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|This page is about the Soviet medium tank T-34 (Prototype). For other uses, see T-34 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The T-34 (Prototype) is a gift rank II Soviet medium tank with a battle rating of 3.3 (AB/RB) and 2.7 (SB). It was available only for pre-order during the Closed Beta Test of Ground Forces before Update 1.41, then discontinued after the update's release. 500 units were also for sale during the 5th Anniversary event, which sold out within 12 hours.
The prototype of the T-34, known as the A-34, was the end result of almost five years of development that would eventually become the mass produced T-34. The T-34 prototype plays like any other T-34, with its high top speed, an adequate 76 mm L-11 gun, and heavily sloped 45 mm armour. These traits make the T-34 prototype a great vehicle for flanking vehicle and as a brawler. While there are vulnerable points on the front that could be penetrated by its contemporaries and lower, a quick and aggressive fighting style could reduce the amount of time the enemy has to aim for these spots to disable the T-34 prototype.
The T-34 prototype presents some similarities and differences from its successor, the T-34 (1940). The front hull are identical, including the rather flat step for the driver right above his hatch's periscope. This spot only has a slope of 22° that gives only 48 mm effective armour. There are also two headlights in the front hull on both sides. Another significant detail on the hull is on the left hull on top of the track fender, which has a large rolled up canvas that is absent on the T-34 1940. Turret shape between the two tanks are about identical, with the exception of an extra light on top of the gun and a protruding antenna from the turret top's antenna mount.
Otherwise, the T-34 prototype follows the trend of a heavily sloped hull on all sides with 45 mm on the front and 40 on all other sides. The T-34 prototype shares the same gun, same weight, and same armour as the T-34 mod. 1940 counterpart. However, the prototype has a higher engine power compared to the mass-produced T-34/76 with 954 (AB)/500 (RB, SB) hp. This allows the prototype to gain speed and retain a higher max speed.
Several noticeable weak points on the T-34 prototype are the turret cheeks, which on the vertex areas are only 45.1 mm thick, allowing even 37 mm guns to penetrate from a reasonable range. Two weak points on the front hull are the step above the driver's hatch and the machine gun port, both of which have points of minimum sloping that degrades the full slope capability of the front hull. More precise shooters can also aim for the turret ring, which is only sloped enough to provide ~60 mm effective armour from all direction.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet, Driver's hatch, Machine gun port)
|Hull|| 45 mm (60°) Front glacis
45 mm (0-53°) Lower glacis
45 mm (22-60°) Driver's hatch
45 mm (0-77°) Machine gun port
| 40 mm (40°) Top
45 mm Bottom
| 40 mm (10-47°) Top
40 mm (21-45°) Bottom
|Turret|| 45 mm (8-80°) Turret front
45 + 20 mm (13-78°)
| 45 mm (29-31°)
45 mm (1-73°) Vision ports
| 45 mm (30-31°)
45 mm (25-32°) Turret ring
- Suspensions wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.
- Hull roof has hatches on the rear engine deck that adds 10 mm.
- Belly armour is 13 mm thick.
- Hull underside over tracks is 13 mm thick.
Given that the T-34 prototype nowadays is a rare tank, it is an unlikely opponent to be found on the current War Thunder battlefield. In the case it is found, defeat it in the same manner as any other T-34 tanks. The T-34 prototype has a higher power rating compared to other T-34/76 tanks so the T-34 prototype may move faster than the usual, which would affect the correct lead in aiming at a moving target. Though getting to the side may seem like an easy maneuver, the sloped side hull gives the T-34 a good chance to bounce shots. To counter this, aim for the flat hull sides near the suspension wheel areas (careful not to hit the track or wheels), or just hit the turret sides to knock out the the loader or gunner, both of which would deteriorate the T-34 prototype's combat performance.
The T-34 prototype can encounter Germany's longer 75 mm KwK 40 gun on the Panzer IV F2, the Japanese 75 mm Type 3 gun on the Chi-Nu, and the American 75 mm on the M4 Shermans to be able to reliably penetrate its front weak points. Tanks with weaker guns could also aim for the weak points on the turret cheeks, driver step near the hatch, machine gun port, turret ring, and the lower side hull for a penetration.
|Weight (tons)|| Add-on Armour
|Max speed (km/h)|
|Engine power (horsepower)|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|76 mm L-11|
|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.|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration in mm @ 90°|
|Ammunition|| Type of
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
|77||75 (+2)||72 (+5)||69 (+8)||1 (+76)||No|
Turret empty: 69 (+8)
|7.62 mm DT|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in battles
The T-34 prototype, due to its weaker 76 mm L-11 gun, does better in closer encounters against thinner armour than long-range. This type of conflict encourages flanking maneuvers and brawling tactics.
The T-34 prototype's higher speed makes the vehicle more favourable for getting around the enemy's sides. This, combined with the BR-250A APHEBC round, can have the T-34 prototype land an exploding round right into the side hull of an enemy tank, hopefully destroying them instantly. This tactic works favourably in larger maps such as Carpathians and Eastern Europe to get around the enemy from a distance and close in on a term in favour of the T-34's. Though, the T-34 would risk running into enemies with more capable long-range fighting skills like the high-velocity 75 mm KwK 40 gun that can end the T-34's run easily.
In CQB settings like Advance To The Rhine or Berlin, the T-34 can exploit its speed to get around the city landscape and get to critical points before the enemy could. Though some light tanks could beat the T-34 prototype to these locations, those vehicles could be easily dealt with if engaged first. Be proactive in annihilating the enemy and playing the objective, both of which could be done by controlling a zone of access from the flank position to destroy all enemies crossing the gun sights.
The T-34's large sloped armour on the turret and hull, barring the weak points, make quick reacting situations in close-quarters brawling favourable for the T-34. In a surprise engagement with an unsuspecting enemy, a careless shot from them will most likely bounce off the large surface area of the front hull or the top and bottom side of the turret cheeks. If the enemy fired before the T-34 did, it now has all the time to line a perfect shot for the 76 mm. However, the 76 mm gun in close range also a good ~70 mm penetration, quite capable to most enemies at its BR except against heavy tanks like the KV-1.
The downside with this tactic is the relatively longer reload time on the T-34 of ~8 seconds. When encountering enemies with high ROF guns, even the 50 mm guns on the Panzer III can penetrate the weak points and deal a mortal blow to the T-34. Thus, it is important to make sure the T-34 is always fully reloaded and that the first penetrating hit cripples the enemy tanks. It is also important to try and deal with individual enemies instead of multiples as the T-34 prototype is poor in dealing with multiple enemies trying to flank and hit weak points.
Pros and cons
- Great sloping front hull armour
- Turret gun mantlet bounces shots frequently
- Sloped side armour top also bounces shots
- 76 mm APHEBC devastating when penetrating
- Strong engine and high top speed for excellent mobility
- Versatile fighting style due to great all-around capabilities
- Handling is superb, especially so with a trained driver
- Reverse speed quite quick for a withdrawal
- Only subpar penetration for the calibre, can lead to the inability to destroy enemy heavy tanks
- Relatively long reload for the usual >75 mm calibre
- Lots of frontal weak points able to be penetrated by even 37 mm calibre, most noticeable are the turret cheeks
- 13 mm belly armour vulnerable to most high-calibre HE shells
- Poor gun depression of -5°
- Loss of crew members hamper tank's combat efficiency drastically
- Large centre ammo rack always filled, right between two fuel tanks
- Cramped crew next to fuel and ammo, detonating APHE shells would often destroy the entire vehicle
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 prototype model presented, called the A-34, 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 84,000 tanks produced in the production span between 1940 to 1958.
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.
The prototype of the T-34 was designated the A-34 and was the pre-production model. One notable feature on this tank was a complex single-piece front hull, without the swinging hatch available for the driver to use.
The A-34 was based on the experimental A-32 medium tank and was put into service in December 1939. This vehicle's design represented a massive leap in Soviet and world tank development. It was the first vehicle to harmoniously combine cannon proof armour, high-powered weapons and a reliable undercarriage. Its cannon proof qualities were provided by very thick rolled armour plates set at a slope. The tank was armed with a 76.2 mm L-11 cannon and two DT machine guns. A powerful 500 hp B-2-34 diesel tank engine and wide 550 mm tracks provided the vehicle with high mobility. The first T-34s produced in 1940 were notable for the very high quality manufacturing of their armour.
The T-34 had a classic layout. The tank's crew consisted of four men - the driver and gunner/radio officer in the driver's compartment, and the loader and commander (also fulfilling the role of gunner) in the two-man turret. The hull and turret were welded from homogenous rolled armour plates set at a slope.
Factory No. 183 in Kharkov produced these tanks. In the spring of 1940, around 100 A-34 tanks were produced.
Tests of the vehicle in its first tactical deployment exposed a range of flaws, such as crowding in the fighting compartment, the limited field of view from the tank, the lack of a radio connection, the low rate of fire and low technical reliability of the new diesel engines.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|USSR medium tanks|
|T-28||T-28 · T-28E|
|T-34-76||T-34 (Prototype) · T-34 (1940) · T-34 (1941) · T-34 (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|
|T-64||T-64A (1971) · T-64B|
|T-72||T-72A · T-72B · T-72B (1989) · T-72B3|
|T-80||T-80B · T-80U|
|Trophies/Lend-Lease||▂T-III · ▂T-V · ▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2 · ▂МК-IX "Valentine"|
|USSR premium ground vehicles|
|Light tanks||BA-11 · RBT-5 · BT-7 (F-32) · T-26 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-26E · T-126|
|Medium tanks||T-34 (Prototype) · T-34 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-34E · T-34-57 (1943) · T-34-85E · T-34-100 · T-44-122 · T-55AM-1|
|▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2 · ▂T-III · ▂T-V · ▂МК-IX "Valentine"|
|Heavy tanks||SMK · T-35 · ▂MK-II "Matilda" · KV-1E · KV-2 (1940) · KV-2 (ZiS-6) · KV-122 · KV-220 · IS-2 "Revenge" · IS-6|
|Tank destroyers||BM-13N · BM-8-24 · SU-57 · SU-76M (5th Gv.Kav.Corps) · SU-85A · SU-100Y · SU-122P · Object 120|
|SPAA||▂Phòng không T-34 · ZUT-37|