The Tanks of WWII 1oz Silver Proof Five-Coin Set is a sure-fire hit for anyone interested in armoured fighting vehicles. The coins in this outstanding set pay tribute to some of the most famous and effective tanks of 1939-45. The time has come for all tank aficionados to think about securing this outstanding coin set released back in 2010 with a limited worldwide mintage of just 1,500.
Soviet T-34 Medium Tank
The best Soviet tank of World War II, the T-34 Medium Tank, formed the backbone of the USSR’s armoured units. Entering service in 1940, its appearance shocked the Germans who expected to face an inferior Soviet Army. At the Battle of Kursk in 1943, the greatest tank battle of the War, the T-34 helped swing the initiative on the Eastern Front to the Red Army. Up to 65mm thick, its sloped armour was effective in deflecting anti-tank shells, while its 76.2mm main gun, replaced by a more lethal 85mm weapon, inflicted heavy damage on the German Panzers. Produced in vast numbers and continuously refined, the T-34 is often credited as the War’s most effective, efficient and influential tank.
US M4 Sherman Medium Tank
The M4 Sherman Medium Tank, which first saw action in the deserts of North Africa, was used extensively by US, British and other Allied forces during World War II. Produced from 1941, it had a fully rotating turret for its 75mm main gun and featured armour to a maximum thickness of 75mm. Particularly versatile, it was developed into an enormous range of variants and specials, including an amphibious version. Though it was up-gunned, the M4 Sherman lacked the outright capabilities of later German tanks. However, its effectiveness as a weapon was assured by its mechanical reliability, manoeuvrability, endurance and, with almost 50,000 rolling off the production line during the War, sheer weight of numbers.
German PzKpfw V1 Tiger 1 Heavy Battle Tank
When it entered service in 1942, the PzKpfw V1 Tiger I Heavy Battle Tank was the most powerful in the world. Indeed, with an 88mm main weapon, 100mm thick front armour, the 56,900kg Tiger I laid emphasis on firepower and armour at the expense of mobility. Its fearsome reputation was forged by famous German tank commanders like Michael Wittman, whose Tiger 1 singlehandedly destroyed 12 enemy tanks and various other military vehicles at the Battle of Villers-Bocage in June 1944. Despite the fact that about 1,350 only were built and many suffered from mechanical problems, the Tiger I successfully struck morale-sapping fear in the minds of many Allied soldiers.
British A22 Churchill Infantry Tank
Rushed into production in 1941, the A22 Churchill Infantry Tank made an inauspicious start at the disastrous Dieppe Raid in 1942. Modified several times, however, it was to become one of the most important British tanks of World War II. A good cross-country performer which had a more powerful six-pounder with the appearance of the Mark III, it proved its worth in North Africa. Perhaps the tank’s greatest asset was its armour plating, ranging from 102mm up to 152mm on the Mark VII. Another factor contributing to the Churchill’s importance was its adaptability. Successful variants included the flame-throwing ‘Crocodile’ and the AVRE battlefield engineering support vehicle.
Japanese Type 97 Chi-Ha Medium Tank
The Type 97 Chi-Ha was the most widely produced Japanese medium tank of World War II. Its development coincided with the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, where it played an effective role in infantry support. With 25mm thick armour and a low velocity 57mm main gun, however, it was no match for Allied medium tanks. Pressure for more powerful equipment saw the Type 97 up-gunned by the time it encountered US forces in the Philippines in 1942. Although it had a smaller calibre, the new 47mm gun generated higher muzzle velocity for improved armour penetration. Also fitted with a larger turret, the Type 97 Shinhoto was one of the best Japanese tanks of the War.