To receive a set of three custom camos, destroy 150 enemy ground vehicles or set 50 enemy ground vehicles on fire. Targets that are counted are vehicles of the opposite nation that take part in the special. For every 50 destroyed ground vehicles you are guaranteed to receive a “Winter Supply Box”, even if you have already obtained a set of camouflages for setting 50 enemy tanks on fire. Currently, the developers are working on improving the game mechanics to make camouflages not only look awesome, but also to make them give you a tactical advantage in marker-based game modes such as Arcade. More on that in due time, though - for now, let's make sure you're equipped with a variety of them for the system to be implemented!
T-34-76 versus Pz.Kpfw. IV
There are many iconic tanks of the Second World War, but the Soviet T-34 medium tank is among the most famous ones. Combining armour, firepower and mobility, it was undoubtedly a pinnacle of tank development at the time of its introduction and even though its armour and firepower was surpassed during the war, it still had large influence over both domestic and foreign tank designs in years to come. Its German counterpart, the Pz.Kpfw. IV medium tank, is largely overshadowed by the much more famous Tiger and Panther tanks, but it was the Panzer IV that formed the backbone of German armoured forces in the same way as the T-34 was the backbone of the Red Army. And while not as advanced as its Russian counterpart, it nevertheless remained an effective medium tank right until the end of war. This article will then compare those two famous tanks both in history and in the game.
If you’re just starting the German tank technological tree, you will meet the Pz.Kpfw. IV quite soon, as the first variant of the tank, the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf.C, is available as low as on BR 1.3. This placement is fairly accurate from a historical standpoint, as the production started as early as 1937. The tank was supposed to be an infantry support tank, thus was armed with the low-velocity 7,5 cm KwK 37 L/24 gun to engage „soft“ targets, while the anti-tank tasks were supposed to be taken care of by Panzer IV’s smaller brother, the PzKpfw III.
The armament of early Panzer IV variants may be then frowned upon by some players due to its low muzzle velocity making especially the long range engagement quite difficult, but from Ausf.F2 version on, the 7.5 cm KwK 40 L/43 gun with a longer barrel will make the tank a true tank killer. Historically, the gun upgrade was a direct response to the inability of the short-barreled KwK 37 gun to effectively engage Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks. With this gun you can engage both these Soviet behemots and American Shermans even at range. But beware! Even the most advanced Ausf.H and Ausf.J variants with enhanced frontal armour are still rather fragile due to the armour being flat and due to turret’s front still having only 50 mm of armour.
If you choose T-34 as your weapon of choice however, you will get the great combination of protection, mobility and firepower – just like the T-34 was in real life. The T-34 in time of its introduction was arguably the world’s best tank and it presented a serious threat for German tanks at the time. It was not however without its faults and even despite its advantages, it suffered staggering losses from the hands of outgunned, yet much better organized Germans. In the game, you don’t have to fear the cramped crew compartment, insufficient observation devices, absence of radio equipment or reliability issues and you can use the machine to its full potential.
The first version of T-34, the model 1940, is armed with the 76.2 mm L-11 gun. This gun can be challenging, as it lacks the penetration of its „bigger brother“, the F-34, but in right hands and combined with the mobility of the T-34, it can be a dangerous weapon nevertheless. The model 1941 and 1942 will then give you the famous F-34 gun, which could destroy any enemy tank at the time of its introduction. You can destroy pretty much any adversary at the given BR spread, but beware, as your enemies are equally well armed. All variants of Pz.Kpfw. IV from Ausf. F2 on has enough punch to destroy you frontally and even surpass you in terms of penetration and muzzle velocity, leaving you with the advantage of better armour layout.
So if we’d want to compare those two workhorses of their respective armies, the T-34 would hold the advantage of somewhat better mobility and better armour protection, but the Pz.Kpfw. IV would compensate with its better firepower at all ranges. Both tanks can destroy each other frontally with a single well-placed shot, but the Panzer IV can achieve this at longer range than the F-34 gun on the T-34. Both tanks can be used as close quarters brawlers, but Panzer IV can alternatively fulfill a role of a long-range sniper, while the T-34 need to be closer to effectively engage its targets.
That said, the T-34 can be characterized as a good all-rounder and a true „jack-of-all-trades, master of none“ vehicle suited to close quarters battles and mid-range shoot-outs. The Pz.Kpfw. IV with the KwK 40 is then more specialized vehicle, and a good Panzer IV driver will use his advantage in armament to its full potential, engaging targets at mid-to-long range, thus minimizing the disadvantage of less effective armour layout.
To sum things up, both T-34/76 and Pz.Kpfw. Ausf.F2 to Ausf. J are very enjoyable medium tanks to play and fairly balanced opponents. If you like short-to-mid range engagements and you want to drive an all-rounder of a tank with no significant weaknesses (but also no significant advantages), go for T-34/76. If you however like to keep your enemies at bay from long range and you fancy some sniping, the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf.F2-Ausf.J tanks will suit you well.
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