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In 1941 the powerful T-34/76 had been a shock to the invading Germans, but by 1943 it was outmatched by newer German tanks.

Up to that point the Soviets had refused to make any improvements that would mean interrupting production and reducing the flow of tanks to the front. By now though, this was no longer an option and the Soviets developed the T34/85 as an upgrade.

The new, larger turret on the T-34/85 had a far more powerful gun, thicker armour on the turret front and space for three men, making for more efficient operations, but the rest of the tank was essentially unchanged. It led the Soviet drive through Eastern Europe and into Germany. After the war T-34/85s continued in service around the world with over 40 nations for many decades.


The Tank Museum’s T-34/85

This T-34/85 was built at the Krasnoye Sormovo Zavod (factory) No. 112 in Gorki in late 1944. It was supplied to North Korea and used by them in the Korean War (1950-53). By November 1950 almost all North Korea’s T-34s had been destroyed or captured, including this one. It came to The Tank Museum in 1952.


The Tank Museum’s T-34/85

The Tank Museum received this T-34/85 in 2022 from the Defence Academy, Shrivenham. No information was provided on the vehicle’s prior history. It has a Soviet manufactured hull, carrying features seen on vehicles built by the Krasnoye Sormovo Zavod (factory) No. 112 in Gorki. The vehicle was clearly used by the Czechoslovakian Army as it features a hull buzzer on the left rear of the hull for infantry to use to alert the crew if they need to talk with them. It also has a Czech manufactured turret, and the radio equipment is the Czechoslovakian RM31 system.


The Tank Museum’s T-34/85

This T-34/85 came to The Tank Museum in 1987.  It was almost certainly one of around 1,380 tanks built in Poland between 1951 and 1955. All instrument panels, instructions and stamps are in Polish. It is complete, except for the radio, gunner’s sight and secondary armament.  The tank was one of a batch imported from Poland by McGregor and Budge Haulage and offered for sale to private collectors.  It was purchased by the Infantry Trials and Development Unit for use in LAW 80 anti-tank missile trials and was expected to be destroyed as a target.  However a T-34/85 belonging to The Tank Museum, but which was in poor condition with no engine, gearbox or internal fittings, was used instead and this vehicle was added to the collection.


Tank facts

Country of use
Austria, East Germany, USSR, Egypt, Iraq, North Korea
Full Name
55km/h, 34mph
32 Tonnes
Secondary Weapon
2 x 7.62mm DT machine-guns
Main Weapon
1 x 85mm ZiS-53 gun
Main Utility Type
Medium Tank
Number produced
Produced by
Czechoslovakia, Poland, USSR
WW2: War Stories


ww2Second World WarRussianRussian TankT-34
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