If you look at the tanks of the Second World War, you will notice one very interesting detail that lies literally on the surface, but for some reason does not strike the eye too much. It lies in the fact that many Soviet tanks, unlike German ones, do not have a muzzle brake on the barrel. What is the reason for this design feature of domestic vehicles and does this mean that our tanks were still worse than the German ones?
If you look closely at the armored vehicles of different countries during the Second World War, it becomes clear that not only some Soviet tanks did not have a muzzle brake. It is also absent in some German vehicles, moreover, there is no muzzle brake on some models of the main American Sherman tank. This is the case with British, Japanese and other technology. What is the matter? Obviously, the answer to the question does not lie in the word "economy".
The correct answer is technical necessity. Tank guns of the Second World War, especially of its first half, were significantly inferior in power to those guns that began to be put on tanks in all countries already during the Cold War. Modern guns are much more powerful, and therefore each of them without exception needs a muzzle brake. As you might guess, this device allows you to reduce the amount of powder gases entering the inside of the machine, and also significantly reduces the recoil of the gun.
It is theoretically possible to create a powerful cannon without a brake, but in this case it will be necessary to provide it with more space for "walking". And since there are known problems in a tank with free space, this approach is corny not constructive and not rational. Tanks with low power cannons, like the early T-34s, Shermans, and many German light tanks, are another matter. Weak recoil makes the muzzle brake trite unnecessary.
There is also a second reason - combat tactics. The muzzle brake creates a cloud of hot gases that pose a serious danger to people standing in the immediate vicinity of the tank. Such a vehicle is inapplicable for a tank landing (when the infantry sits on the armor).
Nevertheless, during the years of the Great Patriotic War, there was an active cannon and armor race. They tried to constantly increase the strength and quality of protection, and therefore, by 1944, almost all domestic tanks, including new modifications of the T-34, began to receive powerful guns, which could no longer do without a muzzle brake.
If you want to know even more interesting things, then you should read about why is a net being pulled over the turret of a T-90 tank (spoiler: not for disguise).