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29 February 2016


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The T-34 suspension system was an American design used by the Russians, the Brits, several others---but not us. Old tankers still fuss about it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christie_suspension


they adapted the Christie suspension which the US boffins had rejected.

or so I read with zero comprehension.

Jennifer. Green

Primary designer of T34 listed as Mikhail Koshkin, born in 1898 in Yaroslavl oblast, Russia. He was a candy maker who studied engineering. It was good to see the T34 up and running again.


the sloped armor was their development.

engines - always wondered if diesel fuel was readily available or did that make for supply problems.

by way of human factors read somewhere that crews worked in assembly factories which trained them to do maintenance and repair.

Bill Herschel

Why Mariupol was not taken... which it could easily have been.



I grew up in the Donbas, Gorlovka. I remember how we would climb into an abandoned mine with reserve in case of war. It was after the collapse of the USSR and we had not seen the weapons, but it was surely full of canned food.
And by the way the article does not indicate that the only cartridge factory in Ukraine is located in Lugansk and controlled by the rebels. In 2014, Ukrainians have tried to bomb it, but flights quickly stopped .

Trey N


The link in my previous reply to you was part 2 of a 3-part series, and part 2 is really more a tale of how the Izzies screwed the pooch and lost the war.

Part 1 here tells what Hezbollah did to win the war:


Their recent showing in Syria has been just as impressive.

Needless to say, the cowardly Izzies want "no mas" from a real fighting force and have gone back to their preferred pasttime of murdering helpless Palestinian women and children in the West Bank and Gaza....

Old Microbiologist

Thanks for your article. I agree with everything you say. I would be interested if you would like to expand a bit about the historic and remarkable overnight deployment of 25,000 spetznatz in to Crimea, while removing the Naval personnel already there, all the time never exceeding the legal constraints of the treaty. That was followed by a very peaceful takeover and subsequent legal referendum. We have quite a few friends who live in Crimea and the overwhelming opinion is they are extremely happy with the way things have turned out there.

The only other comment I might make is that all young volunteers in Novorussia were evacuated to Rusia for training and that only veterans were permitted to actually stay and fight the Kiev government. That, to me, was another sound decision. the Voentrag was already discussed and there were multiple instances of long range artillery being fired from within Russia into the cauldrons.

Last would be the role of the MH-17 in the rescue of the large cauldron that had enveloped the Ukrainian forces. The amazing coincidental shoot down into that exact place bears some discussion as well.


At least the suspension, American fellow named Christie developed a revolutionary pre war suspension system, Russians were the only takers for mass production of T-34s, I am not sure if they paid for the designs though. The system was widely adopted by all armies subsequently.


The Twisted Genius

I remember seeing the pair of T-34/76 tanks at the Soviet War Memorial in the Berlin Tiergarten. In my opinion, they are things of beauty that embody everything that a tank should be. I know the Germans contemplated reproducing them exactly as a counter to the Soviet design.



Hibernating until the duty to defend the motherland arose again?

Chris Chuba

"Was the T-34 actually designed by an American engineer?"
William, only the Christi suspension system was designed by a U.S. engineer.
The Christi suspension system was originally used in a predecessor tank, the BT-2. This is the only thing that is of U.S. origin.

Everything else regarding the T-34 is Russian. It's diesel engine, wide tracks, and its iconic sloped armor, etc.


Here is what the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada is reading.

"On 20 February 2014, Russia launched an armed aggression against Ukraine by occupying the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. This aggression now continues in the Donbas. [...] During these years of aggression, a 40 000-strong army has been built up in the Donbas financed, equipped and maintained by Russia and commanded by Russian officers [...] Ukraine has been consistently implementing its commitments under the Minsk agreements on security, political, humanitarian and social-economic tracks. [...] Russia has fulfilled none of its obligations under the Minsk Agreements. Russia and its proxies continue military provocations, including by using the weapons that should have been withdrawn under the OSCE monitoring and verification - multiple launch rocket systems, self-propelled artillery, 82mm and 120mm mortars. Russian troops in Donbas continue with unfettered rotation, training and supply through the uncontrolled sections of the state border. [...] We call on the international community to exert maximum pressure on Russia and maintain sanctions until Donbas and Crimea are de-occupied and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine is restored."

The full statement is here: http://mfa.gov.ua/en/press-center/comments/5163-statement-of-the-ministry-of-foreign-affairs-of-ukraine-on-implementation-of-the-minsk-agreements

Patrick Armstrong

Not quite. J Walter Christie in the US designed some prototypes and his real invention was a type of suspension. The Sovs bought the models and developed a series of tanks of which the T-34 was the final evolution. So suspension system, plus or minus, and the notion of slanted armour is there. Christie's idea was a vehicle that ran on tracks or on wheels. That never really worked. But his suspension was much more flexible than anyone else's at the time.


The T-34 silently dreamed of its old enemy, the White Tiger. It surely was disappointed not to meet it after sleeping so long.

The White Tiger (English subtitles)

A. Pols

Not totally sure, but "Christie Chassis".
So much design is derivative and that type of chassis was widely used, but that doesn't imply that the whole thing was designed by an American engineer.


No, it was not, But Christie suspension of T-34 was. Koshkin designed T-34.

Bill Herschel

I don't blame the neo-cons for being berserk about Russia. I don't blame them at all. They are getting hammered by certainly one of the most brilliant military-diplomatic campaigns in the history of the world.

Three Security Council resolutions guaranteeing the sovereignty of Syria.

Using a tiny force, completely routing the jihadists (and their patrons) in Syria.

Instituting a "cessation of hostilities" that appears to be working while continuing to hammer the jihadists.

And, now, finally, it appears that Saudi Arabia is crying uncle and the price of oil is going up.

Who's smart and what works are the questions of today. The neo-cons have failed miserably on all counts. And their poster child, George W. Bush, having been trashed by Donald Trump, is now permanently in the dog house of history, joining such worthies as Napoleon III. Even if Hillary Nuland Clinton is elected President, one imagines that her ability to play the foreign adventuress will be curtailed.

Medicine Man

A dragon snoozing away in plain sight until someone fed it and gave it a target to mangle.


There was supposed to be a huge arms depot in Artemivsk. I can't remember reading any reports about whether Strelkov & co ever got access to it.

Medicine Man


I would like to thank you for contributing this column. This was fascinating on many levels; the information on the equipment, tactics, people, and history of the region is quite a toothsome meal.

I do not have much to add, except that I think a treasure hunting/antiques roadshow program in the old Soviet regions of Europe would be quality television. I also have a lot of respect for the Russian focus on mechanical reliability when engineering their equipment. Though I have no dog in the fight, I have a perverse fondness of weapons that function in harsh conditions; probably why I obsess about the A-10 as much as I do.


WRC - "Was the T-34 actually designed by an American engineer?"

No, just the suspension system. My understanding was that the Russian designers of the T-34 adopted the American Christie suspension which gave it an edge in rough crosscountry movement. Some British tanks adopted the Christie suspension also.



Good dragon! Good dragon! pl

The Twisted Genius


I can't get over how good that old diesel engine sounds after all those years. Those simple old engines are magnificent. Makes me want to get an old VW Bug again. These new cars are SOBs to work on.

robt willmann

That old T-34 in the video....
Ah, the diesel engine. Compression ignition. No fussy spark plugs. One of the selling points by Rudolf Diesel when he invented it was that it was good for agriculture because it could run on such things as peanut oil.

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