The T-34 is a Soviet medium tank introduced in 1940, famously deployed with the Red Army during World War II against Operation Barbarossa.
Its 76.2 mm (3 in) tank gun was more powerful than its contemporaries while its 60 degree sloped armour provided good protection against anti-tank weapons. The Christie suspension was inherited from the design of American J. Walter Christie's M1928 tank, versions of which were sold turret-less to the Red Army and documented as "farm tractors", after being rejected by the U.S. Army. The T-34 had a profound effect on the conflict on the Eastern Front in the Second World War, and had a lasting impact on tank design.
The T-34 was the mainstay of Soviet armoured forces throughout the war. Its general specifications remained nearly unchanged until early 1944, when it received a firepower upgrade with the introduction of the greatly improved T-34/85 variant. Its production method was continuously refined and rationalized to meet the needs of the Eastern Front, making the T-34 quicker and cheaper to produce. The Soviets ultimately built over 80,000 T-34s of all variants, allowing steadily greater numbers to be fielded despite the loss of tens of thousands in combat against the German Wehrmacht. Replacing many light and medium tanks in Red Army service, it was the most-produced tank of the war, as well as the second most-produced tank of all time With 44,900 lost during the war, it also suffered the most tank losses ever.
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