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May 6, 2013

Reactions on 0.8.6 leak

Well, the reactions from Wargaming were kinda *wtf*, so I guess we can assume the leaks from today aren't fakes, they are genuine. Before the whole thread was removed, US developer The_Chieftain hinted that even though we see one part of the story (the nerfs), there might be another change upcoming, which might actually please the artyplayers.

However, Overlord reacted a bit differently on his blog:

And how do the Russian players react on the alleged SU-26 nerf?

("Suffer, sealclubber, your suffering makes us happy!" - sorry, this comment just made me laugh.)

"Misfit" Tank Destoyers - Sturmgeschütz III mit 8.8cm

By Zarax

The "misfit" tank destroyers are a series of more obscure designs that could fit an hypothetical fifth tank destroyer tree in WOT. 
These designs are much more likely to ever appear as premium tanks rather than as part of a regular tree, so they will be treated separately.

One of the most obscure STUG III variants is the design project of mounting an 88mm cannon on its chassis.
Such a powerful weapon would have made the STUG even more versatile as the larger caliber gun would have been extremely useful both against tanks and softer targets thanks to the heavier HE shell.

The concept reached wooden model stage and as seen from the picture, would have required a redesigned superstructure and likely made the tank itself heavier:

How would the tank behave in WOT?

Baby Jagdpanther II comes into mind.
Good alpha although not stellar penetration for its tier, coupled with a fairly mobile chassis.
Depending on superstructure armor (would it be 50mm or the heavier 80mm? I'd go for tier V premium with 50mm and decent mobility) it could also be fairly mobile but given it would be slightly taller than the base chassis camo would suffer a bit.

Now, would you like to see this tank as a tier V premium or as a regular tank?

0.8.6 reworked maps

Author of the post: st0rmshadow (EU) - German community.

Sorry to hear about Kolaski, my condolences.

Anyway, here are the screenies of the new reworked maps: Airfield, Murovanka and Widepark





You might have noticed that yesterday, I "skipped" the Russian Q&A. That's because there was nothing to translate and today there is practically nothing either (unusual, can't remember the last time this happened), just two trollposts from SerB giving some guy 14 day ban for asking, how can he see the remaining tanks for expert medal.

So no, I didn't stop translating, don't worry.

0.8.6 - more arty info

Hello everyone,

A big post in Russian was made under the earlier 0.8.6 post I made today. Its contents were confirmed by another supertester (the guy who leaked the stuff from the earlier post), so unless this is one big conspiracy, it might actually be legit. Of course, keep in mind that none of this stuff is completely confirmed, could all still be a bunch of bullshit.

Anyway, here goes:

GW Panther
- gets kicked from T6 to T7
- top speed limited to 46km/h
- stock suspension turnrate reduced from 26 to 24, 2nd suspension turnrate reduced from 28 to 26
- gun spread caused by turning increased for both suspensions
- loading time and gun accuracy nerfed
- stock engine was removed

Lorraine 155 50
- hitpoints slightly improved
- moved one tier up
- terrain passability nerfed
- gun spread from turning increased
- turnrate improved for both suspensions
- ROF nerfed
- radios reworked

- speed nerfed (by 2km/h)
- more HP
- moved one tier higher
- both suspensions got terrain passability nerfed
- both suspensions: more gun spread from turning
- followed by SU-14 for 146k XP
- gun traverse nerfed from 6 to 4
- stock gun now has twice as much ammo and a bit better reload time
- B-4 has 25 percent higher reload time, spread and aim time increased (nerfed) by 50 percent

US M12
- mover one tier up
- maximum speed nerfed
- the suspension spread nerf is apparently planned

- moved one tier up
- agility and mobility buffed
- armor was apparently made historical

- guns weren't touched at all
- mobility nerfed a bit

- moved to tier 10
- buffed turned rate
- engines were reworked
- maximum speed was nerfed

Batchat 155
- moved to tier 10
- added new stock suspension
- 2nd suspension had its terrain passability nerfed a bit
- turnrate was buffed
- gun spread from turning was increased by 50 percent
- viewrange nerfed to 380
- autoloader reloads 10 seconds longer
- aim time increased by 10 percent
- new stock engine

Object 261
- moved to tier 10
- speed was not nerfed
- new stock suspension
- 2nd suspension has better passability in bad terrain
- influence of turning on spread increased by 50 percent
- hull turn rate buffed to 24
- view range buffed to 390
- reload time increased from 29,7 to 35

GW Tiger
- terrain passability slightly buffed
- turnrate buffed by 2 degrees on both suspensions
- spread from rotation increased 2 times
- viewrange buffed by 10 meters
- 210mm accuracy nerfed by 1/3, reload time nerfed by 20 percent

Ammunition changes:

150mm Gr.39 HE (for example Bison) - damage from 300 to 450 (HEAT stays at 300)
150mm Sprg. L. erz. (Bison) - damage from 200 to 350 (HEAT stays at 200)
122mm OF420SO (current SU-26) - damage from 270 to 420
122mm OF420SOMSH (current SU-26) - damage from 150-300
152mm 52OF500 (SU-5) - damage from 360 to 450

Other shells have not been touched for now.

Apparently HEAT shells got reduced penetration with distance added (WTF?).

"How not to make an APC" - CZ OT-810 and OT-90

Hello everyone,

first and foremost: I know some of you wrote me to make part 2 of the Finnish armor article. I won't. Here's the reason why: - this website has all the info on Finnish armor you can possibly want and then some. If I knew this site existed (or rather, if I bothered to google before writing anything), I wouldn't have even started with it. So, go check it out if you are interested, I definitely will :) Anyway, since the site doesn't contain info on some "specialities" (like the famous BT-42), I'll be making an article about that later.

Today's topic however won't be tanks per se, but - in the spirit of the "tanks that failed" article I wrote some time ago - two Czechoslovak vehicles, that were... not very successful. To put it mildly.

OT-810 "HAKO", or "Hitler's revenge"

Ever since WW2, Czechoslovak army staff was impressed with the armored APC halftrack concept. From the early successes of the Blitzkrieg and the use of the halftracks by the Allies, it was decided straight after the war that the newly emerging Czechoslovak army needs these vehicles too.
There was also some background. For starters, the original SdKfz.251 vehicles were partially produced in former Czechoslovakia during the war (notably by Škoda Pilsen and Mürzzuschlag-Bohemia from Česká Lípa) - the production capacity was already there. Another German halftrack - the SdKfz.250 (Demag D-7) was also present in some significant numbers in renewed Czechoslovakia after the war ended and - finally - a number of International Harvester M5 halftracks (called "Internacionál" by Czechs) made their way to post-war Czechoslovakia via Soviet lend-lease.
After the war ended, Czechoslovakia was desperate to get their hands on as many armored vehicles in general as possible, since the new army needed new equipment and there was practically impossible to get large amounts of American or Soviet weapons (both the Americans and Soviets were reluctant to share, or the tanks simply weren't available) - the army decided to solve the issue by pressing trophy German vehicles (such as Panzer IV, Hummel and Nashorn) into service, until something better can be obtained (this was decided in 1945 already, it was still not sure we'd become a Soviet satellite by then). Based on this decision, it was decided to accept both the 251 and 250 into Czech army. The 251 factory designation was HKL-6 and the vehicle became known in the Czechoslovak army as "Hakl".
The vehicle was practically redesigned to OPp3N ("armored halftrack, 3ton, German") and available (captured) pieces were sent to the border guard units. A number of these vehicles were refitted with the Tatra T-928-3 engine (HKL-6p, D-7p) from 1952.

The vehicle was never really that much popular, but both were used in large numbers despite the fact that the world was slowly moving towards fully-tracked APC's (first attempts were made in WW2 already, with various US tank conversions or the German "Kätzchen" project of a fully tracked APC based on 38t suspension). By 1951, the Czechoslovak army was still operating 736 halftracks of various versions (most were the HKL-6p variants) and by 1957 it was 630 (captured, not newly-produced) halftracks, of which 476 were HKL-6p and 154 were D-7p (the D-7 was nicknamed "krátký hakl" - or "short hakl").

And this is where the development of the OT-810 begins. In 1948, Soviet Union allowed Czechoslovakia to develop its own halftrack (that's why Czechoslovakia never bought the Soviet BTR-152) and in the 50's, when the army was looking for something to replace the aging park of captured German halftracks, it was decided to develop a new one.

The OT-810 HAKO development was started in 1952 as a development of the original Hanomag HKL-6p (the HAKO designation means "Hanomag Kopřivnice"). In 1954 the development was stopped, but it started again in 1956. Compared to the original vehicle, the vehicle had a different engine, different superstructure shapes and the infantry compartment was covered with a roof (the original vehicle was open-topped). An initial batch of 10 vehicles was made between 1958 and 1959.
In the end, the vehicle was accepted into service under the OT-810 designation ("OT" means "Obrněný transportér" - "armored transport"). In the end, 1140 vehicles were made between 1960 and 1962 by PPS Detva (Slovakia).

The vehicle was NOT very popular, to put it mildly. It was hard to control and the infantry compartment was very cramped (even more than the original German halftrack) and the maintenance was not exactly easy either. While the original "Hakl" nickname stuck even for this Czechoslovak version, the vehicle gained a new nickname too: the soldiers called it "Hitlerova pomsta", ("Hitler's Revenge").

In active service, it was replaced rather fast with more modern vehicles, but it stayed in the army warehouses for very long time. Many actually survived past 1989 as "untouchable supplies" (in case Czechoslovakia was ever invaded), when the army got rid of all of them (last were sold in 1995). Many are owned by private owners and a lot of them have been converted to resemble German Sdkfz.251 (both by fans and moviemakers as props). In fact, there is only a dozen of functional original Sdkfz.251 halftracks in existence in the world, so if you see a "German" halftrack in some WW2 movie and it has the "correct" suspension type, it's most likely a converted OT-810.

As a sidenote, an interesting version existed: the OT-810D tank destroyer, armed with a 82mm recoilless gun.

OT-90 "Havel's Tiger"

OT-90 is a Czechoslovak BMP-1 conversion from the 90's - the original BMP-1 turret was replaced by the manual BTR-60PB turret from the OT-64A "SKOT" wheeled APC. This ridiculous refit had its roots right after the 1989. Basically, what happened was that in November 1990, two disarmament treaties were signed: one in Paris and one in Budapest - by president Václav Havel, costing Czechoslovak army and military industry dearly.

These treaties limited (amongst other things) the amount of tank destroyers, IFV's and APC's a signing nation can have at one time. Basically, Czechoslovakia at that time had too many BMP-1 and BMP-2 vehicles, which were classified not as APC's, but as IFV's (the criterium for that was a gun over 20mm caliber and ATGM launchers) and as such, they didn't fit the limits imposed by the treaties. That's why it was decided to convert some of them from IFV's to APC's by using old OT-64 turrets, armed with 14,5mm MG's. Furthermore, in order to keep the treaty terms, it had to be done REALLY quickly,  much quicker than such an undertaking would normally take - in 1990 and 1991, 620 BMP's were converted this way. The result was a disaster.

The obvious problem was the firepower reduction. Furthermore, the "new" turrets were only manually operated, which was "fun" to do in high speeds. The quality of these conversions was (due to time constraints and the fact a lot were done "in the field") very low: for example the new turret rings were not made properly bended, making the whole turret stuck.
The vehicle (despite the new turret being lighter and less armed) performed worse than the original BMP when driving and wading, because the center of gravity was moved more to the front. Its armament was considered obsolete (regardless of the caliber, especially the 7,62mm coaxial SGMT MG). Furthermore, the vehicle commander had no way how to designate target azimuth direction to the gunner and the gunner's seat that was installed was so bad that the gunner practically couldn't sit on it.
Also, the "new" turret was too cramped, it was extremely difficult to load the gun with ammo, the turret also had no ventilation (to remove the fumes caused by firing the weaponry) and the vehicle in general was not lit properly inside.

As you can imagine, the soldiers were NOT happy about this piece of crap and mockingly nicknamed the vehicle "Havlův Tygr" ("Havel's Tiger"). Starting from 1992, several modernizations were made (OT-90M1, M2, M3), that removed the worst problems. Slovakia (after the split) went its own way too and the Slovak OT-90M has a different turret altogether. Various versions existed (including an armored ambulance, armored command post or an artillery spotting vehicle) In 2010, 15 OT-90's were sold to Yemen.

Sources: (several articles)
L.Visingr: SdKfz.251 - Všestranný polopásový obrněnec