Soviet WWII Tanks : T34 - Photos, discoveries and surviving Russian tanks.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
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Soviet tanks in WWII: Correcting the errors of the first 2 years
Following the German invasion of June 1941 it took a long time for the USSR to recover from the miscalculations made in the pre-war years, and it cost the country vast losses in infantry and materiel. But by the third year of the war many of the errors had been fixed, and the Red Army had got rid of its massive unwieldy machines, leaving it with a 100-percent modern mechanized force. But while the tank divisions could now boast better motorization and better-trained crews, problems still remained, the most important of which concerned tactics for using the armored forces. Here the Soviet generals still had a lot to learn.
Soviet tanks in WWII: The fatal cost of errors
In terms of quality and quantity, the Soviet armored tank forces at the beginning of WWII were one of the strongest in the world. In 1941 there were more than 25,000 tanks in the Red Army. In comparison, Germany had assembled only 4,000 tanks before its invasion of the USSR, which is three times fewer than the number of armored vehicles that the Soviet Union had in its border zone. Specialists point to the fact that a large part of the Soviet machines were out of date or supposed to be written off. But even what remained was impressive in its power. Stalin had at his disposal more than 1,500 new KV and T-34 tanks, which were superior to the German tanks in a number of different parameters.
The Soviet T-34: The Lethal Tank that Won World War II?
On June 22, 1941, Nazi German launched Operation Barbarossa, a massive attack on the Soviet Union that was the largest invasion in history. The Germans expected to face an inferior enemy. Giddy from victories in Poland and France, Hitler and many in his military high command believed it was the destiny of Germany to invade Russia. For months Germans won victory after resounding victory. But then the attack stalled—and the appearance of a new Soviet tank stunned the Wehrmacht. It was the T-34. The new armored vehicle had an excellent 76-millimeter gun and thick sloped armor and cruised at more than 35 miles per hour. It possessed many advanced design features for the time.
World War II Myths - T-34 Best Tank of the war (long analysis)
T-34, a poorly designed and built combat system, that suffered horrific losses against ‘inferior` German tanks.
Soviet tank reliability in WWII: Greater losses from mechanical breakdowns than from battles
From ‘Moscow to Stalingrad: Decision in the East` by Earl F. Ziemke, in page 363: Active as it was, the Soviet armor was apparently not giving fully satisfactory performance at this stage, and in early August, it became the subject of the following Stalin order: "Our armored forces and their units frequently suffer greater losses through mechanical breakdowns than they do in battle. For example, at Stalingrad Front in six days twelve of our tank brigades lost 326 out of their 400 tanks. Of those about 260 owed to mechanical problems. Many of the tanks were abandoned on the battlefield. "
Half of a Soviet T-34 tank - with skeletal remains inside - found near Rostock
Construction workers near Rostock have unearthed half of a Soviet World War II-era tank with skeletal remains inside. Experts speculate that the other half of the tank is buried across the street. The T-34 tank was discovered during routine construction work near the Schleusen Bridge. Inside the rusted tank, a bomb disposal team identified shells, hand grenades and rifle ammunition.
Photographs: Red Army KV-1 tank raised from riverbed near Leningrad
A Soviet tank used by the Red Army to defend Leningrad from the Nazis has been raised from the muddy depths of a riverbed. The KV-1 tank sank in the Neva River near Leningrad some time during the 872-day siege of the city which began in September 1941. A team of soldiers worked to haul the 50-ton tank from the river with a floating crane.
Soviet KV-1 tank recovered from the Neva River near Leningrad in Russia (Video)
A Soviet KV-1 tank which sank in the Neva River near Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) during the Second World War has been successfully recovered from the bottom of the river in the Kirov district of northwestern Russia`s Leningrad Region. The tank was recovered from the Neva by soldiers of the 90th Special Search Battalion of the Western Military District, in cooperation with staff of the Museum of the Battle for Leningrad. There were no remains of the crew found inside the tank, and that suggests that they had escaped from the sinking vehicle.
King Tiger vs IS-2: Operation Solstice 1945 by Dave Higgins (book review)
"King Tiger vs IS II" compares two well known heavy tanks used at the end of the Second World War, the German King Tiger (AKA Tiger II), against the Russian IS II (AKA Joseph Stalin tank).
KV-1 (Klim Voroshilov) tank found in Neva River
A Russian search battalion has discovered a KV-1 (Klim Voroshilov) tank on the bottom of the Neva River and the remains of the Soviet soldiers who were killed in the Second World War. Vladimir Mansurov, chief of the 90th special battalion of the western military district explained that the decision on the recovery of the tank will be made in the coming days after divers explore the bottom of the river.
Russian T-34 tank salvaged from river bed in Volgograd region (separate link for video)
A Russian T-34 tank, which is believed to have seen action in 1942 during the battle of Stalingrad, has been salvaged from a Volga river bed in Volgograd region. The T-34 will be restored and put on show in the city of Volgograd (which was called Stalingrad during the Second World War).
2-minute video of the salvage operation includes the moment rescuers pull the tank out of the river bed. See the video here.
Photographs: A graffiti covered Russian T34 tank in South London
A Russian WW2 tank - T34 - sits behind a barbed wire fence at the end of a south London road. Local legend claims that the land owner was refused planning permission, so he placed the tank there as a protest. Kids play on the T34, turning it`s turret, and the vehicle gets a new bright colours once in a while.
Crushing the myth that T-34 was an effective tank: In 1942 it took up to 6 T-34s to destroy 1 German Pz III or Pz IV
The 1942 combat results reveal the Red Army lost an average of 6 tanks for every German panzer destroyed. T-34 had countless design flaws: Tank commander was also a gun aimer and a gun firer; quality of the gun`s optics were poor; lack of radios meant there was no coordination; to mention a few.
Russia marks 70th anniversary of T34 tank
On Dec 19, 1939, the Soviet Defense Committee issued a resolution approving several new types of automobiles and armored vehicles to the Red Army. One of them: The T-32 track tank with a B-2 diesel engine. The resolution added that the new tank`s armor should be strengthened and its armaments improved. The refit tank was called T-34. A new design bureau led by Adolf Dik started on the T-34 tank in 1937, but the chief designer fell victim to Stalin`s purges. The T-34 first saw combat during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The tank had several bugs and the production pace fell behind. The Soviet army criticised T-34, but the government continued production.
The Essential Vehicle Identification Guide: Soviet Tank Units 1939-45 [book review]
"Soviet Tank Units 1939-45" - a new book in "Essential Vehicle Identification Guides" series - is useful for both a WW2 enthusiast and a military modeller looking for some good colour artwork for ideas, along with details such as length, width, height, armament, crew, weight, etc on Soviet armoured fighting vehicles. Set up chronologically, the book evolves from the Pre-War years of Soviet tank development to the German invasion - and from Destruction of the Wehrmacht to the Victory in Europe. The book also features a graph of the various unit compositions as the war went on.
History tour: Russia`s World War II battlefields and war memorials
The Russians do the biggest war memorials: and they are full of Nazi swastikas being trampled by the horses ridden by Soviet heroes. The 70th anniversary of the start of WW2 causes a huge increase in WWII touring: Normandy beaches, Pegasus bridge, V2 sites... all great tours but for the ultimate WWII tour is the Eastern Front, where 80% of the Germans killed in combat 1939-1945 died. The Soviet Armed Forces Museum has Stalin`s coat, the red flag placed over the Reichstag, Hitler`s personal standard, torpedoes, medals, swords. Next stop: Stalingrad, or the world`s biggest tank museum at Kubinka (Tiger tanks, Porsche Ferdinands and every Russian tank model).
Leningrad: A KV-1 tank installed near the entrance to a memorial complex in Kirovsk
A World War II Soviet tank will be installed near the entrance to a wartime memorial complex in Kirovsk region where the Soviet Army broke the Nazi siege of Leningrad. The KV-1 tank, which took part in the bloody battles on the Neva Bridge-head, was found at a depth of over 2 metres in 2007 and has been restored. Governor Valery Serdyukov will be present at the ceremony near Kirovsk where troops of Leningrad and Volkhov fronts broke the Nazi siege and met each other on Jan. 18, 1943 as part of the Iskra (Spark) operation. The KV-1 heavy tank series was named after Soviet civil war commander Klim Voroshilov.
Kubinka Tank Museum in Russia (Article no longer available from the original source)
In the small town of Kubinka exists a huge but largely unknown tank museum, which belongs to a former top-secret re¡©search institute for armored vehicles. It has over 300 armored vehicles from 11 countries, including 180-ton German tank (Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus, super-heavy tank design by Ferdinand Porsche) with almost a meter-thick plate of armor. Not even the Germans have a model of this vehicle - Kubinka has the only remaining prototype. Since World War II tanks were taken as trophies - like the American M60 Patton tank that was stolen from the Israeli army. One King Tiger tank has the signature of a Soviet captain that he had welded into the vehicle`s armor.
Russian military enthusiast Richard Moore`s restoration project: ISU-152 (Article no longer available from the original source)
Richard Moore, the owner of Russian military vehicle dealership, has started his third major restoration project: a self-propelled gun that weighs nearly 50 tonnes. The ISU-152 has arrived at Moore`s March yard from the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, and it is set to be his biggest challenge to date. "It is in quite a poor condition. We are going to have to source and make many of the parts, and we going to be restoring it over the next couple of years. It is comparable to a T34 tank we worked on a few months ago..." ISU-152 was put in frontline use in 1943 and used as an infantry and tank support vehicle.
T-34 tank forever - In active use from World War II to 1990s
The T-34 was one of the best WWII tanks. 84,000 were build, 57,000 by the end of WWII, and the rest 1946-1958. The first versions had a 76.2mm gun, but after 1944 all had an 85mm gun. Russia exported over 10,000 T-34s, to at least 40 countries. North Korea used them against U.S. troops during the Korean war - American tank crews were shocked at how maneuverable and fast the T-34 was. In the 1950s, the Soviet Union gave China 1,837 T-34/85 tanks - still in good shape. When the Cold War ended, two dozen nations still had the T-34 in service. The last known combat use was in 1995, when Serbs used one in an attack on UN peacekeepers.
Photos: Russian T-34 tank raises from the mud
Photographs of the Russian T34 battle tank, which is salvaged from the marshland - Cherkassy region, Ukraine.
Four T-34 tanks stolen in Serbia (Article no longer available from the original source)
Uninvited visitors stole four T-34 tanks from the Serbian army in the northern Vojvodina province, while the tanks were parked "in an unguarded field". The source said the 32-ton tanks were "most probably cut [up] and taken away. They were old, idle weaponry, used only for military exercises and were not being guarded." An army captain noticed the theft of the tanks and damage done to a fifth. The Serbian Army dropped the use of T-34 tanks some time ago and has since kept them at military polygons where they serve as jet and chopper targets in military exercises.
Russian tank hobbyist charged with extremism: Tank has Nazi insignia on its turret
Tank enthusiast Vyacheslav Verevochkin in the Novosibirsk oblast is facing charges of extremism as prosecutors have started a probe into 2 battle tanks he built. The case began after a road-worthiness race between the man`s tanks and modern SUVs. One of the tanks had Nazi insignia on its turret. "I restored those tanks that were used during the war. How could there even be mention of any kind of extremism? This is history." Aleksei Voytov, the lead prosecutor, said: "The public display of Nazi symbolism and attributions as an insult to the victims of the Great Patriotic War."
Bidders rush on Russian T-34 and German Pz IV Tanks from the WWII
The elements of over 140 firing systems made up of WWII tank parts will be put up to a secret auction - 840 auction papers are sold. The "tank scrap" consists of gun - turrets from Russian Ò-34 tanks and also of 6 German tanks` elements. This World War II military equipment got a huge interest from militaria collectors all around the world. Before restoration the tanks cost 250,000 euros, but after their overhaul they could rise to 500,000. A group of American collectors considered to offer as much as it will take to have this unique and rare military machine.
Neville Smith: wargames with RC panzers [scale model of a WWII tank]
Neville Smith has spent $11,000 on 11 radio-controlled tanks to use in scaled-down World War II themed battles. His tanks range from the famous German Tiger 1 to the American Sherman. Each 1/16 scale model costs $1000-$2000 and takes weeks to assemble. "I guess the fact you can shoot one another and play games with the tanks won me over." When he isn`t assembling tanks Smith spends hours fashioning toy soldiers and artificial trees to use on the battlefield. Those come in handy at gatherings of radio-control tank lovers. The group was formed by Smith and has 20 members throughout New Zealand. Auckland enthusiasts meet regularly to battle their tanks in wargames.
Old Soviet battle tank T-34 still tops for durability
The Soviet T-34 tank, introduced to Stalin by Mikhail Koshkin in 1940, still holds the first place in the Military Channel`s Top 10 tanks list. Koshkin, who died in 1940 from pneumonia caught during the tank`s test-drive, created a very reliable and simple-to-build design, which balanced the firepower, armor and mobility. In WWII, his concept proved to be victorious. At the first battles with German tanks, the T-34 came as a total shock to the Nazis. A single T-34 could be built in about 40 hours, and it became the most-produced tank of the war. The first time Koshkin, Red Army soldier at the time, saw tanks (british Mk Vs) was in 1919 in Arkhangelsk.
WWII T34/76A battle tank Recovered - Photographs
14 Sept 2000, a Komatsu D375A-2 pulled an abandoned tank from its tomb under the bottom of a lake near Johvi, Estonia. The Soviet-built T34/76A tank had been resting at the bottom of the lake for 56 years. From Feb to Sept 1944, heavy battles were fought in the narrow, 50 km-wide, Narva front in the northeastern part of Estonia. Over 100,000 men were killed. During battles in the summer of 1944, the T34 tank was captured from the Soviet army and used by the German army. It is a very rare machine, considering that it fought both on the Russian and the German sides. Plans are under way to fully restore the tank.
How to drive a battle tank - like World War II-era T-34
Someone in Budapest seized a WWII-era battle tank and drove it 100m down the road. It made me wonder how easy they are to drive. Most tanks have a crew hatch for the driver, but in T-34 I climb over the wheels and tracks and haul myself up onto the turret top. I`m thankful of the helmet, as there are lots of sharp switches, ammunition racks and the gun. The 32 tons of metal monster, with the 85mm gun, lurches forward. I hit my head. I can`t see behind or to the sides, that`s why there`s a commander in the turret. I don`t know how so many young soldiers managed to cope: T-34s were chilly in winter and hot in summer; if the gun was fired, the inside filled up with fumes.