T34 Soviet Russian Tank (medium)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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T34 Soviet Russian Tank T-34