Monday, 20 April 2020

T-34-85 Reliability, 1945

The service life of the T-34 tank continued to increase throughout the war. The engine could be expected to put out 250 hours of service by 1945, with individual drivers able to get to 300. These were not individual occurrences, as the 2nd Guards Tank Army's experience shows.


"Expenditure of engine lifespan during the period of crew cohesion training and combat by February 11th, 1945
  • IS-2, ISU-122: 180-190 hours
  • T-34, SU-85: 185-190 hours
  • M4A2: 195-205 hours
  • Valentine Mk.IX: 215-220 hours
  • SU-76: 180-190 hours"

This was not the end. Many of the tanks that were issued in January-February of 1945 fought with the 2nd Guards Tank Army all the way into Berlin. Every vehicle that was sent in for repairs for mechanical reasons exceeded its service quota.




Exceeded by
Vehicle
Up to 25%
25-50%
50-75%
75-100%
Total
T-34
2
12
11
4
29
SU-76
-
3
6
3
12
IS-2
3
5
-
2
10
Valentine Mk.IX
2
-
1
-
3
ISU-122
-
-
-
7
7
Percentage of total:
11%
33%
30%
26%
100%


The increase in engine service life had other side effects. For instance, the engine no longer set the limit to the tank's lifespan, but other components became the bottleneck.


"The spring suspension of the T-34 must be replaced with the torsion bar suspension, which proved itself on KV and IS tanks. It does not require any repairs or service and allows for an extended service life, while taking up less space inside the tank. The T-34's suspension springs are bulky, and must be replaced every 300-350 hours due to wear on the guide rods and breaking of springs."

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