this article will partially deal with the “newly found” Czechoslovak premium candidate, the T 40 medium tank and some issues, that come with it in the Czechoslovak branch. The Czechoslovak hightier composition evolved like this:
My original concept was:
Premium: TVP Concept (the earliest proposal by the military for a medium tank from early 1946), previously I designated it “TVP Model 1946)
Tier 8: T 50 (previously T-50, but the dash is not there really), in which I included Dubánek’s Škoda proposal from late 1946 as its “stock” variant. When the project was distributed between Škoda and Praga (ČKD), the “T 50″ was a designation assigned to the Škoda project, while the Praga project was designated T 51 (it was somewhat different, for example it only had 5 roadwheels and pike nose armor, not unlike the IS-3)
At that time, the amount of data, available about both the Concept and the “T 50″ was limited to one book and thus, alternative were sought for the Czechoslovak premium slots, spawning the ideas of T-40/75 (Czech-modified Panzer IV), Cromwell (pure clone), T-34/85 or the Tiger with Škoda turret (which, while technically a heavy tank, was, as a desperate measure, considered to be allowed to train medium tank crews as well).
A short intermezzo, regarding the names of these tanks, because they surely can be confusing. The general name of the program is TVP (“tank všeobecného použití” – “tank for general use”) – so, when you say “TVP”, it doesn’t really mean one specific tank, it means the entire program, it’s like if you said “medium tank program”. Various stages of this program had various names and some did not have any names at all – the VTU proposal for example, which I then named first the “TVP Model 1946″ (after the year the drawing was proposed) or (later on), “TVP Concept”, which is in my opinion more fitting. But again, there is no official name. On the other hand, the designations T 40, T 50 and T 50/51 are historical. Please note that the numbers in this case do NOT mean weight (like they did in German VK series, althought the T 40 coincidentally weighs roughly 40 tons), nor do they mean a year. They are just numbers.
Right, back to the TVP program. The week before the meeting with Wargaming took place, Mr.Tintěra (Czech historian, that is helping Wargaming with the vehicles) found something interesting in the archives – the entire official name is “Combat Vehicle Škoda T 40″ and it’s a very early part of the TVP program (basically a reply on the initial VTU proposal from Škoda). It was looking very exciting, but I got to see it only after the meeting with WG guys, because instead of sending the large files per internet, Mr.Tintěra decided to bring it on the flash drive.
Now, I cannot tell you any development history or show you any plans of the T 40 tank, because that is the right of Mr.Tintěra. But I don’t have to, because it turned out that the vehicle is not that unknown after all. Basically, it’s this:
This is Dubánek’s reconstruction of the same vehicle, which he published roughly two three years ago in his book. The thing is, Dubánek fucked up.
- for one, he failed to mention the vehicles accurate name (T 40) and included it in the “VTU stage” as an answer by Škoda
- his reconstruction is NOT accurate: I tried to superimpose on the scan of the original plans and when it comes to dimensions and shapes, they do differ
- also, he failed to mention that the type of the gun (that is only schematic on the drawing)
- there were other issues as well (engine type was not mentioned etc.)
Basically, Dubánek fucked it up. It’s a good example of how it’s important to actually find the archive plans and not to rely on drawings from books, although those can too be used in worst case. Based on these T 40 plans, the order of the tree shifted to this:
Premium: T 40
Tier 8: TVP Concept (or Model 1946, as you like it)
The important point here is that according to the raw data, the concept is actually better than the Škoda T 40 and has more gun options (we got the file for the Concept as well, there are like 4 slightly different hulls,4 slightly different turrets and roughly 4-5 gun options, two of which are 88mm L/71 and 105mm L/63, not bad for tier 8).
As a result of the meeting, the T 40 was actually approved as the first premium tank (either tier 6 or tier 7), with Mr.Francev or Mr.Tintěra writing a post for Wargaming portal (probably in Russian, it will likely be backtranslated). Please note that nothing of this happened with the involvement of WG EU, basically WG RU took everything in their own hands. The history of the model will be disclosed in that article I presume, but I don’t think anyone will mind if I put here a few numbers, so you know what to expect. The vehicle looks roughly like the picture above.
Weight: 39,95 tons
Engine: 16 ADH 140 diesel (700 horsepower)
Power-to-weight: 17,52 hp/t
Maximum speed: 50 km/h
Armor – hull: 65/40/30
Armor – turret: 65/40/40
Gun: 88mm Kanon Vzor 37 (the short Tiger 88, or a similiar weapon, based directly on the 88mm FlaK)
Barrel length: L/56 (actually L/57 in the file)
Interestingly enough, the file mentions indigenous HEAT ammunition (of post-war Czechoslovak construction).
So, this is what eventually awaits us. Some people at WG are concerned that this vehicle is too good for tier 6, I think it’s however completely possible to balance it using soft stats. In any case, it should be interesting.