Movies like Patton and Fury clearly dictate that tanks are where it’s at. And, of course, they’re absolutely right. Thick armor plating, treads capable of climbing over uneven surfaces (like enemy faces), a gigantic cannon capable of shooting God right out of the sky … what’s not to like?
Out of 50 tanks sent to attack the Somme, only 36 made it. The rest broke down and/or got stuck in the mud, with horrendous results. Things did improve for tank crews in WWII, but not a lot. It was still an insanely miserable, dangerous, flammable place to fight a war. And mud was still a problem.
The makeup of the most common Allied tank, the Sherman, was riddled with so many small weaknesses it might as well have been a miniboss in a video game. If hit low, the interior was liable to erupt into a ball of hellfire, roasting everyone inside. That’s the opposite of how a tank is supposed to work. In WWII, the loss rate of Allied Sherman tanks was a blood-pressure-ramping 580 percent. They malfunctioned, caught fire constantly, and were basically horrible death traps for those inside. In fact, one of the reasons the Allies achieved armor superiority over the Germans is because they had so many bullshit Sherman tanks they were forced to continuously improve them. So don’t listen to the movies – you were as likely to die from merely occupying a tank as you were from being shot by one.