Is Russia Bringing Back the Legendary T-34 Tank That Crushed Hitler?

Michael Peck

Michael Peck

Security,

Will Russia’s enemies again be crushed, as Nazi Germany was, under the treads of Russian armor?

Is Russia Bringing Back the Legendary T-34 Tank That Crushed Hitler?

Is Russia’s legendary T-34 tank rolling off the production line again?

Will Russia’s enemies again be crushed, as Nazi Germany was, under the treads of Russian armor?

Alas for tank buffs and Russian nationalists, reports of the T-34’s resurrection are premature. In fact, it was an April Fool’s Joke on a Russian defense Web site.

But like any good April Fool’s prank, the joke works because it strikes a real-life chord. In this case, the Putin government’s attempt to use World War II symbols to spur patriotic feelings in a population demoralized by economic woes. And one of the most enduring symbols of Russia’s participation in World War II, or “The Great Patriotic War,” was the T-34, which formed the armored backbone of the Soviet armies that defeated the Third Reich. Some 84,000 T-34s, and its more heavily armed successor the T-34/85, were built between 1940 and 1958.

Some are still in use with armies around the world. Last year, Russia took back 30 T-34/85s that had been operated by the Laotian Army. The vehicles went on to star in World War II victory parades held in several Russian cities.

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