The T34/85 tank was first produced during the winter of 1943-44 as a response to the growing presence of German Panther and Tiger tanks. It had a new 85mm gun mounted in a cast steel turret originally developed for the KV-85 heavy tank. The rest of the tank was virtually unchanged from the original T-34/76 apart from an enlarged turret to provide space for three crewmen. This enabled the commander to fulfill his main function of commanding the tank rather than helping to serve the main gun. The wide tracks enabled the vehicle to traverse all types of ground including soft mud and snow, which allowed it to operate in areas some of the older German tanks could not travel.
Like the T-34/76, the T-34/85 was employed both as a tank and as an infantry carrier. Hand rails were welded around the hull so that troops could hang onto the vehicle at higher speeds. Later variants included a flame-thrower tank with the flame gun mounted in the bow machine gun position, self-propelled guns, mine-rollers, and bridgelayers. Widely exported after the war, the T-34/85 saw front-line service in Africa as late as the 1980s and some are still in use in the former republics of Yugoslavia and Albania.
This particular T-34/85 medium tank bears the markings of a Polish armored unit and comes in a striking summer paint scheme.