Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Defence and security / The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation: yesterday, today and tomorrow / Weekdays
Unequal tank duels. T-70 against "Panther"
Material posted: Publication date: 11-07-2015
Whatever the superiority of the parties to the fighting technique, victories on the battlefield managed to achieve not only the technical superiority of weapons, but also the courage and ingenuity of its owners. During the Great Patriotic War, Soviet tankers on weaker combat vehicles emerged victorious from meetings with the formidable German tanks "Tiger" and "Panther". An example of such confrontation is unequal fight light tank T-70 Junior Lieutenant Gregory Pegova against the German Panther, ended in victory for the Soviet soldiers.

The hero of Soviet Union the senior lieutenant Pegov Grigory Ivanovich was born on March, 28th, 1919 in small village Free, located in the Nikolaev area, in a usual country family, on a nationality the Ukrainian. Having got at school 7-class education, it has gone to work as the tractor operator. In numbers of Red Army has been called in 1939. On Great Patriotic War fronts was since 1941, has successfully passed all war. In 1943 it has finished Stalingradsky tank school then to it the rank of the second lieutenant has been appropriated. After school it has been sent by the commander of a tank platoon of 31st tank brigade which was a part of 29th tank case of 5th Guards tank army operating as a part of 1st Baltic front. The rank of the Hero of Soviet Union to Pegovu has been appropriated on March, 24th, 1945 (number of an award 8587). In 1946 the senior lieutenant Pegov left in a stock. Per 1948 has ended the Odessa Soviet party school, veins and worked in Odessa.

Fight which has glorified a name of second lieutenant Grigory Pegova, has occurred on March, 26th, 1944. This day easy tank T-70 Pegova has gone on district investigation. Approximately at midday the Soviet tankmen have noticed a German tank column which presumably, was going to put counterstroke on positions of coming Soviet armies. In a German column there were tanks PzKpfw V Panther, but Grigory Pegov has all the same decided to give to Germans battle.

It is necessary to notice that this step was courageous enough if to imagine, these two tanks were how much different. The Panther surpassed the Soviet car in weight more than in 4,5 times. The Soviet easy tank T-70 has been accepted on arms in January, 1942. Manufacture of this easy tank proceeded till October, 1943 then it has been stopped. The maximum weight of the tank made 9,2 tons, a thickness of the front reservation to 45 mm, a thickness of boards of 15 mm, booking of a tower of 35 mm. In movement the tank two petrol engines capacity on 70 h.p. resulted everyone. The maximum speed of the tank made 42 km/h. The basic arms Т-70 was down 45-mm (20-to), a tank variant well-known "sorokapjatki". Practical rate of fire of the tool considerably differed from tabular values and made only 3-5 shots in a minute as the commander in not to the most spacious tower had to carry out simultaneously functions both charging, and the tipper-of. The tool, frankly speaking, not with the most outstanding for 1944 of the characteristic, but at competent application and it allowed to struggle with terrible German cars.

Against Т-70 the German Panther was represented by the present monster. It was quite possible to name this German average tank heavy. The car in weight in 44,5 tons differed good front booking and powerful arms. The thickness of the top front detail made 80 mm, thus it has been located under a good angle of slope. The tower forehead had a thickness of 110 mm, a mask of the tool of 100 mm. And here booking of the tank from boards was is more vulnerable, a thickness of boards of the case - 50 mm, tower boards - 45 mm. The car was equipped with the engine capacity of 700 h.p. and could develop the maximum speed of 46 km/h. On the tank tank gun KwK 42 with length of a trunk of 70 calibres has been established 75-mm. The given tool represented danger to all Soviet tanks. The shell which has been let out from this gun, could punch easy tank T-70 through.

It seemed, the issue of the combat should develop on March, 26th, 1944 in favour of German 45-tonnnyh the fighting vehicles, differing the excellent tool both fine devices of supervision and sights. The panther really seriously surpassed easy tank T-70 in all parametres, but fight has all the same developed in favour of Pegova because it has competently organised an ambush and earlier has found out the opponent. Second lieutenant Pegov has disguised the easy tank near to road to bushes. Thus, already having found out the enemy, he waited to the last, having admitted the opponent approximately on 150 metres, having waited, while the Panthers going in a head of a column, will substitute boards to its tank. From this small distance from ambush Т-70 also has opened fire. The head car has been amazed by the first shot in a board therefore the tank of the opponent has lighted up, the crew could not get out of the car. After that Pegov has translated fire on the second Panther and has achieved damage of its running gear, at the car the caterpillar has been brought down. After that the crew of the second German Panther retired from a fight place. Other German tanks, believing that have encountered strong Soviet anti-tank defence, have decided to recede back. Thus, thanks to courageous actions of second lieutenant Grigory Pegova which was not frightened of fight with a German tank column in which head there were tanks the Panther, it was possible to break plans of the opponent.

In some months, in October of the same year, Grigory Pegov has caused a stir again. Being the commander of a platoon of investigation of the tank battalion, he one of the first with fight has managed to break to coast of Baltic sea around settlement Karolinkaj (the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic) and has helped to provide the approach of the basic forces of the brigade. On March, 24th, 1945 to Pegovu the rank of the Hero of Soviet Union has been appropriated, besides it it was the gentleman of awards of Lenin, the Red Banner and Patriotic war of 1st degree, various medals.

To some inhabitants the feat of crew of the tank of Grigory Pegova can seem not such to the heroic. But it is important to understand that Pegov was not frightened to give battle surpassing numerically and qualitatively to the opponent. It is necessary to remember that the first hit of a German Panther in Т-70 could become the last in life of crew of the Soviet tank. But Grigory Pegov has all the same risked, has engaged and has come out from it the winner.


Juferev Sergey



RELATED MATERIALS: Defence and security