Hello again everyone! In this second part, I’ll answer your history related questions along with the questions regarding the two Hungarian tanks already in the game. You can find the first part of this Q&A here.
Q: Considering both the Hungarian tanks we have haven’t made a good impression thus far, what would you change about both of them?
A: About the Toldi III: I honestly have no idea what the balance department smoked when they added the soft stats to this tank. They simply just ruined a decent tier 3 candidate, which supposed to be the ‘best’ of the Toldi series of tanks by giving it tier 2 stats. Seriously, compare the Toldi III, German tier 3 premium to the Strv. m/38, Swedish tier 2 regular light tank. Now compare the Toldi to the Strv. m/40L and see how the Hungarian tank SHOULD work in the game, because realistically speaking, the 43 M. Toldi III and the Strv. m/40 were both the peak of the development of the same Landsverk L-60 light tank in two different countries. They should be on par with each other in the game as well, although I do agree with that the Swedish vehicle is the superior of the two.
As anyone can see, the Toldi III is castrated by its historically unfounded and ridiculously long reload time thus nonsense damage per minute. I understand that WG did not want to give an overpowered tank to the majority of the players for free at the Christmas of 2015, because let’s not forget that the Toldi III has one key feature over most of the other low tier premiums, especially the other free gift tanks: it can penetrate its opponents reliably. But in my opinion – and according to statistics and the numerous forum threads related to this matter – they went too far and made the Toldi obviously underpowered. It desperately needs a rate of fire / DPM buff to make it even an ‘okay’ vehicle in WoT.
About the Turán III prototípus: Actually, I think the Turán is a rather decent machine. Its only serious flaw is the limited ammo capacity but unfortunately the only 32 rounds value is correct according to most of the secondary sources (such as books or articles). I am still looking for primary sources to doublecheck this value but it’s yet to be found.
Nevertheless, we have already seen WG buffing and nerfing the ammo capacity of in-game tanks anyway, which might have been based on historical sources, or might not. Maybe the lack of sources might not be an obstacle in the way of a buff. But only if the gun characteristics remain unchanged, because its superior gun is the main and probably the only appeal of the in-game Turán over the other tier 5 German mediums.
Another change I would like to make, although it will not have any impact on the in-game performance is that I would revise the dimensions of its hull. Especially the size of the rear vertical plate seems off compared to the original tanks.
Note that the Turán III prototípus in the game has the hull of a Turán II. Apart from the shape of the driver’s hatch, there were no difference between the hulls of the Turán I (on the picture above) and the Turán II.
Q: When are you going to make the Toldi not suck?
A: As much as I would like to see the in-game Toldi III buffed, it’s up to the balance department of WG, not me 🙁
Q: Karika, did you have any role in the creation of the Turán and Toldi in game?
A: Yes, although not that much. Back in early 2014 I was a member of a small group of tank enthusiasts voluntary giving advices to a handful of WG employees. During one of our discussions at that time a question arose about what could be a suitable mid-tier ‘introductory premium’ tank – like e.g. the Chi-Nu Kai was for the Japanese medium branch before it was introduced – for a theoretic combined European tech tree. (This was way before WG decided to abandon this EU tree idea and implement the Czechoslovak and Swedish tree independently).
I suggested the first experimental variant of the Turán III as a suitable tier 5 candidate for that role, because with that, the finalized Turán III could have been still be used as a researchable vehicle at the same tier later. The guys at WG liked my proposal so much that even after the idea for an EU tree went up in smoke, they still intended to do it, but at this time not in the EU tree but as a part of the German tech tree. They also chose one of the three possible Hungarian tier 3 light tank candidates, the Toldi III to be added as a Christmas gift tank.
After that, I translated and sent the necessary data they asked for the modelling. In any case, thanks to some miscommunication between the departments of Wargaming.net the modellers still managed to mess up some minor details both on the Turán III prototípus and the Toldi III models at first. Just to name a few, they forgot to model the armor plate behind the mantlet of the Toldi III, or gave only 13mm of armor on the sloped top part of the Turán III turret instead of the historical 35mm. The turret shape of the Turán III was also incorrect along with hull rear, but I did not notice the latter on time unfortunately.
How the Turán III prototípus looked like in July 2015 when the rough 3D model was finished. Somehow they managed to model the late version of the turret, even though I told them to pay attention and sent visual references about how it looked like on the wooden mockup version.
How it looks like now after the correction based on my feedback.
It’s a shame that neither I nor the WG representative I had worked with had any influence in the in-game balancing of the modelled tanks, because thanks to some random values, the final products (especially the Toldi III) turned out to be way worse in the game than they could have been.
Q: How much the already implemented Toldi and Turan mess up the tech tree?
A: Not much, thankfully. There were at least three potential candidates for the tier 3 Hungarian light tank slot, the Toldi III, the Toldi IIA and a Toldi IIA with experimental side-skirts, the so called ‘Toldi IIAK’. With the Toldi III gone, the Toldi IIA could still be the regular tier 3 light in the potential tree and the Toldi IIAK could still be used as a tier 3 premium.
The Turán III prototípus in the German tree is different from the ‘regular’ Turán III, because what we already have in game is just an early Turán III turret mounted on a Turán II hull.
It do not have the Turán III hull yet with its thickened frontal armor or the final version of the Turán III turret or even the factory mounted side-skirts. Thus the ‘finalized’ Turán III could still be used as a tier 5 medium later.
Q: My only concern is how closely would the vehicles be to the in-game Toldi and Turan 3 PT?
A: Relatively closely, but the fine tuning is up to the balance department of WG, so at the end they could turn up rather different from what we already have.
Q: Will there be more Hungarian tanks added as premiums in the game to the German tree?
A: I do not think so. If there would be any more Hungarian tanks implemented in the German tree as premiums, they would be taken from the possible Hungarian branch, where they might occupy a crucial place, making it impossible to add a Hungarian tree at a later time. Furthermore, the German tech tree does not really need more low to mid tier premium tanks.
Q: Are there any bigger tanks (than the Tas and the Tas rohamlöveg) that were designed on paper after those or post-WW2?
Q: Did Hungary developed any tank after WW2, even if only paper projects? If yes, how would them fit in a Hungarian tank tree?
A: After WW2 the Hungarian tank related developments were discontinued and the Hungarian automotive industry – following the command of the Soviet Union – was more focused on producing wheeled military vehicles, trucks and buses. Not even a single tank related project is known from the late 1940’s up until the 1980’s. The Hungarian People’s Army used nothing but unmodified Soviet tanks and SPGs after the war (apart from the T-55AM) up until today.
Q: Any light tanks after the Toldi series?
A: No, unfortunately.
Q: “Turan” sounds familiar to me. I’m from Turkey and Turan is the utopistic land of all Turkic tribes and Turks. Is it related to that?
A: In a way, yes. The name of the Hungarian Turán series of medium tanks originate from the name Turan, Central-Asian steppes where – according to the followers of the so called Turanism – the Hungarian, Finnish, Turkish, etc. tribes lived next to each other for a while in the distant past. How realistic this idea is debatable, but the Turanism was a rather popular nationalist cultural-political movement in the first half of the 20th century. Seems like it was especially popular among the military elite of the Kingdom of Hungary. You can read more about the Hungarian Turanism here in English, although take this wikipedia article with a grain of salt.
Q: What was the Hungarian tank design goal?
A: Before the war the task was to create similar or better equipment than what the – mostly hostile – neighbour countries of Hungary, such as Czechoslovakia, Romania or Yugoslavia had at the time. One reason for this (just to name a few) was the fear that an invasion or occupation – like the one after the Hungarian-Romanian war – might happen again and the severely limited Royal Hungarian Army would not be able to withstand an attacking force. (How realistic this fear was is another matter).
Later, from the late-1930’s, a new reason was to create an army – supplemented with modern tanks – strong enough to enforce the Hungarian territorial demands, again against the neighbours of Hungary.
This above mentioned goal was more or less fulfilled by the time of the Vienna Awards, although the Hungarian army only consisted 35M. Ansaldo tankettes, Toldi light tanks and Nimród SPAAGs at this time. Still, during the war, Hungary had the third most tanks among the Axis powers in Europe after Germany and Italy. Even if these tanks were not as advanced as the Germans, they were a considerable force in Central Europe.
The problem with these tanks was that they were only intended to fight against weaker or equal powered enemies, such as the neighbours of Hungary and their development was painfully slow. The Hungarian tank designs were years behind in development compared to their German or Soviet counterparts, because the Kingdom of Hungary with its relatively small industry and limited resources simply just could not keep up with the rapid pace of tank developments during WW2. This was the reason why the Hungarian tanks performed so poorly against the Red Army during their campaign on the Eastern Front, because even if they were adequate designs when they were first designed and commissioned, by the time they arrived to the troops in quantities they were already obsolete.
Q: How did the Axis powers influence Hungarian tank design?
A: They influenced it in many ways. Just to name one, based on the German tank designing method, the Hungarians also opted for an independent tank commander who would be exempted from other roles, such as aiming or reloading the gun. For instance, during their development both the V-4 and the predecessor of the Turán tanks, the Czechoslovakian Škoda T 21 recieved an enlarged turret to make enough space for this extra crew member.
Q: Also, were there any APCR ammunition development programmes we should know about?
A: Not really. The Kingdom of Hungary had extremely limited access to such rare and expensive resources like tungsten, so it did not really bother to develop a type of ammunition which it could not manufacture later on in adequate quantities anyway. The Hungarian tank and SPG armaments had only AP, APHE, APBC, APHEBC, APCBC, HEAT and HE ammunitions.
An exception is the 75mm 43 M. L/43 anti-tank gun (which was used on the Turán III, Zrínyi I and the actual prototype of the Tas), because it was a modified, licence built version of the German 7.5cm Pak 40 L/46. This gun in theory was able to fire the same 7.5cm Pzgr.Patr. 40 (w) Kw.K. 40 APCR ammo as its German predecessor, and that type of ammunition even entered into Hungarian service as 7,5cm 40 (40W) M. különleges német páncélgránát (literally ‘special German armor-piercing grenade’). You can even find this type of ammo in WoT as the premium round of the Turán III prototípus, tier 5 German premium medium tank.
Nevertheless, this Hungarian gun never left the prototype stage, and only 2 or 3 pieces were manufactured of it, so it never fired that APCR round outside the proving ground.
Q: As far as premium ammo goes, were there any HEAT rounds for the 10.5cm gun in the Zrinyi SPG?
A: Yes, the Zrínyi II used 3 types of ammunition. The 105mm 38/33 M. repeszgránát (HE), the 105mm 38/33 M. ködgránát (smoke) and the 105mm 42 M. páncélrobbantó gránát (HEAT) grenades. A low velocity AP grenade was also developed for its howitzer, the 105mm 37 M. páncélgránát, but in reality it was so ineffective that it was not issued or used in any Zrínyi IIs.
Above: A 40/43 M. Zrínyi II with spent shell casings.
Q: Did Hungary plan to build HEAT rounds for the 7.5cm L/70 and 8.8cm L/56, if so, were they license built copies of the German rounds, or new designs of their own?
A: No, the Hungarian industry was busy enough to manufacture ammunition for the Hungarian guns in service. The necessary ammo for the German guns (which were used by the Hungarian troops in any way) came from German factories.
Although, there were some vague discussions between the Hungarian and Nazi German authorities from mid-1944 to switch the Hungarian production lines from domestic vehicles, guns and their ammo types to German ones, but nothing came out of these plans before the war ended.
Q: Did the Turan I used the same 40mm gun as the Toldi IIa/Toldi III?
A: No. The 40mm 37/42 M. L/45 gun of the Toldi IIA and Toldi III was a slightly modified version of the 37 M. gun, which was originally developed for the Straussler V-4. By contrast, the 40mm 41 M. L/51 gun of the Turán I was technically the same as the Czechoslovak 47mm Škoda A11 L/43,4 gun, only it was converted from 47 mm to 40 mm caliber.
Although it’s probably worth to mention that the prototype of the Turán I have been tested with the old 40mm 37 M. guns before the Czechs were done with the modification of their A11 gun.
From top to bottom:
- The Škoda T 21 with its original Czech 47mm gun and machine guns
- The same T 21 but equipped with a Hungarian radio, the 40mm 37 M. gun and two 8 mm Gebauer machine guns during its trials.
- A serial 40 M. Turán I medium tank with the 40mm 41 M. gun.
Q: Why did the Turan II have a 75mm short barrel gun as an “upgrade” to the Turan I?
A: Because even if the Turán I with its 40mm gun was (barely) acceptable back in 1940 when it was ordered, by the time it saw actual fights in mid-1942, it was completely outmatched by most of the enemy units it had to face. The Hungarian troops needed something capable to do at least something useful against the enemy armored units or infantry, and they needed it as soon as possible. This meant that there were not time to fool around and redesign the whole Turán turret completely so that it would be able to house a high velocity 75mm gun (which did not exist at the time either), because that would have been take a year or more to carry out – as it did with the Turán III. The Hungarian designers had to compromise with only a short 75mm gun which did not request much redesign and could be put into mass production immediately.
Q: Did the 75mm gun on the Turan II have anti-tank uses, or was it just an anti-infantry weapon?
A: Both, although it was better in the latter. Even though the short 75mm did not really improved the Turán II’s anti-tank capabilities compared to its predecessor (if it improved it at all), its HE round was more devastating against live forces and soft skinned vehicles than the 40mm. In some cases, the 75mm HE was even considered to be more useful against tanks than the 40mm AP.
Furthermore, according to the Hungarian tank doctrine, it was not the primary job of the medium/heavy tanks to deal with the enemy tanks in the first place. That was up to the anti-tank battalions and the task for the medium/heavy tanks was to aid the advance of the infantry – much like the how the early Pz. IVs were used by Germany during the early stages of WW2.
However, when a Turán II found himself in the face with e.g. a T-34, it was able to knock it out, as it’s proven by historic documents and reminiscences. The problem was that the Turán had to get closer to its enemy than approx. 500 meter to do it, and still could only reliably penetrate it from the sides or the rear, while the Soviet tanks were able to penetrate their Hungarian counterparts anywhere from way longer distances.
Q: Was the Toldi I’s 20mm gun automatic or semi-automatic, and how do you think it might act in World of Tanks?
A: The 20mm 36 M. nehézpuska (Solothurn S-18/100 heavy rifle in Hungarian service) was semi-automatic. In the game it should act like a 4 round autoloader.
Q: What’s the difference between the 38M Toldi I and the 38M Toldi II? Is the Toldi II is the same as the Toldi IIa but with a different name?
A: It’s more complicated than that. The 38 M. Toldi I (Toldi A20) was the first batch of the Toldi series of light tanks developed from the Swedish Landsverk L-60 light tank. 80 of them were manufactured between 1939-1940. The second batch (110 units) of the Toldi tanks, the 38 M. Toldi II (Toldi B20) was ordered in 1940 and were delivered to the troops by late 1941. The ‘20’ in their designations represents that these tanks were armed with the 20mm Solothurn heavy rifle.
These 190 tanks were nearly identical to each other, only on the second batch, some of the imported parts, such as the originally German torsion bars were replaced with domestically manufactured ones.
In addition, the R/5 radio of the Toldi I was replaced with the more powerful R/5a radio on the Toldi IIs. Thanks to this, you can distinguish a Toldi I from a Toldi II by the shape of their antennas. The Toldi I used the loop antenna of the R/5 radio.
While the Toldi II was supplemented with the stick antenna of the R/5a.
Between 1942-1944, to increase the combat potential of the Toldi series, 80 Toldi II tanks were converted to 38 M. Toldi IIA (Toldi B40) standard. This meant that those Toldi II units were retrofitted with add-on frontal armor plates and their weak 20mm armaments were replaced with a 40mm anti-tank guns (hence the ‘40’ in their designation). Sometimes these tanks are referred as “38/42 M. Toldi IIA” but I have not seen this version of designation in any wartime documentations.
You can distinguish the Toldi IIA from the rest of the earlier Toldis by the shape or size of its gun, the different upper front plate and by the additional toolbox on the back of its turret which functioned as a counterweight for the heavier gun.
Q: Which one will be the tier 6 MT candidate? Are there some Turan modernization other than the Turan III in game?
A: The Turán III was the peak of the Turán development, which was discontinued after it. Its real life characteristics were not that different from e.g. the Pz. V Ausf. H, so it is not suitable for tier 6. You can read more about my solution for this tier 6 medium tank issue here.
Q: Will be there a tier 8 Premium Hungarian heavy tank in the German tech tree and with a limited edition Skin/Camo ?
A: No, there are no candidates for such thing.
Q: What is your favorite Hungarian tank(s)?
A: It’s the tanks designed by Nicholas Straussler in the 1930’s, such as the V-4. They were impractical as hell, but they were cute in a way. They kinda looked like how a cartoonist would draw a tank.
Just compare it to the tanks at the beginning of of this 1942 Walt Disney propaganda cartoon. The resemblance is uncanny.
Q: What is your least favorite Hungarian tank(s)?
A: The 35 M. Ansaldo tankette (sorry Vollketten). They were obsolescent even before Hungary bought 150 of them in 1935-1936 and they still had to saw active service against the Soviet Union in 1941? Pure madness.
Q: What was the most loved tank by Hungarian tankers?
A: As far as I can tell, it was the Zrínyi II assault howitzer and the tanks that were given by the Germans. The effectiveness of the accurate 40mm autocannon on the Nimród SPAAG against softer ground targets was also praised by some interviewee who fought during the war.
Q: What was a Hungarian tanker’s greatest fear? If not a tank, what was the most feared tank?
A: I think the most feared thing was burning alive inside a knocked out vehicle that caught on fire, or just the constant fear that their life could be ended in the very next moment by an enemy that they could not even see through the limited view of their periscopes.
The most feared tanks were the T-34 and the KV series of heavy tanks whose against the Hungarian tanks could not really contest.
Q: What is a favorite treat for the hungry Hungarian tankers?
Q: What could be the premium consumable?
A: Definitely the Hitler-szalonna! Jokes aside, it could be any traditional Hungarian meal, such as Kolbász, Téliszalámi or fruit jam on butter bread up to any main courses that are relatively easy to cook near the battlefields as well, such as the Gulyás (Goulash) soup, the Pörkölt stew, Csirkepaprikás, Lecsó, or anything similar.
It’s shame that WG would not add alcoholic beverages to their game, otherwise the Hungarian Unicum liqueur would probably be a bestseller among the above average players in the game. 🙂
Q: The emblem of Hungarian tanks?
A: I wrote an article about which emblems could be used on the Hungarian tanks in WoT here. In the matter of the theoretic Hungarian tech tree, the post-1942 ‘white cross in a black square’ insignia should be used.
Q: Do you think we will we ever see unique decals like the Hungarian roundels or unique camos for the existing Toldi 3 and Turan 3 like they did for those Aussie Cruisers?
A: It would be a very welcomed addition to the game, especially from the Hungarian player base. But considering how the originally Czech Pz.Kpfw. T 15 and Pz.Kpfw. T 25 are still grey and have the Balkenkreuz even after the arrival of the Czechoslovak tech tree, I guess the already in-game Hungarian tanks would not change ever either. Anyway, there are decent mods that could be used to change the unhistorical color and insignias on the in-game Toldi III and Turán III prototípus.
Q: Will the Hungarian tanks have the “Arrow Cross” emblem on the side of the tanks like the Germans have the cross and the Americans have the star?
A: No way. First of all, the arrow cross emblem is the symbol of an extremist organization, the Hungarian national socialist / hungarist political party, the Arrow Cross Party. Much like how the swastika can not be used in the flag of the Third Reich in WoT, the arrow cross can not be implemented either, because it’s forbidden by law in many countries.
Second of all, there is not a single evidence that the arrow cross symbol had ever been used or painted on any of the Hungarian armored fighting vehicles.
Q: The tank crew helmets of the Hungarian, Czechoslovakian and Italian troops are quite similar, could you explain their relationship?
A: There is a good reason why the Italian and the Hungarian helmet designs are that similar, although I do not know if there were any connections between the Hungarian and Czech designs.
The Hungarian ‘37 M. fejvédő bőrsisak’ (leather headgear, top left on the picture below) was the domestic copy of the Italian M35 tanker’s helmet, hence the similarities. Its licence was bought soon after Hungary purchased around 150 Italian CV-35 tankettes (renamed to 35 M. Ansaldo tankette in Hungarian service) in 1935. It was also used by the Hungarian motorcyclist troops and paratroopers. Its design was amended later with headphones on the ‘39 M. rádiós bukósisak’ (crash helmet with radio, top right).
An experimental ‘soft’ headgear in winter and summer versions (bottom left and right), similar to the Soviet designs was also created in 1942, but it never entered into service for an unknown reason.