Hungarian 75mm M41 »Turan II« Medium Tank
Factory-fresh 3-tone camouflaged Turan II at MAVAG plant
Top and Bottom: Turan II Command Tank
2nd Armoured Division 1944
Turan II Medium Tank

In early 1939, just before the German annection, the Czech Skoda Works offered Hungary, still lacking an appropriate medium tank, the newly developed T-21. After successful tests, Hungary bought the licence of the T-21 in 1940 and began production of the tank under the name 40.M Turan közepes harckocsi (40.M Turan medium tank, or »Turan I«).

The first major derivative was the »41M Turan II« heavy tank.

The 75mm 41 M tank gun was developed by MAVAG on the basis of the Austro-Hungarian (!) Bohler 76.5mm 18M field gun, but with a modified caliber and a suitable tank mounting.

Although development started in 1941, the first deliveries of the Turan II did not take place until May 1943.

The first mass-produced 41M. Turán II medium tanks were handed to the troops in August 1943.

The first tank battle by the Turan II on the southeastern Polish-Ukrainian frontier in April 1944 went unexpectedly well when two Soviet T-34-85 tanks were knocked out.

During the short April 1944 offensive, the division lost 8 Turan I, 9 Turan II, 4 Nimrods and 1 Toldi tank while claiming to have knocked out 27 Soviet tanks thus even impressing the local German commanders with the bravery of the Hungarian tank units.

However, it had become clear that the short 75mm gun was not suitable for the role of a medium tank either, because the gun was only effective against the T-34s when closer than 500 meters.

The several times amended order of Turán II (309) was reduced to 222 vehicles.

In total, somewhere only 139 Turán II tanks were assembled before the production halt including a few damaged Turán I tanks were upgraded to Turán II.

Crossing Tokaj while towing a captured GAZ-AA truck, August 1944 [source : Bundesarchiv]
3-tone Camouflage and Skirts
KV-2 Model 1939
Captured by the 2nd Ukrainian Front on railway platform cars
Note turret skirts with number and side skirts
Two Turans with skirts on rail platforms with turrets pointing to the Danube, Spring 1945
 
 
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Last Updated: December 04, 2017