as the older readers probably know, Czechoslovak branch in World of Tanks is sort of my “pet project” for various reasons. It is also one of the upcoming branches in the European tech tree (late 2015) – altogether, I’ve been working on it from like January 2012 (Tuccy wrote a post about the Czechoslovak branch in March 2012 based on my first attempt and then I based my work on his old proposal), so there’s enough data to implement a lot from it.
That however brought an issue with it – the old posts I made in early 2013 are now for all intents and purposes obsolete and they sometimes mislead people. Plus, as we all know, a lot has changed since 2013 – for example, in late 2012, there was still no tier 10 artillery.
That’s why my original work needs some serious updating. Currently, I am working with the following statements, that have been at one point or another confirmed to be either very likely or completely true:
- European tree will come at one point (confirmed)
- it will consist of separate national branches (crews situation was not decided yet, but likely the player will choose the nationalities)
- one (or alternatively more) of these branches will belong to Czechoslovakia
- Italian branch of medium tanks should look like this
- copies of existing tanks should be avoided
Based on the statements above, I did split the branch into three “sections”:
- regular tanks (Czechoslovak projects, vehicles produced in Czechoslovakia and modified by us)
- premium tanks (mostly prototypes or projects or existing tanks with modifications)
- captured/foreign tanks (unmodified tanks Czechoslovakia used at one point or another, this group is completely optional and quite frankly pointless, it’s there as some sort of “last resort” (and for the sake of tree completion), I do not expect ever to see any tanks from that group in the game)
The branch is made in a form of the “old tree” – I really hate the horizontal tree design, but it’s just a collection of branches, that could work with one another. Here’s how it looks:
The Main Medium Branch
The main branch (and only or first – if there are more – to be possibly implemented) is the branch, ending with TVP. I am sure that by now, if you are interested in the Czechoslovak branch, you are familiar with the concept of the T-50/51 (tier 10 TVP). Its tier 10 has following characteristics:
Turret: front cca 112mm, sides and rear 84mm
Mantlet: near the gun 306mm, otherwise 93mm
Upper frontal plate: 93mm at 30 degrees from horizontal = 186mm EFF
Lower frontal plate: 84mm at 45 degrees from horizontal = 119mm EFF
Hull sides: 75mm
Weight: 40 tons
Engine: 1000hp V16 AHK/AXK diesel (25 hp/t)
Top speed: 60 km/h
Gun 100mm AK1 autoloaded
There are multiple (well, shitloads) of gun choices, the guns could historically fire all sorts of ammo including the Soviet one… well, for easier comprehension, just think of it as an equivalent of the top Soviet medium tank, only autoloaded. This is how this vehicle looked like (render by Giganaut):
As you can see by the stats, the project was quite a beast. Not as fast as the Batchat 25t, sure, but it had some armor. The program started very early after the war, with tier 8 and 9 being other variants of the Czechoslovak post-war medium tank development (one by Škoda, one by Praga). As I wrote above, many guns were considered, one of the more exotic ones being the German 88mm, the early variant with this gun is in the proposal as a (possible) tier 8 medium tank (here it’s worth noting that along with Sweden, Czechoslovakia is pretty much the only country capable of putting tier 8 premiums on the table).
The rest of the line is pretty straightforward – early LT Vz.35 and Vz.38 (considering those two were the most important designs we had, they are in the main branch both, despite one being by Praga and one by Škoda). ST Vz.39 on tier 4 was chosen over Š-IIc (T-21) simply because the Hungarians already have one T-21 as “Turán” and I was trying to avoid clones as much as possible. T-24 is clear tier 5 candidate (lackluster, but solid) and historically buffed T-25 is on tier 6 (the most notable change being historical penetration buff (current T-25 penetration in the game is nerfed) and the 75mm A18 gun having an autoloader). Tier 7 is a Konštrukta upgrade project for the T-34/85, consisting of two new turrets, a 100mm gun (and possibly an autoloader variant, that was considered as well).
WTF is the T-34/76 and T-34/85 line?
Here, I was torn a bit. As you can see, on one hand, the T-34 clones are not needed and I don’t want them in the tree (the 76mm variant is a pure clone, the 85mm variant, there was an autoloader developed for that as well at ZTS Martin, but otherwise a clone). On the other hand, these two tanks are very historically important, because Czechoslovaks fought on them and you can’t have some historical battles – such as the Liberation of Kiev od Dukla – without them (if you want to keep it historical anyway). Maybe they would be better off as premiums (or even in the “clone” section). The Škoda Š-IIc (T-21) was put there as a “bridge” between Hungarians and us (leading to Turán) and the T-12 (a development of the LT Vz.35 with a larger gun) is there simply because it was made by Škoda and there is a logical continuation between LT Vz.35 and T-12. Overall, this entire branch could go away, but as I said, there’s a reason it’s there.
The light line is also pretty straightforward. Tier 2 and 3 were mass-produced (there is an entire series of Praga export tanks, I’m going to write about them in near future) and both were by Praga. Tier 4 is a bit more problematic (it’s a post-war development of T-15 with sloped armor, it was actually built), tier 5 and 6 are pretty attractive light tanks with 47mm to 75mm autoloaders. This is the TNH 57/900 (57mm autoloaded gun on TNH chassis with an upgraded engine) for example.
I really, really like the way this tanks looks, it’s just… pretty :) There is a possible candidate for tier 7… but it’s very, very odd and I am not sure it would work. Basically, it was a proposal to put a huge engine into the Hetzer, some optics and to make it a scout (in effect creating something like the ingame E-25). It never really went anywhere.
Tank destroyer line
Tank destroyers of the EU tree are something that does not have to be immediately considered, who knows when they might appear (if at all, considering how many nations can make a branch in the EU tree). It’s worth noting that the only countries, capable of putting together a TD branch are Czechoslovakia and Sweden, both relying on very paper stuff however (and Sweden on problematic S-Tank design). Tier 2-3 projects are historical and important (one even fought in Yugoslavia), tier 4 is simply a Jagdpanzer 38t with export and other designs (difference from the “regular” one: slower (different engine), but with bigger guns). Considering the project was designed by Czechoslovaks, produced by Czechoslovaks, used by us after the war and exported by us as well, it’s only right we have it in our branch (plus, the differences between original Hetzer and our ST-I are significant). LP designs are paper desings, based on an evolution of the T-17 light tank suspension (hence the transition), very light and fast (think Hellcat). SD-100 is a license produced SU-100 but with a different gun (and – surprise – possibly an autoloader). ShK Panther is basically something like Waffenträger Panther (I’ll write about it) with a 88mm and 152mm guns as options. Two were built and tested according to V.Francev. And the top tiers, well, those are tank destroyers based on TVP. The tier 10 is something like a Hellcat, but with a 152mm gun (yes, that was actually proposed).
Again, like with the tank destroyers, Czechoslovakia and Sweden are the only EU tree countries able to put an arty line together (Czechoslovakia with less problems if I can see it correctly). As you know, arty currently has extremely low priority in its implementation, so this branch is largely just theoretical. Overall, it’s very heavy (resembling in style the German one).
Premiums are the left side of the lower bar. As you can see, all classes are there (arty could be there too, but currently, we have a sort of ban on new premium artillery vehicles, so I just left it out. The heavy premium tanks (of course, available to crews of all the branches of the EU tree) are the two III class projects (tier 2-3 stuff, generally failures) and two testbed conversions of existing vehicles – the Tiger I with 75mm A18 gun and an autoloader (confirmed, existed, was used for testing the gun) and Tiger II with a 76,2mm long gun (think a 17pdr), that’s like tier 8 heavy tank stuff. Also existed, I am in process of acquiring a photo of that. Mediums – yea, there could be some more stuff here, but I am saving some vehicle versions. T-40/75 is a Czechoslovak Panzer IV (a mashup of various versions, used after the war, even actively, fought in Syria after we sold it to them). Atypický tank Tatra is a really weird monster. T-23M was the ultimate evolution of the T-21 (Turán) program, that’s tier 4 stuff. And of course the mentioned TVP with 88mm gun. Light tanks are almost all lowtier (2-3 max), so are mostly the premium tank destroyers, with three notable exceptions:
- SD-75/40 is a Czechoslovak version of the StuG III, proposed to be rearmed with the Soviet 85mm D-5T gun
- VOSS I was an original tank destroyer with a 75mm gun on T-21 chassis
- VOSS II was built on T-21 as well, but featured a 150mm howitzer (could be an artillery vehicle as well, but the gun was capable of direct fire)
And, lastly, it’s the clones. Those really don’t have to be implemented, they are just the “desperate pool of vehicles” I mentioned. Some could be a nice reward for historical battles, or HB tanks as such, who knows. In any case, most names are self-explanatory. T-42/75 is simply a Panther, SD-85 is SU-85 (used in the war as well as after the war), ST-II is the general designation of Marder III vehicles in Czechoslovak service (only a few, quickly phased out), TSD-152 is simply ISU-152 (we had a few) and SD-76/42 is SU-76M (again, had a few, quickly phased out in favour of SD-100).
So, that’s it really. The extensive list of our stuff. Personally, I think that at least the hightier mediums are very attractive and if that line the way gets in the game in that setup I proposed, I will be happy. Sure, some of the designs are paper vehicles, but considering how many clones and prototypes were introduced and still will be (what, you thought the T-54 Light is the last T-54 to be implemented into the game? I have bad news for you), the Czechoslovak prototypes are well described, the extrapolation was kept to a minimum.
This post can be used as a reference for future Czechoslovak branch discussions (well, that’s its primary purpose anyway).