For the Record: Buff My Tank: BT-2/7
Disclaimer: the contents of these articles merely illustrate the resources available for a historically accurate buff. This article does not imply that these changes should happen or will happen, either in combination or individually. Please pay attention to this disclaimer before being butthurt in the comments, thanks in advance. * I have covered the other Soviet tier 2 light tanks before (T-26 and T-60), so the turn of the BT has come! I will skip over uparmouring possibilities, as they were already covered in the alternate hulls article. The speed of the BT tanks is nothing to complain about. At 72 kph, they are some of the fastest vehicles in the game. The BT-5-IS pushes that limit a little bit, to 75 kph. However, the real improvement lies in the D-38, a modernization of the BT tank with a short 76.2 mm gun and a top speed of 90 kph (albeit on wheels). Tsyganov’s BT-2 project boasted a 104 kph top speed on tracks, but required radically altering the suspension, so an argument for that kind of buff really can’t be made. Even though the USSR did not have mass produced tanks with a diesel engine until the late 1930s, experimentation with them started early. The BT-2 received a BD-2 diesel engine in 1932. However, the power of the engine was lacking: its output was only 360 hp, which pales in comparison to the most powerful gasoline engine available (450 hp). The V-2 diesel was later installed on the BT-7, which is reflected in the game. Now, we get to the good part, the guns! You can already see the D-38 up there with a short 76 mm gun. An HE shell from that caliber would be a deadly weapon at tier 2 (coughT18cough). The BT-7 is no slouch either, boasting both the F-32 and L-11 76 mm guns currently available to the A-20 and T-28 respectively. 68 mm of penetration should be plenty to combat all but the toughest armoured opponents that a tier 3 tank will face. However, what fun would these articles be with such boring and reasonable calibers as 76.2 mm? No fun at all! Let’s look at something bigger. First, a project from the Bolshevik factory to equip the BT (no model number is given, but in 1933, the only BT in mass production was the BT-2) with a 107 mm gun. No specifics are given, but no matter, as we are not stopping here. In 1934, a project was drafted to equip the BT-5 with Kurchevskiy’s 152 mm recoilless mortar. Such a wonderful invention would have a rate of fire of 5-6 RPM, but with only 15 shells on board, you would have to take great care to not miss a single time, or you would be unable to solo the enemy team. Another drawback would be the limited turret traverse: the massive gun could only sweep in a 240 degree arc. However, Kurchevskiy did not give up there, aspiring to bigger and better things. What’s bigger than 152 mm? 203 mm, of course! Due to the relative light weight of Kurchevskiy’s ammunition (the 152 mm shell weighed only 25 kg, compared to a 40 kg 152 mm ML-20 shell), the rate of fire would not have even been that bad. The commander’s job would be made more difficult, however, as it was impossible to fit a loader into the turret with a gun that size.