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RE: Sherman vs. T-34

 
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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 2/27/2010 11:53:48 PM   
PresterJohn


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T-34 was the tank design of ww2 all things considered imho. Sherman was good and i believe and was easy to maintain and keep in the battle (its not just about building
them, you have to field them as well) but the T-34 was truly revolutionary and stood the test of time.

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Post #: 61
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 2/28/2010 1:02:45 AM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: John Lansford

The T34/85's gun could penetrate a Panther's front armor; it was only 80mm at its thickest except for the turret front, and the sloping only helped some.   The sides were paper thin and vulnerable to nearly any Allied weapon at even moderate ranges.  The Tiger didn't have that problem, even from the side.



Uh yeah, but at what range?

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 2/28/2010 2:39:25 AM   
John Lansford

 

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The Tiger's side armor was 85mm (same as the Panther's front, only unsloped), so a Sherman's 75mm gun had to get lucky or suicidally close to manage a penetration.  The T34/85's gun could penetrate the Tiger's side armor at moderate distance, but not the frontal armor.  The Sherman's 76mm gun firing HVAP could penetrate the Panther's front or the Tiger's side armor at about 1000 yds if it got a good solid hit.

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Post #: 63
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 2/28/2010 7:03:44 PM   
arras

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

Uh yeah, but at what range?

According to this link 85mm gun could penetrate front turret armour of Panther at 900 meters. Those are wartime testing Russian data. Let say it could penetrate it at about 500-1000m.

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Post #: 64
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 2/28/2010 7:25:47 PM   
Coulsdon Eagle

 

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I was down at the Bovingdon tank museum a few months ago on a behind the scenes trip, and the curator gave us his views on the T-34 - or, rather, the German view...

One of the first T-34s captured was being examined by a group of military & industrial experts. They laughed at the rough cast armour, stating that it would never pass quality control in German factories, and that the driver's position would only suit those 5'4" or under in height.

Then Guderian looked at it. Brilliant, he decried. They have a gun that can penetrate all the armour on our existing tanks (PzKpfw IV the most modern at that time), armour that can defeat most existing AT rounds, a diesel engine that won't go up in flames when hit (ask tankies why the Brits called their Shermans "Ronsons"), and they can turn out enough of these to make allowances for the odd transmission failure. And its design allowed it to be upgunned.

Of course, in the Red Army, if you were 5'4" you would be posted as a tank driver. No chance of an appeal to the Human Resources Dept.

The curator then pointed at the Panther next door. Brilliant design, good armour, great gun. But apparently every single hinge on the tank was of a different design or size, making mass production well-nigh impossible.

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Post #: 65
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 2/28/2010 8:10:15 PM   
Apollo11


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Hi all,

quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sardaukar

People never read what I write. 

One of the MAJOR factors in WWII tank combat was same as in fighter combat in air. It's called "situational awareness".
T-34/76 had none of that except towards front. Tank commander was busy trying gunnery. No wonder German PzIII tanks often outperformed them.

What you cannot see, you cannot kill.



I think he means the m1942 which had a three man turret so that the commander did not work the gun.

Still you are right. Lack of periscope or cupolas and poor radios-not to mention slow turrets put the T34 at a severe disadvantage. Like I said, there is more to a tank than just a gun surrounded by armor. t 34 was a brilliant design and led to the fine t34 85 but just an average tank in battle.

The late war sherman "easy eight" with the HVSS suspension and some tungsten ammo may have been the best medium of the war.


Hmm... IIRC all "T-34's" had just 2 men turret (i.e. commander firing the gun) until the "T-34 85"... thus the "T-34 M1942" (even with "Gayka" or "Hexagonal" turret) was still just 2 men turret only...


Leo "Apollo11"

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Post #: 66
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 2/28/2010 8:34:03 PM   
Big B

 

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Me too
quote:

ORIGINAL: freeboy

I was wondering if I was in the wrong forum! interesting..


As far as M-4 medium vs T-34, pros and cons for both.
T-34 has better shaped armor - getting better protection from thinner plate, T-34 has wider tracks and somewhat lower ground pressure for poor traction conditions. T-34 has a diesel engine (unless I don't recall correctly) so somewhat less fire hazard potential. Russian armor plate was fair to very good quality depending upon year produced (later was better as I recall).

M-4 Medium - better mechanical finish, more mechanically reliable than any of it's contemporaries, so more will complete the march to to the combat zone.
75mm gun M3 on M4 Medium has a better AP shell (much more consistent in quality control for WWII - and by all published accounts - better AP performance), and greater ammo load.
M4 Medium main armament will have gyro-stabilization - not perfected, but useful.
M4 Medium has a functional radio, M4 Medium has a higher silhouette (by a small percentage) - but also a greater M/A depression for a better hull-down position.
Speed is about equal - the 21 mph quoted above was for sustained road march, sprint speed was about 30mph.
Crew efficiency - M-4 Medium has a 5 man crew compared to a T-34's 4 man crew, so there is a better distribution of duties in and crew efficiency in an M4.
Armor quality on an M4 - early models had notable numbers of tanks with sub-standard plate for cast, and M4 welded hull models - prior to late 1943, had a poorly designed glacious plate with too many weld joints. But all M4's produced from late 1943 onwards had good quality armor for thickness.

T-34/76 vs Tiger I, Tiger I advantage in a 1 on 1 engagement. M4(75) vs Tiger I - same.
T-34/76 vs Panther, depends on range, but greater room to maneuver favors the T-34/76. M4(75) vs Panther - same.

T-34/85 vs Tiger I, depends on range, but greater room to maneuver favors the T-34/85. M4(76) vs Tiger I - same.
T-34/85 vs Panther, depends on range, but greater room to maneuver favors the T-34/85. M4(76) vs Panther - same.

Numbers produced - significantly more M4 Mediums ...than any other WWII tank.
When T-35/85 met M4 Medium(76) in Korea & Middle East- M4 got the better, but that's attributable to training.

Overall - it's anyone's call...kind of depends on who is driving them, how many you have, and just how good your supporting arms are.

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Post #: 67
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 2/28/2010 9:25:36 PM   
AW1Steve


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Slightly off topic, I just wanted to say how pleased and impressed that I am that this poetentially lethal subject has been intelligently and properly discussed for three pages so far , and should go to prove that any subject CAN be discussed in a scholastic and respectfull manner.

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 2/28/2010 9:39:53 PM   
Big B

 

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Yes you are quite correct - if we could put our passions aside - we could probably come to an accepted conclusion about anything (that's the grounding that Western Philosophy works on...kind of how we all agreed that apples will always eventually fall from a tree) ...just don't get our collective "panties in a bunch" and lets view things rationally.

Anyway - I am all for discussing ANYTHING.

B
quote:

ORIGINAL: AW1Steve

Slightly off topic, I just wanted to say how pleased and impressed that I am that this poetentially lethal subject has been intelligently and properly discussed for three pages so far , and should go to prove that any subject CAN be discussed in a scholastic and respectfull manner.


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Post #: 69
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 2/28/2010 9:51:48 PM   
Torplexed


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Okay....now in the interests of fair play where's the Type 97 vs. T-34 thread?


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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 2/28/2010 10:27:33 PM   
Big B

 

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Y-e-a-h in the interests of fair play ... I don't think Type 97 is getting many votes for "Best Tank of WWII"
quote:

ORIGINAL: Torplexed

Okay....now in the interests of fair play where's the Type 97 vs. T-34 thread?




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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 2/28/2010 11:02:16 PM   
bbbf

 

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Try driving the T-34 down narrow extremely poor quality roads through jungles or unloading from a small lighter on a Pacific island or trying to support them on Japan's limited logistical capabilities.

Jap tanks are statistical dogs, but they were built for a purpose and on a very tight industrial budget. They served the purpose well enough to cause problems for the Allies in Year 1.

I'd rather be in the T34, but it's easy to be blinded by the stats and declare that something is just bad - context is everything!

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/1/2010 8:34:24 AM   
arras

 

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You can compare anything of course, but Type 97 is light tank and T-34 medium. Type 97 had weight of about 15t, T-34 more than 25t and PzIII for example 23t. It was not bad design in its category but it is like comparing two boxers from different weight classes.

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/1/2010 8:39:44 AM   
Aces8


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I'm gonna go with the Sherman tank being better they can travel underwater




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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/1/2010 2:54:57 PM   
fbs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Torplexed

Okay....now in the interests of fair play where's the Type 97 vs. T-34 thread?





I think that the Japanese tank commander that saw the T-34 would say.... "man, what a big gun you have!"

Cheers
fbs

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Post #: 75
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 3:25:07 PM   
herwin

 

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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)?

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



The M4 was much more reliable and easy to drive. T34s tended to break down. On the other hand, they were more reliable than KVs and don't even ask about the JS. You needed a gorilla for a driver in a KV or JS.

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 3:27:31 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fishbed

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...).



Target acquisition in a M4 was much faster than in an T34. In the end, fast target acquisition equated to survival for a tank.

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 4:04:14 PM   
WITPPL


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T 34.


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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 4:20:54 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: herwin


quote:

ORIGINAL: Fishbed

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...).



Target acquisition in a M4 was much faster than in an T34. In the end, fast target acquisition equated to survival for a tank.


But early M4s had a weak main armament, and no amount of quick targeting is going to help if your little pop gun can't kill the enemy tank. This wasn't rectified until the later variants with the 76mm main gun or the British Firefly variant.

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 5:10:19 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7


quote:

ORIGINAL: herwin


quote:

ORIGINAL: Fishbed

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...).



Target acquisition in a M4 was much faster than in an T34. In the end, fast target acquisition equated to survival for a tank.


But early M4s had a weak main armament, and no amount of quick targeting is going to help if your little pop gun can't kill the enemy tank. This wasn't rectified until the later variants with the 76mm main gun or the British Firefly variant.


The early T34s had a gun equivalent in armour penetration to that on the early M4s, and the M4 optics and accuracy were better.

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 5:14:02 PM   
spartanwarrior

 

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I believe that the T34 was a superior tank for the following reasons:

1). Better sloped armor
2). wider tracks equaled better weight distribution for better cross country mobility
3). diesel instead of gasoline so that there was less danger of catastrophic fires

The Sherman had a faster turret turn speed and an underpowered main gun that was later corrected when it got the 76mm long 54 later in the war

Otherwise the Sherman was a better tank for breakthrough follow-ups rather than tank v tank warfare.

Im a fomer Armor officer so i have a basic idea of the merits of tanks.


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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 5:33:38 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: spartanwarrior

I believe that the T34 was a superior tank for the following reasons:

1). Better sloped armor
2). wider tracks equaled better weight distribution for better cross country mobility
3). diesel instead of gasoline so that there was less danger of catastrophic fires

The Sherman had a faster turret turn speed and an underpowered main gun that was later corrected when it got the 76mm long 54 later in the war

Otherwise the Sherman was a better tank for breakthrough follow-ups rather than tank v tank warfare.

Im a fomer Armor officer so i have a basic idea of the merits of tanks.




The quality of the T34 armor was generally poorer than that of the M4. The M4 was more road-mobile (important in Western Europe). Agreed, diesel was a better choice. The main armament of the T34/76 and the M4/75 were almost exactly equivalent in armour penetration. The ergonomics, target acquisition rate, and reliability of the M4 were much superior. The M4 could fight from hull-down positions better.

If you were involved in AFV and IFV development during 1975-1985, you may have seen some of my systems studies. 8)

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 5:36:57 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spartanwarrior

I believe that the T34 was a superior tank for the following reasons:

1). Better sloped armor
2). wider tracks equaled better weight distribution for better cross country mobility
3). diesel instead of gasoline so that there was less danger of catastrophic fires

The Sherman had a faster turret turn speed and an underpowered main gun that was later corrected when it got the 76mm long 54 later in the war

Otherwise the Sherman was a better tank for breakthrough follow-ups rather than tank v tank warfare.

Im a fomer Armor officer so i have a basic idea of the merits of tanks.




Good point about the gasoline engines, hence why Sherman's were nicknamed 'Ronson Lighter'.

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Post #: 83
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 5:44:10 PM   
Jim D Burns


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
Good point about the gasoline engines, hence why Sherman's were nicknamed 'Ronson Lighter'.


Actually I'm pretty sure they were named Ronson lighters because the early models had dry ammo storage, thus it was very easy to set off the internal ammo stocks with even a minor hit near the ammo storage area. Later models used a wet storage system and there were far fewer catastrophic fires after that.

Of course the gasoline meant the engine area was still vulnerable to fire, but gasoline fires were not as catastrophic as the early ammo fires.

Jim


< Message edited by Jim D Burns -- 3/4/2010 5:45:58 PM >


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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 5:46:14 PM   
AcePylut


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I'm sorry, but I can't believe that ANYONE here would actually rather be in a Sherman in battle than a T34.





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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 6:13:53 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: AcePylut

I'm sorry, but I can't believe that ANYONE here would actually rather be in a Sherman in battle than a T34.



I would prefer the M4. Of course, any tank was only good for about two engagements, and a moving foxhole attracts the eye.

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 6:27:45 PM   
Nikademus


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I'd rather be in a Tiger......unless there's a P-47 buzzing around....in which case i'd rather be in Disneyland.


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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 6:36:35 PM   
spartanwarrior

 

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Well it is arguable on the armor quality because they both used tempered steel but the 34 had better sloping armor and a lower profile, which equates to better protection. The T34 also was an american invention (Christie) who couldnt get it sold to the USA so instead sold the base design to the Soviets. The optics were slightly better on the Sherman and the guns were largely equivelent. The offroad handling of the T-34 was far superior to anything the Allies or Germans had. The T34 had very poor gun deflection though due to the turret design being smaler profile. Therefore it had inferior hull-down capabilities if the angle of attack was blow horizen. I had a change to get in a T34 at the Army armor museum back in 86 and it is a very tight fit in the turret. I might take an M4E8 though with the improved gun but the T34 with the 85mm gun was also a pretty good, albeit low velocity gun.

I didnt get involved in AFV design but rather was an officer of M1A1's in 3/63AR in 3ID in germany 88-91. Im sure that I might have benefited from your designs in real life!

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 6:44:43 PM   
John Lansford

 

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The early T-34 was facing Mk II and III and early Mk IV tanks, which its 76mm gun could penetrate with ease.

The early Shermans were facing uparmored and upgunned Mk IV tanks, Mk III TD's, Tigers and Marders, which its low powered gun could only reliably penetrate the latter.  I'd say the advantage goes to the T-34/76 in this situation; even late in the war many Shermans had the same 75mm gun they had in 1942.  The 76mm AA gun converted to the later Sherman gun wasn't in but about a third of all total US Sherman tanks even by the end of the war.

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 6:58:27 PM   
AcePylut


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Perhaps a better question... if you were a German, would you rather fight against a T34 or a Sherman?

I'd doubt that too many Germans would want to fight T34's if they could fight Shermans.  I wouldn't.  So I'd rather be in a T34.

Cuz I'd chew up that Sherman like a hot knife through buttah!


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