In late 1943, the T-34-85 was introduced, with a powerful 85 mm gun and a three-man turret design. The tank served in great numbers until the end of the war and was to be seen in many post war armies. The construction of Soviet tanks was very crude by western standards as anybody who has seen one close up can testify, but there is no doubt that for their purpose and expected lifespan the concept of these designs was superb.
Although designated the T34/43, this tank was introduced in late 1942 in time for the battles around Stalingrad . It played a key role in the Soviet victory and incorporated the lessons learnt from the deficiencies of its predecessor by improvements to its turret layout and provision of radio equipment.
Russian T26 light tank , this version of the T26 fought in several campaigns that took place prior to WW2 and was also present during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941
The KV2 'Dreadnought' mounted a 152mm gun in its heavy turret and its armour made it invulnerable to most German anti tank weapons. A single KV2 managed to hold up the advance of the 6th Panzer division for 2 days in June 1941 until it was finally destroyed by an 88mm flak gun moved up to close range. The factories producing these tanks were overrun in 1941 when it ceased to be produced. A German unit employing captured examples was said to be earmarked for the proposed assault on Malta.
This early model of the T34 was fitted with a shorter version of the 76mm gun and was distinguishable by its rectangular as opposed to a round engine rear access plate and by two small square projections one on each side of the turret .
The T34 was a development of the Soviet BT series of fast tanks and incorporated many important improvements in tank design. Its mobility firepower and protection were superior to the contemporary German designs although its initial battlefield effectiveness was by reduced by its unsatisfactory turret layout requiring the commander to serve as the gunner and its tactical employment impaired because it lacked radio equipment.