T-34-85 (1945) - Modernizing The Old

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TL;DR: A late-war version of the T-34-85 with the ability to mount smoke barrels.

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History:

As soon as the T-34-85 hit the production lines, several upgrade projects got underway. The first major, of which, was swapping out the clunky 85mm D-5T cannon for the much more streamlined 85mm ZiS-S-53. This came with a redesigned turret among other improvements. It wouldn’t stop there, however. In 1945, as the war was nearing its close, another upgrade for the T-34-85 was rolled out. This upgrade gave the tank revised electric turret traverse system (which required the addition of a bulge on the side of the turret), a single-piece commander hatch, and access to the MDSh smoke system. This 1945 upgrade would become the new standard until after the war when it was superseded in 1946 by a new upgrade. With the close of WW2, the Chinese PLA began going about organizing their ranks and aforementioned war had made one thing very clear. Tanks were very important. Unfortunately, all the PLA had were swathes of captured Japanese armor, with a few American vehicles on the side. Not only were these tanks outdated, maintaining them would be very difficult for obvious reasons. Still desperate for tanks, the PLA would turn to their fellow communist neighbor for assistance. Over the span of five years, the Soviet Union would supply China with over 3000 vehicles, over 1800 of those being T-34-85s. While the numbers of this transfer are well known and documented, what variants of T-34-85 the Soviet Union sent over are less so, however, photographic evidence confirms that the T-34-85s sent were of many different variants. One of these variants was the aforementioned 1945 model. Unfortunately, it is unknown if the Chinese used the MDSh smoke system, however, there is no evidence to suggest that they didn’t.

Place In Game:

The T-34-85 tanks are very beloved by countless players and for good reason. Their good mobility combined with their decent armor and punchy gun allow the tank to hit far above their class. The T-34-85 (1945) offers another entry, with a tad bit more utility, into the beloved family, for both Russia and China. The MDSh smoke system could offer a boost to survivability, allowing you to cover your retreat. Playstyle would be nearly identical to the T-34-85s already present in-game with the only noticed difference being the two aforementioned, making it an easy vehicle to pick up and play. Best implementation would be as a tech tree vehicle, however, as the Chinese 5.7 line-up is already fairly potent, it could also be added as a low-cost squadron vehicle.

Specifications:

Armament: 85mm ZiS-S-53 cannon and 1x 7.62mm MG

Dimensions: 6.10m, 3.00m, 2.72m (L,W,H)

Weight: 32000kg

Armor: Same as T-34-85 (S-53) in-game.

Crew: 5

Ammunition: Same as T-34-85 (S-53) in-game.

Speed: 55kph

Horsepower: 500hp

Pictures

Side View:

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A T-34-85 (1945) upgraded to the “Gai” standard:

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Sources:

T-34 - Wikipedia

Type 58 and T-34-85 in Chinese Service - Tank Encyclopedia

Rise of the Dragon Battle Path – Part 2: Building the PLA | Armored Warfare - Official Website