On American Armour

After my articles on Soviet and German armour, I think it’s only fair to sail across the Atlantic and turn our eyes at the manufacturing juggernaut that was the United States. A lot of people know that the US was good at casting armour, and that their armour was softer than that of their European counterparts, but that’s about it. While this is true, it’s far from the whole story.

To begin, let’s go far far back to the 1920s. There are no Shermans, Tigers, or T-34s. The greatest war mankind has ever known has just ended, and everyone is busy developing the latest and greatest killing machine. Huge and slow monsters did not seem interesting to the US Army, and development was focused on vehicles that were quick and agile, but paid for that agility with thickness of armour. For instance, here is an attempt to produce 6-12 mm armour plates that protect against .30 and .50 caliber bullets in 1922.

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Tiger #250001 Found

Some Russian archaeologists were digging around Leningrad looking for bodies of soldiers that went missing during the war, to re-bury with proper military honours. As it happens in this sort of expeditions, they came across a bunch of odd bits and bobs that set off the metal detector. However, once a part that could be identified was found, the tank was identified as a Tiger. That part also carried a rather special serial number.


Tiger #250001, the first serial production Tiger. The history of this vehicle is well known. This first Tiger was made in May of 1942, drove around for thousands of kilometers (not without numerous parts replacements, of course) at Kummersdorf, and was then sent to Leningrad with three other Tigers. All four were knocked out. The Germans managed to recover three, but the last one remained in No Man’s Land for months, without any interest from the Soviets. Eventually, the Germans blew up the abandoned tank, “sparing no expense on explosives” according to the archaeologists. This is what they’ve managed to find so far:

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Ensign’s Q&A #23

Man, it’s been a while since the last one of these. Let’s see what’s clogging up the ol’ mailbox.

Q: Several sources state that Soviet tank crews were forbidden from opening their hatches in combat and had to fight while buttoned up, reducing their ability to observe the battlefield. Is this true?

A: Not entirely. TL;DR: Soviet tank crewmen must observe their surroundings with open hatches out of battle. When contact with the enemy is made, they must close the hatches, but may reopen them if the target is lost. In urban combat, hatches must remain closed.

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Buff My Tank: SU-152

Disclaimer: the contents of these articles merely illustrate the resources available for a historically accurate buff. This article does not imply that these changes should happen or will happen, either in combination or individually. Please pay attention to this disclaimer before being butthurt in the comments, thanks in advance.

The ISU-152 has long been a menace at tier 8 with its devastating 152 mm BL-10 gun, capable of bringing the pain to even top tier adversaries. What about its predecessor, the SU-152? You can have a D-25S to make it a poor man’s SU-122-44 or get the ML-20S, sling gold to hope to pen anything, and rapidly become a poor man. This just will not do. To the archives!

Let’s start with boring things, like the rate of fire. In game, it’s 3.39 RPM. “Aha!” you may yell, “the real rate of fire of the SU-152 was N RPM! Russian Bias!” I’ve heard many values for N, usually less than 2. As usual, people have read a number on the internet, didn’t understand it, and wish to yell it as loudly as possible. Soviet testing standards for rates of fire included using every rack (not just the ready rack), and re-adjusting targets. According to Yuri Pasholok’s book SU-152 and other SPGs on the KV tank chassis, the SU-152 achieved a rate of fire of 2.8 RPM using the first availability racks (10 shells), and the loader could load a shell from the most convenient rack in 16 seconds. Since WoT exists in an ideal world where every shell is in your best rack and your loader just chugged his own weight in Red Bull, the peak ROF (3.75 RPM) is not unreasonable.

“But Ensign!” you say, “I can get 3.75 RPM with a rammer or vents! Surely there is something better in your vast repository of knowledge!” Uh, let’s see, what else. A common field modification was an extra ammo rack of 5 made out of wooden spacers, placed underneath the gun, that’s a thing I guess. A ROF boost and few more shells isn’t so bad, give me a break, not every Soviet tank can get a huge and awesome buff.

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Historical Matchmaker

For years, SerB’s answer to a request for buffing or nerfing stats like HP or matchmaker weights was “show me a document where is says the historical matchmaker weight”. Of course, such a feat was impossible. That is, until today! Among many other interesting items in the CIA’s FOIA database, there is an alleged Soviet document giving the combat potential of domestic and potential enemy weapons. The section that interests us is, of course, “Tanks and Self Propelled Artillery, Infantry Combat Vehicles, Armoured Personnel Carriers”.

Although this was a report written in 1977, it still includes a number of vehicles we consider low. Starting at the very bottom, once we get past the IFVs, we have the SU-76 (in the “potential enemy” section, so likely a Chinese one) with a rating of only 0.32. Rather fitting for a “tier 3″ vehicle. From here, we must jump all the way to tier 5, with the Type T-34 (marked only as T-34 with 76 mm gun, but in the Chinese section) with a rating of 0.43 and SU-85, with a rating of 0.48. Seems that no other “tier 5″ vehicles made it into post-war service. So far so good, WG’s tier model seems to follow reality with two data points. Let’s move on to tier 6.

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Soviet Inscriptions: Part 2

There are so very many inscriptions you can put on your tank, but I only covered 4 in the last article. Let’s do a few more.

It was requested in the comments of the last article, so let’s do the T-34-85 “Rudy” first. This tank is not a real tank, but is from a Polish television show Four Tankers and a Dog (Czterej pancerni i pies), following the exploits of a Polish tank crew and their tank, “Rudy” (“Ginger”). In the book the show was based on, the tank is initially a T-34-76 (thus explaining the only four tankers), but the show only has a T-34-85.

Here’s how it looks in game.shot_031

And here’s how it looks on the show’s poster.

Not even close. The eagle isn’t there, the number isn’t there, and the tank’s name is on the  turret, not the hull. Boo, next.

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Soviet Inscriptions: Part 1

There are two schools of thought on WoT inscriptions. Many vie for more freedom in the size and location of the inscriptions. Others (including SerB) believe that the current way is the only way: having the inscriptions set in stone is the most historical way to do things. Or is it? Let’s take a look at some inscriptions and their real life inspirations and find out.

For starters, one of the most famous T-34 tanks, Boyevaya Podruga. The game translates it as “Fighting Girlfriend”, but it’s more of a “friend that is a girl” word. In Russian, as in many languages, it does not imply romantic associations. A brief history of the inscription: Mariya Vasilievna Oktyabrskaya, whose husband was killed in battle, donated all of her savings in order to buy a tank for the front (as many did), but then sent a letter to Stalin personally, requesting to be made the tank’s driver, and to give it its name. Stalin granted the request. Mariya fought in the rank of Guards Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Corps. After the first tank was knocked out, three additional vehicles inherited its name. The fourth tank lived to see victory, but, unfortunately, its “mother” did not.

Here is how the tank looks in game:shot_005

And here is how it looks in real life.boyevaya-podruga

Kind of shatters the “historically accurate” theory, eh? The font is much smaller, it’s written in two lines instead of one, and there is no inscription on the hull. Not exactly a precise replica.

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Buff My Tank: IS Series

Disclaimer: the contents of these articles merely illustrate the resources available for a historically accurate buff. This article does not imply that these changes should happen or will happen, either in combination or individually. Please pay attention to this disclaimer before being butthurt in the comments, thanks in advance.  

 My previous article on ways that the IS-2 can be buffed was received with great enthusiasm, so I figured I’ll do the rest of the series!

The IS-1 and IS-2 have been covered by the previous article. The IS-3 was barely in use at all and has barely any room for improvements over the production model, which Wargaming has already implemented. Same as the IS-4. The IS-5 isn’t in the game (we were promised the turret for it as a KV-1S module ages ago, get your shit together, WG). The IS-6 is another one-off prototype, so the most I can do here is split hairs about the transmission (which will actually make a difference in 9.0 9.1 KTTC). So let’s do the rest of the series, IS 7 through 10!

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Conspiracy, Russian Style – WG controlled by Gays!

On the NA forums, there are lots of conspiracy theories. RNG rigging, favourable matchmaking for top clans, Russian bias. These are old and tired. In the Russian community, it’s much more fun.


I worked there for almost a year. The developers are specifically chosen to be gays. This project is sponsored by the West. When they told me I had to go on a date with the department head (male), I had to quit.

It’s about 80% gays. Our department had less, but the rest have tons. Why do they pick out gays? It is simple. Their hate of normal family life gives them additional stimulation to work. They also use “25th frame” subliminal messaging and subconscious zombifying. The main goal of this game is to drag the male population of this country into the web of addition, and destroy the family as a part of society. Also it gives massive profits from addicted gamers.

I know of suicides because of this game, mostly teenagers. The company knows this and spends massive amounts of money to hide it. I would advise unhappy wives to write to the Belorussian KGB with the goal of forbidding the game on the territory of the CIS.”

Breathing a sigh of relief, Yuri Pasholok embraces his secret nature.

So next time you post about a conspiracy theory on the forums, get creative!