|This page is about the Chinese medium tank T-34-85 Gai. For other versions, see T-34 (Family).|
The Т-34-85 Gai is a rank IV Chinese medium tank with a battle rating of 5.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision".
Generally similar to the earlier T-34-85 (S-53), which itself is identical to the Soviet T-34-85, the Gai's gameplay should be very familiar to experienced players. It differentiates itself with a number of cosmetic differences, and more importantly, a roof-mounted 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine gun. For the first time, T-34 drivers can enjoy the utility offered by a heavy machine gun similar to the ubiquitous M2 Browning featured on American tanks.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret roof)
- Cast homogeneous armour (Turret, Cupola, Driver's hatch, Machine gun port)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 45 mm (60°) Front glacis
45 mm (60°) Lower glacis
75 mm (60°) Driver's hatch
65 mm (30°) Machine gun port
| 45 mm (39-40°) Top
45 mm Bottom
| 45 mm (47-49°) Top
45 mm (46°) Bottom
|Turret|| 90 mm (1-69°) Turret front
90 + 40 mm (8-61°) Gun mantlet
| 75 mm (19-22°) Front 2/3rd
52 mm (13-19°) Rear 1/3rd
|52 mm (9°)||20 mm|
|Cupola||90 mm||20 mm|
- The gun mantlet has 90 mm in front with additional small and thin 40 mm plates on the sides of the gun.
- Suspensions wheels are 20 mm thick and tracks are 18 mm thick
The armour layout of the T-34-85 Gai is virtually identical to the T-34-85. The hull armour, while well angled, is very thin for its rank and can be penetrated by nearly any tank cannon. Creative use of angling can still lead to the occasional bounce. The 90 mm thick turret is also thin for its rank, but the good sloping on the sides can also lead to bounces with some luck.
The T-34-85 has very poor survivability due to the fact that all 5 crew members are packed close to each other. A hull penetration will likely knock out all of them. However, inexperienced players that face this tank will often shoot the lower hull part of the driver hatch, which is infamous for being surprisingly resilient.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The T-34-85 Gai has excellent mobility for a medium tank, as expected of a T-34. It can reach high speeds both on and off road thanks to its wide tracks. The reverse speed is not exactly great, but it is significantly better than those of comparable Shermans, Panthers, and early T-34s (76 mm, 57 mm variants).
Modifications and economy
This is where the T-34-85 Gai excels. Like other 85 mm-armed T-34s, its AP rounds have large amounts of explosive filler and pretty nice penetration. Do keep in mind that you have a few different types of shells to choose from. The stock BR-365K APHE rounds have good penetration and a decent quantity of explosive filler. The unlockable BR-365A APHEBC rounds may appear to be a downgrade from the BR-365K at first, but they are deceptively powerful; excellent normalization modifiers make them far more effective against angled armour and the 164 grams of explosive filler (twice as much as the BR-365K) will guarantee the destruction of almost any target upon penetration. The BR-365P APCR rounds have the highest velocity and best flat penetration, but they are comparatively anaemic in terms of post-penetration damage and are dreadful against angled armour. Lastly, the O-365 HE shell is only useful against very thinly armoured targets and should generally be avoided, as the APHE/APHEBC rounds and heavy machine gun are generally sufficient for this task.
In general it is a good idea to carry mainly BR-365A shells, as the bit of extra flat penetration on the BR-365K does not really help in penetrating more targets, while the BR-365A's slope modifiers and extra explosive filler are very useful, especially when flanking. It may be a good idea to bring a few APCR shells for emergencies, but its power is limited - it cannot penetrate the turret of a Tiger II (H), for example.
|85 mm ZIS-S-53||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|55||52 (+3)||40 (+15)||38 (+17)||36 (+19)||1 (+54)||No|
- To go into battle with the turret and the flanks empty of ammo, pack 36 (+19) shells.
- Racks disappear after you've fired all shells in the rack.
|12.7 mm DShK|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm DT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
While the T-34-85 Gai is a fairly well-rounded tank, its poor armour and high speed mean that one should play it more like a light tank than a medium. The gun is very lethal but the penetration is not particularly good, so it is better to flank and go for side shots, which can instantly knock out all but the largest and most spacious opponents. During frontal engagements, Tiger Is should be shot in the flat portions of the hull (avoiding the driver's port), Panthers should be shot in the turret (in the less curved portion of the mantlet) or possibly in the lower glacis, and non-Jumbo Shermans can generally be shot anywhere. The Tiger II (P) is only vulnerable in a small portion of the turret cheeks and the Tiger II (H) is essentially frontally immune, so for these kinds of targets, circle around to get a good shot at the hull sides and let the slope modifiers take care of the rest. Watch out for American tanks like the M4A3 (76) W and T25, as they have vertical stabilizers and can often shoot first if they are aware of you.
In AB, you should play this tank like any other T-34. Push because you have a pretty well-rounded tank and will generally be able to adapt to whatever situation that develops. The AB meta generally favours more heavily armed and armoured tanks due to the presence of markers, making flanking and ambushes more difficult, so play carefully and take advantage of your high mobility.
In RB, play this tank offensively yet carefully. Use your speed and keep up with your teammates, or alternatively play it like a light tank and go on long flanks. In RB, one will often encounter enemy flankers like the infamous M18 Hellcat or R3 T20 FA-HS; while the main gun is adequate for dispatching these soft targets, the heavy machine gun can also rip through them in a pinch, particularly from the sides. The machine gun can be especially helpful if one's tank is otherwise disabled due to a jammed turret ring, destroyed gun breech, etc. Diving aircraft expecting to strafe an innocuous T-34 can also be given a nasty surprise, though the DShK's small belt capacity makes this more difficult.
In SB, play this tank very cautiously because the optics aren't that good and most of the time you will face tanks from pretty far distances. Panthers generally have better optics than you so try to avoid encounters with Panthers or Tigers.
Enemies worth noting:
The Panthers are one of the most common tanks around BR 5.7, and they pose a great threat with their deadly long 75 mm cannon, thick frontal armour and adequate speed. You want to avoid engaging them at long range as the T-34 has only x3.5 scope magnification, making long range shooting super hard. Engage the Panthers within 500 m and avoid shooting their frontal hull. Their biggest weak spot is the gun mantlet, which is only 100 mm thick and has a flat part in the middle. That is where you want to aim at, the T-34's APHE has sufficient damage to instantly destroy the Panther even from its turret. The second weak spot is of course the sides, guaranteeing an instant kill. Generally APHE is enough to deal with the Panthers, and no APCR is needed.
For the Tiger II P, aim at the vertical area of the frontal turret which is also 100 mm. The best tactic is still to flank it however.
The Tiger's weak spots are the opposite with the Panthers. Their hull are unsloped and rather thin, while the gun mantlet is weirdly shaped and can absorb quite some shells. The best engaging range remains the same, within 500 m. If the Tiger is angling, aim at the turret ring to disable the gunner and destroy the turret traverse, or aim at the hull side below the side skirt, which is only 60 mm. If it is not angling, aim between the driver's vision port and the MG for an instant kill. Avoid shooting at these two parts as they tend to bounce/absorb shells. For the Tiger E, don't shoot at the lower glacis as there will be add-on tracks installed there, making it harder to penetrate.
In a frontal engagement, APCR is required as the APHE shells don't have enough penetration. With APCR loaded, aim at the further sides of the fighting compartment, away from the gun, because the further from the gun, the thinner the armour gets, with the thinnest part being around 160 mm unsloped. Penetrating there will knock out its loader, gunner or commander, or detonate the ammo. Of course, the best way is still side-shooting with APHE.
These small tank destroyers with their well angled frontal armour can be quite a problem from a distance. With APHE, you can disable their transmission by shooting at their lower glacis. Now if you can, flank them. The 85 mm APHE does a great job at penetrating sloped, thin armour, so you don't have to get to their absolute sides. For the Pz IV/70, you can also aim at the downward part of the gun mantlet since the shell might ricochet downwards into the hull, knocking out every crew member. The Jagdpanzer 38(t) doesn't have this problem, so side-shooting is required to destroy it effectively.
This is another common enemy. It is recommended to use the BR-365A, the one with less pen but more explosive filler. The reason is that it is better at penetrating sloped armour, which the Jumbo has. With that shell you can easily destroy a M4A3E2 who's not angling. If it is, aim at the hull side just above the tracks, or load APCR and shoot straight at its gun mantlet. Against a 75 mm M4A3E2 you can relax a bit as it will struggle to penetrate your armour, but your cupola is a rather large weak spot and a shot through there can knock out the T-34. Be more careful with the M4A3E2 76 W, as they can easily pierce through your armour.
Pros and cons
- Top mounted heavy machine gun is useful against soft targets and perhaps incoming aircraft
- Excellent gun with adequate penetration, destructive damage and good reload rate
- 56 km/h top speed and great manoeuvrability allows it to reposition easily
- 5-man crew increases survivability
- Access to BR-365P APCR to effectively penetrate tough tanks up close (M4A3E2s, Tigers & Panthers)
- Has two types of AP for players to choose: BR-365K with higher pen but less TNT, and BR-365A with less pen but plenty of TNT
- Similar playstyle with the previous T-34s which is rather beginner-friendly
- Fast turret traverse to easily deal with targets from multiple directions
- Sloped hull and round frontal turret might bounce small calibre shells
- Armour is inadequate at its rank, providing very limited protection against common guns (American 76 mm, British 17 pdr, German 75 mm & 88 mm, etc)
- May have issues penetrating hard targets frontally (Tiger II, Ferdinand, Ho-Ri, Jagdpanzer IV(70))
- Heavy machine gun needs to reload frequently
- Fairly tall, top machine gun makes the tank even more noticeable
- Awkward to place bushes on upper front hull due to the obstruction of MG port and driver's optics
The Soviet Union sold numerous T-34-85 tanks along with other vehicles to the People's Republic of China in the early 1950s since the new nation had few and often obsolete tanks in its inventory after the conclusion of the Chinese Civil War. The T-34s saw limited deployments with the People's Liberation Army during the Korean War. The history of the tank afterwards has been the subject of debate; according to some sources the PRC attempted and possibly succeeded at creating a local copy of the T-34 under a "Type 58" designation, and according to others this was never a goal, no such tanks ever existed, and only efforts to maintain and repair the T-34s were carried out. Regardless the T-34s were soon superseded by the far superior Type 59, a licensed copy of the Soviet T-54A. However, stocks of T-34s remained in the PLA inventory for a long period of time before domestic tanks were available in sufficient quantity.
T-34s in Chinese service were often upgraded to a standard referred to by some as the "Type 58". The exact details and universality of these upgrades are also nebulous, but known characteristics include a new loader's cupola capable of mounting a heavy machine gun, hardpoints on the right turret cheek for stowing away said machine gun, and a modified hinge for the rear transmission cover. Other upgrades may have been carried out as well.
The vehicle represented in War Thunder also features a splashboard welded onto the upper glacis. The "Gai" in its designation (改) means "modified" in Chinese.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- encyclopedia page on the tank;
- other literature.
|China medium tanks|
|Type 59/69||Type 59 · ZTZ59D1 · Type 69 · T-69 II G|
|ZTZ96||ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A|
|ZTZ99||ZTZ99-II · ZTZ99-III|
|Japan||␗Chi-Ha · ␗Chi-Ha Kai|
|USA||␗M4A4 · M4A4 (1st PTG) · ␗M4A1 (75) W · ␗M48A1 · ␗M60A3 TTS|
|USSR||␗T-34 (1943) · ␗Т-34-85 (S-53) · T-34-85 No.215 · Т-62 №545|