The German experience of World War I clearly showed the great role of artillery on the battlefield and often the decisive influence that artillery had on infantry. At the same time, however, the limitations of the Versailles Treaty of 1919 hindered the development of this type of weapon in Germany in the 1920s, and in particular - the introduction of heavy artillery into line units. This state of affairs changed after the Nazis took power in 1933, when the process of virtually unrestrained armaments began. Many of the gun models developed earlier went into wide production. At that time (after 1933), several new types of guns were put into service on a really large scale, including: 10.5 cm leFH 18 or 15 cm SIG 33, i.e. the basic light and heavy howitzer of the German infantry during World War II. It is worth adding that the German army attached great importance to the role of artillery (especially heavy artillery) on the battlefield. For example, at the outbreak of World War II, the German infantry division had 20 75mm light infantry guns, 6 150mm heavy guns, 36 105mm light howitzers and 12 150mm heavy howitzers in stock. It is worth noting that the German tactic of using artillery put emphasis primarily on the accuracy of firing, which in turn had a negative impact on the speed of entering the action.
The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank from the Second World War and the post-war period.
The first prototypes were built in 1937-1940, and serial production in the USSR was carried out in 1940-1957. About 84,000 vehicles of this type were built in its course, which makes the T-34 one of the most produced tanks in history! The drive was provided by a single engine V-2-34 with a power of 500 hp. The length of the car - in the T34 / 76 version - was 6.68 m, with a width of 3 meters. The armament consisted of a 76.2 mm F-34 gun and two 7.62 mm DT machineguns. The main armament in the T-34/85 version was the 85mm ZIS-S-53 gun.
The T-34 is undoubtedly one of the most famous tanks in the history of both World War II and military in general, representing a specific symbol of Soviet victory in the war with the Third Reich. The vehicle was developed for the needs of the Red Army as a successor to the so-called pursuit tanks from the BT series (BT-5 and BT-7), but also the T-26 tank. Work on the car started in 1937 in a special design office at the Steam Engine Factory in Kharkiv. Initially, the works were managed by Eng. Adolf Dik (he also made the first sketches of the new car), and after his arrest by the Soviet security authorities, Mikhail Koszkin managed the work. Initially, the vehicle was designated as A-20. However, a second prototype (A-32) was quickly built, with a main armament in the form of a 76.2 mm cannon and much thicker frontal armor. It was the latter prototype that was finally adopted for production. It can be assumed that when it was introduced into service, the TT-34 was a very successful tank in many respects. It was characterized - as in 1940 - with a very strong weapon, it had a well-profiled armor based on sloped armor plates, as well as very high mobility and off-road driving properties. The disadvantages include the very poor ergonomics of the car or the poor optics used in the first production batches. Despite these shortcomings, when the T-34 appeared on the Eastern Front, German troops were greatly surprised by it. The high overall rating of the T-34 and its combat values determined its mass production and making it the basic tank of the Red Army during the fights in 1942-1945. They also resulted in further improvements to the structure, e.g. in 1942 a new hexagonal tower appeared, improving the quality of work of crew members with the commander's cupola. The engine and gearbox were also improved. However, in 1944, the T-34/85 model was introduced into service, with a completely new three-man turret and the main armament in the form of an 85 mm cannon. The T-34 tank fought in virtually all major battles fought between the Red Army and the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front in 1941-1945: starting at the Battle of Moscow, through the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk, Operation Bagration, and the capture of Berlin. After 1945, the T-34 tank was still in service, it was also widely exported outside the USSR to countries such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany, Hungary and Syria.
The Battle of the Kursk (German code name: Operation Zitadelle) is widely recognized - not quite accurately - as the largest armored battle in World War II and the largest armored battle on the Eastern Front. It happened after the German defeat at Stalingrad in February 1943, but also after the successful German counter-offensive at Kharkiv in March of the same year. The German side, joining the battle, counted on the full acquisition of the strategic initiative, on the task of the Soviet side with the greatest possible losses, as well as on the nipple of the Soviet offensive expected in the summer of 1943. The Red Army adopted a defensive stance, trying to bleed the attacking Germans out of the blood in the initial phase of the operation, and then proceed to a counter-offensive. The battle on the Kursk arc began on July 5, 1943, and along with the Soviet Or³owo and Belgorod operations it lasted until August 23 of the same year. In its course, despite the involvement of significant forces by the German army and the newest Tiger and Panther tanks as well as the Ferdinand tank destroyers, the Soviets achieved victory, who prepared themselves very well for this battle, and despite suffering huge losses - they were able to go to the counteroffensive. The Battle of the Kursk region turned out to be one of the turning points in World War II. It is estimated that as a result (from July 5 to August 23), the German army lost approx. 240,000 soldiers - killed, wounded and captured, approx. 1,300 tanks and approx. 1,000 aircraft. The losses of the Red Army were undoubtedly greater.