T-44
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modified: Nov 10, 2012

T-44 was a Soviet medium tank. The T-34M project at Nizhni was revisited at the end of 1943 and renamed T-44. The Christie suspension was replaced with torsion bar suspension. The engine was placed on a novel transverse mounting. A new hull shape was also adopted. In summer of 1944, the first T-44 prototype was finished. The turret was based on that of the T-34-85 but with thicker frontal armor and no prominent collar at the base. Right when trials started, the Morozov design team was returned to Kharkov where further work on the T-44 continued. In 1945, the T-44 was accepted for production with the intent of replacing the T-34-85. The T-44 was better armored, and easier to manufacture than the T-34-85. However, the T-44 had mechanical teething problems.

In 1961, Uralvagonzavod organized a rebuilding program for the T-44. T-54 components were used to upgrade the T-44. Mechanical teething problems were also resolved. The improved tanks were designated T-44M. Beginning in 1963, some tanks were upgraded with R-112 and R-113 radios resulting the T-44MK commad variant.

The T-44-100 was an attempt to mount a 100mm gun on the T-44. However, this attempt was abandoned because a new turret specifically designed for the 100mm gun was being developed.

By the end of the Second World War, Kharkov had built about 150-200 T-44s. The T-44 saw action towards the end of the Second World War and during the Hungarian Uprising of 1956. The T-44 proved to be the most advanced medium tank of the Second World War and it also laid the foundation for the T-54/T-55 and T-62.


References: JAA5, OW, STCV, TMT, TTMBT, WP