today, we are going to have a look at the historicity of the new upcoming German tank destroyer line.
Tier 4 – Marder 38T
As you can see on the picture, this vehicle is clearly based on the Marder III Ausf.H. Of course, most Marder pictures are taken from the ground by a photographer, so few people know about how the superstructure really looks (that it has that small “roof” and spent shell collectors):
So, why is it called Marder 38T and not Marder III Ausf.H in the game? Well, that’s a good question. First off, the designation Marder 38T is not historical – even IF it was to be called like this, it would be called 38(t), but generally, as far as I know, Marder III was referred to either by its Sonderkraftahrzeug number, or simply “Marder” or “Marder III” (or – in one case – Panzerjäger 38(t) ). If you are interested in the Marder III history, I wrote an article about it some time ago.
I suspect that the developers chose this name because a) it’s short (much shorter than Marder III Ausf.H anyway) and b) because of the weaponry. You see, historical Marder III Ausf.H carried ONLY the 75mm PaK 40 (which will probably be buffed in terms of accuracy, aimtime and rate of fire for tier 4). It never actively carried the Marder II 76,2mm coverted Russian gun. Thus, if they wanted to add more weapons to Marder III, it wouldn’t be Marder III Ausf.H anymore, but some sort of hybrid. In this sense, it’s probably guaranteed for Marder III to carry some unhistorical weaponry (despite the L/70 Marder III actually being available – it was a paper project by BMM). And since it’s an unhistorical mashup anyway, they might name it 38T as well.
Overall, I suspect this vehicle will be quite historical (in terms of engine, armor etc.), with a bunch of unhistorical guns added.
Weight: 10,5 tons
Armor: 50mm frontal
Engine: 125-150hp Praga
Gun: PaK 40/3 L/46,5
Tier 5 – Sfl.IVc
Ah yes, the infamous “bang bus”. Yes, in case you are wondering, this is a historical vehicle. Doyle and Chamberlain clearly tell us in the “Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two”:
The picture above contains all that we do know and need to know about the vehicle. Basically, the Flak version (that is in game, see the gun choices – the top being the L/74 Flak 41) was NOT designed to drive around and kill tanks, it was a mobile heavy AA vehicle with fully traversing turret. As for the Flak 41 gun itself, I think we can expect somewhat worse parameters than the PaK 43 L/71, but how much worse, that we can only speculate. Original FlaK 41 parameters:
Barrel length: L/74 (6548mm)
Elevation: -3 to +90 (this goes for static mount)
AT shell velocity: 980 m/s
AT shell weight: 9,8kg
Subcaliber AT shell velocity: 1125 m/s
Subcaliber AT shell weight: 7,5kg
Rate of fire: 23 rounds per minute (again, this is for static mount, it won’t be nearly as much in game)
Penetration at 100m: 194mm (237mm with subcaliber rounds)
By having the bang bus drive around with its superstructure up, this vehicle moved from the realm of reality to the realm of fantasy somewhat, but I suspect the vehicle will be viable, if fragile. Please note that the ENTIRE superstructure acts as regular armor, not spaced armor: if it gets penetrated anywhere, tank HP goes down.
Tier 6 – Nashorn
This is probably (along with Marder III and Sturer Emil) the most known vehicle of the entire branch and many people waited for it. And for a good reason! Massive firepower of the L/71 makes it a hot contender for the most awesome tier 6 vehicle out there. For historical background, the wiki article suffices – of course, there are some small issues with it, but nothing groundbreaking. With its great gun, decent mobility and possibly good camo factor, I suspect it will be an awesome vehicle, if a bit fragile.
Weight: 24 tons
Armor: 20-30mm hull, 10mm superstructure
Engine: 300hp Maybach (12,5hp/t)
Gun: 88mm PaK 43 L/71 (I suspect the previous vehicle’s Flak being the stock gun)
Tier 7 – Selbstfahrlafette V, or Sturer Emil
128mm K40 at tier 7? Yes please! Sturer Emil is a historical vehicle and possibly the most awaited tank destroyer of the whole line. It is a special hull, based on the VK3001H suspension, housing the massive 128mm gun. Again, for history basics, the wikipedia article will suffice. As for the gun itself, what can we expect? Well, basically it was a Flak 40 conversion, so don’t expect TOO much. But for its tier, the firepower will be awesome. Also, note the -15 historical depression. The traverse (7 to each side) is going to be a bit worse though.
Barrel length: L/61 (7808mm)
APC-HE shell velocity: 880 m/s
APC-HE shell weight: 26,35kg
Rate of fire: 10 rounds per minute (this is for static mount, it won’t be nearly as much in game)
Penetration at 100m: 201mm
Overall, this vehicle has potential to be completely historical.
Weight: 35 tons
Armor: 50mm hull, 15mm superstructure
Engine: 300hp Maybach (8,57hp/t)
Gun: 128mm K40
Elevation: -15 (!!!)/+10
Traverse: 7 to each side
Tier 8 – Waffenträger Rheinmetall-Borsig
So, this looks weird, doesn’t it. Did such a thing actually exist in real life? Yes, yes it did.
This was one of the heavier Waffenträger proposals by Rheinmetall-Borsig. The Waffenträger history is kinda complicated, there were tons of various projects, mostly from Krupp, Rheinmetall and Ardelt. If you are interested in more details, please check my “Devil wears Praga” article.
The 150mm installed in the game (150mm FH L/29,5) is historical (as artillery piece, it was designated FH18 – FH in this case means Feldhaubitze, field gun). The penetration of this gun will not be very high (apart from the HEAT shells), but there almost certainly will be an option to mount a 128mm gun. That alone is also historical, as quite similiar chassis was planned for an unspecified 128mm gun (we can here expect the K40 to be stock and L/55 or its equivalent being an upgrade):
Armor – as you can guess – will be VERY thin:
The engine for these Waffenträgers however was originally the Praga AC/2, with the 220hp Tatra 103 being an upgrade. Overall, the turret could be rotated 360 degrees (confirmed by Storm), but please note that historically, this chassis could rotate the gun 360 degrees ONLY when equipped with the 88mm L/71, the 128mm and 150mm version could rotat ONLY to 30 degrees to each side, so this might still change.
Weight: cca 13 tons with a 105mm mounted, which means cca 18 tons with 150mm
Armor: 10-20mm hull
Engine: 220hp Tatra 103 (12,2hp/t)
Gun: 150mm FH18, possibly 128mm K40 or L/55 PaK
Elevation: -0 (!) with the 150mm, -5 with the 128mm
Traverse: possibly 360, but historically 30 to each side
Tier 9 – Waffenträger auf Panzer IV
So, this is weird, isn’t it? Who’d put a Panzer III/IV hull on tier 9, is it even historical?
Unfortunately it is. These drawings come from Doyle’s “Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two” and were the only thing I was able to find on this strange design. With that being said, I suspect the developers took a lot of liberty, when designing this ugly vehicle in game. That unfortunately also means that we can only guess, what the vehicle will be like in game.
It is known it will have a 6 man crew, top gun is known (150mm PaK L/38), but the L/29,5 from tier 8 will most likely also appear, as will some sort of 128mm, like the L/55 (it’s historical, planned with 128mm K80 – a PaK44). We also know that the gun will be in a fully revolving 360 degree turret and that the hull is not well armored, probably 50mm or so. The gun shield will also be quite thin.
A lot of people are concerned about the mobility, but I wouldn’t be. This vehicle was leaked with a tier 5 engine in top configuration. Current Panzer IV actually has no tier 5 engine option, but Panzer III/IV does (and this vehicle was based on heavily modified III/IV chassis). That tier 5 engine has 580hp, so if we take a very wild guess and define its size as roughly similiar to that of the tier 8 (at least that’s how it looks from the drawings), we might be looking at a 25-30 ton vehicle. 580hp for 30 tons is not that bad, but it won’t be a race car. The elevation is going to be possibly quite decent.
As a last note: you might ask, why there is no 38d design on tier 9 too (there could be). Well, that’s because the 38d suspension is allegedly saved for something else (4th German TD branch, the 3rd being the assault guns, “crowned” by the Sturmtiger).
Tier 10 – Waffenträger E-100
Well, we waited for it and here it is in all its “glory”.
Waffenträger E-100 is a completely fictional design, so we might as well take a wild guess about how it will behave. The armor was confirmed to be thinner than the one of classic E-100. It’s very hard to guess the gun superstructure thickness, my guess is 100mm, but we’ll just have to see. For its weight (it’s most likely to be much lighter than the Jpz E-100, my guess: 80 tons?) it will possibly move much faster (keeping the same ingame maximum speed: 30km/h, but accelerating quicker) with the same engine. Note that the engine compartment is in the frontal part, which means more engine fires. This vehicle would be very vulnerable. The gun will be an autoloaded 150mm L/38 (with the autoloaded 128mm L/61 as an option possibly). Yes, E-100′s gun with an autoloader (the amount of shots per drum is not confirmed, I expect 4 for the 150mm and 6 for the 128mm). The turret was confirmed to be fully revolving (360 degrees). I harbor deep suspicions that this will be another E-100 in terms of gold ammo spam. Personally, I will most likely prefer the 128mm. The crew will be 6 men.
Okay, now we know it’s not historical, but how realistic is it?
Well, there are two aspects: economy and construction realism. Economy-wise, it’s complete garbage. Why on earth would you build a huge and complicated chassis (E-100 chassis was VERY manhour-requiring and shaving off some armor won’t make it that much better, on the contrary – you’d have to produce armor plates of similiar dimensions, but different thickness for example) in order to put an open-topped gun on it? Utterly pointless, especially when you have the 38d suspension planned, that can carry the same gun! (see tier 8). The appearance of this design makes me wonder, if it’s a Wargaming inside joke: “Hahaha let’s make German tanks look like the German engineers were idiots and see how much we can get away with” – I bet Mr.Doyle would have a lot to say about this “design” and a lot of it would be NSFW,
Realism wise, it’s probably marginally better. The engine is somewhere in the middle as you can see, which is possibly the most reasonable thing you can do maintenance-wise (on a rear-turret vehicle at least). The gun is extremely vulnerable (any such vehicle would be used for long-range fights anyway, so in real life it wouldn’t matter) and the design AT LEAST takes into account the reality of 1945 and protects its crew from air MG attacks by extending the gunshield. But that’s about it. The gun is also strange (casette reloading looked a bit differently), but I’ll tell you once the model is out/test goes live.
The only “saving grace” of this design is the fact that for all its faults, it’s STILL more realistic than the infamous fake Krokodil, especially weight-distribution wise.