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24 February 2015

T32 Heavy Tank



After the successful deployment of M4A3E2 assault tanks in Europe in the summer of 1944, the US Army saw the need for more heavily armored tanks to enter the battlefield. In December 1944, High Command issued a proposal to the Ordnance Board to create a new version of the M26 Pershing tank that would incorporate thicker armor and increased protection.

The Ordnance Board complied with that request and began work on a new heavy tank. At first, the desire was to simply up-armor and up-gun the existing Pershing – this resulted in the development of the T26E5. However, soon a new idea was pitched – to design a completely new vehicle that would share as many common parts as possible with the M26 to ease logistics and maintenance. In February 1945, the Ordnance Board responded to the US Army’s requirement  with the proposal of building four prototype models of such a vehicle. In March, the wish was granted.

The development of the new machine was given high priority – both the wooden mock-up model and most of the blueprints were ready by April 1945. The first prototype was constructed and completed by the Chrysler Automotive Plant in Detroit in January 1946. The new tank’s powerpack featured a V12 Ford GAC engine, capable of producing 650 net bhp @ 2800 RPM (770 gross bhp @ 2800 RPM), coupled with a new cross-drive transmission similar to the one used in the T29 heavy tank prototype. The new vehicle used a torsion bar suspension similar to the one used in the M26. The armament of the T32 consisted of a 90 mm T15E2 high-velocity tank gun and a coaxial .30 caliber machine gun mounted in the turret .The first two prototypes also featured a hull-mounted machine gun; however prototypes #3 and #4 omitted that feature. The first two prototype tanks were sent to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds for testing purposes – the third prototype was sent to the Fort Knox test facility, while the last one stayed in Detroit for engineering purposes. The T32 was, however, far too late for World War Two. After severe budget cutbacks to all branches of the military after the end of the conflict, no serial production was ordered. The prototypes were still used as test subjects for new technologies, which proved useful in the future.

In War Thunder, the T32 Heavy Tank is situated in Era IV of the US Ground Forces Tree, with a Battle Rating of 7.0 in all game modes. The 90 mm T15E2 gun is capable of firing two types of ammunition – the T43 APCBC shell, capable of penetrating 207 mm of armor @ 100 m range, and the T42 HE shell, with 17 mm of penetration at all ranges. The armor protection of the vehicle is fairly solid – the sloped frontal hull armor plate offers an equivalent protection of around 165 mm of armor, while the front of the turret is protected by nearly 300 mm of armor. This is, however offset by the thin side and rear armor of the hull – 76 and 50 mm respectively. The vehicle's mobility is fairly standard, with a maximum speed of 35 km/h.

Thanks to strong frontal turret armor and an excellent 10 degrees of gun depression, the T32 is the master of the “hull-down” tactic , capable of using hilly terrain to its advantage. The penetration of the standard shell is fairly adequate for the opposition the tank will meet; however the lack of an explosive filler means the shots need to be well aimed to score critical hits. While fighting the T32, try to get around the sides and rear, to have shots at the thinner armor of the hull. Also remember that the reload time of the gun is fairly lengthy at nearly 19 seconds, which means the T32 will be defenseless for a fairly lengthy amount of time after firing.

Overall, the T32 is a tricky machine that requires a skilled driver with a knowledge of advantageous positions to fully spread its wings. The T32 will lead you to the pinnacle of the US Heavy Tank branch – the M103.



Author: Adam “BONKERS” Lisiewicz

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