Wednesday, 17 December 2014
American Tanks in the Korean War
I haven't come across any definitive report of on any tank in Korea, but pulling bits and pieces from various reports is enough to obtain some impression of how American armour performed.
The anti-tank capability of the Sherman is considered adequate.
The Sherman's deficiency in off-road conditions is no big secret, having been explored in the famous Swedish video.
The inadequate HE shell of the 76 mm Sherman previously popped up in WWII era reports. When the only alternative was the 75 mm gun and tough enemy armour was plentiful, this was a drawback that could be begrudgingly accepted. However, in situations where enemy tanks were rare and powerful 90 mm guns were more common, it's hard not to be jealous.
Speaking of anti-infantry weapons, bigger explosives weren't the only things that were needed.
While a 45 or a 76 mm gun would find the front armour of a Sherman a difficult target, the statement about the T-34-85 doesn't stand up during the famous Yugoslavian trials. When tested, the tanks appeared roughly matched, with the Sherman penetrating the T-34-85 from 900-1100 meters with armour piercing rounds, and the T-34-85 penetrating the Sherman from 1000-1100 meters. The tests also showed that the ZiS-3 could indeed penetrate the front of a Sherman, but only at a very close range (250 meters).
While the Sherman gets praise, the heavier tanks, not so much.
Yikes, 60% is not a good number. The phrasing of the evaluation of American tanks vs. the T-34-85 is interesting, as though the writer of the report had significantly more respect for the tanks he was fighting than the people in them, an opinion which appears in other reports as well.