The T-34-76 is the Soviet Union's standard medium tank, with the "76" denoting its 76.2mm main armament.
The T-34 began production in early 1941 and was slowly reequipping Soviet armored units when German forces invaded in June. The few T-34s that managed to take the field against the initial invasion forces came as a shock to German commanders; in one of the first encounters a T-34 shrugged off fire from a 37 mm antitank gun before running it over, destroyed two PzKpfw. II light tanks, and proceeded to leave a nine-mile path of destruction before finally being taken out by 105 mm howitzer. In a Herculean effort, Soviet tank factories were dismantled wholesale and moved to the Ural Mountains, well behind Soviet lines and out of reach for German bombers. From there, over 34,000 T-34-76s would pour forth, becoming the backbone of the Russian armored forces. The introduction of the T-34 spurred the Germans to rearm their tanks and tank destroyers with heavier firepower - the PaK 40 antitank gun, rearmed Panzer IV and StuG III, Tiger I, and Panther tanks were all developed and fielded largely in response to the T-34's appearance.
By 1944 the T-34-76 had lost its battlefield superiority; it fell victim in large numbers to high-velocity 75mm and 88mm guns. Although it has better armor and mobility than the Panzer IV, it is outranged and outgunned by their upgraded KwK 40 armament. However, the T-34-76's low cost allows it to be fielded in overwhelming numbers, and it can outmaneuver the heavier Tiger and Panther series to obtain flank shots. While lacking punch against German medium and heavy armor, the 76.2 mm gun is quite effective as an anti-infantry weapon.