Monday, January 14, 2013

Russians As Germans

In searching the Web, I have found a few interesting bits of information that are useful for a wargame army.  I located a photo of the Soviet BT-7 fast tank in North Africa, captured from the Germans by the Americans.  No one seems to know what the tank was doing there with the Germans or how many were there.  My speculation is this, the Germans did capture vast numbers of these tanks, they had a short engine life in Russian use, but I suspect with spare parts from damaged tanks the Germans could keep them in service for a while.  The BT-7 tank was very fast and would probably have done well in the open terrain in North Africa.

The second bit of information I found is that the Germans had both the T-26 light tank and the T-34 medium tank in France.  I found photos of one T-26 tank and several T-34 tanks.  The Germans did capture large numbers of both of these tanks.  The T-26 tank was an okay light tank but the T-34 was tough and reliable.  The units that captured them often kept them in service.  At least one division set up a workshop and put T-34's back into service and added German specifications to the tanks.  Notek lights, side skirts, and of course German camouflage and markings.


One theory is that the Germans used the T-26 and T-34 tanks to use to train German troops resting and refitting before assignment to the Russian front.  The Germans did use Soviet tanks in training films to teach their troops how to attack the masses of Soviet tanks.  Once the Allies invaded the training tanks could have been impressed into combat units.  Imagine a Tunisia game with Germans using Tiger I, Panzer III and BT-7 tanks.  Or a Kampfgruppe in France with Panzer IV, Panther and
T-34 tanks vs Shermans.


Anonymous said...
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Bunkermeister said...

Thanks for reading, that was a great comment before you deleted it.


Tsold9000 said...

Didn`t the germans also add a coppala hatch too captured t-34s,would like to see that pic of the BT-7 in north africa.interesting!

Bunkermeister said...

Tsold, I have seen this photo listed as North Africa and as Italy. In either case, it's a long way from home, and that's an American soldier standing next to it. Yes, the Germans added cupola and side skirts, notek light and other German gear to the T-34.

argenta said...

That is one the most significant fact I dind't know of WW2.Thank you for the info.