Haynes Publishing is venturing into new territory this month by adding the first-ever Russian tank manual to its growing line-up of military titles.
Exploring the iconic armoured vehicle from the Soviet era, the Haynes T-34 Tank Manual tells the story of unquestionably the most advanced medium tank in the world when it first rolled into action in 1940.
Its sloping armour, wide tracks and heavy gun provided the Red Army with a weapon of huge potential, such that when it was encountered by the Germans in Russia in the summer of 1941 it generated a massive technological shock that influenced all their future tank development.
Lifting the hatch on the T-34 in the manual, author Mark Healy describes the design, construction, operation and combat history of this ground-breaking armoured fighting vehicle, supported by more than 200 photographs and illustrations.
Talking about the history of the T-34, Mark commented: “Built in vast numbers, the T-34 became the mainstay of the Soviet tank formations and a primary weapon in helping to secure the defeat of Nazi Germany four years later.
“Most of the T-34s in service with the Red Army were lost following the German invasion in June 1941, but its revolutionary design profoundly affected the course of the war. Its 76mm main armament was formidable in 1941, but the appearance of more heavily armed German tank designs in mid-1943 prompted the development of a new turret equipped with a longer 85mm gun. This kept the T-34 effective to the end of the war in Europe and for many years later.”
Post-1945, the T-34 became a primary Soviet military export to allies and client states during the early Cold War. It saw combat in Korea, the Middle East and wars in Africa, and even through to Vietnam.
Mark added: “The T-34’s longevity has been such that a few remain and have been seen in action in news reports from Yemeni and Syrian civil wars taking place today.”
About the author
Mark Healy is the author of Midway 1942, The Tiger Tank Story and Zitadelle: The German Offensive against the Kursk Salient 14-17 July 1943. He also produced the best-selling video series Die Deutschen Panzer.
As well as writing titles for Haynes, Mark also writes the 'Armour in Theatre' series for Guideline Publishers. He lives in Dorset.
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