The T-34 medium tank was produced by the USSR and was one of the main battle tanks of the II World War. As far as numbers go, no tank in the II World War was produced in bigger numbers than T-34. It was also the second most mass-produced tank in history, right after the T-54/55. The first prototypes of this vehicle were created in 1937, three years later in 1940 it entered mass production. The production of these tanks ended in 1958, but in 1996 there were still 27 countries that had this tank in service.
The T-34 had several traits that made the tank extremely versatile on the battlefield. One of the main advantages of this vehicle was that it had the coil-spring Christie suspension, which was also used on the BT tanks. The suspension was designed by Walter Christie, an American engineer and inventor. It allowed tanks to have far greater cross-country speed. The T-34 tank also had the thicker armor than any other tanks of its time, what made it a truly formidable opponent for the majority of enemies. Because of the complexity of the design it was required to produce it in several factories scattered around the USSR and then make the final assembly. The T-34 vehicle was easy to manufacture and easy to repair. These advantages were hugely important in that period. Unbelievably, T-34 even saw action in the 90’s in the Bosnian/Yugoslavian civil war. It was even capable of being re-fuelled whilst still driving, thereby remaining constantly mobile.
By many people T-34 is considered to be the most effective tank of the war. Some say that it may have a heavy influence on the outcome of the II World War.
The in-game T-34 is a tier 5 medium tank from the USSR tech tree. As in most cases, the stock version of this vehicle is not really impressive. The tank has 400 hit points and not a lot of spare load limit. The hull armor of 45mm on each side (including the front) is not a dream come true, but thanks to a relatively high slope of the frontal armor it does bounce shots from similar or lower tiers from time to time, especially if you do not charge on the enemies head-on and use angling.
When talking about the most basic statistics of the tank, it is also important to pay attention to its view range and signal range of the basic setup. The view range of 236 meters of the stock version is the worst out of all tier 5 vehicles in the game, closely followed by the SU-85 tank destroyer with 280 meters view range. Fortunately when the tank is upgraded from the 1940 variant to the late 1942 version, the view range is increased to 350 meters, putting the view range in par with other tanks of its tier. The gun of the tank performs better in comparison with other tanks than the view range, although it does leave a lot of room for improvement with the stock version of the tank. The upgrade of the turret will also give far better turret traverse speed (9 degrees faster, making it 49 deg/sec) and 15mm additional frontal turret armor.
The stock 76mm L-11 deals 110 damage with 68 penetration with AP rounds and 0.51 accuracy. These statistics are not as bad as the view range and they can be easily improved when researching the better guns. The 76mm F-34 gun is an improvement as far as penetration and accuracy goes. It’s a very big step forward because with this gun it becomes relatively easy to damage enemies of the same tier. The research of the F-34 gun allows the research of the 57mm ZiS-4 gun which has a far higher accuracy of 0.34, 112mm penetration (allowing to easily damage enemies of even higher tiers with a little bit of effort) and 85 damage per shot. This fast shooting gun can deliver a lower amount of damage per shot, but thanks to its ability to shoot really fast – is sometimes chosen as the main gun on this vehicle. The alternative to this gun as the top gun for the T-34 is the 76mm S-54 which is researchable after the advanced turret is researched. The S-54 delivers 115 damage per shot with 109 penetration and 0.41 accuracy with the rate of fire similar to the other 76mm guns. While the long 76mm offers superior damage, its accuracy is relatively poor. Also its long aim time does not help. Most tankers prefer the neat package of penetration, accuracy and high rate of fire offered by T-34/57.
The traverse speed of the Mod. 1940 (4-speed gearbox) is 37 deg/sec, which is a good start for a medium tank. However the Suspension Mod. 1942 (5-speed gearbox) increases the traverse speed to 40 degrees per second. The upgraded suspension will also be necessary for the tank to be able to mount all the upgraded modules.
The stock 9R radio of the T-34 gives range of 325 meters, which may prove to be far too short for efficient battlefield performance of a medium tank. The upgraded version of it, the 9RM radio significantly improves this to 525 meters, which allow you to control the situation and use your high speed and maneuverability.
The stock engine of T-34 is the V-2 which has 480 horse power. It is possible to upgrade the engine to V-2-34 which is not a big improvement, since it’s only 20 h.p. more than the basic V-2. Fortunately for the T-34 tank, the chance of engine fire is only 15% on impact. One of the most important parts of the engine is also used on T-34-85 as well as on A-20, SU-85 and SU-100 which makes it a very important addition to the garage.
The T-34 gameplay requires a lot of practice to become proficient. The relatively thin armor doesn’t make the tankers life easy. A driver has to rely on its speed and agility in order to avoid shells. Fortunately the tank has a good acceleration, even though sharp turns can quickly decrease its speed.
The role of the tank is not to stay in the middle and shoot, but rather try to flank or even take the enemy from behind. Staying on the move all the time is the key to survival. If you become a stationary target you lose all the advantages granted by the tanks agility. Thanks to the low profile and short length of the machine, it is possible to use cover which is usually not valuable for most vehicles.
Don’t forget that especially without the turret being upgraded, T-34 is not a scout tank. It does have a very good agility and speed, but the lack of view range makes it practically impossible to spot the enemy tanks. This limits its role as a support vehicle which can easily change location and aid the teammates who are in critical need for additional firepower or simply want to distract the enemy. One of good roles for T-34 (especially with 57mm gun) is Scout hunter.
You have to remember that the penetration values of both of your best guns are insufficient especially if you want to shoot at enemies without aiming, especially at higher tiers. A drive-by shooting is a great tactic since you can fire at the side of the enemy tanks. Circling enemy heavy tanks is also a viable tactic, especially against vehicles with slow turret rotation or with fixed gun. For example circling the KV-5 heavy tank or slow-traverse tank destroyers (such as the Ferdinand for example) can lead to a destruction of a theoretically far greater enemy. This could greatly help your team and teach your enemies an important lesson: never go to the battle alone.
T-34-85 was designed after the cancellation of T-34. This new model was a significantly improved version of its predecessor, the T-34. The T-34-85 entered mass production in 1944 and it was produced until 1950. In this 6 year time frame there were around 44000 T-34-85s vehicles produced. Additionally the T-34-85 model was constantly improved. The first and most important one was enlarging the turret ring which allowed bigger turrets to be mounted on the tank. This improved the interior design and allowed the commander to fully concentrate on his role. The better turret allowed the T-34-85 to have a better periscope, enhancing the commander’s field of view. The new, bigger gun, mounted on the T-34-85 made the vehicle far more useful in a lot of engagements. The Tiger had the edge on range over the T-34-85, which in turn was incredibly maneuverable. This is one of the reason why it was so much disliked by the Tiger crews.
The T-34-85 is a very good tier 6 medium tank in the USSR tech tree. In stock version it has 640 hit points, a lot of free room as far as load limit goes, 500 h.p. and far thicker turret armor (90mm on the front, 75mm on the sides and 52mm on the back). Unfortunately the hull armor remains the same 45mm on each side. The view range is also significantly improved with 350m when having the stock turret mounted.
The basic turret of the T-34-85 is relatively well armored (especially in front) and has a good 49 deg/sec traverse speed. The upgraded version of the turret, the T-34-85 Extended is equipped with even thicker armor of up to 115mm in front, 90 mm on the side and 75mm on the back. The down side of the heavier turret is reduced traverse speed and higher mass.
The basic gun of the T-34-85 is the 76mm S-54, which delivers 115 damage per shot and shoots more than 10 times a minute. The average penetration is 109 mm which makes it slightly underpowered gun for its tier, but not a bad stock gun for the tank. It can be upgraded to either the 85mm ZiS S-53 or the large-caliber 122mm U-11. The 85mm has similar rate of fire to the 76, but delivers 160 damage per shot with 120mm penetration making it an overall better gun than the basic 76mm. The 122m however is a very specific weapon. It’s a slow shooting gun with very low penetration (61mm), but has an outstanding 450 damage, unfortunately with a bad accuracy. Because of those features the 122mm requires a very different play style with more hiding and avoiding enemy shots during reload times. After researching the 85mm ZiS S-53 and the extended turret, there is an option to research two guns. The 100mm D10T and the 85mm D5T-85BM. The 100mm D10T is a gun with a lower reload speed (although higher than the 122mm), a very good penetration of 175mm, 230 damage per shot and rather poor accuracy of 0.42. The 85mm shoot faster than the 100mm (slightly slower than the 85mm ZiS S-53), but deliver only 144 damage per shot with far better accuracy of 0.37. These two guns perform similarly when used properly, but require slightly different play styles.
The radio, as well as the tracks are necessary improvements for the T-34-85. The tracks are not only required for higher load limit but also for the 3 additional deg/sec traverse speed. The 9RM radio is an amazing improvement from the 9R with additional 200 meters of range, making it a total of 525 meters. Thanks to these two modules your tank will perform far better on the battlefield, making you more aware of the allied and enemy positions.
Unfortunately the engine improvement from the basic V-2-34 to the V-2-34M does not give a large change in performance. This change is as small as the change of engine in the T-34, granting only an additional 20 h.p.
The improved statistics of the T-34-85 allow more aggressive game play. Thanks to the thicker turret armor, far better gun and improved view range the tank is a very good tier 6 medium. On the other hand hull is really soft at Tier VI, lacking the strongly armored parts found on VK3601(H), VK 3001(P) or even M4A3E8. Same as tier V T-34, it is relatively easy to kill when stationary, the agility allows the tank to stay moving and avoid shots if used properly. The improved penetration and damage of both of the top guns makes killing enemy tanks easy, especially when flanking. On the other hand long aim time and lower rate of fire of the guns disallow tactics as circling. Better mode of employment is as a fast turreted Tank Destroyer, flanking and ambushing enemies from the flank.
The T-34 and T-34-85 is tier 5 and tier 6 USSR medium tanks. While the T-34 may lack a bit of performance, the T-34-85 fills all the gaps really well. As long as you remember that your agility, small size and mobility are your defense rather than your armor, it is possible to become the master of the battlefield.
We hope that you enjoyed reading this short analysis of the T-34 and T-34-85 and that you will put it into good use.