Historical VK3001H

Hello everyone,

today, we are going to have a look at what will happen to the VK3001H in patch 8.8.


But first, in order to explain the logic behind WG’s decision, we have to have a look at the history of the VK3001H. Some very basic info can be found on the World of Tanks wiki page – the data written in the article are unfortunately quite incorrect.

VK3001H (the ingame designation will most likely be VK 30.01 (H) in order to adhere to Doyle’s system) is further development of the Durchbruchswagen concept. The DW vehicles (DW1 and DW2) were – as their name in German suggests – attempts to create a breakthrough tank (in other words, essentially a heavy tank). On 9.9.1938, it was decided to continue with the DW 30 ton category development. On 19.1.1939, Krupp decided that the new vehicle should be equipped with a 75mm L/24 cannon, the crew should be equal to that of Panzer IV and the tank should have 50mm armor all around. On 31.1.1939, this new vehicle program was renamed to Panzerkampfwagen VI (7,5cm), but the new experimental designation for it was VK30.01 (experimental/tracked vehicle, 30 tons, 1st prototype). At the same time, the old DW projects were renamed to VK30.01 (Alte Konstruktion), while the new VK30.01 was referred to as “Neue Konstruktion” (new design).

Design-wise, it was a classical German tank, with typical Henschel suspension (that would eventually evolve into the Tiger one via VK3601. The roadwheels had torsion bar suspension.

3 prototypes were ordered. The hulls were made by Krupp in Essen and delivered to Henschel in Kassel for final assembly in 1940 (1st hull – 15.3., 2nd – 15.4. and 3rd – 15.5.). Turrets were also ordered and Krupp was supposed to deliver them in 1940. However, these came later and most likely were never installed on any prototype machines. The three prototypes instead had a concrete cube installed instead of the turret to simulate the turret weight. The vehicles were equipped with 300hp Maybach HL116 engines and their maximum road speed was 35km/h.

29.5.1941, first order for 0-series 8 VK3001H tanks was signed. Between October 1941 and January 1942, Henschel also recieved the 8 turrets from Krupp, that were to be mounted on the 0-series vehicles. The first 0-series hull was delivered on 8.8.1941 and 15.11.1941, first 0-series VK3001H (with a mounted turret) was tested in Sennelager. This first 0-series VK3001H was by no means finished however (some components were missing) and it was sent back to Henschel. The last hull was delivered on 10.11.1941 and the last turret on 21.1.1942. Maybach also built 18 engines in total for the VK3001 between 1941 and 1943.

On 30.1.1942, based on the preliminary tests (which did not show the vehicle in very positive light), it was decided to reduce the amount of the 0-series tanks being built to only 4 vehicles, which were built in March (2) and October 1942 (another 2). These tanks were sent to training units and were used for crew training.

The armament (which was still the 75mm L/24, quite insufficient for the 1942 battlefield) was also discussed – Krupp proposed on 7.10.1941 following options to the Waffenprüfamt 6:

- 75mm KwK L/34,6 (prolonged version of L/24)
- 50mm KwK L/50
- 50mm KwK L/60
- 75mm Waffe 0725 (which WoT players will know as 75mm Konisch on VK3601, but it was shown later that this cannot be installed).

WaPA 6 responded in the sense that they’d like the 75mm KwK 40 L/43 installed. Krupp replied that in order to do that, either the gun would have to be modified, or the turret would have to be bigger. In January 1942, the re-arm project was scrapped.

Two hulls were subsequently used to build the two 128mm tank destroyers “12,8cm Kanone 40 L/61 auf VK 30.01(H)”, known as “Sturer Emil”. Additional turrets, that were already manufactured before the 0-series VK3001H project was reduced, were actually used for fixed emplacements in France (Atlantic Wall).

The remaining machines were used for crew training and testing various equipment until the end of the war, when they were scrapped.

VK3001H in World of Tanks

Now, you are probably already seeing already how unhistorical the VK3001H is in the game. The problem also is the reliability of facts. Rarely have I encountered so many contradictory messages, so I will rely on Jentz and Doyle in addition to Spielberger.

In the light of the vehicle’s history, it should be no surprise that being the successor of the DW series and the predecessor of the VK3601, this vehicle was spiritually (if not weight-wise) destined to be a heavy tank. Its armor and speed were made to fit this role, as you will see further.

Hull armor

Let’s start with the hull armor. Currently, the VK3001H (in an effort to make it into an agile medium tank, something it was never designed to do) is underarmored. In real life, it had 50mm armor all around (with the exception of certain frontal and rear armor heavily sloped parts, which were only 35mm thick). Why 50mm? Because in 1941, 50mm was believe to be an adequate protection from the 37mm L/46 PaK anti-tank gun, which was taken as some sort of baseline for tests. So, that’s good news for the players – more side armor, while keeping the weight, right? Well, there’s more and you won’t like that.


Expect extreme drop. The real life VK3001H was powered by a 300hp Maybach HL116 engine, allowing it to go around 35km/h (some sources state 25km/h, current ingame maximum speed is 55km/h). For 32 tons, you can expect the drop of power-to-weight ratio to around 9,3 hp/t (50 percent drop). All the current VK3001H ingame engines are not historical. Some might be kept, but most will be dropped.


Expect the stock turret to remain, but the 2nd turret (the Grossturm aka Schmalturm) will definitely disappear (VK3001H couldn’t mount the Schmalturm due to small turret ring). A bit of an info from WG: 2nd turret will most likely resemble the VK3601 stock turret, as that was its historical development. However, due to the loading strain, I’d expect reduced armor, something like 80/60/60, while looking like this:



Now, here’s a pickle. As you can see, the choice is quite broad. However, it’s pretty sure that for tier 5, the Konisch won’t be installed (it couldn’t be even historicall). 75mm L/24, 50mm L/60 could both fit into the stock turret and they are most likely to appear. 105mm L/28 was never considered, so that will not show up I think. The top gun will most likely be the 75mm L/43 (L/48 was never considered, but theoretically could fit too).

So, historical gun choice: 75mm L/24 (stock), 50mm L/60, 75mm L/43 in the 2nd turret.


What you will get is much slower vehicle, more compact than other tier 5 heavies, but packing some punch. With a buffed engine, I believe it might be the most mobile of the tier 5 heavies, but also the most fragile one, with 50mm hull armor (unless they buff it unhistorically).

Pejčoch – Obrněná technika
Doyle – Panzer Tracts
Jentz, Doyle – Germany’s Tiger Tanks
Chamberlain, Jentz, Doyle – Encyclopedia of German tanks of WW2

128 thoughts on “Historical VK3001H

  1. 4th paragraph “The three prototypes instead had a beton cube”
    beton = concrete

    • Heh, language fib. In Finnish concrete is called “betoni” too – makes me curious of the etymologies involved.

            • …willing to bet 5€ now that it’s some mutation of “beton” in German – the de facto “trade language” of engineering in the 1800s when concrete became big again – and just about everyone cheerfully loaned it lock stock and barrel. (French is another “usual suspect” for loanwords, but “concrete” originates in Latin so I’d assume it uses a variation thereof.)

            • And Kellomies won himself 5€ from whomever is willing to pay up, cause it’s also just Beton in german. We germans adopted it from the french Béton though, so he’s wrong with his second theory.

            • Seriously? Daaaaang. Not surprised they were an early source for the term though, as quickly skimming teh Wiki in a futile search of the etymology taught me concrete was an important building material for something called “Canal du Midi”… in 1670.

            • Still a better discussion then Stalin.

              Obviously a derivative of Twilight-overused-line

      • True, but even the turret armor will be only average compared to the other Tier 5 HTs..
        I was sceptical yesterday as the news was announced, now im just curious how this should work as a heavy tank.
        But thank u for your effort, very nice article.

  2. “The vehicles were equipped with 300hp Maybach HL116 engines and their maximum road speed was”
    Was what? Thanks for the interesting and informative article. I really liked the old VK3001H, it was my favourite German tier VI medium, too bad to see it disappear like this, but if it’s historical… let’s just hope that their newfound love for historicity will also bring positive developments sometimes.

    • like a KV-1S without the 122mm gun? or finally a removal of all the derps on tier 5 tanks? It seems they use historical accuracy only when it suits their needs.
      One prototype of a KV-1S with a 122mm gun? IN THE GAME!
      18 (!) Sturmtigers built? STILL NOT IN THE GAME!
      totally made up tanks like Jagdpanther II or JP E-100 or E-50M or… you get what i mean… IN THE GAME!
      And dont tell me the Jagdpanther II fills a gap of any kind in the tech tree. *cough* Ferdinand *cough*
      Schürzen (skirt armor) on german StuGs, Pz III, Pz IV and Panther tanks which were built in quite some numbers? NOT IN THE GAME!
      (by now nerfed) T-50 and (now gladly gone) T-50-2 prototypes? IN THE GAME! with their historical engines? NO, ITS A FORMULA 1 TANK!
      And I am still wondering what the new german TD branch will actually bring, especially in terms of higher tiers. Historical accuracy? probably not.

      • You do realize that developers dont want to keep balancing new tanks for 5+ patches right, like before? That’s the only reason Sturmtiger is not in the game yet.

        • And a massive reload time and gun that’s bigger then anything in game… Also utterly un-mobile. Me and SS already talked about it previously.

          That is one SPG (hardly mobile enough to count) that will never appear as a player controlled tank…

      • You realise Schurtzens don’t mean fuck against cannon? If you want the cosmetics, IIRC modders supplied that a long time ago.

    • It’s sure to come up at some point.
      Afterall, it’s going to get turned into a pointless grind tank that’s worse than its German medium peers on many levels. The only things where it’s going to have an advantage if SS’ predictions are true are turret armour and all-around hull armour (minus the front), but both of these are insufficient to protect against good Tier 4 guns and most Tier 5+ guns.

      • *and hitpoints, of course. At least that’s the advantage it *should* have as a heavy.

    • So how is this going to be balanced as a tier V heavy tank Daigensui? Because I get the distinct impression that you know more than you’re letting on? As it stands now, there’s no way that a heavy tank which is markedly inferior to both German tier V medium tanks in almost every capacity is going to be balanced. And another thing, if its upgraded turret is going to be the VK 36.01 (H)’s stock turret (which can mount the Konisch), why can’t this “re-balanced” tank mount the Konisch with its second turret as well?

  3. Quick comparison with the Pz IV medium tank on the same tier:

    Armor: Pz IV has 80mm frontal armor vs 50mm on the VK, however the side armor on the Pz IV is only 30mm compared to 50mm on the VK, still point goes to the Pz IV

    Speed: clearly the Pz IV. 9.3hp/t? bugger off, that VK will never do more than 35, a Pz IV will outrun it easily.

    Armament: Pz IV has both the 7.5cm L48 aswell as the short 10.5cm gun? And the VK is stuck with the L43 gun with only a chance for the L48? no derp on tier 5 is a severe disadvantage for most players (I am NOT a fan of derps, my Pz IV drives around with the historical 7.5cm L48 gun and it performs better than most Pz IV drivers with their derps, also looks better with the long gun)

    • Regarding the side armor, it’s not as simple. 30mm armor gets 2x overmatched by 60mm+ guns (everything around that tier rolls around with 75mm) and 3x overmatched by 90mm (which it CAN meet), for 50mm you already need 100mm for double overmatch and 150mm for triple overmatch, which is not as common.

      • Still I consider the advantage in frontal armor outweighs that since tier 4 guns at least bounce at your frontal armor. there are even tier 3 tanks that can penetrate 50mm of armor. to be frank: even the tetrarch can penetrate 60mm of armor on tier 2!

        • AP and APCR only.

          But the 2x overmatch rule is useless for anything but derpguns- for instance 60mm armour is not gonna do jack against the Russian 122 unless it’s at autobounce angle (in which case 41mm would suffice).

          Basically the only use of the extra side/rear armour is to protect against the occasional M3 Stuart or HE shells, or to sidescrape against bobs to make them ricochet.

  4. I wonder how the Neubaufahrzeug would fit into all of this. I do remember WG confirming at some point that it will be added.

  5. Can we get some data on the VK 3601H? I honestly don’t understand why people are raging more about the 30. I’m scared that they’ll take all its nice guns away and leave us with the 75 L70 and nerf its damage…

    • Because all VK-36.01(H) will recieve is that it is even officially classed as a heavy. Don’t believe the WG Paris info on the matter, both RU and US sites mention VK-36 will just be classified as a heavy and no other changes; it is WG Paris who have themselves invented (prolly goin to be explained as an error in translation…) VK-36 will be “re-balanced”.

      In short, nothing will change for VK-36, except it will have a slightly different MM value.

      • Hope so, my priority is grinding the 30.01H so as to avoid disappointment later.

        I figure I have a little better than two weeks.

        This has to drop before the Japanese server goes live on Sept. 1.

  6. I predict the L48 and some more horsepower than the historical engine. It’d still have the least powerful T5 heavy gun but soft stats could compensate.

      • Dem evul EU supartestars leakin again! :) But still, weak gun, no armor and no mobility? Unless it gets like 1k hp I don’t see it working.

      • Really?

        For what kind of reason proposed German T5 heavy firepower need to be way below even the best medium tanks, where T5 heavies dominate with so much better guns?

        KV-1 with 85 mm gun is BDR G1 with 90mm are both quite capable do dish out some heavy damage. So why not just leave “short 88″ on rebalanced VK3001H and let players have an option for at least one German contender against all other T5 heavies!

        Historical accuracy for prototype tanks should really never be an excuse, because it is exactly here where developers should show more creative approach to differ from reality nonsense!

  7. Worlds like “75L/43″ and “punch” should not appear in a sentence regarding tier V. Those supposed guns are all pitiful…

    • Actually I drive my Pz IV with the L48 gun (difference in performance is negligible) and I can frontally penetrate an IS at close range without loading gold, so the gun is not outright BAD, but youre right, it could be a lot better

      • Yes you “can” – from time to time, if he’s not angled at all, you have some chances vs the LFP, but those chances are not good anyway.
        110 pene is something my KV-1 laughs at. Properly angled KV-1 will bounce 40% of 110-pene shells at some distance. And here we’re talking about 106 pene. The alpha is also laughable. I predict the worst T5 heavy ever, lacking speed, punch and armor.

        • Good for you, then. Most KV drivers I run into seem to have considerably more problems facing even the 6-pounder.

          Agreed that thus far it doesn’t sound very promising for Mew!3001H’s performance though.

  8. I do wonder what kind of stats the Durchbruchswagen will have given that currently we only have one tier IV heavy.

      • This heavy line is sounding more and more like an epic fail in the making. I mean, a “heavy tier IV” with the same armor and guns as a Pz III, a “heavy tier V” which will have worse stats in almost every way compared to Germany’s tier V mediums, and a relatively unchanged VK 36.01 (H).

        • It also begs the question of where will this line start from. To me the most obvious starting point would be to have the Durchbruchswagen researchable from the Panzer III Ausf. A.

  9. It seems to me that it will have APCR-shells in the 75mm L/43 to be competitive against BDR and KV-1, but the short 88 will be more equal to its rivals, but it doesn´t fit the stock-turret of VK36.01 and the konisch feels a little bit to OP in a tier 5 tank but the 75mm L/70 will be good, it worked in the Pz4 for a long time. And I can´t see how WG shall release a heavy tank with worse gun, worse armor, worse mobility and better turret than its´ same tier medium tank (Pz4).

    Does the archives hold any information about a prototype gun or something that can bring this tank to rival the KV-1??

    I hope that they don´t change to much in the VK36.01 cause I love that tank, can be played both as a mini-Tiger or a mini-Panther depending on turret/gun!

    • There was an idea that was briefly entertained on the NA forums a few months back where the old Konisch gun(65 alpha w/ AP, 165 pen) was introduced

      But chances are slim to none

    • even the famous 8.8cm L56 is powerless against a KV-1 sometimes. and considering that thing is mounted on tier 6 tanks mostly, and that its historical performance was somewhat better. Good luck with either peashooter against a KV-1 upfront. Even the side armor is weird on that thing, i put point blank shots into a KV-1 from the side at perfect angle and bounce 2 out of 3 shots with my Pak 40 (which is essentially the L48 gun)

      • Curious how the 132 pen 8.8 is powerless against a KV-1 when my 128 pen T1 Heavy 76 mm M1A1 rips a KV-1 apart like butter.

      • old soviet tech tree showed that. i’ve made wrong question though: i wonder if there is any historical link between new soviet meds tree and 2nd soviet tds tree. i mean developers, factories etc

  10. Why not just leave short 88 on rebalanced VK3001H?

    French T5 heavy has a top gun of 90mm gun with pen of 135 and damage of 240.

    And another quite valid question. Why should a prototype tank be eligible to “historical accuracy when even tanks which were used in vast number in WW2 do not correspond to that notion?

    • Because the VK 30.01 (H) that we currently have in the game is nothing like it’s historical counter part with the exception of the visual appearance of the hull and turret.

      • What is the point that prototype tanks must be adhering to its “historical accuracy” while quite alot of their “RL” counter part tanks are not following that notion?

        If those “prototypes” were fail in RL, it is just utter garbage that WG want to bend “historical accuracy” on them.

        “Historical accuracy” is just a retarded excuse for making garbage tanks. If those prototypes were garbage and thus scrapped, then wg DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE AS ORIGINAL DESIGNERS!

        Game is meant to be fun not to represent the “history” even if that mean “fail and !not working as it was planned!”

  11. I love this tank in its currents state. Such a fun tank to drive. Another very special tank we loose to historical accuracy. A shame.

  12. As for now this “heavy” tank looks like it is going to be eaten by KV on breakfast… It’s always funny how WG is using “historical accuracy” only when it suits them. THis has become World of Prototypes long ago. I personally don’t care about that VK, just hope they will not screw the VK3601, as it is a really fun little tank to which I’m returning from time to time. Especially after they’ve introduced changes to the Koenish cannon, but even with the short 8.8, when the Koenish could be fuelled only with premium shells (too expensive) this tank was fine. A “baby Tiger”. I just hope they will finnaly give some buff to the Tiger itself, as they were saying for such a long time. Like the unhistorical speed i.e.

  13. I think we can safely assume that this rebalance will screw the VK3001h completely.

    Please point out a single german tank that ended even remotely as good as before its “rebalancing”…

    (Luchs, Leopard, Vk2801, anything else?)

    • But that’s the whole point! The current VK 30.01 (H) is stupidly overbuffed and nothing like the real thing! The real VK 30.01 (H) was a slow, heavy tank with meh armor and an underpowered gun!

      • The point is nerfing german mediums like there’s no tomorrow ?
        Hell, the 3001H was probably the least overpowered of the bunch, by a long shot, thanks to its average/terrible hull armor, but at least it performed decently enough as a tier VI. Now it looks like it’ll perform badly as a tier V.

        Hell, I don’t mind historical accuracy. But this is pointless, this is making yet another shitty tank that people will be glad to be over with while it used to be a balanced enough tank.

        I even doubt this could beat a damned Matilda in a 1v1. despite being a tier higher and a “heavy” tank.

      • “The real VK 30.01 (H) was a slow, heavy tank with meh armor and an underpowered gun!”

        Does that sound like a tier 5 heavy to you ?

  14. 50mm front, 50mm side, 106 pene gun with bad accuracy, bad power/weight ratio that will make reaching the topspeed basically impossible, so bad agiliy overal – sounds like a T4 material to me.
    At T5 even KV-1′s 120mm often fails vs other T5 tanks (angled KV-1, AT-2, T1), and this German tank would basically have no chances vs AT-2, because 106 pene vs small 101,6mm weakspot that is round (so flat part is pretty small) = high probability of a bounce, and the other way around – 112 pene vs 50mm armor – GL HF.

    Either devs come up with some new interesting gun (doubt that) or put this on T4 OR introduce another useless tank that will be a pain to grind

  15. 50mm flat front, mediocre turret with no depression, and a top gun being stock from pz3/4? And it’s slower? It’s slower, poorer armored, with shittier gun compared to pz 3/4. Which is shit already.
    I kinda guessed that ‘smoothing experience’ means nerfing everything to the point of TigerH.
    GG WG ded gaem.

  16. well WG really knows how to screw everyone up, luckily i got my panther already. I personally loved the 3001H though,

  17. Well, I have an idea how to make this tank not a complete disaster:
    give it premium matchmaking, so it meets T6 top. ATM this tank has no visible advantages over Churchill III, I see no reason to give it normal MM.

  18. Seems like i should really buy this again and grind to the Panther before 8.8…Else i will probably have to grind through the III/IV again to get the 30.02(M)…

  19. “prolonged version of L/24″

    Prolonged can be time but not an object, elongated is the word for object made longer than it initially was.

  20. Short 88 as top gun should stay on VK3001 even if it is a T5 heavy!

    French BDR G1 B still has an equivalent of short 88 with 90mm gun, which has a pen of 135 and average damage of 240!

    This “reality” nonsense is just fail for prototype tanks. They were scraped for a reason and WG should not follow with the same mistakes as their original designers.

    At least show some respect for those and make tank better than it was intended as in WoT IT WILL BE OPERATIONAL and not thrown in training room only and scrapyards!

  21. Yeah, it really looks like the 3001H will have almost no redeeming features whatsoever if all the information here is correct :/. I think at least keeping the short 88 would be enough to keep it competitive.

  22. Since most tanks are unhistorical anyway why do you think tier 5 german heavy will be historical? It might even end having 80mm front 50mm side and rear armor and 80mm turret front. But gun is the biggest question is it pitiful 75L48 or we get something better or they finally buff 75L48 as they promised to be more equal with t-34 57mm gun.

  23. This is ridiculous, the VK3001(H) is going to be utterly terrible, shitty gun, shit armor, shit depression this is like a Panzer III Ausf A at teir 5 except it is expected to be a heavy, and doesn’t have any speed at all.

    Not only this, but WG is screwing everyone over that currently owns the tank by not giving them the tanks replacement. When the T-50-2 was removed everyone received the MT-25 that owned the T-50-2.
    You might reason “well they didn’t remove the tank from the game”
    For all intents and purposes they have, it is not the same tank what so ever.

    Poor, poor VK3001(H)

    • “Not only this, but WG is screwing everyone over that currently owns the tank by not giving them the tanks replacement. When the T-50-2 was removed everyone received the MT-25 that owned the T-50-2.”
      Are you an idiot? Because you sure work hard to look like one.

  24. > it’s pretty sure that for tier 5, the Konisch won’t be installed (it couldn’t be even historicall).

    If top turret will be from VK 36.01 (H), in which konisch gun was historical one, why it cant?

  25. If the 7.5L43 is its best gun then how can it pack any punch? It is weaker than any heavy tank in tier and its got a weaker gun than german Tier 5 medium tanks.

    Both the PzIV and PzIII/IV have the 7.5L48 why would a Tier 5 heavy tank be given a downgraded version of the top gun on the same nations Tier 5 medium tanks. The gun would be all around weaker than any other nations gun. Maybe better accuracy but even comparing it to say T1 Heavy.
    ROF – T1 Heavy has more
    Pen – T1 Heavy has more
    Damage – T1 Heavy has more

    • The skirts were added to protect from Soviet AT rifles (lol), which this thing rather obviously didn’t much see. Dream on.

  26. Pingback: WoT: Deciding about the VK3001H | stnylan's musings

  27. Funny how only non-soviet bloc tanks have to adhere to any historical realism. By WOT standards the historical record on performance and operational histories has been reversed to nerf the superior western equipment and to buff historically inferior non-western products. The post-WW2 battlefield is littered with non-western afv’s which perished in droves against their western counterparts