T-34-88 Beutepanzer

German Beutepanzers, or simply “captured tanks”, were fairly known as captured enemy tanks with additional armor and with some modifications, especially by repainting the armor and slipping some Iron Cross marks to prevent any friendly fire. But there were some cases where German engineers tried to install their own tank guns to the Beutepanzers, particularly with the Soviet T-34 Medium Tank. When they assumed that the main gun from both T-34-76 (76.2 mm F-34) and T-34-85 (85 mm S-53) were not powerful enough, they decided to strap a modified 88 mm anti-air gun to a T-34. As always, Germans always needed something big for their arsenal.

The 88 mm KwK 36 of the Tiger I, planned to be installed to the T-34-88

There were actually some specific reasons to strap an 88 mm gun to a T-34 :

  1. First off, the Germans didn’t produce any 76.2 mm and 85 mm shells used by both T-34s. Once they ran out, they wouldn’t have any shell reserves left to resupply the Beutepanzers.

  2. The most obvious reason, overall gun performance  of the German 88 mm was superior than the Soviet 76 mm F-34 or 85 mm S-53.

  3. To be specific, they experimented (made a test) with a T-34-85, due to its enlarged turret ring specifically designed to mount a larger turret and a bigger 85 mm S-53 gun, which was nearly the same size as the 88 mm KwK 36 gun for easier mounting.

Captured Soviet T-34-85 in German service, featuring standard German paint scheme and Iron Cross marks.

There is a report that the 7th Panzer Division also captured at least one T-34-85. It’s unconfirmed, but reported that one T-34/85 was fitted with an 88mm gun that was removed from a damaged Tiger I and it was used during the East Prussian Offensive.

Unfortunately, the tank will not be implemented in the PC version of World of Tanks.

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