Than Soviet tank T-34 surprised the generals of the Wehrmacht

01/03/20 weapons Than the Soviet tank T-34 surprised the generals of the Wehrmacht

German tankers, with the triumph of the past until 1941 for many European countries, considered their fighting vehicles best in the world. Until not faced with a Soviet T-34 best medium tank of the Second world war.

Main advantages

For 1941 “thirty” was one of the most advanced tanks in the world. One of its main advantages was long-barreled 76-mm cannon.

in addition, the T-34 had wide tracks and excellent agility and maneuverability. Pluses in the Treasury of the tank added diesel engine of 500 horsepower and armor made rational angles.

the Best in the world

strike force rushing to Moscow army group “Center” was a tank division, Colonel-General Heinz Guderian. For the first time they are faced with “thirty” on 2 July. As later recalled the captain, the guns of the German tanks were too weak against the Soviet machines.

Later, Guderian’s tanks have known the full power of the T-34 during the battle of Moscow. Include “thirty” of the Fourth tank brigade led, according to the memoirs of a German General, survive “a few hours is disgusting,” the Fourth armored division of the Wehrmacht. From a complete rout of the Germans was saved only 88-mm gun, able to penetrate the armor of the “thirty.”

Fieldmarshal Ewald von Kleist, commander of First Panzer group in the South said about the Soviet machine more bluntly: “The best tank in the world!”.

Complete surprise

German tankers recalled that their machines could successfully fight against the T-34 only in “particularly favourable conditions”. For example, the average tank PzKpfw IV with its short-barreled 75-mm gun could destroy the “thirty” with only the rear, while the projectile was supposed to go through the blinds just in the motor. For this tank should have significant experience and skill, so start a fight lack of experienced commander was fraught.

don’t skimp on the compliments of the Soviet machine and famous tank commander of the Wehrmacht, Otto Carius. “For the first time there were Russian T-34 tanks! The surprise was complete,” – so described the soldier in his memoirs, the first impressions of the battle with “thirty”.

He agreed that the only effective weapon against the T-34 was the 88-millimeter cannon. However, it was stressed that the first stage of the war the main anti-tank weapons of the Wehrmacht was an instrument of the caliber of 37 millimeters. In the best case it could jam the turret of the T-34, distressed tanker.

two kilometers

Praised the Soviet machine and Lieutenant-General Erich Schneider. According to him, among the tanks of the Wehrmacht “thirty” produced “a sensation”. Schneider noted that the shells 76 mm gun T-34 was able to defeat German tanks from a distance of two thousand kilometers.

Armored vehicles of the Wehrmacht could hit the Soviet tanks from a distance of over a mile. The prerequisite was hit in the stern or the side part of the “thirty.”

Not in favor of the German tanks were protective characteristics. Schneider emphasized that the thickness of the armor on the frontal part of the machinery of the Wehrmacht was 40 mm, and on the sides – only 14.

the T-34 was protected much more thoroughly: 70mm armor on the frontal part and 45 mm on the sides. Add to that the fact that the strong inclination of armor plates reduced the effectiveness of shells.

Tanks are not afraid of dirt

For the Germans T-34 served as a model for patency, noted in his military memoirs, Colonel-General Erhard Raus. The commander recognized: the Soviet machine has better maneuverability on rough terrain and capable of “tricks amazing”.

Advantages in maneuverability and cross-country “thirty” admitted and released in may 1942, “Instructionsand for all parts of the Eastern front for combating the Russian T-34”.

Under the German wing

the command of the Wehrmacht fighting qualities of the T-34 is the fact that the Germans used captured machines in their own combat units. Basically the “thirty” came to the Wehrmacht in 1941 – the first failure for the red army months of the war. However, active use of captured T-34, the German Wehrmacht launched only in the winter of 1943, when the strategic initiative on the Eastern front began to move to the Soviet Union.

Initially used captured Soviet machine units of the German army faced with the problem of fire “thirty” own gunners. The fact that the gunners during the battle, was guided by the silhouette of the machine, rather than identifying marks.

in Order to prevent such cases in the future on a tower, building or Luke (for the Luftwaffe), “thirty” began to put a huge swastika. Another way to avoid “friendly fire” – the use of the T-34 in conjunction with infantry units of the Wehrmacht.

Ivan Proshkin

© Russian Seven

Featured articles Share: Comments Comments on the article “The Soviet tank T-34 surprised the generals of the Wehrmacht” Please log in to leave a comment! br>
Share on Tumblr