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.Originally Posted by M21Sniper
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.