Difference between revisions of "T-34 (1942)"

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{{Specs-Card|code=ussr_t_34_1942}}
 
{{Specs-Card|code=ussr_t_34_1942}}
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{{About
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| about = Soviet medium tank '''{{PAGENAME}}'''
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| usage = other uses
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| link = T-34 (Family)
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}}
  
 
== Description ==
 
== Description ==
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[[File:GarageImage_T-34(1942).jpg|420px|thumb|left]]
 
[[File:GarageImage_T-34(1942).jpg|420px|thumb|left]]
 
{{break}}
 
{{break}}
The '''T-34 1942''' is a Rank II Soviet medium tank with a battle rating of 3.7. It was introduced in during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41.  
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The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a Rank {{Specs|rank}} Soviet medium tank {{Battle-rating}}. It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before [[Update 1.41]].  
  
 
In 1942, a new hexagonal turret was developed and introduced for the T-34 medium tank in order to streamline production. Crew ergonomics were slightly improved, although the turret remained a two-man turret. Various other improvements were introduced, although most of these were geared towards increasing reliability and ease of production.
 
In 1942, a new hexagonal turret was developed and introduced for the T-34 medium tank in order to streamline production. Crew ergonomics were slightly improved, although the turret remained a two-man turret. Various other improvements were introduced, although most of these were geared towards increasing reliability and ease of production.
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== General info ==
 
== General info ==
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
<!--''Describe armour protection. Note the most well protected and key weak areas. Appreciate the layout of modules as well as the number and location of crew members. Is the level of armour protection sufficient, is the placement of modules helpfull for survival in combat?''
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<!--''Describe armour protection. Note the most well protected and key weak areas. Appreciate the layout of modules as well as the number and location of crew members. Is the level of armour protection sufficient, is the placement of modules helpful for survival in combat?''
  
 
''If necessary use a visual template to indicate the most secure and weak zones of the armour.''-->
 
''If necessary use a visual template to indicate the most secure and weak zones of the armour.''-->
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====== Hull armour ======
 
====== Hull armour ======
The 1942 model has a very similar hull armour profile to the 1941 model, relying on angling instead of sheer thickness for protection. There are two key differences: the machine gun ball mount has an increased thickness of 60 mm of armour (compared to 45 mm on earlier models), as does the driver's hatch (75 mm, compared to 45 mm on earlier models). The weakspots created by the driver's optics on earlier models has also been removed. The driver's hatch has the thickest armour on any part of the T-34 and can be quite resilient to enemy fire if hit.
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The 1942 model has a very similar hull armour profile to the 1941 model, relying on angling instead of sheer thickness for protection. There are two key differences: the machine gun ball mount has an increased thickness of 60 mm of armour (compared to 45 mm on earlier models), as does the driver's hatch (75 mm, compared to 45 mm on earlier models). The weak spots created by the driver's optics on earlier models have also been removed. The driver's hatch has the thickest armour on any part of the T-34 and can be quite resilient to enemy fire if hit.
  
 
It should be noted that due to the relatively thin plate thickness used (40–45 mm), the T-34's hull is vulnerable can be vulnerable to overmatching from 75 mm and larger guns.T
 
It should be noted that due to the relatively thin plate thickness used (40–45 mm), the T-34's hull is vulnerable can be vulnerable to overmatching from 75 mm and larger guns.T
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* The turret front, side, and rear armour is made of cast armour instead of rolled plate, which is slightly weaker.
 
* The turret front, side, and rear armour is made of cast armour instead of rolled plate, which is slightly weaker.
  
Overall, the turret armour is not a significant improvement over the earlier models, and is in some ways weaker.
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Overall, the turret armour is not a significant improvement over the earlier models and is in some ways weaker.
  
 
====== Module/crew layout ======
 
====== Module/crew layout ======
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The T-34 has a relatively good power-to-weight ratio. Combined with the wide tracks, this gives it excellent mobility, even over relatively soft terrain. The 1942 model is slightly heavier than the earlier T-34 models, although its mobility is not noticeably different.
 
The T-34 has a relatively good power-to-weight ratio. Combined with the wide tracks, this gives it excellent mobility, even over relatively soft terrain. The 1942 model is slightly heavier than the earlier T-34 models, although its mobility is not noticeably different.
  
The T-34 is not capable of neutral steering, and has a reverse speed of about 10 km/h.
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The T-34 is not capable of neutral steering and has a reverse speed of about 10 km/h.
  
== Armament ==
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== Armaments ==
 
=== Main armament ===
 
=== Main armament ===
<!--''Give the reader information about the characteristics of the main gun. Assess its effectiveness in a battle based on the reloading speed, ballistics and the power of shells. Do not forget about the flexibilty of the fire, that is how quickly the cannon can be aimed at the target, open fire on it and aim at another enemy. Add a link to the main article on the gun: <code><nowiki>{{main|Name of the weapon}}</nowiki></code>. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.''-->
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<!--''Give the reader information about the characteristics of the main gun. Assess its effectiveness in a battle based on the reloading speed, ballistics and the power of shells. Do not forget about the flexibility of the fire, that is how quickly the cannon can be aimed at the target, open fire on it and aim at another enemy. Add a link to the main article on the gun: <code><nowiki>{{main|Name of the weapon}}</nowiki></code>. Describe in general terms the ammunition available for the main gun. Give advice on how to use them and how to fill the ammunition storage.''-->
 
{{main|F-34 (76 mm)}}
 
{{main|F-34 (76 mm)}}
  
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The hexagonal turret has a very fast rotation speed, complimenting the T-34's advantages in brawling, close-range combat and allowing it to respond quickly to threats from multiple directions. The 5° of gun depression is standard for most Soviet tanks, although bad compared to most Allied tanks.  
 
The hexagonal turret has a very fast rotation speed, complimenting the T-34's advantages in brawling, close-range combat and allowing it to respond quickly to threats from multiple directions. The 5° of gun depression is standard for most Soviet tanks, although bad compared to most Allied tanks.  
  
The BR-350B APHEBC shell is by far the best shell for the F-34 under most circumstances. It has the best penetration of the AP rounds with explosive fillers and is extremely lethal.
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The BR-350B APHEBC shell is by far the best shell for the F-34 under most circumstances. It has the best penetration of the AP rounds with explosive fillers and is extremely lethal, usually one-shotting most tanks if it successfully penetrates.
  
The 1942 model has access to the late-war BR-350P APCR shell. It has the best penetration of all the shells, but its lethality is very disappointing; it is often better to simply flank around enemy tanks and use the APHEBC round instead.  
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The 1942 model also has access to the late-war BR-350P APCR shell. It has the best penetration of all the shells against vertical armour, but its lethality is very disappointing and the performance against sloped armour is atrocious. It is often better to simply flank around enemy tanks and use the BR-350B APHEBC round instead. Nevertheless, it is useful as a backup option if a frontal engagement against a heavily armoured tank is unavoidable.  
  
 
The other shells are very situational:
 
The other shells are very situational:
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* OF-350M: HE; useful for breaking the hulls of lightly armoured/unarmoured vehicles.
 
* OF-350M: HE; useful for breaking the hulls of lightly armoured/unarmoured vehicles.
 
* Sh-354T: Shrapnel; useful against vehicles that are resistant to the HE shell but too thinly armoured to trigger the fuzes of APHE shells.
 
* Sh-354T: Shrapnel; useful against vehicles that are resistant to the HE shell but too thinly armoured to trigger the fuzes of APHE shells.
* BP-350A: HEAT; best penetration beyond 1,000 m, but the T-34 generally does not fare well in long-range duels.
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* BP-350A: HEAT; best penetration beyond 1,000 m, but the T-34 generally do not fare well in long-range duels.
* BR-350SP: APBC; solid shot that is somewhat more lethal than APCR, but with less penetration.
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* BR-350SP: APBC; a solid shot that is somewhat more lethal than APCR, but with less penetration.
  
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
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! 2000m
 
! 2000m
 
|-
 
|-
| BR-350A || APHEBC || 80 || 78 || 71 || 63 || 56 || 50
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| BR-350A || APHEBC ||86||85||76||67||59||52
 
|-
 
|-
| OF-350M || HE || 9 || 9 || 9 || 9 || 9 || 9
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| OF-350M || HE ||10||10||10||10||10||10
 
|-  
 
|-  
 
| Sh-354T || Shrapnel || 37 || 35 || 29 || 25 || 20 || 17  
 
| Sh-354T || Shrapnel || 37 || 35 || 29 || 25 || 20 || 17  
 
|-
 
|-
| BR-350SP || APBC ||105 || 104 || 85 || 69 || 57 || 46
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| BR-350SP || APBC ||102||100||91||81||72||64
 
|-
 
|-
| BR-350B || APHEBC || 98 || 95 || 87 || 77 || 68 || 60
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| BR-350B || APHEBC ||94||92||83||73||65||57
 
|-
 
|-
 
| BR-350P || APCR || 135 || 130 || 92 || 60 || 39 || 26
 
| BR-350P || APCR || 135 || 130 || 92 || 60 || 39 || 26
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=== Machine guns ===
 
=== Machine guns ===
<!--''Offensive and anti-aircraft machine guns not only allow you to fight some aircraft, but also are effective against lightly armoured vehicles. Evaluate machine guns and give recommendations on its use.''-->
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<!--''Offensive and anti-aircraft machine guns not only allow you to fight some aircraft but also are effective against lightly armoured vehicles. Evaluate machine guns and give recommendations on its use.''-->
 
{{main|DT (7.62 mm)}}
 
{{main|DT (7.62 mm)}}
  
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== Usage in the battles ==
 
== Usage in the battles ==
 
<!--''Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).''-->
 
<!--''Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).''-->
The T-34 should be played in an offensive role, charging into the battlefield and maximize combat effectiveness by closing the distance for better ammo penetration. The great speed of the T-34 should be taken advantage by flanking the targets across the cross-country terrain, especially on maps like [[Mozdok (Ground Forces)|Mozdok]], thus you can target the weaker areas of enemy armour and maximize the beyond-armour damage of your APHEBC rounds.
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Like the previous T-34 models, the 1942 model excels at close to medium range fighting, utilizing its outstanding mobility for a medium tank to rapidly close the distance and relocate to attack from unexpected directions. The sloped hull armour has a good chance of ricocheting hastily aimed shots and helps increase the odds of the T-34 surviving when moving in to engage. The lethal BR-350B APHEBC round complements this playstyle, having about enough penetration to deal with the flanks of most enemies likely to be encountered; a single penetrating hit is usually fatal for the target. In close combat, the fast turret traverses and quick reload allow the T-34 to respond quickly towards changing situations, usually helping to ensure it will be the first to get its gun on the target.
  
The 76 mm APHEBC shell has very good HE filler which can OHK most opponents from the side. For some frontal engagements and emergencies, the APCR shell can be used. However, given the nature of APCR, the APCR shell tends to bounce and do little damage against opponents with any sort of sloped armour.
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Conversely, the T-34 fares poorly in long-range combat; both the BR-350B APHEBC and BR-350P APCR rounds have poor penetration at long ranges, and the BP-350A HEAT round is quite underwhelming as well.
  
With a battle rating of 3.7, this means that (assuming the T-34 1942 is the highest rating in your line-up) the worst enemies will be maxed at the 4.7 range. This means that, at worst, the T-34 will face [[M4A3E2|M4A3E2 Jumbos]], [[Churchill Mk VII|Churchill VIIs]], and at best, it will face early Pz.IIIs.  
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=== Common opponents ===
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'''[[M4|Medium Tank M4]], [[M4A2]]''' (American): The T-34's 76 mm gun cannot penetrate the welded hull M4/M4A2 reliably from the front, while the 75 mm gun on the M4/M4A2 can penetrate the T-34's turret and disable or cripple it. They do have very weak lower side hull armour (only 38 mm) that can be overmatched by the 76 mm APHEBC round if exposed, and the flat areas on the turret can also be penetrated fairly reliably if they can be hit. Generally avoid head-on engagements, especially if the M4 is hull-down.  
  
M4 Shermans and long-barreled Axis tanks are your most common, and dangerous, opponents. '''The T-34 cannot penetrate Shermans reliably from the front'''. Flanking is primarily recommended- however, if your T-34 is stuck between a rock and hard place, aim to the right or left of the Sherman's gun mantlet where the slope is somewhat flat- penetration is almost guaranteed with the APCR shell- and, with a little luck, the APHE shell will penetrate fairly effectively. Another weak spot of the Shermans exists just below the side armour - the flat armour between the tracks/bogies. Depending on the variant, the 76mm APHE shell from the T-34 will easily OHK any Sherman or critically disable it due to the floor-located ammunition.
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'''[[M4A1|Medium Tank M4A1]], [[Sherman II]]''' (American/French, British): Similar to the M4/M4A2, except that the cast hull is weaker than the welded hull on the M4/M4A2, and can be penetrated frontally. Otherwise, the same advice applies.
  
Unfortunately, Shermans can penetrate the T-34's turret cheeks and disable them with its 75mm AP shells. Avoid prolonged frontal confrontations with Shermans at all costs.
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'''[[M4A3E2|Assault Tank M4A3E2]]''' (American/French): The 'Jumbo' is one of the most dangerous opponents the T-34 can face. It is completely immune to the 76 mm F-34 gun from the front, except for the hard-to-hit hull machine gun mount. It is relatively slow and unmanoeuvrable, however, and is very vulnerable to flanking attacks, as its side armour is thin. It also shares the same lower side hull weakness with the other M4 variants.
  
If you come across an M4A3E2 Jumbo, the best thing to do is retreat and use your superior maneuverability to try and engage it from the side. If it has you cornered, you can try and hit the hull mounted machine gun port. A penetration will usually result in a penetration, and a destroyed Jumbo if you are using APHEBC. This, however, is unreliable and a difficult shot to make, especially at range. You can also try and disable the tracks and/or gun to make your escape easier. Generally, it is best to completely avoid frontal engagements.
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'''[[Pz.IV F2|Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F2]]''', [[Pz.IV G|'''G''']], [[Pz.IV H|'''H''']], [[Pz.IV J|'''J''']] (German): The Ausf. F2 variant is the first Panzer IV to mount a long-barreled 75 mm gun. This gun is one of the most lethal mounted on any tank within the T-34's BR range, and it is easily capable of penetrating the T-34 at most ranges. The Ausf. F2 has very weak armour, however, and is something of a glass cannon. The Ausf. G, H, and J have up-armoured hulls that are quite difficult to penetrate, but their turrets are as weak as the one on the F2. The Ausf. J, in particular, has manual turret traverse and is very vulnerable to being flanked. Avoid long-range duels with them.
  
The same goes for Churchill tanks. The [[Churchill_Mk I|Mk I]] is an easy target. It has a gun which will struggle to penetrate you, meaning you can get close and exploit its weak points. The [[Churchill Mk III|Mk III]] is slightly more dangerous, as its [[Ordnance QF 6-pounder Mk.V (57 mm)|57 mm gun]] can easily penetrate your turret and is quite damaging for a British solid shot gun. However, it is easy to outmaneuver and can be an easy win from the side. Most dangerous is the Churchill VII. It has 152 mm of frontal armour, making it almost impenetrable from the front. The side armour is also thick at 95 mm, making APHEBC shells only effective below 100 m. Even then, even slight angling will prevent your rounds from penetrating, and side shots will often get eaten up by the Churchills huge tracks. All this, plus the fact that the 75 mm gun on the Churchill can penetrate your turret mean that you should avoid this tank unless you are sure that you can get a penetration.  
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[[Chi-Nu II|'''Chi-Nu II''']] (Japanese): Essentially the Japanese counterpart to the German Panzer IV Ausf. F2.  
  
When facing Pz. IVs/Chi-Nus, the T-34 excels as the 76mm APHE shell can easily penetrate and generally OHK the flat armour of these Axis types.
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[[Churchill Mk III|'''Churchill III''']], [[Pz.Kpfw. Churchill (Germany)|'''Churchill(e)''']] (British, German): The 6-pounder gun on the Churchill will be hard-pressed to penetrate the sloped T-34 hull, but it can easily penetrate the turret and disable the turret crew. It is difficult to penetrate the frontal armour of the Churchill at long ranges. However, it is a slow, cumbersome heavy tank, and is easy to outflank and dispatch with shots to the side armour.
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'''[[Churchill Mk VII|Churchill VII]]''' (British): The Churchill VII is virtually immune to the T-34 from the front, while it's 75 mm gun can penetrate the T-34's turret fairly easily. Even from the side, it has 95 mm of armour that cannot be penetrated by the BR-350B APHEBC round except at very close range, and even slight angling will render it all but immune. It is even slower than the Churchill III, however, and thus easy to avoid and outflank.  
  
 
=== Pros and cons ===
 
=== Pros and cons ===
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'''Pros:'''
 
'''Pros:'''
  
* Like it's predecessors it has a good reload time and great maneuverability, making it suitable for short range engagements.
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* Fast turret traverse and quick reload, excelling in close combat situations
* BR-350P APCR shells possess decent penetrative values which allow somewhat decent short-medium range engagement.
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* Sloped hull armour resistant against lower calibre guns, capable of ricocheting larger calibre guns when angled correctly
* The driver's hatch is uparmoured and results in 150 mm of line of sight steel.
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* Outstandingly lethal BR-350B APHEBC round, capable of one-shotting most tanks if it penetrates
* Armour angling gives the tank very good armour ratings in nearly all sides.
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* Excellent manoeuvrability and high speed for a medium tank, allowing for quick relocation and flanking attacks
* The 76mm F34 gun has a range of different shells for use against different targets. The explosive power of the BR-350B alongside 98mm penetration is a great all rounder and can deal with most light and medium tanks at its rank. APCR should be saved for heavier tanks.
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* Access to BR-350P APCR round for use against heavily armoured targets at close range
* Excellent maneuverability and good speed means that you can escape from a bad situation.
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* Well-protected ammunition stowage in the hull floor
  
 
'''Cons:'''
 
'''Cons:'''
  
* The armour isn't reliable when directly facing an enemy. Angle your tank or take cover to maximize survivability.
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* Hull armour is vulnerable to overmatching by large-calibre shells
* Cannot effectively penetrate Shermans from the front.
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* Hexagonal turret has a thicker but less angled armour and is also a larger target compared to the original T-34 turret
* The upgraded turret has a thicker but less angled armour and also increases the tank silhouette, allowing German long range tanks to penetrate that area.
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* Poor penetration at long range with any ammunition type
* It has significant difficulties when fighting against enemy mediums on long ranges due to the poor initial ammo selection. Fights at short distances are preferred.
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* Cramped interior, penetrations are likely to cripple multiple modules and/or crew members
* 4 man crew, meaning only 1 extra crew member if one goes down.
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* Poor gun depression
* Very constraint interior for crew members, a hit to one crew member is likely to knock out one or two other.
 
* Large fuel tanks running along the entire upper hull sides.
 
  
 
== History ==
 
== History ==
 
<!--''Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the ground vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to an article about the vehicle and adding a block "/historical reference" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/Name-vehicles/historical reference) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to include links to sources at the end of the article.''-->
 
<!--''Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the ground vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to an article about the vehicle and adding a block "/historical reference" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/Name-vehicles/historical reference) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to include links to sources at the end of the article.''-->
 
===Development===
 
===Development===
By 1939, the most numerous tank models in the Red Army were the [[T-26|T-26]] and the [[BT-7|BT-series]] light tanks. Though adequate on the days they were introduced, they are now outdated by this time due to the changing technology in anti-tank warfare. Back in 1937, a new tank project was already taking place under engineer Mikhail Koshkin, who was assigned to lead a design team at the Kharkiv Locomotive Factory (KhPZ) for a replacement for the BT light tanks as a new "cavalry tank" to engage in maneuver warfare. The first prototype was designated the ''A-20'' with 20 mm of armour, a 45 mm gun, and a diesel engine in a V-12 configuration. The Christie suspension is taken from the BT, even the conversion to drive track-less on roads. But gradually, the new track designs available made this conversion redundant and was excluded in further models. The A-20 also showed the effective research done into sloping armour on previous prototype designs, utilizing an all-round sloping armour on the design.  
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By 1939, the most numerous tank models in the Red Army were the [[T-26|T-26]] and the [[BT-7|BT-series]] light tanks. Though adequate on the days they were introduced, they are now outdated by this time due to the changing technology in anti-tank warfare. Back in 1937, a new tank project was already taking place under engineer Mikhail Koshkin, who was assigned to lead a design team at the Kharkiv Locomotive Factory (KhPZ) for a replacement for the BT light tanks as a new "cavalry tank" to engage in manoeuvre warfare. The first prototype was designated the ''A-20'' with 20 mm of armour, a 45 mm gun, and a diesel engine in a V-12 configuration. The Christie suspension is taken from the BT, even the conversion to drive track-less on roads. But gradually, the new track designs available made this conversion redundant and was excluded in further models. The A-20 also showed the effective research done into sloping armour on previous prototype designs, utilizing an all-around sloping armour on the design.  
  
It was during this design process that the Russo-Japanese border wars took place and showed the deficiency of the T-26 and BT models. Koshkin then appealed for the initiation of a much better tank concept, the "universal tank" to completely replace the T-26 and BT tanks. The second prototype was the ''A-32'' and has an increased 32 mm of frontal armour with a 76.2 mm L-10 gun. The heavier prototype was still just as mobile as the A-20, and further development into the design increased the frontal armour thickness to 45 mm thick and a newer 76.2 mm L-11 gun attached instead. This model was approved for production and designated the '''T-34''' after the year 1934, when Koshkin believed was when he formulated the idea for the T-34. Koshkin, however, never saw his tanks in action as he succumbed to pneumonia in September 1940 after trials with the T-34 in the cold winter. Thus, the drivetrain developer Alexander Morozov was appointed as the next Chief Designer. The T-34 tank would go on to become the most produced World War II tank, with 84,070 tanks produced in the production span between 1940 to 1958.
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It was during this design process that the Russo-Japanese border wars took place and showed the deficiency of the T-26 and BT models. Koshkin then appealed for the initiation of a much better tank concept, the "universal tank" to completely replace the T-26 and BT tanks. The second prototype was the ''A-32'' and has an increased 32 mm of frontal armour with a 76.2 mm L-10 gun. The heavier prototype was still just as mobile as the A-20, and further development into the design increased the frontal armour thickness to 45 mm thick and a newer 76.2 mm L-11 gun attached instead. This model was approved for production and designated the '''T-34''' after the year 1934 when Koshkin believed was when he formulated the idea for the T-34. Koshkin, however, never saw his tanks in action as he succumbed to pneumonia in September 1940 after trials with the T-34 in the cold winter. Thus, the drivetrain developer Alexander Morozov was appointed as the next Chief Designer. The T-34 tank would go on to become the most produced World War II tank, with 84,070 tanks produced in the production span between 1940 to 1958.
  
 
===Design===
 
===Design===
 
The T-34 took all of the Soviet's experiences with tanks and incorporated into the design. The tank had great sloping armour, a powerful engine, wide tracks, and a large gun. At its introduction, the armour of the T-34 was one of the best in the world, by sloping the 45 mm thick armour plate by 60 degrees, the effective thickness was now 90 mm thick. The armour was welded into place instead of riveted as rivets tend to "spall" and cause damage inside the tank even if the armour was not penetrated. The 76.2 mm gun was a major advantage compared to those on its adversaries, as it could be used as a multi-purpose weapon against infantry and tanks, unlike the Germans who had tanks split for two different roles such as the [[Pz.III E|Panzer III for anti-tank]] and the [[Pz.IV F1|Panzer IV for infantry support]]. The engine, a Model V-2-34 V12 diesel engine, was adequately powerful for the Christie suspension tank design and allowed the T-34 to reach a maximum of 53 km/h (33 mph). The powerful engine, added with the wide tracks that gave it lower ground pressure, allowed the T-34 to travel across cross-country terrain with relative freedom without risk of bogging down.
 
The T-34 took all of the Soviet's experiences with tanks and incorporated into the design. The tank had great sloping armour, a powerful engine, wide tracks, and a large gun. At its introduction, the armour of the T-34 was one of the best in the world, by sloping the 45 mm thick armour plate by 60 degrees, the effective thickness was now 90 mm thick. The armour was welded into place instead of riveted as rivets tend to "spall" and cause damage inside the tank even if the armour was not penetrated. The 76.2 mm gun was a major advantage compared to those on its adversaries, as it could be used as a multi-purpose weapon against infantry and tanks, unlike the Germans who had tanks split for two different roles such as the [[Pz.III E|Panzer III for anti-tank]] and the [[Pz.IV F1|Panzer IV for infantry support]]. The engine, a Model V-2-34 V12 diesel engine, was adequately powerful for the Christie suspension tank design and allowed the T-34 to reach a maximum of 53 km/h (33 mph). The powerful engine, added with the wide tracks that gave it lower ground pressure, allowed the T-34 to travel across cross-country terrain with relative freedom without risk of bogging down.
  
However, the T-34 is not without its fault and its quality is very questionable in some cases. Two [[T-34 (1941)]] models were sent to United States in late 1942 for evaluations. The evaluations found the armour quality to be rather insufficient, with improper welding in places that can allow leaks and improper alloys that made armour weaker in some places than others, the T-34 cast turret was even found to use softer armour than the hull that render it vulnerable to even 37 mm shells. The gun sights for the 76.2 mm cannon was also quite poor in comparison to the Axis and other Allies. The tank reliability was also troubled by various mechanical issues, especially in the earlier models. Low quality air filters and insufficient air flow could impede the engine capabilities and the turret drive had poor reliability that could easily jam up. The vision devices was also poor, the crew are unable to see outside the tank with enough situational awareness, even the tank commander couldn't see well out of the tank. Also, the lack of radios on the first few years of T-34s forced the tank commanders to communicate via flags, with only company commanders tanks fitted with the radios. Ergonomics inside the tanks was unsatisfactory and was very cramped inside, with no turret basket the loader has to struggle when the turret rotates and accessing ammunition on the floor boxes makes it a hard and dangerous job for the loader. The commander's hatch on the turret was also one-piece, making even a "heads-up" view for the commander impossible on these large one-piece hatches. Finally, the two-person turret suffered from not only a very cramped compartment, but an overworked commander who has to act as a gunner as well.
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However, the T-34 is not without its fault and its quality is very questionable in some cases. Two [[T-34 (1941)]] models were sent to the United States in late 1942 for evaluations. The evaluations found the armour quality to be rather insufficient, with improper welding in places that can allow leaks and improper alloys that made armour weaker in some places than others, the T-34 cast turret was even found to use softer armour than the hull that render it vulnerable to even 37 mm shells. The gun sights for the 76.2 mm cannon was also quite poor in comparison to the Axis and other Allies. The tank reliability was also troubled by various mechanical issues, especially in the earlier models. Low-quality air filters and insufficient airflow could impede the engine capabilities and the turret drive had poor reliability that could easily jam up. The vision devices were also poor, the crew are unable to see outside the tank with enough situational awareness, even the tank commander couldn't see well out of the tank. Also, the lack of radios on the first few years of T-34s forced the tank commanders to communicate via flags, with only company commanders tanks fitted with the radios. Ergonomics inside the tanks was unsatisfactory and was very cramped inside, with no turret basket the loader has to struggle when the turret rotates and accessing ammunition on the floor boxes makes it a hard and dangerous job for the loader. The commander's hatch on the turret was also one-piece, making even a "heads-up" view for the commander impossible on these large one-piece hatches. Finally, the two-person turret suffered from not only a very cramped compartment but an overworked commander who has to act as a gunner as well.
  
 
===T-34 Mod. 1942===
 
===T-34 Mod. 1942===
The '''T-34 Mod. 1942''' was an improved variant of the T-34 that also presented some fixes to general issues with the T-34. The Model 1942 was still mounted with a 76.2 mm cannon, making it a T-34/76 still, and the design featured additional armour and many simplified parts and components. The tank's road wheels, track pattern, driver's hatch, and transmission access cover on the rear were redesigned. Some of the designs also had a headlight moved to the left of the hull. However, at the same time, the '''Model 1943''' (released in 1942) was also introduced into the circulation, which feature the more radical changes in the T-34 tank compared to the Mod. 1942. The T-34 Mod. 1943 was most prominent with the hexagonal turret, more armour, increased fuel capacity, and more ammo stowage. The hatches on this new turret came in two, one for loader and the commander and opens in a way that the Germans nicknamed it the "Mickey Mouse" tank due to the round hatches forming a shape similar to the circular ears when both are opened. Later Mod. 1943 production tanks were given a commander's cupola that provided a decent view for the commander, much better compared to a lone periscope, which was the only vision device for the commander when "button-upped" beforehand. To increase confusion, the Mod. 1943 were called the Model 1942 by the Soviets; regardless this vehicle is the most prominent by the hexagonal turret, which is seen in-game. Though it is unsure about the specific number of the model was produced, it made up part of the 35,120 T-34/76 created in its production life.
+
The '''T-34 Mod. 1942''' was an improved variant of the T-34 that also presented some fixes to general issues with the T-34. The Model 1942 was still mounted with a 76.2 mm cannon, making it a T-34/76 still, and the design featured additional armour and many simplified parts and components. The tank's road wheels, track pattern, driver's hatch, and transmission access cover on the rear were redesigned. Some of the designs also had a headlight moved to the left of the hull. However, at the same time, the '''Model 1943''' (released in 1942) was also introduced into the circulation, which features the more radical changes in the T-34 tank compared to the Mod. 1942. The T-34 Mod. 1943 was most prominent with the hexagonal turret, more armour, increased fuel capacity, and more ammo stowage. The hatches on this new turret came in two, one for loader and the commander and opens in a way that the Germans nicknamed it the "Mickey Mouse" tank due to the round hatches forming a shape similar to the circular ears when both are opened. Later Mod. 1943 production tanks were given a commander's cupola that provided a decent view for the commander, much better compared to a lone periscope, which was the only vision device for the commander when "button-upped" beforehand. To increase confusion, the Mod. 1943 was called the Model 1942 by the Soviets; regardless this vehicle is the most prominent by the hexagonal turret, which is seen in-game. Though it is unsure about the specific number of the model was produced, it made up part of the 35,120 T-34/76 created in its production life.
  
 
===Combat usage===
 
===Combat usage===
The newer T-34 models saw action in most operations in 1942, most notably during the Battle of Stalingrad, where T-34s made the main striking force of Operation Uranus to encircle the German Sixth Army and trap them inside Stalingrad. During the battle, T-34s were still being made in the Stalingrad Tractor Factory, churning out tanks that were immediately sent to the front-lines once finished that sometimes went without paint finish and crewed by the workers that were involved building the tank in the factory. After Stalingrad, the Soviet Army continued to push the Germans back in various of offensives, with the T-34 as the main tank in the armoured force. The T-34 mod. 1943 were also given to Polish and Czech units that escaped to Soviet Union to continue fighting against the Germans. Like the Soviets, these units received little training with the T-34 and so casualties remain high in T-34 crew members.
+
The newer T-34 models saw action in most operations in 1942, most notably during the Battle of Stalingrad, where T-34s made the main striking force of Operation Uranus to encircle the German Sixth Army and trap them inside Stalingrad. During the battle, T-34s were still being made in the Stalingrad Tractor Factory, churning out tanks that were immediately sent to the front-lines once finished that sometimes went without paint finish and crewed by the workers that were involved building the tank in the factory. After Stalingrad, the Soviet Army continued to push the Germans back in various of offensives, with the T-34 as the main tank in the armoured force. The T-34 mod. 1943 were also given to Polish and Czech units that escaped to the Soviet Union to continue fighting against the Germans. Like the Soviets, these units received little training with the T-34 and so casualties remain high in T-34 crew members.
 +
 
 +
The T-34 also became the most numerous tank in Soviet usage by the time Germany launched the 1943 Summer offensive Operation Citadel or the "Battle of Kursk". This battle was the debut of the [[Panther D|Panthers]] and saw a very large concentration in [[Tiger H1|Tiger I]]s and [[Ferdinand|Ferdinand tank destroyers]]. Other units supplementing these heavier tanks were the [[Pz.IV H|Panzer IVs]], [[StuG III G|StuG IIIs]], and the [[Pz.III M|Panzer III]]s. The introduction of these newer and more powerful tanks and tank destroyers and improved German tanks in the largest tank battle in history caused high casualties in the T-34 ranks and the entire Soviet armoured forces in a whole. The Tiger's 88 mm cannon is able to destroy the T-34 from a range of 1,500 meters while the 76.2 mm cannon on the T-34 must get very close in order to penetrate. In order to engage these tanks, the T-34 forces try to maximize their massive quantity of units to overwhelm German tank units and getting to "point-blank" ranges to the point of ramming in order to negate either of the tank's range advantages and blast away at each other.
 +
 
 +
The T-34's growing deficiency in performance in the war was due to the Soviet high command decision's to keep with one design in production to minimize costs and keep manufacturing rate high. This meant that upgrades to the tank were not the highest priority for the tank. While this ideal was very sufficient in the first two years since Operation Barbarossa, it now made the T-34 lacking compared to the improved German tanks. Attempts to fix this decision was to mount stronger guns onto the T-34, the first attempt was the mounting of the [[T-34-57|57 mm ZiS-4 cannon]] to make the T-34 a "tank hunter", but the 57 mm gun lacked a decent HE shell, this was not an efficient tank gun and was pulled. Then, it was decided to mount an 85 mm anti-aircraft gun onto the tank, though requiring a much larger turret to take in the bigger gun. This tank with the 85 mm gun was called the [[T-34-85 (D-5T)|T-34-85]].
 +
 
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=== In-game description ===
 +
In 1942, a larger cast hexagonal turret was developed with two round hatches for the commander and the loader. The turret's armour was enhanced to a thickness of 52 mm in its frontal section. Its ammunition load was increased to 100 shells. Its operational range was also increased to 400 km by adding additional fuel tanks inside and outside the hull. The front-mounted 7.62 mm DT machine gun received an armoured gun mantlet. Depending on the factory that made them, the road wheels differed from each other in their appearance. h
 +
 
 +
Solid drop-forged rubber-coated wheels cast with reinforcing bars and circular apertures on the disc were used, both with and without bands. The tank was equipped with a more effective air filter system and an all-range fuel pump regulator. Unit commanders' vehicles were upgraded to the more powerful 9-R radio set from the 71-ТК-3 set. The T-34's mass increase from 28.5 tonnes to 30.9. The increased weight did not affect the vehicle's speed and manoeuvrability.
 +
 
 +
The turrets, produced by the UZTM factory in 1943, were drop-forged from 45 mm plate. These turrets were easy to differentiate from others owing to their rounded upper edges. On the whole, the new changes lead to an increase in the tank's manufacturing ease, combat strength and manoeuvrability. In total, 23,332 of these tanks were manufactured with the upgraded turret.
  
The T-34 also became the most numerous tank in Soviet usage by the time Germany launched the 1943 Summer offensive Operation Citadel, or the "Battle of Kursk". This battle was the debut of the [[Panther D|Panthers]] and saw a very large concentration in [[Tiger H1|Tiger I]]s and [[Ferdinand|Ferdinand tank destroyers]]. Other units supplementing these heavier tanks were the [[Pz.IV H|Panzer IVs]], [[StuG III G|StuG IIIs]], and the [[Pz.III M|Panzer III]]s. The introduction of these newer and more powerful tanks and tank destroyers and improved German tanks in the largest tank battle in history caused high casualties in the T-34 ranks, and the entire Soviet armoured forces in a whole. The Tiger's 88 mm cannon is able to destroy the T-34 from a range of 1,500 meters while the 76.2 mm cannon on the T-34 must get very close in order to penetrate. In order to engage these tanks, the T-34 forces try to maximize their massive quantity of units to overwhelm German tank units and getting to "point-blank" ranges to the point of ramming in order to negate either of the tank's range advantages and blast away at each other.
+
Tanks of this model participated in all the operations of the Great Patriotic War from the end of 1942 to the Battle in Berlin. Furthermore, their proportion in tank brigades constantly grew, and by November 1943, brigades had become uniform groups of 65 T-34s. Captured tanks served in the armies of Finland, Romania, and Hungary and were actively used by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS. The latter had an entire battalion of T-34s, one of which was commanded by the notorious tank ace Emil Seibold, who destroyed around 40 tanks with his T-34.
  
The T-34's growing deficiency in performance in the war was due to the Soviet high command decision's to keep with one design in production to minimize costs and keep manufacturing rate high. This meant that upgrades to the tank were not the highest priority for the tank. While this ideal was very sufficient in the first two years since Operation Barbarossa, it now made the T-34 lacking compared to the improved German tanks. Attempts to fix this decision was to mount stronger guns onto the T-34, the first attempt was the mounting of the [[T-34-57|57 mm ZiS-4 cannon]] to make the T-34 a "tank hunter", but the 57 mm gun lacked a decent HE shell, thus was not an efficient tank gun and was pulled. Then, it was decided to mount a 85 mm anti-aircraft gun onto the tank, though requiring a much larger turret to take in the bigger gun. This tank with the 85 mm gun was called the [[T-34-85 (D-5T)|T-34-85]].
+
The Polish Army, the Czechoslovakian corps and the army of Yugoslavia all received tanks of this model.
  
 
== Media ==
 
== Media ==

Revision as of 21:32, 16 August 2019

T-34 (1942)
ussr_t_34_1942.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
3.7/3.7/3.7BR
4 peopleCrew
Mobility
30.0 tWeight
4 forward
1 back
Gear box
Armament
76 mm F-34 cannonWeapon 1
100 roundsAmmunition
-5° / 28°Vertical guidance
1 890 roundsAmmunition
63 roundsBelt capacity
600 shots/minFire rate
Economy
14 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
55 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png1 020 / 1 414/1 240 / 1 719/1 040 / 1 442Repair
16 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
55 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
270 Ge icon.pngAces
x 1.30 Rp icon.pngReward for battle
This page is about the Soviet medium tank T-34 (1942). For other uses, see T-34 (Family).

Description

GarageImage T-34(1942).jpg


The T-34 (1942) is a Rank II Soviet medium tank with a battle rating of 3.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41.

In 1942, a new hexagonal turret was developed and introduced for the T-34 medium tank in order to streamline production. Crew ergonomics were slightly improved, although the turret remained a two-man turret. Various other improvements were introduced, although most of these were geared towards increasing reliability and ease of production.

Ingame, the 1942 model is very similar in capability and characteristics to the earlier T-34 (1941). The primary improvements are in the slightly faster reload speed (reflecting the improved crew ergonomics) and the thickened driver's hatch cover. It also has access to late-war APCR ammunition.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret roof)
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Turret, Driver's hatch, Machine gun mount)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 45 mm (61°) Front glacis
99 mm (5-35°) Welded glacis joint
45 mm (52°) Lower glacis
60 mm (1-73°) Machine gun ball mount
75 mm (60°) Driver's hatch
40 mm (40°) Top
45 mm (0°) Lower
40 mm (47-49°) Top
40 mm (47°) Bottom
16 mm
Turret 53 mm (3-58°) Turret front
45 mm (2-78°) Gun mantlet
53 mm (21-22°) 53 mm (18-20°) 15 mm

Notes:

  • Suspensions wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.
Hull armour

The 1942 model has a very similar hull armour profile to the 1941 model, relying on angling instead of sheer thickness for protection. There are two key differences: the machine gun ball mount has an increased thickness of 60 mm of armour (compared to 45 mm on earlier models), as does the driver's hatch (75 mm, compared to 45 mm on earlier models). The weak spots created by the driver's optics on earlier models have also been removed. The driver's hatch has the thickest armour on any part of the T-34 and can be quite resilient to enemy fire if hit.

It should be noted that due to the relatively thin plate thickness used (40–45 mm), the T-34's hull is vulnerable can be vulnerable to overmatching from 75 mm and larger guns.T

Turret armour

The new hexagonal turret features thicker armour than on the 1941 model. However, there are a few caveats:

  • The angling is noticeably worse, and there are some relatively flat spots on the front that can be vulnerable to penetrations from even relatively weak guns at close ranges.
  • The turret front, side, and rear armour is made of cast armour instead of rolled plate, which is slightly weaker.

Overall, the turret armour is not a significant improvement over the earlier models and is in some ways weaker.

Module/crew layout

The bulk of the T-34's main gun ammunition is carried low in the hull, making it relatively hard to detonate the ammunition of a T-34, especially if it is carrying a reduced ammunition load. However, the T-34's hull sides are spanned by relatively large fuel tanks; thus, side penetrations can cause the diesel fuel to catch fire.

The crew are seated in a quite compact manner inside the tank, and successful penetrations are likely to disable multiple crew members at once.

Mobility

Mobility characteristic
Weight (tons) Add-on Armor
weight (tons)
Max speed (km/h)
29.8 N/A 54 (AB)
49 (RB/SB)
Engine power (horsepower)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 775 954
Realistic/Simulator 442 500
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 25.83 31.80
Realistic/Simulator 14.73 16.67

The T-34 has a relatively good power-to-weight ratio. Combined with the wide tracks, this gives it excellent mobility, even over relatively soft terrain. The 1942 model is slightly heavier than the earlier T-34 models, although its mobility is not noticeably different.

The T-34 is not capable of neutral steering and has a reverse speed of about 10 km/h.

Armaments

Main armament

Main article: F-34 (76 mm)

The 76 mm F-34 remains the main armament of the 1942 model. It has a wide selection of ammunition, a relatively fast rate-of-fire, and is reasonably accurate.

The hexagonal turret has a very fast rotation speed, complimenting the T-34's advantages in brawling, close-range combat and allowing it to respond quickly to threats from multiple directions. The 5° of gun depression is standard for most Soviet tanks, although bad compared to most Allied tanks.

The BR-350B APHEBC shell is by far the best shell for the F-34 under most circumstances. It has the best penetration of the AP rounds with explosive fillers and is extremely lethal, usually one-shotting most tanks if it successfully penetrates.

The 1942 model also has access to the late-war BR-350P APCR shell. It has the best penetration of all the shells against vertical armour, but its lethality is very disappointing and the performance against sloped armour is atrocious. It is often better to simply flank around enemy tanks and use the BR-350B APHEBC round instead. Nevertheless, it is useful as a backup option if a frontal engagement against a heavily armoured tank is unavoidable.

The other shells are very situational:

  • OF-350M: HE; useful for breaking the hulls of lightly armoured/unarmoured vehicles.
  • Sh-354T: Shrapnel; useful against vehicles that are resistant to the HE shell but too thinly armoured to trigger the fuzes of APHE shells.
  • BP-350A: HEAT; best penetration beyond 1,000 m, but the T-34 generally do not fare well in long-range duels.
  • BR-350SP: APBC; a solid shot that is somewhat more lethal than APCR, but with less penetration.
76 mm F-34
Capacity Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
Stabilizer
100 -5°/+28° ±180° N/A
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 14.90 20.60 _.__ _.__ _.__
Realistic 14.90 17.50 _.__ _.__ _.__
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
8.40 _.__ _.__ _.__
Ammunition
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration in mm @ 90°
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
BR-350A APHEBC 86 85 76 67 59 52
OF-350M HE 10 10 10 10 10 10
Sh-354T Shrapnel 37 35 29 25 20 17
BR-350SP APBC 102 100 91 81 72 64
BR-350B APHEBC 94 92 83 73 65 57
BR-350P APCR 135 130 92 60 39 26
BP-350A HEAT 80 80 80 80 80 80
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
0% 50% 100%
BR-350A APHEBC 665 6.3 0.15 10.0 150 +4° 48° 63° 71°
OF-350M HE 680 6.2 0.05 0.1 621 +0° 79° 80° 81°
Sh-354T Shrapnel 680 6.2 0.5 8.0 85 +0° 62° 69° 73°
BR-350SP APBC 680 6.8 N/A N/A N/A +4° 48° 63° 71°
BR-350B APHEBC 680 6.3 0.9 15.0 108.8 +4° 48° 63° 71°
BR-350P APCR 950 3.0 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 66° 70° 72°
BP-350A HEAT 355 5.3 0.1 0.1 1,060 +0° 62° 69° 73°
Smoke characteristic
Ammunition Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
D-350A 680 6.5 13 5 20 50
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of T-34 1942.
The T-34 1942 model has a maximum ammunition capacity of 100 rounds, which is far more than is likely to be needed in an average battle.

Taking 89 rounds will leave only the ammunition racks in the bottom of the hull, decreasing the risk of ammunition detonation if penetrated.

Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
100 97 (+3) 93 (+7) 89 (+11) (+99) no

Machine guns

Main article: DT (7.62 mm)
7.62 mm DT
Coaxial mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
(shots/minute)
Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
1,890 (63) 600 N/A N/A

Usage in the battles

Like the previous T-34 models, the 1942 model excels at close to medium range fighting, utilizing its outstanding mobility for a medium tank to rapidly close the distance and relocate to attack from unexpected directions. The sloped hull armour has a good chance of ricocheting hastily aimed shots and helps increase the odds of the T-34 surviving when moving in to engage. The lethal BR-350B APHEBC round complements this playstyle, having about enough penetration to deal with the flanks of most enemies likely to be encountered; a single penetrating hit is usually fatal for the target. In close combat, the fast turret traverses and quick reload allow the T-34 to respond quickly towards changing situations, usually helping to ensure it will be the first to get its gun on the target.

Conversely, the T-34 fares poorly in long-range combat; both the BR-350B APHEBC and BR-350P APCR rounds have poor penetration at long ranges, and the BP-350A HEAT round is quite underwhelming as well.

Common opponents

Medium Tank M4, M4A2 (American): The T-34's 76 mm gun cannot penetrate the welded hull M4/M4A2 reliably from the front, while the 75 mm gun on the M4/M4A2 can penetrate the T-34's turret and disable or cripple it. They do have very weak lower side hull armour (only 38 mm) that can be overmatched by the 76 mm APHEBC round if exposed, and the flat areas on the turret can also be penetrated fairly reliably if they can be hit. Generally avoid head-on engagements, especially if the M4 is hull-down.

Medium Tank M4A1, Sherman II (American/French, British): Similar to the M4/M4A2, except that the cast hull is weaker than the welded hull on the M4/M4A2, and can be penetrated frontally. Otherwise, the same advice applies.

Assault Tank M4A3E2 (American/French): The 'Jumbo' is one of the most dangerous opponents the T-34 can face. It is completely immune to the 76 mm F-34 gun from the front, except for the hard-to-hit hull machine gun mount. It is relatively slow and unmanoeuvrable, however, and is very vulnerable to flanking attacks, as its side armour is thin. It also shares the same lower side hull weakness with the other M4 variants.

Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F2, G, H, J (German): The Ausf. F2 variant is the first Panzer IV to mount a long-barreled 75 mm gun. This gun is one of the most lethal mounted on any tank within the T-34's BR range, and it is easily capable of penetrating the T-34 at most ranges. The Ausf. F2 has very weak armour, however, and is something of a glass cannon. The Ausf. G, H, and J have up-armoured hulls that are quite difficult to penetrate, but their turrets are as weak as the one on the F2. The Ausf. J, in particular, has manual turret traverse and is very vulnerable to being flanked. Avoid long-range duels with them.

Chi-Nu II (Japanese): Essentially the Japanese counterpart to the German Panzer IV Ausf. F2.

Churchill III, Churchill(e) (British, German): The 6-pounder gun on the Churchill will be hard-pressed to penetrate the sloped T-34 hull, but it can easily penetrate the turret and disable the turret crew. It is difficult to penetrate the frontal armour of the Churchill at long ranges. However, it is a slow, cumbersome heavy tank, and is easy to outflank and dispatch with shots to the side armour.

Churchill VII (British): The Churchill VII is virtually immune to the T-34 from the front, while it's 75 mm gun can penetrate the T-34's turret fairly easily. Even from the side, it has 95 mm of armour that cannot be penetrated by the BR-350B APHEBC round except at very close range, and even slight angling will render it all but immune. It is even slower than the Churchill III, however, and thus easy to avoid and outflank.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Fast turret traverse and quick reload, excelling in close combat situations
  • Sloped hull armour resistant against lower calibre guns, capable of ricocheting larger calibre guns when angled correctly
  • Outstandingly lethal BR-350B APHEBC round, capable of one-shotting most tanks if it penetrates
  • Excellent manoeuvrability and high speed for a medium tank, allowing for quick relocation and flanking attacks
  • Access to BR-350P APCR round for use against heavily armoured targets at close range
  • Well-protected ammunition stowage in the hull floor

Cons:

  • Hull armour is vulnerable to overmatching by large-calibre shells
  • Hexagonal turret has a thicker but less angled armour and is also a larger target compared to the original T-34 turret
  • Poor penetration at long range with any ammunition type
  • Cramped interior, penetrations are likely to cripple multiple modules and/or crew members
  • Poor gun depression

History

Development

By 1939, the most numerous tank models in the Red Army were the T-26 and the BT-series light tanks. Though adequate on the days they were introduced, they are now outdated by this time due to the changing technology in anti-tank warfare. Back in 1937, a new tank project was already taking place under engineer Mikhail Koshkin, who was assigned to lead a design team at the Kharkiv Locomotive Factory (KhPZ) for a replacement for the BT light tanks as a new "cavalry tank" to engage in manoeuvre warfare. The first prototype was designated the A-20 with 20 mm of armour, a 45 mm gun, and a diesel engine in a V-12 configuration. The Christie suspension is taken from the BT, even the conversion to drive track-less on roads. But gradually, the new track designs available made this conversion redundant and was excluded in further models. The A-20 also showed the effective research done into sloping armour on previous prototype designs, utilizing an all-around sloping armour on the design.

It was during this design process that the Russo-Japanese border wars took place and showed the deficiency of the T-26 and BT models. Koshkin then appealed for the initiation of a much better tank concept, the "universal tank" to completely replace the T-26 and BT tanks. The second prototype was the A-32 and has an increased 32 mm of frontal armour with a 76.2 mm L-10 gun. The heavier prototype was still just as mobile as the A-20, and further development into the design increased the frontal armour thickness to 45 mm thick and a newer 76.2 mm L-11 gun attached instead. This model was approved for production and designated the T-34 after the year 1934 when Koshkin believed was when he formulated the idea for the T-34. Koshkin, however, never saw his tanks in action as he succumbed to pneumonia in September 1940 after trials with the T-34 in the cold winter. Thus, the drivetrain developer Alexander Morozov was appointed as the next Chief Designer. The T-34 tank would go on to become the most produced World War II tank, with 84,070 tanks produced in the production span between 1940 to 1958.

Design

The T-34 took all of the Soviet's experiences with tanks and incorporated into the design. The tank had great sloping armour, a powerful engine, wide tracks, and a large gun. At its introduction, the armour of the T-34 was one of the best in the world, by sloping the 45 mm thick armour plate by 60 degrees, the effective thickness was now 90 mm thick. The armour was welded into place instead of riveted as rivets tend to "spall" and cause damage inside the tank even if the armour was not penetrated. The 76.2 mm gun was a major advantage compared to those on its adversaries, as it could be used as a multi-purpose weapon against infantry and tanks, unlike the Germans who had tanks split for two different roles such as the Panzer III for anti-tank and the Panzer IV for infantry support. The engine, a Model V-2-34 V12 diesel engine, was adequately powerful for the Christie suspension tank design and allowed the T-34 to reach a maximum of 53 km/h (33 mph). The powerful engine, added with the wide tracks that gave it lower ground pressure, allowed the T-34 to travel across cross-country terrain with relative freedom without risk of bogging down.

However, the T-34 is not without its fault and its quality is very questionable in some cases. Two T-34 (1941) models were sent to the United States in late 1942 for evaluations. The evaluations found the armour quality to be rather insufficient, with improper welding in places that can allow leaks and improper alloys that made armour weaker in some places than others, the T-34 cast turret was even found to use softer armour than the hull that render it vulnerable to even 37 mm shells. The gun sights for the 76.2 mm cannon was also quite poor in comparison to the Axis and other Allies. The tank reliability was also troubled by various mechanical issues, especially in the earlier models. Low-quality air filters and insufficient airflow could impede the engine capabilities and the turret drive had poor reliability that could easily jam up. The vision devices were also poor, the crew are unable to see outside the tank with enough situational awareness, even the tank commander couldn't see well out of the tank. Also, the lack of radios on the first few years of T-34s forced the tank commanders to communicate via flags, with only company commanders tanks fitted with the radios. Ergonomics inside the tanks was unsatisfactory and was very cramped inside, with no turret basket the loader has to struggle when the turret rotates and accessing ammunition on the floor boxes makes it a hard and dangerous job for the loader. The commander's hatch on the turret was also one-piece, making even a "heads-up" view for the commander impossible on these large one-piece hatches. Finally, the two-person turret suffered from not only a very cramped compartment but an overworked commander who has to act as a gunner as well.

T-34 Mod. 1942

The T-34 Mod. 1942 was an improved variant of the T-34 that also presented some fixes to general issues with the T-34. The Model 1942 was still mounted with a 76.2 mm cannon, making it a T-34/76 still, and the design featured additional armour and many simplified parts and components. The tank's road wheels, track pattern, driver's hatch, and transmission access cover on the rear were redesigned. Some of the designs also had a headlight moved to the left of the hull. However, at the same time, the Model 1943 (released in 1942) was also introduced into the circulation, which features the more radical changes in the T-34 tank compared to the Mod. 1942. The T-34 Mod. 1943 was most prominent with the hexagonal turret, more armour, increased fuel capacity, and more ammo stowage. The hatches on this new turret came in two, one for loader and the commander and opens in a way that the Germans nicknamed it the "Mickey Mouse" tank due to the round hatches forming a shape similar to the circular ears when both are opened. Later Mod. 1943 production tanks were given a commander's cupola that provided a decent view for the commander, much better compared to a lone periscope, which was the only vision device for the commander when "button-upped" beforehand. To increase confusion, the Mod. 1943 was called the Model 1942 by the Soviets; regardless this vehicle is the most prominent by the hexagonal turret, which is seen in-game. Though it is unsure about the specific number of the model was produced, it made up part of the 35,120 T-34/76 created in its production life.

Combat usage

The newer T-34 models saw action in most operations in 1942, most notably during the Battle of Stalingrad, where T-34s made the main striking force of Operation Uranus to encircle the German Sixth Army and trap them inside Stalingrad. During the battle, T-34s were still being made in the Stalingrad Tractor Factory, churning out tanks that were immediately sent to the front-lines once finished that sometimes went without paint finish and crewed by the workers that were involved building the tank in the factory. After Stalingrad, the Soviet Army continued to push the Germans back in various of offensives, with the T-34 as the main tank in the armoured force. The T-34 mod. 1943 were also given to Polish and Czech units that escaped to the Soviet Union to continue fighting against the Germans. Like the Soviets, these units received little training with the T-34 and so casualties remain high in T-34 crew members.

The T-34 also became the most numerous tank in Soviet usage by the time Germany launched the 1943 Summer offensive Operation Citadel or the "Battle of Kursk". This battle was the debut of the Panthers and saw a very large concentration in Tiger Is and Ferdinand tank destroyers. Other units supplementing these heavier tanks were the Panzer IVs, StuG IIIs, and the Panzer IIIs. The introduction of these newer and more powerful tanks and tank destroyers and improved German tanks in the largest tank battle in history caused high casualties in the T-34 ranks and the entire Soviet armoured forces in a whole. The Tiger's 88 mm cannon is able to destroy the T-34 from a range of 1,500 meters while the 76.2 mm cannon on the T-34 must get very close in order to penetrate. In order to engage these tanks, the T-34 forces try to maximize their massive quantity of units to overwhelm German tank units and getting to "point-blank" ranges to the point of ramming in order to negate either of the tank's range advantages and blast away at each other.

The T-34's growing deficiency in performance in the war was due to the Soviet high command decision's to keep with one design in production to minimize costs and keep manufacturing rate high. This meant that upgrades to the tank were not the highest priority for the tank. While this ideal was very sufficient in the first two years since Operation Barbarossa, it now made the T-34 lacking compared to the improved German tanks. Attempts to fix this decision was to mount stronger guns onto the T-34, the first attempt was the mounting of the 57 mm ZiS-4 cannon to make the T-34 a "tank hunter", but the 57 mm gun lacked a decent HE shell, this was not an efficient tank gun and was pulled. Then, it was decided to mount an 85 mm anti-aircraft gun onto the tank, though requiring a much larger turret to take in the bigger gun. This tank with the 85 mm gun was called the T-34-85.

In-game description

In 1942, a larger cast hexagonal turret was developed with two round hatches for the commander and the loader. The turret's armour was enhanced to a thickness of 52 mm in its frontal section. Its ammunition load was increased to 100 shells. Its operational range was also increased to 400 km by adding additional fuel tanks inside and outside the hull. The front-mounted 7.62 mm DT machine gun received an armoured gun mantlet. Depending on the factory that made them, the road wheels differed from each other in their appearance. h

Solid drop-forged rubber-coated wheels cast with reinforcing bars and circular apertures on the disc were used, both with and without bands. The tank was equipped with a more effective air filter system and an all-range fuel pump regulator. Unit commanders' vehicles were upgraded to the more powerful 9-R radio set from the 71-ТК-3 set. The T-34's mass increase from 28.5 tonnes to 30.9. The increased weight did not affect the vehicle's speed and manoeuvrability.

The turrets, produced by the UZTM factory in 1943, were drop-forged from 45 mm plate. These turrets were easy to differentiate from others owing to their rounded upper edges. On the whole, the new changes lead to an increase in the tank's manufacturing ease, combat strength and manoeuvrability. In total, 23,332 of these tanks were manufactured with the upgraded turret.

Tanks of this model participated in all the operations of the Great Patriotic War from the end of 1942 to the Battle in Berlin. Furthermore, their proportion in tank brigades constantly grew, and by November 1943, brigades had become uniform groups of 65 T-34s. Captured tanks served in the armies of Finland, Romania, and Hungary and were actively used by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS. The latter had an entire battalion of T-34s, one of which was commanded by the notorious tank ace Emil Seibold, who destroyed around 40 tanks with his T-34.

The Polish Army, the Czechoslovakian corps and the army of Yugoslavia all received tanks of this model.

Media

An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

References


Read also

[Vehicle Profile] T-34 Model 1942 - A Tough Nut to Crack

Sources

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-34-100  T-34-100
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-72  T-72A
T-80  T-80B · T-80U
Others  Shturm-S
Trophies/Lend-Lease  ▂T-III · ▂T-V · ▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2