This site may load slowly at times because of the numerous images. Please reload the page if some of the images do not appear. Thank you.

Search This Site

Best War Tanks Of WW2

Tanks and planes played a major role during WW2. Below are the top ten tanks that saw action during the Armageddon.

10. CHAR B (France)

On 16 May a single Char B1 French heavy tank, the Eure, frontally attacked and destroyed thirteen German tanks lying in ambush in Stonne, all of them Panzer IIIs and Panzer IVs, in the course of a few minutes.

In his book Panzer Leader, Heinz Guderian relates the following incident, which took place during a tank battle south of Juniville: "While the tank battle was in progress, I attempted, in vain, to destroy a Char B with a captured 47 mm anti-tank gun; all the shells I fired at it simply bounced harmlessly off its thick armor. Our 37 mm and 20 mm guns were equally ineffective against this adversary. As a result, we inevitably suffered sadly heavy casualties".

The Char B1 was a specialised heavy break-through vehicle, originally conceived as a self-propelled gun with a 75 mm howitzer in the hull; later a 47 mm gun in a turret was added, to allow it to function also as a Char de Bataille, a "battle tank" fighting enemy armour, equipping the armoured divisions of the Infantry Arm. Starting in the early twenties, its development and production were repeatedly delayed, resulting in a vehicle that was both technologically complex and expensive, and already obsolescent when real mass-production of a derived version, the Char B1 "bis", started in the late thirties. Although a second uparmoured version, the Char B1 "ter", was developed, only two prototypes were built. 

Among the most powerfully armed and armoured tanks of its day, the type was very effective in direct confrontations with German armour in 1940 during the Battle of France, but slow speed and high fuel consumption made it ill-adapted to the war of movement then being fought. After the defeat of France captured Char B1 (bis) would be used by Germany, with some rebuilt as flamethrowers or mechanised artillery.


The Tank, Cruiser, Mk VI or A15 Crusader was one of the primary British cruiser tanks of the early part Second World War and perhaps the most important British tank of the North African Campaign. The Crusader's mobility made it a favourite of British tank crews and its Ordnance QF 6 pounder main gun made it more than a match for the early Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks it faced in combat. Retained in service because of delays with its replacement, by late 1942 the lack of armament upgrade combined with the presence of Tiger I Tanks among the Afrika Korps and overheating problems caused by the high temperatures of the desert, led to the design being phased out in favour of the new US-supplied Sherman medium tank. The next British cruiser in combat would be the Cromwell heavy cruiser.

8. IS 2 (Soviet Union)

The IS-2, or carriage Joseph Stalin-2 combat in honor of Joseph Stalin (also called JS-2 in translation to English it is Joseph Stalin) was a Soviet heavy tank developed during the Second World War. It was the second model in the IS series of tanks, its predecessor was the IS-1 and its successor the IS-3. The IS-2 entered service in April 1944 and was widely used by the Red Army during the final stage of the war. After the end of World War II it continued serving in various armies, actively participating in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Until 1995 this tank was not officially discharged from the Russian Army.

The heavy tank was designed with thick armour to counter the German 88 mm guns, and carried a main gun that was capable of defeating the German Tiger and Panther tanks. It was mainly a breakthrough tank, firing a heavy high-explosive shell that was useful against entrenchments and bunkers. The IS-2 was put into service in April 1944, and was used as a spearhead in the Battle of Berlin by the Red Army in the final stage of the war.

Tactically, they were employed as breakthrough tanks. Their role was to support infantry in the assault, using their large guns to destroy bunkers, buildings, dug-in crew-served weapons, and other 'soft' targets. They were also capable of taking on any German AFVs if required. Once a breakthrough was achieved, lighter, more mobile T-34s would take over the exploitation.

7. KV 2 (Soviet Union)

When Operation Barbarossa began, the Red Army was equipped with 508 new KV tanks. So effective was its armour that the Germans were incapable of destroying it with their tanks or anti-tank weapons and had to rely on 88 mm anti-aircraft guns (flak) or 105 mm guns to knock them out. Only a few of these tanks were used to good effect, but one event of the Battle of Raseiniai was a notable example. On 23–24 June, a single KV-2 effectively pinned down elements of the 6th Panzer Division – the spearhead of Panzergruppe 4 – for a full day at the bridgeheads of the Dubysa river near Raseiniai, Lithuania, playing a prominent role in delaying the German advance on Leningrad.
The KV-2 was designed to break through fortifications. It had an enormous turret which carried a gigantic 5.98 inch howitzer. Anti-concrete shells the size of garbage cans were fired from the howitzer. These shells were used to knock down pillboxes and bastions. As a specialized version of the KV-1, the KV-2 played a role similar to that of the British Funnies. Because an extra hand was needed to operate the weapons, an additional crewmember stayed in the turret. This meant that the KV-2 had six crewmembers, while the KV-1 had five. Even though it had a much heavier main gun, the KV-2 kept the same chassis and engine as the KV-1. This meant that it was even slower than the KV-1. The Germans found that they could easily destroy the KV-2 by first aiming for its tracks, so that the tank could no longer move.

6. PANZER 3 (Germany)

The Panzerkampfwagen III (PzKpfw III), better known as the Panzer III, was a tank developed in 1930 by Nazi Germany and used during World War II. It was designed to combat other armored fighting vehicles. However, the Panzer III quickly became obsolete and was replaced by the Panzer IV in most tasks, but continued as infantry support until the end of the war. On January 11, 1934, following the specifications of Heinz Guderian the Army Armament Department drew up plans for a medium tank with a maximum weight of 24 tons and a top speed of 35 km / h. It was thought to use this as armored combat vehicle main Panzer divisions, capable of facing and destroy enemy armored forces.

The Panzer III was used in the campaigns against Poland, France, the Soviet Union and in North Africa. A handful were still in use in Normandy, Anzio, Finland and in Operation Market Garden in 1944. A Panzerkampfwagen III at the US Army Ordnance Museum in Aberdeen, Maryland. In the Polish and French campaigns, the Panzer III formed a small part of the German armored forces. Only a few hundred Ausf. A through F were available in these campaigns, most armed with the 37-millimetre (1.46 in) gun. They were the best medium tank available to the Germans and outclassed most of their opponents such as the Polish 7TP, French R-35 and H-35 light tanks.[citation needed] Around the time of Operation Barbarossa, the Panzer III was numerically the most important German tank.

5. PANTHER (Germany)

The Panther was a medium German tank that went into service the middle of 1943. The tank remained in service until the end of WWII in 1945. Initially, the Panther was intended to be used as a counter to the T-34. The Germans planned to use the Panther in place of the Panzer III and Panzer IV. Instead, the Panther worked alongside these tanks. The Panther was known for its firepower and also for its mobility. Because of the protection offered by this WWII tank, its design was used as a standard by other nations later in the war as well as post-war. The Panther, many believe, was one of the top tank designs of WWII.

4. PANZER 4 (Germany)

The Panzer IV was the most common German tank of World War II, and its chassis was used as the basis for other combat vehicles such as tank destroyers, self-propelled artillery and antiaircraft artillery self-propelled. The Panzer IV was the workhorse of the German armored force was used throughout the entire war on all fronts. Its design was continually improved to compete with the new designs of his enemies and was the only German tank produced throughout the conflict. Germany built about 8,500 units of this tank between 1937 and 1945.

The Panzer IV continued to play an important role during operations in 1943, including at the Battle of Kursk. Newer types such as the Panther were still experiencing crippling reliability problems that restricted their combat efficiency, so much of the effort fell to the 841 Panzer IVs that took part in the battle. Throughout 1943, the German army lost 2,352 Panzer IVs on the Eastern Front; some divisions were reduced to 12–18 tanks by the end of the year. In 1944, a further 2,643 Panzer IVs were destroyed, and such losses were becoming increasingly difficult to replace. By the last year of the war, the Panzer IV was outclassed by the upgraded T-34-85, which had an 85 mm (3.35 in) gun, and other late-model Soviet tanks such as the 122 mm (4.80 in)-armed IS-2 heavy tank. Nevertheless, due to a shortage of replacement Panther tanks, the Panzer IV continued to form the core of Germany's armored divisions, including elite units such as the II SS Panzer Corps, through 1944. In January 1945, 287 Panzer IVs were lost on the Eastern Front. It is estimated that combat against Soviet forces accounted for 6,153 Panzer IVs, or about 75% of all Panzer IV losses during the war.

3. SHERMAN M4 (America)

The M4 Sherman, (formally Medium Tank M4) was the main tank manufactured by United States and used for its own use and that of its Allies during World War II. Total production of the M4 Sherman exceeded 50,000 units and its chassis served as the basis for other designs, such as tank destroyers, vehicle recovery and self-propelled artillery. In the United Kingdom, the M4 were called "Sherman" after General William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union, following the British practice of naming American tanks with names of generals of the Civil War. Subsequently, the name began to be used in the United States. After WWII, the M4 saw combat in the Korean War. Other countries continued to use the vehicle for training or in combat until the end of the twentieth century.

2. TIGER 1 (Germany)

The Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger I was a heavy tank of World War II, developed by Nazi Germany. Originally developed under the name of Pzkw VI Ausf. H after a request by the OKW (High Command of the Army), the resulting project emerged the Elefant, the Sd. Kfz 181 Tiger I and, later, the Tiger II or Königstiger, the Jagdtiger (tank destroyer version with a barrel 128 mm) and Sturmtiger, a car designed for urban combat equipped with a mortar fired a naval origin propelled projectile 380 mm rocket. The Tiger I was used from late 1942 until the German surrender in 1945. Ferdinand Porsche gave him his nickname. The operating crew training, the Tigerfibel, became a collector's item. There were approximately 1350 of these tanks.

On 7 July 1943, a single Tiger tank commanded by SS-Oberscharführer Franz Staudegger from the 2nd Platoon, 13th Panzer Company, 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler engaged a group of about 50 T-34s around Psyolknee (the southern sector of the German salient in the Battle of Kursk). Staudegger used all his ammunition and claimed the destruction of 22 Soviet tanks, while the rest retreated. For this, he was awarded the Knight's Cross.

The US Army did little to prepare for combat against the Tiger despite their assessment that the newly-encountered German tank was superior to their own. This conclusion was partly based on the correct estimate that the Tiger would be encountered in relatively small numbers

1. T-34 (Soviet Union)

The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank produced from 1940 to 1958. Although its armour and armament were surpassed by later tanks of the era, it has been often credited as the most effective, efficient and influential design of World War II.

In June 1941, Germans had great difficulty destroying T-34 in combat, as their standard anti-tank weaponry proved ineffective. Early-war T-34s proved to have effective armour, firepower, and mobility, drawbacks include poor crew comfort, vision devices, and internal layout. In 1941, the thick sloped armour could defeat all German anti-armour weapons except the towed 88 mm flak guns at normal combat ranges. By mid-1942, the T-34 had become vulnerable to improved German weapons and remained so throughout the war, but its armour protection was equal or superior to contemporary tanks such as the M4 Sherman or Panzer IV.

Suggested Reading

A concise and insightful overview of armor and armor warfare on the Eastern Front


Suggested Viewing

Greatest Tank Battles (DVD)

Greatest Tank Battles is an action-packed 10-part series that brings to life the most gripping and monumental tank battles ever fought… Filmed on battlefields across the world, and using stunning, ultra-realistic CGI animation and eyewitness accounts, this new original series puts viewers in the heat of the battles.

Suggested Reading

.......the usual Osprey treatment of two AFVs from WWII that operated on opposing sides of a particular battle. I did not have info on these two vehicles so a lot of it was new to me. Superb artwork and concise writing. Another winner if you're a armor fan like myself.

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This


Post a Comment

You Might Like These....

Search This Site

Popular Articles On This Site

More History Sites

Illustrated History

A Lousy Journalist?

A Lousy Journalist?
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana

History Quotes

May 1945 - If hell on earth existed, than it existed in Prague after May the 5th. 1945. Old men, women and children were beaten to death and maimed. Rapes, barbaric cruelties, horror-scenarios of hellish proportions - here they had been let lose.

- Ludek Pachmann, Czech Chess-Grand Master and publicist, forty years after the fact.

Copyright Issue

All the images on this site have been uploaded from the internet. Their copyrights lie with the respective owners.

If inadvertently any copy-righted material is published on this site, the owners of the material may contact us at We will remove the relevant portion immediately


"History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are."

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.


HISTORY, n. An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.
-- Ambrose Bierce

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.


"I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past."

"Patriotism ruins history."

Snippets from History

This short but important battle played a key role in the decision to use atomic bombs when attacking Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The battle showed just how far Japanese troops would go to defend their country.

Snippets From History

Paulus didn't give the order to 6th Army to surrender, but his troops no longer had much fight left in them. Resistance faded out over the next two days, with the last die-hards finally calling it quits. One Red Army colonel shouted at a group of prisoners, waving at the ruins all around them: "That's how Berlin is going to look!


History is Philosophy teaching by examples.


"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
-- George Santayana

Points to Ponder: Why Is China Unstable?

The aim of individuals in any society is money and power. Societies that give equal chance to all its members to get them will be the most stable. That is why democracies are more stable than other systems of governance.

China after Deng's reform gave the chance to get rich but power is in the hands of an elite; the Communist Party of China. Membership to the party is at the whims of the local party bosses. This leaves out many people who crave political power dissatisfied and disgruntled. There in lies the roots of instability. The Party suppressed these demands once at Tiananmen in 1989. But force is hardly the way to deal with things like these.

READ MORE: Tiananmen Square Massacre