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T-54 Mod.51
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T-54 mod. 51 early mass-production camouflage made by _pumpkin | download here

By the end of the Second World War, the Red Army was seeking to further improve their tank arsenal. Even though the T-34-85 and T-44 medium tanks armed with 85 mm guns were still adequate, the rapid pace of tank development would mean that in a few years they might become obsolete. In 1944, Soviet engineers tried to upgun the T-44 design by proposing to mount 122 mm and 100 mm guns. The projects were dubbed T-44-122 and T-44-100 respectively. However, the turret design of the T-44 was not optimised for the new weaponry and the guns proved to be too cumbersome. Because of this, work on a new type of a medium tank began.

Column of T-54 tanks

The first prototype of the new medium tank, now named Object 137, was completed in the Nizny Tagil factory in 1945. The new tank featured a new, larger turret that was able to accommodate the 100 mm D-10TK tank gun, which was a derivative of the D-10T gun used on the SU-100 tank destroyer. Compared to the earlier T-44, both the armor and the powerplant were also improved. The new tank was powered by a V-54 diesel engine, capable of producing 520 horsepower. The frontal turret armor was 200 mm thick, while the frontal glacis plate was 120 mm thick and also sloped at 60 degrees. Aside from the 100 mm gun, the new tank was also armed with two GWT 7.62 mm machine guns. After performing admirably in field tests, the tank was adopted by the Red Army under the T-54 designation. Full-scale production was ordered.

In 1951, a improved version of the T-54, designated T-54-3 (also known as the T-54 mod. 51), emerged. The main difference from the earlier model was the new turret, that was shaped like a hemisphere, without frontal shot traps. The machine gun armament was also reduced to one 7.92 mm MG in the hull, operated by the driver.

Internal view of War Thunder's
T-54 mod 51 medium tank

In War Thunder, the T-54 mod.51 is the pinnacle of the Soviet medium tank branch. With good mobility it is a perfect flanking tank, with which players can get to advantageous positions relatively fast. Tank drivers of the T-54 should capitalise on the good protection features of their machine, such as the 200 mm thick and rounded frontal turret armor, which can be used to deflect shots while in a hull-down position. The 100 mm gun of the T-54 offers good firepower, however players should seek to avoid frontal engagements with more heavily armored tanks. While the frontal turret armor of the T-54 is indeed strong, the lackluster -5 degrees of gun depression means that getting into a hull down position is not always possible. Also, the side armor of the T-54 is noticeably weaker than the front armor, and also houses ammo stowage bins - when hit, the ammunition stored there might very easily cook off, leading to a complete destruction of the machine.

Overall, however, the T-54 is a very universal machine, capable of fulfilling multiple roles on the battlefield of War Thunder. Be it as a support “sniper” tank, a close-range brawler or a flanker, the T-54 can be used to good effect by experienced players.

Author: Adam “BONKERS” Lisiewicz

In one of the upcoming updates we will include the DDR decal:

Decal made by Branislav 'InkaL' Mirkov

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