Which was the best?

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Lieutenant Colonel
Apr 1, 2004
Which one do you think was the best, and why?
What gives you the impression the T-34 is better than the M4?
Maybe a little help is needed.

The Panzerkampfwagen IV was the main German battle tank in late 1942. Before that the Pz. Kpfw III was the majority tank but only posessed a 5cm cannon at best (The earlier variants had a 3.7cm). The IV had been in service since the beginning of the war, the IV Ausf A having a short barrelled 7.5cm cannon these saw service in Poland, Norway and France being withdrawn from service before 1941. Mid-production of the Ausf F the cannon changed to a long barrelled 7.5cm.
Moving on the Pz. kpfw IV Ausf J was the best variant. With a long barrelled 7.5cm KwK40 L/48 which had a pierce capability of 77mm at 1,5 km. That could destroy the T-34/76 Model 1940. :shock:
It's maximum armour was 80mm at 8 degrees, that's thicker than any T-34/76. It had a speed of 38 km/h and a range of 320 km, it was reliable and durable. It's tracks were covered with armoured side skirts, and every one had a radio and optics. The optics had a range of 4km, and the radio of 5km.

The production of full IV tanks was low, but the chassis itself was used for the Wirbelwind, StuG III series and many more German AFVs. The production was approx. 8,500. I do not know the number of chassis built though.

Tommorow will be information on the T-34.
The T-34, some say the greatest tank of the war and with good reason.

The first production T-34 rolled off the line in September 1940, in Kharkov. This was the T-34/76 Model 1940. The suspension needs a special mention, it was designed in New Jersey, and sold to the Soviet Union, it was the Christie tank system. This along with the wide tracks on the T-34 allowed it transverse terrain of all kinds, in all weather when their enemies tanks might struggle. The frontal armour was 45mm, and on the chassis front it was set back at 60 degrees giving it a strength of 75mm, almost invunerable in 1940.
Moving on to the last model T-34, the T-34/85. Now this was a distinct improvement over the T-34/76, it had a more powerful cannon and a slight increase in armour. It also had a three-man turret, replacing the two-man turret of the T-34 which gave it huge problems, with aiming and commanding.
The 85mm D-5 on the T-34 was capable of piercing 100mm at 914m. Not as good as the Pz.kwpf IVs cannon. The speed was 50km/h and it had a range of 190 miles. It was reliable, but not as durable as the Pz. IV. It was easier to maintain, and it's wide tracks, which were even wider on the /85, made for good cross-country capability.
Not all T-34s had optics or radio, commanders were seen using flag signals on the battlefield. Which lets the T-34 down greatly, but it was a great tank. And a very simple design.

Not used for many improvements, but the T-44, SU-85 and SU-100 did come off the T-34. The simple design gave it a production to over-shadow any other at 53, 382 T-34s between 1940 and 1945.

The M4 is next...
i would say the T-34 for me aswell, many of the ideas used on the T-34 are still being used on modern tanks.....................
No they aren't. Where did you hear that? I hate to break it to you but the Christie Tank system has been built upon but is no longer used. Slanted armour was not an invention of the Russians, not an invention of the Soviets. Diesel engines were being used before the T-34. What!?! What today is used that was on the T-34!?!
No other tank combined those features before that. Where the ideas come from is utterly irrelevant. Note the words used on the T-34. Tanks today try to emulate the T-34, in ballance of speed firepower armor mobility and dependancy. The only thing they really try to emulate from the Germans is sohpisitcation
The three major products of a good tank are firepower, manuverability and armour. Germans and the Soviet realised this. Nothing today is copied off the T-34 directly, it wasn't an invention of the T-34.
but the T-34 was the first to incourporate all 3 in a truely sucessfull design...........................

and if you looks at my last post, i said

many of the ideas used

which you took to mean many of the same parts/systems used.......................
What IDEAS off the T-34 are still used today then? The Soviet designers didn't create the T-34 from no where they studied other countries inventions, designs and tactics. Bringing them together created the T-34, this doesn't mean they use the ideas off the T-34, the T-34 used the ideas off others.
That's how ALL weapons and tactics are developed.In the thirties the German army sent officers to study the Soviet military equitment and tactics especially armour and airborne.One officer wrote a report when he returned which became " blitzkrieg tactics ", he was Hans Gaderien.
O.k before any one write it,my mistake .He's name was not Hans.But my main point stands. As Lancaster kick ass said it was the first production tank to sucessfully incorporate firepower, speed,and armour .A tank that the crew can drive directly from the production line into battle,as happened,and in such large numbers,must be good.A simple design that was easy to produce and easy to train crews.It could be trusted in the very worst condictions
My vote also goes to T-34.I agree with stonewall23 and there is no need to repeat his words.To be honest I 've recently watched on TV ,the Discovery Channel , a programme about tanks.It was the top ten list and T-34 was the winner, PZ.Kpfw. IV took the fourth place and M4 was on farther one.
he was Hans Gaderien.
O.k before any one write it,my mistake .He's name was not Hans
His name is actually Heinz Wilhelm Guderian... U spelled both names incorrectly stoney... Also, dont know where u got the "Russian/Blitz" idea from....

Heres a blurb....

During the First World War he served as a Signals and General Staff officer. After the war, Guderian stayed in the reduced 100,000-man German Army (Reichswehr), where he came to specialize in armored warfare. Fluent in both English and French, he was influenced by the British maneuver warfare theorists J.F.C. Fuller and, to a lesser extent, B.H. Liddell Hart, as well as the writings, interestingly enough, of the then-unknown Charles de Gaulle. Their works were translated into German by Guderian.

Achtung - Panzer!, was written in 1936-37 as an explanation of Guderian's theories on the tank and aircraft's role in modern warfare. The panzer force he created would become the core of the German Army's power during the Second World War, and fight according to what became known as blitzkrieg doctrine. To this day, his contributions to the combined arms tactics are studied throughout military schools from West Point to Sandhurst.
Thanks for the correction about Heinz.I could have sworn that I saw on a telly program a few years back that Guderian did spend time in Russia studying their tactics.I know they were the first people to do mass para drops or to even consider a paratroop force practical .Or am I wrong ! I'm getting old my mind is starting to......................................wander.But I stand by my basic statement ,the T-34 is the best.
He did visit the German Secret Tank Testing Facility at Kazan, Russia. I think this was in 1929. This was where the Germans were developing Tanks because they were not allowed to under the Versaille Treaty. He however did not get any of his ideas for his tactics from the Russians there. He did learn about Russian Tactics from Russian Officers there.

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