48 WW2 Russian Tanks Still In Use In Europe

WW2 Russian Tanks Still In Use In Europe

Posted on August 21, 2012 by team

The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank produced from 1940 to 1958. Although its armour and armament were surpassed by later tanks of the era, it has been often credited as the most effective, efficient and influential design of World War II.

70 years have gone since WWII was over. But Soviet tanks are still respected and still serve in other 26 countries!

In Russia it can mostly be seen as a monument today (as on the photo above), but somewhere in Europe, in the Balcan countries, many of them still operate just as seen on the photos below.

Across the network:



Across the network:

48 Responses to “WW2 Russian Tanks Still In Use In Europe”

  1. justadude says:

    These are just old photos from Yugoslav Wars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_Wars). These tanks were mostly dragged out of museums and had seen very limited use through that short period of time.

    • TEM says:

      Well, back in -92 I watched a company of Croatian T-34’s, drive by our maingate, near Kostaniche in Croatia (UNPROFOR, DANCON, A-COY).
      so some of them are/were fully operational.
      They were used to bombard the Boshnian side of the river, before the Boshnian war got started.

  2. Andrew McClelland says:

    It is nice tribute to great Tank and the people who made it : )

  3. Kent of Sweden says:

    The T-34 was truly outstanding on it’s introduction. The concept of sloping armour was totally new and the 50mm guns of the german PZKWIII was totally useless against it as was the Pak-37 anti-tank gun. However the T-34 really did not reach it’s peak until the introduction of the T34-85 with it’s greatly improved turret and the introduction of radio-communication between vehicles. Any mention of the T-34 usually results in lengthy discussions on the subject of “What tank was the best during WWII” where the answer of course is different depending on your definition of “best” There were faster tanks, there were tanks with better protection (Pzkw VIB) there were better armed tanks (Pzkw V – VI JS-II). But if all things are considered, ease of production (Some german historian said “the russians built two T34’s in the time it took to grind and polish the weldings on the Pzkv V)gun, protection, mobility, ease of maintanence then the T34 will win out every time (especially the T34-85) How do you tell the T34-76 from the T34-85 then, look on top, the “Mickey Mouse-ears” (double hatches) was a feature of the enlarged turret on the -85. Gen Eisenhower once said that t WWII was won by the 3,5 ton truck and the jeep. I do not agree, I would say the T34-85, the Sturmovik and the Hawker Typhoon won the war.

    • cockatrice says:

      3.5 ton truck & jeep = Resupply
      Having your supply lines cut off trumps every other weapon.

      • vorontsevich says:

        It’s one thing to have troops fed and watered, as in keep them alive. It’s another thing to give them something to actually fight with, thus victory.

        • cockatrice says:

          Resupply is not food and water, it’s munitions, war materiel, weaponry, fuel and human replacements for the casualties. The more crap you can throw at them, the more damage you can inflict. To reduce resupply to water and food is to fail miserably at realizing what constituted the European land war and why Germany’s Blitz Kreig was doomed to failure.

          • vorontsevich says:


            “The more crap you can throw at them, the more damage you can inflict.” Now what did that more often, the T-34? Or the Jeeps? Lol.

    • D says:

      salesmen always boast about the car they sold, whether or not it was ever useful.

      • D says:

        more aptly: The driver wins the race, not his gas station.

        • cockatrice says:

          Ploesti – Removing his gas stations leaves his machine sitting beside the road and his forward motion extinguished. Try running a war on wood gas sometime.

          • vorontsevich says:

            A bunch of Soviet partisans tried to. And were pretty successful.

            And before June/July 1943 the Red Army had awful S&L unit, probably the poorest of any WWII combatant at the time. Yet for two years they took everything the Germans threw at them.

    • econobiker says:

      “Some german historian said “the russians built two T34′s in the time it took to grind and polish the weldings on the Pzkv V.

      All German tanks were too complex and non-standard to the T-34 and Sherman. That is where the USSR and USA beat the Germans- not with the best technical vehicles but the highest volume and most common technology vehicles…

  4. alessio says:

    they were used to kill civilians in ex jugoslavia later they were used to amuse the NATO for target practise

  5. Billy says:

    Most of those tanks were killed. I had no idea a tank could be taken out so easy.

    • cockatrice says:

      Tanks are sitting ducks. Tanks only stay alive by moving quickly, having active armor and air support. Your average RPG or AT4 makes quick work of these older tanks. For air support, Hellfire AGMs were built specifically to shred them.

    • dfghdgf says:

      uhhh, these where 50 year old tank taken out with modern weapons, USE YOUR HEAD!

      • cockatrice says:

        “quick work of these older tanks” English reading comprehension needed. The mentioned weaponry was designed to shred 50 year old tanks, capiche?

  6. MAC says:

    USSR made around 50,000+ plus of these tanks.

    USSR/Russia does make the best tanks, however the rest of the country starves.

    • Hans says:

      Really? Russia has grown steadily and has enormous cash reserves. It’s recovering fine without being owned the Chinese.

      It seems your russophobia blocks your vision.

  7. MAC says:

    Why do Soviets hang rubber floor mats on tanks???

    I cannot see any protection value from rubber floor mats on tanks? Can someone please explain this to Mac?

    • vorontsevich says:

      If you are referring to the second pic from the bottom, what makes you thinks its the Soviets? Lol.

      Everything hung on a tank doesn’t have protection value. Many Russian tank crew will sling lots of accessories on the outside, simply because they would be a nuisance inside the tank. Most commonly, chains. No protection value at all.

      Use your head, MAC.

    • Kent of Sweden says:

      If we skip the aircraft there are basically two different types of weapons used against tanks. Guns or rockets. Most guns use kinetic energy to penetrate the hull of the tank, meaning that the combination of speed and weight of the (usually solid) round knocks a hole in the hull and the enormous heat generated by the penetration destroys everything inside. The other type of weapon (usually hand-held or at least possible for a soldier to carry) uses a charge to do the same job. When the round (or rocket or whatever) hits the hull of the tank it slows down instantly, this in turn fires a charge inside the round (or rocket) sending a smaller solid round through the armour creating the same effect as the big heavy round from the anti-tank gun. Against these types of anti-tank weapons a second (outer) layer of protection can be effective simply by slowing the round early enough that the charge goes off to early and thus does not penetrate the armour of the vehicle. A rubber mat will most likely not do the trick however, unless substantially strengthened with steel, but a thick enough steel plate will. This was used in WWII to a large extent by german manufacturer of the Pzkw IV after they started coming up against the T34 and the KV1. The efforts in those pictures are similar to what was used by the Red army during the final battles of WWII to counter the effect of the Panzer-faust hand-held fire and descarde weapons of the Volksturm

    • CZenda says:

      Dunno, but these can be seen on the photos from the wars in former Yugoslavia quite often, also on much newer tanks. The only thing I can think of is some sort of makeshift Zimmerite.

  8. America says:

    I pity anyone who had to man one of these antiques in modern times.

    • vorontsevich says:

      Those antiques could still do damage against an infantry force, if the commander(s) know what they are doing.

      • America says:

        They will never have the chance. Modern anti-tank weaponry will utterly destroy and eviscerate them before they ever get to fire a shot. Maybe they are still effective in little backwater dictatorships where the only enemy is the people in the streets. Otherwise they belong in museums, not on battlefields. Lord help anyone who takes one of these into battle today.

        • vorontsevich says:

          Again, “if the commanders(s) know that they are doing”. But hey, you obviously know better.

          • America says:

            As i said maybe they are still effective in little backwater dictatorships where the people are the enemy, and the “commander knows what he is doing” as you say.

            • vorontsevich says:

              And they can cruise over any infantry force c(or even a light vehicle convoy) without guided weapons, provided of course, that the commanders know what they are doing.

            • vorontsevich says:

              “little backwater dictatorships where the people are the enemy”

              LOL @ that part. One of the most recent uses of the T-34 was by the Libyan rebels in Garyan. Last I heard America and the west considered the rebels to be “the people”. Lol.

          • vorontsevich says:

            If the enemy has any sort of guided weapons, then yes, these obsolete tanks are doomed.

            But not everyone can afford guided weapons (or even if they can afford, doesn’t mean they can actually produce/procure them).

            Simplest tactic to beating an unguided weapon like early RPG’s would be to just get out of the way. Its unguided so it cannot compensate. But if an RPG hits, then these T-34 are doomed. Thats why the commanders have to know that they are doing.

            • America says:

              In other words, they are obsolete. Which is what i’ve been saying.

              • Hans says:

                Any tank that is in operation for 50-60 years, must have been awesome in its time. And certainly was, for many years.

                That’s the remarkable thing, and the point of this post.

              • vorontsevich says:

                Oh really? Well, you’ve going been going about it the completely wrong way then. Ranting on about “little backwater dictatorships where the people are the enemy” indicates nothing about their age.

                • Asmodeus says:

                  If your point is supporting “little backwater dictatorships” ask the Egyptians, Chileans, Argentinians, Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, etc, etc, etc…

                  Al those Dictator Thugs -and much more- were supported (and armed to the teeth) by American Taxes. Like the USSR, the US Gov has nothing to lecture on this.

                  Check your purse more frequently.

  9. Jordan says:

    MAC: The rubber reminds them of their wall carpet at home. ;)

    PS: There are so many pictures of rusting steel structures in Russia on these sites. Is there no scrap industry in Russia? Around here, all that stuff would get hauled to the scrappers and exchanged for money!

  10. STress says:

    The newest pic from above is at least 17 years old. Second, most of them are not T-34 at all – tanks pictured on most of the pics are Yugoslav T-55, newer and way more improved version of T-34. Balcan countries today operate M-84 or Degman tanks.

    • NoClue says:

      There are NO T-55’s in the above pictures. Balkan states also hardly operate any tanks at all these days due to lack of funding.

  11. 3K says:

    One of them, produced in 1944, is in CSWL in Poznan, Poland. It’s still working :)

  12. javox says:

    ey none armed argentina….army just had tanks which were built in argentina, same as many guns, of course back in the 70s they didnt need that much neither, just a bunchs of falcons and a place for torture ppl….

  13. Osbad says:

    Looks like some may still be in service in Somaliland, and just possibly North Korea: http://historygeek.co.nz/2012/05/19/last-of-the-t-34s/

  14. Croaton says:

    Most of this are from Yugoslav wars, primly from Serbo-Croatian conflict.
    The first tank with the skull and bones insignia is from the paramilitary of Serbia Chetniks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chetniks) they did a lot of atrocities in Croatia and Bosnia.
    This tanks were used as support to really bad equipped Croatian forces but most of the tanks used in the war were not old 34 but modified T-55 Yugoslavia made and some T-34-85 again modified for modern fighting. And as someone said, good commander can do miracles with bad equipment, bad commander is still bad commander even if he has a state of the art equipment… ;)

    I was a kid during the war, but i can remember lot of the guys using extremely old weapons , home made weapons… There are stories that some of them used muskets…:S

    that war was a real mess … and to think it was in middle of the Europe…

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