German Wündertanks vs Shermans

The idea of back engineering a T 34 was considered by the Germans but ran into a major problem which hasn't been mentioned here that I can see.

The power plant for the T 34 was a V 12 diesel engine made mostly from aluminium. The Germans had no equivalent engine nor the ability to manufacture aluminium engine blocks from scratch.

By the time you've worked out the design problems of getting a Maybach engine to fit, you may as well design a new tank from the ground up utilising the good features found on the T 34.

If the Germans had noted the somewhat rougher finish on the T 34 and moved away from over engineering the Panther to making it easier to produce that might have had some effect on the numbers available to them.

A Swiis watch is a lovely thing to have but if it has a life expectancy of a couple of weeks then twenty Timexes is the way to go.

I believe that some metallic components on aircraft of the time reacted badly with other ones. But if you're only looking to get a few days flying time before it is destroyed or otherwise bent why bother?

A bit of a problem with modern restorations of vintage aircraft.:(
 
Similar to when they tried the 3.7 in a direct fire mode it would require modifications as it had no direct fire sights and the layer/gunner were facing the wrong way. I will have a further search tonight at work.
But it did, there was a telescope/periscope combination on the mount for the gunner, and at least pre-war there was training for Atk work.

OVERLORD'S BLOG: The British 88?

The main reason why you don't see 3.7" commonly being used DF is that it is an anti-aircraft gun, so should be shooting down aircraft. Unlike the Germans, our Atk guns were perfectly good enough to smash German panzers.
 
The idea of back engineering a T 34 was considered by the Germans but ran into a major problem which hasn't been mentioned here that I can see.

The power plant for the T 34 was a V 12 diesel engine made mostly from aluminium. The Germans had no equivalent engine nor the ability to manufacture aluminium engine blocks from scratch.

By the time you've worked out the design problems of getting a Maybach engine to fit, you may as well design a new tank from the ground up utilising the good features found on the T 34.

If the Germans had noted the somewhat rougher finish on the T 34 and moved away from over engineering the Panther to making it easier to produce that might have had some effect on the numbers available to them.

A Swiis watch is a lovely thing to have but if it has a life expectancy of a couple of weeks then twenty Timexes is the way to go.

I believe that some metallic components on aircraft of the time reacted badly with other ones. But if you're only looking to get a few days flying time before it is destroyed or otherwise bent why bother?

A bit of a problem with modern restorations of vintage aircraft.:(

The T-34 was design for mass production, and even them, the Russians made it ever cheaper and cheerful. Why two headlights? One will do. Why dress welds?

From Zologas book.

For comparison, a Tiger was hand built by skilled machinists and fitters, superbly finished - and took 300,000 man hours.

1529694259101.png
 
You are being a bit vague here. What is "bollocks"? That the UK ever received samples of the T-34 and KV at the time, that there were ever any engineering studies being conducted into what would be involved in producing them in the UK, or are you simply saying it would not have been a practical idea? In the case of the latter I think I've already outlined in a previous post why it would have been unlikely to have been seen as practical.
Sorry if I was unclear, I meant the concept that the British were ever going to build the T34 and KV series.

Any contemporary records of British evaluations of the T-34 and KV would be very interesting both for the information they recorded on these tanks as well as what it might tell us about what the British thought to be important in tank design at the time as opposed to post-war retrospective evaluations which may be coloured by subsequent experience.
I agree this conversation has reminded me that I should look them up at some point. I've found pictures of a T-34 at MVEE (with a TOG 2 in the background :D) in 1954.

The power plant for the T 34 was a V 12 diesel engine made mostly from aluminium. The Germans had no equivalent engine nor the ability to manufacture aluminium engine blocks from scratch.
Cracking, a nice light soft metal that contributed to the shitty reliability of the T-34. Especially that gearbox.
 
But it did, there was a telescope/periscope combination on the mount for the gunner, and at least pre-war there was training for Atk work.

OVERLORD'S BLOG: The British 88?

The main reason why you don't see 3.7" commonly being used DF is that it is an anti-aircraft gun, so should be shooting down aircraft. Unlike the Germans, our Atk guns were perfectly good enough to smash German panzers.
From mid war, British 3.7’s were often used as indirect fire artillery
 
After Alamein, rarely, as the preferred operational model was to wait until you had a massive overmatch in forces before moving then, having reached said stated goals, sit back and repeat
Probably not the stuff of great Generalship, but - given the post-Alamein abundance of materiel, and the fact that Brit manpower was substantially less abundant, and of limited military prowess for the most part, that's actually a pretty sensible approach
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
From mid war, British 3.7’s were often used as indirect fire artillery
From mid war, British 3.7’s were often used as indirect fire artillery
Can you provide a reference, the books I have read all indicate is was barred from use in anything other then the AA role post initial desert AT trials.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
I may have lost track of this little sub-thread. I understood the line of discussion was re. the relative merits of M4 Sherman (Quality) vs T34 (Quantity), which given that they never faced each other in battle (until perhaps the Arab Israeli wars?) seemed kinda sterile.
Korea: Shermans handled T-34 very roughly on the occasions they met.

Not sure how much of that is down to equipment vs. crew training, though.
 
The Flak 18 was pressed into use in the Spanish Civil War, leading to more interest in so using its successors. (Worth noting that the British 3.7" AA gun was also dual-role).

However, if you've ever compared - for example - a 17pdr AT gun (often considered to be towards the limit of what troops could be expected to tactically handle, dig in, and operate), then looked at the size of gunpit you need to give a 3.7" or a Flak 36 some protection... it's readily apparent why using AA guns in the anti-tank role was a last resort for those unable to stop enemy armour any other way. (British forces, less embarrassed by inadequate AT than German - who contemtuously nicknamed their Pak 36 the "doorknocker" since it just woke the enemy tank's crew up - had much less need to strip away their heavy AA guns to snipe at tanks)

Even when they used 88mm guns as pure AT weapons, like the Pak 43/41, they got nicknamed "Barn Door" for their size and weight, and the lack of tactical mobility was a critical problem - many were lost because despite their piercing performance, they were just too heavy to move on the battlefield. (The same issue killed the 32pdr AT, a 3.7" AA gun on a low-angle mount: the prototype had incredible performance but was utterly impractical on anything except tarmac or concrete)
Archer & Achilles were pretty good ways of giving the 17pdr A/Tk gun mobility & Archer was only 5" higher than the flak18/37, plus both gave their crews better protection than that had by the 88 crews.
 
On the subject of turning AA weapons agaisnt tanks I did see a mention of something interesting. There's been two (One trail and one live) occasions when we pointed Z-batteries at armour, which solves quite amply the tactical mobility problem.

There again the Hungarians took it to the logical conclusion:


Bloody Hell! That looks like something straight out of Flash Gordon!
 
both gave their crews better protection than that had by the 88 crews
Protection from what?

Genuinely curious: the 88 was surely best protected from the fire of enemy tanks, by the fact that it massively outranged them.

Thereafter, if we're talking protection from indirect fire, the differences are marginal, are they not?
 
Austria is on the Danube and oil is shipped in tankers on the river in large quantities all the way from the Black Sea ports as well as from Romania's own fields.

I'm not sure if navigation was unbroken on the entire river at that time though. The dams in the gorges between Serbia and Romania were built a few decades after the war and I don't know if the channels were made passable by other means before then. In the worst case the oil would have needed to be trans-shipped around that point by other means (e.g. a pipeline).
Apparently the Danube was navigable by oil barges all the way across the Austrian border into Bavaria & at least as far as Linz by larger vessels.
 
Protection from what?

Genuinely curious: the 88 was surely best protected from the fire of enemy tanks, by the fact that it massively outranged them.

Thereafter, if we're talking protection from indirect fire, the differences are marginal, are they not?
Artillery & small arms & HE from tanks, which it didn't outrange (which was the main issue we had in the desert; no decent HE shell for our tanks until the lee & Sherman turned up).
The crew of an 88 had bugger all protection, whereas both Achilles & Archer offered protection from small arms & shell splinters
 
The 88 was also stripped of the prediction and fuse setting kit and manufactured as a pure anti tank gun. It was also lighter and took less time to set up for firing than the 3.7 and it could be fired on it's wheels. As for the T-34's engine, I have always believed that it originated as an aero engine, as they were flying diesel powered aircraft at the time (PE-8 among others). A German officer stated that it would be impossible for their armament industry to build the T-34 in the style of the Russians as the factory would insist on milling the steel plate absolutely flat on the outer face and wouldn't tolerate the crude cutting of plate that the Russians used. The average Russian could have cared less about perfectly flat plate, as long as the thing stayed working.
 
Protection from what?

Genuinely curious: the 88 was surely best protected from the fire of enemy tanks, by the fact that it massively outranged them.

Thereafter, if we're talking protection from indirect fire, the differences are marginal, are they not?
Apparently the 88mm Pak 43 had a hit probability of 30% at 2,500m in combat. The 75mm M3 on US/UK tanks had a range of over 11,000yds for their HE shell.
 
The 88 was also stripped of the prediction and fuse setting kit and manufactured as a pure anti tank gun. It was also lighter and took less time to set up for firing than the 3.7 and it could be fired on it's wheels. As for the T-34's engine, I have always believed that it originated as an aero engine, as they were flying diesel powered aircraft at the time (PE-8 among others). A German officer stated that it would be impossible for their armament industry to build the T-34 in the style of the Russians as the factory would insist on milling the steel plate absolutely flat on the outer face and wouldn't tolerate the crude cutting of plate that the Russians used. The average Russian could have cared less about perfectly flat plate, as long as the thing stayed working.
Echoes in there, of the immediately post cold war Western astonishment at the simplicity of many aspects of the engineering on (I think) SU27 when it turned up at airshows, and Tech Int got really up close and personal.
 

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