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Russian T34 and their variants

All kits below are based on the 1/72 T-34 kits from AER, EasternExpress, Revell, Esci and MilitaryWheels.
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"From BT to T34"

From left to right; BT7, A20, T34

First T34

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T-34 Medium Tank

One of the most unpleasant suprises experienced by the Germans in Russia came some five months after launching of Operation "Barbarossa" in the shape of a new tank which inflicted heavy losses upon the PzKpfw III and IV's. General Guderian was so impressed with the new Russian tank that he thought the quickest way for the Germans to deal with the situation would be to copy it! It was, of course, The T-34, one of the most important single elements in the eventual Russian victory. Using a Christie-type suspension and mounting a 76.2mm gun, the 28-ton tank had a crew of four and a topspeed over 30 mph. Well armoured, robust and devoid of any frills, it was easily mass produced.


T-34/76 model 1940 with L-11 gun, standard wheels

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T-34/76 model 1940/41 with cast turret and F-34 gun, standard wheels

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T-34/57 model 1940 with long 57mm Zis-4M gun - (Photo's from www.battlefield.ru)

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Photo's from ww2photo.mimerswel.com

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Model built by Soloev Gennadievitsch

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T34-57 Description from www.militaryphotos.net by Lokos 20-06-2005

On June 13, 1940, president of the Security Council S.Timoshenko referred to Central Committee of the Communist Party and SNK USSR the report "...about insufficient power of the armament of existing KV and T-34 tanks, and about other prospective tank projects". On June 27, the special session of the SNK was devoted to that question. Session acknowledged the insufficient power of the 45 mm tank guns and considered them as having no perspective. To replace them, new 55-60 mm guns should be developed.

At that time, Grabin's design bureau was working already on 57 mm antitank gun (ZIS-2), that's why it was ordered to develop a tank variant of that 57 mm gun, but first drafts of such gun was already developed by Grabin's initiative.

The manufacture of the first prototype of 57 mm tank gun had launched in September 1940, but until December manufactoring preparations were slow because improvement and mass production of the 76.2 mm F-34 tank gun overloaded factory. Nevertheless, in the beginning of December 1940, the very first prototype of 57 mm tank gun was manufactured. Till the end of March 1941, being mounted on gun-carriage, it was on factory trials. In April 1941, gun was mounted on production T-34 and sent to ANIOP for trials on the proving ground. Those trials have revealed an extremely short life of its barrel (overheated after 100-150 shots) and low accuracy.

In July 1941, an improved gun, being named ZIS-4, was installed in T-34 and tested again on Sofrino proving ground. Trials were successful and gun was recommended for service in spite of its cost price. ZIS-4 was too expensive mostly because of very long barrel. Nevertheless its price, gun was accepted for service because of high demand of powerful antitank guns. ZIS-4 was intended to rearm some production T-34 to convert them into "tank-hunters" (T-34-57). Following the order of NKV, ZIS-4 was set up for mass production on factory #92.

Mass production of those guns started in August 1941. In September 1941 it was temporary delayed and on December 1, 1941, it was cancelled. That was because of shortage of 57 mm ammunition and productional expenses. According to report of Ministry of Ammunition (Narkomat Boepripasov), in 1941 the Factory # 92 has manufactured 133 ZIS-4 guns.

Until evacuation, KhPZ had received 21 guns for reaming some production T-34s. STZ had received 20 guns. From October 1, 1941, T-34-57 must been manufactured on "Krasnoye Sormovo" Factory, but despite best my effort, I was unable to find any records in factory's statistic reports.

The project of 57 mm gun was resumed in 1943, when it become clear that all existing guns could not combat with German heavies. In May 1943, the "T-34 tank-hunter" and "KV tank-hunter" were accepted for service again. They were armed with modernised ZIS-4M tank gun that distinguished from its base model by following:

- the gun received a new breech-block that was unified with F-34, ZIS-2, ZIS-3 and ZIS-5;
- the semi-automatic mechanism of the breech-block was simplified;
- the muff's fastening was improved.

The ZIS-4 wasn't provided with panoramic sight, T-34-57 was one of the first tank, that received the MK-4 periscope. Tank didn't have commander's cupola. Specially for successful combat with German heavy tanks, "tank-hunters" had "the armour piercing round of the extra power" that achieved the muzzle velocity of 1010 m/s. However, usage of that ammunition decreased significantly the barrel's life. So, after manufacturing of small party of these rounds (less than 2800 rounds total), all these ammunition was removed from mass production and withdrawn from the Red Army.

The T-34-57 in Action.

"Tank-hunters" of the first party have participated the Battle for Moscow in 1941-1942. In particular, there were 10 T-34-57 in the 21st Tank Brigade, that was formed in Vladimir. On October 14, the brigade has been deployed at Demidov rail station and a day later it was ordered to advance on Turchinovo-Pushkino-Troyanovo and make a flank strike on German troops deployed near Kalinin. Starshiy politruk (Soviet rank) E.Gmurya drove his tank along the Volokolamsk highway had met with big column of German trucks. His tank has destroyed the whole column of 3-km length. After that, tank rushed in German aerodrome and has destroyed a heavy bomber. After that, tank was knocked out by German artillery, two crewmembers were killed. Politruk Gmyrya and sergeant Ishenko escaped and rejoined Red Army. After 4 days, 21st Tank Brigade destroyed 3 German staffs, about 1,000 soldiers, 34 tanks, 210 trucks and 31 guns. Brigade has lost its commander - Hero of the Soviet Union, major Lukin and commander of the 1st battalion Hero of the Soviet Union captain Agibalov. By November 25, all "tank-hunters" of the 21st Tank Brigade were lost.

I could find a mention about 8 T-34-57s being added to the 8th Tank Brigade on October 19, 1941. All I could find about those tanks was mention of lack of ammunition. Unfortunately, I was unable to trace their further fate.

The new T-34-57 "tank-hunters" had appeared on the frontline in August 1943.They've been attached to "special tank company 100". That company had three T-34-57s in its first platoon from August 15 to September 5, 1943. Unfortunately, "tank-hunters" were unlucky. During all those weeks, the company would meet German tanks only once, but in that time the 1st platoon was in reserve and didn't engage the battle. So, "tank-hunters" were unable to prove their efficiency against German armours. Nevertheless, commander of that company captain Volosatov and delegate of the GABTU colonel Zaitzev, have praised T-34-57 very high after shot practice on knocked out German tanks and captured pillboxes and bunkers.

The main drawback of the ZIS-4 and the ZIS-4M tank gun was very low quality of HE projectiles: they either exploded partially or didn't explode at all.

AFAIK the actual drawback of the zis-2/4(m) was it power. It was so power that had no adequate targets at the begin of the war. Its shells penetrate armor of germans t-3 in both sides and exploded behind tank (there is fact when were counted 14 penetrations in t-3). So manufacturing of this gun was stopped in 1942 and restored in 1943 when germans began use t6 "tiger" and other havy tanks.- comments Dmitry Trunikov

During 1943, the Factory #92 had manufactured 172 ZIS-4M guns, then it mass production was cancelled in favour of 85 mm guns. Although, according to factory's report on 1944, it had manufactured additional 19 ZIS-4Ms. Perhaps, for repair some existing "tank-hunters".


T-34/76 model 1941/42 with Ekranami turret and hull front plates (extra armour) and steel wheels

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T-34/76 model 1941/42 with welded STZ turret, Barrakady mantlet and steel wheels

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German T34 wooden Mock-up - (Dummy Tank)

This vehicle were by the Germans used for training and was mounted on a Polish TKS chassis

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T-34/76 model 1942/43 softedge turret, mixed wheels (standard and steel)

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T-34/76 model 1943/ softedge turret with commander cuppola, mixed wheels standard/spider

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T-34/76 model 1943 hardedge turret with commander cuppola

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T-34/76 model 1942/43 with Uralmash/Chelyabinsk casted turret, steel wheels

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T-34/76 - (OT-34 Flame Thrower) model 1943 with Uralmash/Chelyabinsk casted turret, commander cuppola, standard wheels

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Medium Tank T34/85

The first T34/85, with a modificated aircraftgun "D-5T" were built end of 1943. From this type were (1943/44) about 543 vehicles built. The next variants used the S-53 or Zis-S-53 gun. In all, 11,518 S-53 an 14,265 Zis-S-53 guns were produced in 1944/45.

T34/85 model 1943/44 with 85mm D-5T gun

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T34/85 model 1945 up-armoured (used by the Berlin battle)

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T34/85 1944/45 with 85mm Zis-S-53 gun, extra fuel tanks and PT34 Mine-Sweeper

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T34/85 with German 8.8cm gun (Kurland Tiger) - pictures from website MC-Modellbau.de - text from beute.narod.ru

In july /august 1944 on the shipyard into Libau on this T -34/85 was established by 8,8 cm gun from the damaged tank Tiger I. To the tank there was also established following German equipment: stowage box from tank Tiger, headlight Notek and large boxes along the sides of corps. From end 1944 this tank was used in Kurland in 12 tank division. The color of tank did not change - left dark green (most probably that tank has new German color -VD). For the best identification on the turret they drew large cross. Number of tank supposedly 18. To the tank were also substituted the identification marks of 12 tank division and "kurlands sign". By crew were drawn 8 white tanks on the barrel and inscriptions "Hi kommet". (But existence of this conversion highly improbably)

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SU122 Assault Gun

The first SU122 (on T34 chassis) were built in 1942. In the same time were started with the SG122/SU122i, which was based on the Captured German Stug. III. Both types used the 122mm M-30 howitzer. After testing the SG122/SU122i were first accepted, but cancelled by lack on Stug. III chassis. The SU122 were accepted for mass production. After some modifications and enough Stug. III chassis the Sg122/SU122i were followed up by the SU76i. The SU122 became very popular due to it's quite powerfull armament and good armor protection.
The SU122 were more times modificated, the second variant were with the 122mm howitzer U11 or D-6 in a ball-mounting on the SU-85 chassis. (SU122m and SU122-3)
Later in 1944, a small number of SU122's were based on the SU100 chassis, with a again modificated 122mm howitzer in ball-mounting.

SU122 - 122mm howitzer M30

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SU122 - 122mm howitzer U-11 or D-6 in ball mounting on the SU85 chassis

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SU122M - modificated 122mm howitzer in ball-mounting on the SU100 chassis

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SU-85 Tank Destroyer

The SU-85 (entered first service on August 1944) was among the best tank destroyers of its day, though it arrived too late to participate in the crucial battle at Kursk.
Su-85 - Early type

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Model built by Gianluca Travero

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SU-85M - Late type based on SU-100 chassis

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SU-100 Tank Destroyer

The final tankdestroyer version of the T-34, the SU-100 entered first service on December 1944. Armed with a long 100mm D-10s gun, it was the most effective tank destroyer developed during the war.
The SU100 were created at the "Uralmash Plant" and was intended for combatting hostile tanks of new types, such as the "Panther", "Tiger" and "King tiger". Before the end of the war 1800 SU100 were build.

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Kit 72193 - RUSSIAN SU-101/102 - (Cromwell Models)

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Model built by Udo Bauer

Conversion T-34/85 from EasternExpress into the hunting tank SU-101 with 100 mm cannon. The SU-101 was tested in the summer and autumn of 1945. The Soviets produced on the same chassis still a variant with the 122mm cannon (SU-102), both vehicles were not built in series

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SU-122P Tank Destroyer (Prototype)

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In autumn 1944, due the delaying the mass production of the SU100, The Uralmash's Design Bureau offered a project of a tank destroyer based on the SU100. Like the SU85M, this vehicle was common SU100 but armed with a 122mm Tank Gun D-25S. Such modernisation was possible due to unified fastening of both guns.
The very first trials of the SU122P conducted in October 1944, after that the vehicle was sent to the Governmental trials which were passed as well. By the results of both trials, The SU122P was recommended for service, but it didn't mostly because of slow rate of fire.


T34 Tractors and Recovery vehicles

During and after the War, many (damaged) T34 (all variants) were unarmed, rebuild and used as Tractor or Recovery vehicle.

T34 Tractor or APV - with steel plate in turret ring

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T34 Tractor or APV with tilt over turret ring

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T34 Recovery with wooden hatch in turret ring - (Model and pictures from Anton Mizera - SK)

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T34 Recovery tank with jib on SU-85 or SU-122 chassis - info "Modelfan" 11-1986

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T34T Recovery - Prime Mover with crane and winch

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T34 Recovery with crane

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T34 Recovery SPK-5 (Post War) - (Great Patriotic Warmuseum Kiev Ukraine) - (Batey-ha-Osef museum Israel)

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built model by Matthias Muth

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Recovery vehicle CW34 - Polish service - (Post War)

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Recovery vehicle WPT34 - Polish service - (Post War) - pictures from internet - Valka.cz, Kubinka etc.

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Recovery vehicle WPT-SU100 - Polish service - (Post War)

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T34 APC - (This vehicle is a fake vehicle)

Some books mention about a T34-APC. I don't have found photo's of the original vehicle only the drawing below. Who can tell me more, fake, drawingtable or original concept??

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For more information about this vehicle:

devian scifibug.deviantart.com - T34-APC - (Fake vehicle)

Artist's Comments:
During the two-year long siege of Berlin Soviet Army units were fighting house-to-house. Even safe areas came under sniper and mortar fire at times. Several T-34 tanks were converted to APC's to protect troops patrolling the "safe" zones. Originally for the Alternate History Forum

On the website from Alternate History Forum you found also aother simular fake T34-APC. This vehicle has also a troop compartment above the engine deck.

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For more information about this vehicle:

Alternat Alternat History Forum - T34-APC - (Fake vehicle)


T34 with Loudspeakers for Propaganda

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This is a special propaganda tank. On left and right side of the hull are loudspekers. The tank was used by a propaganda platoon during the war on the frontline. It was a propaganda group of former German soldiers (Nationalkomitee Freies Deutschland -NKFD) - posted by Matthias Muth


T34 Captured Vehicles

T-34/76 model 1940/41 with cast turret and F-34 gun in German service - (Model and Photo's from Anton Mizera - SK)

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PzKpfw. 747r - T34 in German service - built by Maximilian Frömter - 1/35 scale - (pictures from www.rlm.at)

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T34/76 m1943 (hardedge turret) with replaced Commander Cupola from PzIV and extra armour plates on the hull.


T34/76 m1943 (hardedge turret) with replaced Commander Cupola from PzIV.

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Kit 7268 - T34/76 model "in German service" with side skirts - Built model by Mark Deliduka - (Dragon kit 7268)

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T34 Recovery in German Service with 3x 20mm AA - rebuild by the Germans

This T-34 with flakdrilling picture is photomontage and made from Berge T-34 picture - (http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=42954&start=255)

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T34 in German service with 4 x 20 mm AA Flak 38 - rebuild by the Germans

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The list below is from the book mentioned not once here, "Combat History of Schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653" by Karlheinz Munch, it is on page 214 in the chapter "Operations in the Soviet Union, 2. and 3./schwere Panzerjager-Abteilung 653(April to October 1944)"

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T34 in German service with 3.7cm Flak - rebuild by the Germans - (Is this original built? - who have more information?)

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T34 in German service with 88mm Flak 38 - rebuild by the Germans - (Has this vehicle excist or is fake?)

On the end of the War the Germans has convert a captured T-34 with 8,8cm Flak 36. The vehicle was in service by the battle group "Kienast". This vehicle was used during the late battle in April 1945 in East-Sachsen.

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Owner unknown - pictures from internet

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A nice result from Photoshopping - pictures from internet
On the left the fake picture - on the right the original picture

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T34 in German service - command or recovery??? - Who can help me with more info about this vehicle!!

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Heavy Tractors based on T34 chassis

AT-42 Heavy Artillery Tractor - only prototype - on built

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Model built by Andrey Dedin - 1/32 - www.dishmodels.ru
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AT-45 Heavy Artillery Tractor

In 1943 the Soviet arms industry have started designing the artillery tractor for replacement AT "Voroshilovetz". The first batch of new tractors has been assembled on the Kharkov tractor factory (KhTF) in September 1944. These tractors have gone successful military tests on towage of artillery systems of the big calibers, and average and heavy tanks.
However soon production of tractors AT-45 has been stopped in connection with that KhTF started to make new tank T-44.

Model built by HoH - 1/72 resin AER

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T34 Post War variants


T-34/85 NVA Type 63 (in service by China) - (MilitaryWheels)

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SAU-122 (In service by Syrian / Egypt)

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Model built by webmaster - 1/72 plastic hull and resin turret - AER
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Model built by Zhenmin Han - 1/72 - scratchbuild turret on Dragon T34 hull

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T-34/D30 SPG -(In service by Syrian) - (1/35 Maquette and 1/72 MilitaryWheels)

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Model built by Zhenmin Han - kit MilitaryWheels

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Remaining example Batay-ha-Osef Museum, Israel

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T-34/100mm - (In service by Syrian and Egypt) - (MilitaryWheels and AER)

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Model built by webmaster - AER 1/72 plastic hull and resin Turret - reworked wheelunit

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Model built by Zhenmin Han - AER 1/72 plastic hull and resin Turret - reworked wheelunit

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T34 Tanks in service by Cuba

Who can tell me more about this vehicles or help with other pictures?

T-34-L39 130mm SP (Rebuild in 1969)

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T34/85 with 122mm D3 gun in prepared T34/85 turret

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T34 Tanks in service by other nations

T34 - with Amphibian pontoons - (DDR 1959) - pictures posted by Matthias Muth

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This T-34/85 Modell 1945 was tested by the East German Army in the year 1959 to take a possibility of swimming. It was sucessfull but not used.
Note: The T34 is a late version. The turret has an air condition in front of the commanders cupola.


T34/85M - Postwar, produced in Poland - (turret is a little bit different) - posted by Matthias Muth

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T34/85 - with heatings-oven on rearside - Postwar, produced in Poland and used in East-Germany - posted by Matthias Muth

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This vehicle is a PostWar T34/85 from East Germany. On the back of the vehicle is an oven for pre-heating the engine. The T34 is a post war and Polish made. The East German army adapted on some T-34's this oven. The oven was used with coal and wood.


MT34 - T34 hull with Bridgelayer, produced in Czech - Post War

Pictures taken from the Czech Magazine HPM 8/1994 - posted by John O'Reilly

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BLG-34 - T34 hull with Bridgelayer, produced in East Germany - Post War - posted by Matthias Muth

This is the East German BLG-34 (Brückenlegegerät 34). It was only a prototype. At picture 1 you see an other t-34 tractor to help the bridgelayer. Thats the reason for no production. Picture 2 seen it on test trails.

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JT34 Jerabovy Tank - T34 hull with 10 tons Crane, produced in Czechoslovakia - (Post War)

Pictures from www.com-central.net, forum.valka.cz, AFV News Discussion Board

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This recovery tank is made in Czechoslovakia and under development from 1957 until 1961. In production from 1962 until 1966. There were around 150 vehicles made. This type tank was in service by Czechoslovakia, India and Marokko


T34 - T34 with Deep Wading kit - posted by Matthias Muth

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Post War East German T-34 prepared for deep water trails
The idea (later realised by the modern tanks) was to drive on the ground of the river to the other side. This version was only experimental.


Prototypes


T34M Prototype with wheels and springs as the KV

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In January 1941 the A43 project (a modernised variant of the T34, also known as the T34M) and the production of the first two prototypes of the T34M were planned for March 1941. Proposed, that the new tank will be superior to production T34, that this superiority played a negative role in its fate. The Christie suspension was replaced by torsion bar suspension, which resulted in the ground clearance of the T34M being increased by an additional 50mm. In May 1941 the factory had produced 50 pressed turrets for the T34M. In April 1941 there were three hulls ready. But the used V5 diesel were not ready, so final assembly of the T34M was delayed, and during the war, it was abandoned completely.

Model built by Serge Golikov - 1/72

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In 1942, the factory in Kulebakskaya produced sixtytwo cast turrets for the T34M. These new style turrets were used on T34 standard hulls. All tanks were used on East front.


T43 Prototype

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Another alternative to cope with the German Tiger was to thicken the T34's armour. A prototype, the T43, was built with 90mm armour, but even this was vulnerable to the new German 88mm tank gun. At the same time, the thicker armour severely compromised the T34's mobility and was considered unacceptable. As a result, attention turned to improving the firepower of the T34's and KV's mechanized gun counterparts.


T-44 Medium Tank

The T-44, one of the most advanced medium tanks of the second World War, was the culmination of an attamp to improve the T-34. Althoughh it retained a turret very similar to that on the T-34/85, and shared the same roadwheels, track and engine, the hull and the engine layout was completely redesigned and a new torsion bar suspension was added. A very small number saw action in the final months of the war.

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Model built by webmaster - 1/76 Ostmodels

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Model built by Jozsef Reti

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Teski Polish / Yugoslavian Medium Tank

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The Teski tank was a Polish update from the T-34.


Drawingtable / Experimental Vehicles


D11 with 122mm gun - turret looks like as the KV-2

Model built by John O'Reilly

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U11 with 122mm gun

Model built by John O'Reilly

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T34-3 with 2x 45mm and 1x 76mm gun

Model built by John O'Reilly

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T34-3 with 76mm gun

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T-34 with extra separate Armor

Photo's are taken from - www.odkrywca.pl/ekrany-na-sowieckich-czolgach-,511372.html

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T-34 vehicles in Civil Service


Recovery SU-122 used as Raumpanzer by a Soviet- / Ungarian Abbruch Company - (Info "Modell-Fan", 11-1986)

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Hebegerat-125 on T34 chassis

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No military using

From 1980 up 78 tanks are modified in this civil version and used in the East German coal industry. The GDR (German Democratic Republic) had a lot of open cast mining for brown coal and they used this vehicle there.

For more pictures of this vehicle, visit:

ModellMicha "ModellMicha" an German website about "Die Schwerlast- und Lkw- Seite".


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