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RE: Sherman vs. T-34

 
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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 7:12:46 PM   
spartanwarrior

 

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I think that the Panzer forces most certainly wanted to avoid the T34. The Panther design was a copy to some degree of the T34 but with poor manufacturing throughput. The key advantage for the Sherman was numbers. Other than that, in virtually all T v T angagements on the western front, the german tank was superior in gun and armor but less so in manueverability. Many American tankers were stunned and dismayed at the pronounced disadvantages they faced against the germans.

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Post #: 91
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 7:22:21 PM   
Big B

 

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The early M4 faced PZ III H's, J's, and L's. The PZ III was the backbone and muscle of the PZ Div until 1944 - and the M4 was superior to any of these.
The M4 also successfully fought all variants of the PZ IV, despite the better gun of the PZ IV, and it was the PZ IV that provided heavy gun support to the PZ III until the mass replacement of the PZ III with the PZ V in 1944.

The M4 was so successful against German armor in 1942 & 1943, the US Army saw no need to up-gun the tank prior to Normandy...where it's reputation for being under-gunned began.

The only boogey man the M4 faced prior to 1944 was the Heavy Tiger I and the Flak 88 - but those were few, and dispatched all T-34's with equal ease.

As far as any match up with a late PZ IV, the 75mm gun could and did penetrate that German tank's armor at the same ranges the Mk IV could do the same to an M4, so neither had any advantage there...


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Post #: 92
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 7:33:37 PM   
Jim D Burns


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It all depends on the tactical situation really. The T-34 has an advantage over the Sherman in a long range duel in open terrain, because of its low silhouette vs. the Sherman's much higher silhouette. However long range duels means the shell fire is plunging at a steeper angle upon impact, so the range somewhat mitigates the T-34s better sloped armor.

Strangely enough the Sherman’s low velocity gun is what makes that last part matter. A higher velocity gun would not have such a steep angle of plunging fire at range and the sloped armor would still add a lot to the T-34s protection.

In a close terrain fight, the Sherman has a decided advantage. Higher silhouette means it can see over and shoot over a lot of intervening terrain that would obstruct the T-34s view and shot trajectory. Also the better turret performance on a Sherman gives it an advantage in a gun duel where the two tanks stumble upon one another unexpectedly requiring turret traverses to fire.

So for me in an open country fight I opt for the T-34, but in a close fight I’ll take the Sherman.

Jim


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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 7:41:12 PM   
Nikademus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spartanwarrior

I think that the Panzer forces most certainly wanted to avoid the T34. The Panther design was a copy to some degree of the T34 but with poor manufacturing throughput. The key advantage for the Sherman was numbers. Other than that, in virtually all T v T angagements on the western front, the german tank was superior in gun and armor but less so in manueverability. Many American tankers were stunned and dismayed at the pronounced disadvantages they faced against the germans.


The dismay was real, which explains the anger expressed in Belton Cooper's book on the "survival of an armored division in Europe." The American troops had been told repeatedly in training that their equipment was the best in the world, and essentially not to worry about the Jerries or anyone else. It did therefore come as a shock to find that this was not the case. However at least at the time of the M4's debut, it was one of the best mediums fielded in general stats. It had decent protection and firepower and decent mobility (on solid terrain). Steven Zaloga in his recent work "Armored Thunderbolt" (The U.S. Army Sherman in WWII), went so far as to suggest that in late 42 the M4 was the best medium deployed in the West during the Alamein fighting. There were kinks of course. Early M4's suffered from armor flaws and combustability and the high silowette could be disadvantagous. Overall though....it was an excellent tank.....for 1942.

Problem was, as Zaloga well documents (I highly recommend the book as it goes into great detail on the behind the scenes polices for US Army procurement and weapons development), was that the parties in charge of R&D, rested on their laurels and didn't put enough stock into how future developments on the battlefield might impact things. There were more than enough warning signs as in late 42 the first Mark IV specials were deploying as well as 75mm AT guns, both more than capable of defeating the M4's armor. Perceptions of "Battle need" were distorted and max production won out with only incremental improvements being forwarded. By the time of Normandy, the battlefield had changed signifigantly and the primary adversary of the M4 was that same 75mm AT gun vs. the older 37 and 50mm weapons. On top of that you had the same gun equipping the older Mark IV and the Panzerfaust. This led to excessive casualties. The M4 still "got the job done" but this misses the point that Zaloga and Cooper make, that lives could have been saved had more attention been paid to developing the M4's successor.

Ultimately Zaloga concluded that the M4 had been an successful if increasingly obsolecent weapons system that as part of a greater Industrial-military machine....gained victory in Europe. In all the stat counting and comparisons though it's easy to lose sight of the human cost though.

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 8:11:01 PM   
John Lansford

 

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The late model Pz III's (J and L) had front armor equal or better than the early model Shermans they faced, but they were undergunned against the M4.  Most Pz III H's were being converted to J's by the time the Shermans began appearing.  Against the Mk IV, they had an opponent similar to the M4 in armor but with a better gun; the L43 and later L48 were both better guns than the Sherman's early 75mm gun.  The M4's gun could knock out a MkIV but the Sherman was vulnerable to the MkIV's gun at longer ranges, so the only real advantages the Sherman had was in mobility and numbers.

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 9:19:47 PM   
spartanwarrior

 

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I think that we are all on the same page with regards to the Sherman and T34. I also think that it is consencus that the Mk IV and Mk III (w long 57mm) were superior in most instances. The Sherman really earned its laurels in breakout situations whereby its road speed, mileage and adequate gun performance vs infantry made it useful. In any armor battles in 44 and beyond it often lost at long ranges. It wasnt until the M10 came out with the longer 76MM high velocity gun that the Americans had something to stand toe-to-toe with the MkIV and the MkV. The Tiger of course was in a different class altogether and it is unfair to compare the Sherman to it as the Sherman really only was able to survive by getting in close and flanking a tiger. It is very true that the armerican armor design was lacking in comparison to the advances in air design and ship design. It is also interesting that much of the anger of Tank troops against the army and the Sherman were largely hushed during the war. When i was in Armor school at Ft Knox we had a guest lecturer who was a company commander in 4th armor during the war. He spent a lot of time talking about the designs of the sherman and the german tanks. He said american generals liked the sherman better than the tankers did.

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Post #: 96
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 9:56:37 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim D Burns

It all depends on the tactical situation really. The T-34 has an advantage over the Sherman in a long range duel in open terrain, because of its low silhouette vs. the Sherman's much higher silhouette. However long range duels means the shell fire is plunging at a steeper angle upon impact, so the range somewhat mitigates the T-34s better sloped armor.

Strangely enough the Sherman’s low velocity gun is what makes that last part matter. A higher velocity gun would not have such a steep angle of plunging fire at range and the sloped armor would still add a lot to the T-34s protection.

In a close terrain fight, the Sherman has a decided advantage. Higher silhouette means it can see over and shoot over a lot of intervening terrain that would obstruct the T-34s view and shot trajectory. Also the better turret performance on a Sherman gives it an advantage in a gun duel where the two tanks stumble upon one another unexpectedly requiring turret traverses to fire.

So for me in an open country fight I opt for the T-34, but in a close fight I’ll take the Sherman.

Jim



Reminds me of our take on the M48 versus the T55/T62, although the T62 had a really low sustained RoF.

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Post #: 97
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 9:56:46 PM   
Big B

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: " american generals liked the sherman better than the tankers did."

Nothing surprising here - all troops naturally want equipment so clearly superior to their enemies' equipment, that anything less will earn their equipment the reputation of being "a death trap" ...because that's the world they live in, but that isn't necessarily the best indicator of the finer points of machine vs machine.


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Post #: 98
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 10:25:27 PM   
Big B

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL:
Problem was, as Zaloga well documents (I highly recommend the book as it goes into great detail on the behind the scenes polices for US Army procurement and weapons development), was that the parties in charge of R&D, rested on their laurels and didn't put enough stock into how future developments on the battlefield might impact things. ....

This isn't quite accurate according to Hunnicutt.
The Armored Board produced an M4A2 in late 1942/early 1943 featuring a 76mm L54 gun in a modified turret (rear counter weights were added).
The Army Ground Forces turned down that vehicle because they said it's production would only encourage tank vs tank battles (the role set aside for the tank destroyers) and would divert tanks from the mission of infantry support and exploitation of breakthroughs.

Thus it was conscious Army policy which deprived the M4 and it's crews of a better armed tank (virtually the same tank the did produce in late 1944) before the Sicily landings of 1943.

It was more a confusion of assigned roles for armored forces (tank BN's & tank destroyer BN's) rather than design shortcomings which led to the M4 being initially under gunned for the ETO in 1944.

Of course this same could be said about the T-34. The T-34/76 was just as under gunned as the 75mm M4 by 1944, and T-34/85's didn't amount to a larger production total than 76mm M4's.

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Post #: 99
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/4/2010 10:37:29 PM   
Q-Ball


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To Big B's point, the problem wasn't the Sherman was a flawed design, it was an excellent design for the purpose it was designed for.

The FLAW was in the TD concept. THAT was the problem. The concept mistakes that produced the M-10 screwed up the Sherman. Blame the M-10! (Or really, the IDEA behind the M-10)

And the US never had anything like the StuGIII, Hetzer, or other armored assault guns/TDs. Too bad, a turretless 90mm gun mounted on a Sherman chassis with an armored box would have done some serious damage........



< Message edited by Q-Ball -- 3/4/2010 10:38:13 PM >

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Post #: 100
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 12:04:42 AM   
Big B

 

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Only commenting because I feel gabby today (not to put anyone down)...

quote:

ORIGINAL: Against the Mk IV, they had an opponent similar to the M4 in armor but with a better gun; the L43 and later L48 were both better guns than the Sherman's early 75mm gun. The M4's gun could knock out a MkIV but the Sherman was vulnerable to the MkIV's gun at longer ranges, so the only real advantages the Sherman had was in mobility and numbers.


I would disagree with the conclusion here. While true that the 75L48 had better armor piercing performance at all comparable ranges versus the 75mm M3 gun, the armor protection on an M4 (especially the wet stowage versions) compared to a late model PZ Mk IV, ensured that both weapons could penetrate their opponents armor at the same range and angle. Both would fail to penetrate the hull front of their opponent at 1000yards & 30degrees - but both would still penetrate their opponents turret front at that range, etc.
Moreover, I can't think of a single significant engagement where M4's were caught and destroyed by Mk IV's - strictly due to the latter being at a range too far for the M4's to return effective fire.... though that was often enough the case with Panthers and Tigers engaging M4's (Operation Goodwood?).


quote:

ORIGINAL:
And the US never had anything like the StuGIII, Hetzer, or other armored assault guns/TDs. Too bad, a turretless 90mm gun mounted on a Sherman chassis with an armored box would have done some serious damage........

The US Army did better than a sturmgeschutz mod on the M4...they put a fully rotating 90mm gun turret on the M4 and produced the M-36B1 - in time to get to Northern Europe in significant numbers.

Going back to topic, I see no advantage here between a T-34 or an M4.

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Post #: 101
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 1:55:55 AM   
bklooste

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Big B

Going back to topic, I see no advantage here between a T-34 or an M4.


As said i dont think putting a 1945 Easy 8 with 76mm high vel gun vs a 1941 T-34 is appropriate.

So with regard is there no advantage for the comparisons below ( mass produced varients with thousands in the field) , or all of them.
1941 T6/M4 vs T34B ( 52mm front armour)
1942 M4 ( 51mm front) vs T34C ( 62mm front)
1943 M1A2 (50-108 mm front hull) vs T34D-F or T34/85 (90mm front)
1944 M4A2 (50-108 mm front hull) vs T44 (120mm front) or T34/85 (90mm front)
1945 M4A3E8(76)W (50-108 mm front hull) vs T44 (120mm front)

At the least the T-34 had 50-100% greater range which is a definete advantage and personally i think the 75mm would have trouble against the 62mm sloped armour of the T34C at normal combat ranges as it was not much less than the Panther. While the 1945 varients are probably equivalent to the 34/85 and slightly inferior to the T44 the 42-44 comparisons are certainly not.

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 1:58:55 AM   
Fishbed


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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.


Half the Shermans delivered to Soviet Union were made of the said "latter variant". Compare it to whatever is comparable: Sherman 76 has a gun that totally compares to the Russian 85mm in terms of anti-tank capability thanks to its ammo. Better at AT, but worse at Anti-personal in fact.

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Post #: 103
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 2:04:44 AM   
Fishbed


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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.




quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7


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'.


Do you people read links? Again, it really depends of what is around. Shermans were "Ronson Lighters" to British tankers because they were the thing that burnt the best on the battlefield in their inventary. To a Soviet tanker, they were known as the tank "whose ammo wouldn't cook" instead, while T-34 catching fire would be deathtraps not only for their crews, but also for everyone around (a habit Soviet tanks didn't really lose overtime in fact). Yes, Sherman carry less ammo - also because the said ammo is not as exposed as in the T-34. Sometimes, there's something worse than a big barbecue - it's the exploding barbecue.



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Post #: 104
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 2:32:34 AM   
Fishbed


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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.



Depends if you actually want to believe
http://www.portalus.ru/modules/warcraft/special/remember.ru/tankers/loza/loza1.html

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Post #: 105
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 2:35:06 AM   
Fishbed


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AcePylut

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!



Yeah? You absolutely sound like you had some North Korean ancestry to refer to on that point, I hope there's still there so they may talk about their encounter with buttah-tank and his friends

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Post #: 106
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 2:43:31 AM   
Fishbed


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spartanwarrior

It wasnt until the M10 came out with the longer 76MM high velocity gun that the Americans had something to stand toe-to-toe with the MkIV and the MkV.


honestly I don't even know how PzIV would come into play at that stage of the discussion. The only special strength of the PzIV by 1944 would come from its crew, as the German habit of putting better crews in lesser tanks would get more and more usual. But apart from that, it's a very comparable system to the average Sherman, with a better gun than the Sherman75, but certainly not better armor. If the Sherman was an obsolescent design, don't even mention the PzIV!

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 3:04:06 AM   
Mynok


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Considering the PzIV was a 38 (37?) design with a few upgrades it's hardly surprising. Indeed most German tanks up until 44 were decidedly inferior to their counterparts. It does give credence to their tactical and command abilities that they were able to do so much with so little.

As someone said in another thread...combined arms was the be all of WWII. It literally made you or broke you.


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Post #: 108
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 4:44:18 AM   
Nikademus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Big B

This isn't quite accurate according to Hunnicutt.


Possibly due to the fact that the inference i made concerned the M4 weapon system as a whole and not just an issue of upgunning. The "upgrading" from 75mm to 76mm would be included in Zaloga's reference to incremental upgrades.

quote:


It was more a confusion of assigned roles for armored forces (tank BN's & tank destroyer BN's) rather than design shortcomings which led to the M4 being initially under gunned for the ETO in 1944.


The debate over the role of the M4 in regards to the prewar rigid US Army role assignment, aka tank killer vs. breakthrough/infantry support weapon is not really relevent here. The primary weapon systems facing the M4 during the Normandy campaign were infantry support weapons, mainly the towed 75mm AT gun and the Panzerfaust/shreck. The M4's obsolecence by 1944 encompassed the entire scope of the tank's design.


< Message edited by Nikademus -- 3/5/2010 4:46:04 AM >

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Post #: 109
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 4:52:49 AM   
bklooste

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fishbed


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.


Half the Shermans delivered to Soviet Union were made of the said "latter variant". Compare it to whatever is comparable: Sherman 76 has a gun that totally compares to the Russian 85mm in terms of anti-tank capability thanks to its ammo. Better at AT, but worse at Anti-personal in fact.


Yes it compares well to the 85mm soviet gun but only arived in 44 and was not the most common varient till 45. After the battle of the Bulge ( end 44) Ike said we wanty no more 75 Sherman - period.

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Post #: 110
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 4:57:44 AM   
bklooste

 

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quote:



Do you people read links? Again, it really depends of what is around. Shermans were "Ronson Lighters" to British tankers because they were the thing that burnt the best on the battlefield in their inventary. To a Soviet tanker, they were known as the tank "whose ammo wouldn't cook" instead, while T-34 catching fire would be deathtraps not only for their crews, but also for everyone around (a habit Soviet tanks didn't really lose overtime in fact). Yes, Sherman carry less ammo - also because the said ammo is not as exposed as in the T-34. Sometimes, there's something worse than a big barbecue - it's the exploding barbecue.


I did read it and the author just regards it as a benefit allong with the fine seat covers which made nice boots :-) Note the tank was burning he was just suprised the ammo didnt explode. Also does it matter , the chance of surviving a penetrating hit ( esp HEAT) in a tank was minimal anyway. Durring training the US would put chickens into a Sherman fire a round at it and pull them out burned.


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Post #: 111
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 5:03:33 AM   
bklooste

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok

Considering the PzIV was a 38 (37?) design with a few upgrades it's hardly surprising. Indeed most German tanks up until 44 were decidedly inferior to their counterparts. It does give credence to their tactical and command abilities that they were able to do so much with so little.

As someone said in another thread...combined arms was the be all of WWII. It literally made you or broke you.



The germans would have had no PzIV in 44 if high command had its way , Guderian continued the run since it was easy to operate and well liked by its crews even in 44.. Something that couldnt be said for the Shermans in 44.

The Shermans A1 75mm was the perfect combined arms tank and designed for just that :-)

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Post #: 112
RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 6:28:13 AM   
Fishbed


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bklooste


quote:



Do you people read links? Again, it really depends of what is around. Shermans were "Ronson Lighters" to British tankers because they were the thing that burnt the best on the battlefield in their inventary. To a Soviet tanker, they were known as the tank "whose ammo wouldn't cook" instead, while T-34 catching fire would be deathtraps not only for their crews, but also for everyone around (a habit Soviet tanks didn't really lose overtime in fact). Yes, Sherman carry less ammo - also because the said ammo is not as exposed as in the T-34. Sometimes, there's something worse than a big barbecue - it's the exploding barbecue.


I did read it and the author just regards it as a benefit allong with the fine seat covers which made nice boots :-) Note the tank was burning he was just suprised the ammo didnt explode. Also does it matter , the chance of surviving a penetrating hit ( esp HEAT) in a tank was minimal anyway. Durring training the US would put chickens into a Sherman fire a round at it and pull them out burned.



That's the point: at a certain distance, everyone dies the same way, T34 or Sherman. That's the reason why the guy would prefer the Sherman under certain conditions (in fact specially in Eastern Europe once you're done with greater steppes). T-34 was most probably a much better tank than Sherman to charge across large meadows indeed. For Close Combat, well, then certain smaller details do matter. Turret speed, crude gyrostabilization (and RADIO, the Sherman wassn't only all about leather ) do offer an upgrade Guard units did value.

Again, that's the same scheme as the P-39. Nor Sherman, nor P-39 were necessarily the best hardware out there. But they were given to Guard units with a purpose in mind: only seasoned veterans would be trained and disciplined enough not to waste the opportunity to use equipment that wasn't actually that awesome, but for the first time in the short Red Army's history, allowed for mechanical TEAMWORK. And that alone was already a difference big enough, both in the air and in the ground, to validate such a decision.

Again, Im not saying Western allies were spoiled kids. It was completely legitimate to ask for something much better than the Sherman. But quality level, habits to which you are not accustomed, vary from an army to another. And you have to get to the average soviet tanker's level to try to understand than having radios in every AFV in the platoon meant, for the first time, that he could actually count on his wingmen to watch his back or his flanks in real time. Man, that's so obvious to us, or even to Western units which would already have ATCs by that time, but we're talking about the Red Army here - the Army that needed US trucks to advance and US rations to serve meat to the soldiers on a daily basis in 1944.

Again, context matters most

< Message edited by Fishbed -- 3/5/2010 6:34:52 AM >


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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 6:55:35 AM   
Fishbed


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So yes indeed, I'd tell you, I'd pick the T34/85 over the Sherman76 anyday. But the dream T34/85, you know, the one with a radio, a AA machinegun, leather seats and flee and lice-free blankets - the one in twelve or twenty T34s, the battalion or company commander's tank. And then I'd take it only in a big meadow, because, well, I'd still prefer to be in a Sherman if I was fighting in a forest, in a town or in a city, for all the elements even a dream-like top-notch T34/85 didn't have in 1945 (mainly western optics, quick tower speed, early stabilizing and a radio).

Im sure the T34 would have been the best tank ever with American polishing. But it didn't have it, and that's where it misses the mark in certain combat conditions and environments (just like the Sherman does in other conditions and/or environments). Now just start to think of yourself inside a T-34, just without the radio, or without the ability to hit precisely at slow speed or at 500m, with potentially cooking ammo on your back, with nowhere to run. Or getting in a close fight with a PzIV, and have a turret turning only 2/3 as fast as you enemy's. Now you'll wonder if the only thing that should matter is thicker armor and a bigger gun. I think those guys, like the Emcha tanker, faced it, and although I am also like anyone inclined to prefer the T34 on a pure performance basis, well sometimes what kills you or not isn't written in the technical chart. My 2 cts.


< Message edited by Fishbed -- 3/5/2010 7:12:59 AM >


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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 7:13:26 AM   
jeffs


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this reminds me of the zero vs Wildcat discussion..

And it is the details that often do not show up in weapon stats that really make a big difference (radios for example)
As well as reliability.

One comment about the Sherman was in early 45, Patton (so maybe 3rd army only) added another 2 1/2 inches of armor to the front plating of the Sherman

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political and strategic mistakes live forever". The authors were refering to Japan but the same could be said of the US misadventure in Iraq

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 9:35:30 AM   
bklooste

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fishbed

[Again, context matters most


Agree team work is more important ( see the Mk IV) but i think your reffering to the 41 T34 before the Sherman existed ...By 42 they all had radios. They did suffer from C&C however due to the 2 man turret but so did most light tanks.

quote:

Im sure the T34 would have been the best tank ever with American polishing.


Who needs polish , life expectancy against Air , German 88mm and 75mm extra long guns is days. The solution to a difficult to shift gear box was to supply a hammer .. which worked. Note the T34 was improved significantly from its initial incarnation

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 11:42:37 AM   
arras

 

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Lack of radios in T-34 was not design feature, it was just lack of radios itself. Remember one of the four crewmembers was dedicated radio operator. If Soviets would produce Shermans instead, they would lack radios as well. By 1943 about 2/3 of Soviet tanks were equipped with radio and most of those radios were US or British supplied so the same as those in Shermans. I don't know by end of the war but I assume most of the tanks in R.A. had radio by that time.

I saw T-34 turning its turret and I can say, it turned surprisingly fast. It was T-34/85 bye the way, so heavier turret and bigger gun. It might be that T-34/85 turned turret faster than /75 for some reason or it was post war product with improved features, I don't know technical details on that. But how much time in battle tanker spends turning its turret compared to aiming, firing, arming, searching? Difference might be important in very specific situation but in general, battle is not a turret turning competition.

As for reliability: I don't know why people think T-34 was unreliable. It was actually very reliable tank. During sustained operations T-34 equipped units had 50-75% battlereadines. For comparison Panther units had about 35%. Soviet tank units repeatedly made marches of several hundred kilometres on their own tracks and entered combat strait from march. That speaks volumes of their tanks reliability. Look at the Kursk and battle of Prochorovka for example. Something German tank units could only dream of. German units for comparison, especialy those Tiger and Panther equipped were basically railway bound as once on their own tracks, they broke down.

Actually one of the best features of T-34 was its operational and strategical mobility. Thanks to that, Soviets could outmanoeuvre Germans time after time. That's all thanks to its reliability and range. And Soviet tank units were much lighter on technical support than Germans or Western Allies for that matter.

This is interesting link to Evaluation of The T-34 and KV Tanks By Engineers of the Aberdeen Proving Grounds made by US engineers during war. It was made in 1942 so those must have been some early models.

Note: this is actually Soviet report on US evaluation not US one.

< Message edited by arras -- 3/5/2010 11:48:15 AM >

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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 1:51:10 PM   
Obsolete


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This thread has caused me to take another look at some of the OOB guide-lines that were included with Combat Command II (for scenario creation) back in the day…

There seems to be some questionable things here.  For example, comparing the M4(75) to the Tiger, they have almost the same armor rating.  45 for the “flaming cans”, and 50 is listed for the tiger.  It’s barely more than an 11% difference

For the actual AT values, Tiger has double a rating over the flaming cans, until you get to the M4(76) where those cans get a 50% increase on their AT.

And then there is the Churchill VII, which crushes all Shermans in terms of Amor rating (value of 75), and even seems to make the Firefly look like it’s in serious trouble.  



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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 1:54:04 PM   
Hartford688

 

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Now what you really need is a Firefly. Nice powerful gun that would outperform the Tiger and Panther guns (though a tad academic as Tiger and Panther armour much better!).

Troble was the Germans would always shoot you in your Firefly before targetting the standard Shermans. I was interested to read the odd wavy camouflage on the Firefly barrels was to make the gun tube look shorter and much more like a regular 75mm...for precisely this reason.


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RE: Sherman vs. T-34 - 3/5/2010 3:43:40 PM   
Jim D Burns


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Obsolete

This thread has caused me to take another look at some of the OOB guide-lines that were included with Combat Command II


It depends what variant the game is trying to simulate. It may be trying to lump all variants into one tank, making it kind of a hybrid or something.

This site lists some basic side by side comparisons:

http://www.valourandhorror.com/DB/SPEC/WW2tanks.php

They list the Sherman as having maximum armor of 75mm, but in fact later war Sherman’s had up to 91mm armor. So they got close to the Tiger Es 110mm. With the Sherman’s sloped armor, it could be they had similar protection levels since the Tiger E had no sloping in its armor. Of course that didn’t matter in a duel, because the Tiger had a much better gun.

75mm or 91mm, the Tiger would rip open the Sherman at great range, but the Sherman (76 gun version, 75 gun had no chance at all) had to be about 800 meters or closer to have any chance of punching through a Tiger’s front armor, and even then it was a slim chance unless very close up.

The Firefly was the only Sherman variant that could duel a Tiger at long range with a good chance of killing it through its front armor.

Jim


< Message edited by Jim D Burns -- 3/5/2010 3:44:52 PM >


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