[QUOTE=Warfish;4234221]See, now you are putting in conditions and limitations to your original "cheaper as good as expensive on the battlefield" point.
First, the T-34 was not materially cheaper than the older Panzer III, or even the early variants of the IV, and the Panzer III was an outdated design by the time the T-34 hit the Battlefield. The III and IV were both produced as early as 1935, the T-34 only started production in 1940, a huge gap of time given the advancements in war tech of that era.
Even the Panzer IV was of an older designe ethic, pre-sloped Armor design. The T-34's tech equivalenet was the Panther an Tiger tanks, which were superior weapon platforms, at much increased cost, and worse (in terms of performance) reduced reliabillity.
But my argument stands, "cheaper = same performance" is not accurate when using WWII Tank Warfare as your example. German Tanks were routinely more expensive than their same-period Allies equivalents, and of vastly better individual performance (not equipment reliabillity tho).
The primary cause of the Allied tank victories was not equivalent technology design or cost. It was pure numbers. Between the massive economies of the U.S. and the massive workforce (forced labor) of the Soviets, the Germans were outproduced hundreds, even thousands, to one, and the Germans faces severe limitations on materials and fuels and the like. The T-34 has over 80,000 produced. The Tiger I, Pather I, Panzer IV and Panzer III combined, for example, only ~22,000 or so.
On equal footing, German Tanks defeated Allied Tanks almost all the way down the line, althogugh all credit to the T-34, it was a great design and proved teh sloped-armor concept quite well, forcing German counter-development (unlike the lol-worth U.S. Sherman). On the unequal footing of economic scale and manpower, the Germans still held out for a long time, but numbers (in some battles as high as 20-1) eventually did what numbers always do, they won.[/QUOTE]
At the end of WWII U.S. tanks were superior to anything the Germans had. Faster, more firepower, reliable.
Aircraft - yes the Germans developed a jet fighter but had few and were only so so. We developed waves of sophisticated fighters. They still used the ME109. Same with the Japanese - still had the Zero while we rolled out many new models. It's a balance of new tech plus quantity.
It has always been tech plus numbers and always will be.
But it all needs to be controlled. Too many lobbyista at the Pentagon. And with Congressmen looking for campaign money.