For the Record: Buff My Tank: T-26
Let’s take a look at a meek tier 2 light tank, the T-26. It never had much advantage over the BT-2, and since the advent of Pom-Pom autocannons and softer tier 2 TD matchmaking, it doesn’t have much going for it. Let’s see what historical resources exist for a buff! First, the armament. The “top” gun on the T-26 is the 45 mm 20K, based on the 45 mm model 1932. This gun was installed on the tank in 1933, but the tank remained in service for over a decade after that. Let’s see what other armament options are available. Aside from more modern 45 mm guns (yawn), a 76.2 mm recoilless gun was installed in a single turret of a two-turreted T-26. Since neither the tank not recoilless guns are in the game, let’s see what else is available. The T-26-4, produced in 1933-1934, had a KT-28 howitzer. That’s more like it! Especially since the gun is already in the game, available as the stock gun on the T-28 (that no one ever uses, because even the T-46 had a better gun). Maybe this way, it would see some action. The T-26 model 1938 also had a TOS vertically stabilized sight. That should greatly improve the accuracy on the tank. An experimental turret was developed for the T-26 in 1932: the A-43. The turret was sloped, and equipped with a PS-3 76.2 mm gun. However, the gun is pretty much equivalent to the KT-28. The T-26 was also equipped with an experimental 37 mm autocannon, but not much is known about it. Now, on to the armour. The 30 mm in the front turret, 15 everywhere else isn’t really enough to bounce anything. Again, Soviet engineers have us covered. The T-26 model 1938 had its turret platform armour plates sloped 18 degrees. In 1940, the thickness of the turret platform plates was increased to 20 mm. That’s a bit of a boost. However, for a true increase in protection, you need the T-26E! A number of these tanks were equipped with armour screens up to 40 mm thick during the Winter War. Now that’s some armour to be reckoned with! The T-26 also had a Christie suspension equivalent, the KT-26. The tank could reach a speed of 58 kph (albeit on wheels). That should give the T-26 a nice boost, even though it would still be slower than its’s same-tier competitors. Additionally, in 1940, the T-26 (T-26-5) was equipped with a 160 hp diesel engine. Compared to the current top engine (130 hp gasoline), this would increase the performance of the tank quite a bit. With a 76 mm gun, 55 mm of armour, and 58 kph top speed, the T-26 is bound to be a formidable opponent, instead of a speedbump in the way of a Cruiser III or T18!