12.08.2012 21:00 GMT
Hello and welcome back to another Forgotten Hope 2 update.
Today we'd like to show off perhaps one of the most important armoured fighting vehicles of all time. But first, we'd like to extend a warm welcome to the talented Gurdy, who joins the development team as a static modeller.
The T-34 evolved out of a project to design a replacement for the BT series of tanks using information gained at the battles of Khalkhin Gol. Tests with increasingly armoured and armed prototypes lead to the initial design for the T-34. With the poor performance of existing Soviet tanks in the Winter War and with German successes in France, the T-34 was hurried into production.
At the time of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the T-34 was one of the best tanks in existence - though only on paper. In the initial invasion, serious problems with mechanical reliability, supply shortages and poor internal layout largely removed any advantage the T-34 had over the Panzers it faced. The tank commander was severely strained by the task of aiming the cannon and the lack of effective observation devices, and the Germans noted that T-34s were slow to find and engage targets.
The first T-34 variant on show is the model of 1943. This was an improvement with the addition of a new hexagonal turret, which earned it the nicknamed "Mickey Mouse" from the Germans due to the distinctive silhouette made by the two circular roof hatches when open. Our T-34 features the cupola that was added to this turret later in the production run to provide better all around vision to the commander.
The second variant on show today is the T-34-85. With the appearance of Tiger and Panther tanks, which were immune to the 76.2mm gun, it was decided that a more effective weapon was needed. The answer was the 85mm ZiS-S-53, which was mounted in a new 3 man turret. Although still not a match for the Panther, the new design greatly increased the combat effectiveness of the tank, whilst the minimal changes allowed production to remain high.
Nearly 56,000 T-34s were made in total, of which nearly 45,000 were lost. The ones in Forgotten Hope 2 were made by Pointblank.
Our winners for this week's screenshot competition is AdamPA1006. You can view the winning submission here.
We are now accepting entries for the week of August 13th. If you think you have the best FH2 screenshot, post them here.
That's all for this week, but be sure to come back next time for another update. Until then, feel free to visit our IRC channel, our public forums, and/or our Twitter and Facebook pages to discuss this update and other news.