Discussion in 'The Tanks of World War 2' started by Canadian_Super_Patriot, Aug 28, 2005.
Ok , what's better the russian T-34/85 or the german Panzer V (Panther) ?
here we go again!!!!! :roll:
"WHY IS A MOUSE WHEN IT SPINS"?
Didn't we have a pool going after last time for when this subject would come up again? If we did, I should have so contributed. Anyway, here are some facts about the T-34/85 that often get overlooked:
The T-34/85 had absolutely no significant changes to the hull. Same armor, same engine, same suspension, same transmission. The only change on the T-34/85 was a new turret and a gun comparable in penetration capabilities to the 7.5cm KwK40 and 76mm M1-M1A1C.
Knowing this, I would say that the Panther completely outclasses the T-34/85 in an open, clear slugging fight. As ranges close, the odds get more and more even.
But the T-34 with an 85 mm gun would have a better HE capability, making it a better vehicle for fire support, and was a much more reliable vehicle, not to mention cheaper. But in an isolated 1v1 then probably Panther.
PS: re the mouse: because one leg is both the same
The T-34 wasn't notably reliable. I would post the article but I’ll be accused of Plagiarism so I’ll refrain.
Give us a link. I realise the /85 wouldn't be as reliable as the /76 due to increased weight, there would be extra strain on the suspension, but Panthers were virtually one-offs each. The mechanics of T-34 were well worked out by the time the /85 was introduced.
The site with the link (Battlefield.ru) has the page with the article down. It should be noted, however, that even the soviets themselves admit and document the T-34 being less reliable than the American M4. Of course, that may very well not be saying much against the Panther, because I really don't think much anything heald a candle to the M4 in that regard.
The T34/85 and the Panther, despite the fact that both tanks are late-war medium tanks, are just about opposites in design and purpose and are therefore very hard to compare.
On the one hand you have the Panther: a highly developed medium tank designed to give the Germans superiority in firepower and protection, without losing too much in the mobility department, when fighting enemy tanks. It's a difficult tank to build, but individually it's of a very high standard indeed (at least in the D, F or G version). Difficult to maintain, and heavy for its class, but powerful and reasonably reliable.
On the other hand you have the T34/85: a cheap, easy to make, mass production vehicle designed to give the Russian soldiers a somewhat more heavily armed MBT to use against newer German tanks and for infantry support. It was already easy to make, but the speed at which the Russians did it meant that the tank was often below the standards of any other participant in WW2 in terms of assembly and reliability. Low-maintenance of the type that replaces entire engines rather than fixing broken ones. Since this tank's purpose was simply to be there in sufficient numbers, it was succesful at it.
When comparing the Panther with the T34/85, then, you end up comparing quality to quantity; high-powered AT capabilities to good all-round performance; and almost artistic factory work to simple mass-production.
I agree with most all posted here..
If I were a general I would take thousands of T-34's if I were a tank commander- the Mk V
The T-34 is widely regaurded as the best tank of the war. Alot of that goes into its excellent armour layout but I think mostly it was the ease of which is was manufactured and how easy it could be repaired. A little known fact is that the Germans sold the equipment to roll and make the armor for the T-34 to the Russians. Otto Carius talks about it in "Tigers in the Mud". The Panther was designed to counter the T-34 and pound for pound was a better tank. The Russians however had alot of extra pound sitting around. It should be noted though that alot of the T-34's shortcommings on the battlefield were due to little to no communications gear within the tanks making communication with other T-34's in your formation problematic at best. The Panther also had a dedicated Tank Commander were as the T-34 had a Guy who was both Gunner and Commander. This is a huge diffrence in the smooth operation of the tank. So here it is.....
Best tank in a tactical situation: Panther
Best tank strategicly speaking: T-34
However niether would be as influential to post war Tank Design as the JS sieries tanks.
dudemaestro sums up just about everything I was going to say. I did not realize, however, that the Germans had sold the Russian's armour machinery, I imagine they would have thought that over once they saw the monster the Russians produced with it. :lol:
To add something, the tank commander not only had to fill the role of tank commander (or vice versa) but had to aim the gun looking through the barrel. This of, course was, changed sometime later.
I have been waiting for someone to mention the JS seires outside of Tiger vs. JS-2. But, yes, I agree with you here. Futher discussion would be interesting.
Not to say the JS does not have its critics. For a Soviet produced and original design it was not a completely half assed ordeal. Big tank with big gun and thick armor, it was a natural evolution in Soviet tank design after their experiences on the eastern front with the big German MKIV and MKV tanks. I have heard stories were JS tanks attacked King Tigers and won substantial victories, but we as historians know how Soviet history varies from actual history so it’s hard to tell. It also bears the name of the Boss and that in and of itself should be enough to make it cool. The tank did undergo some post war upgrades…
IS-2: up gunned to 122mm gun.
IS-3: Armor redesign that included the new rounded turret, angled front hull casting, integrated stowage.
IS-4: Longer hull and thicker armor then the IS-3
IS-10: Given a longer hull, seven pairs of road wheels instead of six to smooth out the ride, a significantly better armored turret with a fume extractor in the cannon, an improved diesel engine, and, of course, thicker armor. This tank was eventually renamed the T-10 after extensive de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union.
Anyhow this last vehicle caused quite a bit of trepidation in the 1950’s when it was developed and sparked a lot of new tank innovations in the west.
Victories of tanks over other tanks in actual battle depend on many other factors than just tank quality. In the case of many JS-2 vs Tiger II engagements, terrain, weather and crew training played large roles, as well as the general tactical and strategical situation of both parties. In some engagements the JS-2 gained the upper hand, in others the Tiger II.
This was not a post-war upgrade. In fact, only about a hundred or so 85mm-armed JS-1s were ever built after which production swapped entirely to JS-2s which had a more substantial advantage over the medium T34/85.
Yeah, I was just posting upgrades. Forgot to mention which ones were post war and what ones where during the war.
“Victories of tanks over other tanks in actual battle depend on many other factors than just tank quality. In the case of many JS-2 vs. Tiger II engagements, terrain, weather and crew training played large roles, as well as the general tactical and strategic situation of both parties. In some engagements the JS-2 gained the upper hand, in others the Tiger II.”
It is true that there are other factors then tank quality, but do not be fooled into thinking that Tank quality does not play a large role as well. The men in the Iraqi T-74’s were battle hardened tankers from the Iranian War. Our M1 crews had not really seen much of any real combat at all. These two tanks come from the same era of tank design as they were designed around the same time. When they met there was such a superior edge in design that the Iraqi’s, though brave, could not overcome such a huge gap in Tank quality. I think it speaks volumes that the JS series of MBT’s could stand up to King Tigers and Tiger I’s at all much less come out on top, these were very high quality tanks they were fighting with crack crews in may cases.
I was trying to put a little balance to your post stating that the Russians overestimated the victories gained by their tanks. Most of these victories can after all be ascribed to different factors than mere tank quality. In the West in 1944 for example, a unit of Panthers was completely destroyed by a unit of early type Shermans because of superior leadership, training and use of terrain.
By the way, the German Panzer IV was never any heavier than 24 tons, so it's not exactly a heavy tank. I assume you meant the Panzer VI, also known as Tiger.
While we can't really experience Eastern Front and the fighting, it's not difficult to have a taste of it via games. One of the most realistic WWII game so far is still the close combat III. The Panther clearly outperform T-34/85. From my knowledge, T34/85 adv lies in its track that is design to travel in snow and mud which is so common in Eastern front, not to forget its reliable engine. However, the 85mm lacks punch and penetrating power. In additional to above is also how Russian tank crews were being training to fight. They fought with lesser crew and overload responsibilities thus lowering their overall fighting capabilities. On the other hand, the panther 75mm actually have greater penetration than German 88mm. The sloped armour and great speed also contribute to its reputation as best tank in WWII. However, German Track are not as reputable as the Russian given the same operation condition. The Western Power actually uses the Panther Technologies after the war in their AMX13 and M41 Walker Bulldog etc as well. IN conclusion, Despite the restriction that the German are facing in 2 fronted War, the Panther should be the better one.
Look at the graph on http://www.fun-online.sk/forum/viewtopi ... 6584#66584
Panther is the dark blue line, T-34/85 is the yellow.
I can't guarantee the accuracy of the figures, but they're based on the DeMarre equation, I've had to estimate velocity drop, but just looking at shot mass , calibre and muzzle velocity gives a first-order impression. Of course armour/ shot material quality come into play as well....
One day I'll get ALL the penetration formulae sorted out (and then I'll have nothing to do :cry: :lol: ).
The Livingston/Bird book, which has all the factors included in the calculations for all major WWII anti-tank guns, and from these calculations, the 7,5 cm Kw.K.42 L/70 clearly outperforms the Russian 85 mm. (and even the 8,8 cm Kw.K.36 L/56).
The Livingston/Bird book is one on my list to buy. From what I've seen they've done an immense amount of research, and yes, their calculations show that the L/70 was superior. Mine, at the moment :lol: , don't.
that is something I will dispute, even today not all the factors are known, look at Tanknet's technical discussions for instance.
Like I said, that graph was a first-order calculation (I'm posting it to sell MY tank in the competition, and therefore picked the best interpretation for my gun ).
That said, my more-in-depth calculations do show the L/70 was a good gun, better than the 88 L/56, (and probably better than the 85).
At the moment I have about 150 pages of equations to work through, most of which not only contradict each other but claim that each of them is the real solution..... But as a first-guess estimate then the only values required are impact velocity, penetrator mass and penetrator diameter. After that it gets vastly more complicated. I have a modern source that claims that impact energy and relative material UTS is important and not diameter, a third claims that penetrator length is the crucial factor (but that's more for APFSDS rounds).
When I get hold of a copy of Livinston/ Bird then I "may" change my mind, after I've done the calculations myself.