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- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in the battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 References
- 8 Read also
- 9 Sources
The T-44 is a rank IV Soviet medium tank with a battle rating of 6.3 (AB/RB) and 6.7 (SB). It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41. A vastly improved tank over the T-34 series, the T-44 features similar mobility with much better frontal armour protection.
As a direct successor of the T-34-85, the T-44 truly was a pioneering tank construction, paving the way for many modern Soviet tanks. It provides great mobility and a good degree of armour protection. Veteran players with the T-34-85 will instantly recognize the turret and the gun, as the T-44 is armed with the same ZiS-S-53 85 mm gun as the T-34-85, but there are no more further similarities between the two. The T-44 expresses a different and more modern-looking layout of the tank compared to the T-34, with the turret now in the middle of the hull, and the tank is noticeably lower to the ground, with an extremely sloped frontal armour plate. The resulting silhouette is nearly half of the T-34-85, making the T-44 a much smaller target. These changes were made possible mainly by one important aspect of the construction - the relocation of the engine, a V-44 V12 diesel engine producing 500 horsepower, to a position perpendicular to the axis of the tank. This change, along with the removal of hull sponsons, allowed the crew compartment to be built with more space, and subsequently more comfortable for the crew even for a smaller tank.
Off-road performance and mobility drops compared to the T-34-85 due to the T-44's increased weight. However, the T-44 inherits a great degree of mobility from the T-34 thanks to its wide tracks. On paved surfaces, the T-44 reaches a top speed up to 60 kph, has very good acceleration and, with a trained driver, is pleasantly agile as well. Combine this with the mentioned low profile and the T-44 can zip around the map and reach a desirable firing position quickly. Use its speed and impressive agility to worm into unexpected places and fire on the enemies' sides. However, be careful when engaging enemies frontally, particularly heavy opponents, as the ZiS-S-53 is no longer a powerful armament at 6.3. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to penetrate more heavily-armoured opponents frontally.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret roof, Gun mantlet)
- Cast homogeneous armour (Turret)
|Hull|| 90 mm (64°) Front glacis
90 mm (44°) Lower glacis
|75 mm|| 45 mm (19°) Upper
15 mm (73°) Lower
|Turret|| 120 mm (1-79°) Turret front
120 mm (3-69°) Gun mantlet
|100 mm (14-21°)||75 mm (7°)||15 mm|
|Cupola||120 mm||15 mm|
- Suspensions wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.
- Tracks covering the hull of the tank gives an additional 18 mm of protection at their locations.
- Belly armour is 15 mm thick.
- The left side of the turret have a small protrusion around the gunner area.
The T-44 sports a 90 mm thick frontal plate sloped under at 64°. Compared to the 45 mm thick armour of the T-34, the T-44 offers twice as much effective frontal armour thickness, and even surpasses the frontal hull armour protection of the equally ranked Centurion Mk.3 or the Panther Ausf.F tanks. We also should not forget the low profile, which allows the tank to use the terrain to either provide hardcover or to conceal the T-44's movement. However, the lower profile of Soviet tanks came at a cost of poor gun depression, and the T-44 is no exception, limiting possible hull-down positions considerably.
The frontal armour is, however, far from invincible! The frontal glacis is very bouncy, but can still be penetrated by some guns and, as the fuel tank is located directly beneath the frontal plate, frontal penetration will likely result in fuel fire or even detonation of the fuel tank. The front of the turret is only 120 mm thick and despite it being oblique, it will be still penetrated by nearly any tank gun at the given BR spread, with some being able to penetrate the turret even at long range. Here, it is suggested to lower the ammunition load to empty the ready rack, located at turret’s rear - this will prevent ammunition detonation in case of turret penetration.
|Weight (tons)|| Add-on Armor
|Max speed (km/h)|
|Engine power (horsepower)|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|85 mm ZiS-S-53|
|Turret rotation speed (°/s)|
|Mode||Stock||Upgraded||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Stock||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
The armament of the T-44 is identical to the T-34-85’s gun. The ZiS-S-53 85 mm tank gun offers up to 142 mm of penetration with the basic BR-365A APHEBC ammunition, while the top BR-367 APCBC post-war round offers up to 159 mm of penetration. While this is an improvement over the BR-365A APHE round (aka the top round of the T-34-85), it is still overshadowed by other medium tank guns at the given BR spread, such as the KwK 42 L/70 on the Panther, the 90mm M3 gun on the T25, or the British OQF 20-pounder gun on the Centurion Mk.3. Interestingly, the BR-365A shell actually sports significantly more HE filler and better-sloped performance, making it a better round in general. Penetration can be boosted up to 230 mm by using BR-367P APCR rounds, but against sloped armour, this round will struggle to penetrate like any APCR round in the game. That said, it is obvious the firepower is not exactly the strongest trait of the T-44. In fact, it was this very problem which in real life that led Soviet engineers to develop upgunned T-44-100 and T-44-122 prototypes, armed with 100 mm and 122 guns respectively.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration in mm @ 90°|
|Ammunition|| Type of
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
|58||57 (+1)||41 (+17)||38 (+20)||36 (+22)||31 (+27)||1 (+57)||no|
Turret empty: 41 (+17)
|7.62 mm DT|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in the battles
The T-44 is a tank that has great mobility and agility, somewhat bouncy but not impenetrable armour, and an 85mm cannon. This cannon may be effective at around BR 5.3, but will struggle at BR 6.3. All of these traits produce a recipe for a good flanker. In tight city maps such as Cologne or Stalingrad, the T-44 is great at out-circling lumbering heavies and placing shots in their flanks, as well as in capping target zones in Domination and Break modes. On large open maps such as Mozdok or Kursk, the T-44 can be used to outflank the enemy and either cap the enemy’s base (when playing Battle mode), or rush into the enemy rear and surprise any enemy tanks by shooting them from behind! Stay mobile as much as possible and engage only when penetration is assured - the T-44 is simply not sturdy enough to survive head-on shootouts with enemy heavy tanks and tank destroyers. Used properly, the T-44 will serve well as a highly mobile effective medium tank. Experiences earned with this tank is also easily transferable, as the next few Soviet tanks, the T-44-100 and T-54 (1947), are played nearly the same way, except with a much stronger gun on the former, and better armour on the latter.
For RB and Head-on engagements:
- Tiger II H, 105 and Sla.16: Load APCR with 230 mm of penetration and shoot at the right turret cheek to knock out the gunner, then load APHE and shot at the flat part below the turret to set of ammo racks.
- All Panther models: Aim for the turret cheeks, against model D, A and G the shot trap can be used.
- Jagdpanther: Lower front plate, Upper front plate might be penetrated, but is prone to ricochets.
- Ferdinand: Lower front plate with the Upgraded APHE shell (159 mm of penetration) works sometimes. Shooting the part with the gun with APCR is more reliable though, aim for the right side.
- Jagdtiger: Head-on encounters should be avoided at all times. Only part which MIGHT be pentrated is the machine gun port at close range with the upgraded APHE shell with no angling, flanking is highly advised.
- T25: LFP with upgraded APHE, UFP and machine gun port.
- M26 and M46: LFP sometimes, machine gun port, UFP.
- M47: LFP with upgraded APHE and machine gun port.
- T32: LFP sometimes with upgraded APHE and machine gun port.
- T34: Some parts of the LFP and machine gun port.
- T26E1-1: Bounces a lot of shells. Aim for the machine gun port.
- T95: Hit the cupola.
- Caernarvon: Hit the lower front plate.
Research Parts and FPE first. Follow this with various gun upgrades, especially the BR-367, since it eases combat and allows one, in combination with BR-367P, to combat the Tiger II (H) effectively. Useful Performance modules are all located in tier III and IV; all three provide more horsepower, and henceforth improved acceleration and agility.
Pros and cons
- 90 mm upper glacis is invulnerable to most enemy fire due to its ~60° sloping
- High acceleration and top speed for a medium tank
- Small profile
- Gun may prove insufficient until the better shells are researched
- Limited gun depression of -5°
- Front armour has small driver's port as a weak point
- Gun mantlet and turret cheeks are only 120 mm thick, and are able to be easily penetrated by any tank at its rank
- Fuel tank and ammo storage in the front may prove fatal in case of a frontal penetration
- 4 crew members and cramped interior can lead to one-hit knockouts from a penetration
- Bouncy suspension leads to unstable hull movement, hindering accuracy when moving and stopping
The Soviet Union tank T-34 began production at the end of 1940, but there were already plans to upgrade the T-34 design as early as 1941 by incorporating modern technology. The first of these projects was the T-34M, which would have better armour, a three-man turret, torsion bar suspension, road wheels with shock absorbers, increased fuel capacity, and more ammo storage. The design also had the driver and assistant driver spots switched, but still retaining the large driver hatch on the front glacis. Four return rollers were also added and a 12-cylinder diesel engine producing 600 horsepower was used along with an 8-speed transmission system. The design used a traverse engine placement, making the design smaller than the original T-34, yet giving the crew more workspace in the tank. While the development underway to constructing armour plates, the project was placed on hold with Nazi Germany's invasion in Operation Barbarossa and all production facilities were mass-producing the T-34s to counter the invasion.
Despite the initial success with the T-34s against the Geman tanks, it was determined that a new medium tank was needed with better protection, yet staying around the same weight range. This program was the T-43 and featured a new turret, shorter suspension, better gun, and more armour. However, logistics took over and the priority in mass-producing the already proven T-34 overruled the new development of a new tank. The T-43 was cancelled, but the turret was adapted onto the T-34 design to mount the 85 mm gun in the designated T-34-85 tanks, fulfilling a specification to give more firepower to the armoured corps.
In the autumn of 1943 at the Stalin Ural Tank Factory No. 183, the designers started working on a vehicle under orders of Stalin to have major improvements over the initial T-34s. The mobility of the T-34 medium tank was to be similar, but with more armour on it. In November, chief designer A. A. Morozov presented a design and model, and it was designated the T-44 (Object 136). Compared to the T-34-85, the T-44 had the same road wheels, engine, and turret; but the suspension was replaced with a torsion bar suspension and a simpler hull shape for a smaller profile. The first prototype was completed on January the next year and two more in February. The first two prototypes are armed with the 85 mm D-5T gun with the designation T-44-85, while the last had a 122 mm D-25-44T cannon similar to the one on the IS-2 tank (Though differing from one-piece ammunition and better muzzle brake) designated the T-44-122. Innovative design on the T-44 was the placement of the engine perpendicular to the axis of the tank. Mounting the engine sideways allows for reducing the overall hull length by maximizing the hull width to fit the engine. This allowed the hull to be made without sponsons, gave the crew a much bigger fighting compartment, had the turret placed on the centre of the vehicle and reduced the vehicle's overall length. However, the ammo stored on the left side of the tank was easily hit and could detonate, destroying the tank. The armour on the design featured 75 mm thick plate on the front, 90 mm on the turret mantlet, side armour is 45 mm thick with the capability of mounting an additional 30 mm of armour. These prototypes had a V-2IS diesel engine delivering 500 horsepower. The tank provided many advantages over the T-34 design, the gun accuracy on the T-44 design was arguably better, and the turret ring was more reliable. It presented more than double frontal armour without significantly affecting weight distribution. The increased fighting compartment meant that the turret floor ammunition storage on the T-34 could be removed. Tank height comparison, the T-44 was 300 mm lower than the T-34, and the driver's vision from his hatch is much better than on the T-34.
Trials with the first prototypes began in February 1944. One of the competition was against the German Panther tank. The results indicated that the T-44 with the 122 mm gun was impractical and was discontinued while the T-44 with the 85 mm gun went on to further development after a few faults were discovered. By May, the next batch of prototypes arrived with improvements. The driver's position was moved slightly back so the hatch is now partly on the hull roof, and the vision flap on the hatch was simplified. Two prototypes were made, one with a splashboard on the glacis plate and the other with a smooth plate. One of these passed trials on June and July 1944, it weighed 31.3 tons, had an 85 mm cannon, and had an armour thickness of 115 mm effective on the front and 75 mm thick on the hull sides. The prototype went through improvements again and was designated the T-44A, which had the front armour thickness increased to 90 mm and turret front armour increased to 120 mm, yet had a weight reduction to 30.7 tons. The vehicle had a new engine that delivers 520 hp and could travel at 60.5 km/h. The driver's hatch was also now entirely moved to the hull top with a vision slot cut on the glacis. The vehicle still retained the 85 mm cannon. The T-44 finally entered service on November 23, 1944, after a few more upgrades (upping the weight to 32 tons), but did not actually see any World War II service. Production started in 1944 at Factory No. 75 and continued building until 1947 with about 1,823 units produced.
Though the T-44 did not see combat in World War II, it was issued to tank brigades for training purposes. The Cold War that ensued after the end of World War II prompted the Soviets to keep the T-44 a secret, never shown publicly until the secrecy dropped in the 1960s, though some have been reported to be seen when the Soviet invaded Hungary in 1956. Some T-44 were upgraded with parts from the T-54 main battle tank and was called the T-44M. Some T-44s were reconfigured to other roles during its service life, such as armour recovery vehicles, command tanks, and engineer vehicles. The Soviets kept the T-44s around up until the end of the 1970s when it is retired. The T-44 was never exported to other countries in the Warsaw Pact, unusual behaviour for the Soviet Union.
The T-44 was an innovative new tank for the Soviet Armoured Forces, but it proved lacking in the coming age of tank technology. This was evident by its usage of an 85 mm gun, whereas the army requested a mounting of the more powerful 100 mm D-10 gun seen on the SU-100. An attempt to mount the 100 mm on the T-44 produced a vehicle designated T-44B, which was also modified with thicker armour, different driver's hatch and vision slot, and a larger turret ring diameter, along with the 100 mm D-10TK gun. The weight was increased to 35.5 tons, which had the road speed reduced to 43.5 km/h. The trials proved positive and the decision was made to drastically modernize the tank before establishing production, as the larger turret ring diameter would require enlarging the hull so a redesign had to be made. The development of this project would eventually bring about the most-produced Soviet tank of all time, the T-54 main battle tank.
Some T-44 models when they were unveiled from secrecy or when they were retired were given to various military museums in Russia. One went to Brest in Belarus, another to the Museum of the Great Patriotic War in Moscow, another in Poklonnaya Hill Victory Park, and some to the Kubinka Tank Museum, including one of the two T-44 prototypes mounting the 100 mm D-10 cannon.
One T-44 in the Kubinka Tank Museum, with sponsorship from Gaijin Entertainment, has been restored to full, running condition in six months and painted in a parade camouflage style of the 29th Tank Corps of the 5th Guards Mechanized Army.
"This tank was created in 1943-1944 by UZTM's design bureau and was designed to replace the T-34 as the Red Army's main tank. The new 500 hp B-44 engine was installed crosswise in the hull with modified water and oil pump positioning. This meant the tank's hull height and width were 300 mm smaller in comparison to the T-34, reducing its weight, which allowed its armour to be increased and a turret housing an 85 mm cannon to be placed on the centre of the hull. This allowed the hull's frontal armour to be increased to 90 mm thickness without overloading the front road wheels.
The thickness of the side and rear hull armour plates was also increased. The turret's front was 120 mm thick, and its rear 70-75 mm thick. In order to increase the thickness of the frontal hull plate, the driver's hatch was moved to the hull roof and the bow machine gun's ball mount was removed. The undercarriage's reliability was increased owing to the use of torsion-bar suspension on the road wheels.
The tank received all the newest achievements in fire control - an improved sight, an electric trigger button for the gun and machine gun, and combined manual and motor drive for turning the turret. All the tank's components and mechanisms were significantly improved. The tank's crew was reduced by a gunner/radio officer, as the tank's commander operated the radio. The bow machine gun was rigidly fixed to the frontal armour and operated by the driver. The space previously occupied by the gunner/radio officer was used for a fuel tank.
This tank came into service in 1944. By 1947, a total of 1,823 of these tanks were made, including 655 made during the war.
The Т-44's appearance led to the creation of the entirely new Т-54 combat vehicle.
The only armed conflict the T-44 took part in was the Hungarian Uprising of 1956."
- Zaloga Steven. Modern Soviet Combat Tanks Great Britain: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 1984
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|USSR medium tanks|
|T-28||T-28 · T-28E|
|T-34-76||T-34 (Prototype) · T-34 (1940) · T-34 (1941) · T-34 1941 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-34 (1942) · T-34E STZ · T-34E|
|T-34-57||T-34-57 · T-34-57 (1943)|
|T-34-85||T-34-85 (D-5T) · T-34-85 · T-34-85E|
|T-44||T-44 · T-44-100 · T-44-122|
|T-54||T-54 (1947) · T-54 (1949) · T-54 (1951)|
|T-55||T-55A · T-55AM-1|
|T-62||T-62 · T-62M-1 · IT-1|
|T-64||T-64A (1971) · T-64B|
|T-80||T-80B · T-80U|
|Trophies/Lend-Lease||▂T-III · ▂T-V · ▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2|