British and American tank designs of WW2

sparky

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Jan 2017
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the discussion is rotating about the very fast evolution of tanks under the pressure of war
certainly pre-war research could be implemented due to the lifting of budgetary constrains

the Sherman 75mm didn't come out of thin air but of previous years development
by 1940 the Matilda was one of the best tank versus tank option
by 1942 much less so

the inherent fault of the Grant could be overlooked in 1940 , by 1943 it would have been criminal
but as I stated above it depend of the use and place , the Grant was used in the pacific theater where it could hold it's own
 

redcoat

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Nov 2010
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Then where do you suppose the Matilda and early Cruisers came from?
Lack of funding, and the small number of tanks being built were major problems for British tank design and development, it was only in early 1939 that major government investment started being directed towards the expansion of the army, and with it the expansion of the armoured formations.
 
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Lack of funding, and the small number of tanks being built were major problems for British tank design and development, it was only in early 1939 that major government investment started being directed towards the expansion of the army, and with it the expansion of the armoured formations.
The major problem with the Matilda is that it was ungodly slow, half as fast as the German tanks, and it's traverse rate was very slow. It had great success against really bad Italian tanks and older Panzer II's and to some degree III's but it was in danger any time it was forced to faced German tanks maneuvering at speed. It's front glacis had great armor, but it lacked a good HE shell.
As the German army received new tanks with more powerful guns, as well as more powerful anti-tank guns and ammunition, the Matilda proved less and less effective.
 

sparky

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Jan 2017
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as I mentioned before , it's all about the "when" and "next "
Germany upgraded , Britain upgraded , the US upgraded , the soviet upgraded
it was a race against obsolescence
in the space of a few ( four years ) what was good enough became redundant
 
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pugsville

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Oct 2010
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The major problem with the Matilda is that it was ungodly slow, half as fast as the German tanks, and it's traverse rate was very slow. It had great success against really bad Italian tanks and older Panzer II's and to some degree III's but it was in danger any time it was forced to faced German tanks maneuvering at speed. It's front glacis had great armor, but it lacked a good HE shell.
As the German army received new tanks with more powerful guns, as well as more powerful anti-tank guns and ammunition, the Matilda proved less and less effective.
As did every other 1940 tank. It was a good tank in 1940 , useful in first half 1941. It did not have scope for decent upgrades.
 
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redcoat

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As did every other 1940 tank. It was a good tank in 1940 , useful in first half 1941. It did not have scope for decent upgrades.
The Matilda Il has the honour of being the only Allied tank in service during the whole of the war. While it was withdrawn from service in 1942 in the West, it remained in service in the Pacific with the Australian army until the end of the war, being more than a match for any Japanese armour it encountered
 
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Lord Fairfax

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Jan 2015
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Lack of funding, and the small number of tanks being built were major problems for British tank design and development, it was only in early 1939 that major government investment started being directed towards the expansion of the army, and with it the expansion of the armoured formations.
Indeed you are quote correct.
However his claim that there was NO tank industry and NO tank development between the wars is clearly wrong.
While the numbers weren't huge, the British designed/built at least 4 or 5 types of medium tanks before WWII, while the US was stll working on the obsolete M-2 medium. The British would also start building 4 more (Valentine, Covenanter, Crusader, Churchill) before the Americans ever fielded a modern combat tank.

All of the work 1934-1940 on the Cruiser mk. I,II,III,IV, Covenanter & Matilda helped to develop engineering and design concepts for the more successful Cromwell, Churchill & Comet.
 
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Lord Fairfax

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Jan 2015
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. The British Tank Industry also suffered from a design flaw, the flat cars used to ship tanks by rail were quite narrow, because they had to go through narrow tunnels.
How was this a factor?
British Rail standard dimensions were 10'4" wide and 8'1" high, which is big enough to ft a Valentine, Crusader, Matilda or even a Sherman (without turret)
Only the M-3 Grant tank would have issues.
 

redcoat

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How was this a factor?
British Rail standard dimensions were 10'4" wide and 8'1" high, which is big enough to ft a Valentine, Crusader, Matilda or even a Sherman (without turret)
Only the M-3 Grant tank would have issues.
Because it limited the size of the tank, mainly the size of the turret ring. This was a major reason why the British had great difficulty in fitting a full sized 17pdr into a turreted tank. It was only when the British threw out this rule that they were able to build a tank with a large enough turret ring to not only fit a 17 pdr, but allow it to be big enough to be upgraded to have larger guns fitted later in its service life. This tank was the Centurion.
 
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Lord Fairfax

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Because it limited the size of the tank, mainly the size of the turret ring. This was a major reason why the British had great difficulty in fitting a full sized 17pdr into a turreted tank. It was only when the British threw out this rule that they were able to build a tank with a large enough turret ring to not only fit a 17 pdr, but allow it to be big enough to be upgraded to have larger guns fitted later in its service life. This tank was the Centurion.
The turret ring size was an issue, but the tunnel size wasn't the reason for that, it was just bureaucratic stupidity.

In early WWII (1939-1940) there also certainly wasn't an urgent need for a 105mm tank gun on a 74" ring, or even a 17 pounder.

The Sherman's 69 inch was more than enough to ft a 75mm gun, yet the tank was only 8'7" wide in the first version.
The Comet had a 64" turret ring and the Pz IV H and the T-34/85 had a 63" turret ring, so clearly a turret ring in the 60 - 64 inch would have been fine in 1940.
it was the height not the width that was a problem.
The available size of British main line tunnels (10' wide, 8'7" height) was certainly sufficient for Crusader, Cromwell, Valentine, Ram tank, even a Pz. IV.
The Challenger with its massive 17 pdr could fit (width-wise) but the turret was too tall.

In fact, even a Comet or T-34/85 could fit through that size, so if the Comet with its 64" ring can be accommodated, then there's no reason why British tanks should he restricted to a 54" ring in 1940

The real problem in 1940 wasn't rail size restrictions, but lack of a good powerful reliable tank engine
 
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