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Lend-lease tanks...

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Andreas, Sep 14, 2000.

  1. Andreas

    Andreas recruit

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    Hi,
    What was the models of the Churchill's and Sherman's that the Soviets used during 1944?

    Any info is appreciated.

    Andreas Larka
    Vantaa, Finland
     
  2. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    The Soviets had M3 Lees, and M1 and M2 Shermans. None of our tanks were popular with them.
     
  3. bigdunc

    bigdunc Member

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    The U.S.sent both M3 Grants and M4A2 Shermans. The Soviets didn't like the M3,they called it the"coffin for six brothers"because the M3 had six crewmen.Some Soviet tank crews did like the M4,because it was more comfortable than the T34.
     
  4. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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  5. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Wow, talk about reviving the dead? Anyway, thanks to Brad sometime ago, I was corrected on the name of the "Lee" as it was a "Grant". This thread is over a decade old-and I was younger and dumber then and havent improved much.

    That aside, a photo I own that was taken at Kursk-more specifically, was a photo from a man in the Grossdeutschland Pz Div & Kursk. Anyway, its one of two i have from the GD Pz Div, and this one shows one or more GD men standing next to a knocked out American lend-lease Lee? Grant? tank. Id have someone post a pic of it but? the CD I have along with the actual pix themselves, are all in storage and I have not had access to them since Nov 09.
     
  6. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    The Russians got both Lees and Grants - IIRC slightly more Lees in their total M3 collection.

    I hope it doesn't make you feel too old to see your posts from 100 odd years ago :)

    edit pretty sure was mostly Lees, can't find actual figures at moment.
     
  7. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hi Nigel, heh heh, now im thoroughly confused and need to look as some Ami tanks. I think Brad had said mine was a Grant? as I think I had posted it was a Lee. I need to see pix of both so ill know which is which? My knowledge of Ami stuff has eroded over the years because of my passion for all things Eastern Front.
     
  8. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Simple enough - the only main difference is the turret on the grant was changed - it doesn't have the little MG cupola right on top and it's wider than the turret ring so there's room for an extra radio and the overall height is slightly less. Apart from that the Grant was 6 crew, Lee 7 crew as a result of the dedicated radio operator in the hull of the Lee being doubled up to the 37mm loader in the turret of the Grant. I do remember hearing that the Russians sometimes called either version by either name.

    First pic Grant, 2nd Lee

    other differences like the riveted/cast hull change etc. happened mostly to both versions, although not quite as many variants of the Grant.
     

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  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm not sure the nickname is sufficient to draw that conclusion. I've heard that the Soviets often called other tanks "a coffin for x brothers" where x was the crew sized. While the M3 wasn't as good (in most ways) as the T-34 it was certainly better in a lot of ways than many of the other Soviet tanks.
    It was also more reliable.
     
  10. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    I heard about the Grant/Lee that in Russia it suffered from more severe track wear problems in soft ground due to having to constantly turn the whole hull in a way that wasn't really experienced in North Africa.
     
  11. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    That nickname is true enough, but many tanks (both early Soviet and L/L) were viewed as "coffins". The main objection to the M3 was that they required high-octane avgas to run their radial engines, and the Soviets didn't have all that much high quality gasoline to spare. That is mentioned directly by Stalin in one of his early telegrams to FDR after the first of the tanks start arriving in the USSR. He wonders why they cannot be diesel powered, of course some of the M4s which showed up later were diesel powered, and while there were M3s with diesel engines, I don't know how many (if any) were actually shipped by L/L to the USSR.
     
  12. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Wiki claims this;

    "Over 1,300 diesel-engined M3A3 and M3A5s were supplied to the USSR via lend-lease in 1942-1943. All were the Lee variants, although they are sometimes referred to generically as Grants"

    can't find any at the moment but I was pretty sure I have seen pictures of Grants in Soviet service - I guess supplied by the British later rather than direct from the US, and I've also read the issue about the petrol engines - we were discussing it on a thread some months back which I can't find at the moment:)
     
  13. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Here are the telegrams I recalled where the engines for the tanks were discussed.

    Sent on July 18, 1942

    J. V. STALIN TO F. ROOSEVELT

    Your message on the designation of Major-General F. Bradley, Captain Duncan and Colonel Michela as the U.S. representatives at the Moscow conference has reached me. The U.S. delegates Bill be given every assistance in carrying out their assignment.

    On the Soviet side the conference will be attended by, Major General Sterligov, Colonel Rabanov and Colonel Levandovich.

    As regards the survey night, we could in the next few days send a plane from Krasnoyarsk to Nome-I mean an American twin-engine aircraft-which could take on the U.S. officers on its way back from Nome.

    I take this opportunity to thank you for the news about the despatch of an additional hundred and fifteen tanks to the U.S.S.R.

    I consider it my duty to warn you that, according to our experts at the front, U.S. tanks catch fire very easily when hit from behind or from the side by anti-tank rifle bullets. The reason is that the high-grade gasoline used forms inside the tank a thick layer of highly inflammable fumes. German tanks also use gasoline, but of low grade which yields smaller quantities of fumes, hence, they are more fireproof. Our experts think that the diesel makes the best tank motor.

    p. 30
    (followed by)

    F. ROOSEVELT TO J. V. STALIN

    I have received your message regarding the proposed survey flight from Alaska and the Moscow conference. Members of the survey flight will be in Alaska and ready to depart by August first. In this connection a four-engine bomber will be at Nome in the event that it is required.

    I greatly appreciate your report on the difficulties experienced at the front with American tanks. It will be most helpful to our tank experts in eradicating the trouble with this model to have this information. The fire hazard in future models will be reduced, however, as they will operate on a lower octane fuel.

    July 23, 1942


    Goto:

    Correspondence of Roosevelt and Truman with Stalin on Lend Lease and Other Aid to the Soviet Union, 1941-1945
     
  14. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    perhaps the petrol ones were just a very few models sent to begin with for evaluation?
     
  15. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Begger's can't be chooser's, or so my momma taught me:)
     
  16. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Nice tanks for target practicing to the german tanks!
     
  17. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Until the Mk IV model F2 and later G appeared with the better 75mm main gun, the M3 Grant/Lee tanks weren't exactly "targets" for the Panzer Mk II, IIIs or early model IVs. As Rommel himself noted in his war journal when he wrote:

    "... the advent of the new American tank had torn great holes in our ranks. Our entire force now stood in heavy and destructive combat with a superior enemy." (he was speaking of the M3, not the later to appear M4 Shermans.)

    General von Mellenthin (who served on Rommel's staff), talked of the Grant "...as being a far more formidable fighting machine than any of the Afika Korps had so far encountered; of German tanks taking a severe hammering, of rifle battalions being obliterated, of supply columns being cut off from their Panzer division, and of Grants and Matildas pressing attacks to the muzzeles of the anti-tank guns to wipe out the crews." (from the book The LEE/Grant Tanks in the British Service by Bryan Perrett).
     
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  18. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    View attachment 13091
    View attachment 13094
    First pic is reported to be from Koursk but I have little info more, definetly a Lee rivetted hull early 75mm variant, German soldier on the right came out of focus, sorry.
    Second pic is from the same source, IMO an early Churchill but I'm not very good at distinguishing marks. The German vehicle looks like it has Das Reich tactical markings which would reinforce Koursk location.
     

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  19. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Clint, i know that some of our vets told me that they were afraid of the new US tanks. And as they showed up at Africa they tried to destroy them and they were glad that both, the 75mm PAK and the 88mm were able to took them out. The same is for the PzKwIV. They also said that they were easy to see and gave a good target for their dimensions. I don´t want to make crap out of the two tanks but in my opinion they weren´t good as main battle tanks. And for the Mathilda a crew of a 88mm( only 3 men survived) said that shooting at them were close to waste ammo. But they were surly very dangerous to infantery.
     
  20. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Both the British and later American tank doctrine wasn't developed to match up "tank to tank", but to use the tanks as infantry support. In this field the M3 did its job as designed. They look much "taller" than they actually are, even though they are quite tall so the radial air cooled aircraft engine can be incorporated in the hull. They appear so much taller because of their track and hull width which was dictated by the rail-system and its many tunnels in America. The tunnels were extremely narrow as compared to tunnels in Europe even though the rail gauge was the same.

    I'm not "standing up" for the clearly stop-gap Grant/Lee design precisely, simply pointing out that they weren't quite the total "flops" some wish to portray them as.
     

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