Status Report: CZ Tree Part 9 - T 50
Almost finished - tier 9 awaits! Right then. To understand the "funny" history behind the T 50, we first need to have a look at the rest of the TVP program. For what "TVP" actually is, please read part 8 or the dedicated TVP article (which is somewhat obsolete, but good as an overview). The entire program ran from 1945 to roughly 1950 (there are indications that some elements might have been developed even later, like the gas turbine engine for Czechoslovak tanks on which Alexej Surin was working in his twilight years). The whole program had multiple stages:
- TVP Koncept (tier 8, plans found in archives, first proposal by VTU, cca 1945)
- T 40 (tier 6 premium, plans fond in archives, Škoda's response to the Koncept, cca 1945)
- ČKD's response to the Koncept (1945? Nothing is known)
- intermediary stages 1945-1948 (little is known save for partial descriptions)
- T 50 (1948, Škoda, plans found but too late for the model - potential premium?)
- T 51 (1948, ČKD, plans found but too late for the model - potential premium?)
- T 50/51 (late 1949/1950, plans found, tier 10)
Random note: Dubánek (the "usual" source) tends to write the names of the T series with a dash (T-50), while the actual archive plans usually don't have it. WG chose on my recommendation to uphold the original designation.
Okay, now you might be a bit confused. T 50 is written in the official Wargaming branch as a tier 9 when I am writing there are no plans for it (or, rather, they came too late)? How can it be? Well, there's a story behind that - and a good one.
Tier 9 was always the most problematic tier of the entire branch. I mean - there were problems on other tiers too (such as the whole pain in the ass with the T-24, top configuration for LT Vz.38 and others) but tier 9 was a constant source of major problems. At the time of the first serious attempts to build the tree, tiers 8,9,10 looked like this:
- T-50 (back then still with dash)
- T-51 (ditto)
- T-50/51 (drawing known, we'll get to it in the next part).
The thing is, I had no idea how T-51 looks like except for some vague descriptions about not having the "pike nose" and having one less roadwheel. So the only realistically known drawings were the Koncept and the T 40 (which back then I thought was already a T-50 stage). In other words, you'd have practically identical tier 8 and tier 9 - and to top it off, tier 9 would have to be SERIOUSLY overbuffed to keep up. Well, that sucks. But fear not - enter the new contender: the "other" T 50, which I like to call "Pejčoch's TVP":
This is the very first drawing of the TVP medium tank, published (to my knowledge) roughly two decades ago by Ivo Pejčoch, a Czech historian in his article, dedicated to the TVP program. Remember that history with the fake looking T-24? Remember how I said it wouldn't be the last time we'd see strange shit appear by Ivo Pejčoch? Well now, this is it. This picture was later taken and used by M.Dubánek in his early article from 2009, "validating" it and spreading it even further. At first this picture was presented as the "Praga" version of TVP (T-51) but it doesn't have the correct number of roadwheels and it shouldn't have the pike nose. Nobody knows where this picture came from and it doesn't correspond to any of the TVP plans found in the archives by V.Francev and J.Tintěra. TLDR: we think Pejčoch made it up. Here's how he probably did it - check this out:
Does the hull look familiar? Yep, it's pretty much the same hull - this is Dubánek's drawing of a TVP-based tank destroyer from 1949 - by Škoda! Another proof that the ČKD connection to this "design" is false. And yes, the TD project is real, we have the plans. But what about the turret?
This is the Škoda T-17 light tank. As you can see, the turret design is practically identical - save for the scale. This was actually recognized by Yuri Pasholok - good catch! I didn't connect the dots myself until he pointed it out.
So, what we think Pejčoch did was he mashed together the TD hull, enlarged LT turret and called it a TVP. Well that's fucking great, there goes my chance of having a proper tier 9 right?
....turns into T 50
Or, does it? After all, what we have here is a design that:
- uses existing components (for which we have plans to present Wargaming)
- is described sufficiently in a book (by I.Pejčoch, the same author who made the drawing :P)
- is historical in the sense that it was not made up by me or Wargaming, it was presented by a renowned historian (Pejčoch) and validated in his article by another one (Dubánek)!
And so it was that a design was made based on a single drawing of dubious raliability. Both elements (turret, hull) were made by Škoda, the Škoda TVP was called T 50... there you have it. "Pejčoch's TVP" turns into the T 50. And yes, it's totally legit to "cheat" this way - everything's permitted if you can argue well enough :)
It's too bad we didn't have the chance to talk to Mr.Pejčoch about this - because I would LOVE to know how he did it (or why). In any case - ta-da! Tier 9 is now no longer a problem. Is it realistic? Well, it GENERALLY resembles the real T 50 but looks sort of different. The model turned out beautifully though, the tank is simply pretty.
The "T 50" characteristics
As you can imagine, such a design is hard to assess in advance because many of the values will undergo "balance overhaul", which possibly includes armor. So, here are my best guesses for this design.
Weight - 35 to 40 tons, depending on configuration and armor. In the game it has two turrets modelled - one from the Pejčoch's drawing and the second - real one - from T 50/51.
Hull armor thickness: 65/40/40mm
Turret - stock: 100mm all around
Turret - elite: something like 112/84/84 (mantlet is cca 94mm thick) - the mantlet is external so it does provide extra protection
Mobility - let's say the vehicle will weigh 35 tons. Several engines come to mind:
- V-2 engine (500hp, was intended as a placeholder until the real engines are available, 14,29 hp/t)
- Škoda 16AH145 (750hp, 21,43 hp/t)
- Škoda AHK (1000hp, 28,58 hp/t)
Guns are 100mm - D-10T and AK1 IIRC. D-10T is well-known, AK1 could have stats like this:
Barrel length: L/55
No autoloader for now. Again, just my guessing. I think they might have modelled the R11 as well (100mm L/80 lol) or the A20 (shorter variant of the R11, 100mm L/64,7), can't remember. Depression's alright though: -8/+20
So yea. Pretty extreme mobility, good gun, relatively poor armor - sounds like a CDC. Could be fun.