British/American T-34s?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Thande, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Thande Toujours Phrais

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    Is there a way that the Soviet Union might supply the Western Allies with the T-34 design in WW2? It was superior to most Western tanks until the end of the war and was easily mass-produced.

    Granted, Stalin would be reluctant to part with such a powerful bargaining chip, but there might be reasons - in exchange for jet technology from Britain, say, or if the war was going very badly for the USSR and they needed Allied victories in the Med to relieve the pressure. Perhaps if the Soviets had gone ahead with the T-44 design unlike OTL and had believed it sufficiently superior to the T-34 that they could afford to let the Allies build the latter?
     
  2. Derek Jackson Member

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    I think that we can believe that certainly until 1943 Stalin really wanted and believed he needed a second front. Perhaps the T34 would be part of the deal to get one.

    Would the T34 have made an invasion of North West Europe possible in 1943?

    Might it have either made going for Southern France instead of Anzio early 1944 an option?

    Might it have made it possible for the guys who landed at Anzion to become wildcats rather than beached whales?
     
  3. DMA I am not the Final Cylon!

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    The important issue here may not be whether the Western Allies would use the T-34, as their main tank, but whether they'd be willing to swallow their pride, realise their tank designs were inferior to the T-34, & then build T-34s instead of the Shermans, Cromwells, & Churchills...
     
  4. Larrikin Banned

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    T-34 to the West

    The M4 was not inferior to the T-34. They had strengths and weaknesses vise each other, but you cannot state any overall superiority. Thus Western produced T-34s would have made no difference, and in fact would have reduced the number of tanks available as production facilities made the change over. The USSR certainly didn't have the production capacity to supply them to the West, and there wasn't really the infrastructure to enable them to be moved to export points any way.

    Thus, no Second Front in NWE in 43, Anzio would have needed a different commander, etc., etc..
     
  5. DMA I am not the Final Cylon!

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    Oh come off it. The T-34 was superior to the Sherman. No doubt about it. The armour was better. The main gun was better. It was more reliable too & didn't cook-up. More to the point, we only have to look towards the two tanks ability against a common foe like the Mark IV. The Shermans were somewhat equal to the German Mark IV whilst the T-34 was clearly superior.
     
  6. Shimbo The Whisper of Death

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  7. Thande Toujours Phrais

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    I believe the ultimate proof in this respect is that the Soviets were supplied with several different Allied tank designs as part of Lend-Lease. They were reportedly unimpressed with the Sherman, I believe something to do with its high profile and vulnerable petrol engine. By contrast, the British Valentine, though hopelessly out of its depth compared to mainstream tanks on the Eastern Front, was quite popular among the Soviets for use in secondary roles such as reconnaissance.

    As for an invasion of NW Europe in 1943 - it might be more possible, but the British government would still be opposed, I believe. Maybe the Americans would try it alone in 1943 while we focused on Italy.

    When it comes to swallowing pride - we did it in OTL with the American tanks. The US will probably be less easily persuaded but I'm sure the Pentagon could invent some propaganda excuse about the T-34 being an originally American design that was copied by the Soviets or similar bullshit.
     
  8. The Dean No Pain No Pain

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    I do believe the suspension on the T34 was designed by Walter Christie so they could make that claim with a grain of truth to it.
     
  9. EmptyOne Re-Booted

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    The fact that the T-34 used the Christie suspension (which IIRC was initially rejected by the US) might make it more palatable. Perhaps the US could sell it as something they had the Russians test for them.

    EDIT: The Dean beat me:mad::D
     
  10. Cockroach Eddy Tracks

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    Mind you Sherman and T-34 includes everything from early models of both (with pathetic low velocity 75 or 76mm pop guns) right up to late models (17 pounder armed Fireflys, T34-85s).

    While I genrally do reguard the T-34 as moderatly supirior to the Sherman I honestly don't think the additional logistical hassel of putting it into western service would be worthwhile.
     
  11. Prinz Richard Eugen Second Imperial Reich

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    There are several problems concerning the T-34 replacing the Sherman as the main western tank. The first is time. Assuming Stalin gives the plans to the Allies in 1942 (while he still fears defeat by Hitler), they would be subject to review and "corrections" by Allied tank experts. They would take months before a "suitable" design has been reached. They would not build an exact copy. For time frames, think how long it takes the Germans to get the Panther ready for production. And second, by now the production lines are cranking out Shermans. They must retool to produce their version of the T-34. But can they afford to stop building Shermans. If they make the switch, it would likely delay D-Day because of a tank shortage.
     
  12. NHBL Member

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    A greedy, confident US President might do the trick

    If the president of the USA is totally confident that the war will be won without the USSR surviving, then he might insist that, for the convoys to run to Arkangel, blueprints for the T-34 be a part of the bargain. And this confidence would be justified IF he could count on gettng the atomic bomb--something that was far freom certain.

    Alternatively, if the US was being stingy with lend-lease, perahps Stalin would offer an incentive to keep the supplies coming.

    Or--a Soviet leader that was less paranoid about the west, and knew that anything that makes the Allies stronger reduces Soviet casualties. Ad in a Soviet defeat or two more thanhistorical, and it might fly. (Well, roll--if tanks fly, I'll think I'm in the wrong forum)
     
  13. CDurham Well-Known Member

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    Well, the Soviets tried that also...

    Well, they attached a glider that looked a lot like an oversized Wright Flyer and deployed it like a glider, then it would drop the wings on the ground and drive off. If the Soviets had actually done much in the way of Airborne operations (I don't know of any) it could have been very useful in securing a drop zone... provided it landed upright. As it was it was a curiosity and little more.

    That and it had flight characteristics slightly better than a brick
     
  14. DMA I am not the Final Cylon!

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    I agree with the above, but as you point out the Soviets used the Valentines for scouting purposes & nothing else - unlike what the British used them for in North Africa, where they may have been competent against Italian armour, but inferior to German armour (unless we're talking the Mk IIs here).



    It's not a suitable tank, which is holding up an earlier D-Day, but air superiority & enough amphib ships. Not to mention a behind the scenes arguments on where the landing should take place. And if the Allied landings on Sicily are anything to judge by, it's probably to the Allies advantage that they waited until June 1944.



    Yes, but an American tank isn't a commie Ruskie one ;)
     
  15. DMA I am not the Final Cylon!

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    Oddly enough the Germans didn't worry about any of these issues when they copied the T-34 to produce the Panther
     
  16. Ward The sick old fart

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    the reasons the US keeped with the Sherman tank was The cost would of been too great to change over to the T-34 tank and it was not that much better then the Sherman . Also it is a little larger then the sherman and fewer tanks could be shiped over . That is why the US never had a Mec Inf Div over seas .
     
  17. Tony Williams Greybeard

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    They didn't copy the T-34 (they considered and rejected the idea) but designed the Panther, from scratch, to be better than the T-34 - which it was. The problem was that it took them years to have it fully combat-ready; designing, developing, debugging and producing a new tank took a long time.

    If Stalin had supplied the detailed designs of the T-34 to the UK and USA, they would have been of limited use since they would have had to be completely redesigned and redrawn to meet the different engineering standards. Not just the tank, but the engine, the armament...it would have taken just as long as designing a tank from scratch.

    As far as comparisons are concerned, the T-34 was better protected, lower and more mobile than the Sherman. But the gun was no better and the turret only held two men (remedied in both cases by the late-war T-34/85). It was a cramped vehicle by UK/US standards, so we would have had to select very small crewmen...
     
  18. DMA I am not the Final Cylon!

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    This is taking what I said out of context in regards to my reply to what was originally said by Prinz Richard Eugen's statement. More importantly, if it wasn't for the T-34 you'd never get the Panther. And it didn't take the Germans that long to get the Panther to become combat effective (albeit at Kursk it was rushed into battle & it showed).



    So are you saying that all those claims we hear about American ingenuity & industrial strength to be false? Because I don't believe that, if the Germans were able to look at the T-34 (without the plans mind you) & turn around & produce the Panther within 18 - 24 months, that the USA couldn't achieve the same thing with the plans.



    I think you'll find plenty of Americans & Brits who are under 6 foot & physically the same as Russians ;)
     
  19. Dave Howery laughs at your pain

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    was the T-34 more mechanically reliable than the Sherman? I'd always read that the latter was a very reliable tank. But... I've often wondered if part of that isn't due to the fact that, man per man, the Americans were likely the most mechanically adept army in the war (another often stated fact). It's often stated that Americans were pretty easily able to make repairs in the field simply because so many of them were familiar with engines (far above any other army in the field), and thus kept tanks, jeeps, trucks, etc. running all the time. So, I've wondered if the Sherman really wasn't as reliable as is thought, but it got rather glossed over by the yanks just fixing them on the spot and going on.....
     
  20. Larrikin Banned

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    Reliability

    The Soviet tankers that took Shermans on the run through Manchuria in August 45 were adamant that the T-34 could not have done it. They praised the M4 for it's reliability, comfort, fightability, ease of maintenance, etc., etc.. As I said the T-34 and M4 were very equivalent tanks, they just had different strengths and weaknesses. The 76.2mm gun in the T-34 was very much equivalent to the M3 75mm in the Sherman in terms of both armour penetration and HE throwing capability, but you were more liable to hit with the Sherman gun because it had better sights. Shermans ceased to be Ronsons in later marks when the ammunition stowage was modified (it was ammo stowage in the turret and along the hull walls that caused catastrophic cook offs when hit, not petrol engines), when up-gunned to 17pdr and 76mm they were very much equivalent in gun power to the T-34/85, and so on and so on.

    Which T-34 do you want to compare with which M4? Make sure they are equivalent marks and not T-35/85 against M4A1 for example.