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Which WWII Tank Would You Fight In?


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So I got to thinking about my favorite tanks (and I use the word loosely). After playing a bit of Combat Mission, I think my favorites have changed a bit. But here is the question:

Q: If you had to choose a WWII tank to fight in, not in RL but in Combat Mission, which would be your top choices per class?

Class being light, medium and heavy.

This kinda removes the cost and reliability aspects as now you are talking just tactical combat. So that leaves Firepower, Armor and Manueverability. 

I'm going with:

Heavy: JS-2, Armor and 122mm

Medium: Panther*, (fire, armr, manv)

Light: M18 Hellcat, very fast & has a killer gun

 

*Some consider this a heavy tank. 

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3 hours ago, Probus said:

Q: If you had to choose a WWII tank to fight in, not in RL but in Combat Mission, which would be your top choices per class?

That addresses that point.  

Am rather partial to the Stuart for a lite tank.  Not expected to fight heavier tanks.   Fast and lots of MG power. 

(However, would be interesting if there are statistics as to which tanks suffered the lowest RL casualties.)

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King Tiger      Rate of fire - Ammo capacity

Panther         Fire - Armr - Manv

Stuart            Even does pretty well against Medium tanks - Canister

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Posted (edited)

Statistically the Sherman. Grand scheme you'll probably be fine but even if you're unlucky, the Sherman is the only tank of the war with wet stowage for its ammunition and an escape hatch beneath the hull. Very important for evacuating the vehicle under fire. 

The Sherman's sheer mass went a long way into enabling crew survival by making it easier to evacuate and taking hits from shaped charges a bit better than smaller tanks. Mainly due to greater volume between ammunition and fuel stowage. If you're a tank crewman there isn't a lot of certainty, but one thing that's bound to happen to you? Your tank will be shot out from under you at one point or another. Whether you can get out of it easily enough to fight another day is the big priority for me. 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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Posted (edited)

Well just about every tank during the 2nd World War was a death trap. By today's standards they'd all be unacceptable. Most of them stored ammunition in open racks for instance. The Sherman was literally the only one at least trying to decrease the brew up chance. 

I'm sure it's going to be mentioned ad nauseum too but Ronson didn't come up with the slogan "lights first every time" until the 1950s either. I think Tommy Cooker was in use during the war, but no one's sure if that was just meant for the Sherman or any tank the British were using. The fact that crews were running around complaining about the Sherman all the time is sort of interesting-because it implies the crews tended to survive enough to complain at all. I definitely do not want to turn this into another Defense of the Sherman thread however lol...

Edited by SimpleSimon
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I watched the video. I think what's often not brought up is that the manner in which the Allies were conducting strategy in the ETO often required attacks up predictable routes due to the all the wrecked bridges and need to capture Ports. Market Garden was a pretty infamous case-literally up a single highway-but there plenty of times in Italy Allied commanders had to do the same thing because there was no alternative. This meant the unfortunate Division Commander often had no choice but to send his troop into Pak country. I've heard the often quoted readiness figures in American Armored Divisions which are quite impressive-but so were losses overall. By 1944 however it was pretty much accepted that tanks were going to suffer many losses no matter what they did. Frontlines were way more dense than in 1940-so there was little hope of achieving clean breakthroughs anymore, calibers had increased-so hits were more likely to be fatal, and finally tanks of peer tonnage were being mass produced-so tank Armies were large enough to be held in reserve now to plug breakthroughs. 

I was just reading Zaloga's book on US Army Armored Divisions and he was highlighting the different manner in which the British and Americans viewed their armor for consideration. The British tended to view their Armored Divisions as anti-Panzer Divisions-deliberately to be used against German armor. whereas the Americans saw their Armored Divisions in the 1940 sense of the Breakthrough Force. Chief difference between American thinking and similar German school of thought is that the Germans felt the infantry shouldn't do anything except bottle up and "deal with" stragglers caught in a kessel. The Americans felt the infantry should be the ones to actually punch the line open-which Armored Divisions (formed up as Combat Commands) would then exploit. This was pretty much Operation Cobra in a nutshell and later on the Battle of Remagen. There was a greater degree of cavalryman thinking going on in US Army Armor than in British and definitely German Panzer Divisions. 

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2 hours ago, Probus said:

I've always heard the Sherman referred to as the "M4 Sherman Ronson... Lights first every time

My understanding from my world famous experience of watching WW2 series is that the Early Shermans did indeed light up almost every time cos the ammo was stowed high.  Later war models introduced wet storage, and that greatly improved things.  

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US troops at El Alamein stored extra ammo outside the bins and bad things happened. That was the spark that fanned the flames of exaggeration.

The wet storage was a much needed improvement, but Shermans didn't brew up any more often than Pz IV's and T-34's.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Warts 'n' all said:

Whilst the Tommies, Kiwis, Ozzies, and Sikhs etc stood and watched presumably.

Next thing you'll be telling me that D-Day wasn't the most decisive battle of WW2.

....Anyway, didn't some Americans and early Shermans fight in Third Alamein? So our dear old comrade Vergeltungstenllungenwaffendopfelpflussferdschragemusikgericht is likely in the right of it, not that that should stop us taking the hvss.

Edited by LongLeftFlank
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@SimpleSimon,

So I've been watching a lot of videos on the Sheman and I now think it is a much better tank than I did a few days ago. But I'd still rather be in a Panther when playing Combat Mission. This opinion may change in the next few days as I'm battling @Artkin who has T-34/85s. And a lot of 'em. 

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Posted (edited)

Funnily enough, like Simple Simon, I was going to pick the Sherman too. Since reading Zaloga and hearing the Chieftain/Nicholas Moran I have come round to the idea that it was a pretty decent and survivable tank for WW2 (that is with the various upgrades, expecially ammo stowage). 

Edited by JulianJ
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Heavy: King Tiger. Very good armour, optics and gun. I think it's the best all rounder.

Medium: Easy Eight Sherman. Good mgs, situational awareness and powerful anti tank gun.

Light: T-70. Superb protection, sillouette, mobility and gun (cannister enabled). Recon team rides on the top.

Going to keep TDs, and SPGs out of this for my own sanity. I assume, that I am also in command of the vehicle.

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Posted (edited)

I think people care too much about armor. Someone would always turn up with the gun to defeat it, and tanks were generally killed by AP shot from anti-tank guns which were way common. Fact was even armor that technically "overmatched" the oncoming projectile was still vulnerable to spall/lucky gap hits. Savvy crews understood the only thing their tank was actually proof against was bullets and fragmentation. Anything else needed to be dealt with before it got a shot off. The Panther looks really survivable in theory, but the side armor in the track wells was only 40mm thick and could be penetrated by anti-tank rifles and definitely so by the tiny 45mm anti tank gun the Russians had tons of. 

Other than that distance was also pretty equivalent to safety for a tank, since physics meant lots of small rounds lost performance rapidly over wide areas and there'd be fewer hiding options for anti-tank guns that would put them close enough to endanger your tank. Even something the size of the Tiger is pretty hard to hit at 1000m and if you're in something like that or the Panther looks good right? At the kinds of ranges they could fight at the T-34 and Sherman would have extreme difficulty even hitting you. Unfortunately, shortages of infantry mean that your tank will frequently be sent into close fighting a lot-Rattenkrieg'ing it up along with the bloody Landwehr. Since "Divisions" are down to single Regiments or even Battalions at this point that's just how it's going to be. Crew losses in the Panzer Divisions accelerated throughout the war for this reason, and it was major element in the decision to expend so many of them in Glorious Panzer Death Charges where the chances of survival might actually improve with operational mobility and disruption of the Allied line. Maybe if you're lucky you'll be able to extract the crews too once their tanks run out of gas. 

Yeah, gonna go with the Sherman.  

Edited by SimpleSimon
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7 hours ago, LongLeftFlank said:

Third Alamein?.

Paddy looks up from his pint of Black.

"Mr Jorrocks  Sir, I know that I spent quite some time shagging Sylvia Syms in Alexandria. But don't tell me I missed a whole fecking battle."

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Cool, fun idea...

Heavy: Royal Tiger

Medium: Panther, hands down (although the Cromwell is tempting because it is so bloody fast)

Light: Lynx just for fun

 

On 7/6/2021 at 12:39 PM, Probus said:

Medium: Panther*, (fire, armr, manv)

*Some consider this a heavy tank. 

Some people are wrong :)

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I have learned to love almost every tank in the game for what it is. 

I don't need to have the best tank, I just want to use the tank I have to its best strengths.

I will make you happy in that one at the top of my list is the M18 Hellcat. 

It has more speed by far than any other tank that has a gun that can defeat as much armor as it does.

Just learn not to get hit and its a winner.

 

I think I would take it over almost any medium or heavy tank also.  There is only a few enemy tanks that I would not want to take on with it, if it had to be a head to head duel.

But in any tactical situation I can maneuver in, I will enjoy taking any beast on with them.

 

So I dont need any other tank, so in my view, it might be the best tank of the war. But it has it weaknesses also.

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