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Merkava188 View Post
                            Sorry for the mix up. Weren't the AMX-30s also used by the gulf forces during Desert Storm?
                            Division Daguet, the French division, had two armoured regiments (big battalion -size units) - one with AMX 30 battle tank and the other with AMX 10 RC armoured recce vehicles.

                            One of the regiment has a motto I like - "Je Boutte Avant" - "I Ram Forward"

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                            • Wasn't the AMX-30 based in some way on the M48 tank?

                              Comment


                              • The AMX 30 owes little to US designs. It was envisioned as a relatively light, mobile tank with a small profile and a serious gun. The French even went with their own 105mm gun design rather than accept the ubiquitous NATO L7 105mm. At the time the AMX 30 was first being designed, the US was still using the 90mm and British the 20 pdr.

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