Today, I’d like to return to one of my favorite topics, the upcoming Czechoslovak branch (now finally confirmed by Evilly), specifically to one tank, the LT Vz.38 (also sometimes incorrectly named LT-38 but that was the fascist Slovakia designation actually). This tank will very likely appear on tier 3 if the initial Czechoslovak line - and indeed it would be hard not to have it since it was the best pre-war Czechoslovak light tank and certainly one of the best early war light tank designs in the world.
In World of Tanks terms however, this vehicle has some issue (ironically despite the fact it was mass-produced and fought in service of multiple countries, it is possibly the most problematic vehicle to balance due to the lack of sufficient modules).
The basic issue is this:
We have in the game already a Panzer 38t (which is the same tank but used by the Germans with some very strange upgrades and unhistorical guns). I already wrote an article some time ago about fixing this vehicle to become historical. The thing is, Panzer 38t pretty much equals the LT Vz.38 – if we were to introduce the wartime Czechoslovak development that ended with multiple types of Panzer 38t, we’d get two absolutely identical vehicles (minus the fake guns the German one has of course). That is a problem.
In order not to have a copycat vehicle in Czech colors, we need a different turret and different weaponry than the German-used 38t had, that much is obvious. This has however proven to be exceptionally difficult as the only other country that actually seriously developed the LT Vz.38 (TNH-S) was.... Sweden. In Sweden, the same vehicle was known as m/41 in its initial configuration but as the time went on, the Swedish introduced an uparmored turret that was different from the late versions of the 38t turret. So, WG could use the m/41 uparmored turret as the top turret.
Well, that’s what I proposed anyway. This approach however has two serious issues.
- First, the turret is no longer Czechoslovak. The 38t advanced turrets were developed in occupied Czechoslovakia but this was a purely Swedish development.
- Second, it doesn't solve the issue of armament.
The armament issue in particular is quite annoying. You see, pretty much all the guns the Panzer 38t have are unhistorical. The only truly historical weapon is the 37mm Škoda A7, also known as KwK 38(call) in German service, the stock gun of ingame Panzer 38t. The other guns (20mm or 47mm) were not even proposed for the chassis. There are historical options for alternative Czechoslovak guns - the 37mm A3 and 37mm A8. I won’t bother you with details but both guns are performance-wise worse than the A7 (although in the game, the A7 is underpowered). Another option would be the Swedish Bofors 37mm but that gun is worse than the A7 as well and without the m/41 turret it would make absolutely no sense.
Anyway, back to the turret.
Took some digging and some compromises but in the end, the solution was found – and it’s this:
Well, okay, not THIS in particular. This is a 1947 project of a Škoda A24 47mm automatic gun in a special turret able to fit to the TNH chassis. The thing is, on tier 3, this gun would be OP as hell (think 90-100mm penetration) – luckily, this was not the only gun Škoda produced. It had a smaller sister, the 37mm A23, which is basically the same gun, just downscaled to 37mm (with cca 60-70mm penetration in WoT terms), also automatic. And this is the right top gun for the LT Vz.38.
It’s not unhistorical either – these guns were meant for the TNH chassis and the smaller one (after some quick checks with a ruler) would fit the original 38t turret – or the enlarged one as seen on the picture above. The 47mm gun mentioned above also had a bigger sister, the 57mm A25 – that’s the main weaponry of the TNH 57/900 light tank but that would be waaaaaaay too OP for tier 3.
In short, what we have now is this:
Stock turret – LT Vz.38 with 37mm A3 and A7 guns
Elite turret – the TNH 37/900 (as I call it) turret from the drawing above with the A7 and A23 automatic 37mm.
The A23 properties are as such:
AP shell weight: 0,85 kg
HE shell weight: 0,825 kg
Muzzle velocity AP: 900 m/s
Muzzle velocity HE: 915 m/s
Barrel length: 2415mm (L/67)
Depression/Elevation (TNH mount): -5/+25
Penetration at 1000m (60 deg): 46mm
Weight with empty autoloader: 380 kg
Weight of three rounds in a batch: 6,5 kg
If you are interested in the 47mm and 57mm guns, I wrote them as well here: http://ftr.wot-news.com/2013/12/20/skoda-autoloading-guns-1947/
So, the LT Vz.38 will be different from the Panzer 38t after all :)