The tier 8 Chinese premium medium tank T-34-3 boasts a large caliber gun on a typical medium chassis allowing it to pack a huge punch compared to most other medium tanks in tier 8. For a premium medium tank this not only allows it to deal a lot of damage but also make a large amount of credits. This tank guide will break down the T-34-3 into key areas such as firepower, compare the T-34-3 against its peers, and help you decide if it is a good purchase or not.
At tier 8 the 122mm D-25TA gun the T-34-3 equips packs a mean punch for a tier 8 medium and gives the T-34-3 a gun comparable to most heavy tanks. Each AP/HEAT round does a massive 390 damage per round and HE rounds do 530 damage per round. On the other hand the T-34-3 has poor penetration with its AP round having 175mm of penetration, APCR 250mm, and HE 61mm. The penetration is lower than most medium tanks at tier 8 and is reminiscent of the IS-6, WZ-111, and 112 tanks. Keeping the damage further in check is a poor .46 accuracy value, 3.4 second aiming time, and poor on the move accuracy. On bright spot is that the reload time is 4.48 rounds per minute which is higher than the reload time of the same gun if the standard T-34-2 mounted it.
Overall the T-34-3 has high damage potential for a tier 8 premium medium tank with its 390 damage round and decent damage per minute. However, it sacrifices a lot in the accuracy department and penetration to achieve this that prevents it from engaging a lot of tanks head on(even with HEAT rounds). This negative doesn’t make the T-34-3 falter much since it still has the ability to easily flank and get in close to do damage, but it is something that needs to be overcome each match. Below the T-34-3 is compared to the Type 59 and T-34-2 in the primary firepower values.
T-34-3 | 390 Damage | 4.48 RPM | 1,747 DPM | .46 Accuracy | 3.4s Aiming Time | 175mm/250mm/61mm
Type 59 | 250 Damage | 6.90 RPM | 1,725 DPM | .39 Accuracy | 2.9s Aiming Time | 181mm/241mm/50mm
T-34-2 | 250 Damage | 7.06 RPM | 1,765 DPM | .39 Accuracy | 2.9s Aiming Time | 181mm/241mm/50mm
Going off of the comparison above the T-34-3 is on par with both the Type 59 and T-34-2 in most areas aside from accuracy and aiming time. All three tanks have similar damage per minute(DPM) and penetration which is surprising since the T-34-3 has a significant advantage in the damage per round area. When it comes to firepower the T-34-3 is designed to get up close and rip off huge chunks of an opponents health compared to the Type 59/T-34-2 where it is a more gradual damage dealing gun.
The T-34-3 for a tier 8 medium tank has a surprising amount of armor and is closer to the Type 59’s armor than the T-34-2’s armor. On the hull the T-34-2 has 90mm across the upper frontal glacis and 70mm on the lower frontal glacis. Its turret front is covered mostly by 190mm thick armor with the weaker hatches on top being protected by 120mm of armor. This gives the T-34-3 the ability to bounce most shells thrown at it(aside from the lower glacis) by tier 7 and under tanks. Against tier 8/9 tanks the T-34-3 can angle to give it the chance to deflect rounds. The side/rear hull armor is 50mm thick, the side turret armor is 120mm, and the rear turret armor is 60mm thick. Overall this gives the T-34-3 great armor on the front compared to most other tier 8 mediums and further slates it as a “pocket heavy” tank.
Below the T-34-3 is compared to the Type 59 and T-34-2 in the hull armor and turret armor areas.
T-34-3 | 90mm/50mm/50mm Hull Armor | 190mm/120mm/60mm Turret Armor
Type 59 | 100mm/80mm/45mm Hull Armor | 200mm/130mm/60mm Turret Armor
T-34-2 | 70mm/45mm/45mm Hull Armor | 180mm/120mm/60mm Turret Armor
The clear winner here is the Type 59 when you go off of raw thickness and the T-34-2 is far behind its peers. The T-34-3 however has almost the same effective armor on its frontal glacis as the Type 59 due to its slope and overall the difference is negligible. For a tier 8 medium tank the T-34-3 has armor closer to a heavy tank across the front which gives it added protection as it gets in close to do its damage.
Due to its above average armor for a medium tank the T-34-3 does struggle with mobility in some areas compared to the standard T-34-2. The T-34-3 weighs close to 35.5 tons and has a 520 horsepower engine giving it enough power to get around the map easily if it is on good terrain and level ground. The engine only being 520 horsepower does prevent it from climbing slopes at a fast pace due to its weight. The top speed of the T-34-3 is 50 km/h and the reverse is capped at 20 km/h. When you take everything into account the T-34-3 moves well considering its thick armor, but it struggles when it comes to climbing hills and accelerating.
T-34-3 | 35.2 Tons | 520 HP Engine | 50/20 km/h | 0.9/1.0/2.0 Terrain Resistance
Type 59 | 35.7 Tons | 520 HP Engine | 56/20 km/h | 0.9/1.0/2.0 Terrain Resistance
T-34-2 | 33.7 Tons | 580 HP Engine | 50/20 km/h | 0.8/0.9/1.8 Terrain Resistance
Going off of the comparison above you can see that the T-34-2 is clearly the most mobile tank of the bunch due to its lighter weight, better engine, and better terrain resistance. The T-34-3 is noticeably slower than the T-34-2 in every aspect of the tank aside from going down steep slopes where both tanks have the same top speed. The lower mobility does hurt the T-34-3 when it comes to escaping bad situations and needs to be accounted for when pushing to risky spots.
Small attributes can make or break a tank if they further harm another aspect of a tank’s performance. The T-34-3 unfortunately fits into this scenario with its poor gun depression of 3 degrees and 15 degree gun elevation. With a minuscule 3 degrees of gun depression it makes fighting on any non-level terrain impossible. When you add in the 15 degrees of gun elevation it further makes things difficult by preventing the T-34-3 from pointing at enemies located above it on a ridge/etc. The T-34-3 does have decent view range at 380m and a good radio with 600m of signal range. The T-34-3 also can carry 40 rounds of ammunition which is plenty considering each round does a whopping 390 damage per round.
Lastly, the T-34-3’s shells are on the expensive side with AP costing 1,025 credits, HEAT costing 5,600 credits, and HE costing 608 credits. Since the T-34-3 has good damage per round it does offset the cost of the AP/HEAT rounds very well if you penetrate and as long as you do not miss/bounce a lot of HEAT rounds you will rake in the credits. The T-34-3 also gets limited matchmaking which it will only allow it to see up to tier 9 tanks like the Type 59 and unlike the T-34-2 that sees tier 10 tanks. This helps out the T-34-3 immensely with its poor gun handling/penetration.
T-34-3 | -3/+15 Depression/Elevation | 380m View Range | 600m Signal Range | 40 Ammunition Capacity
Type 59 | -7/+20 Depression/Elevation | 380m View Range | 600m Signal Range | 34 Ammunition Capacity
T-34-2 | -5/+18 Depression/Elevation | 380m View Range | 750m Signal Range | 45 Ammunition Capacity
When it comes to these small miscellaneous attributes the Type 59 actually has the best gun depression/elevation values which is surprising, but suffers from a very low ammunition capacity. The T-34-3 compared to the T-34-2 does fairly well in these areas but the critical blow comes from the gun depression/elevation values. With only -3/+15 values the T-34-3 is very difficult to play on non-level terrain and for newer players this can make playing the T-34-3 extremely difficult.
The T-34-3 as you might expect plays more like a “pocket heavy” tank instead of playing like a traditional medium tank. It has better mobility than a heavy tank at the cost of armor, which makes knowing when to play aggressive a key thing for its driver to understand. The 390 damage per round gun does perform terribly even at 100m against most enemies and the lack of penetration is a huge hurdle to deal with even if you use a lot of HEAT rounds. The best avenue to deal with the accuracy/penetration/gun depression is to pick the correct parts of a map with a minimal amount of uneven terrain to help you avoid being crippled by your bad gun depression. On top of that you want areas that you can flank enemies easily and/or get close to them without taking a lot of unneeded damage. The T-34-3 plays very similar to the IS-6 since both tanks have good armor(but not great), and a gun that packs a punch but has poor accuracy/penetration.
One crucial thing to keep in the back of your mind is that while your frontal armor does have very good effective armor values for a medium tank it depends on how far your opponent is from you. The closer you get to your enemy the weaker your upper frontal glacis becomes since the enemy is able to shoot down into it(thus lowering the angle it is at). Many players know this and when you get in close they can simply point down and go through your frontal armor. You on the other hand with only 3 degrees of gun depression are left aiming at the frontal turret or a still well angled upper glacis. Either stay a short distance away from your enemy or angle your hull horizontally to keep its armor value high.
Overall the T-34-3 is a great premium tank first and is a great tier 8 medium second. As a premium tank it makes a large amount of credits due to its high damage potential and with 390 damage rounds it offsets the expensive HEAT rounds very well. As a tier 8 medium it does stumble with its poor gun depression, mobility, and accuracy/penetration that forces it to play more like a mobile heavy tank. In my book it isn’t a terrible fate since the T-34-3 does its job of being an up-gunned medium tank very well. If you like hard hitting mobile tanks and/or need a crew trainer for a Chinese medium tank crew the T-34-3 is a great option when you factor in everything(especially the limited matchmaking).