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What was the most produced tank of all time?
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:32 am
Post subject: What was the most produced tank of all time?

I don't have my reference books handy and this question crossed my mind. I believe I know the answer but I'm not sure.

Production numbers as I remember them were

Sherman about 50,000
T-34 about 70,000

has any other tank approached those numbers?

How many T-54/55 were produced (and should they be considered a single model? What about the Chinese copies are they a seperate vehicle?

What about the FT-17 series?

I don't think the Centurian or M-60 come close but does anyone have total numbers for them?

This is one of those questions I can see a Cub scout asking and I want to at least have thought about it first.

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piney
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:27 am
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

you know you just opened up a hornet's nest right Bob? Laughing
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:04 am
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

- piney
you know you just opened up a hornet's nest right Bob? Laughing


Actually yes. We haven't had a wide ranging semi-freeflow dicussion for a while.

I just found a web source that claims 84,070 for the T-34 and says it is the 'second most produced tank being surpassed by the T54/T55 but in it's entries for the T54 and T55 (Which it lists seperatly so why did it include them as one model for production? Rolling Eyes ) it says production figures are not available.

I think 84,000 is higher than I have heard before for T-34 but considering it stayed in production after WWII is at least a reasonable number (I have also heard 55,000 mentioned as Wartime T-34 production which would put it pretty much on a par with the Sherman.

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JeffStringer
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:28 am
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

I read somewhere that all of those totals INCLUDE other nations manufacturing numbers as well, not just from Russia. And that the T-54/55 is what I read too is the most produced tank. Cool
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LeeW
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:40 am
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

Could some of the numbers include other vehicles built on the T-34 chassy?
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:02 am
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

Interesting....

A few thoughts on quantifying the subject:

1) Do you qualify production numbers in "tank series" (ie Sherman, Stuart, T34,...) or "specific variant"? (ie M4, M4A1 M4A2, M4A4, T34/76, T34/85,....)

2) Do you specify 'original' country of build production figures or just overall figures (including export licensed production)?

Without a clearly defined point of discussion, you might spin into a popularity contest, which does not do the topic any justice.

Such 'amaturish' historical discussions are best left for the History Channel. Shocked

Cool
Don
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:15 am
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

- Dontos
Interesting....

A few thoughts on quantifying the subject:

1) Do you qualify production numbers in "tank series" (ie Sherman, Stuart, T34,...) or "specific variant"? (ie M4, M4A1 M4A2, M4A4, T34/76, T34/85,....)

2) Do you specify 'original' country of build production figures or just overall figures (including export licensed production)?

Without a clearly defined point of discussion, you might spin into a popularity contest, which does not do the topic any justice.

Such 'amaturish' historical discussions are best left for the History Channel. Shocked

Cool
Don


1) I am looking for 'series production There are even some gray areas there

Is the Stuart family (M3/M5) one series or two? The largest differences between the M3 and the M5 are about the same as the M4 and the M4A2, M4A3 and M4A4. I consider the M3 & M5 to be part of the same series.

Same goes with the T54/T55 series. I think most reference sources combine them into one series.

I am not including varient vehicles that chnaged the 'form or function' of teh vehicle. For example I am not including M10 or M36 production as part of the Sherman production. Nor am I including Su-85 7 Su-100 production as part of the T-34 production

2) If License production did not make significant changes to the vehicle that would make it part of the series. For example the Valentine tanks built in Canada would be counted with the UK Valentines. I believe the 'Grizzly' production in Canada would count with the Sherman production (I probably need to check but I believe they were sraight license built M4A1 vehicles). Eastern block T54/55 production would count as part of Soviet T54/55. I believe that basic Chinese production of T54/55 copies would count (T-69?) but if a debate opens up about differences I think it would be informative

I think there is a clearly defined point of discussion. 'How many?' is a straight quantitative question. I am not asking which is 'The Best' or 'The most effective' or the prettiest. I'm simply trying to collect production numbers. I believe there needs to be some documentation of the numbers some one claims before it will be accepted.

An interesting offshoot and possibly more subject to judgement calls would be Which tank was in production the longest? In that case would Anniston rebuilds of M60s count as 'production'? (They were given new serial numbers) but the beginning and end dates of series production should be fairly easy to pin down.

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:02 am
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

- bsmart

An interesting offshoot and possibly more subject to judgement calls would be Which tank was in production the longest? In that case would Anniston rebuilds of M60s count as 'production'? (They were given new serial numbers) but the beginning and end dates of series production should be fairly easy to pin down.


Bob,
While it's up to you to establish the criteria for your own question, I'm inclined to think of a "rebuild" as just that. If it doesn't involve casting a new hull (or components thereof, if welded), then maybe it's not really "in production". This gets really fuzzy if one makes the same distinction regarding the turret, however. Was an M60A2 "new production" or a "rebuild" to newer type. How many were based on existing hulls originally part of, or slated for, M60A1 production ("calling Joe D., calling Joe D.....")

Can of worms, indeed! Laughing
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Hanno_Spoelstra
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:00 am
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

- bsmart
I believe the 'Grizzly' production in Canada would count with the Sherman production (I probably need to check but I believe they were sraight license built M4A1 vehicles).


The Grizzly wasn´t even a license built M4A1, as it was assembled from mainly US-built components (like the hull and turret castings, engine, gearbox, main gun etc.) in Canada. Montreal Locomotive Works did not do a lot more than bolt together a giant kit of parts.

So Grizzly production should surely count with Sherman production.

HTH,
Hanno
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:36 am
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

- Doug_Kibbey
- bsmart

An interesting offshoot and possibly more subject to judgement calls would be Which tank was in production the longest? In that case would Anniston rebuilds of M60s count as 'production'? (They were given new serial numbers) but the beginning and end dates of series production should be fairly easy to pin down.


Bob,
While it's up to you to establish the criteria for your own question, I'm inclined to think of a "rebuild" as just that. If it doesn't involve casting a new hull (or components thereof, if welded), then maybe it's not really "in production". This gets really fuzzy if one makes the same distinction regarding the turret, however. Was an M60A2 "new production" or a "rebuild" to newer type. How many were based on existing hulls originally part of, or slated for, M60A1 production ("calling Joe D., calling Joe D.....")

Can of worms, indeed! Laughing


I agree with your opinion I do not believe that 'rebuilt' vehicles should count no matter how substantiallythey have been 'remanufactured' (If we did some Shermans could be counted 3 or 4 times - Initial build, rebuild at depot before being sent overseas, often on Lend Lease, Then by the French or Israelis one or more times in the postwar era :-)). I was just using the M60 example of one where confusion can come in because the vehicle was re-serialized in the process.

So I think I have pinned down the methodology (at least for the moment) Who has some numbers?
FT-17 -
M3/M5 Stuart -
M4 Sherman -
T34 -
Centurian -
T54/55
M60 -
Any other contenders?

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Dontos
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:35 pm
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

Perhaps the M48 Series should be thrown in the mix. Not sure of any real numbers but through the various variants and export it should be in the 'mid-pack' running of your list.

JMHO
Don
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:43 pm
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

Could the M-48 and the M-60 be considered one series? There is probably as much commonality as with an M4A1 (75) Sherman and an M4A3E8. or as a T34/76 and a T34/85.

I think I'll make it M48/M60 Patton for the count.

I have pretty good numbers for most WWII tanks that I'll be putting in later tonight

I am having trouble finding numbers for T54/55 and haven't started looking for Centurian or M48/M60 numbers yet. Also I could use an independent count of Sherman and T34 numbers

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TrevorLarkum
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:48 pm
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

I'll throw out some numbers, from Jane's MBTs - a pretty good source, but I won't say it's the final word:

Centurion: production table totals 4423
M60: only a text reference: "...over 15,000 M60 series MBTs had been built" upto May 1985
M48: "total production ... amounted to 11,703 units"
Leopard 1: production table totals 4744

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Taranov
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:21 pm
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

T-54/T-55 - something like 100.000 total
It's not different tanks, it's one family. And it's not last example of indexes funnies in soviet/russian tanks history. Initial index of T-90 - T-72BU Wink
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:25 pm
Post subject: Re: What was the most produced tank of all time?

Here are the numbers I have come up with today

T-34 – 84,070 – Militaryfactory.com via ask.com
– 57,339 during WWII (Wikipedia)

KV-1/KV-85 - ~5,200 (Wikipedia)

M-3 Grant/Lee – 6,258 (Wikipedia)

M-4 Sherman - 55,000??? I'm still working on this

M-3/M-5 Stuart – 22,744 (Wikipedia)

Churchill – 5,640 (Chamberlain & Ellis)

Cromwell/Centaur – 4,016 (Wikipedia)

Crusader – 5,300 (Chamberlain& Ellis)

Valentine – 8,275 (C&E)

Matilda – 2987 (C&E)

Panzer III – 5,774 (Wikipedia

Panzer IV – 8,870 (Wikipedia)

Panther – 5,987 (Wikipedia)

Tiger I – 1,355 (Wikipedia)

Tiger II – 487 (Wikipedia)

I want to confirm the numbers from Wikipedia but they do reference Zaloga for some of their Panzer information

Thanks Trevor and Taranov for your inputs. I was surprised how few Centurians were produced. And is anyone else surprised that the Valentine was the most produced British tank of WWII?

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