Easy Model EM36274 North Vietnamese T-34/85 Medium Tank - Summer Camouflage (1:72 Scale)
"By powerful artillery fire, air strikes, and a wave of attacking tanks, we're supposed to swiftly crush the enemy."
- Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov
After the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943, panic began to spread in the ranks of Soviet tank units. They had met the German Panther for the first time on the field of battle, and the mighty Tiger I was being encountered in increasing numbers. The Soviets desperately needed a tank with a 'longer arm' so-to-speak, and the solution offered up by a crash development program was a T-34 with a larger turret and a larger gun. This new tank was known as the T-34/85, which featured an 85mm anti-tank gun (derived from an anti-aircraft gun of the same caliber) mounted in a larger three-man turret. This more powerful tank entered service from March 1944 onwards and it was an immediate 'hit' since it could now stand toe-to-toe with the more powerful tanks being fielded by the Wehrmacht.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a North Vietnamese T-34/85 medium tank.
Length: 3.5 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Historical Account: "The Battle of Lang Vei" - The Battle of Lang Vei began on the evening of February 6 and concluded during the early hours of February 7th, 1968, in Quảng Trị Province, South Vietnam. Towards the end of 1967 the 198th Tank Battalion, Vietnam People's Army (VPA) 203rd Armored Regiment, received instructions from the North Vietnamese Ministry of Defence to reinforce the 304th Division as part of the Route 9-Khe Sanh Campaign. After an arduous journey down the Ho Chi Minh Trail in January 1968, the 198th Tank Battalion linked up with the 304th Division for a major offensive along Highway 9, which stretched from the Laotian border through to Quảng Trị Province. On January 23rd, the VPA 24th Regiment attacked the small Laotian outpost at Bane Houei Sane, under the control of the Royal Laos Army BV-33 Elephant Battalion.
In that battle the 198th Tank Battalion failed to reach the battle on time because its tank crews struggled to navigate their tank equipment through the rough local terrain. However, as soon as the PT-76 tanks of the 198th Tank Battalion turned up at Bane Houei Sane, the Laotian soldiers and their families panicked and retreated into South Vietnam. After Bane Houei Sane was captured, the 24th Regiment prepared for another attack which targeted the U.S. Special Forces Camp at Lang Vei, manned by Detachment A-101 of the 5th Special Forces Group. On February 6th, the North Vietnamese 24th Regiment, again supported by the 198th Tank Battalion, launched their assault on Lang Vei. Despite fighting with air and artillery support, the U.S.-led forces conceded ground and the North Vietnamese quickly dominated their positions. By the early hours of 7 February the command bunker was the only position still held by allied forces, but they were besieged by North Vietnamese soldiers above ground. During the entire ordeal, U.S. and indigenous CIDG forces trapped inside the command bunker had to endure North Vietnamese harassment, which came in the form of fragmentation and tear gas grenades. To rescue the American survivors inside the Lang Vei Camp, a counter-attack was mounted but the Laotian soldiers, who formed the bulk of the attack formation, refused to fight the North Vietnamese. Later on, U.S. Special Forces personnel were able to escape from the camp, and were rescued by a U.S. Marine task force.