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  1. Steve MacGregor writes, "Most early T-34s were not provided with radios. Only the platoon leader’s tank had a radio (approximately one tank in five). Communication during combat was intended to be by flag." Are you writing about June 1941, Steve? Actually, tank radio 71-TK-1 was installed on 3-4 of 10 RKKA tanks of all models by then. And how many Wehrmacht tanks would you say were equipped with radios at the time? I thought so... Next, Steve writes, "According to the Armored Directorate of the Red Army, the average T-34 in World War Two lasted less than 200 kilometers (124 miles) before requiring major repair or overhaul. This means that a T-34 generally needed significant repairs before it had even used its first full tank of diesel!" Wow! But it's not clear how this failure rate is being assessed. It sure looks as the result of that "It wasn’t unknown for Soviet tank brigades to lose anything from 30% – 50% of their T-34s just traveling to the combat area." And how do you know that these were lost due to actual mechanical failures - not because the crews simply abandoned them and deserted? It is estimated that from 1 to 1.5 million RKKA personnel deserted and another from 3 to 4 million were captured as POWs in the first 6 months of the war. If during the same time period RKKA personnel managed to lose 6.3 million pieces of small arms (including some of the most reliable in the world - like Mosin rifle, TT hand-guns and Degtyarev machine-guns), it sure looks like mechanical failures had little to do with that. If - as Steve says - "Taking all these things into account, it seems that the notion of the T-34 as the best tank of World War Two is little more than an enduring piece of Soviet propaganda," is true, so are the accounts of how exactly these thousands of tanks were abandoned in 1941. I doubt that von Kleist's and Guderian's opinion on T-34 that Steve himself quoted here was beat out of them by NKVD agents.
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