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21 February 2017
T14: The Ground Assault Tank
The T14 assault tank was the product of a collaboration between British and American engineers.
In the run-up to the Second World War, there was a general consensus that heavy infantry support tanks would soon be needed on the battlefields. Several powers had already launched production and deployment of heavy tanks, meanwhile British and American tank designers were just getting down to developing a specification for their concept. After a visit by the head of the US Army Ordnance Department to the UK, engineers from both countries began working on a joint project to design a heavy infantry tank. The British were already working on updating their own Churchill tank, while the Americans were putting the finishing touches on their M6 Heavy Tank. However it’s always good to have a backup, and two heads are better than one, right? Engineering resources were pooled and it was decided that T14 prototypes would be housed in the US. Work began in earnest.
In the meantime, the Second World War and recent operational experiences prompted the military to do a top-down review of their requirements for armored vehicles. When two prototypes were built and tested in 1943, it quickly became apparent that the tank design fell short of meeting the army’s needs. Both the British and the Americans succeeded in solving this problem by tweaking their own heavy tanks and were wholly satisfied with the results. The T14’s advantages weren’t enough to warrant interrupting production and modernization programs already underway. Military leaders refused to rethink the concept so close to their important clash with Hitler’s forces in Europe.
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The T14 never saw any real action. But we’re about to see how it fares on the battlefields of War Thunder! The T14 closely resembles the Sherman – it has a cast turret and a sharply angled front armor plate, as well as the 75 mm M3 cannon favored by players. The powertrain is also similar – 500 hp. Despite being conceived as an assault tank, at the end of testing it turned out that the T14’s armor wouldn’t be sufficient to push it up into the heavy tank class. The hull armor is 50 mm thick all around and the front is composed of two armor plates angled at around 60 degrees. The transmission is protected by 101 mm of plating. The turret armor is comparable to the Sherman – 102 mm on the sides of the cast turret, making it hard to penetrate, while the typically rounded shape guarantees frequent ricochets. The T14 boasts 12.7 mm steel armored plates on the tracks, which handily protects them against shock waves from bombs and rocket shells, while HEAT shells that strike the plates will arm and detonate outside the tank.
The no-nonsense T14 will be a rank II premium vehicle in the US tech tree, joining the earlier Shermans in battle as an excellent addition to your deck in Arcade Battles, and a trump card against enemy air-dropped bombs in RB. Don’t miss the T14 in the next major update in War Thunder, a truly excellent tank!
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