Russians are not generally known for their engineering, but this is the famous Red Army World War II “T-34” one of the best military vehicles of the war. This machine helped change the course of WWII and is attributed with the greatest shock to an enemy on the field, when it unexpectedly appeared on the Russian Front in 1941 and inflicted mass terror and carnage on the previously successful German panzer army, thought invincible. The T-34 was fast, maneuverable and packed a heavy punch with its 76mm gun. But perhaps the greatest innovation, was its radical and clever, but simple, design. By sloping the armour at an angle, munitions simply glanced off the siding, greatly enhancing the tank’s defensive strength without adding weight and therefore compromising speed. The Germans soon copied this design, and produced the new Panzer V, the Panther, as a direct result of the T-34.
The T-34’s other strength was that it was simple and could be mass-produced, quickly, lacking all the sophisticated whistles and bells of German tanks. T-34s simply mobbed Panzer platoons. They were designed for a simple purpose, and sacrificed everything else to speed, simplicity, and killing power – a means to a temporary end (saving the USSR). This they did.
This machine played a major role in the largest tank battle of all time, the Battle of the Kursk Salient involving over 8000 tanks in July/August 1943.