MK-II "Matilda" (USSR)
|This page is about the Soviet heavy tank MK-II "Matilda" (USSR). For other versions, see Matilda (Family).|
The ▂Tank MK-II "Matilda" (F-96) is a premium gift rank II Soviet heavy tank with a battle rating of 3.7 (AB) and 3.3 (RB/SB). It was introduced during Update 1.67 "Assault" as a reward for the 2017 World War Two: Chronicle events, unlocked after obtaining 6 Chronicle Awards. This is a British Matilda supplied to the Soviets through the Lend-Lease program whose turret was modified to receive a 76mm cannon.
Survivability and armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (hull front, turret, gun mantlet, cupola, hull sides top -above the tracks-)
- Rolled homogeneous armour (hull sides bottom -tracks compartment-, hull rear, hull roof, turret roof, cupola roof, gun breech, side skirts).
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 75 mm (0-7°) Front plate
22-47 mm (69°) Front glacis
22-78 mm (12-46°) Joint area
22-45 mm (56°) Lower glacis
| 70 mm (21-26°) Top
40vmm + 25 mm Bottom
| 20 mm (32-79°) Top
55 mm (25°) Bottom
| 20 mm |
35 mm Driver's port
|Turret|| 75 mm (1-48°) Turret front
75 mm (0-22°) Gun mantlet
|75 mm (0-22°)||75 mm||18 mm|
|Cupola||75 mm (6-7°) Cupola wall + 50mm Cupola base||18 mm|
- Suspension wheels and tracks are both 20 mm thick.
- Openings in the center area of side skirts are 13 mm thick (54°).
- The gun breech is very prominent and only 45 mm thick, making it a weak spot.
- The sides of the joint area on the front glacis also are weak spots with only 22 mm of thickness.
- 2 smoke launchers are installed on the right side of the turret. Both smoke grenades are launched simultaneously in the direction the gun is pointing at, 30 m away from your tank.
- Smoke shells can also be used as protection but the absence of gun depression will prevent to shoot them close to your vehicle.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Originally designed as an infantry support, the MK-II "Matilda" (USSR) is underpowered and sluggish when compared to other tanks at the same battle rating. With a maximum speed of only 23-25 km/h, the MK-II "Matilda" (USSR) always needs time to get in position and inevitably arrives last.
The acceleration is good: the maximum speed is reached in seconds. The braking is good as well, as the tank is heavy and the maximum speed poor. The reverse speed is too poor to retreat quickly from an unexpected situation or allow any type of overextend tactic.
While the tank weighs only 28.5 tons for heavy tank (that's the average weight of a T-34 at the same BR), its narrow tracks make driving on soft terrain difficult (sand, snow, mud). Turning when moving is good and turning 180° on flat terrain only takes a few seconds. But turning from idling is very slow as there is no neutral steering. This also causes noticeable gun wobbling. Finally, going uphill is always difficult as the MK-II "Matilda" (USSR) loses speed very quickly.
Modifications and economy
The gun accuracy starts dropping at 800 m and becomes a handicap over 1000 m. The muzzle velocity is good and offers rather flat trajectories. While the turret rotation speed is good, the poor depression clearly is a handicap: the gun is situated very high due to the profile of the Matilda. This can make targeting an enemy close to you very difficult, especially if there is a little slope putting the enemy tank slightly under your level. The recoil is minimal and does not impact targeting quality. The reload time is a little longer than most of your opponents but the same as any T-34 tank at the same BR. The penetration values are good, like the T-34s.
|76 mm F-96||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The available choice of ammunition offers a complete range to engage all types of targets:
- BR-350A (MD-5 fuze): APHEBC; a shell with high explosive mass that will one-shot any tank that is penetrates but has an average penetration power.
- BR-350B (MD-8 fuze): APHEBC; increased penetration at the cost of slightly less explosive filler.
- BR-350SP: APBC; a solid shot with the best penetration but no explosive filler.
- OF-350M: HE; useful for destroying open and lightly armoured vehicles.
- Sh-354T: Shrapnel; useful against vehicles that are resistant to the HE shells but too thinly armoured to trigger the fuses of AP shells.
- D-350A: Smoke; useful to blind enemy vehicles that are too remote for you to penetrate.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|BR-350A (MD-5 fuze)||APHEBC||87||85||76||67||59||52|
|BR-350B (MD-8 fuze)||APHEBC||94||92||83||73||65||57|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|BR-350A (MD-5 fuze)||APHEBC||662||6.3||1.2||14.0||150||48°||63°||71°|
|BR-350B (MD-8 fuze)||APHEBC||655||6.3||0.9||14.0||98.56||48°||63°||71°|
|Smoke shell characteristics|
| Screen radius
| Screen deploy time
| Screen hold time
| Explosive Mass|
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|54||43 (+11)||31 (+23)||1 (+53)||Yes|
- To go into battle with flank racks depleted, pack 31 (+23) shells.
- The visual discrepancy is the floor rack: 36 shells are modeled but it contains only 30 shells.
The small calibre of the MG will only allow you to use it as a spotting gun or to mow down minor obstacles blocking your line of sight.
|7.62 mm DT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
- Offensive role
The MK-II "Matilda" (USSR) should be played as a support tank like the KV-1 (L-11), taking advantage of its good armour and good penetration power. When playing as a support tank, you will help friendly tanks successfully defeat enemy tanks in their frontline engagements. Stay in proximity of the frontline to rely on penetration power, all while staying at a reasonable distance from it to maximize your armour and avoid being flanked or swarmed. Once the enemy push destroyed, you move forward together with frontline tanks and help capturing objectives.
When engaging enemy tanks, position your lower glacis behind cover to protect it from incoming fire. Unexperienced players will most likely waste shots on your frontal armour. With the BR-350B (MD-8 fuze) shell, the MK-II "Matilda" (USSR) easily can take on most opponents at this BR.
- Defensive role
In the event the spearhead tanks of your team get crushed by the enemy, you will then play a defensive role by containing enemy breakthrough attempts. It will fall upon you to stop enemy tanks dead in their tracks. Being at a distance from the frontline will force enemy tanks to drive in the open to get to you. Always play with a nearby obstacle you can use as cover if you get hit and need to repair. Have a planned escape plan as the enemy will try to use artillery or CAS to dislodge you from cover. A good player in a MK-II "Matilda" (USSR) can lock a side of the battlefield, especially in corridor maps.
- Other roles
If you try to use the MK-II "Matilda" (USSR) in a different role on the battlefield, you will quickly reach its limits:
- If you try to play the MK-II "Matilda" (USSR) as a frontline tank, you will suffer from the tank's poor mobility and be easily flanked by light tanks or armored cars and, especially if they swarm you. Your turning speed is too poor to manoeuvre quickly and your reverse speed is too poor to get out of hot spots quickly.
- If you attempt to play long range engagements, your gun will lack accuracy and penetration will drop over distance, while your silhouette will make you a target of choice for enemy counterfire. The absence of gun depression will prevent you from firing behind the cover of a ridge.
- Notable enemies
Your worst enemies will be the ones equipped with long cannons, able to penetrate you easily from middle to long range.
- Tank destroyers: M10 GMC, Archer, 90/53 M41M, Na-To, Pvkv II, Pvkv m/43 (1946).
- Frontline tanks: M4, Pz. IV F2, T-34s, Chi-Nu.
- Defeating a MK-II "Matilda" (USSR)
The MK-II "Matilda" (USSR) has a pretty strong hull and turret armour but several weak spots exist:
- In a frontal encounter, the gun breech is the easiest to target (under the gun). The sides of the lower glacis are also extremely weak (20mm).
- If you have a very high penetrating power, aim for the turret: a successful penetration will most likely knock out 3 out of 4 crew members.
- When flanking, aim for the turret ring (small area).
In case of a frontal attack, try blinding the MK-II "Matilda" (USSR) with smoke and then swarm it with several fast tanks to saturate its defensive capacities. If you are alone, flanking a MK-II "Matilda" (USSR) undetected remains your best chance to destroy it.
Pros and cons
- Strong armour, comparable to the KV-1s.
- Gun with sufficient penetration to oppose enemy threat.
- Quick turret rotation for a heavy tank.
- Poor mobility: slow (25 km/h max), can't outflank others and will take a long time just to get to the combat zone.
- Insufficient gun depression.
- Struggles going uphill and through uneven terrain.
- 3 crew members in small size turret: a penetrating shot is more likely to incapacitate the tank.
- Can easily be penetrated by projectiles with high penetrating power: HEAT or APCR shells.
Matilda tanks were supplied to the Soviet Union as part of the Lend-Lease program. The Red Army received a third of the Matildas produced overall. Matilda heavy tanks were appreciated by the Soviet tank crews for their strong armour. A notable weak point of the tank however was its poor performance in snowy or icy conditions because of its narrow tracks.
- Upgunning attempt
While the Red Army used the standard 2-pounder gun installed on Matildas from the beginning, the evolution of German armour made this gun less and less effective. In December 1941, plans were made to equip Matildas with the 76 mm of the KV-1. Only 1 prototype was built. Installing a 76 mm gun in an already cramped turret without modifying it brought major shortcomings: the quasi-absence of gun depression and the even more limited space for loaders to operate around the gun. This led the Red Army to scrap the project and concentrate on new KV-1 models instead.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
- [Development] WW2 Chronicles vehicles: Matilda MK-2 F-96: A Soviet Lady
- [Special] War Thunder Chronicles
- [Wikipedia] Matilda II - Other variants
- [Tanks Encyclopedia] Matilda II Mk.IV with ZiS-5 76mm
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