Yet more German stuff!!
From that pervious blog entry we have this extract:
"19. Emil Seibold – 69 Kills (Das Reich)–Pz IV+ Captured T-34s"
Emil a German "tank ace" all the while OPERATING A CAPTURED SOVIET MACHINE!!
Large numbers of Soviet tanks as falling into the hands of the German put to good use on the battlefields of the Eastern Front during WW2??
My instantaneous thought was too much danger from fratricide. YOU WOULD BE LIKELY TO BE KILLED BY YOUR OWN TROOPS WHEN OPERATING A CAPTURED SOVIET T-34. It seems that certain remedies did mitigate this problem.
"Germans were always more than happy to employ as many captured examples as they could and many served with various units. T-34/76 employment by German formations was not always temporary but sometimes permanent until the end of the war . . . Although it was considered to utilize captured T-34/76 tanks dangerous because many gunners fired on silhouette instead of markings. In order to prevent such mistakes to take place, crews painted large-dimension crosses or even swastikas. It was very common to paint a cross or swastika on top of the turret in order to prevent the Luftwaffe from attacking. Another way to overcome this problem was to use captured T-34/76 in an infantry support role where recognition problems were not that common"
Soviet T-34 tank in German service with German crew. Captured/abandoned/rebuilt tanks put to good use against the original master. Entire units of such tanks existing!! That appears to be a T-34/76. Equipped with the 76 mm gun. Later versions of the T-35 having an 85 mm gun.
Indeed! German efforts to employ Soviet machines rather institutionalized!! Considering the T-34 normally rated as the # 1 medium-tank of WW2 the German must have rather grateful to have entire units consisting of this particular enemy hardware.
"Since late 1941, captured T-34/76 tanks were transported to a workshop in Riga for repairs and modifications, while in 1943, Mercedes-Benz . . . were also repairing and modifying T-34s as well. Captured T-34/76 tanks were modified to German standards by installation of commander’s cupola, radio equipment along with other non-standard field modifications made during service by the their new owners. Spare parts were never much of a problem and some 300 captured vehicles were maintained on long term bases [sic?]."
Those grateful German T-34 tank commanders to include Emil Seibold TANK ACE!