ARM: Book Review - T-34-76 Medium Tank: First Year of the War

Book Review: Sredniy Tank T-34-76: Pervyy God Voyny (T-34-76 Medium
Tank: The First Year of the War) by Il=92ya Moshchanskiy; Moscow =93VeChe=
=94
Press, 2010; 112 pages with illustrations, photos and 1/35 scale
plans; price $27 plus shipping and handling via East View Publications
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Advantages: optimized for modelers with clear shots, plans and detail
drawings of each variant of the T-34 as the tank evolved during its
first full year of production
Disadvantages: text is in Russian (but as most modelers are interested
in numbers, this is probably not a problem)
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for any good =9334-nik=94 or fan of Soviet armor
Just as many new books on German armor seem to keep appearing, the
Russians are cranking out books on the T-34 and other WWII (Great
Patriotic War) tanks. Some are by what could be termed =93hack=94 writers,
but occasionally a =93new=94 face appears in the crowd.
Il=92ya Moshchanskiy is an armor enthusiast and historian as well as a
talented draftsman. He has written for several Russian modeling
magazines such as M-Khobbi and Tekhnika i Vooruzheniye and has pulled
off some coups, such as being able to shoot six rolls of film of the
first prototype BTR-90 Vostok before even the Minister of Defense,
Pavel Grachev, had seen the vehicle.
Il=92ya has now written a book focused on the T-34 Model 1941 tank as
it entered into combat and began to evolve for speedier production.
The book=92s text covers production of the T-34 in 1941 to include the
new factories picking up production and the transfer from Kharkov to
Nizhniy Tagil in October 1941. He covers many of the items of interest
such as the short-lived T-34-57 with the ZIS-4 modification of the
ZIS-2 antitank gun, applique armor suites, and what each factory=92s
details looked like =96 Factory No. 183, Factory No. 112 (=93Krasnoye
Sormovo=94) and Factory No. 221 (Stalingrad Tractor Factory).
Among other items covered are tow hooks, wheels, tracks, turrets, and
fittings. While the hulls were pretty much the same for most of this
period, the fittings all changed and each one also had its own
idiosyncrasies of how it followed the guidelines. Some tanks are shown
with as many as 10 34.5 liter external fuel tanks as apparent factory
fittings.
A selection of color paintings is also included for several Soviet
units, some of which have usually been fobbed off as =93unidentified=94.
(Russian enthusiasts are no different than any other, and will usually
poke around until they find out more details about when and where
photos were taken.)
Admittedly readers can get more out of the book if they read Russian,
but even so it=92s pretty easy to figure out what =93T-34 yada yada 1941
yada yada 183"means.
Overall this is a good book for T-34 fans and compliments others such
as the =93T-34 Top to Bottom=94 series.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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