30 October 2017
Begleitpanzer 57: Bofors/Marder united at last!
What happens if you install a rapid-firing ship cannon and guided rockets on a light tracked chassis? The German engineers that did so got themselves a very distinctive scout and support vehicle. Meet the Begleitpanzer 57, a light top-tier tank in the German branch of War Thunder!
The armoured fire-support vehicle Begleitpanzer 57 is a combined project from the Thyssen-Henschel and Bofors companies, developed for scouting and destroying lightly armoured Soviet APCs and IFVs without needing tank divisions for support. To achieve this, the engineers chose the chassis of the German Marder infantry fighting vehicle and installed an adapted version of an automatic 57mm ship cannon on it. Moreover, for fighting with enemy tanks, the Begleitpanzer was equipped with American TOW guided anti-tank rockets and a reloading system for the rocket launcher was developed and placed inside the vehicle’s hull.
The result was a fast and light infantry fighting machine capable of destroying enemy tanks and armoured personnel carriers at impressive ranges. At the same time, it could also land a small group of 3 infantry scouts. Sounds like a great idea! But it was the very universality of the Begleitpanzer 57 that prevented the vehicle from going into series production. The Begleitpanzer 57 turned out to be too lightly armoured for an infantry fighting machine, and too heavily armoured for a scout tank, plus it was not adapted for overcoming significant water obstacles. The military commission rejected the experimental prototype and the project was closed.
In War Thunder, we’ve reserved a place at rank VI of the German research tree for the Begleitpanzer 57. It’s a more than symmetrical response to the Soviet BMP-1! The vehicle’s main feature is its rapid-firing 57mm automatic Bofors ship cannon in a low-profile turret. Its ammunition complement consists of 96 shells in magazines of 24 shells each. A choice of HEF shells, solid armour-piercing shells and semi-armour-piercing shells with a ballistic cap is available. The armour-piercing shells confidently pierce through lightly armoured vehicles at any targeted range. In addition, you can bravely hunt tanks by aiming at the side and rear. However, for a guaranteed kill on more heavy targets, the Begleitpanzer 57 has an ATGM TOW system with automated loading and far higher penetration characteristics. The armoured vehicle’s crew consists of five, and its two loaders are in the rear – this non-standard solution will often save your vehicle in battle. The armour, as follows from the vehicle’s intended purpose, is weak, but the Begleitpanzer can boast excellent movement characteristics – it has a maximum speed of 70 km/h.
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The Begleitpanzer 57 awaits you in War Thunder update 1.73 Vive la France – you can try it out in battle very soon. See you later!
Follow our devblog to find out more about new additions to War Thunder in Update 1.73:
The War Thunder Team