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Thread: The T-34 Myth

  1. #16
    Tom of Mumbai's fluffer ubermensche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raden5 View Post
    Very silly article. Not taken into account well-known facts "why was it so, and not otherwise."
    You're only offended because you're Russian.

    But all jokes aside, the article has a point. The T-34 was a war-winner because it (as well as its crew) was easily replaceable (and hence expendable) compared to what the Germans had. In. 1941-1943, poor training definitely was the biggest cause of the major losses IMHO. Crews were considered trained if they could start the tank, fire the gun, drive in a straight line and know all the values of communism. And on a tactical level, T-34s and KV-1s were mainly employed in small groups, at number which the Germans were able to hold, albeit barely. I heard a story of a single KV-1 that was able to penentrate up to 10km of German lines before being stopped, that is certainly impressive but the overall strategic impact is 0.

    Quote Originally Posted by paspartoo View Post
    In 1941 the goal was to end production of the T-34 and move to the T-34M (torsion bar suspension plus other changes making basically a different tank). The war intervened and as you said the cost of building a new tank would be decreased production (initially). Obviously the SU leadership thought this was not acceptable during the war.
    Soviet production was seriously hampered for a while during 1941-1942 when Stalin ordered the relocation of a bunch of Soviet factories to the Urals.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Einhander's Avatar
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    One of the reasons there were not that many KVs is that they were very expensive. Like, VERY expensive, in every sense: materials, toolings and production times.

    Oh and another often missed/dropped critical point - tanks rarely fought tanks, they were not meant to in the first place!

  3. #18
    L O L A JCR's Avatar
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    Also, soviet tanks were usually used offensively.
    First in local counterattacks, later in large scale offensives and area exploitation.
    In such scenarios, the attacker will suffer more casualties.
    AT guns are usually impossible to spot until they open fire and well camouflaged tanks and tank destroyers are almost as hard to detect.
    Usually any WW2 tank unit advancing against a prepared defense suffered losses, often very heavy losses.
    And the soviets usually did exactly that, and while soviet artillery was powerful, it was usually used in prepared barrages and not on demand of a frontline commander. A tank unit usually had to make do with its tanks and its attached infantry, perhaps some 76mm guns and mortars.
    Everything else (Il-2s, heavy artillery, Katyushas) was pre planned and could not be called in on demand.
    Even exploitation after a breakthrough could mean suddenly running into a prepared ambush by a scratch force or a artillery unit firing over open sights or other things that could end a tank's service life pretty quickly.

  4. #19
    Senior Member Raden5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubermensche View Post
    You're only offended because you're Russian.
    T-34 medium tank was the best on the RESULTS of WWII. It is a historical fact.
    Although this does not mean that he was TECHNICALLY perfect. And replacement he was planned from 1941.

    But the article says nothing about the "state of the industry", "evacuation", "skilled workers", "the training of the crews of" etc. "unimportant things"? No?

  5. #20
    Senior Member Acheron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paspartoo View Post
    I am sorry to say, but both of the links you provided contain a lot of incorrect information, misanalysed data, and withheld facts. The delivery is also extremely biased, to the point where negative "myths" about T-34 are stated as factual information (T-34 had decent optics and all T-34-85 had radios). Also, judgement on the merits and technical capabilities of the T-34 merely on the loss ratios is fallacious. By that same argument, M4 is a POS since their loss ratio vs German tanks in Europe is very poor.

    Quote Originally Posted by paspartoo View Post
    [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]If all you know about the T-34 was that it was cheap, reliable, superbly armed and armored etc [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]Yep, that.
    [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    Quote Originally Posted by paspartoo View Post
    [*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]then you might change your mind.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    Nope.

    PS: You should listen to what Alejandro says in regards to T-34, he is well informed ....*cough* unlike some *cough*

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Einhander View Post
    One of the reasons there were not that many KVs is that they were very expensive. Like, VERY expensive, in every sense: materials, toolings and production times.
    Second reason was that KV-1 produced in the one plant only. And that plant is in Leningrad. From late 41 it was blockaded city. Not a best place for the technically complex and resource heavy production.

  7. #22

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    The author in the second link (who can't spell losing, which is really annoying to read, lol) does his best to gloss over the collapse of his assumptions when talking about the T-34-85 from 1944 onwards, but its pretty obvious. Unlike the many acknowledged flaws of the T-34-76's design and layout, which are well known - he goes into no detail whatsoever about the T-34-85, because it rectified the majority of the problems of the previous version. So, if the T-34-76's combat performance was so poor because of its ergonomics, as he claims - why was there no commensurate improvement in the T-34-85's kill ratio? Oh sure, he claims that the 3 to 1 loss ratio of 1943 was actually 4 or 5 to 1, but he presents no evidence or citation for this claim at all, so I see no need to give it credence, and using his own logic - shouldn't the loss ratio in 1944 have also been actually 4 or 5 to 1?

    The other flaw of his analysis is mainly that it's shallow. His argument is full of assumptions both hidden and overt that he doesn't bother to justify - e.g. the claim that the Germans would have to be "supernaturally" better to achieve a superior kill ratio, or the claim that Soviet tank crews at some arbitrary point in time would've been just as good as the Germans, or whatever.

    This is not to say ergonomics aren't important, I just think the article's argument is weak.

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo1 View Post
    The author in the second link (who can't spell losing, which is really annoying to read, lol) does his best to gloss over the collapse of his assumptions when talking about the T-34-85 from 1944 onwards, but its pretty obvious. Unlike the many acknowledged flaws of the T-34-76's design and layout, which are well known - he goes into no detail whatsoever about the T-34-85, because it rectified the majority of the problems of the previous version. .
    [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]The T-34/85 had a three man turret (last main tank to finally get one) and a new gun. That’s it. Why would the kill ratio change dramatically? On the contrary i can argue that the ‘better’ ratios are simply due to the massive numerical advantage of the Soviet forces in 1944-45.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acheron View Post
    PS: You should listen to what Alejandro says in regards to T-34, he is well informed ....*cough* unlike some *cough*

    cough' this is what your hero had to say: first he said that i got the info from 'Mythical weapon' and that the book was biased. I told him that practically all the information is from Zaloga. His response: 'Yes, but he does not have access to ll Soviet documentation released after 1991[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=3][*******#000000].'

    [SIZE=3][FONT=arial]No further comment 'cough'. Damn i might be getting a cold!
    [/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/SIZE]

  9. #24
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    When I opened this thread I thought it would be about the myth that the T-34 was a bad tank. Because I assumed that to be the general opinion by now.

  10. #25
    Senior Member Raden5's Avatar
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    H'm... Book Svirin M. N. "Armoured shield of Stalin".



    It's very well written. And about the shortcomings - too.

    Here is an article about the replacement of T-34


    But - a test of T-34 at the Aberdeen proving ground (USA, may 1942).
    Describes the findings on the shortcomings of the tank.

    Last edited by Raden5; 12-19-2012 at 10:18 AM.

  11. #26
    Senior Member Acheron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paspartoo View Post
    [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]Why would the kill ratio change dramatically? On the contrary i can argue that the ‘better’ ratios are simply due to the massive numerical advantage of the Soviet forces in 1944-45.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]The defensive operation of the German army in this time period would have given them the tremendous advantage in kill ratios. Anyway, as I stated previously, obsessing about the loss ratios as some kind of a metric of technical capabilities of a tank is a fallacy that many T-34 detractors seem to desperately cling to.
    [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    Quote Originally Posted by paspartoo View Post
    [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]
    cough' this is what your hero had to say: first he said that i got the info from 'Mythical weapon' and that the book was biased. I told him that practically all the information is from Zaloga. His response: 'Yes, but he does not have access to ll Soviet documentation released after 1991[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=3][*******#000000].'[/COLOR][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=3][*******#000000]
    [SIZE=2]One mistake, versus the multitude of glaring ones present within the links you presented and espoused by the T-34-hating crowd at tanknet. No further comment.[/SIZE]
    [/COLOR][/SIZE]

  12. #27
    L O L A JCR's Avatar
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    Another problem with kill loss ratios for tanks is that there is no clear cut "loss" until the whole tank is blown up.
    A aircraft gets shot down and is usually a total loss afterwards (even though a lot of planes actually belly landed and were recovered and repaired).
    A WW2 tank could almost always be recovered and repaired. Especially in the early days with small caliber anti-tank weapons, the greatest threat to the crew (apart from being struck by spall or the round itself) was evacuating the tank without being used for target practice.
    In contrary to pilots, there is no law against shooting tankers bailing out of their vehicle.
    In later years, with guns of more than 75mm calibre (usually containing HE filler) and HEAT rounds, hits became a lot more deadly.
    Nearly every tanker that saw combat had his tank knocked out more than once, while for example only a minority of fighter pilots were ever shot down.
    Tank losses can't be registered as clearly as aircraft, ship or personnel losses. A tank unit might have all its surviving tankers returning on foot but if the attack was successful, have at least half the lost vehicles back in action a few days later.
    My grand uncle (Luftwaffe field division in the baltics from 1943 on) told me once how suprised he was when attached AT guns stopped dead a soviet tank attack and in the morning, the more than a dozen knocked out T-34s in front of their position were all gone!
    The soviets probably attacked later using the very same tanks again.
    German recovery units performed similarly, and that is why many units had volunteers going forward into no man's land with explosive charges to blow up the abandoned tanks.

  13. #28
    Purveyor of intelligent reading material Lt-Col A. Tack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCR View Post
    Another problem with kill loss ratios for tanks is that there is no clear cut "loss" until the whole tank is blown up.
    Very interesting comment, sir.

    It resonates strongly with what I've been reading about what the Israelis were able to do during the Yom Kippur conflict:

    http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums...Yum-Kippur-War

  14. #29
    Senior Member Mordoror's Avatar
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    Another problem with kill loss ratios for tanks is that there is no clear cut "loss" until the whole tank is blown up.....snip
    Ad on all what you said (and what is very true) the usual overclaims from all sides (especially airforce but not only) and the kills ratios are obviously poor metrics

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    Quote Originally Posted by DasVivo View Post
    I have not read it all on both links to say concretely but a quick search of 'reliability' found this on one such link:



    The notion that a Country has literally been fighting for its survival, has at one point also during its conflict had to move massive ammounts of industry and produced much of its equipment under fire or exposed to the elements at rushed pace may have something to do with this. German Tanks likewise suffered from production quality to various extents due to their war strains as it grinded on (and indeed use of forced labor). When critiquing material, its worth seperating design from produced product and keeping in mind the circumstances of their production. The M4 series generally tended to be fortunate in so far as its means of production being quite stable by comparison, and a US Army with a healthy logistical system that was also more or less unravaged by defeats.

    That said I think there is some basis in the 'myths' of the T-34, it did have flaws/limitations as others have pointed out and many of the features it did have while not necessarily the first to pioneer them it did manage more than most earlier tanks to my understanding to pack them all in a singular design.

    ~~~EDIT~~~

    I just noticed at the bottom of the http://chris-intel-corner.blogspot.g...nk-of-war.html Link this gem:



    Quoting Tom Clancy as though it were some sort of gospel and arguing the Iraq experience as evidence of the Russian development route destroys much any credibility the author may otherwise claim even if there may some points in the T-34 arguement above


    Man, that entire section made me facepalm starting with this. "[FONT=Arial]Limited weight which led to good speed performance but put limits on the level of armor protection." [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Really, OP ? the T-54/55 was better armoured then anything else for it's time. Never mind the T-64. and T-72.

    Do some reasearch and by that i don't mean those lousy history channel shows.


    [/FONT][FONT=Arial]

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