T-34 Model 1943

T-34 Model 1943

What is commonly called the T-34 Model 1943 was the last major modification of T-34 with the 76 mm gun to be produced, with production running from the end of 1942 up into spring of 1944. While initial production resembled the Model 1942 very closely, starting from mid-1943, the Model 1943’s most distinct feature was added: the cupola.

Curtiss P 40K Warhawk 23FG75FS White 174 Hengyang China 1943 01

A mid-to-late production Model 1943. There are minor incorrect details with the restoration, with some parts taken from a T-34-85.


In terms of in-game performance, the T-34 Model 1943 would be nearly identical to the existing Model 1942. Besides minor upgrades to the tank’s performance, the addition of the cupola may actually prove to be a weakspot. The similarity of the vehicles would allow them to be comfortable at the same battle rating.



T-34 Model 1943 tanks of the David Sasunskiy Tank Regiment.


A close-up view of the turrets of the tanks.


A newly produced T-34 Model 1943.


A captured Model 1943.


Production of the familiar Hexagonal turret of the T-34 Model 1942 began in April 1942. This was a substantial improvement over the original rounded turret, providing a more ergonomic interior. However, the same troubles of the 2-man turret crew and subpar vision devices remained.

In August 1942, trials of a new transmission, idler, and cupola were conducted. After testing, only the new transmission was approved for production, while the idler and cupola underwent further testing. Additionally, various other improvements, such as new engine ventilation, a 20-mm thick roof, and new armor welding techniques, led to the creation of an overall superior tank. The mass production of this specification of tank began in December 1942, and was the new T-34 Model 1943. The weight of this tank was increased to 30 tons from the 29.8 of the Model 1942. It was probably at the same time that the box-shaped rear stowage bins were deleted from production at Factory No. 183 UTZ, although they would still be found on Factory No. 112’s late T-34 Model 1941/42 tanks.

In June 1943, production of the Hexagonal turret with the cupola was approved for production. The cupola contained five vision slits in the sides. The hatch was split into two pieces. An additional Mk. IV periscope was also added for the loader, mirroring the PTK-5 periscope for the gunner.* Production likely started first at Factory No. 183 UTZ, but quickly spread to the other 5 factories then producing the T-34. By decree, all factories should have produced T-34 Model 1943s with the cupola by September.

Despite the fact that the cupola was much needed as an addition to the T-34 to improve its battlefield functionality, it turned out to be very sub-par. The vision devices were too high up to be usable, and the two-piece hatch created all sorts of problems. Most of all, the gunner-commander which used the cupola was too busy firing the main gun to actually make use of the cupola, effectively making it useless.

At some other point along the production period, presumably in early 1944, the round fuel drums as found on the T-34-85s were also added to Model 1943 production (with the cupola). Later on, the spare tracks stored on the fenders were deleted, as on the T-34-85. T-34-85s began production in January 1944, while the Model 1943 ended technically in September, although the vast majority stopped in March. Also around this time, likely coinciding with T-34-85 production, the nose of the hull was changed from the rounded shape to the angular shape. This setup of the T-34 Model 1943 was how production was completed. This final model of T-34 Model 1943 is the variant I am suggesting.

*This was the production order. However, it was not uncommon to see twin PTK-5 periscopes or twin Mk. IV periscopes, as some of the photographic examples show.


T-34 Model 1943


4 (Driver, Bow Gunner, Commander, Loader


Length 6.07 m | Width 2.95 m | Height 2.60 m

Ground Clearance 0.40 m

Weight 30.0 t (+/- 1.0 t)


1x V-2-34 V-12 diesel engine

500 hp at 1800 rpm


Power-to-Weight 16.6 hp/t

Transmission 5 forward, 1 reverse gear

Speed 55 km/h (road), 30 km/h (cross-country)

Fuel 540 L + 180 L external | Range 300 km (road), 180 km (cross-country)

Vertical Obstacle 0.70 m

Trech-Crossing 2.50 m

Max Gradient 35%

Max Fording Depth 1.3 m

Smoke Systems



53 mm Turret Front

53 mm Turret Sides

53 mm Turret Rear

45 mm Hull Front

40-45 mm Hull Sides

40 mm Hull Rear

13 mm Floor

20 mm Roof


1x 76.2 mm F-34 (100 rounds)

Elevation +28°/-5°

Traverse 360°, 17.5°/s

1x 7.62 mm DT (Coaxial) (1890 rounds)

Elevation As Primary Armament

Traverse As Primary Armament

1x 7.62 mm DT (Hull-mounted) (1890 rounds)

Elevation +16°/-6°

Traverse +12°/-12°


Soviet Tanks in Combat 1941-1945: The T-28, T-34, T-34-85 and T-44 Medium Tanks by Steven J. Zaloga, Jim Kinnear, Andrey Aksenov & Aleksandr Koshchavtsev