Top Ten Tanks

Discovery Military Channel has another one going right now called “Top Ten Tanks”
See the list here

  1. M4 Sherman. Mostly because it was easy to make did it make the list at all
  2. Merkava. Not mobile nor easy to make so only number 9. Armor and firepower are high
  3. T-54/55. Mediocre firepower, mobility, and armor
  4. Challenger. Maximum armor and firepower. Low fear factor, mobility and production (because of limited numbers, apparently)
  5. Mk IV Panzer. Terrifying tank, but complicated to manufacture
  6. Centurion. Average mobility high firepower
  7. WWI Tank. Weak armor, but there was nothing to challenge it so it was enough. Difficult to manufacture.
  8. Tiger. Rocked on everything except ease of manufacture.
  9. M-1 Abrams. “monstrously complex tank, expensive and difficult to engineer” but could be number one if it ever took on an enemy worthy of its power. Deadliest tank of all time, but only our allies could give it a run for its money (let’s not go to war with the UK just to see which is better, shall we?)
  10. T-34. “Near to full points for firepower, mobility and protection. It surpasses any other tank for ease of manufacture”

Anyone else care to comment?

Ishtar has got to be near the top of the list.


In Norrath, Ogres make the best tanks. Bonuses to strength and HP, and they can’t be stunned from the front. Trolls, Iksar, Barbarians, and Dwarves also make decent tanks. I did meet a gnomish paladin once, but was not entirely sober at the time…

I watched the program. I thought the M1 Abrams should have been down a notch or two and the Panzer Mk IV a notch or two higher, but otherwise agreed with the list. Fascinating program.

Well, if you’re going to talk about that, consider the O.G.R.E., which takes on entire divisions and calls it a fair fight. :smiley:

  1. Probably where it should be, poor armor slope and armament, gasoline engine was a serious fire hazard and was outmatched by it’s opposition… but they made oodles.
  2. About right, or possibly not on the list at all. The Merkava recently got owned in Lebanon and given it’s role as an urban combat troop transport/movable pill box I wonder if it’s really exactly in the same category as these other tanks we’re talking about. It’s pretty specialized.
  3. Should be higher, I mean… the T-54 is the AK-47 of tanks and was certainly equal to it’s opposition when it was designed… WIDELY exported. I feel it gets a bad rap because of it’s war record from service in export countries where it went up against M1s and Apaches, I’d put this about 6.
  4. Should be higher, the Brits make a damn fine tank (which makes sense since they invented them), the use of Chobham armor was pioneered with this tank. Despite it’s low numbers I would put the Challenger in at 4.
  5. The Mark IV panzer WAS scary, like all german tanks of the period it suffered from over complex manufacture and required hideously high maintenance but less than other german designs. It’s a classic all around tank for good reason. I like it a bit higher at number 5.
  6. Another great british tank, a bit more fussy than the Russian tanks but more capable overall and very widely used. Number 3
  7. Which WWI tank? The british were first but the best all around tank of WWI was the french Renault FT-17 who’s classic revolving turret/rear engine design became the standard for tanks everywhere. They were in use until WWII in some countries. The poor armament (even for the time) and general unreliability (new technology) puts this pioneer in at number 7 for me.
  8. The tiger is overhyped. It was a massive waste of resources for germany, hideously complicated and had an effective range measured in double digits because of maintenance issues. If it was shooting at you, you were in trouble but then… usually you had 10 tanks to their one Tiger by the time they were in general service. Number 8 for me.
  9. M1 Abrams- Agreed, should be number two for all reasons listed. It’s the tank to beat today.
  10. Again, agreed… the Soviets won WWII and they did it in large part with this tank, only quibble is the lack of radio but you cannot argue with results.

My suggestion, possibly to replace the Merkava would be the german Leopard 1 tank, still in use by Canada and one of the first (if not the first) tanks to have NBC protection.

Nope. Gigli. :wink:

The British tank(s). Cut and paste failed me, it seems.

A couple of Merkava Mk I’s did pretty well against the Syrians with Russian tanks in that little thing they had in… '81? Yeah, pretty specialized, underpowered, but the front engine for added protection was pretty cool.

T54… It’s right there with the Sherman (IMHO), easy to make and oodles of the things, but not a great tank.

But those are minor nitpicks on ranking, can’t really quibble with lokij … or Military channel either.

Given a choice between these 10, I’d rather be in an Abrahms (as long as I wasn’t paying the fuel bill)

I think it has to be put into historical perspective. The Sherman was a miserable excuse for a tank. It was known as the Ronson, lights first time, everytime. Gasoline engines, bad choice now, but they had gas engines then so they used them. I feel the M-60 A1 Should have made honorable mention. It could have gone nose to nose with the T-55 or the T-72 and come out the better. As a matter of fact they did for many years in Germany in the 70’s. Fortunatly it never came to shooting, but out numbering the M-60’s ten to one or more, the Russians did not care to shoot it out. I admit, that might hav had a lot to do with nukes, but in it’s day the M-60 was a force to be reckoned with.


I think it had way more to do with nuclear weapons. The M60 A1 was an upgrade of the earlier M60 which was itself borrowed heavily from the earlier M47 (which goes back itself to the Pershing). It lacked weapon stabilization which had to be retrofitted in the mid 70s and by that time the Abrams was on the drawing board. It also had a gasoline engine which was a serious liability. I don’t see the M60 A1 as being distinctive enough from it’s upgrades or predecessors… and none of them stand out enough to warrant a spot on the top 10 IMO.

Actually, on checking a bit… seems the M60 did have the turbocharged diesel, which partly explains why it was designated a M60 and not a M47 upgrade. ;> Still should never have taken that long to switch to diesel, but a definite point in the M60’s favor.

I think I’d choose the Panther over the Tiger-has some of the same weaknesses but improves
in terms of armor sloping and mobility.

You have got to be kidding me. You dis the M-60 because the Abramns was on the drawing board? Fight with a drawing board. they are quite heavy, hard to swing and do not shoot back. The Abrams is a totally awesome machine, and is ahead of anything else, but in the seventies, the M-60 ruled. It’s taper bore (look up Gerlich principle) 105 would punch hole through any tank alive, and your drawing board as well. The Sherman sucked in it’s day, the M-60 ruled. That day is long over, that we can agree. But to judge the M-60 against a tank that actually did not exist until twenty years later is a little less than fair.

In the seventies, was there anythine out there that could out move and out shoot the M-60? It sure as heck wasn’t the T-72. Ihave to admit the Brits had a good answer with the Centurion, thank the powers than be we were on the same side. By the way Lokij, it was a v-16 air cooled Continental engine. I ate enough of the fumes from my gas fueled M-113 to know. I had a 283 GM engine. The new ones had v-6 diesels. It took the army about forty years to decide gasoline in a combat vehicle is a bad idea. I bet humvees still burn gas. Leave it to the army to catch on quick…

What the hell? I was under the impression the M60 packed a licenced copy of the British 105mm which was introduced in the fifties as a replacement for the 20-pounder. And it that it was a perfectly straightforward rifled tube.

I’m sure this list was different on the UK Discovery channel, they did include the Leopard (at the top IIRC) which replaced the Swedish Stridsvagn 103, which was also featured on the list at no. 6, as mentioned in the wikipedia article.

The Centurion was given marks for ease of maintenance but deducted for short range, despite having comparable range to other MBTs according to Wikipedia.

I saw one of these a while back-why would anyone design a tank ith a fixed cannon? How would you be able to aim the gun quickly enough?

The muzzle didn’t seem to extend far beyond the front of the hull, perhaps an advantage in more heavily wooded areas? Easier to hide I’m guessing, but not much cop if you’re in freer areas and especially not in urban warfare.

I seem to recall the S-Tank was designed for a very specific role, basically sitting in defensive ambush in semi-prepared (or at least pre-surveyed) positions. So you’d have a pretty good idea where the russians were going to come into view, then you’d shoot and scoot. However it’s worth noting that the Swedes abandoned this concept for their next tank and no-one else has ever taken it up.

Urban warfare in Sweden? There are some fair-sized cities in the south, but in hostilities would probably have taken place in the woods, reasonably broken farmland or in small towns with mainly wooden houses that might as well be cardboard from a tank perspective.

The first M1 was built in 1978, that’s a bit more than just ‘on the drawing board’ but I was talking about effective strength. Nevertheless, the writing was on the wall and the M60s were a stopgap until a completely new tank design could replace the venerable Patton series. In the 70s, when you say “the M-60 ruled” composite and reactive armor was coming onto the scene or was already there. The M-60 was an evolutionary design, it was made to defeat previous and or current threats as the result of upgrades. It was not revolutionary or cutting edge and it’s edge over the most current opposition was mainly in training and doctrine. The T-72 and the T-64 had composite armor, the M-60 had plain steel with the Russian tanks fielding depleted uranium rounds by the 70s in larger guns. The Patton series of tanks was never really the dominant force that the US army wanted, it was merely adequate. I stand by my belief that the tank that belongs in the top 10 is the Abrams, not the Patton series.