Glory to the heroes of the Patriotic War!

Another video from the American Wartime Museum open house.  This time a Ruskie!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6SEtMi_qE4]

The T-34/85 was perhaps top on the list of medium tanks during World War II.   With a diesel engine and 85mm gun, the T34/85 compared well against the contemporary American M4 Shermans.  While the German Panther tanks could beat it one-on-one, the T34/85 were rolling out of the factory at a rate of 1,000 a month!

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I liked the living historians (what we call reenactors in high-brow discussions) hanging on the side of the tank.  Sort of conjured up thoughts of Kursk or Berlin.

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But I bet the guy in white ended up with a hefty dry-cleaning bill.

Best remembered for World War II service, the T34/85 remained in service well beyond 1945.  Like the M4 Sherman, the T34s saw action in Korea and in other places the Cold War ran hot.  Several countries retained T34s right up to the lifting of the Iron Curtain.

The T34/85 running laps was one of two on display at the event.

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Impressive armor.

The political officer ordered me to say that – Craig.

6 thoughts on “Glory to the heroes of the Patriotic War!”

  1. The T-34 may have been the best tank in WW2. The Panther may have been a slightly better tank on paper, but it had several problems that hit its reliability. The crew of the Panther was almost certainly better than the T-34, and it makes you wonder what the Wehrmacht could have done if Hitler hadn’t been so stupid and limited research and production on a number of things.

    Ironically, the T-34 was a result of Soviet?German cooperation under the Treaty of Rapallo.

    1. You beat me to the punch on Christie. I have to say that from an aesthetic point, I prefer the Panther, but both of them are great tanks. Great video and a great opportunity for you. I”m jealous.

  2. Thanks for posting this. Between you and Roamy carrying the load for me, I don’t feel so bad now about going on a three day bender!

  3. I have read that the only real shortcoming for a tank of it’s era that the T-34 had was a rather poorly designed transmission. Still, it served the Rodina well during the Great Patriotic War, didn’t it?

    Still, I remember watching a Panzer General being interviewed on PBS many years ago, and when the interviewer asked what tank he would select, if had WWII to fight over again, and he said a late model Sherman armed with the KWK42/L70 of the Panther, as, with the mechanical reliabilty of the Sherman, and the gun of the Panther, nothing would have stopped him.

    The T-34/85 was Ubercool, though, wasn’t it?

    1. Scott, I would offer a few other shortfalls of the T34. First off was the crew arrangements. Another shortfall was the suspension. Christie’s design, while advanced, required high tolerances, quantities of rubber, and was dated. But the Russians never incorporated changes as the British did with their cruiser tanks, nor did they enforce the tolerances (and dispensed with many of the rubber components). Add on to this the visibility issues, limited communication suite, and some other aspects. The T34 was a great tank. But like any weapon system there’s always something to complain about.

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