Was the Comet tank the best Medium tank of WW2?

#22
#23
Per the title.

After a few years of basically getting it wrong on tank designs.
Pedant mode:
It's not a Medium tank, its a Cruiser tank. The only British Medium tank to see service in WWII was the Vickers Medium MK.IIa (or Mk.IIa*)
:safe:

I would also challenge the "years of getting it wrong" part as well.
The UK's Firepower was world leading to good for most of the war, our armour was a curious case, but was of better quality than the Germans. Engine wise we had some bad moments, But once we got our shit sorted things improved dramatically, mainly that means whacking a Merlin or derivative in everything, and letting Bedfords sort out the Churchill's engine.

Oh and I would take anything related to WOT (and War Thunder for that matter*) & history with a pinch of salt roughly equal to the sand quantities in the Sahara desert.

*On WT, they get stuff wrong just as much as WOT, difference is WOT don't claim everything is realistic. WT also seem to have a few problems with their UK research (IE: its limited to Wikipedia) and don't give a flying f'k about us. WOT at least will balance the game fairly across the board.
 
#24
Pedant mode:
It's not a Medium tank, its a Cruiser tank. The only British Medium tank to see service in WWII was the Vickers Medium MK.IIa (or Mk.IIa*)
:safe:

I would also challenge the "years of getting it wrong" part as well.
The UK's Firepower was world leading to good for most of the war, our armour was a curious case, but was of better quality than the Germans. Engine wise we had some bad moments, But once we got our shit sorted things improved dramatically, mainly that means whacking a Merlin or derivative in everything, and letting Bedfords sort out the Churchill's engine.

Oh and I would take anything related to WOT (and War Thunder for that matter*) & history with a pinch of salt roughly equal to the sand quantities in the Sahara desert.

*On WT, they get stuff wrong just as much as WOT, difference is WOT don't claim everything is realistic. WT also seem to have a few problems with their UK research (IE: its limited to Wikipedia) and don't give a flying f'k about us. WOT at least will balance the game fairly across the board.
I don't reply on any other part of the forum on WOT bar the historical part.
I understand it's an arcade game and treat it as such.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#25
Oh and I would take anything related to WOT (and War Thunder for that matter*) & history with a pinch of salt roughly equal to the sand quantities in the Sahara desert.
Few years ago at Tankfest, I chatted with an ex-2RTR WOT technical advisor. He made it abundantly clear that WOT don't give a toss about the UK other than taking the money. I pretty much gave up WOT at that point.
 
#26
Few years ago at Tankfest, I chatted with an ex-2RTR WOT technical advisor. He made it abundantly clear that WOT don't give a toss about the UK other than taking the money. I pretty much gave up WOT at that point.
Yeah I know Richard, he's the bloke who gave me my first break on writing :D

But WG's attitude is a whole hell of a lot better than Gaijin's, who seem to have some perverse need to kick the British and screw the money that could be gained by using historical data.
Also WG do use historical data, If however this presents a problem, then its ignored and balanced. But at least they try first, unlike the other mob who demand that UK stuff has at least one (or preferably many) critical flaws. But for a good shot at historical accuracy in a computer game you want to grab Armoured Warfare.

Anyway this is getting off the subject of Medium tanks, and the cruiser Comet. In many ways its a shame the War started when it did, and Hitler didn't hold off (like he'd told the Wehrmacht he was going to) before starting the war, as we had some damn nice machines coming down the line, and they were classified as Mediums.
But alas we're getting into fantasy WWII stuff there.
 
#27
The Comet was definitely in Korea.

Hussars had them.
The only pics of Comets in Korea that I've seen were 7 RTR. 8th Hussars sabre squadrons were equipped with Centurions - I think they were the first Armoured Regt to convert. Their Recce Troop still had Cromwell.
 
#29
Yeah I know Richard, he's the bloke who gave me my first break on writing :D

But WG's attitude is a whole hell of a lot better than Gaijin's, who seem to have some perverse need to kick the British and screw the money that could be gained by using historical data.
Also WG do use historical data, If however this presents a problem, then its ignored and balanced. But at least they try first, unlike the other mob who demand that UK stuff has at least one (or preferably many) critical flaws. But for a good shot at historical accuracy in a computer game you want to grab Armoured Warfare.

Anyway this is getting off the subject of Medium tanks, and the cruiser Comet. In many ways its a shame the War started when it did, and Hitler didn't hold off (like he'd told the Wehrmacht he was going to) before starting the war, as we had some damn nice machines coming down the line, and they were classified as Mediums.
But alas we're getting into fantasy WWII stuff there.
What else was in the pipeline bar Centurion?
 
#30
The only pics of Comets in Korea that I've seen were 7 RTR. 8th Hussars sabre squadrons were equipped with Centurions - I think they were the first Armoured Regt to convert. Their Recce Troop still had Cromwell.
That'll be my hazy recollection of a photo then. It'll have been one of the Recce Cromwells.
Did they still have them at the time of the Imjin battle?
 
#31
What else was in the pipeline bar Centurion?
I was meaning medium tanks at the start of the war. We had, as well as the Vickers Medium, the A.14 "Modified Monster", which would become just a development chassis. We also had the A.16 which was due to come into prototype then service in 1940. With the A.16E2 coming some time after that. Of course the War broke out a bit early and all our mediums got binned. We didn't technically get the Medium class back until the Chieftain.

Towards the end of the war we did have a rather nice tank coming along, depending on the date it was either the A.45 or the FV201, that was to be a Universal tank, so could have been classified as a medium. It's one of those "Christ, were would we have been if we'd had that then" tanks. It was literally a leap forward and a generation above anything anyone else had at the time.
But when they said "Universal" they meant it, it was to do everything. Which added quite a bit of cost and complexity. When they were meant to be in production, we'd not even designed the turret. It eventually took something around eleven years to get something into service from the program, the glorious Conqueror.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#33
I was meaning medium tanks at the start of the war. We had, as well as the Vickers Medium, the A.14 "Modified Monster", which would become just a development chassis. We also had the A.16 which was due to come into prototype then service in 1940. With the A.16E2 coming some time after that. Of course the War broke out a bit early and all our mediums got binned. We didn't technically get the Medium class back until the Chieftain.

Towards the end of the war we did have a rather nice tank coming along, depending on the date it was either the A.45 or the FV201, that was to be a Universal tank, so could have been classified as a medium. It's one of those "Christ, were would we have been if we'd had that then" tanks. It was literally a leap forward and a generation above anything anyone else had at the time.
But when they said "Universal" they meant it, it was to do everything. Which added quite a bit of cost and complexity. When they were meant to be in production, we'd not even designed the turret. It eventually took something around eleven years to get something into service from the program, the glorious Conqueror.
Last year I was taking nipper round Bovy again. We were joined by an official tour. Bloke realised I knew what I was talking about and he decided he needed to up the ante. Told us he'd been rooting around in Bovy's records on a quiet day and had found an original blueprint for Cent that demonstrated Cent had been in the pipeline two years longer than all the evidence, records, rumours, popular misconceptions believed.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#36
Some sources mention the Comet in Korea. I can't confirm this so info welcome.
The Burmese Army still had them in their inventory in 1988.

Dunno what they did with them.
 
#37
That'll be my hazy recollection of a photo then. It'll have been one of the Recce Cromwells.
Did they still have them at the time of the Imjin battle?
No. Recce Troop was wiped out, losing all 14 of their Cromwells and most of the crews, supporting Royal Ulster Rifles at the battle of Happy Valley in January '51. Some of the tanks were repaired and put into service by the Chinese, and one was knocked out by an 8th Hussar Centurion about a month after it was captured. The link posted by @st bruno mentions this. Only C Sqn was involved at Imjin as the Regiment was in the process of being withdrawn.
 
#38
Last year I was taking nipper round Bovy again. We were joined by an official tour. Bloke realised I knew what I was talking about and he decided he needed to up the ante. Told us he'd been rooting around in Bovy's records on a quiet day and had found an original blueprint for Cent that demonstrated Cent had been in the pipeline two years longer than all the evidence, records, rumours, popular misconceptions believed.
Quite, the Comet was what the Cromwell could/should have been had we been on the ball. That the directive that said the 75mm gun was all that would be necessary held us back a lot.

I recall testimony of two WW2 tankies, one was in Sherman Firefly in Normandy.
"When we came up against Jerry Tigers or decent armour it was always 'Firefly needed here'. Bloody hell! When do we get a rest or sleep?"

So the lack of a decent gun, which the Firefly had was a biggie for most of our tanks.

Secondly I read a story, written by a tankie - Peter Elstob,- who had served and wrote a couple of books, about the Bulge when the Brits were pushed in to hold back the advance in the northern sector and a unit that had just received Comets were sent in. I paraphrase from memory.
"Finally we had a tank that was almost equal to Jerry's second or third best tank, or definitely his fourth."

So best medium tank? Probably not, but what exactly are you comparing it to, which are the contenders?
T34/85.
Sherman Firefly.
Panther
Pz4
Comet

Any others?


Personally with ref to the Centurion comment, I think the Boxheads got it wrong going for too much quality over lack of numbers, they should have weighted it a bit better with good tanks but more numbers because their tactics were better than everyone else. Plus they needed more numbers to counter the sheer difference in size of armies they were facing, especially against Ivan.
On the other hand, given our relatively small army, and the fact that we were up against quality with the Yanks providing quantity, we should have gone for better tanks. We had aircraft to match anything they had, 262 apart at the end though the Comet was in the pipeline, and in numbers.
At sea we were as good as any, things like Bismarck and Tirpitz were aberrations whereas we needed lots of destroyers and cruisers to counter subs.
On land we had trucks, artillery, light recce stuff, just about everything that was if not as good or better as the opposition then not far behind.
But not in tanks and I don't really know why. A combination of lack of foresight, planning, awareness and industry which shouldn't have happened.

Sorry, long post, thread drift, - just back from watching Barça in the pub.
 
#39
It's odd - a big part of the problem was a good tank engine and that was sorted out at R-R almost as a spare time project in a shed. Why did it have to be someone's side project?
 
#40
T-34. 76... quanity is a sort of quality.
T-55,
T-62.
T-72
 
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