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Help needed: current use of T-34's

This is a discussion on Help needed: current use of T-34's within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Dear folks, while the use of T-34 tanks during WW2 and the 50's is well documented and some good sources ...


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Old February 10th, 2009   #1
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Help needed: current use of T-34's

Dear folks,

while the use of T-34 tanks during WW2 and the 50's is well documented and some good sources can be found for operational use of this tank until 1973 in the middle east, despite intensive research I couldn't find anything about the current use of it apart from that one T-34 obviously was used in 1995 in Bosnia in an attack on UN troops and a foggy statement saying that in 1996, at least 27 countries had some of them in service.
I would be very grateful if somebody could provide me with sources (german or english, online or offline, or a contact adress) about the use of soviet as well as chinese-built T-34 tanks for military purposes after 1973 and, most important, at present. And, very important too, have there been upgrades to it after 1969? Perhaps you live in a country that still uses this legendary machine and can provide pictures or more?

Thanks in advance
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Old February 10th, 2009   #2
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North Korea allegedly still operates some. Though it's unclear whether they're operational or sitting in depots.
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Old February 10th, 2009   #3
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Not likely, those things are way too outdated. They are probably in depots, like Feanor suggests or, traditionally, they could be used for parades. Russia had one May 8th Parade with a T-34. (I forgot which particular year, but I do remember there were T80s on ground as well.)

Some 27 countries operated them until 1996. Believe it or not, people actually buy those things for private reasons. (Wikipedia states that one can cost between 20,000 USD to 40,000 USD)
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Old February 10th, 2009   #4
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Dear folks,

while the use of T-34 tanks during WW2 and the 50's is well documented and some good sources can be found for operational use of this tank until 1973 in the middle east, despite intensive research I couldn't find anything about the current use of it apart from that one T-34 obviously was used in 1995 in Bosnia in an attack on UN troops and a foggy statement saying that in 1996, at least 27 countries had some of them in service.
I would be very grateful if somebody could provide me with sources (german or english, online or offline, or a contact adress) about the use of soviet as well as chinese-built T-34 tanks for military purposes after 1973 and, most important, at present. And, very important too, have there been upgrades to it after 1969? Perhaps you live in a country that still uses this legendary machine and can provide pictures or more?

Thanks in advance
Falstaff
Research Cuba, they still have T-34/85s active in service. Also Egypt and Syria modified bunches of them to SPH haulers for 122mm, these are most likely still used for reserve units.
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Old February 10th, 2009   #5
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My friend (M-2001 gunner) shoot at it every day , army use them for target practicing
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Old February 11th, 2009   #6
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Not likely, those things are way too outdated.
That would be a shame as in my article on the current military use of T-34 I would have to say "there is none".

However, although my research so far isn't exactly encouraging, I still think there must be some out there. I think a T-34 in working order might still be useful to keep civilians in line and make some huts shake in some african civil war.
Yes, it is outdated. But it is also very rugged, built to be maintained with a hammer and a sickle () and its engine will run on everything that has a slight resemblance to diesel. It is basically an all-terrain-vehicle with a big gun.
If I were an african dictator or war lord and I had some of these in working condition, why not use them, and if only to strengthen a roadblock against MG-equipped pick-up trucks. Africa is full of antique armour and arty pieces.
E.g., as of 2004 the military of somaliland had some left in active service. And I guess they were used there, I just can't find anything about it.

So, if by any chance you're an african dictator or warlord, please contact me.

@eckherl & Feanor: Thanks for your replies, yes, both Cuba and North Korea list them as active (300 and 250 respectively). However, I can't find information on how they are employed and in what condition they are.

The T-34's upgrade history in the Middle East is impressive, they made a lot of things out of this tank, from SPH to tank destroyers. I would imagine that even these days, there are upgrades, perhaps on an individual vehicle basis, as many parts are interchangable with the T-54/55/Type 59.
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Old February 11th, 2009   #7
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Hey Falstaff,

the T-34's (as a combat unit) were used by the Yugoslav People's Army in 1991 for the siege of Dubrovnik. They were of a size of a tank platoon and they were coming from Podgorica (capital of Montenegro). Later on the T-34's were augmented by the T-55's (I can't remember from where those guys came).

While the T-34's were approaching Dubrovnik they were going in column as the configuration of terrain didn't allow them to spread out. Somewhere near Dubrovnik first tank was hit and the column was stuck there for some time (until they managed to pull out the crew and remove the tank from the road). That tank was most probably hit by an M80 "Zolja" (Yugoslav made 64 mm RPG which is similar to the Soviet RPG-18). All of the crew were injured.

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Old February 11th, 2009   #8
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You won't find anything reliable on the DPRK military. I've looked quite a bit, and the internet is empty. So unless you can find sattelite pics, I'm guessing we will never know.
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Old February 11th, 2009   #9
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You won't find anything reliable on the DPRK military. I've looked quite a bit, and the internet is empty. So unless you can find sattelite pics, I'm guessing we will never know.
Nope, they do not call them a secretive state for nothing, but they still have them in accordance with U.S and ROK military channels but they most likely are for the reserve type units, they do not throw anything away.
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Old February 12th, 2009   #10
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Nope, they do not call them a secretive state for nothing, but they still have them in accordance with U.S and ROK military channels but they most likely are for the reserve type units, they do not throw anything away.
They still don't have enough APCs to outfit their regular infantry units. Honestly their military makes so little sense militarily, that it makes me wonder whether they actually expect to ever have to use it.
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Old February 12th, 2009   #11
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They still don't have enough APCs to outfit their regular infantry units. Honestly their military makes so little sense militarily, that it makes me wonder whether they actually expect to ever have to use it.
Yea they are really old school, military training for them starts with everyone as soon as they get to elementry school, they are trained at a very young age to use SKS and AK-47 rifles with the mind set to kill Americans. Military infrastructure and vehicles are really in sad shape and they played the nuke trump card to keep everyone at bay I suspect.
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Old February 12th, 2009   #12
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North Korea still uses Mig-17s,19s, 21s and 23s. The only modern fighter is the Mig-29 but only 40 are in use I think and those are not even the new ones just the old ones from the 80s.

Seriously why Mig-17s and 19s? What use could they have?

And its not just their Air Force its their entire military not only do they have out dated and obsolete weapons but they have very little fuel, spare parts and very poor training. The 1 million men in their military probably only get one meal a day for food so their probably not even in fighting condition because their starving for God's sakes!

South Korea's 600,000 or so strong military could wipe them out in just a few weeks because the North still plains for the old Cold War style military doctrine.
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Old February 12th, 2009   #13
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From what I can gather the food shortage is over.

I don't think they can deliver their nukes. I'd use them as nuclear landmines rather then as conventional nuclear bombs.
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Old February 12th, 2009   #14
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Seriously why Mig-17s and 19s? What use could they have?
China is tinkering with the possibility of using them as drone "cruise missiles" essentially.
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Old February 13th, 2009   #15
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They use MiG-17s and MiG-19s because they probably can't replace them with anything more modern.
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