T-34/85 obr 1944
In 1941 the Soviets began a programme to build an improved replacement for the T-34. The development program prioritised armour, suspension and crew ergonomics. However, after the appearance of the Panther and increasing numbers of Tiger tanks during the battle of Kursk it was made clear that the superiority of the T-34 tank was over.
The F-34 76.2mm gun proved useless against the heavy front armour of the Tiger and Panther. Development priority was redirected away from a T-34 replacement, the T-43, after it was realised that fitting it with a 85mm gun would make it too heavy. The focus was switched to fitting a 85mm gun armed turret to the basic T-34 chassis. The sturdy T-34 proved more than up to the task to taking a heavier, three-man turret and a more powerful main gun on a virtually unaltered hull and turret ring.
In early 1944 the first model rolled off the production line armed with the 85mm D-5T gun after the initial first choice of armament, the 85mm S-53 gun, needed modifications because of its longer recoil. Approximately 800 T-34/85 obr 1943 were produced at Gorkiy in early 1944.
• T-34/85 obr 1943 (SU055) — Short production run of February–March 1944 with 85mm D-5T gun.
Modifications to the 85mm S-53 gun were completed by the summer of 1944. The modified design became the ZIS-S-53. In the meantime some turrets were also fitted with the S-53 and sent to the front. The turret fitted with the 85mm ZIS-S-53 gun had a redesigned mantlet and altered turret interior. The alternate turret layout required the commander's cupola to be relocated 40cm aft of its original position.
• T-34/85 obr 1944 (SU056) — Main production, with simpler ZIS-S-53 85 mm gun, radio moved from the hull into a turret with improved layout and new gunner's sight
The later production T-34/85 tanks were often also fitted with simplified square fenders rather the rounded fenders common on earlier models.Later design modifications included a larger commander’s cupola. Many variations existed depending on the factory producing the T-34/85 turrets. These variations included composite constructions, side angle variations and seam differences.The Model
The T-34/85 obr 1944 (SU056) comes with square fenders and the turret from the Zavod #112 turret.
In Flames Of War
The T-34/85 obr 1944 (SU056) can be used as an alternative to the T-34/85 obr 1943 (SU055) in a Soviet Tankovy Company. Some may have been used during the fighting on the Vistula and can be used with Tankovy Batalon in Red Bear.