A34 Comet I

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

General info

The Comet I in the garage.

The A34 Comet I is a Rank III British medium tank with a battle rating of 5.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was released along with the initial British tree line in Update 1.55 "Royal Armour". Armed with a 77 mm HV gun, essentially a 17-pounder with a lower muzzle velocity, it has one of the more powerful guns available for a medium tank at the rating.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

The Comet is an excellent medium tank. It has great mobility and acceleration, able to reach 38 km/h very quickly and stay there in full throttle, but its reverse speed is pitiful like the Cromwell's. Firepower is also a benefit of the vehicle, especially after the unlocking of the APDS shot, giving it the penetration needed to deal with any threat you might encounter. The drawback of the design is the sub-par armour that can be pretty easily penetrated at BR 5.3. One should take advantage of the Comet's low profile and mobility to hide and maneuver from the enemy to catch them at an advantageous angle. The Comet also has a benefit the previous tanks in its branch, the Sherman Firefly, didn't have in the great gun depression. This allows the Comet to more easily fire over hills in an hull-down position to destroy the enemy with the most the best terrain benefit for protection.

Vehicle characteristics

The Comet is a grayish-brownish colour like all other British tanks. It is also quite low in stature. The Comet has a unique turret design and has a nice long barrel. The barrel has a muzzle break at the end of it. The machine gunner beside the driver which doesn't work (sad face).

Tactics

Fighting a tank of the same weight classification is relatively easy, but difficult against the more armoured Panther and T-34-85 tanks. Until the APDS shot can be unlocked, more decisive shots will have to be made to take care of these tanks, the Mk.6 and Mk.8 shot are the preferred ammunition to use. The Panthers should be targeted on the gun mantlet in the front and should be aimed at the gunner to immobilize their firepower and cause crew damage. The T-34-85 is a bit of a hit-or-miss due to the more heavy sloping nature of the armour and the turret. Penetrating through the front hull armour when it is facing directly at you is the best course of action against the T-34-85. Heavy tanks get even more tricky, but easier once the APDS round is unlocked for use. A Tiger I is admittedly an easy tank to deal with due to the vertical slope of the armour. Problems arise with the IS-2 tank that may show up, due to their heavy armour and their tendency to one-shot kill with their 122 mm gun. Distance is not your friend against this tank, the closer the better for your gun to penetrate the weak spots on its frontal armour. A tough situation, but a survivable one.

For every Comet player that does not have the APDS shells, do not engage in long distance gun fights. You are almost certainly going to lose. So use it first as its intention is, a cruiser tank. Cap point and retreat. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, get as close to the enemy as possible and fire at it's side. Conduct the battle in this manner until the APDS is unlocked

The best tactic is flanking and "shoot and scoot". Your armour won't stand against T-34's and Tigers you'll meet so don't pick a snipe position and keep firing - sooner or later you will be pinned down. You need to locate a good spot for attack, fire a few shots (Comet has a great fire rate: use it) and relocate. Don't mind the damage you made: keep moving!

Also, another "never" to do with this tank, never go in reverse. You are almost certainly going to get yourself killed in the process as you have an awful reverse speed of only -1 mph (-3 km/h). If you want to reverse, turn the whole tank around instead using neutral steer or just charge at the enemy, circle him or her once and disappear the other way. You must do this as quickly as you appeared. You can use smoke grenades, but still, don't reverse, charge at the enemy. To not to get in the situation in the first place, choose where you are going to go carefully. You must study the situation quickly and cautiously to not to get yourself killed in the process. The key is to run, run and run.

Overall, you must dedicate quite a bit of time to master the tank in all. Even when you have the APDS shells.

Battle mode specifics
In arcade domination mode where the cap points are arranged perpendicular to the cap points (ex. Poland, Ash River, Berlin, Korea, Karelia, Kuban, etc.), go for the flanks (A or C). If the cap points are diagonal (ex. Stalingrad), go for the closest cap point. And if the cap points are parallel to cap points (ex. Ardennes, Eastern Europe, etc.) go for the middle point as fast as you can. If you feel that you cant make it, help cap the point closest to spawn. You can also decide if you want to defend the point after capturing it. It is suggested to defend the cap point that has a lot of cover and an easy escape if overwhelmed (Suggested points to defend: A or C in Poland, C in Stalingrad, C in Ardennes).
In realistic, the Comet can become sluggish and isn't as fast as in arcade. A suggestion would be to capture the closest cap point, cap it, and then go into hiding. When you go into hiding, take every well placed shot you can and immediately run away from an encounter. You will mainly be facing Tiger IIs, Tiger Is, and Panthers, T-34-85s, rarely Chi-Tos and Chi-Ris. If you encounter them on a one v. one, always be on the move. Move around the other tank and try to hit it from the side (Panthers, Tiger Is, Chi-Tos, and Chi-Ris). If you encounter a Tiger II, slap it across the cheek with a APDS shell and take shoot it through the side. T-34-85 would be easier. You can easily penetrate the frontal armour of the T-34-85. It is just a matter of reaction time.
To be filled

Specific enemies worth noting

All tanks when you do not have APDS shells yet. If you do, it a lot easier. As it has been mention before, when engaging a Tiger II, slap an APDS shell on the right turret cheek to kill the gunner and finish it off from the side. The hardest tanks to counter are the following:

Although your gun can counter anything within the Comets BR range, you should constantly be aware that one hit from pretty much any gun to the front of the hull will kill you. In particular, the Russian 85mm and German 75mm/88mm guns should be taken very seriously. They have plenty of explosive filler. The turret on the Comet has the chance to bounce even the mighty 88mm gun found on the Tiger I, but only a chance. Your hull won't even protect you from the majority of rank 2 guns, so rank 3 and 4 guns will slice through the Comets armour like butter. Because of this, almost any enemy is dangerous. Even SPAA can be a frontal threat to you. In particular, the Wirbelwind/ Ostwind can cause serious damage at close/ medium range. Be particularly cautious late in a match when SPAA are more common.

Counter-tactics

Aim for the hull. You will almost certainly get a kill when a Comet player is reversing and panicking at the same time.

The turret is an unreliable area to target. Its armour is thicker and bouncy. A good Comet player will be in a hull down position, but you can easily take it out if you aim for the cupola or if your gun can take it, the turret cheeks.

Try to avoid taking hits from the Comets gun. It has high penetration for its rank and great long range accuracy with APDS.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent maneuverability and speed - second only by a little to the T-34-85(D-5T) and Panther D.
  • Good gun, precise and with good penetration values (vertical armour).
  • Great turret armour.
  • Access to APDS shot (lowest-rank tank to get this ammo type).
  • Low profile.
  • Great gun depression of -12°, compared to Firefly with only -5°.
  • 5 crew member, balanced crew survival.
  • Good climbing ability, can get to sniping positions that other tanks cannot.
  • When fully upgraded, the Comet I is fast and maneuverable.
  • APDS is great at taking out Panthers and Tigers at long range. One shot KO's are common if you know where the ammo racks are.
  • APDS makes the tank very easy to use in RB and SB. The round drops very little over distance and retains a lot of penetration.

Cons:

  • Bad penetration values against sloped armour without APDS.
  • Bad gun damage due to lack of explosive fillers, aim at the enemy gunner to increase your fighting chance.
  • The 77 mm HV does not have as much penetration as the true 17-pounder and other Rank III guns.
  • Overall bad armour for its rank, only the turret front has some good chance to bounce some hits.
  • Awful reverse speed of only 3 km/h.
  • APDS causes less post-penetration damage than the other AP rounds.
  • Painful to use when stock due to disappointing performance in terms of acceleration and frustratingly bouncy stock rounds.

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Armaments

1 x 77 mm OQF Mk.II cannon (61 Rounds)
1 x 7.92 mm BESA machine gun (5,175 Rounds)

Main armament

1 x 77 mm OQF Mk.II cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 61 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -12°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.9°/s (Stock), 12.4°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 77 mm OQF Mk.II cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 61 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -12°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.9°/s (Stock), 10.5°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 77 mm OQF Mk.II cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 61 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -12°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 8.9°/s (Stock), 10.5°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
Ammunition
Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
Shot Mk.6 142 139 118 99 85 76 AP 754 7.7 N/A N/A N/A -1° 47° 60° 65°
Shell Mk.1 9 9 9 9 9 9 HE 754 7.0 0.4 0.5 580 +0° 79° 80° 81°
Shot Mk.4 146 142 122 96 83 72 APC 754 7.7 N/A N/A N/A +4° 48° 63° 71°
Shot Mk.8 152 149 138 127 115 106 APCBC 754 7.7 N/A N/A N/A +4° 48° 63° 71°
Shot SV Mk.1 205 203 186 170 143 120 APDS 1120 1.7 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 75° 78° 80°
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the Comet I.
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
7th
rack empty
8th
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
61 54 (+7) 46 (+15) 38 (+23) 30 (+31) 22 (+39) 15 (+46) (+53) (+60) Left side empty: 30 (+31) No

Secondary armament

1 x 7.92 mm BESA machine gun (coaxial)

Crew

  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver
  • Assistant Driver

Total: 5 Crew members

Armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Turret front, Gun mantlet)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 76.2 mm (1°) Front plate
32 mm (72°) Front glacis
63.5 mm (19°) Joint plate
25.4 mm (69°) Lower glacis
32 mm Top front half
25 mm Top back half
29 + 14 mm Bottom
32 + 25.4 mm (1°) Top half
32 mm (32°) Lower half
14 mm
Turret 102 mm (3-57°) Turret front
102 mm (1-34°) Gun mantlet
63.5 mm 57.1 + 5 mm (1°) 25.4 mm Front half
20 mm Back half
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 44 mm 25.4 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels and the tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • There are tracks attached on the turret that provide an extra 20 mm armour where they are attached.
  • Steel boxes on the left and right side of the hull by the turret gives 4 mm extra armour at their location.
  • The bustle rack on the back of the turret gives an armour rating of 5 mm

Engine & mobility

Weight: 33.5 ton

Max Speed: 57 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 930 hp @ 2550 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 27.76 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 1145 hp @ 2550 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 34.18 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 43°
Weight: 33.5 ton

Max Speed: 52 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 531 hp @ 2550 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 15.85 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 600 hp @ 2550 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 17.91 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°
Weight: 33.5 ton

Max Speed: 52 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 531 hp @ 2550 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 15.85 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 600 hp @ 2550 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 17.91 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 41°

Modules and improvements

As per usual,"Parts" and "FPE" should be the focus first for modifications to increase combat survivability. After those two prioritise the APDS rounds so you can penetrate sloped armour more easily.

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The British experience against the Germans during World War II showed that there were severe deficiencies with their cruiser tanks. The main cruiser tanks in the British inventory was the Crusader tank, but suffered from a gradually inefficient armament and thin armour. A request was submitted in 1941 to the Nuffield Organization and Leyland Motors Ltd for a heavier cruiser tank that could take on the gradually stronger German tanks, the design was also to use components from the Crusader tanks for economic reasons. This became the A24 Cruiser Tank Mk VII Cavalier tank and the A27L Cruiser tank Mk VII Centaur tank, which are both superseded by the A27M Cruiser Tank Mk VII Cromwell tank. The Cromwell ended up as a decent cruiser tank for the British Army, giving great mobility, reliability, and a decent OQF 75 mm gun (or a 6-pounder gun). However, it still had problems, such as being under-gunned against the more armoured German tanks and suspension problems.

It was determined that the British Army needed a tank that mounted the large 17-pounder gun, which would allow the tank to stand its ground against the German panzers. The first attempt was an upgraded Cromwell in the form of the A30 Challenger, but development and production was slow and the first mass-produced tank with the 17-pounder was the modified Sherman Firefly. While the Firefly was adequate, it was a logistical burden when the Firefly is attached with Cromwell troops, which would require the troop to have maintenance requirements for a Cromwell and a Sherman tank. A more standard tank is needed to fix this, and development started on this with the General Staff specification A34.

The developing tank, now called A34 Comet I, was meant to fix the issues from the Cromwell such as the suspension and the track shedding, plus also increase the firepower and speed. The gun mounted on the tank was the "77 mm HV", a specifically built gun for the Comet I which is derived from the 17-pounder. Though using the same projectiles, the 77 mm HV gun uses cartridges with different casings and thus the rounds between the two gun are different and the 77 mm HV produces a lower muzzle velocity for the round, but this allowed easier stowage in the gun due to the more compact size. The Comet I also gave a greater armour protection, a welded armour construction, cast gun mantlet, stronger suspension, a return roller established in the suspension, an electrically traversed turret, and ammo stowage inside armoured bins. The Comet I, though having the power to go faster than the Cromwell, is restricted with an engine governor to preserve the suspension, engine, and tracks. The Comet I entered prototype stage in February 1944, but delays caused production to start at September 1944 and then put into service in Europe at December 1944. By the end of the war, about 1,186 Comet I tanks were made for the British Army.

Combat usage

The first units to receive the Comet I tank was the British 11th Armoured Division, which was delivered in December 1944, and was the only division to be refitted with Comets by the end of the war. The Comet did not perform significantly in the battlefield due to its late arrival, but it was involved in the crossing of the Rhine and the Berlin Victory parade in July 1945. At Europe, the maximum speed of 51 km/h allowed the Comet I to exploit the German highways to travel throughout the entire countryside.

The Comet I saw service after World War II during the Korean War when it started, serving alongside its to-be successor Centurion tank. Though the Centurion was adopted in 1949, the Comet I continued to see service in the British Army until 1958, when it was then decommissioned and sold to foreign countries, which included South Africa, Finland, Ireland, Cuba, and Myanmar. Notable records with the Comet I sales was 41 tanks to Finland, which used them until 1970 and kept them in storage for much longer. In 1959, 4 were sent to Ireland in 1959 and another 4 the following year, the Irish kept them until 1973 before being withdrawn.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the _____ from live.warthunder.com.

Videos

A running Comet I at Parola Armour Museum in 2015





Additional information (links)

[Devblog] A34 Comet I and A30 Challenger
Surviving Comet Is - Shaddock.free

References


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uk_a_34_comet.png

Icon-country-gbr.png A34 Comet I
Nation Britain
Type Medium tank
Rank 3
Battle Rating
5.0
5.0
5.0

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
33,500 kg
73,855 lb
Number of Crew 5
Hull armour thickness
76.2/43/32/14 mm
3.0/1.69/1.26/0.55 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
930 hp
531 hp
531 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
1,145 hp
600 hp
600 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
27.76
28.21
15.85
16.10
15.85
16.10
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
34.18
34.73
17.91
18.20
17.91
18.20
Max speed
57 km/h
36 mph
52 km/h
32 mph
52 km/h
32 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 77 mm OQF Mk.II Cannon
Ammo stowage 61 rounds
Vertical guidance -12°/20°
Secondary Weapon
1 x 7.92 mm BESA Machine gun
Ammo stowage 5,175 rounds
Mount Coaxial
Economy
Required RP 54,000 RP
Vehicle cost 180,000 SL
Crew training cost 52,000 SL
Max repair cost*
1,440 SL
2,090 SL
2,170 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
2d 10h
4d 20h
4d 20h
Free repair time (Upgraded)
19h 26m
1d 14h
1d 14h
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