UTZ at the beginning of 1942 was given the task of shipping five reference samples of the T-34, two of which had a long journey by sea - to Great Britain and the United States to study this "miracle of Soviet design thought" by allied specialists.
The tanks arrived in the United States presumably in April 1942, and in May they were tested at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. There, the T-34, which aroused the greatest interest, was tested by a long run over rough terrain, together with the T-4 wheeled-tracked tank, the characteristics of which were closest to the performance characteristics of the domestic medium tank.
The first breakdown of the T-34 (the track burst) occurred approximately at the 60th kilometer, and after overcoming 343 km, the tank failed and could not be repaired.
The breakdown occurred due to poor operation of the air cleaner, which is why a lot of dust was crammed into the engine and the pistons and cylinders were destroyed. The tank was removed from trials by the run, but was tested by shelling from a KB tank gun and a 3-inch M-10 self-propelled gun, after which it found its refuge in the collection of the Aberdeen test site. Tank KB, despite the greatest fears from our tank builders, tests with a range of 50 km will withstand normally.
All American experts liked the shape of the T-34 tank's hull, while KB did not.
The analysis of the armor showed that on both tanks the armor plates, which were homogeneous in chemical composition, had a shallow surface hardening, the bulk of the armor plate was viscous.
American experts believed. that, by changing the technology of rolling armor plates, it was possible to reduce their thickness, leaving the same projectile resistance. However, this statement was not later confirmed by practice.
The main drawback of the hull was recognized as the permeability of both its lower part when overcoming water obstacles, and the upper part during rain. In heavy rain, a lot of water flowed into the tank through the cracks, which could lead to the failure of electrical equipment and even ammunition. The location of the ammunition was found to be good.
The main disadvantage of the turret and the fighting compartment as a whole is that it is cramped. The Americans could not understand how our tankers got mad in the tank in winter in sheepskin coats. A poor turret rotation mechanism was noted, especially since the motor is weak, overloaded and sparked terribly, as a result of which the resistance to adjusting the rotation speeds burned out, the gear teeth crumbled. The desire was put forward to make a hydraulic swing mechanism or to leave only a two-stage manual one.
The gunners liked the F-34 gun for its simplicity, trouble-free operation and ease of maintenance. The disadvantage of the gun was recognized as an insufficiently high initial speed (about 620 m / s versus a possible 850 m / s), which I associate with the low quality of Soviet gunpowder.
The design of the sight was recognized as excellent, even the best in the world known to American designers, but the quality of the glass left much to be desired.
The steel tracks of the T-34 were simple in design, wide, but the American (rubber-metal) tracks, in their opinion, were better. The Americans considered the lack of our track chain to be the low breaking strength of the track. This was compounded by the poor quality of the track pins.
The suspension on the T-34 tank was recognized as bad, because the Americans have already unconditionally rejected the Christie's suspension as outdated. At the same time, the suspension of the KB (torsion bar) tank was recognized as successful.
Diesel B-2 is light and fast. All the American military liked diesel tanks, they regretted that all the powerful diesel engines in the United States were taken by the fleet for boats, which did not allow them to equip mass-produced tanks with them.
Disadvantages of the V-2 diesel engine is a poor air cleaner, which:
1) does not purify the air entering the motor at all;
2) the throughput of the air cleaner is small and does not provide the flow of the required amount of air even when the motor is idling.
As a result, the motor does not develop its full power and dust entering the cylinders leads to their quick operation, compression drops and the motor loses power.
In addition, the filter is made from a mechanical point of view, it is very primitive: in the places of electric spot welding, the metal is burnt, which leads to oil leakage, etc.
On the KB tank, the filter is better made, but it also does not provide a sufficient supply of normally cleaned air.
The transmission is unsatisfactory, obviously outdated. During its operation on tests, its teeth completely crumbled on all gears. Both motors have poor starters - low power and unreliable designs.
The T-34 and KB tanks were, from the American point of view, slow-moving, although due to their good traction with the ground, they overcame slopes better than any of the American tanks. The welding of the armor plates is extremely rough and sloppy. The radio stations in laboratory tests turned out to be quite good, however, due to poor shielding and poor protective devices, after their installation in tanks, it was not possible to have normal communication at a distance of more than 10 miles. The compactness of the radio stations and their arrangement in cars are very successful. The machining of equipment parts and parts is, with rare exceptions, very poor.
So, the Soviet T-34 and KB did not make a splash overseas (? !!!! And then they had something to compare with !!!). American designers found both advantages and disadvantages in them, which is natural.