Saturday, 19 September 2015

CZ Tree Part 8 - TVP VTU Koncept

Author: SilentStalker

Previous articles:

Hello everyone,

the series is slowly coming to an end as we reached the part of the branch that is composed of the three stages of the TVP program present in the game. So let's get to it, shall we?

Right. I won't go into the entire convoluted history of the TVP program and will only outline the program in general. TVP means "Tank Všeobecného Použití" (lit. "Tank for General Use") and represents the only post-war development of a new, indigenous tank. It ran from 1945/46 until the 50's when the Soviets stopped it and produced a number of interesting proposals.

This tier 8 vehicle is the earliest known stage of the program. How it came to be: in 1945, the newly re-eastablished Czechoslovak army was looking for a new tank. The Soviet vehicles were not available in large numbers (same goes for western tanks) and a lot of the early Czechoslovak army armor consisted of captured Panzer IV's, Jagdpanzers 38 (t) and various assorted German leftovers. Not ideal. A demand was made by the military for the Military research institute (VTU) to propose a new tank design. That was in October 1945. By March 1946, VTU proposed a new medium tank (the picture of which you can see above) and has shown it to Škoda and Praga engineers, who were like "what the fuck are you smoking there" (you'll see why) - both made a counterproposal. Of the Praga counterproposal nothing is known, the Škoda counterproposal however is the T 40 medium tank (tier 6 Czechoslovak premium, appearing in next patch most likely).

The question is: why did the Škoda engineers think the VTU staff is on drugs? Let's have a look at the proposal but first as usual - how was this vehicle discovered?

Archives, archives

First mention of the VTU concept appeared in - as usual - the book of M.Dubánek, where it was correctly identified as the initial stage of the TVP program. Here I fucked up and for a long time I considered this design (due to its looks being quite similar to the T 40) to be identical to the Škoda TVP, which later became known as T-50 (or T 50). On the other hand, Dubánek fucked up as well - he didn't identify the T 40 as T 40 and referred to it as T 50 so it was kinda chaos. In the end it was possible to separate the facts about the "concept" from the T 40 thanks to the work of J.Tintěra, who found the original drawings for this vehicle in the archives (along with the T 40).

The whole document is heavily damaged by water (the flood about a decade ago damaged the archives and destroyed many important documents, it took years to restore and the process is still not complete). In any case, it got scanned and given to Wargaming. It's quite entertaining to read them (if you read Czech that is), the discussion in them is quite interesting.

Vehicle characteristics

Anyway, back to the tank. First of all, this tank is not small. It's about the size of a Königstiger, has a crew of 5 and should weigh between 30 and 33 tons. With that size and that weight, as you can imagine, it doesn't really have a lot of armor.Actually, its armor is mostly identical to the tier 6 T 40:

Hull: 65/40/30mm
Turret: 65/40/30mm

That's... not much, especially for tier 8. In the historical context, it was quite sufficient (or so the designers thought) because it was more than the T-34 had and the T-34 just won the war, didn't it. The entire experience was heavily influenced by the Soviet and German designs with some elements (such as the hatches) "stolen" from the British designs because Czechoslovakia at that point still had a bunch of Cromwells in service.

So, that's one turret, but what about the second turret. A regular vehicle needs two turrets after all!

Here I proposed to cheat. Basically the file contains multiple drawings of the same tank but the turret is a bit different on each drawing - they were clearly meant to be identical but everything is drawn by hand as a concept, there are bound to be slight errors. This wasn't liked very much by Wargaming and so the vehicle will have a turret from... T 40. Whether it will be stock or elite I can't say and it really doesn't matter because both turrets have pretty much the same armor and look visually quite similar (one has a bit different cupola, a shot trap on the bottom of the frontal plate and that's it).

Mobility - here things are starting to get interesting. The requirement was 20 hp/t so we are looking at 600 and 660hp Škoda diesels (yea, those were planned, again - T 40's 700hp diesel). Hell, maybe it'll even get the 700hp diesel from the T 40, that would be one hell of a ride (by the time I am writing this text, the balancing parameters are not yet determined, it'll be done on Monday probably) - 700hp would give it 21,2 hp/t, that's almost an overkill. Why? Because of the firepower.

So, the vehicle was to be armed with a whole bunch of guns, but two are the main ones:

- 88mm L/74 (adapted German FlaK, cca 200mm penetration)
- 105mm L/63 (another modified FlaK, also cca 200mm penetration)

Breech would be semi-automatic. Now, I have serious doubts these guns would fit the turret (and clearly the Škoda engineers thought the same since they proposed the much more reasonable 88mm L/56) but it was in the VTU proposal and so Wargaming modelled it. The following guns exist as models:

- 88mm L/56 (this one is historical and appeared on one of the VTU proposals, probably a sudden moment of clarity - or withdrawal symptoms)
- 88mm L/74
- 100mm D-10T (unhistorical, this gun appeared in TVP plans much later on but why the fuck not)
- 105mm L/63

So, what's the historical depression? Well, it's -12/+30, hue hue hue. I seriously doubt this is physically possible but it's there. The 105mm gun model looks pretty ridiculous (think of L/100 Panther, just bigger) and I have no doubt the tier 8 TVP will - despite its (lack of) armor - be a hilarious vehicle to drive.

For full stats, we'll have to see next week.

So that is it. Tier 9 next.

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