Could any WWII tank survive a hit by a 155mm shell?

Dear sir,

To settle an old argument one way or the other we need an expert opinion. Question is this: During WWII was there a tank or armored vehicle that could take a hit from a 155 shell—be it high explosive, armor piercing, etc.—and survive? 

Thank you,

John

? ? ?

Dear John,

The average main battle tank (e.g. M-48 or T-54 and up) would be badly damaged by a 155mm howitzer high explosive shell hit, and a lucky direct hit on the turret may knock it off its race. Wouldn’t do the crew any good either, but it would probably not penetrate or demolish the tank. A chart showed the standard 155mm capable of penetrating 68-110mm of armor at 1,500 meters, while its Soviet equivalent of the time, the 152mm gun, could penetrate 66-113mm of armor. The Soviets, however, developed an armor piercing round that gave the 152 the ability to penetrate 185-308mm of armor, a direct hit from which was capable of disemboweling a Panther, Tiger or Elephant—hence the nickname the self-propelled SU-152 got after its debut at Kursk, ”Zveroboi” (fighter of wild beasts).

Sincerely,

 

Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
More Questions at Ask Mr. History

 

2 Responses

  1. Warren Osborn

    The only problem with this theory is the neither the M-48 or T-54 was in service during WWII

    Reply
  2. Victor L'Esperance

    Also, the newly deployed Panthers were vulnerable to side hits so you could rock the socks off it. I believe the Soviets had T-34’s and KV-1s with some light T-70s. The Germans actually delayed the offensive to get more Tigers and Panzer Vs (Panthers) to the front. Earlier and lighter models were also deployed. Mr. Osborn is correct therefore.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.