|T-44 Medium Tank|
During 1944 a new tank design based upon the T-34/85 appeared, designated T-44. It was originally planned to produce a T-34/100 but the inadequate size of the T-34/85's turret made it impossible. Due to the pressure laid down on the tank designers no time was given for trials and testing the vehicle good enough, and the design was doomed from the beginning. Even though the design itself was revolutionary with a low height, heavy armament, thick armour plates and the new transversal transmission, early machines proved to be unreliable due to its short testing times. The T-44 was a 35 ton medium tank been armed with the same 85mm L/53 gun used on the T-34/85 and SU-85. Production began in August 1944 at the rebuilt Zavod #75 in Kharkov, and 25 T-44s were built in late 1944, and a further 880 was built in 1945. It saw limited service in Germany, but major production orders were not given until 1946 when three factories were assigned to produce the T-44. The T-44 is one of the few vehicles used exclusively by the Red Army, but the T-44s combat record is largely uncovered. However it took part both in Germany in 1945 and the Hungarian uprising in 1956. They remained in the Red Army serving as training vehicles for recruits until 1963. The T-44 led to the mass produced T-54/55 family.