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Thread: The T-34 Myth

  1. #31
    Falcons FTW Kilgor's Avatar
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    Is it true you had to bash something with a hammer to change gears ?

  2. #32

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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.
    .

    For both sides i used their 'official' loss statistics. The best argument that can be made is not that both sides were able to repair damaged vehicles but that tanks were not only destroyed by other tanks but also by A/T guns, artillery, mines, infantry and airpower.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgor View Post
    Is it true you had to bash something with a hammer to change gears ?
    The American evaluation of a captured T-34/85 said: 'There is rough steering due to the use of clutch and brake steering control and difficulty in shifting due to the use of a spur gear clash-shift transmission and multi-disc dry-clutch, making driving this tank a difficult and very fatiguing job'

    I've also read about using hammers to change gears but i don't remember if it was from a book or a forum discussion

  3. #33
    Senior Member Acheron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgor View Post
    Is it true you had to bash something with a hammer to change gears ?
    Not sure if serious.

    Earlier T-34-76 had a 4-speed transmission that required significant force to change gears and was not terribly ergonomic, sometimes the use of both hands was required or help of the nearby seated radioman-machinegunner. With the advent of T-34-85 (the numerically prevalent T-34 variant within the Soviet armed forces by the end of the war, and is also the one experts call the finest medium tank of WW2), which had a much-improved 5-speed transmission gearbox, ergonomics of the tank were greatly enhanced across the board (improved optics, increased FOV for the commander, improved radios, etc...), not to mention the improvements in combat effectiveness via the new turret and gun.

    Anyway, for anyone who wants to know the salient merits of the T-34, together with its shortcomings (without having to conduct extensive research into the technical data) I suggest watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaJ7QV3297E
    It is very unbiased in its presentation.

    I am not really sure why all these butt-hurt WoT kids are trying their hands at historical revisionism and spreading misinformation about the T-34, the finest medium tank of the war as pointed out by the vast majority of historians, generals (across both sides in WW2), and tank crews (German tank aces, as well as Russians).

  4. #34
    Senior Member Flamming_Python's Avatar
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    It always brings a smile to my face when people point out the 'reliability' issues with the T-34.

    Compared to what? The Tiger tank - with its far more serious problems? Or perhaps let's take the tank the T-34 is most often compared to - the Panther.
    The Panther had such god-awful reliability that a huge fraction of them were out of action at any one time on the Eastern front (not that there were many of them there, Germans by 1944 had little time to waste with this machine); and none of them were ever able to be deployed far from the rail lines by which they were transferred initially.

  5. #35

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    Under the cicumstances they seem to all have had reliability issues.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by great oz View Post
    Under the cicumstances they seem to all have had reliability issues.
    I remember reading that the engine was awfully unrelaiable (leaking oil),but it was also easily repairable.One of the extra fuel containers was always used for oil storage IIRC.
    IMHO T-34s flaws were more or less due to the hard wartime production conditions.Savings on cost and production time had to take a toll on quality of the final product.

  7. #37
    Pining for a custom title PEMM's Avatar
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    Unreliable? Still running fine...



    (just wanted to post a video about T-34)

  8. #38
    Senior Member Jippo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamming_Python View Post
    It always brings a smile to my face when people point out the 'reliability' issues with the T-34.

    Compared to what? The Tiger tank - with its far more serious problems? Or perhaps let's take the tank the T-34 is most often compared to - the Panther.
    The Panther had such god-awful reliability that a huge fraction of them were out of action at any one time on the Eastern front (not that there were many of them there, Germans by 1944 had little time to waste with this machine); and none of them were ever able to be deployed far from the rail lines by which they were transferred initially.
    Even modern tanks break down all the time. I have heard someone say that Leopard 2's break even more often than T-72's, and those things broke down a lot. Tanks are not cars. They require a lot of maintenance and will have low mileage and large consumption of spares in general. Many of the US Abrams's were in very bad condition by the time they reached Baghdad in the second Iraq war. IIRC nearly all of them had damaged roadwheels, for example. This is to say: tanks break down a lot compared to anything else. To judge a whole family of tanks based on one sample in Aberdeen (used & maintained by a crew who most likely hadn't had the type training at all) is stupid. To say the gearboxes fail only after few tens of km's on all them is even more stupid considering that some of them were still operational in Bosnia 1996 and other still serve in other parts of the world this day.

    Tank losses and kills in my experience in tank vs. tank combat depend on two things: having local superiority and ability to fire before the enemy. These can be tracked back to two major factors: 1. leadership and tactics 2. crew skill. After these come things like logistics and ability to keep tanks moving, etc.. , etc.. If tank design was a deciding factor on who wins battles Barbarossa would have never at all succeeded as Russian had the better tanks in the early war.

    There are certain things that can be said about certain designs. I don't think no one can argue that in late 1941 - early 1942 period T-34 was the best tank in the world. It combined very good armor with mobility, it also had a gun that was very good in supporting infantry (which has always been the no.1 job for the Russian armor) and also could defeat enemy armor. It also had the negatives mentioned: bad visibility (vision slits are tiny and periscopes few and far apart), two man turret (lack of leadership as the commander has to load the gun), and lack of communication equipment. But tank designs are always compromises and something has to give, for the period it was still a exceptional collection of pros vs. cons that made a very good tank.

    Saying that a certain tank was the best of the world, all over the world, during the six years of the war is questionable. How can you judge them like that is beyond me. Only thing about that I know is that T-34 it was not. T-34 shined in the early part of the war and it was only kept operationally effective by a constant stream of modifications. By 1945 there were a lot of better tanks in the field.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Jippo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DasVivo View Post
    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
    And my God, what bull**** that video was.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jippo View Post
    And my God, what bull**** that video was.
    Offtopic question

    Where do pepole get the crew height maximum for T-72? Guy I know is a TC on a M84 (yugo copy of T-72),he is 1,98 , and he told that his driver is even taller.

  11. #41
    Senior Member Acheron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jippo View Post
    Saying that a certain tank was the best of the world, all over the world, during the six years of the war is questionable. How can you judge them like that is beyond me. Only thing about that I know is that T-34 it was not. T-34 shined in the early part of the war and it was only kept operationally effective by a constant stream of modifications. By 1945 there were a lot of better tanks in the field.
    Yes, there certainly was, the T-34-85.

    This begs the question: according to you, what were those "better tanks" within the same weight class as the T-34?

  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jippo View Post
    Even modern tanks break down all the time. I have heard someone say that Leopard 2's break even more often than T-72's, and those things broke down a lot. Tanks are not cars. They require a lot of maintenance and will have low mileage and large consumption of spares in general. Many of the US Abrams's were in very bad condition by the time they reached Baghdad in the second Iraq war. IIRC nearly all of them had damaged roadwheels, for example. This is to say: tanks break down a lot compared to anything else.
    [SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]Agreed. Thatís why i wrote: 'All WWII tanks had a hard time when travelling and they needed repairs and maintenance or they broke down'[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]This is one of the problems when people try to assess if a WWII vehicle was reliable or Ďbroke down all the timeí. Did the vehicle break down due to bad construction? Lack of spare parts? Poorly trained driver burned the engine? Lots of mud wore down the transmission? [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]


    Quote Originally Posted by Jippo View Post
    To judge a whole family of tanks based on one sample in Aberdeen (used & maintained by a crew who most likely hadn't had the type training at all) is stupid. To say the gearboxes fail only after few tens of km's on all them is even more stupid considering that some of them were still operational in Bosnia 1996 and other still serve in other parts of the world this day.

    [SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]But thatís the problem mate, it wasnít their opinion. They ran tests and found the T-34 to have very poor components. Unless American chemistry is different from Soviet one then there really was a serious issue![/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
    [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]Note that the vehicles they tested were specially built with the best materials and still they exhibited all the problems the report mentions. Also according to tanknet forum (quoting a Russian article) the T-34ís engine only lasted 72 hours. Did that make it to 1996?[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

  13. #43
    Senior Member Jippo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritbreaker View Post
    Where do pepole get the crew height maximum for T-72? Guy I know is a TC on a M84 (yugo copy of T-72),he is 1,98 , and he told that his driver is even taller.
    I don't know if there ever was, or if it is a myth like most of that video is. I was 184cm according the army doctors and had absolutely no problems of fitting in and we had a driver well over 190 as well in our company.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acheron View Post
    Yes, there certainly was, the T-34-85.

    This begs the question: according to you, what were those "better tanks" within the same weight class as the T-34?
    T-34-85 is a modified T-34.

    This is just the type of armchair general thing I do not fancy. There is no way of saying weapon X is better than weapon Y. You might find some numbers on the wikipedia and have cat-fight, but you will have to do it by yourself.

    All that is thoroughly unimportant in regard of being "a good tank". It is a right tool for the job type of question, and even in that the tool doesn't matter as there are far more important matters than the tool that make the end result. Namely who is using it and who is directing the usage and which way they do it.

    Nevermind the fact that I never even mentioned "weight class" anywhere. If you want to have T-34-85 winning the red ribbon, have a competion of the worlds best tank between 31-33 tonnes class with a 85mm gun. And yeah! You won the internet fight! Wohooo!

  14. #44
    Senior Member Jippo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paspartoo View Post
    [SIZE=3][*******#000000][FONT=Calibri]But that’s the problem mate, it wasn’t their opinion. They ran tests and found the T-34 to have very poor components. Unless American chemistry is different from Soviet one then there really was a serious issue![/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
    [FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3][*******#000000]Note that the vehicles they tested were specially built with the best materials and still they exhibited all the problems the report mentions. Also according to tanknet forum (quoting a Russian article) the T-34’s engine only lasted 72 hours. Did that make it to 1996?[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    So if I am Russian and write my **** in a paper it becomes the truth about soviet tanks? Source critique is essential. And if the engine broke down in average after 72 hours of use, does it make it a bad tank? No, as it is just a one minor attribute of the whole thing.

    Regards the tank in Aberdeen: they could have been anything. Russians could have sent them anything. Review could be politically "edited" (Ever seen the US training film on the MG42? It was a ****ty weapon according to that.). For all I know it is just a one drop of information in the lake of knowledge we have about the T-34. To counter the argument of unusable gear boxes we could pick between many sources the use of captured (read: problems with spare parts or proper type training) T-34's in the Finnish army. They were used in the war heavily and remained in service until 1961. As a tank they were very respected during the war.

  15. #45
    L O L A JCR's Avatar
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    1. The tank where you needed a Sledgehammer to shift gear was the KV-1, not the T-34
    The KV was a mechanical nightmare

    2. The Tiger (Tiger I) never had any mechanical problems.
    The first ones got stuck near Leningrad because Hitler send them to a area not suited for heavy tanks.
    Apart from that, the Tiger was a very reliable vehicle.
    The later Panthers and King Tigers were also at least on par with other german tanks in reliability and perhaps superior to even the T-34 in mobility.
    The problems with the Panther were by and large solved by the end of 1943.

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