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RUSSIA

U.S.A.
M10 Wolverine
M4 Sherman
M3 Half-Track
Willys Overland Jeep MB
M7 Priest
B-17 Flying Fortress
SBD-6 Dauntless
P-51 Mustang
F4U Corsair
USS Enterprise
HMS Prince of Wales
USN Fletcher Class
USN Gato Class
LCVP Higgins Boat

GERMANY
PzKfW Mk.VI Tiger
PzKfW Mk.IV Panzer
Hanomag Sdkfz.251
VW Type 82 Kübelwagen
SdKfz.124 Wespe
Junkers Ju 87B Stuka
Messerschmitt Bf-109e

JAPAN
Chi Ha 97
Aichi D3A1 Val
A6M Zeke/Zero
IJN Shokaku Class
IJN Yamato
IJN Akizuki Class
U-Boat Type VII C
Dai-Hatsu 14M

U.K.
Spitfire Mk VB

RUSSIA
T-34/85
T34/76
BM-13N Katyusha "Stalin Organ"
Yak-9

Medium T34/76 Tanks

Engineer M. I. Koshkin became chief designer at the Kharkov Locomotive Factory in November 1937. He started to build a wheel/track medium tank that had shell safe armor. It was designated the A-20. Work on it continued into 1938. Another project for a medium tanks was started. It was initially designated the A-32 and then later changed to T-32. It had a 76.2 mm gun whereas the A-20 had a 45 mm gun. The armor was also thicker.

In August 1938 the High War Council, let by People's Commissar for Defense, K. J. Voroshilov, discussed the A-20 and T-32. Many on the Council disliked the T-32. In July 1939, the Kharkov Locomotive Factory had completed the prototypes for the A-20 and T-32. They were both then tested and it was decided to go with the T-32. On December 19, 1939, the People's Commissariat for Defense released the T-32 to the Red Army. It was soon designated the T-34.

In February and March 1940, 2 of the first test models participated in a test drive from Kharkov to Moscow. The were shown to the Russian leadership on the cobblestone pavement at the Kremlin. They passed all tests and production was ordered.

Koshkin took ill and his assistant A. A. Morozov finished the final design.

The Kharkov factory ended production of the BT-7 and converted to T-34s. Series production started in July 1940.

Many of the early models were rushed to production and had mechanical defects. The War Department again examined the viability of the design. This resulted in a redesigning of the tank and was designated the T-34 M. On May 5, 1941, the Council of People's Commissars ordered 2,800 to be built in the coming year.

One of the first items to be changed was the main gun. Factory No. 92 in Gorki begin in July 1940 to design a new gun called the F-34. Early in 1941 it went into production. The development of the T-34 M hadn't continued so the gun was installed in the old-type T-34 in February 1941.

In June 1941 a cast turret was successfully developed. It was made in 2 halves and then welded together. The previous turret was rolled armor plates.

Once the invasion of Russia occurred production was rushed and sometimes resulted in defects. With the immediate need of tanks to fight the Germans, the T-34 M project was stopped.

Other factories were located in Stalingrad and Leningrad.  Many of the factories were relocated to Chelyabink behind the Ural mountains and was nicknamed Tankograd. There was no turret basket. The engine, which was same one as in the BT-7M, had the cooling radiators on the sides, a cooling fan in the center, and the transmission at the rear. Fuel was located in the angled portions of the hull side. Access was through a hatch in the front hull and a hatch in the turret roof that was hinged forward. The driver used brake levers that operated metal rods that went to the transmission in the rear. These were sometimes difficult to operate and drivers sometimes had a mallet to unstick them. In cold weather the engines were assisted in starting by a couple of compressed air bottles at the feet of the driver.

Most didn't have radios installed. At beginning of war the company commander's tank had a 71-TK-3 transmitter/receiver installed. In 1941 and 1942 this was replaced by the 71-TK-1 and in 1942 by the 9-R radio. These had a range of about 5 miles. Inside the tank a TPU-3 inter-phone system was used. The crew had a cloth helmet that contained the earphones and also had a throat mike.

The commander aimed the gun by a TOD-6 telescopic sight in the early production models. This was later replaced by the TMFD. General viewing was done by a PT-6 panoramic periscopic sight in early models and then by the PT-4-7 or PT-5 on later models.

The ammunition bins were covered with matting to prevent them being accidentally opened. Most of the MG ammo was stored in racks in the rear of the turret and some in the fighting compartment.

Some models were sent to fight in the Finno-Russian war, but they arrived too late to be put into combat.

In June 1941, there were 1,225 that had been produced. First put into battle against the Germans in June 1941 at Grondno in Belorussia.

After the initial losses to the Germans the T-34s were formed into independent tank battalions, brigades, and regiments. Tank regiments had 3 companies, one of which had T-34s. Tank brigades that were formed in December 1941 had one company composed of T-34s. The heavy tank company had KVs and the light company had T-26s.

From June to September 1942, the Stalingrad Tractor Factory was the main supplier of T-34s. The Kharkov Locomotive Factory were moved to the Uralmashzavod (Ural Machine Building Plant) in the Urals and merged with the Nishni Tagil auto factory. During 1942 the Ural Heavy Machinery Company in Sverdlovsk started to produce T-34s. The Ural-Kirov Tank Factory in Chelyabinsk was setup by the People's Commissariat for the Tank Industry to produce T-34s. It was later known as Tankograd. There were a total of 8 large tank factories, 6 factories produced hulls and turrets, and 3 produced engines.

In 1942 cast turrets and steel plates to help deflect shots between the turret and the hull were introduced. In the winter of 1942-43 a hexagonal turret was produced. In the summer of 1943 a cylindrical commander's cupola was installed.

The Red Army troops called it Prinadlezhit-Chetverki, which means "34."

T-34/76A, Model 40: First models had 2 man turret that didn't provide vision devices or a cupola for the commander. Had L/30.3 Model 1938 tank gun mounted in a mount shaped like a pigs head. The first 115 vehicles had rear MGs installed. Had solid rubber tires around disc wheels.
T-34/76B, Model 41: Had rolled plate turret with a L/40 gun installed in an angular gun cradle. Late models had all steel wheels and a cast turret. 28 tons.
T-34/76C, Model 42: Larger turret with 2 roof hatches. Had improved tracks, vision, and armor for the hull MG. 30 tons. Driver had protecting visor for window. Hull MG is mounted in ball mantlet.
T-34/76D: Hexagonal turret and wider mantlet, plus external jettisonable fuel tanks. Thicker armor up to 70 mm. 30.9 tons. Two hatch covers in top of turret, that when open, led to it being nicknamed "Mickey Mouse" by German soldiers.
T-34/76E: Cupola added to turret and all welded construction.
T-34/76F: Cast turret with no cupola, 5 speed gear. Only 100 built as production switched to T-34/85.

ATO-41: Hull MG was replaced by a flame-thrower. Based on the T-34/76B.
ATO-42 (OT-34 1943): Hull MG was replaced by an AT-41 or ATO-42 flame-thrower. Based on the T-34/76D. Flame fuel was doubled to 100 liters of oil. Weighed 30.9 tons.
TT-34: Turret replaced by a boom and winch to be used as tank recovery vehicle. Reached troops in 1944. 30 tons.
T-34-MTU: Bridgelayer with rigid bridge that was deployed by pivoting about a roller attached to the front. Some had A or scissors type, wooden, or fascines.
T-34-PT34: Mine rollers attached to front.
T-34-STU: Had dozer blade attached to front.

Crew Commander/gun aimer (left-side), driver/mechanic (left-side), MG/radio operator (right-side), loader (right-side)
51
1940, 1941, 1942, 1943: 42
1942: 43
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 57,990, 70,547 lb
32,000 kg
1940: 26.3 tons2
1941: 58,422 lb, 28 tons2
1942: 28.5 tons2, 30.9 tons3, 26.31 tons, 31,390 kg3, 26,720 kg1
1943: 68,122 lb, 30-30.9 tons2
Length w/gun 19' 5.25", 24' 7"
1940, 1943: 5.92 m2
1941: 21' 11", 6.92 m2
1942: 21.6', 20' 3"1, 21' 7"3, 6.1 m, 6.58 m3, 6.19 m1
1943: 22' 1". 6.07 m2
Length w/o gun 1941, 1942: 6.1 m2
1942: 20'3, 6.09 m3, 5.92 m
1943: 5.92 m2
Height 8' 0.5", 7' 10"
1940: 2.4 m2
1941: 2.45 m2
1942: 8.45', 7' 10"1, 8' 5"3, 2.57 m3, 2.45 m2, 2.39 m1
1943: 2.65 m2
Width 9' 10", 9' 7"
1940, 1941, 1943: 3 m2
1942: 9.8', 9' 7"1, 9' 9"3, 2.98 m3, 3 m, 2.92 m1
Ground clearance 1' 0.5"
1940, 1941, 1943: 0.4 m2
1942: 1.25', 0.38 m, 0.4 m2
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 9.10, 9, 11.2 psi,
0.64 kg/cm2
1940: 0.64 kg/(cm2)2
1941: 0.66 kg/(cm2)2
1942: 10 psi, 0.64 kg/cm2, 0.68 kg/(cm2)2
1943: 0.72 kg/(cm2)2
Turret ring diameter  
Armament (mm)  
Main 76.2 mm L-11 L/30 or L/41 (F-34)
1940: 76.2 mm L-11 19392
1941: 76.2 mm F-34 19402
1942: 76.2 mm F-34 1942 L/41.23
1942, 1943: 76.2 mm F-34 1942 L/41.2, 76.2 mm1,2
Secondary  
MG 1940: 2 or 3: 7.62 mm DT MG2
1941, 1942, 1943: 2: 7.62 mm DT MG2
1942: 2: 7.62 mm MG1, 2: 7.62 mm Degtaryev DT, coaxial, hull3
Side arms 1942: Hand grenades
Quantity  
Main 1940, 1941: 762
1941, 1942: 76, 77 (19: BR-350A AP, 53: F-354 or OF-350 HE, 5: shrapnel)
1942, 1943: 1002
Secondary  
MG 4,725 (35 drums, 65 rounds/ea)
1940, 1941: 2,898-4,7252
1942: 2,400, 3,150-3,6002
1943: 3,1502
Side arms 1942: 20
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 1940: 452
1941: 451, 602
1942: 473, 602
1943: 471, 60 2
Hull Front, Lower 45
Hull Sides, Upper 1940: 452
1941: 451
1941, 1942: 40-452
1943: 40-452, 601
Hull Sides, Lower 45
Hull Rear 1940: 402
1941: 451,2, 47
1942: 452
1943: 452, 471
Hull Top 1940, 1941, 1943: 15-202
1941: 201
1942: 19, 15-20, 201
Hull Bottom 16
1940, 1941, 1942: 15-202
1941: 201
1943: 201, 15-202
Turret Front 1940: 452
1941: 521, 602
1942: 602, 653
1943: 701, 752
Turret Sides 1940: 452
1941: 521,2
1942: 522, 65
1943: 521,2
Turret Rear 40
1940: 452
1941: 451, 522
1942: 47, 522
1943: 521,2
Turret Top 1940: 162
1941: 162, 201
1942: 162, 19
1943: 162, 201
Engine (Make / Model) 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943: W-2-342
1942: W-2-343
Transmission 4 forward, 1 reverse
Model 42: Dry multi-plate main clutch, mechanical gearbox
Capacity 127 gallons
1940: 540 liters2
1941: 121.5 gallons, 540 liters2
1942: 540 liters2, 673 liters, 177 gallons; 2 fuel tanks: 45 liter each, 11.8 gallons each
1943: 208.7 gallons, 830-850 liters2
Performance  
Traverse 360°, electric, 26°/sec
Model 42: 24°/sec
Max Speed 31, 34 mph
1940: 53 kph2
1941: 32.9 mph, 53 kph2
1942: 25 mph3, 31 mph1, 40 kph3, 53 kph2, 50 kph1
1943: 34.2 mph. 53 kph2
Cross Country 25 mph
1942: 25 mph, 40 kph
Road radius 186 miles
1940: 400 km2
1941: 249 miles1, 400 km1,2, Cross Country: 260 km1, 162 miles1
1942: 432 km3, 268 miles3, 270 miles, 190 miles1, 400 km2, 300 km1, Cross Country: 368 km3, 228 miles3
1943: 289 miles1, 365-465 km2, 465 km1, Cross Country: 365 km1, 227 miles1
Turning Radius 25' 4"
Elevation Limits -3° to +30°
Fording depth 4' 6"
1940: 1.22 m2
1941, 1943: 1.12 m2
1942: 4.3', 1.31 m, 1.12 m
Trench crossing 8' 2", 9' 8"
1940, 1941, 1942, 1943: 2.5 m2
1942: 8.2'
Vertical Obstacle 2' 4", 2' 7"
1940, 1941, 1942, 1943: 0.9 m2
Suspension (Type) Christie, coil springs
Wheels each side 5
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires Rubber, Steel
Track width 1' 7"
Track centers/tread  
Production 1940-45: 35,120
1940: 2,800, 1172
1941: 3,0141,2, 12,520
1942: 12,5531,2, 15,812
1943: 15,5291, 3,500, 15,7122
1944: 2,9951, 3,7232

Sources:

  1. Russian Tanks of World War II Stalin's Armored Might, by Tim Bean & Will Fowler, 2002
  2. Russian Tanks and Armored Vehicles 1917-1945, by Wolfgang Fleischer, 1999
  3. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002