Sunday 5 July 2020

Video: Designing the T-34 Q&A

This is a slightly different type of video from the previous ones. Instead of focusing on just one topic for the whole duration, I answer various questions from readers of Designing the T-34. 

Questions answered in the video:
- What inspired you to write the book?

- What made you decide to focus on the T-34 tank in particular?

- Was the T-34's design a reaction to foreign developments, a response to combat experience or a logical evolution of existing Soviet tanks - or a little of all three?

- What was the most troublesome aspect of the T-34's design during its development - the engine? the armour? Tracks? Equipment? Or something else?

- Did the Soviets make special provision for the extremes of the USSR's climate in designing the T-34? Was crew comfort a consideration?

- How long was the T-34 expected to remain in service when it was designed? Do you think the designers had any idea of how successful the tank would be? Or do you think they assumed it was just another step towards bigger and better vehicles?

- How far did the T-34's designers think about future developments when putting together the earliest versions? Were they thinking early on about bigger guns, thicker armour and bigger engines?

- Did the T-34's designers have to worry about cost? Presumably the tank was designed to facilitate mass manufacture - were any shortcuts taken and what was the effect of that?

- It's often been said that the greatest shortcoming of the early T-34s was a lack of effective communication between crews. Was the T-34 designed with communication between tanks and between different units in mind?

- World of Tanks has recently introduced a line of Soviet tanks with double main guns - is this based on reality and if so, was such an arrangement ever considered for the T-34?

- If you were designing the T-34, knowing what you know today, would you have changed the design in any way? If so, how would you have changed it? Was there anything obvious that, with hindsight, the designers got wrong?

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