Eastern Block Armor

KV-1 Heavy Tank

     Introduced in 1940, the KV-1 was armed with a 76.2mm gun and three machine guns.  With up to 100mm of armor and a top speed of 22mph, the vehicle effectively served throughout World War II.

T-34 Medium Tanks

     The T-34 is often regarded as the best tank of World War II, but this is debateable.  Introduced in 1940, the German invaders were surprised at the effectiveness and numbers of the vehicle, with over 1,200 in service at the time of the attack.  In addition to two machine guns, the tank was originally armed with the 76.2mm gun, it was later up-gunned to an 85mm gun.  The combination of the powerful gun and sloped armor made the T-34 an impressive vehicle.  Compared to German tanks, however, the T-34 was lacking in fire control, radios, and turret design.  When the Sherman became available to the Soviets, they used them in their elite tank units - not the T-34.  The Germans decided against directly copying the T-34 and produced the Panther instead, incorporating sloped armor and a good main gun.  

IS-3 Joseph Stalin Heavy Tank

     Development of the Joseph Stalin series began in 1942 to replace the KV series and as a response to German heavy tank development, and tanks were introduced the next year.  Originally armed with the 85mm gun, later models used a 122 mm gun and two machine guns.

Right: T-54/55

     Introduced in 1947, 72,000 T-54/55 vehicles were produced in communist countries.  Armed with a 100mm gun and with a speed of 31 mph, the tank was respectable in its day but was very much obsolete by the 1991 Gulf War.  


     The follow-on to the T-54/55, the T-62 was introduced in 1963 and was armed with a 115 mm gun.  Over 23,000 were produced.

WW II Anti-tank Gun

      Vitally important in World War II were anti-tank guns, which protected infantry from armored attack.  Large concentrations of guns like these were difficult for the Germans to deal with.  This model is unusually large and I believe is a 122 mm gun.


The T-72 was widely feared by the West in the 1980s, but the 1991 Gulf War showed it to be hopelessly outclasses by the M-1 and other Western vehicles.


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