SUCCESSORS By the spring of 1943 in the fighting at the front emerged a qualitative leap in improving the combat capability of the German armored vehicles. There are new tanks Pz.Kpfw.VI “Tiger” with the 88-mm gun and a PZ.Kpfw.V “Panther”, which had 75-mm gun. For tanks T-34 and KV-1 to the red Army’s main opponents on the field of battle were T-IV with short-barreled 75-mm gun. 80-mm frontal armor easily able to get our armor-piercing shells.

However, the new German cars were superior to them in power of weapons and thick armor. Our tankers had to go into dangerous proximity with them, leaving the effective range of fire at a distance of only 500 -600 m. while the “tigers” and “Panthers” were firing from 1500 m. Especially, this situation has emerged in opposition to armored units in the fields of the battle of Kursk. Our tanks lost combat advantage.
Therefore, the command has raised the question about the need for a significant increase in the combat capability of our machines. It was decided, in particular, to further modernize tanks T-34. In August 1943 the people’s Commissar for tank industry V. A. Malyshev set the task: “you want to immediately install the tank more powerful gun”, significantly increasing his armor.
Before the war the design Bureau (Department 520) machine-building plant in Kharkov (then a factory license No. 183) began designing a new tank, or rather, his options 57-mm, 76-mm and 107-mm guns. The work continued after the evacuation in Nizhny Tagil in the Ural tank plant No. 183.
A new medium tank was created in 1943, so the name remained T-43. Designers during its development laid the higher requirements that they tried to bring in upgraded, and then improved T-34. It was necessary to strengthen the armor around the hull and turret, suspension and chassis, to increase the volume of the fighting compartment for the production of more powerful weapons. Of course, this is based on the scientific and engineering groundwork you created when you created the T-34M. Taking into account the mandatory unification of the units, mechanisms and parts with mass-produced machine. As a result, managed to achieve 78% unification.
The T-43
Pre-production prototype of the T-44
Pre-production prototype of the T-44
Experienced T-44-100 with a gun D-10T caliber 100 mm; on the sides of the suspended protective screens
Experienced T-44-100 with a gun D-10T caliber 100 mm; on the sides of the suspended protective screens
The tower of the T-44 is elongated with a stern niche. Visible mask powerful 85-mm gun D-5T, under the tower - observation instrument MK-4 driver
Tower of the T-44 is elongated with a stern niche. Visible mask powerful 85-mm gun D-5T, under the tower – observation instrument MK-4 driver
The roof of the tower. On the right are the commander's cupola, in front of her - armor protective ring input antenna, left side-cover release of the crew, among them is a armor cap of the ventilation hatch. In the front of the roof hatches periscope sights of the commander and loader
The roof of the tower. On the right are the commander’s cupola, in front of her – armor protective ring input antenna, left side-cover release of the crew, among them is a armor cap of the ventilation hatch. In the front of the roof hatches periscope sights of the commander and loader
As a result, the tank got a case with a 75-mm armor plates in the front and 60mm in the rear part and sides. The cast armor of the tower increased to 90 mm, on its roof to provide the circular review commander set commander’s cupola. Working place of the driver moved to the right side together with observation hatch, and left in an armored “box” placed fuel tank on 500 l, eliminating eight other side, although the reserve has decreased by 100 km.
Replaced the suspension, for the first time on a medium tank by putting a torsion bar instead of candlestick and the vertical springs, as it was on the T-34, more compact, providing greater freedom of action to the crew in the fighting compartment.
The engine remained the same as at T-34 – 500-strong diesel V-2-34 V-shaped 12-cylinder.
Also gun is the 76 mm f-34M with a barrel length of 41.6 caliber and ammunition with a projectile 82.
In the summer of 1943 two experimental T-43 was sent to the front to test itself in a combat situation in the “special tank company No. 100”. They are from 19 August to 5 September, he participated in the fighting, receiving more than a dozen hits by German shells, but did not get any punctures. The tests revealed only a slight deterioration of the dynamic characteristics, in particular, motility and patency, rising to 34.1 tons of weight machines.
15 July 1943 medium tank T-43 was adopted by the red Army.
After some time there was a project of the upgraded T-43, which was planned to place a tower already with a 1600-mm ring, caterpillar cycloid gear, more powerful weapons.
By this time it was designed by 85-mm gun for installation on medium tanks. In particular, the highest efficiency was shown by 85-mm anti-aircraft gun 52K sample 1939 Her shells failed in field tests to hit the armor of the German Tiger, with a thickness of 100 mm with distance of 1000 m. On the basis of this gun and set up a new tank. But when I decided to put it on the T-43, it was found that he “did not have such reserve increase in combat weight” due to further increase the specific pressure on the soil, and thus reduce combat effectiveness. The weight of the tank was the ultimate.
New 85-mm gun put on the T-34 – now the index of the tank was the T-34-85.
Experience creating T-34 and T-43, the technological improvements that allowed the team of design Bureau of plant No. 183 under the leadership of A. Morozov to proceed immediately to develop a qualitatively new tank sample. In November 1943 the people’s Commissar for tank industry V. A. Malyshev was presented a wooden mock-up tank under the factory index “object 136” and clarified its stated performance characteristics.
The project has taken control of the State Defense Committee, while specifying extremely tight deadline — 10 January next year, the prototypes had to be submitted to the factory test.
The first samples of “object 136” was created several welded from rolled armor plates with high hardness: two front upper and lower, two aft – upper and lower, side, roof and bottom. Head-sheets had a thickness of 75 mm, the upper it was installed at an angle of 60°.
Holes in the armored mask, in addition to guns, mounted machine gun and telescopic sight. A ball bearing exchange machine gun was removed, the sheet is here stirred up, leaving only a hole under it and a small observation slit for the driver – the front sheet has become more monolithic. Workplace radio operator-gunner, who was right front, eliminated. Here moved of the recesses of the engine compartment four batteries weighing 60 kg each, securing to them for the maintenance of free access; they were fenced off armor plate. The station was moved to the tower.
The side of the tank, vertical armor plates with a thickness of 45 mm; the cut of their front varibales brackets idler wheels, and the aft – side of Carter’s gear.
The bottom of the tank consisted of three sections with a thickness of 15 mm, seam welded butt joint. It had a trough-shaped form with an extra punch, both longitudinal and transversal – to enhance the rigidity of the structure. It had cutouts for the supports of the rocker rollers and the torsion shaft, escape hatch, access hatches to the engine and clutch pulls, holes for the maintenance of units and mechanisms.
The roof also with the thickness of 15 mm is welded together from three parts. In the front – sheet on the turret on the left was the driver’s hatch cover on a ball support, in the middle of the neck under the turret.
The tower above the engine compartment was removable roof sheet of the engine compartment with hatches providing access to the fuel pump and filter, ducts, air cleaners, fuel hatch average fuel tanks. Transmission compartment was covered by folding shutters with a metal grid.
Cast turret T-44 (“object 136”) differed extended aft niche. Its frontal part has a thickness 115 mm depth – 90 mm, roof sheets is 15 mm.
The tower in the front were cut outs for mounting weapons: under the gun, coaxial machine gun, and for a telescopic sight. On the roof of the left housed a commander’s cupola on the right was the boarding hatch of the crew, in between the armor cap ventilation hatch. In addition, it was mounted periscope observation devices commander and loader. In the sides were embrasures for firing of personal weapons.
1 – 85-mm gun S-53; 2 – recess in the turret for firing personal weapons; 3 – commander’s cupola; 4 – bracket; 5 – driving wheel; 6 – support roller; 7 – sloth; 8 – box ZIP; 9 – periscopic devices of the loader and commander; 10 – hatch of exit of the crew; 11 – armored fan cover; 12 – the inlet louvers of the engine compartment; 13 – antenna input; 14 – driver’s hatch; 15 – rear mud flap; 16 – track chain; 17 – front splash shield; 18 – the mask of the gun; 19 – viewing device of the driver; 20 – observation slit of the driver

The tower is mounted on ball-angular contact support on the fighting compartment.
The engine on the tank put diesel: 12-cylinder /-shaped In-2-IP with a liquid cooling system with a volume of 38.8 l, compression ratio -14 – 15. Its nominal capacity was 450 HP at 1750 rpm, maintenance – 400 HP at 1700 rpm, maximum 500 HP at 1800 rpm.
Engine mounting led to a completely new layout of the case. The fact that the first serial tank it was posted not along motorostroitelnoe office, and across, connecting with a transmission arranged in parallel, new improve gear “guitar” reducing effort in the main clutch. Novinka – excluding conical couple to have fulfilled a five-speed box is more compact, to improve the management of onboard friction clutches and brakes. Across put the radiator of the cooling system; the air cleaner was moved to the starboard side, fan – aft, in its place appeared a compact flywheel. All this gave the opportunity to build a lower rigid sub frame, lowering the body, simultaneously reducing the weight.
Then shifted to the stern of the tower itself, placing it closer to the center of the body, improved the alignment of the machine, reducing the possibility of angular oscillations that affect accuracy. The dimensions of the fighting compartment has been increased. In addition, the cleared part of the roof ahead, where immediately moved the driver’s hatch; this, in turn, allowed more solid to make a front plate.
The power of the engine was conducted from the fuel tank located in the compartments, the bulkhead of the engine compartment; the total volume of 420 L.
Note that originally In-2-IP was developed for use in aviation – heavy bombers, and then moved to tanks.
Suspension differed from the T-34-she was a torsion type and the much improved running and the performance of the machine. On each Board were mounted in 5 dual road wheels with external rubber tires. Idlers were at the front, drive wheels with Grebnev gear in the back.
The arms of the T-44 was from a gun D-5T and a 7.62-mm machine gun DT, which is located next to the common mask. In addition, secured fixedly a machine gun course at the top front of the compartment to the right of the driver; he had to fire, watching through the viewing device by tracer bullets.
85-mm gun D-5T was, in fact, improved anti-aircraft gun 52-K She had a barrel length of
51,6 caliber and rate of fire 5 -8 RDS./min. the Shooting could be a unitary shots with armor-piercing shells and shrapnel. So, armor-piercing tracer projectile BR-365 with a ballistic tip was a mass of 9.2 kg warhead to
2.6 kg; at a distance of 500 m he could normal punch penetrates an armor thickness of 111 mm at 1000 m – 102-millimeter, and standing at an angle of 30° – up to 88 mm. the Other, armor-piercing BR-365П a mass of 5.0 kg and a warhead of up to 2.85 kg with 500 m past normal armor of 140 mm. there was also a fragmentation projectile Of-365 by weight of 9.54 kg with a charge of 2.6 kg. Their initial velocity 785 m/s – fragmentation and 1050 m/s -piercing.
Shots and shells for tank gun D-5T caliber 85-mm
Shots and shells for tank gun D-5T caliber 85 mm:
Tank T-44 in Budapest. The events in Hungary, 1956
Tank T-44 in Budapest. The events in Hungary, 1956
1 – shot UBR-365П with sub-caliber armor-piercing projectile BR-365П; 2 – shot UBR-365 with the “slow-witted” projectile BR-365 with a ballistic tip; 3 – shot UBR-365К with “sharp head” shell BR-365К; 4 – shot UO-365К with high-explosive fragmentation projectile OF-365К

If T-34 tank ammunition was placed mainly on the floor of the fighting compartment on the T-44 it was posted – otherwise. The shots were speculated in the turret and chassis -there were 58. So, on the right side of the turret were 2 of them in her niche – 16; in the right forward part of the established 30 shots on the right and left sides – another 5.
The tower housed three crew members. Right from the gun was charging, left the gun commander, the commander of the machine.
The application gun D-5T was forced due to the lack of still tank guns of large caliber, and more powerful 122-mm self-propelled was impossible to use because of their size.
The tank made a full modernization of fire control. Set push-button electric trigger guns and machine guns, introduced a joint management of motor and manual drives of rotation of the tower from a single handle. But, more importantly, put comfortable “breaking the gun”; the eyepiece was fixed, and the lens followed the gun barrel by a hinge on one axis with the axles of the gun.
Overview members of the crew of the T-44 was provided by the monitoring devices available to each of them. The driver used a periscope device MK-4 with a viewing angle of 116°, which is housed in the manhole cover, the side viewing device in the left side and crack in windshield broneliste. The tower was a periscopic MK-4 allows you to review in the range of 150°, one of the commander’s MK-4 with 220° of the review was on the left side.
The tank installed the radio 9P with the whip antenna on the roof of the tower, introduced to the crew intercom TPU-SBIS-F.
Prototypes of a medium tank T-44 was made in 1944 And the designers brought three cars: No. 1 with 85-mm gun D-5T with shoulder strap under the tower 1700 mm, № 2 – D-5T, but with the shoulder strap 1600 mm, and No. 3, which had a 125-mm gun D-25-44 and the turret 1700 mm.
Sample No. 1 was tested in January. On the first way – found out that the chassis and drivetrain has been more enduring than the T-34, the machine is easier to manage. The distance of 1100 km was overcome without any complaints. Hereinafter the firing of captured artillery pieces – showed that the armor-piercing shells for 88-mm and 75-mm tank guns of the Wehrmacht could not penetrate the frontal hull plates and the forehead of the tower from a distance of 700 m, and even 75-mm projectiles anti-tank gun Pak-40. However, the 45-mm armor plates of the sides were amazed with such systems in the range of 600 – 900 m. the Acceptance Commission demanded armor up to 90 mm.
In February 1944 it was the turn of test samples No. 2 and No. 3. They had a more powerful 520-horsepower engine. 122-mm gun caused complications due to long – in a meter of the unitary shot, which caused difficulties in loading the gun, and it was replaced by 85 mm. Other significant comments were made.
“Reference” sample car T-44A made by August. The tests and were so successful that mass production began to develop even before taking the machine into service.
The state Defence Committee the decision was signed on 18 July 1944; the decree obliges the plant to organize serial production of 300 units per month.
Officially medium tank T-44 was accepted into service with the red Army on 23 November 1944.
However, the creators of the tank continued its tests at the Kubinka polygon and Uralvagonzavod. According to their results, there have been a number of changes. So, reinforced the forehead of the tower to 120 mm, the viewing device of the driver was moved to a front plate, he mounted the usual hatch in the roof of the enclosure.
Changed the diesel engine In-44, 12-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 500 HP, which has also undergone a complex rearrangement of its units because of the need to reduce overall height: she fell to 921 mm.
Have replaced the gun D-5T, putting instead of the 85 mm S-53 more power: it had a barrel length equal to 54.6 caliber, rate of fire 5-6 RDS./mines and direct fire range is 1140 meters armor-piercing shell BR-367П weight of 5.35 kg and an initial velocity of 1024 m/s and could penetrate armor at a distance of 500 m thickness 140 mm, in contact along the normal, at 1000 m – 118 mm Instead of 7.62 mm machine-guns put the upgraded DTM of the same caliber.
Shell BR-365К – piercing, mass – 9,36 kg, initial velocity of -800 m/s.
Shell BR-365П – armor-piercing, mass – 4,99 kg, initial velocity – 1024 m/s.
Until January 1945 the plant was able to produce only 25 such cars T-55B “gross” series, until the end of the same year, another 880 and just before the completion of release at the end of 1946, 1823 units. The slow pace was due to the simultaneous release in the country of tanks T-34-85, is-2 is the main tank of the army.
In addition, from 1946 began the production of more powerful tank T-54.
In parallel with the serial production of the T-44A still continued its modernization. First tried to strengthen his military power. The previous attempt to put on the car a 122-mm gun failed. In the summer of 1945 after conducting experimental works at factory No. 183 in one of the tanks mounted 100 mm gun D-10T, developed at the Ural artillery development Bureau F. Petrov. The tank received the designation T-44-100.
Gun D-10 has already been installed on the famous ACS-100, is well proven in the fighting. When the barrel length of 53.5 calibres and the initial velocity armor-piercing projectile 897 m/s, the range of direct shot was 1000 m, which allowed to open fire on the armored vehicles from a distance.
Armor protection of the T-44
Armor protection of the T-44
Tanks T-34 and T-44. Front view
Tanks T-34 and T-44. Front view
Comparison of the T-34-85 and T-44
Comparison of the T-34-85 and T-44
However, it turned out that the car is too swings in the shot, too knocking down the route guidance; normally to balance the gun in the axles failed. At the same time on the tank I wanted to mount the stabilizer arms. Although the mechanism and managed to place in a standard tower, but the actions of the crew in this case was too difficult because of lack of space.
Then on experienced T-44-100 tried to install a 100-mm tank gun LB-1 (“Beria”), created by the Gorky factory No. 92 of them. Stalin. At almost the same characteristics it had a direct fire range armor-piercing projectile is 1200 m and the best accuracy.
At the same time added the arms, placing the roof hatch loader, 12.7-mm DShK. Chassis and the side of the tank to protect against heat projectiles covered hinged 6 mm screens.
The weight of the car when it exceeded the “benchmark”, amounting to 34 tonnes, down from 31.8 per t production of T-44. Tank length with gun forward has increased by almost a meter and was now equal to 8570 mm instead of 7650 mm.
Thus, none of the T-44-100 to state tests were not admitted.
The order about the termination of production of the medium tank T-44A dated 26 October 1945 But even a half dozen years after that machines are not left alone, determined to bring them to a level commensurate with that time. So, installed new engine V-54, which appeared to be a further development of previously operated In-2. It was diesel 12-cylinder, four-stroke liquid cooling capacity of 520 HP at 2000 rpm./min. suspension was replaced steering clutches on a two-stage planetary mechanisms of rotation, put the drive wheels and caterpillars of cycloid gear is ridge, stamped road wheels. Ammunition could increase to 61 shots. The driver put the night vision device TVN-2. Replaced the radio station R-9 to R-113 – better and larger range. Now the tank received the designation T-44M.
In 1963 on the basis of the linear of the machine made command tank T-44МК with two radio -R-112 and R-113; a machine gun course were removed, the ammunition was lowered to 15 shots. Finally, in 1966, on a small part of the machine – now with the T-44C – set two-plane stabilizer arms.
Medium tank T-44 military experts think “tank-the revolution”. Although many of the technical solutions applied on it, already tested on other, earlier types, the combined use of them has led to a significant leap forward in the domestic tank.

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