The myth of the invincible miracle-tanks

The myth of the invincible "miracle-tanks"

One of the legends majestically Russian war of "miracle-tanks", invulnerable, all with sweeping own way, was the myth of the new Union of Russian tanks — the T-34, KV, in the initial period of the war. There have even been nominated guess what, that incite them, the German armed forces had to use aircraft because ordinary antitank weapons were managed. From this flowed the other myth — a prerequisite for the defeat of the war was the first defect "miracle tanks." The blame, of course, lay in the Russian administration, which Tipo not conformed to their value before the war, and Stalin personally.

Examples were given where KV (Klim Voroshilov) vorachivalis from combat with dozens of dents from enemy missiles, but without holes, such facts really were. An even greater enthusiasm aroused memoir Germans, among the most famous memoirs became commander of the 2nd Panzer Group H. Guderian on the basis of his message about the "invulnerability" of T-34 for the German guns, about the hard fight the 4th Armored Division in October 1941 south Mtsensk — it stormed the T-34 tank brigades Katukova. In the end, made the myth, including the Anglo-American literature, the "invincible" T-34 tanks, which are instantly overcome slopes, wetlands, they do not take the shells, they are sowing death and destruction. Although it is clear that the tanks then moved over rough terrain at speeds of less than 10-15 km per hour.

Although it is clear that if the German column stormed into marching order and were taken by surprise, here the German commanders of wine, its commander, Major-General W. von und Langemana Erlenkampa. He has not organized intelligence to advance deploy column in order of battle. The 4th Armored Division had enough money for the organization of anti-tank defense: 50 mm gun Pak-38, 88-mm anti-aircraft guns, gun housing. But the Germans were given a catch off guard, and not to admit their mistakes, piled the blame on "terrible" Russian "miracle tanks." Guderian supported Langemana report, so as not to undermine its reputation.

Interestingly, earlier Guderian argued that: "… Russian tank "T-34" is a common example of the Bolshevik backward technology. This tank can not be compared with the best standards of our tanks made true sons of the Reich and not once have proved themselves … ".

The myth of the invincible "miracle-tanks"

T-34 standard in 1940.

The first new Russian tank battles with the Wehrmacht

The Wehrmacht met in battle with the new Russian tanks early in the war. In conventional exploration, debugged the assistance of tank units with artillery and infantry for the Germans our new tanks would not surprise. German intelligence reported on the new tanks in April 1941, though mistaken in assessing body armor: HF was assessed in 40 mm, and was 40 to 75 mm, and the T-34 — 30 mm, and the main reservation was 40-45 mm.

One of the battles with the new tanks — a clash of the 7th Panzer Division 3rd Panzer Group Hoth on June 22 at the bridge over the Neman near the town of Alytus (Olita) with the 5th Panzer Division Russian, she had 50 new T-34, not in addition to other tanks. The German division was the main Czech armed with tanks, "38 (t)», there were 167, T-34 had a total of 30 units. The fight was hard, the Germans failed to extend the bridgehead, but our T-34 could not knock them, the Germans pulled guns, developed coming into the flank and rear, and a danger of encirclement our division moved. In other words, already in the first day the Wehrmacht was "acquainted" with the new Russian tanks, and no disaster.

Another battle took place near the town of Radzehuv June 23, faced units of the 4th Mechanized Corps and units of the 11th Panzer Division. German tanks broke into the town, and there encountered with our T-34. The fight was tough, but the forces were unequal — German Tank Regiment, reinforced by artillery, and our two tank battalions, without artillery, our departed. According to Russian reports, the Germans lost 20 tanks, 16 anti-tank guns, and our loss — 20 BT tanks, 6 T-34. Thirty were hit by 88-mm anti-aircraft guns. In subsequent battles with the support of the German tank crews 88-mm anti-aircraft guns, taking advantage of a good defensive position, was hit, according to their data, 40-60 Russian tanks, to our knowledge, the detachment of the 4th Mechanized Corps had lost 11 tanks, shot down another 18 enemy tanks. In battle, June 25 88-mm anti-aircraft guns killed 9 KV, Russian data confirm this number.

24 June 6th Armored Division Wehrmacht Reinhardt met a body with the 2nd Armored Division Russian 3rd Mechanized Corps. In Russian division was 30 KV, 220 BT and several 10-s T-26 in Division Landgraf — 13 command tank (without guns), 30 Panzer IV, 47 Panzer II, 155 Czech Panzer 35 (t). But the Germans had various artillery pieces, eventually the Germans were able to fight off the 30 KV, and would later go on to coming together with the 1st Armored Division, surrounding and destroying the Soviet 2nd Armored Division.

The Wehrmacht in the early days of facing new Russian tanks, but that did not stop him, he had a weapon capable of thrash KV and T-34. Most of them were hit by 105-mm guns (10.5 cm) and 88-mm anti-aircraft guns, it confirms and F. Haider.

The myth of the invincible "miracle-tanks"

The myth of the invincible "miracle-tanks"

The myth of the invincible "miracle-tanks"

The main means of combating the "miracle tanks"

Anti-aircraft and field-10.5-cm guns played a major role in the fight against KV and T-34 first war, but then began to play a major role with 50mm Pak 38, it had adopted in 1940. Armor-piercing shell of the anti-tank gun punched 78-mm homogeneous armor at a distance of 500 meters, and it is allowed to hit and HF T-34 in suitable criteria. The main problem was — hit the frontal armor of the T-34, the shells ricocheted, hit it could only be a certain angle.

On 1 June 1941 the Wehrmacht was in 10
47 these guns, as their production capacity, they began to receive anti-tank units, their role in the fight against KV and T-34 is constantly growing. According to the Institute, 48, 1942, at the Pac-38 had 51.6% of the total hits unsafe number of hits.

The myth of the invincible "miracle-tanks"

50 mm gun PAK-38.

The myth of the invincible "miracle-tanks"

German 105-mm light field howitzer.

The myth of the invincible "miracle-tanks"

The cannon of the famous series of German anti-aircraft guns 8,8 cm FlaK 18, 36 and 37. It is considered one of the best anti-aircraft guns the second world war. Successfully used not only as a means of defense, and as anti-tank gun, because the standard anti-tank guns of the Germans in 1941 was weak for languid Russian tanks.

Tasks KV and T-34

After contact with the projectile and mnogokalibernyh bullets in the HF tower could jam, jamming armored caps. HF had a small engine capacity in store, because the motor is often overloaded and overheated, the failure of the main and steering clutches. In addition, "Klim Voroshilov" was kopotliv, malomanevren. Diesel V-2 to the beginning of the war was a "raw", its share did not exceed 100 hours on the shield on the tank 40-70 hours. For example: the German petrol "Maybach" worked 300-400 hours, our GAZ-203 (on tanks T-70) and M-17T (standing on the BT-5, BT-7, T-28, T-35) to 300 hours.

At T-34 armor at a distance of 300-400 meters pierce armor-piercing rounds 37-mm anti-tank guns, pierced side and 20 mm armor-piercing projectiles. In direct contact with the projectile fell through the front driver's hatch and "apple" machine gun, feeble tracks, failure of the main and steering clutches. Ball mount tank machine gun Dektyareva calculated by bullets and shrapnel, a 37-mm shells, it did not hold. The problem was, and the front hatch of the tank.

But we can not say that most of the new tanks "broken", before reaching the battlefield, or had been abandoned due to breakdowns. Overall, approximately half of the tank dying in battle, the Wehrmacht was completely thrashed them well. Other "non-combat losses" entirely understandable, for the retreating army broken, damaged tanks, which can be corrected in a different situation (at the front of a measured or upon the occurrence), forced them to blow up and throw. Also it is right for the tanks, which have run out of fuel during the retreat. Tank units of Wehrmacht, stepping in 1943-1945 years, lost about the same technology because of its inability to evacuate.

The myth of the invincible "miracle-tanks"

The Germans visiting the stricken KV-1 with add. armor shields.

Other ways Wehrmacht

Command of the Wehrmacht, faced with the new Russian tanks tried to strengthen the ability of anti-military. Massively reworked the French 75-mm field gun reference 1897 in an anti-tank gun — gun body superimposed on the carriage PAC-38. But the effect was small, guarantees Russian tanks hit in the forehead was not, because trying to smash into the boards. But in order to successfully hit the tanks, it is necessary to peel from a distance of 180-250 meters. In addition, it was practically no armor-piercing projectiles, only cumulative and high-explosive. Shortcoming by firing projectiles cumulative had low initial velocity of the projectile — the order of 450 m / s, from this complicated the calculation of pre-emption.

Russian tanks thrashed 75-mm cannons German tanks T-IV (Pz. IV) with cumulative ammunition. It was the only German tank missile capable of hitting the T-34 and KV.

A truly effective weapon against KV and T-34 became the German 75-mm anti-tank gun with kinetic armor-piercing shells and, gun PAK-40, Pac-41 (it is produced in small quantities and not for long). Pac-40 became the basis of the German anti-tank defense: in 1942, released 2114 units in 1943 — 8740, in 1944 — 11 728. These guns could knock out a T-34 at a distance of 1,200 meters. However, there was the problem of radial firing, after several rounds of plowshares so deeply buried in the ground that the gun could be deployed only with a tractor.

In other words, the Wehrmacht was required against the new Russian tanks use a languid, motionless guns, which were vulnerable to flanking maneuvers armored vehicles, aircraft, artillery enemy.

The myth of the invincible "miracle-tanks"

The myth of the invincible "miracle-tanks"

PAC-40 German 75-mm anti-tank gun.


The myth of "Russian supertankah" has a very negative information — it elevates the technique degrades people. Allegedly, the Russian had a "miracle tanks", but were not able to use them properly and eventually retreated to Moscow.

While it is clear that even well-protected tanks had their helplessness and were vulnerable to the enemy. It is right and for the latest German tanks — "Tiger", "Panther". There were anti-aircraft guns, languishing housing guns, tanks could smash into the side of anti-tank guns. In addition, tanks, aircraft and languid beat out the artillery, which strikes before the coming of the troops. Pretty quickly, and the Wehrmacht, and reddish Army raised the basic caliber anti-tank guns and 75-mm.

No need to create and another myth — "the helplessness of the new Russian tanks." New Russian tanks had flaws, "childhood", they were eliminated by modernization, and T-34 tank is considered the best gift of the second world war.

The myth of the invincible "miracle-tanks"

T-34, 1941 release in the Panzer Museum in Kubinka.

Guderian G. Memoirs of a fighter. Smolensk, 1999.
Zheltov IG, etc. Unbeknownst to the T-34. Moscow, 2001.
Isaev AV Antisuvorov. 10 legends of the second world war. Moscow, 2004.
Isaev AV Dubno 1941. The greatest tank battle the second world war. Moscow, 2009.
Muller-Gillebrand B. The army Germany 1933-1945 years. Moscow, 2002.

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