Anytime you have tanks in anime it certainly gets my attention, add in a bit of implied yuri in an all-girls school and at least on paper this is my kind of show. So far it hasn’t disappointed me too much. Still I think that they need to get rid of that Type 89, we already have Muv Luv to carry the Glorious Nippon Samurai banner, we need real panzers not lowly inter-war tank with a low velocity 57mm and riveted armor. Other than the suspect inclusion of a Type 89, I can go with having a StuG III, Panzer 38(t), M3 Grant, and Panzer IV. As much as I want upgrades I get this sinking feeling that I may not get them, then again this is still a far cry from serious tank vs. tank combat. Still I want them all to get upgrades since the competition is going to not only out gun them but have bigger and faster tanks.
As is if they plan on taking 1 Churchill and 4 Matilda IIs then they better be ready for the Panzer 38(t) and the Type 89 play decoy since their guns will not put so much as a dent in British Armor. Old Blighty may have skimped too much on firepower for their early designs but the armor was superb especially on the slower Infantry Tanks. The 38(t) will have some uses but if they want a bigger gun they will have to upgrade to Marder III or Hetzer and lose the turret in the process. If ED is any indication then the Type 89 is better off being used for scrap as the 57mm short is only useful against infantry and is a piss poor AT gun.
The Type 89 may be the sucks but the inclusion of the StuG III with 7.5 cm KwK 40 makes up for it so long as the optics are still German and the crew has an artillery pedigree. The StuG III is a vastly underrated assault gun that was by far the most cost effective AFV in the German arsenal, and yes it had a better record than the vaunted Tiger. People forget just how lethal assault guns were back in the day as the low profile StuGs could easily ambush enemy armor. Coupled with German optics (the best in the world at the time courtesy of Zeiss) and the best artillery troops in the Heer, StuGs could shoot first, shoot, long and shoot accurately. The reason why StuGs weren’t crew by tankers was because they occupied a grey area in the order of battle and the compromise inclusion of artillery men meant that the StuGs had some of the best big gun sharp shooters laying its shots.
The M3 Grant is an acceptable tank for the task at hand as the 75mm while hull mounted still packs a mighty punch. The problem is that the M3 Grant had a very high profile making for a larger target. Moreover one of things that is better than a hull mounted 75mm is a turret mounted 75mm. As the competition heats up they will need a better tank as the turret mounted 37mm will soon be obsolete against the Mid to Late War designs. The sponson mount also limits tactical possibilities and the high profile makes ambushing enemy armor all but impossible. Still it is mechanically reliable and easy to maintain which works since the whole platoon is green.
Having the lead tank be a Panzer IV makes me very happy as not only was the basic design sound, the Panzer IV had very high upgrade potential and while they have an early model with a 75mm short, I am hoping that there will be upgrades in the future. Having the Panzer IV and Panzer III figure prominently has me grinning ear to ear. Most people simply point to the Panzer V and Panzer VI as the quintessential German Tank of the war, but they forget that it was the innovative design of the Panzer III that led to later designs and that the Panzer IV was the back bone of German armor for most of the war. I mentioned before that optics was often overlooked when people praise German tank design, but equally important to the smashing success of the Panzerwaffe was the three man turret that distinguished the Panzer III from most contemporary tanks.
If you ever look at the specifications for French tanks and German Tanks like the Panzer III they are fairly evenly matched but French tanks often had smaller turrets while German tanks had a dedicated loader, gunner, and tank commander. The French often had their tank commander do double duty as gunner and as a result while their tanks were better armed and armored for the most part they were deftly out maneuvered by their German opponents. Believe it or not a tank is most effective when there is an exposed crewman to act as its eyes and ears. Fighting when the whole crew is locked inside the armor hull may seem like a good idea until you realize that the crew can’t see their surroundings. Hence the tank commander must not only direct the crew but also be aware of the battlefield.
Miho has her reasons for not wanting to do Sensha-do (Tankery) but I am sure that she will be fine and as the tank commander for the Panzer IV she is for all intents and purposes a platoon commander as well. The Student Council might be there but in a prolonged firefight the Panzer IV would make the best command tank given its overall versatility and crew layout. Saori and Hana were so eager that I was anticipating a rendition of Panzerlied, but that wasn’t going to happen. However given the setting and the absence of boys I easily turn on the yuri goggles and in my estimation Miho has already indirectly kissed Saori and Hana. They are off to a rough start with a Panzer IV in horrible disrepair but as the old tank crews were expected to maintain their vehicles I expect that they will learn to care for their AFVs. I really hope they will be upgrading chassis and installing bigger main guns. We saw hints of heavier tanks so if they stick with what they have now, my enthusiasm will damper. Honestly I can’t get behind this show 100% if that Type 89 is going to beat up on Panzer VIs.