When the first T-34-85’s appeared, they were given to the best units, the elite Red Guards battalions. However, they were in training during December 1943, so it is uncertain whether they saw action before January or February 1944. By then, around 400 had already been delivered to front-line units and instantly became popular with the crews.
They gradually replaced the T-34/76 and in mid-1944 the T-34-85 outnumbered the older versions. By then they formed the bulk of the tank units on the eve of Operation Bagration, the Soviet response to the Allied landings in Normandy, and the biggest offensive ever planned by the Red Army to date. This was the final push, aimed at Berlin.
Although the T-34 production was stopped after the war ended, they were reactivated in 1947 in the context of growing international tensions in Europe. Perhaps 9,000 more T-34-85s were delivered around the clock until 1950 and another batch until 1958. When it was clear that the type was obsolete and already being replaced by the T-54/55, the production run ended for good, having turned up no less than 48,950 units.
This formidable reservoir of cheap tanks was then put at the disposal of the allies and satellites of the USSR, namely all the countries which had signed the pact of Warsaw. Because of its small price and the many parts available, these tanks formed the backbone of many allied countries’ armed forces. The list of users of this model is quite impressive. 52 countries, including the Finnish and German forces, all USSR client states (the last seen in action were in Bosnia in 1994), Cuba (many were sent to Africa to support popular uprisings in Angola and elsewhere) and subsequently many African countries also adopted it. During the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese were equipped with many Chinese Type 58 tanks, but these were only engaged in the Têt Offensive and many late actions. Some were still used as late as 1997 (in 27 countries), a testimony of the longevity of the model.
A 3D Printed Board Game Miniature Piece for a variety of board games, such as;
- Axis and Allies
- Conflict and Chaos: Vietnam 1965
Approximate Dimensions: 10 mm wide x 20 mm long x 9 mm height
Approximate Weight: 1 gram
Color: Red Brown