Best medium tank of World War II?

Which medium tank was the best in World War II?

  • Char D1 (France)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Fiat M14/41 (Italy)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Panzer III (Germany)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Type 97 Chi-Ha (Japan)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Vickers Medium Mark II (United Kingdom)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    44
Nov 2013
586
Kingdom of Sweden
If you disagree with all given options, feel free to name your choice in a post.

Please give some arguments why the tank you chose is the best.

Only mass-produced tanks, not prototypes, are valid choices.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,863
Stockport Cheshire UK
The Panzer 4 was a workhorse of a tank which was a useful asset on the battlefield from the first till last day of the war in Europe.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,480
South of the barcodes
Easily the Pz 4, served from the first till the last day of the european war, upgunned and uparmoured and it kept on going, admittedly with a slightly more weezy and overworked engine with every weight addition.

It also had the unexpected advantage once the Schurzen were added to the turret of having the profile of a Tiger 1 and scaring the life out of inexperienced opponents.
 

Bish

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
8,206
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
While I agree with the comments about the Pz IV, the question is which was the best not which did the most work. The late model Pz IV's were well at the end of their development, with there suspensions heavily overloaded by the extra armour and heavier gun. It may have been equal to the T-34/76 and Sherman, but was outclassed by the latter 34's and the Panther.

I voted Panther as it was the right combination of firepower, armour and movement needed for the time and against those opponents it was designed to deal with.
 

Poly

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
6,698
Georgia, USA
Panther was the best medium tank of the war unless you count the Centurion which came into service in Europe before the end of the wear but after VE Day

But if I wanted to equip a WWII army with the best of the tanks available - I'd go for the T-34/85
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,851
At present SD, USA
As I said on the issue with rating tanks can be divided by the year...

For example, while the Panzer IV was the size of a medium tank in 1940, it was then only used as an infantry support tank, which would put its mission more in line with the Char B1bis or the Matilda II, which were Allied heavy tanks of the time. And at the same time, Germany's Panzer III was also well outclassed by the French SOMUA S35... but since France fell in 1940, the SOMUA would see no further development while the Panzer III did see further development...

And while the Panzer IV would develop into a powerful medium tank that could handle nearly all of its competition, including both the T-34 and the M4 Sherman, it didn't have a massive advantage over either, and when the T-34 was up-gunned... the Soviet tank gained some advantage over the Panzer IV...

Overall... despite many of its mechanical issues... the Panther was probably the best "medium" tank of the war. It's gun and armor were better than the M4 Sherman and its optics and vision were better than the T-34/85. And while it would suffer to a degree from mechanical issues throughout its career... the worst incidents really only occurred with the early models. And the Panther's career didn't end with VE Day... France used captured Panthers as their main battle tank for a few years after WW2 until they came out with their own post war designs (all likely based around tests with their captured Panthers).
 
Nov 2012
887
Virginia
I would vote the Panther as the best all around medium tank....another complicated and expensive to produce vehicle, but when all the deficiencies were worked out, a pretty good tank indeed.

They never did build a lot of them nor close to enough of them unfortunately for Germany. I think the production number was around 2500 maybe?

Good gun, good optics, less than average reliability in the driveline-not all the designers fault. When Germany started losing ground, they lost access to important alloy materials such as molybdenum which is vital. Without the needed alloys, gears stripped or broke because of brittleness, and armor began to go down hill too.

I have seen a Panther engine in pieces, and it is a very detailed and engineered motor. Just the machining required on the parts and pieces must have taken a long time.
 
Aug 2014
525
Northumberland
The T-34/85 was the best medium tank of the war IMHO. The Panther was the German response to T-34/76 which out classed the Pz.III and out manovered the Pz.IV. But the T-34/85 based on range,gun,armour,performance and ease to maintain was in a clasof its own.
 

funakison

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,381
Between a rock and a hard place
The Panther had good armour protection and excellent firepower, IMHO it was the best medium tank of WWII. Interestingly enough i once saw a documentary on the Normandy Campaign and a majority of German tank crews stated a preferance for the Panther over the Tiger.