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shermans versus panthers

From: "Barclay, Tom" <tomb@b...>
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2001 15:01:20 -0500
Subject: shermans versus panthers

Allan said:
There is something no one has really mentioned yet. One of the primary
the Germans did so poorly in the West was something fairly new: tactical
support. When the weather was clear, the Germans could not easily move
forces without Allied aircraft attacking them with impunity.

[Tomb] Not quite true. I mentioned that in the original post! *LOL!*

And he went on to say:

No, you're not a victim of urban legends. Your reading matches mine.

In general, the Soviet vehicles were very good and far superior to that
available to the Western allies. The T34/85 was a good, even superior,
for a Panther.	The T34/76 came out in 1941, almost 2 years before the
Panther, and was quite a shock to the Germans (and easily superior to
German tank at the time). The T34/76 suffered from an inferior gun and
armour than the Panther. However its armour was well sloped and it was
reliable, mechanically. It was better than the Panzer IV (the Germans'
plentiful tank) and far better than the Panzer III.

[Tomb] The T-34 is undoubtedly better than the Panzer III. I wouldn't
say it
was (except perhaps on a mechanical robustness level) hugely better than
Pz IV. The T-34/76 was I beleive the tank that russian tank commanders
prepared to exchange 3-1 with Panthers. The T-34/85 could kill a Panther
on one. 

[Tomb] The problem with the soviet forces included: 1) an early shortage
good officers (having shot them all), 2) a shortage of good tactics
later in the war, when they perhaps had an army an air force that could
kicked America out of Europe if they hadn't been afraid of the bomb), 3)
shortage of comms, 4) some rigidity in their command structure, 5) early
inexperienced crews that used their vehicles poorly and bailed out to
easily. Thus the German stats look more impressive than they were.
engineering was good, but it was often maintenance intensive and poorly
suited to Russian winters. Eventually, when the Russians had bled enough
spent the time to develop experienced officers and tactics and had built
good tanks and planes in profusion, things didn't look anywhere near as
from the German PoV.....

The T34, in all versions,  was lighter than the Panther -- by about half
the case of the T34/76 -- which helped with ground pressure. The T34/85
according to my Jane's book, considered the best tank of the war by the

[Tomb] I wouldn't doubt it. Similar to why the germans had a fondness
the PPSh-41 over the MP-40. Robust, reliable, and very effective _in the
hands of a good commander_. 

 The T34/85 was STILL being used as a frontline tank in Africa into
the 1980s.

[Tomb] I'm sure rifles from 1900 were still in use with some forces too.
When you don't have to cope with lots of TOW, Hellfire, etc, then you
really get by with older technology armourwise....

 The Germans used as many captured T34s as they could get, though
logistics was a big reason for this.

[Tomb] Soviets also used salvaged German tanks. Both sides salvaged what
they could because any working tank was better than not having one....

Thomas R. S. Barclay
Voice: (613) 722-3232 ext 349

2001: To the New Millenium! The next thousand years
are MINE. 

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