By Steven Zaloga
Armor professional Zaloga enters the conflict over the easiest tanks of global struggle II with this heavy-caliber blast of a booklet armed with greater than 40 years of research.
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Extra info for Armored Champion: The Top Tanks of World War II
German tank designs after 1941 took the lead offered by the Soviet T-34 tank and moved toward wider tracks. S. Army stuck with relatively narrow track through 1944 due to its reduced rolling resistance, but the mud and snow of the European Theater in the autumn of 1944 led to a hasty adoption of extended end connectors, and eventually new suspensions with wider tracks in early 1945. The Christie spring suspension as used on tanks such as the T-34 and Cromwell provided a smoother ride and offered greater wheel travel.
Most armies had a trio of types: a light tank or tankette for reconnaissance, an infantry tank to support rifle troops in close combat, and a cavalry tank for the fast exploitation mission. The qualities that make a great infantry tank, such as thick armor and good high-explosive firepower, are not as relevant in the cavalry tank role where speed and antitank firepower are more valuable. So it becomes very difficult to create a comparative table to determine the “best tank” since the criteria being used are likely to favor one tactical role with the risk of deprecating the combat values of another tank type.
The basic steel core (E) has a blunt soft metal cap welded to the front, followed by a thin steel windshield for better ballistic performance. The other important factor in armor penetration of tank guns is barrel length. A tank gun firing the same type of projectile with the same propellant load will get more muzzle velocity with a longer barrel than a shorter barrel since the longer barrel provides more time for the detonation of the propellant to impart its energy to the projectile. Good examples of this are the American 75mm tank guns.
Armored Champion: The Top Tanks of World War II by Steven Zaloga