The T-34/85M1 is a variant of the Soviet World War 2-era T-34 and was a product of the Polish refurbishing program. Similar to Soviet Model 1960, it added 'skeleton' roadwheel. The T-34/85M1 has somewhat a DDR mirror image in the KPz T-34/85M.
The T-34/85M1 is a fast, agile, cheap main battle tank and with an average gun in terms of accuracy and penetration. Its gun is accurate in medium to short range. Its speed means it can be used as a quickly reinforce to a position with ease.
The T-34/85 was the first tank in Poland to be mass-produced. In 1951, Poland bought a license for its production. Ultimately, Poland had planned to produce up to three thousand tanks a year. The manufacturer of the vehicles was the Mechanical Plant "Łabędy" in Łabędy near Gliwice, the cannons produced in Stalowa Wola, and the engines at Mechanical Plant No. 2 in Warsaw.
Serial production started in 1952 and continued until 1956. 1,380 were produced in total, of which 1,108 went on to serve in the Polish Army. The remaining 272 tanks were earmarked for export. During it's service in the Polish Army, the T-34/85 was upgraded locally to the T-34/85M1 ( which included an engine heater, space for a crew of four and a reinforced suspension) and T-34/85M2. Modernization was carried out in the Military Mechanical Works in Siemianowice Śląskie.