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Better protected tank T34-85 or Sherman easy 8?
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Mobius
11 posts
Dec 05, 2004
9:21 PM
They are almost the same head on. From the side and rear the T-34 is better, so on that the T-34 gets it.
Aethulred
22 posts
Dec 06, 2004
7:51 AM
In WW 2 the Soviets issued Shermans to their Guard units... Line units got T-34s.
The M4A3E8 was the product improved Sherman, and about as good as it got. It was already obsolescent. It still had vastly better reliability and Gun Control/Sighting systems. Crew fatigue was lower and they could function both better/faster and longer.
The T-34 is lower, making it a bit less of a target in the open, but unable to use defilade as well, so a better target on the defense. US Armor (the metal) quality was superior across the board, as the Soviets didn't have time to worry about it when the T-34 was in production. Soviet Armor (metal) was hardened to very high levels which made it impenatrable to the 37 mm ATG, but caused catastrophic failure when hit by larger calber rounds (like 88s and even 75s)... the armor fails from brittleness..like throwing a brick through a plate glass window. This is not to say the Soviets couldn't make good armor...they could and did before the war (witness the KV-1), but when the pressure was on and survival was everything, they threw quality control out the door and just hardened the armor to the max.
Note that right after the war, the Soviets are busy building new tanks... they knew the T-34 was sub-standard, although the design was good. They kept the good ideas and added what they had learned, in the T-54/55 which was another vast leap forward in Tank design.
So the Sherman is the better protected tank, the more reliable and the better shooter (the Soviet 85 mm gun is about the equal of the US 76mm in penetration ability, due to inferior ammunition...specifically projectile design). The T-34 is somewhat more mobile in Cross country ability, but also more likely to break down.

Jim O'Neil
LTC, AR
Retired

Last Edited by Aethulred on Dec 06, 2004 7:54 AM
GaryM
74 posts
Dec 07, 2004
8:12 AM
Also, there are couple of things about the advantages of the Sherman over the T34. Each of the Shermans had a gyro-compass that allowed them to maneuver at night on the battlefield. T34 had none. One commander had to give up all of his gyro-compasses except one in each company tank. The others were given to the T34s in the regiment so all could maneuver at night. Same with receiver/transmitters. Transmitters were taken out of the Shermans to put in command T34s. Receivers were spread amoung the T34s as well. There are two great books about all this..but I can't remember the names. I'll include it in another msg later.
Marker23
5 posts
Dec 08, 2004
6:06 PM
Thanks for all the help.
GaryM
75 posts
Dec 22, 2004
11:42 AM
By the way, The books I mentioned before are: Commanding the Red Army's Sherman Tanks, and Fighting for the Soviet Motherland. Both are wartime recollections of Dmitriy Loza. He was a Tank BN commander from 43-45 and his BN DID NOT guard behind the lines. He was side by side the T34s in his attacks. The unit was the 233rd Tank Brigade of the 5 Mechanized Corps. In Sept 1944 these units were redesignated as the 46th Guards Tank Brigade and the 9th Guards Mech Corps.
The Sherman was affectionately known by its crews as "Emcha" A shortened name for the M-4 in Russian.
Both of these books were very good in telling the story of the Shermans and their crews. I would highly recommend them.
Also, The Shermans used the 76.2mm Gun.

Last Edited by GaryM on Dec 22, 2004 12:05 PM
lwizzel
11 posts
Oct 18, 2005
10:03 PM
SHermans, at least the short-barrelled ones, had artillery fire control and could fire as artillery (Indirect Fire). I have pix of whole battalions being used this way, in Italy I think. Makes a REALLLY nasty surprise in a tournament WG.
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M. Rixosa
Aethulred
29 posts
Oct 19, 2005
8:20 AM
All US Tanks have the azimuth clock and the elevation bubble as well as pads for the Gunners Quadrant (to verify the elevation bubble is correct and adjust as necessary). I believe even the M1A2 has this, but it is rapidly becoming a useles ability, as they don't have effective artillery ammo. I WW 2 the 75 mm gun in the early Sherman was the French 75, ergo the HE round was an artillery shell. Note that the propellant cannot be adjusted, as you can with a 105 Howitzer, so there are large dead areas the gun cannot hit because of a flat trajectory. This is one reason why you see the tanks being used as artillery, nosed up on something to increase elevation. That way you can shoot at a high angle and get in behind hills ... but the projectiles are going to go up a few miles before coming back down and dispersion is going to be rather greater.

Jim O'Neil
LTC , AR (Ret)

Last Edited by Aethulred on Oct 19, 2005 8:21 AM
lwizzel
12 posts
Oct 19, 2005
9:20 AM
Aethulred:
Thanks for the data. Do you know any source for quantized data on WW2 tank ID fire?
My information is that of US WW2 tanks, only the Sherman is mentioned as having ID fire capability. Do you have sources saying otherwise? That would be useful.
Thanks!
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M. Rixosa
ltcincbj
106 posts
Mar 04, 2008
6:15 AM
I found this older thread very interesting so am moving it up the queu.
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"The only constant is change. Get used to it.": Noah Vaile
ltcincbj
139 posts
Feb 20, 2021
10:53 AM
...and again....
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"The only constant is change. Get used to it.": Noah Vaile
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