This is coolbert:
"If the Russians ever produce this tank on an assembly line, we will have lost the war." - - Von Reichenau.
Here from the wiki entry on the German General Walther von Reichenau:
"During the offensive [Barbarossa], Reichenau inspected every single Russian tank he came across. He would enter each tank and, using a ruler, he would examine the thickness of the armor. Upon examining a T-34 Tank, he told his officers, 'If the Russians ever produce this tank on an assembly line, we will have lost the war.'"
This is the comment of Walther von Reichenau. Senior German commander during the invasion of the Soviet Union, 1941, a devoted Nazi and a favorite of Hitler. [and note the wearing of the monocle too!]
A man of some considerable presence, a strong personality and a military commander of ability.
Speaking of the T-34 tank, von Reichenau and the remainder of the German high command for that matter, German military intelligence as well, were totally UNAWARE of the existence of and the formidable nature of the Soviet T-34 tank, UNTIL ENCOUNTERING THE MACHINE IN BATTLE!!
NO General! NOT IF the Russian was ever able to produce this tank! The Russian was ALREADY mass producing the T-34! And was able to do so during the entire war, and manufacture in the most prodigious numbers, at the end of the war being able to field entire TANK ARMIES equipped with the T-34!
And it was not only the thickness of the armor that was impressive about the T-34. When designing the T-34, the Soviet design bureaus were able to come up with that exact combination of armor, mobility and main gun that allowed the T-34 to DOMINATE the battlefield.
* Firepower. [ability to kill the enemy.]
* Armor. [protection on the battlefield.]
* Mobility. [ability to move with alacrity and agility.]
All other tanks of the period PALED INTO INSIGNIFICANCE WHEN COMPARED TO THE T-34. Indeed, the T-34 was such a good design that the Cubans in Angola, circa 1976, were STILL using the machine successfully!!
And of this design the German had no forewarning, no foreknowledge? This is so!!
NO German appreciation of or even an awareness of the existence of the T-34 surprises. The T-34 was used, albeit sparingly during the Winter War of 1940. Finns versus the Soviets. The Finns had met [??] this the T-34 in battle and surely should have alerted the German that the Soviets possessed this formidable armored vehicle? [to what extent the T-34 was already in mass production would have been another question!]
The German, in contrast, was NEVER able to put together than proper combination of gun, protection and mobility in one tank during the war. The Tiger was undoubtedly superior with regard to gun and armor protection, but lacked the sufficient mobility a war of movement necessitated, was susceptible to breakdown, and only built in meagre numbers [1,000 total?] as compared to the T-34!!
Even during the Korean War, American troops were stunned to find that their various anti-tank weaponry, bazooka, the main gun of the Chafee M24 tank, and even 105 mm howitzer rounds fired in the direct mode were not able to STOP a T-34. And this ten years after the first appearance of the T-34 on the battlefield.
Such unpreparedness is somewhat understandable [??] when one considers that the U.S. military and government were of the assumption that with the advent of the nuclear age, conventional warfare of the variety as fought in both World Wars was passe'. Massed and mobile formations of tanks were thought to have gone the way of the dodo. IT WAS NOT SO!
"What enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge." - - Sun Tzu.