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I believe it's the T-34, but a friend of mine argued that it was the Tiger. It all depends on which period of WW2 you look at, but overall, which was the best ?

closed as primarily opinion-based by KorvinStarmast, Mark C. Wallace, Steve Bird, KillingTime, SMS von der Tann Sep 27 '16 at 16:30

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    They were all suited to particular needs. There is no answer. – D J Sims Sep 27 '16 at 15:18
  • The T-34 was the Tiger of its time - overpowered and few in number. By the time the Tiger appeared, the T-34 was mid-range but produced in absurd quantity. – SPavel Sep 27 '16 at 15:20
  • The Tiger Tank while terribly underpowered was and in many ways still is the greatest Tank ever made. The T-34 was functionally the best Tank of World War 2...diesel powered ironically...medium Tank though so lacking in firepower and range. The best Tank engineering wise by far was the American Hellcat...by far the best Tank ever made actually as Tanks are weapons of manover – Doctor Zhivago Sep 27 '16 at 15:21
  • What makes the Tiger the best tank ever made ? – Sami Sep 27 '16 at 15:24
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    VtC as opinion based. – Mark C. Wallace Sep 27 '16 at 15:36
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There is no best tank

There was no best tank simply because there is no objective measure.

The Russian T-34 and the German Panther tank have been described as outstanding and trend-setting for future tank designs.

At certain times in the war, certain tank models were nearly invincible in direct combat. Examples would include British Matilda tanks in the Battle of France and German Tigers early in the Russian campaign.

Some tanks were not exactly great in combat, but could be mass-produced easily so they had the advantage in numbers. American Shermans would be a prime example. But again, there is no measure of best. As a country, mass producing cheap tanks is great. As a person sitting in such a tank, I would have liked another tank better.

Please also note that tank warfare in WW2 has never been decided by the quality of the tank, but by combined arms, maneuver, tactics and quality of the crew and leadership. For example early in the war, a tank squad where each tank had a radio was way more effective than a group of supposedly "better" tanks that was unable to properly communicate.

  • Just a note. The first tigers appeared in late 1942 so it was after the "Barbarossa" campaign. – wawa Sep 28 '16 at 8:34
  • @wawa I don't know if Barbarossa officially ended at some point. People use it to describe the complete German campaign in the east. I renamed it Russian campaign because you are right, there were no Tigers in what was planned as Barbarossa. – nvoigt Sep 28 '16 at 8:53
  • oh, I see. Barbarossa was from the initial German attack until the failure of capturing Moscow (Dec. 1941). You can do it with some more detail and saying it ended in Sept. 1941 and was relieved by operation "Typhoon". In 1942 it was operation "Fall Blau" (Stalingrad and caucasian campaign of Army Group South). In 1943 it was operation "Zitadelle" (Battle of Kursk) and after that I guess there wasn't any major German offensives in the East. :) – wawa Sep 28 '16 at 9:15

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