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Possible 2nd branch of American SPGs: the Light branch

SPG Light branch turret M8 HMC T88 HMC M52 M108 M109 M107 M110

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ndiver #1 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:01 PM

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I know that SPGs are not in the good books of many players on this forum. Some of them tried to ruin the subject in the French section. So please, this article is not the place for a debate on SPGs in WoT, but to demonstrate that there is the material for a complete and historically accurate second line of American SPGs.

 

On the request of Ck16, who did an excellent job with the second branch of American medium tanks, I translate here a long article I wrote initially in the French section of this forum. I will detail here a potential second branch of American SPG, called the "Light branch".

This subject is the direct results of discussion concerning the Swiss tree built by anodjl (in French) as two of the Swiss SPGs are in reality or are derived from American SPGs To identify on which tier to place these vehicles in the Swiss tree, we needed to determine where to place them in the American tree.

 

Currently, the American SPG branch is, from the tier 7, a branch that I call "Heavy". Indeed, this branch is based upon medium tanks, and is deeply linked to the Second World War.

 

The new American branch, to which is linked the Swiss SPG branch, is on the other hand a "Light" branch, meaning that it is derived from light tanks, or based upon new lightweight vehicles, or even suitable for air transportation. They are, at the exception of the two first vehicles, all posterior to the WW2.

All the vehicles of this branch were really built (no blueprint or cryptic prototype), there are for the post WW2 vehicles still some of them in museums, military bases, arsenals ... or even still in service !

 

The historical and ingame characteristics of these SPG are and could be:

- lightweight (less than 30 tons for the heaviest of them)

- mobile (good ability to rotate on itself), but ingame not incredibly fast

- precise for the tiers 4 to 8 (less for the tiers 9 & 10)

- but reduced firepower (for the M107 & M110, that have high caliber guns, a large splash limited in damages)

- relatively limited rate of fire (so few shots doing limited damages, but that has a high probability to hit their target)

- a turret for the tier 4 to 8 (but which is not turning at 360° on the tier 6), a pseudo turret on the tiers 9 & 10 (see schematics below to understand)

It gives us two American SPG branches with nearly opposite characteristics, and a gameplay slightly distinctive from other SPG branches already ingame.

Additionally, all the versions considered in this branch date on the latest from end-1969, which is the time limit for WoT.

 

Short summary of the history of lightweight American SPGs post-WW2:

 

At the end of the WW2, the American SPGs based on light tanks are derived from the M24 Chaffee: the M37 (currently tier 4, and its prototype the T76), and the M41 (tier 5).

T76 (left) and M37 (right)
M41

 

The US Army requested the development of new SPGs especially characterized by an overhead protection for the crew.

--> The 105mm howitzer motor carriage T98 and the 155mm howitzer motor carriage T99 are developed, and are based upon the new light tank still in development, the T37/T41. However, the T99 is in reality the first one really developed.

T99

 

--> after early tests, a modification is done using the new chassis T41E1, and other minor changes are done. A version roofless of the 155mm T99 is built (the 105mm howitzer T97 was considered to be unsatisfactory) and the roof is removed as a consequence of users complaining about the fumes in the enclosed fighting compartment. This version, designated T194, is standardized M44 (currently ingame as a tier 6). As the first 250 T99 were already built with a roof, they were rebuilt at the standard T194.

M44

 

From the M44, the T98 is developed. It is approximately an M44 with a closed turret which could be traversed 60 degrees on each side, armed with the 105mm howitzer T96E1 (standardized as 105mm Howitzer M49). After many small modifications, the T98E1 is standardized as M52.

M52

 

M108 and M109

After the M52, lot of cryptic projects are proposed during the Questionmark Conferences II to IV (September 1952 to June 1954).

In September 1953, a lightweight SPG armed with a 110mm and called T195 is approved for development. In Mai 1954, a lightweight SPG armed with a 156mm and called T196 is approved for development. Both are equipped with a turret turning at 360°.

They are soon modified to use guns of respectively 105 and 155mm (more logical than to use atypical caliber shells). Lightweight means an estimated weight of 17.5t for the T195 and 22.7t for the T196 (to compare, the M44 combat loaded is 29t).

After definition of the precise requirements, the conclusion was that both SPGs could be built using a single basic chassis design, and prototypes were built for both of them (finished between mid-1958 and end-1959).

 

T195 (mockup then proto)
T196 (mockup then proto)

 

After extensive tests and lots of small modifications to solve the technical issues that were discovered (especially on the critical problems of suspension), the variants T195E1 and T196E1 were produced, new problems of suspension and new prototypes still called T195E1 and T196E1.

After solving the issues, the T195E1 and T196E1 were approved for limited production in December 1961, then standardized in July 1963 under the names of ... M108 and M109 !

M108
M109

 

After that, the initial M109 was followed by many versions (currently at the standard M109A7).

Especially, the 155mm howitzer M126 gun is replaced by the 155mm howitzer M185, more powerful, to exceed the 14500m range of the M44A1. This standard will be called M109E1 in April 1969, and standardized in October 1970 as M109A1. The already produced vehicles of M109 were converted to the standard M109A1 in 1972.

The M109A2 is characterized by small upgrades, especially the turret bustle on the back of the turret was lengthened to carry more shells. The M109A1 retrofitted to the standard A2 are called M109A3.

I will stop here concerning the M109, as the standard A2 is bought by the US Army between 1976 and 1985, and the standard A3 will be used to test lot of major upgrades ... the M109 and derived standards are still in service in many countries, including some M109 (in Libya and Turkey) and M109A1, highlighting the success, the efficiency and evolution potential of this vehicle.

 

M107 and M110

Back in 1955.

In August of this year, the Questionmark IV Conference highlighted the need of vehicles suitable for air transportation, including heavy artillery (meaning with big guns).
In September 1956, 6 vehicles were built using the same chassis and same mount and equipped with interchangeable weapons :
- two 175mm self-propelled guns T235 (26.85t)

- three 8 inch self-propelled howitzers T236 (203mm, 25.2t)
- one 155mm self-propelled gun T245 (24.9t)

 

Spoiler

The gun is installed on a turret mount near the rear of the vehicle, which could be traversed 30 degrees to each side and has an elevation range of 0 to +65 degrees.

The 155mm is soon canceled, the T235E1 and T236E1 (variants modified with the General Motors 8V71T engine) are standardized as 175mm self-propelled
gun M107 and 8 inch self-propelled howitzer M110.

In 1969, the M110 is equipped with the 8 inch howitzer M201 gun, longer and thus increasing the shooting range, and is standardized as M110A1.

M107
M110A1

These SPGs were widely used during the Vietnam War and fought until the Gulf War. However, they were removed from active service in the US as the 155mm SPGs (i.e. M109) do nowadays as well in range and firepower. The M110A2 are still active in a ten countries.

 

 

The American light SPG branch in World of Tanks?

 

We can consider to begin this branch at the tier 4. Indeed, we have currently a tank that was before everything a SPG, but also has limited use as tank destroyer, and currently present ingame as TD: the M8 HMC.

Wargaming admits the mistake on the Wiki, which says:

During fights (Italy, April 1945):

We have two different guns available: the 75mm Howitzer M2 and 75mm Howitzer M3, with their famous elevation of -20°/+40°

The other characteristics are identical to the M8A1.

 

 

As reminded by anodjl, there is a SPG that was modeled, but never introduced ingame. Interestingly, this SPG fits perfectly into this new branch: the T88 HMC, which would be the tier 5.

It is a derivative from the Hellcat, which was mounted with two 105mm guns, the 105mm howitzer M4 (gun already present on the M41) and 105mm howitzer T51 (derived from the 105mm howitzer T12 developed for aviation).

T88 HMC

Same other modules (engine, radio) than the Hellcat, and two suspensions, the T88 and T88E1. Crew: 5

 

 

At the tier 6, we would have the M52 (derived from the M44, but gaining a turret and loosing the 155mm for a 105mm).

Guns: 105mm howitzer T96 --> 105mm howitzer M49

Radio: identical to the M44

Suspensions: M52 --> M52A1

Engines: Continental AOS-895-3 --> Continental AOS-895-5 (identical to the M44, which is historical)

Crew: 5

Armor: 13mm everywhere (as the M44)

 

 

The M108 as tier 7 might seem logical as consequence of its 105mm gun.

However, we are annoyed by the M109: both M108 and M109 are visually identical at the exception of the gun and the spades on the rear hull to provide stability when
firing (element that we can see on many SPGs ingame, which is absent on the M108 and present on the M109). Between the tier 7 and 8, we would have nearly clones distinguished by their guns and spades.

Additionally, as consequence of the difference of firepower between M108 and M109, many M108 were converted in M109.

Guns: potentiality as stock gun 105mm howitzer M49 (but not historical) --> 105mm howitzer T252 (first historical gun) --> 105mm howitzer M103 (historical too).

Radio: historically ... no radio ... so for all the other SPGs of this branch, as the M52 : AN/PRC-10 --> AN/PRC-25

Suspensions: T195 --> M108

Engines: historically, only the General Motors 8V71T. Solution to be determined ...

Crew: 5 (driver, commander, gunner, assistant gunner, loader). The assistant gunner, specific to this vehicle, can become either a second gunner, either a second loader, either a radio.

Armor: 32mm everywhere

 

 

As tier 8, the M109

The M109 will be characterized by its 155mm guns: 155mm howitzer T186E1 --> 155mm howitzer T255 --> 155mm howitzer T255E4 (also called 155mm howitzer M126)

In other words, the M109 will only be interesting if the stock version is the M109 and the full version is the M109A1 (as this standard was ready in mi-1969).

Visually identical to the M108 but with the spades on the rear (to provide stability when firing).

Guns: 155mm howitzer T186E1 --> 155mm howitzer T255 --> 155mm howitzer M126

Radio: historically ... no radio ... so as all the other SPGs of this branch, as the M52 : AN/PRC-10 --> AN/PRC-25

Suspensions: T195 --> M109

Engines: historically, only the General Motors 8V71T. Solution to be determined ...

Crew: 6 (driver, commander, gunner, assistant gunner, 2 loaders). The assistant gunner, specific to this vehicle, can become either a second gunner, either third loader, either a radio.

Armor: 32mm everywhere

 

 

Tier 9: we would have the 175mm self-propelled gun M107

The tiers 9 & 10 are almost identical, but the tier 10 will have the 207mm gun, when the tier 9 inherits of the 155mm gun from the T245 in addition to its 175mm.

Suspensions: T236 --> M107

Guns: 155mm howitzer (no information concerning which model, so we will take the M126 present on the M109) --> 175mm gun M113

Radio: historically ... no radio ... so as all the other SPGs of this branch, as the M52 : AN/PRC-10 --> AN/PRC-25

Engines: Continental AOI-628-3 --> Continental AVDS-750 or Caterpillar LDS-750 (experimentally installed) --> General Motors 8V71T

Crew: 5 (driver, commander, gunner, 2 loaders)

Armor: 13mm where you can find sheet metal.

 

 

To conclude, as Tier 10: the 8 inch self-propelled howitzer M110

To summarize, as boosted version of the tier 9, but visually almost identical (excepted the gun).

Suspension: M110

Guns: 8 inch howitzer M2A2 ( --> 8 inch howitzer M201 (207mm) ? )

Radio: historically ... no radio ... so AN/PRC-25

Engine: General Motors 8V71T

Crew: 5 (driver, commander, gunner, 2 loaders)

Armor: 13mm to the rare places where you can find sheet metal.

 

 

 

 

Possible variants to this branch:

 

Sources:

Hunnicutt, R. P. Stuart, A History of the American Light Tank; Volume 1

Hunnicutt, R. P. Sheridan, A History of the American Light Tank; Volume 2

 

Further readings:

The second branch of American medium tanks by Ck16: http://forum.worldof...-beach-head-hq/

The Swiss tree by anodjl (3 branches, in French): http://forum.worldof...uisse-dans-wot/

The French tree by Teckyota (11 branches !!! In French): http://forum.worldof...arbre-francais/

Missing branches and potential nations in WoT by anodjl (in French): http://forum.worldof...elles-pour-wot/


Edited by ndiver, 08 February 2016 - 12:07 PM.
Edited by moderator


FERRARIturbo #2 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:05 PM

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[Edited]

Edited by FireflyDivision, 08 February 2016 - 12:35 AM.
This post has been edited by a member of the moderation team, due to inappropriate content. An official message has also been sent. -FireflyDivision


IL_soldier12 #3 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:07 PM

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As long as arty doesn't really have a natural enemy in this game, and the mechanic is still flawed, there shouldn't be plans to add more arty. 

 

Don't get me wrong this is a good read and interesting and adding new tanks is nice and i'm all for it, but there are still other things to work on. Good post tho.



Coldspell #4 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:09 PM

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I'd rather see a czech heavy or td line or another nation added or 20 new nations added before I see another SPG line.

ndiver #5 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:10 PM

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View PostIL_soldier12, on 03 February 2016 - 03:07 PM, said:

As long as arty doesn't really have a natural enemy in this game, and the mechanic is still flawed, there shouldn't be plans to add more arty. 

 

Don't get me wrong this is a good read and interesting and adding new tanks is nice and i'm all for it, but there are still other things to work on. Good post tho.

 

The first line i wrote: please, this article is not the place for a debate on SPGs in WoT.

My goal is not to push to introduce them, but to demonstrate that there is the material for a complete and historically accurate second line of American SPGs.

 

View PostColdspell, on 03 February 2016 - 03:09 PM, said:

I'd rather see a czech heavy or td line or another nation added or 20 new nations added before I see another SPG line.

Provide the material for that :rolleyes:


Edited by FireflyDivision, 08 February 2016 - 12:28 AM.
Edited by a member of the moderation team.


vixu #6 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:12 PM

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Good read. 

 

However, I doubt that there is a need for more then 1 high-tier arty, as it does not bring any change to the way how you play one.



Dr_Zap #7 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:12 PM

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Ok, I appreciate the effort and research that went into it, however I see a few issues. First of all the era of the end of line tanks. With your proposal we are moving towards tanks that were tested in 1965 and active until as late as the 1990's. Opening that pandora's box we will soon encounter a whole range of tanks that are currently not in game because they are to modern. in all honesty either the tanks get nerfed/balanced to fit in the game, this will make them lose a lot of their realistic characteristics or we just should not go there.

Second issue is the need for a second US arty line, i am not convinced that need is present. as long as we still have nations without an arty line (Chinese, Japanese, CZ) or who are missing a distinct light/heavy tank line I think resources are better spend on that then to invest in a secondary arty line which in itself will create a lot of rage/friction within the player community. lets face it, a lot of people dont like arty (either to play with or against), these people wont be amused by a new arty line being introduced.

 

So TL DR: Good effort, but I think it is a bad plan.



Coldspell #8 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:16 PM

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View Postndiver, on 03 February 2016 - 02:10 PM, said:

 

The first line i wrote: please, this article is not the place for a debate on SPGs in WoT.

My goal is not to push to introduce them, but to demonstrate that there is the material for a complete and historically accurate second line of American SPGs.

 

Provide the material for that :rolleyes:

 

Someone already launched a thread a long time ago for a czech td line before the Czech medium line was even released, low tiers were weird look hetzer type things.

ndiver #9 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:17 PM

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View PostPanzerZap, on 03 February 2016 - 03:12 PM, said:

Ok, I appreciate the effort and research that went into it, however I see a few issues. First of all the era of the end of line tanks. With your proposal we are moving towards tanks that were tested in 1965 and active until as late as the 1990's. Opening that pandora's box we will soon encounter a whole range of tanks that are currently not in game because they are to modern.

If you look, I strictly limited myself to standards that were developed until end of 1969. It's exactly the same for the T10 mediums ingame. The T62 is still in service, the M41 too, the AMX-13 too ... nothing different to what we can already see.

 

in all honesty either the tanks get nerfed/balanced to fit in the game, this will make them lose a lot of their realistic characteristics or we just should not go there.

I know.

 

Second issue is the need for a second US arty line, i am not convinced that need is present.

That's not the question. This was more an effort of research and summary applied to WoT.

 

as long as we still have nations without an arty line (Chinese, Japanese, CZ) or who are missing a distinct light/heavy tank line

The information on these nations is not known. I'm not even sure there is the material for it ... For the US SPGs, it is.

 



Arty_Loves_You #10 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:24 PM

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I don't like the existing USA line of SPG's, all big bangs and bigger potential landing areas.

 

A light weight, more manoeuvrable, less hard hitting SPG line would only add to the game. :teethhappy:

 

And to the moans.  :mellow:

 

Good work, good read, good luck.



ndiver #11 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:26 PM

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View PostColdspell, on 03 February 2016 - 03:16 PM, said:

 

Someone already launched a thread a long time ago for a czech td line before the Czech medium line was even released, low tiers were weird look hetzer type things.

 

In reality, two branches of Czech TD available, already summarized here (there is also a branch of Czech SPGs by the way): http://forum.worldof...6#entry12028796

Kupsztas #12 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:41 PM

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the line seems to be good idea, but I'd like to have it balanced a bit like fv304 - to have shorter range, rather high shell trajectory and mobility. I think that would activate left hand of most clickers, as you would have to relocate just like fv304.

to keep stuff balanced, ROF must be so small that tanks won't get permatracked, when having 0% repair skill.


Edited by Kupsztas, 03 February 2016 - 03:42 PM.


Dr_Zap #13 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:44 PM

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View PostKupsztas, on 03 February 2016 - 03:41 PM, said:

the line seems to be good idea, but I'd like to have it balanced a bit like fv304 - to have shorter range, rather high shell trajectory and mobility. I think that would activate left hand of most clickers, as you would have to relocate just like fv304.

to keep stuff balanced, ROF must be so small that tanks won't get permatracked, when having 0% repair skill.

 

Yes, because what we need is another line of arties that can hit you anywhere except in your own garage. Please no!

ndiver #14 Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:46 PM

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View PostKupsztas, on 03 February 2016 - 03:41 PM, said:

the line seems to be good idea, but I'd like to have it balanced a bit like fv304 - to have shorter range, rather high shell trajectory and mobility. I think that would activate left hand of most clickers, as you would have to relocate just like fv304.

to keep stuff balanced, ROF must be so small that tanks won't get permatracked, when having 0% repair skill.

 

It seems to be reasonable ideas.

I also think that the rate of fire shouldn't be high, and the global firepower quite low (we have 105mm guns until the tier 6 and 155mm until the tier 9), but the shots should be relatively precise. For the short range, not a bad idea, if it is associated with the good mobility I proposed.



Kenraali_Kehitysvamma #15 Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:03 AM

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American SPGs are little boring, really think that they all the same, just go little bigger little slower every tier. nice variety to that like in the british line would solve the problem, and then they could add new tanks to somewhere else, like japanese TDs or something. so they really should delete some SPGs from american line if you ask me, and then add new ones to replace the deleted ones.

just like the last patch that changed some murican TDs and SPGs, pls keep doing that WG



ndiver #16 Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:39 AM

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View PostKenraali_Kehitysvamma, on 04 February 2016 - 09:03 AM, said:

American SPGs are little boring, really think that they all the same, just go little bigger little slower every tier. nice variety to that like in the british line would solve the problem, and then they could add new tanks to somewhere else, like japanese TDs or something. so they really should delete some SPGs from american line if you ask me, and then add new ones to replace the deleted ones.

just like the last patch that changed some murican TDs and SPGs, pls keep doing that WG

 

No, on this point, you are wrong: WG changed them because some historical SPGs were present ingame as TDs and some historical TDs were ingame as SPG. WG just corrected its mistakes. And why replacing when all the current SPG really existed? And in this case, why should we let some huge fakes (is the US tree: T28, T28 Prot, T110E4; T110E5, T25, T25/2)?

ndiver #17 Posted 08 February 2016 - 12:48 AM

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Variants to the branch modified to be more explicit.

__Zippy__ #18 Posted 08 February 2016 - 01:07 AM

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You have much life op

VeryRisky #19 Posted 08 February 2016 - 01:23 AM

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@OP

 

Nice research, great post.   However much as I would like a new US line of any sort to work on, I suspect there is little hope of WG looking at a 2nd SPG line until long after wahtever arty change they are planning is done and dusted.

 

But since you seem keen on researching US tanks for the game, have you any suggestions for a high tier (maybe 6?) US Premium light tank?



ndiver #20 Posted 08 February 2016 - 02:14 AM

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View PostIggle_Piggle, on 08 February 2016 - 01:07 AM, said:

You have much life op

 

Shitty sarcasm as there was nothing difficult in it.

The core of the branch was already discussed with another French member, I just went into the reliable sources to get more information and summarize it here. It was in reality even easier than expected, so i'm surprized that nobody did it before :P

 

@VeryRisky: I also don't expect to get it implemented by WG, at least not before a revision of arties gameplay. It was more an exercise of style, and sharing in a properly formatted way some things we already discussed with other French members.

 

As high tier US Premium light tank, I would say the T92 Light Tank. It has not be included ingame because nearly impossible to balance: this tank had only a 76mm T185E1 gun (close from the one found on the T71), was never upgraded to get better gun or better engine, because it was canceled quite quickly as consequence of the intelligence reports mentioning a new soviet amphibious light tank (the PT76) and the development of a new tank able to reply to this threat, the M551 Sheridan. It is equivalent in protection to the M41.

 

Otherwise, just before the development of the T71, there was tons of paper projects and mockups for a new light tank equipped with 76mm gun. A solution could be to take some of them to make premiums.

Examples of Cadillac concepts:






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