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Wraith601
16 Feb 06,, 18:57
Not sure if this has been before so hear it goes. What do you think is the overall best tank od the Second World War? I'm referring to designs in general, but if you feel a specific variant is the best by all means mention it.

I'm not just referring to capabilities but also to the tank's overall effect on the outcome of the war.

Wraith601
16 Feb 06,, 19:02
I voted for the Sherman. Even though it wasn't the most capable tank one on one, at least early on, it's later versions were very capable tanks. Plus it's small size and ease of construction allowed the US to overwhelm the Germans.

The T-34 is close second and had it not struggled heavily against upgraded Shermans in Korea it could have edged out a victory.

troung
16 Feb 06,, 19:03
Either the T-34 or the M-4 Sherman. They were easier to keep operational then opposing tanks, they both were mobile and were issued in very large numbers.

Wraith.

I would clear things up and say the 76mm Shermans that served in Korea also saw widespread service in the Second World War among many allies, from South Africa to the USSR. And if we look at post war versions the 105mm armed M-51 Sherman would easily kill anything that served in the war, making it less then fair.

Wraith601
16 Feb 06,, 19:16
Either the T-34 or the M-4 Sherman. They were easier to keep operational then opposing tanks, they both were mobile and were issued in very large numbers.

Wraith.

I would clear things up and say the 76mm Shermans that served in Korea also saw widespread service in the Second World War among many allies, from South Africa to the USSR. And if we look at post war versions the 105mm armed M-51 Sherman would easily kill anything that served in the war, making it less then fair.

Good points. The 76mm version was around, not in great numbers but it was there.

troung
16 Feb 06,, 19:38
Quick numbers...

M-4A1 - 3426
M-4A2 - 2915
M-4A3 - 1925
M-4A3E8 - 2617

Total 76mm armed Shermans built during war 10883
About 100 M-4A3E2s were converted to use the 76mm gun

2073 M-4A2s entered service with the Red Army during late 1944 and early 1945. They were most commonly used in Mechanized units such as the 8th Guards Mechanized Corps which had 185 M-4A2s and only 5 T-34s. 250 were used in the offensive in Manchuria against the Japanese.

Britian recieved 1350 during the war.

After the war a good number of other Shermans were convereted to use the 76mm gun as well.

RustyBattleship
16 Feb 06,, 20:04
The M-4 Sherman (any and all mods) made the greatest impact on the Western Front of Europe and even in the Pacific Theater.

On the Eastern Front you have to give the nod to the T-34.

Both the T-34 and M-4 tanks could be mass produced and it was the numbers more than the "quality" of the tanks that beat the Germans.

On the History Channel former German tank crewman admitted that the Shermans were much more reliable and maintaince free than the Tigers and Panthers. The T-34 tanks could have been much more effective but the crews were badly trained, had no virtual tank commanders and only one in five (at best) had a radio.

Both the US and USSR tried to match the Tiger's 88mm main gun with a 90mm gun on the M-26 Pershings and an 85mm the Joseph Stalin II (added to the next series of T-34s later). But not enough of them were made to really show a tipping of the scales that late in the war.

Therefore my vote has to go for the M-4 Shermans because of their numbers (five times as many tanks available as for crews), better trained crews and less breakdowns.

leib10
16 Feb 06,, 20:04
It would be the T34. Rugged, fast, reliable, well armored, good gun, and good cross-country mobility, and most of all sheer numbers made it the tank that won the war in the East, even though it was clearly inferior to the Panther or Tiger one on one. However, the Panther was also an excellent tank, possibly the best of the war because it, like the T34, was an great all-around tank.

dalem
16 Feb 06,, 20:12
Overall I fight through my anti-German bias :) and let the Panther edge out the Sherman. The Panther, although over-engineered, had the best combination of armor, gun, and mobility of any of the tanks fielded by any participant in WWII. It was a great tank in 1943 and it was still a great tank in 1945.

-dale

leib10
16 Feb 06,, 20:19
Only problem with the Panther was its complexity and its hydraulics system, which could be set on fire if hit. Also the Ausf. D had a nasty shot trap, but this was corrected on Ausf. A and later models.

brian00
17 Feb 06,, 01:27
I voted for the Sherman.

I think most of the people who fought in them would disagree, werent they nicknamed tommycookers?

I think the t-34 85mm, cheap, reliable and powerful

Wraith601
17 Feb 06,, 01:32
It would be the T34. Rugged, fast, reliable, well armored, good gun, and good cross-country mobility, and most of all sheer numbers made it the tank that won the war in the East, even though it was clearly inferior to the Panther or Tiger one on one. However, the Panther was also an excellent tank, possibly the best of the war because it, like the T34, was an great all-around tank.

The T-34 really wasn't that reliable though. The Russians just had so many they could abandon broken ones and remont the crews and leave them for recovery crews. Plus they had a nasty habit of spalling very heavily when hit and blew up impressively if their armor was pieced. Contrast that to the Sherman which while easier to knock out was easier to return to service and crew losses were lower on average per knocked out tank than the T-34(at least according to some numbers I've seen). Let's not forget that neither tank really stood up to the 88 very well.

The Sherman gets the edge by virtue of its successes in Korea. While a different war the doctrine and equipment were close enough to give you an idea of comparative capabilities of the vehicles.

sparten
17 Feb 06,, 05:28
The M-4 Sherman (any and all mods) made the greatest impact on the Western Front of Europe and even in the Pacific Theater.

On the Eastern Front you have to give the nod to the T-34.

Both the T-34 and M-4 tanks could be mass produced and it was the numbers more than the "quality" of the tanks that beat the Germans.

On the History Channel former German tank crewman admitted that the Shermans were much more reliable and maintaince free than the Tigers and Panthers. The T-34 tanks could have been much more effective but the crews were badly trained, had no virtual tank commanders and only one in five (at best) had a radio.

Both the US and USSR tried to match the Tiger's 88mm main gun with a 90mm gun on the M-26 Pershings and an 85mm the Joseph Stalin II (added to the next series of T-34s later). But not enough of them were made to really show a tipping of the scales that late in the war.

Therefore my vote has to go for the M-4 Shermans because of their numbers (five times as many tanks available as for crews), better trained crews and less breakdowns.
Sir, I must disagree. there. The M-4 Sherman was a very good tank circa, 1942 Battle of El-Amein. Indeeed thats why the Germans actually sent the Tiger to N Africa first. But by the time Normandy came up , it was out classed completely. Perhaps the US would have been better off going the Firefly route.

tttcomrader
17 Feb 06,, 05:28
If you are asking for the single best tank in WWII...

Both T-34 and M4 Sherman had good numbers, but they ain't the best in the sense of its quality, and I think they were produced so damn many was because of the Soviet/US war productions, especially when they brutally standardized all parts.

The "zippo" Sherman has big problem with its gas tank, easily set on fire after being hit, Patton warned about them before, but no one listen till it is too late.

T-34 is all-around tank, but the tank commander has to play the role of gunner, with its narrow turrent view, made them to fire once while a Panzer IV can fire five/six times. The real killer is the lack of radio, but it really isn't the problem with the tank itself, there were simply not enough available.

Panther was, in my view, the most reliable tank in WWII, as it enjoyed all the advantage, fire power, speed, armor... But its complexity made it impossible to mass produce.

My vote, finally, for the best tank in WWII, would go to Panzer IV Type H. It might not be the strongest tank in the German warehouse, but its reinforced skirt made the Russians' lives much harder, especially the equipment for anti tank rifle was embrassingly outdated. In addition, it has a longer, more powerful gun that pack some firepower. According to many Eastern Front sources, those Type H tanks were able to outmatch the T-34s, plus they could be produced in good numbers.

I really do believe if Hitler didn't invest so much money on those animal tanks, the Germans would have a better chance of winning, or at least prolonging the war.

sparten
17 Feb 06,, 05:33
Who needs a tank when you got a Tank Destroyer?
http://www.pier-models.com/acatalog/it7012.jpg

The Elefant, more frontal armour than the Bismarck!

Bill
17 Feb 06,, 06:23
Elefant wasn't a tank, and was about as mobile as British WWI Mk1 tank.

The Panther G is my pick as best overall tank of the war. Speed, mobility, firepower, protection. The Panther G had it all.

The British Firefly should also be a selection on the list, technically it was a sherman, but one with the very powerful 17lb AT gun, a gun that could penetrate the frontal glacis of any tank(note this would not include the Elefant and Tiger Tank Destroyers) that saw service in the war.

The best US version of the Sherman was the M4A3E8/76, and that was actually a very good tank, with very good armor and a powerful 76.2mm high velocity gun.

The M-26 should also be on the list. Came at the end of the war, but it is generally felt that it was a good match for the best German heavy tanks.

troung
17 Feb 06,, 06:24
The "zippo" Sherman has big problem with its gas tank, easily set on fire after being hit, Patton warned about them before, but no one listen till it is too late.

It was the ammunition stowage which caused the fires hence the wet stowage brought into later models.


But by the time Normandy came up , it was out classed completely. Perhaps the US would have been better off going the Firefly route.

The regular 76mm M-62 AP round would put a hole in the front of a Panther at 600 meters while the 76mm HVAP shot would hole the Panther at 1000 meters. And the Shermans were only outclassed by a handful of tanks taking into account the large amount of Shermans. And then one has to factor in support for the Shermans such as air power, artillery and infantry.

Plus this is only looking at tank versus tank not the various other things tanks get called upon to do. Infantry support, indirect fire and so forth.

A company of Shermans supporting a local operation is a lot more usefull then a Tiger 20 miles down the road worried about breaking downor running out of fuel if it moves and the ever present threat of air attacks killing it before it gets to the battle to rumble with the company of Shermans.

And I know those German FT-17s were not outclassing Shermans in France... I don't believe you... :tongue: :biggrin: :tongue:


The Elefant, more frontal armour than the Bismarck!

And less defensive weapons then an FT-17... :tongue:

Bill
17 Feb 06,, 06:29
Only problem with the Panther was its complexity and its hydraulics system, which could be set on fire if hit. Also the Ausf. D had a nasty shot trap, but this was corrected on Ausf. A and later models.

That's why i specifically mention the Panther G.

It had hammered out the earlier reliability issues, and had even heavier frontal armor while still maintaining excellent mobility. Great tank.

Bluesman
17 Feb 06,, 14:04
That's why i specifically mention the Panther G.

It had hammered out the earlier reliability issues, and had even heavier frontal armor while still maintaining excellent mobility. Great tank.

Right on. If you could keep those fast Yank TDs and light armor from getting past your covered area and onto your flank, you only had to worry about the HVAP round from close, or the lucky hit that takes a track off, finds a weak point, or dings your gun.

But almost anything you face is going to have to worry about ANY touch from your 75/L70. No matter where you hit or from however far away, he's going to have a bad day. :frown:

leib10
17 Feb 06,, 15:35
Yep. Even the heavily armored Josef Stalin tanks were vulnerable against the L70 gun, which had even better penetration than the infamous KwK 36 88mm gun found on Tiger I's.

Bill
17 Feb 06,, 15:38
It just occured to me that the Centurian aint on the list either.

That was a great tank too....although it did most of it's tail kicking after the war(MkIII version), first in Koldrea, but mostly in the Mideast and then later in India against Pakistan(i'm not really sure if the Centurian actually saw any combat at all in WWII, but it was one of the truly great WWII tank designs).

http://www.diggerhistory.info/images/lt-horse-pics/centurion_tank.jpg
http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-armour/allied/centurion.htm

"History

In 1943, after a succession of unfortunate tank designs the British War Office commissioned a new specification calling for a tank with durability, reliability, a weight of 40 tons and the ability to withstand a direct hit from the German 88mm gun. Six prototypes were developed before the end of World War 2, but arrived to late to take part in the war on German soil.

It was soon recognised that the weight restrictions had to be lifted as the original specification could not be achieved within the 40 ton weight limitation.

The early vehicles were equipped with a 17 pounder main gun and a 20mm Polsten cannon. They also featured frontal, glacis plate armour to deflect shot, a partially cast turret and Horstmann suspension.

However, modifications to the original design were quickly made and the changes resulted in the adoption of a 20 pounder, fully stabilised, main gun and the replacement of the 20 mm cannon by a Besa mg (thus allowing the turret to be fully cast). These changes resulted in the Mk 3 version of the vehicle. NB: It was reputed that the performance of the 20 pounder gun (when firing APDS) was twice that of the 88mm gun of the German, Royal Tiger Tank.

In order to maintain its combat effectiveness, continuing modifications have led to numerous changes to main gun armament (e.g. 105 mm), fire control equipment, infra-red driving aids, engines (particularly diesels) and semi-automatic transmissions.

The Centurion was Britain's first attempt to produce a universal tank and do away with divisions between Infantry Tanks (e.g. Matilda) and Cruiser Tanks

(e.g. Covenanter). The original design was rapidly changed in the light of performance reports and led to the production of the Mk 2.

Further modifications resulted in the production of the Mk 3. This mark introduced the 20 pounder gun and the fully cast turret, plus a number of engine modifications. In this form, the Centurion first saw action in Korea in 1951 and soon proved itself to be the best performing tank in this theatre of operations. Particularly notable was its excellent cross country performance."

Bill
17 Feb 06,, 15:46
Found this rare photo of a M-26 Pershing engaged in a gun duel with a Nazi Panther while browsing the net. Pretty cool stuff...

http://history.acusd.edu/gen/st/~cshimp/UStanks/M26_Pershing.jpg
The M26 was the first US heavy tank to see extensive action, and was born of the realization that the Sherman was far outclassed. An excellent tank, it was not introduced to combat units until 1945, woefully late to help the thousands of US tankers killed as they fought across Europe in Shermans. It was armed with a 90mm high velocity stabilized gun, allowing it to fire accurately on the move. While not decisively powerful, it was strong enough to penetrate Panthers and usually Tigers at either close range or on a flank.
http://history.acusd.edu/gen/st/~cshimp/m26.htm

Wraith601
17 Feb 06,, 18:45
I excluded the Pershing and the Centurion because while they were WWII designs they really had little impact on the war itself. They really came of age in Korea where they really owned the T-34/85. This is main reason for not voted the T-34 as it really had no staying power, it was already outclassed in 1943 by many larger German tanks and as I recall never could survive hit from a 88.

The Panther was an excellent tank, better than the Tiger if you ask me, but still too complex and far too expensive when you're fighting a war of attrition against much more umerous Shermans and T-34s. I think the Germans would have best served by putting all the resources from the Panther and Tiger projects into upgraded Panzer IVs, the real backbone of the Panzerwaffe.

Wraith601
17 Feb 06,, 18:47
Sir, I must disagree. there. The M-4 Sherman was a very good tank circa, 1942 Battle of El-Amein. Indeeed thats why the Germans actually sent the Tiger to N Africa first. But by the time Normandy came up , it was out classed completely. Perhaps the US would have been better off going the Firefly route.

Remember this isn't just which tank was the best, it's which one had the biggest impact on the war. I'll admit I chose a bad name for the thread and poll though.

dalem
17 Feb 06,, 19:35
I'd like to offer the wishy-washy notion that ANY tank design that we are still talking about 60 years later has to be considered VERY highly.

I mean sure, we can discuss finer points and differences between the M4, T-34, and PzKwIV and V and VIE, but they are all "Great" designs in their own right.

Now, which one would I rather have a bunch of from a strategic point of view? The M4, hands down.

Which one would I rather have if I have an army with no logistical tail and no education? The T-34, hands down.

Which one would I rather BE in once the strategic and other problems have been solved and someone is shooting hurty bits at me? The Panther, hands down.

-dale

Wraith601
17 Feb 06,, 20:48
Also bear in mind the Sherman did EXACTLY what it was designed to do. Prewar US doctrine was that tanks didn't fight tanks, that was the job of dedicated tank destroyers and artillery, with help from airpower. Tanks were designed to support infantry and achieve tactical breakthroughs. Only problem was that the Germans disagreed and built their tanks early on to fight and kill other tanks much more effectively. It was only 6 months after the combat debut of the Panther that the Sherman began getting more armor and the 76mm gun. Eventually the US realized two seperate types of AFV wasn't the best way to go and the Pershing was put forward to fll both the infantry support and tank killing role.

The Brits had a similar doctrine with their Cruiser tanks and infantry tanks, untill they consolidated ont he Centurion.

Even the Germans started the war under this line of thought. The Panzer III was designed as a tank killing breakout vehicles and the Panzer IV was for infantry support. Of course the Panzer IV eventually became a fearsome tank killer in it's own right with a longer gun and more armor.

sparten
18 Feb 06,, 06:10
Sherman shots bounced off Tigers and Panther IV's. If it had been upgunned to Firefly standards, at least those two tankes, would have been forced to fire at a longer range.
Not to mention actually take some damage.
As for the T-34, let a better man than me have the final word

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/t-34.htm

Built in Ukraine in the Kharkov Steam-Engine Factory (KhPZ), the German general von Runstedt called the T-34 the "best tank in the world" and von Kleist said it was the "finest in the world."
Who ar we to argue with Field Marshals?

Bill
18 Feb 06,, 06:15
I excluded the Pershing and the Centurion because while they were WWII designs they really had little impact on the war itself. They really came of age in Korea where they really owned the T-34/85. This is main reason for not voted the T-34 as it really had no staying power, it was already outclassed in 1943 by many larger German tanks and as I recall never could survive hit from a 88.

The Panther was an excellent tank, better than the Tiger if you ask me, but still too complex and far too expensive when you're fighting a war of attrition against much more umerous Shermans and T-34s. I think the Germans would have best served by putting all the resources from the Panther and Tiger projects into upgraded Panzer IVs, the real backbone of the Panzerwaffe.

If the nazis had switched immediately from PzIII and IV and Tiger production to solely focus on Panthers they'd have been much better off. Same with all the crazy tank killer vehicles they made.

From the moment the Panther was ready for production IMO the nazis should've built nothing but.

The PzIV was vulnerable to all the allied high velocity anti tank guns, both east and west.

gunnut
18 Feb 06,, 09:46
Single tank wise, Panther without a doubt. It's agile, thick-skinned, and had a powerful 75mm gun (some say more powerful than the mighty 88).

T34/85 would be my close 2nd. Huge numbers, easy to maintain, great agility, good firepower, good armor.

The problem with Germany weapon philosophy was that they either built monuments or Swiss watches. Neither can be mass produced quickly. One takes more men to operate than its own good, the other is not "soldier proof."

The perfect tank for WW2 would probably be the T34/85 with German crew and American organization.

Bluesman
18 Feb 06,, 12:07
The problem with Germany weapon philosophy was that they either built monuments or Swiss watches. Neither can be mass produced quickly. One takes more men to operate than its own good, the other is not "soldier proof."

The perfect tank for WW2 would probably be the T34/85 with German crew and American organization.

That's actually a GREAT answer. Well-reasoned. :)

Shek
18 Feb 06,, 17:49
Single tank wise, Panther without a doubt. It's agile, thick-skinned, and had a powerful 75mm gun (some say more powerful than the mighty 88).

T34/85 would be my close 2nd. Huge numbers, easy to maintain, great agility, good firepower, good armor.

The problem with Germany weapon philosophy was that they either built monuments or Swiss watches. Neither can be mass produced quickly. One takes more men to operate than its own good, the other is not "soldier proof."

The perfect tank for WW2 would probably be the T34/85 with German crew and American organization.

The issue with the Germans was that they didn't sustain production runs because they were always introducing modifications which shut down the assembly lines for retooling, and introduced a non-commonality of parts effect. Additionally, because they rarely finished out production runs, they never built up a large spare parts system. This results in large amounts of vehicles being abandoned - they just didn't have the parts to repair them on the lines and often had to evacuate the equipment to the factory to be repaired.

It wasn't until 1943, I believe, that Speers finally convinced Hitler to shut out the generals from war production decisions (they were the ones constantly introducing marginal improvements/modifications and calling for a wide variety of designs). Only at this point when production systems were truly centralized did Germany start cranking out equipment at the rate they were capable of. This is why Germany's largest production numbers were highest in 1944 despite having lost air superiority, being subjected to a vast bombing campaign, and moving production sites to scattered locations in less than optimal conditions to avoid Allied destruction.

On the contrary, the Americans to an extent and the Soviets to a huge extent decided to go with a few models in each category (tanks, planes, transport, etc.) and produce large amounts. They completed production runs and then produced spare parts to support the fielded vehicles.

For those who are interested in reading more about this, all the info is from Richard Overy's "Why the Allies Won the War." It covers about 7-8 topics that he saw as most critical to Allied success and is a very good and quick read.

667medic
18 Feb 06,, 18:13
T-34, heard that it is still used by Egypt....

Bill
18 Feb 06,, 18:47
The issue with the Germans was that they didn't sustain production runs because they were always introducing modifications which shut down the assembly lines for retooling, and introduced a non-commonality of parts effect. Additionally, because they rarely finished out production runs, they never built up a large spare parts system. This results in large amounts of vehicles being abandoned - they just didn't have the parts to repair them on the lines and often had to evacuate the equipment to the factory to be repaired.

It wasn't until 1943, I believe, that Speers finally convinced Hitler to shut out the generals from war production decisions (they were the ones constantly introducing marginal improvements/modifications and calling for a wide variety of designs). Only at this point when production systems were truly centralized did Germany start cranking out equipment at the rate they were capable of. This is why Germany's largest production numbers were highest in 1944 despite having lost air superiority, being subjected to a vast bombing campaign, and moving production sites to scattered locations in less than optimal conditions to avoid Allied destruction.

On the contrary, the Americans to an extent and the Soviets to a huge extent decided to go with a few models in each category (tanks, planes, transport, etc.) and produce large amounts. They completed production runs and then produced spare parts to support the fielded vehicles.

For those who are interested in reading more about this, all the info is from Richard Overy's "Why the Allies Won the War." It covers about 7-8 topics that he saw as most critical to Allied success and is a very good and quick read.


Agreed on all counts.

Standardized production of just the Panther, with all German tank factories focused on that one design would've resulted in a pretty staggering production output, and would've left the Nazis in much, much better shape.

I'll take Panthers over the competition in WWII any day.

dalem
18 Feb 06,, 20:53
Sherman shots bounced off Tigers and Panther IV's. If it had been upgunned to Firefly standards, at least those two tankes, would have been forced to fire at a longer range.
Not to mention actually take some damage.
As for the T-34, let a better man than me have the final word

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/t-34.htm

Who ar we to argue with Field Marshals?

We are not on the losing side, that's who we are.

-dale

Wraith601
19 Feb 06,, 01:08
Sherman shots bounced off Tigers and Panther IV's. If it had been upgunned to Firefly standards, at least those two tankes, would have been forced to fire at a longer range.
Not to mention actually take some damage.
As for the T-34, let a better man than me have the final word

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/t-34.htm

Who ar we to argue with Field Marshals?

Yet the Soviets still lost far more T-34s then the Germans lost of any of their tank designs. The only reason Soviet kill/loss ratios improved towards the end was better tactics and gaining of air superiority, plus the Germans just didn't have many tanks left.

By the way Runstedt and von Kleist lost.

Bill
19 Feb 06,, 03:25
Even more than any tactical improvement or better soviet equipment or less german equipment, the men that the nazis were shoehorning in tanks by the last year of the war were of far lower quality than the elite and well drilled tankers they forged their fearsome reputation with.

The elite troopers of Afrika corps and the various SS divisions were almost all dead or disfigured cripples by the start of 1944, and in their place were young boys and old men, and others of 'questionable' motivation or loyalty.

That is not a recipe for a low casualtie rate.

It was the same for the Luftwaffe. Sure the Nazis kept building and putting planes in the air right to the end of the war, but for all intents and purposes, by the morning of 6 June, 1944, the Luftwaffe had effectively ceased to exist as an effective fighting force. This despite the fact that fighter production, and fighter quality, were both much higher in mid-44 than pre-war levels.

Again, and as always....it is the men, not the machines. Men win wars. The machines only make us more effective at killing one another.

sparten
19 Feb 06,, 08:06
Yet the Soviets still lost far more T-34s then the Germans lost of any of their tank designs. The only reason Soviet kill/loss ratios improved towards the end was better tactics and gaining of air superiority, plus the Germans just didn't have many tanks left.


A lot of those were lost in the first weeks of the war.




By the way Runstedt and von Kleist lost
So did Napoleon, Hannible, Robert Lee....

Bill
19 Feb 06,, 08:26
A lot of those were lost in the first weeks of the war.
.

And a hell of a lot of them weren't.

The russians lost 2000 tanks at the battle of Berlin alone.

At Kursk they lost another 1500.

To say that early war tank losses skew the numbers against the T-34 is IMO disingenuous because the Russians kept on losing them in droves right up until the very last day of the war.

sparten
19 Feb 06,, 11:08
And a hell of a lot of them weren't.

The russians lost 2000 tanks at the battle of Berlin alone.

At Kursk they lost another 1500.

To say that early war tank losses skew the numbers against the T-34 is IMO disingenuous because the Russians kept on losing them in droves right up until the very last day of the war.
Not really, German losses were very high, esp when viewed as a %.
Berlin what do you mean? The actual battle itself or the whole campaign?

Bill
19 Feb 06,, 19:18
Not really, German losses were very high, esp when viewed as a %.
Berlin what do you mean? The actual battle itself or the whole campaign?

I mean the Battle for Berlin.

German losses were never as high as the Russians, hell, it's not even close. At Kursk the Nazis attacked into a triple thick defensive belt with less than 1:1 odds and damned near broke through! Considering that you SHOULD have a 5:1 edge in numbers when attacking into prepared defenses, that the Nazis could almost break through with a roughly .75/1 numerical deficit is utterly amazing, and does NOT AT ALL speak well of the T-34, or the Russian military in general.

Fact is, that when faced against a Tiger(I or II) or a panther the T-34 was hopelessly outmatched, and had to rely on sheer weight of numbers to overwhelm the much better German tanks.

The Sherman and T-34 get credit for being easy to produce, but IMO, both of them were widowmakers.

astralis
19 Feb 06,, 20:18
I mean the Battle for Berlin.

German losses were never as high as the Russians, hell, it's not even close. At Kursk the Nazis attacked into a triple thick defensive belt with less than 1:1 odds and damned near broke through! Considering that you SHOULD have a 5:1 edge in numbers when attacking into prepared defenses, that the Nazis could almost break through with a roughly .75/1 numerical deficit is utterly amazing, and does NOT AT ALL speak well of the T-34, or the Russian military in general.

Fact is, that when faced against a Tiger(I or II) or a panther the T-34 was hopelessly outmatched, and had to rely on sheer weight of numbers to overwhelm the much better German tanks.

The Sherman and T-34 get credit for being easy to produce, but IMO, both of them were widowmakers.

really? i was under the impression that the northern german attack failed pretty badly, and the southern german attack broke through (after almost completely exhausting themselves) the first two defensive belts- but there was five more (albeit lesser) defensive belts to break through...

perhaps the fighting itself did not necessarily prove the unworthiness of the tank, but merely the differences in training and experience of the tankmen themselves.

Wraith601
20 Feb 06,, 01:34
A lot of those were lost in the first weeks of the war.


Only 5% of the Soviet tank force was T-34s when the war began. Pray tell how thousands of T-34s were lost so early when only 1 in 20 tanks were T-34s?

Wraith601
20 Feb 06,, 01:37
Courtesy of Wikipedia:

An obvious comparison can be made between the T-34 and the US M4 Sherman. Each tank formed the backbone of the armoured units in their own and allied armies. Both were good designs at the time they debuted. Both were improved significantly without much loss of effectiveness. Both could be manufactured in large numbers and maintained in difficult conditions. Neither could take on the best German Tiger and Panther tanks on equal terms, but too much has been made of this fact, as these heavy vehicles were both in a class more comparable to the Soviet IS-2 heavy tank (Zaloga & Grandsen 1983:37). Tanks were expected to have many roles on the battlefield, the foremost being infantry support and exploitation. The tank-vs-tank role is nonetheless very important. That German tank production was limited to relatively small numbers of superior but complex vehicles (in part because of production diversion into self-propelled guns) told against them. The Soviet decision to build large numbers of T-34s, gradually improving and simplifying the design, was a much better decision and helped to win WWII.

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-34)


To claim the T-34 was the best tank of the war simply by its capabilities is foolish. It was outclassed by the Panther, Tiger and the Soviet IS-2, but there were simply so many it didn't matter.

In the words of a German tanker:

"You need five of your tanks to destroy a single German one, but you always have six"

Bill
20 Feb 06,, 02:10
really? i was under the impression that the northern german attack failed pretty badly, and the southern german attack broke through (after almost completely exhausting themselves) the first two defensive belts- but there was five more (albeit lesser) defensive belts to break through...

perhaps the fighting itself did not necessarily prove the unworthiness of the tank, but merely the differences in training and experience of the tankmen themselves.

Yeah, Von Manstien in the South came within something like 1.5 miles of breaking entirely through the soviet defensive line. It's been a while since i read about it, so i really can't give you any details.

troung
20 Feb 06,, 03:29
To claim the T-34 was the best tank of the war simply by its capabilities is foolish. It was outclassed by the Panther, Tiger and the Soviet IS-2, but there were simply so many it didn't matter.

Tanks don't only fight other tanks.


"You need five of your tanks to destroy a single German one, but you always have six"

And it is advised that one outnumber the enemy before an attack. That is where most of that came from.

dalem
20 Feb 06,, 03:43
Tanks don't only fight other tanks.



And it is advised that one outnumber the enemy before an attack. That is where most of that came from.

No, most of it comes from statistical analysis, a la the "it took five Shermans to destroy one Panther" blurb. That doesn't mean that a platoon of Shermans could, would, or should trade itself for a single PzKwV, it simply means that logistics-wise, five Shermans were the logistical equivalent of one Panther.

And when the Allies' replacement rate of Shermans in the field is above (say) 1.0, and the Germans' replacement rate for the Panther is below 1.0, the Sherman wins that logistical battle.

-dale

Bill
20 Feb 06,, 04:22
No, most of it comes from statistical analysis, a la the "it took five Shermans to destroy one Panther" blurb. That doesn't mean that a platoon of Shermans could, would, or should trade itself for a single PzKwV, it simply means that logistics-wise, five Shermans were the logistical equivalent of one Panther.

And when the Allies' replacement rate of Shermans in the field is above (say) 1.0, and the Germans' replacement rate for the Panther is below 1.0, the Sherman wins that logistical battle.

-dale

Actually it did literally take about 5 shermans to kill one panther.

A platoon of shermans even had a popular tactic where the plt tries to race around the enemy tank and get behind it to shoot into it's engine compartment.

The execution of this tactic usually resulted in the destruction of 4 out of the 5 shermans in a WWII armored platoon. I saw a full color reenactment on the military channel once(With real shermans and a real tiger!), it was really neat. :)

sparten
20 Feb 06,, 04:46
Actually it did literally take about 5 shermans to kill one panther.

A platoon of shermans even had a popular tactic where the plt tries to race around the enemy tank and get behind it to shoot into it's engine compartment.

The execution of this tactic usually resulted in the destruction of 4 out of the 5 shermans in a WWII armored platoon. I saw a full color reenactment on the military channel once(With real shermans and a real tiger!), it was really neat. :)
There was something like that on history channel.

dalem
20 Feb 06,, 06:55
Actually it did literally take about 5 shermans to kill one panther.

A platoon of shermans even had a popular tactic where the plt tries to race around the enemy tank and get behind it to shoot into it's engine compartment.

The execution of this tactic usually resulted in the destruction of 4 out of the 5 shermans in a WWII armored platoon. I saw a full color reenactment on the military channel once(With real shermans and a real tiger!), it was really neat. :)

It's really fantasy, is what it is.

The bottom line is that any tank platoon would try to outflank its opponent and any WWII attacker was going to lose comparatively huge numbers of AFV on the attack no matter what the platform involved.

-dale

Bill
20 Feb 06,, 07:57
It's really fantasy, is what it is.

The bottom line is that any tank platoon would try to outflank its opponent and any WWII attacker was going to lose comparatively huge numbers of AFV on the attack no matter what the platform involved.

-dale

Or a German Tiger or Panther unit could go straight into the heart of the enemy defense, killing absolutely everything in their path. In meeting engagements and on the defense German armored vehicle losses from other vehicles were usually very low(regardless of opponent really). It was only when they were attacking into prepared defenses or attacked by enemy air power that they suffered heavy losses, and even then, in nearly all cases, they still inflicted damage far in disproportion for their actual numbers on the enemy force they were facing.

A single Panther G company could reasonably be expected to destroy a US Sherman or Soviet T-34 Battalion with very light losses of their own in most cases.

dalem
20 Feb 06,, 09:22
A single Panther G company could reasonably be expected to destroy a US Sherman or Soviet T-34 Battalion with very light losses of their own in most cases.

I disagree.

-dale

gunnut
20 Feb 06,, 10:07
Panther was just a nasty tank. It wasn't clumsy like the Tigers or the King Tigers. It could move. It had decent range. It had a super accurate, high velocity 75mm gun. It was nearly immune to the Shermans and T-34s. I agree with sniper that a Panther company could pretty much destroy a battallion of Shermans and T-34s in a meeting engagement.

The major problem for the Germans by then was they lost the air. Allied fighter bombers had their way with German armor. What reached the front to engage the Allied ground forces usually weren't completely intact units. Even then the Panthers wreaked havoc. But in the end, Germany simply couldn't produce enough of them and provide them with proper crew.

However, quantity is also very important in a weapon's design. So I think the traditional gauges for a tank's effectiveness, firepower, protection, and mobility, should be modified to include quantity. A simple to build and simple to maintain weapon system could be slightly less effective than the perfect system but yet achieve greater success.

Garry
20 Feb 06,, 15:09
Only 5% of the Soviet tank force was T-34s when the war began. Pray tell how thousands of T-34s were lost so early when only 1 in 20 tanks were T-34s?

Sorry. I don't have statistics but remember when studying advanced history classes in early 1990-es I learned that in fact it was quite a lot of T-34 on Western border of USSR at the begining of war.... most lost stupidly. I remember numbers like few thousands.....

My grandfather was in one of them - he burned his tank in early July or early August 1941 when he ran out of fuel and shells being encirled deeply. I guess that many tanks in encirlements were destroyed to such reason.

He fought throughout the war (except for Nov-1941-July 1942 when he was in Stalin prison as a traitor) becoming one of the most experienced tank commanders personally his crew scored 3 tigers.

Shek
20 Feb 06,, 15:31
However, quantity is also very important in a weapon's design. So I think the traditional gauges for a tank's effectiveness, firepower, protection, and mobility, should be modified to include quantity. A simple to build and simple to maintain weapon system could be slightly less effective than the perfect system but yet achieve greater success.

Then you're back to Sniper's comment - the man makes the machine.

Bill
20 Feb 06,, 17:05
I disagree.

-dale

You're more than free to, but i think a serious effort to verify my claims based on the historical record would show that i'm correct(there is no shortage of specific examples of single Nazi Tiger and Panther tanks taking on entire Russian Armored units by themselves and winning the day.)

Shermans and T-34s were pretty much pure cannon fodder when directly facing Panthers and Tigers.

Bill
20 Feb 06,, 17:11
Panther was just a nasty tank. It wasn't clumsy like the Tigers or the King Tigers. It could move. It had decent range. It had a super accurate, high velocity 75mm gun. It was nearly immune to the Shermans and T-34s. I agree with sniper that a Panther company could pretty much destroy a battallion of Shermans and T-34s in a meeting engagement.

We both have the benefit of having specific examples of exactly that happening.
Check out this page of actual Panther combat operations:
http://members.tripod.com/~dietmagic/panther.html

"twilight slowly enveloped the terrain in darkness. What will the next day bring? Will the Russians try to counterattack and retake the city or not? The leader decided to change to another position to get a better field of fire. During the night running motors from moving tanks were heard. Toward morning, a Panther was called back for resupply and the other Panther had to take over the entire defense.

Daybreak has long since passed and an attack was not expected when out of the depression at full speed fourteen Russian tanks carrying infantry charged toward the defending Panther. The loader was outside well away from the Panther finishing his business when shelling forced him to take cover. This made the situation more difficult. The driver took his place and fire was opened at a range of 1000 meters. Shot after shot was sent toward the attacker. The enemy had charged to within 600 meters turned right and disappeared into a hole(in the treeline). Four enemy tanks remained as smoking wrecks on the track. An immediate call on the radio alerted the defenders positioned further to the north. They managed to destroy six of the ten remaining tanks. Driving wildly, the rest escaped. An attack behind our front had been repulsed and cost the enemy heavy losses.

Again the defending Panther changed his position. After an hour, the second Panther returned from being resupplied and took up his defensive position. The enemy hadn’t given up their attempt to enter the city. During the afternoon, the enemy with an infantry battalion supported by four SU assault guns, under cover of the tall corn fields, tried twice to break in from the southeast. But, both attacks were completely repulsed by the two defending Panthers. All four SU assault guns that took part in both of these attacks were shot up. Two Panthers defending the city from the south and southeast had broke up two tank and two infantry attacks. The enemy suffered the loss of eleven tanks and very heavy losses of men.

THIS REPORT AND OTHERS LIKE IT TO COME IN THE FUTURE ARE FROM GERMANY'S PANTHER TANK - THE QUEST FOR COMBAT SUPREMACY BY THOMAS L. JENTZ AND ALSO FROM OTHER SOURCES."

ANOTHER STORY:
" Meantime the camouflaged Tigers and Panthers waited with their engines idling. Almost every time a Russian tank came into range, a sharp strident burst set it on fire. The Russians were moving toward us slowly, sure of themselves, firing at random. Their tactic of demoralization would have worked if there had not been so many plumes of black smoke rising against the pale February sky. Our 37s and Panzerfausts, designed to be used at almost point-blank range, were scarcely called on. The first wave of Soviet armor was consumed five hundred yards from our first positions, nailed down by the concentrated fire of our Tigers and Panthers and heavy anti-tank guns.

The Tiger was an astonishing fortress. Enemy fire seemed to have almost no effect on its shell, which, at the front was five and a half inches thick. Its only weakness was its relative immobility. "
(Note that the Panther A and G's frontal protection was even GREATER than the Tiger I's!)

One should make no mistake...Panthers dominated the battlefield whenever they were present and enemy air allowed them freedom of operation.

Until an M-4(even one with the 76.2mm Hv gun) or T-34/85 closed the range to point blank and got on a Panther or Tiger's flanks it could not kill the panther! Even the 90mm gun M36 TD had to close within 100 meters to penetrate a Panther's frontal armor.

Whole Soviet T-34 and Sherman units were repeatedly shot to pieces trying to get on the flanks of German Panther and Tiger tanks, the only reliable way of killing either. Both Tiger's and Panther's were completely immune to US Bazookas(whereas a Bazooka would easily penetrate the frontal armor of an M4A1 Sherman).

Garry
20 Feb 06,, 17:35
Even more than any tactical improvement or better soviet equipment or less german equipment, the men that the nazis were shoehorning in tanks by the last year of the war were of far lower quality than the elite and well drilled tankers they forged their fearsome reputation with.

The elite troopers of Afrika corps and the various SS divisions were almost all dead or disfigured cripples by the start of 1944, and in their place were young boys and old men, and others of 'questionable' motivation or loyalty.

That is not a recipe for a low casualtie rate.

It was the same for the Luftwaffe. Sure the Nazis kept building and putting planes in the air right to the end of the war, but for all intents and purposes, by the morning of 6 June, 1944, the Luftwaffe had effectively ceased to exist as an effective fighting force. This despite the fact that fighter production, and fighter quality, were both much higher in mid-44 than pre-war levels.

Again, and as always....it is the men, not the machines. Men win wars. The machines only make us more effective at killing one another.

Great comment. Indeed after Bagration in 1944 German troops on Eastern Front were nowhere close to veterans killed and wounded in 1941-43.... Bagration was final hit breaking the hord of German army in the East

Bill
20 Feb 06,, 17:46
http://history.acusd.edu/gen/st/~cshimp/Germantanks/PzV.jpg
"This Panther was hit at least 5 times by a heavy US tank destroyer before its armor was finally penetrated at less than 100 yards. From Death Traps"

Probably the best all-around tank produced during WW 2 by any nation, the Pz V Panther was the development of years of experience in armored warfare. While it did not mount the largest gun, it's 75mm L/70 high velocity gun was capable of taking out any Allied tank. With very thick armor, excellent maneuverability and outstanding range, it was a difficult combination to beat. The Panther was first put into service at the battle of Kursk, the biggest tank battle of WW2 and probably ever. Unfortunately, the design was untested and some bugs had not yet been worked out. Still, it proved superior in all ways to the Soviet tanks it faced, and in most ways to it's big brother, the Panzer VI Tiger.

The Panther weighed in at a hefty 45.5 tons, mounted a powerful, high velocity 75mm L/70 cannon, and was protected by 110mm of armor. It had outstanding range at more than 200km and could speed along at over 45 kph- as fast as the best Sherman!
http://history.acusd.edu/gen/st/~cshimp/pzv.htm

---------------------------------------------------------------------

"A second Russian wave followed closely after the first, more dense than the first, and accompanied by a swarm of infantry which posed a serious threat.

We waited, dry-mouthed, our guns jammed against our shoulders and our grenades in easy reach. Our hearts were pounding.

Suddenly like a miracle, thirty of our planes flew over. As promised, the squadron from Vinnitsa was attacking. This particular job was easy for them, and every bomb hit home.

A cry of "Sieg Heil, der Luftwaffe", rang so loudly from our trenches that the pilots might almost have heard it. We opened fire with everything we had, but the Russian offensive kept coming, despite overwhelming losses. Our tanks drove at the stricken enemy with an ardour worthy of 1941.

The noise became unbearable. The air was thick with bitter fumes and smoke, and the smells of gunpowder and burned gasoline. Our shouts mingled with the shouts of the Russians, who were reeling under the unexpected resistance.

We were able to watch the magnificent progress of our Tigers and Panthers, pulverizing the enemy tanks before they were able to complete a half-turn. The Luftwaffe attacked again with rockets and 20mm cannons. The Russian rout was hidden by a thick curtain of luminous smoke.

The Russian artillery kept on firing at our lines, causing several deaths which we scarcely noticed. However, their guns were soon overrun by their own retreating troops, and fell silent.

A second wave of German planes, an undreamed-of extra luxury, completed the Russian debacle. We hugged each other in excitement, bursting with joy.

For a year now, we have been retreating before an enemy whose numerical superiority was constantly increasing.

In our sector all the lines had held, and we felt very proud. We had proved once again that with adequate material and a certain minimum preparation we could hold off an enemy of greatly superior size, whose frenzied efforts were never intelligently employed.

There were thirty Iron Crosses for us after this action …"
http://members.tripod.com/~dietmagic/panther2.html

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Garry
20 Feb 06,, 18:04
You're more than free to, but i think a serious effort to verify my claims based on the historical record would show that i'm correct(there is no shortage of specific examples of single Nazi Tiger and Panther tanks taking on entire Russian Armored units by themselves and winning the day.)

Shermans and T-34s were pretty much pure cannon fodder when directly facing Panthers and Tigers.

that goes to quality of the crews and generals. T-34s in good hands scored many victories in one to one battles against Tigers. The problem was that there were very few experienced crews in soviet troops.... most were having just 3 month training before the battle.

For example names of T-34 commanders who burned more than one Tiger in battle:
Lt. Georgiy Besarabov destroyed 4 Tigers of which 3 in single battle
Lt. Mikhail Zamula destroyed 7 Tigers
Hero Lt. Alexander Milyukov destroyed 6 tigers and 1 Panter. The panter and 3 tigers he destroyed in one battle.
Lt. Georgiy Brazhnikov destroyed 5 tigers, of these 4 tigers destroyed in one battle with 8 shots
Hero Lt. Ivan Khitsenko - a young commander who met sudden advance of 10 tigers. He did not retreat but destroyed 5 tigers before his T-34 was burned.
Hero Lt Vasiliy Nikolayev destroyed 4 tigers, all in one battle. He used up all his armor piercing shells for 3 tigers. Without shells he managed to get close to 4th tiger and hit it on full speed with his burning T-34 - destroyed last tiger and died. (besides tigers he also destroyed 2 other tanks in that battle)
Lt. Ivan Golub destroyed 3 tigers and 2 panters
Lt. Georgiy Chesak destroyed 3 tigers
Lt. Nikolai Lazeikin destroyed 3 tigers in one battle besides the 6 other tanks.
Lt. Mikhail Frolov destroyed 3 tigers and two other tanks in one battle
Lt. Vladimir Maksakov destroyed 3 tigers out of his total of 18.
Lt. Alexandr Oskin destroyed 3 king tigers and captured!!! 3 more abandoned by crews, when he attacked alone a column from an ambush in August 1944

These tankers were trained, brave and ..... some of them lucky to prove your earlier point - it is up to a man not the hardware to decide who wins. They were outnumbered but managed to win

ps. There must be others as well I can not name all of them and hence don't mean to undermine their achievements

leib10
20 Feb 06,, 18:10
You're more than free to, but i think a serious effort to verify my claims based on the historical record would show that i'm correct(there is no shortage of specific examples of single Nazi Tiger and Panther tanks taking on entire Russian Armored units by themselves and winning the day.)

Shermans and T-34s were pretty much pure cannon fodder when directly facing Panthers and Tigers.

There are many, many instances when one or a pair of Panthers or Tigers broke the back of many Allied attacks by themselves. Michael Wittmann, Otto Carius, Ernst Barkmann and the like come to mind.

leib10
20 Feb 06,, 18:13
http://history.acusd.edu/gen/st/~cshimp/Germantanks/PzV.jpg
"This Panther was hit at least 5 times by a heavy US tank destroyer before its armor was finally penetrated at less than 100 yards. From Death Traps"

Probably the best all-around tank produced during WW 2 by any nation, the Pz V Panther was the development of years of experience in armored warfare. While it did not mount the largest gun, it's 75mm L/70 high velocity gun was capable of taking out any Allied tank. With very thick armor, excellent maneuverability and outstanding range, it was a difficult combination to beat. The Panther was first put into service at the battle of Kursk, the biggest tank battle of WW2 and probably ever. Unfortunately, the design was untested and some bugs had not yet been worked out. Still, it proved superior in all ways to the Soviet tanks it faced, and in most ways to it's big brother, the Panzer VI Tiger.

The Panther weighed in at a hefty 45.5 tons, mounted a powerful, high velocity 75mm L/70 cannon, and was protected by 110mm of armor. It had outstanding range at more than 200km and could speed along at over 45 kph- as fast as the best Sherman!
http://history.acusd.edu/gen/st/~cshimp/pzv.htm

---------------------------------------------------------------------

"A second Russian wave followed closely after the first, more dense than the first, and accompanied by a swarm of infantry which posed a serious threat.

We waited, dry-mouthed, our guns jammed against our shoulders and our grenades in easy reach. Our hearts were pounding.

Suddenly like a miracle, thirty of our planes flew over. As promised, the squadron from Vinnitsa was attacking. This particular job was easy for them, and every bomb hit home.

A cry of "Sieg Heil, der Luftwaffe", rang so loudly from our trenches that the pilots might almost have heard it. We opened fire with everything we had, but the Russian offensive kept coming, despite overwhelming losses. Our tanks drove at the stricken enemy with an ardour worthy of 1941.

The noise became unbearable. The air was thick with bitter fumes and smoke, and the smells of gunpowder and burned gasoline. Our shouts mingled with the shouts of the Russians, who were reeling under the unexpected resistance.

We were able to watch the magnificent progress of our Tigers and Panthers, pulverizing the enemy tanks before they were able to complete a half-turn. The Luftwaffe attacked again with rockets and 20mm cannons. The Russian rout was hidden by a thick curtain of luminous smoke.

The Russian artillery kept on firing at our lines, causing several deaths which we scarcely noticed. However, their guns were soon overrun by their own retreating troops, and fell silent.

A second wave of German planes, an undreamed-of extra luxury, completed the Russian debacle. We hugged each other in excitement, bursting with joy.

For a year now, we have been retreating before an enemy whose numerical superiority was constantly increasing.

In our sector all the lines had held, and we felt very proud. We had proved once again that with adequate material and a certain minimum preparation we could hold off an enemy of greatly superior size, whose frenzied efforts were never intelligently employed.

There were thirty Iron Crosses for us after this action …"
http://members.tripod.com/~dietmagic/panther2.html

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I remember that quote. That came from The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer. It also has a story about Tigers massacring IS-2 tanks.

Bill
20 Feb 06,, 18:24
that goes to quality of the crews and generals. T-34s in good hands scored many victories in one to one battles against Tigers. The problem was that there were very few experienced crews in soviet troops.... most were having just 3 month training before the battle.

For example names of T-34 commanders who burned more than one Tiger in battle:
Lt. Georgiy Besarabov destroyed 4 Tigers of which 3 in single battle
Lt. Mikhail Zamula destroyed 7 Tigers
Hero Lt. Alexander Milyukov destroyed 6 tigers and 1 Panter. The panter and 3 tigers he destroyed in one battle.
Lt. Georgiy Brazhnikov destroyed 5 tigers, of these 4 tigers destroyed in one battle with 8 shots
Hero Lt. Ivan Khitsenko - a young commander who met sudden advance of 10 tigers. He did not retreat but destroyed 5 tigers before his T-34 was burned.
Hero Lt Vasiliy Nikolayev destroyed 4 tigers, all in one battle. He used up all his armor piercing shells for 3 tigers. Without shells he managed to get close to 4th tiger and hit it on full speed with his burning T-34 - destroyed last tiger and died. (besides tigers he also destroyed 2 other tanks in that battle)
Lt. Ivan Golub destroyed 3 tigers and 2 panters
Lt. Georgiy Chesak destroyed 3 tigers
Lt. Nikolai Lazeikin destroyed 3 tigers in one battle besides the 6 other tanks.
Lt. Mikhail Frolov destroyed 3 tigers and two other tanks in one battle
Lt. Vladimir Maksakov destroyed 3 tigers out of his total of 18.
Lt. Alexandr Oskin destroyed 3 king tigers and captured!!! 3 more abandoned by crews, when he attacked alone a column from an ambush in August 1944

These tankers were trained, brave and ..... some of them lucky to prove your earlier point - it is up to a man not the hardware to decide who wins. They were outnumbered but managed to win

ps. There must be others as well I can not name all of them and hence don't mean to undermine their achievements


I MOST CERTAINLY DON'T mean to belittle the accomplishments of the Russian tank crews. Their feats were legendary, precisely BECAUSE of who they faced.

But to be honest, while you do cite some excellent Russian commanders- one that even had 7 Tiger kills(wow!)- if you were to list the records of the top Tiger and Panther crews- some of the top Tiger and Panther crews killed hunrdreds of T-34s in their careers. Oft times dozens of them recorded in a single day!

It's hard to blame the T-34 crews of course, they were totally overmatched by both the Pz V Panther and Pz VIa Tiger.

Garry
20 Feb 06,, 18:49
I MOST CERTAINLY DON'T mean to belittle the accomplishments of the Russian tank crews. Their feats were legendary, precisely BECAUSE of who they faced.

But to be honest, while you do cite some excellent Russian commanders- one that even had 7 Tiger kills(wow!)- if you were to list the records of the top Tiger and Panther crews- some of the top Tiger and Panther crews killed hunrdreds of T-34s in their careers. Oft times dozens of them recorded in a single day!

It's hard to blame the T-34 crews of course, they were totally overmatched by both the Pz V Panther and Pz VIa Tiger.

I agree. T-34 is not best to fight Panther and Tigers. But the hundreds killed by single german crews were more due to low level of soviet crews training. Most of them were tracktor drivers from collective farms who were trained for 3 month and sent to front. Every month Russian industry produced few thousand new T-34..... and it was hard to populate all of them with trained and skilled crews. Hence training was real bottleneck and it was reduced to 3 month and sometimes shorter. Same with pilots.

I just wanted to illustrate with the examples above that a TRAINED and SKILLED tank crews in T-34 could face Tigers and Panters in one to one battles. Like my grandfather who met tiger in 1943 while covering retreat from Kharkov in his T-34 type 42.

This tiger ambushed a two tank reconnaisance team. First T-34 was killed with a single hit from long distance. Using speed, manuevrability, terrain and HUGE LUCK my grandfather managed to escape 6 shots from tiger. Shot the track of tiger. Came close to burt him. He was surprised to learn that Tiger's turret had such a slow speed in rotation. It was useful only for a long- range battle. Later he was in that place again and he went to see the burned hull. He realized that his 4 shells did not penetrate the side armor but there was something inside which detonated and burned that tiger.

I also remember him telling that so many young crews were comming and were burned in first battles...... he was considered "old" for surviving through the war. After war he was training Chinese and Korean tankers in Mongolia plains.

Wraith601
20 Feb 06,, 18:55
The greatest strength of the Tiger and Panther was also it's fatal flaw. It's armor was certainly heavy, but it was so heavy the things constantly broke down, you couldn't keep them fueled and you never had enough spares. Also they take so long to build that the Germans could never muster anywhere near enough to really affect the war's outcome.

I'd take a Pershing or Centurion any day over any German tank.

Bill
20 Feb 06,, 19:45
The greatest strength of the Tiger and Panther was also it's fatal flaw. It's armor was certainly heavy, but it was so heavy the things constantly broke down, you couldn't keep them fueled and you never had enough spares. Also they take so long to build that the Germans could never muster anywhere near enough to really affect the war's outcome.

I'd take a Pershing or Centurion any day over any German tank.

All that is true of the Tiger, and most of it true of the early Panther D, but the Panther G was much more reliable, actually had very good range considering it's performance, and with it's 700hp V-12, had better mobility than even an early war(ie light) M-4 sherman!

The G model Panther also had a frontal armor RHA equivelancy of over 400mm(the Tiger was claimed to offer 385mm equivelancy). Finally, the 75mm Hv gun using late war german AP ammo actually outpenetrated the legendary "88" of the Tiger.

At typical combat ranges, the frontal armor of the Panther(and especially the A2 and G models) was essentially immune to almost all allied antitank fire(as evidenced by the photos above).
Really only the 17lb gun of the GB Firefly could reliably penetrate the frontal armor of a Tiger or Panther at any range beyond 100 meters!

Bill
20 Feb 06,, 19:52
I agree. T-34 is not best to fight Panther and Tigers. But the hundreds killed by single german crews were more due to low level of soviet crews training. Most of them were tracktor drivers from collective farms who were trained for 3 month and sent to front. Every month Russian industry produced few thousand new T-34..... and it was hard to populate all of them with trained and skilled crews. Hence training was real bottleneck and it was reduced to 3 month and sometimes shorter. Same with pilots.

During the first days of the Allied invasion of Normandy the US lost so many M-4 crews that Infantrymen were literally being pulled randomly out of line units as they headed to the front and stuffed right into patched(and oft times re-patched) up Shermans, allowed to fire 3 or 4 rounds, and then sent right into the fight. I saw a WWII tank mechanic that was at the battle relate that story in a TV interview, i think on the history channel.

According to him, at the first bend in the road leading away from Omaha beach, something like 27 Sherman tanks were knocked out, most of them the guys that had just been pulled from the infantry units. It was at this point in the story that the vet broke into tears and the tale ended...

Craziness.

Your GF is/was one BRAVE AND LUCKY man!

My GF on my father's side was a tanker in Patton's 8th Army. He never got a scratch. I guess he was lucky too. :)

troung
20 Feb 06,, 20:54
You're more than free to, but i think a serious effort to verify my claims based on the historical record would show that i'm correct(there is no shortage of specific examples of single Nazi Tiger and Panther tanks taking on entire Russian Armored units by themselves and winning the day.) Shermans and T-34s were pretty much pure cannon fodder when directly facing Panthers and Tigers.

Yeap and we could dig up stories of 37mm guns killing Tigers.


Both Tiger's and Panther's were completely immune to US Bazookas(whereas a Bazooka would easily penetrate the frontal armor of an M4A1 Sherman).

Not really. Those were not the best weapon to face down a Panther or a Tiger but they could do the job with the right shot.

dalem
20 Feb 06,, 20:57
You're more than free to, but i think a serious effort to verify my claims based on the historical record would show that i'm correct(there is no shortage of specific examples of single Nazi Tiger and Panther tanks taking on entire Russian Armored units by themselves and winning the day.)

Shermans and T-34s were pretty much pure cannon fodder when directly facing Panthers and Tigers.

I am far less knowledgeable about the Eastern Front, but in the West Front it was generally the attacker who lost lots of tanks no matter which kinds of tanks he used. None of that detracts from the tactical AT superiority of the Panther as compared to even the Easy Eight, of course.

But my point is that every dead Panther was not surrounded by the burning husks of 5 dead Shermans - that's not where that stat comes from.

-dale

Bill
20 Feb 06,, 21:12
Yeap and we could dig up stories of 37mm guns killing Tigers.

Not really. Those(Bazookas) were not the best weapon to face down a Panther or a Tiger but they could do the job with the right shot.

Unless you can show me direct quoted testimony by someone that saw or did it(preferably saw or did it more than once), i am completely skeptical of that claim(feel free, i'd like to see it if it exists). Bazookas sucked. Short of a possible engine grill mobility kill, there's just no way i see a bazooka ever putting a tiger or panther out of action.

37mm cannon fire delivered from above, sure. Lots and lots of stories(Sturmoviks and P-39s).

The only way i can see a Stuart(example of a 37mm armed tank) besting a tiger is if the odds were absolutely immensely in favor of the light tanks and they managed to get behind the tiger and could put several rounds through the engine grill at very short range. I would not wish to participate in such a drill, thank you. :eek:

Against the side or frontal armor a 37mm AP round would not come close to penetrating a tiger or panther.

Bill
20 Feb 06,, 21:19
I am far less knowledgeable about the Eastern Front, but in the West Front it was generally the attacker who lost lots of tanks no matter which kinds of tanks he used. None of that detracts from the tactical AT superiority of the Panther as compared to even the Easy Eight, of course.

But my point is that every dead Panther was not surrounded by the burning husks of 5 dead Shermans - that's not where that stat comes from.

-dale

One of the places that stat comes from is where one Panther or Tiger(or a pair of them) in a holding action would delay an advance by a much larger allied unit taking out several allied tanks before it was eventually flanked and encircled by allied armor, or until it was pounded into oblivion by Allied air or arty.

That happened many times, on both the eastern and western fronts.

My specific statement related to a meeting engagement though.

In a meeting engagement a Panther G company with good personnel would rape a US Sherman armored bn.

In a matter of minutes.

They did that many times too, but mainly on the Eastern front against T-34s. There were actually very few large tank on tank battles on the Western front, certainly nothing even remotely approaching the scale of any of the big E.Front tank battles.

troung
20 Feb 06,, 21:21
Bazookas sucked. Short of a possible engine grill mobility kill, there's just no way i see a bazooka ever putting a tiger or panther out of action.

:cool:



The only way i can see a Stuart(example of a 37mm armed tank) besting a tiger is if the odds were absolutely immensely in favor of the light tanks and they managed to get behind the tiger and could put several rounds through the engine grill at very short range. I would not wish to participate in such a drill, thank you.

Yep.

dalem
20 Feb 06,, 21:48
Against the side or frontal armor a 37mm AP round would not come close to penetrating a tiger or panther.

Actually the side armor of the Panther was very thin (approx. 50mm) and quite vulnerable to penetration by the 37mm AP round at ranges under 500m (penet. approx 70mm at 500m).

-dale

dalem
20 Feb 06,, 21:51
One of the places that stat comes from is where one Panther or Tiger(or a pair of them) in a holding action would delay an advance by a much larger allied unit taking out several allied tanks before it was eventually flanked and encircled by allied armor, or until it was pounded into oblivion by Allied air or arty.

That happened many times, on both the eastern and western fronts.

My specific statement related to a meeting engagement though.

In a meeting engagement a Panther G company with good personnel would rape a US Sherman armored bn.

In a matter of minutes.

They did that many times too, but mainly on the Eastern front against T-34s. There were actually very few large tank on tank battles on the Western front, certainly nothing even remotely approaching the scale of any of the big E.Front tank battles.

I still contest your assertion that such things would have happened on the Western front. Shermans handled themselves quite well against Panthers in the Stolberg Corridor battles and in Lorraine.

Again, NONE of that detracts from the fact that you are also illustrating - that a lone Panther with proper positioning could back up a column of Shermans for hours and hours.

-dale

leib10
21 Feb 06,, 01:08
I'm sorry Garry, but I'm afraid that a single T-34 vs. a single Tiger or Panther has no chance against either in a meeting engagement. I agree with Snipe in this discussion. Due to (generally) higher crew training and battle experience, and superior equipment, I think a Panther G company would annihilate a T34 or Sherman battalion.

dalem
21 Feb 06,, 03:57
I'm sorry Garry, but I'm afraid that a single T-34 vs. a single Tiger or Panther has no chance against either in a meeting engagement. I agree with Snipe in this discussion. Due to (generally) higher crew training and battle experience, and superior equipment, I think a Panther G company would annihilate a T34 or Sherman battalion.

Except, again, that it never happened - the company annihilating the Sherman battalion. Heck - look at some of the battles I've mentioned, and the Ardennes battles too, and you will see that things did not always go the way of the Panther unit - even when opposed by nothing more than vanilla M4s with their medium velocity 75mm cannon.

-dale

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 04:36
Actually the side armor of the Panther was very thin (approx. 50mm) and quite vulnerable to penetration by the 37mm AP round at ranges under 500m (penet. approx 70mm at 500m).

-dale

That figure is EXTREMELY misleading because it does not take into account either sloping, composition(ie layered or unitary plate), or the type of armor used(ie cast or rolled, just for instance).

This fellow says it well:
http://www.strategypage.com/messageboards/messages/2-15169.asp
bunkerdestroyer RE:Frontal KT Kills-George Parada Says There's No Evidence - Carl 10/14/2005 12:20:55 PM
"In reguards to which tank can beat the other, I have read several of the postings and have not seen this point yet: There are several factors to consider when talking about which is better. Example: Thickness of the armour is not the only factor. Number on sheets do not tell the story. One thing that needs to be considered-and this was touched on when discussing the t-80 and k-5, was the quality of the armour on said tank. For the most part, russian armour quality was poor. This means that though the IS-2 might have had 120mm frontal armour(IS-2M sloped somewhat) it was probably only as effective as 90 mm sloped at that angle and design-and due to the superiority of german slope and armour quality, the 80mm of the panther was probably better protected than the 120mm of the IS-2m and definitely the general IS-2. German armour quality-until the last days-perhaps after march was always better than the russians and mostly the us/uk. In addition, for those who do read the statistics, remember that most of the testing was done against the verticle, not sloped and of general armour plates. Few books I have read makes this distinction-I have a book: Weapons of the waffen-ss by Bruce Quarrie that attempt to give performances of german atg and tank gun with different rds and at verticle and 30degree slope. The M-26 was much better than the m-4 in almost every aspect. In general-and the first models issued, they were inferior to the panther in all but mechanical reliablity. The 90mm gun would not penetrate above 500 meters and failed staight on at 300 mm often. When new 90mm were issued-longer barrels, better propellants and different ammo(like sabot), then the penetrative power increased significantly and thusly, kills were probably normal at probably any range. As far as the KT is concerned-frontal armour was 150mm on the hull and 185 mm on the turrent front. Sloped and quality of the 150mm-I believe from what I can deduce(not read as no books I have seen back this) is that it is equal to about 345mm verticle-formula-for QUALITY german sloped armour-#x2 and then origional #x.3=verticle-so panther was 80mm....80x2 is 160mm and 80x.3 is 24mm, so 160+24 is 184mm verticle, thusly you can now see why most allied weapons could not penetrate only 80mm plate though the paper statistices say the could.....also, before I go after all this....it also depends on the angle of hit and the quality of the rd....the 122mm of IS-2 was NOT a good weapon-2 piece shot and only 22 rds carried and it relied on mass not velocity-which was low. At 1000m it was said to be able to penetrate 185mm armour-not very good for such a large round-and with a poor quality projectile-material, 185mm was often wishfull thinking. I think a panther could take a frontal shot(general) at 600+meters...."

Here is the actual armor thickness of the various facings of the panther with the sloping as well. Remember, a 45 degree slope effectively doubles armor protection(sloping also greatly increases the chance of a riccochet). Unfortunately, this chart does not give an actual RHA equivelancy rating for the various facings of the Panther.

PANTHER D(Panther A is significantly better armored, and the G is significantly better armored than the A):

ARMOUR:(mm/angle) FRONT SIDES REAR TOP / BOTTOM
Turret: 100 mm/12 deg 45 mm/25 deg 45 mm/25 deg 16mm/84 deg
Upper Hull: 80 mm/55 deg 50 mm/30 deg 40 mm/30 deg 16 mm / 90 deg
Lower Hull: 60 mm/55 deg 40 mm / 0 deg 40 mm/30 deg 30 mm/90 deg
Mantlet: 100 mm/round

BTW, i seriously doubt a WWII 37mm round would not penetrate even 40mm of RHA.

I looked for penetration data for the 37, but all i could find was some snippets for the WWII Soviet 76mm Hv gun and the Soviet 57mm Hv gun. The 57 is actually a bit of a 'hot rod', and penetrates more armor than the 76(35mm more, the 57mm will penetrate 104mm of RHA at 500meters), but somehow i just don't see a steel WWII full bore penetrator 37mm round penetrating anywhere on the sides of a panther expect perhaps the lower sides(40mm, 0deg slope). Both the upper hull and the turret appear to be far outside the penetration capabilities of the 37mm AP round. The ogive of the 37mm(the nose) is just not ideal for 'biting in' to sloped armor. Probably because when the 37mm was fielded very little was known about tanks or what worked best for killiing them.

Remember that the 37mm is essentially the same as the British 2lb'er AT gun, a weapon that proved to be woefully inadequate against even early war Pz IIIs!

A 57mm Hv gun would likely easily penetrate the lower hull sides on a zero degree horizontal deflection shot(remember, you can have horizontal as well as vertical sloping. Horizontal sloping can actually be far more pronounced because the impact angle is entirely dependent on the aspect of the target tank that is presented to the engaging tank), but again, i am very doubtful it would penetrate the turret sides or upper hull sides on any kind of a regular basis.

Of course, i could be wrong. I don't think i am....but i could be... ;)

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 04:45
Except, again, that it never happened - the company annihilating the Sherman battalion. Heck - look at some of the battles I've mentioned, and the Ardennes battles too, and you will see that things did not always go the way of the Panther unit - even when opposed by nothing more than vanilla M4s with their medium velocity 75mm cannon.

-dale

It did happen many times vs T-34 units. Entire units wiped out by much smaller German forces(In the case of the King Tiger there are a few documented instances of a single KT destroying an entire T-34 Bn singlehandedly!)

What people are doing here, myself included, is deducing the results and type of fighting on the Eastern front, applying the same conditions to the Western Allies tank forces, and then extrapolating the result.

For instance, replace every T-34 at Kursk with M-4A3's, and the Shermans would suffer at least as badly as the T-34s did.

On the western front it didnt often play out that way because German armored forces were absoltuely bedeviled from the air, and the US especially had a penchant to halt an advance and dump truly massive quantities of artillery on anything that was obstructing their axis of advance.

IOW, the US did not fight 'heads up' or 'head to head' as the Russians did. Why? Because in the few instances they did(Kasserine being one of them), the US forces got the snot kicked out of them.

After the Normandy landing there was never a single decisive battle in the West until the Bulge, and we know who instigated that one. It sure wasn't the Allies.

And as far as that allied vs Panther meeting engagement i mention, i don't think one ever happened.

dalem
21 Feb 06,, 05:02
That figure is EXTREMELY misleading because it does not take into account either sloping, composition(ie layered or unitary plate), or the type of armor used(ie cast or rolled, just for instance).

-snip stuff-

Of course, i could be wrong. I don't think i am....but i could be... ;)

Yep, you're wrong, because the slope on the Panther side armor is effectively zero to start with and I grabbed the median figures for 0 degree slope. Even at 30degrees, at <=500m the 37mm AP from a Stuart will easily punch holes in the Panther side. Now of course you're going to NEED to punch a few holes at a time with a popgun round like the 37mm.

I'm at work right now so I don't have access to the raw numbers or I'd post them.

Bottom line is that from the flank a Panther is toast IF it is busy with another target.

Tigers are another story - still pretty beefy even from the side.

-dale

Officer of Engineers
21 Feb 06,, 05:49
What people are doing here, myself included, is deducing the results and type of fighting on the Eastern front, applying the same conditions to the Western Allies tank forces, and then extrapolating the result.

For instance, replace every T-34 at Kursk with M-4A3's, and the Shermans would suffer at least as badly as the T-34s did.

Look at what you've made me do. I went ahead and ordered this book


Amazon.com: Commanding the Red Army's Sherman Tanks: The World War II Memoirs of Hero of the Soviet Union Dmitriy Loza (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0803229208/103-3327220-6852644?v=glance&n=283155)

Editorial Reviews
Midwest Book Review
Hero of the Soviet Union Dmitriy Loza has carefully crafted his World War II experiences with American-provided Sherman tanks into a highly readable memoir. Between the fall of 1943 and August 1945, Loza fought in the Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Austria. He commanded a tank battalion during much of this period and had three Shermans shot out from under him. Commanding The Red Army's Sherman Tanks is the first available detailed examination of the Red Army's exploitation of American war material during World War II and provides firsthand testimony on tactical command decisions, group objectives and how they were accomplished. It took the fall of the Soviet Empire before first-hand information like this could become part of military studies materials here in the west. James Gebhard's translation has made Dmitriy Loza's military memoirs easily accessible to both military professionals, World War II buffs, and nonspecialist general readers alike.

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 06:02
Looks like a great read sir.

I wonder what model Sherman they had in that unit.

Officer of Engineers
21 Feb 06,, 06:09
Did a google and came up with this


Dmitriy Loza
"Emcha" Commander

Dmitriy Loza in Hungary, March 1945. (from D.F.Loza archive)

- Dmitriy Fedorovich, on which American tanks did you fight?

- On Shermans. We called them "Emchas", from M4 [in Russian, em chetyrye]. Initially they had the short main gun, and later they began to arrive with the long gun and muzzle brake. On the front slope armor there was a travel lock for securing the barrel during road marches. The main gun was quite long. Overall, this was a good vehicle but, as with any tank, it had its pluses and minuses. When someone says to me that this was a bad tank, I respond, "Excuse me!" One cannot say that this was a bad tank. Bad as compared to what?

- Dmitriy Fedorovich, did you have just American tanks in your unit?

- Our 6th Guards Tank Army (yes, we had six of them) fought in Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Austria. We ended the war for us in Czechoslovakia. Then they rushed us to the Far East and we fought against Japan. I briefly remind you that the army consisted of two corps: 5th Guards Tank Stalingrad Corps on our own T-34s and 5th Mechanized Corps, in which I fought. For the first time this corps had British Matildas, Valentines, and Churchills.

- They delivered the Churchill later.

- Yes, a bit later. After 1943 we largely declined British tanks because they had significant deficiencies. In particular, they had 12-14 h.p. per ton of weight at a time when good tanks had 18-20 h.p. per ton. Of these three British tanks, the best was the Valentine produced in Canada. Its armor was streamlined but more importantly, it featured a long-barreled 57mm main gun. My unit switched over to American Shermans at the end of 1943. After the Kishinev Operation our corps became the 9th Guards Mechanized Corps. I missed to tell you that every corps consisted of four brigades. Our mechanized corps had three mechanized brigades and one tank brigade, in which I fought. A tank corps had three tank brigades and one mechanized brigade. Yes, we had Shermans in our brigade at the end of 1943.

- But the British tanks were not withdrawn from service, so they fought until they were gone. Wasn't there a period when your corps had a mixture of tanks, both American and British? Were there any problems associated with the presence of such a broad variety of vehicles from different countries? For example, with supply and maintenance?

- Well, there were always problems. In general, the Matilda was an unbelievably worthless tank! I will tell you about one of the Matilda's deficiencies that caused us a great deal of trouble. Some fool in the General Staff planned an operation and sent our corps to the area of Yelnya, Smolensk, and Roslavl. The terrain there was forested swamp. The Matilda had skirts along the sides. The tank was developed primarily for operations in the desert. These skirts worked well in the desert-the sand passed through the rectangular slots in them. But in the forested swamps of Russia the mud packed into the space between the tracks and these side skirts. The Matilda transmission had a servomechanism for ease of shifting. In our conditions this component was weak, constantly overheated, and then failed. This was fine for the British. By 1943 they had developed a replacement unit that could be installed simply by unscrewing four mounting bolts, pulling out the old unit, and installing the new unit. It did not always work this way for us. In my battalion we had Senior Sergeant (Starshina) Nesterov, a former kolkhoz tractor driver (Kolkhoz is sort of farm - Valera), in the position of battalion mechanic. In general each of our tank companies had a mechanic and Nesterov was it for the battalion. At our corps level we had a representative (whose name I have forgotten) of the British firm that produced these tanks. At one time I had it written down, but when my tank was hit everything I had in it burned up -photographs, documents, and notebook. We were forbidden to keep notes at the front, but I did it on the sly. Anyway, this British representative constantly interfered with our efforts to repair separate components of the tank. He said, "This has a factory seal. You should not tinker with it!" We were supposed to take out a component and install a new one. Nesterov made a simple repair to all these transmissions. One time the British representative came up to Nesterov and asked him, "At which university did you study?" And Nesterov replied, "At the kolkhoz!"

The Sherman was light years better in this regard. Did you know that one of the designers of the Sherman was a Russian engineer named Timoshenko? He was some shirt tail relative of Marshal S. K. Timoshenko.

The Sherman had its weaknesses, the greatest of which was its high center of gravity. The tank frequently tipped over on its side, like a Matryoshka doll (a wooden stacking doll). But I am alive today thanks to this deficiency. We were fighting in Hungary in December 1944. I was leading the battalion and on a turn my driver-mechanic clipped a curb. My tank went over on its side. We were thrown around, of course, but we survived the experience. Meanwhile the other four of my tanks went ahead and drove into an ambush. They were all destroyed.

- Dmitriy Fedorovich, the Sherman had a rubber-coated metal track. Some contemporary authors point to this as a deficiency, since in combat the rubber might be set on fire. With the track thus stripped bare, the tank is disabled. What can you say in this regard?

- On the one hand this rubber-coated track was a big plus. In the first place, this track had a service life approximately twice that of steel track. I might be mistaken, but I believe that the service life of the T-34 track was 2500 kilometers. The service life of the Sherman track was in excess of 5000 kilometers. Secondly, The Sherman drove like a car on hard surfaces, and our T-34 made so much noise that only the devil knows how many kilometers away it could be heard. What was the bad side of the Sherman track? In my book, Commanding the Red Army's Sherman Tanks, there is a chapter entitled "Barefooted". There I wrote about an incident that occurred in August 1944 in Romania, during the Jassy-Kishinev Operation. The heat was fearsome, somewhere around 30° C. We had driven approximately 100 km along a highway in a single day. The rubber linings on our support rollers got so hot that the rubber separated and peeled off in long pieces. Our corps paused not far from Bucharest. The rubber was flying around, the rollers had begun to jam up, the noise was terrible, and in the end we had been stopped. This was immediately reported to Moscow. Was this some kind of joke, an entire corps had halted? To our surprise, they brought new support rollers to us quickly and we spent three days installing them. I still don't know where they found so many support rollers in such a short time. There was yet another minus of rubber track. Even on a slightly icy surface the tank slid around like a fat cow. When this happened we had to tie barbed wire around the track or make grousers out of chains or bolts, anything to give us traction. But this was with the first shipment of tanks. Having seen this, the American representative reported to his company and the next shipment of tanks was accompanied by additional track blocks with grousers and spikes. If I recall, there were up to seven blocks for each track, for a total of fourteen per tank. We carried them in our parts bin. In general the American representative worked efficiently. Any deficiency that he observed and reported was quickly and effectively corrected.

One more shortcoming of the Sherman was the construction of the driver's hatch. The hatch on the first shipment of Shermans was located in the roof of the hull and simply opened upward. Frequently the driver-mechanic opened it and raised his head in order to see better. There were several occasions when during the rotation of the turret the main gun struck this hatch and knocked it into the driver's head. We had this happen once or twice in my own unit. Later the Americans corrected this deficiency. Now the hatch rose up and simply moved to the side, like on modern tanks.

Still one great plus of the Sherman was in the charging of its batteries. On our T-34 it was necessary to run the engine, all 500 horsepower of it, in order to charge batteries. In the crew compartment of the Sherman was an auxiliary gasoline engine, small like a motorcycle's one. Start it up and it charged the batteries. This was a big deal to us!

For a long time after the war I sought an answer to one question. If a T-34 started burning, we tried to get as far away from it as possible, even though this was forbidden. The on-board ammunition exploded. For a brief period of time, perhaps six weeks, I fought on a T-34 around Smolensk. The commander of one of our companies was hit in his tank. The crew jumped out of the tank but were unable to run away from it because the Germans were pinning them down with machine gun fire. They lay there in the wheat field as the tank burned and blew up. By evening, when the battle had waned, we went to them. I found the company commander lying on the ground with a large piece of armor sticking out of his head. When a Sherman burned, the main gun ammunition did not explode. Why was this?

Such a case occurred once in Ukraine. Our tank was hit. We jumped out of it but the Germans were dropping mortar rounds around us. We lay under the tank as it burned. We laid there a long time with nowhere to go. The Germans were covering the empty field around the tank with machine gun and mortar fires. We lay there. The uniform on my back was beginning heating up from the burning tank. We thought we were finished! We would hear a big bang and it would all be over! A brother's grave! We heard many loud thumps coming from the turret. This was the armor-piercing rounds being blown out of their cases. Next the fire would reach the high explosive rounds and all hell would break loose! But nothing happened. Why not? Because our high explosive rounds detonated and the American rounds did not? In the end it was because the American ammunition had more refined explosives. Ours was some kind of component that increased the force of the explosion one and one-half times, at the same time increasing the risk of detonation of the ammunition.

ДDmitriy Loza with his father Fedor Loza (from D.F.Loza archive)

- It is considered noteworthy that the Sherman was very well appointed on the inside. Was this true?

- It was true. These are not just words! They were beautiful! For us then this was something. As they say now, "Euro-repair"! This was some kind of European picture! In the first place, it was painted beautifully. Secondly, the seats were comfortable, covered with some kind of remarkable special artificial leather. If a tank was knocked out or damaged, then if it was left unguarded literally for just several minutes the infantry would strip out all this upholstery. It made excellent boots! Simply beautiful!

- Dmitriy Fedorovich, how did you regard the Germans? As fascists and occupiers or not?

- When one is standing in front of you with a weapon in his hands, and it is a question of who will kill whom, there was only one response. He was the enemy. As soon as the German threw down his weapon or we captured him, then it was quite another matter. I was not in Germany. I have already told you where I fought. Here is an incident from Hungary. We had a trophy German "letuchka" (light maintenance truck). We had penetrated into the German rear in column. We were going along a road and our light truck had fallen back. Then another light German truck, just like our own, attached itself to the back of our column. A while later our column halted. I was walking down the column, checking vehicles. "Is everything in order?" Everything was fine. I approached the last vehicle in the column and asked, "Sasha, is everything OK?" In response I heard "Vas?" What was this? Germans! I immediately jumped to the side and cried out "Germans!" We surrounded them, a driver and two others. We disarmed them and only then did our own light truck come up the road. I said, "Sasha, where were you?" He responded, "We got lost." "Well, look," I said to him, "Here is another light truck for you!"

- So, you didn't have hatred for these enemy soldiers, did you?

- No, of course not. We understood that they were also human beings.

- What about your relationships with the civilian population?

- When the 2nd Ukrainian Front reached the Romanian border in March 1944 we stopped, and remained in place until August. In accordance with wartime laws, the entire civilian population had to be removed from the front-line zone to a depth of 100 kilometers. These people had already planted their field gardens. The authorities announced the evacuation to the population over the radio and sent out transportation to pick them up the next morning. With tears in their eyes these Moldavians shook their heads. How could this be? They had to abandon their fields! What would be left upon their return? So the evacuation went ahead as required, and we had practically no contact with the civilian population. At the time I was chief of staff for ammunition supply for the battalion. The brigade commander summoned me and said, "Loza, are you from peasant stock?" I replied in the affirmative. "Well, I thought so. I'm appointing you as team chief! You will be responsible for weeding these gardens and ensuring that everything grows and so on. And God forbid that even one cucumber is spoiled! Don't touch anything! If necessary, plant your own crops." Teams were organized; in my brigade we had 25 men. All spring and summer long we fussed over these field gardens. In the fall, when the troops departed, we were told to invite a kolkhoz chairman as a representative, and we formally signed over to him all these field and kitchen gardens. When the housewife returned to the home where I myself was living, she immediately ran out to her garden and was dumbfounded. There she saw enormous pumpkins, tomatoes, and melons. She returned to the house on the run, fell at my feet, and began to kiss my boots. "Dear son! We thought that everything would be dried up and beat down. But it turns out that we have everything, and all we have to do is gather it in!" This is an example of how we related to our populace.

In the war medicine worked well, but there were cases for which the medics could do nothing except hang their head! Fellows, Romania at that time was simply the venereal cesspool of all of Europe! We had a saying: "If you have 100 Lei (Romanian currency) you may sleep with a queen!" When some German POWs fell into our hands, their pockets were full of prophylactics, as many as 5-10. Our political officers made a big deal out of this "Look at this! They have these so they can rape our women!" But the Germans were smarter than we were and understood what venereal disease could do to an army. If only our own medics had warned us about these diseases! Even though we passed through Romania quickly, we had a terrible outbreak of venereal disease in our units. Our army had two hospitals: one for surgical cases and the other for light wounds. They were forced to open a venereal section, even though it was not provided for in the table of organization and equipment.

Here is how we interacted with the Hungarian population. When we entered Hungary in October 1944, we saw practically deserted villages. When we entered homes we found warm stoves, with food warming on them, but not a person in the house. I recall that in one town a gigantic banner hung on the wall of a house. It depicted a Russian soldier eating a baby. These people were so terrified that when they were able to flee, they fled! They abandoned all their possessions. Later, with the passage of time, as they began to understand that all this was nonsense and propaganda, they began to return to their homes.

I recall when we halted in northern Hungary, on the border with Czechoslovakia. At that time I was already chief of staff of the battalion. One morning they reported to me that an old Hungarian woman had entered a barn the previous night. We had counterintelligence personnel in our army who worked for SMERSH (Russian for "Smert Shpionam" or "death to spies", the NKVD structure within the Red Army). There was a SMERSH officer in each tank battalion, and in infantry units only beginning at regiment and above. I told my SMERSH officer to go check it out. They poked around in the shed and found a young girl, 18 or 19 years old. When they dragged her out she was all covered with scabs and coughing. This old woman was in tears, thinking that now we would rape her daughter. Nonsense! No one laid a finger on her! On the contrary, we gave her medical treatment. Later she came to us often, spending more time with us than at home. When I visited Hungary twenty years after the war, I met her. What a beautiful woman! She was married and had children.

- Therefore, you didn't observe any excesses with the civilian population, did you?

- No we didn't. One time I had to go somewhere in Hungary. We took one Hungarian as a guide so that we would not get lost -after all this was a foreign country. He did his work and we gave him money and canned meat and let him go.

- In your book "Commanding the Red Army's Sherman Tanks" you wrote that the 233rd Tank Brigade's M4A2 Shermans were armed not with the short-barreled 75mm but the long-barreled 76mm main gun in January 1944. Wasn't this a bit early? Didn't these tanks appear later? Explain one more time which main guns were mounted on the Shermans of the 233rd Tank Brigade.

- Hmm, I don't know. We had very few Shermans with the short-barreled main gun. On the whole, ours had long-barrels. Not just our brigade fought on Shermans. Perhaps these were in other brigades. Somewhere in the corps I saw such tanks, but we had the tanks with the long barrels.

- Dmitriy Fedorovich, there were personal weapons in each Sherman that arrived in the USSR, Thompson submachine guns (also known as the Tommy gun). I read that rear area personnel stole these weapons and that few tanks arrived in units still equipped with them. What kind of weapons did you have, American or Soviet?

- Each Sherman came with two Thompson submachine guns, in caliber 11.43mm (.45 cal), a healthy cartridge indeed! But the submachine gun was worthless. We had several bad experiences with it. A few of our men who got into an argument were wearing padded jackets. It turned out that they fired at each other and the bullet buried itself in the padded jacket. So much for the worthless submachine gun. Take a German submachine gun with folding stock (MP-40 SMG by Erma -Valera). We loved it for its compactness. The Thompson was big. You couldn't turn around in the tank holding it.

- The Sherman had an antiaircraft machine gun Browning M2 .50 caliber. Did you use it often?

- I don't know why, but one shipment of tanks arrived with machine guns, and another without them. We used this machine gun against both aircraft and ground targets. We used it less frequently against air targets because the Germans were not fools. They bombed either from altitude or from a steep dive. The machine gun was good to 400-600 meters in the vertical. The Germans would drop their bombs from say, 800 meters or higher. He dropped his bomb and departed quickly. Try to shoot the bastard down! So yes, we used it, but it was not very effective. We even used our main gun against aircraft. We placed the tank on the upslope of a hill and fired. But our general impression of the machine gun was good. These machine guns were of great use to us in the war with Japan, against kamikazes. We fired them so much that they got red hot and began to cook off. To this day I have a piece of shrapnel in my head from an antiaircraft machine gun.

- In your book you write about a battle for Tynovka by units of 5th Mechanized Corps. You write that the battle was on 26 January 1944. Someone has gone there and excavated some German maps, judging by which Tynovka was already in Soviet hands on 26 January 1944. In addition, the man also dug up a German intelligence report, based on the interrogation of a Soviet lieutenant from the anti-tank battalion of 359th Rifle Division. This report indicated that Soviet T-34s and American medium tanks, along with some KVs camouflaged with thatch straw, were positioned in Tynovka. This man is asking whether you could be mistaken regarding the date. He indicates that a week earlier Tynovka was in fact in German hands.

- It was quite possible. Keep in mind how confusing the situation was there! Fellows, there was such a mess! The situation changed not by the day, but by the hour. We encircled the Germans' Korsun-Shevchenkovskiy grouping. They began to break out at the same time Germans outside the ring were attacking us to help their comrades inside. These battles were so heavy that Tynovka changed hands several times in one day.

- You write that on 29 January 5th Mechanized Corps advanced to the west to support units of 1st Ukrainian Front, which were holding back the German counterattack. Several days later the mechanized corps was in the Vinograd area. Subsequently, on 1 February the corps was in the path of the main attack of the German 16th and 17th Panzer Divisions, 3d Tank Corps. This attack was launched from the area of Rusakovka and Novay Greblya to the north and northeast. After several days the Germans captured Vinograd and Tynovka, forced the Gniloy Tikich River, and reached Antonovka. Could you describe the role of your mechanized corps in the unfolding battle?

- We encircled the Germans and closed the pocket. They immediately threw us to the outer ring. The weather was terrible; the mud thawed during the day. I jumped down from my tank into the mud. It was easier to pull my feet out of my boots than to pull my boots out of the mud. At night the temperature dropped below freezing and the mud froze. We struggled against this mud on the external ring. We had just a few tanks left. In order to create the appearance of strength, at night we turned on our tank and truck headlights and moved forward. Our entire corps went into the defense. The Germans decided that our defenses were strongly dug in. In fact, the corps was at about 30 percent in tank strength. Combat had been so heavy that our guns were red hot. At times the bullets even melted. You fired and they plopped into the dirt a hundred meters in front of the tank. The Germans were fighting for their very lives and regardless of the situation, had nothing to lose. Some did manage to break out in small groups.

- Did German aircraft inflict significant losses on your equipment? In particular, what can you say about the Henschel Hs-129?

- Not every time, but it did happen. I don't remember the Henschel; perhaps there was such an airplane. Sometimes we were able to avoid bombs. You could see them coming at you, you know. We opened our hatches, stuck out our heads, and instructed our drivers over the intercom: "The bomb will fall in front of us". But in general there were cases when tanks were hit and set on fire. Losses from these attacks did not exceed 3-5 tanks in the battalion. It was more common for a single tank to be damaged or destroyed. We faced much greater danger from panzerfaust gunners in built-up areas. In Hungary I recall that I was so tired that I told my deputy to lead the battalion while I slept. I went to sleep right there in the fighting compartment of my Sherman. Around Beltsy they had dropped ammunition to us by parachute. We took one parachute for ourselves. I used this parachute for my pillow. The parachute was made from silk and didn't let the lice in. And I was sound asleep! Suddenly I woke up. Why? I awoke from the silence. Why the silence? It turns out that attacking aircraft had set two tanks on fire. During the march many things were piled up on the tanks: crates, tarpaulin. The battalion had halted, shut off engines, and it had become silent. And I woke up.

- Did you lock your hatches during combat in built-up areas?

- We absolutely locked our hatches from the inside. In my own experience, when we burst into Vienna, they were throwing grenades at us from the upper floors of buildings. I ordered all the tanks to be parked under the archways of buildings and bridges. From time to time I had to pull my tank out into the open to extend a whip antenna and send and receive communications from my higher commander. On one occasion, a radio operator and driver-mechanic were doing something inside their tank and left the hatch open. Someone dropped a grenade through the hatch from above. It struck the back of the radio operator and detonated. Both were killed. Thus we most certainly locked our hatches when we were in built-up areas.

- The primary defeating mechanism of HEAT (hollow-charge) ammunition, of which the panzerfaust was one type, is the high pressure in the tank, which disables the crew. If the hatches were kept slightly open, would this not provide some degree of protection? A special order was issued before our forces entered Germany.

- This is true, but just the same we kept our hatches locked. It might have been different in other units. The panzerfaust gunners most often fired at the engine compartment. If they were able to set the tank on fire, like it or not the crew had to get out. And then the Germans shot at the crew with a machine gun.

- What were the chances of survival if your tank was hit?

- My tank was hit on 19 April 1945 in Austria. A Tiger put a round straight through us. The projectile passed through the entire fighting compartment and then the engine compartment. There were three officers in the tank: I as the battalion commander, the company commander Sasha Ionov (whose own tank had already been hit), and the tank commander. Three officers, a driver-mechanic, and a radio operator. When the Tiger hit us, the driver-mechanic was killed outright. My entire left leg was wounded; to my right, Sasha Ionov suffered a traumatic amputation of his right leg. The tank commander was wounded, and below me sat the gunner, Lesha Romashkin. Both of his legs were blown off. A short time before this battle, we were sitting around at a meal and Lesha said to me, "If I lose my legs I will shoot myself. Who will need me?" He was an orphan and had no known relatives. In a strange twist of fate, this is what happened to him. We pulled Sasha out of the tank and then Lesha, and were beginning to assist in the evacuation of the others. At this moment Lesha shot himself.

In general, one or two men were always wounded or killed. It depended where the shell struck.

- Did soldiers or junior commanders receive any pocket money? Pay, monetary allowance?

- In comparison with regular (not guards) units, privates and sergeants up to senior sergeant received double pay, and officers one and one-half times normal pay in guards units. For example, my company commander received 800 rubles. When I became a battalion commander, I received either 1200 or 1500 rubles. I don't remember the exact amount. In any case, we did not receive all of our pay. It was kept in a field savings bank against a personal account. We could store money or send them to our family. We did not carry money around in our pocket. The government was smart in this regard. For what did we need money in battle?

- What could you purchase with the money you had?

- Well, for example, when we were forming up in Gorkiy, I went down to the market with my friend Kolya Averkiev. He was a good fellow, but died literally in his first battles! We were down there walking around and came upon a speculator selling rye bread. He was holding one loaf in his hands and had another two loaves in his satchel. Kolya asked him, "How much for the loaf?" He replied, "Three kosykh" (Kosaya -is a Russian slang, it means 100 rubles; therefore the speculator asked for 300 rubles - Valera). Kolya not understanding what a "kosaya" was, pulled out three rubles and held it out. The man said, "What, are you crazy?" Kolya shot back, "What's the matter? You asked for three kosykh and I gave you three rubles!" The speculator said, "Three kosykh is three hundred rubles!" Kolya responded, "You are a pestilence! You are back here speculating and we are shedding blood for you at the front line!" As officers, we always had our personal weapons. Kolya pulled out his pistol. The man grabbed the three rubles and beat a hasty retreat.

In addition to money, once a month officers were issued a supplementary packet. It contained 200 grams of butter, a carton of biscuits, a package of cookies, and, I believe, some cheese. It happened that a few days after this incident at the market, we received our parcels. We cut up the loaf of bread, sliced the butter onto it, and smothered it in cheese. What a feast it was!

- What kind of food did you receive in your supplementary packets? Soviet or American?

- Both. Sometimes one and sometimes the other.

- Did soldiers and junior officers receive anything for being wounded? Money, food, leave, or other forms of compensation?

- No special provision was made.

- What kind of compensation was specified for the destruction of a tank, cannon, and so on? Who determined this or were there strict rules for incentives and awards? Was the entire crew rewarded for the destruction of a tank or just individual members?

- The money was given to the crew and divided equally among the crewmembers.

In Hungary, in mid-1944, at one of our meetings we decided that we would collect in a general "pot" all the money that was awarded to us for destroyed equipment, and later send this money to the families of our dead comrades. After the war, working in the archives, I ran across lists that I had personally signed regarding the transmittal of monies to the families of our friends: three thousand rubles, five thousand rubles, and so on.

In the Lake Balaton area we broke into the German rear and it turned out that we fired up a German tank column, destroying 19 tanks, 11 of which were heavy tanks. Many wheeled vehicles. Altogether we counted 29 destroyed combat vehicles. We received 1000 rubles for each destroyed AFV.

In our brigade were a large number of tank crewmen from Moscow, since our brigade had been formed in Naro-Fominsk (a small town near Moscow - Valera), and our replacements came from the Moscow draft boards. Therefore, when after the war I went to study at the Frunze Military Academy, I tried as much as possible to meet with the families of our fallen soldiers. Of course, the conversation was sad, but it was so necessary for them because here was a person who knew how their son, father, or brother had died. Frequently I was able to recount to them the details, even the date. They recalled the day that they were notified, and how it changed their lives forever. Then they received the money. Sometimes we were able to send them not just money, but parcels containing trophies (captured items).

- So, a destroyed tank was counted to the personal score of each member of the crew.

- Yes.

- Who kept track of enemy losses?

- The staff, and the battalion and company commanders. The deputy commander for maintenance also kept track. In addition, we had created a group for the evacuation of damaged tanks. Don't confuse them with rear area units! This group normally consisted of 3-5 men with one recovery vehicle (usually a turretless tank - Valera), commanded by the deputy commander for maintenance. They moved behind the combat formations, keeping track of both our and the Germans' losses and recording both.

- By what method was it determined who destroyed which tank or gun? What happened if several crews simultaneously claimed to have destroyed the same German tank?

- This did happen on occasion, though not frequently. Normally, they credited both crews and made an annotation, "jointly". It went down in the report as a single destroyed tank. The money was divided in half: 500 rubles to each crew.

- What were the actions of the crew of a tank damaged in combat?

- To save the tank, to attempt to repair it. If the crew lacked sufficient resources to repair the tank, they set up a defense around their tank. It was categorically forbidden to abandon a tank. I have already mentioned that we had a SMERSH officer in each battalion. God forbid that you abandon a tank! We had a few cases where before an attack a crewmember loosened the track on his tank. It didn't take much effort by the driver-mechanic to throw the loose track. But our SMERSH officer took note of this and rounded up the guilty parties. Of course, it was brazen cowardice!

- Could it happen that if by carelessness the crew did not tighten the track, the crew could be charged with cowardice?

- Yes, it could happen. The crew had to look after their tank. Otherwise they could simply wake up one morning in a penal battalion. Therefore it was the obligation of tank commanders and company commanders to check track tension before each battle.

- Did you ever have to fire on our own soldiers or tanks?

- Fellows, anything could happen in war. Such an occurrence took place west of Yukhnov. Our brigade had reached that location and stopped in a forest. A battle was being fought three kilometers in front of us. The Germans had captured a bridgehead across some stream and had begun to expand it. Our corps command ordered the company of Matildas from our neighboring brigade to counterattack the Germans. The Germans had no tanks; the Matildas managed to liquidate the bridgehead, and the Germans retreated across the stream. Now our Matildas were returning from the fight. A bit earlier, fearing a breakthrough by the Germans, our command had moved up and deployed an antitank artillery battalion. They deployed 300 meters in front of us and were digging in. Our artillerymen did not know that our tanks were here, or that they were foreign vehicles. Therefore, having never seen Matildas, they opened fire on them and destroyed three or four tanks. The remaining tanks quickly turned and sought cover. The battalion commander, an artilleryman, ran over to one of the destroyed tanks, looked inside, and there saw our own soldiers. One of them had a chest full of medals. The artilleryman was beside himself.

On another occasion, when 1st and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts linked up in Zvenigorodka and closed the encirclement ring around the Korsun-Shevchenkovskiy pocket, the 5th Army equipped with T-34s approached from the south and our Shermans came in from the north. Our troops on the T-34s had not been warned that there were Shermans in the area, and they shot at the tank of my battalion commander, Nikolay Nikolaevich Malyukov. He died in his tank.

- Did they punish anyone for this?

- I don't know. Perhaps they punished someone. Each case was investigated by rear-area organizations.

- How did you co-operate with the infantry during combat?

- By TOE the tank brigade had three tank battalions of 21 tanks each and a battalion of submachine gunners. A submachine gun battalion had three companies, one for each tank battalion. We had this three-battalion structure only in late 1943 and early 1944. All the rest of the time we had two tank battalions in the brigade. Our submachine gunners were like brothers to us. On the march they sat on our tanks. They kept warm there, dried their things, and slept. We drove along and then stopped somewhere. The tankers could sleep and our submachine gunners protected our tanks and us. Over the course of time many submachine gunners became members of our crews, initially as loaders and later as radio operators. We divided our trophies equally: they with us and we with them. Therefore they had an easier time of it than ordinary infantrymen.

During combat they sat on the tanks until the firing started. As soon as the Germans opened fire on our tanks, they jumped off and ran behind the tanks, frequently protected by its armor from enemy light machine gun fire.

- If it happened that the tanks were limited in maneuver and speed, did you maneuver your infantry or halt them?

- Nothing like that. We did not pay any attention to them. We maneuvered and they maneuvered themselves behind us. There were no problems. It would have been worse for them if we had been knocked out, so let them run behind us.

- Was the tank's speed limited in the attack? By what?

- Of course! We must been fire!

- How did you fire, from short halts or on the move?

- Both ways. If we fired on the move, the speed of the tank did not exceed 12 km/h. But we rarely fired on the move, only in order to incite panic in the enemy ranks. Primarily we fired from short halts. We rushed into a position, stopped for a second, fired, and moved ahead.

- What would you like to say about the German Tiger?

- It was an extremely heavy vehicle. The Sherman could never defeat a Tiger with a frontal shot. We had to force the Tiger to expose its flank. If we were defending and the Germans were attacking, we had a special tactic. Two Shermans were designated for each Tiger. The first Sherman fired at the track and broke it. For a brief space of time the heavy vehicle still moved forward on one track, which caused it to turn. At this moment the second Sherman shot it in the side, trying to hit the fuel cell. This is how we did it. One German tank was defeated by two of ours, therefore the victory was credited to both crews. There is a story about this entitled "Hunting With Borzois" in my book.

- The muzzle brake has one significant shortcoming: a cloud of dust is raised during firing from a weapon thus equipped, giving away one's position. Some artillerymen attempted to counter this, for example, by wetting down the ground in front of their cannons. What countermeasures did you employ?

- You're correct! We might have packed the ground and covered it with our tarpaulins. I don't recall any special problems.

- Were your tank sights blinded by dust, dirt, or snow?

- There were no special difficulties. Snow, of course, could blind us. But not dust. The sight on the Sherman did not protrude. On the contrary, it was recessed into the turret. Therefore it was well protected against the elements.

- Dmitriy Fedorovich, our tankers who fought on the British Churchills pointed out the weak heater in the crew compartment as a deficiency. The standard electric heater was inadequate for the conditions of the Russian winter. How was the Sherman equipped in this regard?

- The Sherman had two engines connected by a coupling joint. This was both good and bad. There were cases when one of these motors was disabled in battle. Then the coupling joint could be disengaged from the crew compartment and the tank could crawl away from the fight on one engine. On the other hand, there were powerful fans located above both engines. We used to say, "Open your mouth and the wind came out your ass!" How the hell could we get warm? There were such strong drafts of air! Perhaps there was heat coming from the engines, but I will not tell you that it was warm. When we halted, we immediately covered the engine compartment with our tarpaulin. Then it stayed warm in the tank for several hours; we slept in the tank. Not for nothing did the Americans give us fleece-lined coveralls.

- Were there norms of ammunition consumption for the tank?

- Yes there were. In the first place, we took one basic load (BK -boekomplekt -a full set of ammo. For example the IS-2's BK = 28 shells. -Valera) with us going into battle. We took an additional BK on the outside of our tanks during long raids. When I raced into Vienna, for example, my commander personally ordered us to take two BK: the normal load inside and the second on the armor. In addition, we carried up to two cases of trophy chocolate on each tank and found additional provisions for ourselves. We were "on our own", so to speak. This meant that if we had to conduct a raid somewhere deep in the rear, we offloaded rations and in their place took ammunition. All of our wheeled supply vehicles were American 2 ?-ton Studebakers. They always brought the ammunition forward to the battalion.

There is one other thing I want to say. How did we preserve our (Soviet) ammunition? Several rounds covered by a thin layer of grease, in wooden crates. One had to sit for hours and clean this grease off the rounds. American ammunition was packed in cardboard tube containers, three rounds banded together. The rounds were shiny clean inside their protective tubes! We took them out and immediately stowed them in the tank.

- What kind of rounds did you carry in the tank?

- Armor-piercing and high explosive. There was nothing else. The ratio was approximately one-third HE and two-thirds AP.

- In general this depended on the tank, perhaps. We say that on our JS heavy tanks it was the other way around.

- You are correct. But the solid-shot on the JS was so powerful that one hit was sufficient for anything. When we went into Vienna, they gave us a battery of heavy JSU-152s, three of them (In his book Loza called them SAU-152, I specially asked him about these vehicles, he said they were based on JS chassis, therefore they were JSU-152. -Valera). How they held us back! On the highway we could make 70 km/h with our Shermans and the JSUs barely moved. When we got into Vienna there was an incident that I described in my book. The Germans counterattacked us with several Panthers. The Panther was a heavy tank. I ordered an JSU to move forward and engage the German tanks. "Well, take a shot!" And oh, did it shoot! I must say that the streets in Vienna were narrow, the buildings tall, and many wanted to watch this engagement between a Panther and an JSU. They remained in the street. The JSU let loose and the impact knocked the Panther backward (from the distance of 400-500 meters). Its turret separated from the hull and landed some meters away. But as a result of the shot broken glass fell from above. Vienna had many leaded-in windows and all of these fell on our heads. To this day I blame myself that I did not foresee this! We had so many injured! It was a good thing that we were wearing helmets, but our arms and shoulders were all cut up. This, my first, experience of fighting in a large city was sad indeed. We still say, "A clever man does not go into a city, but bypasses it." But in this case I had specific orders to go into the city.

- In general, was Vienna heavily destroyed?

- No, not terribly. Not in comparison with, say, Warsaw. My basic mission was to capture the center of Vienna and the bank. There we captured eighteen tons of gold, which was not considered "chump change". My men joked with me, "If only you could take just one bag!" And I responded, "Men, how many years would I break rocks for this sack?"

- How did you refuel?

- Each battalion had several fuel trucks. Before a battle the tanks had to be topped off. If we were going on a march or raid, then spare fuel cells were mounted on the tanks and we dropped them before combat. The fuel trucks went to the battalion rear and brought fuel forward to us. Not all fuel trucks were forward at the same time. As soon as one fuel truck was emptied the next was brought forward, and so on. As a fuel truck was emptied it immediately turned around and went back to brigade to fill up. In Ukraine we had to tow these fuel trucks with our tanks because of the mud. The mud was horrible. In Romania it happened that we broke into the German rear with our tanks and they cut us off from our own logistics. We made a cocktail, a mixture of gasoline and kerosene (the M4A2 Shermans were diesel-powered), in what proportions I do not recall. The tanks ran on this cocktail, but the engines overheated.

- Did you have "horseless" tankers in your unit, i.e. tankers without a tank? What did you do with them?

- Absolutely we did. Normally one-third of the total number of personnel. They did everything. They helped with maintenance, ammunition resupply, refueling, and anything that needed doing. They did it.

- Did you have camouflaged vehicles in your unit?

- There were some, but I do not recall them. We had everything. In the winter we painted our tanks white in a mandatory scheme, either with whitewash or paint.

- Was permission required for installing camouflage? Did you need someone's authorization for painting any kind of slogans on the tank, for example, "Za rodinu" (For the Motherland), and so on?

- No, no kind of permission was required. This was your choice -you want to paint, you paint. If you didn't want to paint camouflage, you didn't paint. As far as the inscriptions are concerned, I believe that they had to be approved by the political representative. It was a sort of propaganda, a political statement.

- The Germans made widespread use of camouflage. Did it help them?

- Yes, it did help them. Sometimes it was crucial to them!

- Then why did you not do it?

- We lacked the materials. We did not have a large choice of colors. There was a protective color and we painted it. It took a lot of paint to cover a tank! If we had been able to obtain other colors, then perhaps we would have camouflaged our tanks. In general, there were many other tasks at hand, like repair, refueling, and so on.

The Germans were richer that we were. They not only had camouflage but they used zimmerit on their heavy tanks.

In addition, they hung track blocks on their heavy tanks. Sometimes it was quite effective! A round struck the track block and ricocheted off.

- ПDid the crew receive a concussion when a round hit the tank, even if it did not penetrate the armor?

- Generally, no. It depended on where the round hit. Let's say that I was sitting in the left side of the turret and a round struck near me. I heard this hit but it did not harm me. If it struck somewhere on the hull, I might not hear it at all. This happened several times. We would come out of an engagement and inspect the tank. In several places the armor would show an impact, like a hot knife that had cut through butter. But I did not hear the round impacts. Sometimes the driver would shout, "They're shooting from the left!" But there was no overwhelming sound. Of course, if such a powerful gun as the JSU-152 hit you, you heard it! And it would take off your head along with the turret.

I want also to add that the Sherman's armor was tough. There were cases on our T-34 when a round struck and did not penetrate. But the crew was wounded because pieces of armor flew off the inside wall and struck the crewmen in the hands and eyes. This never happened on the Sherman.

- What did you consider the most dangerous opponent? A cannon? A tank? An airplane?

- They were all dangerous until the first round was fired. But in general, the antitank cannons were the most dangerous. They were very difficult to distinguish and defeat. The artillerymen dug them in so that their barrels literally were laying on the ground. You could see only several centimeters of their gun shield. The cannon fired. It was a good thing if it had a muzzle brake and dust was kicked up! But if it was winter or raining, what then?

- Were there cases when you did not see from your tank where the fire was coming from, but your SMG infantry did see? How did they guide you to the source of the fire?

- Sometimes they pounded on the turret and shouted. Sometimes they began to fire in the direction with tracer bullets or fired a signal rocket in that direction. And then, you know, when we went into the attack, the commander often looked around from the turret. None of the periscopes, even in the commander's cupola, gave us good visibility.

- How did you maintain communications with your commander and other tanks?

- By radio. The Sherman had two radio sets, HF and UHF [high frequency and ultra high frequency], of very good quality. We used the HF for communications with our higher commander, with brigade, and the UHF for communications within the company and battalion. For conversation inside the tank we used the tank intercom system. It worked great! But as soon as the tank was hit, the tankers first action was to throw off his helmet and throat microphone. If he forgot and began to jump out of the tank, he would get hung up.

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 06:28
Yep, you're wrong, because the slope on the Panther side armor is effectively zero to start with and I grabbed the median figures for 0 degree slope. Even at 30degrees, at <=500m the 37mm AP from a Stuart will easily punch holes in the Panther side. Now of course you're going to NEED to punch a few holes at a time with a popgun round like the 37mm.

I'm at work right now so I don't have access to the raw numbers or I'd post them.

Bottom line is that from the flank a Panther is toast IF it is busy with another target
-dale

No Dalem, the side armor is not effectively zero, i posted the figures(with a link, if the site i cited is wrong, well, then i will admit i got duped) earlier in the thread. Only the lower hull side has a zero degree slope.

Panther Side Armor specifications:

Turret sides: 45mm/25 degree slope
Upper Hull sides: 50mm/30 degree slope
Lower Hull sides: 40mm/0 degree slope

You're also totally overlooking deflection induced horizontal sloping, which i made sure i pointed out in that last post.

Only if a tank is firing at a dead right angle to the opposing tank from the side will there be zero degrees of effective horizontal sloping. This is a result of the impact angle of the shell.

EXAMPLE BELOW:
NORTH

X- tank A .......................................... X- tank B






X- tank C .......................................... X- tank D

SOUTH


If tank A fires at tank B, there will be no horizontal deflection of the shot as it impacts the armor, however, if tank A engages tank D, it's projectile will strike the armor at an approx 25 degree angle...creating what is in effect a sloped 25 degree armored surface. If Tank D is a Panther, and the round hits the side of the upper hull, the round will have to overcome a 50mm plate with a 30 degree slope on the vertical plane, and because of the angle of impact, there will also be an effective 25 degree sloping in the horizontal plane.

So the impacting shell in almost all cases most certainly does not merely have to overcome the base 50mm of armor, or even the designed in sloping of the armor.

And we have to ask, if a shell is claimed to penetrate "50mm of armor", will that shell penetrate 50mm of cast armor as was used in the Sherman, or 50mm of Rolled Plate armor as was used in the Panther?

Not all thicknesses are created equal.

I would very much like to see specific penetration figures for WWII 37mm AP, because IMO it borders on craziness to think that a 37mm round would pose any significant risk to a Panther out to a range of 500 meters -unless- it hit the lower hull at a very low angle of deflection, an area that will more often than not be masked by terrain, and is largely protected by the tanks steel roadwheels.

If this was an effective method of engagement, the British 2lb'er AT gun and US 37mm infantry AT gun would've been vastly more useful weapons, and so would the bazooka.

As we know from the historical record neither the US 37mm AT gun nor the UK 2lb AT gun were very effective in actual combat, and neither was the Bazooka.

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 06:50
"When the Tiger hit us, the driver-mechanic was killed outright. My entire left leg was wounded; to my right, Sasha Ionov suffered a traumatic amputation of his right leg. The tank commander was wounded, and below me sat the gunner, Lesha Romashkin. Both of his legs were blown off. A short time before this battle, we were sitting around at a meal and Lesha said to me, "If I lose my legs I will shoot myself. Who will need me?" He was an orphan and had no known relatives. In a strange twist of fate, this is what happened to him. We pulled Sasha out of the tank and then Lesha, and were beginning to assist in the evacuation of the others. At this moment Lesha shot himself."

Well if that doesn't put a face on war i don't know what does.

dalem
21 Feb 06,, 07:05
No Dalem, the side armor is not effectively zero, i posted the figures(with a link, if the site i cited is wrong, well, then i will admit i got duped) earlier in the thread. Only the lower hull side has a zero degree slope.

Panther Side Armor specifications:

Turret sides: 45mm/25 degree slope
Upper Hull sides: 50mm/30 degree slope
Lower Hull sides: 40mm/0 degree slope

-snipperoo-

You're also totally overlooking deflection induced horizontal sloping, which i made sure i pointed out in that last post.
As we know from the historical record neither the US 37mm AT gun nor the UK 2lb AT gun were very effective in actual combat, and neither was the Bazooka.

I'm not overlooking anything and I understand the basic geometry of penetration ballistics quite well. I am speaking of averages and likelihoods and rough equivalents.

And notice how I also take into account the relatively puny killing power of a 37mm AP round which DOES penetrate - I don't even think there was a burster charge in that round either but I could be off there.

So from here (http://www.robertsarmory.com/guns.htm) (not as good as a book but only a quick Google grab away) we can see that someone somewhere in the sources cited settled on a test value of 54mm of RHA at 500m at 30degrees incidence for the M51AP round, which is close to the figures I cited earlier.

The 2lbr performed very well for the BEF and for some time in the Western Desert. It was indeed bypassed but don't overlook its heyday. And the bazooka was quite successful for what it was - a last-ditch light AT weapon.

Frankly Snipe, I have to question your sources if you're comfortable making blanket statements like the above.

-dale

leib10
21 Feb 06,, 07:09
Except, again, that it never happened - the company annihilating the Sherman battalion. Heck - look at some of the battles I've mentioned, and the Ardennes battles too, and you will see that things did not always go the way of the Panther unit - even when opposed by nothing more than vanilla M4s with their medium velocity 75mm cannon.

-dale

I never said it did. I said that it WOULD happen if the situation arose. ;)

dalem
21 Feb 06,, 07:10
I never said it did. I said that it WOULD happen if the situation arose. ;)

My point being that opposing companies DID engage and it was not always in the Panther company's favor.

-dale

leib10
21 Feb 06,, 07:13
There are too many variables to really say who would win. Who is attacking, intelligence, terrain, visibility, etc. But in a meeting engagement, in open terrain, where neither side has a tactical advantage, the Panthers would own the Shermans. It might turn out differently if the Shermans are hull-down, lying in wait for an ambush.

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 07:15
I never said it did. I said that it WOULD happen if the situation arose. ;)

In those cases it was usually terrain, engineers, and artillery stopping the enemy, not usually any decisive direct fire engagements.

As a general rule the US avoided those whenever possible, which is precisely WHY we didn't have entire Sherman units slaughtered as the Russians did.

Put the Sherman, the T-34, and the Panther in straight heads up combat, and the Panther will absolutely wipe the floor with them(at the same time even, lol).

That's all we've been saying. In a straight up open terrain mobile fight(the aforementioned meeting engagement), no air, no arty, just force on force, tank v tank, a Panther Co would slaughter a Sherman or T-34 Bn.

dalem
21 Feb 06,, 07:17
There are too many variables to really say who would win. Who is attacking, intelligence, terrain, visibility, etc. But in a meeting engagement, in open terrain, where neither side has a tactical advantage, the Panthers would own the Shermans. It might turn out differently if the Shermans are hull-down, lying in wait for an ambush.

So how many other variables do you want to set to zero for this hypothetical? We already know the Panther is a superior tactical platform as compared to the Sherman, but we also know that a unit is far more powerful than the sum of its parts. A company of Shermans not on your mythical billiard table can maneuver and reduce the advantages of the Panthers.

And again I point out - these types of battles ACTUALLY HAPPENED - read about them, please.

-dale

leib10
21 Feb 06,, 07:21
Trust me, I've read plenty of books on armor battles in WWII. But this situation is just what you're saying it is: hypothetical. Nothing more.

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 07:34
I'm not overlooking anything and I understand the basic geometry of penetration ballistics quite well. I am speaking of averages and likelihoods and rough equivalents.

So was I. It is my belief that at 500 meters, the vast majority of 37mm rounds you fired at the side of a Panther would not penetrate. In fact, i would wager that a simple majority of them might very well even riccohchet, doing no damage at all.


And notice how I also take into account the relatively puny killing power of a 37mm AP round which DOES penetrate - I don't even think there was a burster charge in that round either but I could be off there.

What causes crew fatalities in a tank is spall, and when a medium bore projectile comes tearing into a tank, it makes lots of it(including being spall itself)- no bursting charge required.

120mm M829A3 APFSDSDU has no burster charge, and is a mere 22.5mm in diameter(IIRC).

So IF a 37mm got into the Panther turret, it is very likely it WOULD kill or maim most of the crew anyway.


"So from here (http://www.robertsarmory.com/guns.htm) (not as good as a book but only a quick Google grab away) we can see that someone somewhere in the sources cited settled on a test value of 54mm of RHA at 500m at 30degrees incidence for the M51AP round, which is close to the figures I cited earlier."

Which would be consistent with my statement that the only place i could see reliable penetrations at 500m was against the non sloped 40mm lower hull armor. Except that i also explained that a great deal of that weakspot is hidden from view(and protected) by the roadwheels, and would often be masked by intervening terrain.

And even then, we'd have to have a nice low deflection shot to ensure a complete penetration.


The 2lbr performed very well for the BEF and for some time in the Western Desert.

Against Pz Is, IIs, and IIIs!!! HARDLY the same thing as the big Panzers that would be introduced starting with the Pz VI Tiger from 1942 on.
Even against the PzIV and improved Pz IIIJ the 2lb'er was sorely lacking.


It was indeed bypassed but don't overlook its heyday.

As i said, it's heyday came against the likes of the Pz IIIJ and older German tanks.


And the bazooka was quite successful for what it was - a last-ditch light AT weapon.

The Bazooka was quite succesful as a last ditch anti-armor weapon, not neccesarily a last ditch anti-TANK weapon. And if that TANK is one of the German Heavies, you might as well just throw the thing at the tank unless you have an engine grill shot.


Frankly Snipe, I have to question your sources if you're comfortable making blanket statements like the above.

Well Dalem, i've been posting linked sources throughout. If you think they are lacking, have at them. Point out where and why, prove it with numerous corroborating sources of your own, and then we will all be the better off for it because we will have the straight scoop.

I am also especially basing them on experience. I've seen a lot of ordnance interact with a lot of things, and IMO, it's just a stretch that a 37mm WWII steel penetrater AP round could penetrate that much sloped plate armor.

IF indeed it can, it can PRECISELY BECAUSE it has no bursting charge.

dalem
21 Feb 06,, 07:36
Trust me, I've read plenty of books on armor battles in WWII. But this situation is just what you're saying it is: hypothetical. Nothing more.

The billiard-table example is hypothetical, yes.

-dale

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 07:37
There are too many variables to really say who would win. Who is attacking, intelligence, terrain, visibility, etc. But in a meeting engagement, in open terrain, where neither side has a tactical advantage, the Panthers would own the Shermans. It might turn out differently if the Shermans are hull-down, lying in wait for an ambush.

Then it's not a mutual meeting engagement anymore.

In the scenario i've pointed to for illustrative purposes of which tank is 'better', both forces are advancing, run dead into one another, issue orders and deploy for battle, and fight it out toe to toe, regardless of the terrain set.

In that battle, the Sherman, or the T-34, any model.....gets owned.

troung
21 Feb 06,, 07:56
It is the team and not the "stars"...

sparten
21 Feb 06,, 08:19
Another thing people are forgetting, during the last two years of the war, the PAnthers and the Tigers were made of inferior metals and often badly cracked or penetrated by even medium velocity guns like the Shermans.

dalem
21 Feb 06,, 08:54
So was I. It is my belief that at 500 meters, the vast majority of 37mm rounds you fired at the side of a Panther would not penetrate. In fact, i would wager that a simple majority of them might very well even riccohchet, doing no damage at all.

Believe all you want. The penetration tables tell a different story.



What causes crew fatalities in a tank is spall, and when a medium bore projectile comes tearing into a tank, it makes lots of it(including being spall itself)- no bursting charge required.

120mm M829A3 APFSDSDU has no burster charge, and is a mere 22.5mm in diameter(IIRC).

So IF a 37mm got into the Panther turret, it is very likely it WOULD kill or maim most of the crew anyway.

I'm not discussing the details of what may or may not happen once a round penetrates. You claimed the Panther side armor was immune to the 37mm AP round when the numbers say it was not. What more is there to discuss on that point?



Which would be consistent with my statement that the only place i could see reliable penetrations at 500m was against the non sloped 40mm lower hull armor. Except that i also explained that a great deal of that weakspot is hidden from view(and protected) by the roadwheels, and would often be masked by intervening terrain.

And even then, we'd have to have a nice low deflection shot to ensure a complete penetration.

Again you're arguing against the numbers. The Panther hull side and especially turret side were vulnerable to penetrations by the 37mm AP round at 500m.



Against Pz Is, IIs, and IIIs!!! HARDLY the same thing as the big Panzers that would be introduced starting with the Pz VI Tiger from 1942 on.
Even against the PzIV and improved Pz IIIJ the 2lb'er was sorely lacking.

As i said, it's heyday came against the likes of the Pz IIIJ and older German tanks.

The Bazooka was quite succesful as a last ditch anti-armor weapon, not neccesarily a last ditch anti-TANK weapon. And if that TANK is one of the German Heavies, you might as well just throw the thing at the tank unless you have an engine grill shot.

Your claim of universal ineffectiveness of both the 2lbr and the bazooka was a blanket statement with no qualifiers and as such was incorrect. And again as such leads me to question your understanding of the topic at hand. Sorry.



Well Dalem, i've been posting linked sources throughout.

Not related to our discussion you haven't.



If you think they are lacking, have at them. Point out where and why, prove it with numerous corroborating sources of your own, and then we will all be the better off for it because we will have the straight scoop.

I believe I've done this already, quite handily. More sources are always better of course, but I don't think either one of is arguing about the numbers provided for armor, incidence, range and penetration - instead we are arguing the conclusions reached and reachable from those numbers.



I am also especially basing them on experience. I've seen a lot of ordnance interact with a lot of things, and IMO, it's just a stretch that a 37mm WWII steel penetrater AP round could penetrate that much sloped plate armor.

Highly irrelevant to our discussion. The provided values are reached by averaging a range of results - we both know this. Not every 37mm AP round fired would have penetrated to the average thickness listed - some rounds will exceed, and some will fail. The 54mm of RHA penetration at 30degrees listed on that little table are meant to be taken as a reliable estimate of average expected performance. Unless of course I am wrong about how penetration values are generally arrived at - maybe it's the best/worst value instead of the average as I have always believed. I could go dig up some ancient AP/Armor discussion threads we had on the Combat Mission board - pages and pages of the stuff - capped, spaced, face-hardened, base charge, RHA, Brinnell numbers, blah blah blah.

Those were the days! ;)



IF indeed it can, it can PRECISELY BECAUSE it has no bursting charge.

Again, esoteria wrt the contested point.

-dale

Garry
21 Feb 06,, 12:00
Your GF is/was one BRAVE AND LUCKY man!

My GF on my father's side was a tanker in Patton's 8th Army. He never got a scratch. I guess he was lucky too. :)

Thank you Sniper! He actually got two more later - one in Poland 1944 and one in Prague in 1945. But in this cases that was a cases when they were clearly outnumbering german tankers. His total score was 6 tanks and two fighting vehicles, including one tank and fighting vehicle in 1941. Besides that he cracked under his tracks artillery pieces, trucks, infantry, and even an aircraft on a field!!! He always told that in a bloodbath like the WW II was, the luck was the single most important factor to survive besides training. SO HE WAS LUCKY TO SURVIVE THROUGH THAT WAR..... Especially in Prague. He told that was really bitter fight he had with so many tankers killed AFTER THE WAR WAS ALREADY OVER!!!

He had 3 tanks through the war. The first he burned himself in 1941 in encirlement, the next T-34 type 42 was destroyed by german anti-tank artillery..... in 1943 and the crew managed to survive. GREAT LUCK. Actually it was double luck as because of this he missed Kursk battle and survived :) the battle where his unit lost many experienced tankers. His last tank T-34-85 had good gun and stronger armor, but lacked speed and maneuvrability of T-34 Type 42. Still he liked it as well and killed two tigers in it. After war he was instructor teaching Chinese, Koreans and Mongolians in vast Mongolian steps.

Your grand father was probaly also lucky guy! I looked in the google but did not find the history of 8th Patton's army. Where did they fight? Always interested to read!

sparten
21 Feb 06,, 12:45
Great man your Grand Father Garry!
My Grand Uncle was in the British Indian Army, but he spent the better part of the war seconded to the British Army. He went to the Soviet Union in 1943 after the surrender of the Afrika Corps to help train the Russians in Anti Tank tactics esp against the new Tigers (he and a few others) and they were still around during Kursk. At one point there observation post came under attack by an Elefant TD. He told me he had an anti Tank gun near by which some Russian soldier had left. They picked it up and fired, it bounced off the frontal armour!

Garry
21 Feb 06,, 14:10
I'm sorry Garry, but I'm afraid that a single T-34 vs. a single Tiger or Panther has no chance against either in a meeting engagement. I agree with Snipe in this discussion. Due to (generally) higher crew training and battle experience, and superior equipment, I think a Panther G company would annihilate a T34 or Sherman battalion.

In general T-34 was not a platform to fight tigers. And for many of T-34 crews the meeting with Tiger was deadly.... its gun could kille them in front from long distance. And they did kill a lot of T-34s.

Nonetheless I remember the historical fact I read a year ago - despite being outclassed T-34 is responsible for killing VAST majority of Tigers ever produced by Germany. More than 80% of Tigers were killed on Eastern Front. In Russia statistics say that primary killer of tigers were ....... T-34 crews, then infantry..... and only then artillery, heavy tanks and aviation. It was written in the Russian language article by a Gen Major head of Kubinka center.

So they did it despite being outclassed... there were many other T-34 crew who did this besides the names I listed above. Despite running a high and deadly risk of meeting a capable heavy tank Soviet middle tankers did face up tigers and ALLTOGEHTER killed most of the tigers Germany had ever produced.

And from reading stories of the people above I understood that it was possible..... I posted the story above Hero Lt Nikolay Khitsenko who killed 5 tigers out of 10 facing him while being ALONE!!! Unfortunatelly he and his crew were killed in that battle by remaining tigers, but for this he was awarded HERO the highest honor in Soviet Army.

I actually like the story of Lt. Brazhnikov who survived having killed 4 tigers ALONE. Though his tank was destroyed his crew WAS LUCKY TO SURVIVE

How he did this? Brazhnikov ambushed a colunm of German tanks alone. Asked for support and start fighting alone. From distance of 300 meters he killed two tanks, changed position and killed one more. Then German tanks turned front to him and locked him in his position between two hills. So he instead of sitting and waiting when they would come and get him from behind he got out fast to open field and was right between two german lines which tried to block him. Germans could not shoot him as they could hit their comrades if missed. He was manuevring between this two lines on fast speed and killed one more Tiger before a one of German tankers finally got precise at him. His tank was burned but crew evacuated and survived - the power of tiger's gun was excessive for T-34 on such a close range..... the shell went through engine compartment and exited hull from other side! Brazhnikov's crew managed to escape from burning tank. German tanks pulled back when support of heavy Soviet tanks showed up......

This demonstrates that T-34 on short range of 300m could penetrate side armor of the Tiger and Panther. Moreover my grandfather told that tiger's turret has slow rotation speed as it was very heavy. Hence with its higher speed and manuvrability experienced T-34 had some chance to escape using terrain. Though this did not work well if range was long..... in general it was very dangerous game when you are hiding and running around your enemy... but if you get close then a hunter could become a prey. For many unknown T-34 tankers it did not work that well.......

Garry
21 Feb 06,, 14:31
Great man your Grand Father Garry!
My Grand Uncle was in the British Indian Army, but he spent the better part of the war seconded to the British Army. He went to the Soviet Union in 1943 after the surrender of the Afrika Corps to help train the Russians in Anti Tank tactics esp against the new Tigers (he and a few others) and they were still around during Kursk. At one point there observation post came under attack by an Elefant TD. He told me he had an anti Tank gun near by which some Russian soldier had left. They picked it up and fired, it bounced off the frontal armour!

The one must have really strong guts to stay on position when Ferdinand is advancing at you. What happened? How it end up? Was your grandfather using an unfantry mobile antitank gun PTRD-41 which used 14.5mm shells?

sparten
21 Feb 06,, 16:53
The one must have really strong guts to stay on position when Ferdinand is advancing at you. What happened? How it end up? Was your grandfather using an unfantry mobile antitank gun PTRD-41 which used 14.5mm shells?
They ran like the devil away from him and he decided let them! Which gun they used? Well it was probably a British one since they knew how to use it, but then they had been in Russia over a month by that time.

Garry
21 Feb 06,, 17:39
They ran like the devil away from him and he decided let them! Which gun they used? Well it was probably a British one since they knew how to use it, but then they had been in Russia over a month by that time.

Seems to me that luckilly Ferdinand did not have machine gun.... he wouldn't let them go if it was equipped with machine gun!

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 19:22
Another thing people are forgetting, during the last two years of the war, the PAnthers and the Tigers were made of inferior metals and often badly cracked or penetrated by even medium velocity guns like the Shermans.

My research last night directly refutes that claim.

Apparently, it was not until the last few months of the war that this became an issue.

However, BOTH the Sherman and T-34 had serious armor casting and welding flaws. The Sherman's were eventually all fixed, apparently not so for the T-34.

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 19:44
Believe all you want. The penetration tables tell a different story.


Ah, OK.

So then, what % of those projectiles would riccochet, and at what ranges, and what would be the maximum impact deflection at any given range to ensure penetration and not reflection?

If your penetration tables don't have that info, they're simply not worth the paper they're printed on.
This is why i said i'd like to see the detailed penetration tables for the 37mm AP round.


I'm not discussing the details of what may or may not happen once a round penetrates. You claimed the Panther side armor was immune to the 37mm AP round when the numbers say it was not. What more is there to discuss on that point?

I looked last night and could not find any single instance of a ground vehicle or infantry fired 37mm round taking out a Panther in actual combat.

So perhaps we should discuss why it appears to have never happened.




Again you're arguing against the numbers. The Panther hull side and especially turret side were vulnerable to penetrations by the 37mm AP round at 500m.


Nope, you posted one internet site and with a comment 'someone somewhere' says it can penetrate that much armor.

Further, the amount you post- 54mm @30 degrees, is innsufficient to penetrate the turret or upper side hull of a Panther G under realistic combat conditions. I fully expect that in combat a majority of 37mm rounds would simply riccochet harmlessly off the heavily sloped armor.

Again, the Panther A side armor ratings:
"Turret sides: 45mm/25 degree slope
Upper Hull sides: 50mm/30 degree slope
Lower Hull sides: 40mm/0 degree slope"

NOW, compare them to the Panther G:

Hull Fr- 60mm@35° Side- 40mm@90° rear- 40mm@60° top/bottom- 16-30mm@0°

Chassis Fr- 80mm@35° Side- 50mm@60° rear- 40&16mm@0°

Turret Fr- 110mm@79° Side- 45mm@65° rear- 45mm@65°
top- 16mm@0-6°
http://www.onwar.com/tanks/germany/data/pantherg.htm

The flank protection of the Panther G(the tank i have been repeatedly saying was the best tank of the war) is highlighted in bold above. A 37mm AP shell is not going to penetrate any of those areas, under almost ANY realistic combat conditions.

The Panther G is a specific model of Panther, it is the one i have referred to since the beginning of this thread, and no, a 37mm round IMO is definitely not going to penetrate the frontal or flank armor unless it's some kind of miracle.





Your claim of universal ineffectiveness of both the 2lbr and the bazooka was a blanket statement with no qualifiers and as such was incorrect. And again as such leads me to question your understanding of the topic at hand. Sorry.[QUOTE=dalem]

We were CLEARLY talking about the Panther wrt the bazooka and 2lber, and against that particular beast, both those weapons ARE particularly inneffective against it.

NOWHERE in this thread have we been chatting up Pz I-IIIs, i dont know why all of a sudden you would just assume we would think back to those early war designs when determining how effective the bazooka/2lb gun were agianst a Panther or Tiger.

[QUOTE=dalem]I believe I've done this already, quite handily. More sources are always better of course, but I don't think either one of is arguing about the numbers provided for armor, incidence, range and penetration - instead we are arguing the conclusions reached and reachable from those numbers.

All you proved was that against the side armor of a Panther A that a 37mm on paper and in idealized tests is capable of penetrating 54mm/30deg@500m.

A panther G is virtually immune to that level of penetration on the sides, and is therefore virtually immune to flanking 37mm shots.

[QUOTE=dalem]Highly irrelevant to our discussion. The provided values are reached by averaging a range of results - we both know this.[QUOTE=dalem]

Actually, i have no idea how the site you listed came up with those figures.

What i want to see is actual US Military detailed penetration tables.

The tables you posted, and that Paul lakowski extrapolates, and that AG williams dreams up are not official sources, and are oft-times wildly incorrect vs the actual military tables(ask me how i know, and i will tell you it's because i've seen GLARING differneces in open source stuff and actual military performance specs on systems that i have actually used and was cleared for).


[QUOTE=dalem]Not every 37mm AP round fired would have penetrated to the average thickness listed - some rounds will exceed, and some will fail. The 54mm of RHA penetration at 30degrees listed on that little table are meant to be taken as a reliable estimate of average expected performance. [QUOTE=dalem]

And for all i know, the site you list just took the best penetrating round and listed that one. This is why i want the US Military tables. I can't find any listed online unfortunately.

Regardless, 54mm/30deg@500m is not enough to deal with a Panther G, and AGAIN, based on the extremely steep sloping of the Panther G i am highly doubtful that very many 37mm(or other caliber) rounds would even bite into the armor. IMO most would simply deflect upward.

[QUOTE=dalem]Unless of course I am wrong about how penetration values are generally arrived at - maybe it's the best/worst value instead of the average as I have always believed. I could go dig up some ancient AP/Armor discussion threads we had on the Combat Mission board - pages and pages of the stuff - capped, spaced, face-hardened, base charge, RHA, Brinnell numbers, blah blah blah.[QUOTE=dalem]

That would be fine. Just find some relevant text from that site, or simply ask them, let the thread run a few days, and then come back with the data.

I am not above being wrong.

dalem
21 Feb 06,, 20:05
Honestly Snipe, you're reaching. But if you want to go to bed tonight thinking that Panthers were invulnerable to 37mm AP fired into the side armor at under 500m, then be my guest. I've done all the reasonable research one can expect via the Web, and obviously none of that is getting through to you.

I swear it's like you took a lesson from lurker on debating style though. And yeah I know - that's not a compliment.

-dale

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 20:08
Thank you Sniper! He actually got two more later - one in Poland 1944 and one in Prague in 1945. But in this cases that was a cases when they were clearly outnumbering german tankers. His total score was 6 tanks and two fighting vehicles, including one tank and fighting vehicle in 1941. Besides that he cracked under his tracks artillery pieces, trucks, infantry, and even an aircraft on a field!!! He always told that in a bloodbath like the WW II was, the luck was the single most important factor to survive besides training. SO HE WAS LUCKY TO SURVIVE THROUGH THAT WAR..... Especially in Prague. He told that was really bitter fight he had with so many tankers killed AFTER THE WAR WAS ALREADY OVER!!!

He had 3 tanks through the war. The first he burned himself in 1941 in encirlement, the next T-34 type 42 was destroyed by german anti-tank artillery..... in 1943 and the crew managed to survive. GREAT LUCK. Actually it was double luck as because of this he missed Kursk battle and survived :) the battle where his unit lost many experienced tankers. His last tank T-34-85 had good gun and stronger armor, but lacked speed and maneuvrability of T-34 Type 42. Still he liked it as well and killed two tigers in it. After war he was instructor teaching Chinese, Koreans and Mongolians in vast Mongolian steps.

Your grand father was probaly also lucky guy! I looked in the google but did not find the history of 8th Patton's army. Where did they fight? Always interested to read!

Damn, sorry bro, My GF was with Patton's 3d army
My other GF, on my mothers side, was a B-17 mechanic with the USAAF 8th AF.

I simply mixed up the two numbers. LOL....duh.

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 20:13
They ran like the devil away from him and he decided let them! Which gun they used? Well it was probably a British one since they knew how to use it, but then they had been in Russia over a month by that time.

It was proably a UK 2lb'er or 6lb'er AT gun.

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 20:16
Honestly Snipe, you're reaching. But if you want to go to bed tonight thinking that Panthers were invulnerable to 37mm AP fired into the side armor at under 500m, then be my guest. I've done all the reasonable research one can expect via the Web, and obviously none of that is getting through to you.

I swear it's like you took a lesson from lurker on debating style though. And yeah I know - that's not a compliment.

-dale

I'm reaching?

You silly bastahge(hehehehe), i JUST POSTED THE ARMOR RATINGS FOR THE PANTHER G IN MY LAST POST.


"Hull Fr- 60mm@35° Side- 40mm@90°(approx. RHA equiv: 100mm) rear- 40mm@60° top/bottom- 16-30mm@0°

Chassis Fr- 80mm@35° Side- 50mm@60°(approx. RHA equiv: 100mm) rear- 40&16mm@0°

Turret Fr- 110mm@79° Side- 45mm@65°(approx. RHA equiv: 95mm) rear- 45mm@65°
top- 16mm@0-6°
http://www.onwar.com/tanks/germany/data/pantherg.htm"

You are on CRACK if you think that 37mm with 54mm/30deg@500 meters will penetrate ANY of those areas listed above in bold.

Hell, i don't even know if the figure you supplied is accurate(i suspect it is a bit optomistic), and it doesn't even delve into the expected riccochet % rate at such and such range and such and such deflection.

I am telling you flat out that at 500 meters against the heavily sloped side armor of the Panther G most 37mm AP rounds would simply riccochet away, let alone being stopped by the Panther Gs armor.

NOTE: remember that every 30 deg of sloping is equivelant to a 50% increase in actual armor thickness.

dalem
21 Feb 06,, 20:40
I'm reaching?

You silly bastahge(hehehehe), i JUST POSTED THE ARMOR RATINGS FOR THE PANTHER G IN MY LAST POST.


"Hull Fr- 60mm@35° Side- 40mm@90°(approx. RHA equiv: 120mm) rear- 40mm@60° top/bottom- 16-30mm@0°

Chassis Fr- 80mm@35° Side- 50mm@60°(approx. RHA equiv: 100mm) rear- 40&16mm@0°

Turret Fr- 110mm@79° Side- 45mm@65°(approx. RHA equiv: 95mm) rear- 45mm@65°
top- 16mm@0-6°
http://www.onwar.com/tanks/germany/data/pantherg.htm"

You are on CRACK if you think that 37mm with 54mm/30deg@500 meters will penetrate ANY of those areas listed above.

Hell, i don't even know if the figure you supplied is accurate(i suspect it is a bit optomistic), and it doesn't even delve into the expected riccochet % rate at such and such range and such and such deflection.

I am telling you flat out that at 500 meters against the heavily sloped armor of the Panther G most 37mm AP rounds would simply riccochet away.

Snipe. My number of 54mm is bigger than all of your numbers for side armor of the Panther. This means that the round will penetrate to some degree. A penetrating round equates to vulnerability of the armored target, yes? My number of 54mm came from a table on the web with clear sourcing even unto the vaunted TM-1907, which I wish I could find online. But clearly YOUR numbers are superior.

Your claims about the zook and 2 lbr, which at first were all-encompassing, are now magically focused solely on the Panther. I'm not a telepath.

Anyway, I asked some buddies and they pointed me to here (http://gva.freeweb.hu/weapons/usa_guns2.html)

which seems adequately-sourced, and it has a value of 53mm at 30 degrees. And 53 is still a bigger number than 45, 40, and 50.

Are we done yet?

-dale

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 20:57
Are we done yet?

-dale

Yes, we are done, because apparently you are completely ignorant to the effect of sloping on armor ratings. That's why i specifically included an estimate- a rough one- of the RHA EQUIVELANCY rating for the Panther G.

If you weren't, you'd realize that 54mm penetration against a 30 deg sloped plate(such as the 37mm AP can achieve) IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH to penetrate a 45mm plate sloped at 65 degrees.

IT IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO GOOD ENOUGH.

"Hull Fr- 60mm@35° Side- 40mm@90°(approx. RHA equiv: 120mm) rear- 40mm@60° top/bottom- 16-30mm@0°

Chassis Fr- 80mm@35° Side- 50mm@60°(approx. RHA equiv: 100mm) rear- 40&16mm@0°

Turret Fr- 110mm@79° Side- 45mm@65°(approx. RHA equiv: 95mm) rear- 45mm@65°

And as far as you being telepathic, i have been talking about the Panther all along, therefore, i find it no stretch to expect that one reading my posts would understand that when i brought up the 2lb and Bazooka being inneffective i meant it against the Panther(or at the least against the 'heavies').
HELL, TROUNG SPECIFICALLY ADDRESSED THIS A FEW PAGES BACK!

Now DALEM, look at the rha equivelancy numbers in red, and tell me, will a 37mm AP come even close to penetrating any of them?

The answer, is no.

Garry
21 Feb 06,, 21:20
This is what I found while reading on tank battles. The King Tiger was tested at Kubinka center being shot from all sides.

http://www.battlefield.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=282&Itemid=123&lang=en

Second is about how these King Tigers were penetrated by T-34-85 from 400m into side armor by Lt. Oskin.

http://www.battlefield.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=167&Itemid=88&lang=en

Bill
21 Feb 06,, 21:36
This is what I found while reading on tank battles. The King Tiger was tested at Kubinka center being shot from all sides.

http://www.battlefield.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=282&Itemid=123&lang=en

Second is about how these King Tigers were penetrated by T-34-85 from 400m into side armor by Lt. Oskin.

http://www.battlefield.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=167&Itemid=88&lang=en

I have no problems believing a 85mm could punch into a koenig tigers side at 400m. Whether or not it did so regularly or not, i don't know.

Thanx for the links man.

NOTE: The Soviet 100mm and 130mm guns were VERY powerful Hv guns, and both could threaten a Panther from the front out beyond 1000 meters. I completely overlooked those two earlier, though both were not exactly commonly found on the battlefield(especially the 130mm gun). The 100mm gun was used to excellent effect on the ISU-100 TD.

leib10
22 Feb 06,, 00:06
My research last night directly refutes that claim.

Apparently, it was not until the last few months of the war that this became an issue.

However, BOTH the Sherman and T-34 had serious armor casting and welding flaws. The Sherman's were eventually all fixed, apparently not so for the T-34.

German armor quality was probably the highest in the world until the last months of the war.

Bill
22 Feb 06,, 01:42
German armor quality was probably the highest in the world until the last months of the war.

According to almost all the stuff i was readiing last night, that is largely correct until very late in the war when they started running out of certain crucial raw materials.

late war King Tigers appear to have especially suffered from woefully inadequate armor and welding.

leib10
22 Feb 06,, 02:13
Certainly the result of lack of quality steel and poor workmanship.

Bill
22 Feb 06,, 02:17
Certainly the result of lack of quality steel and poor workmanship.

So it would seem.

dalem
22 Feb 06,, 10:04
So steer me back to the path of Righteousness, Snipe.

I had no idea that the RHAe of the Panther side armor was > 1.0 at 30degrees.

And I had no idea that a projectile rated to pass through 54mm of RHA at 30 degrees of incidence will always fail to pass through 50mm of RHA at 30degrees of incidence. ;)

-dale

Bill
22 Feb 06,, 13:25
So steer me back to the path of Righteousness, Snipe.

I had no idea that the RHAe of the Panther side armor was > 1.0 at 30degrees.

And I had no idea that a projectile rated to pass through 54mm of RHA at 30 degrees of incidence will always fail to pass through 50mm of RHA at 30degrees of incidence. ;)

-dale

Do you even understand what we're talking about? You are talking in such oddities that i am seriously curious.

I posted the RHA equivelancy of each of the Panther Gs side armor plates.
(in red)

Again.... every 30 degrees of sloping effectively increases armor thickness by 50%.
A 37mm round @ 500 meters can penetrate a max of 54mm of armor(rha?) of 30 degree sloped armor (a maximum RHAe penetration of 81mm).

That's it dude......max.

Therefore, whatever it is that possesses you to think that 81mm is good enough to penetrate a 95mm RHAe plate(the weakest protection on a Panther G's flanks).........beyond me.

95 minus 81 does not equal penentration.

Or are you being cute and trying to count partial pens(ie where the plate is intact but heavily gouged)?

Eh.......whatever, think what you want, all alone on your island. The isle of Dale. Heh....

Bluesman
22 Feb 06,, 19:12
Actually, I'm following him, and I think he's right.

Will we find any historical refs of it ever happening in the field? Doubt it; no 37mm-armed crew will even try to close with and engage a heavy. Not if they've got a side shot, not if they think they've got a covered route to a decent try at it, NEVER. Not their role, suicidal if everything isn't just right, and it never is.

But for us wargamers that will try that kind of stoopid crap, because there's no REAL cost...it can be done. With our God's eye view of the field, with our fearless crew, with our complete disregard of doctrine, and with our turn-limited and completely artificial objectives...we'll use what we've got in order to do what we have to do to win.

A 37mm AP round from inside 500 meters upside that cats' flank, and you walk away a winnah. Because the data is taken from penetration tables, and the numbers don't lie, as I believe dalem has already noted.

dalem
22 Feb 06,, 20:47
Do you even understand what we're talking about? You are talking in such oddities that i am seriously curious.

I posted the RHA equivelancy of each of the Panther Gs side armor plates.
(in red)

Again.... every 30 degrees of sloping effectively increases armor thickness by 50%.
A 37mm round @ 500 meters can penetrate a max of 54mm of armor(rha?) of 30 degree sloped armor (a maximum RHAe penetration of 81mm).

That's it dude......max.

Therefore, whatever it is that possesses you to think that 81mm is good enough to penetrate a 95mm RHAe plate(the weakest protection on a Panther G's flanks).........beyond me.

95 minus 81 does not equal penentration.

Or are you being cute and trying to count partial pens(ie where the plate is intact but heavily gouged)?

Eh.......whatever, think what you want, all alone on your island. The isle of Dale. Heh....

Oh I understand completely - we may be using different arguments but it boils down to this simple comparison: Your original statement was that the Panther was invulnerable to 37mm AP rounds fired into its flank from under 500 meters range. My original statement was that it was not. Now we have spiraled into a situation where you are forcing the maximum RHA numbers of the latest model Panther (ignoring the almost vertical turret sides and the truly vertical chassis sidewalls) against the median numbers available for the 37mm AP, which 1 source says was 54mm of RHA at 30deg and the other 53mm etc.

Think of it this way - when a penetration stat says outright that it is capable of penetrating 50mm of RHA at an incidence of 30 degrees, then when it hits a 40mm thick piece of RHA sloped at 30 degrees, it's going through (more than likely). You don't get to apply the RHAe because it's already been taken into account in the original AP penetration number. Your argument would be COMPLETELY valid if the penetration stat referred to 50mm of regular armor plate at 30 degrees. But not in our current discussion.

By the simple numbers, the Panther was vulnerable to penetrations from the flank by 37mm AP at ranges under 500m. I have no data regarding and I've made no claims as to how that vulnerability might translate into the ability to be actually damaged or KOd by such a round - and I've already made allusions to that fact.

-dale

Bill
22 Feb 06,, 23:00
Actually, I'm following him, and I think he's right.

Will we find any historical refs of it ever happening in the field? Doubt it; no 37mm-armed crew will even try to close with and engage a heavy. Not if they've got a side shot, not if they think they've got a covered route to a decent try at it, NEVER. Not their role, suicidal if everything isn't just right, and it never is.

EXACTLY!!!! Even against a Panther A it would have to be an almost perfect perpindicular shot that found it's way past the road wheels and hit the small exposed areas of the lower hull, and they'd need LOS, which in many cases they'd be unable to achieve if there is any intervening elevated terrain at all. Against a Panther D, it would definitely penetrate the lower hull, but again..that's probably the hardest part of the tank to hit because of the wheels and intervening terrain) In the real world, no one would ever even try to engage a Panther with a 37mm gun if they had any goddamned choice in the matter at all, flanks or no flanks!(except in very close terrain against the rear of the vehicle, in which case, a 37mm AT gun would really be the least of the Panthers concerns)


A 37mm AP round from inside 500 meters upside that cats' flank, and you walk away a winnah. Because the data is taken from penetration tables, and the numbers don't lie, as I believe dalem has already noted.


No, the numbers dont like, and no, 81mm max penetration aint getting you no joy against a tank whose lightest flank armor is the equivelant to 95mm thick such as is the case with the Panther G.

Bill
22 Feb 06,, 23:11
Oh I understand completely - we may be using different arguments but it boils down to this simple comparison: Your original statement was that the Panther was invulnerable to 37mm AP rounds fired into its flank from under 500 meters range.

Nope. My original statement was that the Panther G was immune to 37mm fire from the flanks, and after looking at the numbers, it most certainly is.



My original statement was that it was not. Now we have spiraled into a situation where you are forcing the maximum RHA numbers of the latest model Panther

NO DALEM, I WAS TALKING ABOUT THE PANTHER G ALL ALONG. Go back to my first post(post #15).........what SPECIFIC TANK do i ID as the best of the war?

Panther, or PANTHER G?


(ignoring the almost vertical turret sides and the truly vertical chassis sidewalls) against the median numbers available for the 37mm AP, which 1 source says was 54mm of RHA at 30deg and the other 53mm etc.

http://tanxheaven.com/pantherG/pantherG-001.JPG

Do those turret sides look 'almost vertical' to you?

Nitwit... :rolleyes:



Think of it this way - when a penetration stat says outright that it is capable of penetrating 50mm of RHA at an incidence of 30 degrees, then when it hits a 40mm thick piece of RHA sloped at 30 degrees, it's going through (more than likely).

And gee Dalem, there is NO PART of the Panther G's flanks that is only 40mm thick. NONE. Nowhere.


You don't get to apply the RHAe because it's already been taken into account in the original AP penetration number. Your argument would be COMPLETELY valid if the penetration stat referred to 50mm of regular armor plate at 30 degrees. But not in our current discussion.

No, the RHAe has NOT been taken into account for the 37mm AP round in those charts or it WOULD NOT still have a 30 degree impact qualifier.

It would merely have a penetration number against a flat plate, and then from there you can simply reduce the penetration by 50% for each 30 degrees of sloping. Just like they rate modern munitions.


By the simple numbers, the Panther was vulnerable to penetrations from the flank by 37mm AP at ranges under 500m. I have no data regarding and I've made no claims as to how that vulnerability might translate into the ability to be actually damaged or KOd by such a round - and I've already made allusions to that fact.

-dale

The Panther A was vulnerable dalem, and i've conceded that fact in at least THREE DIFFERENT POSTS NOW.

But again, i SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFIED THE PANTHER G IN MY VERY FIRST POST ON THIS THREAD, AND IN EVERY POST SINCE UNLESS I SPECIFICALLY MENTION A MODEL(and many times i did), IT IS THE G MODEL TANK I AM REFERRING TO.

When you talk of what an Abrams is capable of, and dont add the A1 or A2, do you assume i mean the first obsolete model, or the latest greatest model?

Oh, right........we mean the latest, greatest model when we just say "abrams".

Why do i get the feeling you've been purposely poking me with a stick in this whole thread?

Bill
22 Feb 06,, 23:13
The Panther G is my pick as best overall tank of the war. Speed, mobility, firepower, protection. The Panther G had it all.


Panther G dalem.............Panther G

It is YOUR lack of attention to detail that got his here dude. I specified G from the very start.

But hey.......whatever. I still like you even if you have a problem identifying the 7th letter of the alphabet at times. :)

gunnut
22 Feb 06,, 23:38
Judging by the "vertical turret side armor" comment from dalem, sir, you may have confused the Panther with Tiger I.

Panther and King Tiger both have slanted turret sides, with Panther being more so, I believe. Tiger I has vertical turret sides.

gunnut
22 Feb 06,, 23:42
Panther

Damn, this thing just looks mean.

gunnut
22 Feb 06,, 23:42
Tiger I

gunnut
22 Feb 06,, 23:43
King Tiger

Bluesman
23 Feb 06,, 00:11
No, he was not confused. He knows the difference, so do I, and the comment was about the HULL, not the turret.

The turret, by the way, need not have ANY slope to it, depending on aspect, but of course, it may have even MORE, too, for the same reason.

Panther: great tank, maybe the best one to be in when the steel is on it's way to your particular vehicle. But it's weak spot is the side armor.

37mm AT gun: An under-powered but still useful weapon, that achieves it's relatively high performance (for it's caliber) by substituting mass with velocity of the shot.

Under unhoped-for conditions, the 37mm COULD penetrate a Panther's turret side, or it's hull side.

I'm no nitwit. Neither is dalem.

kNikS
23 Feb 06,, 00:52
Why do i get the feeling you've been purposely poking me with a stick in this whole thread?

:biggrin: ... :biggrin: :biggrin: ......... :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
LMAO :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

Wraith601
23 Feb 06,, 00:56
A 37mm round could proably penetrate the Panther's side armor in almost flukish circumstances but if I was in a Panther I'd feel pretty safe up against a gaggle of Stuarts.

Bill
23 Feb 06,, 01:03
No, he was not confused. He knows the difference, so do I, and the comment was about the HULL, not the turret.

Apparently you should read the comment again Top. Cause he said Hull AND turret.

And regardless, BOTH are sloped(see the pix gunnut just posted above, they clearly show the slope on both the turret AND hull of the Panther, and the Panther G had even more pronounced sloping, that model looks like an A to me)



Under unhoped-for conditions, the 37mm COULD penetrate a Panther's turret side, or it's hull side.

An early Panther D yes, a Panther G, no. It would come up about 14mm short of an even partial breeching penetration even under ideal conditions.


I'm no nitwit. Neither is dalem.

No, but he sure was being very anal when he knew damned right well i was referring to the Panther G all along. I only mentioned that model BY NAME about 20 friggin' times in this thread...

dalem
23 Feb 06,, 11:57
Do those turret sides look 'almost vertical' to you?

Yes, they do.


And gee Dalem, there is NO PART of the Panther G's flanks that is only 40mm thick. NONE. Nowhere.

What is the thickness of the chassis/lower hull of the G?



No, the RHAe has NOT been taken into account for the 37mm AP round in those charts or it WOULD NOT still have a 30 degree impact qualifier.

So what does the following mean to YOU?


U.S. ARMY WEAPONS CAPABILITY AGAINST ROLLED HOMOGENEOUS STEEL ARMOR AT 30 DEGREES OBLIQUITY, Penetration in mm in direction of travel, range in meters WEAPON TYPE MUNITION TYPE Range 100m Range 500m Range 1000m Range 1500m Range 2000m Reference
20mm GUN AN-M2 AP-M95 22mm 18mm 13mm 8mm 7mm 4
37MM M6 GUN M51AP 63mm 54mm 45mm 37mm - 2
37mm GUN M6 Squeeze Bore Tungsten Carbide 118mm 85mm 59mm 46mm - 3
75MM GUN AP-T 87mm 73mm 65mm 54mm 45mm 1
75MM GUN APCR-T 135mm 115mm 95mm 76mm 60mm 1


References

1. "Stuart, A History of the American Light Tank", Hunnicutt, Presidio, 1992.

2. "Stuart, U.S. Light Tanks in Action", Squadron/Signal Publications, Number 18, 1979.


3. "Fire and Movement", The Tank Museum at Bovington, Dorset, England 1975.


4. "Ballistic Data Performance of Ammunition", TM9-1907, Department of the Army, July 1948.



But again, i SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFIED THE PANTHER G IN MY VERY FIRST POST ON THIS THREAD, AND IN EVERY POST SINCE UNLESS I SPECIFICALLY MENTION A MODEL(and many times i did), IT IS THE G MODEL TANK I AM REFERRING TO.

That's not the way writing in English really works, you know. ;)



Why do i get the feeling you've been purposely poking me with a stick in this whole thread?

Because you don't want to admit that you're spending all this effort arguing a point that you've never owned, against a guy who's already voted the Panther (ausf unspecified) as the best overall tank in WWII? :)

-dale

Bill
23 Feb 06,, 19:24
Yep, i see you've been being cute and playing semantics.

You knew full well i meant the G Mr 'the english language dont work that way'.

You'll be wasting no more of my time on this thread.

PS, if those turret sides look almost vertical to you you're smoking the good stuff.

PSS:I WAS wrong here, but it is quite irrelevant:

" And gee Dalem, there is NO PART of the Panther G's flanks that is only 40mm thick. NONE. Nowhere."

The reason it is irrelevant is because the part that is listed as 40mm thick for the G model is also listed as being sloped at 90 degrees.
Which of course means that it would be impossible to hit with direct fire from the same elevation.

Oh, and i have no idea what your chart says because you were too lazy to line it up right, and well............that's not how charts work. :rolleyes:

dalem
23 Feb 06,, 21:57
Yep, i see you've been being cute and playing semantics.

You knew full well i meant the G Mr 'the english language dont work that way'.


Nope.



You'll be wasting no more of my time on this thread.

PS, if those turret sides look almost vertical to you you're smoking the good stuff.

PSS:I WAS wrong here, but it is quite irrelevant:

" And gee Dalem, there is NO PART of the Panther G's flanks that is only 40mm thick. NONE. Nowhere."

The reason it is irrelevant is because the part that is listed as 40mm thick for the G model is also listed as being sloped at 90 degrees.
Which of course means that it would be impossible to hit with direct fire from the same elevation.

Oh, and i have no idea what your chart says because you were too lazy to line it up right, and well............that's not how charts work. :rolleyes:

The important part is the part I highlighted - the text about the RHA.

Anyway, what's the thickness of the straight side hull chassis armor on your G model?

-dale

Bill
23 Feb 06,, 22:58
"Nope."

So then you're a moron.

I'm done here. I've posted my stats, you've posted yours, people are free to draw their own conclusions.

You have been purposely being cutsie and poking me with a stick in this whole thread(or you are an innatentive moron, which i know to be false), and i do not appreciate it.

PS: You don't understand your own chart.

Maybe you really are a Moron...

kNikS
23 Feb 06,, 23:54
...You have been purposely being cutsie and poking me with a stick in this whole thread(or you are an innatentive moron, which i know to be false), and i do not appreciate it...
:biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: LMAOWTIME :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
Dale..... :tryinng to take oxygen:....... if this is the case..........stop....

Wraith601
24 Feb 06,, 02:19
Sorry. I don't have statistics but remember when studying advanced history classes in early 1990-es I learned that in fact it was quite a lot of T-34 on Western border of USSR at the begining of war.... most lost stupidly. I remember numbers like few thousands.....

My grandfather was in one of them - he burned his tank in early July or early August 1941 when he ran out of fuel and shells being encirled deeply. I guess that many tanks in encirlements were destroyed to such reason.

He fought throughout the war (except for Nov-1941-July 1942 when he was in Stalin prison as a traitor) becoming one of the most experienced tank commanders personally his crew scored 3 tigers.

Of 10,000 Soviet tanks on the Western border at the outset only about 1,400 were of the the modern KV8 and T-34 type. The others were various older models and bore the brunt of the massive Red Army tank losses.

Eddy01741
24 Feb 06,, 04:54
Actually it did literally take about 5 shermans to kill one panther.

A platoon of shermans even had a popular tactic where the plt tries to race around the enemy tank and get behind it to shoot into it's engine compartment.

The execution of this tactic usually resulted in the destruction of 4 out of the 5 shermans in a WWII armored platoon. I saw a full color reenactment on the military channel once(With real shermans and a real tiger!), it was really neat. :)
Saw that too, i saw it a thursday in summer, they were doing all these battles, like in the korean/vietnam wars, they had the M-16 vs. the AK-47, and the Sabre vs. the FIshbed. For WW2 tey had Tiger vs. Sherman, and Spitfire vs. BF 109. And they had sme more for WW1, but i don't watch much, i think it was like, german howitzer vs. British shrapnel artillery, and sopwith camel vs. Fokker. Anyways, ya, it was like this on D-Day, after they had gotten past Omaha Beach, they went up in roads. Four shermans traveled together, a TIger waiting in ambush shot at the first one and immediatly destroyed it, the second sherman shot in teh general area of the shot, the second sherman was then shot, and destroyed, the third sherman shot directly at the tiger, but the weak 75mm projectile bounced off, and the third sherman was destroyed as well. All this time though, the fourth sherman has flanked the tiger and has gotten behind it, due to the Tiger's extrmely slow turn rate of the turret, it can fire back, and the tiger is destroyed. So in the end the sherman won the little contest. Only cause they had sheer numbers. I'm sorry if somebody has already described the Tiger vs. Sherman duel, but i only read up till teh second page, i'm not gonna read seven pages. So my opnion, Best tank of the war was the Panther G, like many others said, good mobility, great armor, and a great gun. And it actually used sloped armor unlike the tiger. If it's not a 1 on 1 tank battle, and u can include how many of the tanks were produced, i would say the T-34/85, the gun is adequate, it had good sloped armor, and great mobilitly for it's time. It was a very robust tank, and imo the most influential tank in the war by far.

leib10
24 Feb 06,, 07:48
It would be interesting to know exactly how many T34's were lost during WWII.

dalem
24 Feb 06,, 10:44
It would be interesting to know exactly how many T34's were lost during WWII.

Most of them.

-dale

dalem
24 Feb 06,, 10:47
"Nope."

So then you're a moron.

I'm done here. I've posted my stats, you've posted yours, people are free to draw their own conclusions.

You have been purposely being cutsie and poking me with a stick in this whole thread(or you are an innatentive moron, which i know to be false), and i do not appreciate it.

PS: You don't understand your own chart.

Maybe you really are a Moron...

Right, I'm a moron, or an instigator. What was the thickness of the Panther G side chassis armor again? The verticle part?

-dale

Eddy01741
25 Feb 06,, 05:00
Most of them.

-dale
Ya, had the russians had good tactics like the rest of the allies (britain, USA), they wouldn't of lost as many tanks. But that wouldn't happen in a million years cause most of the russian army were conscripts and they were from probably a mandatory draft. THis also meant the only morale they had was the 'war fever'.

dalem
25 Feb 06,, 11:13
Ya, had the russians had good tactics like the rest of the allies (britain, USA), they wouldn't of lost as many tanks. But that wouldn't happen in a million years cause most of the russian army were conscripts and they were from probably a mandatory draft. THis also meant the only morale they had was the 'war fever'.

Crack is pretty good, isn't it?

-dale

Wraith601
25 Feb 06,, 21:17
Ya, had the russians had good tactics like the rest of the allies (britain, USA), they wouldn't of lost as many tanks. But that wouldn't happen in a million years cause most of the russian army were conscripts and they were from probably a mandatory draft. THis also meant the only morale they had was the 'war fever'.

As opposed to a voluntary draft? :rolleyes:

Garry
25 Feb 06,, 21:35
Of 10,000 Soviet tanks on the Western border at the outset only about 1,400 were of the the modern KV8 and T-34 type. The others were various older models and bore the brunt of the massive Red Army tank losses.

Yes you are right..... actually I found the figure which I read in some articles before. It was 1800 T-34 and KVs..... OK it is not a big difference. Some hundreds of modern tanks were on far east.... OK even with your figure of 1400 modern tanks Red Army's tanks were a formidable force.

But Germans did not have that many modern tanks in their forces at begining of Barbarosa. Pazer IV was introduced in 1937 and did not yet become most massive tank as it would in years later. So the backbone of the German forces in Barbarossa were Panzer II and Panzer III and less than 600 tanks were Panzer IV. We both know what a crap were Pazer II and III, which counted for remaining of 3300 tanks available for Barbarossa.

These could be matced by five thousands of BT-26 which is quite comparable with the Panzer II and III crap - the backbone of German tank forces in 1941. It already exceeds 3300 tanks which Germany had at the begining of Barbarossa against USSR..... with 580 Panzer IV against 1400 T-34 and KVs.

So USSR by numbers looked good before Barbarossa went on and all those 1400 tanks were stupidly lost in few month.....

Garry
25 Feb 06,, 21:40
Ya, had the russians had good tactics like the rest of the allies (britain, USA), they wouldn't of lost as many tanks. But that wouldn't happen in a million years cause most of the russian army were conscripts and they were from probably a mandatory draft. THis also meant the only morale they had was the 'war fever'.

Look! Most of tank crew in 1942-43 had only 3 month training before they went to a battle. Most of them were under 20 year old. You can not expect these kids do better than what they did before they died in battles.

Soviet industry was producing few thousand tanks a month.... it was hard to populate them with trained crews.

Wraith601
25 Feb 06,, 21:43
Yes you are right..... actually I found the figure which I read in some articles before. It was 1800 T-34 and KVs..... OK it is not a big difference. Some hundreds of modern tanks were on far east.... OK even with your figure of 1400 modern tanks Red Army's tanks were a formidable force.

But Germans did not have that many modern tanks in their forces at begining of Barbarosa. Pazer IV was introduced in 1937 and did not yet become most massive tank as it would in years later. So the backbone of the German forces in Barbarossa were Panzer II and Panzer III and less than 600 tanks were Panzer IV. We both know what a crap were Pazer II and III, which counted for remaining of 3300 tanks available for Barbarossa.

These could be matced by five thousands of BT-26 which is quite comparable with the Panzer II and III crap - the backbone of German tank forces in 1941. It already exceeds 3300 tanks which Germany had at the begining of Barbarossa against USSR..... with 580 Panzer IV against 1400 T-34 and KVs.

So USSR by numbers looked good before Barbarossa went on and all those 1400 tanks were stupidly lost in few month.....

That doesn't prove that the T-34s loss ratios were significantly skewed because of high losses early on by any means. Lot's of the 1,400 modern tanks were KV series, not T-34.

Eddy01741
01 Mar 06,, 01:19
I'm just saying, if all thier tank crews weren't drafted young guys that had little training, then it woulda been much better. I'm not saying that the tank crews had enough experience to use/know better tactics. I'm just basically saying, if, u put UK tank crews inside the T-34/85 they woulda done much better than how the russian recruits did.

gunnut
01 Mar 06,, 02:14
I'm just saying, if all thier tank crews weren't drafted young guys that had little training, then it woulda been much better. I'm not saying that the tank crews had enough experience to use/know better tactics. I'm just basically saying, if, u put UK tank crews inside the T-34/85 they woulda done much better than how the russian recruits did.

We did the same thing during the Normandy campaign (I think). Trained tank crews were wiped out by Tigers. We were literally dragging guys from infantry, stuff them in tanks, have them fire a couple of rounds from the 75mm, and send them to meet Tigers. They didn't fare well.

It's a cruel reality of war. When you meet superior hardware with inferior hardware, you will need numbers to overcome the difference. That number is human lives.

Garry
02 Mar 06,, 11:59
That doesn't prove that the T-34s loss ratios were significantly skewed because of high losses early on by any means. Lot's of the 1,400 modern tanks were KV series, not T-34.

I did not say that it was skewed to 1941...... somebody else did probably. I just meant that in 1941 Soviet Union has MODERN TANK FORCE EXCEEDING THAT OF ATTACKING GERMANY and that there were thousands of decent tanks in Soviet Army..... (BT-26 were a match of crappy Panzer II and III).

Soviet T-34s losses were mostly due to lack of training and tactical cooperaion in 1941-1943, and heavy urban fighting in 1945.

By August 1942 only 10% of tank crews of those who were in service in January 1941 survived. Most of the 1941 crews were killed or prisonned.

Yet Soviet tank force grew from 1800 modern tanks in 1941 to around 5,000 in 1942..... where do you think they got the new crews from? The new crews were recruited mainly from farm tracktor drivers and re-trained artillery operators.... they had less than 3 month training before being sent to combat. I remember reading in history books that 1942 and early 1943 was an absolut peak of T-34 losses, while 1944 was quite decent..... and then there was massive loss of T-34 tanks in last month of war - April...... due to rush to Berlin. But these were not tank to tank losses but tank to mines/infantry losses.

It is important to see for the context of comparison. For example Polish and Czech forces fighting in Soviet Army had 10 times less losses of their T-34s...... as many of their crews were professional tankers from their defeated armies. Both had extensive fighting in 1944 and 1945...... yet their losses to enemy tanks were quite small. Everytime Polish T-34s met Panthers or Tigers they retreated under cover of Polish antitank artillery following them closelly.

Wraith601
02 Mar 06,, 18:13
I don't know much about the BT-26 but the upgraded Panzer III wasn't a bad tank until about 1943, it's 50mm gun was decent for the day and it had passable levels of armor protection.

Garry
02 Mar 06,, 20:19
I don't know much about the BT-26 but the upgraded Panzer III wasn't a bad tank until about 1943, it's 50mm gun was decent for the day and it had passable levels of armor protection.

This is a british tank produced by Soviets under license
http://members.tripod.com/~ViktoRus/t-26.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_III

It is my subjective oppinion but by the begining of 1941 both were too crappy and oudated.

Recon_sgt
02 Mar 06,, 22:46
Hey M21 i forgot bout the Centurion twas a great design.
Now then.
I am sorry to burst the T 34 worshiping bubble that appears in every WW2 history disscusion I ever get involved but it wasnt so hot some stats follow.

1: Incapable of penetrating Tiger armour (except rear or point blank range other)
2: had to close to within 600m to penetrate fwd mk IV panzer armour at 400m to 500m for side armour.
3: could not depress main gun beyond the typical horizontal line
4: couldnt penetrate panther armour except rear or point blank side.

Thats bad enough but
5: 88mm gun (on all tiger and common use gun in other areas) could penetrate any facing of the T 34 at up to and above 1000m
6: The long barrelled version of the mk IV panzer could do the same at up to 800m

This shows just how weak the T 34 really was an it is simply that there was so many of them (overwhelmingly so) that has it being confused as a great tank :cool: .
This is not to say that a good tank crew couldnt overcome these weakness's
(eg. Michael Wittmann in a Stug 3, look up panzerace.com) but the fact remains that the main german tanks and American Shermanns (all variants 1944 on) were simply better.

This is (aside from facts stated) IMO of course :)

Wraith601
03 Mar 06,, 18:26
Hey M21 i forgot bout the Centurion twas a great design.
Now then.
I am sorry to burst the T 34 worshiping bubble that appears in every WW2 history disscusion I ever get involved but it wasnt so hot some stats follow.

1: Incapable of penetrating Tiger armour (except rear or point blank range other)
2: had to close to within 600m to penetrate fwd mk IV panzer armour at 400m to 500m for side armour.
3: could not depress main gun beyond the typical horizontal line
4: couldnt penetrate panther armour except rear or point blank side.

Thats bad enough but
5: 88mm gun (on all tiger and common use gun in other areas) could penetrate any facing of the T 34 at up to and above 1000m
6: The long barrelled version of the mk IV panzer could do the same at up to 800m

This shows just how weak the T 34 really was an it is simply that there was so many of them (overwhelmingly so) that has it being confused as a great tank :cool: .
This is not to say that a good tank crew couldnt overcome these weakness's
(eg. Michael Wittmann in a Stug 3, look up panzerace.com) but the fact remains that the main german tanks and American Shermanns (all variants 1944 on) were simply better.

This is (aside from facts stated) IMO of course :)

The T-34 was absolutely revoutionary when it debuted, however the Germans quickly fielded several very effective counters in the long barrel 75 and the tank mounted 88, not to mention thicker armor. The Soviets just so many, plus so much artillery that the Germans were ground under.

dalem
03 Mar 06,, 20:30
in June of 1941 the PzIII was a very good and proven design, but the T-34 was unquestionably the baddest boy on the block. It's not the T-34's fault that the Sovs really didn't know how to use them very well. Until the PzIVs and StuGs started getting upgunned to the L/48 in 1942, the T-34 remained the superior platform.

Comparing the T-34 to the Tiger I is apples to oranges in my opinion because the T-34 was not a heavy tank (that was the intended role of the KV) and the Tiger I was.

-dale

cemyaz
09 Mar 06,, 20:22
Only problem with the Panther was its complexity and its hydraulics system, which could be set on fire if hit. Also the Ausf. D had a nasty shot trap, but this was corrected on Ausf. A and later models.

I would go for the panther over shermans any day... Although later improvements were made they were called " Ronson" because they lit up the first time !
Over all T 34 was a formidable tank but interms of technology it was german tanks..
Any way simplicity in production and maintainance and sheer number won the war...more than 49 000 shermans produced and even more than that T 34s

cemyaz
09 Mar 06,, 20:40
It would be the T34. Rugged, fast, reliable, well armored, good gun, and good cross-country mobility, and most of all sheer numbers made it the tank that won the war in the East, even though it was clearly inferior to the Panther or Tiger one on one. However, the Panther was also an excellent tank, possibly the best of the war because it, like the T34, was an great all-around tank.
I would pick out panther over sherman any day. Shermans wer called " ronsons" because they "lit" up the first time. Later US corrected this with modifications. T 34 is also a great tank but it was german tanks with new technology...Sheer numbers in production and simplicity of operation won the war

leib10
10 Mar 06,, 15:34
Didn't you say basically the same thing in your last post?

Dreadnought
10 Mar 06,, 20:02
LMAO :tongue:

cemyaz
13 Mar 06,, 09:33
Didn't you say basically the same thing in your last post?
My bad...sorry:)

Garry
13 Mar 06,, 10:24
I remember reading that in late 1944 and 1945 absolute majority of T-34 losses were due to ..... GERMAN INFANTRY. The massive use of Panzerfaust lead to loss of many THOUSANDS of tanks in the last months of war....

http://www.geocities.com/Augusta/8172/panzerfaust4.htm#destr
http://www.geocities.com/Augusta/8172/panzerfaust.htm

Garry
13 Mar 06,, 12:29
I am sorry to burst the T 34 worshiping bubble that appears in every WW2 history disscusion I ever get involved but it wasnt so hot some stats follow.

1: Incapable of penetrating Tiger armour (except rear or point blank range other)
2: had to close to within 600m to penetrate fwd mk IV panzer armour at 400m to 500m for side armour.
3: could not depress main gun beyond the typical horizontal line
4: couldnt penetrate panther armour except rear or point blank side.

Which gun and version did you mean?

I actually went on looking to anwer my own question and found information about 6 basic modifications of T-34 guns (3 types of 76mm guns, two 85mm guns, one 57mm and one 100mm gun) with different penetration capabilities. And these 6 guns had different capabilities with different shells.

So the most massivelly used 76mm gun on T-34 was F-34 gun. It was intentionally shortened to improve manuevrability and make manufacturing easier. However there was ZIS-5 version of 76mm gun installed on special T-34 - a tank killer version. It was made longer and had higher initial velocity. There were few of those. The last was S-54..... it was MUCH MUCH better for antiarmor. But due to high cost only 62 units were produced for special "tank killers"

The high velocity ZIS-4 57mm gun was used in manufacturing in 1941, then halted due to high cost compared to cheap 76mm F-34 gun. But since 1943 ZIS-4 was again resumed due to its high efficiency against new upgraded Panzer IV and Tiger. High velocity shells of ZIS-4 penetrated side armor of both at 1,500 m!!! However this shells lead to VERY VERY LOW DURABILITY...... leading to accidents. Nonetheless few hundreds of these guns were produced and installed in 1941-1944. I read in the Russian article that T-34 armored with ZIS-4 gun DID PENETRATE frontal armor of Panther G from 500m. There were few hundreds of them produced throughout the war.....

There were few initial versions of most famous 85mm.... but this time Soviet command learned the lesson and only one type went to massive serial production. However around 360 guns of three other types which were produced and tested were also utilized and installed on special T-34-85 D5....

However antiarmor capability of up gunned T-34-85 turned to be less than that of 57mm gun, though it could easily penetrate side armor of both Panther and King Tiger it could penetrate front only from 100m..... which is not really practical. This was resolved by introducing new shell БР-365П which would kill Tigers and Panthers into front armor.

So, trying to answer you I did find much info on T-34 tank guns for myself. You were probably mentioning data for 76mm F-34 gun which was not produced since summer 1943.

Recon_sgt
14 Mar 06,, 22:37
So, trying to answer you I did find much info on T-34 tank guns for myself. You were probably mentioning data for 76mm F-34 gun which was not produced since summer 1943.
Yes entirely possible gar, I would have to do much deeper research into WW II tank designs to see the detailed ins and outs but that seems to be the case tootles
:biggrin:

deadkenny
27 Mar 06,, 04:11
I'll throw my vote to the T-34 as well. An overall good design, with a relatively early appearance in the war, being capable of handling upgrades to keep it effective through to the end of the war as well as impressive production figures. I also allow for the fact that a tanks sole (or even main) function was not necessarily to fight other AFV's. Of course, if I was going to fight a tank 'duel', I'd want to be in a King Tiger myself. ;)

Canmoore
10 Aug 06,, 17:12
I like to compare WW2 to a crash up derby.

You dont send your freshly waxed Cadillac into the ring do you? well thats what the Germans essentially did. They built a Cadillac of a Tank and sent it into the ring to get pounded, while the allies built peices of junk, didnt matter if they got banged up, because there was always more to be replaced with.

Wraith601
17 Aug 06,, 08:33
I like to compare WW2 to a crash up derby.

You dont send your freshly waxed Cadillac into the ring do you? well thats what the Germans essentially did. They built a Cadillac of a Tank and sent it into the ring to get pounded, while the allies built peices of junk, didnt matter if they got banged up, because there was always more to be replaced with.

It's been expounded upon at length in this thread about how the difference in Allied (particularly American and British) tanks and German ones was almost entirely due to doctrinal differences.

Recon_sgt
02 Sep 06,, 14:56
It my friends is my firm belief that this thread is quite dead. no one has voted on it in a long time from what I can see. People have said what they think (in some cases many times over). The only conclusion we have arrived at is that more people on WAB (that is of those who bothered to vote) believe the T34 was better than all others. and sometimes anyway a tank is only as good as her crew. Thank you all and goodnite. :cool:

Bill
16 Nov 06,, 21:45
One model i havn't seen mentioned that rates serious merit as "Best tank of WWII" was actually a 'common field modification' to an existing tank.

And that is the addition of the 76.2mm M1 Hv gun to the heavy M4A3E2 "Jumbo" Sherman assault tank. Such upgraded Shermans were either called M4A3E2(L) or M4A3E2/76(W) so far as i can determine.

With a massive 4" thick RHA turret front and hull applique plate armor, it actually had heavier frontal armor than the Tiger or Panther A!

It came from the production line with the 75mm M3 gun, but some number of them were modified in the field by upgunning them with the much more powerful M1 Hv gun.....creating.....

The best tank of WII?

http://www.missing-lynx.com/gallery/usa/szjumbo-5.jpg
M4A3E2(W) "Jumbo" shown with 75mm M3 gun.

http://www.missing-lynx.com/articles/usa/jbjumbo/Tank1.jpg
M4A3E2/76(W). Apparently the 76.2mm variants of this tank lacked a muzzle brake.

http://www.ezoya.co.jp/html/tank/m4a3e202.JPG
Note massive armored plates added to front of turret and hull. The M4A3E2(W) was one of the most heavily armored tanks of WWII, and still possessed speed and reliability significantly greater than the Tiger.

http://www.battlegroup42.com/img/WIP040703/jumboWIPPic1.jpg
Best tank of the war? Pictured above is the M4A3E2/76(W)....armed with 76.2mm HVAP-T ammo, it was easily a match for any tank on the battlefield by any side.

Just imagine this model with the British 17lb'er gun!(which was never done by anyone as far as i know)

sappersgt
16 Nov 06,, 22:27
The Sherman Firefly IIRC had a reduced crew of four due to turret size limitations. That always made me wonder about how the Israelis managed to squeeze a 90mm/105mm gun into a Super Sherman. Must have been REALLY crowded.

troung
17 Nov 06,, 00:01
The Sherman Firefly IIRC had a reduced crew of four due to turret size limitations. That always made me wonder about how the Israelis managed to squeeze a 90mm/105mm gun into a Super Sherman. Must have been REALLY crowded.

M-50 was used the 75mm gun of the Panther and the M-51 used a LP French 105mm gun. Put a counter wieght on the back of the turret and some other minor changes. Both upgrade packages were French.

My fave is the Sherman with the 75mm turret of the AMX-13.

glyn
17 Nov 06,, 01:30
It must be the T-34 series. Cheap, easy to produce and maintain, reliable and effective. Employed in vast numbers, supported by the Shtormovik Il-2 and massed artillery the combination was unstoppable.

Bill
17 Nov 06,, 02:40
It must be the T-34 series. Cheap, easy to produce and maintain, reliable and effective. Employed in vast numbers, supported by the Shtormovik Il-2 and massed artillery the combination was unstoppable.
We're really talking about more of a 'stand alone' scenario based solely on the tanks own merits.

IOW, would you personally "pick" that tank to go into battle with the other tanks of WWII.

As an example, my latest nominee for 'best tank', the M4A3E2/76(W) "Jumbo" was capable of taking on Tigers and Panthers head on(indeed it had more frontal armor than either of them), something that even the M4A3E8 "Easy Eight" and no model of T-34(76 or 85) could claim. Even the UK Firefly(17lb gun on an M4A4 Chassis), while easily the best armed Sherman, and quite capable of killing the Tiger or Panther, was itself highly vulnerable to their fire. Not so for the "Jumbo 76". Heck, the "Jumbo" had even heavier armor than the late war M26 Pershing. :)

Unlike the Tiger or Panther, the Sherman- even the "Jumbo" was a reliable and easily supportable tank, and was more mobile than the Tiger(though less so than the Panther). Besides vastly superior armor, the other advantadge it had over the Firefly was a 5th crewman for enhanced situational awareness, survivability, and ease of maintenance.

Really the only thing the "Jumbo 76" lacked was mobility- though still superior to most of the other heavies, and an 'elite' gun(though the 76.2mm with HVAP-T could kill any tank of the war, the ammunition itself was extremely rare).

All around, and as a whole.....the M4A3E2/76(W)- with a good supply of 76.2mm HVAP-T was one hell of a tank.

Maybe the best of the war, it was definitely the best Sherman for head on tank on tank combat AND infantry support. :)

leib10
07 Dec 06,, 22:56
It must be the T-34 series. Cheap, easy to produce and maintain, reliable and effective. Employed in vast numbers, supported by the Shtormovik Il-2 and massed artillery the combination was unstoppable.

This combination was often stopped.

glyn
08 Dec 06,, 00:31
This combination was often stopped.

Maybe so,(surely not too often) but the same combination served the Red Army very well up to the Elbe river. That is historical fact. And historical fact is hard to argue against.

dalem
15 Dec 06,, 23:13
The Sherman Firefly IIRC had a reduced crew of four due to turret size limitations. That always made me wonder about how the Israelis managed to squeeze a 90mm/105mm gun into a Super Sherman. Must have been REALLY crowded.

The Firefly had a 4 man crew because they deleted the assistant driver and used his position for more ammo stowage - had nothing to do with the turret.

-dale

sappersgt
16 Dec 06,, 00:44
The Firefly had a 4 man crew because they deleted the assistant driver and used his position for more ammo stowage - had nothing to do with the turret.

-dale

I'd always thought it was because of the increase in gun size. So it wouldn't decrease fighting efficiency at all. Ya learn something every day.:cool:

I wonder how they got an AMX-13 (or Panther) turret on there. Would they weld the old (Sherman) turret ring to the bottom of the new (Panther) turret?:confused:

zraver
16 Dec 06,, 03:19
hey sniper, I'd take the Panther G-Uhu over the jumbo. Only 254 jumbos were made and only a couple dozen had the 76mm gun.

cape_royds
16 Dec 06,, 07:32
I voted before I read the OP, so my vote was for the German Mk V "Panther" tank, as the best all-round balance of firepower, mobility, and protection. But in terms of importance in the war, the T-34, M4, and German Mk IV were more commonly found on the battlefield.

If I was sitting in the tank, then my vote would be for a King Tiger--can't possibly be enough armour between me and all the hate out there! As you can tell, I am a craven civilian who wants to die in bed of a lingering disease.

I'm glad someone quoted Dmitry Loza at length, because he fought with both M4's and T-34's. He had a high opinion of his "Emcha."

A big problem with the T-34 is that many of those built weren't up to specification. Built in a hurry, often with inferior materials, and rushed into action, the T-34 is a story of a developing country trying to fight an industrial war. Lack of radios, lack of rear area supporting services, lack of spare parts, even lack of paint--all these things are testimony to an uneven industrial base built in a series of crash programmes.

But as Kitchener said, you wage war not as you like, but as you must.

Crew quality is a vicious circle if you're losing. Lose battles with heavy losses, and those guys don't get experienced--they just die. Put more green guys into action, and see them take more heavy losses. You can't call time out. It's a hard cycle to break.

Two good examples of this vicious circle are the Red Army, and the German Air Force.

But regarding the M4, the Canadian official history is full of criticisms. The crews certainly thought they had an inferior tank, and this affected morale and the willingness to press home an attack.

An interesting question arose over tank and anti-tank doctrine. The US doctrine officially took this the furthest, creating a Tank Destroyer branch in their organization.

Something else to mention is that both the USSR and Germany employed ever larger numbers of "assault guns" and other turretless vehicles. These machines took on much of the burden of direct support for infantry, as well as serving in an anti-tank defensive role.

But since tanks like the Mk V were expressly designed to beat the T-34, and since the Firefly development was expressly meant to deal with the heavier German tanks, I don't think we can avoid the conclusion that in the middle and later part of the war, tanks were de facto meant to match up with the enemy tanks.

zraver
16 Dec 06,, 08:27
Add in the upgunning of the M4's to the 76mm and your conculsion is unavoidable. Even if in the US Army tanks never totally replaced tank destroyers during WW2.

troung
17 Dec 06,, 03:55
I'd always thought it was because of the increase in gun size. So it wouldn't decrease fighting efficiency at all. Ya learn something every day.

The dropped crewman was replaced with more ammo for the main gun.


wonder how they got an AMX-13 (or Panther) turret on there. Would they weld the old (Sherman) turret ring to the bottom of the new (Panther) turret?

Gravity...

gunnut
17 Dec 06,, 05:19
Speaking of tank destroyers, why was the M-10 designed with an open-top turret and thin armor? German's Stug III and Stug IV were great tank destoryers and they were used to great effect. They were small, squat, cheap, with decent armor and decent mobility.

dalem
17 Dec 06,, 11:07
Speaking of tank destroyers, why was the M-10 designed with an open-top turret and thin armor? German's Stug III and Stug IV were great tank destoryers and they were used to great effect. They were small, squat, cheap, with decent armor and decent mobility.

U.S. armored doctrine held that tanks were to be used to break into the enemy's rear areas and go hell-bent for leather, and that enemy tanks (and their expected large-mass attacks) were to be dealth with by towed AT guns. The SP TD, to the U.S., was really just a way to get an ATG extremely portable. Think en portee on steroids, if you will.

So the keys are mobility and visibility. Never expected to be operating in close proximity to enemy infantry, an open topped turret increased visibility and spotting for the crew, allowing for quicker target discrimination and acquisition. Also not that TDs had no bow or coax MG (except for the M36B1 that kept the full M4 hull). Armor was not considered to be that big a deal because the TDs were going to be operating with "shoot & scoot" in mind - shoot from cover a couple of times, then maneuver quickly to an alternate position and re-engage before the enemy tanks have a solid idea of where you are. And with the M10, the first purpose-designed full-track TD for the U.S., the armor values actually compare favorably with those of the early-war welded-hull Shermans.

The M18 Hellcat was the ultimate design in this direction - VERY thin armor and VERY high speed - as maneuverable as they could get in those days on tracks.

The correct comparison on the German side would be the Marders and other open-topped SP TDs - the StuGs were originally simple and cheap assault guns intended to give direct HE support to the infantry. But with a much better appreciation of the gun-armor race that WWII created, the Germans kept to bigger guns on thicker, turretless hulls for their preferred SP TD solution. The German Hetzers (and the never-produced and similar E-10) were examples of this, although Germany's increasingly defensive stance meant anything with track was getting an AT gun stuck on it, and turrets are expensive and complex compared to a simple casemate mount.

-dale

SvenHassel
29 Dec 06,, 10:24
German Mk V "Panther" tank, as the best all-round balance of firepower, mobility, and protection. But in terms of importance in the war, the T-34, M4, and German Mk IV were more commonly found on the battlefield.

If I was sitting in the tank, then my vote would be for a King Tiger.

A big problem with the T-34 is that many of those built weren't up to specification. Built in a hurry, often with inferior materials, and rushed into action, the T-34 is a story of a developing country trying to fight an industrial war. Lack of radios, lack of rear area supporting services, lack of spare parts, even lack of paint--all these things are testimony to an uneven industrial base built in a series of crash programmes.



Good points. Russian tanks were also far behind in optical systems.
Stug G had excellent periscope. Tank commander had much better view, than his russian counterparts. Finns killing ratio with Stug G:s was better than 10:1, even they were used mostly in counterattacks.

This is my first writing, and im usually in hurry. So, errors might happen :(

BD1
01 Jan 07,, 10:51
t-34 / KV & IS series - because those were the first tanks that had the ´´modern´´ layout - engine & transmission in the rear , turret in the front , big caliber guns . All other WW2 tanks (except M-26 & centurion, but they appeared 1945) had a drivetrain that went through the machine to the front making them higher , bigger , heavier than necessary

glyn
01 Jan 07,, 11:14
t-34 / KV & IS series - because those were the first tanks that had the ´´modern´´ layout - engine & transmission in the rear , turret in the front , big caliber guns . All other WW2 tanks (except M-26 & centurion, but they appeared 1945) had a drivetrain that went through the machine to the front making them higher , bigger , heavier than necessary

Don't forget the Comet.

dalem
01 Jan 07,, 11:53
t-34 / KV & IS series - because those were the first tanks that had the ´´modern´´ layout - engine & transmission in the rear , turret in the front , big caliber guns . All other WW2 tanks (except M-26 & centurion, but they appeared 1945) had a drivetrain that went through the machine to the front making them higher , bigger , heavier than necessary

How do these characteristics balance out the poor metallurgy, poor gun tolerances, weak optics, poor reliability, and lack of communication gear?

-dale

BD1
01 Jan 07,, 18:17
Glyn - yes , you´re right , shame on me . :redface:
Dale - ´´How do these characteristics balance out the poor metallurgy, poor gun tolerances, weak optics, poor reliability, and lack of communication gear?´´ - all true , but still it´s the layout that all the later tanks followed (except strv-103 & merkava) . compared to the rest they were still ahead in their concept and suitable for infantry support as well as for tank vs. tank. plus i forgot the really wide tracks that gave them extra mobility. lack of reliabilty was never much concern for soviets in ww2, because their tanks never lasted long in such enviroment. the losses they were ready to take were astronomical and in such case gun tolerances didn´t really matter .numerical superiority won over quality

zraver
01 Jan 07,, 21:17
the losses they were ready to take were astronomical and in such case gun tolerances didn´t really matter .numerical superiority won over quality

It was a very close run thing. If German efficency had been 10% better, if Hitler had switched to a full war time prodcution in 39 instead of 43. If Hitler hadn't tied so much of his combat down with stupid stand and die orders.

The USSR did not beat Gemrany, Germany beat it self in the east.

dalem
02 Jan 07,, 01:39
Dale - ´´How do these characteristics balance out the poor metallurgy, poor gun tolerances, weak optics, poor reliability, and lack of communication gear?´´ - all true , but still it´s the layout that all the later tanks followed (except strv-103 & merkava) . compared to the rest they were still ahead in their concept and suitable for infantry support as well as for tank vs. tank. plus i forgot the really wide tracks that gave them extra mobility. lack of reliabilty was never much concern for soviets in ww2, because their tanks never lasted long in such enviroment. the losses they were ready to take were astronomical and in such case gun tolerances didn´t really matter .numerical superiority won over quality

But "best" must also include individual effectiveness, yes? The T-34 might take the cake for most influential, but "best"? No.

-dale

BD1
02 Jan 07,, 10:23
dale - i looked at the poll, saw that you voted panther. well panther didn´t fare well at the beginning too - at Kursk it was a huge disapointmen for germans for the lack of reliability etc. - just the same reasons you quoted against t-34:rolleyes: . no , seriously if i were a tanker in ww2 i would love to be inside Pz.V/VI , but in the end they were deadend. I have a familiy friend who was 1943 in eastern front and his inf. batallion destroyed in 3 days of combat ~100 T-34 & Valentine´s ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20th_Waffen_Grenadier_Division_of_the_SS_%281st_Es tonian%29) - but at the end there were about to be decimated. they used grenades , 3 ex-soviet 76.2mm AT guns , magnetic mines and had for fire spt. sometimes 2 Panzers (Tigers i think) and yet they were pushed back in the end . the mastapes in ww2 were almost unbelievable for today , but it was an industrial war. it´s like to compare ford model T with rolls-royce silver ghost. which is more important? another thing is that germans used captured t-34s too whenever possible ( at least they had no problem with ammo supplies):biggrin:
And i never liked the german heavy tanks overlapping road wheels - tigers frozen in mud must have been a rather usual sight.
so in the end the right way was the american & russian way - a good enough mass-production tank, not the magnificent white elephants the hitler was so found of (Maus!)

dalem
02 Jan 07,, 19:35
dale - i looked at the poll, saw that you voted panther. well panther didn´t fare well at the beginning too - at Kursk it was a huge disapointmen for germans for the lack of reliability etc. - just the same reasons you quoted against t-34:rolleyes: . no , seriously if i were a tanker in ww2 i would love to be inside Pz.V/VI , but in the end they were deadend.

Huh? The first T-34 models with the medium velocity guns weren't perfect either, let alone the lack of radios. But that doesn't lessen the actual impact of the T-34 series on the outcome of WWII. I just rate it #3, that's all. For me, the "best" tank design for that war is the Panther, #2 is the Sherman, #3 is the T-34. I can easily understand someone's opinion saying the T-34 should be #2 and the Sherman #3, but that either one should be #1 ahead of the Panther, no, I can't buy that.

-dale

BD1
02 Jan 07,, 21:07
interesting that your top 3 were all in use well after ww2 (panthers in France, Syria 1967(?)) ; shermans in israel, south america ; T-34 vietnam, guess some are still rumbling in south-east asia. well , I guess that shows that their overall designs were quite effective and maintainable. btw - your top 3 is same as mine , mine simply 1. t-34, 2. Panther, 3. sherman . but my guess is an uneducated one:rolleyes: . actually , one of my personal favourites is czech LT-35 , after german invasion known as PzKpfw-38(t) - excellent light tank - 1400 built as light tank, then since ´42 built as recon.vehicle, SPG, AT Hetzer. as such it served in sweden and switzerland to 1970-s. it was also proposed chassis for german projected IFV/APC. :cool:
and one more correction -. seems that the rear drivetrain and engine were alredy in use on french char B1 , british valentine mk.III and crusader . seems i am little-bit over-fed by soviet propaganda as a child about the soviet tank technologys superiority.

SuperTrooper
07 Jan 07,, 22:12
Researchers are saying that the British Comet tank was the best tank in WW2 although the German Tiger and the Russian T-34 were also very dominate

BD1
08 Jan 07,, 00:40
What researchers are they? :confused:

BMF12
18 Jan 07,, 16:35
Researchers are saying that the British Comet tank was the best tank in WW2 although the German Tiger and the Russian T-34 were also very dominate

The Comet? I think the Comet pertetuated all the faults of the Cromwell. Plus, it came so late in the field.....the Centurion came almost just as late, and was a much more formidable tank. I voted T-34, although if it were my choice, I'd want to be in a Panther........funny, eh?

Jeff_F_F
26 Jan 07,, 19:01
Two points when comparing the Sherman and T-34 to the late war German tanks. The missions these tanks were designed for were completely different, so comparing them is comparing apples to oranges. By 1943 the Germans had accepted that they had lost the intiative on the Eastern front. Kursk was not inteded to be a breakout, only to reduce the salient in order to shorten their lines. Their intention was to dig in and "bleed the Soviets dry" (probably not a realistic proposition, given Soviet production, but no less realistic than planning to blitz all the way to the Urals). As such the late war German tanks were defensive rather than offensive, so their lack of operational mobility and reliability was less of an issue than their armor and firepower.

The Shermans and T-34s were intended to support a sustained mobile offensives, so mobility and reliability were critical. The late war German tanks would have failed miserably in this role. Nor could the German blitzes of the early war have succeeded using these tanks.

deadkenny
26 Jan 07,, 19:39
... For me, the "best" tank design for that war is the Panther, #2 is the Sherman, #3 is the T-34. I can easily understand someone's opinion saying the T-34 should be #2 and the Sherman #3, but that either one should be #1 ahead of the Panther, no, I can't buy that.

-dale

Perhaps if you're consider the 'design' in particular. However the poll says best tank, not best tank design. Of course, as is usually the case in any of these 'best of' polls, it's pretty open ended in terms of what factors to consider and what weights to apply to them. In terms of the 'design', I would say the Panther was perhaps 'over-engineered' to some extent, but was certainly an excellent tank. However, where it loses 'points' in my book is that it was a later war design, it had significant problems (transmission in particular) when initially introduced and the numbers produced were not in the same league as the Sherman or T-34. In fact, Guderian made a decision, as Inspector General of Armour, to continue production of the Mark IV late into the war, at the expense of Panther production. As I mentioned in an earlier post, if I had to choose a tank to fight a 'duel' in, then the King Tiger is clearly a better choice.

dalem
26 Jan 07,, 20:07
dk-

Good points, and I agree that any such poll is pretty darned subjective. For me, when I think of "best tank", I think in terms of gun effectiveness, armor, and maneuverability - all pretty tactical things. In those terms I think the Panther is clearly ahead. As my other posts mention though, once we start including operational, strategic, and logistical considerations, that's where the design elements come in more. To me.

-dale

omon
26 Jan 07,, 23:11
how can a tank with a gasoline engine be the best?
a hit in the engine compartment..
sherman- fireball
tiger- fireball
panter- fireball
t34-not a fireball, swap an engine, and it's as good as new.

The T-34 was still in service with twenty-seven countries as late as 1996.
T-34 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_34)

leib10
27 Jan 07,, 02:08
Lol.

deadkenny
27 Jan 07,, 16:37
how can a tank with a gasoline engine be the best?
a hit in the engine compartment..
sherman- fireball
tiger- fireball
panter- fireball
t34-not a fireball, swap an engine, and it's as good as new.

The T-34 was still in service with twenty-seven countries as late as 1996.
T-34 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_34)

Although I also selected the T-34, the reasons you have stated do not 'trump' all other considerations. Although a gas engine did make a tank more vunerable, it also provided more HP for the weight and size, and so was a trade off as more HP means greater speed and maneuverabilty, which are also critical considerations. Based on your logic, the M1 Abrams is a crappy tank. Likewise, the fact that the T-34 continued in service for so long has to do with factors other than it being the 'best tank' (as the wipespread use of the AK-47 does not imply it is the best rifle). The fact is they were supplied in large numbers to communist regimes that could not afford to replace it with anything better.

omon
27 Jan 07,, 22:32
Although I also selected the T-34, the reasons you have stated do not 'trump' all other considerations. Although a gas engine did make a tank more vunerable, it also provided more HP for the weight and size, and so was a trade off as more HP means greater speed and maneuverabilty, which are also critical considerations. Based on your logic, the M1 Abrams is a crappy tank. Likewise, the fact that the T-34 continued in service for so long has to do with factors other than it being the 'best tank' (as the wipespread use of the AK-47 does not imply it is the best rifle). The fact is they were supplied in large numbers to communist regimes that could not afford to replace it with anything better.

how do you define a best tank? any single reason is not enough to call it the best. imo combination of them, and service record make one the best.
diesels give more tourge than gas, and tourge is more important for tank than hp. especially at low rpm.
t 34 were in production untill 1958, so after that, ussr wasnt making and giving away any, which other tank has such a long service record? and if it was a crappy tank, would it be used for so long? none other ww2 tank can say that.
good overall prformance, ease of manufacturing, repear, maintanance, good firepower, armor, all these combined makes it the best.

T_igger_cs_30
27 Jan 07,, 22:51
how do you define a best tank? any single reason is not enough to call it the best. imo combination of them, and service record make one the best.
diesels give more tourge than gas, and tourge is more important for tank than hp. especially at low rpm.
t 34 were in production untill 1958, so after that, ussr wasnt making and giving away any, which other tank has such a long service record? and if it was a crappy tank, would it be used for so long? none other ww2 tank can say that.
good overall prformance, ease of manufacturing, repear, maintanance, good firepower, armor, all these combined makes it the best.

Based on your criteria oman the Churchill tank which came into service the same year as the T-34 , 1941 had even greater longevity, the last variants not going out of service untill 1965

cape_royds
28 Jan 07,, 02:09
T-34's were in service at least into the early 1990's. I saw a newspaper photo of a T-34/85 in action in Somalia in 1993. Odd that they would be used at all even there, given that some Toyota Land Cruisers were probably better armed.

Of course, one has to distinguish between frontline service with a major power, from the absolute terminus of service. But it's fair to say that the T-34 stood the test of time, as did certain variants of the Sherman.

On an aside, I also remember a photo of a SU-100 in action in Nicaragua in the mid-1980's.

Jeff F_F: I think that the German Mk V "Panther" tank was suitable enough for strategic mobile operations. Such tanks put on a lot of miles doing "fire brigade" service late in the war (e.g. in the Ukraine during 1943-44). This represented about as much mileage as would be put on the tanks during a deep offensive.

deadkenny
28 Jan 07,, 15:52
how do you define a best tank? any single reason is not enough to call it the best. imo combination of them, and service record make one the best.
diesels give more tourge than gas, and tourge is more important for tank than hp. especially at low rpm.
t 34 were in production untill 1958, so after that, ussr wasnt making and giving away any, which other tank has such a long service record? and if it was a crappy tank, would it be used for so long? none other ww2 tank can say that.
good overall prformance, ease of manufacturing, repear, maintanance, good firepower, armor, all these combined makes it the best.

I agree that 'the best' should be determined on the basis of a number of factors. It just appeared from your first post on the topic that you were saying that only a tank with a diesel engine could possibly be considered 'the best' (which is just one factor). I don't agree that diesel engines necessarily have more torque, although it is true that the peak torque for diesels does tend to be at lower engine speeds, which is an advantage with vehicles such as heavy tanks. Again I clearly agree that the T-34 is not a 'crappy' tank, I selected it as 'best' myself. However, the 'service record' has alot to do with the USSR supporting communist 'client' regimes after the war, and those regimes hanging onto them or supplying them to other fellow communists. It demontrates that the T-34 was 'durable', but doesn't necessarily prove anything in comparison to other models. Given the outcome of WWII, there was obviously less potential for German models in particular to be supplied to other countries.

smilingassassin
29 Jan 07,, 11:21
Without a doubt the T-34 was the best tank of WW2. Produced in great numbers, decent firepower, armor, speed and reliable. Shermans weren't really that great of a tank but were produced in numbers the Germans simply couldn't handle nor match, even if they consintrated on producing the PZ.IV.

dalem
29 Jan 07,, 19:33
Without a doubt the T-34 was the best tank of WW2. Produced in great numbers, decent firepower, armor, speed and reliable. Shermans weren't really that great of a tank but were produced in numbers the Germans simply couldn't handle nor match, even if they consintrated on producing the PZ.IV.

"Produced in great numbers, decent firepower, armor, speed and reliable"

Describes the Sherman perfectly as well.

-dale

omon
29 Jan 07,, 20:37
shermans armor is weaker than t34 76mm vs 90mm.
sermans gasoline engine was 400hp t34 diesel 500hp
shermans speed was 40km\h t34 55 km\h
the only shermans advantage is 105mm gun, but there wasn't to many of those on eastern front, there were a lot with 75mm gun.
from what i've heard from many ppl who actualy fought in them, sheman was more camfortable than t-34, but not roomy, slow, slower in turns, and was visible from further distance than t34, was more coplicated, and took longer to fix,(that might be becouse it was forein tank). the only thing russian soldgiers liked adout shermans, is what was packed inside, all those goodies, food, alcogol(somethimes it was hiden in the barrel), and leather tankers overalls, the tank itself wasn't liked at all.

us had a lot of things better than russians during ww2, but sherman wasn't one of them.

dalem
29 Jan 07,, 20:59
shermans armor is weaker than t34 76mm vs 90mm.
sermans gasoline engine was 400hp t34 diesel 500hp
shermans speed was 40km\h t34 55 km\h
the only shermans advantage is 105mm gun, but there wasn't to many of those on eastern front, there were a lot with 75mm gun.
from what i've heard from many ppl who actualy fought in them, sheman was more camfortable than t-34, but not roomy, slow, slower in turns, and was visible from further distance than t34, was more coplicated, and took longer to fix,(that might be becouse it was forein tank). the only thing russian soldgiers liked adout shermans, is what was packed inside, all those goodies, food, alcogol(somethimes it was hiden in the barrel), and leather tankers overalls, the tank itself wasn't liked at all.

us had a lot of things better than russians during ww2, but sherman wasn't one of them.

But the criteria given were "Produced in great numbers, decent firepower, armor, speed and reliable".

Produced in great numbers: Check.

Decent firepower: Check. Lower mechanical tolerances and lower-quality ammunition ensured that the range and penetration of the Sherman's 75mm were comparable to that of the T-34's 76mm. Likewise the 76mm of the Shermans armed with such were comparable to the 85mm guns of the T-34/85s

(Decent) armor: Check. Again, metallurgical problems ensured that the T-34's effective armor was not much greater than that of the Sherman series.

Speed: T-34 definitely edges out the Sherman here, but the M4 series was not slow.

Reliable: No contest - whether the Russian's knew how to repair them or not, the Sherman had a reputation for astounding reliability in the hands of all other allies. T-34s were easy to produce but not very reliable.

-dale

omon
29 Jan 07,, 23:38
t 34 suffered problems with armor quality when armor was rolled and welded, after it became cast problem disapeared.
serman suferred a problem of detonating shells even if armor wasn't penatrated, for which(plus gas engine) it earned nickname ronson lighter, germans called it tommy cooker.
serman had better sights and optics.
sheman had radios.
t34 had better cross country ability.
Soviet V-2 diesels were more powerful and reliable than US GAA engines, especially during the winter times.

certan models of sherman (m4) was a close mach to t34, but as ww2 tank, for war in europe, in russian hands, t34 was a better choice.

we can argue about that looking at papers, numbers,forever, but ppl, who had to fight in them saw the whole pic, thay say they'd rather be in t34 than sherman. almost every book writen by tankers of ww2 states that.
i had a book by guderian, he wrote a lot about t34 how good they were, but very few words adout sherman.

other things americans had were better, some much better, than russians,
i especially like sherman dd, that was awesome modification, half of them drowned, but it wasn't design flaw, wrong tactics. no other tanks did that, neither before nor after(might be wrong,but never heard about anything like that be done again).

ArmchairGeneral
30 Jan 07,, 00:26
shermans armor is weaker than t34 76mm vs 90mm.
sermans gasoline engine was 400hp t34 diesel 500hp
shermans speed was 40km\h t34 55 km\h
the only shermans advantage is 105mm gun, but there wasn't to many of those on eastern front, there were a lot with 75mm gun.
from what i've heard from many ppl who actualy fought in them, sheman was more camfortable than t-34, but not roomy, slow, slower in turns, and was visible from further distance than t34, was more coplicated, and took longer to fix,(that might be becouse it was forein tank). the only thing russian soldgiers liked adout shermans, is what was packed inside, all those goodies, food, alcogol(somethimes it was hiden in the barrel), and leather tankers overalls, the tank itself wasn't liked at all.

us had a lot of things better than russians during ww2, but sherman wasn't one of them.

Umm...105mm gun? The only 105mm gun equipped Shermans were postwar. There was a 105mm howitzer variant during WWII, but that's all.

As for the other points, what variants are you talking about? The Sherman and the T34 were both developed greatly during the war, so you need to specify.

smilingassassin
30 Jan 07,, 07:56
"Produced in great numbers, decent firepower, armor, speed and reliable"

Describes the Sherman perfectly as well.

-dale

True, though I still think the T-34 edges out the Sherman given the sloped armor forward and lower siloette.

Both well rounded designs and war winners for sure. I often wonder what outcome would have resulted from the Germans sticking to the Panzer IV production in significant quantity's rather than the Panther/Tiger designs.

One of my particular favorites, the Hetzer!

dalem
30 Jan 07,, 09:33
True, though I still think the T-34 edges out the Sherman given the sloped armor forward and lower siloette.

Sherman had sloped forward glacis as well, the later models all having the 47 degree single-piece glacis plate.

Sherman was 2.74m tall, the T-34 about 2.6m. Not much of a difference at 500 yards, eh?



Both well rounded designs and war winners for sure. I often wonder what outcome would have resulted from the Germans sticking to the Panzer IV production in significant quantity's rather than the Panther/Tiger designs.

One of my particular favorites, the Hetzer!

Hmm. A dinky remote MG, crew compartment the size of my sock drawer, and the gunner on the wrong side of the breech. Nifty ad-hoc though, and the E-10 would have been a nice standardization.

Here's a little Hetzer for ya from my drawer:
http://www.dmancini.com/pictures/hetzer-1.jpg


-dale

smilingassassin
30 Jan 07,, 10:47
Sherman had sloped forward glacis as well, the later models all having the 47 degree single-piece glacis plate.

Sherman was 2.74m tall, the T-34 about 2.6m. Not much of a difference at 500 yards, eh?

True, could have been worse, could have been as tall as the Grant/Lee at 3.12m!


Hmm. A dinky remote MG, crew compartment the size of my sock drawer, and the gunner on the wrong side of the breech. Nifty ad-hoc though, and the E-10 would have been a nice standardization.

Here's a little Hetzer for ya from my drawer:
http://www.dmancini.com/pictures/hetzer-1.jpg


-dale

Maybe rough for the crews but they are so damn nasty!

I have a 1/48 scale model of a Hetzer I can't wait to sink my teeth into....

glyn
30 Jan 07,, 15:00
I voted for the T-34 series simply because I rate it the best of those on the list. My personal choice would be the Comet.

T_igger_cs_30
02 Feb 07,, 20:17
I voted for the T-34 series simply because I rate it the best of those on the list. My personal choice would be the Comet.

Have to agree with you Glyn, sadly introduced to late to aquire any real credibility amongst the tanks listed, if it had been I am sure it would have topped the list.

Irishman7
20 Feb 07,, 16:20
I voted for the T-34 for the following reasons:

1.) Totally surprised the Germans when it first was introduced on the battlefield.
2.) Was superior to the German Panzers in maneuverability in mud and snow, firepower and lower maintenance.
3.) Simplistic design allowed mass production in the thousands. The vast numbers of T-34's overwhelmed the Germans even when the Tigers and Panthers had superior firepower. The Tigers lacked the mobility of the T-34.
4.) Sloped front and armor sidings made it very difficult for the Germans to knock out.
5.) T-34 turned the tide of war on the Eastern front.

ExNavyAmerican
09 Mar 07,, 11:01
I voted for the King Tiger

leib10
09 Mar 07,, 16:37
For best protected and armed tank, sure. But it was more of a (semi) mobile strongpoint rather than an effective tank. Its offensive capabilities were limited thanks to its poor mobility and reliability (Ardennes Offensive). But in certain situations it was truly unbeatable, except from the air.

ExNavyAmerican
09 Mar 07,, 18:59
leib10;

Which one did you vote for? I couldn't find any mention of it in the thread.

deadkenny
10 Mar 07,, 00:34
The criteria used to judge is of course somewhat arbitrary, and particular to each person. For my part I factored in when in the war the tank first appeared and the numbers produced, as well as some general vehicle characteristics. The King Tiger suffers (in my book) on the first 2 points mentioned. Also the mobility factor mentioned by leib. If you ignore the date and numbers considerations, then the list would / should be dominated by the late war entries by all sides (Pershing, JSIII, Centurion etc.). As I mentioned earlier in the thread, if I was going to be in a tank 'duel', I would rather be in a King Tiger. :P

Stan187
10 Mar 07,, 20:03
The criteria used to judge is of course somewhat arbitrary, and particular to each person. For my part I factored in when in the war the tank first appeared and the numbers produced, as well as some general vehicle characteristics. The King Tiger suffers (in my book) on the first 2 points mentioned. Also the mobility factor mentioned by leib. If you ignore the date and numbers considerations, then the list would / should be dominated by the late war entries by all sides (Pershing, JSIII, Centurion etc.). As I mentioned earlier in the thread, if I was going to be in a tank 'duel', I would rather be in a King Tiger. :P

Luckily, tanks tend to not duel. Can you blame them?:biggrin:

Shamus
14 Apr 07,, 04:08
Hmmm.....I can see it now....."Upon my signal,you will roll ten tread lengths apart,turn and fire....".Talk about a lose,lose situation....:eek: I voted for the Panther....Cranky,difficult to maintain,expensive....but those lines,that armor and that wonderful L/70 75mm main gun......sounds like a couple of women that I have known;)

lazybastard
27 Apr 07,, 19:39
Luckily, tanks tend to not duel. Can you blame them?:biggrin:

Wasn't that the philosophy that got us undergunned tanks and unarmored tank destoryers in WWII?

Stan187
28 Apr 07,, 22:00
Wasn't that the philosophy that got us undergunned tanks and unarmored tank destoryers in WWII?

The philosophy that got us undergunned tanks was that Shermans were not supposed to fight other tanks.

My point was that tanks work as part of a combined arms unit, that comparing one tank to one tank has certain limitations because it would be unlikely for such an encounter to occur often.

leib10
12 May 07,, 17:23
leib10;

Which one did you vote for? I couldn't find any mention of it in the thread.

Panther. By far the best overall tank of the war, combining speed and maneuverability (for a 45-ton tank), protection, and the awesome 75mm gun. Panthers could take on pretty much every tank the Allies threw at them. They were also built in relatively large numbers (for the Germans) for a medium/heavy tank.

Stan187
12 May 07,, 17:51
Panther. By far the best overall tank of the war, combining speed and maneuverability (for a 45-ton tank), protection, and the awesome 75mm gun. Panthers could take on pretty much every tank the Allies threw at them. They were also built in relatively large numbers (for the Germans) for a medium/heavy tank.

They were also notoriously unreliable, which is why most of them didn't get to fight in Kursk, mechanical failures or engine fires. Plus, those overlapping roadwheels were a pain in the winter mornings when you'd have to chip away at em with ice picks while being charged by Soviet infantry.

Catalan
12 May 07,, 21:21
AFAIK, the Panther's problems encountered at Kursk were solved due to the experience during the battle. The birth of problems which belittled the Panther durng the Kursk offensive was because of its early introduction, and most of these were teething problems. Although it is unfortunate that my server is no longer up, I had a picture of a Panther Model F. - or an artist's rendition of what it would have looked like, taking existing manufactured models of the new narrow mantlet turret which would have been used by the Model F. Panther, and the improved KwK 42/1 7.5cm high-velocity anti-tank gun (which still had superior penetration to the 8.8cm gun used by the Tiger series).

I think the Panther embodied everything that a modern main battle tank embodies, and that Tiger production should have ceased or never existed in favor of manufacturing more Panther tanks.

leib10
12 May 07,, 22:32
Agreed. The Panther was superior to the Tiger in every way.

Most of the reliability issues were on the Ausf. D, which was soon upgraded to Ausf. A, which corrected most of the deficiencies encountered during Kursk.

As for the road wheels- although they froze more easily with mud in between them during the winter, they provided a smoother ride than, say, the T34.

zraver
13 May 07,, 04:38
best Prewar light/med/heavy M-2/Souma S-35/Char B1-Bis

Best early war light/medheavy tanks M-3/T-34/KV I

Best mid war light/med/heavy tanks M-5/Pz IVG/ Tiger I

Best late war light/med/heavy tanks M-24/Panter G Uhu/ King Tiger II

Best end of war light/med/heavy tanks M-24/Centurion/JS III

deadkenny
13 May 07,, 16:13
No doubt the Panther was an excellent MBT in it's later versions. However, again it comes back to criteria. I took points off for the 'mid-war' introduction, intial 'teething' troubles and lower total production and lack of signficant upgrades.

Catalan
13 May 07,, 17:27
There was actually a new turret being manufactured when the production plant was overrun in April 1945. There was also a new 7.5cm gun which was produced. Both of these are held in British museums. I don't know if there is an existing chassis of the Model F.

nabilfannoush
01 Jun 07,, 13:43
Hello all

For me, I have to vote for the T-34: It was a versatile, highly mobile, well-rounded peice of destructive hardware. It's not just a matter of performance: Its design was a peice of ingenuity that was a surprise coming from the Soviet Union, and an exercise in effecient practicality compared to its contemporaries at the time, a fact which helped produce it in such astronomical numbers. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the good ol' Sherman, scourge of Rommel in the desert, but sorry darling, it's the T-34 that takes first place

killabee
08 Jun 07,, 01:37
WHO voted for Churchil?
i would chose the ИС-3 tank
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1e/IS3.jpg/250px-IS3.jpg

Feanor
19 Sep 07,, 18:12
Someone please enlighten me. WTF IS A BT-26?!?!?!?!?!

Ok I know there were BT-5, BT-7, and even BT-7M which were sometimes referred to by historians as BT-8, but I have never heard of (and pretty sure it doesn't exist) a BT-26.

Garry most of the Soviet tanks were abandoned, not destroyed. Often times when the tanks ran out of fuel, Soviet commander would destroy them themselves. The advantage in comms and officer core of the German army made the technology gap almost irrelevant.

EDIT: And someone please shoot the person who wrote that the JS-II had an 85mm gun.

Tarek Morgen
21 Sep 07,, 18:49
maybe it was a typo and supposed to be a BT-27....but who the hell would suggest that thing as the best tank of WWII??

entropy
21 Sep 07,, 22:49
The BT series (5 and 7) were in fact good light tanks, which if used properly had some serious potential. Stalin, however, rushed them in frontal assaults against the enemy.

bugs
23 Sep 07,, 17:48
On 23–24 June, a single KV-2 effectively pinned down elements of the German 6th Panzer Division for a full day at the bridgeheads of the Dubissa River below Raseiniai, Lithuania, playing a prominent role in delaying the advance of Panzergruppe 4 on Leningrad (Zaloga & Grandsen 1981:10–12)

dalem
23 Sep 07,, 20:12
On 23–24 June, a single KV-2 effectively pinned down elements of the German 6th Panzer Division for a full day at the bridgeheads of the Dubissa River below Raseiniai, Lithuania, playing a prominent role in delaying the advance of Panzergruppe 4 on Leningrad (Zaloga & Grandsen 1981:10–12)

So?

-dale

Dwarven Pirate
24 Sep 07,, 22:10
I choose T-34. Certainly not the best overall, but they were far ahead of anything for a long time. I've read that the Germans actually thought their 38t's and then the Pz-III models were the best the world could produce at the time, so I wonder how could they not have known of the T-34? Especially considering German-Russian joint exercises/training prior to 1939?

entropy
28 Sep 07,, 20:34
The KV-2 was a behemoth, with all the strengths and weaknesses of one.

bugs
02 Oct 07,, 18:33
kv-2. It is not the best tank of the war but in 1940 when it was introduced no enemy tank in the world could match it.
Matilda and Char B1 had similar armor but not the same firepower.
to zraver
js 3-46.5 tonnes-heavy tank ?
centurion-52 tonnes -medium tank ?

dalem
02 Oct 07,, 18:48
kv-2. It is not the best tank of the war

Well, that doesn't answer the poll question then, does it? ;)

-dale

bugs
02 Oct 07,, 19:19
Well, that doesn't answer the poll question then, does it? ;)

-dale

no, but it`s a wrong question...
1941 tanks were better than 1940 tanks and 1942 tanks were better than 1941 tanks.
Actualy zraver point is quite good but i doubt that the american M2, M3, M5 are the best light tanks. no argument about the M-24.
My point was that kv-2 is superior to char b1 bis.

bugs
02 Oct 07,, 20:17
anyway here is my answer:
1940-light tank bt-7m, medium tank Pz-IV D, heavy tank kv-2
1941-light tank bt-7m,medium tank t-34 ,heavy tank kv-1
1942-light tank t-70, medium tank Pz-IV f2, heavy tank kv-1
1943-light tank t-70, medium tank Panter, heavy tank Tiger I.
1944-light tank t-70, medium tank js-2, heavy tank king tiger.
1945-light tank m-24, medium tank js-3, heavy tank centurion.

glyn
02 Oct 07,, 23:01
anyway here is my answer:
1940-light tank bt-7m, medium tank Pz-IV D, heavy tank kv-2
1941-light tank bt-7m,medium tank t-34 ,heavy tank kv-1
1942-light tank t-70, medium tank Pz-IV f2, heavy tank kv-1
1943-light tank t-70, medium tank Panter, heavy tank Tiger I.
1944-light tank t-70, medium tank js-2, heavy tank king tiger.
1945-light tank m-24, medium tank js-3, heavy tank centurion.

I don't think that many will agree with you. Why are you calling the JS 3 a medium tank? Check on its weight and armament.

bugs
09 Oct 07,, 01:30
Panther tank 44.8 tonnes-75 mm gun
js -3 tank 46.5 tonnes-122 mm gun

why is panther called a medium tank ? The 75 mm gun actually had more penetrating power than the main gun of the Tiger I heavy tank, the 8.8 cm KwK 36 L/56.

zraver
09 Oct 07,, 01:35
1942, the best medium was the M4A3 Sherman it was faster than the Mk IV, had a better gun than the T-34 and universal radios, and thicker armor than either.

dalem
09 Oct 07,, 02:14
Panther tank 44.8 tonnes-75 mm gun
js -3 tank 46.5 tonnes-122 mm gun

why is panther called a medium tank ? The 75 mm gun actually had more penetrating power than the main gun of the Tiger I heavy tank, the 8.8 cm KwK 36 L/56.

It's how they were used, not weight or gun.

The Panther was used as a medium tank, i.e. populated one of the standard panzer battalions of the mid- late-war panzer regiments of the panzer divisions. The heavy tanks were the Tigers, and they were pretty much relegated to the Schwere battalions held at the Corps and Army level.

The IS3 was used as a heavy tank by the Sovs so it was a heavy tank.

-dale

Feanor
09 Oct 07,, 04:09
kv-2. It is not the best tank of the war but in 1940 when it was introduced no enemy tank in the world could match it.
Matilda and Char B1 had similar armor but not the same firepower.
to zraver
js 3-46.5 tonnes-heavy tank ?
centurion-52 tonnes -medium tank ?

The KV-2 was not a proper tank. It was an artillery tank. It's main weapon was a 152mm Howitzer, and it only carried 36 rounds on it. It was clearly not meant to be used in a conventional tank role. In addition to this, given it's weight and profile, it was incredibly lacking in armor.

Both by purpose, and design, it resembles more the modern day self-propelled artillery (like the M109, or the Msta-M) then it does a WWII heavy tank.

The Russian Battlefield (http://www.battlefield.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=48&Itemid=50&lang=en)

bugs
11 Oct 07,, 11:11
The KV-2 was not a proper tank. It was an artillery tank. It's main weapon was a 152mm Howitzer, and it only carried 36 rounds on it. It was clearly not meant to be used in a conventional tank role.
The Russian Battlefield (http://www.battlefield.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=48&Itemid=50&lang=en)

The pz-IV d could also be considered a artillery tank , so does the char b1 bis or the m 3 grant.By conventional tank role do you mean tank batles?