Le T-34 soviétique is considered the most successful tank of its time, it combined high speed, maneuverability et fuel economy, low silhouette, good armour protection et firepower. The véhicule had 60 mm of sloped frontal armour, as much as the modern Leopard II, making it immune to canons antichar de 37 mm PaK 35/36. Even the powerful 88 mm L.71 gun of the Jagdpanther tank destroyer had only a calculated 11% probability of penetrating the T-34’s sloped frontal armour at 500 m range. By comparison, le char Tiger I allemand was twice as heavy, but it lacked the sloped armour which would have reduced the probability of an effective hit against it by as much as 34%.
The T-34 came as a big surprise to the Wehrmacht, this modern tank seriously outclassed les chars Panzer III et Panzer IV allemands, et it became available in large numbers as production topped 2,000 units per month. To counter the threat, les Allemands hastily introduced the Tiger tank en 1942, followed by the Panther en 1943, but neither would stem the tide of 40,000 chars T-34 soviétiques avançant vers Berlin. The T-34 is a classic, it deserves a spot in every collection of armoured fighting véhicules.
The T-34’s two-stroke diesel engine, was small et light-weight, it provided three times the power et three times the torque of a comparable four-stroke petrol engine. The T-34 consumed 480 litres of diesel fuel over its cruising range of 300 km, compared to the Tiger tank which consumed 535 liters of petrol per 100 km on level ground. Many Tigers were lost when they ran out of fuel et could not be recovered later.
The table lists allied véhicule designations introduced to classify the different versions du char moyen T-34 soviétique. L’Armée Soviétique used only three basic designations for the T-34 tank, namely T-34/57, T-34/76 et T-34/85, although the month et year of an important design change was noted as well.
|Véhicule||1/72 Maquette||1/76 Maquette|
|Armed avec the 76 mm L.30.5 gun. The gun mantlet seems to be upside down. This version had serious gear box problems. T-34/76.A are easily recognized, because they typically carry spare gear box et clutch units on the rear engine deck. The engine access cover on the rear plate is square.|
|Armed avec the 76 mm L.42 gun, et the later gun mantlet. This version had 60 mm of sloped frontal armour. The engine access cover changed to a round plate.|
|Similar to the above, but armed avec the 57 mm L.73 ZIS.2 canon de char/antichar. Le T-34/76.B d’Airfix peut être convertie en T-34/57.B by adding a longer gun barrel. The 57 mm L.73 gun has better armour penetration than the 76 mm L.42.|
|Armed avec the 76 mm L.42 gun; improved optics et turret design.|
|Similar to the above, but avec a larger hexagonal turret avec twin hatches. Le nickname allemand was »Mickey Mouse«, because both hatches would pop open quand le char was knocked out. For reasons of production economy, the véhicule had only 45 mm of sloped frontal armour.|
|Similar to the above, but avec some production differences, most noticeable of which were the all metal wheels. The Fujimi T-34/85 may be downgraded pour représenter this earlier version. Spare turrets avec twin hatches are available from Vac-U-Cast.|
|Similar to the above, but avec some production differences again.|
|Used as an assault tank. The véhicule was similar to the above, but it had additional frontal armour. The ESCI T-34/76.F may be uparmoured avec plastic card to meet this specification.|
|T-34/85||ESCI 8626; AER 72009||Airfix; Fujimi 76009|
|Armed avec the 85 mm L.54 gun. Some of these véhicules were upgrades of older T-34s, including T-34/76.A. The Airfix model is a retrofitted T-34/76.B, Fujimi offers a retrofitted T-34/76.D/E/F.|
|This véhicule is basically a T-54 hull avec a T-34/85 ou KV-85 turret, it had 75 mm of vertical side armour et 90 mm of sloped frontal armour. The véhicule had no hull LMG. T-44/85 did not prove very successful, it was only used in limited numbers from late 1944 onwards. Mobility was very good.|
|Armed avec the 100 mm L.56 gun, it was more than a match for chars Panther et Tiger I. The T-44/100 saw limited action en 1945, a very modern tank avec excellent mobility.|
|Developed from the T-44 series, this véhicule sported over 100 mm of armour. Des Chars T-54 still served pendant la Guerre du Golfe.|
The table list 1/72 et 1/76 scale model kits which match the historic variants of the T-34. Most of the important types are available, et there are a number of turret conversion kits on the market today which add even more variety.
Andrew Mark Reid
Pour plus d’information, veuillez contacter les éditeurs de la revue Military Miniatures Magazine sur facebook.