Jump to content

T34/76 M1942 Late

Recommended Posts

Michael is correct. The crew of the T-34/76 has 2 men in the full upfront, the driver and the radio operator / ball MG gunner, and 2 in the turret, the loader and the tank commander / gunner. The TC gets to drop down and get on the gunsight to aim the main gun, and he pulls the trigger. He can't do that while up scanning the landscape.

Incidentally, the early war tanks like the BT series also shared the TC and gunner role. The T-60 and T-70 have only a 1 man turret and 1 driver, so in those he also gets to load. The Russians get a 3 man turret for the T-34/85, quite late.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An extra set of eyes are useful, certainly. But the gunner's hands are not exactly connected to the commander's eyes by internal nerves. Splitting the role creates another coordination point of failure, as the gunner can't understand what the commander is saying about just to the left of that big oak tree (huh, which one?). The real reason for the smaller turret crews was of course the physical size of the turret - more men just didn't fit. You can design a bigger turret from the start, of course. Then you get things like the Panzer III can't take a gun bigger than 50mm, so you have to convert them all to turretless StuGs once a 50mm isn't a good enough gun for the armor the other guy has.

The Panzer 38 had the same 4 man crew and crew positions at the T-34. The Panzer II had a TC / gunner, loader / radio operator on the right side of the turret, and 1 driver up front - less overwork for the TC than in a T-70, but as much as there is in a BT-7 or a T-34. Just under 1600 of the tanks used in Barbarossa had 3 man turrets - the lower half of the tank fleet had 2 man turrets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've read there were two versions of 85-mm tank guns that competed for approval - D-5T and S-53 - and two turret versions - 2-men and 3-men. S-53 won the trials, but could not be fitted to the 2-men turret, which was ready for production earlier. Apparently, in the rush to get an upgunned T-34 to the front, for a couple of months one plant produced a T-34-85 version with a 2-men turret with the D-5T gun with a run of several hundred. By March 1944, though, the 3-men turret with the S-53 gun was in regular production.

I think Battlefront can be excused for ignoring a stopgap version that was a very small fraction of total numbers produced, and discontinued some time before "Bagration" started.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...