KMDB T-34-85 Soviet Army 95th Tank Bgd, 9th Tank Corps, No 183, Berlin, Germany, May 1945 w/1 Figurine
Although the German army has known about the T-34 for a long time, it was not until they encountered it in combat that they realized how much of an improvement this tank was over previous Soviet models. Most notable was the Soviet T-34's glazed front plate, which helped to mitigate the impact of enemy armament. Even with these advances, the T-34 was still outperformed and less resistant to damage than its German counterparts. But the sheer quantity of tanks they could produce (nearly 1,200 per month at certain times during the war), gave the Soviets a massive advantage in the number of tanks they could deploy at any given time. The initial version of the T-34 was equipped with a 76 mm main gun, but this proved insufficient against their main rivals, particularly the Tiger and Panther tanks. As a result, improving the firepower of the T-34s became essential to enable the Russians to retaliate against the German invaders. Eventually, the Department of Military Armament transformed the T-34 into a much more efficient 85 mm main gun, and to distinguish the T-34 from the other main guns, it was named the T-34-76 and T-34-85 respectively.
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