T-34 – Mice VS Cats – Part 13


In case if you missed it, here is the previous part.

At last it’s a time to show you production prices of  T-34 and some other Soviet tanks

Factory Years
1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945
Т-34 (Factory № 183) 596 373 510 000 249 256 166 300 141 822 142 100 136 380
Т-34 (Factory № 112) - - - 209 700 179 300 174 900 173 000
Т-34 (Factory № 174) - - - 312 700 210 700 177 800 171 000
Т-34 (UZTM) - - - 273800 190800 179400 -
KV-1с (ChTZ) - - - 300 200 246 000 - -
IS-2 (ChTZ) - - - - 347 900 264 400 230 000
IS-3 (ChTZ) - - - - - - 267200

Given prices are not COGS price but the actual T-34s price factories sold to the ministry of defense. Whatever you see in bold is a price just for T34/85

The only trouble that given prices are in Russian rubles.Certainly the easiest thing is to use Soviet Union bank historical exchange rate. In that case data would be not accurate because that rate wasn’t used for too many things and it comes to trade with other countries Russian golden ruble was used.

But since T-34 wasn’t bought from USA how do you estimate T-34 actual price within Soviet Union?

That’s why I will give you four different conversions of  T-34 made by Factory № 183 :

  • Milk related State controlled price –  Milk barter value of T-34 to be resold in USA using a Soviet state controlled price of milk.
  • Milk related market price – Milk barter value of T-34 to be resold in USA using  commercial value of milk that people privately sold in USSR.
  • Official Soviet exchange rate. You can call it USSR export value.
  • Soviet Gold ruble related – Price related to Soviet 10 ruble coin used for foreign trade using gold prices in US dollars. You can call it USSR import value.
1940 1942 1944
milk related State controlled price $22903 $8785 $7102
Milk related market price $15265 or less no data $387 or less
Official Soviet exchange rate $96226 $31337 $26811
Soviet Gold ruble related $438005 $146963 $128230


If to draw the line about T-34:

  • When it comes to T-34 it’s very hard to  say T-34 model A, T-34 model A, T-34 model B and so on. This is because new features were added in the middle of production runs, or old and damaged tanks were also rebuild and modernized. German engineers were tring to do something quality and epic something that may last for the long time. Soviet engineers approach was different, they modernized T-34 bit by bit, using a Tesco slogan “every little helps”. It did helped indeed… it helped to make T-34 incompatible)
  • T-34 produced before late 1941 were the ones that Germans treated as worthy enemy.  At that time it was a more protected machine than panzer 3. Yes It did have superior armour but was very unreliable and uncomfortable machine.To make the things even worse Soviet generals never heard about logistics. In addition to endless breakdowns tanks were never supplied properly. The tanks that did not broke either run out of fuel or ammo.


Here is one of models of that time. Have a look at such a huge and unusual single hatch. It really wasn’t common tank design. The reason to have such a huge was a need for endless repairs. Having such a hatch was allowing to change the main gun without taking the turret off.

  •  How would you call a weapon your are really scared of? I believe it would any kind of predatory name. Or for example the most fearful Soviet nuclear missile, by NATO definition was nicknamed SATAN.    You wouldn’t call a decent weapon a ” Mickey Mouse”. But German soldiers did. Mid 1942 was a birth of Soviet Mickey Mouse.

t-34 mikie

  •  In 1942 T-34 was simplified up the level of stone axe. Armour quality dropped so badly that soviet tank crews “became naked”, sadly it never changed till the very end of war. Never endless brake downs.
  • Some of T-34 produced from from mid 1943 , were fitted with new 5 speed gearbox. But if once Mickey Mouse – always Mickey Mouse.
  • Just from 1944 Soviets were able to allow such a luxury like aluminum or other non-ferrous metals. They managed to overcome most mechanical problems. Finally transmission was not felling apart.
  • 1945 end of production of T-34/76, but only T-34/85. As insane as it sounds but Soviets still could not fix Mickey Mouse problem )