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What was the best Western Allied tank?

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  • What was the best Western Allied tank?

    I am trying to figure out what the best Western Allied tank is. Do any of you have some comments?
    In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes
    - Benjamin Franklin, U.S. statesman, author, and scientist

  • #2
    Sherman Firefly.

    The reliability of the Sherman coupled with the reliability of the 17 pdr.
    Life is change. Built models for decades.
    Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
    I didn't for a long time either.

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    • #3
      I'd say either A34 Comet or M26 Pershing depending on what you want to do with it. If I could only pick one I'd go with the Comet.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by les Brains View Post
        Sherman Firefly.

        The reliability of the Sherman coupled with the reliability of the 17 pdr.
        Originally posted by llkinak View Post
        I'd say either A34 Comet or M26 Pershing depending on what you want to do with it. If I could only pick one I'd go with the Comet.
        Both 44 when the war was won already, although I love both .

        Given the Russian response I would say Valentine .
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        • #5
          M4 Sherman, hands down.
          "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
          Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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          • #6
            I would have to go with the M-4 series as well. The Cromwell was a fine machine, but overall the Sherman takes the cake. Although the armor and 75mm were often criticized for being substandard, it's reliability, later 76mm gun, commonality of parts, mobility, and the sheer number produced makes it the best IMO.
            "You listen to the ol' Pork Chop Express on a dark and stormy night......"

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            • #7
              M4 Sherman by far.

              I think the only tank from the conflict that stayed in service through the next three decades in one form or another... although the last version: the IDF Super Sherman was about as evolved as one could take the beast.

              Sorry Purist, I just couldn't vote for the Grant on this one
              BoRG
              "... and that was the last time they called me Freakboy Moses"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Arthwys View Post
                M4 Sherman by far.

                I think the only tank from the conflict that stayed in service through the next three decades in one form or another... although the last version: the IDF Super Sherman was about as evolved as one could take the beast.

                Sorry Purist, I just couldn't vote for the Grant on this one
                The T-34 stayed in service for about as long, if not longer; and without 'evolving' significantly from the 1944 configuration.
                "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Panther3485 View Post
                  The T-34 stayed in service for about as long, if not longer; and without 'evolving' significantly from the 1944 configuration.
                  That's true, I tend to forget it's still in use in places like Bosnia etc.
                  BoRG
                  "... and that was the last time they called me Freakboy Moses"

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                  • #10
                    M4 Sherman for numbers, reliability and ease of maintenance. It also could be upgunned with the 17pdr - very important.

                    If the number of vehicles produced was not part of the equation then I would go Churchill. It was in action for about the same period as the Sherman (42-45), and with the main exception of not being possible to upgrade the standard model with the 17pdr, was better than the Sherman on cross country ability and protection. Given that the west placed a premium on keeping their soldiers alive this is the tank I would go for.

                    The Churchill did have other faults than limited gun size - namely more complicated to build, more difficult to maintain and only 90% reliability compared to the Sherman (which had close to 100% reliability according to war office reports). Still this is the one for me for the west.

                    However, if I were a Soviet general, I would go Sherman 17pdrs and 105mm's for firepower and mechanical stamina, very important given the magnitude of that front. I would prefer the M4 over the T34 as well for the same reasons. Horses for courses so they say .
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                    • #11
                      In light tanks it is the M 24 Chaffee. There isn't anything else on that weight and size vehicle that comes close.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                        M4 Sherman for numbers, reliability and ease of maintenance. It also could be upgunned with the 17pdr - very important.

                        If the number of vehicles produced was not part of the equation then I would go Churchill. It was in action for about the same period as the Sherman (42-45), and with the main exception of not being possible to upgrade the standard model with the 17pdr, was better than the Sherman on cross country ability and protection. Given that the west placed a premium on keeping their soldiers alive this is the tank I would go for.

                        The Churchill did have other faults than limited gun size - namely more complicated to build, more difficult to maintain and only 90% reliability compared to the Sherman (which had close to 100% reliability according to war office reports). Still this is the one for me for the west.

                        However, if I were a Soviet general, I would go Sherman 17pdrs and 105mm's for firepower and mechanical stamina, very important given the magnitude of that front. I would prefer the M4 over the T34 as well for the same reasons. Horses for courses so they say .
                        All true, and I would rate the Churchill quite highly but I would also add a caveat for its relatively slow speed. I know this didn't make much difference most of the time; nor did it seem to make a really significant difference - most of the time at least - in terms of the overall pace of the Western Allied advance. However, there would still at least occasionally have been some local tactical situations where the extra speed of the Sherman would allow it to fully exploit, but the Churchill in the same situation would have been far less able to do so. In other words, for a tank to be truly outstanding and well-rounded, it needs to be reasonably fast when required.
                        "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                        Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                          In light tanks it is the M 24 Chaffee. There isn't anything else on that weight and size vehicle that comes close.
                          I'd agree, provided period of service in WW2 is not a primary criterion.
                          "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                          Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Panther3485 View Post
                            All true, and I would rate the Churchill quite highly but I would also add a caveat for its relatively slow speed. I know this didn't make much difference most of the time; nor did it seem to make a really significant difference - most of the time at least - in terms of the overall pace of the Western Allied advance. However, there would still at least occasionally have been some local tactical situations where the extra speed of the Sherman would allow it to fully exploit, but the Churchill in the same situation would have been far less able to do so. In other words, for a tank to be truly outstanding and well-rounded, it needs to be reasonably fast when required.
                            Very true. I don't think there was a perfect tank in WW2, perhaps the introduction of the long 75mm Pz IV in 42 came closest (F2/G), albeit both the Sherman and Churchill (despite initial reliability problems) also in 42 were outstanding at that time.
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                            Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                              Very true. I don't think there was a perfect tank in WW2, perhaps the introduction of the long 75mm Pz IV in 42 came closest (F2/G), albeit both the Sherman and Churchill (despite initial reliability problems) also in 42 were outstanding at that time.
                              I agree that for 1942, both the M4 Medium and the Churchill do set respectable (albeit somewhat different) benchmarks for combat capability.

                              For nearest-to-optimum balance of fundamental attributes, I would nominate the T-34 and, had it not been for the mechanical issues, the Panther. The M4 Sherman could also be a runner apart from its comparatively 'not so good' cross-country ability (belatedly remedied with HVSS and wider tracks). Some others, such as the PzKpfw III (early war) and the PzKpfw IV (mid to late war) would also rate an honourable mention IMO, though both had to use track mods to approach respectable ground pressures in soft going. Cromwell was another fairly good tank; sound enough if a tad under-gunned by the time it had appeared on the battlefield in substantial numbers.

                              But yes, you are right. There was no 'perfect' tank. Just that some came closer to the 'sweet spot' of good balance than others.
                              Last edited by panther3485; 24 Apr 10, 03:36.
                              "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                              Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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