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Lethality in Berlin

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Some interesting data from the 2nd Guards Tank Army gathered during their fighting in Berlin. Analysis of tanks that were badly damaged enough to have to be written off from their unit was performed at the repair base. There, a decision was made: either the tank is irreparable and is destined for the scrap heap or is salvageable, but only after refurbishment, and is thus sent to the factory. Unfortunately there are no notes that tell us why each specific type of tank typically became unsalvageable, but only a general rule of thumb: if the ammunition rack is hit, the tank blows up and is a complete loss. If the ammunition does not go off, then the tank will probably be suitable for refurbishment, even if there was a fire.

Type

Total

T-34

IS-2

M4A2

SU-76

SU-85

SU-100

ISU-122

Irrep.

Maj.

Irrep.

Maj.

Irrep.

Maj.

Irrep.

Maj.

Irrep.

Maj.

Irrep.

Maj.

Irrep.

Maj.

75 mm shell

39

6

8

-

-

3

16

2

2

-

2

-

-

-

-

88 mm shell

27

7

3

7

-

4

4

-

-

-

-

1

-

1

1

100 mm shell

9

2

2

3

-

1

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

22 mm AA gun

5

-

1

-

-

4

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Artillery total

80

15

14

10

-

12

21

2

2

-

2

1

-

1

-

Faust

47

16

2

2

1

13

8

3

-

-

-

1

-

1

-

Aircraft

4

-

-

-

-

-

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

2

-

Mines

4

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

1

-

-

-

Total

135

33

16

12

1

25

31

5

3

-

2

3

-

4

-



Compared to T-34s, Shermans are fairly repairable. About half of T-34s lost to artillery can be repaired, but nearly two thirds of Shermans. The Panzerfaust, however, evens the playing field. Once you count that in, the total loss rates are about even. Interestingly enough, the total number of tanks lost is also about even, even though the army marked 123 T-34s and 53 Shermans as losses. It would seem that a lost T-34 is much more likely to end up falling into the medium and light repairs category. There is little information on other tanks, but it would seem that IS-2s are all or nothing (with only one Panzerfaust-struck tank being repairable), with one other tank being subjected to only medium repairs, or just 14 losses in all.

A remark is made that the enemy typically aims at lower hull plates or the turret at point blank distances, opting to avoid the angled armour of T-34s. Hits on the front of the tank are rarer, and hits in the back are very rare.


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