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Tank Myths


Walter_Sobchak
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I knew a guy who knew a guy that was the janitor at his middle school who, during World War 2, was a Tiger tank commander. This one time he stood in the turret of his tank, laughing maniacally, while American Sherman tanks futilely bounced shells off the impenetrable KRUPP STAHL. Did I mention that he was laughing maniacally? Yep. He laughed maniacally while his gunner one-shotted every Sherman with ease. That was until the last Sherman treacherously used a ditch to sneak around him and fired a shot into the rear of the Tiger at point blank range, blowing him in half.

...

...

He got better.

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The Sherman's 76mm was a reaction to the Panther.

 

And the T-34's 85 mm, and the IS's 122 mm, and the M26, etc. 

 

Seems to be a common line of thought to say that tanks are always direct reactions to other tanks instead of more organic development processes. Not to say reactions to enemy tank technology advancements are not a factor in some of these scenarios. 

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The M3 Lee was a bad tank and should never have been made.

The Comet was a good tank, better than the Sherman.

Patton killed/delayed the M26.

The Sherman's 76mm was a reaction to the Panther.

The Christie was rejected by the Army because NIH.

In regards to the Comet, I suppose it depends on which version of the Sherman you are comparing it to.  It has some real advantages over the 75mm armed M4A4s that the British Army was used to.  However, I wouldn't take it over an Easy Eight Sherman.

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The M3 Lee was a bad tank and should never have been made.

The Comet was a good tank, better than the Sherman.

Patton killed/delayed the M26.

The Sherman's 76mm was a reaction to the Panther.

The Christie was rejected by the Army because NIH.

Christie was no tanker (and also kind of a wanker) although he did make a model or two. However; these were all testers (made to scare up investors) and as such had barely any guns, armour or crew.
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Christie was no tanker (and also kind of a wanker) although he did make a model or two. However; these were all testers (made to scare up investors) and as such had barely any guns, armour or crew.

 

A read of Hunnicutt actually paints the Army as super interested in Christie's designs. It's just that by the time they had gotten enough funding for light tank procurement, they moved on to bigger and better things.

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A read of Hunnicutt actually paints the Army as super interested in Christie's designs. It's just that by the time they had gotten enough funding for light tank procurement, they moved on to bigger and better things.

As I understand it, the Army also got really tired of his refusal to alter his vehicles to meet US Army specifications.  They would say "we really like what you have, but can you add armor and guns?" And he would say yes, then resubmit the same damn vehicle and say he knew best what the army needed.  This did not please the army.  

 

One a somewhat different note, I would like to take this opportunity to make fun of the biography that Christie's son wrote about him, "Steel Steads Christie".  It was a small print affair and now goes for big dollars on the second-hand book market (100+).  I don't own a copy, but I have been able to see it.  I just want to share this one paragraph from the book, it's a delightful bit of insane hyperbole.

 

christie-8.jpg

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As I understand it, the Army also got really tired of his refusal to alter his vehicles to meet US Army specifications.  They would say "we really like what you have, but can you add armor and guns?" And he would say yes, then resubmit the same damn vehicle and say he knew best what the army needed.  This did not please the army.  

 

One a somewhat different note, I would like to take this opportunity to make fun of the biography that Christie's son wrote about him, "Steel Steads Christie".  It was a small print affair and now goes for big dollars on the second-hand book market (100+).  I don't own a copy, but I have been able to see it.  I just want to share this one paragraph from the book, it's a delightful bit of insane hyperbole.

 

christie-8.jpg

 

Britishers owe their thanks to Christie Tanks that enabled the British to defeat the German General Rommel on the Sahara Desert?

 

U WOT M8?

 

%C2%A9%20IWM%20(E%2018972).jpg

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Some myths about Soviet MBTs. 

  • T-80 performed poorly in 1995 and were easy targets to destroy;
  •  Main reasson of T-64/72/80 ammorack fires and explosions is autoloader;
  •  Soviet composite armor was vastly inferior to any other non-Soviet armor.
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I think there's reasonable arguments for either the T-34 or M4 to be the best tank of WW2. Depends a lot on what variant you're talking about, what environment it's being used in, etc. Then you start arguing about whether the M26 counts, whether the IS-2 counts because it was a heavy tank, some clown brings up assault guns, it ends with everyone in tears.

 

(Saying the Panther or Tiger is best is grounds for getting shivved.)

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I think there's reasonable arguments for either the T-34 or M4 to be the best tank of WW2. Depends a lot on what variant you're talking about, what environment it's being used in, etc. Then you start arguing about whether the M26 counts, whether the IS-2 counts because it was a heavy tank, some clown brings up assault guns, it ends with everyone in tears.

 

(Saying the Panther or Tiger is best is grounds for getting shivved.)

 

Maus best German heavy tank, never penetrated in combat

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A read of Hunnicutt actually paints the Army as super interested in Christie's designs. It's just that by the time they had gotten enough funding for light tank procurement, they moved on to bigger and better things.

Christie's tanks did generate a lot of initial enthusiasm in the combat branches. MG Campbell King thought they could be the main component of the mechanized force, and Infantry Chief MG Stephen Fuqua wanted some as fast breakthrough or flank actions. Cavalry officers were perhaps the most excited. Some biographers claim Patton, who was very enamored with the Christie tanks, may have helped finance Christie, though Patton's son denies this claim. Cavalry MAJ CC Benson was a strong proponent of the Christie tanks in articles in the Infantry and Cavalry Journals: In 1929 he even wrote that Christie's tank should be called the Model 1940 because it was that far advanced. Actual experience with the product, however, was deflating. In 1932 Cavalry MAJ Robert Grow complained about the tanks in use with Detachment for Mechanized Cavalry/Detachment, 1st Cavalry (Mechanized): "On only one day were all four Christies running...I complained bitterly that the Christie was not built as a fighting vehicle but only as a mobile 'cradle for an engine.'"
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