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Article of the month: May
In 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy issued a specification for a new carrier dive bomber, meant to use the larger deck of the Taihō-class carrier. By May 1942, the prototype design by Aichi Kokuki KK first flew as the B7A Ryusei. Engine production issues and modifications to the B7A airframe, thus production did not start until May 1944 as the main variant B7A2 Ryusei.
The two-seat B7A2 Ryusei is the classical Japanese naval dive bomber with a versatile role in the air space. Four payload choices are available, with ten 60 kg bombs, one 800 kg bomb, a combination of two 250 kg bombs and four 60 kg bombs, and a single torpedo. This allows the B7A2 to have a choice of targeting and eliminating efficiently.
Behind the dive bomber title is a maneuverable plane that can double as a fighter, up to par with the A6M Zeroes. Armed with two 20 mm autocannons, the B7A2 can make the most of its versatility in a combat role once its bombs are spent. Careless enemies thinking the dive bomber is an easy kill will be surprised to be out turned by the B7A2. A rear gunner sits with a 13 mm Type 2 machine gun to protect the tail end from enemy fighters.
Featured historic article
Panzerjäger I - The first German Tank Hunter
There is no need to introduce German tank destroyers, serving during the World War 2. But only one of them was the first German dedicated tank destroyer – the small and light Panzerjäger I. In War Thunder, if you just started your way down the German ground forces technological tree, the Panzerjäger I will be your first tank destroyer as well, being a rank I vehicle with the BR value of 1.7.
The Panzerjäger I’s story start with the PzKpfw I German light tank. This tank, originally designed to be a training vehicle, was armed only with dual rifle-calibre machine guns, and was thus absolutely unfit for combatting enemy armour – a weakness discovered during the Spanish Civil War. Despite that, the Panzer I continued to be used as a frontline vehicle even during initial campaigns of the Second World War. Even before the outbreak of the war, the tank was however already hopelessly obsolete with its machine-gun only armament and light armour, and was next to useless in frontline service.
Germany however possessed hundreds of them in 1939, and the idea to simply phase them out was considered to be potential waste of good chassis. An idea was thus proposed to convert PzKpfw I tanks into an interim light tank destroyer, a vehicle specially designed to combat enemy tanks. During the conversion process, the running gear and chassis were unchanged. The turret was removed and replaced by a lightly armoured casemate, which was open from the top and from the rear (very similar conversion resulted in the Flakpanzer I anti-aircraft vehicle, also available in War Thunder). The new vehicle was designated as the Panzerjäger I ("Tank Hunter").
-Author: Jan "RayPall" Kozák
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