Today, we are going to have a look at some of the interesting Hungarian armor pieces. Obviously, it would be logical to start with the Turán, or the Toldi tanks, but are a bit boring :) We’ll get to them at some point later. Hungarian branch will most likely be a part of the European tank tree, as the Toldi and Turán tanks were one of the few EU-nations tanks that have actually seen combat (although with mixed results). Hungarian tank history is quite interesting (again, I’ll get to that in some other article), but roughly it can be said that despite the attempts to build a decent tank force in WW2, Hungarian tanks and assault guns (based mostly on the Czechovak and Swedish designs, mixed with some imported German Panzer III and IV’s) were obsolete by the time they arrived to the Hungarian army (Honvéd). Despite the Hungarian attempts to bring the vehicles up to date (at some point blocked by Germans), a combination of obsolete vehicles and bad supply lines let to the massive destruction of Hungarian armor on Russian river Don – a defeat the army never really recovered from. Hungarian army however knew full well that their vehicles are not up to date and tried (sometimes desperately) to do something with it. Hungarian armor in World of Tanks Hungary can basically build a branch up to tier 7 (if we combine the TD and light/medium tank branches). It would look something like this: T1 – Straussler tanks T2 – Toldi I/II light tank T3 – Toldi III light tank T4 – T-21/Turán I medium tank T5 – Turán II/III medium tank, Zrinyi I/II T6 – ???? T7 – 44M Tas, Tas Rohamlöveg And that’s it I am afraid. I haven’t found any tank project for tier 8+ – that of course doesn’t mean they didn’t exist, but it’s practically impossible to find any data on anything else outside of Hungary, so I hope Wargaming will do some serious research. 44M Tas By 1943 two things were clear to everyone, except possibly the biggest optimists: the first one was that the Germans are in deep trouble in Russia – and the second one was that Hungarian armor is no longer capable of taking care of the newest Soviet tanks, appearing en masse on the battlefields of Russia. Especially the swarms of T-34 tanks plagued the tired Hungarian tankers, who tried to hold them off with their 40mm equipped Turáns (that alone was quite a feat by itself). In May 1943, a German delegation led by general Leeb did visit Hungary, to inspect the state of Hungarian armor development and to share some knowledge, gained from the fighting. The result was a joint project offer from the Germans to work on certain vehicles. In German eyes, Hungary would manufacture and supply certain parts, which would then be assembled in Germany and exported back to Hungary. Needless to say, Hungarian officers were not very happy about this – from an independent nation, Hungary would become totally dependent on German supplies (and will), when it came to armor. That was unacceptable for two reasons: one was bad experiences with German cooperation (Turán production was delayed several times in the past due to shortages of German equipment), second was that with such a program, Hungary would effectively become Germany’s vassal state. Hungarians scrapped this idea immediately. Earlier that year (in April 1943), Hungarian committee, led by colonel Nádas, visited Germany and inspected some of the armor factories. They witnessed the Panther and Tiger production and were impressed. However, by that time, the mass production of Tigers and Panthers was effectively just started, the vehicles suffered from several flaws (which were rectified only later) and it was also clear that Hungarian armor industry is in no shape to license-produce Panthers or Tigers, those tanks were simply way too sophisticated. Another idea of the committee was to actually license-produce the Panzer IV (with which the Hungarian crews were relatively happy). This too was turned down, because the army staff argued that Panzer IV is not THAT much better than Hungary’s current tanks and it’s simply not worth doing. These endless talks led the army to commission the development of an entirely new and locally built heavy tank from Hungarian components. It was named “Tas” (possibly after a Hungarian warlord from 9th century) and designed in cooperation with the Weiss Manfréd company, that was also supposed to be responsible for its production. It was loosely based on the Turán construction and on the paper, it was actually pretty good. Massive welded frontal armor (100-120mm sloped) paired with a powerful gun (75mm KwK L/70) made a powerful combination. Two types of guns were actually planned: the original German-built KwK 42 from Panther and a Hungarian developed 43M 75mm gun. The vehicle was propelled by two 260hp Turán engines and manned by a crew of five (resembling the Panther). Tas was introduced to the Honvéd command staff on 30.7.1943, with August reserved for partial improvements. The army approved the building of two prototypes – one made from classical (non-armor) steel and one completely armored. The mild steel prototype was built first in the first half of 1944 in the Weiss Manfréd company, but it was never finished. Allegedly, the hull was ready with transmission and engine installed and the project was waiting for a turret, when the factory was bombed on 27.7.1944 by Americans. The prototype was completely destroyed. The development was moved to the Ganz factory, where the already manufactured parts were redirected to. It is unknown what happened from July to December with these parts, but in December 1944, all development and manufacture in the factory was stopped – and that was the end of the project, which was not pursued further. Characteristics: (in the brackets: Panther D statistics for comparison) Crew: 5 (5) Weight: 38 tons (44,8) Lenght: 9,2 meters (8,66) Width: 3,5 meters (3,27) Height: 3 meters (2,99) Engine: 2x Turán, 520hp in total (HL230, 700hp) Armor Frontal: 100-120mm (80) Sides: 50mm (40) Turret frontal: 100mm (100) Turret sides: 100mm (45) Turret rear: 50mm (45) Armament: 75mm KwK 42 or 75mm 43M (the same) Speed: 45km/h (55km/h) In World of Tanks 44M Tas is tier 7 material. Although classified as a “heavy” tank, it is lighter than the medium Panther and definitely nowhere near as heavy as the Tiger. As you can see, it is more heavily armored than the Panther, but lacks its sophisticated weaponry and most likely optics too. What we have here is a medium/heavy hybrid. While its firepower would be quite low for tier 7 (150mm pen, unless it Continue reading →

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