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An Israeli Tech Tree in World of Tanks

Israeli Israel Merkava Magach Tiran Sherman Centurion

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Life_In_Black #1 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:08

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Disclaimer: This thread is not the place to discuss politics, religion, or anything else. I don't want any insults, flaming, derogatory remarks, or any off-topic comments stating how good or bad the Israeli state may or may not be, this thread is solely for discussing Israeli armor and how it could look/work in WoT.

 

Now, with that out of the way, I have spent the past several weeks working on this, something that started out of something on For The Record (more on that later). The more I looked into it, the more I realized that an Israeli tech tree is more than viable for the game, and would bring some fairly unique and iconic vehicles into play that players of WoT have been asking to be included for ages now. So without further delay, here's how I think the tech tree could look:

 

As can be seen, there are plenty of high tiers and all five classes are presented. I will go into more detail about each of these vehicles in upcoming posts, including potential modules, and pictures of the vehicles in question. One more thing, well, two actually. The first is that comment on FTR that I mentioned in the beginning. Here's the post in question, and the relevant section:

 

Block Quote

 - Israeli Merkava Mk.I will most likely not appear in WoT, the problem does not seem to be the gun, but the fact that there’s no tree to put it in

 

So there's no real barrier to including the Merkava according to Wargaming, as technology and not age is the main deciding factor as to whether or not a vehicle is suitable for inclusion. So please, no comments about it being too new, or too late to be included, especially as the first prototype was completed in 1975, the test beds are from the late '60s and very early '70s, and the newest vehicle in the game currently is the Type 64 from 1975. There isn't really any barrier to entry for the Merkava to be included in WoT.

 

Second, is a list of sources. I'd like to give a special thanks to a friend of mine who is a former Merkava III commander and fellow armor enthusiast who was kind enough to put up with me pestering him with questions on Israel's armor history. Here's a list of sources so far:

 

yadlashiryon.com

Armour Quarterly Bulletin

First Signs of Armor – Amiad Brezner

Wild Broncos: The Development and the Changes of the IDF Armour - 1949-1956 - Amiad Brezner

Osprey New Vanguard 21: Merkava Main Battle Tank 1977-1996 – Samuel M. Katz, Peter Sarson

Osprey Vanguard 19: Armour of the Middle East Wars 1948-78 – Steven Zaloga

Tankograd: Merkava, A History of Israel's Main Battle Tank – Marsh Gelbart

Tank Battles of the Middle East Wars: The Wars of 1948-1973 – Steven Zaloga

Israeli Tanks and Combat Vehicles – Steven Zaloga

Modern Israeli Tanks and Combat Vehicles – Samuel M. Katz

Warmachines No. 4: Israeli M4 Sherman and Derivatives

Warmachines No. 10: IDF Tiran 4, Tiran 5, Tiran 6 – Michael Mass

Chariots of the Desert: The Story of the Israeli Armoured Corps – David Eshel

Congressional Research Service: U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel – Jeremy M. Sharp

 

EDIT: Forgot a few sources:

http://www.tsahal-mi...om/galerie.html

https://picasaweb.go...m/bukvoed/Negba

https://picasaweb.go...voed/IDFTracked

https://picasaweb.go...ed/IDFArtillery

http://www.israeli-weapons.com/

http://www.elbitsyst...fixed-frequency

http://www.radiomuse...y_anvrc_12.html

waronline.org

fresh.co.il

Camouflage & Markings No. 3: The Israeli Air Force, Part One: 1948 to 1967 - Ray Ball

Camouflage & Markings No. 4: The Israeli Air Force, Part Two: 1967 to 2001 - Ray Ball

Israel Defense Forces: A People's Army - Louis Williams

The Tankograd Gazette No. 9

ARMOR magazine May-June 1988

The Ordnance Corps as a force multiplier – the history of the Ordnance Corps in the years 1967-1985

 

EDIT: Updated the tech tree graphic with one of several possible scenarios.


Edited by Life_In_Black, Mar 14 2016 - 15:08.


Life_In_Black #2 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:09

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The beginning: Light Tanks

 

The beginning of the tree is also the most problematic. There's no real avoiding it however, as the tree needs to start somewhere. To that end, I've done my best to use vehicles that are either modified in some way, and/or are only in-game as premiums, and thus they aren't egregious copies of existing tech tree vehicles. That being said, let's get started.

 

Vickers Light Mk. VIB

Some notes: Used by Egypt during the battles of 1948, several fell into Israeli hands. Unknown what if any modifications were made by the Egyptians, nor is it known if Israel used any operationally in 1948. It appears the model at Latrun is armed with a 15mm Besa rather than the .5in listed on the placard.

 

This makes for a competent tier 1, having similar stats to the premium tier 2 currently. Would be fairly mobile with a decent enough cannon for a tier 1.

 

Hotchkiss H39

One of Israel's first tanks, used extensively in the 1948 fighting out of necessity an lack of anything better. Some pictures show a dummy 2-pdr grafted right onto the turret, could be an excuse for a potential upgrade if need be. Purchased from France in 1948 for the jaw dropping price of $41,000 USD for each tank and its ammunition, all 2000 37mm rounds sold by France were HE. That and the tanks spent more time in disrepair than actually in service. Vehicles included ex Wehrmacht modified vehicles as well. (side note: the model at Latrun is an ex-German model, and even has its German inspection stamp exposed thanks to Hilary Louis Doyle who noticed the German style cupola in 2000)

 

A competent tier 2 that's already in-game. Could be given an early 2-pdr cannon for balance purposes.

 

Renault R35

Used by the Syrians against the Israelis, locally captured specimens were turned against their former owners by the Israelis. Was modified to take a British 2-pdr cannon by Syria, a modification also used by Lebanon. Later ammunition for the 2-pdr should make it a viable tier 3, as the armor is quite good for the tier.


 

M22 Locust

Used by Egypt during the fighting in 1948-1949. Several were captured by Israel and pressed into service. Unknown if modified locally, however at least one was repaired and used to replace a memorial at the Negba kibbutz to replace the Italian tank previously used.

 

While the M22 in-game is currently a tier 3 premium, it's armament, top speed, and armor are all very similar to the current M5 Stuart which is a tier 5 scout. I could well see this working as a normal tier 4 with regular matchmaking.



Life_In_Black #3 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:09

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The Shermans: IDF's Workhorse

Some of the most famous examples of Sherman tanks being used postwar are the Israeli variants. The M-50 and M-51 especially are prime examples of how to turn an older chassis into an effective killing machine.

 

M-3

Standard M4 Sherman or Sherman III already in the game. Used extensively by Israel with 75mm M3, 105mm M4, and 76mm M1A1 armaments. M-3 refers to its armament, that of the 75mm M3, while M-1 refers to the 76mm M1A1/A2 cannon, thus either name could be used.

 

There's also another gun option, that of the 7.5cm Krupp Model 1911, which was acquired from Switzerland of all places, and was mounted in the 105mm armed Shermans' loading mechanism since Israel didn't have much ammo for the 105mm. This gun would be pretty weak, but could possibly be used on a tier 4 variant should Wargaming say no to the M22 at tier 4.

 

M-1 HVSS

An upgraded M4 Sherman with the HVSS suspension and mounting the 76mm M1A2 cannon. Equivalent to the M4A3E8 already in-game. I designated this the M-1 HVSS because Israel didn't make a distinction between different hulls/suspensions, only armament.


 

M-50

Original 75mm M3 turrets modified with French assistance to take the 75mm CN-75 50 cannon from the AMX-13 light tank, as well as featuring new engines. Initial models used the VVSS, which was found to be unable to handle the upgrades, so all subsequent versions used HVSS model Shermans. Penetration should be higher than what the AMX-13 gets in-game currently.

 

This one would play a lot like a Panther, being the long range sniper that hangs back and whittles its opponents to death from afar.

 

M-51

M4 HVSS Sherman with the T23 turret modified to take a 105mm L/44 cannon derived from the AMX-30's 105mm cannon. Should be roughly similar in performance of the Bat.-Chat. 25t's 105mm cannon, but could have reduced alpha and penetration if need be due to being on a tier 8 medium. Cannon often referred to by soldiers as the 105mm French, so as to not be confused with the 105mm British, which was what soldiers in the IDF called the L7.

 

Much like the M-50, this one would be another second line tank, playing more like a tank destroyer than a medium given the mediocre chassis for the tier, and excellent cannon.



Life_In_Black #4 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:10

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The High Tier Mediums: Pattons and Centurions and T-54s oh my!

 

Continuing Israel's long standing tradition of hot rodding their tanks to absurd degrees, more modern tanks were no exceptions to the IDF. M48s, Centurions, T-54s, and T-55s all saw modifications that make them uniquely Israeli. M48s saw a new cupola in Israel service that the US would later adopt, Likewise, the 105mm L7 was used operationally on the M48 years before the M48A5.

 

Sho't Kal

A modified Centurion tank to take the engine and transmission from an American M60, as well as the 105mm IMI M68. Would have less horsepower than the in-game Griffon engine on the Centurion 7/1, but the better transmission means performance should be about the same. In 1966, Israel considered up-gunning the Centurion tanks to either a 105mm L7 or the 120mm L11 from the Chieftain, but the 120mm proved too expensive and was unproven. So a 120mm L11 armed Centurion could be a tier 10 candidate as well.

 

You read that right, the Israelis contemplated upgunning their Centurions with the 120mm L/11 mounted on the Chieftain, so the potential is real for such a Centurion to be another tier 10.

 

Magach 3

Similar to the M48 Patton currently in both firepower and engine power. Would also feature the Urdan cupola that the US later copied for their own tanks. Alternately, I have found mention (Osprey New Vanguard 021, Merkava Main Battle Tank 1977-1996) of consideration to give the M48 Patton a modified turret housing an experimental 110mm cannon. This would make it distinct and unique from the American M48A1.

 

Not much is known about this experimental 110mm candidate, but it was trialled at some point by the British, and according to the discussion here, it was designed to fit into existing 105mm L7 mounts. In any event, the British strung the Israelis along quite a bit, both with the potential Israeli production of the Chieftain, as well as the 110mm cannon.

 

Tiran 4

Captured T-54 tanks pressed into service by Israel. Often given stowage bins on the sides and rear of the turret in order to give it a different silhouette from normal T-54s and T-55s. Starting around 1969, the 105mm IMI M68 was also fitted to these tanks, using the original breach of the 100mm D-10.

 

Would probably play and be balanced more like the WZ-120 currently than the T-54 given the 105mm L7. The use of the original D-10 breach means it should keep its 5 degrees of gun depression. Note: The blue paint is because of use by friendly forces in Lebanon.

 

Tiran 5

Similar to the Tiran 4, this would feature the 105mm IMI M68 cannon, and a much more distinct turret featuring the additional stowage boxes. Could also feature a new American engine and redesigned engine deck that was part of the Samovar project.

 

Note: the rear storage bin on the Tiran 4/5s was called a hammock.



Life_In_Black #5 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:10

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The Merkava: Israel's Chariot of Steel

 

The Merkava project started at the tail end of the 1960s when the plan to license produce the Chieftain fell through due to changing British foreign policy. The brainchild of Israel Tal, it was the first real step Israel had taken towards producing their own indigenous tank, albeit one that ended up being heavier than the Chieftain. The names of the two testbeds/prototypes were given by me, as saying Merkava testbed 1 and 2 would be really lame.

 

Merkava Sho't

Initial Merkava test bed featuring a reversed, widened Centurion chassis with a front mounted engine and rear mounted Centurion turret. Also given some armor and modifications to give the vehicle the basic shape of the Merkava. Alternately, there were wooden mockups of the Merkava on a Centurion chassis as well. Could be given the 20pdr (both A and B barrel versions) as well as the 105mm IMI M68.

 

I imagine this playing similarly to the Caernarvon, only with less armor and packing a bigger punch in the form of the 105mm L7.

 

Merkava Magach

Merkava prototype using a basic Merkava chassis and mounting a more centrally located M48 turret. This allows for the stock gun to be the American 90mm M41 (with historical penetration like on the M56 Scorpion currently) and upgrade to the 105mm IMI M68.

 

This could also be given the experimental 110mm if Wargaming deems it necessary.

 

Merkava Mk. 1

The first Merkava in all its glory. Armed with the same 105mm L7/M68 that equipped the Sho'T Kal and Magach (and which was also used on the Merkava Mk. 2), has 8.5 degrees of gun depression all around the tank (according to Tankograd Merkava), and the early 750hp engine means a top speed of 33-35km/h off-road. Should play similar to the current fictional FV 215b (120) given the extremely strong frontal armor.

 

The armor on this one is funny. It's not very thick, even on the more modern variants, yet there is a decent amount of spaced armor all around the chassis. Hull down it will be king, but out in the open, the only ones who will have trouble penetrating it are those who spam HEAT.



Life_In_Black #6 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:11

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Premium tanks: Because Who Doesn't Love Making Money?

 

A long time ago (almost two years now) Wargaming mentioned the possibility of creating a premium Israeli IS-3. Here and here, there was some information posted about it on FTR back in 2013. Fast forward to about 6 months ago, and it was brought up again. So this continues in that vein.

 

M.13/40

Used by Egypt in the attack on Negba in 1948, seen being repaired by the Egyptians with the 37mm M6 cannon from an M22 Locust in a 1948 video, and this vehicle later fell into Israeli hands after suffering some battle damage. Makes for a decent reward tier 3 light, possibly tier 2 depending on balance.

 

This could be made a tier 2 or 3 depending on how it's balanced. It's not very heavily armed with the 37mm M6, nor does it have phenomenal armor, so tier 2 is a distinct possibility. Makes for a decent gift tank. Note: The writing says "Negba, death to the invader"

 

Sherman FL-10

French modification for Egypt of an M4A2 and/or M4A4 medium tank (I've seen sources claim both hulls) with an FL-10 turret and the 75mm cannon of an AMX-13. Used against Israel during the Six Days War in 1967 where at least one model was captured by Israel.

 

Not used by Israel, but it was captured. Alternately, the first M-50s used the earlier VVSS which was woefully inadequate, so that could be an used instead and this could be reserved as a tank in a potential Arab tech tree.

 

Stalin III

Used by Egypt during the Six Days War in 1967, some were later used by Israel as indirect fire artillery on the Sinai. Could be given better ammunition for the 122mm D-25 in order to function with normal matchmaking, like the IS-5.

 

As was mentioned in those posts on FTR, this has been considered for quite some time now as a premium Israel heavy, and it uses the same crew configuration of most of Israel's tanks.

 

IMI M47

Developed by IMI as part of a competition with Talbot in order to upgrade the Spanish M47 fleet. Involved bringing the M47 up to M48A3 (Magach 3) level. Same engine, transmission and cannon as on the Magach 3. One currently sits in the Yad Lashiryon armor museum.

 

This could be an alternate tier 9, but given that a pretty much identical vehicle from OTO-Melara is Italy's only real tier 9 medium candidate, this is best left as a reward tank.

 

AMX-13

Used extensively by Israel even up through the 1973 Yom Kippur War where it was hopelessly out of date.

 

If Wargaming wants to give Israel a high tier premium light tank, this is the candidate.



St_Hubbins #7 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:11

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What's all this then?

Life_In_Black #8 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:11

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View PostSt_Hubbins, on Mar 09 2015 - 00:11, said:

What's all this then?

 

So I can keep everything together rather than having all the data scattered across multiple pages. All the posts with pictures/data will be together in the beginning.

WulfeHound #9 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:18

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Sure, why not?

HowlingOwl12 #10 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:18

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View PostLife_In_Black, on Mar 09 2015 - 04:11, said:

 

So I can keep everything together rather than having all the data scattered across multiple pages. All the posts with pictures/data will be together in the beginning.

 

Clever.

Yao_Wang #11 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:19

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you know you could of just done it the following way edit the first post over and over added new info to it base on what people say and pose and at the end or start of each edit you could of put the related the page and post number the replay belongs too

rover5700heirloom #12 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:21

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I'd like to see a Israeli tech tree but I doubt it will ever happen. I think a Arab tech tree would work well also.

Life_In_Black #13 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:21

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View PostKiku_Honda, on Mar 09 2015 - 00:19, said:

you know you could of just done it the following way edit the first post over and over added new info to it base on what people say and pose and at the end or start of each edit you could of put the related the page and post number the replay belongs too

 

IIRC, the forum sometimes limits the number of photos allowed in posts (or at least it did. who knows if that's still a thing given how many times the forums have been screwed up), and I wanted to keep things relatively short instead of having a single post go on forever.

Mercer_Keel #14 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:31

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If I was you I would try playing the 4 other lines first before you start making up new lines for WG.  

Yellow_Cloud #15 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:45

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Sounds like a great Idea too bad WG doesn't look at these :amazed:  Also the game is about 20th century armor I believe I read somewhere so no worries on the when the tanks were made.

Edited by Yellow_Cloud, Mar 09 2015 - 05:48.


Cool_Hammer #16 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 05:54

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This is one of the rare interesting posts that I saw on the forums in the last months. If you want to get your idea somewhere, you need to send private messages to WG NA. Waiting and hoping for someone in power to notice this is like flipping a coin.

Edited by Cool_Hammer, Mar 09 2015 - 05:55.


SoukouDragon #17 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 06:57

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View PostMercer_Keel, on Mar 09 2015 - 05:31, said:

If I was you I would try playing the 4 other lines first before you start making up new lines for WG.  

 

Of course, this is a discussion thread. Anyone with greater and more varied experience in WoT is free to add in ideas. Since an Israel tree would be far down the road, there is plenty of time for good input to improve the proposal. Although it already looks pretty good.

Life_In_Black #18 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 08:45

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View PostCool_Hammer, on Mar 09 2015 - 00:54, said:

This is one of the rare interesting posts that I saw on the forums in the last months. If you want to get your idea somewhere, you need to send private messages to WG NA. Waiting and hoping for someone in power to notice this is like flipping a coin.

 

Believe me, steps have already been taken in that direction. Figured in the meantime, I would share what I've put together so far.



M477145_N1l550n #19 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 14:30

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Personally, I think the Centurion Sho't Kal should be a T10 medium and that you should drop all Merkava models from the tree. I understand this would be a bit of a complication for you, but I fear there would be many that would complain about going up against what amounts to a fully modern Main Battle Tank.

Life_In_Black #20 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 18:41

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View PostM477145_N1l550n, on Mar 09 2015 - 09:30, said:

Personally, I think the Centurion Sho't Kal should be a T10 medium and that you should drop all Merkava models from the tree. I understand this would be a bit of a complication for you, but I fear there would be many that would complain about going up against what amounts to a fully modern Main Battle Tank.

 

The Sho't Kal has less horsepower and similar armor to the current tier 9 Centurion 7/1, so there's nothing tier 10 about it unless we give it the 120mm L/11. As for the Merkava, there's nothing "fully modern" on the Mk. 1 version. It was designed to refight the Golan Heights battles of 1973, and as such would be great defensively, but rather poor offensively. And its armor isn't very good, consisting of nothing more at the front than two relatively thin armor plates which are interlocking welded, and in between which are armored fuel tanks. It's also very tall and extremely heavy, and much like the Chieftain son to appear as the tier 10 British heavy, the upper glascis relies on sloping in order to stop rounds. The tier 8 in my tree is nothing more than a Centurion chassis that has been reversed and had its guts ripped out and rearranged, and the tier 9 would probably have similar hull armor to the tier 10, but little gun depression and only an M48 turret which isn't the most well armored thing in the game considering the T95E2 uses the same turret on a tier 8 premium medium. Really the biggest comparison I can make is to the current tiers 8-10 British heavy line, with the Israeli tier 8 heavy having way less armor but a much bigger cannon in the 105mm L7.





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