Status Report: 9.13 Tank Description: Grudge over Quality
as all of you already know, the Czechoslovak tanks are finally here and we will likely see them in WoT very soon (hopefully before Christmas). I was quite impressed with everything and all that, but, well...it wasn't to last. In retrospect it shouldn't have surprised me.
This fail concerns the Czechoslovak vehicle descriptions in the game, which are... well... wrong. First a few words how did it happen. The "initial" vehicle descriptions came from the historical department and were completely wrong, sometimes so outrageously wrong that whoever wrote them didn't even bother opening wikipedia, let alone books - you'll see...
That's why I personally wrote new ones for Wargaming.
These new ones appeared on supertest and all was well, but then they were reverted to the old state. Why? Well, that's because... politics. You see, historical department and balancing department in Wargaming don't get along (rather, specific people in them don't get along) and lately the disputes have apparently increased in intensity.
And so, the historical department in Minsk issued a statement that the texts that formally come from balancing department are wrong and all the descriptions were reverted to the first draft/old version. Why did they do it - most likely out of spite. Personal politics surpass quality apparently, just because someone's holding a grudge.
So, let's have a look at the Wargaming and my descriptions and compare them.
I will be using the English versions of course, the way they appeared on supertest.
Tier 1 - Kolohousenka
Wargaming: One of the first representatives of Czechoslovakian armored vehicles. This light wheeled caterpillar tank was developed in the late 1920s based on the suspension of the Hanomag WD-50 tractor. The vehicle never saw service because it was deemed obsolete at the end of its development. Several vehicles, of three modifications, were manufactured, three of them were supplied to Italy and the USSR. One of the manufactured vehicles was used for training purposes until 1935.
Me: One of the first Czechoslovak attempts to build an indigenous vehicle was this light wheel-cum-track tank. It was built using the Hanomag WD-50 suspension designed by Joseph Vollmer in late 20s. It was never accepted in service since by the time the development was completed, it was already obsolete. Several prototypes were built in three variants and three vehicles were sold to Italy and Soviet Union. One vehicle of this type served until 1935 as a training vehicle.
Comment: This was basically correct, here I can't remember the original version so I am not sure if they just used my version or wrote this first (the differences in wording could stem from the fact that the English was translated to Russian and then back to English). Don't worry, it gets worse.
Tier 2 - LT vz.35
Wargaming: Developed by the Škoda company. The vehicle saw service in the Czechoslovakian army as an infantry support vehicle. From 1936 through 1937, 298 vehicles were manufactured.
Me: The LT Vz. 35 was developed by Škoda under the designation Š-IIa based on the requirements of the Czechoslovak military for cavalry support tanks. The first prototype was built in 1935 and 298 were produced between 1936 and 1937, forming the backbone of the Czechoslovak armored forces until 1939. Used by Germans under the designation Pzkpfw.35(t). Several variants existed and many were exported to other Axis countries such as Bulgaria and Romania where they sometimes fought until 1945. While a good design for its time, by 1941 it was obsolete and stood no chance against modern Soviet designs.
Comment: the red part is completely wrong. The IIa category was defined as "tanks designed to cooperate with cavalry formations". Infantry tanks were of IIb category (none were ever mass-produced). And come on, two lines for one of the most important tanks of early war period?
Tier 3 - LT vz.38
Wargaming: Developed by the ČKD design group in 1938, this light tank saw service in the Wehrmacht under the designation Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t). It is considered to be the best Czechoslovakian vehicle: a total of 1400 tanks of eight modifications were produced.
Me: One of the best light tanks in the world in the late 1930's. It was originally developed by Praga under the designation of TNH-S for export to Sweden but also accepted in service by the Czechoslovak army as LT Vz.38 ("light tank, 1938 pattern") in order to replace the aging LT Vz.35. Heavily used by the Germans during their attack on Poland, France and Soviet Union under the name of Panzerkampfwagen 38 (t). By 1941 it was deemed too light to fight modern Soviet vehicles but the excellent chassis was used in the production of tank destroyers and self-propelled guns. Many were converted to the well-known Jagdpanzer 38 (t) "Hetzer". Several vehicles survived the war and were briefly considered for service in the new Czechoslovak army before being mostly scrapped.
Comment: I don't know about you but I hate the "two liner" texts WoT lately is giving to the vehicles. So much more can be said. Technically the vehicle developed before 1938, it represented a modification of the earlier TNH design.
Tier 4 - ST vz.39
Wargaming: Developed at the end of the 1930s as a further development of a LT vz.35. Two prototypes were manufactured. However the trials revealed multiple faults and the vehicle never entered mass production.
Me: This tank was developed between 1936 and 1937 by ČKD under the designation of V-8-H as a response to the military demand for a new medium tank. A prototype was trialed in 1938 and after successful conclusion of testing, the Czechoslovak army accepted it in service under the designation of ST vz.39 (medium tank, 1939 pattern). The vehicle had superior firepower compared to early model Panzer III and IV and a mass-production was planned but those plans were ended by the occupation - the Germans tested the protototype with good results but the production of Panzer III and IV was already running. An uparmored variant (under the designation of V8H-Sv) was offered to Sweden in 1942 as well but without success.
Comment: Ugh, where to even begin. It was NOT a development of LT vz.35 - that was a Škoda design, this one is by Praga! The trials were actually successful and the vehicle was accepted in service! Why the hell do you think it has an army designation (ST vz.39) instead of the factory one (V-8-H)?
Tier 5 - T 24
Wargaming: Developed in occupied Czechoslovakia for the Wehrmacht in 1941. The project featured sloped armor plates and enhanced armament based on the Soviet T-34. The project was deemed outdated. No prototypes were ever made.
Me: In late 1941, following the German experience with the T-34 in Russia, Škoda started working on two medium tank projects for the German army - the lighter T 24 and the heavier T 25. Both projects featured sloped armor and were were well-armed. The lighter T 24 development however was cancelled in September 1942 in favour of the T 25 and no prototypes were built.
Comment: The armament was not based on the Soviet T-34, that's a complete nonsense. The project was deemed "outdated" can also be misinterpreted - it was outdated in comparison with the T 25, otherwise it was a pretty advanced design.The development started in 1941, not finished by the way.
Tier 6 - T 25
Wargaming: A further development of the medium T-24 tank, this vehicle was developed for the German Army in 1942. The project was deemed outdated. No prototypes were ever manufactured.
Me: The T 25 medium tank was designed by Škoda as a part of the initiative of the German Škoda director Wilhelm Voss to make Škoda a bigger part of the German wartime production. It was based on the experience with the Soviet T-34 and had such modern features as sloped armor and automatic drum loading mechanism. Despite the fact the project was quite advanced, the German army preferred the Panther development and it was cancelled in December 1942. No prototype of the tank was built but the gun along with the automatic loading mechanism was constructed and tested after the war while mounted on a captured Tiger.
Comment: This was NOT a further development of the T-24 medium tank, those vehicles were developed in parallel. Also, why use T-24 here and T 24 (no dash) in the vehicle name? Well that's because the WG text is really old, that's why. The project was never deemed outdated, that's completely wrong. I have no idea how someone can write such stuff with all the materials available (even in English)
Tier 7 - T-34/100
Wargaming: Development project of the Soviet T-34-85 tank, proposed in April 1954. The Czechoslovakian variant was to receive a 100mm gun and an enlarget turret. The production was planned to start in 1955, however the work never started.
Me: In the early 50's, the Czechoslovak military realized the T-34/85 tank that was being license-produced in Czechoslovakia was getting obsolete and issued an order in 1953 to the VTU military research institute to increase its combat value. One of the proposals in this program by Konštrukta Trenčín included adapting a Vz.44 S cannon (license-produced copy of the D-10T) for the T-34 chassis. It was presented to the Czechoslovak military in 1954 and gathered harsh criticism. The project had several major flaws such as limited ammunition capacity and poor gun depression amongst them. It was rejected in the June of 1954. Other projects of this program included an automatic loader for the 85mm gun or an automatically loaded 100mm gun installation. These were short-lived however as the attempts to upgrade the T-34 stopped in favour of purchasing the production license for the T-54.
Comment: Again, red part is completely wrong. The most annoying about all this is that whoever wrote the texts didn't even bother to insert even short explanations. Like, it was suddenly planned but then it was rejected? Ugh.
Tier 8 - TVP VTU Koncept
Wargaming: A medium tank project proposed by the Škoda company as part of the general purpose vehicle concept developed in Czechoslovakia. No prototypes were manufactured.
Me: In 1945, the newly reformed army of Czechoslovakia was equipped with a wide assortment of vehicles from Cromwells to T-34's with a large chunk of the armored forces consisting of captured German equipment. One of the proposed solutions to the unification issue was to design an entirely new general purpose tank that would replace all the different tanks in service. The program was called TVP ("Tank for General Use") and in October 1945, the army did lay down a set of requirements for that vehicle. In March 1946, Military Technical Institute (VTU) introduced the first project of the program of a highly mobile and heavily armed medium tank that was inspired by German, Russian and British influences. The initial project was then passed to Škoda that responded on the proposal with a project of their own, the T 40. The VTU concept project never passed the drawing board stage.
Comment: Yes, it was proposed by Škoda. That's why it's called VTU Koncept. Right. *sigh* I can only assume here someone mistook this proposal for the T 40.
Tier 9 - Škoda T 50
Wargaming: A further development of the post-war concept for the Czechoslovakian general purpose tank. The Škoda project, developed in 1947, allowed for mounting a more powerful 100 mm gun, based on the Soviet D-10T gun. No prototypes were manufactured.
Me: The TVP medium tank program continued from 1946 to 1950 with a number of proposals made by both Škoda and ČKD. In 1949 the Škoda proposal received the official designation of T 50. The turret was changed from a welded one to a cast one and the vehicle was proposed to be armed with several 100mm gun variants. The main feature of the proposal was its extremely high mobility provided by a proposed 1000hp engine. Several components for this vehicle (such as transmission) were built and tested but a prototype was never completed. In early 1950, the Škoda T 50 and Praga T 51 projects were unified into one, effectively ending the independent medium tank development by Škoda.
Comment: No, the 100mm gun was not based on the D-10T, it was developed completely independently (the original purpose was actually an AA gun). No, the 100mm version didn't come in 1947, but 1949.
Tier 10 - Škoda T 50/51
Wargaming: A joint project by Škoda and ČKD. Discussions to determine the tank's characteristics started on January 14, 1950 but the project was discontinued on March 4, 1950 by the Ministry of Defense. No prototypes were manufactured. Existed only in blueprints.
Me: In early 1950, the two alternative TVP programs - the Škoda T 50 and Praga T 51 - were unified into one design called T 50/51. The T 50/51 is the last known development stage of the TVP program and represents the watermark of independent Czechoslovak tank design. The vehicle had many modern and advanced features such as a 1000hp diesel engine, sloped armor, round cast turret - one of the elements considered was also an automatic loading mechanism. Several parts were built and tested and the vehicle was considered for mass-production starting in late 1952, but delays in development as well as political pressures led instead to the license production of the T-34/85. The project was cancelled in March 1950.
Comment: I can't remember the exact dates and am lazy to look them up but the project didn't start from scratch (as implied by the WG text), it was simply a unification of existing projects by both companies. Some parts were actually built. Hmmm I wonder, why write both "no prototypes were manufactured" and "existed only in blueprints"? Doesn't one imply the other?
Well... that's it.
This is what happens when you guys don't cooperate. Crap gets into the game. Please be so kind and fix it - lots of people take info from these descriptions - this morning I heard Quickybaby read them out load to a video that had like 80 thousand views and I seriously cringed. For a company that prides themselves in historical accuracy, this is really bad. And for what, some personal squabble?
I am not a blogger anymore, otherwise I'd have written a few more things. The way things stand, all I can do is express my disappointment and wish you guys good luck in fixing this stuff.