T-34-85 Soviet Medium Tank

The T-34-85 was a Soviet WW2 medium tank, crew of 5, powered by 12-cylinder diesel engine, armed with 85mm gun and two machine guns.

T-34/85 Soviet Medium Tank

It went not be used well beyond the second world war in major conflicts across the world, and I still in service today.

The T-34, a Soviet medium tank, had a profound and lasting effect on the field of tank design. At its introduction in 1940, the T-34 possessed an unprecedented combination of firepower, mobility, protection and ruggedness. Its 76.2 mm (3 in) high-velocity tank gun provided a substantial increase in firepower over any of its contemporaries while its well-sloped armour was difficult to penetrate by most contemporary anti-tank weapons.

A project to develop a new tank following the introduction of improved German Panzer IVs with the high-velocity 75 mm gun, was started by the Soviet Union. The T-43 was  designed to have improved armour, better suspension and a bigger gun. However it was decided that manufacturing a new tank would cause a significant slow-down in production so it was cancelled.

However the T-43 turret was then modified to fit the T-34 and was armed with a new 85mm gun. The T-34-85 was a compromise between those in the Soviet Union who wanted to build as many 76mm armed T34s and those who wanted to build the new T-43 tank.

T-34-85 Soviet Medium Tank

The T-34-85 gave the Red Army a tank with better armour and mobility than the German Panzer IV tank and StuG III assault gun. While it could not match the armour or weapons of the heavier Panther and Tiger tanks, its improved firepower made it much more effective than earlier models.

The development of the T-34-85 led directly to the T-54 and T-55 series of tanks, which in turn evolved into the later T-62, T-72, and T-90 that form the armoured core of many modern armies.

This T-34-85 was on display at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, and they even put Tank Riders on the back.

T-34/85 Soviet Medium Tank

Reading the Hot War books from Harry Turtledove has inspired me to think about gaming some scenarios from the books. British Comets and Centurions versus T34-85 and T54 Soviet tanks, along with American M26 Pershing and M48 Patton tanks. In the book there are also Sherman tanks manned by (West) German forces.

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