Monday, 27 May 2019

T-34s vs Tiger

"
Report
On military trials of T-34 and T-34-85 tanks against the T-6 "Tiger" tank
2nd Tank Battalion, 63rd Guards Tank Brigade
June 16th, 1944

1. The 2nd Tank Battalion fired the guns. The battalion commander, Guards Captain Chirkov, was directed by the brigade commander, Guards Colonel Fomichev, in the presence of the deputy commander of the 10th Guards Tank Corps, Guards Colonel Belov, Chief of Staff of the 18th Army, and the senior officers of the 18th Army.

2. Firing was done against a German Tiger tank from 400, 600, 800, and 1300 meters.

The 76 mm ZIS-5 gun was fired from 600 meters. The armour piercing shell was used. 18 shots were made, 16 hit. Target: the side of the tank. Diagram of the impacts:


Explanation:
  1. Shots ##1,2, and 3 hit the turret. No penetrations were made, but big dents were formed.
  2. Shots #4-16 made large dents in the hull.
The 76 mm ZIS-5 tank gun was fired from 400 meters. The armour piercing shell was used. 10 shots were made, 10 hit. Target: the side of the tank. [Translator's note: the above diagram was used for this test and the previous one].

Explanation:
  • Red colour: complete penetrations
  • Blue colour: dents
The 76 mm ZIS-5 gun was fired from 300 meters. The subcaliber armour piercing shell was used. 2 shots were made, 2 hit. Target: the side of the tank.

Explanation: Shot #1 marked in yellow hit the turret ring and jammed it. Shot #2 hit the gun mantlet and destroyed the gun.

The 85 mm gun was fired from 600 meters. The armour piercing shell was used. 5 shots were made, 3 hit, one ricocheted. Target: tank front. Diagram of the penetrations:


Explanation: #1-4 were complete penetrations. The driver's observation block was knocked through. The rounds exploded inside the tank and it caught fire.

The 85 mm gun was fired from 1300 meters. The armour piercing shell was used. 4 shots were made, 3 hit.

Explanation: all shots (blue colour) left dents.

The 85 mm gun was fired from 800 meters. The armour piercing shell was used. Two shots were made, two hit. Target: tank side.

Diagram of the penetrations:


Explanation: Shot #1 went through completely. The shell blew up inside the tank. Shot #2 made a penetration in the upper part of the side armour.

The 85 mm gun was fired from 1300 meters. The armour piercing shell was used. 3 shots were fired, 2 hit. Target: tank side.

Explanation: Shot #3 penetrated completely. The shell blew up inside the tank. Shot #4 (blue colour) made a dent.

Conclusions:
  1. The crews are well prepared for firing at enemy tanks. 
  2. The officers and tankers of the 18th Army saw in practice that the Tiger should not frighten a skilled tanker and that it burns just like any other enemy tank.
  3. The T-34-85 can penetrate the side of the Tiger from 1000-1300 meters. If the penetration is not complete, then the crew of the Tiger will still be knocked out with fragments of their own armour. The tank's mechanisms and sights are destroyed.
  4. The most vulnerable parts of the tank are the suspension and the armour behind it, side armour, and driver's observation device.
  5. The T-34 tank armed with the 76 mm ZIS-5 gun can penetrate the Tiger from the side at a range of up to 400 meters. At a range of over 400 meters, dents are formed that often knock out the crew.
Commander of the 63rd Guards Tank Brigade, Guards Colonel Fomichev
Chief of Staff of the Brigade, Guards Lieutenant Colonel Baranov
Commander of the 2nd Tank Battalion of the 63rd Guards Tank Brigade, Chirnov."

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