German intelligence & the T-34

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
haoster
Member
Posts: 25
Joined: 13 Dec 2002 04:26
Location: CA

Fait accompli

Post by haoster » 22 Dec 2002 22:12

I'm constantly amused by the detailed discussions concerning aspects of WWII, particularly on the Western Front, occurring long after German defeat was certain. Does anyone have information as to why German intelligence failed concerning the existence of the T-34 BEFORE Barbarossa? Their (supposed) Japanese allies had faced a prototype of this tank at Kalkin Gol, yet there was no communication of this important information to Berlin. Likely no one there thought to ask. The Japanese apparently learned little from this encounter, as their tanks were still no match for American armour once the war heated up. A truly amazing oversight.

User avatar
Marcus
Member
Posts: 33963
Joined: 08 Mar 2002 22:35
Location: Europe

Post by Marcus » 22 Dec 2002 22:15

This was split from the "German Lossses of Tanks was Accurate" thread.

/Marcus

User avatar
Oleg Grigoryev
Member
Posts: 5051
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:06
Location: Russia

Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 22 Dec 2002 22:23

Prototype of T-34 was not used at Khalkin-Gol. It was however shown during the 1941May day parade.

Darrin
Member
Posts: 831
Joined: 17 Apr 2002 10:44
Location: Canada

Post by Darrin » 22 Dec 2002 23:53

The T34 was a relacment for the similar weight T-28 it should not have been a huge suprise. Esp since during a recent visit of sov represenatives of the ger panzer IV factories where the constant questioning of the ger officals that this 20 ton tank was thier heviest... What suprised even the most senior ger was it was a good package. Great flotation. Good extremly slopped armour. Good diseal. Good gun. The only things it didn´t have were larger 3 man turrent and a radio. Less trained sov crew and many minor deffects that would over time get fixed.

varjag
Financial supporter
Posts: 4431
Joined: 01 May 2002 01:44
Location: Australia

Post by varjag » 23 Dec 2002 11:44

Haoster - I think the Ghalkin Gol tanks you refer to were the BT-types with a suspension and drive-train similar to the T-34. Hitler himself is supposed to have said that the USSR is a riddle wrapped in an enigma and as we now know he was entirely right - there were plenty of surprises of which the T-34 was just one,albeit one of the nastier. There were plenty of stories in 1941 about 'Russian Monster Tanks' which mainly seems to have related to the KV-1 and KV-2's but perhaps also to T-34's.More surprising perhaps - is that the Germans didn't seem to have picked up the vibes from Finland in March 1939 when I believe the Russians deployed at least some KV's in addition to the T-100, SMK and perhaps the SU-100(M39) - truly monsters compared to bantam-weights in the German armoury.

JariL
Member
Posts: 425
Joined: 15 Mar 2002 08:45
Location: Finland

Finns did not identify KV tanks correctly

Post by JariL » 23 Dec 2002 12:43

Hi,

During Winter War Finns did not identify heavy Soviet tanks correctly. More importantly, the heavies that Finns destroyed could not be recovered due to lack of heavy towing equipment. So the hulks returned into Russian hands when Finns had to abandon their positions. Only some pieces of them could be removed and sent back for testing and analysis. Later on when Finnish-German relations improved, Germans were given at least some of the information gathered during and after Winter War.

Regards,

Jari

User avatar
Juha Hujanen
Financial supporter
Posts: 2196
Joined: 20 Mar 2002 11:32
Location: Suur-Savo,Finland

Post by Juha Hujanen » 23 Dec 2002 18:20

Hello.

Russians send 2 KV-1 straight from factory to Summa sector in karelian isthmus during Winter War.They were part of trial unit commanted by Captain I Kolotushkin.
They were send to action 17.12.39.Finnish 37mm antitank guns scored tens of hits to KV-1 but they didn't have effect to tank.One shot went even in thru gun barrel!.When tank retreated,it towed damaged T-28 tank away.2 days later KV-1 was accepted to mass production.

One T-34 was send to Karelian Isthmus too,but war ended before it get there.It was tested in anti tank obstacles in Mannerheim Line and several weaknes were repaired(main clutch,track mechanism,engine cooling etc.)

Cheers Juha

User avatar
Starinov
Member
Posts: 1490
Joined: 18 Apr 2002 16:29
Location: Québec, Canada.

Post by Starinov » 23 Dec 2002 18:56

About the German Intelligence against USSR, the Wehrmacht had a very limited knowledge of that country. They did not know that the RKKA had better planes (MiG-3, LaGG-5, etc) or better tanks (T-34, KV-1 KV2). You can find proof of that in Iakovlev's memoirs.

Panzerrat
Member
Posts: 257
Joined: 21 Dec 2002 17:49
Location: Australia

T-34

Post by Panzerrat » 23 Dec 2002 20:28

Ok let's assume for the moment that the Japanese did infact face T-34's & that they actually captured (by an act of god or shinto) a T-34 in running order, they tested it, tore it apart & gleaned every scrap of information that they could about this Tank & passed all the info along to the Germans via the German embassador in Japan....ok?
Ok.....well it wouldn't have mattered a damn as the German Embassador to Japan was a Communist spy for Russia! (fact)
This is also why the Russians were able to divert 40 Soviet Siberian Divisions to the German front AFTER consulting the German Ambassador about further possible confrontations with Japanese troops....

User avatar
Starinov
Member
Posts: 1490
Joined: 18 Apr 2002 16:29
Location: Québec, Canada.

Re: T-34

Post by Starinov » 23 Dec 2002 21:24

Panzerrat wrote:This is also why the Russians were able to divert 40 Soviet Siberian Divisions to the German front AFTER consulting the German Ambassador about further possible confrontations with Japanese troops....
Well, not exactly. The Russians were able to send divisions from the Far Eastern Front to the Western ones because, starting on June 22nd, the commander of the Far Eastern Front, General Apanassienko decided that he will amke a mobilisation. So the existing divisions were sent toward the west while he was forming new ones from reserve and even common criminals. The Japanese fought that the divisions were still there while Germans were reporting their arrival at the western Theatre of operations.

Panzerrat
Member
Posts: 257
Joined: 21 Dec 2002 17:49
Location: Australia

Re: T-34

Post by Panzerrat » 23 Dec 2002 21:27

Panzerrat wrote:This is also why the Russians were able to divert 40 Soviet Siberian Divisions to the German front AFTER consulting the German Ambassador about further possible confrontations with Japanese troops....
i have read this same quote in atleast a dozen differnt books on the subject

Panzerrat
Member
Posts: 257
Joined: 21 Dec 2002 17:49
Location: Australia

Post by Panzerrat » 23 Dec 2002 21:29

oh yes i forgot ..i am referring to the forty Divisions that were made available for the Big push against the Germans in the first winter offensive

User avatar
Scott Smith
Member
Posts: 5602
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:17
Location: Arizona

Post by Scott Smith » 24 Dec 2002 03:00

Starinov wrote:About the German Intelligence against USSR, the Wehrmacht had a very limited knowledge of that country. They did not know that the RKKA had better planes (MiG-3, LaGG-5, etc) or better tanks (T-34, KV-1 KV2). You can find proof of that in Iakovlev's memoirs.
Hitler had requested a high-velocity 50mm gun for the Pz III but the Waffenamt thought they knew better. Had this been accomplished the T-34 would have been no rude surprise. Hitler consistently asked for better guns on the basis that a tank with an underpowered gun could only run away faster.
:)

Darrin
Member
Posts: 831
Joined: 17 Apr 2002 10:44
Location: Canada

Post by Darrin » 24 Dec 2002 04:16

Scott Smith wrote:
Starinov wrote:About the German Intelligence against USSR, the Wehrmacht had a very limited knowledge of that country. They did not know that the RKKA had better planes (MiG-3, LaGG-5, etc) or better tanks (T-34, KV-1 KV2). You can find proof of that in Iakovlev's memoirs.
Hitler had requested a high-velocity 50mm gun for the Pz III but the Waffenamt thought they knew better. Had this been accomplished the T-34 would have been no rude surprise. Hitler consistently asked for better guns on the basis that a tank with an underpowered gun could only run away faster.
:)

The panzer generals wanted a 50mm short not long. The german army generals nixed this idea because they had already settled on a 37mm gun for the inf and wanted to keep the guns and ammo supply as similar as possible. Of course the gers benifitted from having TONS of tungstan cored APCR to use in 41 and 42 but. Plus the best normal AP rounds up to this time.

ISU-152
Member
Posts: 711
Joined: 14 Nov 2002 14:02
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Post by ISU-152 » 24 Dec 2002 12:27

Starinov wrote:About the German Intelligence against USSR, the Wehrmacht had a very limited knowledge of that country. They did not know that the RKKA had better planes (MiG-3, LaGG-5, etc) or better tanks (T-34, KV-1 KV2). You can find proof of that in Iakovlev's memoirs.
Yeah, and the nastiest surprise came near Orsha where guards mortars "Katyushas" fired their first shot :D
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Return to “German Strategy & General German Military Discussion”