What if the USA realised that the Sherman was not fit for use in Europe and decided to copy the T34 and the IS2?

The USA realised from battle reports from the eastern front and battle experience in the Middle East that the Sherman was not the right tank to take to the battle field in Europe. The USSR was “asked” for rights to produce the T34 to ensure the ongoing support of the western allies and for part payment for the hugh amount of lend lease supplies being shipped. Possible?
 
If the Sherman was seen as "unfit" for Europe, it would make more sense to intensify efforts on the T14 (well armored and potential for 90mm gun armament) or start development of the T25/26 earlier than to copy Soviet tanks (the T-34 not offering many advantages over the Sherman but several drawbacks), which would be more complicated for the US industry to do than just capitalize on domestic developments.
 
Given that the Soviets preferred the Sherman over the T-34, I find it doubtful the US will decide to copy the T-34.

Maybe by T34 you meant the US heavy tank armed with a 120 mm cannon? That would make more sense.
 
Reliable, well enough armoured, decent HE thrower (especially with the 105mm), capable of carrying a 76 that can - with HVAP ammo - take out any axis tank, or with 17 pounder can take out any axis tank if it can hit it, carries rockets, flalis, works as DD tank, flamethrower, and as a Jumbo it out-armours a tiger. And it fits on cargo ships to cross the Atlantic. And had about the best crew survivability of any tank once the wet stowage was fitted. But it could maybe have been a bit shorter with a modified drive train
Clearly the Americans were crazy to use it!

Seriously, you want them to abandon a good tank that works and replace it with something that either wasn't as good or was no better and that they would have to redesign from scratch?
 
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Ask the Brits for Cromwells
...and hurry up with those Comets
The Americans did test Cromwells (and Centaurs) against Shermans, they were definitely not impressed with the performance of the British cruiser tanks and the Brits observing the exercise didn't even bother to blame national bias. IIRC, the Cromwells and Centaurs were said to be notably less reliable and durable, harder to drive, and the internal layout was poorer and harder to fight from. On paper the one advantage Cromwell has is speed, but in practice this was more of a hindrance than a help. In general, British officers never turned up their noses at having their tank units filled with Shermans as opposed to domestic tank designs.
 
On paper the one advantage Cromwell has is speed, but in practice this was more of a hindrance than a help.
Russian Flying tank
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British Flying tank:
432600bef4c9.jpg


4 days from crossing the Seine to capturing Brussels requires speed:
UIW7FSIgMWS9gAmolG6DU4vaTIhKRJ1z920luHAW6T67EgXuXMYLgFEpO1UrnaEJRsyQqDOTk3h05ZCODErTVA

In general, British officers never turned up their noses at having their tank units filled with Shermans as opposed to domestic tank designs.
Yes:
British_Sherman_Firefly_Namur.jpg
 
1720435182953.jpeg

Dropping the drive shaft to the hull floor means you can shave about 8" off the tanks hight which would IMVHO make the Sherman a much better tank and the best they could do in volume at the time,
 
Thing to remember is that the US (including its policy making arms) are still largely dominated by the industrial franchises (essentially still the robber barons that made their mint from the late 1800s onwards). There is no way that these industries and all-pervasive influence and lobbying power, which are essentially the precursors of today's industrial-technical conglomerates, would be amenable to adopting a communist foreign product. Essentailly they would stymie any such moves in favor of developing a local product, just to make a buck if for no other reason.
 
Again: why does anyone think the T-34 is a better tank than the Sherman? Sources, please.
I personally do not think so, but I'm pretty sure that I can give you the source: internet memes and pop-culture history.

The T-34 has been massively overhyped as this indestructible superweapon which outperformed anything the Western Allies could field. Lazerpig made a video about that, I recommend you watch that one.

Not sure about the exact circumstances about where the bashing of the Sherman comes from, but I do remember seeing brief snippets of an interview of a veteran on the History Channel (very reliable source, I know /s) where they shit all over the tank. But if I had to take a guess? The big cause would be Tiger Panic. Where the capabilities of German tanks were hyped up so much that Allied tankers came to genuinely believe that their machines were inferior. I also didn't help that the Allies were on the offensive against entrenched enemies (not to mention the initial gap in experience) which led to higher losses, but again, that's just to be expected and no indictment of the Sherman.
 
British Flying tank:
Pictured: A tank about to break its own suspension.
4 days from crossing the Seine to capturing Brussels requires speed:
British officers observed that Shermans had, if anything, greater operational speed than Cromwells because they required fewer stops for maintenance or for the crew to rest, moving at speeds greater than 30mph in Cromwell wasn't recommended outside the most dire and situational of emergencies because the risk of throwing a track or damaging the suspension or something else at high speed. Also, pretty sure the Guards Armored Division was using Shermans among other tanks when they liberated Brussels.
 
When first built the Sherman was one of the best tanks on either side,
It pretty much was ALWAYS the most dependable.
The T-34 was pretty good, but not the wonder weapon it is credited with today. It did have a better “armor” layout in the way its armor was sloped. But it was not as dependable as the Sherman. (Then again, pretty much nothing was)
The Sherman was a bit tall. But it was because of the engine(s) it was designed to work with. I believe it also allowed/was partially the result of the location of the transmission as well. Which was easier to replace/repair then on many other tanks.

The US could have moved another design forward if it truly needed one but with the exception of the height anything noticeable better was going to have downsides. Typically weight. The Sherman worked very very well for shipping. Its weight worked for cranes at factories, and rail yards and ports and it sized worked well for train cars and to a degree ships holds. Anything bigger and heavier would be more problematic as it will be harder to get from say a factory in Detroit to a battlefield in Europe or the Pacific.
Remember the US had a longer and more complicated logistics trail then BG, The USSR or Germany,
And you have to not just get tanks there but also parts.
Also this hypothetical better tank will probably be harder to build so you can build less and ship less. And it will probably be less dependable as it will be harder on its mechanical components. And it will be more problematic to use in many cases as size matter for road ways and weight and size matters for bridges.

Tanks are in many ways more of a compromise in design than even Battleships are.
So you can’t have a “better“ tank without compromising something.
And the US worked on the “good enough” concept that said it was good enough to get the job done so let’s build thousands,

The one major improvement they could have made was to get a better gun sooner.

Remember The tank you have is always better then the one you don’t or the one that is broke down,
 
When first built the Sherman was one of the best tanks on either side,
It pretty much was ALWAYS the most dependable.
The T-34 was pretty good, but not the wonder weapon it is credited with today. It did have a better “armor” layout in the way its armor was sloped. But it was not as dependable as the Sherman. (Then again, pretty much nothing was)
The Sherman was a bit tall. But it was because of the engine(s) it was designed to work with. I believe it also allowed/was partially the result of the location of the transmission as well. Which was easier to replace/repair then on many other tanks.

The US could have moved another design forward if it truly needed one but with the exception of the height anything noticeable better was going to have downsides. Typically weight. The Sherman worked very very well for shipping. Its weight worked for cranes at factories, and rail yards and ports and it sized worked well for train cars and to a degree ships holds. Anything bigger and heavier would be more problematic as it will be harder to get from say a factory in Detroit to a battlefield in Europe or the Pacific.
Remember the US had a longer and more complicated logistics trail then BG, The USSR or Germany,
And you have to not just get tanks there but also parts.
Also this hypothetical better tank will probably be harder to build so you can build less and ship less. And it will probably be less dependable as it will be harder on its mechanical components. And it will be more problematic to use in many cases as size matter for road ways and weight and size matters for bridges.

Tanks are in many ways more of a compromise in design than even Battleships are.
So you can’t have a “better“ tank without compromising something.
And the US worked on the “good enough” concept that said it was good enough to get the job done so let’s build thousands,

The one major improvement they could have made was to get a better gun sooner.

Remember The tank you have is always better then the one you don’t or the one that is broke down,
To be fair they had looked at a better gun early on but it was rejected due to the impact on the turret space and Ordinance was told to go back and figure out a better gun that wouldn’t have the same issue. If there was an absolutely dire need for a more powerful Sherman earlier they might have gone with changing the gun sooner.
 
The T-34 has been massively overhyped as this indestructible superweapon which outperformed anything the Western Allies could field. Lazerpig made a video about that, I recommend you watch that one.
Although Lazerpig, as he is wont to do, often makes problematic claims that need to be taken with a gigantic grain of salt. The T-34 was fine. Not great, not terrible. But it's not suited to America's war. The Soviets optimized their tanks to be as cheap as possible, because the average lifetime of a T-34 after being sent into battle was measured in hours (although it should be noted that this was more due to the skill of the Germans and the Soviets' own inexperience than any inherent flaw in the T-34). While the US could make a tank that incorporates some of the better design features of the T-34, while retaining the advantages of the Sherman, that would make a totally new tank.
 
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If you look at German contemporary opinions on both tanks, they are both regarded as decent tanks with their own advantages and disadvantages, if anything the M4 comes out ahead. E.g. they liked the armour layout and firepower of the T-34, but considered crew layout and optics god-awful. Otoh the M4 is praised for its reliability and the gun stabilisation, but long range firepower is lacking and cross-country capability mixed: good at climbing hills, awful on soft ground.

Which essentially means the M4's flaws are mitigated in Western Europe and Italy, where range is often limited and a dense infrastructure means you usually can avoid soggy ground. Meanwhile the flaws of a T-34 would be reinforced, but it's advantages would play less of a role in those theatres. A better tank is not always a straightforward concept, it also depends on a whole lot of outside factors like doctrine, area of operations, opposing capabilities etc.
 

Driftless

Donor
Isn't part of the eval for the T-34 that it was a big step ahead compared to the previous Soviet tanks and its presence moved Soviet armor from a disadvantage to parity, or even superiority to its German contemporaries during the middle stretch of Barbarossa? Also, like the M4 Sherman, it could be cranked out in large numbers - quantity having a quality of its own.
 
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