soviet medium tank, Second World War
This article is about the soviet medium tank. For other uses, see T34
Medium tank

The T-34 is a soviet average tank introduced in 1940. Its 76.2 millimeter ( 3 in ) tank grease-gun was more brawny than its contemporaries [ 7 ] while its 60 degree sloped armor provided good protection against anti-tank weapons. The Christie suspension was inherited from the design of American J. Walter Christie ‘s M1928 tank, versions of which were sold turret-less to the Red Army and documented as “ grow tractors ”, after being rejected by the U.S. Army. The T-34 had a profound effect on the conflict on the Eastern Front in the moment World War, and had a last impact on tank design. After the Germans encountered the tank in 1941 during Operation Barbarossa, german general Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist called it “ the finest cooler in the earth ” [ 8 ] and Heinz Guderian affirmed the T-34 ‘s “ huge superiority ” over german tanks. [ 9 ] [ 10 ] Alfred Jodl, chief of operations staff of the german armed forces noted in his war diary “ the surprise at this raw and thus nameless wunder -armament being unleashed against the german assault divisions, ” [ 11 ] although its armor and arming were surpassed belated in the war. [ 12 ] The T-34 was the anchor of soviet Red Army armoured forces throughout the war. Its general specifications remained about unaltered until early 1944, when it received a firepower upgrade with the introduction of the greatly improved T-34-85 version. Its product method acting was endlessly refined and rationalized to meet the needs of the Eastern Front, making the T-34 quicker and cheaper to produce. The Soviets ultimately built over 80,000 T-34s of all variants, allowing steadily greater numbers to be fielded despite the loss of tens of thousands in combat against the german Wehrmacht. [ 13 ] Replacing many faint and medium tanks in Red Army avail, it was the most-produced tank of the war, equally well as the second most-produced tank of all prison term ( after its successor, the T-54/T-55 series ). [ 14 ] With 44,900 lost during the war, it besides suffered the most tank losses ever. [ 15 ] Its development led directly to the T-44, then the T-54 and T-55 series of tanks, which in turn evolved into the late T-62, that form the armor core of many mod armies. T-34 variants were wide exported after World War II, and arsenic recently as 2010 more than 130 were inactive in overhaul. [ 16 ]

Development and production [edit ]

Origins [edit ]

In 1939, the most numerous soviet tank models were the T-26 infantry tank car and the BT series of fast tanks. The T-26 was slow-moving, designed to keep pace with infantry on the establish. The BT tanks were cavalry tanks : fast-moving and light, designed for manoeuver war. Both were soviet developments of extraneous designs from the early 1930s ; the T-26 was based on the british Vickers 6-Ton, and the BT tanks were based on a design from american english engineer J. Walter Christie. [ 17 ] In 1937, the Red Army had assigned engineer Mikhail Koshkin to lead a new team to design a replacement for the BT tanks at the Kharkiv Komintern Locomotive Plant ( KhPZ ). The prototype tank, designated A-20, had a modified BA-20 locomotive and was specified with 20 mm ( 0.8 in ) of armor, a 45 millimeter ( 1.77 in ) gunman, the production model used a Model V-2-34 locomotive, a less-flammable diesel fuel in a V12 configuration designed by Konstantin Chelpan. It besides had an 8×6-wheel convertible tug similar to the BT tank ‘s 8×2, which allowed it to run on wheels without caterpillar tracks. [ 18 ] This sport had greatly saved on maintenance and repair of the unreliable tank tracks of the early on 1930s, and allowed tanks to exceed 85 kilometres per hour ( 53 miles per hour ) on roads, but gave no advantage in combat and its complexity made it unmanageable to maintain. By 1937–38, racetrack plan had improved and the designers considered it a waste of distance, weight unit, and care resources, despite the road rush advantage. [ 19 ] The A-20 besides incorporated previous research ( BT-IS and BT-SW-2 projects ) into sloped armor : its all-around sloped armour plates were more likely to deflect rounds than perpendicular armor. [ 20 ] During the Battle of Lake Khasan in July 1938 and the Battles of Khalkhin Gol in 1939, an undeclared border war with Japan on the frontier with fill Manchuria, the Soviets deployed numerous tanks against the imperial japanese Army ( IJA ). Although the IJA Type 95 HaGo lighter tanks had diesel engines, [ 21 ] [ page needed ] the Red Army ‘s T-26 and BT tanks used gasoline engines which, while common in tank car designs of the clock, often burst into flames when hit by IJA tank-killer teams [ 22 ] using Molotov cocktails. Poor choice welds in the soviet armor plates left belittled gaps between them, and flaming gasoline from the Molotov cocktails easily seeped into the fight and engine compartment ; portions of the armor plating that had been assembled with rivets besides proved to be vulnerable. [ 23 ] The soviet tanks were besides easily destroyed by the japanese Type 95 tank ‘s 37 millimeter gunfire, despite the low speed of that grease-gun, [ 24 ] or “ at any other slender provocation ”. [ 25 ] The use of concentrate armor led to a trouble whereby the shock of enemy shells, even if they failed to disable the tank or kill the crew on their own, would cause the rivets to break off and become projectiles inside the tank .
Medium tank A-32 After these battles, Koshkin convinced soviet leader Joseph Stalin to let him develop a second gear prototype, a more heavily armed and armoured “ universal tank car ” that reflected the lessons learned and could replace both the T-26 and the BT tanks. Koshkin named the second prototype A-32, after its 32 millimeter ( 1.3 in ) of frontal armor. It had an L-10 76.2 millimeter ( 3 in ) artillery, and the same Model V-2-34 diesel. [ 5 ] Both were tested in discipline trials at Kubinka in 1939, with the heavier A-32 prove to be arsenic fluid as the A-20. A distillery heavier version of the A-32, with 45 mm ( 1.77 in ) of front armor, broad tracks, and a newer L-11 76.2 millimeter artillery, was approved for production as the T-34. Koshkin chose the name after the class 1934, when he began to formulate his ideas about the new tank, and to commemorate that year ‘s decree expanding the armored storm and appointing Sergo Ordzhonikidze to head tank production. [ 26 ] valuable lessons from Lake Khasan and Khalkhin Gol regarding armor protection, mobility, timbre weld, and main guns were incorporated into the new T-34 tank car, which represented a substantial improvement over the BT and T-26 tanks in all four areas. [ 27 ] Koshkin ‘s team completed two prototype T-34s in January 1940. In April and May, they underwent a grueling 2,000-kilometre ( 1,200 nautical mile ) drive from Kharkiv to Moscow for a demonstration for the Kremlin leaders, to the Mannerheim Line in Finland, and back to Kharkiv via Minsk and Kiev. [ 26 ] Some drivetrain shortcomings were identified and corrected. [ 28 ]

initial production

[edit ]

Pre-production prototype A-34 with a building complex single-piece hull front. political coerce came from conservative elements in the army to redirect resources into building the older T-26 and BT tanks, or to cancel T-34 output pending completion of the more advance T-34M design. This imperativeness was brought to bear by the developer of the KV-1 tank which was in competition with the T-34. [ citation needed ] resistance from the military instruction and concerns about high product cost were ultimately overcome by anxieties about the inadequate operation of soviet tanks in the Winter War in Finland, and the potency of german tanks during the Battle of France. The first production T-34s were completed in September 1940, completely replacing the production of the T-26, the BT series and the multi-turreted T-28 medium tank at the KhPZ plant. [ 29 ] Koshkin died of pneumonia ( exacerbated by the repel from Kharkiv to Moscow ) at the end of that calendar month, and the T-34 ‘s drivetrain developer, Alexander Morozov, was appointed Chief Designer. [ 30 ] The T-34 posed fresh challenges for the soviet diligence. It had heavier armor than any medium tank produced to go steady, and there were problems with defective armor plates. [ 31 ] merely company commanders ‘ tanks could be fitted with radios ( in the first place the 71-TK-3 radio fructify ), due to their expense and unretentive add – the stay of the tank crews in each caller signalled with flags. [ 32 ] The L-11 gunman did not live up to expectations, so the Grabin Design Bureau at Gorky Factory N.92 designed the superior 76.2 millimeter F-34 gun. [ notes 1 ] No bureaucrat would approve production of the new gun, but Gorky and KhPZ started producing it anyhow ; official license came from the State Defense Committee only after troops praised the weapon ‘s operation in battle against the Germans. [ 30 ] production of this first T-34 series – the Model 1940 – totalled merely about 400, [ 33 ] before production was switched to the Model 1941, with the F-34 grease-gun, 9-RS radio dress ( besides installed on the SU-100 ), and tied thicker armor. [ 34 ]

Mass output [edit ]

T-34 tanks headed to the front. Subassemblies for the T-34 originated at several plants : Kharkiv Diesel Factory N.75 supplied the model V-2-34 locomotive, Leningrad Kirovsky Factory ( once the Putilov works ) made the original L-11 accelerator, and the Dinamo Factory in Moscow produced electrical components. Tanks were initially built at KhPZ N.183, in early 1941 at the Stalingrad Tractor Factory ( STZ ), and starting in July at Krasnoye Sormovo Factory N.112 in Gorky. [ 31 ] [ notes 2 ]

Wartime tank production[35]
Type June 1941 –
May 1945
Light tanks 14,508
T-34 35,119
T-34-85 29,430
KV and KV-85 4,581
IS 3,854
SU-76 12,671
SU-85 2,050
SU-100 1,675
SU-122 1,148
SU-152 4,779

After Germany ‘s surprise invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 ( Operation Barbarossa ), the Wehrmacht ‘s rapid advances forced the evacuation and resettlement of soviet cooler factories eastwards to the Ural Mountains, an undertake of huge scale and haste that presented enormous logistic difficulties and was extremely punishing to the workers involved. Alexander Morozov personally supervised the emptying of all skilled engineers and laborers, machinery and livestock from KhPZ to re-establish the factory at the web site of the Dzerzhinsky Ural Railcar Factory in Nizhny Tagil, renamed Stalin Ural Tank Factory N.183. [ 36 ] The Kirovsky Factory, evacuated precisely weeks before the Germans surrounded Leningrad, moved with the Kharkiv Diesel Factory to the Stalin Tractor Factory in Chelyabinsk, soon to be nicknamed Tankograd ( “ Tank City ” ). The workers and machinery from Leningrad ‘s Voroshilov Tank Factory N.174 were incorporated into the Ural Factory and the newly Omsk Factory N.174. The Ordzhonikidze Ural Heavy Machine Tool Works ( UZTM ) in Sverdlovsk absorbed workers and machines from several small machine shops in the path of german forces. While these factories were being quickly moved, the industrial complex surrounding the Dzerzhinsky Tractor Factory in Stalingrad continued to work double shifts throughout the period of secession ( September 1941 to September 1942 ) to make up for production lost, and produced 40 % of all T-34s during the period. [ 37 ] As the factory became surrounded by heavy contend in the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942, the situation there grew desperate : fabricate innovations were necessitated by material shortages, and stories prevail of unpainted T-34 tanks driven out of the factory directly to the battlefields around it. [ 38 ] Stalingrad kept up production until September 1942. soviet designers were mindful of design deficiencies in the tank, but most of the hope remedies would have slowed tank production and therefore were not implemented : the lone changes allowed on the production lines through to 1944 were those to make production childlike and cheaper. New methods were developed for automated welding and hardening the armor plate, including innovations by Prof. Evgeny Paton. [ 39 ] The design of the 76.2 millimeter F-34 gun Model 1941 was reduced from an initial 861 parts to 614. [ 40 ] The initial specialize, cramped turrets, both the casting one and the one welded of roll armor plates bent to shape, were since 1942 gradually replaced with the slightly less cramp hexangular matchless ; as it was by and large cast with only a few, simple bland armor plates welded in ( roof etc. ), this turret was actually faster to produce. limited rubber eraser supplies led to the borrowing of all-steel, internally bounce road wheels, and a new clutch was added to an improved five-speed transmission and engine, improving dependability. [ 41 ] polish T-34 Model 1942 in Poznań, Poland. The model 1942 ‘s hexangular turret distinguishes it from earlier models. Over two years, the unit product cost of the T-34 was reduced from 269,500 rubles in 1941, to 193,000, and then to 135,000. [ 40 ] In 1943, T-34 product had reached an average of 1,300 per month ; this was the equivalent of three neat Panzer divisions. [ 42 ] By the end of 1945, over 57,300 T-34s had been built : 34,780 T-34 tanks in multiple variants with 76.2 mm guns in 1940–44, [ citation needed ] and another 22,609 of the revised T-34-85 exemplary in 1944–45. [ 43 ] The single largest producer was Factory N.183 ( UTZ ), building 28,952 T-34s and T-34-85s from 1941 to 1945. The second-largest was Krasnoye Sormovo Factory N.112 in Gorky, with 12,604 in the lapp period. [ 44 ] At the begin of the German-Soviet war, T-34s comprised about four percentage of the Soviet tank armory, but by the conclusion it made up at least 55 % of cooler production ( based on figures from ; [ 45 ] Zheltov 2001 lists even larger numbers ). Following the end of the war, a promote 2,701 T-34s were built prior to the end of soviet production. Under license, production was restarted in Poland ( 1951–55 ) and Czechoslovakia ( 1951–58 ), where 1,380 and 3,185 T-34-85s were made, respectively, by 1956. [ 46 ] Altogether, a many as 84,070 T-34s are thought to have been built, plus 13,170 automotive guns built on T-34 chassis. [ 3 ] It was the most-produced tank of the Second World War, and the second most-produced tank of all prison term, after its successor, the T-54/55 series. [ 14 ]

design [edit ]

overview [edit ]

Interior horizon of T-34-85. The T-34 had well-sloped armor, a relatively brawny locomotive and wide tracks. [ 32 ] The initial T-34 adaptation had a knock-down 76.2 millimeter gunman, and is frequently called the T-34/76 ( primitively a World War II german appointment, never used by the Red Army ). In 1944, a second major interpretation began production, the T-34-85, with a larger 85 millimeter gun intended to deal with new german tanks. [ 32 ] Comparisons can be drawn between the T-34 and the U.S. M4 Sherman tank car. Both tanks were the spinal column of the armored units in their respective armies, both nations distributed these tanks to their allies, who besides used them as the pillar of their own armored formations, and both were upgraded extensively and fitted with more knock-down guns. Both were designed for mobility and facilitate of fabricate and sustenance, sacrificing some performance for these goals. Both human body were used as the initiation for a diverseness of support vehicles, such as armor convalescence vehicles, tank destroyers, and self-propelled artillery. Both were an approximately even peer for the standard German metier tank, the Panzer IV, though each of these three tanks had finical advantages and weaknesses compared with the early two. Neither the T-34 nor the M4 was a catch for Germany ‘s heavier tanks, the Panther ( technically a medium tank ) or the Tiger I ; the Soviets used the IS-2 fleshy tank and the U.S. used the M26 Pershing as the heavy tanks of their forces alternatively. [ 47 ]

Soviet medium tank models of World War II[48]
Model T-34 Model 1940 T-34 Model 1941 T-34 Model 1942 T-34 Model 1943 T-43 prototype T-34-85 T-44
Weight 26 t
(29 tons)
26.5 t
(29.2 tons)
28.5 t
(31.4 tons)
30.9 t
(34.1 tons)
34 t
(37 tons)
32 t
(35 tons)
31.9 t
(35.2 tons)
Gun 76.2 mm L-11 76.2 mm F-34 76.2 mm F-34 76.2 mm F-34 76.2 mm F-34 85 mm ZiS-S-53 85 mm ZiS-S-53
Ammunition 76 rounds 77 rounds 77 rounds 100 rounds 60 rounds 58 rounds
Fuel (internal) 460 L
(100 imp gal; 120 US gal)
610 L
(130 imp gal; 160 US gal)
556–935 L
(122–206 imp gal; 147–247 US gal)
500 L
(110 imp gal; 130 US gal)
Road range 160–290 km
(99–180 mi)
330 km
(210 mi)
240 km
(150 mi)
250–300–485 km
(155–186–301 mi)
250–260 km
(160–160 mi)
Armour 15–45 mm
(0.59–1.77 in)
20–52 mm
(0.79–2.05 in)
20–65 mm
(0.79–2.56 in)
20–70 mm
(0.79–2.76 in)
16–90 mm
(0.63–3.54 in)
20–90 mm
(0.79–3.54 in)
15–120 mm
(0.59–4.72 in)
Cost 270,000 rubles 193,000 rubles 135,000 rubles 164,000 rubles

Dimensions, road speed and engine horsepower of the respective models did not vary significantly, except for the T-43, which was slower than the T-34 .

armor [edit ]

The heavily sloped armor design made the tank better protected than the armor thickness alone would indicate. The shape besides saved weight by reducing the thickness required to achieve equal protection. A few tanks besides had appliqué armor of varying thickness welded onto the hull and turret. Tanks therefore modified were called s ekranami ( russian : с экранами, “ with screens ” ). [ 32 ] The USSR donated two combat-used model 1941 T-34s to the United States for testing purposes in late 1942. [ 49 ] The examinations, performed at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, revealed problems with overall armor build quality, specially of the plate joins and welds, angstrom well as the use of voiced steel combined with shallow surface tempering. Leak issues were noted : “ In a heavy rain lots of water system flows through chinks/cracks, which leads to the disable of the electric equipment and even the ammunition ”. [ 50 ] Earlier models of the T-34, until the Model 1942, had cast turrets whose armor was softer than that of the early parts of the tank, and offered poor resistance tied to 37 mm anti-aircraft shells. early T-34s besides suffered from hapless timbre welds, leading to instances of shells which would not have penetrated the tank under convention circumstances to penetrate anyhow. They besides suffered from rushed fabrication, leading to inconsistent protection. [ 51 ] In addition, close examination of the T-34 at the Aberdeen Testing Ground showed that a diverseness of alloys were used in different portions of the armor on the T-34. “ Mn – Si – missouri steels were employed for the dilutant rolled armor sections, Cr -Mo steels for the thick rolled armor sections, Mn-Si- Ni -Cr-Mo steels were employed for both rolled and cast steel components from 2 ” to 5 ” in thickness, and Ni-Cr-Mo steels were employed for some of the moderately thick cast armor sections ”. [ 52 ] The armor was heat-treated in order to prevent penetration by armour-piercing shells, but this besides caused it to be structurally weak, as the armor was very hard and therefore brittle, resulting in strikes by high explosive shells causing spalling. [ 51 ] Despite these deficiencies, the T-34 ‘s armor proved baffling for the Germans in the initial stages of the war on the Eastern Front. In one wartime history, a individual T-34 came under heavy fire upon encountering one of the most common german anti-tank guns at that stage of the war : “ signally enough, one determined 37 mm gun gang reported firing 23 times against a single T-34 tank car, lone managing to jam the tank ’ second turret surround. ” [ 53 ] Similarly, a german report of May 1942 noted the ineffectiveness of their 50 millimeter gun ampere well, noting that “ Combating the T-34 with the 5 centimeter KwK tank accelerator is possible lone at curtly ranges from the flank or rear, where it is authoritative to achieve a hit as perpendicular to the come on as potential. ” [ 33 ] however, a military Commissariat Report of the tenth Tank Division, dated 2 August 1941 reported that within 300–400 m the 37 millimeter Pak 36 ‘s armour-piercing shoot could defeat the frontal armor. [ 54 ] [ 55 ] According to an examination of damaged T-34 tanks in several compensate workshops in August to September 1942, collected by the People ‘s Commissariat for Tank Industry in January 1943, 54.3 % of all T-34 losses were caused by the german long-barreled 50 millimeter KwK 39 grease-gun. [ 56 ] [ 57 ] As the war went on, the T-34 gradually lost some of its initial advantages. The Germans responded to the T-34 by fielding large numbers of improved anti-tank weapons such as the tow 7.5cm Pak 40 anti-tank gun, while hits from 88 mm-armed Tigers, anti-aircraft guns and 8.8 centimeter PaK 43 anti-tank guns normally proved deadly. [ 58 ] In 1942 the german Panzer IVs were refitted with the 7.5cm Kwk 40 due to the inadequate anti tank performance of former German tank designs against the T-34. The upgunned Panzer IV posed a dangerous threat to the T-34-76, being able to penetrate the frontal turret of a T-34-76 at a range of 1,200 thousand ( 3,900 foot ) at any angle. [ 59 ] [ full citation needed ] A Wa Pruef 1 report estimated that, with the target angled 30° sideward, a Panther tank could penetrate the turret of a T-34-85 from the movement at ranges up to 2000 megabyte, the mantelet at 1200 megabyte, and the frontal hull armor at 300 thousand. [ 60 ] [ full citation needed ] According to the Pantherfibel ( the Panther tank manual of arms for its gang ), the T-34 ‘s glacis could be penetrated from 800 m and the mantelet from 1500 thousand at 30° sideward angle. [ 61 ] A Waffenamt-Prüfwesen 1 report estimated [ 62 ] that with the T-34 angled 30 degrees sidewards and APCBC round, the Tiger I ‘s 8.8 centimeter KwK 36 L/56 would have to close in to 100 m ( 110 yd ) to achieve a penetration in the T-34 ‘s glacis, and could penetrate the frontal turret of a T-34-85 at 1,400 m, the mantelet at 400 m, and the nose at 300 m [ 63 ] Ground trials by employees of NIBT Polygon in May 1943 reported that the 88 millimeter KwK 36 gun could pierce the T-34 frontal hull from 1,500 meters at 90 degrees and cause a black explosion impression inside the tank. The analyze hull showed cracks, spalling, and delamination due to the inadequate choice of the armor. It was recommended to increase and improve the quality of welds and armor. [ 64 ] analysis of destroyed T-34 tanks in the Korean War found that the 76 and 90 millimeter armour-piercing rounds of the M41 Walker Bulldog and M46 Patton could penetrate the T-34 at most angles from 800 yd ( 730 thousand ). The maximal range at which the tanks could penetrate the T-34 could not determined due to a lack of data at higher fight ranges. [ 65 ] In deep 1950 a T-34-85 tank was captured by the UN security force in the Korean War. An evaluation of the cooler was conducted by the USA which found that the slop armor of the T-34 was desirable for deflecting shells. They besides concluded that the armor was deemed a satisfactory as armor strength was comparable to US armor of alike hardness and that the timbre of the substantial used was “ high-grade ”. similarly, casting was seen arsenic high timbre although molding defects were found in the side armor of the tank car that negatively affected armor strength. The abundance of gaps in the joints of the armor was seen as an undesirable feature of the tank ascribable to the risk of wound from “ submission of bullet dab and shell fragments ”. [ 66 ]

firepower [edit ]

T-34 side opinion, displaying the F-34 grease-gun, with an ISU-122 and T-54 in background The 76.2 millimeter ( 3.00 in ) F-34 gunman, fitted on the huge majority of T-34s produced through to the beginning of 1944, was able to penetrate any early german tank ‘s armor at normal combat ranges. When firing APCR shells, it could pierce 92 millimeter ( 3.6 in ) at 500 thousand ( 1,600 foot ) and 60 millimeter ( 2.4 in ) of armor at 1,000 thousand ( 3,300 foot ) [ 67 ] The best german tanks of 1941, the Panzer III and Panzer IV, had no more than 50 or 60 millimeter ( 2.0 or 2.4 in ) of flat frontal armor. [ 68 ] however by 1942 the Germans had increased the hull armor on the Panzer IV to 80 millimeter ( 3.1 in ) which provided good protection at normal fight distances. The F-34 besides fired an adequate high explosive round. The gunman sights and range receive for the F-34 independent grease-gun ( either the TMFD-7 or the PT4-7 [ 69 ] ) were rather crude, particularly compared to those of their german adversaries, affecting accuracy and the ability to engage at long ranges. [ 70 ] As a result of the T-34 ‘s two-man gun enclosure, weak optics and poor sight devices, the Germans noted :

T-34s operated in a disorganize fashion with little coordination or else tended to clump together like a hen with its chicks. Individual tank commanders lacked situational awareness due to the hapless planning of vision devices and preoccupancy with gunnery duties. A tank platoon would rarely be capable of engaging three separate targets but would tend to focus on a single target selected by the platoon leader. As a solution, T-34 platoons lost the greater firepower of three independently operating tanks. [ 71 ]

The Germans besides noted that the T-34 was very behind to find and engage targets, while their own tanks could typically get off three rounds for every one fired by the T-34. [ 71 ] As the war progressed the Germans created heavier cooler designs like the Tiger I or Panther which were both immune to the 76mm gunman of the T-34 when fired upon from the presence. [ 72 ] [ 73 ] This mean that they could only be penetrated from the sides at ranges of a few hundred metres. Due to moo anti-tank operation, the T-34 was upgraded to the T-34-85 exemplar. This model, with its 85 millimeter ( 3.35 in ) ZiS grease-gun, provided greatly increase firepower compared to the former T-34 ‘s 76.2mm gunman. The 85 millimeter gun could penetrate the turret front of a Tiger I tank from 500 thousand ( 550 yd ) and the driver ‘s front man plate from 300 thousand ( 330 yd ) at the side angle of 30 degrees, and the larger turret enabled the accession of another crew extremity, allowing the roles of commander and artilleryman to be separated and increasing the rate of fire and overall effectiveness. [ 74 ] [ full citation needed ] The D-5T was capable of penetrating the Tiger I ‘s upper hull armor at 1,000 metres. [ 75 ] When firing on the frontlet armor of the Panther at an angle of 30 degrees sidewards, the T-34-85 could not penetrate its turret at 500 thousand ( 550 yd ). [ 60 ] [ further explanation needed ] This entail that the T-34 would have to resort to using tungsten rounds or firing on the weaker sides of the Panther to destroy it. [ 76 ] The greater length of the 85 millimeter gun barrel – 4.645 molarity ( 15 foot 2.9 in ) – made it necessary for crews to be careful not to plough it into the prime on rough roads or in fight. Tank commander A.K. Rodkin commented : “ the cooler could have dug the prime with it in the smallest ditch [ filling the barrel with dirt ]. If you fired it after that, the barrel would open up at the end like the petals of a bloom ”, destroying the barrel. Standard rehearse when moving the T-34-85 cross-country in non-combat situations was to fully elevate the accelerator, or reverse the turret. [ 77 ] During the Korean War, the USA captured a T-34-85. US engineer psychoanalysis and testing concluded that the T-34-85 could penetrate 4.1 in ( 100 millimeter ) at 1,000 yd ( 910 megabyte ), performing similarly to the HVAP rounds of the M41. The Americans besides concluded the maximal rate of the accelerator was 2–3 kilometer ( 1.2–1.9 nautical mile ), but the effective scope was entirely up to 1,900 megabyte ( 1.2 nautical mile ). [ citation needed ]

mobility [edit ]

The T-34 was powered by a Model V-2-34 38.8 L V12 Diesel engine of 500 horsepower ( 370 kilowatt ), [ notes 3 ] giving a lead speed of 53 km/h ( 33 miles per hour ). It used the coil-spring Christie suspension of the earlier BT-series tanks, using a “ slack track ” tread system with a rear-mounted drive sprocket and no system of return rollers for the upper move of path, but dispensed with the heavy and ineffective convertible drive. [ 32 ] The Red Armys T-34s besides experienced considerable problems due to the mire : In 1944 February 4, the 21st Guards Tank Brigade with 32 T-34, was ordered to proceed by road to Tolstoye Rogi, a journey of approximately 80 kilometers. The T-34 had a adept reputation for its ability to negotiate difficult flat coat conditions, but the relatively light journey was a real challenge. Of the 32 tanks, no less than 19 got stuck in the mud or suffered mechanical breakdowns. [ 78 ]

Ergonomics [edit ]

The master 76mm armed T-34 suffered from the unsatisfactory ergonomic layout of its gang compartment compared to the late 85mm random variable. The two-man turret crew placement required the commanding officer to aim and fire the gunman, an arrangement common to most soviet tanks of the day. The two-man gun enclosure was “ cramp and inefficient ” and was inferior to the three-man ( commander, artilleryman, and loader ) turret crews of german Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks. The Germans noted the T-34 was very slow to find and engage targets while the Panzers could typically get off three rounds for every one fired by the T-34. [ 71 ] early in the war, the commanding officer fight at a farther disadvantage ; the forward-opening hatch and the lack of a gun enclosure cupola forced him to observe the battlefield through a single imagination incision and traversable periscope. [ 80 ] german commanders liked to fight “ heads-up ”, with their seat raised and having a full discipline of see – in the T-34 this was impossible. [ 81 ] Soviet veterans condemned the turret hatches of the early on models. Nicknamed pirozhok ( “ stuffed bun ” ) because of its characteristic shape, it was heavy and arduous to open. The complaints of the crews urged the design group led by Alexander Morozov to switch in August 1942 [ 82 ] to using two hatches in the turret. [ 83 ] The stevedore besides had a unmanageable speculate due to the miss of a turret basket ( a rotate floor that moves as the turret turns ) ; the same fault was present on all german tanks anterior to the Panzer IV. The floor under the T-34 ‘s gun enclosure was made up of ammunition stored in small metallic boxes, covered by a rubber eraser mat. There were nine ready rounds of ammunition stowed in racks on the sides of the fight compartment. Once these rounds had been used, the crew had to pull extra ammunition out of the floor boxes, leaving the deck littered with open bins and mat and reducing their performance. [ 84 ]

The chief weakness [ of the two-man turret of a T-34 Model 1941 ] is that it is very nasty. The Americans could n’t understand how our tankers could fit inside during a winter when they wear diploma jackets. The electrical mechanism for rotating the gun enclosure is identical bad. The centrifugal is fallible, very overladen and sparks dreadfully, as a consequence of which the device regulating the amphetamine of the rotation burns out, and the tooth of the cogwheels break into pieces. They recommend replacing it with a hydraulic or simply manual arrangement. Due to not having a gun enclosure basket the crew was [ sic ] could be injured by getting caught in the drive mechanism, this could leave them out of fight for a while, the lack of a turret basket besides caused general discomfort to the crew, having to manually turn. [ 50 ]

Most of the problems created by the cramp T-34/76 turret, known before the war, were corrected with the provision of a bigger cast three-man gun enclosure on the T-34-85 in 1944 .

General dependability [edit ]

The T-34 ‘s wide path and good suspension gave it excellent cross-country performance. early in the tank ‘s life, however, this advantage was greatly reduced by the numerous teething troubles the design displayed : a long road trip could be a deadly exercise for a T-34 tank at the start of the war. When in June 1941, the 8th Mechanised Corps under Dmitry Ryabyshev marched 500 kilometer towards Dubno, the corporation lost half of its vehicles. A.V. Bodnar, who was in battle in 1941–42, recalled :

From the point of view of operating them, the german armored machines were about perfect, they broke down less frequently. For the Germans, covering 200 kilometer was nothing, but with T-34s something would have been lost, something would have broken down. The technological equipment of their machines was better, the battle gear was worse. [ 86 ]

The T-34 gearbox had four fore and one inverse gearing, replaced by a five-speed box on the last of the 1943 model of the T-34. The earlier transmissions were troublesome, and some tanks went into struggle with a bare transmission cabled onto the locomotive compartment deck. The tracks of early models were the most frequently repaired function. A.V. Maryevski subsequently remembered :

The caterpillars used to break apart evening without a bullet train or carapace hits. When earth got stuck between the road wheels, the caterpillar, particularly during a turn – strained to such an extent that the pins and tracks themselves could n’t hold out. [ 89 ]

The USSR donated two combat-used mannequin 1941 T-34s to the United States for testing purposes in late 1942. The examinations, performed at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, highlighted these early faults, which were in turn acknowledged in a 1942 soviet report on the results of the quiz :

The Christie ‘s suspension was tested a long time ago by the Americans and unconditionally rejected. On our tanks, as a resultant role of the poor steel on the springs, it identical cursorily fatigues and as a result clearance is perceptibly reduced. The deficiencies in our tracks from their vantage point result from the lightsomeness of their structure. They can easily be damaged by small-caliber and mortar rounds. The pins are extremely ailing tempered and made of poor steel. As a resultant role, they quickly wear and the lead frequently breaks. [ 50 ]

Testing at Aberdeen besides revealed that engines could grind to a stem from dust and sand consumption, as the original “ Pomon ” air filter was about wholly ineffective and had an insufficient air-inflow capacitance, starving the combustion chambers of oxygen, lowering compression, and thereby restricting the locomotive from operational at full capacitance. [ 50 ] The air out trickle exit was subsequently remedied by the accession of “ Cyclone ” filters on the Model 1943, [ 33 ] and even more efficient “ Multi-Cyclone ” filters on the T-34-85. [ 43 ] The test at Aberdeen revealed early problems as good. The turret drive besides suffered from hapless dependability. The habit of ailing machined, gloomy choice steel side friction clutches and the T-34 ‘s outdated and ill manufactured infection meant frequent mechanical failure occurred and that they “ create an cold cruelty for the driver ”. A miss of properly installed and shielded radios – if they existed at all – restricted their operational image to under 16 kilometer ( 9.9 myocardial infarction ). [ 50 ]

Judging by samples, Russians when producing tanks pay little attention to careful machine or the finish and engineering of little parts and components, which leads to the loss of the advantage what would differently accrue from what on the whole are well-designed tanks. Despite the advantages of the manipulation of diesel, the adept contour of the tanks, thick armor, good and authentic armaments, the successful design of the tracks etc., russian tanks are significantly subscript to american tanks in their simplicity of drive, maneuverability, the military capability of fire ( citation to muzzle speed ), speed, the dependability of mechanical construction and the rest of keeping them running. [ 50 ]

soviet tests on newly built T-34 ’ second showed that in April 1943 only 10.1 % could complete a 330 kilometer test and in June ’ 43 this went down to 7.7 %. The share stayed below 50 % till October 1943 when it rose to 78 %, in the next month it dropped to 57 % and in the period December ’ 43 – January ’ 44 the modal was 82 % .During February 1944 tests, 79 % of tanks reached 300 kilometers, and of the test batches 33 % reached 1,000 kilometers. This became immediately apparent to the tank troops. The deputy commander of the 1st Guards Tank Army, P. G. Dyner, commented that tanks in 1943 would reach lone 75 percentage of their guarantee life span in locomotive hours and mileage, but in 1944 they reached 150 percentage. [ 90 ]

Percentage of T-34 tanks reaching 330 kilometers during factory trials[91]
Apr. 43 May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec Jan. 44 Feb.
10.1 23.0 7.7 28.6 43.0 46.0 78.0 57.0 83.6 83.4 79.0

In 1944 June, a report written by the 2. Panzerjäger-Abteilung company 128 ( 23. PzDiv. ) [ who? ] described experiences acquired during operations with its Beutepanzer SU-85 and T-34 :

Despite not having much experience yet, it can be said that the russian conflict tank is not desirable for carrying out long marches angstrom well as high-speed marches. A maximum driving focal ratio of 10–12 km / hydrogen has become convenient. During the marches and in order to allow the engines to cool down, it is absolutely necessity to make a check every half hour for a minimum duration of between fifteen and twenty minutes. Steering gears have caused problems and breakdowns on all new conflict tanks. In unmanageable terrain, during the gears or besides during the course of attacks where many changes of guidance are made, the steering batch heats up and covers with oil promptly : consequently the clutch bag does not engage and it is impossible to maneuver the vehicle. Once it has cooled down, the seize should be cleaned with ample amounts of fuel. In relation back to the armament and based on the experiences acquired so far, it can be affirmed that the power of the 7.62 centimeter cannon is beneficial. If the barrel is adjusted correctly it has good preciseness even at big distances. The lapp can be said of the remainder of the automatic rifle weapons of the conflict cooler. The weapons have estimable preciseness and dependability, although a slow rate of fire. The Company has had the same positive experiences with the 8.5 curium rape gunman. Regarding the true power of fire compared to the 7.62 curium gunman, the Company is not yet able to give details. The effect of explosive projectiles ( Sprenggranaten ) at great distances and its preciseness is much higher than that of the 7.62 centimeter cannon. The ocular systems of the russian struggle tank car are, in comparison with the Germans, much inferior. The german artilleryman has to get used to the russian telescopic spy. Observing the impact or the trajectory of the projectile through the telescopic sight is entirely partially potential. The artilleryman of the russian T-43 [ sic ] conflict tank has merely a bird’s-eye ocular, located in the amphetamine exit area, in front of the telescopic sight. In order for the loader to be able to observe the trajectory of the projectile in any character, the Company has additionally incorporated a second bird’s-eye optics for this extremity of the crew. In the russian tank it is very unmanageable to steer the vehicle or a unit and shoot simultaneously. Coordinating open fire within a company is lone partially potential. [ 92 ]

On January 29, 1945, the State Defense Committee approved a rule that extended the service life guarantee of the T-34 ‘s V-2-34 engine from 200 hours to 250 hours. [ 93 ] A report by the 2nd Guards Tank Army in February 1945 revealed that the average engine service life of a T-34 was lower than the official guarantee at 185–190 hours. For comparison, the US M4 Sherman had an average engine avail life of 195–205 hours. [ 94 ] During the Korean war the Americans captured a north korean T-34-85, evaluating its operation. According to the tank car ’ sulfur instruments, it had travelled for 741 km ( 460 secret intelligence service ), but the horizontal surface of wear on the locomotive was minimal. The timbre of materials used were “ ample for the job ” with some being “ better than those used in american tanks ”. protective coatings used to prevent wear of components were deemed “ most effective ”. however the tank besides had respective defects. The gearbox was seen as debatable and unreliable and the US opinion of the transmittance was exceptionally low, stating that the example had “ by american english standards already failed ” attributing it to “ inadequate design ” as “ excellent steel ” was used throughout the transmittance. [ 95 ]

operational history [edit ]

Operation Barbarossa ( 1941 ) [edit ]

tankette german training mockup of a T-34 construct over a capture polish TK-3 Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, its invasion of the Soviet Union, on 22 June 1941. At the starting signal of hostilities, the Red Army had 967 T-34 tanks and 508 KV tanks [ 96 ] concentrated in five [ 97 ] of their twenty-nine mechanized corps. The being of the T-34 and KV tanks proved a psychological shock to german soldiers, who had expected to face an inferior foe. [ 98 ] The T-34 was superscript to any tank the Germans then had in service. The diary of Alfred Jodl seems to express surprise at the appearance of the T-34 in Riga. [ 99 ] initially, the Wehrmacht had bang-up difficulty destroying T-34s in combat, as standard german anti-tank weaponry proved ineffective against its intemperate, sloped armor. In one of the first know encounters, a T-34 crushed a 37 millimeter PaK 36, destroyed two Panzer IIs, and left a 14-kilometre ( 8.7 myocardial infarction ) -long swaddle of destruction in its awaken before a mortar destroyed it at close rate. [ 100 ] In another incident, a single soviet T-34 was hit more than 30 times by a battalion-sized contingent of german 37mm and 50mm anti-tank guns, yet survived integral and drove back to its own lines a few hours later. [ 101 ] The inability to penetrate the T-34 ‘s armor led to the Germans ‘ standard anti-tank artillery, the 37 millimeter PaK 36, being dubbed the Panzeranklopfgerät ( “ tank door knocker ” ) because the PaK 36 crowd simply revealed their bearing and wasted their shells without damaging the T-34 ‘s armor. [ 101 ] Anti-tank gunners began aiming at tank car tracks, or vulnerable margins on the turret ring and gun mantelet, quite than the bow and turret armor. [ 101 ] The Germans were forced to deploy 105 millimeter field guns and 88 millimeter anti-aircraft guns in a steer fire function to stop them. [ 102 ] Burning T-34, Soviet Union, 1941 Despite this, the Soviet corporation equipped with these modern tanks lost most of them within weeks. The fight statistics for 1941 show that the Soviets lost an median of over seven tanks for every german tank lost. [ 104 ] [ 105 ] The Soviets lost a sum of 20,500 tanks in 1941 ( approximately 2,300 of them T-34s, equally well as over 900 heavy tanks, largely KVs ). [ 106 ] The destruction of the Soviet tank effect was accomplished not only by the glaring disparity in the tactical and functional skills of the opponents, but besides by mechanical defects that afflicted soviet armor. [ 107 ] Besides the poor state of older tanks, the new T-34s and KVs suffered from initial mechanical and design problems, particularly with see to clutches and transmissions. mechanical breakdowns accounted for at least 50 percentage of the cooler losses in the summer fight, and convalescence or rectify equipment was not to be found. [ 107 ] The dearth of repair equipment and recovery vehicles led the early T-34 crews to enter fight carrying a spare transmission on the engine deck. [ 108 ] T-34 being used by the Wehrmacht other key factors diminishing the initial impact of T-34s on the battlefield were the poor country of leadership, tank tactics, initial lack of radios in tanks, and crew train ; these factors were partially consequences of Stalin ‘s purify of the soviet officeholder corps in 1937, reducing the army ‘s efficiency and esprit de corps. [ 109 ] This was aggravated as the campaign progressed by the loss of many of the by rights trained personnel during the Red Army ‘s black defeats early in the invasion. typical crew went into battle with only basic military train plus 72 hours of classroom direction ; according to historian Steven Zaloga :

Read more: Morgan Lily

The weakness of mechanize corporation lay not in the design of their equipment, but preferably in its hapless mechanical state, the inadequate educate of their crews, and the abysmal quality of soviet military leadership in the first calendar month of the war. [ 110 ]

far military action ( 1942–1943 ) [edit ]

As the invasion progressed, german infantry began receiving increasing numbers of the 7.5 centimeter Pak 40 anti-tank guns, which were capable of penetrating the T-34 ‘s armor at long range. Larger numbers of the 88 millimeter Flak guns besides arrived, which could well defeat a T-34 at very long ranges, though their size and general unwieldiness meant that they were often difficult to move into position in the harsh soviet terrain. [ 111 ] At the like meter, the Soviets incrementally upgraded the T-34. The Model 1942 featured increased armor on the gun enclosure and many simplified components. The model 1943 ( bewilderingly besides introduced in 1942 ) had yet more armor, adenine well as increased fuel capability and more ammunition storage. besides added were an improved engine air filter and a new clutch mated to an improved and more authentic five-speed infection. [ 48 ] Finally, the Model 1943 besides had a new, slenderly roomier ( but inactive two-man ) gun enclosure of a classifiable hexangular form that was easier to manufacture, derived from the abandoned T-34M project. [ 41 ] The T-34 was all-important in resisting the german summer offense in 1942, and executing the double blockade steer that cut off the german Sixth Army at Stalingrad in December 1942. The sixth Army was surrounded, and finally surrendered in February 1943, a campaign wide regarded as the turning point of the war on the Eastern Front. In 1943, the Soviets formed polish and czechoslovakian armies-in-exile, and these started to receive the T-34 Model 1943 with a hexangular turret. Like the soviet forces themselves, the polish and Czechoslovak cooler crews were sent into legal action quickly with little trail, and suffered high casualties. [ citation needed ] soviet T-34 tanks await orders to move ahead during the Zhitomir–Berdichev Offensive in January 1944 In July 1943, the Germans launched Operation Citadel, in the region around Kursk, their last major offensive on the Eastern Front in the second World War. It was the debut of the german Panther tank, although the numbers employed at the resulting Battle of Kursk were small and the brunt of the burden was carried by the Panzer III, StuG III, and Panzer IV. The campaign featured the largest tank battles in history. The high-water mark of the battle was the massive armor engagement at Prokhorovka, which began on 12 July, though the huge majority of armor losses on both sides were caused by weapon and mines, rather than tanks. [ 112 ] Over 6,000 fully tracked armor vehicles, 4,000 battle aircraft, and 2 million men are believed to have participated in these battles. The soviet high gear command ‘s decision to focus on one cost-efficient design, cutting costs and simplifying production wherever possible while only allowing relatively minor improvements, had proven to be an astute choice for the first two years of the war. however, the battles in the summer of 1943 demonstrated that the 76.2 millimeter gun of the T-34 was no long a effective as it was in 1941. soviet tank crowd struggled at longer ranges with the extra frontal armor applied to the by and by variants of the Panzer III and Panzer IV, and were unable to penetrate the frontlet armor of the new german Panther or Tiger I tank at standard fight ranges without tungsten rounds, and had to rely on tactical skill through flank manoeuvres and combined arms. [ 112 ] A T-34 exemplar 1942 ( left ), following to the T-43 After better german Panzer IVs with the high-speed 7.5cm ( 2.95 in ) KwK 40 artillery were encountered in fight in 1942, a project to design an entirely new soviet tank car was begun, with the goals of increasing armor protection while adding advanced features like a torsion-bar abeyance and a three-man turret. The new tank, the T-43, was intended to be a universal model to replace both the T-34 and the KV-1 heavy tank. however, the T-43 prototype ‘s armor, though heavier, was not capable against german 88 millimeter guns, while its mobility was found to be inferior to the T-34. last, although the T-43 shared over 70 % of its components with the T-34, manufacturing it would however have required a significant slow-down in production. [ 113 ] Consequently, the T-43 was cancelled. not entirely were the weapons of german tanks improving, so was their armor. soviet firing tests against a capture tiger I heavy tank in April 1943 showed that the T-34 ‘s 76 millimeter gunman could not penetrate the front of the Tiger I at all, and the side merely at very close range. A soviet 85 millimeter anti-aircraft gunman, the M1939 ( 52-K ), was found able of doing the job, and thus derivatives of it were developed for tanks. [ 114 ] [ 115 ] One of the resulting guns used on the original T-34 85 model ( the D-5T ) was capable of penetrating the Tiger I ‘s upper hull armor at 1,000 metres. [ 75 ] It was still not enough to match the Tiger, which could destroy the T-34 from a outdistance of 1,500 to 2,000 m ( 4,900 to 6,600 foot ), [ 116 ] but it was a obtrusive improvement .
rise watch of a T-34-85 from Factory 174. In the center is a circular transmittance access hatch, flanked by exhaust pipes, MDSh smoke canisters on the hull rear, and extra fuel tanks on the hull sides. With the T-43 canceled, the soviet command made the decision to retool the factories to produce an better version of the T-34. Its gun enclosure ring was enlarged from 1,425 millimeter ( 56 in ) to 1,600 millimeter ( 63 in ), allowing a larger turret to be fitted supporting the larger 85 millimeter grease-gun. The prototype T-43 ‘s turret design was hurriedly adopted by Vyacheslav Kerichev at the Krasnoye Sormovo Factory to fit the T-34. [ 117 ] This was a larger three-man turret, with radio ( previously in the hull ) and observation cupola in the roof. now the tank commanding officer needed only to command ( aided by cupola and radio receiver systems ), leaving the operation of the gun to the artilleryman and the stevedore. The gun enclosure was bigger and less sloped than the original T-34 turret, making it a bigger target ( due to the three-man crowd and bigger gunman ), but with thick 90 millimeter armor, making it more immune to enemy open fire. The shells were 50 % heavier ( 9 kilogram ) and were a lot better in the anti-armour role, and fair in a general purpose character, though only 55–60 could be carried, rather of 90–100 of the earlier shells. The resulting new tank, the T-34-85, was seen as a compromise between advocates for the T-43 and others who wanted to continue to build as many 76 mm-armed T-34s as possible without interruption. [ 118 ] Interior of a T-34-85 see from the driver ‘s hatch, showing the ammunition boxes on which the loader had to stand in the absence of a turret basket. In the foreground is the driver ‘s seat. Levers for radiator flaps can be seen on the firewall. production of the T-34-85 began in January 1944 at Factory No. 112, inaugural using the D-5T 85 millimeter gunman. Parallel to the production of the T-34-85 with the D-5T gun, production of the T-34-85 using the S-53 gunman ( later to be modified and redesignated as the ZIS-S-53 gun ) began in February 1944 at Factory No. 112. [ 119 ] The better T-34-85 became the standard Soviet medium tank car, with an uninterrupted production operate until the end of the war. A T-34-85 initially cost about 30 percentage more to produce than a Model 1943, at 164,000 rubles ; by 1945 this had been reduced to 142,000 rubles – [ 120 ] during the course of World War II the cost of a T-34 tank had about halved, from 270,000 rubles in 1941, [ 120 ] while its exceed amphetamine remained about the same, and its main gunman ‘s armor penetration and gun enclosure frontal armor thickness both about doubled. [ 121 ] The T-34-85 gave the Red Army a tank car with better armor and mobility than the german Panzer IV tank and StuG III assault grease-gun. While it could not match the armor or weapons of the heavier Panther and Tiger tanks, its improved firepower made it much more effective than earlier models, and overall it was more cost-efficient than the heavy german tanks. In comparison with the T-34-85 program, the Germans rather chose an promote way based on the introduction of completely fresh, expensive, heavier, and more complex tanks, greatly slowing the increase of their tank car product and helping the Soviets to maintain a solid numerical superiority in tanks. [ 122 ] By May 1944, T-34-85 production had reached 1,200 tanks per month. [ 123 ] In the entire war, product figures for all Panther types reached no more than 6,557, and for all Tiger types ( including the Tiger I and Tiger II ) 2,027. [ 124 ] Production figures for the T-34-85 alone reached 22,559. [ citation needed ] On 12 January 1945, a column of Tiger IIs and other tanks from 424th Heavy Panzer Battalion were involved in a short-range betrothal with T-34-85 tanks near the village of Lisow. Forty T-34-85 tanks commanded by Colonel N. Zhukov were attacked by the 424th Heavy Panzer battalion, which had been reinforced by 13 Panthers. The Germans permanently lost five Tiger IIs, seven Tiger Is and five Panthers for the loss of four T-34-85 tanks burnt out. [ 125 ] [ unreliable source? ] [ 126 ]

german use of T-34s [edit ]

Captured T-34 Model 1943 tanks pressed into military service with the Wehrmacht, January 1944 The german army often employed as much captured materiel as possible and T-34s were not an exception. large numbers of T-34s were captured in fighting on the Eastern Front though few were T-34-85s. These were designated by the Germans as Panzerkampfwagen T-34 747(r). From deep 1941, captured T-34s were transported to a german workshop for repairs and change to german requirements. In 1943 a local cooler factory in Kharkiv was used for this function. These were sometimes modified to german standards by the installation of a german air force officer ‘s cupola and radio equipment. [ citation needed ] The first captured T-34s insert German service during the summer of 1941. In order to prevent recognition mistakes, large-dimension crosses or flush swastikas were painted on the tanks, including on top of the gun enclosure, in order to prevent approach by Axis aircraft. badly damaged tanks were either grok in as pillboxes or were used for testing and prepare purposes. [ citation needed ]

manchurian campaign ( August 1945 ) [edit ]

barely after midnight on 9 August 1945, though the terrain was believed by the Japanese to be impassable by armored formations, the Soviet Union invaded Japanese-occupied Manchuria. bolshevik Army combined-arms forces achieved complete surprise and used a knock-down, deep-penetrating attack in a classic double over blockade radiation pattern, spearheaded by the T-34-85. The opposing japanese forces had been reduced as elite units had been drawn off to early fronts and the remaining forces were in the middle of a redeployment. The japanese tanks remaining to face them were all held in the buttocks and not used in combat ; the Japanese had weak support from IJAAF forces, technology, and communications. japanese forces were overpower, though some put up underground. The japanese emperor transmitted a surrender regulate on 14 August, but the Kwangtung Army was not given a dinner dress armistice until 17 August. [ 127 ]

korean War ( 1950–1953 ) [edit ]

A fully union korean People ‘s Army ( NKPA ) brigade equipped with approximately 120 Soviet-supplied T-34-85s spearheaded the invasion of South Korea in June 1950. [ 128 ] The WWII-era 2.36-inch bazooka initially used by the american troops in Korea were useless against the KPA ‘s T-34 tanks, [ 129 ] as were the 75 millimeter main guns of the M24 Chaffee light tank. [ 130 ] however, following the initiation of heavier and more capable armor into the war by US and UN forces, such as the American M4 Sherman, M26 Pershing and M46 Patton tanks, a well as the british Comet and Centurion tanks, the KPA began to suffer more T-34 tank losses in combat from enemy armor, aside from further losses due to numerous US/UN airstrikes and increasingly-effective anti-tank firepower for US/UN infantry on the ground, such as the then-new 3.5-inch M20 “ Super Bazooka ” ( replacing the earlier 2.36-inch exemplar ). By the time the NKPA were forced to withdraw from the south, about 239 T-34s and 74 SU-76 assault guns had been lost or abandoned. [ 129 ] After October 1950, NKPA armor was rarely encountered. Despite China ‘s entry into the conflict in the following calendar month, no major armor deployments were carried out by them, as the chinese focus was on mass infantry attacks rather than large-scale armor assaults. respective T-34-85s and a few IS-2 tanks were fielded, primarily dispersed amongst their infantry, thus making armored engagements with US and UN forces rare from then on. [ 131 ] A taiwanese T-34 tank No. 215 from 4th Tank Regiment, 2nd Tank Division, allegedly destroyed four enemy tanks and damaged another M46 Patton tank during its battle from 6 to 8 July 1953. It besides destroyed 26 bunkers,9 weapon pieces, and a truck. That tank is now preserved in the Military Museum of the chinese People ‘s Revolution. In compendious, a 1954 US military survey concluded that there were, in all, 119 tanks vs. tank car actions involving US Army and US Marine units against north korean and chinese forces during the Korean War, with 97 T-34-85 tanks knocked out and another 18 considered probable. american losses were slightly greater. [ 133 ]

Angolan Civil War ( 1975–1988 ) [edit ]

One of the last modern conflicts which saw the across-the-board combat deployment of the T-34-85 was the Angolan Civil War. [ 134 ] In 1975, the Soviet Union shipped eighty T-34-85s to Angola as separate of its support for the ongoing Cuban military intervention there. [ 134 ] Cuban crewmen instructed FAPLA personnel in their operation ; other FAPLA drivers and gunners accompanied Cuban crews in an apprentice role. [ 135 ] FAPLA began deploying T-34-85s against the UNITA and FNLA forces on June 9, 1975. [ 136 ] The appearance of FAPLA and Cuban tanks prompted South Africa to reinforce UNITA with a one squadron of Eland-90 armored cars. [ 137 ]

early regions and countries [edit ]

Balkans [edit ]

A bosnian Serb Army T-34-85, with rubber matting added in an try to hide its thermal key signature, near Doboj in early 1996. In early 1991, the Yugoslav People ‘s Army possessed 250 T-34-85s, none of which were in active serve. [ 138 ] During the separation of Yugoslavia, the T-34-85s were inherited by the national armies of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Serbia and Montenegro and continued to see legal action during the Yugoslav Wars. [ 134 ] [ 139 ] Some were besides acquired from Yugoslav reserve stocks by serbian separatist armies, namely the Army of the Republic of Serb Krajina ( SVK ) and the Army of Republika Srpska ( VRS ). [ 140 ] [ 141 ] Most of these tanks were in poor condition at the begin of the conflict and some were soon rendered unserviceable, probable through inadequate alimony and miss of spares. [ 141 ] On 3 May 1995, a VRS T-34-85 attacked an UNPROFOR outpost manned by the 21st regiment of the Royal Engineers in Maglaj, Bosnia, injuring six british peacekeepers, with at least one of them sustaining a permanent disability. [ 142 ] [ 143 ] A number of T-34s being stored by the VRS at a floor in Zvornik were temporarily confiscated by UNPROFOR as separate of a local anesthetic disarming programme the watch year. [ 141 ]

Middle East [edit ]

egyptian Army T-34-122 in the Yad la-Shiryon Museum, Israel. 2005. Czechoslovak-produced T-34-85s were used by Egypt in the Arab-Israeli Wars of 1956 and 1967 ( Six-Day War ) in the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt went on to build the T-34-100, a local and singular conversion that was made up of a soviet BS-3 100 millimeter arduous field-artillery grease-gun mounted within a heavily modified turret, adenine well as the T-34-122 mounting the D-30 artillery. In 1956, they were used as even tanks to support egyptian infantry, the tank was still in manipulation by the Yom Kippur War in October 1973. The syrian Army besides received T-34-85s from the Soviet Union and they took region in the many artillery duels with Israeli tanks in November 1964 and in the Six-Day War of 1967 .

Warsaw Pact [edit ]

T-34-85s equipped many of the armies of easterly european countries ( late forming the Warsaw Pact ) and the armies of other soviet client-states elsewhere. east german, hungarian and soviet T-34-85s served in the suppression of the East german rebellion of 17 June 1953 equally well as the hungarian Revolution of 1956 .

Afghanistan [edit ]

T-34-85s were sporadically available in Afghanistan. During the Soviet–Afghan War, most of the T-34s were fielded by the Sarandoy internal security system forces. Some were besides kept in service with the Army of the democratic Republic of Afghanistan. [ 144 ]

China [edit ]

After the formation of the People ‘s Republic of China ( PRC ) in 1949, the Soviet Union sent many T-34-85s to the PRC ‘s People ‘s Liberation Army ( PLA ). factory 617 had the ability to produce every region of the T-34-85, and during decades of service many modifications were made that visibly distinguish the PRC T-34-85 from the original specification, but no T-34-85 was actually made in China. The output plan of the T-34-85 in China was ended soon after the PRC received T-54A main struggle tanks from the Soviet Union and began to build the Type 59 tank, a accredited production version of the T-54A. [ 145 ]

Cuba [edit ]

T-34-85 tank in Museo Giron, Cuba Cuba received 150 T-34-85 tanks as military aid from the Soviet Union in 1960. The T-34-85 was the first soviet tank to enter servicing with the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces ( FAR ), along with the IS-2. many T-34-85 tanks first saw action in April 1961 during the Bay of Pigs Invasion with an obscure number destroyed or knocked out during the struggle. [ 146 ] In 1975, many T-34-85s were besides donated by the USSR to the FAR to support its drawn-out intervention in the Angolan Civil War. [ 134 ] A platoon of five Cuban T-34-85s saw combat in Angola against South african troops during the Battle of Cassinga. The tanks were based along with a company of Cuban mechanized infantry equipped with BTR-152 armoured personnel carriers. In May 1978, South Africa launched a major airborne raid on Cassinga with the objective of destroying a SWAPO ( South West african People ‘s Organisation ) floor there. The cuban forces were mobilised to stop them. As they approached Cassinga they were strafed by south african aircraft, which destroyed most of the BTR-152s and three of the T-34-85s ; a fourthly T-34-85 was disabled by an anti-tank mine buried in the road. The remaining tank continued to engage the withdraw south african paratroops from a hull down position until the battle was over. [ 147 ] Over a hundred Cuban T-34-85s and their respective crews remained in Angola as of the mid 1980s. In September 1986, Cuban president Fidel Castro complained to General Konstantin Kurochkin, head of the soviet military deputation to Angola, that his men could no long be expected to fight South african armor with T-34s of “ World War II vintage ” ; Castro insisted that the Soviets furbish the Cuban forces with a larger measure of T-55s. [ 148 ] By 1987 Castro ‘s request appeared to have been granted, as Cuban tank battalions were able to deploy significant numbers of T-54Bs, T-55s, and T-62s ; the T-34-85 was no longer in service. [ 149 ]

cyprus [edit ]

Cypriot National Guard forces equipped with some 35 T-34-85 tanks helped to support a coup by the greek military junta against President Archbishop Makarios on 15 July 1974. They besides saw extensive action against turkish forces during the turkish invasion in July and August 1974, with two major actions at Kioneli and at Kyrenia on 20 July 1974. [ 150 ]

namibia [edit ]

In 1984, the South west african People ‘s Organisation ( SWAPO ) made a concerted try to establish its own conventional armoured battalion through its armed wing, the People ‘s Liberation Army of Namibia ( PLAN ). [ 151 ] As part of this attempt, SWAPO diplomatic representatives in Europe approached the german Democratic Republic with a request for ten T-34 tanks, which were delivered. [ 152 ] PLAN T-34s were never deployed during offensive operations against the confederacy african military, being confined to the function of protecting strategic bases inside northerly Angola. [ 151 ] [ 153 ] By 1988 the PLAN T-34-85s had been stationed near Luanda, where their crews received training from Cuban instructors. [ 154 ] In March 1989, the PLAN tanks were mobilised and moved south towards the namibian boundary line. [ 154 ] South Africa accused PLAN of planning a major offense to influence Namibia ‘s pending general elections, but the tank crews did not cross the margin and refrained from intervening in a series of renewed clashes later that year. [ 154 ] Between 1990 and 1991, SWAPO ordered the PLAN tanks in Angola repatriated to Namibia at its own expense. [ 155 ] Four later entered service with the fresh namibian Army. [ 156 ]

finland [edit ]

The Soviet and finnish armies used T-34s until the 1960s ; the early included the 76.2 mm-armed versions until at least 1968, when they were used in filming the sequel to the movie The Alive and the Dead. The finnish tanks were captured directly from the Soviets or purchased from Germany ‘s appropriate stocks. many of the Т-34-85s were enhanced with Finnish or western equipment, such as better optics. [ 157 ]

Vietnam [edit ]

During the Vietnam War, the North vietnamese Army was equipped with many soviet T-34-85 and these were used in the Operation Lam Son 719, the 1972 Easter Offensive and the 1975 Spring Offensive. They were later used during the vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea and the Sino-Vietnamese War. [ 158 ] A little count are presently being used as trainers. The rest are in storehouse and no long serve as active duty battle tanks .

Yemen [edit ]

In 2015, both T-34-85 Model 1969 tanks and SU-100 automotive guns were photographed being used in Houthi takeover in Yemen. [ 159 ] Some even being shot with ATGMs .

Current active avail [edit ]

In 2018, there were nine countries that maintained T-34s in the inventories of their home armed forces : Cuba, Yemen, the Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Namibia, North Korea, Laos, and Vietnam. [ 160 ] Of these operators, Vietnam possessed the largest known surviving fleet of T-34 series tanks, with 45. [ 16 ] Bosnia-Herzegovina possessed 5, Yemen 30, Guinea 30, Guinea-Bissau 10, Mali 21, and Laos 30. [ 16 ] [ 161 ] [ 162 ] It was ill-defined how many Cuban and north korean T-34s remained in service. [ 16 ] All the Congolese, Namibian and malian tanks were believed to be in reserve memory or inoperable. [ 16 ] [ 163 ] The laotian Army retired its T-34s in early 2019 and sold them to Russia, to be used for populace displays and museum exhibits. [ 161 ]

Successors [edit ]

In 1944, pre-war development of a more advance T-34 tank was resumed, leading to the T-44. The new tank had a turret design based on the T-34-85 ‘s, but featured a new hull with torsion-bar suspension and transversely wax engine ; it had a lower profile than the T-34-85 and was simpler to manufacture. Between 150 and 200 of these tanks were built before the end of the war. With substantial drivetrain changes, a new gun enclosure, and 100 millimeter gunman, it became the T-54, starting production in 1947. [ 164 ]

Operators [edit ]

T-34 operators in amobarbital sodium, former operators in red

current [edit ]

erstwhile [edit ]

symbolism [edit ]

A T-34-85 tank repository in the east german city of Karl-Marx-Stadt ( Chemnitz ) became the target of a 1980 bomb-attack that inflicted minor price on the fomite and blew out nearby windows. The bomber, Josef Kneifel, was sentenced to life captivity in Bautzen, but was released after a cope with the west german government in 1987. After german union in 1990, the tank car was transferred to a museum in Ingolstadt. [ 178 ] [ 179 ] Another such tank, mounted atop the repository to Soviet tank gang in Prague, was the focus of significant controversy. The memorial ( known locally as ‘Saint Tank ‘ ) was intended to represent Lt I.G. Goncharenko ‘s T-34-85 ( the first soviet tank to enter Prague during the liberation of Czechoslovakia in May 1945 ), but actually bore an IS-2M heavy tank. To many in Prague, the tank was besides a reminder of the Soviet invasion which ended the Prague spring of 1968. The tank was painted pinko by artist David Černý in 1991. Following an official protest from the russian government, the apprehension of Černý, a coat of official k paint, public demonstrations, and a further coat of pink paint applied by fifteen parliamentary deputies, the tank was finally removed to a military museum. [ 180 ] [ 181 ] Czterej pancerni i pies ( “ Four Tank-men and a Dog ” ), a very successful war-themed polish television series of the 1960s, adapted the fresh of the lapp name by the polish writer Janusz Przymanowski ( 1922–1998 ), himself a People ‘s Army of Poland unpaid. The series made T-34 tank number 102 an icon of polish democratic acculturation. It was besides shown in early Soviet-bloc countries where it was besides well received, surprisingly tied in the german democratic Republic ( East Germany ). At the beginning of the twenty-first hundred reruns of the black and whiten serial however manage to attract a big audience. [ 182 ] [ failed verification ] In Budapest on 23 October 2006, the 2006 protests in Hungary culminate during the fiftieth anniversary of the hungarian Revolution of 1956. Protesters managed to start an unarmed T-34 tank car which was separate of a memorial expose, and used it in riots against patrol forces. The tank drove a few hundred metres, then stopped in movement of the patrol, causing no personal injury. [ 183 ]

Variants [edit ]

There were two chief production families of the T-34, each with subvariants. The identification of T-34 variants can be complicated. Turret castings, superficial details, and equipment differed between factories ; newfangled features were added in the middle of production runs, or retrofitted to older tanks ; damaged tanks were rebuilt, sometimes with the addition of newer-model equipment and even new turrets. [ 32 ] The Red Army never had a coherent policy for naming the T-34. [ 184 ] Since at least the 1980s, however, many academic sources ( notably, AFV expert Steven Zaloga ) have used Soviet-style terminology : T-34 for the models armed with 76.2 millimeter guns, and T-34-85 for models armed with 85 millimeter guns, with minor models distinguished by year, as T-34 Model 1940. Some russian historians use different names : they refer to the first T-34 as the T-34 Model 1939 rather of 1940, all T-34s with the original turret and F-34 grease-gun as Model 1941 rather of Models 1941 and 1942, and the hexangular -turret T-34 as Model 1942 rather of 1943. [ 185 ] german military intelligence in World War II referred to the two chief production families as T-34/76 and T-34/85, with subvariants receiving letter designations such as T-34/76A – this terminology has been widely used in the West, particularly in democratic literature. When the german Wehrmacht used captured T-34s, it designated them Panzerkampfwagen T-34(r), where the “ gas constant ” stand for russisch ( “ Russian ” ). [ 186 ] The Finns referred to the T-34 as the Sotka after the common goldeneye, because the side silhouette of the cooler resembled a swimming waterfowl. The T-34-85 was called pitkäputkinen Sotka ( “ long-barreled Sotka ” ). [ 187 ] The T-34 ( german designation : T-34/76 ) was the original tank with a 76.2 millimeter accelerator in a two-man turret .

  • Model 1940 (T-34/76A): Early, small production run (about 400 built[33]) with the L-11 76.2 mm tank gun.
  • Model 1941 (T-34/76B): Main production with thicker armour and the superior F-34 76.2 mm gun.
  • Model 1942 (T-34/76C): Thicker armour, many minor manufacturing improvements.
  • Model 1943 (T-34/76D, E, and F): Introduced May 1942 (not 1943). More ammunition and fuel, very minor armour increase.[48] New hexagonal turret, nicknamed “Mickey Mouse” by the Germans because of its appearance with the twin, round turret-roof hatches open. Later production had a new commander’s cupola.

The T-34-85 ( german appointment : T-34/85 ) was a major improvement with an 85 millimeter artillery in a three-man gun enclosure. All T-34-85 models are outwardly very like .

  • Model 1943: Short production run of January–March 1944 with D-5T 85 mm gun.
  • Model 1944: Produced from March 1944 through to the end of that year, with simpler ZiS-S-53 85 mm gun, radio moved from the hull into a turret with improved layout and new gunner’s sight.
  • Model 1945: Produced from 1944 to 1945, with an electrically powered turret traverse motor, an enlarged commander’s cupola with a one-piece hatch, and the TDP smoke system with electrically detonated MDSh canisters. Most produced variant of the T-34-85.
  • Model 1946: Production model with the improved V-2-34M engine, new wheels, and other minor details.
  • Model 1960: A refurbishing program introduced a new V-2-3411 engine and other modernizations.
  • Model 1969 (also called T-34-85M): Another refurbishing program introducing night driving equipment, additional fuel, and other modernizations.

other armoured contend vehicles [edit ]

A T-34-57 in 1941 .

Surviving vehicles [edit ]

An enormous numeral of T-34s and T-34-85s were produced ; the Soviets used them aggressively in campaigns in Europe and Asia, and they were distributed to the Soviets ‘ allies all over the world. ascribable to all three factors, there are hundreds of surviving T-34s. Examples of this tank are in the collections of most significant military museums, and hundreds more serve as war memorials. many are in private ownership, and demilitarised working tanks change hands for U.S. $ 20,000–40,000. Some inactive may serve in a second-line capacity in a count of Third World militaries, while others may find use in a civilian capacity, primarily in film-make. In many World War II films, such as Saving Private Ryan, [ 193 ] The Battle of Neretva, and Kelly’s Heroes, [ 194 ] T-34-85 tanks were modified to resemble Tiger I tanks, due to the rarity of the latter. [ 193 ] In Sydney Pollack ‘s 1969 movie Castle Keep, barely modified T-34-85 tanks were used as german tanks. [ 195 ] In 2000, a T-34 Model 1943 was recovered that had spent 56 years at the bottom of a bog down in Estonia. [ 196 ] The tank had been captured and used by retreating german troops, who dumped it in the swamp when it ran out of fuel. The anaerobic environment of the bog preserved the tank and ensured there were no signs of vegetable oil escape, corrode, or other meaning water price. The engine was restored to full working order. [ 197 ] [ 198 ] early significant surviving T-34s include a model 1941 at the Aberdeen Proving Ground ( intersection of Deer Creek Loop and Target Loop ) in Maryland, one of the oldest outlive vehicles. The french Musée des Blindés at Saumur holds two T-34s, including one in full working condition that is displayed in action at its summer “ Carrousel ” alive tank exhibition. [ 199 ] The Mandela Way T-34 Tank, a privately owned T-34-85 named after the street in which it is sited ( near Bermondsey, London ), is frequently repainted by artists and graffitists. [ 200 ]

See besides [edit ]

Tanks of comparable role, performance, and era [edit ]

Notes [edit ]


References [edit ]

  • Lai, Benjamin (2012), The Chinese People’s Liberation Army since 1949, Ground Forces, Osprey, ISBN 9781780960562
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