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Worst tank of WWII

Old 02-20-2010, 09:38 PM
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germantanker
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Default Worst tank of WWII



Since we have threads about favourite tanks I thought it might be interesting to see opinions and choices on what and why you would consider to be the worst tank of WWII. Debate is always good but personal attacks can be left elsewhere please.


My choice for worst tank of WWII- The M4 Sherman

Why; I feel that the Sherman M4 was a deathtrap for far too many Allied soldiers. Nicknamed "The Tommy Cooker`` by German soldiers, it was almost criminal for theAllies to continue to field the M4. It got to the point that it was easier to replacing the mass produced tanks than crews killed in action.

Old 02-20-2010, 09:44 PM
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FFR2608
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

I see another L L L O O O O N N N G G G discussion coming.









DH
Old 02-20-2010, 10:24 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

Not the worst tank by any means, but the main reason we did not have the Pershing or at least a better tank with the M-3 90mm Gun to replace the Sherman was George Patton. Though 1944, there were heated arguments in Washington about replacing or seriously upgrading the Sherman, based on pleas for help and huge combat losses from the front lines. Patton was adamant the the better guns should go to his Tank Destroyers, although the TD concept was based on late 1930s tactics which the Wehrmacht has ceased to employ after the Poland the Barbarosa initial jump off, rendering the TD concept outmoded and failed doctrine.

It has been proven that we could have had the Pershing issued and in the field by mid 1944, however Patton said the the Sherman was OK and doing the job. As a result, the only vehicle carrying the 90mm in late 1944 was the M-36 TD, the B2 turret being mounted on the M-4A3 chassis which at least gave them a MG. The Sherman was easy to buld, relatively easy to maintain and our system was geared to build them, resulting in the 49,600+ built by 1945. No, the Sherman was not the worst, it was faulty leadership and politics disallowing modification of the side armor to a sloped design in the later Easy 8 mdodels.

For a bad one, look at the Italian Semovente and M-13/40 riveted sardine cans that the unfortunate Italian tankers had to use.
Old 02-20-2010, 10:30 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

if we think of 'worse' as the worse use of resources for the outcome it would have to be the German 'Maus'.
Old 02-20-2010, 10:44 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

That little Itailan tank did not do to hot, and I don't think Japanese tanks were any match for out tanks. I've not studied much on that subject but I do remember hearing something about it.

Don
Old 02-20-2010, 11:37 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

Gen. Wesley Mcnair had alot more too do with it than did Patton.
Old 02-20-2010, 11:39 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

All of the German tanks where way over engineered and complex. Not a good recipe for a good tank. Way to unreliable and that goes for every one of their tanks. some were better than others but their problems were far and wide.
Old 02-20-2010, 11:45 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

I like to say the sherman DD . wrong execution of a good idea. how many of these babies are sitting on the bottom of the english channel. and Italy?  i feel bad for the brave crews.

Cheers
Matt
Old 02-21-2010, 12:52 AM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

Have to agree Jeff. Wasn't it mcNair who sided with Patton when they were trying to get the Pershing on the production line? I believe it was May or June of 44 when they were trying to get approval and I didn't Patton still have one or maybe 2 of his factories building tanks in New Mexico. Many decisions in those meetings were very political and controversial when we look back at them today.
Old 02-21-2010, 01:40 AM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

I think I'd have to say the "Stuart" out gunned and out armoured by just about everything
Old 02-21-2010, 01:51 AM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

I'd even take a sherman over the italian and japanese offerings, by far
Old 02-21-2010, 08:20 AM
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pcomm1
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

Worst WWII German combat tanks: Elephant and King Tiger.

Short discussion; go here to learn why in military fight terms, the Sherman wasn't as bad as you guys think it was: http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...k-history3.htm

Considering the extreme tank casualties the Soviets took at the hands of German tank forces, by comparison, I am really amazed at how well the USA Sherman did in the ETO, on paper, the German tanks should have killed every Sherman sent to the ETO, 5 times over. They didn't.

Though certainly it would have been way better to send 48,000 Pershings to the ETO on D-Day, but really now, when in all of history has the US Army ever done anything correctly the first time out? And as good as the German tank forces were in a defensive role in WWII, they probably would have knocked out 20 or 30 percent of the Pershings in France and we would be having a what if discussion about how bad the ETO Pershing was. LOL.

Whether the Sherman was a piece of tank design crap or not is probably not that important when the total picture is viewed. Fighting in the WWII ETO (narrow European roads and bridges); the Sherman tank; fielded in great numbers; tactically operated skillfully; by a free; citizen army: that simple to fix and fight Sherman tank turned out to be just good enough and ran long enough to redefine the word blitzkrieg as it raced across France and Germany and contributed to laying waste to the highly skilled, professional German Army and their political leadership.


Winning needs no further explanation.




Old 02-21-2010, 08:44 AM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

At the time the M-3A1 and M-5 A1 Stuarts entered the fighting, they were pretty decent, considering what they had to face. The Brits liked the M-5 so well, they called it the "Honey". They were very fast, dependable, easy to handle and had a good, responsive gun for that era. The 37mm gun had decent armor penetration at 500 yards, but at longer range it suffered. Of course, when the panzers started appearing with over 50mm of armor, everything changed.

On the Japanese side, granted, the Japanese Empire wasn't into armored warfare and their tanks were for infantry support. The little tankettes were lightly armored and had small guns, BUT, what havoc they brought along the jungle trails and their tactics of hit and skoot were devastating in many clashes. Our Stuarts and early Shermans could handle them but could not follow and attack them thru the small jungle trails. The Type 97 medium was the best put out by Japan then and we lost a number of Shermans on Leyte and the Philippines to it's very potent and accurate 47mm gun. Had the war continued, the newer generation of tanks found being made on the Japanese homeland would have posed a significant threat to any allied tank.

One of the worst, the M-60A2 "Starship". Issued after insufficient trials and was taken out of service with less than a year in Germany due to unbelievable mechanical and main gun problems.
Old 02-21-2010, 09:14 AM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

Bill, I have the same feeling for the Stuart, from what I have read and experienced playing board war games the Stuart. It was going up against pz I, pz II and early pz III's. It was faster than anything on tracks at the time and reliable, later it was a decent recon tracked vehicle.
Old 02-21-2010, 09:20 AM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

If the idea is to win it seems to me somthing like the panther that looses half of there number on the way to battle do to break downs would be on the top of the list. The sherman may have ben under gunned and armored but at least the trans dident fall out and then burst into flames all by its self.
Old 02-21-2010, 10:12 AM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

I have no idea what the worst tank was, but it wasn't the Sherman. Some of the lighter Italian and Japanese stuff didn't fair so well.

When you look at all the varations of the Sherman it is mind boggling what they got out of this tank. Canadians did land DD's on Juno beach. Imagine what a tank powering onto the beach had on the effect of the moral and the men on the beach. The striking power of the Firefly, infantry support with the M4, both 75mm and 105mm. The Sherman was a good tank and an even match for the PZIII, which it was designed to go head to head with. THe failings of the Sherman had nothing to do with the design, and everything to do with how it was used.

If you put up a Panther against a Leopard 2A6, would the Panther be suddenly a crap tank. Yes, but it has nothing to do with the Panther and everything about the advances of the tank technology of the Leopoard.

Tanks that break down, use too much fuel, and can't cross bridges, seem to be poorly thought through. I'd vote for one of those over the Sherman, for worst tank
Old 02-21-2010, 11:37 AM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

I was not a fan of the Sherman until I began warming up to the idea of getting the Tamiya Sherman a few years ago, it was during this research I found out about its strength's. Patton valued its reliability and maneuverability, it could use far more bridges and river fording's than the german tanks. Another thing to consider is the skill and parts to keep them in the field working. The only thing I see as short sighted and possibly even fishy is the refusal to use the British 17 pdr gun, I am sure it could have been built in the US under license.
I have an opinion of the Italian tanks also, when war started they weren't that bad, they had a 47mm gun when other nations where using 2 pdr's ( 40 mm ) and 37mm guns. It also had a diesel engine. I think they got their bad rap because they where never replaced and fought as the front line tank for Italy when the Sherman's and Grant's showed up with the 75mm gun and the UK started using the 6 pdr.
Old 02-21-2010, 12:03 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

For a crew survivability the Sherman is up there with the worst hence why it was called the Ronson casualty rates in these tanks where appalling, A30 Challenger was another disaster with an excellent gun, Panther had a bad start in Life but one has to remember that this tank was designed and built in 9 months they where never tested hence the high failure rate at Kursk after this battle things where corrected and the Panther ended the war just about the best medium tank JSIII was a mechanical nightmare and made Tiger II look like a Rolls Royce and Tiger II was no example to reliability, Elefant considering there was only ever 90 built served from 1943 until late 44 it’s biggest problem was a lack of MG, Grant the Russians called “a coffin for 5 comrades” they hated them along with the Sherman, Mause well it was only a prototype so has no case to argue, Stuart was from a earlier pre-war age was fine against Pz II and fine as a recognisance vehicle a bit like the Italian tanks
Old 02-21-2010, 12:24 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

This cartoon, 65 years ago, right or wrong carried the day for the Sherman.

Look here for the US Army facts (Sherman lessons of the Roer and the Ardennes): http://www.history.army.mil/

"Shortly before the drive into Germany, the American press broke the story that American tanks were inferior to those of the enemy. Hanson W. Baldwin in the New York Times and the editor of the Washington Post demanded to be told why; and the story traveled to Europe.56 Questioned by American correspondents at a press conference in mid-March, General Patton publicly defended American tanks. He also wrote a letter to Lt. Gen. Thomas T. Handy, Deputy Chief of Staff, which the War Department released to the American papers, stating that while the Tiger would destroy the Sherman head on, the Sherman could usually manage to attack from the rear and avoid a slugging match; moreover, the Sherman was incomparably more reliable and long-lived, as well as easier to ship and handle, than the Tiger."

"And...privately Patton stated to a visiting Ordnance officer, just, after the Battle of the Bulge, "Ordnance takes too God Damn long seeking perfection at the expense of the fighting men, and you can tell that to anyone at Ordnance."

And perhaps Himmler summed it up very well when he presented Otto Carius with his Knights Cross, don't you think the tank is now obsolete (Tigers in the Mud: The Combat Career of German Panzer Commander Otto Carius).




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Old 02-21-2010, 01:26 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

I change my answer to the Elephant
Old 02-21-2010, 02:50 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

You have a very good point on the JS-III. The "Pike" shocked everyone at ther Berlin parade in 1945, but it was everything the Russians could do to keep any running at all. They only sold a couple hundred to Egypt and Syria and most wound up being captured intact but broken down. In spite of the inovative design (I am 100% convinced that we copied that for the M-48), and huge 122 mm gun, it was a mechanical nightmare and it could not be kept operational. It's successor (?) was the T-10, and was supposed to replace the ailing JS-III and was equipped with improvements to the gune, fire control and NBC protection....However the designers performed a major vertical intercourse and made the road wheels way too small for the tanks weight and the wheel bearings wouldn't last for more than a few miles before they crumbled. It was taken out of production within a few months.

Candidate for worst;, Russian T-10
Old 02-21-2010, 02:59 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

Just so everyone knows that my opinion regarding the Sherman M4 is just that, an opinion. I love the healthy debate going on here. I still at this point believe that the Shermans that were put into the field early in the ETO, North Africa and Sicily were woefully inadequate technically and safety wise ie. poor armour, an ineffective gun, and poorly placed ammunition. In my opinion I do not consider variations in the Sherman (especially the "Firefly") to have been the worst ,in fact the Firefly is one of my favourites. Just clarification, Thanks all and thankyou for your posts
Old 02-21-2010, 03:14 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

In my opinion, the worst was the Sherman as well - especially the Sherman DD (Duplex Drive).
Basically a Sherman tank with a canvas skirt around it, with propellers at the back, they were intended to be released by a ship, and
assist with taking the beaches of Normandy. I think of the American tanks, there were 33, or close to that, but 27 sank immediately, drowning the crews.

I can't imagine the terror the later crews felt after seeing 20 other crews go to their deaths, and hearing "Okay, you're next to go!".

The Canadian and British tanks landed successfully , as they were released at the proper distance from the beaches, while the American ships didn't  want to go any closer, and released them too far out.

They were a poorly thought out design, tested in ideal conditions, nothing less, and a deathtrap for their crews.


Old 02-21-2010, 04:29 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

From Dmitriy Loza, author of "Commanding The Red Army's Sherman Tanks":

On Shermans. We called them "Emchas", from M4 [in Russian, em chetyrye]. Initially they had the short main gun, and later they began to arrive with the long gun and muzzle brake. On the front slope armor there was a travel lock for securing the barrel during road marches. The main gun was quite long. Overall, this was a good vehicle but, as with any tank, it had its pluses and minuses. When someone says to me that this was a bad tank, I respond, "Excuse me!" One cannot say that this was a bad tank. Bad as compared to what?

Full interview at
http://www.iremember.ru/content/view/85/19/1/4/lang,en/
Old 02-21-2010, 05:17 PM
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Default RE: Worst tank of WWII

what about the soviet t-35 multi turret? these things went into combat a none came back the huge size ment they were dangerously under armoured

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