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Some news about the most common tank of the Second World War.

Posted by Eat_Uranium on Aug 12th, 2012

Hello and welcome back to another Forgotten Hope 2 update.

Today we'd like to show off perhaps one of the most important armoured fighting vehicles of all time. But first, we'd like to extend a warm welcome to the talented Gurdy, who joins the development team as a static modeller.

The T-34 evolved out of a project to design a replacement for the BT series of tanks using information gained at the battles of Khalkhin Gol. Tests with increasingly armoured and armed prototypes lead to the initial design for the T-34. With the poor performance of existing Soviet tanks in the Winter War and with German successes in France, the T-34 was hurried into production.

At the time of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the T-34 was one of the best tanks in existence - though only on paper. In the initial invasion, serious problems with mechanical reliability, supply shortages and poor internal layout largely removed any advantage the T-34 had over the Panzers it faced. The tank commander was severely strained by the task of aiming the cannon and the lack of effective observation devices, and the Germans noted that T-34s were slow to find and engage targets.

T-34 model 1943

The first T-34 variant on show is the model of 1943. This was an improvement with the addition of a new hexagonal turret, which earned it the nicknamed "Mickey Mouse" from the Germans due to the distinctive silhouette made by the two circular roof hatches when open. Our T-34 features the cupola that was added to this turret later in the production run to provide better all around vision to the commander.


The second variant on show today is the T-34-85. With the appearance of Tiger and Panther tanks, which were immune to the 76.2mm gun, it was decided that a more effective weapon was needed. The answer was the 85mm ZiS-S-53, which was mounted in a new 3 man turret. Although still not a match for the Panther, the new design greatly increased the combat effectiveness of the tank, whilst the minimal changes allowed production to remain high.

Nearly 56,000 T-34s were made in total, of which nearly 45,000 were lost. The ones in Forgotten Hope 2 were made by Pointblank.

Our winners for this week's screenshot competition is AdamPA1006. You can view the winning submission here.

We are now accepting entries for the week of August 13th. If you think you have the best FH2 screenshot, post them here.

That's all for this week, but be sure to come back next time for another update. Until then, feel free to visit our IRC channel, our public forums, and/or our Twitter and Facebook pages to discuss this update and other news.

Post comment Comments
Triden007 Aug 12 2012 says:

Yeah! The URSS is coming!

+12 votes     reply to comment
fildak Aug 19 2012 replied:

I want IS-2 and destroy everythink german tank :-)

+3 votes     reply to comment
onikenshin Aug 12 2012 says:

The Russians are coming the Russians are coming!

+10 votes     reply to comment
Shandon_McKey Aug 13 2012 says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
Erich_BPVN Aug 13 2012 says:

CCCP ra roi hi vong la nhanh!

+2 votes     reply to comment
chrisr131 Aug 14 2012 replied:

What? Is there any point in that?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Cerjonah Aug 13 2012 says:

YES! I love the Eastern Front!

+6 votes     reply to comment
flamming_python Aug 13 2012 says:

Rather biased assessment of the T-34 tank here. The T-34 was largely superior to the Panzers it encountered early-war in fact. The Soviet designers focussed on the essentials and the Germans had no equivalent to it for the first 2 years in terms of its synthesis of firepower, armour and mobility/cross-country performance. And they had no equivelent at all right to the end of the war, when its cost and ease of manufacture was factored in. It even made it's own heavier brother - the KV-1 - obsolete unintentionally; being as it was KV-1 which was much heavier, less mobile and more expensive; but had exactly the same gun (armour wasn't such a problem as early war Panzers had problems penetrating either one).

The T-34 was in a sense, the world's first Main Battle Tank; a class of essentially medium tanks that would rise to prominence at the dawn of the Cold War and quickly make every other tank class obsolete with their superior combination of light-tank mobility & speed and heavy-tank armour & firepower.

Several prominent German generals named it as the best tank of the war. Among them - Von Kleist and Von Rundstedt. The only real problem was that it was only in service in low numbers when the war started.

Why its advantage was somewhat negated had little to do with its minor technical drawbacks ; and more to do with the superior organisation of German tank armies and their more experienced tank crews.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Rebel12Lz Aug 13 2012 replied:

Great overview! I thought pretty much the same but too lazy to write so long:)Good job.

+2 votes     reply to comment
onikenshin Aug 14 2012 replied:

The drawbacks of the T34 were for one, the gun. It was not accurate. It took much longer than any German tank to find a target and shoot it. It was even said by the T34 crews that the tank itself was more accurate, driving it into a Tiger or Panther to disable it :P

Its gun was obsolete. Why if it was fired accurately it would cause damage, lets face it, any German medium tank would do more damage. Think of it like a better armored version of the Sherman. Though in my opinion I believe the Sherman to be the most effective tank of WW2, simply because by late 1944 they fielded variants to take out any German armor.

(Just to get this out here, if Eisenhower had not cut Pattons supplies since he already pushed further than the intended zone, the US would have gotten to Berlin first :P)

This was a great overview python, however it seemed a little biased too me :P The T34 was effective, but not nearly as effective as any German tank. But it did pave the way for some of the best tanks made in history. (T72 anyone?)

+2 votes     reply to comment
flamming_python Aug 14 2012 replied:

That's a load of hogwash onikenshin.

I mean really; the T-34's gun not powerful? It packed 76mm; which was with anti-tank rounds, enough to punch through the frontal armour of any German tank of 1941-1943 - at a range whereby those German tanks had no hope of penetrating the T-34s frontal armour! Really, until the introduction of the Panther the Germans had nothing that could duke it out with the T-34 on even terms. The only German tank that had armament comparable to the T-34 was the Panzer IV with a 75mm cannon. But the barrel was far too short and as a result the round had too low velocity to penetrate the T-34 at longer ranges. The Germans eventually fixed this by bringing out a new long-barreled version of the Panzer IV; but they weren't introduced in numbers until 1943.

Accuracy? I don't think that this had as much to do with the gun and design, but rather the inferior optics & visibility of the T-34, as well as it's less experienced crews. But then again - with its thick armour and powerful it could afford to have shortcomings in such areas. Like I said; the Soviets focussed on the essentials; armour, mobility and firepower - coupled with mass-production capability, so of course some other things had to be sacrificed. Making good-quality, precise optics was a tricky and delicate business - even more so if you have to fit enough of them to a production run of 1,500 T-34s per month.

Strain on the tank commander and crew? Perhaps, but I remember right the cross-country performance and particularly the suspension system on the T-34 was cut above anything Germany or the Western allies had at that time. And of course since 98% of the time the tank crew was not in battle but was simply getting from A to B; the advantage in comfort and a well-rested crew is to the T-34s side here.

Reliability and poor-quality transmission? Real problems to be sure; but frankly - with the T-34s production numbers and masses it didn't matter.

+2 votes     reply to comment
flamming_python Aug 14 2012 replied:

I understand that there are plenty of materials on the internet that lambast the T-34, and no doubt a lot of those critisisms are true to some degree, albeit heavily exaggerated, and perhaps kept the T-34 from becoming a truly legendary design. But consider 2 factors that weight very much against these arguements and to the T-34's advantage:

1. This tank has been documented as being the most-feared by German tankists, commanders; more so than other more heavily armoured and armed Soviet tanks. It had an adverse effect on German morale. It's praises have been sung even by German field marshals.

2. It's one of the very few tanks fielded by any side in WW2, that remained viable and capable from the very start of the war up until the very end. Other than an upgrade of its main gun from 76mm to 85mm; it went through only minor changes and revisions in all this time. More than that, the T-34 continued to be a capable model even when it was fielded in the Korean war; and was even used by the North Vietnamese. It also became the main stay of the USSR's Soviet-bloc allies and continued to be in production there until the late 50s!

+1 vote     reply to comment
flamming_python Aug 14 2012 replied:

"(Just to get this out here, if Eisenhower had not cut Pattons supplies since he already pushed further than the intended zone, the US would have gotten to Berlin first :P)"

It's possible, but I rather doubt that he would have been able to take it, at least not in time; given that it had taken the USSR 2.5 million men to do so! It's no secret that the Germans had pretty much thrown everything that they had towards the Eastern front, and left little in the West. The Allies therefore didn't face all that much opposition; and perhaps would not all the way to Berlin. But that's where the fun would end - as this city was easily the most heavily entrenched, forified, bunkered, etc... in WW2, and had 750,000 German defenders packed into an urban area of several dozen square miles. This is about half as much as the Allies had faced on their entire march from Normandy to the Rhine!

The Soviets were largely able to take Berlin over the space of 3 weeks; because of their massive superiority of artillery and firepower, and just as massive tolerance of casualties. For the Americans; it could have turned into a drawn-out, house by house operation that could have lasted for months and costed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Or more likely - just a siege. Which would have lasted only as long as it would have taken for the Red Army to catch up and storm the damn place.

+1 vote     reply to comment
flamming_python Aug 14 2012 replied:

Oh and by the way; the much-renowned German Panther tank (Panzer V) - was actually more unreliable than the T-34. A lot more so. In essence this highly-praised tank, while indeed very tactically capable on the field of destroying multiple T-34s and other targets - was rarely able to stray far from the railheads; it suffered frequent engine-fires, breakdowns, every problem in the book. And given that along the entire Eastern front the Germans only had about 100 of them in 1943; these mechanical failures were absolutely fatal, and the T-34 had it beat purely by virtue of its superior mobility and reliability.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Eat_Uranium Author
Eat_Uranium Aug 15 2012 replied:

The early T-34 that the Germans encountered in Op Barbarossa was mechanically unreliable, was short of AP ammunition, had low quality crews, had radios only for platoon leaders and an extremely poor situational awareness caused my a lack of adequate observation devices and a 2 man turret. The observation wasn't properly solved until the model '43, the 2 man turret wasn't solved until the 85mm turret. The mechanical reliability got better, but in '42 and '43 the build quality was at an abject low - poor quality plates poorly welded together.

The tank was a strategic masterpiece - it allowed the Red Army to field numbers of tanks that the Germans could only dream of having. It never matched the effectiveness of the tanks it faced in combat. All the armour in the world will do you no favours if you can't spot the threat fast enough.

It wasn't great, it was good enough - 'good enough' times 55000 is what make it great.

+2 votes   reply to comment
flamming_python Aug 15 2012 replied:

Doesn't at all explain why it was feared by the Germans and preffered by Soviet tank crews. Guderian himself was shocked into action by a battle where 10 Panzer IIs and IIIs were burnt to the loss of 5 T-34s.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mad(rus) Aug 13 2012 says:

Сталин говорит: - Сталин? Да кто он такой?! За Родину! Давай до свидания!

+3 votes     reply to comment
GeneralOkar Aug 14 2012 says:

I'm loving 2.45 I'm loving the the new weapon animations. Are you going to update the G43's weapon animations (specifically the reload) because imo that's the weapon that needs a new lick of paint.

+2 votes     reply to comment
waldo101 Aug 14 2012 says:

great models! hope you pull off this eastern front thing if you do FH2 will probably rise back to the top again. by the way instead of all these people playing single player why not get involved in some epic online battles?? its FH2s strongest selling point.

keep up the excellent work!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
ParkChungHeeFan Aug 15 2012 says:

Actually, there where 100,000 T-54, making the T-34 the 2nd most common tank in the world.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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