The Tank Museum's 'Top 5 tanks' series

#1
A heads up for anyone who may not be aware of this interesting series. As part of what is an impressive Social Media presence, the tank museum regularly asks well known types to select their Top 5 tanks. The latest selection is by Al Murray. 'The Chieftain' and Jim Dowdall's selections are interesting too.

 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#2
Bloody Brilliant!
 
#5
Great series of videos and overall well thought out choices of top 5 with well presented arguments. That's my evening fixed. RH got it right on the Jim Dowdall effort. What films has that guy not worked on.
 
#6
A heads up for anyone who may not be aware of this interesting series. As part of what is an impressive Social Media presence, the tank museum regularly asks well known types to select their Top 5 tanks. The latest selection is by Al Murray. 'The Chieftain' and Jim Dowdall's selections are interesting too.

Brilliant
 
#7
It's a great series of videos. I have tried to think of my own top 5 (you can use any criteria) but it's hard and a work in progress.
If anyone has their own top 5 it would be interesting to read about it.
Tell me about it. You think it's easy if you could just make it a 'top ten', but even at that there are vehicles which fall 'just outside' which you want to mention.

Plus there's the other problem that sometimes you want to just be different from everybody else, but then, some vehicles like the M4 you just can't avoid putting on your list, really, no matter what criterion you choose. Maybe 'cuteness' could avoid it?
 
#8
Tell me about it. You think it's easy if you could just make it a 'top ten', but even at that there are vehicles which fall 'just outside' which you want to mention.

Plus there's the other problem that sometimes you want to just be different from everybody else, but then, some vehicles like the M4 you just can't avoid putting on your list, really, no matter what criterion you choose. Maybe 'cuteness' could avoid it?
It is solid. Your list was very good. It's hard to disagree about the importance of the FT-17.
The only tank definitely on my list is the Panzer IV (I am surprised no one has chosen it so far). There are 'cute' tanks [a good criteria] such as the late BT-7s. They look impressive but it might be hard to justify their inclusion based on other criteria.
 
#9
I can agree with the merit of the PzIV. For a tank designed in.. what is it, 1937... to be still viable in 1945 is quite an achievement.

However, I didn't think it was all that influential, so it didn't make the grade.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
It is solid. Your list was very good. It's hard to disagree about the importance of the FT-17.
The only tank definitely on my list is the Panzer IV (I am surprised no one has chosen it so far). There are 'cute' tanks [a good criteria] such as the late BT-7s. They look impressive but it might be hard to justify their inclusion based on other criteria.
I'd have thought the Panzer IV would have walked onto anyone's list - from Poland to the Six Day War, I can't think of anything from WW2 that rivalled it for design versatility and operational longevity - the Spitfire perhaps, but probably not..

Centurion, M4, T34 and the Mk IV complete the list for me.
 
#11
A heads up for anyone who may not be aware of this interesting series. As part of what is an impressive Social Media presence, the tank museum regularly asks well known types to select their Top 5 tanks. The latest selection is by Al Murray. 'The Chieftain' and Jim Dowdall's selections are interesting too.

Note the Divisional insignia in the Cromwell:
1525767528826.png
1st Polish Armoured Div


Below: General Maczek GOC of 1st Pol Armd Div accepting the German surrender of Wilhelmshaven.
How galling it must have been for the Herrenvolk that the targets of their first campaign never surrendered.

Most of the Poles serving in this Division (like all the units in the West) never returned to Poland. Any that did were subjected to an involuntary one way ticket to Siberia (often for the second time) if they were lucky or execution if they weren't. They had to wait until 1989 to see their homeland liberated.

Apologies for thread drift.
 
#12
I'd have thought the Panzer IV would have walked onto anyone's list - from Poland to the Six Day War, I can't think of anything from WW2 that rivalled it for design versatility and operational longevity - the Spitfire perhaps, but probably not..

Centurion, M4, T34 and the Mk IV complete the list for me.
That's a great list. Agreed re. the versatility of the Panzer IV - it was the basis of numerous S.P. and A.A. guns. It just looks right too, particularly with the armour skirts applied to later marks.

My top 5 is:

5. The Vickers Light Tank Mk VI. I think these look cool as. The vehicles seemed unsuited to the reality of mechanised warfare (the speed not compensating for the lack of punch and thin armour). Later in the war, light tanks like the Stuart offered a better compromise of mobility, armour and firepower.
1525776239800.jpeg


4. The KV1. I suppose the modern view of the KV series would be mixed; the design concept led the Soviets to the IS series of vehicles, which turned out to be a dead end. However, when first encountered by the Germans in 1941, KV1 were a problem with few solutions. If it is accepted that tenacious Soviet resistance to Army Group North in 1941 cost the Germans Leningrad, then the KV1s played an important part in a series of delaying actions. This includes the famous engagement at Raseiniai where a single KV1 and a brave crew held the advance of Kampfgruppe Raus for a full day. It wasn't a mobile attack - the KV1 occupied the road, stayed there, and bounced shots until the Germans got 88mm AA to the area. The KV tank (and the T34) had a large impact on the direction of German tank and anti-tank technology - accelerating development of the Tiger, and of 75mm AT guns.
1525777056530.jpeg


3. The Panzer IV. One of the few tanks to remain in production throughout the war, the basic design allowed continuous improvement so that it remained viable until perhaps the last few months of the war. It was clearly compromised by the appearance of the later, up-gunned and up-armoured versions of the M4, and outclassed by the Soviet IS series. @California_Tanker makes a good point about the vehicle not being influential, and some of the technology was dated by the war's end.
It looks cool (particularly from the F2 onwards).
1525777731848.jpeg


2. The Matilda - battlefield supremacy from 1939 to 1941 and a huge tactical and (arguably) strategic impact in North Africa where being invulnerable to Italian AT guns was a key enabler in the success of Wavell's campaign. The Matilda had some success in the USSR, and also in the Far East where it was found to stand up to most Japanese AT guns.
1525777986321.jpeg


1. The Comet. This is just a personal view but I see in the Comet the first true post-war (well, the trials tanks aside) step towards the MBT: the first tank to combine decent armour, mobility and firepower. This is controversial as the Panther will be cited by some, but that vehicle had major reliability problems, as well as serious issues with armour being too brittle. There's also a case to be made that, with most German vehicles, the Panther was over-engineered. I don't think any tank before the Comet can be described as an MBT because none possessed a good balance of all three of armour, mobility and firepower. The M4 and T34 were very important designs but they were not universal tanks in the sense of being able to address any opponent. This is a discussion point so I am happy (and expect) to be contradicted :)

The Comet looks cool and you can see visual elements of the tank in all subsequent UK MBT except the Conqueror.
1525778511916.jpeg
 
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#14
Tell me about it. You think it's easy if you could just make it a 'top ten', but even at that there are vehicles which fall 'just outside' which you want to mention.

Plus there's the other problem that sometimes you want to just be different from everybody else, but then, some vehicles like the M4 you just can't avoid putting on your list, really, no matter what criterion you choose. Maybe 'cuteness' could avoid it?
I thought about it, when I noticed that all the lists look somewhat similar. If Bovy ever get desperate enough to ask a no-body like me, I figured I'd grab five tanks which have interesting places in history. Such as that rather nice L-60 in the VCC, or a Type 97 Chi-Ha.
 
#15
Note the Divisional insignia in the Cromwell:
View attachment 333905
1st Polish Armoured Div


Below: General Maczek GOC of 1st Pol Armd Div accepting the German surrender of Wilhelmshaven.
How galling it must have been for the Herrenvolk that the targets of their first campaign never surrendered.

Most of the Poles serving in this Division (like all the units in the West) never returned to Poland. Any that did were subjected to an involuntary one way ticket to Siberia (often for the second time) if they were lucky or execution if they weren't. They had to wait until 1989 to see their homeland liberated.

Apologies for thread drift.
As a slightly further drift, as the Russki scumbags rolled through Poland (again) in 45 NKVD follow on units lifted the Home Army almost in its entirety along with a hefty number of resistance types who'd worked with us. Hastings estimated in the 90's that upwards of 25-35k were executed out of hand. That doesn't include the poor guys at Katyn either.
 
#16
I thought about it, when I noticed that all the lists look somewhat similar. If Bovy ever get desperate enough to ask a no-body like me, I figured I'd grab five tanks which have interesting places in history. Such as that rather nice L-60 in the VCC, or a Type 97 Chi-Ha.
If you have time, would you consider expanding upon your reply? It would be interesting to read more about the vehicles/historical events you mention (that's an interesting approach to compiling a Top 5).
 
#17
If you have time, would you consider expanding upon your reply? It would be interesting to read more about the vehicles/historical events you mention (that's an interesting approach to compiling a Top 5).
Mainly because Bovy have a really nice L-60 sitting in the VCC, which never sees the light of day. The reason for mentioning it was between the End of the Korean war and the 1991 Gulf war the US army fought three (If memory serves) armour on armour engagements. One was in Vietnam a platoon of M48's Vs a PT-76. The other two were agaisnt L-60's in the Dominican republic. One was a M48 (or something of that ilk) and obviously the L-60 was given a malleting. The other fight was against a M-50 Ontos, which could have gone either way. Both sides if they hit would have killed the other tank. From memory the Ontos saw the L-60 and fired first.

The Type 97, is a much subtler choice. Mainly because Japanese armour gets a lot of bad press. This comes down to the way it's viewed, IE Vs a Sherman. However the Sherman is several years, and war time development years at that, ahead of the Japanese armour, which were pre-war designs. If you compare the Type 97 agaisnt contemporaries, such as the very early marks of the Panzer III or the British A.13's things don't look so one sided.
Equally there is an argument which often crops up in Tank forums, "Which is the first MBT?". It inevitably devolves into Wheraboo's yelling "Panther" whilst us British fanboys pointing to the Centurion. There is a argument that it could have been the Chi-Ha. I've seen mention that she was designed to be Japan's only tank class. This was obviously never realised due ot production issues, but in spirit there's a claim there. Plus the Chi-Ha shares a some similarities to modern MBT's, such as loading all the armour, by weight, on the front, by stripping it off the sides.
 
#18
Seems like a decent excuse to put this one up...

Rod Patterson [not quite sure of his rank at the time] 15/19 KRH, Kappeln 1945 - at least according to the caption in his photo album. Definitely in his top 5 tanks (his list included the Panther, for which he had a healthy respect...)

@AlienFTM - of any interest?
15-19KRH Kappeln 45.jpeg
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#19
Very interesting indeed. I see he is A Squadron (triangular tac signs but you knew that) could've been C but isn't. Couldn't have been B. The tank has seen action: B only caught up with their regiment with brand new Comets on the evening of the the day the regiment fired their last shots of the war.

I'll consult the book. Wait out.

Edit.

Sgt Patterson's only mention is the week before Market Garden. Sorry I had a passage from The History, but the heap of junk tablet lost it and I cannot be arrsed to do it all again.

For context, during Market Garden, A Sqn 15/19H were attached to 101 Airborne. It's quite possible that Sgt Patterson was depicted in Band of Brothers, in which Ambrose doesn't write them up terribly favourably. I cannot find the reference, but I'm pretty sure 101 put 15/19H forward for some sort of unit citation for their endeavours.

Kappeln was where 15/19H ended up after VE Day and stayed there through the summer until being transferred to 3 Div and Palestine in September 1945.
 
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#20
I don't care abpout any of that sensible stuff - the TOG 2 is one of my favourite tanks

that and the vickers A1E1 Independent

both brilliant and bonkers at the same time
 

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