Sherman vs. T-34 (Full Version)

All Forums >> [General] >> General Discussion



Message


fbs -> Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 3:34:51 AM)


This is a question about the merits of specifications.

I think that some people argue that the T-34 M1942 is a better tank than the M4A1 (M1942) in terms of speed (34 mph vs. 21 mph), armament (76.2mm F-34 with 2,200 ft/s vs. the 75mm M3 with 2,000 ft/s) and armor (45mm hull all-around, 70/52mm turret vs. 51/38mm hull, 76/51mm turret).

My question is: is that right (the T-34 was a better all-around tank for the same production years)?

If so, and considering that both weighted 30,000 kg, where did the Sherman put the weight it saved from using a less powerful gun, less powerful engine, less shells, thinner tracks? The only thing I could see the Sherman clearly having more is fuel, although their ranges are about the same.

For record, I know some people love the Shermans in their garage - I'm not trying to get anyone mad, just come and defend your M4.

Thanks,
fbs




Twotribes -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 3:54:11 AM)

The T-34 was better. The US stayed with the M4 because it was mass produced and reliable.




Torplexed -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 4:13:02 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs

If so, and considering that both weighted 30,000 kg, where did the Sherman put the weight it saved from using a less powerful gun, less powerful engine, less shells, thinner tracks?



Sadly, the weight saved was probably in it's higher profile silhouette, making it an far easier target to hit than the T-34.




Q-Ball -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 4:32:45 AM)

I don't think there is much question that the T-34 was a better tank. Faster, better armor, better gun. The T-34 wasn't bad in terms of reliability either. Not much of a debate.

Not to take anything away from the Sherman. I think the Sherman's justified reliability was also helped by the fact that the US Army had alot more soldiers with mechanical experience than any other army. (from tinkering with farm equipment and cars).

The US Army did alot of things well in WWII, but tank design wasn't a high point.




Fishbed -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 4:45:38 AM)

I'll definitely go against the general opinion on this. Of course, performance wise, the T-34 was probably better all-around. But there's a reason why Guard tank units and Guard plane units were a priority when it came to deploy the lend-lease stuff. Just like Pokryshin would love the P-39 because they were all fitted with radios, so were the kinds of arguments for the Sherman against the sturdy T-34. I think a lot of people here will find this testimony rather interesting.

http://www.portalus.ru/modules/warcraft/special/remember.ru/tankers/loza/loza1.html

There's a lot of reasons why the T-34 might be a better tank for a fight in our view, but not a better tank when it came to the tankers themselves: the Sherman had better optics, better comfort, radios for everyone, better ergonomy, better ammunition that actually wouldn't cook as easily as Soviet ammunition, better handling for the mechanists, etc... The kind of things you don't find in the specs. And while the T-34 was an awesome design, the Sherman had a very good finishing, and in the heat of the battle, this seemed to matter for the crews. A very interesting read, for this and other things (war told from the Soviet perspective is sometimes as rare as the Japanese...).




cap_and_gown -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 4:51:12 AM)

Despite all the German Armor Fan Boys in the wargaming community, consider this: the German Panther was in many ways a copy of the T-34. Initially, they were planning a straight out copy. But, being Germans, they figured they could do better, which they did. But the Panther was never produced in near the numbers that would have been needed. The T-34 was one of the greatest tanks of all time, with many innovative features that would go on to influence tank design for a long time to come. (Too bad Soviet crews were so poorly trained and Soviet optics were not all that great.)




Q-Ball -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 4:58:24 AM)

Not to get too far off, but German tank design was, in many ways, a complete fiasco. The Panther was a good example. A great tank, but completely over-engineered, complicated, and expensive. The Hetzer was the only economical design the Germans made. Which isn't good when you are heavily outnumbered.




lolz -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 5:13:53 AM)

agree,germany needed tanks to win the strat. war not some tacticals battles,and thats what t-34 did.




freeboy -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 5:39:50 AM)

I was wondering if I was in the wrong forum! interesting.. I guess we do field most of this in this game.. perhaps not the panthers though!




bklooste -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 6:29:58 AM)

Prob of more interest is the T34/85 vs the far more common 1944 Sherman




flipperwasirish -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 8:29:05 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: freeboy

I was wondering if I was in the wrong forum! interesting.. I guess we do field most of this in this game.. perhaps not the panthers though!



I was thinking the same thing.




FatR -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 9:28:25 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs


This is a question about the merits of specifications.

I think that some people argue that the T-34 M1942 is a better tank than the M4A1 (M1942) in terms of speed (34 mph vs. 21 mph), armament (76.2mm F-34 with 2,200 ft/s vs. the 75mm M3 with 2,000 ft/s) and armor (45mm hull all-around, 70/52mm turret vs. 51/38mm hull, 76/51mm turret).

My question is: is that right (the T-34 was a better all-around tank for the same production years)?

What exact years? 1942? Sherman is probably superior, as practically no T-34s built in 1942 were performing to specifications, and early teething troubles became only worse. Blame the industry evacuation and resulting troubles with maintaning quality. 1943-44? Depends on the factory and version, I believe.

quote:

ORIGINAL: fbs
If so, and considering that both weighted 30,000 kg, where did the Sherman put the weight it saved from using a less powerful gun, less powerful engine, less shells, thinner tracks?

More inner space and better working conditions for the crew, for starters. More reliability all-around (B-2 diesel was infamous for its short lifecycle in 1941-42).








castor troy -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 10:10:51 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Twotribes

The T-34 was better. The US stayed with the M4 because it was mass produced and reliable.



which could be said about the T-34 also. Normally those threads are about Panther or Tiger vs Sherman and the main argument for the pro Sherman is that they were more reliable and easier to produce, even though as a tank crew you would rather preferre sitting in a Tiger than a Sherman. And in combat you would probably preferre sitting in a T-34 compared to the Sherman. As the T-34 definetely was mass produced and also didn´t break down every couple of miles I guess this argument is lost for the pro Sherman. In this case, the winner clearly is the T-34 IMO.




castor troy -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 10:16:36 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

Not to get too far off, but German tank design was, in many ways, a complete fiasco. The Panther was a good example. A great tank, but completely over-engineered, complicated, and expensive. The Hetzer was the only economical design the Germans made. Which isn't good when you are heavily outnumbered.



when you take out enemy tanks at a rate of 4 - 9:1 then you´re doing quite good considering your tanks are a fiasco IMO. It was the only chance for the Nazis to build "better" tanks as they could not even closely build as many as their enemies. Sure the Sherman was cheaper and more reliable but you can´t build 9 Shermans for 1 Panther but 1 Panther can knock out 9 Shermans. Germany´s industrial potential was quite good for that time, it was a leading industrial nation but not comparable to their combined opponents. So the only way to go is to use better stuff than your enemy. This argument was used by the Nato vs. Warshaw pact and is still used by the Nato and the US nowadays.




Mark Weston -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 11:09:31 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: castor troy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

Not to get too far off, but German tank design was, in many ways, a complete fiasco. The Panther was a good example. A great tank, but completely over-engineered, complicated, and expensive. The Hetzer was the only economical design the Germans made. Which isn't good when you are heavily outnumbered.



when you take out enemy tanks at a rate of 4 - 9:1 then you´re doing quite good considering your tanks are a fiasco IMO. It was the only chance for the Nazis to build "better" tanks as they could not even closely build as many as their enemies. Sure the Sherman was cheaper and more reliable but you can´t build 9 Shermans for 1 Panther but 1 Panther can knock out 9 Shermans. Germany´s industrial potential was quite good for that time, it was a leading industrial nation but not comparable to their combined opponents. So the only way to go is to use better stuff than your enemy. This argument was used by the Nato vs. Warshaw pact and is still used by the Nato and the US nowadays.


No, German tank production was a terrible process. Yes, the tanks were effective and yes, there was no way Germany could out-produce all of the allies together. But they were so inefficient they were actually out-produced by Britain alone.

The central problem was that tank production (most war production) was under direct army control for a long time, and the army liked to tinker. They had a strong prejudice against what they called the American style of mass-production; in their view the best tank was one hand-crafted by skilled German engineers. They liked to order from small firms in tiny batches - a few hundred tanks at a time - so they could watch their performance in the field and then order design improvements and upgrades. The result was expensive over-engineered tanks produced inefficiently with no economies of scale, and large numbers of sub-versions and variants each with incompatible spare parts. "Fiasco" is a pretty good description.




Fishbed -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 11:11:07 AM)

Seeing the Sherman only as a tank may be unfair - it's part of a whole doctrina, to be used next to other weapon systems, like tactical bombers, strong artillery and Tank Destroyers. But I don't know how one could positively comment the later German choices: talking about Wittmann as an example of a sound choice is like taking Tassafaronga as the rule about how the Japanese DDs and their LL were deadly. It happened, but in the end, the fact that they lost the war should relativize this kind of assertion. Shermans & T-34 prevailed on the field, next to their mates (heavy tanks or TDs), whatever their flaws.

Now, about the T-34 vs Sherman thing, one may also take into consideration that the few times Shermans were used against T-34 (mostly in Korea and maybe in the Middle-East - but those were uber-Shermans) the fight didn't end well for the T-34 crews. Again, although I may sound dumb, the link above

http://www.portalus.ru/modules/warcraft/special/remember.ru/tankers/loza/loza1.html

Should help to relativise a little bit the T-34's strength and the Sherman's weaknesses. In the end, they are two different products from two different industrial cultures, while their only point in common is that they were a bet that number would overcome "quality" (except that German "quality" wasn't advanced enough to distance itself from USSR's and USA's in the end...).




castor troy -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 12:26:01 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mark Weston


quote:

ORIGINAL: castor troy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

Not to get too far off, but German tank design was, in many ways, a complete fiasco. The Panther was a good example. A great tank, but completely over-engineered, complicated, and expensive. The Hetzer was the only economical design the Germans made. Which isn't good when you are heavily outnumbered.



when you take out enemy tanks at a rate of 4 - 9:1 then you´re doing quite good considering your tanks are a fiasco IMO. It was the only chance for the Nazis to build "better" tanks as they could not even closely build as many as their enemies. Sure the Sherman was cheaper and more reliable but you can´t build 9 Shermans for 1 Panther but 1 Panther can knock out 9 Shermans. Germany´s industrial potential was quite good for that time, it was a leading industrial nation but not comparable to their combined opponents. So the only way to go is to use better stuff than your enemy. This argument was used by the Nato vs. Warshaw pact and is still used by the Nato and the US nowadays.


No, German tank production was a terrible process. Yes, the tanks were effective and yes, there was no way Germany could out-produce all of the allies together. But they were so inefficient they were actually out-produced by Britain alone.

The central problem was that tank production (most war production) was under direct army control for a long time, and the army liked to tinker. They had a strong prejudice against what they called the American style of mass-production; in their view the best tank was one hand-crafted by skilled German engineers. They liked to order from small firms in tiny batches - a few hundred tanks at a time - so they could watch their performance in the field and then order design improvements and upgrades. The result was expensive over-engineered tanks produced inefficiently with no economies of scale, and large numbers of sub-versions and variants each with incompatible spare parts. "Fiasco" is a pretty good description.



Germany built roughly 50.000 tanks, are you sure that Britain built more?[&:]




castor troy -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 12:34:33 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Fishbed

Seeing the Sherman only as a tank may be unfair - it's part of a whole doctrina, to be used next to other weapon systems, like tactical bombers, strong artillery and Tank Destroyers. But I don't know how one could positively comment the later German choices: talking about Wittmann as an example of a sound choice is like taking Tassafaronga as the rule about how the Japanese DDs and their LL were deadly. It happened, but in the end, the fact that they lost the war should relativize this kind of assertion. Shermans & T-34 prevailed on the field, next to their mates (heavy tanks or TDs), whatever their flaws.





the overall kill rate of Tigers was something like 6 enemy tanks destroyed for one Tiger lost. That´s the overall rate, not one of the exceptions like Wittmann taking out whole tank units on his own. I´m also not quoting Hartmann´s kill rates vs Soviet fighters. The Panther was not much worse in combat than a Tiger (if it even was worse, the shock within the enemy was probably smaller when a dozen Panthers showed up instead of a dozen Tigers) and also gets something like a 4:1 vs Russian tanks and 6:1 vs Western Allied tanks. Sure, you could build probably three PzVI for one Tiger and those three PzIV could also knock out six Shermans, the question though is (pure tank vs tank wasn´t that common anyway) what the total cost (production and use) would be when you compare three PzIV to one Tiger. If a Panther was twice as expensive as a PzIV I would preferre the Panther though as that tank surely gives you a better performance than two of the PzIV IMO. But we´re mainly speaking about tank vs tank combat here and that was by far not what tanks were mostly used for.

But we´re moving off the original and highly interesting topic of Sherman vs. T-34.




Jaroen -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 12:42:37 PM)

@fbs: Why do you ask???
It's an old issue, it is very much beating a dead horse . . . again!
It's been discussed so many times before on so many levels and I'd bet you know.
So I'm curious, why do you ask!?

@fishbed: Thanks for that link!
It may offer people some different views on rating tanks.

@fbs again: Did you check that link and did it change your perspective on how to rate tank effectiveness?




John Lansford -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 1:40:27 PM)

The T-34 was a very crude, effective tank for its time.  The 76mm gun outgunned the tanks it faced in 1941 and 1942, but was obsolete against later German vehicles.  Plus, way too often Soviet breakthroughs of the German line weren't limited by the fuel availability of the tanks, but by the endurance of the crews.  The T-34 had no padding, no features for the crew's comfort.  The seats were bare steel, there were steel protrusions everywhere, and the gun had a nasty habit of decapitating the loader if he didn't get out of the way.

The T-34/85 had a better gun, but got it at the expense of a higher silhouette and slightly reduced mobility.  Both versions had better off road mobility than the Sherman, better guns, better protection (at least compared to early M4's), but the Sherman was far more reliable and the endurance of the crew was much higher as well.




Sardaukar -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 1:50:58 PM)

One of the main flaws of T-34/76 was lack of commander's cupola and the fact that tank commander was also gunner. This caused already bad situational awareness from having to fight buttoned up to be even worse with commander having to do 2 tasks. This was corrected in T-34/85 with 3-man turret.

This explains also a lot why German tanks were usually performing lot better against theoretically better T-34. Most of the T-34s KO'd probably never knew what hit them, either because commander could not see out or he was busy using main gun.




AcePylut -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 2:18:34 PM)

Easy to answer the question... would you rather take a T34 or a Sherman into battle?

Easy for me, the T34.  I'd rather have armor than a seat-cushion.  Having a nice comfy butt matters not if you're dead.




Shark7 -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 2:23:10 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Twotribes

The T-34 was better. The US stayed with the M4 because it was mass produced and reliable.


They also stuck with the Sherman because it weighed in less than 30 tons which allowed it to be loaded by standard dock cranes. That was actually a large deciding factor in going with the Sherman.

T-34 was possibly the best all around tank of the war, given its ease of production and general performance.




dorjun driver -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 2:28:18 PM)

You could drink the distilled hydraulic fluid* of the T-34, so I'ld have to go with the ruskies on this one.[sm=party-smiley-012.gif]


*If you happen to believe James Dunnigan.




Sardaukar -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 2:53:39 PM)

I'd rather take Sherman than T-34/76 for reasons I mentioned earlier. T-34/85 of course would be different thing and I'd prefer that over Sherman 76.




Mark Weston -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 2:56:34 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: castor troy

Germany built roughly 50.000 tanks, are you sure that Britain built more?[&:]


Oops, sorry, that statement should have been heavily qualified. Tanks had joint top priority in British production decisions-making during the early war when the assumption was that we would have to provide for our own needs. After lend-lease and the entry of the US into the war more and more US manufactured tanks were available and Britain stopped prioritising home-made tank production. But from 1940-1943 - when tank-production was still a priority - Britain equalled and then out-produced Germany.

          Britain   Germany
1939      969       1680
1940      1399      1459
1941      4841      3256
1942      8190      4098
1943      7476      6083
1944      4057      9161
1945      1392      1098

Numbers are (I think) just tanks, not including other self-propelled weapons.

Edit: the larger point being, if German production was so inefficient that they couldn't out-produce Britain alone (until Britain stopped trying) then clearly they were screwing-up big time.




Q-Ball -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 3:02:13 PM)

OK, completely OT I admit, but an interesting discussion.....

Castor, point taken on kill rates. The Tiger/Panther were better tanks one on one. But these designs, and German tank designs in general, were a disaster for the overall war effort.

The Russians had T-34s in 1941/42, yet the Germans, with PzIIIs and IVs still outkilled them. Why? Because the tank isn't the whole story. The Wehrmacht had superior leadership at the division level and below to the Russians throughout the whole war. The Germans outkilled the Russians in everything right to the end, because the Wehrmacht had superior leadership at the unit level. They had higher kill rates regardless of tank for this reason.

The Germans built multiple models at a time, with many times several chassis at once, while the Americans were generally building only 1 tank, and 1 tank destroyer, and 2 types of chassis. The Sherman was not a brilliant design, but the overall PLAN that produced the Sherman, i.e. total industrial dominance, was brilliant.

Anyway, back to the Pacific War.





castor troy -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 3:17:58 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mark Weston

quote:

ORIGINAL: castor troy

Germany built roughly 50.000 tanks, are you sure that Britain built more?[&:]


Oops, sorry, that statement should have been heavily qualified. Tanks had joint top priority in British production decisions-making during the early war when the assumption was that we would have to provide for our own needs. After lend-lease and the entry of the US into the war more and more US manufactured tanks were available and Britain stopped prioritising home-made tank production. But from 1940-1943 - when tank-production was still a priority - Britain equalled and then out-produced Germany.

          Britain   Germany
1939      969       1680
1940      1399      1459
1941      4841      3256
1942      8190      4098
1943      7476      6083
1944      4057      9161
1945      1392      1098

Numbers are (I think) just tanks, not including other self-propelled weapons.

Edit: the larger point being, if German production was so inefficient that they couldn't out-produce Britain alone (until Britain stopped trying) then clearly they were screwing-up big time.



thanks for this post. Only roughly 26.000 German tanks produced. Hmm, I thought to know that they produced something like 50.000. [&:]




Iridium -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 3:28:08 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: castor troy

thanks for this post. Only roughly 26.000 German tanks produced. Hmm, I thought to know that they produced something like 50.000. [&:]


Those numbers probably don't count Self propelled assault guns, Tank destroyers without turrets...etc. Maybe also Self propelled artillery?




Mark Weston -> RE: Sherman vs. T-34 (2/26/2010 3:32:43 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Iridium


quote:

ORIGINAL: castor troy

thanks for this post. Only roughly 26.000 German tanks produced. Hmm, I thought to know that they produced something like 50.000. [&:]


Those numbers probably don't count Self propelled assault guns, Tank destroyers without turrets...etc. Maybe also Self propelled artillery?


Exactly, tanks only.




Page: [1] 2 3 4 5   next >   >>

Valid CSS!




Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI
0.03125