sometimes, players ask the developer a question: “Are there any tanks that were almost done or seriously considered, but never made it?” Well, the answer is “yes” of course, in fact, there were (are) quite a few such tanks. Let’s have a look at some of the most common “vaporware” out there, but also at tanks, that were never implemented in the end.
The Frencch second heavy line is probably the ultimate World of Tanks vaporware (as WarriorOsprey pointed out yesterday). The problem with French heavies is that although they have a fanbase, French tanks as a whole are definitely one of the least popular branches, along with the Chinese. The models for this branch were ready a long time ago (and I am talking years), but somehow, the branch was postponed and postponed again. Check this out, this is likely the AMX M4 (1949), as it appeared in Wargaming materials (or on some promo video, I am not sure).
As you can see, the model exists (whatever that tank is), but the branch was never implemented. The branch development went actually very far, to the point of English descriptions for each vehicle being prepared. Here are the other candidates and descriptions for the branch:
AMX M4 (1948)
Developed in 1945 by the AMX company, this tank was heavily influenced by the German Panther and Tiger II designs. An order was placed for two prototypes, which were given the designation M4. Initially classified as a medium tank, the vehicle was later reclassified as heavy.
A modification of the AMX 50 with a welded forward body and a standard turret. Existed only in blueprints.
These descriptions were leaked about a year ago, but the icons and pictures are even older, possibly one and half to two years. There is one more vehicle with the description (Char 50t B), but no icon or picture. The last info I actually have on these vehicles comes from December 2012 (!). At that point, according to the info from Czech community organizers, it wasn’t even sure how the branch would look (at one point it was expected both heavy branches to actually end with AMX 50B), then there was some short info about some potential tier 10 and ever since then, nothing. Those, who wanted these tanks had to wait and it looks like they will have to wait some more, because it’s highly unlikely these vehicles will appear this year.
The French actually have tons of various vaportanks. At one point (and I am talking early-mid 2012, there still was no tier 10 artillery at that point!), there was this layout of the French second and partially third (!) medium branch also, with Somua S35, Lorraine G1L, Renault G1R, AMX-13/FL11 up to AMX-30 (at this point, even AMX-13/105 was considered, but in the end it was decided not to implement it). Again, some of these models and their descriptions exist, such as the AMX-13/FL11 (this was supposed to be a premium light tank – a part of the medium branch would actually be the Chaffee with AMX turret):
A modification of the AMX 13 with the Panhard EBR turret. The vehicle did not have an automatic loading mechanism. The vehicle was intended to fight in Indo-China. Five vehicles were built in 1954.
Or Renault G1R
As far as I know, AMX-30 model does not exist, but the lowtier vehicles do. In case you are wondering “why the hell are these screenies in the old render”, well, that’s because when they were made, there was no new render. And no physics. This is really, really old stuff.
There are some premium French tanks that never made it too. This is the ACL 135 SPG:
The first prototype was manufactured in 1931 by the ACL company on the basis of the Char D1. Two prototypes were produced. Work on the vehicle was discontinued due to a faulty suspension and other unreliable parts.
It appeared in the “big” French tree as a lowtier SPG candidate, but for one reason or another, it never appeared in the game. Part of the reason might be Wargaming’s reluctance to introduce more premium artillery vehicles, it might not have passed the tests or was simply forgotten. Either way, it didn’t make it. There was one more French premium artillery vehicle candidate that never appeared (AC R35), but nothing is known of it. There were plans to introduce three premium French heavies, that sometimes get asked about, the FCM F1, FCM2C and FCM2C Bis:
The 2C model was not revealed, but allegedly it exists. The 2C Bis on the other hand was shown in a Wargaming video in June 2012 (7.4 teaser), but never appeared afterwards. One can only guess why these vehicles were never implemented – possibly the lack of multi-turret mechanism?
Another model that actually exists is the Panzerjäger R35 – two years ago, it was supposed to be French premium TD, but it never appeared.
The company Alkett converted 174 captured R35 tanks into tank destroyers, designated 35R and equipped with the 4.7 cm PaK 36(t).
Again, a model was made, but no show. Same goes for the French light tank AMR P103
This light tank prototype was developed by Citroën. In April 1935 the vehicle underwent trials and was deemed adequate. However, the AMR 35 tank project was preferred.
Various other French vehicles were considered at that point, but never appeared: the AMR35 light tank, Lorraine 37 AC L tank destroyer, the French were supposed to have captured Italian tanks as their “captured” vehicles too. Pretty interesting stuff, but nothing came of it. We can only hope to see the medium and heavy branch in the future, but one was or another, I don’t think it will resemble these old plans. Too much has changed.
Germany tree on the other hand was pretty much finished according to the “old” plans. Not much is missing. The E-10 tank destroyer model actually exists (it’s again very old):
Here you can see the adjustable suspension “in action”, but apparently (if I recall correctly), this model is a “prop” – functional height adjustment system doesn’t work. Or maybe it does, but it was never implemented. Either way, second German TD branch was considered vaporware for a long time, but it came – for good or for ill. By the way, at one point, Jagdpanzer E-100 was considered to be the second German TD on tier 9. That would have been fun.
Oh yes, I forgot, Neubaufahrzeug. It appeared in the ASAP 8.9 video in October 2013 (or so), but no word ever since.
Now, for the Americans. Americans “missed” a lot of their tanks as well – sometimes because the priorities changed, sometimes for other reasons. The most infamous American vaportank is the MTLS tankette. It was actually implemented a very, very long time ago along with the Panzer IIJ and BT-SV. If I recall correctly, that was the early part of 2012, because these vehicles appeared as gifts on 2012 Gamescom. Of the three, MTLS however was never released. It’s in the game, you can drive it, if you have a supertester or press account, but apart from that, there is no way to get it and if we are to trust the developers, there might never be.
Another tank that hasn’t appeared is the US M1921 medium tank.
This tank model was shown in the April 2013 video about American tank history, but we haven’t heard about it ever since. The model is clearly made, but for some reason, it’s not in the game. It even has its (leaked) description:
Development of the M1921 tank began in 1919. By February 1922, the Packard Motor Company manufactured a prototype. The tank featured a number of innovations, including a commander’s cupola and peculiar tracks with wooden inserts. The vehicle was never mass-produced, but further experimental vehicles, the T1 and T1E1, were developed on its basis.
The third infamous American vaportank is the T24 tank destroyer. It is a very, very old plan for the US premium tank destroyer. Screenies of it come from either late 2011 or very early 2012 and why it wasn’t introduced in the end, I have no idea, but it was planned at one point.
And its description?
Experimental self-propelled gun on the M3 chassis. The Baldwin Locomotive Works Company started the development of the T24 in the fall of 1941. By November, the prototype was completed. The vehicle passed trials, but never saw mass production.
The American tank destroyers are generally a problem. There was a plan for yet another premium tank destroyer (the “derp Hellcat”, T88 with 105mm howitzer), but this was blocked (or put on hold) simply because this vehicle was historically an artillery piece. A description of the T88 in the game also exists though, so its development went on for a while. Both of these vehicles were planned in mid 2012 as premium tank destroyers.
Ah, one more thing though. Recently, you might have run into something called “Super Hellcat”. An icon of this vehicle actually appeared:
Again, this is some really, really old stuff. I recently talked with The_Chieftain about it (on Rita’s stream) and you see, Americans tried two 90mm Hellcats. One was with a 90mm gun in the classic Hellcat turret, the other was basically a Jackson turret on Hellcat hull. This is the first one. In early 2012, it was actually planned to have the Hellcat split into two tanks: the tier 6 Hellcat and tier 7 90mm Hellcat.
And then it was decided to merge them into one Hellcat on tier 6 and that’s what we have now. The Super Hellcat icon and description are relics of the past. There were more US tanks “scrapped” or postponed. At one point, the Americans were supposed to have their own “captured” tanks, the Japanese (Ha-Go, Chi-Ha, Chi-Ri) – imagine that, Japanese tanks as early as 2011/2012. Nothing ever came of it and I have no idea, whether these are still planned (although, with Japanese tanks in the game already, it would be easy to remodel them to American colors).
There were a few more American tanks that never appeared, but had either icons or descriptions in the game. The T3 HMC was supposed to be an American premium artillery vehicle, but it was never implemented. I wrote about it recently too.
Mark VIII “International” tank was also never implemented, although it was planned at some point and neither was the T31 Demolition tank. There was some pretty odd stuff going on with the Lend Lease tanks too – for example, the Americans had the M3A3 (Stuart V) planned (description exists) and there were plans for two Sherman variants, the M4 (90)V:
At the end of World War II, consideration was given to a redesigned and upgraded M4 Sherman. A larger and stronger turret ring would have allowed mounting of the M26 turret and a 90-mm gun. However, the M26 was chosen for mass production.
and M4 Improved (Sherman with sloped armor and turret):
A variant of the M4 medium tank with angled hull and turret. It was developed by the Detroit Arsenal in August 1942. The changes were intended to improve the tank’s protection without increasing weight or degrading other technical characteristics. Existed only in blueprints.
There was also the description of the T6 medium tank, which, if I recall correctly, was some sort of Sherman prototype. We might still theoretically see it in the next US medium branch, but who knows? Either way, this is what we have now. Ah yes, I almost forgot. At one point it was also planned to introduce the Christie tanks. From time to time, players ask about them, but these were most likely shelved for a very long time, as lowtier tanks like this have very little priority.
Britain has its own share of vaportanks too. Not being part of the “original three” though, it has less than usual. Most of it counts towards the “Lend-Lease” tanks. Following tanks (without descriptions or any details) were in plans at least around May last year: A7, M2A4, Stuart VI, Sherman III, Sentinel I, RAM, AC IV Matilda I and Firefly. Firefly of couse is the ultimate British vaporware, but by the looks of things, it might be a vaporware no longer and it might actually appear this year. We actually know that the Sentinel models (I and AC IV) exist, but I haven’t seen them. Matilda I was considered but apparently scratched.
The Japanese and Chinese I will skip (they are fairly new, no real vaporware) and let’s focus on the Soviets. Actually, a lot of Soviet stuff was already implemented into the game. Probably the most infamous Soviet vaportank is the T-35. As you can see, a model exists:
And so does English description (again, as early as first half of 2013):
Developed in 1931–1932 under the supervision of N. V. Barykov. The vehicle was mass-produced from 1932 through 1939 at the Kharkov Locomotive Factory. It was the only mass-produced five-turret tank. In the middle of the 1930s, attempts were made to upgrade the vehicle. Most of these vehicles were lost during the first days of the war. The T-35 tanks were last used at the Battle of Moscow. A total of 2 prototypes and 61 mass-produced tanks were manufactured.
If I recall correctly, the reason the T-35 never appeared is the multi-turret mechanism (or rather, the lack of it). It has been shelved for the time being and the future of it doesn’t look too bright. There are other “vapor” tanks too though. The most commonly encountered is the SU-85I:
It exists in the game and it can be accessed via supertester or press accounts, but it was never released. There are apparently some plans for it, but nothing definitive. It’s a very old tank model too, it was released a long time ago. Only a few tanks are missing otherwise. At one point there was a plan to introduce the improved T-46 (T-46-5) and the T-19 and T-24 tanks like this:
It didn’t happen, but the change seems logical, so I guess it might happen eventually, but it has very low priority. There was a plan to implement the T-34M, which happened – under a different name: A-43. The original description was such:
Developed in 1941 at Plant No. 183 under the designation A-43. A new vehicle was intended to replace the T-34 tank. The vehicle was to be equipped with torsion-bar suspension, diesel engine B-5, a new transmission and a reinforced to 60 mm front armor.
About the same time, there was a plan to introduce two alternative (tier 3 and 4) lowtier tank destroyers, the IT-45 and SU-76BM. I am not sure their models exist, but their icons and descriptions do. Why this never happened, I have no idea. And last but not least, there were the premium tanks that never appeared in the game:
- TG (Grotte’s Tank), an old medium tank design, icon exists
- ZIS-30 (57mm on Komsomolec tractor) – this might actually still appear in the game as lowtier premium
- SU-76I (finally implemented recently)
- SG-122 (premium artillery piece – icon and description exist).