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Article I am quote in concerning the T-34

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  • #16

    Technical assessments of enemy weapons are not purely objective texts written for posterity and historians. They are written with utilitarian ends in mind for the immediate present and because of this evaluations of the same weapon at different times would often differ from each other according to pressing needs. Between mid-1941 to late-1942, German assessments of the T-34 was uniformly positive to its characteristics. In late-1942, when significant numbers of Mark IV Specials arrived the front, they began to emphasize its negative attributes. This isn't due to new facts being discovered but shifts in priorities.

    If Jentz's selected texts are reliable, then a majority of German panzer regiments found the T-34 at least as dependable as the Panzers then in use between 41-42, if not more so. Jentz's book isn't on the interwebs, for the most part, and I am just going to say without combing through the entire volume 1, that in practice the Germans did not find the T-34 to be significantly less reliable than the Panzers and several regiment and division commanders in fact found them to be more dependable than German AFVs. I cannot, from reading battle histories, find evidence that suggest the T-34 was significantly handicapped in operational radius vis-a-vis German tanks; if anything the Russians performed quite well in speed and distance of movement. Compared to Ford engines and American suspension, I believe most nation's tanks would be found wanting. Certainly late war German tanks were no poster child insofar as build quality is concerned.
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.


    • #17
      The T-34 was probably about as reliable as contemporary German tanks - that seems fair to say. (German tanks throughout the war had their own host of reliability issues.) However, there exists a strong misconception that because it was shoddily manufactured, the T-34 was also exceptionally rugged and dependable, and that certainly doesn't seem to be the case in reality.
      "Nature abhors a moron." - H.L. Mencken