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M4 Sherman "The Right Tank for the Wrong War"

Дата: 13.09.2017 21:15:05
View PostBillT, on Sep 13 2017 - 17:19, said:   To me, Christie's work isn't just about the suspension system. His tanks were also outstandingly fast, and his T3 design implemented sloped front armor as well.  But my main point is that his design evolved into the T-34, which was indisputably the best tank of 1940 and arguably the best tank of WWII.  If the US had held onto Christie, we could have had an American T-34.    The question boils down to this: Was the T-34 superior to the Sherman?     Most tank buffs would immediately answer "Yes".  I'm not convinced, because like you I don't swallow all the Cooper-esque hatred of the M4.   But I still have to admit that the T-34 was better in 1940 and '41 (before the Sherman entered service), and it had several superb features.  So I'm inclined to think that an American-developed T-34, combining its profile and armor layout with American mechanical parts and ergonomics, would have been better than either the Sherman or the T-34. 

The_Chieftain:   Mmm... I take your points, though I'm not sure I find them convincing. Yes, the T-34 is arguably the best tank in the world in 1940/41. I think, though, one must also investigate the question of why the US wasn't using the designs. Yes, I know that Christie was a bit difficult to work with, but does that invalidate the reasons that the US Army may have stuck with the bogies, such as rugged reliability and internal space? Again, if there was ever any one country which sacrificed anything necessary in terms of capability to make sure that the tank built would do what it was expected to do as effectively as possible at all times, it was the US. One might also inquire as to how US tank design may have progressed had they had the impetus of being a continental power without the safety provided by an ocean secured by a large Navy, even given the fiscal constraints the US Army was under in the 1930s. Perhaps the US tank of 1940 might actually be a bit better than the M2 Medium which it had, though there are equally arguments that it wouldn't have given the thinking behind US tank design requirements. After all, the 37mm was a perfectly reasonable anti-tank gun, a position generally shared by Germany and the UK at the time, after all.    Fundamentally, the question is "If the US could have had a T-34 of its own in 1940, would it have chosen to do so, or would it still have built something different?" I don't know if there truly is an answer to that counterfactual.

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