Worst Tank of WWII

The Purist

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...I will admit that the T35 violates one of my pet peeves about tank design: Multiple turrets.... <snip>
<GASP!!>

<WWHEEEEEZZZEEE!!>

<SPLUTTER!!>

<COUGH!!>

<CHOKE!!>

<PANT!!>

<GASP!!>

<PANT!!>

Sacrilege.

The false doctrine of the single turreted tank is an affront before Gawd. The lost potential to man's salvation in following the sinful (read easy) path toward mono-turret AFVs has led mankind astray and delivered it into the hands of Satan.

Repent!!! 'Er your soul be damned to the depths of hell for all eternity.

I shall say no more.
 
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The Purist

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All sub turret guns to hit +2 BU instead of +1 BU.
But why?? Those 45mm gun turrets are (for the most part) the same as those on the T-26. Other than a restricted arc why would the crew face any other TH penalties.

Here is a bit in English

 
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R Hooks

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Because they don't control how much the tank shakes when another gun fires, I think it would disrupt aiming, loading of each turret.
 

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If you wanted to go full T-35:
  • No change to main turret.
  • All sub turrets treated as BU, regardless of main turret status. No AL [EXC: inexperienced 6+1] applies to any sub turret. A change in VCA incurs NT TH penalties in addition to any applicable 1MT/RST TCA change (relative to VCA/hull) penalty.
  • MG sub turrets: treated as 1MT with 4 FP [1] CMG as MA. (MG turrets were the same pattern as T-37)
  • 45L sub turrets: RST, 45L [1] with 4 FP CMG. (same as T-26 without the bustle).
  • Changing VCA costs double the normal MP cost.
You would need an off map card or such to keep track of each turret compared to the VCA.
As you see the current ASL representation of the T-35 is partly neutered compared to the actual vehicle.
One thing above that you might find strange is that the 45L CMG rates as 4 while the main turret CMG remains 2. The 45L CMG is mounted rigidly with the 45L whilst the main turret "CMG" had it's own little ball mount and could not use the MA sight.

One downside to the T-35 was that it was somewhat tight inside and compartmentalised, hence no AL benefit to any sub turret in the above mods.
Because they don't control how much the tank shakes when another gun fires, I think it would disrupt aiming, loading of each turret.
Maybe, but you are talking about a stubby 76* and light 45L weapons in a massive chassis. A 75/75L would be a different matter.
 

The Purist

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What you are referring to is called "Platform Rock". This would not likely be much of an issue with a 35 ton tank firing small guns such as 45mm or the low velocity 76mm howitzer. I would submit the engineers took such factors into the design considerations. The recoil of each gun will normally be absorbed by a hydro-pneumatic recoil system including the recuperator which transfers force forward as the gun moves backward, thus countering a backwards movement. Most AT guns (with trails), for example, have almost no movement and tanks even less. Platform rock would be seen more commonly on wheeled vehicles with large guns or on Self-Propelled artillery vehicles firing large artillery pieces.

Even a T26 would not suffer much 'rocking'.

If you scour the internet for footage you will see tanks have very little, if any, platform rock. You may see some rocking if a tanks fires a large gun 'broadside' but even then it would be minor.
 
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T34

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But why?? Those 45mm gun turrets are (for the most part) the same as those on the T-26. Other than a restricted arc why would the crew face any other TH penalties.
It's really a question of timing. In ASL, defensive fire is sequential, in reality, all the turret turning and changing of covered arc is going on at the same time. I believe that the 45L turrets on the T35 cannot become CE (in real life, this is because the main turret would have taken their head off.) Also in reality, the T35 could not have changed VCA within a hex--it's tread length was too long. However, in ASL, you fire the main turret, one of the 45L's, change your VCA and voila, another shot. This required coordination between driver, commander and gun layers that was simply impossible.

The T26 should also be penalized.

The Soviets even invented a tank which had a turret beneath a turret, with a 45L below a 76 howitzer. Trying to aim one while the other was slewing would have been a nightmare, to say nothing of when the tank was moving.

Multi turreted tanks are an affront to Mars.
 

The Purist

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Tim,... this is all too detailed for the "design for effect" concept. If one tried to fine tune the rules for every idiosyncrasy of every vehicle the entire game would grind to a halt.

One could use the same rules regarding ROF and AL as that used for the Grant and Lee (the true path of the future). There is no ROF so that in itself is penalty and an AL could/should only modify the first shot.

Considering how often we will see T-35s in scenarios this is not really an issue. I doubt T-35s will mop up the Pz IIIs and Pz IVs they face. ;)
 

T34

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Tim,... this is all too detailed for the "design for effect" concept. If one tried to fine tune the rules for every idiosyncrasy of every vehicle the entire game would grind to a halt.
Sure, but the fundamental problem with multi-turreted vehicles really is that they add a great deal of weight that could otherwise be used for protection.

On the other hand, tanks of the future, given robotics and virtual controls, may give rise to multiple turrets again--the Russians already have an unmanned turret tank (the T14 Armada.)

I did want to add that concerning the FT17m, I did not include it because while it may have been one of the worst tanks of WWII, it was arguably the best and most influential tank of WWI. Just because the French (and to some extent the Italians and Americans) chose to keep these museum pieces in their military long after they were obsolete, it seems unfair to take this queen of the battlefield and place her on a list of shame. The FT17 was, arguably, the most influential tank of all time. The land battleships of WWI were dinosaurs, the FT17 was the wave of the future.

I'd be curious to see what other tanks people would nominate as being the worst. I seem to remember one Japanese tank where the tank commander had to hoist the turret up on his back in order to turn it, but I couldn't find that one in my searches (stoopid brain disease.)
 

Michael Dorosh

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I'd be curious to see what other tanks people would nominate as being the worst.
I've suggested a couple already, but this one also sticks in my mind:


The desire to provide armoured fire support for airborne forces is natural. This thing wasn't really a great solution. Crew was too small, commander had to load the gun, command the tank, and if he was a troop leader, also direct the rest of the tanks in the troop. Cooling problems prevented it from operating in warm climates such as the desert, Middle East, or southeast Asia. It's gun and armor were outclassed by German Sturmgeschützen or front line tanks like the PzKpfw IV and V. It was adopted for airborne forces after the War Office declared light tanks were a liability and too vulnerable for use in combat.
 

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The desire to provide armoured fire support for airborne forces is natural. This thing wasn't really a great solution. Crew was too small, commander had to load the gun, command the tank, and if he was a troop leader, also direct the rest of the tanks in the troop. Cooling problems prevented it from operating in warm climates such as the desert, Middle East, or southeast Asia. It's gun and armor were outclassed by German Sturmgeschützen or front line tanks like the PzKpfw IV and V. It was adopted for airborne forces after the War Office declared light tanks were a liability and too vulnerable for use in combat.
A worthy candidate. Along with other "airbourne" tanks, e.g. the winged T-40 and BT-5 and the Chaffee, to some extent, you have to wonder what designers were thinking. You are already behind enemy lines, why not pump up your paratroopers with nasty AT weapons like the panzerschreck or a 105mm recoilless rifle? What good is a tank once you've already broken through? Landing a jeep in a glider was a suicide mission, who doubles down with a losing hand and says, you know what, let's add about 5 tons to the cargo bay?

I'm a Mennonite so I don't know anything about strategy and tactics, but airborne tanks seem to me to be a dumb idea. You air land troops where you want them to be. Mobility is not a priority.
 

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Don't forget the Japanese Type 94. It's another one of those early war tankettes with the usual troubles: prone to mechanical breakdown, no radio, etc. What sets it apart is that it had ONE machine gun when so many of its peers had two. So, it sports 2 FP and gets only one TK roll.
 

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The Tetrarch tank was used in limited numbers in Madagascar and Normandy, with indifferent results. I believe we also sent some to Russia as a Lend-Lease shipment - not sure what the Russians made of them, but apparently there is one on display in the Kubinka tank museum, as well as Bovington.
 

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As a light tank the Tetrarch was quite good. At the time of it's intended production (delayed due to France debacle), it's competitors were the Pz II, L6, T-40 and M2A4. The Pz II and L6 only had a 20mm auto-cannon and the T40 only a 12.7mm MG.

As for turret layout, having commander double as loader is a less concentration intensive combination than commander doubling as gunner. The commander-loader can still stick his head out between loading without the gunner having to take his eye away from the gun sight.
Pz II: The 3rd crewman was the radio operator sitting to the left rear of the hull, not in the turret. He could hand up a 20mm magazine to the commander/gunner but the commander was commander-gunner-loader in practice. ASL should have made the Pz II a 1MT.
Pz 35(t) and 38(t), though mediums, as the LT-35 & LT-38 started off as 1MT and the Germans added a loader, the commander still was a commander-gunner so should both be RST.
L6: 1MT, 'nuff said.
The T-40, T-60 and T70 were 1MT, though the T70 at least had a proper gun. The '43 T-80 finally achieved ST with a gunner and commander-loader.
M2A4: The gunner's position was to the left, but so was the commander's angular cupola, implying a commander-gunner and a loader. Dropping the cupola from the M3A1 meant that the commander could move to the right (same as US mediums) without disadvantage to make a commander-loader and gunner division of labour. So the M2A4 and M3 should be RST while M3A1 and M5A1 would be ST. The M2A4 and M3 are ones that are a little less clear, but only having a cupola hatch meant that even if the commander doubled as loader he was greatly vision restricted. The M3A1 and M5 had two turret hatches, so not the same problem.

Had the Tetrarch started production in July '40 as intended it would have been only inferior to the M2A4 or Pz 35/38(t) (mediums) in armour thickness. It's turret crew arrangement was superior to all the above at that time. It had a decent AT weapon. By the time of it's production in late '41 it was indeed obsolete, like most light tanks.

As for it's airborne role, clearly many armies wanted such vehicles. The US had the M551 that eventually proved too heavy but the Soviets finally achieved decent success with the BMD series. While airborne forces achieve operational or high level tactical mobility by aircraft or helicopters, low level tactical mobility gives the airborne force a chance to exploit fleeting opportunities offered by a temporarily surprised or disorganised enemy. At Arnhem, the jeep mounted forces managed to get to the bridge, few of the walking did.
 

Michael Dorosh

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As a light tank the Tetrarch was quite good. At the time of it's intended production (delayed due to France debacle), it's competitors were the Pz II, L6, T-40 and M2A4. The Pz II and L6 only had a 20mm auto-cannon and the T40 only a 12.7mm MG.

As for turret layout, having commander double as loader is a less concentration intensive combination than commander doubling as gunner. The commander-loader can still stick his head out between loading without the gunner having to take his eye away from the gun sight.
I think there is a stronger distinction to be made between "quite good" and "less shitty" than you suggest with these remarks. :)

By the way, the PzKpfw II was outdated in 1941. The Tetrarch took the field with airborne forces 3 years later - an eternity during such a time of intensive weapons production and upgrades.
 

The Purist

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To be honest,.... short of developing a glider to carry a proper light tank like the M5 or M8, Tetrarch was not a bad choice,...if*. Ultimately this would have been a waste of resources considering the needs of the allied army for just about everything else.

For a light tank to be a worthwhile addition to any airborne force it probably would have needed a good HE gun or with ample supplies of a HEAT type round and smoke ammunition. With the development of SCW in the PIAT, Baz and PF/Psk, armour would no longer be an issue as no amount of armour on a light tank would suffice.

*Tetrarch should have been upgraded and focused on the CS model with nothing but Smoke and HE/HEAT ammunition. The 2pdr was an excellent gun in 1940, adequate in 1941 but no longer really capable by mid-1942.
 
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It was also the most numerous tank in the Canadian Army in the Second World War.

Well, in the summer of 1940, anyway, when the Americans shipped 236 loads of "scrap metal" (so as not to violate neutrality) over the border to the Canadian AFV Training Centre.

View attachment 14995

The vehicle in the foreground appears to be the FT TSF 'command tank' variant.
 

T34

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New candidate: The Marmon Herrington "Dutch" three man and four man tank.

So bad the CHINESE actually turned them down as insufficient, these dregs where offered up in 1942 with a 37mm main armament and a non-sloped 1.5 inch of frontal armor.
 

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Regarding British tank design, I recall reading somewhere that the frontal hull armour was straight rather than sloped so as to accommodate a bow-mounted Besa machine gun, a defect not corrected until the Centurion design, I believe.
 

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The original A10 design and prototype (A10E1) had no BMG and a sloped glacis plate with a central hood for the driver sticking out, a bit like the BT-5's driver's position. While not perfect, it reduced the vertical plate visible from the front by a factor of three compared to production A10s. Early A10s had a Vickers CMG rather than the later BESA. Those posed a problem in that the Vickers fired British .303 (7.7x56mmR) and the BESA fired German 7.92x57mm. So the BMG was dropped until the BESA became the standard CMG, rather nullifying the reason for the vertical front plate.


What is less understandable is that the A13 had vertical plates flanking the driver's central hood, when sloped plates were practical, there being no CMG.

As an aside, British armour specification design requirements were couched in terms like "40mm basis". That did not mean that all plate in a particular area had to be 40mm. It could be thinner if sloped so that the horizontal line of sight thickness was 40mm. Eg. 35mm at 30° from vertical or 28mm at 45° from vertical would have met an official design requirement for "40mm basis".

Incidentally, for a plate that has a certain horizontal line of sight thickness (like the examples above), it doesn't matter what the slope is, the weight remains the same. The advantage is an increased chance of a ricochet with increased slope and a reduction in hull top armour area. The main disadvantage is often a reduction in hull volume allied to many internal fittings like radios tend to be awkwardly cuboid and not mesh well with sloped plate.

I saw the Marmon Herrington video a couple of weeks ago. When you are lucky to get the MA to fire once, never mind automatically - Jeez. A MA "B7" sounds generous if done as an ASL counter.
 
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