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Article of the month: March
Nothing says improvement better than taking a tried and true design like the Spitfire and increasing the engine power and firepower in one go.
The Spitfire Mk Vb/trop was part of a response to the possibility of a high-altitude bombing by the Germans. Though not the desired aircraft, it was a stop-gap measure for the RAF to work around in 1941. The Mk V installed a Merlin 45 series engine into Mk I and Mk II air frames. The main version of the Spitfire Mk V would be equipped with the "B wing" that would allow the installment of a 20 mm Hispano cannon in place of the two inner machine guns. The tropical modifications for fighting in the desert conditions consisted of an air filter fitted under the nose that reduced air flow and engine performance, but improved the durability of the engine against dust.
The Spitfire Mk Vb/trop is in-game at Rank III with a battle rating of 3.7 (AB) and 3.3 (RB/SB). It continues to excel in turning engagements against enemy fighters, now with the additional benefits of 20 mm Hispano cannons for additional firepower. However, with only 60 rounds per gun, the Hispanos does not provide for a prolonged fire time before running out, leaving the Spitfire Mk Vb/trop with just four machine guns to carry the rest of the battle until reloaded.
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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