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OT-34 is a Soviet Support unit in Steel Division II.

Background[]

Main article: T-34

The T-34 was one of the most influential, effective, and efficient tank designs of World War II, created by the Kharkov Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau between 1937 and 1940. Utilizing lessons learned at Lake Khasan and Khalkin Gol, when Soviet Union's T-26 and BT series tanks engaged Japanese forces, it was envisioned as a universal tank that could replace older Soviet tanks in service and finally put into production after the experiences of the Winter War in Finland highlighted the need for a new tank. Although initially unpopular, the designer's persistence and quality of the design he first envisioned in 1934, confirmed by a grueling 2000 km test ride from Kharkov to Moscow, to the Mannerheim Line in Finland, and back to Kharkov. Mikhail Koshkin, the designer, passed away of pneumonia contracted during the test, not living to see the design win the war.

It was the most advanced tank in the world at the time of its introduction, combining a powerful multipurpose tank gun with thick armor, a powerful engine with excellent maneuverability in the field, and overall mechanical reliability, all at a reasonable price tag. Although initial performance was hampered by a lack of trained crews, radios, and immature manufacturing technologies, the Soviet Union swiftly eliminated these flaws while gradually halving both the cost and production time of the tank. The first encounters with the T-34 were a shock for Nazi Germany and its allies, leading to the development of the Panther and Tiger tanks as direct counters.

Upgrades and modifications also ensured the tank remained competitive against German panzers old and new, until the end of the war, and then against the enemies of the Union for nearly two decades afterwards.

The OT-34 was a flamethrower conversion of a regular T-34 armed with the F-34 gun. Much like the Crocodile, it replaced the hull machine gun with a flamethrower, the ATO-41, but unlike its British analogue, the fuel tank was carried inside the hull.

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