Many victories on the battlefield during World War II were achieved not only for the technical superiority of weapons, but also for the courage and ingenuity of its owners. An example of such confrontation was the unequal fight between light tank T-70 Second Lieutenant Gregory Pegova and the German Panther tank, ended in victory for the Soviet soldiers.

On March 26th, 1944 while conducting reconnaissance, approximately at midday, Second Lieutenant Alexander Pegov of the 3rd Guards tank army spotted a column of 18 Panther tanks approaching and was going to put counterstroke on positions of coming Soviet armies. 

After ordering the driver to drive behind a bush, comrade Pegov loaded his gun with APCR ammunition and waited. After a German PzKpfw V “Panther” tank came within 150 to 200 meters, the light tank T-70 Pegova suddenly opened fired and knocked out the head tank. He then damaged the second tank, immobilizing it, and blocking the tank column, defeating the enemy's counterattack. 

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. 

The T-70 was armed with a 45-mm L/46 gun Model 38 with forty-five rounds carried, and a coaxial 7.62-mm DT machine gun. The tank was operated by a driver and a commander who loaded and fired the gun. Armour thickness on the turret front was 60 mm, turret sides and rear: 35 mm, hull front and sides: 45 mm, roof and bottom: 10 mm.

On the other side, the Panther was armed with a 7.5 cm KwK 42 L/70 with seventy-nine rounds carried, and two coaxial 7.92 mm MG 34 machine guns. The tank was operated by five: driver, radio-operator/hull machine gunner, commander, gunner, loader. Armour thickness on the turret front was 100 mm, turret sides and rear: 45 mm, hull front: 80-60 mm, and sides: 45-40 mm, roof and bottom: 16-30 mm.

The Panther tank really seriously surpassed light 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. Alexander Pegov was promoted to a Senior Lieutenant and decorated as a Hero of the Soviet Union.

One year before, on 6 July 1943, a T-70 commanded by Lieutenant B.V. Pavlovich of the 49th Guards tank brigade, had destroyed 4 German panzers (3 medium tanks and 1 Panther) near Pokrovka village.


Svirin Mikhail, Panther: Pz.Kpfw V, Armada Press, 1996 | Wikipedia |

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