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Pz III 5cmL60 vs T34 or M4?

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vs T34: Depends on the range and the T34 variant. At above 800m they won't hurt each other frontally. With Tungsten, the PzIII has a small advantage below that to score a penetrating hit. As the probability to kill with a penetration is higher with the 76mm, I'd rank them equal in firepower. The T34 is more mobile, so I'd prefer the T34.

The Sherman is definitely better than the PzIII. Even the Grant is a tough nut for the 50L60.

The M4 is about equal to a PzIVg.

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It's not easy to blow the top off a tank with a shell impact.

15.2cm could do it to Tigers IIRC the soviets bragged.

but most images you see of T-34s with thier turrets off, brewed up internally and the force of the explosion knocked their hats off.

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  • 2 weeks later...

IIIL vs T-34/76 the edge is to the L in pure armor war terms. But marginally. Overall the T-34 is a better tank.

The L kills first by getting partial pens of the rounded turret front of the T-34. With plain AP that happens at around 500m. With tungsten it can happen at 900m, but there usually isn't much of it and you need many "rolls" to go right. (Hit, get the turret, get a good curved armor roll). When you can just keep shooting that will happen. But with 1-3 T rounds you will be back to plain AP before it does, typically. Still a platoon of Ls can KO 1-2 T-34s at medium range this way.

The T-34 can kill at longish ranges if it finds the lower hull. The rest of the front will be penetrated around the same range as the L starts getting its turret partials - 500m.

You might think this would make a completely even duel. Actually, if it were all that were going on the T-34 would be better, since at 500m it can get through any plate and the L still needs a turret hit, while the glacis is immune.

But the equalizer is hull down positioning. Hull down completely covers the Ls weak spot, the lower front hull. While it drastically increases the chance of a hit on the vulnerable turret, for the T-34. As a result, the T-34 doesn't want to fight hull down, but instead hulls exposed. But that means conceeding a big edge in hit probability, if the L is hull down and the T-34 isn't.

Another factor here is that the L can improve its effective armor by rotating the hull (side angle 20-30 degrees). But the T-34s vulnerable spot is the turret, which aligns in duels anyway. The hull is already proof, pretty much.

The L has other advantages in the pure armor war. It has a 3 man turret and better optics. It is more likely to pick up targets fast and get the first hit. The smaller gun and 3 man turret also gives a marginally higher ROF. This is noticable in many on few match ups. 2-3 Ls can bounce so many rounds off a T-34 that it gets too rattled to reply. And can accumulate damage (gun, track) at long range from non-penetrating hits more readily.

I call the T-34 a better tank anyway, because it is much better at fighting infantry. The HE charge is more powerful and the ammo load in HE is immense. Mobility is also very good, better than the L. The L also has thinner sides, which can be easily defeated at long range even with a significant side angle. The sides of the T-34 are weaker than the front, but you need a pretty flat side shot (or close range) to get a low combined angle and thus go in.

As for the Sherman, it completely outclasses the L. Its 75mm will penetrate the Ls front out to medium range. And the L will only kill it in return by getting a side shot or closing to less than 400m. Even then many of the shots will bounce, unless down to more like 200m. The Shermans also has a 3 man turret and a fast one, along with the big HE etc.

(Note - some of this difference is frankly undermodeling of the Russian 76mm, which was probably closer to the performance of the US 75 than it is depicted in CMBB).

A Panzer IV long is superior to a plain Sherman, but they are in the same league. A Panzer III is not. On the other front, a StuG with 80mm front and long 75 outclasses a T-34/76. A Pz IIIL is about equal for armor war, worse in other ways. That's why they stopped making turreted IIIs and made StuGs instead.

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