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German Tests Against T34 Armor


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During May 1942, the Germans duplicated T34 armor in 40mm through 53mm plates and fired 37mm L45 and 50mm L60 rounds at the armor (100m range). Following is summary of 50mm L60 results:

40.5mm at 40°, 3 penetrations, 2 failures

Since all the hits should have succeeded, something odd occurred. May be shatter gap, may be cracked rounds. Sure penetrations turn into 40% failure rate.

52mm at 55°, 4 failures

46mm at 60°, 1 penetration, 3 failures

German combat experience showed that 50mm ATG could penetrate T34 glacis at 100m if everything was in favor of round

52mm at 61°, 4 failures

47mm at 64.5°, 3 failures

43mm at 65°, 1 success, 2 failures

This supports occasional penetration of T34 glacis if everything is just right

Based on analysis of the above data, T34 high hardness armor appears to be less resistant than good quality medium hardness plate (quality is less than 1.00 against 50mm hits).

Above summary thicknesses are averages, actual thicknesses at each angle varied.

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Here is the May 1942 German data for 37mm ATG against T34 armor using AP rounds at 100m:

40.6mm plate: shots at 40° and above would not cause a crack on inside of plate (sicher criteria, similar to U.S. Army Ballistic Limit)

45.8mm plate: shots at 21°and above do not cause through the plate cracks

47.7mm plate: shots at 15° and above cause no through cracking

51.9mm plate: hits above 10.5° cause no cracks through plate

Combat stories indicating that 37mm ATG AP penetrated 45mm at 40° T34 side at 300m range appear highly questionable when they are compared to above firing trial results.

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