Armour in Focus: T-34/85 – Might of the Motherland

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The Soviet T-34 series was unsurprisingly the mainstay of the Soviet armoured forces during World War Two – its sloped armour changed the fundamental design of armoured vehicles later in the war, and allowed it to withstand all but the heaviest of German fire.

The T-34/85 introduced a new turret to the rugged and reliable T34 chassis, allowing it to mount the much more powerful 85mm ZiS gun – thus the T-34/85 was born – with excellent performance both on and off-road, no matter what the conditions, with simple controls and the might of Soviet assembly-line production behind them – it was one of the most successful tanks of the war.

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By taking the existing T-34 chassis and adapting it, rather than working on a completely new design. With the T-34 chassis already rolling through Soviet assembly lines, they were able to manufacture the T-34/85 in great numbers very quickly – by the summer of 1944 the Soviet war machine could produce more T-34/85s in a month than the Germans had Panther tanks in the whole of the Eastern Front!

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With over 21,000 of the 57,000 T-34s built during WWII being T-34/85s, the Russian credo was clearly one of quantity over quality, although it was an unwise Panzer commander who discounted the ability of the T-34/85.

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Using a simple, robust design, the Russian forces employed sheer weight of numbers to overcome the technologically superior contemporary German Panzers. Tanks rolled off of the assembly line so fast that some T-34s took to the battlefield still coated in their Iron Oxide Red Rustproof paint – without their final coat of paint.

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In addition to all the great new content in the Tank War book you receive an exclusive miniature for free of this superb panzer commander. Unhorsed and letting loose with his trusty MP40 ‘Schmeisser’ SMG, he can represent dismounted tank crew or even be fielded in your Last Levy army as a panzer crewman with no tank left to ride in!

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