Bad Tanks

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by von Poop, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Oddly, we don't seem to have a 'Worst tanks' thread to insert this lovely programme from David Fletcher into:

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  2. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Wonderful, both informative and hilarious. "It's armed with a Vickers machine gun, which I suppose is better than spitting at people."
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  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron


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  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    There are a small number of refs. to the Covenanter tanks the 24th Lancers trained with in "None Had Lances" i.e. for instance on p38 -

    "We were bundled into a 3-tonner and transported to Chippenham park. It was tipping with rain when we arrived. Not an auspicious start to our real army career. I remember seeing a couple of Covenanters parked against a wall and was told that there were hacks"

    I saw this recently too:

  5. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Very versatile. You could could carry on plowing the fields while fending off enemy infantry.
  6. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I think Andrew Hills's TE article may be the most sensible & grown-up thing I've read on the Bob Semple.
    As with so much else that's easily mocked, there was often the nagging query of 'if not this, what else?'.

    The ‘Semple’ Tractor Tank - Tank Encyclopedia
  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I had a glance through this: The Good the Bad and the Insulting: The 10 Worst Tanks of the Second World War

    The 10 Worst Tanks of the Second World War

    For some examples too, other than just the UK ones ;-)

    With the article's "ground rules" detailed here.

    Still, for all its successes, the Second World War had its fair share of failures and ill conceived war machines. These ranged from those hampered by poor conceptual design elements to utterly insane builds which no one in their right mind should have ever backed in the first place. With so much on offer though, there's a couple of basic ground rules which limited this selection:
    • Each tank needed to at least reach the prototype phase. Without this, Germany's Panzers would make up the vast bulk of this list.
    • The tanks can't be Italian, as they have so many they're probably going to have their own list at some point.
    • Only one super heavy tank is permitted on the entire list. Given nearly all such designs proved to be failures, or never reached the battlefield, it seemed only fair to list the single worst one of the bunch on here.
    • Each needed to be on the drawing board or in full production between 1933 to 1945, just to ensure each would be involved in the actual war itself. Or, in the case of those who didn't even manage to enter combat, at least was being test driven while the Nazi regime was about.
    The Semple gets a mention there too:

  9. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    You left out the photo of the Super Lee from that article!
    I'm guessing at least a crew of 12

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  10. Seroster

    Seroster Canadian researcher

    It doesn't seem entirely fair to exclude e.g. the Italians from the list!
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  11. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    When compiling these worst-best lists, context is critical. Ask yourself, was this tank (plane, gun, small arm, warship) objectively bad? or was it just another example of a particular genus of tanks that was actually widespread when the tank in question first appeared? Is the vehicle now considered 'bad' because it really was or because it was kept in service too long, or asked to do things it was not really capable of doing? To give an example, the Jap Type 95 is sometimes included on these worst lists. The reasons are obvious enough: 37mm gun, max armor just 14mm. But when it first appeared in 1936 the Type 95 was comparable in armor and gunpower to many Western types, including the Soviet designs the Japs expected to encounter (T26, early BTs). The Type 95 did OK against forces which had no tanks (the Chinese, Malaya Command) though in those cases competent antitank defense should have been able to defeat it. But technology moves on and moves on at lightning speed in wartime, and by 44-45 the 95 looked and was pathetic against the Shermans and Grants in Burma and the Pacific islands. The Italian L33 is sometimes listed as one of the worst, but in the 1930s a lot of armies experimented with Carden-Loyd tankettes of the same sort and some used them in considerable numbers right into WWII. Used as an MG carrier like the Bren (which is really what it was) the L33 might have been helpful in a minor way; but it was not a tank. It was asked to do something it couldn't do and hadn't been designed for. Examples of both situations could be multiplied of course. Oh, and I would leave prototypes like the Valiant and Black Prince off the list entirely. OK, so they were bad, but that's why you build prototypes--to determine whether a design is worth proceeding with or not.
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  12. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    If you look at David Fletcher's video he has not picked obsolete tanks, but tanks which were poor designs or concepts.
    - Grossly under engined:the Black prince
    - Covenenter - over weight and nonsensical radiator
    - Among other problems the lethal ergonomics of the Valiant
    - Flawed design of the amphibious tank

    Moran's (Chieftain's hatch)'s comments were quite fair about the Type 95. His comments about the ergonomics are thought provoking.
  13. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

    Can you please paste the URL for that, if you have it? I can't find it on his site.

  14. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    Presumably an undocumented rule about having to have forward gears?
  15. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    The Covenanter was alright really from a mechanical point of view, as explained here. The real problem was component sourcing rather than the design per se. The initial reliability problems were because the appropriate parts weren't available. It would have been interesting to see how it would have got on in the event of an invasion, but alas we'll never know.

    The Black Prince was about 1 mph slower than a Churchill VII, so I'm not understanding Dave's argument on this one at all, tbh.
  16. Seroster

    Seroster Canadian researcher

    Was the Churchill 7 still only 40 tons? Must check. If it was, the BP would still have a power to weight ratio 80% of what the Churchill 7 had.

    It was stupid not to design it with the Meteor in mind, though.
  17. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Well, fortunately there's a book out soon that will explain the full Black Prince story!

    But the short form is that there was no point in putting the Meteor in the Black Prince, as it was better to develop the A45 with the Meteor as the long term infantry tank. This became the FV 201 and eventually the FV 214 Conqueror.

    The Black Prince was only meant to be an interim design to get a 17 pounder armed infantry tank in production until the A45/FV201 came on stream. If the war had carried on into the second half of 1945 it would definitely have gone into production, and as far as the test reports indicate, would have been a perfectly good tank.
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  18. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I think this is ultimately in ref. to post # 4 on here - the item titled "Bad Tanks - A poor tank, a useless tank and the worst tank in the world"

    This was posted on youtube - on Lindybeige's site: Lindybeige

    Published on 10 Jul 2018
    Tigers? Why talk about Tigers when one can talk about tanks that were even worse? More tank banter with The Chieftain.
    Support me on Patreon:

    A low-tech tank with fragile armour, a tank that never saw the enemy, and the tank used to teach how not to build tanks. Thanks to Nicholas Moran (AKA The Chieftain) and Matt Sampson, the cameraman at Bovington Tank Museum.

    Edit: Nicholas Moran (AKA The Chieftain) talking to Lindybeige on the Type 95 etc.

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  19. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I am not picking on Mr. Fletcher (who I enjoy and respect). I was thinking more of the many other worst of lists which float around in net land and occasionally show up on sites like these. I love Moran, but where can I find his Type 95 discussion?
  20. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Here's a Type 95 on the move. Horribly noisy and as smoky as a California forest fire.
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