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20th Century's Most Influential Tank

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The panther was IMO the best all around tank of WW2

Agreed Jim, the Panther was, in my opinion, the potentially best tank of WWII, but never quite made it due to the initial and then ongoing reliability problems. The German designers wanted to just copy the T34 straight, but Hitler would have none of it, the German tank had to be bigger and better, entirely defeating the purpose of a simple, cheap, easy-to-produce tank!

The thread is about the most influential tank, not the 'best' tank. I still stick to my argument that the most influential tank ever is the Centurian. Just look at what Israel managed to do with them......

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I have to agree with paracollector that the M1928 Christie influenced the T-34,but the T-34 is what most people think of.Perhaps one of the more influential tanks was the IS-3.It didn't see action in WW2,but most Western designs after the war were influenced by it.

As to the Centurian being the first tank to have a stabilized barrel,what about the U.S. M4 Sherman and M3/M5 Stuarts?

Here's a U.S. prototype tank that was very influential for U.S. designs.I believe only about five were built,and this one is made from 'soft' steel.Among other things,it had the first chemical toilet in a tank!

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the tiger was over complex,yes it was a good tank but if you want to win a war yuo do what the soviets do! build the t 34!!! but yup the centurion would be the modern one that is the most influencal(??),as for the Abrams and Centuren(?),no centruren(?) has so far been knocked out while the abrams had one or two that were total loses!!

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the tiger was over complex,yes it was a good tank but if you want to win a war you do what the soviets do! build the t 34!!! but yup the centurion would be the modern one that is the most influencal (??),as for the Abrams and Centuren(?),no centruren(?) has so far been knocked out while the abrams had one or two that were total loses!!

Hallo Paddy :beer:

With regard the Centurion:

Manufacturers: Leyland Motors, Leyland, England; Royal Ordnance, Leeds and Woolwich, England; Vickers-Armstrong, Elswick, England.

Development of the A41 Centurion took place during the closing stages of the Second World War. Six prototypes were shipped to Germany, but they arrived too late to play any part in the allied victory. Production commenced shortly after the end of hostilities (with the vehicles eventually entering full-scale service in 1949) and continued until 1962, by which time 4423 had been built.

Britain?s first post-war tank has a distinguished record of service in several wars, despite weaknesses which are strikingly obvious today. The 650hp Rolls-Royce petrol engine was very thirsty, without compensating by providing a good maximum speed ? and then there?s the question of the fuel?s dangerous flammability. The result was a woeful maximum speed of 34km/h and an operating range of well under 200km: compare this with its diesel-engined successor, the Chieftain, which managed over 400km per tankful at an almost impressive 48km/h. Some Centurions were provided with an armoured monowheel trailer carrying additional fuel, which boosted range if not manoeuvrability or the crew?s peace of mind.

The main gun of early Centurions was a three-inch 17-pounder. On the Mk III vehicle, this was replaced by a 3.28" 20-pounder. Most (but not all) later models used a fully stabilised 105mm L7 series gun.

At the time of writing, some derivatives of the Centurion were still in service* ? in Denmark, Isreal, Jordan (the Tariq derivative), Singapore, South Africa and Sweden. Predictably, most have new diesel power-packs.

Technical specifications

Engine: Rolls-Royce Mk IVB 12-cylinder liquid-cooled petrol producing 650hp at 2550rpm

Maximum speed: 34km/h

Fuel capacity & range: 1037l, 190km

Armament: 105mm main gun, 7.62mm MG coaxial, 12.7mm RMG, 7.62mm MG (commander?s cupola), 2x6 smoke grenade dischargers

Combat weight: 51.82t

Length: 7.823m excluding gun (9.854m gun forwards)

Width: 3.39m

Height: 3.009m

Armour: max. 152mm

Crew: four

* Australia made extensive use of them as well.

After this followed the Chieftain and now the Challenger tanks, Challengers are in use in the Iraq war, there is one recorded incident of a Challenger taking out another Challenger in Gulf War 1 "Fog of War"

2003 British Challenger 2 tank came under fire from another British tank, blowing off the turret and killing two crew members, Corporal Stephen John Allbutt and Trooper David Jeffrey Clarke. (RIP).

For information with regards Abrams please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_Abrams

Kevin in Deva :beer:

Edited by Kev in Deva
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I think you guys need to look at the specs for the m1a2. It's the same tank as the challenger 2. Notice I said m1a2, and NOT m1a1. The only difference is the crews. Across the pond in Britain, they drink tea. Over here in the colonies, we drink coffee. So, tea or coffee is the question. LOL hahahahahahahhaha Seriously, it doesn't matter since we are on the same side...well, that is, unless Bonny Prince Charlie gets some funny ideas about taking back the colonies as a posthumous gesture to 'ol George. LOL Saved for just such an occassion is our Sea Wolfs, quietly lurking off the grid at all times and loaded with dozens of homemade yankee MIRVS. LOL

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The most influential tank ever was undoubtedly the A7V.........

It showed every other country in the world the definitive blueprint on how NOT to build a tank.........

True dat!

Seriously though, in a previous existance - when I had hair, wind and a working memory - I built AFV models till my mom wept. For purposes of this post I'm gonna define "influential" as meaning the tank everyone said "Want one!" to. And that's the Tiger, hands down.

Too heavy, too slow, etc etc. and not a patch on Shermans or Soviet hardware in terms of how many and how well used. But including all the poor sods who survived being shot at by one and all the people who just think its a way cool fighting machine, Tigers have it. Mythology after all, is what we Western 21st Centurions live and die by!

My tuppence and change worth! Great thread! :beer:


Edited by peter monahan
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There is a show which I've seen aired on one of the regular cable channels about a dozen times that more or less asks the same question.

They (rightly, IMO) point out that when you look at the Tiger/Pather or even to a much lesser degree the Challenger with its chobham armor, that tanks that are excessively technically difficult in the end ultimately aren't very important/useful.

It doesn't matter how great your tank is if you can only build one and the enemy builds 200. I think it speaks volumes that after world war II, when everybody took a step back and evaluated, that no nation attempted to build uber-tanks using the panther/tiger as philosophical design guides. Nobody (until recently?) tried to build a tank that would be superior to every other tank 1 on 1. Instead, they basically followed the T-34 model to build tanks that struck a balance between complex technical design and production considerations.

I think you also have to consider the FT-17 since it was the first tank to use the standard layout of single main weapon on a turret.

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Edited by KeithB
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Guest Carl Hoehler

. . . that the most influential tank ever is the Centurian. Just look at what Israel managed to do with them......



. . . . and South Africa

Carl Hoehler

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  • 2 years later...

South African Centurions once up graded are called Olifants (Elephants) and there is a range of models and they are still in service.

All of Switzerlands Centurions were bought from South Africa in the late 1950's or early 1960's.

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Well, the Centurion seems to be right up there!!

Here is a little added info on the Centurion and a tip, don't change gear going down a hill when you ar driving one. 2014.gif

If memory serves me right the Cent was the first tank to be stabilised verticaly and horizontaly, enabling acurate shooting on the move, also the first German Leopards were equipped with the same version of the 105mm gun used on later Cents (later changed)

Nuclear Tests

Mk 3 Centurion Type K, British Army number 06 BA 16, later devolved under Contract Demand 2843 to the Australian Army, who gave it registration number 169041, was involved in a nuclear blast test at Emu Field in Australia in 1953.

It was placed about 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the device being detonated and left with the engine running. Examination after detonation found it had been pushed away from the blast point by about 2 metres (6.6 ft) and that its engine had stopped working only because it had run out of fuel. Antennas were missing, lights and periscopes were heavily sand blasted and the cloth mantlet cover was heavily carbonised, but the tank could be driven from the site. Had it been manned the crew would probably have been killed by the shock wave.

169041, subsequently nicknamed The Atomic Tank, was later used in the Vietnam War and is now located at Robertson Barracks in Palmerston, Northern Territory. Although other tanks were subjected to nuclear tests, 169041 is the only tank known to have withstood atomic tests and subsequently gone on for another 23 years of service, including 15 months on operational deployment in a war zone.

Regards Eddie

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