The new tanks
There are four new tanks, all of them developed for tier 2. The important thing to keep in mind is not only how they interact with each other, but how they deal with previous tiers. These, like all equipment above tier 0, need to be researched, and we'll go over the RDP rules another time. It should be noted that the Matilda's dominance is over - the appearance of tier 2 Axs tanks makes it pointless for the Allied High Command to produce more Matildas to face the Panzer III H in tier 1, since it'll only be outclassed when tier 2 comes around.
The French, who had often been regarded as the red-headed stepchildren of the game and were often the focus of Axis attacks due to perceived low interest in French equipment, are probably the biggest beneficiaries of tier 2 armor. The Sherman M4A2 is arguably not only the best all-around tank of the tier, it is by far the most recognizable.
Why is the Sherman good? For starters, it's the second-fastest tank in the game. Secondly, while it isn't the most armored vehicle of the tier, it has few obvious weak spots. Its armor completely outclasses the German tier 1 tank, the Pz III H. The P3H is capable of penetrating the Sherman frontally only at very close ranges on the driver and machine gunner ports, and from the side at close range. By contrast, the Sherman's 75mm gun, though not as powerful as the German 75, is dominating against the Panzer III H and capable of penetrating both new German tanks frontally under the right conditions. Also, its high explosive ammunition is quite potent despite the poor implementation of HE ammo in the game. Other than its optics, which take time to get used to, the Sherman is a very easy tank for the average player to use.
By contrast, the British Crusader III takes skill and patience. A small, light tank, it faces stiff competition from Axis tankers. The Crusader III is lightly armored and vulnerable even to tier 0 Axis armor from the flanks, and it is capable of being killed frontally by a Panzer III H at decent range. The StuG III G and Panzer IV G are both more heavily armed and armored. However, the British tanker has some unique advantages swinging his way - Crusaders have an extremely low profile, are relatively quiet (as far as tanks go) and great camouflage. They're nigh-on invisible in the twilight hours and make great ambush tanks. Assaults are more difficult for them than for Shermans, but the ingenuity of British tankers makes it possible.
The Germans got two tanks in tier 2. Why? Well, because CRS said so.
The main tank is the Pz IV G. It's got 80mm of frontal armor on the hull, but only 50mm on the turret and its sides and rear might as well be made of tissue paper. The Pz IV G's main asset is its 75mm gun, which is almost as powerful as the 88 is with Panzergranate ammo. Although, like the 88, it too will struggle against the Sherman's hull at off angles and longer ranges, it is capable of penetrating Shermans frontally with considerably less effort than other Axis hardware. The Brit tanks, with the exception of the Crusader III, struggle against the new Pz IV. On the other hand, both the tier 2 French Sherman and the tier 1 French Stuart put up respectable numbers against Pz IV Gs. This is mostly due to the vulnerable frontal turret of the Pz IV, which can be penetrated by the high velocity 37mm gun of the Stuart.
The other Axis tank is actually a tank destroyer, the StuG III G. It has a slightly more powerful gun than the Pz IV G, and its armor is almost completely 80mm frontally. This makes it extremely difficult to kill from the front by even the Sherman and Crusader III, but, the StuG, despite its strengths, is hardly the ultimate tank. For starters, it lacks a turret. The gun has only a few degrees of traverse either way, meaning that the player has to start the engine and turn the entire tank around in order to aim it at some targets. This often ends up exposing the StuG's vulnerable flanks to potentially new enemies, and the prolonged sounds of the engine are a draw for the StuG's most lethal enemy - sappers. Since the StuG has no machine guns whatsoever, it is extremely vulnerable to infantry like sappers or paratroopers who have satchel charges.