Girls und Panzer – Sensha-do Tank Eligibility Rules Explored

After reading the Girls und Panzer Sensha-do Competition Regulations (see earlier post), I wondered what other non production/not in service tanks or tank destroyers (TDs) might qualify for Sensha-do, and how they might impact both the teams and Sensh-do tournament balance.  After all, the Maus added massively to Kuromorimine’s (KMM) hardware advantage over the other teams.  As if 9 or 10 Panther tanks, a couple of Tigers, a couple of King Tigers (Tiger II), a Jadgtiger, Jagdpanther, etc. were not enough.  So what other potential game changing tanks might be available?

I took a closer look into Rule 3.01 “Participating Vehicles Specifications”.  Given the length of this post, I decided to not copy the rule so please refer to it here. Obviously anything in production on or before August 15, 1945 is allowed, but there are some other interesting options available. Of the three main eligibility rules, only the one concerning prototypes is clear – have a working prototype, it’s fair game for Sensha-do.  The other two rules IMO are a bit ambiguous.  For purposes of this article, I’ve limited analysis to tanks/TDs which: (a) were not in service as of Aug, 15, 1945; (b) were not in the anime; (c) IMO would likely qualify without League approval; and (d) IMO are worthwhile additions to a team.

Great Britain (St. Gloriana): Centurion Mk I/Mk II (A41/A41A) Cruiser Tank

Centurion Tank Mk I (A41)_01 Centurion Tank Mk II (A41A)_02

Centurion Mk I                                                Centurion Mk II

The Centurion Mk I definitely qualifies.  Prototypes performed so well that six (of 20) prototypes were sent to the 22nd Armored Brigade of the 7th Armored Division in May 1945 though none saw combat.  Whether the improved Mk II version (A41A) would qualify is a bit harder to determine, but I think it would. One site states that the Centurion Mk II (A41A) program was initiated in January 1945.  According to another source, on August 22, 1945 an advisory committee authorized the production of 800 Centurion tanks – the bulk of which were A41A (Mk II) models.  Given the previous two statements, I think it’s safe to assume that working Mk II prototypes existed prior to August 15, 1945.  However, the 20 pound (84mm) gun was still under development at that time so I believe only 17 pound (76mm) main gun Centurions would qualify for Sensha-do.  Even so, the 17 pound gun (same gun used in the Sherman Firefly) was an excellent AT weapon for the period.

Between the two versions, the main difference is that the Mk II had a significant upgrade in armor – a fully cast turret, new 118 mm-thick front glacis (vs 76mm Mk I), and the side and rear armor increased from 38 mm to 51 mm.  The Mk I’s 20 mm Polsten cannon was replaced by a 7.92mm BESA MG.  In trials, the Mk I was found to be highly mobile, and easily outperformed the lighter armored, faster Comet in most tests.  Despite the added armor and corresponding weight, the same essentially holds true for the Mk II. The Mk II is unquestionably the better version so that’s what I’d choose.

IMO, the MK II is a game changer in terms of Sensha-do.  It’s a very well balanced tank with great armor, very good mobility, sufficient speed, reliable engine, and an excellent main gun.  It’s simply better all around than anything else which would qualify.  The Panther is considered by many to be the best tank produced in WW II.  IMO the Centurion Mk II is even better.  No question that St. Gloriana’s team would be markedly improved by the addition of a few Centurion MK II tanks.

Germany (KMM): Panther Ausf. F Medium Tank

Panther Ausf F Schmalturm_1

I think the Panther Ausf. F qualifies while the Panther II is very questionable without express League approval. The Panther II project was abandoned, and as far as I know, no working prototypes were ever produced.  Even more questionable is anything from the Entwicklung series or “E Series”.  So I’ll assume the only desirable model allowed under my guidelines is the Panther Ausf. F (remember, the Maus was in the anime).  The Panther Ausf. F  had a few meaningful improvements over earlier Panther models.  Most notably, its narrow turret sporting improved version (KwK 44/1) of the Panther’s deadly 75mm high velocity gun.  Armor was increased in most places and it had a built-in range finder.  Surprisingly, thanks to the narrow turret, the Panther Ausf. F actually weighed a bit less than the other Panther variations.

In short, Panther Ausf. F represents a series of improvements to an already excellent tank.  I’d want an Ausf. F version over other Panther models, but the changes are evolutionary rather than revolutionary.  Version 6 of something rather than next generation like the Centurion or a new class such as the T29 heavy tank. Considering KKM’s overall tank line up, I don’t think the addition of Panther Ausf. F tanks would make an appreciable difference.  Certainly nothing game changing from KMM’s standpoint.

Imperial Japan (Oarai): Type 4 Chi-To Medium Tank, Type 5 Chi-Ri Medium Tank

 Type 4 Chi-To tank_01Type 5 Chi-Ri_01

Type 4 Chi-To                                                     Type 5 Chi-Ri

Granted Oarai’a team is a mix of tanks from various nations, but among the mix are two IJA tanks.  The Type 4 Chi-To was the most advanced IJ tank to see production though only two were actually produced prior to the end of the war due to manufacturing problems caused by Allied bombing and scarcity of raw materials.  At 33 tons (US), the Type 4 featured much better armor and an improved, though still mundane, 75mm (L56) main gun compared to the 21 ton (US) Type 3 tank. In many ways, the Type 4 is the IJA version of the US M4  Sherman. The Type 5 Chi-Ri was a heavier (37 tons US), more powerful version of the Type 4.  Along with slightly thicker armor was a more powerful 550hp gasoline engine vs. the Type 4’s 412hp diesel.  Initially, the Type 5 would feature the Type 4’s 75mm (L56) gun, but an 88 mm gun was planned for later models.  Frankly, I’m not entirely sure if the Type 5 would even qualify for Sensha-do as only one incomplete prototype was made.  Even it if it does qualify, the 88mm main gun was still in the planning stages (no prototype made).  So I’ll assume that the Type 5 does qualify, but only the version featuring the 75mm main gun.

Both tanks are marked improvements over the earlier Type 3 model. However, without the planned 88mm gun, the Type 5 is simply a slightly heavier armored, larger Type 4.  Top speed is the same, but you give up a diesel engine for a more flammable gasoline one.  That missing 88mm main gun makes a world of difference, and without it, IMO the Type 4 is probably the better tank.  Still, when you’re strapped with an M3 Lee, Char B1Bis and Type 89, both the Type 4 and Type 5 look pretty darn good.  Clearly, Oarai’s team would benefit significantly from the addition of either one, though neither tank IMO would be the best in Oarai’s line up.  The problem is that the Type 4 and Type 5 don’t look so good when compared to Panthers, Tigers (I or II), Jadgpanthers, Jadgtigers, Sherman Fireflies, Centurions, T29s, Comets, Pershings, T-34/85s, SU-100s, etc.  In the end, it’s a case of better than nothing, but nowhere near a game-changer. Oarai’s Sensha-do underdog status remains.

Soviet Union (Pravda): IS-3 Heavy Tank, SU-100Y Self-Propelled Gun (TD)

IS 3 Heavy Tank_02SU-100Y SPG_01a

IS-3 Heavy Tank                                        SU-100Y SPG

Pravda IMO comes out the worst in this analysis in terms of what might be gained.  The IS-3 features some modest upgrades over the IS-2 – most notably the “soup bowl” turret to go with an improved armor layout and slightly less weight.  While the low turret may have improved protection, it also significantly diminished working headroom – especially for the loader.  Considering that the main gun uses two-piece ammunition, that’s not helpful.  Furthermore, the low turret limited the maximum depression of the main gun with the result that the IS-3 was less able to take advantage of hull-down positions. In short, some definite “give and take” with these changes from the IS-2.

The SU-100Y is interesting if for no other reason than it mounted a 130mm naval gun on a chassis derived from the T-100 heavy tank prototype.  According to one site, the naval gun used “separate instead of fixed ammunition”.  So like the IS-2/3’s D25-T 122mm gun, the SU-100Y’s 130mm gun used two-piece ammunition which means slower reload times.  The SU-100Y never saw production with good reason.  The SU-100 and it’s 100mm D-10S gun was simply a much better tank destroyer – in fact, one of the best in WW II.

In the end, I see little, if any, gains for Pravda.  The IS-3 is a worthwhile edition, but I don’t know if I would automatically pick it over the IS-2.  I wouldn’t bother with the SU-100Y SPG.  A bit “OT”, but I definitely would add one or more SU-100 TDs to Pravda’s line.  Quite effective against those pesky KMM Panther and Tiger I tanks, and unlike the IS-3 or SU-100Y, I think the SU-100 would have a noticeable impact on Pravda’s line up.

United States (Saunders Prep):  US T29 Heavy Tank and T30 Heavy Tank

T29 Heavy Tank_01T30 Heavy Tank_01

T29 Heavy Tank                                     T30 Heavy Tank

Saunders fairs well in this analysis if not quite to the extent of St. Gloriana.  The T29 should qualify without League approval, and probably the same is true for the T30.  I doubt that the T34 would qualify at all since it came after both the T29 and T30.  Between the T29 and T30, I’d easily choose the T29.  The T30 does have a more powerful engine (704hp net vs. 650hp net) which helps though that is still not enough.  However, the T29’s 105mm T5E2 high velocity main gun is a better antitank weapon than the T30’s 155mm L/40 T7 gun which used two-piece ammunition.  The T29’s 105mm main gun offered outstanding AT performance, especially when paired with HVAP rounds. The T29 is the US answer to the Tiger II tank, and unsurprisingly, is quite similar in terms of specifications and overall performance.  Some things the Tiger II did better, and other things the T29 did better.

For Saunders, the T29 fills a fairly wide void in their tank lineup.  ALL we saw in the anime were variations of the M4 Sherman which by the end of the war was obsolete – under armored and under-gunned.  The (British) Firefly’s 17 pound gun solved the firepower issue, but not the others.  The T29, like the Tiger II, had mobility limitations, but in terms of both firepower and armor, it was in an entirely different league compared to the M4.  Even compared to the M26 Pershing, the T29 was significantly superior in both aspects, though the Super Pershing did bridge the firepower gap between the two for the most part, and the M26 offered better mobility.  Certainly more “bridge friendly” than the 70 ton (US) T29.

Ideally, Saunders would add Pershings (especially Super Pershings) along with T29s to their tank pool, but there’s no denying that a heavy tank like the T29 fits nicely into Saunder’s line up. I think it would make a big difference on the Sensha-do battle field – just the same as the Tiger II does for KMM.

Conclusions

Two schools easily come out on top in my analysis – St. Gloriana and Saunders (in that order).  The Centurion Mk II is simply a superb all-around tank for the time.  The T29 heavy tank does suffer from limited mobility and an overtaxed engine (possible reliability issues), but it is still a formidable, heavily armored tank with a very powerful AT gun – something Saunders is missing.  I rank Oarai 3rd simply because a Type 4 or Type 5 are a big step up from the likes of a Type 89, M3 Lee and B1Bis.  I rank KMM 4th because I see the Panther Ausf. F as just a case of the very rich getting slightly richer.  Pravda’s ranked last because, unlike the Panther Ausf. F, the IS-3’s improvements come with meaningful detriments.  Of course if it’s a situation of get an IS-3 or nothing, the IS-3 would give Pravda’s line up a nice little boost.  Frankly, the SU-100Y doesn’t even merit consideration as it is clearly outclassed by the SU-100.  I just threw it in for fun. 😀

In terms of the Sensho-do tournament balance, it’s bit harder to determine since I don’t know if tank pools for schools like St. Gloriana or Saunders contain other tanks/TDs in addition to what was shown in the anime.  We have a better, if perhaps incomplete, idea of Pravda’a and KKM’s tank pools since they fielded more tanks.  Under this caveat, no question IMO that St. Gloriana and Saunders become much more competitive.  Overall, the “Big 4” (KMM, St. Gloriana, Saunders & Pravda) become more competitive with each other, but the smaller, “underdog” schools such as Oarai and Anzio become even less competitive with the “Big 4”.

Unsurprisingly, none of the above tanks/TDs have the same degree of impact as the Maus.  That leaves the following question: Do the rules as stated go too far in terms of match play balance by allowing prototype tanks, completed but not produced designs, etc. instead of limiting Sensha-do eligible tanks to those in production and in service prior to the end of WW II?  I’ll leave that question for another time.  Thanks for reading a long post.  I hope you enjoyed it, and I look forward to comments.

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26 thoughts on “Girls und Panzer – Sensha-do Tank Eligibility Rules Explored

    • Good point. Based on the dates I was able to find the first prototype of the T-54 was assembled in Feb 1945 and the second in June 1945. Based on the Sensahdo rules as we understand them (existing earlier than Aug 1945), I think both would qualify (especially since the Maus was allowed). My opinion has always been that the rules should have only allowed tanks that were actually involved in combat, or at least in production, but the T-54 does qualify.

    • @Ahkenaten Sienna: Good catch and thank you for bringing it to my attention. To be honest, I don’t recall reading about a prior to end of WWII 1945 T-54 prototype when I did research for this article. If I had, I would have mentioned it instead of the SU-100Y SPG since it’s clearly more notable and valuable to Pravda. I do recall reading about the T-44 100m D-10T prototypes, but those were not considered successful.

      It does seem likely that a basic T-54 prototype (Obiekt 137) did exist in Feb-Mar. 1945 though not all sources agree. Page 6 of T-54 and T-55 Main Battle Tanks 1944-2004 published in 2004 by Steven Zaloga (web book preview) states “The first prototype was completed at Nizhil Tagil by the end of 1945 [emphasis added]. However, Ironsides: Canadian Armoured Fighting Vehicle Museums and Monuments By Harold A. Skaarup on page 182 (also web book preview) states that “The first T-54 prototype appeared in March 1945, just before the end of WW II.” Militaryfactory.com supports that with “Design of the new tank began in late 1944 to which a prototype emerged in Feb. 1945.” Finally, A WoT (World of Tanks) forum post dating a month after I wrote this article (timing is everything as the saying goes), also mentions a Feb 1945 prototype, citing an article on topwar.ru.

      All in all, I think there was some form of Sensha-do eligible T-54 prototype prior to the end of WWII. That being said, from what I’ve read so far, the early 1945 T-54 prototype was not at the same advanced “ready for production” stage that the Centurion Mk II was by war’s end given that T-54 production started 1947. Even so, no question that teething problems or not, a 1945 T-54 prototype with that very good 100mm D-10T cannon along with other improvements over the T-34 would have a substantial impact on Pravda’s line up. As time permits, I may look into the T-54 WWII prototype and update my post accordingly.

      • Such a detailed response! Thank you!

        Thinking about it a bit more, I’m coming to believe that part of the reason that St Gloriana gets such a bit boost is that Darjeeling doesn’t field the best wartime tanks available to her. Maybe this is out of a chivalrous sense of fair play in a ‘friendly’ match, since Oorai’s starting tanks are rather less than optimal? For example, Comets or Challengers would offer the 17pdr firepower needed to fight Kuromorimine’s heavy tanks.

        It’s interesting… (if you’re not very interesting like me, I guess)… to wonder what types of tanks were fielded in previous years? I think it’s mentioned somewhere that ‘Kuromorimine switched to heavy tanks to take on Pravda’ (I think that’s in the moment when Erika’s track comes off?)

        • @Ahkenaten Sienna: While the reason isn’t clear by any means from the anime alone, it’s been mentioned that supplementary materials (e.g. official materials such as the Gekkan Senshado which I don’t have) state that the reason St. Gloriana’s doesn’t have better tanks is that apparently, all the schools other than Kuromorimine (KMM) are focused on maximum participation = more cheaper tanks and few late war “HQ” type tanks if any. Another reader posted that St. Gloriana has 11 Matildas, 2 Crusaders, 1 Cromwell (just restored) and 1 Churchill. Evidently, there’s a “Matilda faction” at St. Gloriana’s which is why they have so many of them. Personally, I agree with you that Comets, Challengers or even a Centurion Mk I/Mk II (per post article) with a 17pdr gun would indeed grant St. Gloriana the firepower needed to fight Kuromorimine’s heavy tanks.

          As for other tanks fielded in previous years, I have no idea other than Oarai had much better tanks which were then sold off to fund the school. Have to admit, I am curious as to what Oarai had back then. I checked Ep. 11 and you’re right about Darjeeling mentioning that KMM’s lineup is designed to go against Pravda, though let’s face it, that line up would work well against any school if the proper tactics are employed (which they were not IMO). My understanding is that KMM’s tank pool is pretty much what we saw in the finals – they don’t have a lot of other tanks/TDs (if any). Could be wrong on that though since I don’t have the aforementioned supplementary materials (can’t read Japanese).

  1. I did enjoy the post, lucid and complete in every regard!

    There’s just one thing, though, that made me think. Is it right to go and make Ooarai unofficially a “Japanese” school, by assuming they could take only such designs as a Type 4 or a Type 5? Since they use various nations’ tanks, couldn’t they theoretically (in practice I acknowledge it would be difficult and strange) deploy any of the tanks above mentioned?
    Insofar, the only Japanese tanks Ooarai uses are the Type 89B (and that is just because they don’t have anything else, and I believe there might be a chance in future developments to see Duck Team switch to a more capable tanks, even though it probably appeals to the Japanese public) and the Type 3. Is it enough to classify it as “Japanese-themed”, I wonder?

    • @Italianguy88: Thanks for the comment and glad you enjoyed reading the post.

      Just to be clear, I’m not trying to make/suggest that Oarai is actually a Japanese based school. It’s certainly much more multinational than the others. Furthermore, I agree that Oarai could indeed deploy any of the above tanks. Actually, they could deploy a Panther, Churchill or T-34 in theory though I get the feeling that Oarai will never field same type of tank another school has. Could be wrong on that, but that’s my impression.

      I thought I should include some IJA prototype tanks in the post. However, as far as I know, the only other school which uses IJA tanks is Chi-Ha Tan Academy, which as the name suggests, only fields Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks (again as far as I know). Therefore, the Type 4 & 5 would only be used by Oarai if at all. I guess I could not have assigned tanks to schools, but then that takes away a good part of the analysis. Another option is to consider Oarai having any tank on the list, but that opens up a lot of variables which would make a long post even longer. For example, if Oarai fields the T-29 could/would Saunders also have one? Do I assume Oarai could only have one off the list, or two, or three, etc.?

      Lastly, while I didn’t address it on purpose (entirely different issue beyond the scope of this post), Bear’s reply above raises the same question I mentioned at the end of my post: Do the current Sensha-do tank/TD eligibility rules go too far (i.e. too lenient/inclusive)? Should prototypes be allowed at all let alone completed, but not produced designs (league approval required notwithstanding)? If not, what standard should be used for Sensha-do eligibility?

      • I agree that Ooarai will not have any tank already fielded by the other schools. But that leaves plenty of options, doesn’t it?
        Just to throw ideas around, they could get an M3/M5 Stuart, or a KV-1, or a lot of other non-Japanese tanks. Of course, always theoretically. And I admit that it remains to be seen what is the underlying filosophy that is beneath Ooarai, and how deep it goes.

        My idea about the rules is that so far they’ve proved to be fairly balanced (all the tanks seen saw effective service, even the Tiger P of Ooarai, if only the prototype, but still…); the only real exception is the Maus. In that case, could have something else gained approval from the League, like the fact that KMM is pretty much the non plus ultra of Sensha-Do academies around, so it must have some (we might speculate on the factual degree) influence in League proceedings?

        • @Italianguy88: I agree that the M3/M5 Stuart, etc. could be fielded by Oarai. However, the purpose of this post was to exam some of the possibilities that may not be readily apparent (i.e. saw active service during WWII), but likely (IMO) to qualify without League approval. I mentioned in the introduction that I limited the focus to “tanks/TDs which: (a) were not in service as of Aug, 15, 1945; (b) were not in the anime; (c) IMO would likely qualify without League approval; and (d) IMO are worthwhile additions to a team.” The post is not intended or implied to be an all inclusive exploration. Too many tanks/TDs for that. 😀

          So the reason I didn’t mention the M3/M5 Stuart, etc. is that those tanks/TDs are outside the scope of the article . Also, I think it was mentioned during some of the long discussions elsewhere that Saunders already has some M3/M5 Stuarts. It’s not in the anime, but evidently stated in the supplementary materials (BD booklets and such).

          As for the Maus, while it may be in the aforementioned supplementary materials that it was given League approval, based upon how I read Rule 3.01, it would not require that. League approval is required for “vehicles that never advanced from the planning stage” but not for prototypes which began trials prior to 8/15/1945. I don’t have the time to research in depth, but Wiki does state that the first Maus prototype was tested in June 1944 and gives a cite for that (Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two). The second Maus prototype is stated as undergoing testing starting in September 1944 (same source cited). Assuming that is correct, then the Maus falls under the 3.01 subsection eligibility of “Vehicles that had begun prototype trials by the aforementioned date [8/15/1945]” = no League approval required.

  2. Hello

    Very interesting post.

    Among the tanks presented, there is one that I find perfect to replace the type 89 Duck Team, while preserving the originality of the range of Oarai compared to other school, this is the Panther Ausf F; because it would be unlikely that KMM introduce later this version in its line of Panther, given the logistical complications that would result without providing significant advantages over its Ausf G.

    To accentuate the differentiation, girls Duck Team could paint in the style ambush camouflage (like Maus KMM).

    • @Vautour2B: Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the comment . No doubt the Panther Ausf. F would be a massive upgrade for the Duck team over the Type 89. It would also be a somewhat similar situation to Oarai having the Tiger(P) while KMM has the normal Tiger I. Perhaps a minor issue, but the Panther tank is normally crewed by 5 people, not four like the Type 89. So someone on the Duck Team needs to pull double duty. It’s not a huge deal. The commander can be the radio operator as well, and since this is Sensha-do, that hull MG gunner position doesn’t mean much.

      The major question for me is if adding another German tank to Oarai’s lineup makes the school “too German”.

      • It is true that it will do very Panzer-Division ‘! … But at the same time the Oarai emblem closely resembles a cross WW2 German Version (that of KMM is more Bundeswehr or WW1).For the crew problem is true that it will be better with a fifth girl, but as you said it’s not insurmountable … and beyond those of the Tiger (p) are accommodated .. as is the small Yuuki Rabbit team, have to combine the radio and charger (canon 75) failing seventh crew member.

        I would add that if I thought about the Panther Ausf F for the Duck team, it is through this that I think it’s one that fits them best, as this is the fastest (with Centurion ).I would add that after all the fighting that resulted in their ‘tin can’, these girls have well deserved to have, in turn, a tank that is the best of their school. It’ll justice.

  3. About Centurion, in the “Trucks & Tanks magazine” No. 11 (January 2009) it is stated that the first hundred were equipped with the MK II 17pdr … but it does not say if there was a prototype the deadline of August 15, 1945

      • You mean the MK II is eligible even without prototype completed by the deadline? …

        (Sorry for the translation error … I meant the Centurion Mk II and not “17pdr MK II”)

        • @Vautour2B: The Centurion MK II qualifying is conjecture on my part, but I think it’s sound. As I noted in my post, “One site states that the Centurion Mk II (A41A) program was initiated in January 1945. According to another source, on August 22, 1945 an advisory committee authorized the production of 800 Centurion tanks – the bulk of which were A41A (Mk II) models.”

          So the Mk II program was started in Jan. 1945, and the committee ordered mostly Mk II’s one week after WWII ended. Given that the Mk II program was around 6-7 months (and it wasn’t a brand new design, but a “v2”) before the advisory committed decision, I would think that the advisory committee made its decision by comparing test results of the two different versions. To put it simply, taking both of the above into account, I think there were completed, working Centurion Mk II prototypes around before the end of WWII = qualifies for Sensha-do.

  4. About the IS-3, there is another defect that makes the tanks produced before 8/15/1945, less interesting than the IS-2: a weakness in the armor hull welds, which made the new model (initially) less resistant than its predecessor.

  5. I’d just like to point out something. Couldn’t St. Gloriana deploy the Tortoise as well? (given that in the movie Saunders managed to field a T95/T28), also the AT series? (AT 2, 7, 8). And is the charioteer also viable?
    For oorai could they field the M* (from what I remember it’s M5 hull with a turret that can fit 75 mm gun)

  6. I guess I need to update this now that the movie is out.

    ——————————————-

    @Vautour2B: So it seems that the Centurion Mk 1 (A41), not MkII (A41A) is in the movie. Not entirely sure if that’s correct. The tank in the movie looks like a mix of both versions to me, though the bow MG does seem to suggest Mk I.

    As for the “T-34”, I think you mean T-44, and yes the T-44A (with 85mm gun) would qualify. Been a long time since I wrote the article, and frankly, I remember considering the T-44, but I can’t remember exactly why I didn’t give it further consideration/add to the list. The T-44A had the same gun as the T-34/85 so no improvement there. It did have improvements (armor, suspension), but early versions also had some issues which needed to be ironed out later. In retrospect, it’s worth consideration, but IMO better off with the very early T-54 prototype. T-54 supplanted the T-44, and and a superior 100mm gun along with some other improvements over the T-44. I did miss the T-54. One prototype was produced in Feb. 1945 (tank officially entered service almost a year after WWII with production after that).

    —————————————–

    @Nabongs: Saunders didn’t field the T28, Selection University did in the movie. I did consider the Tortoise (A39), but like the T28, it’s not designed for tank warfare, but for clearing heavily fortified areas (e.g. Siegfried Line). GuP movie aside, these SPGs/assault guns (really not tanks since no turret) were slow. Very, very slow, with L O W maneuverability. Not bridge friendly at all, etc. Both were ultimately deemed to impractical which is why they didn’t see mass production beyond prototypes anyway. Still, wouldn’t hurt to have one T28 or A39 I suppose in a large tank pool for situational use (e.g annihilation matches). However, if given a choice of one or the other, I’d rather have a T-29 over T-28 or a Centurion A41 over A39 Tortoise. Just more versatile/better all around.

    Charioteer/FV4101 Tank – even prototypes should be post WWII (i.e. too late to qualify) as far as I know.

    Rest of the Nuffield AT designs never got off the drawing board as far as I know (only the A39), and thus would not qualify unless given an exception by the Senshado League Committee. As such, they are eliminated from my analysis above per introduction. Not speculating on drawing board only tanks – built prototypes or in production only).

    Yes, Oorai could field a 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M8, but IMO it would not be a good choice at all. For one thing, that very short barrelled howitzer is a bad choice for an AT gun. Not at all what it’s designed for. Much better off with an M24 Chaffee as a light tank with 75mm gun, though frankly the US 75mm M6 (Chaffee) and M3 (M4 Sherman) really didn’t fully cut it for AT guns anyway. Better than some others of course, but nothing good let alone exceptional for the period. Very good reason why the US ultimately rushed to upgrade M4s to 76mm though even that gun wasn’t as good as others such as the 17pdr (e.g. Firefly) or Panther’s 75mm KwK 42 L/70.

    • Quote daikama : “As for the “T-34”, I think you mean T-44, and yes the T-44A (with 85mm gun) would qualify”

      Hoops ! this is indeed a writing error, not the T-34 (or even the T-44) I wanted to speak, but the T-54. The picture is that of the first prototype, completed in July 1945 (after the Chinese Internet user who posted).

      • Quote daikama : “So it seems that the Centurion Mk 1 (A41), not MkII (A41A) is in the movie. Not entirely sure if that’s correct. The tank in the movie looks like a mix of both versions to me, though the bow MG does seem to suggest Mk I.”

        They did not make any mistakes, it’s a MK1. Some prototypes (11 to 15) actually had Besa 7.92mm instead of Polsten 20mm.

  7. I didn’t notice this before but the su-100y is definitely another reliable comrade that should join Pravda’s force. It is 4cm taller than the KV2. Not that Katyusha needs additional height or anything…

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