For the Record: Don’t trust everything just because it’s in a book!
Hello everyone, I would like to share with you a funny story, that happened yesterday. Last night, I was working on an upgrade proposal for the LT Vz.35 (Panzer 35t), regarding the second (elite) turret of the vehicle. I won’t bother you with details, it’s a pretty confusing business anyway – suffice to say at one point I decided the best option to have for the elite turret would be the T-11 turret (from the modified LT Vz.35′s, exported to Bulgaria under the name Lek tank Shkoda). Well, it would be the best option, were it not for the tiny little fact that the turrets look identical! The T-11 was just modified to incorporate a more modern 37mm gun (the A8). Now, if you ever read my articles on Czechoslovak armor, you probably know that I quote possibly the most important Czechoslovak armor publicist a lot – his name is Ivo Pejčoch and he wrote series of books on armor. Now, when it comes to other nations, the books do have some flaws, but the Czechoslovak research is (as expected) pretty solid. In such a case, you’d expect solid drawings from him as well, no? Well… check this out. This is the LT Vz.35 on Pejčoch’s drawing: And this is the T-11 Now, compare the turrets. You will find that (obviously, apart from the gun), they are identical on the drawing down to every last rivet. Naturally, at this point, I was sort of disappointed, because the turret swap for T-11 was not a bad idea (and a historical one to boot), but obviously, having two identical turrets would not be the preferrable solution for World of Tanks. On a hunch, I decided to compare the photographs of the vehicles as well – surely, Pejčoch cannot be wrong, right? Well, check this out. This is the original LT Vz.35 – pay attention to the front of the turret. Comparing the vehicle with Pejčoch drawing – fits. And now the T-11 – here’s a detail look at the turret (used as a stationary bunker somewhere in Bulgaria): Now, compare it with the T-11 drawing and pay attention to the turret front. That’s right, the viewport on the right side from the mantlet is missing, so the turrets are visually different after all! The piece of metal on the left side of the mantlet is missing as well, but that wasn’t on other photographs, so I assume it’s some sort of ad hoc modification. And so, Pejčoch was wrong. Even the best make mistakes I guess (personally, I think he was just lazy and copypasted the turret from the Vz.35 drawing). The moral of the story is: don’t take everything that is written in books as granted. It CAN be wrong and sometimes it is – some Russian books for example had wrong armor thicknesses written for German tanks and they sometimes pop up on RU forums with comments such as “why don’t we have this thickness when it’s in the book”? Well, it is in the book, that however doesn’t make it true.