Can't ... give peace a chance?
10th April 2004
This post has spawned out of the discussion in the General Discussion area about tanks being over or under powered. I didn't want to steal the thread so here goes. It's an interesting story about a T-34 vs. a Panther. Not sure if is is a -75 or an -85...maybe someone has an clue. The story came out of George Forty's book "Tank Warfare in Wolrd War II. I believe the original refernce came out of Kransaya Zvezda dtd 22 Feb 1997 ny Anatoliy Dokuchayev. DUEL OF THE KNIGHTS' "Hey Russian! Hey Sashka! Are you still alive? I thought you might burn up with your tank ... it'll burn. I'll let it burn, if you prefer it to be your grave . . ." the strange voice came over the radio. The T34's commander Starshina [Sergeant Major] Aleksandr Milyukov was stunned. What kind of dog played jokes like this? But once again, the cryptic voice came across the radio. "That farm tractor will be your grave. But then again, I will meet you with my Panther one on one -one on one just like the knights of old..." "Oh, so that's you, you son of a reptile!" snarled Starshina Milyukov as he realised who was talking with him. The radio signal was coming from a Fascist. And not just a simple one, but an ace, the "sly devil" as he was called by Milyukov's crew. "I'm ready!" Aleksandr reset the frequency knobs in front of him, "watch who takes who, a[color=black]nd [/color]the Fascist will get his!" "Now let's begin the duel. Only write out your last will and testament, we have [color=black]found [/color]that your country is huge and we've studied the [color=black]Russians [/color]well." "Worry about your own last will and testament!" Milyukov cried into the radio, "and the [color=black]mothers [/color]of the Germans, as they say, can begin counting the dawns left to their sons . . ." [color=black][/color] [color=black]‘So [/color]the Panther tank commander was in radio contact with the commander of one of the T34s of a tank brigade on [color=black]the [/color]Voronezh front, who called the T34 a "farm tractor" and who challenged him to a duel, one on one, [color=black]like [/color]knights. Our tanker accepted the challenge.’
[color=black]‘The [/color]command was given: "Mount up!" Milyukov's T34 shot off at once, with no others around it, and [color=black]moved [/color]to a starting position. The enormity of the risk they were taking became obvious as the Panther fired two rounds at the T34. Milyukov's crew were caught napping, as the enemy tank must have come forward from the second echelon and immediately surprised them with well-aimed fire. By a quirk of fate they were alive...’ ‘In their second engagement Milyukov's crew laid a skilful trap for the German tankers. But they weren’t there! Both the gunner, Sergeant Semyen Bragin and [color=black]Milyukov himself, had no time to wonder at the fact, [/color]for once again shells whistled close by their tank. The Germans had outsmarted them by spotting the trap and it was obvious that the "Knight" in the Panther was an ace. It now seemed that this wasn't a second echelon tank, nor was it a free hunter. The loader Private Grigony Chumak, more than once called the German a "sly devil" under his breath. And now the tankers entered real combat with each other.’ [color=black]'Milyukov was nervous. He knew that there was only one way he would come out his alive and still be a tank commander - namely by winning the duel with a brilliant play. There would be a military court - his T34 had rolled out of its designated fighting position without orders from his battalion commander. Playing it through could lead to a real death - for no one had faced this German ace and lived to tell about it, this fellow could hit a kopek with every shot and had demonstrated it several times in a row. Things grew hushed and Milyukov's knowledge of the terrain gave him and his crew a chance for success, it was treeless, but peppered with ravines and gullies. And the T34 was a fast, manoeuvrable tank, which would force the Panther to come after it. Milyukov had himself "flown" the tank up to eighty kilometres per hour (fifty m.p.h.)-. Later, driver-mechanic Starshina Milyukov had increase factory characteristics of the tank by at least a third. The winner of this duel would be the crew with the mastery of its respective vehicle. With that, the victory would go to him who spotted the enemy first, he who the first to fire an accurate shot, he who was to turn away in time to avoid a hit and much much more.[/color]
[color=black]'The main problem was to get within three hundred to four hundred metres of the Panther, where his gun could penetrate its glacis, then things would be more even. But the Germans weren't about to wait for him to close and at 700m they began accurate fire at the dodging T34. The Hitlerists had opened fire immediately the crews had spotted each other and they didn't give up a single metre of that 700m range between the two tanks, which was their reserve. A round landed right next to the Soviet tank. Can't we get some more speed up? No, on the rocky ground the T34 could only reach about thirty kilometres per hour - no more, and the increase was only just a fraction. You cannot fly over 700m like this, for the German will surely get his fatal shot in if you try. And right then Milyukov hit the brakes, cutting his speed. He decided, "Well, let the German get his sights on us. Aleksandr knew he was now dead in the other's sights.[/color] [color=black][/color] [color=black]"No, you reptile, not yet! HIT IT! GIVE ME S[/color][color=black]peed and manoeuvre now." [/color][color=black]cried Milyukov. The T[/color][color=black]34 shot forward just a split second before flame spouted from the long barrel of the Panther. He had timed it well, for the German's shot was very close to the mark.[/color] [color=black][/color] [color=black]"There it is, Fritz, that long lance of yours isn’t everything!” Milyukov had realised that if he could avoid [/color]getting [color=black]hit by shells on the open [/color]parts [color=black]of [/color]the [color=black]terrain, he [/color]might be able to [color=black]close the distance [/color]with the [color=black]German ace. But [/color]here [color=black]was Nikolay Luk'yanskiy, [/color]who [color=black]was sitting [/color]in the [color=black]commander's seat: "Twelve [/color]seconds, [color=black]commander, I [/color]make [color=black]it [/color]twelve seconds." [color=black]"Luk'yanskiy [/color]is a [color=black]smart boy," thought Milyukov.[/color]
[color=black]'Now he knew that [/color]it took [color=black]the German twelve [/color]seconds [color=black]between [/color]his [color=black]first and second shots. [/color]Picking [color=black]up [/color]speed he [color=black]rolled [/color]ahead [color=black]for about [/color]200m [color=black]over the rough [/color]ground. But Luk'yanskiy's voice [color=black]called [/color]out: ". . . seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven . [color=black]. [/color]." [color=black]Milyukov suddenly pulled [/color]back [color=black]on [/color]the [color=black]brake [/color]levers with all [color=black]his might. [/color]The tank [color=black]pitched [/color]forward [color=black]and [/color]stopped. [color=black]The [/color]next German round screamed [color=black]by [/color]the bow of the [color=black]tank. [/color]"See [color=black]where [/color]that came from!" The Russian tank stopped [color=black]sharply, [/color]swinging this [color=black]way and [/color]that, but the [color=black]German shells only landed near the [/color]tank. The crew [color=black]had [/color]made masterly use of every dip and rise in the ground [color=black]to [/color]achieve some measure [color=black]of [/color]protection. The Soviet combat vehicle managed to creep ever [color=black]closer [/color]to the Panther. The German ace blasted off round after round, but the T34 [color=black]was like [/color]a [color=black]"spirit" [/color]and it continued to "grow" in [color=black]their [/color]sights [color=black]with every bound. The nerves [/color]of [color=black]the German were not made of [/color]iron [color=black]and they began [/color]to [color=black]pull back. "Hold still, you reptile! Give me speed!" [/color]cried [color=black]Milyukov.[/color] [color=black][/color] [color=black]'The enemy tank was [/color]now [color=black]steadily pulling back [/color]in [color=black]reverse. While there was still a German ace sitting [/color]in [color=black]that tank, our tankers went after him yet [/color]again. [color=black]Not once did the German show them his sides or rear to shoot at. Then there was just one instant when the withdrawing Panther hit [/color]a [color=black]small bump and its long [/color]gun [color=black]soared into the air, [/color]and it [color=black]showed its belly. This was the moment that Sergeant Bragin had been patiently waiting for and he whistled [/color]an [color=black]armour-piercing shell [/color]at [color=black]that exposed place. Flames [/color]spurted [color=black]from the German tank, and the Panther of the noted ace began to burn. Milyukov[/color]'s [color=black]crew [/color]went [color=black]crazy with joy, laughing, shouting and grinning widely. All this ceased instantly when the voice of the battalion commander crackled over [/color]the [color=black]radio, "Milyukov! Duelling is the least of your problems, and you will [/color]be [color=black]going up before a court!"[/color]
'After the battle was over, the valorous foursome, as was verified by those who witnessed the duel between the Soviet and German tanks, during the entire fight had fired off but one single shot, just like participants in an old-fashioned duel. The observers were alert to the parallel: it was just like knights duelling in the twentieth century. After the battle, Milyukov considered the self-control of his battalion commander and his experience. During the duel he had not said a single word, for he knew the matter was out of his hands. He only expressed his displeasure and anger after the duel had played itself out and the survivor was identified. Perhaps he may have agreed with it in spirit, for battle later erupted between opposing sub-units after the "knights" had finished their duel, and Milyukov's crew would claim other victories, but what victories! His T34 met up with three Tigers, lit them up, and then plunged into the crews of several artillery weapons.'
2nd September 2004
Great story! :nodding:
Write heavy; write hard.
11th April 2005
It's good and fun, but it reads like fiction to me.
The forums staffers think I'm Cool
15th March 2005
Was a good read but anything that comes from russian storys or reports is dubious at best,I don't know about the part of him killing 3 tigers all by himself,to many storys of a handfull of tigers ripping apart t-34's,I remember seeing what a tigers shell (88) does to them,while at a Aberdeen,Md theres a T-34 with a huge hole in the front armor,you can see the shell whent in with so much force it bent the breech inside to a 90 degree angle. CrimeScene