Premium EU tank destroyers – Part I

Hello everyone,

today, we will have a look at several possible vehicles, that could theoretically appear in the upcoming European tech tree as premium (or even regular) tank destroyers. These vehicles come from the book “Od bodáku po tryskáče” by M.Dubánek (probably the best material there is on post-war Czechoslovak projects), specifically, page 208:

“The attempts to install Czechoslovak-developed anti-tank weapons (on various platforms) can be considered the swan song of Czechoslovak industry – this was proposed during the meeting between Škoda and ČKD representatives on 13. and 14.12.1950. The proposal was to mount the 100mm A20 gun into the self-propelled gun platform, based on T-34/85 (SS: SU-100), while the ST-1 and StuG III self propelled guns should carry the 76,2mm A19 anti-tank gun.

The ČZTS national company was to make a study of this until March 1951 and the respective chassis samples were to be moved to Dubnica nad Váhom. However, these preparations were cancelled in connection with the cancellation of the A19 gun development and the changes made to the A20 gun.

Furthermore, proposals were made on a meeting on 8.6.1951 to arm the StuG III and ST-1 with the 85mm vz.44 Soviet gun, but these were also rejected”

As you can see, that gives us actually 5 vehicles to work with :) Although only proposals, I think it could be really interesting to see these vehicles in game, so let’s have a look at them.



Yes, that’s a Jagdpanzer 38t, incorrectly also known as the “Hetzer”. It was manufactured in former Czechoslovakia during the war and after the war the production continued.

History of the ST-1

After the war, newly restored Czechoslovakia found itself without any standartized equipment and with its whole industry oriented to fuel the German war machine. ČKD specifically (under the German name BMM) had all the know-how and tools to produce one of the late-war legendary designs, the Jagdpanzer 38(t), later to be known as the Hetzer. Both Škoda and ČKD offered the new Czechoslovak government to continue producing these vehicles for the Czechoslovak army, armed by a mixture of old Soviet, British and German equipment (including Panzer IV’s, Panthers and several Tigers). However, in 1945, the Hetzer was tested by the Czechoslovak army, heavily critisized for its glaring weaknesses and in October 1945 only 20 unarmed vehicles were ordered for training purposes (it was recommended by the committee not to adopt them for service). Later though, this decision was reverted, as the training version (under the designation of ST-III) was fairly successful and the armed version, now designated ST-I (ST = “stíhač tanků”, “tank hunter” in english) was adopted despite army reservations. In the end, an order was made to refit 87 captured German Hetzers and to build 20 new ones. The differences between the original Hetzer and the ST-I were minimal. Namely, the defensive machinegun was removed from the top of the hull. The vehicles were armed with the original German StuK 40 cannon and with the refurbished Pak39 75mm L/48 cannons. Some were even the German “Starr” versions with simplified gun mounts, which were converted to normal gun mounts. In the end, roughly 150 new pieces were built from scratch, another 158 were built for Switzerland under the designation of G-13 and later, in the early 60′s, 8 were sold to Guinea. Czechoslovak army kept these vehicles until the 60′s, when they were replaced by the Soviet machines, such as the SD-100. Some were used for experimental mounts (such as the 150mm SPG based on Hetzer hull). Czechoslovak vehicles were later redesigned to “Sh PTK 75 mm vz. 39/44″ (self propelled anti tank cannon 75mm, pattern 39/44)

More info on Czech tank destroyers can be found here.

The picture above is the representation of how the vehicle carrying the 76,2mm A19 gun could look (made by me, unfortunately as far as I know no sketches/blueprints of this proposal exist). Probably the most interesting piece of the vehicle is the gun.

The 76,2mm A19 was a post-war Czechoslovak project with the aim to replace the captured 75mm PaK 40 and the Soviet ZIS-3 76,2mm guns the AT equipment of the newly re-formed Czechoslovak army was consisting of. The development started in 1948 and the gun was constructed to be able to penetrate 100mm of armor (30 deg) at 1000m. In 1949, two prototypes were built. Special (more powerful) munition for it was also developed (specifically longer casing, using the older Soviet shell and a subcaliber shell).

Both prototypes successfuly passed firing trials, during which the power of the gun was increased yet again (muzzle velocity changed from 915 to 925 m/s, the barrel was made longer (from L/68 to L/70). However, at this point the caliber was considered insufficient (despite archieving the aimed goal of 100/30/1000) and the weapon was cancelled. There was a proposal to use the 85mm barrel from license-produced ZIS S-53, after some time the gun was accepted into service as 82mm AT gun Vz.52, but that’s another story.

What is interesting for us the following:

Caliber length: 70
Muzzle velocity: 925 m/s
Shell weight (AP): 6,4 kg
Penetration: 100mm at 1000m (30 deg): in World of Tanks it translates to roughly 150 pen (depending on how you look at it). That’s not bad.

However, there are two basic issues with this design, that might cause a problem.

First is obviously the weight distribution. The Germans considered adding PaK 42 (75mm L/70) to their Hetzers (some sources even claim they built a prototype of this vehicle), but they decided not to do it: the vehicle was unwieldy and very nose heavy. The weight of the gun also stressed the suspension too much (that’s why this project was not completed and the L/70 had to wait for the 38d).

Second issue was the loading. The shells are relatively long and the Jagdpanzer 38t was an ergonomical nightmare, so the rate of fire would probably be relatively low. In real life, that is a serious problem, however in World of Tanks, ROF is a balance parameter, so… not so much. The vehicle would however definitely be slower and less agile than the “original” Jagdpanzer 38t.

Second proposal was to mount the 85mm vz.44S into the ST-1:


Here, assessing the gun’s power is easy: Vz.44S is license-produced 85mm ZIS S-53. That gun is already in the game under following parameters:

DAM: 160/160/280
PEN: 120/161/43
Acc: 0,42
Aimtime: 2,3-2,9s
ROF: 11,54 to 12,77

On paper, it’s viable. But there is a “slight” problem. The gun is even heavier than the previous one and the shells are almost 1,5 times heavy (6,4kg to 9,2kg). What that would do with the rate of fire? God knows.

Either way, both of these options would work for tier 5 premium tank destroyer I think.

Part II will include the StuG and the SD-100.

47 thoughts on “Premium EU tank destroyers – Part I

  1. im really reluctant in terms of accepting an upcoming EU wide tree.

    three reasons:
    1. too many unknown tanks and paper projects
    2. we already have enough nations and tank-line-possibilities
    3. the amount of tanks gets uncontrollably high… you cant tell a newb to learn every weakspot of every tank anymore because we already have 265 ingame tanks + ~40-50 premium vehicles and gift tanks.
    Now think about it if you want to seriously implement totally unknown vehicles and paper projects of every tiny state and lets include all the line-possibilities of the existin nations..
    we will beat 500 tanks for sure!

    Too much!

    I can understand the ppl of cz/pl/ro/it/esp to drive THEIR tanks, but if i would be in charge id pull the emergency break after the JAP tanks are implemented.

    It just gets too much if you dont!

      • Seriously? Look at the tanks. The only similar tanks are russian and chinese mediums, and russian & chinese heavies (although these tanks differ significantly between the nations).

        Among the light tanks, I can see no copy/paste stuff, they are all different and excell in different roles.

        As far as mediums are considered, one may say that German lines up to tier VII are similar, but it’s done so the progression over the certain branch was logical, so I see nothing wrong in it.

    • Too bad you’re not in charge, then.

      But the official plans are that the EU tree will be the last one, so~

      (also weakspots? They are basically 90% the same – aim for the visually weak stuff, cupolas, hatches, etc)

      • I, am a tier 4-8 player mostly at the moment ( dont have any bigger than that) and I know and can guess weaksposts pretty easily after 6500 games. Its not that hard.

        • bad luck to ‘too much tanks’. The game is called ‘World of Tanks’, the clue is in the name.
          More tanks, more nations is better for the game.

          • Some of us prefer quality over quantity. Seems to me that you don’t give a fuck about this game nor can play it well. You seem to be just a dumb kid who wants more and more toys to get bored with.

            • But I don’t hide my interest or views behind anonymity or a pathetic attempt at an ad-hominen attack.

            • Then Vollketten, you might be surprised that many players would sell their balls ( not literally ;D ) to have proper balance for tanks and maps instead of more and more… but I guess WG is reluctant to give tank makers new duties as mappers, they are pretty quick to grasp the basics even with old engine the tricks aren’t that hard when you need not to code AI into it. :P

    • There are plenty of production tanks for an EU tree and it wont have any more paper tanks then the excisting trees. There are also plenty of unique looking ones, so we aren’t talking about lots of copy paste tanks either.

      • It’s not a choice of more tanks OR better gameplay/balance. More tanks just means more choice of gameplay styles. The balance issue is completely separate as long as the introduction of new vehicles does not lead to power creep.

  2. [ Yes, that’s a Jagdpanzer 38t, incorrectly also known as the “Hetzer” ]

    Uhm why incorrectly known as Hetzer?? Can you shed some historical light on it ftr???

    • I remember SS had published an article about german TDs, one of them included the reason why jadgpanzer 38t shouldn’t be called “hetzer”… apparently that name belonged to another model of the jadgpz 38t…

  3. “Namely, the defensive machine gun was removed from the top of the hull”

    Did someone forget this when they photoshopped the pictures?

      • I dunno Silent, you are portrayed as an encyclopedia of Tank Knoledge, but when something like this happens, people begin to doubt you, and you loose tank cred massively

          • Heavy man… It’s just an MG, and in terms of WoT no one cares. They aren’t even part of the hitbox… Please don’t be so critical; he is doing so much for everyone and this is the thanks he gets?

            Rock on SS! Legend at work here…

            • It’s alright, I’m not serious. No-one would be that idiotically pedantic to dismiss people based on the position of an MG mount.

  4. while i think its a well written proposal which could work i cant feel like it would bring something new.
    there are simply a lot more interesting possibilities for eu premiums especially when it comes to TDs.

    • Well… not really. I mean, there are the Romanian TD’s, but keep in mind the Swedish and Swiss will have their own branches, so there are not that many options.

      • How would the Swiss branch look? I was under the impression that the Swiss mostly had higher tier medium candidates and not much else.

        • i have actually been working on how a swiss branch
          here is what i have thus far

          light/medium line (some vehicles here were concidered TDs i belive)

          FT-17>R35>Pzw.39>Scorpion 57mm>Scorpion 90mm>Pirate 90mm>HS30 90mm>KW30>Pz.58>Pz.61

          ive also been experimenting with a TD line which would start at tier 4 from the Pzw.39

          G13>Nahkampfkanone I>Nahkampfkanone II>Mowag Gepard>Mowag HM 3>Mowag Taifun

          note that this line is highly experimental and that the Mowag Taifun is outside the wot timeframe also the HM 3 is a Jagdpanzer kanone

          i have written about some of these tanks here

    • Still hoping for that Romanian TD branch, but tier 2 -> ~5 is not really a big branch. Can’t understand how they would implement them if they don’t want the national branches to mix. Maybe just a sidebranch ? They can’t make them all premium.

  5. I’m going to be severely disappointed if they don’t include the Austrian Kürrassier either as a TD or light/med tank.

  6. Pingback: Premium EU tank destroyers – part II | For The Record

  7. Pingback: Premium EU tank destroyers – part III | For The Record

  8. So not only would it be very similar to the Hetzer, it’s got pretty much the same name as the ST-I (that “I” being a Roman numeral “1″). Ah yes, good work Wargaming, keep putting in more tanks with names that confuse the hell out of people. :D