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The T-55A is a rank VI Russian medium tank with a battle rating of 8.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica".
After active development of nuclear weapons, the predecessor of T-55 (T-54) was tested against nuclear charges. It was evaluated that the crew could survive only at distances of over 700m, so it was decided to create a new tank that would have a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system, or Protivoatomnaya Zashchita (PAZ). The initial designs for this tank were completed in 1956, however, that was without additional NBC protection. In 1961, the development of an NBC system began, and it was introduced in the new T-55A variant. Among other upgrades, the T-55 had an increased ammunition supply with 18 more rounds being stored in the fuel tanks.
T-55 became a replacement for Soviet heavy tanks (IS series and the T-10), something that is evident in War Thunder as well. Armour was sacrificed for better mobility and a better gun. Currently, the T-55A is one of the only vehicles at rank VI to have an APHE shell, which easily one-shots most vehicles from the sides and some from the front (notably, leopards). Unfortunately, the T-55A is relatively slow compared to other medium tanks around battle rating 8.3.
Survivability and armour
At battle ratings over 8.0, armour becomes almost obsolete. The T-55A has moderate frontal protection, with 100 mm plates for UFP and LFP placed at angles 59° and 56° respectively; effective thickness frontally comes up to ~180 mm and ~200 mm, respectively. At a perfect angle, you can bring the effective thickness to ~200 mm and ~220 mm for UFP and LFP, while having ~250 mm of protection at your angled sides. However, the additional 20 mm of armour will rarely save you from top-rank APFSDS, or even APDS, shells.
As for the turret, the T-55A has slightly less protection than the T-62, and combined with a generally larger turret, it is generally easier for your opponents to hit and penetrate your turret. The thinnest spots are right next to the cannon breach, at 200 mm, which rather slowly becomes over 300 mm as you move further away from the breach.
Your weakest side is the right-hand side when looking at the T-55A, frontally, because 3 of your 4 crew are located in a row there. A well placed APFSDS shot to the top-right of the UFP will one-shot the T-55A, see diagram on the right.
The maximum speed that the T-55A can reach is listed as 56 km/h (AB) and 50 km/h (RB/SB). That is ~15 km/h slower than the Leopard A1A1. However, the amount of firepower that the T-55A brings to the battlefield, coupled together with the ability to withstand shots sometimes, that speed is decent. Backwards, the T-55A can go at up to -7 km/h, which won't let you back out of tricky situations often.
The T-55A cannot turn in neutral gear, which makes it difficult to maneuver in close-quarter encounters, which often occur in the cities. The acceleration is good, the T-55A can get to 25 km/h from a standstill on flat, rough terrain in a few seconds, and turning is decent on flat ground.
The T-55A houses a 100 mm D-10T2S rifled anti-tank gun, which is equipped with an ejector and two-plane stabilizer arms. In-game, the T-55A has a 10.3 s reload rate, which is similar to its predecessor, the T-62. This rate of fire doesn't allow the T-55A to rush into battle and fend off waves of Leopards or M48s/M60s, but it is sufficient to defeat one or two opponents in quick succession with good shot placements, granted you shoot first.
The stock round (3BM-8, APDS) allows the T-55A to penetrate MBT-70 and KPz-70 frontally, as well as deal with all other major threats, notably the Leopards (which you can penetrate anywhere), and Chieftains (LFP, or UFP/LFP with the APFSDS round). One of the major advantages that the T-55A has over the majority of rank VI vehicles is its APCBC shell, which has the potential to one-shot any opponent if it penetrates. It is advised to flank your enemies and when given the opportunity, easily destroy oncoming enemies with this round.
|Ammunition||Type of Warhead||Penetration at 90° (mm)|
The T-55A has a roof-mounted 12.7 mm DShK machine gun, which allows it to fight low-flying aircraft or helicopters. However, it is not effective against jets. It is recommended to use this machine gun against lightly armoured ground targets and to check whether or not a tank is alive or not, by shooting its tracks (which can also be done with the coaxial machine gun).
Usage in battles
The T-55A has the great option to use an APCBC shell, which can one-shot Leopards frontally, and any well-armoured vehicles side-on. Therefore, this tank should be used as a flanker, large open areas present a great opportunity to scout and take out groups of oncoming enemies. However, make sure to stay near cover and use it after every shot to minimize the chances of getting scouted and penetrated.
However, that does not mean that the T-55A cannot engage opponents frontally. Its APFSDS round can penetrate all vehicles at its battle rating, apart from the T-64A/T-72 (if playing mixed battles), the Chieftains (when hull-down) and the Maus (when at distance and angled).
As a rule of thumb, protect your left-hand side when looking from behind the T-55A. You have 3 crew members there that can be taken out with a single well-placed APFSDS shot (upper right corner of the UFP). Also, don't rely on your reverse speed. You can't retreat efficiently, and will likely be destroyed in a close-quarters encounter if you don't engage your opponent first.
Pros and cons
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|USSR medium tanks|
|T-28||T-28 · T-28E|
|T-34-76||T-34 (Prototype) · T-34 (1940) · T-34 (1941) · T-34 1941 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-34 (1942) · T-34E STZ · T-34E|
|T-34-57||T-34-57 · T-34-57 (1943)|
|T-34-85||T-34-85 (D-5T) · T-34-85 · T-34-85E|
|T-44||T-44 · T-44-100 · T-44-122|
|T-54||T-54 (1947) · T-54 (1949) · T-54 (1951)|
|T-55||T-55A · T-55AM-1|
|T-62||T-62 · T-62M-1 · IT-1|
|T-64||T-64A (1971) · T-64B|
|Trophies/Lend-Lease||▂T-III · «Panther» · ▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2 (76) W|