⇚ ⭑ ⭑ ⭑Seven Days to the Rhine⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ⇛
November 1985, Fulda Gap, West-East German border

⭑ ⭑Important Info⭑ ⭑
Date and Time: July 2nd 3:00pm EST (7:00pm UTC)
Be on call by: 2:30pm EST (6:30pm UTC)
Mode: Realistic no markers
Place: https://discord.gg/bhsspFAJB3

⭑ ⭑Mission⭑ ⭑
NATO forces need to defend West Germany from the advance by the Warsaw Pact nations. Both Teams will be fighting over capture points along the iron curtain, both teams will have the opportunity to attack and defend from one another with the Warsaw Pact Nations making the first advance.

⭑ ⭑Respawns⭑ ⭑
Unlimited respawns for all vehicles but each team will get a set number of spawns overall and this will be represented by a ticket bleed (this may be subject to change)

⭑ ⭑Banned Modifications⭑ ⭑
Warrior - Additional Armour Package
Harrier GR.3 - AIM-9G
Jaguar GR.1/A - AIM-9G
F-4F/Early - AIM-9E, AIM-9J, AIM-7E/-2, Gun pod SUU-23/A A-10A - AIM-9L, Gun pod SUU-23/A
Lynx AH.MK.1 - AIM-92 Stinger

MiG-21MF/SAU/bis - R-3S/R R-60/MK, R-13M1
MiG-23MF/MLA - R-60/M, R-13M1, R-23R/T, R-24T/R
MiG-27M - R-60M, R-13M1, Gun pod SPPU-22-01 Mi-24V/P - R-60/M, Gun pod UPK-23-250

⭑ ⭑Media⭑ ⭑
Vehicle list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1u5oROLAe27fBEgIuf1QDWI09c0xCgak9wvAzKiMDj2Q/edit?usp=sharing

Join us on June 26th (Sunday) at the USA: 6:00 PM CST in War Thunder for a Historical 30+ player Event in the Operation Iraqi Freedom (Air/Ground/Helicopter Realistic Battle w/ Markers Off), Direct-Message (Reborn_Bird_Fish#6220 or Moderation Members) for Questions, and More Information. Discord invitation can be found below or here: https://discord.gg/seX4K5gh8Y

Vehicle Options Mini Event: (We already have about 15+ sign-ups, so some vehicles may not be mentioned here)
M1 Abrams x1
Challenger Mk.2, Challenger Mk.3, Challenger DS x2
Chieftain Mk.3, or Chieftain Mk.5 x2
M3A3 Bradley, or M3 Bradley x2
M60 (All) (Not AMBT) x∞
M551 x2
A-10A Late (Not Premium variant) x2
ZSU-23-4 x1
T-54 (All) x∞
Only T-55A (Not AMD-1) x∞
Type 59 x2
BMP-1, BMP-2 x4
PT-76B x1
SU-7BMK, SU-22 x2
Mirage F1C x2
Jaguar GR.1, Jaguar GR.1A x1
French Jaguar A x1
AMX-30 (1972), AMX-30B2, AMX-30B2 BRENUS x2
AMX-10RC x2
Warrior x1
T-72A, T-72B, T-72B (1989) x2

Organizer/More information contact: Reborn_Bird_Fish#6220

War Thunder Historical Customs (WTHC) is dedicated to providing a historically accurate recreation of custom battles, focusing on portraying real historic conflicts, strong team-play, and a lot of fun in the process. We try to help players step away from the average AB/RB Game Modes and come and join a Historical Reenactment of History, Strategy and Tactics are heavily used in our events. Each event will provide players hours of fun whilst content creators get the best experience for their next cinematic! Get involved, and Join War Thunder Historical Customs Discord Server (Current Major Event, which is still in the works is Operation Corporate, the Falklands War Milsim & Carrier Ops): https://discord.gg/seX4K5gh8Y

One of the oldest trees in the game but certainly not the simplest. German tank destroyers have been in the game since the beta for ground forces back in 2013 but are they worth playing if at all grinding? The following will be a historical/opinion based piece regarding all of the vehicles within the German tank destroyer category. But as usual here are the ground rules:

As a further note some vehicles will be grouped together (Such as the Sd.Kfz. 251 or 234 as well as the Panzer IV/70 series) due to the vehicles being minor modifications of each other.

Panzerjager I

Like a phoenix from the ashes the German army quickly and efficiently rearmed in time for the outbreak of the second world war. Tank destroyers were a dated concept but the practicality of the vehicles didn't show until war returned to Europe. Meaning "Tank Hunter" the Panzerjager was a mix of German and Czech technology with a Panzer I chassis and a 4.7cm Skoda built anti tank gun. It performed well at knocking out light to medium vehicles deployed by the Polish, French, British and even Soviet armies. While seeing success in the early years of the war, the appearance of vehicles with heavier armor rendered the Panzerjager obsolete. The ranges of engagements in the desert or on the eastern front led to a need for a better vehicle in both armor and armament.

In game the vehicle is quite enjoyable at 1.3 where it will face some heavier tanks that will take a bit of precision to destroy but overall most opposition is easily defeated by the 47mm. Utilizing APHE it has no issues with offensive actions but it's defensive actions are lacking for a tank destroyer. Being based on the Panzer I doesn't do it any favors with it's limited traverse and poor armor. Most enemy vehicles will cut through you like butter due to the nature of the light tank hunter. Overall it's a great introduction to the German Tank destroyer tree as it's set up and playstyle are awfully similar to some of the heavier variants. Not much else to say but keep your targets ahead of you and keep your distance to make up for the lack of a turret.

Sd.Kfz. 251/10 and 251/22

As the doctrine of mechanized infantry came into being so did the idea of mechanized support weapons. The Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251 has a long line of variants with some more effective than others but the 251/10 and 251/22 armed with the 3.7cm Pak 36 and 7.5cm Pak 40 were specialized in dealing with enemy armor. Stemming from the over abundance of Anti Tank guns while being short in supply for vehicles to mount them on, the 251 was a perfect stop gap solution for an ever increasing problem during the later years of the war. Serving until the bitter end and even in post war countries, the Sd.Kfz. 250 is an iconic and influential vehicle that can pack a punch.

As most half tracks are they're somewhat limited in their mobility compared to fully tracked vehicles, they're lightly armored and are usually not great at fighting enemy armor. The Pak 36 gained the nickname "Heeresanklopfgerät" or Army Door Knocker due to it's increasing ineffectiveness, this in turn reflects in War Thunder as you might struggle to pierce some front plates. Best used as an ambush vehicle in positions that takes advantage of side armor or other weaker portions of the enemy vehicle. Unfortunately your shells are not great and your distance has to be close for most engagements. Arguably the Sd.Kfz. 251/10 is more of a trophy vehicle than a serious competitor but nevertheless still enjoyable given the proper position and circumstances.

Thankfully it's successor is much better due to being armed with one of the best low-mid tier guns in the game. The Pak 40 is renown for being accurate, dependable and devastating to enemy armor. Allowing you to pick apart enemy armor from not only the front but also at a distance. Played slowly and defensively the Sd.Kfz. 251/22 is a force to be reckoned with if you find yourself not receiving return fire. Both vehicles have their niches and as such can perform admirably when played like a proper light weight tank destroyer.

Sd.Kfz. 234/3 and 234/4

Continuing with the rare vehicles of the game we find ourselves at some of the most sought after and enjoyable vehicles available. Derived from the earlier Sd.Kfz 232 (8 rad) series, the 234 was designed to be a reconnaissance vehicle but eventually took on heavier roles such as heavy armored car, infantry support and even tank destroyer. The 234/3 and 234/4 are armed with the 7.5cm K51 and 7.5cm Pak 40 respectively. Both vehicles possessing the same speed, armor and cross country abilities as each other meaning there's only one real difference. Finding little success in the war due to being produced in the last months leads us to questioning the overall effectiveness of the platform's roles in infantry support and tank destroying.

In game however both vehicles fit well and perform admirably with the short 75 dealing excessive damage to light and medium targets while being able to crack some of it's heavier opposition with a quick reload and punishing HEAT projectiles. The longer 7.5cm Pak 40 while being an exceptional gun now finds it's self in the realm of much heavier armor and enhanced capabilities. At 4.7 the vehicle has seen much better days, however this shouldn't discourage you as smart usage of maps and flanking spots can still decimate swarms of enemy vehicles. Downsides of this vehicle include it's armor and lack of tracks. There's no doubt that the physics tied to wheel based vehicles are abhorrent on rough terrain such as sand, snow or even mud. Overall if you're lucky enough to have either of these vehicles consider using them if you haven't already.

Sturmgeschutz III Ausf. A, F, and G

One of the old guard considering it's date of introduction to War Thunder. Based on the Panzer III chassis the StuG is one of the popular German tank destroyers that is hard to go wrong with. A low silhouette, good frontal armor, decent mobility allowed the StuG to be the most effective German tank destroyer of the entire war. While it's original job as an assault gun didn't have tanks in mind, it's later iterations proved lethal to enemy armor. Serving until the end of the war on every German front, the StuG's efficiency and legacy are not to be questioned.

In War Thunder the StuG shines as a cornerstone of tier I-II Germany with the Ausf. A being armed with the fan favorite 7.5cm Kwk 37 (StuK 37 in this case) and protected by a generous 50mm of armor at 2.3. Quick firing, speedy and reliable in almost all scenarios, the Ausf. A is not a vehicle to sleep on. It's ability to take a hit or two is welcomed in comparison to the earlier fragile vehicles. However the real winners are it's later iterations.

The Ausf F and G differ in numerous ways, the Ausf F shares the same armor and layout as the Ausf A but the firepower has been significantly upgraded. Similar to the Pak 40, the 7.5cm StuK 40 allows for the Ausf F to tackle much larger prey but be warned that it's armor doesn't hold up nearly as well as it's earlier iteration does.
Ausf G finds upgrades in most departments with the addition of not only schurzen (side skirts) but also an additional 30mm of frontal armor bringing it's protection up to 80mm. The firepower also finds an upgrade with the StuK 40's barrel being lengthened by 5 calibers and as such increasing penetration minimally. Dependable, reliable and a winner in all regards, the StuG series has been an enjoyment for as long as tanks have been in the game.

Marder III/IIIH

Designed as an interm replacement for the Panzerjager I, the Marder series of tank destroyers were effective light vehicles that could be quickly moved into action in comparison to the towed anti tank guns the Germans were often fielding. Utilizing captured chassis or spare vehicles with no apparent use the Marders were interesting amalgamations turned competent fighting machines. The original Marder III saw the Panzer 38(t) chassis being paired with the Soviet 76mm field gun and combined to produce a tall and lightly armored tank destroyer. The Marder III H was a much more streamlined production which did away with the Soviet gun and armed it with the Pak 40, both vehicles served from their origination in 1942 until the bitter end in 1945.

Being lightly armed seems to be a constant for tank destroyers in the early tiers of the game and the Marder III is no exception. Following closely in the steps of the Panzerjager, the Marder III is to be played the exact same way. Light armor and open top leads to destruction by every threat under the sun. Thankfully it's heavy firepower is nothing to scoff at as it finds it's self at a comfortable battle rating where not much is going to be left standing after taking a direct hit from the guns that arm the Marder III. Ambush tactics and defensive positions favor the Marder III, just make sure to watch out for enemy machine guns or air power.

Dicker Max/Sturer Emil

Both experimental and produced in single digits, the Dicker Max was developed to engage bunkers or fortifications at a distance it would be invulnerable to return fire. But due to the shifting nature of the war it was redesigned as a tank destroyer. Two vehicles were combat trialed and neither ended up in a favorable position. One vehicle caught fire and detonated after it's ammo exploded and the other vehicle survived until sometime in 1942 when the vehicle was lost. The Sturer Emil was a similar program which similar fates, designed to be heavy tank destroyers two vehicles were combat trialed with one being destroyed and another captured in 1943.

In game both vehicles play expressly similar to each other. Long slow vehicles with poor armor but heavy cannons that can take out most vehicles in single hits. Slow reloads and limited traverse leave you with areas that have good sight lines leading to success. The Sturer Emil has exceptional gun depression meaning you can hide the majority of your vehicle behind hills or slopes that allow you to quickly reverse into safety after firing but as numerous other tank destroyers it's open topped nature leave you vulnerable to aircraft and artillery. Overall they're not bad vehicles especially considering the break they're received recently with their BRs being decreased significantly.

8,8 cm Flak 37 Sfl.

The new tanks fielding by the Russians presented a problem for the 37mm and 50mm armed vehicles during Operation Barbarossa that needed to be solved quickly. Combining the Sd.Kfz 9 and the already reputable 88mm Flak 37 created a more mobile version of the dreaded anti-tank/anti-aircraft cannon allowing for some German units to dispatch heavy armor or aircraft at a moment's notice. The lack of armor or protection on the vehicle was of course a downside but nevertheless being able to pull something into action against the new Russian tanks proved useful in the long run.

In game it has a number of both upsides and downsides with the vehicle being somewhat mobile but lacking armor which results in quick deaths if the user is not careful. A lightning fast reload allows you to knock out numerous vehicles in quick succession provided you place yourself in an advantageous position. Vulnerable to everything under the sun there's always going to be some threat that proves fatal to this large battle bus. But given the proper distance and aim there's virtually nothing that you cannot take down with the tried and true 88mm Flak 37.

Jagdpanzer 38(t)

Known to many as the Hetzer (or Chaser) this light tank destroyer was one of the ultimate forms of the Panzer 38(t). Armed with a 7.5cm Pak 39 and firing the same ammunition as the Panzer IV and StuG III series vehicles, the Hezter was a small package with a big bite. But due to the already overloaded nature of the Panzer 38(t) the Hetzer sacrificed a lot of it's armor on the sides and top to provide a suitable front plate for taking hits. Serving until the end of the war and in a couple of post war Armies it's said that the Hetzer is one of the most numerous surviving German vehicles.

In game the Hetzer is a joy to play with it's powerful cannon and good frontal armor. Mobility could be better but it's aged chassis keeps the vehicle down in this regard. While the Hetzer has good frontal armor the sides and especially the top are very thin resulting in basic calibers from aircraft being lethal. Small size gives you the advantage of ambushing and sneaky movements while keeping your effectiveness high. This vehicle is best played methodically with a keen sense for defensive positions that are not easily outflanked.

Jagdpanzer IV and Panzer IV/70 A & V

Developed to be a successor to the StuG, the Jagdpanzer IV (also known as the Panzer IV/70) series was geared with destroying tanks in mind. Unlike the StuG the Jagdpanzer IV as the name implies was built upon the Panzer IV series which gave it the ability to lumber both a heavier gun and heavier armor. The vehicle was put into production during the final month of 1943 and was produced until it's factory was captured by allied forces. Keeping in line with the StuG's low profile and high velocity gun, the Jagdpanzer IV was very successful for most of it's career as a tank destroyer but performed poorly when used as an assault gun. The numerous variants of the series allowed for a more universal capabilities when it came to destroying tanks.

As said the numerous vehicles resulted in numerous loadouts and this is reflected upon in game with the Jagdpanzer IV being armed with the 7.5cm Pak 39 and later vehicles being armed with the much more powerful 7.5cm Pak 42. All vehicles in this series are vulnerable to transmission case hits which can often lead to the death of the driver but the sturdier upper armor allows for the vehicle to (usually) take a hit or two. The main difference between the V (Vomag) and A (Alkett) vehicles is the existence of a flat strip of 80mm armor on the front of the A version's superstructure. Due to this much weaker portion of armor the A sees a much lower battle rating and as such a much higher success rating given the proper attention.

The playstyle of these vehicles are very similar to the StuG but should be played with the idea that your armor isn't always going to save you. That being said the vehicles are rather sturdy and when played at a distance can survive a multitude of hits. All three vehicles are very effective in their role as tank destroyers and as such are highly recommended to anyone interested in them.

Nashorn

The German Nashorn (or Rhinoceros) was yet another in the long list of tank destroyers based on the Panzer IV chassis. This behemoth was armed with the dreaded 8.8cm Pak 43 that allowed it to neutralize enemy targets at a distance of over 2,000 meters. The biggest downsides of this vehicle are it's size and light armor which while being a benefit on the Eastern Front; proved to be a liability when fighting the American forces in the mountainous of Italy. Beginning it's production run in early 1943 it was one of the first successful attempts to arm a vehicle with the heavy 8.8cm Pak 43. It served until the end of the war with only a few examples surviving.

As stated above the light armor and size of the vehicle makes the Nashorn an easy target even at a distance in game. The open topped nature of the vehicle allows for aircraft and artillery to make quick work of it and usually it's not putting up much of a fight. But when put in a position where it can safely engage enemy tanks the heavy gun makes quick work of almost any enemy vehicle on the map. Recommended if you enjoy destroying enemy heavy tanks with little to no effort.

VFW

The Versuchsflakwagen or Grille 10 is a rather rare vehicle with it's prototype phase not producing a production variant. Other than it's original purpose as an assault gun not much else is know about the vehicle. However halfway through it's development it was decided to make it more of a multiple purpose vehicle that could engage aircraft. Three prototypes were made and not much else was done with the vehicle after 1942.

This vehicle is rather broken in game with it's armor not being thick enough to detonate certain fuses and it's reload being absurdly quick. I've personally had this misfortune of shooting this vehicle for nothing to happen due to the shells penetrating the armor but not detonating. The vehicle comes in two flavors with it's sides up protecting the gun crew or the sides down allowing for the gun to rotate on it's platform. The latter seems to be the more popular set up given the nature of self propelled guns. The ammo also sits far below the gun preventing detonation in most scenarios. Overall a complete menace when used correctly, this vehicle surprisingly hasn't been nerfed into the ground yet.

Waffentrager

The Waffentrager or Weapons Carrier was another prototype designed to carry the heavy 8.8cm Pak 43 but this time with an emphasis on cheap and ease of manufacture. The vehicle was designed to have an open topped turret and a low silhouette which was already popular with other effective tank destroyers. Unfortunately like many other prototypes this version lost to a competitor's design and only one was built with no production units being ordered.

However this vehicle can be a breath of fresh air to tank destroyer players due to the existence of a turret. With poor mobility the vehicle still requires setting up and an advantageous position for most engagements. But you will be hard pressed to find an enemy vehicle you cannot tackle from afar with the Pak 43. Playing this vehicle like a mobile anti tank gun is a good strategy with no heavy armor to speak of and being vulnerable to any enemy action. Open fields and staying away from tight corners will provide you with enough room and time to score well in the Waffentrager.

Jagdpanther

A rather famous tank destroyer with a unique design that proved to be extremely effective. Based on the Panther series it incorporated the heavy frontal armor and combined it with the powerful 8.8cm Pak 43 (noticing a pattern yet?). With roughly 400 models being produced from early 1944 until the end of the war, the Jagdpanther was the first true combination of armor and firepower that wasn't constantly breaking down or getting stuck with the Ferdinand's poor mobility. Serving until the end of the war in heavy tank destroyer battalions it was loved by crews and critiques alike.

In game it finds it's self in an advantageous position with it's opposition often being Shermans, T-34s and early Centurion or M26 tanks. While not impervious to all enemy fire and suffering from a couple of weakspots in it's armor, the Jagdpanther is a truly an enjoyable tank destroyer that often finds it's self over extended which is arguably it's biggest downside. Suffering from the same poor reverse gear system as the Panther it's advised not to push past the front line unless there's an urgent reason.

Ferdinand

The long list of Porsche prototypes and designs usually leads to dead end prototypes with no production, however the Ferdinand (and Elefant) are not such vehicles. Built upon the Porsche Tiger chassis the Ferdinand was a large heavy vehicle that suffered from numerous faults such as reliability issues, overweight failures and poor maneuverability. It was armed with the fearsome Kwk 43 and while it was effective on the steppes of the Eastern Front where virtually no tank could outrange or outgun the vehicle it unfortunately suffered heavily in the Mountainous terrain of Italy where it was often engaged at much shorter distances. The vehicle was produced in the dozens and never got over it's reliability issues.

In game this vehicle shines as a somewhat super heavy tank destroyer boasting 200mm of frontal armor that allows it to withstand a large percentage of standard AP shot. Poor speed and maneuverability shows often with the vehicle being outflanked if the driver does not take the proper precautions. An excellent sniper and good for open fields the Ferdinand/Elephant only sees issues when it begins to fight shaped charge projectiles or hyper velocity AP rounds. An excellent addition to the 6.7 line up for Germany especially if you feel that you're lacking in heavy frontal armor.

Jagdtiger

One of the last vehicles produced by the German army in the second world war. The Jagdtiger was the culmination of years of tank destroyer design which ultimately fell flat on it's face. The already overweight chassis of the Tiger II was forced to bear even more weight strained the relatively weak engine which induced numerous mechanical failures and ultimately provide a very poor vehicle that rarely worked. Combat records show that most Jagdtigers were lost to failures instead of enemy action but when the vehicle was used properly it was virtually invulnerable to the front from most projectiles. Ironically the first Jagdtiger was destroyed due to American infantry with a Bazooka. Only 80 were produced and they served until the end of the war.

Sometimes War Thunder's lack of mechanics provide benefits to certain vehicles and the Jagdtiger is one of them. Similar to the Ferdinand it's slow, large and heavy which leads to a relatively immobile machine but when put into the right position provides a fearsome roadblock that can withstand almost every standard AP shots and even some HEAT projectiles. The armor which has a thickness of up to 250mm allows for frontal assaults against certain tanks and excellent defense against others but be aware that the anemic engine and poor side armor will prove to be your downfall if you don't play with caution. It's an exceptional addition to any 6.7 line up with it's 128mm Pak 44 that can knock down just about any enemy tank within firing distance.

Hanomag-Henschel Jpz 4-5

By the late 1950s the newly founded West German Republic and Bundeswehr found it's self with a strikingly apparent shortage of modern tanks. Supply from the US only allowed for vehicles that the US no longer wanted to use (such as M47s) and as such the Germans contacted Hanomag and Henschel to build prototypes of a new tank destroyer. The first prototypes were created in the early 60s but it wasn't until 1965 that the Kanonenjagdpanzer entered production and service with the Bundeswehr. Unfortunately the development of new Soviet T-64 and T-72 series tanks put a short service life on the Kanonenjagdpanzer.

This vehicle is a step away from the usual German thinking of heavy hard hitting gun with a slow up armored chassis, instead you are provided with a speedy vehicle that allows for hit and run tactics while having a somewhat short BK-90 90mm gun that utilizes HEAT as it's main offensive shell. This allows for the vehicle to take on heavy enemy armor from most distances. It's speed comes at a price of minimal armor which can be apparent if you're used to play the earlier heavy SPGs that can be rather forgiving if you take a hit. Choose ambush positions wisely and run away if you sense the position is about to be attacked. Ultimately it's a breath of fresh air in comparison to the slow heavy tank destroyers that come before it.

Raketenjagdpanzer 2/2 HOT

The Kanonenjagdpanzer's short service life led to a revolutionary design change when it came to tank destroyers in service with the Bundeswehr. Since the 1950s the Anti Tank Guided Missile had forced not only a change in tactics but a change in design when it came to tank warfare. The existing SS.11 and HOT missiles were provided to the Bundeswehr and were mounted on a light and versatile chassis. This combination which went into service around 1967 provided a long range anti tank vehicle that could knock out most enemy tanks without closing the distance. Altho the MCLOS nature of the SS.11 was a downside it was still praised for it's abilities. The later version armed with HOT SACLOS missiles which was fielded in 1978 provided a much easier and effective platform. Both vehicles were arguably dated for their service lives but they proved effective and served until 1982.

Both vehicles are perform well in War Thunder with their speed, maneuverability, armor and chassis being the same. However the armament is vastly different in performance and effectiveness. The SS.11's MCLOS (Multiple Command Line of Sight) nature forces the player to utilize archaic controls to guide the missile on target. However this comes with the upside of having two missiles ready in comparison to the HOT's one. The HOT is much more streamlined and user friendly due to the updated SACLOS (Semi Active Command Light of Sight) system. Allowing players to engage heavy enemy targets from behind hills and at extreme distances. With virtually no armor and vulnerable to enemy fire at any distance it's advised to move after expending ammunition to avoid counter attacks. Being some of the oldest ATGM carriers in the game they're hard to go wrong with.

VT1-2

Abnormal, Unorthodox and downright strange. The VT1-2 or Versuchsträger VT1-2 was a test bed vehicle designed and produced by the Bundeswehr during the 1970s as apart of the Leopard I replacement program. Armed with two 120mm L/44s in a casemate design backed by a monstrous engine. The vehicle's life as a test bed was short lived and it obviously didn't reach production. But the interesting takeaways from this program included the potential effectiveness of using more than one gun, the above average mobility that could be in theory included in a upcoming production main battle tank, the idea of decreasing the overall crew compartment space and risk to crew members as well as the concept of using autoloaders to replace loaders similar to how the Soviets were doing at the time. Fortunately replaced by the Leopard 2 in the upcoming years the VT1-2 was a beneficial testbed but not much more.

In game this vehicle is blistering fast for it's size and armament. It's dual 120mm cannons can be tamed with proper use of the hull aiming mode which allows for players to quickly get guns on target. The left gun reloads in 5 seconds while the right gun reloads in 7 seconds which in theory allows you to be able to fire 3 rounds in 10 seconds. Utilizing flanking routes and sniping spots it's easy to see why the VT1-2 could be a beloved vehicle but due to it's casemate design it can falter in close combat situations or in the event of being flanked. Due to being a rare (and now expensive) vehicle it's not only uncommon but difficult to obtain.

Wiesel 1A2

As times changed and the ATGM revolutionized tank warfare it became exceedingly obvious that mobile warfare was the way of the future and as such vehicles or infantry that couldn't keep up would be left behind. The BGM-71 TOW developed in the 1960s proved to be one of the world's best ATGMs at the time and the Germans wanted to mount it on a mobile vehicle which could provide support with air dropped infantry as the usual stand and set up for the TOW was not only heavy but time consuming. The Wiesel AMC provided a small and light weight chassis that could remedy the issues and provide a fast enough vehicle to fit the bill. As it's been upgraded numerous times throughout it's service life, the Wiesel family of vehicles doesn't seem to have an end in sight.

Small, Fast, Hard hitting. It's hard to go wrong with this vehicle even at higher tiers. It's small enough to hide in plain sight while allowing for a quick response to almost all threats. The TOW's versatility gives it a top attack ability with later modifications meaning that no enemy is beyond your capabilities. But as it stands with great power comes great vulnerability. It's vulnerable to every threat under the sun with single strafing runs being fatal in most cases. With many traits of a light tank such as scouting and mobility it's simple to provide a good firing position for the Wiesel. Hull down capabilities also allow for the vehicle to minimize the potential return fire but be aware of the ammo track being exposed in case of disaster.

Conclusion

As it might be obvious the design philosophy for German tanks didn't change much throughout the Second World War but as times shifted so did their thinking. From some of the heaviest and slowest vehicles ever to be fielded by a standing army to being apart of the fastest airdropped vehicles armed with heavy weapons. The German tank destroyer tree is one of those of which if you like one you'll typically enjoy the rest as the playstyle and capabilities of each vehicle differs minimally through each iteration. With most of these vehicles being renown by their crews and combat tested to some degree they're hard to dislike unless you're usually facing against them. Ultimately one of the best tank destroyer trees in the game by pure number of vehicles with proper care and attention it's easy to find a vehicle that you can enjoy.

Thanks for reading if you have any questions, suggestions or would like to suggest an article you can find us on discord at https://discord.gg/A3BTNkdTYE or if you want to talk to the author his discord is Shermy#2519.

⇚ ⭑ ⭑ ⭑Battle of Honkaniemi⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ⇛
February 26th 1940 Karelian Isthmus, Finland

⭑ ⭑Important Info⭑ ⭑
Date and Time: Saturday 7th May at 7pm UTC (3pm EST)
Be on call by: 6:30pm UTC (2:30pm EST)
Mode: Simulator, no markers
Place: https://discord.gg/bhsspFAJB3

⭑ ⭑Mission⭑ ⭑
In early 1940 the Soviets were ramping up their attacks in eastern Finland in an attempt to break through the Finish defensive lines. The Fins have been defending their homeland for the last few months with great tenacity and heroism against a well equipped and battle hardened foe. For the last 2 months the Soviets have been throwing their all at the Fins in order to secure their flank from a supposed German Invasion staged from Finland. The Finns must keep hold of their territory and secure a Victory. The Soviets must take any chance of Victory from the Finns and secure the area around Lake Näykkijärvi.

⭑ ⭑Respawns⭑ ⭑
Each vehicle can respawn however many times they want but each death will result in a loss of tickets. Too many deaths will equal a loss for the team (use your lives sparingly).

⭑ ⭑Banned Modifications⭑ ⭑
Fighter Aircraft - Suspended Ordnance (Bombs, Rockets)

⭑ ⭑Media⭑ ⭑
Vehicle list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CeFtwfj4DTDsF8rK2dZpg5nRGzl7c_xNS_DYawugYxA/edit?usp=sharing

This Saturday, 244TH Events will be holding Phase 3 of our Operation Unthinkable Campaign, the premise of which follows what would have happened if the Western Allies were forced to activate war plans against the Soviets in 1945.

Smolensk is being quickly surrounded. Vital war supplies and personnel are almost trapped in the city, and with the Western forces closing in, the window of opportunity for their escape is closing by the hour. Large numbers of Soviet T-34-85s and tank destroyer forces have been rushed to the area, joined by the brand-new T-44 and IS-3 tanks, in an effort to defend the convoys until they can escape to the east. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Western forces have raced forward to obliterate the city’s defenses before the Soviets can withdraw their vital resources. Accompanying them are the untested T-29 and T-34 heavy tanks, as well as the newly introduced Centurion and even more advanced versions of the T26 Pershing. Violent storms in the area have grounded the attack aircraft of both sides, so tanks alone will decide the outcome of this massive assault.

Will the Western forces be able to blitz their way through Soviet defensive positions, make it across the river, and smash the escaping convoys? Or will the Soviets take advantage of their powerful new tanks and deal the Western armies a decisive blow? Join now and help us decide the outcome!

[Barn Squad Event Announcement]

Operation Red Sand

Date/Time: 2 April 2022 7:30 BST

Today is the release of our newest event by Barn Squad!

Japan and the USA are at war in the pacific, Your performance in battle will decide the outcome of who wins this battle!

The event:
Operation Red Sand is a Tank Event with Low CAS, Island Assault 64 player event.
Will you decide to join the Japanese Imperial Army in the Defence of a Island defended by your empire or will you land on the beaches and fight for freedom?

Make sure to state your desired slot that you choose after viewing the document listed in Barn Squad so that I or a event organiser can add you to the event register. Make sure that a slot for that vehicle does not contain a name before asking.

Some slots have limited lives and require a second vehicle that will be used after your selected vehicle has lost all its numbered respawns.

More info will be told in: event-info
Sign up too the event in: sign-up-here
Ask any questions/chat about the event in: #event-chat

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sXBb76QkSI&ab_channel=ModelGaming

Sign Up Document:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13yL0o-XlIPdCLpubwPEQ94DggmIA7de23WYgbv0KNq4/edit?usp=sharing

Discord Invite: https://discord.gg/R6BhVuK

⇚ ⭑ ⭑ ⭑Operation Nordwind⭑ ⭑ ⭑ ⇛
January 1945, Southwestern France.

⭑ ⭑Important Info⭑ ⭑
Date and Time: March 13th (Sunday) 1:00pm EST (6:00pm GMT)
Be on call by: 12:30pm EST. (5:30pm GMT)
Mode: Realistic, no markers.
Place: https://discord.gg/bhsspFAJB3

⭑ ⭑Mission⭑ ⭑
Defending from the German onslaught, the allies must hold all of their capture zones and prevent them from falling into enemy hands.
Attacking allied positions, the Germans must take all capture points held by the allies at all costs.

-Barn Squad-

Barn Squad is holding it's first large scale 64 player event in March 2022!

Operation Frozen Hell is a Tank Only Attack & Defend event with a complex and realistic AI static trench defense system.

Will you decide to join the Red Army in the advance into Finland or will you defend from the invaders of the homeland that as Finland?

Important Information:

Date/Time: March 5th 2022 7 pm GMT
Mode: Realistic with no Tags/Markers
Find us here: https://discord.gg/R6BhVuK
SignUp Sheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1taBa6cfILU_lQH5iyhTGmVpbtqz_4NS0cmOY12gp7zs/edit?usp=sharing

Visit us on our Discord Server to join this event. Thank you for showing interest in our event!

Introduction

Recently, both on War Thunder's official website and the official YouTube channel, a YouTube video titled Answering Your Questions was posted. A while back Gaijin reached out to the community of War Thunder, inviting them to ask their questions about the game - anything from mechanics, economics and balancing to ideas and wishes. This is something they do from time to time and is usually very appreciated by the community. Vyacheslav Bulannikiv is a War Thunder producer who usually appears during dev streams and other War Thunder related content. In the video he answers numerous questions compared to usually answering them in an article format. This time around though it seems as if we got more than usual out of it. I got the feeling that we were given a bit more background information and Vyacheslav's answers had a bit more of a backbone to them than what we often see in these Q&As. We were also given some inside information about Gaijin's work on the game and their thoughts on how they want the game to work, i.e. what balance is and means, what physics look really look like in real life according to them, and so on.

With that said I want to break down the Q&A and take a deeper look at what was said because I understand not everyone will fully grasp some of the topics that were brought up.

War Thunder Producer Vyacheslav Bulannikiv

Worth mentioning

First and foremost, I'll go over a few points that I feel would be beneficial to have stated before we start.

Article setup

In the following articles I'm going to be utilizing answers given by Vyacheslav to come to more thoughtful conclusions rather than just repeat what he said. I'll analyze his answers to try and get a glimpse of what the producers and developers think about the game and what they want out of it so to speak. His answers will also be used to put some light on Gaijin's operation(s) and to hopefully put forth answers to some of the community's questions, complaints, and similar things that I've heard being used against Gaijin and the War Thunder team throughout the years. Not everything has to strictly be chronological to when it was said in the video, rather I'll most probably add answers/answer conclusions that are about the same topic or theme together. In that case, I'll add them back to the theme they belong in and go to possibly discuss it some more from there.

This article will sadly mostly consist of a lot of text. Reading it all in one large go could make it a bit heavy for some readers. I'll do my absolute best to summarize interesting points in the Post Q&A Thoughts after I finished writing the complete article, though for the best and most detailed information I'll have to direct readers to the different themes and search under there.

Let's go!

Gaijin has answered some questions!

Overall stuff; Others

Q&A's in the future

It's stated very early on that he hopes that this sort of presentation becomes the norm instead of the text based Q&A, wanting them to be released after each major update. Personally I felt that this was very heartwarming of him to say, since it shows that the War Thunder team does care about their game and its community, wanting them to get their questions answered and for them to state their ideas and hopes for the game ultimately improving the game even more.

Do they play their own game?

War Thunder developers and producers play their game on a regular basis. They allegedly strive to play every day and they see and experience moments of their game just as any other player does. Whenever they come across a specific problem, they try to study and fix it.

T-34's driver's hatch

When answering a question about the T-34 tank's driver's hatch absorbing shots, it was shown that the producer Vyacheslav has a lot of knowledge about tanks and tank history. The producers are informed in what they're working with and it can only be assumed that they have a legitimate interest for their job and what they do.

Tanks literally sliding down hills

Vyacheslav is aware of the specific in-game modeling of friction is not totally physical per real life standards. Once again he proves that they are actually not running around completely blind in this matter, but rather have a few examples of this occurring in real life too. Anyway, what can be taken from this is that the physical real life process of tank friction while on hills should be quite advanced and that the current implementation of this modelled in War Thunder is not quite true at all times and they are aware of it. It can also be understood that this mechanic is sort of used as a balancing tool, hindering in-game tanks from getting to locations to where a real life tank couldn't. At the end of the day they are aware of the problems and agree on that it is an issue in the game. They might work on improving it in the future.

Outdated gamemode of capture points

On the topic of the traditional gamemode with 3 capture points, Vyacheslav spoke about how their aim with all game modes is balance and fairness. They've had several events, missions, and modes throughout the years and whenever they tried to achieve a fifty-fifty balance within each mode, the player base complained about unfairness. They clearly listened to the player base's thought and opinions and tried to make something out of it. Here concerning game modes for RB, it is to stick to the traditional capture point game mode, which supposedly frustrates the least players.

Taking care off newer and more unexperienced players

In a recent update to the game's economics, receiving score points from taking hits from enemies was removed. He made sure to explain that this feature was originally added to aid newer players in getting points. Since newer players were prone to get seen and hit on a higher basis that experienced players, the War Thunder team wanted to help them by making sure points were given even for getting hit.
Actually adding that feature in the first place in order to help newer players score points was a nice touch from them and heartwarming for me to hear. Vyacheslav let us know that they take their players into consideration when making decisions and all things are not done just "for the sake of it".

Graphical

It was stated that the War Thunder team is in fact aware of that some - or many - maps look very outdated, especially trees and the overall nature. They were planing to update this in the near future.

Sounds

Crew voices

Not that much was said about crew voices specifically. Seems to me as that there are no real plans to update the already existing crew voices we have in game - or not in the nearest foreseeable future at least. It was however stated that such plans and operations were a constantly ongoing project for the team.

Balancing

Battle Ratings

Here we get to know that the top BR is increased - and decompression is achieved - whenever a vehicle is added that seems to force it basically. There was also a statement about how some very effective aircraft have difficulties fighting at their battle rating, since they are overperforming. What would this even mean? Is this simply a confirmation that battle rating compression is a thing and that they are aware of it?

Our producer goes on to explain some of their views on BR brackets and their purpose; session intensity, queue timers, and diversity are all on the producers' main agenda for the purpose of BRs. Expanding the BRs would lead to higher queue times due to how spread out the vehicles would become. They want sessions to be intense, which I guess means that the time between them should be relatively low and that they should be action packed. Lastly Gaijin wants to have diversity in matches. Meaning that they want for a player to be able to meet several different enemies and friendly vehicles at one BR instead of versing essentially the same enemies each match.

Once again, this time when discussing changing the BR spread from 1.0 to 0.7, it was stated that the BR spread of one whole point was strategically chosen. With a decrease in this spread, queue times would increase and the diversity would suffer. This 1.0 difference is also implemented as a countermeasure against very effective vehicles, making sure that they verse higher end vehicles as a balancing factor. I have to give them credit at this point. It is true that some or many ground vehicles in War Thunder need to face enemies with a whole BR point of difference to be opposed. The developers want matches to be diverse and offer an interesting gameplay experience. Again, versing the same set of vehicles every game at a BR is no fun for most people.

Spawn Costs (Aircraft)

Spawn costs for aircraft depend on how broad the weapon loadout is/could be. Examples brought up by Vyacheslav were guided missiles and armor-piercing ammo, where all of these and similar features "add up" to the total spawn cost. Ammo price is allegedly not included in helicopter cost at this time, leading to it being cheaper to spawn a helicopter than a jet.

Spawn costs (Jet aircraft vs Helicopters )

Gaijin collects statistics from the radars of self propelled anti aircraft guns in game to see how, from where, and how often planes show up on them/destroy them. These show that planes more often than not attack self propelled anti aircraft guns from a very low height, from very far away, or flying very high and attacking from what was referred to as the "cone of dead zone". The maneuverability of a plane compared to a helicopter was brought up and it was concluded that planes were a lot more effective against enemy self propelled anti aircraft guns than immobile helicopters were. The conclusion as well as the reason for the huge spawn cost-difference, would be that the ability of an airplane or jet to choose the location for an attack and to move quickly across the battlefield should be reflected in the spawn cost. Helicopters should therefore be much cheaper to spawn than a jet, for instance. This makes sense if you ask me. The higher the possible damage to the enemy team, the higher the demands for that should be. Gaijin doesn't want aircraft to be cheaper than helicopters, which are more effective.

On the topic of volumetric armour

Due to the complex calculations of penetration and non-penetration in the game, many players often see a totally correct non-penetrating hit as a bug, glitch, or simply as a problem with the calculations. What could be brought from this statement is mostly that Gaijin knows what their doing most of the time and that some occasions, which players would view as "problems with the armour calculations", actually are perfectly correct according to the way Gaijin models their game and the armour aspect of it. I don't think it should be said in regards to this that Gaijin doesn't know how armour works and such, as I think that Gaijin actually very much knows what their doing and how to do it - most of the time.
However. Vyacheslav said that there were some issues with armour in game, namely joint plated armour. Hit processing on a joint plate is allegedly simplified, which makes it so that ricochets could be impossible at some times.

Overpowered High-tier Anti Air

This was concerning the now more occurring problem at the higher tiers, where pilots feel as if they are unable to do anything due to incoming surface to air missiles as soon as they spawn in their aircraft. This was addressed with the opinion that aircraft and helicopters are very powerful and potent spawns and should be able to be hard countered at all times. Because of this, a flak will always be cheaper to spawn-in than an aircraft. After all, a pilot should have to care about flak and not just wipe out grounds targets. Many air targets can, when left unopposed, easily massacre half of the opponent ground team. The game producers obviously want to limit the danger of close air support and aid ground targets in eradicating the enemy air capabilities. No fundamental change of the system was planned.

Anti Air missile firing range

Addressing a recent and popular video that apparently states that the ground-to-air missiles from anti airs are wrongly modeled in War Thunder, Vyacheslav once again shows the work that lies behind much of the producer's and developer's work. This problem should also concern the effective range of several high tier anti aircrafts in the game. With the help of documents showing graphs and statistics, he explained physics behind guided missiles and how they're implemented, pushing back on the claims that such missiles were completely missmodeled. He also showed graphs covering the effective range of anti air missiles to push those claims back.
He did however admit to one issue with the guided missiles from ground anti air, namely that they are still working on the modeling of said rockets in game. He was sure to mention that the problem this caused was not as bad as the one shown in the aforementioned video covering the subject, but still a problem that they're working on. It seems as if the War Thunder team knows the properties of such missiles, but have yet to fully be able to model it in the game. During the writing of this article however, an update to guided missiles was brought out. This update might have solved the issues with the guided anti air missiles that were brought up.

Economics

Gaijin's main objective of economics "is to provide a smooth process for a player based on the speed set by the game design. In other words, it shouldn't give access too all the content in an hour, but it shouldn't make you wait years for it either." (Translated from Russian; not my translation.) That is essentially they way it should work and I'm happy that Gaijin also seems to want it that way. For now though, Vyacheslav simply said that they fix and change economics over time with the help of statistics to try and keep this balance healthy. He also said that economics work as they are designed to at the moment.

Reduction of the grind

Here we get quite the interesting view point of the producers' view of War Thunder as a game. Completing the game, "finishing the game", is when you reach the top tier of one nation. Period. That's how Gaijin and the producers view War Thunder as a game. This means that any nation different from the one a player has as their "primary" tree, is simply viewed as a "parallel economic game" (not my translation). This would also mean that War Thunder would be several games all under the same selling name, namely War Thunder. One positive aspect of this large game would however be that one unlockable (say vehicle) can be used in another of these several "games" not to mention stuff such as premium time, which works across the board regardless of nation or battleground. For us players and I guess for Gaijin's part too this would mean that grind is not all too bad. Grinding to the top of one single branch in one tree does not take years. (Yes, I am aware of the fact that taking other aspect of life in to consideration might possibly change this statement.)
Taken into consideration that vehicles get added into tech trees constantly, which increases the time taken to finish the game, the producer remarks that RP and SL costs for vehicles have been and are being modified - adding a table to the screen adding to his claims. What we ultimately see is that stuff are being done with the grind - and no, I do not just mean that it is getting increased. The problem between the producers and the player base seem to have to do with the perspective of things: players want a reduction in the grind overall, across the board, because they take on War Thunder as a whole. From the perspective of the producers, the player base would then be taking on several full games at once, complaining about it being difficult to reach the top vehicles in every game at the same time/at a reasonable rate.

Repair Costs

It has been confirmed a few times in the past, but I'll add it in here this time as well. Repair costs are used as a balancing tool. The higher effectiveness, (kills, critical hits scored etc.) a vehicle has the higher the repair cost will be.

Gaijin's hidden knowledge

Planes vs. ground targets

The game has statistics on how how often planes attack enemy self propelled anti aircraft guns how they show up on the radar put in very simple words. (These statistics would also include how helicopters show up on radar too.) These show that planes more often than not attack SPAAGs from a very low height, or from very far away, or even flying very high and then diving straight down, attacking from what was referred to as the "cone of dead zone".

Helicopter usage

Gaijin knows were helicopters are used the most. Vyacheslav explained how helicopter usage was higher in arcade battles and tank PvE modes than it was in tank realistic mode.

BR differences in matches

There are matching settings that, whenever a match is formed with the maximum BR difference of 1.0, limits the number of vehicles of the top BR of that match. Once again, it is shown that the producers does in one way care about the balancing of the matches and that the players should have an OK time while in matches - even in a full up-tier. This setting actually also takes those vehicles into consideration, that previously have been increased as well as lowered in their respective BR.

Futuristic Plans

Naval

There are plans to make the naval part of the game more modern though it was said that it takes a lot of work. Many if not all of the more modern ships also have effects and abilities that stretch way above the weight limit that naval is at now, something that will take time to readjust and add.

Scouting (-aircraft?)

There are plans to improve the scouting abilities in-game. It wasn't explicitly stated by Vyacheslav, but it was regarding the topic of scouting planes. It was confirmed here once again that previous April's Fools Events have tested this mechanic before and they plan to use it in some way.

Upcoming nations

The War Thunder team is constantly looking for ways to improve the gameplay and make the gameplay more interesting. This includes adding more minor nations such as Canada, and South- and North Korea. They also seem to always be looking for ways to make these possible nations enjoyable for players. They have for instance given themselves a lot of opportunities for new trees when they decided to make the latest nation to join the game, Israel, a sort of half-nation with barely any low rank vehicles. In a sense they want to give the community what it wants.

Post Q&A Thoughts

War Thunder producer Vyacheslav made a very good job responding to the asked questions per video - even more so than with the text version of the Q&A. We did get answers to several of the community's questions that have been brought up throughout the years. Answers were often well grounded and were backed by more information about the subject. Some answers were very straight forward, while some were a bit more tangled in.

I got a very good feeling from the Q&A video overall. As said, many questions were answered and a lot of Gaijin's and the War Thunder team's behind-the-scenes thoughts were disclosed. Many of them are to be found in the article written above, but some especially interesting are:

The developers play their own game. They want it to improve and since they want it to improve, they listen to many of the community's thoughts and ideas. The player base is the core of the game and Vyacheslav stated several examples of where they listened to the community. This does however not mean that everything was changed and added as the community wished, rather that it was taken into consideration.

Also interesting is that some aspects of the game are seen as perfectly fine and working as intended by the producers while the player base views them as greedy and unbalanced. Yet again showing how the perception of the game differs depending on who you ask.

Did the Q&A bring you anything? Did you find the video interesting at all? Maybe you don't believe anything that a War Thunder producer says... Be sure to comment your ideas and conclusions to the Q&A or start a discussion on the subject on the EverythingWarThunder discord server: https://discord.gg/9sNMNzD6nc

The 7th of September brought us War Thunder players a new Major Update, "Direct Hit". Although a lot of the focus for this update lies on Air and Sea - with additions such as the legendary MiG 27-M and the JA37C "Jaktviggen" -, War Thunder's tankers were not left empty handed. A total of 12 new ground vehicles were added for us to enjoy, and these will be looked over and given a short review in this article, brought to you by EverythingWarThunder.

The overview will go over each nation's additions in order, starting from the rightmost nation from the list in War Thunder's hanger:

Sweden - one addition

As for additions, there were not many, though Sweden received one very great addition in this update, namely the Pansarbandvagn 301 (Pbv 301).

Put at BR 2.3, tier II, this rather chunky SPAA vehicle does not have all too much going for it: it's armour is only thick enough to protect the vehicle from machine gun fire - and that is when talking about the front armour, since even the German 7.92 mm machine guns are able to go through the sides of this poor SPAAG. Moreover, Pbv 301 has lackluster mobility and a decent at most cannon traverse rate, the vertical angles are not all too good either. The Pansarbandvagn 301 is a low-tier SPAAG in other words. Then how can this be a "very great addition then", you might ask. Simply put, Sweden needs it. Sweden lacked fast-firing SPAAGs as all of its SPAAGs were equipped with the 40 mm Bofors (which do not seem to be able to take down, let alone hit planes). The fast-firing Pbv 301 also has another ace up its sleeve, it has obviously got an AP belt containing one hundred-percent AP rounds with a penetrating force of 40 mm at 100 meters distance. When it is put in the right hands, this SPAAG is a force to be reckoned with in the lower tiers! Oh, and yeah, it also gets a full-HE belt for taking down planes as well; something it does better than its Swedish low-tier contemporaries.

Pansarbandvagn 301 (Pbv 301).

France - zero additions

Moving over to France, its record is even worse than Sweden's since France sadly received zero tank additions in this Major Update. With no other changes worthy of mentioning here, we must move on.

Italy - one addition

Just like Sweden, Italy received one addition this update. One that enthusiasts of the Italy Ground Forces can look forward to, namely the C13 T90! (A new fast-boy, who would have thought?) Now, what is the "C13 T90"?

Interestingly enough, the name does not give away what this is, but this picture might. Entering the battle arena at a Battle rating of 6.7, this is an AUBL/74 and Dardo combo - sort of; an AUBL/74 turret strapped onto an IFV chassis. The well-trained eye, or actually mostly any eye, can see that this is in fact not the same chassis as the one found on the Dardo, though they are similar. Anyway, sporting an AUBL/74 turret, it fires a HEAT round penetrating 250 mm of armour. This round can comfortably penetrate the upper front of a German Tiger II, but is unable for instance unable to go through the thick front plate of a Sovjet IS-4M. Both of these are inside the C13 T90's range of possible opponents. All in all, drivers of the C13 T90 can expect a very mobile and lightly armoured light tank that certainly packs a punch.

China - one addition

Enthusiasts of China's ground vehicles could look forward to a brand new top-tier MBT (ok, maybe it is not brand new, but still). Welcome, ZTZ99-III!

The MBT prior to this one in China's tech-tree is called ZTZ99-II. Already here it is indicated that there is not that much differentiating the two vehicles. Many of the changes/upgrades given to stage III, have little to no effect in War Thunder. We see the same mobility, gun, and rounds available to fire. The armour is also the same, though on stage III they have been moved around a bit to increase survivability - again, not really noticeable in-game. The turret present on stage III is also allegedly "welded", removing some turret weak spots from the prior stage II variant. Just like the ZTZ99-II, the active protection system is not modelled here either. Overall just a new vehicle very similar to the Chinese top-tier MBT that we already see in-game. Still, a very welcome addition that means more presence of Chinese vehicles at top-tier and more availability for players.

Japan - 4 (~5) new additions

Next up on the list, we have Japan, the nation that spoiled the most with new additions this update - and rightly so. Without further ado, let's jump right into it.

2 New low-tier SPAAGs

Japan Ground Forces could welcome two new low-tier SPAAGs to its tree in this update! The M16 GMC and the M19A1:

Somewhat experienced tankers quickly realize that these are copies of the famous American counterparts. This means that these two additions are nothing new to the game, just to Japan's tech-tree. Nevertheless, Japan's SPAAG-line needed these additions, as it needed filler vehicles to fill out its gaps. Nothing more to mention here, time to move over to the other additions.

Type 74 (C)

Japan received yet another Type 74 in this update! Yep, that is right. Japan now has three Type 74 variants in the normal tech-tree and yet another one in the premium tree.

BR of 8.0. Not really any different from the other ones already present in the normal tree. This variant comes without any available APFSDS round, justifying the reduction in BR to 8.0 - since the other two are found at 8.7. Other than the removal of a couple of rounds, not much is different. Let's move on!

(Type 74 (E): Updated model)

Type 87 RCV

Saving the best for last, the second wheely-boy to join the Japanese Ground Forces, welcome the new Type 87 RCV to the Japanese tech-tree!

Here we got a very mobile and nimble light tank joining in at a decently low Battle rating of 7.3. Thinly armoured, fast, and only equipped with a 25 Oerlikon cannon, it is strictly a support vehicle. Not at all suited for front line combat. The 25 cannon is the same as the one found on the Italian Dardo, known for its high fire rate of 560 rounds per minute. The only difference is that the Type 87 RCV can carry more ammunition for it. The 25 mm cannon is the only offensive armament the Type 87 RCV gets (it does also sport a 7.62 machine gun, though). As for ammunition, it is identical to the aforementioned Dardo, starting out with an APDS/HE belt, with a full-HE belt as well as a full-APDS belt (80mm of penetration) ready for researching right of the bat. At modification tier IV, you will find a full-APFSDS belt (92 mm of penetration). Overall, one of the more interesting additions of "Direct Hit", with a generous BR on top of that as well.

Great Britain - one addition

For Britain, we also get a very nice addition that fits in very well. Take a look at the new Vickers Mk. 3!

Looking like a mix of a Vickers chassis and some sort of Centurion/Chieftain turret-mix, it currently sits at a BR of 8.0. It is an upgraded version of the already in-game Vickers Mk.1. The Mk.3 version most prominently features the new turret, providing a little bit of increased protection - although barely noticeable at 8.0. Mk.3 also features a new and improved engine with increased horsepower and slightly increased top speed. More than that, it has the same 105mm Royal Ordnance L7 cannon as the Mk.1. Although, the Vickers Mk.3 gets access to a HEAT shell penetrating the standard 400mm of armour. All in all a well-received addition to the British tree.

USSR - one addition

For USSR we got a new top-tier addition, and this to the IFV/light tank-line. Welcome, the 2S25 "Sprut-SD"!

Sitting at the top of the Soviet light tank line, it has a BR of 9.3. It does not differentiate that much from its contemporaries; it is mobile, amphibious, lightly armoured, can fire rockets, has decent reload speed, and an overall good cannon for dealing with enemy vehicles. With a bit higher profile, the Sprut-SD is á bit more difficult to hide compared to the BMP series, although still a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield!

Germany - one addition

The last Major Update gave Germany a very well anticipated vehicle: the Marder A1-. This Major Update, we got yet another one: The Marder 1A3.

It is only a small upgrade, although an upgrade nonetheless. Only small changes visually, but the big change is in the ammunition pool. Most noticeably, the prominent back machine gun from the previous model has been removed. Instead, it has been moved to the left side of the turret. Furthermore, a new belt has been added to this Marder variant: a DM63 belt! Featuring 3/4 APDS rounds and 1/4 HE rounds, it has a penetrating power of 61mm of armour at 100m! Other than that, you get access to the same missile as the Marder A1- variant. As said, a small upgrade, although an upgrade nonetheless.

US - one addition

The US Ground forces got a new Abrams tank! The M1A1 HC!

Seemingly an identical M1A1 Abrams, this one - placed at a BR of 10.7 - has a few aces up its sleeve, be sure of that! First of all, it can be distinguished by the added equipment on the back-end and on the sides of the turret, as well as the sight-looking thing added on the left side of the turret roof (from the vehicles point of view) - more on this later. Second, it appears that this M1A1 Abrams is protected by the same armour layout as the top-tier vehicle M1A2 Abrams, being protected from even the strongest APFSDS shell in the game - the German DM53 fired from the Leopard 2A6! Third, it gets access to the same ammunition as the M1A2, the M829A1 APFSDS shell, which the "normal" M1A1 does not. Fourth, last but not least, this M1A1 HC Abrams (as if it did not have enough stuff beforehand) also gets access to an active protection system - and yes, it is modelled! This means that the sight-looking thing up there on the left side of the turret roof spoofs enemy laser-guided missiles fired at the vehicle.

All of this, and it's still at a very generous 10.7. Why so "very generous"? Considering it has the same ammunition and armour layout as the 11.0 M1A2 Abrams, as well as a modelled active protection system! Something seems odd here...


Post-mortem to Major Update "Direct Hit"

In this update, we mainly saw a focus on high/top-tier, as almost every newly added vehicle was rank V and above. The ones that were under rank V was the Japanese (American) low-tier SPAAG for Japan and the low-tier SPAAG for Sweden. Seemingly generous Battle ratings were given to the Japanese Type 87 RCV and the American M1A1 HC, and the Japanese got yet another Type 74 added to the tech tree - and also not put into a bracket with an already existing one, but rather create yet another vehicle that has to be ground in order to proceed in the tree.

Anyway, an update focused on filling gaps and balancing nations out - nothing bad at all. Well thought, Gaijin, well thought.