The Deadliest Tank of WWII

The Deadliest Tank of WWII

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German Field Marshal von Kleist called it
the “best tank of World War two.” Panzer leader General Heinz Guderian, upon
first encountering the Red Army’s T-34, said that the tank enjoyed “vast superiority”
over German tanks. The Soviets wove legendary tales around its
incredible performance on the battlefields of Eastern Europe- but what made the T-34
the best tank of World War II exactly? Design on the T-34 began late in 1930, when
the Red Army was mostly equipped with T-26 or Bystrokhodny light tanks, which were fast
and agile units but were seriously lacking in protection and firepower. Both tanks had seen action during the Spanish
civil war, when Soviet forces backed up Spanish communists, and during the Soviet Union’s
undeclared border war with Japan. During the 1938 to 1939 border skirmish with
Japan, the Red Army’s tanks were roundly defeated by the low-powered, but still superior Japanese
Type 95 tanks. Infantrymen also scored many kills on Soviet
tanks by assaulting them with Molotov cocktails, which turned the tank into a giant fireball
when flaming gasoline dripped through chinks in the poorly welded armor and into the tank’s
engine compartment. Clearly, the Soviet Union needed a replacement
tank for its ground forces, and it needed one as soon as possible. Though Hitler had declared a non-aggression
pact with the Soviet Union, its poor performance against both Japan and then later against
Finland in the Winter War sent a strong signal that the Red Army was weak, and there was
nothing Stalin feared more than Hitler turning his forces loose on him. The first prototypes of the T-34 entered production
in 1939, and featured a coil-spring Christie suspension similar to the previous BT series
of tanks, allowing them to achieve higher speeds than other tanks in service around
the world. The new track design also gave the entire
tank an incredibly low ground pressure of .64 kg/cm2, or just slightly higher than the
pressure the average human footprint exerts on the ground. This meant that the T-34 would be much more
maneuverable and less likely to get bogged down by snow and thick mud- two environments
that were intimately familiar to people living on Russia’s western steppes. The gasoline engine, so vulnerable to going
up in flames from molotov attack, was replaced with a diesel engine, giving it enough horsepower
to push the T-34 along at speeds of up to 35 mph (56 kph). This made the T-34 ten miles an hour faster
than the German Panzer III or Panzer IV. It also featured a revolutionary sloped armor
design that was 45mm thick. The sixty degree slope on the armor effectively
meant that any incoming round had to penetrate an extra 5mm of armor, increasing armor protection
without adding excess weight. The slope however also helped ensure that
most incoming projectiles on a horizontal trajectory would bounce harmlessly off the
armor. The main gun was a major upgrade over previous
Soviet designs, and featured a 76mm cannon with a muzzle velocity of around 2,000 ft/s
(600 m/s), allowing the T-34 to score kills on any other tank in the world at even long
ranges. With so much fanfare around the production
of the T-34, designer Mikhail Koshkin completed two prototypes in January of 1940 and decided
to subject the tanks to an extremely grueling trial by fire. He drove both tanks from Ukraine to Moscow,
or about 745 miles (1200 km), and then to the border with Finland, on to Kiev, and lastly
back to the factory in Chharkov. The incredible endurance test proved that
the tanks were built to last and structurally sound, and only minor modifications were required
to the suspension and drivetrain before the tank went into full-scale production. However, Koshkin ended up contracting pneumonia
during the journey and would die, replaced as head of the T-34 program by his deputy,
Alexander Morozov. With a spectacular endurance trial under its
belt, full-scale production of the T-34 began in september of 1941 at the Chharkov Komintern
Locomotive plant, with concurrent production beginning six months later at the Stalingrad
Tractor Factory. The tank would see four different versions,
all equipped with the mighty 76mm gun, and the first version of the T-34 was formally
recognized by the Red Army as the Model 1940. Unfortunately though Soviet engineering was
quickly catching up with the rest of the world, its manufacturing still lacked the raw skill
and expertise needed to build modern tanks. Instead of the much more powerful and safer
V 12 diesel engine, many early T-34s were instead fitted with MT-17 gasoline engines
due to difficulty in the manufacturing process of the V 12s. The initial L-11 76mm gun was also quickly
found to have very poor penetration capability against armored targets, and was hastily replaced
with the F-34 76mm gun. With an improved muzzle velocity of 2130 ft/s
(650 m/s), the new cannon proved more than effective at punching through German armor,
and the new model of T-34 was designated as the Model 1941- seeing as it began to enter
service in the summer of 1941. On June 22nd, 1941, Hitler launched Operation
Barbarossa, his planned killing stroke to defeat the communist government of the Soviet
Union. With more than three million soldiers, 150
divisions, and 3,000 tanks making up three army groups, the German advanced created an
initial front more than 1,800 miles long. Initially the Germans scored victory after
victory, pushing the Soviet forces ever further back. However a few months after the start of the
offensive, the Red Army began to receive the T-34 in force and the Germans were shocked
at the mighty new tanks leading Soviet counter-attacks. German Panzer IIIs found that their 50mm gun
was all but useless against the sloped frontal armor of the T-34, as was the 50mm Pak 38
anti-tank gun used by support units. German tank commanders were soon finding that
their only hope of stopping the T-34 was to outmaneuver it- no easy feat given that the
T-34 was light on its feet and very capable within the muddy and snowy conditions of western
Russia, while heavy German panzers tended to bog down. Nonetheless, superior German training saw
Soviet forces outmaneuvered time and again, and the t-34 suffered heavy casualties, though
even with their inferior training and communications, T-34s managed to stop the German advance into
the Soviet Union. For all its strengths though, the T-34 had
some serious drawbacks as well. First was the poor Soviet workmanship, as
the T-34 was largely built by an inexperienced work force with very low expertise. The need to hurry tanks through the production
process saw many corners cut, and overall while the T-34 was one of the best designed
tanks of the second world war, it was often betrayed in reality by the poor workmanship
that went into its construction. Physical failures experienced by the tank
were often more the fault of the rushed labor that went into its construction and less a
fault with the core design itself. The T-34 also had a two-man, manually traversed
turret which required the commander to also act as a gunner. This would place a huge workload on the tank
commander which would take precious time away from his most vital task: actually commanding
the tank. For platoon leaders this made maintaining
command and control over an entire platoon, and not just his own tank, virtually impossible,
and was one of the leading causes for the poor performance of Soviet tank forces against
the Germans. The turret also lacked a basket, or raised
floor which moved along with the turret as the turret turned from side to side, which
meant that tank crews were constantly in danger of tripping over spent shells as the turret
moved. Visibility was also a major problem for T-34
tank commanders, as the tank lacked a cupola and periscopes standard amongst all other
allied tanks. This problem was rectified in the T-34 Model
1943, but until then tank commanders often entered into battle with the main hatch physically
open, ducking behind it as they struggled to make sense of the battlefield. Needless to say riding into battle with your
main hatch open was a very bad idea, but better than riding into battle blind. The armor of the T-34 was also extremely rigid,
and would fail to provide any ‘give’ when struck by a round. This meant that the force of the impacting
round may not penetrate the thick armor, but could still generate lethal steel splinters
on the inside of the tank which would kill or seriously injure crew members. The steep slope of the armor also made the
T-34 a very cramped machine, and when US Army engineers tested a T-34 in 1942 they were
amazed that the Soviets could fit four fully-equipped crewmen inside the tank. The cramped space however also meant that
the sides of the hull had to be lined with fuel cells which could be easily breached
if hit by armor-piercing rounds. One other major drawback of the T-34 was the
lack of a radio on each tank, with only the tanks of a platoon leader being equipped with
a radio. Communications between tanks was instead meant
to be done with flags, an absolutely flabbergasting proposition amidst the ferocity of tank combat. While German tanks were coordinating with
each other via radio, the Soviet tankers were expected to somehow wave flags at each other
in order to coordinate their movements- and this with the T-34’s notoriously low visibility. As a result, despite the capabilities of the
T-34, Soviet tankers were routinely outfought by the Germans. The most serious vulnerability of the T-34
though was the very poor workmanship, with random tests of newly completed T-34s in 1942
showing that only 7% were free of major defects. In 1943 random T-34s were taken directly from
the production lines and subjected to a 300km reliability trial, with less than 8% of T-34s
being able to complete the trial without breaking down. Just on their way to combat Soviet tank brigades
were known to experience losses of 30% to 50% of their tanks in transit, without even
seeing enemy action, and the average T-34 lasted less than 124 miles (200 km) before
needing major repairs or overhauls. A T-34 could barely get through its first
full tank of diesel before needing repair. With all these vulnerabilities it can be hard
to truly consider the T-34 the best tank of World War II, but it’s important to remember
that many of the T-34s defects were down to the poor workmanship of what was essentially
a hastily assembled labor force of unskilled peasants. The soviets were desperate, with their backs
up against the wall, and it showed in the many, many defects built into the T-34. Yet the core design on paper was always good,
and its tactical limitations and vulnerabilities were quickly addressed, with fixes implemented
into new models. However, one of the key qualities that makes
the T-34 the best tank of World War II was the ease with which it could be produced,
with the Soviets producing over 30,000 T-34s between 1941 and 1943, versus just over 5,000
German Panzer IVs. The T-34 was truly great because it may not
have been the best engineered design, but it was a very strong design that could be
built quickly and cheaply even with a very inexperienced and poor quality workforce,
which turned out to be a critical advantage over the German’s Tiger and Panzer tanks. What do you think was really the best tank
of World War II? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments, and as always
if you enjoyed this video don’t’ forget to Like, Share, and Subscribe for more great
content!

100 thoughts on “The Deadliest Tank of WWII

  • The Infographics Show Post author

    What type of weapon or machine would you use to make a counterattack against this beast?

  • HSSQ Post author

    The best confirmed tank of WW2 was Panzerkampfwagen V Panther, not a Russian can its "the best" in a cost/production ratio

  • MelonBot _HD Post author

    What about the tiger?

  • nikolai bahtin Post author

    7:58 man this guy doesnt know his staff every tank commander commanded with the hatch open most of the time so you can see whats going on even with better optics visibility was low

  • Christopher Oldeke Post author

    you guys dont know anything about tanks

  • nsalex Post author

    I would say the Panther tank was the best… Russians just had a TON of T-34’s… that’s why they defeated German tanks

  • Luka Milicevic Post author

    Every tank has his pro and cons sou cant say which one was the best

  • Blitzwing2011 Post author

    *USSR Tank Commander trying to command his tank while trying to communicate with other T-34s*: BLYAT

  • Storm Trooper Post author

    Maus?

  • Odell_salty_ 1 Post author

    That’s an IS or a KV-1S on the thumbnail

  • RayX16 Post author

    The Germans never saw the T34 as tough tanks that can't be killed they saw them as tanks that are everywhere and the never stop coming. They might have been shell magnets but they are moths to a flame,they don't stop coming.

  • Sheri Patriquin Post author

    Tiger 1H and panther late war are we a joke to you

  • Da Soviet Union Post author

    Cant beat Soviet Steel

  • Almond Keith dela Pena Post author

    The t-34 is not 1st tank with sloped armor
    The 1st tank with sloped armor can be found in world war one like the mark 1 or the FT-17

  • Almond Keith dela Pena Post author

    Why are all t-34s seen are late model t34-85s and not t34-76

  • Almond Keith dela Pena Post author

    In 5:14 you can see german tiger protypes

  • south SLAV Post author

    Infographics: it was the best tank of ww2 but made poorly because peasants work in factory's

    Me: they were literally made poorly because the USSR needed the numbers not the quality it was literally mad to last maybe 10 hours in combat if lucky so they used easy to make lower quality parts that are easy to switch out when broken

  • Pele Grobar Post author

    I might add that the best reason the t34 was very effective is cuz it supported infantry very well and soviets relied a lot on infantry

  • Pete Post author

    Molotov cocktail was invented in 1939 during winter war fought between Finns and the Soviets so saying that japanese infantry men used molotov cocktails in the border conflict is false those might have been burning bottles but one cannot simply say that those were molotov cocktails same would be if you called STG-44 as a AR-15.

    And why do you keep showing pictures of t-34-85 in the video but you are talking about t-34? T-34 was worse than t-34-85

  • David Spencer Post author

    I'm like video

  • The Radiated Gamer Post author

    Infographics you are wrong that's a upgraded gun like the t34 85 not the original

  • little gamer Post author

    im not a historian or tanker so take what i say with a grain of salt and correct me if im wrong. The T34 was poorly made because Russia didn't have much resources so they cut corners where they can even its small it was cut out and small improvements where made over time to deal with some stuff. but yes they where poorly constructed built really fast. the idea of the of the T34 was to be built cheaply and fast

  • Ratul Ghosh Post author

    All hail mighty tiger(Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E)🙌

  • Leo Vang Post author

    That is a t34 85 not t34, you guys don't even talk about the t34 85. Also the reason for the poor quality is to mass produce but you act like it was a side affect. Also every tank of ww2 faced reliability problems and the t34 was meant to breakdown so that you could quickly repair it with ease.
    I thought you guys do research.

  • uesdto signin Post author

    So, because of it is easy to build, it has low quality…

  • Edward Zhao Post author

    sloped armor isn't revolutionary

  • Jennifer Askew Post author

    Nuke

  • lampshade Post author

    Wrong
    The RSO Pak.37 is clearly the best tank

  • Joven Mangges Post author

    Give them Germans high quality steel,metals and fuel, Panther would be the best at blowing up tanks.

  • Oc Boi Post author

    105mm Sherman: laughs in derp

  • Tunewar K. Post author

    3:05 those guns are not the right ones 😅

  • darakomeo 2 Post author

    No me I think the sherman was the. Best tank because of all its involvement in all theaters and its survival rate.

  • We need Money Post author

    All though it wasn’t built I choose the Land Cruiser.who knows what that is?

  • TanquesDeWW2 - español Post author

    Every war thunder player be like:(•_•)wAT u FACkInG liER,U So STOOpid,AAAAAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHHA,FOr dee fatheR LaND,STURMPANZER LAUGH AT THESE PEASENTS

  • First Galactic Empire Post author

    The Sherman was a better tank than the T-34

  • 3K views Post author

    War thunder players you know what to get

  • John Fox Post author

    2:30 the 60° angle means that it doubled the armor protection.
    45 *2 = 90 not 5mm

  • Cheeki Doggo Post author

    Infographics Show: The T-34-85 was the best overall tank during World War 2
    Bob Semple Tank: Am I a joke to you?

  • John Fox Post author

    Check your sources again and learn a bit more about military tech, your videos on military tech are severely flawed

  • Jabulina The seal Post author

    Better be the T-34

    Ahaha nice

  • Anti Justin.Y Post author

    panzerfaust has joined the chat

  • Battle Bricks Post author

    The German panthers were still better one on one

  • Alex Lobachyev Post author

    Can we have the history about the Soviets heavy tank KV1 during ww2 its not talked about much even in most history books or documentaries

  • Real _Mistakes Post author

    Russian bias

  • YSN Rodd Post author

    WW2🤣 can’t wait for WW3

  • Larry Swanson Post author

    the 'deadliest' tank of ww2? the m4 sherman

  • FBI Post author

    I saw this and immediately clicked for the comments

  • FBI Post author

    The bit about radios is just plain wrong they didn’t have them on the initial vehicles but they did after 1941

  • HyperClaw875513 Post author

    Yes the deadliest tank in wwll perfect not immune to a nuke tho haha 😆

  • wolf paw Post author

    The T-34 was not the best! The panther and tiger 1 was !

  • Dean V Post author

    laughs in maus

  • Brick Boy Post author

    Ok I’m gonna start a comment war

    The Sherman 76 M4A3E8 was better than any other tank during WW2

  • Alex P Post author

    my grand grandpa helped build the tank

  • tigercap100 Post author

    Union labor. Smh

  • Erik Viets Post author

    M4 (76) > T-34-76

  • david ames Post author

    Id lay that title to the Karl gerat srry IFS but them Germans were finna advanced

  • PanzerSt0rm Yeet Post author

    No,the vast tank is the tiger

  • Dave the Tech Maineiac Post author

    Anyone else notice that every time he means to say workmanship, he mispronounces it as works-manship? 10:14

  • BRANDEN ZDUN Post author

    They use the t-34-85 lol

  • Max lombardi Post author

    There was no one best tank of WWII, yet the best tank for each faction. Ex the sherman for the US and UK, T-34 for the Soviets and Panther for Germany

  • Blitz Mode Post author

    The Tiger and Panther tanks are still the best. The Tiger II I think was the deadliest

  • Luke Jackson Post author

    I thought that the Tiger-1 was the best

  • Marion Copes Post author

    The panther,tiger 1 were the deadliest tanks of ww2

  • Marion Copes Post author

    And there was no best tank of ww2

  • Marion Copes Post author

    The panther's speed was 40 or 44 mph

  • The Arisen Post author

    1. When Germany first encountered the T-34 they mostly were still using PZ. II or 38T, etc, so naturally the T-34 outclasses them as this was also before the PZ. IV got it's "long" 75mm.
    2. In the beginning there were only a few hundred T-34s. Most Russian tanks were T-26 or BT-7s
    3. T-34 was the most destroyed tank of WW2 by a mile.
    4. T-34 took quite a beating from the M4A3E8 in Korea
    5. What made the T-34 great was it's balance of performance and cheapness

  • Michael Kekoc Post author

    Okok I gotta stretch this out over 10m Ummm… Workmanship workmanship workmanship, as a matter of fact workmanship and workmanship workmanship

  • Marion Copes Post author

    German tanks still outgunned russian t-34

  • Marion Copes Post author

    6 month service life ,18 hours after combat

  • DRGN Chungus Post author

    Soviet KV-2

  • Toaster Tank Post author

    I prefer German things

  • Will Challenge Post author

    Interesting article narrated with a lot of authority. However the narative is an expression of a well written opinion. The criteria used for classifying the deadliest tank are subjective and implicit. I would be more convinced if objective reasoning was used. For instance, if the total number of kills of a particulat tank type were the criteria, then statistically, the two most mass produced tanks are likely to be winners. i.e. Sherman or T34. Note that in Korea and the various middle eastern conflicts, the Sherman usually outperformed the T34 indicating that it had the edge in battles. The loss ratio of Shermans to Tigers or panthers was 5:1 compared to the T34 which was 9:1. All things considered, this makes the Sherman a deadlier tank than the T34.
    However the title did not state, "The Deadliest Tank Type of WW2" It stated "The Deadliest Tank of WW2" (singular)
    If you look at the worlds greatest tank aces, the number one spot goes to Kurt Knispel who scored most of his 200 odd kills in a Tiger 1. The number 2 spot goes to Otto Carius who scored most of his 150+ kills in a Tiger 1.
    The third most prolific tank ace was Michael Wittmann with 138 kills. Gues what he used to command? You got it a Tiger 1.
    The tiger 2 was a better tank but not around long enough to score the kills that Tiger 1 achieved.
    The JS1 and JS2 tanks were produced in much greater numbers than Tiger 1 and 2 yet we dont see Soviet aces with the huge number of kills that the Germans achieved.
    Then when you look at the various appraisals of the T34 by tank experts such as "The Chieftain", he rates the Panzer 3 as superior to the early T34-76 based on a number of factors. He states his criteria unambiguously.
    This article is well narrated and well presented, but for me it lacks the objectivity to convince me.

  • Felix James Ainsley Post author

    yeah… deadly… to its crew though.

  • Mohammed Rameez Post author

    This is a war thunder video

  • PREDATOR THE WARRIOR Post author

    Aaaaa t34 wasn't the best tank in ww2 it was the tiger 1 and 1

  • Boss Boomer Post author

    The t34 was designed to be cheap, require low manpower, and was often low quality when manufactured. Germany had way more superior tank designs. The reason the Soviets won the war was because they had more than 3x the amount of tanks than the Germans. This just proves how unreliable and braised these channels cam be.

  • - Demencia Post author

    Tiger: Am I a joke to you ?

  • MegaKaiser45 Post author

    Nope! The Panther was.

  • MarKo's Modern Life Post author

    Video: It was the best tank
    Also Video: It was a real POS

  • PetrKDN Post author

    All the t34 models you have shown have the turret and gun of a T34-85

  • Edward Moore Post author

    What about the T-34-85 or the version of the T-34 that had a 100 mm cannon? I still enjoyed the video though.

  • D c Post author

    Lol I'm done with this channel

  • BungaBoy Post author

    Oh yeah these comments are gonna be a great time

  • Robert Dawson Post author

    When Germany invaded the USSR the Red Army heavy tanks caused a lot of problems for German tanks and artillery. Fortunately for the Germans heavy tank numbers were small.

  • MR AD Post author

    T34 tactical plan of defeating a tiger tank? Outnumber their ammunition da very simple.

  • MilitaryTank Post author

    I smell propaganda over here

  • Adolf Hitler Post author

    T-34,the best tank in the world.
    Panzer V Panther: Am I a joke to you?

  • _ DU_NUT_TUCH_ME _ Post author

    Russian Bias

  • Peridot Post author

    The Sherman. Mass Quantities, Many Improvements, seen all Fronts both during and post World War 2. Changed without slowing of Production, And was Built to Last. Unlike the T-34, Not built to last, Parts would break down, and No Heating for the Crew.

  • White343 Post author

    Actually, the Best Tank of the Second World War were the M4 Shermans with their second generation variants.

    1) Produced in a bit over than 49.000 whilst Russia outproduced the Sherman.

    2) Out from 49.000 being produced, only 40% were distributed for lend-lease. The Russian received the M4 Shermans with Diesel engines called "Emcha" and they proved that it performed better than their T-34's due to its great situational awareness on the second-generation Sherman. The Russian put the Emchas that were wholly present in the 3rd Guards Tank and the 3rd Mechanized Force.

    3) The M4's have seen in different fronts from North Africa, Eastern Europe, Italy, Western Europe and in the Jungles of South-East Asia.

    4) They were adaptable as more variation of field modifications were seen by troops.

  • Simo Häyhö Post author

    Tiger was still superior 😉

  • Luminus YT Post author

    True, I keep on getting 1 shot by this tank in War Thunder

  • 439sparky1 Post author

    Why they are using a VK 36.01H picture for the Germans is beyond me.

  • N0v47 D1n0 Post author

    On my opinion the T-34/85 and the Sherman Firefly and the Panther tanks

  • R Q Post author

    "Easy to produce" yet somehow all the soviet workers still messed it up

  • LIDZRU Post author

    This video was sponsored by World of tank and war thunder

  • Boubacar Ba Post author

    The tiger tank is better

  • Nomis9918 Post author

    2:24 the sloped armour was not revolutionary. It was seen on many tanks before. The germans just didnt use it on the Panzer 3 and 4 because it Limits the ergonomics for the Crew and the build up of the interior.

  • The Real WrongStep. Post author

    Russia in ww2: We have T-34
    Finland in ww2:We have skies

  • Dr Whiskey Tango Post author

    This was so bad and inacurate that i couldn`t help unsubscibing. The sheer amount of false information………

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