There’s a recent trend of posting more or less cursed tank hybrids because of the new low tier premiums being tested. I’ve seen it being treated like a meme and the tanks posted were fake, but I’ve decided to join this meta with more historical approach (as you know from my other posts – I’m into it).
First of all – some players may be under the impression that the four new tanks are fake and were just created by WG by taking pieces from different tanks and putting them together. Let’s debunk it!
It seems to be a real proposition, I won’t add anything more and just let the WG historians speak for themselves:
In 1943-44, the Central Artillery Design Bureau (CADB) studied the issue of improving the characteristics of tanks in service with the Red Army. This concerned, first of all, weapons, the profile work of the CADB. In addition to initiative projects, the design bureau also worked on instructions from above, in particular, the issue of installing more powerful weapons on tanks supplied under Lend-Lease was raised. This was not the first such case: the design bureau of Factory №92, the backbone of which later moved to CADB, was already working on this topic. It resulted in the appearance of the Matilda and Valentine tanks, rearmed with Soviet guns. The tanks successfully passed the tests but did not go into production.
The leading role in the work of CADB on the topic of rearmament of tanks was played by engineer A.S. Chasovnikov. In January 1944, he presented a project for re-equipping foreign tanks with domestic weapon systems. One of the proposals was the conversion of the American M4A2 medium tanks for the installation of the turrets of the Soviet T-34 medium tanks. At the same time, the turret was re-equipped with an 85-mm tank gun. Theoretically, CADB already had experience in installing 85-mm guns in standard tank turrets, in addition, in the spring of 1942, a project was developed for an 85-mm ZIK-1 tank gun, which also used, with minimal changes, the F-34 gun cradle.
The idea was considered at a meeting convened on February 15, 1944, at the initiative of Guards Colonel E.A. Kulchitsky. On it, Chasovnikov’s projects were criticized, partly fair. At the same time, Chasovnikov’s projects should not be viewed as a private initiative. In the same year, 1944, the KV-1s with an 85 mm F-28 cannon entered trials; this work was also supervised by Chasovnikov. The armament has been successfully tested and was recommended for serial production. It did not take place because that there were already very few KV-1s.
Ok, I know nothing about it, so I can’t say for sure it was real, but it looks plausible, like a last ditch effort to make an obsolete Matilda tank at least a little bit useful. Also who would spend the time to make a fake lower tier tank when there are many other real projects to choose from and there are already 3 other tanks being tested?
Pz.Kpfw. 35 R
So now let’s get to my list of some historical hybrid tanks that I’d love to see in the game. By “hybrid” I mean the combination of a hull from one vehicle and a turret or at least a gun taken from another, different one.
Pz.Kpfw. KV-1B 756(r) (KV-1 hull and turret + Pz.Kpfw. IV gun) – Germany
A field modification of a captured KV-1 tank. The original gun was replaced with a German 7.5cm KwK 40 L/43 one, the turret was also modified to fit a commander cupola, taken from a Panzer III or IV.
Good idea for a tier V premium heavy tank.
Oswald (Matilda hull + Pz.Kpfw. III gun) – Germany
Oswald (official name: 5cm KwK 38 L/42 auf Infanterie Panzerkampfwagen MK II 748(e)) was a conversion of a captured Matilda tank. The 5 cm gun was taken from a destroyed Panzer III.
I can see it being implemented as a tier IV tank destroyer, slow but with great rate of fire, also its armor would protect it from players using autoaim, while still not being OP for a TD thanks to the thin shield. The only problem is the penetration: the 5 cm KwK 38 L/42 we have in game has only 60 mm of penetration, but it can be easily resolved by giving it a different ammo. After all that’s the same problem that the Pz.Sfl.IC had and it was resolved, the regular 5 cm KwK 39 L/60 has 67 mm of penetration, “the same” gun on the premium TD – 100 mm.
E 100 Maus turm (E 100 hull + Maus turret) – Germany
At some point in World of Tanks history the E 100 had two turrets, the one we have now being the researchable one. The first turret was taken from the Maus. The real E 100 was never given any turret, as only the hull was finished, but there were multiple projects, one of them being the one shown above – E 100 with turret taken from the Maus project. The turret we know from the in-game E 100 also wasn’t created for this tank, but rather for the Maus II, an upgraded Maus.
In the game it would be a tier X premium heavy tank, possibly a new CW reward.
T-34-88 (T-34-85 hull and turret + Tiger gun) – Germany
That’s a hard one, as there is a chance that it never existed and if it did, it looked a bit different than the one above, according to the most reliable source. But still there is a source, it should be enough to add it.
According to Wolfgang Kloth, a German tank commander who fought in Kurland, there was a strange unit, called the Panzerbrigade Kurland, that used some captured tanks, including T-34s. He said, that they rebored the barrel of a T-34-85 (albeit he said it had an 87 mm gun) to fire 88 mm shells. From what I’ve read on different forums the breech was also probably replaced with a Tiger one, which makes sense, as the S-53 had a completly different breech.
After all I can see it being a tier VI premium medium, both the hull and the gun exist on that tier already. If the combination of both seems too good, the gun stats can be easily balanced thanks to the fact that the gun isn’t actually a 100% KwK 36 L/56.
M4M (Sherman hull and turret + T-34 gun) – USSR
There are no real photos of this tank, but there are several sources claiming that it was real, both the Russian and the German ones, the Germans even claimed that they captured some of them.
The idea was rather simple: to combine a Sherman tank with a T-34’s F-34 gun. Was it needed? The gun wasn’t that good to make it worth the effort and the 75 mm ammo was supplied by the Allies. So was it really done? Given the conversions we know were real (Valentine II and Matilda IV are already in the game, M4A2 T-34 is coming) it’s possible it was a real working tank and if it wasn’t, the project was for sure suggested by someone.
Seems like a good tier V premium, all of the components are there and none of them is too OP. Very similar (and maybe better) idea to the Sherman/T-34 hybrid we’ve seen recently.
SG-122 (Pz.Kpfw. III hull, SU-122 gun) – USSR
As you can see the design was very similar to the SU-76I and the SU-85I – a Panzer III chassis with a new superstructure and a Russian gun. This particular gun was a 122 mm M-30 howitzer, also used on the regular SU-122 (it’s somehow in the game – you can make it by using the 122 mm howitzer on the SU-85).
It would be interesting to see it as a tier V premium derp tank destroyer, the hull would be similar to the SU-85I, the gun also is already there – as I said, it’s one of the SU-85 guns.
M36B1 (Sherman hull + M36 turret) – USA
I’m surprised that it’s not in the game yet. There were not enough M10 hulls to complete the order of the new M36s, so it was decided to finish the run by simply putting the new turret on the M4A3 hulls. Almost 200 M36B1s were produced.
Tier VI premium tank destroyer material, for sure.
M4 Sherman with Pershing turret (Sherman hull + Pershing turret) – USA
This vehicle wasn’t meant to be used, but it was rather created as a proof of concept. Probably less optimal way to combine a 90 mm gun with a Sherman hull than the previous one, but still it was made, so it would be good to have it in the game.
Where? I’d say as a tier VII premium medium tank, the turret is already there (Eagle 7), and the hull… Well we already have a tier VIII Sherman, so why wouldn’t it be ok here?
AMX-13/M24 Chaffee hybrids (AMX-13 hull + Chaffee turret and Chaffee hull + AMX-13 turret) – France
Some early AMX-13 tanks used the Chaffee turret. With enough turrets produced some of the remaining Chaffee hulls were fitted with them.
Light tanks are rather flexible in terms of balancing, I’d say that the one with the Chaffee turret would be ok for a tier VI premium LT, while the other one wouldn’t be that bad at tier VII.
Tiger I (A) (Tiger hull and turret + Škoda T 25 gun) – Czechoslovakia
There are no real photos, so I had to use this pic from Forgotten Hope. The Škoda T 25 was never made, but the autoloader we know from the game (but with 5 shells rather than 3) was tested after being mounted on a Tiger tank, there is no visual evidence of the conversion, but it’s mentioned in the documents.
Tier VI premium heavy tank I guess? It would be nice to have it as a tech tree one, as the new line starts from tier VII, but I don’t think we’ll get an addition like that. Also we had two new Czechoslovak premium heavies recently, so even if it will be added some day, it probably won’t happen soon.
IS-2-88 (IS-2 hull and (modified) turret + Tiger (II?) gun) – Poland
Not too much info about this one. If it ever existed (instead of being made up recently – that’s also a possibility), it was just a suggestion – “Hey, maybe we can mount that powerful 88 mm gun on our IS-2?”. It’s not even clear which 88 mm gun was meant to be used.
I guess it would be a good tier VII premium heavy tank with a Tiger II 88 mm gun. With a Tiger I one – well, maybe tier VI, but the hull may be a little too strong for that.
M18/T-55 hybrid (T-55 hull + Hellcat turret) – Yugoslavia
A vehicle created in early 1990s, but all the parts are from the tanks that are in WoT, soooo… Why not? As far as I know it was used for driving training.
Now for this vehicle (and the next two) to be in the game we need to get Yugoslavia first, maybe as a part of European premium tree (similar to the one in World of Warplanes). They had some interesting tanks, so it would be great to see them being added some day.
Also I don’t know how to classify this thing, I guess it may be a tier VII premium LT (we already have the Aufkl. Panther – another armored light tank) or even a tier VII premium med (like the T23E3), but it would need the preferential MM for that, so yeah…
Somua 6-pdr (Somua hull and (modified) turret + AEC gun) – Yugoslavia
Another interesting vehicle from Yugoslavia – a Somua tank captured from Germans upgraded with a 6-pounder gun from an AEC Mk. II armored car.
A tier III premium medium? It’s still a Somua and the gun is present on the Valentine, now also on tier III.
SO-122 (Sherman hull + IS-122 gun) – Yugoslavia
Well, maybe it’s breaking my rules a little bit, as the A-19 gun wasn’t taken from a tank, but still it was used on a tank at some point – the A-19 was used on the IS-122, an early IS-2 prototype, before being replaced by an upgraded D-25T.
This vehicle is very interesting, it had a new engine and a new turret made from scratch (fully traversible). The tests of the prototype went good and 100 tanks were ordered (with original Sherman engines to make the production easier), but none were made due to several reasons.
Call me a madman, but I can see it as a tier VII premium turreted tank destroyer. It would be ok as a medium, but as a TD it would be more interesting.
BONUS: Tiger-34 – Germany? USSR? Idk
It’s not a real hybrid, but still I want a “movie Tiger” at least as an event vehicle. In terms of stats it would be a regular tier VI T-34-85, but with additional 0 mm of spaced armor (not working), looking almost like a Tiger. I’d love that!