7 km/h back43 km/h forward
6 km/h backSpeed
The PT-76B is a Rank IV Soviet light tank with a battle rating of 5.3 (AB/RB/SB). It is the first amphibious tank to be implemented in the game, being introduced with Update 1.53 "Fire Storm" (although the amphibious feature was not implemented until 1.55 "Royal Armour"). The PT-76B, as a light tank, has paper-thin armour but also has a powerful main gun that can engage most tanks at its battle rating.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet)
|Hull|| 10 mm (80°) Top
13 mm (44°) Bottom
| 13 mm Top
10 mm Bottom
| 6 mm (1°) Top
6 mm (46°) Bottom
|Turret|| 15 mm (32-35°) Turret front
15 mm (19-32°) Gun mantlet
|15 mm (35°)||15 mm (34-35°)||6 mm|
|Cupola||10 mm||6 mm|
- Suspension wheels are 10 mm thick.
- Tracks are 15 mm thick.
Pretty much every tank in the game will be able to destroy the PT-76B with relative ease due to the ultra-thin armour of it. Avoid tanks with access to heavy machine guns on their turrets such as most American tanks, the IS-2 1944, etc.
Also, keep well clear of enemy SPAA. 12.7mm guns and above will absolutely wreck this tank. In particular, the Wirbelwind is a big threat. It has good penetration at range and will literally saturate the vehicle with autocannon shells. Just a short burst from the quad 20 mm guns will finish the PT-76B off.
The PT-76B has a good overall mobility on land thanks to its light weight. The PT-76B can get its maximum speed of 49 km/h (AB) / 44 km/h (RB) easily due to its good acceleration. Controlling the light tank at maximum speed is possible due to the fact that its top speed is quite low for a light tank (the ubiquitous M41A1, for example, has a top speed of 72 km/h). The PT-76B is also quite agile, being able to turn quickly in response to any events up the path. However, the vehicle does not have any neutral steer capability, so it will be difficult for the PT-76B to turn when not moving forwards. These forward mobility traits of the PT-76B can be interrupted severely by moderate obstacles such as medium trees, wooden fences, concretes plots/barriers or stone walls; these will cause the PT-76B to lose considerable amount of speed, or even be brought to a halt, especially in Realistic Battles
The maximum reverse speed is -7 km/h (AB) / -6 km/h (RB), which is quite slow to allow overextend tactic (pop from behind cover, shoot, retreat behind cover), or for withdrawing from dangerous situation that the vehicle may have inadvertently driven itself into.
The amphibious feature of the PT-76B makes the vehicle more versatile, broadening the flanking/sneaking potential and options on a map, but this should only be exploited across smaller bodies of water. In water, it reaches 12 km/h (AB) / 9 km/h (RB) moving forward while the reverse speed is -7 km/h (AB) / -5 km/h (RB). These slow speeds mean that once out floating in the water, the PT-76B can be a sitting duck if spotted due to the of any lack of cover or concealment. While firing from the water is an option due to the vehicle's stabilizer, the water waves and recoil can create a wobbly vehicle platform to get a good shot. To add to that, when planning an amphibious trip, it is best to ensure the destination could be reached in a straight line as the vehicle turns poorly and slowly in the water and so any course corrections would take more time, time which leaves the PT-76B exposed to being spotted.
|Game Mode||Mobility characteristics||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|Max Speed (km/h)||Stock||Upgraded||Stock||Upgraded|
|76 mm D-56-TS||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack|
|Ammunition|| Type of
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
|40||15 (+25)||3 (+37)||1 (+39)||Yes|
|7.62 mm SGMT|
|Mount||Total Ammo||Shots per Belt||Vertical guidance||Horizontal guidance|
|Coaxial||1,000||250||600||Not Applicable (Fixed)|
Usage in battles
As the PT-76B doesn't have much armour, avoid directly confronting enemy tanks. In order to defeat heavy/medium tanks, watch them and fire when they are not aiming or focusing on you. Use the light tank's manoeuvrability and fire rate to deliver pin-point hits onto the enemy's flanks, then retreat back in to cover before they can get a fix on the firing location. The PT-76B is also helpful in scouting enemy positions for its allies so they could bring in more firepower. As previously mentioned, this tank does not have the armour nor the crew to take on enemies head-on, so try to remain stealthy. It functions great as a scout tank in Simulator Battles.
While the PT-76B has amphibious capabilities, it is not necessary to use them all the time. Keep in mind that the PT-76B can only go about 10 km/h in the water, so utilize the ability to travel on land as well. Instead, use the water to make an escape or take a shortcut. As an example, drive into the water if an enemy has spotted you, and take cover behind an off-shore rock. Driving through a river to flank the enemy is also possible if a bridge is not nearby. Take caution that reversing in the water is slow, if not nonexistent, which may get the PT-76B stuck if driven into an obstacle. Also make sure to check the map, as some maps like Eastern Europe have rivers with no way to get back onto land, or at least not many.
Otherwise, avoid directly confronting an enemy. Instead, take cover and scout. Another good tactic to use is watching the enemy - find a spot where they can't engage you and watch them. Wait for the right moment; when the enemy is reloading, aiming somewhere else, not noticing the PT-76, is attacking an ally, etc, quickly check to make sure no other enemy can target you and send a shell towards your enemy! Try to snipe at the enemy, but make sure to avoid all enemy fire, as all tanks can penetrate the PT-76's armour (even the GAZ-AAA (4M) technically has enough penetration to get through the tank's rear armour!).
The amphibious capabilities are a huge helper to the vehicle, allowing it to reach unusual sniper areas that vehicles without said capabilities could not reach (e.g. hiding behind the rocks near the jetty on Normandy). The incredible stabiliser also allows the PT-76B to simply sit in the water and blast away at enemies without them even realizing where the shots are from. Make sure to relocate after knocking out enemies or being spotted, however, as they will know the PT-76B's location and likely broadcast it to other players, most often resulting in the PT-76B being destroyed.
The HEAT-FS shell is powerful in terms of penetration, but the post-penetration damage is lacking compared to other Soviet shells. Not to say that the BK-350M is weak (It's actually quite amazing for a HEAT shell), but oftentimes, 2 or more shots will be needed to destroy an enemy, particularly the more spacey vehicles like the Tiger 1 and Panther. It would be wise, therefore, to look up crew and module locations on enemy vehicles in order to make your shots as lethal as possible.
Pros and cons
- Access to HEAT-FS shells with excellent penetration at 5.3
- Great manoeuvrability in terms of acceleration and turning
- Has a two-plane gun stabilizer (the only non-Rank V USSR tank with it!)
- Amphibious capabilities
- Stabilizer works while shooting on water
- Excellent scout tank to spot targets for allies
- Low profile
- Fast turret rotation
- Lack of turret rotational inertia
- Has night vision devices (NVD)
- Very thin armour all-around, even heavy machine guns can pen through the front
- Stock round is APCR, requires aiming of weak points until better rounds are unlocked
- Inadequate reload speed
- Efficiency will be greatly reduced with a loss crew member
- Shooting from the water will shake the whole vehicle, but not the aim
- Performs rather poorly in AB due to inability to hide nametag
- Prone to hull break
- Lightweight vehicle means it is more heavily affected in collisions with large terrain obstacles
- Relatively slow light tank compared to its encountered peers like the M41A1
- No neutral steering, making it difficult for the PT-76B to turn when not moving
- Slow reverse rate on land and in water
- Driving on the water is quite slow, forwards at 10 kph and reverse at -7 kph, which can leave the vehicle exposed to enemy fire
- Vulnerable to aircraft strafes
The purpose of light tanks fell into disuse in the course of World War II. The light tanks of every nation found themselves to be too lightly armoured and under-gunned to be of any use in the battlefield. Their mobility, which they once held with utility, was overtaken by the advancing mechanics of tanks that allow the heavier tanks to reach speed and mobility that light tanks used to monopolize. The utility of light tanks fell to specialized roles, mostly as a reconnaissance vehicle. The Soviet Union developed a light-weight vehicle for this role, with an additional requirement that the vehicle also is amphibious in operation. The amphibious operation would grant the tank a greater degree of movement over different terrain.
Prototypes of the tank started in the late 1940s, one was Object 740 developed by N. Shashmurin at the VNII-100 research institute of the Chelyabinsk Tank Factory in Leningrad. The vehicle was more successful than the others for using a simple design and good cross-country travel. The amphibious operation, the water-jet propulsion, was considered a breakthrough at the time. A prototype of this vehicle began to be built in 1950 at the Kirov Plant and adopted on August 6, 1951, after trials. This vehicle became designated as the PT-76 and production began at the Stalingrad Tractor Factory. An upgrade was made in 1957 that replaced the initial D-56T gun with a D-56TM with a muzzle brake and fume extractor, as well as new observations and radios for the expense of a taller profile. Another upgrade in 1959 was made that added the D-56TS gun with stabilization and NBC protection capabilities on the PT-76B. Production lasted from 1951 to 1969 for a total of about 12,000 PT-76 built.
The PT-76 saw use in the Soviet Union, who used it as their standard reconnaissance tank and in naval operations. The PT-76 stayed stationed at various bases during the Cold War but did not see much combat with the Soviet Union, staying until it was replaced by the infantry fighting vehicle BMP-1. Despite its replacement, the PT-76 stayed in reconnaissance companies and battalions and in the naval infantry units, as well as having a much better gun than the BMP-1. The PT-76 may still be in Russian service today in reserves as some have been reported to been used during the war in Chechnya. The PT-76 also served in various specialized roles such as an anti-aircraft mount.
The PT-76 was exported in large numbers to up to 25 different countries allied with the Soviet Union. Of these, Vietnam has the best combat record due to the Vietnam War, the PT-76 was a large part of the North Vietnamese Army's armoured force during the conflict. The PT-76 first successful action in Vietnam was in the Battle of Lang Vei in February 1968, where 13 PT-76s of the NVA 202nd Armoured Regiment fought against up to 500 defenders of the camp. The PT-76s were able to overrun the camp despite the defender's use of M40 recoilless rifles and M72 rocket launchers, which accounted for three PT-76 kills. Another combat engagement was in the Battle of Ben Het when the NVA 202nd Armoured Regiment was ordered to attack the base there. The PT-76 detonated a mine on the border of the camp, alerting to their presence. Several M48 Pattons of the 1/69th armour battalion was sent to engage the tanks, but one got hit by a PT-76 round and had two crewmen killed. By dawn after sporadic firefights between the Pattons and NVA tanks, the scene revealed two knocked out PT-76s and a BTR-50 APC. It was in 1972 where the PT-76 served as the testbed of an important American weapons development. Two helicopters on May 9 were scouring the countryside for enemy targets for its new armaments, it was at this time that the NVA attacked a camp at Ben Het. The helicopters responded, firing the experimental XM26 launchers at PT-76s and accounted for three PT-76 destroyed. This was the first combat usage of what would be the TOW anti-tank missile.
Aside from Vietnam, the PT-76 also served in the Indian forces during the Indo-Pakistani Wars, the Six-Day War and Yom Kippur War on both sides, the Angolan Civil War in Cuban and MPLA service, in the Iran-Iraq War in Iraqi service, and the Yugoslav wars.
The first experimental model of the PT-76B light aquatic tank received the factory title of “Object 740” and was assembled at the ChKZ in February, 1950. It immediately began factory testing. Following state-run tests and the elimination of defects discovered during the testing process, “Object 740” was recommended for acceptance into the arsenal of the Soviet Army. Serial production of the tank took place at the STZ from 1952 to 1953.
Tanks from the base batch released in 1952 underwent experimental field use. As a result, further refinements were made to the vehicle’s joints and components. Following field testing and experimental use, “Object 740,” now called the PT-76, was accepted into the arsenal by a decree of the USSR Council of Ministers: (#3636-1447) on August 6, 1952.
During the process of serial release various changes were made to the design of the vehicle to enhance its combat capabilities and technical characteristics. Vehicles with these modifications were produced until 1959, however, an updated DT-56TM cannon was installed on the tank in 1956. During the production run 1,896 PT-76B tanks were built. Of these, over 1,200 vehicles had the DT-56T cannon.
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.
|USSR light tanks|
|T-26||T-26 · T-26 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-26E · T-26-4|
|BT||BT-5 · RBT-5 · BT-7 · BT-7 (F-32)|
|BMP||BMP-1 · BMP-2 · BMP-3|
|Other||T-50 · T-60 · T-70 · T-80 · T-126|
|BA-11 · PT-76B · Object 685 · Object 906|