Friends! Today we are starting to publish the translation of the book Osprey Publishing – T-34-85 vs M26 Pershing – Korea 1950. This publication examines the confrontation between American and Soviet art of that period, especially interesting that this “look west” that makes the text especially interesting. Chapter 1. Introduction. The Korean War (1950-53.) is an intriguing opportunity to compare American and Soviet school of tank building. Tanks of this period were designed by former allies 1943-1944, to fight with German Panzer, but they had to face in a new Cold War. And T-34-85, and the M26 Pershing was designed to withstand a German tank Panther debuted on the battlefield in 1943, but the approach among the Soviet and American designers markedly different.
T-34-85 was an evolution of the successful design of the T-34. The car has received a new tower with 85-mm cannon, however, no significant changes in bookings or chassis have been made. As a result, the Soviet Army received its first T-34-85 at the beginning of 1944, ie, six months after the start of development. M26, by contrast, was a completely new machine, designed to replace the troops M4A3E8 Sherman. Compared to T-34-85, the development of M26 Pershing was quite long, the tank entered service only in March 1945, ie a little more than a year after the start of work. From a purely technical point of view, the comparison of the T-34-85 and heavy M26 is not entirely fair. It would be logical to compare the T-44 and M26, whose development began almost simultaneously. However, the T-44 and M26 Pershing never faced each other in battle, so their comparison is purely speculative.
For a more objective assessment, this book will be regarded as M4A3E8, who was closest to the T-34-85 on combat capabilities and characteristics.of Korea was an excellent laboratory for the use of experience in tank units, as most of the fighting tank against tank occurred in summer-autumn 1950. After World War II, the US Army has been an extensive research on the use of armored forces, which made a step forward compared with the doctrine of the US Army since the last war. Statistics show that American units were generally better than North Korea. Although fans of military equipment usually pales in comparison to purely technical aspects such as the thickness of armor, or power tools, experience shows that in the tank battles are no less important and other factors. The quintessence of research can be expressed in the phrase “first I saw the first put pressure, the first shot.” The research experience of the Second World War and Korean War demonstrated that the party first noticed the enemy forces received significant advantage. Tanks at fixed defensive positions are more favorable terms compared to the strikers, as they have a better chance to detect the enemy first. But regardless of the situation, winning the one who was able to accurately aim.
Does the balance on the battlefield technological advantage, such as a more powerful guns and thick armor? The experience of the Korean War proves that technology is no less important than tactics. With a relatively equal footing of the crew, M26 and M46 showed higher efficiency than M4A3E8. However, not all so simple. In the final phase of the conflict easier and old M4 became more comfortable machine warfare. This is primarily due to the changed nature of war – in 1950, the North Korean army had considerable armored forces, but as the building similar units of the US Army, their number was rapidly reduced until they disappeared altogether. In 1951-1953, the tank battles were rare, the role of tanks was reduced to support his infantry. M26 and M46 had great firepower and protection compared to the M4, but less mobility. Faster and more maneuverable, M4 be preferable for such tasks. To be continued…