T-34-85 (S-53) (China)
The ␗Т-34-85 (S-53) is a rank III Chinese medium tank with a battle rating of 5.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision".
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 (S-53) 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.
Any enemy vehicle around the T-34-85's BR bracket can destroy it if it can get a solid shot on the hull armour. Beware when exposing hull when coming out to take a shot on an enemy, someone is bound to be watching for the T-34-85 and they won't be afraid to plant a shell into the 45 mm hull armour.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The T-34-85 (S-53) 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
The T-34-85 (S-53) (China) is equipped with the fantastic ZiS-S-53 cannon, with penetrates about 145 mm on the close range with the stock BR-365K round. This might not be enough to fight Tiger IIs frontally, but it works perfectly with other tanks, which are less armoured or you can engage them from the side.
The gun depression is like on many other Soviet vehicles quite poor, with only 5° there are no hull-down manoeuvres possible.
|85 mm ZIS-S-53||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The stock round is the BR-365K which has 148 mm of penetration on close range. The APHE round has a very good one-shot-potential with 48 g of A-IX-2 (73.92 g of TNT equivalent).
The second round, the BR-365A, only has about 135 mm penetration on point-blank, in exchange for improved penetration against sloped armour. This makes it more effective than the BR365K when shooting at angling M4A3E2's and Panthers. Also, instead of having 48g, it has 164g TNT of explosives inside the shell. This increases the post-penetration effect dramatically.
APCR is also available, but keep in mind that it hates sloped armour and it has very poor post-penetration damage. It penetrates about 195 mm of RHA on close range.
The HE-shell is called O-365K. With 660 g of TNT inside it performs pretty well against trucks and halftracks.
|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)
|60||51 (+9)||41 (+19)||31 (+29)||21 (+39)||11 (+49)||1 (+59)||No|
Turret empty: 24 (+12)
The MG on the T-34-85, the 7.62 mm DT, is quite ineffective in most scenarios due to its poor penetration. It can only disable completely exposed crews on vehicles like M16. When it comes to lightly armoured tanks (eg. M18, Sd.kfz.234/2) this MG will struggle to pierce even their thin armour plates.
|7.62 mm DT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
While the T-34-85 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 the sides, which more often than not instantly destroys the vehicle. Generally, APHE is enough to deal with the Panthers, and no APCR is needed. The APHE shell loves to chew through the Panther's thin side armour, even if it's angled.
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 is 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 an 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
- 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 a higher penetration 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 extremely thin, providing very limited protection against common guns (American 76 mm, British 17 pdr, German 75 mm & 88 mm, etc)
- Crew members are closely packed, a well-aimed shot tends to kill them all
- 5 degrees gun depression is below average
- Large turret profile makes it easier to get spotted and shot
- Awkward to place bushes on frontal 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 (Chi-ha Kai, LVT(A), SU-76M, etc) 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.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|China medium tanks|
|Type 59 · ZTZ59D1 · Type 69 · T-69 II G · ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ99|
|American||␗M4A4 · M4A4 (1st PTG) · ␗M4A1 (75) W · ␗M48A1 · M60A3 TTS · CM11|
|Soviet||␗T-34 (1943) · ␗Т-34-85 (S-53) · Т-34-85 Gai · T-34-85 No.215 · Т-62 №545|
|Japanese||␗Chi-Ha · ␗Chi-Ha Kai|