In 1943, improved model operated by five men crew and armed with 85mm gun and machine gun was introduced. It was designated as T-34/85 and by the end of the war some 29430 tanks were produced. Only few were captured and even fewer were pressed into service, since German Army Office wanted to examine and test this new Soviet tank. In mid 1944, 5th SS Panzer Division "Wiking" during heavy fighting on the Vistula front near Warsaw captured and pressed T-34/85 into service. 252nd Infantry Division during their combat in East Prussia also pressed captured T-34/85 into service. It is also reported that 7th Panzer Division also captured atleast one T-34/85. It is unconfirmed, but reported that one T-34/85 was fitted with 88mm gun removed from a damaged Tiger and used during fighting in East Prussia.
Shortly thereafter, the 2nd Panzer Division, (on the left), attacked in two columns, encircled Mortain, overran and captured the village, and advanced towards the high ground west of Mortain, and to the southwest towards St. Hillaire. There was no significant American opposition, and by noon of 7 August, the German troops seemed on the way to St. Hilaire where they could threaten Avranches directly. One thing interfered: a Battalion of 30th Division infantrymen, surrounded, but still holding our on Hill #314, called such devastating artillery fire down on the panzer division, that the Germans were unable to advance after daylight.
The 42nd Division transferred from Adam's III Corps to Lieutenant General Michael Barker 's I Corps on 19 May 1940, nine days after the German Army invaded France , as the division moved into the front line on the River Escaut .  On 17 May Brigadier John Smyth 's 127th Brigade was detached to join "Mac Force", under Major General Noel Mason-MacFarlane , temporarily leaving the division with two brigades, returning on 20 May.  After the speed of the German advance, the division, along with the rest of the BEF, was forced to retreat to Dunkirk , and was evacuated from Dunkirk on 31 May/1 June, having suffered significant casualties.  Around this time the 42nd Division gained its first and only Victoria Cross (VC) of the Second World War, belonging to Captain Marcus Ervine-Andrews of the 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment , of the 126th Brigade. In addition to being one of the first VCs won by the British Army during World War II, he was also the first Irishman to be awarded the medal during the war.