The T-54/T-55 Tank.

Tuomo

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Of course. Even in the interwar and WW2 period, many, many others have provided information that far exceeded my knowledge.
So where should they send their resume, including pictures of their cat?
 

The Purist

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Gents,

As late as the end of the cold war the updated ammunition for the T-55 could shoot holes in the Leopard I, M48s, M60's and later Centurions. By the late 60's and 70s almost all WP and NATO armies were using an APFSDS round or similar alongside HESH, HE and Smoke rounds. The problems faced by the Arab armies were conscript armies, poor training and doctrine. While the crews were not necessarily 6+1 the WP tanks would probably have red TH numbers and must be BU to fire. ALs should be rare and lower valued.

In the 50s the 100L (D10-T) AP outperformed the standard NATO 90mm and British 84LL rounds until the 1960s when the 105mm L7 gun began to see widespread use in western tanks. The Soviets countered with a HESH round for the D10T gun that still killed western tanks. Near the end of the 60s the APFSDS round for the T-55 began to be deployed and then even the M60s needed to worry.

If CH has a weak T-55 there is something wrong as the T-55 was known for its robustness and ease of operation (no special training required) but poor ergonomics. Like most Soviet tanks until the T-62s the gunner did have problems with the optics but if they hit you, you were usually dead.

Only ceramics and composite armour in modern MBTs have proven successful against the late APFSDS rounds found in T-55s from the 70's forward. In 1973 most of the Egyptian and Syrian tanks were still T-55s along with a large number of T-62s. The Israelis lost a hell of lot of armour in the tank battles as the M48s, M60s and Centurions could all be penetrated by the D10-T 100mm shot.

The armour values found in WWII ASL would not translate well into CW armour as metallurgy improved such that 100mm of plate in 1944 was not as good as 100mm plate in 1956, 67, 73 and so on. At the same time gun power increased even more. Armour couldn't keep up and that is why we saw innovations such as ceramics/layered and reactive armour. A TK# of 27 for the 100L in the 70s would be too low.

1944 - AP could penetrate 164mm of armour plate at 1000m,... killing Tigers and Panthers with one shot.

1967 - The HVAPDS could penetrate 290mm at 2000m

Today the 100mm in the T55 fires a laser-riding missile submunition that can penetrate 1000mm (that's 1 meter) of homogenous armour out to 4000 meters (4 kilometers or 2.5 miles).


Don't let cold war bias lead you down a garden path on this. WP tanks would kill what they hit right through the 60s and into the 70s with the exception of the Chieftain. The WP only began to fall behind in the late 70s-early 80s when Challenger, Abrams, Leo II and similar vehicles came along.
 
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Paul M. Weir

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And that is why I limit myself to pre-1960s!
 

Honza

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Very interesting. Purist - do you know when the Soviets first started using HEAT and APDS in their 100L and 122L Guns?
 

The Purist

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The HESH (High Explosive Squash Head), or shaped charge, for the 100mm D10-T was available about 1957-58 and could penetrate 300mm of armour. That said, the effective range was not much more than 800m for the HESH round. Even so, the T-55 could kill any NATO tank it hit. The Israelis preferred to engage the Egyptian or Syrian tanks at ranges in excess of 800 meters as accuracy dropped off mainly due to training and doctrine. Penetration of AP shot also dropped off a bit but not enough to save the target tank. Best defence for post WWII tanks, until ceramic armour came along, was to avoid being hit.

Of course, there were always the exceptions (glancing blow, etc.). Note that most post war AP ammunition also had an explosive charge.

So far as I know the D25-T 122mm (L43 and L46) had only APBC (Ballistic Cap) from Sep 44 along with HE. The muzzle velocity was around 850m/sec with a penetration of 184mm at 500 meters. It was a large shell moving very quickly and could shatter armour it did not penetrate. The HE round was very powerful and scored kills by blowing through the upper deck of target tanks after striking turret armour or upper casemates of turretless AFV.

The 115mm smooth bore gun on the T-62 (deployed 1963-64) scared the bujeezuz out of NATO and the Israelis when it came along. The shot travelled at 1615 m/sec with an ammunition load out of 2:1 APFSDS v HESH. The 115mm could penetrate 300mm at 1000m, 270mm at 2000m. Once again,.... NATO armour could not defeat the shot.
 
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Honza

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Fascinating!
 

Honza

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Talking of Guns; how much better was the Brit 105 tank gun than the 20 pdr?
 

The Purist

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The 20 pdr APCBC round (m.v. 1020 m/sec) could penetrate 210mm of armour while the APDS round could penetrate 300mm (m.v. 1465 m/sec). There was also HE and canister ammunition available.

The NATO 105mm L7 was developed because of issues the 84mm and 90mm guns had with dealing with the T-55 at longer ranges and oblique angles due to its sloped/rounded armour. Depending on the ammunition used and date (improvements by all sides to ammunition), the L7 could penetrate between 350mm and 500mm of armour at 1000m.

Even so, the L7 soon had its own problems by the early 70s when the WP began to deploy the T-64 and then the T-72. Even the latest APFSDS rounds would struggle against the layered steel/aluminium/steel armour (more than 500mm in the turret front). Even Chieftain was threatened by 1973. Thus the drive for 120mm smoothbore found on modern MBTs.

Anyway!! :LOL: Back to the T-55. If CH has an AF of 8 (square or not) for this tank it is not in the least bit accurate. As noted above, by the mid 50s the US 90mm and British 84mm would have struggled with long range penetration vs the turret (ranges >1000m). Then again, in western Germany the average LOS was about 800m (somewhate further in the north) and was often closer to 500m (ie: Fulda Gap). Note that we don't often see even 500m of open terrain in an ASL scenario unless one side is on a hill.

One should also consider that most tanks knocked out were penetrated from the side, not the front. ASL does not model this aspect of tactical warfare very well due to the overly cluttered, narrow maps and small size of the scenarios. Besides, most ASL maps are more representative of mixed village/woodlands than actual European rural terrain.
 

Actionjick

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The 20 pdr APCBC round (m.v. 1020 m/sec) could penetrate 210mm of armour while the APDS round could penetrate 300mm (m.v. 1465 m/sec). There was also HE and canister ammunition available.

The NATO 105mm L7 was developed because of issues the 84mm and 90mm guns had with dealing with the T-55 at longer ranges and oblique angles due to its sloped/rounded armour. Depending on the ammunition used and date (improvements by all sides to ammunition), the L7 could penetrate between 350mm and 500mm of armour at 1000m.

Even so, the L7 soon had its own problems by the early 70s when the WP began to deploy the T-64 and then the T-72. Even the latest APFSDS rounds would struggle against the layered steel/aluminium/steel armour (more than 500mm in the turret front). Even Chieftain was threatened by 1973. Thus the drive for 120mm smoothbore found on modern MBTs.

Anyway!! :LOL: Back to the T-55. If CH has an AF of 8 (square or not) for this tank it is not in the least bit accurate. As noted above, by the mid 50s the US 90mm and British 84mm would have struggled with long range penetration vs the turret (ranges >1000m). Then again, in western Germany the average LOS was about 800m (somewhate further in the north) and was often closer to 500m (ie: Fulda Gap). Note that we don't often see even 500m of open terrain in an ASL scenario unless one side is on a hill.

One should also consider that most tanks knocked out were penetrated from the side, not the front. ASL does not model this aspect of tactical warfare very well due to the overly cluttered, narrow maps and small size of the scenarios. Besides, most ASL maps are more representative of mixed village/woodlands than actual European rural terrain.
It should be remembered that SL/ASL was supposed to primarily represent small unit infantry actions. The armor aspects of the game were not as well portrayed even though it has become a major part of the system.
 

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The 20 pdr APCBC round (m.v. 1020 m/sec) could penetrate 210mm of armour while the APDS round could penetrate 300mm (m.v. 1465 m/sec). There was also HE and canister ammunition available.

The NATO 105mm L7 was developed because of issues the 84mm and 90mm guns had with dealing with the T-55 at longer ranges and oblique angles due to its sloped/rounded armour. Depending on the ammunition used and date (improvements by all sides to ammunition), the L7 could penetrate between 350mm and 500mm of armour at 1000m.

Even so, the L7 soon had its own problems by the early 70s when the WP began to deploy the T-64 and then the T-72. Even the latest APFSDS rounds would struggle against the layered steel/aluminium/steel armour (more than 500mm in the turret front). Even Chieftain was threatened by 1973. Thus the drive for 120mm smoothbore found on modern MBTs.

Anyway!! :LOL: Back to the T-55. If CH has an AF of 8 (square or not) for this tank it is not in the least bit accurate. As noted above, by the mid 50s the US 90mm and British 84mm would have struggled with long range penetration vs the turret (ranges >1000m). Then again, in western Germany the average LOS was about 800m (somewhate further in the north) and was often closer to 500m (ie: Fulda Gap). Note that we don't often see even 500m of open terrain in an ASL scenario unless one side is on a hill.

One should also consider that most tanks knocked out were penetrated from the side, not the front. ASL does not model this aspect of tactical warfare very well due to the overly cluttered, narrow maps and small size of the scenarios. Besides, most ASL maps are more representative of mixed village/woodlands than actual European rural terrain.
Agreed on CH's interpretation of the T54/55 - it's fantasy land stuff. Considering it was designed in the closing stages of WW2 to completely nullify Pak43 8.8cm rounds frontally it's no wonder the western equivalents would have trouble.

Just a question here; have you mixed up aluminium with glass textolite in a T-64's upper glacis array or have I missed something?
 

Honza

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The later editions of the T-54/55 in the CH modules have a squared 18 AF from the front. So the turret is a 26. I think the squared 8 AF for this tank was a very early module.

However the rules for the tank are very harsh; perhaps because it represents use by Egyptian crews. +1 to hit, +2 for Gun Duels. No IF, B11, no BFF, no ROF, the 100L Gun has a lower TK than normal. They are really laying on the disadvantages. Personally I would ignore all that if I were to use the counters in a non CH scenario/CG.

I would use Paul's suggestions above. Circled B11, no ROF but allow IF. All the other stuff added by CH can be ignored.
 

The Purist

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...have you mixed up aluminium with glass textolite in a T-64's upper glacis array or have I missed something?
Could be. The reference I saw used the term 'aluminum alloy' but if that is part of the glass textolite composition I can't say. From my readings the front turret of the T-64 would have been a very tough nut to crack.
 

The Purist

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...However the rules for the tank are very harsh; perhaps because it represents use by Egyptian crews. +1 to hit, +2 for Gun Duels. No IF, B11, no BFF, no ROF, the 100L Gun has a lower TK than normal. They are really laying on the disadvantages. Personally I would ignore all that if I were to use the counters in a non CH scenario/CG....
This is nonsense. There is a reason the T-54/55 was known as the AK-47 of tanks and has been in use for so long. What is described above is junk and the T-54/55 was certainly not junk. The Israelis dominated the battlefield in 56, 67 and, with a return to combines arms, 1973 due to training/tactics, excellent optics and the L7 105mm gun from long range. To be accurate you would need to be using map boards covering in excess of 50-60 hexes deep and the same wide using desert terrain (with hillocks acting as hills in the Golan).

If you are using a standard 2 x 1 board set up, the Egyptians or Syrians should rightly clean the map. The Jordanians were better than the Syrian/Egyptians but they were using western armour as well.

To be honest, ASL armour rules don't translate well past Korea.
 

g_young

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Could be. The reference I saw used the term 'aluminum alloy' but if that is part of the glass textolite composition I can't say. From my readings the front turret of the T-64 would have been a very tough nut to crack.
Apologies; you are right. The front turret of the vanilla T-64 had aluminum infills - had to follow up on this as you'd piqued my interest!
 

Honza

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Here is a photo of the counters from Magach '73. In the top right hand corner is the T-54A counters. Why do they have a BMG of 6 FP when the T-54B and T-55A don't?


15454
 

The Purist

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Yup,... it's as I thought. There appears to be a heavy pro-Israeli bias in this offering. Simply put, if the Soviet 100L and 115L don't have TK #s beginning around 40 they are under valued. Regardless of who's tank you were in, if you were hit you were killed (EXC: DR 12).

FYI - when the Israeli Super Sherman was deployed with reserve tank units to the Golan in 73 they had to be carefully used as their armour was 30 years out of date. The 26 Turret armour is,.... questionable to say the very, very least (unless there is of a TK # 40 for the 100L HEAT, HVAPDS and the 115L APFSDS, in which case it doesn't matter).

It may have been better to remove all AF and just rolll on the TK table that has the following:

TK DR <10 = burning wreck
TK DR of 10 or 11 = wreck
TK DR 12 = dud.
 

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I was getting excited thinking about purchasing this but maybe not...
 
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