The miracle of the XX century
Having analyzed the outcome of the XX century, experts from different countries acknowledged that the Soviet Т-34 medium tank had been a masterpiece of the world’s tank building.
Т-34 was created in the late 1930s and was in use in the armed forces of the USSR and Russia from June 1940 to September 1997. It became one of the most massively used tanks in the world and was in use in the armies of 46 countries. It was successfully applied across all time zones and latitudes from the polar region to South Africa.
In 1942 the 1st Degree Stalin Prize was awarded to M.I. Koshkin (posthumously), A.A. Morozov and N.A. Kucherenko for the creation of T-34 tank. But were they the only ones who made Т-34 the legend of the ХХ century?..
The role of Т-34 in the battlefields of WWII is indisputable. It is known that in 1941, on the third day of the war with the Soviet Union, the German Chancellor received reports on the two captured tanks: KV heavy tank and Т-34 medium tank. Hitler was shocked: no one in the leadership of the Third Reich had ever known anything about these weapons. “If I knew that the Russians had such tanks, I would probably not have started this war”, – said the Fuhrer to his generals. In August 1941 Adolph Hitler ordered the 2nd Tank Group of General Heinz Guderian that was already only 300 kilometers from Moscow to make a turn to Kharkov in order to destroy the factory that produced T-34 tanks. By the summer of 1943 Т-V Panther became Wehrmacht’s main battle tank. The form of its armored body and turrets were in fact patterned after those of Т-34.
Summing up the results of the WWII in 1945, Winston Churchill said that there had been three best weapons in the WWII: a British cannon, German Messerschmitt aircraft and Soviet T-34 tank. He knew who had made the first two weapons, but he admitted to knowing nothing about the authors of the third miracle.
This issue had been and is still of interest to many people. The well-known book “Incredible Cross-Sections” written by Stephen Biesty and published in London, New York, Sydney, New Delhi, Paris, Munich, Moscow and Johannesburg tells about the greatest inventions in the history of mankind. There are only 18 such inventions. T-34 is one of them!
After the WWII Т-34 acquired another “specialty”. It became the most widespread monument to military valiance. There is one exciting fact about it. As shown by TV broadcasts, having stood on pedestals for more than six decades T-34 can still be easily bounced off and driven.
T-34 History Museum gives a detailed account of these and many other unique facts.