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Old 06-21-2011, 05:22 PM   #1 
Garro
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T95 - Steel monster from USA

T95 - Steel monster from USA

Historical reference


Development

T28 was designed as the opposition to the German heavy tanks, such as the Maus. It was also meant to be used for attacking the heavy defenses expected from German Siegfried Line.

The production was planned inthe spring of 1945 by the Pacific Car and Foundry Company for the final push in Europe, but by the time the first tank had been completed and ready for combat, the war was over.... According to initial plans five prototype vehicles were to be built, and a total of twenty-five tanks wereto be eventually constructed.

As it did not have a turret but rather a fixed casemate mount for its main armament insteadT28 was more of a self-propelled gun, and was re-designated as the T95 Gun Motor Carriage in 1945.But in June 1946, the vehicle was re-designated again as Super Heavy Tank T28. It has been argued that it was neither a super-heavy tank nor a self-propelled gun, but in fact a really heavy tank destroyer, more accurately an American version of one of the German Jagdpanzer-style tank destroyers, intended to take on German heavy tanks.

Two prototypes ofthe T28 were built. They were undergoing evaluation at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds and the Fort Knox facilities until 1947. In 1947 one of T28s was heavily damaged by an engine fire during trials at Yuma Proving Grounds and scrapped, and later the other T28 was reported as broken and also sold for scrap. T28 never went into service. During the later stages of T28 development and evaluation, it was overtaken by that of T29 and T30 turreted heavy tank design. T29 mounted the same gun as T28 in a conventional rotating turret, while the T30 was developed with a larger-caliber gun and more powerful engine. Due to this, the T28 program was terminated in October 1947.

Surviving vehicle

The last prototype was discovered abandoned in a back field at Fort Belvoir, Virginia in 1974. It is unknown where it spent the intervening 27 years. This one remaining prototype was exhibited at the Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor in Kentucky and is currently being prepared for shipment to its new home in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Design

T28 was designed and manufactured by Pacific Car and Foundry. The mechanical superstructure was taken from T23. The original plan was to build five prototype vehicles, with a plan to producea total of 25 in the future. Its total weight when fully equipped would have reached 95 short tons (86 tones). To carry this weight, it used four tracks instead of two, each 12.9 inches (328 mm) wide. The outer tracks could be detached for easier transport. After removal they could be fixed together to make a unit that could be towed behind the tank. Due to its extreme weight and low engine power, T28 had extremely limited obstacle-crossing ability and could not cross any of the portable bridges available at the time, and as a result was considered impractical in the field and not suitable for production.

T28 had no conventional turret;it possessed a casemate style hull instead, giving it a comparatively low profile. Its main armament was a 105 mm T5E1 gun, in a ball-shaped gun mantlet set into the hull front. Although it was technically a part of a gun mantlet,the gun was really attached to the hull. Due to this it was not a true tank at all, but a "Gun Motor Carriage". The traverse was limited to 10° to the right and 11° to the left, and its elevation was from 19.5° to -5°. When traveling, the gun was locked at the maximum elevation. It also had a .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine gun mounted above the commander's hatch. The main gun had a muzzle velocity of 3,700 feet per second (1,130 m/s), with a range of up to 12 miles (19 km).

The armor was very thick compared to other tanks of the time, up to 12 inches (300 mm) on the front. This was considered heavy enough to provide protection from the German 88mm guns used as tank guns and anti-tank guns. The lower hull front had 5.25 in (130 mm) of armor, and the sides 2.5 in (64 mm). The suspension system and lower hull were covered with 4-in (100 mm) thick steel skirts. The engine was a gasoline-powered Ford GAF V-8, delivering 500 hp, which left the vehicle underpowered with a top speed of about 8 mph (13 km/h) and greatly limited its obstacle-climbing capability.



Actually, the photo shows T28, but one would be hard pressed to find any difference to the T95


Opinions of experienced players


GoHa.Ru : Probably, most known fact about the T95 is the unique armor of this SPG. Let me remind you historical parameters of this machine: cannon shield – 292mm, frontal armor – 305 mm, sides plus shielding – 152mm. Do you think developers will introduce some obvious weak points to this basically impenetrable armor, similar to what they did to Maus and IS-7, which in turn will negate all its advantages?

Tukdim [TD42] :
I think there will be some weak points, they have also existed in those tanks historically. We should not forget, however, that this is a TD-SPG, not a tank, and if you are able to see driver’s triplex, it means that you have a big cannon pointing directly to your face. Lets us put it like this, newbies do not exploit even “obvious” weak points, often using HE shells instead, and veterans will always found a way to crack this tough nut.
Solon1 [RED] : Penetration points will definitely exist, the question is how big they will be. The crew needs to see where to drive and where to shoot – that is why tanks have triplexes. But their size should be minimal, so the hope is there.
On the other hand, a completely invincible front shall at least slightly increase survival chances of the T95, since it has a lot of other very critical weaknesses.

GoHa.Ru : Every component of this machine is massive, except its cannon. The 105mm cannon looks a bit out of place on this dinosaur, but it indeed was installed in this tank in reality. Do you think developers will exchange the weapon due to balance reasons, or will they leave the T95 with the small cannon with high rate of fire?

Tukdim [TD42] : Well, I think there were different projects for this TD, some of them may as well have been with a stronger cannon (I do not really know, just guessing). I think developers may take this into account, but above than, TD cannons are always had increased rate of fire, armor piercing and precision in comparison with similar tank cannons. Any leveled up to the top tank destroyer is a formidable enemy at its level. I think this machine will not be an exception. Just hide it in bushes and shoot from the maximal distance (400-450m) with up to 10 shots per minute rate. With armor piercing around 230 mm, and even if damage will be only, let’s say, 270, this will be more than enough for any opponent.
Solon1 [RED] : If they will decide to increase the caliber, the rate of fire will go down. American cannons currently have a remarkably high DPS and armor piercing values, and this weapon will fit into the system nicely. Defense is the most logical use for this giant, and in defense a high rate of fire is of utmost importance. High rate of fire will give the T95 a chance to stop the middle tanks of the opponents from advancing, keeping their tracks damaged. This will also expose the enemy to the artillery fire of allies. Big damage per shot with low rate of fire is useful when shooting from behind a cover or a corner, but this battle style is definitely not for this SPG.

GoHa.Ru: Along with the most impressive armoring, this SPG also has shockingly low speed – only 13 km/h. Do you think that low mobility will make this amazing machine unusable?

Tukdim [TD42] : If TD has been detected, any speed value will not save it – it will immediately be in the focus of enemy fire. So from this point of view, the low speed is not that bad, or rather high speed is not really a plus for a TD-SPG. But low mobility in general – yes, this is a problem, it will be very hard to relocate the 95 to another flank, for example. This means that player will need to consider very carefully where and why he will go before actually making a move. In my opinion, this will not be a machine for new players, but for experienced veterans, like the majority of American tanks.
Solon1 [RED] : Yea, I think that only reason to level the T95 is to put it in your hangar and enjoy the view. Mobility for TD-SPGs is even more critical than for tanks – they need means to avoid being to be “spun” by tanks; they need to be able to escape an artillery fire. Even Maus with its 20 km/h speed will be able to spin this particular TD, simply driving to its side and shooting the T95 down. Furthermore, we should not forget that most mobile and coordinated team usually wins, and this machine will be able to support allies only at the end of the fight, when it will finally arrive to the point of action. Even reaching its position in defense lines will be problematic - after being spotted at the start of the fight, it will be buried under enemy artillery fire.

GoHa.Ru : With its impressive armor this TD-SPG cannot be small, its overall dimensions are closer to those of Maus than to normally unnoticeable SPGs. Slow speed, huge size – will it turn the T95 into easiest possible target for artillery and its regular victim?

Tukdim [TD42] :Most likely yes, but thick armor also means a big absorption parameter, and, consequently, significantly reduced damage of HE shells and reduced artillery efficiency. One can of course use armor-piercing shells instead, but it will not be that easy due to probability of zero piercing or ricochets. I would look on that from another side – the artillery will be a most efficient way to deal with this monster, as, in fact, with any other tank destroyer.
Solon1 [RED] : Oh yes, the size of this American machine will not allow developers to significantly decrease its visibility, you will not be able to hide it in bushes. TD-path traditionally doesn’t have high hit-points values, and even side shields will not be able to significantly decrease the artillery damage – percent-wise it will still be big. Low mobility will not allow it to escape SPG’s splashes that will also damage the tracks. Additionally SPGs also have armor-piercing shells, so a very first shot to the roof can be the last one for the T95.

GoHa.Ru : Taking into account the colossal weight of this machine (86 metric tons), it is not surprising that instead of usual two caterpillar tracks it had four tracks, pretty wide one at that. Do you think this peculiarity will be reproduced in the game in any form?

Tukdim [TD42] : Wargaming is known for their historically accurate reproduction of the tanks, so I think they will try to model the tracks as close to the real model as possible. However, it will be interesting to see what visual effects they will introduce, for example, what will happen after an external track has been damaged. One way or another, I think the job will be completed and this machine will get, so to say, its gameplay peculiarity.
Solon1 [RED] : The mobility of the T95 will be very low, undoubtedly, but off-road performance should be rather good. I imaging it will be similar to Maus – very slow turning but running speed in a swamp will be not much lower than in a field. Much more interesting will be the damage model for tracks. Most likely the running gear will have a lot of HP and tracks will be even harder to knock down. The repair should also take longer, though.

GoHa.Ru : Do you think that with this machine we shall see the return of TD-SPG to the global map? Maybe experienced commanders will be able to find a use for it, for example, on city maps?

Tukdim [TD42] : TDs on the global map we shall see due to another machine – the T30. Basically, you can already find some use for TD-SPG, but one needs more complex tactical schemes for it, and there are often simpler ways to succeed. Therefore I cannot give unambiguous answer to this question, let us play and see.
Solon1 [RED] : I do not think so, battles on the global map are performed with Armor Piercing Composite Rigid (APCR) and High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) shells(gold rounds). It is even less likely, if developers will continue the tradition to set a relatively low amount of HP (approximately 1.5 times lower than for TT10). On city maps the T95 will require additional protection from all sides, one will need to block all side streets and hope that HEAT shells of T-30s will not destroy the front armor and all HP with only a few shots, that enemy Maus’s will not “spin” it, that an enemy SPG is not staying somewhere down the street…
It will be even harder to find any use for the T95 on open maps – cannot hide in bushes and without a turret it is useless behind stones/houses/hills. And in general it will not be reliable choice for open maps – even when the T95 has not been spotted, any SPG will be able to change the flank and bomb the roof of the machine.


comment is superfluous, the T95 is a real monster (for comparison shown together with the Maus).


Developer’s answers

GoHa.Ru :
Probably, most known fact about the T95 is the unique armor of this SPG. Let me remind you the historical parameters of this machine: cannon shield – 292mm, frontal armor – 305 mm, sides plus shielding – 152mm.Will you introduce some obvious weak points to this basically impenetrable armor, similar to what you did to Maus and IS-7?

Zlobnyi: Do you mean “obvious” weak points such as in IS-7 or Maus? Probably such spots will exist, for example, a lower front part.

GoHa.Ru : Every component of this machine is massive, except its cannon. The 105mm cannon looks a bit out of place on this dinosaur, but it indeed was installed in this tank in reality. Do you plan to exchange the weapon due to balance reasons, or will you leave the T95 with the small cannon with high rate of fire?

Zlobnyi : You will be able to install the anti-tank 120mm cannon of the T53 and the 155mm cannon of the T7.

GoHa.Ru : Along the most impressive armoring, this SPG also has shockingly low speed – only 13 km/h. Don’t you afraid that it’s low mobility will make this amazing machine unusable?

Zlobnyi : Every battle unit has its strong and weak sides. At that point in time it was impossible to combine good armor, good dynamics and powerful cannon in one machine, something needed to be sacrificed. Speed will be one of the weak sides of the T95, but, maybe, it will be slightly higher than the known value.

GoHa.Ru : With its impressive armor this TD-SPG cannot be small, its overall dimensions are closer to those of the Maus than to normally unnoticeable SPGs. Slow speed, huge size – will it turn the T95 into easiest possible target for artillery and its regular victim?


Zlobnyi :
Yes, the main danger for the T95 will come from artillery. It is too early to say anything about its usability on open maps – the T95 have not yet started in our supertest.

GoHa.Ru : Taking into account the colossal weight of this machine (86 metric tons), it is not surprising that instead of usual two caterpillar tracks it had four tracks, pretty wide one at that. Do you plan to reproduce this peculiarity in the game in any form?

Zlobnyi : Currently we are planning to realize this peculiarity as a more robust standard (2-track) running gear, additionally providing good hull armoring against shots through the tracks.

GoHa.Ru : Do you think that with this machine we shall see the return of TD-SPG to the global map? Maybe experienced commanders will be able to find the use for it, for example, on city maps?

Zlobnyi : The problem of absence of TD-SPGs from the global map will need to be solved systematically, adding one machine will not change much. Experienced commanders will see situations, where level 9 TD-SPGs are more efficient than level 10 heavy tanks.


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Last edited by Garro; 06-21-2011 at 05:25 PM.
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