So, with the announcement of Italian tanks incoming to WoT relatively soon (since Poland is still supposed to arrive this year too, the Italians will be coming sooner rather than later I would imagine), lots of information and screenshots from the official Wargaming video have been posted online on the various WoT news sites, and within moments some sites began posting what the vehicles shown in the video were. To this end, I went and watched the video again last night in order to find proof that the M.14/41 was NOT modeled or shown, but that the second similar looking vehicle (fourth from left) was in fact the M.15/42:
(Note the different exhausts, as well as the fact that the M.15/42 has a jerry can on its left side and not a crew hatch, which was moved to the right side of the tank on the M.15/42)
Having found the proof I needed with the screengrab above, I was prepared to call it a day and simply wait for more news to come out about the Italian tech tree. However something else caught my eye, this time about the model of the P.43bis shown in the video with the other modeled vehicles……
Did anyone else notice what I did? If not, here’s a big hint:
The suspension modeled is completely wrong for the P.43bis. You can see this here by comparing the image of the tank modeled versus the picture of the actual 1:10th scale wooden model of the vehicle and an original April 1943 scale drawing of the P.43bis:
As can be seen, the P.43bis uses the same suspension from the P.40 and the “M” series (M.11/39, M.13/40, M.14/41, and M.15/42), namely the leaf-spring suspension, which in this case very prominently features two arms, with each arm containing two separate bogies, for a total of eight distinct roadwheels. Yet the vehicle modeled seems to have three independent bogies with two roadwheels each, which doesn’t make sense for the P.43bis. So this could be a modeling error on the part of Wargaming, which wouldn’t be the first time they modeled something wrong in WoT. This isn’t the end of the story however, as there’s another possibility that could be going on here.
Several years ago now, one of the Italian researchers, Zarax (who you might remember from some old articles on For The Record), found mention of some specifications for another P.43 variant. He goes on to give more detail on this in the above thread over on the EU forums:
Roughly translated, this P.43 variant would have at least 70mm of armor, weigh between 30 and 35 tons and much like the Panther, would resemble the Soviet T-34. Armament would be a 105/23 (105mm L/23) cannon using an Effetto Pronto shell (think HEAT), and propulsion would be provided by a powerful, but already proven aircraft engine, allowing the vehicle to reach speeds of 55km/h.
This type of speed would almost certainly be too much for the leaf-spring suspension to handle, especially if the weight was closer to 35 tons than 30. And there were Italian torsion bar suspensions that look kind of similar to that of the modeled suspension shown in the video:
The L.3/38’s torsion bar suspension:
And the same torsion bar suspension from the L.3/38 scaled up for use on the Sahariano:
So there are two real possibilities here, or possibly even three. The first is that the vehicle shown is in fact the P.43bis and Wargaming have simply modeled the suspension wrong. The second is that the vehicle is not the P.43bis, and is another P.43 variant most likely invented to fill tier 7 or 8 since the paper nature of the vehicle and the P.43 project itself lends itself to this. And the third and last possibility I can think of is that the vehicle is the P.43bis, but that Wargaming purposely gave it a different suspension because they decided to for whatever reason.
So, do you think, is this is a modeling error on Wargaming’s part, or do you think that this vehicle is not the P.43bis but some other P.43 variant?