Military Factory

Soviet Army Tanks Throughout History

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 5/2/2015

For decades, the Soviet Union placed a high priority on fielding a large and capable armored fighting force - to be spearheaded by the all-important tank.

There are a total of 51 Soviet-era Tanks in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below by initial year of service descending. This listing also includes foreign-originated tanks adopted during the Soviet years as well as Lend-Lease tanks of World War 2. A complete list of Russian Tanks (including modern types and those passed on to the modern Russian military from the Soviet-era) can be found here. Flag images indicative of country of origin.

BMD-3 (Boyevaya Mashina Desanta)
The BMD-3 was a further installment in the relatively successful line of light amphibious, air-droppable infantry fighting ve...
Thumbnail picture of the BMD-3 (Boyevaya Mashina Desanta)

BMP-3 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty)
Soviet Union engineers and factories garnered much experience in the massive armor battles against German and Axis forces tha...
Thumbnail picture of the BMP-3 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty)

BMD-2 (Boyevaya Mashina Desanta)
The BMD-2 was a further evolution of the BMD-1 line of amphibious light infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) intended to be air-d...
Thumbnail picture of the BMD-2 (Boyevaya Mashina Desanta)

BMP-2 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty)
The Soviet Union introduced the concept of the Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) with the adoption of its BMP-1 in 1966. The ty...
Thumbnail picture of the BMP-2 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty)

The T-80 of the Russian Army was born in the era of the Soviet Empire during the Cold War. The type was a further evolution o...
Thumbnail picture of the T-80

T-72 (Ural)
The Soviets/Russians have always maintained a penchant for successful (and globally popular) tank designs since they unveiled...
Thumbnail picture of the T-72 (Ural)

BMD-1 (Boyevaya Mashina Desanta)
Since the tactic of utilizing airborne troops came to lethal fruition in World War 2, there always lay the challenge of outfi...
Thumbnail picture of the BMD-1 (Boyevaya Mashina Desanta)

BMP-1 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty)
The Soviet military was first major military power to widely adopt the concept of an "armored fighting infantry carrier" thro...
Thumbnail picture of the BMP-1 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty)

The natural progression of Soviet tank design during the years following World War 2 eventually produced the T-64 Main Battle...
Thumbnail picture of the T-64

After the end of World War 2, the Soviet military had officially replaced their war-winning T-34 Medium Tank series with the ...
Thumbnail picture of the T-62

The T-55 was a further improved version of the T-54 Main Battle Tank series of 1949 intended to counter the new American M60 ...
Thumbnail picture of the T-55

Object 279 (Obyekt 279)
The Russian Obyekt (translating to "Object") 279 Soviet heavy tank was developed in 1957 at the Kirov Plant in Leningrad by ...
Thumbnail picture of the Object 279 (Obyekt 279)

IS-10 / T-10 (Josef Stalin)
The T-10 can be considered the pinnacle "Josef Stalin" tank design as it is the tank that superceded previous forms and becam...
Thumbnail picture of the IS-10 / T-10 (Josef Stalin)

The PT-76 was developed shortly after Second World War. The weapon system is designated as a "Light Amphibious Tank" featurin...
Thumbnail picture of the PT-76

The T-54 series of Soviet main battle tank came about in the search for a viable replacement for the war-winning T-34 Medium ...
Thumbnail picture of the T-54

IS-3 / JS-3 (Josef Stalin)
The IS-3 (also "Joseph Stalin" or "Iosef Stalin" IS3) heavy tank was a continuation of the successful series of tanks fielded...
Thumbnail picture of the IS-3 / JS-3 (Josef Stalin)

Even as the fabled T-34 Medium Tank was coming online within the inventory of the Red Army during World War 2, thought was al...
Thumbnail picture of the T-44

IS-2 / JS-2 (Josef Stalin)
The Soviet Army need for ever-more formidable tracked firepower came to the forefront after losses of much territory to the i...
Thumbnail picture of the IS-2 / JS-2 (Josef Stalin)

IS-1 / JS-1 (Josef Stalin)
The IS-1 was born out of a Soviet Army need for more formidable tracked weapon systems to combat the ever-growing power of Ge...
Thumbnail picture of the IS-1 / JS-1 (Josef Stalin)

KV-85 (Klimenti Voroshilov)
The KV-85 was an interim heavy tank solution requested by Soviet authorities to help combat the arrival of the mighty German ...
Thumbnail picture of the KV-85 (Klimenti Voroshilov)

SdKfz 171 Panzerkampfwagen V Panther (PzKpfW V) / Panzer 5
Though initially mechanically unreliable at her inception, the Panther medium tank of the German Army went on to become one o...
Thumbnail picture of the SdKfz 171 Panzerkampfwagen V Panther (PzKpfW V) / Panzer 5

The T-34/85 was essentially categorized as an "up-gunned" version of the successful base T-34 medium tank designed and built ...
Thumbnail picture of the T-34/85

M4 Sherman (Medium Tank, M4)
The M4 Sherman series of medium tanks proved an invaluable asset to Allied operations North Africa, Europe and the Pacific th...
Thumbnail picture of the M4 Sherman (Medium Tank, M4)

M3 Lee / M3 Grant (Medium Tank, M3)
The M3 medium tank series appeared at a time when Allied armor (in respects to both armor protection and armament) was genera...
Thumbnail picture of the M3 Lee / M3 Grant (Medium Tank, M3)

In October of 1941 - four months after the German invasion of the Soviet Union through "Operation Barbarossa" - engineers of ...
Thumbnail picture of the T-70

M3 Stuart (Light Tank, M3)
The M3 "Stuart" Light Tank became the primary light tank vehicle for the United States Army heading into World War 2 (1939-19...
Thumbnail picture of the M3 Stuart (Light Tank, M3)

Infantry Tank Mk IV Churchill (A22)
The Churchill served the British Army and allied forces as the most important of its type during World War 2 (1939-1945), riv...
Thumbnail picture of the Infantry Tank Mk IV Churchill (A22)

In the period following World War 1, there came a global military movement centering on more cost-effective, light-class comb...
Thumbnail picture of the T-40

The T-60 light scout tank was designed and developed to replace the outclassed T-38 series of amphibious light scout tank and...
Thumbnail picture of the T-60

KV-2 (Klimenti Voroshilov)
The KV-2 assault gun tank was developed from the KV-1 series of heavy tanks appearing in 1939-1940 with the Red Army. Whereas...
Thumbnail picture of the KV-2 (Klimenti Voroshilov)

To Red Army authorities, it was becoming painfully clear that the BT series of "fast tanks" was not the long term answer for ...
Thumbnail picture of the T-34

SdKfz 161 Panzerkampfwagen IV (PzKpfW IV) / Panzer 4
The Panzer IV (or "Panzerkampfwagen IV" and abbreviated as "Pz.KpfW. IV") formed the backbone of the German Army from its inc...
Thumbnail picture of the SdKfz 161 Panzerkampfwagen IV (PzKpfW IV) / Panzer 4

KV-1 (Klimenti Voroshilov)
In 1938, the Soviet Union developed a prototype heavy tank of 58 tons designated as the T-100. The type was a massive machin...
Thumbnail picture of the KV-1 (Klimenti Voroshilov)

LT vz 38 / PzKpfW 38(t) (SdKfz 140)
This light tank system initially began as a Czechoslovakian creation in the form of the LT vz 38 but - as with the previous L...
Thumbnail picture of the LT vz 38 / PzKpfW 38(t) (SdKfz 140)

Vickers Mk VII (A17) (Tetrarch)
With the worsening situation in Europe during the late 1930s, it behooved the British to prepare for war with its old enemy G...
Thumbnail picture of the Vickers Mk VII (A17) (Tetrarch)

The Soviet Army had always prized amphibious vehicles and undertook various projects to find sound solutions even prior to Wo...
Thumbnail picture of the T-38

Type 95 Ha-Go (Ke-Go / Kyu-Go)
The Type 95 "Ha-Go" was a light tank design primarily utilized by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) during World War 2. She wa...
Thumbnail picture of the Type 95 Ha-Go (Ke-Go / Kyu-Go)

The 7TP series was of a Polish light tank design, based on the British Vickers-Armstrong 6-ton light tank (Mark E). With war ...
Thumbnail picture of the 7TP

Despite its formidable appearance by 1930 standards, the T-35 Heavy Tank ultimately proved an ill-fated endeavor of Soviet ta...
Thumbnail picture of the T-35

BT-7 (Bystrochodnij Tankov)
In the latter portion of the 1920s, the Soviet Army began looking to modernize their fleet of aging tanks. As such, it held a...
Thumbnail picture of the BT-7 (Bystrochodnij Tankov)

From the period of 1931 to 1941, the Red Army utilized the Carden-Loyd-inspired "tankette" through the locally-modified T-27,...
Thumbnail picture of the T-37A

BT-5 (Bystrochodnij Tankov)
The BT series of Soviet "Fast Tanks" was born out of a John Walter Christie design in the early 1930s featuring an American s...
Thumbnail picture of the BT-5 (Bystrochodnij Tankov)

In the early 1930s, the Soviets took to designing an indigenous tank - specifically the T-28 Medium Tank series - based on l...
Thumbnail picture of the T-28

BT-2 (Bystrochodnij Tankov)
Like many of the military powers prior to World War 2, the Red Army adopted a series of light, fast tanks intended to overwhe...
Thumbnail picture of the BT-2 (Bystrochodnij Tankov)

As was the norm after World War 1 in all industrialized nations around the globe, Soviet warplanners set about to upgrade the...
Thumbnail picture of the T-26

T-18 (MS-1)
The T-18 was the first Soviet-designed and produced tank. Russia initially lacked the internal expertise to design, develop a...
Thumbnail picture of the T-18 (MS-1)

Vickers 6-Ton (Mark E)
The Vickers 6-Ton (Mark E) was a light tank evaluated by the British Army but ultimately rejected. When the British Army pass...
Thumbnail picture of the Vickers 6-Ton (Mark E)

Vickers Medium Mark II
The combat tank made its debut on the battlefields of World War 1 (1914-1918) and proved a decisive component to Allied actio...
Thumbnail picture of the Vickers Medium Mark II

Medium Tank Mk A (Whippet)
The Medium Tank Mk A (also known as the "Whippet") was an armored vehicle specifically designed to exploit breaches in the ba...
Thumbnail picture of the Medium Tank Mk A (Whippet)

Tank Mk V
The Tank Mk V was a further evolution of the British "tank" - then known as "landship" - which began with the original Tank M...
Thumbnail picture of the Tank Mk V

Renault FT-17
The Renault FT-17 series of light tank was an evolutionary design in the field of combat tanks that would go on to influence ...
Thumbnail picture of the Renault FT-17