T34 Soviet Russian Tank T-34

Variants T-34/76A, T-34/76B, T34 /76C, T-34/76D, T-34/76E, T34 /76F, T-34/85, Panzerkampfwagen T34(r), SG-122 SU-85

T34 Soviet Russian Tank (medium)


Production history

The ancestry of the T-34 derives from prototype fast tanks built by American tank designer J. Walter Christie, which were sold to the Soviet Union after the American military declined to buy them. In particular the T-34 incorporates the Christie suspension.

Also See:

Stalingrad IS-2_Soviet_Tank, ISU-152, T-35 Soviet Heavy Tank, T-55 Tank, T-62 Soviet Medium Tank, T80 Main Battle Tank, T-90 Main Battle Tank T-72 Tank M60 Patton M1 Abrams M1A1 M1A2 Tank Tank history WW1 WW2 List of tanks WW1, WW2, Modern US Army List of Tanks WW2 M4_Sherman US Tank Production World War 2 WW2 German Tank Production Panzer 3 III, Panzer 4 IV Pz4, Tiger 1, King Tiger 2 Maus (Tank) - Panzer VIII WW2 world largest tank Matilda Infantry Tank
General Characteristics T34
T34 Length: 8 m
T34 Width: 3.0 m
T34 Height: 2.7 m
Weight: 26 T
T34 Speed: 55 km/h (road)
- (off-road)
Range: 185 km
Primary armament: 76 mm gun
Secondary armament: two 7.62 mm machine guns
Power plant: 370 kW (500 hp) Diesel
Crew: 4
General Characteristics (T-34 /85)
Length: 8.0 m
Width: 3.0 m
Height: 2.7 m
Weight: 32 t
Speed: 55 km/h (road)
- (off-road)
Range: 360 km
Primary armament: 85mm gun
Secondary armament: two 7.62 mm machine guns
Power plant: 373 kW (500 hp) Diesel
Crew: 5

Development proper commenced in 1936, and a prototype was completed in 1939. Full scale production started in 1940.

Between 1940 and 1944 over 35000 T-34/76 tanks were produced. The T-34 was produced in two major variants, the T-34/76 with a 76 mm gun and a T-34/85 with an 85 mm gun. After the war the T34 was followed by the T-44 and the T-54.

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  • T-34/76A - Production model of 1940
  • T34 /76B - Production model of 1941 with heavier armor and a cast turret.
  • T-34 /76C - Production model of 1942 with heavier armor and a redesigned turret.
  • T34 /76D - Production model of 1943 with welded turret.
  • T-34 /76E - Production model of 1943 with a commanders cupola.
  • T-34 /76F - Production model of 1943 with a cast version of the T-34/76D turret.
  • T34 /85 - Production model of 1943 with a 85 mm gun and improved turret.
  • Panzerkampfwagen T-34(r) - T-34s captured by Germany.

The T-34 chassis was used as the basis for a series of self-propelled guns such as the SG-122 and SU-85.

Some T-34 were fitted as self-propelled gunss by Syria.

Combat history

The T-34 is often used as a symbol for Soviet resistance and German arrogance. As such, its actual performance and impact on the war is often overrated. Nevertheless, the appearance of the T34 definitely was an unpleasant surprise for the German commanders, as it could combat all 1942 German tanks effectively. It was faster, had better armament (50mm was the predominant calibre of German tanks guns) and better armour protection, due to the technical innovation of sloped armour.

However, direct tank to tank combat was a rather rare occurrence; the vast majority of losses suffered were from logistical and mechanical troubles (50% of Soviet tanks at the start of the German invasion), artillery and air strikes and (self-propelled) anti-tank guns. At the outset of the war, only about 10% of all Soviet tanks were T-34 variants, this number increased to 50-60% percent till mid-1943. By the time the T-34 had replaced older models and became available in greater numbers, new German tanks (including the improved German design based on the T-34, the Panzer-V 'Panther') outperformed it.

Still, the T-34 was an adequate and effective tank and played a big part in the defeat of the German invaders.


"The finest tank in the world" - Field-Marshal Ewald von Kleist

Text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

T34 Soviet Russian Tank T-34