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2021-07-01 Other articles >

Weapons of Victory

Today, the terrible June of the 41st year is far behind us, when 80 years ago, all the speakers sounded 'Get up, the country is huge... ' We survived that mortal battle, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, bringing Victory as close as we could. Someone went behind the front line with intelligence, someone fought on the front line, and someone forged a victory in the rear.
The famous Soviet T-34 tank, developed and put into mass production in December 1939, has become a true legend of tank construction. Until now, the whole world is surprised and admires our combat vehicle, trying in vain to repeat the achievements of the Design Bureau of the Kharkiv Machine-Building Plant No. 183. No one has managed to surpass the iron fist in key indicators, and our machine is still in service with many countries.
What is the secret of such an amazing success of Soviet weapons, how did the USSR manage to create such a perfect technique in the harsh conditions of mass repression of the 30s? Probably, the answer lies in the people of THAT country themselves-special, sincere, believing in victory under any conditions.
The design bureau was headed by a wonderful, talented engineer Mikhail Ilyich Koshkin. Being a native of a poor family, he realized from childhood that a thorough and competent approach is needed in everything, and, first of all, in professional activity. Clearly understanding the task set ‒ to present the country with a new tank that would have no shortcomings, Koshkin's team set to work.
The old T-28, which was mass-produced in the USSR since the 1930s, although it was considered the strongest medium tank in the world at that time, showed its weaknesses during the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940. He got stuck in the deep northern snows, and his armor could not withstand the blows of the enemy.
Taking into account the weaknesses of existing military equipment, Koshkin equipped the new car with a V-2 engine, which was previously installed on lightly armored wheeled-tracked BT. This immediately gave the T-34 a huge advantage in maneuverability and cross-country ability. The world practice has not yet known such a thing.
For the first time, a 76-millimeter cannon was installed on a medium-heavy tank, which pierced 60 mm of armor from a kilometer distance. And it was just fantastic, because the fighting qualities of such a machine were not equal.
During the Great Patriotic War, the fast and powerful T-34 victoriously smashed the fascists at Stalingrad and Kursk, drove them to the cordons of the Soviet state, pursued them on their own territory. The car was easy to maintain, and our tankers managed to quickly repair it even on the battlefield.
Surprisingly, the 'thirty-four' was in service with the Soviet and then the Russian army until 1993! The tank took part in combat operations on the territory of all continents, and today its operators are 7 states.
African Cameroon is not among them, but this country is the issuer of unique commemorative coins of the 'Weapon of Victory' series ‒ 'T-34 Tank'. The material is 925 sterling silver, the nominal value is 1000 francs. They were minted at the Moscow Mint in 2020. On the reverse, the legendary tank is depicted in color, and the obverse shows us an ordinary rear worker collecting shells for a combat vehicle.
Among the rare coins are also the Liberian 100 dollars issued in 2008. They appeared in the series 'Famous tanks of the Second World War'. The coin weighs 1000 grams of 999 silver, besides it was released in a limited edition of only 1000 copies.
In 2019, the Bank of Russia put into circulation a 25-ruble coin of the 'Weapon of the Great Victory' series. The reverse shows the T-34 tank, and the name of its designer ‒ M. I. Koshkin is also indicated.
The legendary 'thirty-four' largely influenced the course of the Second World War. Its technical characteristics, multiplied by the boundless desire for victory of thousands and thousands of people, are a vivid example of the reality of the impossible.
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