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Posted: 5/17/2011 12:27:10 PM EST
After reading from a British professor about how invincible mother Russia was during the Great Patriotic War, and how they single handedly defeated all the Axis nations alone. It made me think about the vehicles used in the War.

So I thought I'd compare the capitalist pig American tank with the mighty people's tank of Mother Russia

The USA's M4 Sherman:



Designed 1940
Produced 1941–
Number built 49,234[1]
Specifications
Weight 66,800 pounds (30.3 tonnes; 29.8 long tons; 33.4 short tons)
Length 19 ft 2 in (5.84 m)
Width 8 ft 7 in (2.62 m)
Height 9 ft (2.74 m)
Crew 5 (Commander, gunner, loader, driver, co-driver)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Armor 63 mm
Primary
armament 75 mm M3 L/40 gun
90 rounds

Secondary
armament .50 cal Browning M2HB machine gun (300 rounds),
2 × .30-06 Browning M1919A4 machine guns (4,750 rounds)
Engine Continental R975 C1, air-cooled, radial, gasoline
400 hp (298 kW) gross @ 2,400 rpm
350 hp (253 kW) net at 2,400 rpm.
M4A4 Model - Chrysler A57 Multibank L-Head 30 Cylinder (5 bank x 6 cyl), 21 litre engine. 6.2:1 compression. 470hp @ 2700rpm.

Power/weight 15.8 hp/tonne
Transmission Spicer[3] manual, synchromesh,[3] 4 forward (plus 1 overdrive)[3] and 1 reverse gear
Suspension Vertical Volute Spring Suspension (VVSS)
Operational
range 120 miles at 175 U.S. ga (193 km at 660 l; 80 octane)
Speed 25 to 30 mph (40 to 48 km/h)[2]

The USSR's T34:



Designer T-34 Main Design Bureau - KMDB
Designed 1937–1940
Produced 1940–1958
Number built 84,070
Specifications (T-34 Model 1941[2])
Weight 26.5 tonnes (29.2 ST; 26.1 LT)
Length 6.68 m (21 ft 11 in)
Width 3.00 m (9 ft 10 in)
Height 2.45 m (8 ft 0 in)
Crew 4/5

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Armor (typical)[1] upper front 45 mm (1.8")/60°, hull side 45 mm (1.8")/40°(upper part), rear 40 mm, top 20 mm, bottom 15 mm; turret front 60 mm (2.4"), sides up to 63 mm/2.5"/30°, rear 40 mm, top 16 mm
Primary
armament T34/76: 76.2 mm (3.00 in) F-34 tank gun
T-34/85: 85mm gun
Secondary
armament 2 × 7.62 mm (0.308 in) DT machine guns
Engine 12-cyl. diesel model V-2
500 hp (370 kW)
Power/weight 17.5 hp/tonne
Suspension Christie
Operational
range 400 km (250 mi)
Speed 53 km/h (33 mph)
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:29:40 PM EST
t-34 would rape the unholy hell out of the Sherman.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:29:54 PM EST
The T-34 is almost universally held to be the best tank of the war. Some argue for the Panther. Nobody argues for the Sherman, not even the people who crewed them.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:29:55 PM EST
T-34 hands down. IIRC they kicked our ass in the Korean war.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:30:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/17/2011 12:31:40 PM EST by Fatbert]
Which version of the Sherman?

If you're talking about the model with the original 75mm L/40 then it's going to go to the Russian.

ETA: With the right crew one of the postwar models with one of the 105mm guns could probably knock out the T-34.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:32:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By Makarov92:
T-34 hands down. IIRC they kicked our ass in the Korean war.


Need some citaions here since I've heard the opposite.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:34:29 PM EST
From the turret/barrel, that sherman is an Easy 8 with the 76mm gun, which was much better than the standard 75mm they started with.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:34:57 PM EST
an easy eight Sherman armed with the 76mm gun vs a T-34 w itha 76mm gun would be close

however any Sherman going up against a later T-34 with a 85mm gun would be toast
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:35:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/17/2011 12:55:29 PM EST by Matthew_Q]
Your picture is an M4A3E8, not a base Sherman. Decent, but I really do think the T-34 has the advantage.

On a related note, the Chrysler A57 Multibank engine is hella cool. Very inventive for the time, and just plain weird!

Basically it was 5 straight six engines stuck together, with each crankshaft running a central shaft for the main output. 5 distributors, 5 carburetors, 5 cylinder heads. Chrysler said it would still run even if two of the banks were disabled!

Engine Craziness!

Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:36:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/17/2011 12:37:28 PM EST by ElectricSheep556]

Originally Posted By Beamy:
an easy eight Sherman armed with the 76mm gun vs a T-34 w itha 76mm gun would be close

however any Sherman going up against a later T-34 with a 85mm gun would be toast

I agree. Basically, the top of the line Sherman would be roughly equal to the very first T-34s.

ETA: I think a more interesting thread would be something along the lines of IS-3 vs. M26.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:37:40 PM EST
The chief virtue of the Sherman was in numbers, and the allies knew it. The Pershing was superior but you could fit more Shermans on a ship. IIRC it took 5 Shemans to take out 1 tiger.

The Panther was modeled after the T-34, which should tell you something about how the Germans regarded it.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:39:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
Your picture is an M4A3E8, not a base Sherman. Decent, but I really do think the T-34 has the advantage.

and by the time the US was fielding the Easy 8 the soviets has the IS-2 with over 6" of frontal armor and a 122mm main gun.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:39:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By ElectricSheep556:

Originally Posted By Beamy:
an easy eight Sherman armed with the 76mm gun vs a T-34 w itha 76mm gun would be close

however any Sherman going up against a later T-34 with a 85mm gun would be toast

I agree. Basically, the top of the line Sherman would be roughly equal to the very first T-34s.

ETA: I think a more interesting thread would be something along the lines of IS-3 vs. M26.


The first first T-34's were pretty wimpy but they still played havoc with early Panzers. While a good design, it was that the Russkies could build so many compared to the Krauts that made them a winner. I would prefer a later model Panther myself.

Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:40:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Fatbert:
Which version of the Sherman?

If you're talking about the model with the original 75mm L/40 then it's going to go to the Russian.

ETA: With the right crew one of the postwar models with one of the 105mm guns could probably will knock out the T-34.

The upgraded 76mm could also.

Had the Sherman rolled off day one with the 76mm gun or a high velocity 75mm gun, it would have been a darling of the war
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:40:32 PM EST
Alright I'll give the Sherman a boost:

Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:45:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bones45:
The chief virtue of the Sherman was in numbers, and the allies knew it. The Pershing was superior but you could fit more Shermans on a ship. IIRC it took 5 Shemans to take out 1 tiger.

The Panther was modeled after the T-34, which should tell you something about how the Germans regarded it.


And the Krauts then proceeded to fuck the unholy hell out of the design by introducing all sorts of precision engineering and precise fit to finish crap instead of sticking with the durability and simplicity of the T-34 and the end results were that the early model Panthers caught themselves on fire just driving to the Battle of Kursk.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:46:45 PM EST
T34. They really were a great tank for their time.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:50:31 PM EST
Generally speaking the Sherman was a lousy tank in a direct comparison. However, it was a very good tank from practical perspectives of production, transport and infantry support. We fought and thought differently back then compared to the modern US military. We knew we had the production advantage and used it. We didn't have to beat their tanks one on one, it wasn't even a real priority other than at the level of the individual tanks on the field full of crews that wanted to survive. Three or four shermans to take out a Panther? sure, we've got that.

The Sherman was a much an infantry support vehicle as anti-tank. Helping create holes in the line, defeating bunkers or improvised positions that made it tough for straight infantry to advance... Taking out opposing tanks was just one of many roles. In comparison, the later german and soviet tanks were very much anti-armor designs, both offensively and defensively. This worked out pretty well for the western front since so many of the german tanks were destroyed fighting the soviets who had the superior anti-tank tank. I'm not sure on the exact numbers, but many of the german tanks on the western front were destroyed by tactical air support and infantry units with bazookas who would use the cities to get above or behind an enemy tank and make multiple short ranged strikes at once.

The T34 was a tank's tank. Relatively easy for them to produce in volume, low profile, strong armor and durable design, good main gun and in most cases generals who had the right idea about how to use their armor to best advantage.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 12:56:57 PM EST
Originally Posted By MarkNH:

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
Your picture is an M4A3E8, not a base Sherman. Decent, but I really do think the T-34 has the advantage.

and by the time the US was fielding the Easy 8 the soviets has the IS-2 with over 6" of frontal armor and a 122mm main gun.


Yep, by the end of the war, the Russkies and GONE BIG, and they did it in a HUGE way. There was some parade in Germany after the war where the Soviets rolled out their huge new tanks (can't remember if they were IS or KV based, probably IS) and the Allied commanders pretty much thought "holy shit, these guys would hand us our asses!"
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:00:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
Yep, by the end of the war, the Russkies and GONE BIG, and they did it in a HUGE way. There was some parade in Germany after the war where the Soviets rolled out their huge new tanks (can't remember if they were IS or KV based, probably IS) and the Allied commanders pretty much thought "holy shit, these guys would hand us our asses!"

That'd be the IS-3. Just barely missed the end of the war. No new KV-series tanks were in production at that time, as the series had been superseded by the IS series.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:01:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By Remyrw:
Generally speaking the Sherman was a lousy tank in a direct comparison. However, it was a very good tank from practical perspectives of production, transport and infantry support. We fought and thought differently back then compared to the modern US military. We knew we had the production advantage and used it. We didn't have to beat their tanks one on one, it wasn't even a real priority other than at the level of the individual tanks on the field full of crews that wanted to survive. Three or four shermans to take out a Panther? sure, we've got that.

The Sherman was a much an infantry support vehicle as anti-tank. Helping create holes in the line, defeating bunkers or improvised positions that made it tough for straight infantry to advance... Taking out opposing tanks was just one of many roles. In comparison, the later german and soviet tanks were very much anti-armor designs, both offensively and defensively. This worked out pretty well for the western front since so many of the german tanks were destroyed fighting the soviets who had the superior anti-tank tank. I'm not sure on the exact numbers, but many of the german tanks on the western front were destroyed by tactical air support and infantry units with bazookas who would use the cities to get above or behind an enemy tank and make multiple short ranged strikes at once.

The T34 was a tank's tank. Relatively easy for them to produce in volume, low profile, strong armor and durable design, good main gun and in most cases generals who had the right idea about how to use their armor to best advantage.



The US doctrine also relied on tank destroyers to engage enemy armor. The Sherman could do it, but it was a job better left to the tank destroyers. Hellcat anyone?
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:01:54 PM EST
Didn't the Sherman actual fight the T34 several times in Korea. From what I read the Shermans generally won.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:03:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/17/2011 1:03:34 PM EST by DriftPunch]
This isn't my thing, so I just looked up a couple of mentioned models and found this gem: (I'm sure it will be of interest)

http://sanity-x.deviantart.com/art/WW2-Tank-Size-Comparison-Chart-37418298
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:05:22 PM EST
EVALUATION OF THE T-34 AND KV TANKS BY ENGINEERS OF THE ABERDEEN PROVING GROUNDS, SUBMITTED BY FIRMS, OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY COMMISSIONS RESPONSIBLE FOR TESTING TANKS

T-34-76 that was delivered in USA for evaluation


The tanks were given to the U.S. by the Soviets at the end of 1942 for familiarization.

T-34-76 that was delivered in USA for evaluation

The silhouette/configuration of the tanks

Everyone, without exception, approves of the shape of the hull of our tanks. The T-34's is particularly good. All are of the opinion that the shape of the T-34's hull is better than that of any American tank. The KV's is worse than on any current American tank.

Armor

A chemical analysis of the armor showed that on both tanks the armor plating has a shallow surface tempering, whereas the main mass of the armored plating is made of soft steel.

In this regard the Americans consider that by changing the technology used to temper the armored plating, it would be possible to significantly reduce its thickness while preserving its protective ability (the situation with American armor was even worse. Engineers in Aberdeen have criticized their armor on Shermans. Soviet engineers have agreed with them because during the comparative trials Soviet ZIS-3 gun could penetrate Sherman's galcis from 1100 metres - Valera). As a result the weight of the tank could be decreased by 8-10%, with all the resulting benefits (an increase in speed, reduction in ground pressure, etc.)

T-34-76 that was delivered in USA for evaluation

Hull

The main deficiency is the permeability to water of the lower hull during a water crossings, as well as the upper hull during a rain. In a heavy rain lots of water flows through chinks/cracks, which leads to the disabling of the electrical equipment and even the ammunition.

The Americans liked how the ammunition is stowed.

Turret

The main weakness is that it is very tight. The Americans couldn't understand how our tankers could fit inside during a winter, when they wear sheepskin jackets (Americans tested the T-34 with a two-men turret - Valera). The electrical mechanism for rotating the turret is very bad. The motor is weak, very overloaded and sparks horribly, as a result of which the device regulating the speed of the rotation burns out, and the teeth of the cogwheels break into pieces. They recommend replace it with a hydraulic or simply manual system.

T-34-76 that was delivered in USA for evaluation

Armament

The F-34 gun is a very good. It is simple, very reliable and easy to service. Its weakness is that the muzzle velocity of AP round is significantly inferior to the American 3" gun (3200 feet versus 5700 feet per second).

Optic

The general opinion: the best construction (please notice - the best construction doesn't mean the best at all - Valera) in the world. Incomparable with any existing tanks or any under development.
Tracks

The Americans like very much the idea of a steel tracks. But they believe that until they receive the results of the comparative performance of steel vs rubber tracks on American tanks in Tunis and other active fronts, there is no reason for changing from the American solution of rubber bushings and pads.

The deficiencies in our tracks from their viewpoint results from the lightness of their construction. They can easily be damaged by small-calibre and mortar rounds. The pins are extremely poorly tempered and made of a poor steel. As a result, they quickly wear and the track often breaks. The idea of having loose track pins that are held in place by a cam welded to the side of the hull, at first was greatly liked by the Americans. But when in use under certain operating conditions, the pins would become bent which often resulted in the track rupturing. The Americans consider that if the armour is reduced in thickness the resultant weight saving can be used to make the tracks heavier and more reliable.
Suspension

On the T-34, it is poor. The Christie's suspension was tested long time ago by the Americans, and unconditionally rejected (American "Shermans" and "General Lees" had very poor suspension as well. At the same time the British used Christie's suspension and were quite satisfied - Valera). On our tanks, as a result of the poor steel on the springs, it very quickly (unclear word) and as a result clearance is noticeably reduced. On the KV the suspension is very good.

Engine

The diesel is good and light. The idea of using diesel engines on tanks is shared in full by American specialists and military personnel. Unfortunately, diesel engines produced in U.S. factories are used by the navy and, therefore, the army is deprived of the possibility of installing diesels in its tanks.

The deficiency of our diesels is the criminally poor air cleaners on the T-34. The Americans consider that only a saboteur could have constructed such a device. They also don't understand why in our manuals it is called oil-bath. Their tests in a laboratory showed that:
the air cleaner doesn't clean at all the air which is drawn into the motor;
its capacity does not allow for the flow of the necessary quantity of air, even when the motor is idling. As a result, the motor does not achieve its full capacity. Dirt getting into the cylinders leads them to quickly wear out, compression drops, and the engine loses even more power. In addition, the filter was manufactured, from a mechanical point of view, extremely primitively: in places the spot-welding of the electric welding has burned through the metal, leading to leakage of oil etc (that claim was accepted, and later T-34 variants received the new, better, "Cyclon" filter - Valera). On the KV the filter is better manufactured, but it does not secure the flow in sufficient quantity of normal cleaned air. On both motors the starters are poor, being weak and of unreliable construction.
Transmission

Without a doubt, poor. An interesting thing happened. Those working on the transmission of the KV were struck that it was very much like those transmissions on which they had worked 12-15 years ago. The firm was questioned. The firm sent the blueprints of their transmission type A-23. To everyone's surprise, the blueprints of our transmission turned out to be a copy of those sent. The Americans were surprised not that we were copying their design, but that we were copying a design that they had rejected 15-20 years ago. The Americans consider that, from the point of view of the designer, installing such a transmission in the tank would create an inhuman harshness for the driver (hard to work). On the T-34 the transmission is also very poor. When it was being operated, the cogs completely fell to pieces (on all the cogwheels). A chemical analysis of the cogs on the cogwheels showed that their thermal treatment is very poor and does not in any way meet American standards for such mechanisms.
Side friction clutches

Out of a doubt, very poor. In USA, they rejected the installation of friction clutches, even on tractors (never mind tanks), several years ago. In addition to the fallaciousness of the very principle, our friction clutches are extremely carelessly machined from low-quality steel, which quickly causes wear and tear, accelerates the penetration of dirt into the drum and in no way ensures reliable functioning.


______________________________________________________________________________
1. Sherman armor was softer than T34, so ricochets off T34 could severely injure crew while internal fragments were less frequent with Sherman (Sherman used 260 Brinell Hardness armor while T34 used 440 Brinell)
2. T34 had additives to HE rounds so they packed extra explosive punch, but this gave them a greater chance of exploding after tank was penetrated. Loza points out that T34 crew could be killed outside the tank, while they ran, due to the power of the exploding HE ammo. With Shermans this was less of a problem (47 degree glacis Shermans would have wet stowage for ammo, which decreases chance ammo explodes).
3. Sherman 75mm gun outpenetrates T34 76.2mm, and Sherman 76mm outpenetrates T34/85 85mm weapon.
4. Sherman has three man turret, T34 has two in turret, making Sherman more efficient.
5. U.S. 75mm HE rounds are very effective, U.S. 76mm HE has small HE burster and is inferior to 85mm HE.
6. 2.5" American armor at 47 degrees from vertical on M4A2 Sherman glacis is more effective than T34 45mm (high hardness plate) at 60 degrees from vertical versus 75mm and 88mm ammo.Germans found that PzKpfw IVH 75mm APCBC could not penetrate U.S. 2.5" plate/47 degrees at 1000m, but it could hole T34 glacis.

The T-34-85 in NKPA service had very limited success in Korea, & that succsess was vs 2.36 in Bazook's & 57mm AT guns initialy Ie, the NKPA 107th Tank Regt vs the ROK 7th Inf Div on the Yonchon-Seoul road. & Ie, the 107th vs Task Force Smith in July. The 2.36in bazooka performed absmyly against the T-34-85. This was rectified when US frces recieved the 3.5in Bazooka.

The one & only real T-34-85 success, vs US tanks, was vs M24 Chaffee's, from Co A, 76th Tank Bn, @ Chonjui, who lost 12 out of 14 M24 in the 2 week fighting. As the 75mm on the Chafee was incapable of defeating the T-34-85 frontaly.

Once the M4A3E8 Sherman & M26 Pershing arrived the tables turned, as both were more then a match, for the T-34-85 which earned the nicname; 'caviar can" with US tank crews, due to its vulnerability to both the 76mm & 90mm guns frontaly at all combat ranges.

The T-34-85 was an even match for the M4A3E8 as both tanks could kill each other frontaly at standard ranges. Lend lease Sherman advantages over the T-34-85 as identified by the Soviets concerning the M4A2 76mm during WW2 were:

- Turret traverse speed.
- Optics.
- Ammo stowage protection.
-*76mm ammunition was superior in penetration capability.
- Mechanichly more reliable.

*In Soviet live fire tests vs Tiger II @ Kubinka US "76 mm armor-piercing projectiles penetrated the "Tiger-B" tank's side plates at ranges 1.5 to 2 times greater then domestic 85 mm armor-piercing projectiles."

US inspections of KO'd T-34-85s in Korea found that 75% of the NKPA crews did not survive their tanks destruction compared to 18% in US tank crews. 97 T-34-85 were destroyed in tank vs tank actions, with another 18 claimed as probables by US forces vs losses of 34 US tanks of which 15 were total writeoffs.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:07:50 PM EST
The Shermans would have had superior air support.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:10:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/17/2011 1:14:27 PM EST by Andras]
Originally Posted By Makarov92:
T-34 hands down. IIRC they kicked our ass in the Korean war.


You are wrong. M4A3E8s killed 49 T34-85s against a combined 20 losses between M4s and Chaffees. (I haven't seen a complete break down between the M4 and M24 yet, but at least 12 were Chafees)

Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:20:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By chairforce26:
Originally Posted By Makarov92:
T-34 hands down. IIRC they kicked our ass in the Korean war.


Need some citaions here since I've heard the opposite.


Early 75mm Shermans had awful AP capablities.

Early 76mm T34's weren't great, they put in a better 76mm, as the war progressed.

76mm Shermans with proper ammo, better than 76mm or 85mm T34's.

Early war US armor was not good armor, some have said it was only 50% as effective as it should have been.

The T34 is better shaped/sloped, face harderened ang good quality armor.

The M4's drivertrain works, 500 hp gas engine.

T34 500 hp diesel engine 500 hp, poor air cleaner tends to restrict airflow however.

M4's suspension based on 1930's tech.

T34 Christie suspension inspired, good mobility, higher speed than an M4

M4 optics decent

T34 better optics

The fit and finish of the T34 was often "rough" secondary systems, elecrical turret traverse were overworked.

No turret basket or ammo storage built into a T34, main gun ammo was placed on the floor of the tank in the shipping crates.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-

T34's seem to have been fairly even with M4's in Korea

M26/46's severly outclassed the T34

T34 severly outclassed the M24
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:26:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By ElectricSheep556:
The T-34 is almost universally held to be the best tank of the war. Some argue for the Panther. Nobody argues for the Sherman, not even the people who crewed them.

That was my impression as well.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:33:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/17/2011 1:35:29 PM EST by Seabee_Mech]
Originally Posted By R0N:
Didn't the Sherman actual fight the T34 several times in Korea. From what I read the Shermans generally won.


And several times during various Israeli/Arab conflicts. There were also a few M26 Pershing (Jordanian) vs Sherman M-50s/51s (Israeli modified M4) fights.


ETA: of course crew training usually decided the victor not who was equipped with the best tank in those fights.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:40:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:

Early 75mm Shermans had awful AP capablities.

Early 76mm T34's weren't great, they put in a better 76mm, as the war progressed.

The US 75 had better penetration then the T34s 76


76mm Shermans with proper ammo, better than 76mm or 85mm T34's.

Early war US armor was not good armor, some have said it was only 50% as effective as it should have been.

The T34 is better shaped/sloped, face harderened ang good quality armor.



And yet the M4s armor was better vs the Germans 7.5s and 8.8s.




The M4's drivertrain works, 500 hp gas engine.

T34 500 hp diesel engine 500 hp, poor air cleaner tends to restrict airflow however.

M4's suspension based on 1930's tech.

T34 Christie suspension inspired, good mobility, higher speed than an M4

M4 optics decent

T34 better optics



You didn't read the thread did you?




The fit and finish of the T34 was often "rough" secondary systems, elecrical turret traverse were overworked.

No turret basket or ammo storage built into a T34, main gun ammo was placed on the floor of the tank in the shipping crates.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-

T34's seem to have been fairly even with M4's in Korea

M26/46's severly outclassed the T34

T34 severly outclassed the M24


M4s killed 49 T34s against ~8 losses in Korea, but that's fairly even I guess.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:42:04 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:42:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By ElectricSheep556:
The T-34 is almost universally held to be the best tank of the war. Some argue for the Panther. Nobody argues for the Sherman, not even the people who crewed them.

I interviewed Gen. Albin Irzyk (Ret.) back in 2008; he loved the Sherman:

http://www.history.com/shows/patton-360-archived/videos/pattons-rivals#weapons-of-pattons-armies

Link Posted: 5/17/2011 1:44:18 PM EST



So you posted 2 assault guns (not tanks) and a tank that got it's ass kicked in Korea to prove your argument?


Here's another friendly statistic

When a T34 was K/O'd 3 of the 4 crew died
When an M4 was K/O'd 4 of the 5 crew lived.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 2:07:35 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 2:08:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By Andras:



So you posted 2 assault guns (not tanks) and a tank that got it's ass kicked in Korea to prove your argument?


Here's another friendly statistic

When a T34 was K/O'd 3 of the 4 crew died
When an M4 was K/O'd 4 of the 5 crew lived.

Source?
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 2:26:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/17/2011 2:28:20 PM EST by Andras]
Originally Posted By VA-gunnut:

Originally Posted By Andras:

So you posted 2 assault guns (not tanks) and a tank that got it's ass kicked in Korea to prove your argument?


Here's another friendly statistic

When a T34 was K/O'd 3 of the 4 crew died
When an M4 was K/O'd 4 of the 5 crew lived.

I knew someone would complain about the first 2 pics.

They were posted just to share some images.

I can't comment on what happened in Korea as I've never looked into it.

Were the tanks the NK using up to the standards as the Soviet Army or were they downgraded versions?





They were straight T-34/85s. I don't think the Soviets ever had a downgraded version of it.



Originally Posted By InjunJoe:

Originally Posted By Andras:




Here's another friendly statistic

When a T34 was K/O'd 3 of the 4 crew died
When an M4 was K/O'd 4 of the 5 crew lived.

Source?


R0N posted the same stat in his post above, but I first pulled it from the Osprey book Panther vs T34.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 2:27:28 PM EST
Originally Posted By Andras:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:

Early 75mm Shermans had awful AP capablities.

Early 76mm T34's weren't great, they put in a better 76mm, as the war progressed.

The US 75 had better penetration then the T34s 76


76mm Shermans with proper ammo, better than 76mm or 85mm T34's.

Early war US armor was not good armor, some have said it was only 50% as effective as it should have been.

The T34 is better shaped/sloped, face harderened ang good quality armor.



And yet the M4s armor was better vs the Germans 7.5s and 8.8s.




The M4's drivertrain works, 500 hp gas engine.

T34 500 hp diesel engine 500 hp, poor air cleaner tends to restrict airflow however.

M4's suspension based on 1930's tech.

T34 Christie suspension inspired, good mobility, higher speed than an M4

M4 optics decent

T34 better optics



You didn't read the thread did you?




The fit and finish of the T34 was often "rough" secondary systems, elecrical turret traverse were overworked.

No turret basket or ammo storage built into a T34, main gun ammo was placed on the floor of the tank in the shipping crates.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-

T34's seem to have been fairly even with M4's in Korea

M26/46's severly outclassed the T34

T34 severly outclassed the M24


M4s killed 49 T34s against ~8 losses in Korea, but that's fairly even I guess.


No skippy, I got down as far as the post I quoted, when I responded

Which 75mm had better penetration when compared to which 76mm?

Because there were 2 of each.

I'll also let you in on a secret, early-mid during the war there was a shortage of 75mm AP rounds. The few rounds that were available were issued to tank destroyet units, not tank units.

So even though theoritcally, the 75mm might had had AP capabilities, in reality they often didn't have any AP Ammo.

The late war Shermans, with properly made armor were better than early war armor. Escpecially the Jumbos, though most of those had 75mm not 76mm guns

The Western Front was also a generally a closer range fight. The advatage that the 88mm or 75mm had was partially because of it's extended range.

The USSR was fighting in areas that allowed for 2K or greater engagements. I would hate to be a M4 crew trying to close that distance to get into effective range.

Western front was often much closer, a lot of the battle around Normandy was "point blank" because of hedgerows.

I would also like to see where you got your data about 75mm + 88mm being better vs Shermans.

Also, the Germans decided to face harden a lot of their AFV's as the war dragged on. It made them more difficult to kill using the USSR's weapons, because the armor was harder than the AP shells, and it reduce penetration.

The US and UK used harder shells, so the face hardening on the German's AFV's actually made their armor less effective against US/UK shells.

M4 vs T34-85 49-8.

You seems to think that result was gained in "fair" combat. N Korea had appx 120 T-35-85's. They were spread out, throughout the N Korean military.

US units, UK units, had more tanks, and concentrated their tanks so they could be used more effectively.

Either tank could kill the other at normal engagemnt ranges.

The 49-8 is a much a product of better tactics, and crews, not that one tank was superior to the other.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 2:57:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:

No skippy, I got down as far as the post I quoted, when I responded

Which 75mm had better penetration when compared to which 76mm?

Because there were 2 of each.


The M3 APC could penetrate 68mm of armor sloped at 30* @ 500m
M3 w APCBC gets 100mm sloped 30* @ 500m

The F34 APHE could penetrate 69mm of vertical armor @ 500m
F34 w APCR gets 92mm vertical at 500m



I'll also let you in on a secret, early-mid during the war there was a shortage of 75mm AP rounds. The few rounds that were available were issued to tank destroyet units, not tank units.

So even though theoritcally, the 75mm might had had AP capabilities, in reality they often didn't have any AP Ammo.



M10 and M18 Tank destroyers did not use the same ammo as the M4 75mm. Unless you are going to argue based on the M3 halftrack destroyers in early North Africa. (Nov 42 Jan 43) which would be a pretty narrow base to make an argument on since they were withdrawn as soon as the M10 was available.



The late war Shermans, with properly made armor were better than early war armor. Escpecially the Jumbos, though most of those had 75mm not 76mm guns

The Western Front was also a generally a closer range fight. The advatage that the 88mm or 75mm had was partially because of it's extended range.

The USSR was fighting in areas that allowed for 2K or greater engagements. I would hate to be a M4 crew trying to close that distance to get into effective range.


Shermans were killing PzIVs and Tigers at 1000yds. Tank destroyers were killing them out to 2300+yds. Tigers were set on fire by HE shells. The Army issued a study in June 1054 about tank actions fought by the 3rd and 4th Armored, Shermans were more then 3x as effective as a Panther and the US inflicted more casualties on the enemy as the range opened then in close quarters, funny that. BLR 798



Western front was often much closer, a lot of the battle around Normandy was "point blank" because of hedgerows.

I would also like to see where you got your data about 75mm + 88mm being better vs Shermans.


Posted in the thread, Sherman front armor proof vs 75mm at 1000yds, T34s weren't.



Also, the Germans decided to face harden a lot of their AFV's as the war dragged on. It made them more difficult to kill using the USSR's weapons, because the armor was harder than the AP shells, and it reduce penetration.

The US and UK used harder shells, so the face hardening on the German's AFV's actually made their armor less effective against US/UK shells.

M4 vs T34-85 49-8.

You seems to think that result was gained in "fair" combat. N Korea had appx 120 T-35-85's. They were spread out, throughout the N Korean military.

US units, UK units, had more tanks, and concentrated their tanks so they could be used more effectively.

Either tank could kill the other at normal engagemnt ranges.

The 49-8 is a much a product of better tactics, and crews, not that one tank was superior to the other.


I see nothing here that disagrees with anything I've said, and only reinforces that the T34 wasn't better then the M4.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 3:12:39 PM EST
T34 came later and some improvements over the Sherman but an Sherman Easy Eight or Firefly is no slouch. Many tanks of the era surpass the Sherman on 1:1 comparison but the fact remains that the Sherman is the tank that won the war. A panzer kommander once said: "A German panzer is worth 9 American Shermans, the problem is that there is always a 10th Sherman.

I see your T34 and raise you a T28!



Link Posted: 5/17/2011 3:18:55 PM EST
Originally Posted By ElectricSheep556:
The T-34 is almost universally held to be the best tank of the war. Some argue for the Panther. Nobody argues for the Sherman, not even the people who crewed them.


Especially not the people who crewed them.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 3:22:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/17/2011 3:25:49 PM EST by Elwood_Blues]
The T-34 might have been very good in 1941 and perhaps in 1942, but it was sadly lacking from 1943 on, even in the T34/85 variant that came out in summer of '44. The Panther was fast becoming the standard medium tank of German forces then, against which the T-34 was cannon fodder.

As the test report above noted, the T-34 engine was toast after ~100 hours or so. The rest of the tank was not much better. Sloped armor was not THAT huge an advantage.

Why is it everyone has great praise for a tank that suffered 5:1 losses in every engagement vs. Russian armor from 1941 to 45?

Answering the original question: Yes, the E8 sherman was a much better tank than the T34/85 in almost every respect. I understand the 85 mm explosive round held a greater explosive charge, but lower grade and more sensitive explosive (and propellant). A US tank was more likely to burn and let a crew escape, while a T-34 was more likely to explode.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 3:24:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By retgarr:
Originally Posted By ElectricSheep556:
The T-34 is almost universally held to be the best tank of the war. Some argue for the Panther. Nobody argues for the Sherman, not even the people who crewed them.


Especially not the people who crewed them.

Again, I'll have to disagree with this. I interviewed many 4th Armored Division WW2 vets, and their opinions on the Sherman ranged from "It was all we had, so we did the best we could" to "I loved the Sherman tank!". I honestly expected more hostility toward the design.

One of the most famous Sherman critics is Belton Cooper, but as Gen. Irzyk pointed out to me, Cooper never actually used the Sherman in combat.

Link Posted: 5/17/2011 3:34:38 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 3:36:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
Originally Posted By MarkNH:

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
Your picture is an M4A3E8, not a base Sherman. Decent, but I really do think the T-34 has the advantage.

and by the time the US was fielding the Easy 8 the soviets has the IS-2 with over 6" of frontal armor and a 122mm main gun.


Yep, by the end of the war, the Russkies and GONE BIG, and they did it in a HUGE way. There was some parade in Germany after the war where the Soviets rolled out their huge new tanks (can't remember if they were IS or KV based, probably IS) and the Allied commanders pretty much thought "holy shit, these guys would hand us our asses!"

It was the IS-3. Although the IS-3 was freaking powerful with thick armor. It had the same very deadly problem that most of the other Soviet heavy tanks had. It had a spalding problem. You could shoot the tank and not penetrate it, but the armor on the inside would break up and kill and seriously wound the crew and damage the equipment within the tank.... still, it was probably safer to be inside one than a Sherman.


Link Posted: 5/17/2011 3:40:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By ElectricSheep556:
The T-34 is almost universally held to be the best tank of the war. Some argue for the Panther. Nobody argues for the Sherman, not even the people who crewed them.


A little off topic but....my late FIL was a Sherman driver in North Africa.I don't know any details but his tank was destroyed in battle and he was the only survivor in his crew and spent the rest of the war––27 months––in a Germany as a POW.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 3:45:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By BigBore45:
The Shermans would have had superior air support.

Not likely, at the end of WWII the Soviets had a larger air force almost entirely composed of fighters and fighter bombers designed for tactical air support. The could have maintained air superiority.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 4:23:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By Tekka:

Originally Posted By BigBore45:
The Shermans would have had superior air support.

Not likely, at the end of WWII the Soviets had a larger air force almost entirely composed of fighters and fighter bombers designed for tactical air support. The could have maintained air superiority.


This is untrue. The Red Air Force was not as large as the USAAF, not including US Naval Aviation. The USSR was extremely vulnerable to air attack until the advent of SAMs, and they knew it. We penetrated their airspace several times during the late 40s early 50s.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 8:15:53 PM EST
Just some quick thoughts...

When the Sherman was introduced it was ahead of the T-34 and pretty much stayed there. The M3 of the Sherman was slightly ahead of the 76mm F-34 in armor penetration and could penetrate the glacis of the T-34 with both M61 and M72 ammo. Here is something shocking...what most people don't realize is the upper front hull of a Sherman was about as well armored than the T-34. Sherman was 62mm sloped at 53 degrees, the T-34 was 45mm slopped at 60 degrees though the T-34 was armor harder. The T-34's ergonomics were atrocious too. They had a 2 man turret with early versions having one larger turret hatch for both crew members to get through. All Shermans were equipped with radios while early T-34's used signal flags. People often complain about the height of the Shermans due to their use of radial engines, but the Sherman was only 6" taller

T-34 did have the M-4 beat in mobility/flotation, range and ammo storage. Storing ammo in the sponsons of the M4 resulted in the 'Ronson' reputation.
Link Posted: 5/17/2011 11:00:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By Seabee_Mech:
Originally Posted By R0N:
Didn't the Sherman actual fight the T34 several times in Korea. From what I read the Shermans generally won.


And several times during various Israeli/Arab conflicts. There were also a few M26 Pershing (Jordanian) vs Sherman M-50s/51s (Israeli modified M4) fights.


ETA: of course crew training usually decided the victor not who was equipped with the best tank in those fights.

To quote General Tal, "It's the man in the tank."
Link Posted: 5/18/2011 1:01:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/18/2011 1:14:12 AM EST by OLY-M4gery]
Originally Posted By Andras:

The M3 APC could penetrate 68mm of armor sloped at 30* @ 500m
M3 w APCBC gets 100mm sloped 30* @ 500m

The F34 APHE could penetrate 69mm of vertical armor @ 500m
F34 w APCR gets 92mm vertical at 500m


M10 and M18 Tank destroyers did not use the same ammo as the M4 75mm. Unless you are going to argue based on the M3 halftrack destroyers in early North Africa. (Nov 42 Jan 43) which would be a pretty narrow base to make an argument on since they were withdrawn as soon as the M10 was available.

Shermans were killing PzIVs and Tigers at 1000yds. Tank destroyers were killing them out to 2300+yds. Tigers were set on fire by HE shells. The Army issued a study in June 1054 about tank actions fought by the 3rd and 4th Armored, Shermans were more then 3x as effective as a Panther and the US inflicted more casualties on the enemy as the range opened then in close quarters, funny that. BLR 798

Posted in the thread, Sherman front armor proof vs 75mm at 1000yds, T34s weren't.



M2, M3, and M6 used the same projectiles 75mm projectiles.

My chart says

M3/M6 75mm

AP M72 shot - 30 degree angle 500 yards 76mm penetration
APCBC APC M61 projectile - 30 degree angle 500 yards 66mm penetration.

M1/M5 76mm

AP M79 = 30 degree angle 500 yards 109mm penetration
APCBC M62 = 30 degree angle 500 yards 93mm penetration

––––––––––––––––––––––––

A Tiger I had 100mm of frontal armor, very high quality armor

Pz MkIV had 90mm of frontal armor

Pz MKIII had 90 of frontal armor

1,000 yard shots at any of those with a 75mm M2/M3 seems like a very low probability of success shot. M2 had 50-53mm of penetration, M3 gad 60-63mm of penetration depending on the ammo used.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––

The US could only make so many AP projectiles. That capability went to the 76mm projectiles, those projectiles went to tank destroyer units. It has to do with the manufacturing process being more difficult.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––

USSR

F-11 BR350A APCR = 0 angle 500 meters 62 mm penetration
F-34 BR350A APCR = 0 angle 500 meters 90 mm penetration

Zis-3 85mm BR365P APCR = 30 angle 500 meters 147mm penetration

Germany

75L43 Pzgr 40 APCR = 30 degree angle 500 meters 108 mm penetration
75L43 Pzgr 39 APCR = 30 degree angle 2,000 meters 63 mm penetration.

The Pzgr 39 had about the same performance at 2,000 meters as APCBC M61 did from an M3 at 500 yards

75L48 Pzgr 40 APCR 30 degree angle 500 meters 143 mm penetration.

The Germans also had HEAT ammo for 75L24/75L43/75L48 that would penetrate 100mm of armor at any range, so long as they hit.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-

The MkIV was better protected, and armed than an M4 Sherman.

The Tiger I was far better armed, and armored than an M4. 110mm penetration at 2,000 meters with Pzgr 40 APCR ammo, which is probably enough to make it entirely through the Sherman, at 2,000 meters, and probably has enough power to kill a Sherman at 3,000 meters if they can hit it.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-

I don't think the T34 was as good of a tank as many people claim.

But it was pretty good, and the USSR made wave after wave of them.

The M4 is a better tank than many people claim.

I would rather be in a T34 fighting an M4 than the other way around.

Then again the Mk-IV, especially the 75L48 version has a much better gun than either. (75 or 76 mm guns)
Link Posted: 5/18/2011 1:07:57 AM EST
Originally Posted By chairforce26:
Originally Posted By Tekka:

Originally Posted By BigBore45:
The Shermans would have had superior air support.

Not likely, at the end of WWII the Soviets had a larger air force almost entirely composed of fighters and fighter bombers designed for tactical air support. The could have maintained air superiority.


This is untrue. The Red Air Force was not as large as the USAAF, not including US Naval Aviation. The USSR was extremely vulnerable to air attack until the advent of SAMs, and they knew it. We penetrated their airspace several times during the late 40s early 50s.


The most produced combat aircraft in WW-II wat the IL-2 Sturmovik. 36,000+ were built.

The US had all types of aircraft, heavy bomber, medium bomber, light bomber, night figher, fighter, carrier based fighter, etc.

The USSR had a tactical air force, CAS was their game.

Their air force may have been smaller, but if you were near the front lines, they were there.
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