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T-43 Medium tank

The T-43 Medium tank was developed in order to enhance the operational capabilities, protection and ease of production in comparison with the T-34 tank building on the developments elaborated when designing the T-34M in 1941. In the same summer, the first series of tanks was launched in the amount of 3 vehicles, however, production was stopped. Work on the refinement and modernization of the tank were also curtailed. The whole reason was the priority of production (of course, on the orders of Comrade Stalin) of the serial reinforced T-34/85 tank. A prototype vehicle was manufactured and subjected to trials. After the Battle of Kursk, Soviet planners realized that what was needed was a more effective gun rather than heavier armor. The T-43 was never accepted for service.

By the middle of the war, it was clear that the Red Army needed a new medium tank. Designing such a tank, called the T-43, was completed by June 1943. The main requirement of the military, to provide maximum protection with a minimum increase in mass, was met. The body, which inherited the configuration of the T-34, already had a circular 75mm armor. The thickness of the frontal part of the turret, in which the 76.2 mm F-34 tank gun was installed, was brought up to 90 mm (against 45 mm for the T-34).

Therefore, in order to provide the crew with the necessary interior space, the designers used a torsion bar suspension that is more compact than a candlestick with vertical springs, like on BT and T-34 tanks. Surpassing the T-34 in terms of armor and not inferior in armament to a heavy KV-1 and KV-1s tank, the medium T-43 tank, however, approached heavy tanks in terms of specific ground pressure, which adversely affected the maneuverability and power reserve. But worst of all was the fact that its design came out to be marginal, precluding further modernization.

The T-43 tank was created using parts of the T-34 tank design. The design of the tank was designed and created by the design office of the plant number 183 in 1942. The hull of the tank was completely redone, so that all the mechanisms and components were compactly replaced. This allowed to significantly increase the security of the machine in the form of 75-mm frontal armor and 60-mm side and aft armor. Recall that the standard T-34/76 thickness of armor was only 45 mm. On the battlefield, the armor of the T-43 tank significantly increased the chances of survivability. It is worth noting that in the summer of 1942, the T-34/76 tank was tested for shelling from German guns. The result of the test was as follows: tank armor is permeable to German anti-tank guns at all angles and all distances. Interesting fact that the experimental T-43 tanks passed combat tests from August 19 to September 5, 1943 in a special tank company number 100. These machines received from 1 to 11 hits from anti-German guns and tank armor was not pierced. Soviet tank crews had not lost a single experimental tank.

When designing the new tank, the mandatory requirement of the military was the preservation of all the mechanisms and components of the already produced T-34 tank. This requirement was a double-edged sword: on the one hand, the T-43 tank inherited several not-so-good solutions that remained from the T-34, and on the other hand, the T-43 tank could be put into mass production much faster. For example: the length of the engine compartment of the T-43 did not decrease, as a result, the combat compartment had to be reduced, which the tank crews didnt like very much. To provide the necessary internal space for the crew, this was partially offset by installing a torsion bar suspension on the tank, which was more compact.

A significant disadvantage of the T-43 tank was its increased pressure on the ground, due to the large weight. According to the classification, the tank was approaching heavy tanks. Unlike the T-34, the T-43 tank had a poorer maneuverability and reduced power reserve. Soviet experts noted the extreme design of the tank, which completely ruled out further modernization of the machine.

The T-34's biggest drawback was the ineffectiveness of its 76.2mm gun against the frontal armour of the new German Tiger and Panther tanks. The T-43 turret was adapted to mount a more effective 85mm gun, and to fit on the T-34 tank hull. The T-43 project was cancelled, and the new T-34-85 was put into production instead. After the T-34 tank was equipped with an effective 85-mm cannon, the T-43 tank was instantly forgotten. The turret from the T-43 was then used on the T-34/85 with slight modifications, so the experience of working on it was not in vain.

In 1943, a test run was carried out on the T-43 tank. The machine passed more than 3000 kilometers. The test results clearly showed that the torsion bar suspension was much better in quality and reliability than the Christie suspension. Subsequently, the torsion bar suspension was implemented on the T-44 tank. The test run of the T-43 over 3,000km. clearly demonstrated the correctness of the choice for a medium tank torsion suspension and the futility of a phased change in the traditional layout. It became clear that a fundamentally different machine was needed. It this that Morozov KB began to design in.

T-43 Medium tank - Specifications

General Information
ClassificationMedium tank
Combat weight34.1 tons
Crew4 persons
Years of production1942-1943
Number released3 pieces
Body Length6900 mm
Length with gun forward8100 mm
Body Width3000 mm
Height2580 mm
Clearance450 mm
Hull Forehead75 mm
Hull60 mm
Body Feed60 mm
Bottom20 mm
Roof of the hull 30 mm
Caliber and brand of the gun76 mm F-34 M
Type of the cannonADVERP
Barrel Length41.6 caliber
Gun Ammunition82
SightsTelescopic OP-1
Machine Guns1 7.62mm DT
Engine TypeB-2-34: V-shaped 12-cylinder diesel liquid-cooled direct injection
Engine Power500 hp
Speed on the highway51 km/h
Speed on terrain25 km/h
power Reserve on highway280 km
power Reserve in the crossed terrain 240 km
Type of suspensionindividual torsion
The wall to be Overcome is 0.75 m
Overcome Moat2.5 m
Overcome Ford1.3 m

T-43 Medium tank - Pictures

T-43 Medium tank T-43 Medium tank T-43 Medium tank T-43 Medium tank T-43 Medium tank T-43 Medium tank T-43 Medium tank T-43 Medium tank T-43 Medium tank T-43 Medium tank

T-43 Medium tank

T-43 Medium tank

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Page last modified: 10-04-2019 10:17:08 ZULU