Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by JBark, Mar 14, 2011.
That in a nutshell explained a lot... ...Well said man.
NOT a myth. the T-34 was the greatest overall tank of all time. And probably saved Russia from permanent Nazi occupation.
The Sherman was good against a similar opponent or a weaker one. In the Pacific the Sherman was more succesful whenever it was used, due to Japanese having very poor armor. In Europe not so much. A tiger or Panther could kill a Sherman at any range it could be seen. The Shermans gun was only good against most of the German tanks at 700 meters or less. The only German tank on which it was roughly equal was the Mark IV.
I have to object to all this points
1) there was no greatest overall tank of all time :in 1940,the PzII was good,and,we don't know if the T-34 would have done better (or the Tiger) :
2) Saying that tank A is better than tank B is senseless :a tank was good if he was better than the opposing anti tank weapon ,and the opposing tanks were a very secundary ATW :tank battles were exceptional.
3)Saying that the T-34 saved Russia,is falling for the trap of the tank myth :the few T-34 that were operational in 1941,did not save the SU.(on 1 december,the Russians had at the front 322 T-34)
4)that a Tiger or Panther could kill a Sherman at any range it could be seen,is irrelevant :the Panther-Tiger were not made to kill a Sherman,btw :there werefew Panthers and Tigers .IIRC,more Shermans were destroyed by artillery (Sturmgeschutze) than by tanks .
Well,from what I've read,the Panther had a tendency to burn if hit on the side of the turrent. Even the Germans complainted about it.
Unfortunately, this picture was mislabeled. This tank was hit four times by 76 or 17 pounder rounds, and the craters can be seen very clearly at the edges of the cracks. A 105 round could not have possibly done this, as even katusha rockets could not penetrate the frontal armor with a direct hit.
He is extremely poor at killing tanks, in "Tigers in the mud", Otto Carius has a section talking about how immensely difficult it was to kill tanks with HE. His own tank was directly hit with a Katusha and no damage at all. He also talks about how bombs from aircraft would kill crews with concussion, but would leave the tanks otherwise intact.
When it comes to the Panther, there are a few pictures around which show penetrations of the Glacis, but only after repeated hits from 76 and 17 pounder rounds.
For comparison, there are also pictures of what 75mm rounds do to the sides of the turret, which is quite thin. It can be seen in the pictures that at least two HE rounds were required in addition to at least one AP round. Tanks are far far far more resistant to HE than most people expect.
Man I hate posts like this. The tanks are physically ALMOST identical, but the Sherman has vastly superior soft features. The guns are for all purposes identical in performance, and they have almost identical armor. Here is the thing, the Sherman was far more reliable, had armor of nearly twice the quality (roughly 85% more resistant) and the Sherman had a far greater rate of fire due to far better ergonomics. The Sherman crew did not have to walk on the ammo boxes, and the loader did not have to pull open crates and pull the ammo off the floor.
The Sherman also had the massive advantage of having a cupola, and not having a gunner. The T-34/76 had no way for the commander to observe his surroundings while buttoned up, and he also had to operate as the gunner. If you read any books by German commanders, it becomes quite clear that the T-34 was practically blind when buttoned up. In one encounter, a Tiger actually struck a T-34 with its barrel, and had to back up before it could kill the T-34. The T-34, and several other T-34 in the area, never saw the Tiger. The T-34 were blind, except to the immediate front.
When it comes down to it, the Sherman was quite superior to the T-34. Not to mention that the Sherman had twice the kill ratio than the T-34/76, when the Sherman was facing far more superior tanks of 1944, while the T-34/76 faced a very limited amount of Tigers, almost no Panthers, no KT, and few long barreled IV or Stug. When the Sherman showed up, half the force was heavy tanks, while all were long barreled and superior to the Sherman.
You really cant say the T-34 was superior to the Sherman when the Sherman fought better enemy, killed more of them, and was killed fewer times. There is not one fact which can be showed that indicates the T-34 is superior to the Sherman, even the T-34/85 was inferior to the Sherman 76, and vastly outclassed by the Firefly.
Then there is the arguement about variant of the two, the T-34 had the Su-85 and Su-100. The Sherman had the M-10, Achilles, and M36. The M-10 was introduced in 1943, quite some time before the first T-34/85, but the Su-85 did exist. The M-10 wins hands down over the Su-85, as it had a similar gun in a turret. The Su-100 had firepower roughly equal to the 17 pounder and 90mm, but once again it had no turret. The Achilles and M-36 were quite superior, especially the M-36 with its powered turret. The kill ratios of the western "tanks" were quite a bit higher, as you would expect from generally superior weapons.
The important thing was the artillery fire exercise cited in the Armor Magazine article. Even a near miss can mission kill a tank. With UK/US/CW ability to mass concentrations quickly, even maneuvering German tanks were frequently attacked by artillery fire. According to operational research, the bulk of Panzers lost in Mortain was actually destroyed or immobilized by 105 and 155 HE rounds.
No arguments with regard to your analysis of M4 and T-34 from me. I do have this to say, however: the T-34 flank armor was 40-45mm thick and extremely resistant to 50mm and antitank rifle fire, not so with the M4 Sherman, many of which were disabled by Soviet 14.5mm rifles during the Korean War. The M4's track record against Pz III and Pz IV was still leaps and bounds better than T-34-76.
I hadn't heard of the use of 14.5mm AT rifles in Korea. Got any good pointers to this info?
*** edit to change the US to use, no idea how I made that one ***
I think we have a misunderstanding here. In the Korean War, NK troops used Russian 14.5mm AT rifles and 45mm AT guns against US armor, which proved to be a problem to Sherman tanks. M26 and M46 tanks were unaffected.
Not so much a misunderstanding is somehow I typed "US" when I meant to type "use". Corrected now. Given the nature of the terrain I would think a 45mm AT gun could potentially give M26/M46's problems as well. From what I recall they were withdrawn at some point though.
It seems endless that many posters on these forums only rate tanks on their ability to fight other tanks. There are many other characteristics of a tank beside frontal armor thickness and gun velocity, important characterisitics.
Agreed, most, if not all armies went to war with tanks not designed primarily to fight other tanks, but rather to serve as infantry support, or as breakthrough exploitaion vehicles.
The T-34 also had awful ergonomics and the crew layout wasn't very good. (Commander sitting right above ammo for example)
Inferior to what? In 1942 it was as good or better than the vast majority of Germany's medium tanks, by 1944 it wasn't.
Incidentally, I saw a comparitive study some years ago that pointed out that the Pz IV was almost as likely to burn as a Sherman.
The #1 killer in land combat is artillery. I would almost guarantee that both sides lost a significant amount of their armor to artillery in these so called tank engagements.
After reading some reports on atrillery, i think i can agree!
Good thread... I miss these topics even though we beat them to death long ago.
Fun fact: it was said that a panther at a range of 3000m could knock out a Sherman one go
I certainly wouldn't call it a "fun fact". More of an almost irrelevant piece of trivia. Of even less import that the fact that Panthers were known to take themselves out well before coming in range of the enemy.