The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank from the Second World War and the post-war period.
The first prototypes were built in 1937-1940, and serial production in the USSR was carried out in 1940-1957. About 84,000 vehicles of this type were built in its course, which makes the T-34 one of the most produced tanks in history! The drive was provided by a single engine V-2-34 with a power of 500 hp. The length of the car - in the T34 / 76 version - was 6.68 m, with a width of 3 meters. The armament consisted of a 76.2 mm F-34 gun and two 7.62 mm DT machineguns. The main armament in the T-34/85 version was the 85mm ZIS-S-53 gun.
The T-34 is undoubtedly one of the most famous tanks in the history of both World War II and military in general, representing a specific symbol of Soviet victory in the war with the Third Reich. The vehicle was developed for the needs of the Red Army as a successor to the so-called pursuit tanks from the BT series (BT-5 and BT-7), but also the T-26 tank. Work on the car started in 1937 in a special design office at the Steam Engine Factory in Kharkiv. Initially, the works were managed by Eng. Adolf Dik (he also made the first sketches of the new car), and after his arrest by the Soviet security authorities, Mikhail Koszkin managed the work. Initially, the vehicle was designated as A-20. However, a second prototype (A-32) was quickly built, with a main armament in the form of a 76.2 mm cannon and much thicker frontal armor. It was the latter prototype that was finally adopted for production. It can be assumed that when it was introduced into service, the TT-34 was a very successful tank in many respects. It was characterized - as in 1940 - with a very strong weapon, it had a well-profiled armor based on sloped armor plates, as well as very high mobility and off-road driving properties. The disadvantages include the very poor ergonomics of the car or the poor optics used in the first production batches. Despite these shortcomings, when the T-34 appeared on the Eastern Front, German troops were greatly surprised by it. The high overall rating of the T-34 and its combat values determined its mass production and making it the basic tank of the Red Army during the fights in 1942-1945. They also resulted in further improvements to the structure, e.g. in 1942 a new hexagonal tower appeared, improving the quality of work of crew members with the commander's cupola. The engine and gearbox were also improved. However, in 1944, the T-34/85 model was introduced into service, with a completely new three-man turret and the main armament in the form of an 85 mm cannon. The T-34 tank fought in virtually all major battles fought between the Red Army and the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front in 1941-1945: starting at the Battle of Moscow, through the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk, Operation Bagration, and the capture of Berlin. After 1945, the T-34 tank was still in service, it was also widely exported outside the USSR to countries such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany, Hungary and Syria.
PzKpfw IV (Panzerkampfwagen IV) was a German medium tank from the Second World War. The first prototypes of the vehicle were created in 1936, and serial production continued in the period 1938-1945, ending with the production of about 8,600 vehicles. The D version of the tank was powered by a single Maybach HL 120 TRM engine with a capacity of 300 HP. It was armed with 1 75mm KwK 37 L / 24 gun and 2 7.92mm MG 34 machine guns.
The PzKpfw IV was created as a result of a competition announced at the end of 1934 by the German Armaments Department for a medium tank weighing up to 18 tons and armed with a 75 mm gun. The competition was won by the Krupp company, whose vehicle was put into mass production - as it turned out, it was a vehicle that can be safely called the "workhorse" of German armored forces during World War II and one of the most intensively developed and modernized Wehrmacht tanks. Numerous variants of the PzKpfw IV were created in the course of production. Chronologically, the first was the A version, armed with a 75mm short-barreled gun and a 230hp engine. However, versions B and C appeared quickly, in which several significant changes were made: first of all, more powerful engines (265 HP in version B and Maybach HL 120 TRM with 300 HP in C version - which were installed in PzKpfw IV until 1945 year), and the armor of the entire car was improved. The F1 and F2 versions turned out to be a real revolution, in which the frontal armor was increased to 60 mm, and the main armament was changed to the great, long-barreled 75mm KwK 40 L / 43 cannon, which in 1942 and 1943 allowed them to fight any Allied or soviet. The most frequently produced versions of the PzKpfw IV were the G, H and J versions, which were very similar to the F1 and F2 versions. The main armament has not changed significantly (it was still the KwK 40 cannon), as well as the engine and chassis. On the other hand, the armor was slightly strengthened, and from the beginning of 1943 armored screens (Schurzen) were installed on them. Numerous other vehicles were built on the chassis of the PzKpfw IV, such as the StuG IV assault gun, the Nashorn tank destroyer or the Wirbelwind self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. PzKpfw IV tanks were used on almost all fronts of World War II - from the September campaign in 1939, through the campaign in France in 1940, the Barbarossa and Typhoon operations in 1941, the Battle of Kursk in 1943, to the last operations of the German army against The USSR and the Western Allies in 1944-1945.