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T-34/85 obr. 1943 Oskin is a Soviet Tank ace in Steel Division II, available to the 97-ya Gvard. Strelkovy.

Background[]

Aleksandr Oskin was born on April 8, 1920, in Maloye Korovino near Zakharov, Ryazan Oblast. He moved with his parents to Moscow in 1932, graduating the ten class elementary school in 1937, and the Moscow Financial-Economic Technical School in 1939, beginning work as a tax inspector in the capital city.

His military career started in October 1940, with the 20 year old Oskin placed in training as a tankman. He graduated regimental school just in time to participate in the brutal early months of the Eastern Front, fighting as a T-26 tank commander at Smoleńsk and the battle of Moscow. Heavily wounded in October of 1941, he left hospital in January 1942 at his own behest to join another armored unit. He served as a radio operator and gunner of a T-34/76 of the 163rd Armored Brigade, eventually transferring to the 56th Armored Brigade and participating in the valiant defense of Stalingrad. This chapter of his career came to a close when he was hospitalized again after suffering heavy wounds during a German air strike in late October 1942.

After recovering, he underwent training at the tank school in Poltava, qualifying as tank commander of the newest T-34/85 models. He finally returned to the frontline in January 1944, commanding a tank of his own once more as part of the 5th Independent Training Tank Regiment of the 1st Baltic Front, before transferring to the 53rd Guards Tank Brigade of the 1st Ukrainian Front in June. His greatest achievement came during this time: While the battle of Sandomierz Bridgehead raged, Oskin and his tank were dispatched alongside a platoon of infantry to recon the village of Oględów. Detecting an advancing enemy armored column, Oskin decided to lay a trap, positioning his tank in the field surrounding the village, where the mature crops gave it perfect cover.

The advancing columns consisted of the newest Nazi tanks, Tiger IIs straight from the factory. Although outmatched on paper, Oskin took his chances. Firing from less than 200 meters at exposed flanks, he took out three Tiger IIs and disabled a fourth, forcing the column to retreat and abandon their new tanks. Their capture gave the Soviet Union a tremendous amount of intel on the capabilities of the new enemy weapon - and Oskin the highest military honor the Union could bestow, the Golden Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union.

Oskin survived the war (and seven tanks) and continued his military career, suffering a concussion in 1945 that forced him to terminate his first attempt at continuing his education. He served for years at the machine park of the Tank Forces Military Academy, eventually achieving the rank of foreign tank company commander and qualifying on all domestic and several foreign tanks. He graduated the Leningrad Higher Officer Tank School in 1952, becoming the chief of staff training at the machine park, until he graduated the Military Academy in 1957.

Reassigned to Hungary, he commanded a tank battalion in the Southern Group of Forces, before rotating back home and finishing his career as a commander of a training tank battalion in Moscow and a lecturer at the Muscovite Institute of Steel and Alloys (between 1964 and 1969). Retiring in 1971 as a lieutenant colonel, he continued his work as a scientist, first as a senior engineer at the aforementioned institute, then as a military instructor at the Muscovite Institute of Consumer Technologies and Industry.

He passed away in 2010, buried with all honors in Moscow.

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