Monday, 16 March 2015
Tank Reliability in the Korean War
In a previous article, I took a look at how many vehicles managed to reach the battlefield, and how many broke on the way there. Let's take a look at similar figures from several other sources. "The Employment of Armor in Korea, Volume I" by ORO contains information on the reliability of T-34-85 and SU-76, based on knocked out enemy vehicles.
Only 2% tanks lost to mechanical failure! Even assuming that no tanks were abandoned due to cowardice, a lack of fuel, or some other other such cause, that is only 27.5% of all losses. An improvement over T-34 tanks in 1942, especially considering that the conditions these tanks operated in could, at best, be described as suboptimal.
In short, no spare parts, no tools, and maintenance instructions out of the window, certainly harsher conditions than Soviet tanks faced.
Even better, no vehicles lost to breakdowns and 22% abandonment. Sadly, I have no Soviet SU-76 or even T-70 figures to compare them to.
Not so bad, right? Let's see what the Americans achieved under the same conditions.
These are some pretty sad figures, over 70% lost due to non-enemy action. Much higher than Soviet tanks in the same theater, and the Americans had the advantage of training and engineering vehicles present.