T-34 Medium Tank
Mikhail Baryatinskiy

This book is the latest in a series of four books, written by Baryatinskiy. Once again the author succeeds to write a pleasant and interesting book.

The first chapter describes the development of the T-34 tank via the test tanks, such A 20 and A 30, to the final production T-34. In the first part of the chapter the reader is informed about the big problems the Soviets had during the development of the T-34 tank. Beside problems with manufacturing methods there were also problems with the cooperation between the personnel dedicated to the project.
The next two chapters illustrates the production of the T-34 tank. The different factories that manufactured the T-34 tanks are well described. Also the T-34 tank itself is portrayed in a detailed way and the reader gets a good insight how the tank was constructed. The first tanks were delivered during the autumn of 1940 but the training did not start until the spring of 1941. The reorganization of the Soviet armored troops that was done 1939 to 1940 had a major negative impact on the quality of the tank crew training.

The next chapter is about the different versions of the T-34 tank like the flame throwing tank TO-34, the command and control tank as well as the bridge laying tank.
The final chapter describes the baptism of fire for the T-34 tank which became somewhat like an anti climax for the Soviets. The lack of trained tank crews, the lack of spare parts as well as recovery vehicles decreased the combat effectiveness for the Soviet tank corps. But later on during the war the Soviets were able to overcome these problems and they became a potent enemy for the Germans.

The book is well worth reading and gives a good insight in one of the Second World war´s most famous tanks. Like the second book in the series this book is a must for the hobby modeler but it is equally good as a general reference.

(Reviewed by Mats D.)
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

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