Friday 5 April 2013

Aberdeen: Long Term Influence

Two previous articles described the initial impression of the T-34 and KV-1 shipped to Aberdeen, and the response of the officers to the test results. Here is the lasting impact that these tanks had on American tank building practices.

"Second report on the new American T23, T25, and T26 tanks

Two months have passed since the first report on new American tanks. Since then, I have personally familiarized myself with them on the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. I was allowed to drive them, and was given a large amount of information on the characteristics and technical details. The latter allows me to make more or less final conclusions.

All new tanks (including experimental T20 and T20E1 tanks, which were experimental and transitional models) are very obviously inspired by European models in their overall form, silhouette, and other elements. This, undoubtedly, was caused as much by isolated American experience as a delayed reaction to samples of modern tanks available to them, including our and German tanks.

Our tanks' traits can be found in many new American vehicles, especially in the hull shape, turret, chassis (suspension, leading wheel location, track construction).

American officers, including officers at Aberdeen, insist that samples of Soviet tanks (KV and T-34) that arrived in 1942 were the basis for newly developed tanks, especially the T25 and T26. The main idea of these tank programs is that new American tanks must catch up to European tanks in technical and combat qualities, such as firepower, reliability, and armour protection. "

CAMD RF 38-11355-2222

One very notable contribution to American tank development these Soviet tanks made was the idea of torsion bars. Of course, the German PzIII also had torsion bars, but the first captured PzIIIs did not arrive in America until after this report was compiled.

The British, on the other hand, went for a much more direct approach, which will be covered in a later article.

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