Unique: the legendary tank T-34 was 80 years old

Неповторимый: легендарному танку Т-34 исполнилось 80 лет

On the title photo: T-34 in BerlinIn 1945, the journalists asked the British Prime Minister, what weapons the just-concluded war he thinks is best. Winston Churchill answered without hesitation: “Three. English cannon (meant, obviously, the Ordnance QF 17-pounder, colloquially “17-funtovku”, as if able to penetrate any armor. – Ed.). A German plane Messerschmitt. Russian T-34 tank”. He added: “However, if in the first two cases I understood how it was done, I just don’t understand how there is such a tank…”

Mentioned Churchill gun was not adopted even the closest ally of the British and the Americans. And century guns was relatively short-lived: by the late 1940s, it was supplanted by better, absorbed the best technology… the defeated Third Reich.

Неповторимый: легендарному танку Т-34 исполнилось 80 лет

In the parade of 7 November 1941 was attended by 40 tanks T-34, immediately after it had gone to the front.

Aircraft Messerschmitt provide the advantage of Germany in the air until the summer of 1943. He was in service 10 European countries, Japan and Israel. From the first flight may 28, 1935 to the complete write-off for scrap 23 years, from the beginning of operation in 1937 – a little over 20 years.

A very different picture with the tank T-34. In the armored forces of the country, it created, he remained in service for about 50 years, without losing their combat capability until withdrawal from service in September 1997. T-34 tanks with modifications were produced more than any other, where whatsoever: 65909 (including licensing). He was armed with 46 countries in all time zones; used in all climatic zones – from the Arctic to Equatorial Africa; some African, Asian and other countries (Cuba for example) it is still stored in tank parks, and he’s still ready to perform combat tasks. And this is not the only achievement in the list of records T-34 tank.

Неповторимый: легендарному танку Т-34 исполнилось 80 лет

Experimental tanks A-32 (left) and A-20, the predecessors of the T-34.

He is a champion in the field of military strategy, because German political and military leadership was not the beginning of the war, reliable intelligence about him, although on 22 June 1941, the red army was in 1066 T-34. Baptism of fire they have taken in the battles of Grodno and Alytus (22-23 and 24-25 June 1941 respectively). After learning about the existence of such combat vehicles, if Hitler told his high command: “If I had known about these tanks in Russian, maybe I would not have started this war”.

The command of the Wehrmacht from time to time did not share the pessimism of the Fuhrer. The commander of the 2nd Panzer group, Colonel General Heinz Guderian initially I was skeptical about the new product – while 300 tanks not locked horns with 50 thirty 4-th tank brigade of the Colonel M. E. Katukova in the battles of Mtsensk, where they showed superiority in weaponry, armor and maneuverability. For this victory the Colonel became a General and was awarded the order of Lenin. Brigade of the first tank units of the red army were awarded the title of guards. And three and a half years later, in may 1945, the guards of Marshal Katukova first to break into the lair of the beast, almost defeated Berlin.

Неповторимый: легендарному танку Т-34 исполнилось 80 лет

The commanders of tank formations H. W. Guderian and M. E. Katukov, for the first time have experienced their cars in a large tank battle.

In this example, it is possible to speak about a number of advantages of the T-34: its universality; the optimal combination of firepower, protection and mobility; the most powerful cannon armament on each of the stages of the war; the most rational form of cannon-proof armored housing; the greatest rapidity among the tanks of this type (55 km/h), the greatest reserve fuel (up to 420 miles on one tank); cost effectiveness – due to the unique high-speed tank diesel V-2, consumed comparatively little fuel, and at the same time, it is undemanding for its quality.

In confirmation of the fact that Hitler did indeed understand the advantages of the T-34, that fact testifies that in August of 1941, when Moscow was only about three hundred kilometers, he commanded the 2nd Panzer group referred to Colonel-General Heinz Guderian to turn South – to Kharkov, to seize the factory that developed and produced thirty-four. Full production the Germans could begin, but more than 300 damaged on the battlefields of T-34 tanks they managed to repair and put into operation the panzerwaffe. They were divided into 11 tank divisions, including the elite grenadiers “Great Germany” and the SS division “Das Reich”.

After inspection of the captured T-34 and KV, the Fuhrer ordered the designers to create at least the same combat vehicle, until the copy them. But the Germans did not. They are unable to reveal the secret of Russian alloy steels, technologies of making cast housings towers, welding skew the armored sides of the hulls submerged, and many other things. Worst of all was the case of the copying of diesel V-2: nothing even close to similar they did not.

Неповторимый: легендарному танку Т-34 исполнилось 80 лет


The fight (tanks “Tiger” and “T-34”). Artist Valery Petelin.

The asymmetric response of the German tank builders was the appearance of tank “Panther”, largely repeating the outlines of the T-34, “Tiger” and “Royal tiger”. The answer was powerful, but wrong: the last of these machines weighed more than twice of the T-34, the other two cars were easier, but still it was heavy tanks, they are more consistent with the is-2 and KV-2. But it is curious that tank “Royal tiger” for the first time applied by the enemy on the Soviet-German front, was destroyed August 12, 1944, the crew of the tank T-34 of Junior Lieutenant A. P. Oskina. The success was non-random and non-trivial: the two days of fighting only this crew were burned three “Royal tiger”, one damaged, and three were captured unharmed in the village Opendev (Poland).

In the right hands, thirty-four was inimitable formidable weapon. From the gun the T-34 A. M. Fadini, subsequently a Hero of the Russian Federation, was shot down by a German plane, cruising low over the ground. And the crew of the tank “T-34” Lieutenant D. F. Lavrinenko (hero of the Soviet Union posthumously) from 6 October to 18 December 1941, destroyed 52 enemy tanks.

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One of the best tank of the great Patriotic war, fought on T-34, A. P. Oskin (left) and A. M. Fadin.

T-34 tank – a real Russian miracle, and therefore not one Churchill was not to understand, “how did a tank…”. Too many “accidents” have been collected together to place. It took a successful Director of Vyatskaya confectionery factory, switched to party work and fast-growing job ladder, Mikhail Koshkin suddenly decided to “drop everything” and under the patronage of S. M. Kirov was able to go to a technical College. He was “spotted” by the people’s Commissar of heavy industry G. K. Ordzhonikidze and was appointed to Kharkov, at the KhPZ Komintern (Zavod No. 183) for the position of chief of the tank KB-190. Koshkin needed to accurately capture the correct trend of the development of the tank and against the approved wheeled caterpillar experienced tank “A-20” initiative to build a pure tracked A-32, which became the prototype T-34. To overcome the strong resistance of the mighty adversary of this machine is Deputy people’s Commissar of defense of the USSR Marshal G. I. Kulik and “using his head” to enlist the support of the people’s Commissar of defense Marshal K. E. Voroshilov and personally I. V. Stalin. To bring the tank to the metal and March to hold the autumn floods in Moscow, after earning the right to test mileage, and then “dressed” to provide the leadership the country on the Ivanovskaya square in Moscow.

Неповторимый: легендарному танку Т-34 исполнилось 80 лет


The creators of the T-34 M. I. Koshkin (left) and A. A. Morozov.

The T-34 was adopted by the red army on 19 December 1939: the day of St. Nicholas, one of the most revered saints in Russia (the accident?) However, it has not ended its bumpy ride in the army. Machine high cross, it seemed, firmly mired in bureaucratic ooze all sorts of approvals, technological inconsistencies, technical difficulties: plan released in 1940 and the first half of 1941 was made less than 30 percent. Of the planned 3,400 cars army received only 1100. In 1940 became the chief designer of the tank: run Kharkov – Moscow – Kharkov undermined his health, colds and overwork led to pneumonia, not helped by the removal of the lung with increased rehabilitation: on 26 September in the sanatorium of M. I. Koshkin died.

Неповторимый: легендарному танку Т-34 исполнилось 80 лет

The management team of the plant № 183 to them. Of the Comintern, the Creator of the T-34 in 1940.

His undoubted merit in the creation of the concept of this extraordinary machine, which had an almost inexhaustible resource for modernization, and the creation of the team, able to drive this difficult process. The chief designer and head of CB was his Deputy A. A. Morozov. All further modernization of the machine – an undoubted achievement of Alexander Alexandrovich and his team. In war without slowing the pace of production, tank builders constantly perfecting fighting machine. So was reached the most rational form of cannon-proof armored housing; adaptability to mass production in different plants, not even originally designed for the production of tanks; the possibility of repair in the field. Design ideas are constantly ahead of their time: already in 1940-m to year, in parallel with overcoming bureaucratic obstacles, was created by the tank T-34M, more perfect (the production of which had to be abandoned in favor of the former, more streamlined series production models); later came the T-44, T-64 and others, “genealogy” which can be traced up to the present “Armata”, and a whole family of combat and engineering vehicles, created on the basis of the legendary thirty.

Неповторимый: легендарному танку Т-34 исполнилось 80 лет

The Creator of the engine V-2 for tank T-34 C. F. Chelpan (left) and cannon armament – V. G. Grabin.

Under the armor of the tank, as you know, the hidden powerhouse: the perfect 500-horsepower V-2 engine was created KB diesel Department of the Kharkiv locomotive plant under the leadership of K. F. Chelpan repressed in 1937; his work was continued by Deputy Konstantin Y. E. Wichmann and I. Trachten. Firepower the T-34 provided the first 76.2 mm tank gun (T-34-76), and then 85 mm (for the T-34-85), developed under the leadership of talented designer V. G. Grabin, of which were crammed a lot more fascist beasts in the generation of “Tigers” and “Panthers” than from the vaunted English “17-funtouki”.

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T-34 tank is a favorite character of not only domestic but also foreign artists. There are paintings of canadian artist Vincent Wei “T-34″attack” (left) and “the Red army in the suburbs of Berlin”.

“T-34” is really “most-most”: the most favorite tank of veteran tankers, the most frequent character in the books and films about the great Patriotic war, the most common symbol of Victory, erected on the pedestals of monuments of military valor. This is the exhibited sample of weapons and military equipment in museums around the world – and the world’s only sample of weapons, which is dedicated to the personalized Museum complex (village Sholokhovo, Moscow region). From all his fellows he is often depicted in art paintings and posters, envelopes and cards, stamps and medals, diplomas and memorable signs in large-scale models and as prizes in competitions on military-technical sports and military competitions. Because he is our glory and pride. Because the unique. And unique.

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T-34 on parade in Donetsk

… In 2014, the militia of Donbass took the T-34 with pedestals on which the tanks stood as the monument to Soviet tank crews who liberated cities and towns of the mining region. It turned out that the machine can be put on the course, and they became participants of the Victory parade in the republics.

And in 2016, firing the T-34 got a video camera in the distant Yemen.Tihomir PAVLOV

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