In a painstaking process this alternate history storyline has been researched and is presented for your entertainment.
By using historical documents from the US Joint Chiefs of Staff we know exactly what the contingency plans were in the case of an expected Soviet attack in 1946.
1. The special board convened 10 June 1946 has completed its testing. The full report should be published by 25 August. Here is a summary of the findings.
2. During the last two months we have conducted tests on multiple examples of front line Russian tanks. The first test batch consisted of two T-34/76 tanks and one T-34/85 tank received from Finland in July. The Finnish tanks were received in serviceable condition. The second test batch was made up of tanks captured by United States forces in Europe. This group consisted of three T-34/85 tanks, one IS-2 heavy tank, one ISU-152 heavy tank. All of the tanks of this group were received with some damage.
3. Every standard Army anti-tank weapon, 3 experimental anti-tank weapons, and 2 captured Nazi weapons were tested against these test vehicles. The weapons tested were fired at distances of 50, 100, 500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 yards. They were fired at the front upper hull, front lower hull, side hull, rear hull, turret front, turret side, and gun shield.
4. The weapons tested were, 57mm Gun M1, 3 inch Gun M5, 3 inch Gun M7 (M10 Motor Gun Carriage), 90mm M3 Gun (M36 Motor Gun Carriage, M26 Heavy Tank), 76mm Gun M1/M1A1/M1A2(M18 Motor Gun Carriage, M4A3 tank), 57mm M18 Recoilless Rifle, 75mm M20 Recoilless Rifle, 2.36 inch Rocket Launcher M1/M1A1/M9, 3.5 inch Rocket Launcher T20, 105mm Gun T8, 76mm Gun T2, PanzerFaust 100, 8.8cm Panzerschreck.
5. Testing found:
A. 57mm Gun M1 could not penetrate the front, turret or side armor of any test vehicle with standard AP ammunition. When tested with British 57mm APDS rounds the gun was able to penetrate the side armor of the T-34/76 and T-34/85 at 100 yards. It is the committee’s recommendation that the 57mm APDS round be purchased for rush shipment to the deployed units. And that the weapon is withdrawn from service as better weapons become available.
B. 3 inch Gun M5, and 3 inch Gun M7 are able to penetrate the front hull and turret armor at 1000 yards on the T-34/76 and T-34/85 tanks. They were able to penetrate the front and turret armor of the IS-2 and ISU-152 at a range of 500 yards.
C. 90mm M3 Gun could penetrate the front hull and turret of all test vehicles at 1500 yards.
D. 76mm Gun M1/M1A1/M1A2, and 76mm Gun T2 when firing HVAP M93 round can penetrate the front hull and turret of the T-34/76 and T-34/85 tank. It is the committee’s recommendation that the 76mm Gun T2 be put in production and standardized.
E. 57mm M18 Recoilless Rifle could only penetrate the rear armor of the test vehicle at 50 yards. During the testing it was found that the 75mm M20 Recoilless Rifle could reliably penetrate the front armor of the T-34/76 and T-34/85 tank at 400 yards. The committee recommends that problems with the HEAT rounds for both weapons be studied and improvements made.
F. 2.36 inch Rocket Launcher M1/M1A1/M9, could not penetrate the armor of any test vehicle at 50 yards. The 3.5 inch Rocket Launcher T20 was able to penetrate the front hull and turret of the T-34/76 and T-34/85 tanks. The 3.5 inch Rocket launcher T20 has been in limited production for one month, with over 1000 already shipped to Spain for field trails. The committee recommends that the T20 be standardized and put into full production.
G. 105mm Gun T8 could penetrate all test vehicles at 1500 yards. The T8 has been in limited production since May 1946, with 15 shipped to Spain for field trails. The T8 is a very heavy gun with a large gun crew and requiring a M39 armored combat utility vehicle to pull it. The committee recommends the T8 be standardize but only placed in limited production.
H. PanzerFaust 100 was able to penetrate the side and rear of the test vehicles at both 100 and 50 yards. The committee recommends that this systems warhead and means of launch be studied to improve Army rocket systems. The 8.8cm Panzerschreck was test fired twice before a rocket exploded in the launcher. Testing of that system was ended.
I. Preliminary booklets and pamphlets outlining the best ways to defeat these Russian vehicle types with available anti-tank weapons have been printed for dissemination to the troops. The first 5,000 booklets left for Spain by aircraft on the 5th of August.