This CIA report from March 1954 describes an "Improved T-34 Tank" at the "V.I. Lenin Works at Pilsen". The report lists Czechoslovakia as the country of origin. This logically makes since as the T-34 tank was produced until at least 1958, well past the introduction of the T-54 tank.

The report: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP80-00810A003601050006-0.pdf

The report describes numerous things but most importantly a "100mm gun" and "air device for eliminating the gases expelled by the gun". This sounds a great deal like the features of the T-54.

The T-54 was most definitely produced at Czechoslovakia, but initial production was done at Uralvagonzavod located at Niznhy Tagil.

It seems cumbersome to have a tank all the way at Pilsen when production did not start until much later there. Also, the report says "are producing", indicating the tank is already in production at Pilsen at this point. So this isn't just some existing T-54 being demonstrated.

Is this report describing a T-34 variant or an T-54?

1 Answer 1


Hard to tell, but I'd guess the people involved would notice the quite different size between the T-34 and T-54 production models (the T-54 is about 50% longer than the T-34).

Czech production according to Wikipedia started only in 1957, this document is from 1954, predating that by enough time that it's unlikely to have been account of a pre-production run.

What may have been described could be a local attempt to fit a larger gun to existing T-34 tanks that was not successful. The Soviets had tried that already with a T-44, itself basically an upgraded T-34, several years earlier and also given up on it. 2 vehicles were fitted with a 100mm gun, a development that inspired the armament of the T-54. The Czechs certainly had Su-100s, from which the gun could have been taken for fitting into a new turret to be equipped on the hull of a T-34-85 as a stopgap until T-54s would roll off the production line.

As I can't find any information about such a hybrid in service, it's unlikely the modifications were successful.

I did find a reference to a Czech T-34-100 in the computer game World Of Tanks however, which often includes obscure prototypes and paper plans as vehicles. For example, one blogger talks about it here (with a 3 plan drawing of the vehicle): blogpost

Most likely your document talks about the conversion of a test series of tanks for this program, which used existing T-34-85s and fitted them with 100mm guns taken from existing stock of guns for Su-100s.


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