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T-44 Guide

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T-44 Guide

Post  Ding760 on Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:26 am

T-44: Soviet tier 8 medium tank 


Historical Overview:


The legendary T-34, backbone of the red army, caught the Germans by surprise when it was first fielded in 1941. With its highly sloped armour and powerful 76mm gun, it was vastly superior to anything the Germans had at the time. But by late 1942, the Wermacht began fielding long barreled 75mm guns, and the red army was beginning to suffer for the shortcomings of the T-34 and work began on a new design.

The concept of a universal tank was put forward, one that could replace both the KV-1 and T-34 which led to the design of the T-43, and KV-13. Due to logistical limitations, the upgrading of existing tanks was favored over the design of new ones and so both projects were scrapped. However the T-43 turret was adapted to fit on the T-34 hull, giving birth to the T-34-85, whilst the KV-13 project eventually led to the IS series.

By late 1943, attempts to further up-gun and up-armour the T-34 proved unsuccessful and so soviet designers were forced to concede that a new tank was needed. The focus was on increasing armour and firepower, without sacrificing mobility. The design they came up with was the T-44.

2 prototypes were produced: the T-44-85, and the T-44-122 mounting 85mm and 122mm guns respectively. It offered the same frontal protection as the T-43, 75mm on the hull and 90mm on the turret. The prototypes were trialed in 1944 against a captured panther tank. The T-44-122 was scrapped due to poor performance of the gun. The turret was too cramped to mount such a large gun, and store such ammunition, leading to an impractical rate of fire of just 2 rounds per minute. The T-44-85 was preferred although tests deemed its armour still inadequate, and mobility lacking.

A revised prototype was produced, the T-44A with improved armour. The upper glacis thickness was increased to 90mm and the turret front to 120mm. The splash board was added to the hull and the drivers vision flap, was replaced by a simpler slit in the armour and periscopes. Despite the extra armour, the T-44A was lighter than its predecessors at 31 tonnes. It also used a new 520hp engine which greatly improved handling. Trials of the T-44A proved successful and in November 1944, the T-44 entered service with the Red Army.

965 vehicles were produced by the end of the war, and a total of 1823 were produced by the time production was phased out in 1947. The T-44 was issued to 3 tank brigades at the end of 1944 to begin training; however they all were transferred back into T-34-85’s prior to the Berlin offensive. The tank never saw action in WW2.

Due to the cold war, the T-44 was kept a secret from the Allies. It did not take part in the victory parades in Berlin, and those stationed in East Germany were censored. There are almost no photographs of the tank from this time period. The tank did take part in the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, although the Soviets did their best to hide this from NATO.

Further development of T-44 was halted in favour of the T-54 main battle tank. Unlike most soviet vehicles, the T-44 was not exported after being replaced.



Basic Overview:

The T-44 is the Soviet Tier 8 medium tank, it excels at flanking and dog fighting. It's agility is without equal, but it lacks significant firepower. It has respectable armour for a medium and a very small profile. It's one of the best (if not the best) tier 8 for wolfpacking but struggles when fighting solo. It has one of the worst stock grinds in the game, but rewards you for sticking with it, as its a highly capable machine once upgraded. It has a similar play style to the T-43 before it and the T-54 after it.

Cost:    2,390,000
From T-43: 93,653 XP
To T-54: 142,000 XP
Health: 1300 HP
Crew:   4 - Commander, Gunner, Driver, Loader (Radio Operator)

Roles: Flanker, Brawler



Mobility:
Spoiler:

Weight: 34.15 tonnes
Engine Power:   680hp
Chance of fire: 12%
Power/Weight ratio:  19.91hp/t
Speed Limit:   51km/h
Traverse Speed:    44 deg/s (No pivot ability)
Turret Traverse:    48 deg/s


The T-44 is without equal when it comes to mobility. Whilst tanks such as the Pershing, Type59 or T-34-2 come close, none can match the handling of this tank. Nothing at tier 8 will have an easier time circling heavy tanks, dodging artillery and chasing off enemy scouts. The T-44 may not have the best gun, but it’s the perfect flanking platform allowing it to fire into the sides and rear of enemies and cause panic.  It can quickly travel from one flank to the other, and offer its gun where it is most needed. Always keep an eye on the minimap, if the other flank is struggling, you’re in one of the few tanks that can do something before it falls completely. Never underestimate the ability to relocate. You could have the most powerful gun on the battlefield, but if it’s in the wrong place, then it’s useless.

Due to its favourable handing, the T-44 is excellent at taking forward positions such as the hill on Prokhorovka or Mines. The only thing that should arrive before you are enemy scouts, and you should have no problems dispatching them before any back up can arrive.

Whilst the T-44’s mobility is good, it’s no light tank and so retreating from a compromised position can be a problem. Be careful charging off to take key positions if you team isn’t coming to back you up. As isolated T-44 is a dead T-44.

The T-44 is arguably the best tier 8 for wolf packing. A single tank can run rings around the enemy but often lacks the firepower to dispatch them quickly. But in groups of 3 or 4, T-44’s are devastating. It’s a fantastic tank to play in platoons.




Armour:
Spoiler:

Hull: 90/75/45mm

Upper Glacis = 90mm at 60 degrees from vertical


Effective protection versus AP = 153mm
Effective protection versus APCR/APDS = 140mm
Effective protection versus HE/HEAT = 180mm

Lower Glacis = 90mm at 45 degrees from vertical


If there is one thing you can say about the hull armour, it is that it’s consistent. There are very few weak spots. The drivers vision slit is tiny and the lower glacis is a very small target. The hull armour is in fact very good for a medium.  Against lower tier opponents, it will bounce most things fired at it, if presented at a slight angle. Be wary of anything German and of course TD’s, they won’t have too many problems putting holes in you, but most others should struggle. The T-44 can usually shrug off shells from IS’s and tier 7 mediums.


Unfortunately almost everything at your tier will be able to punch straight through the hull, angled or not. But this isn't too much of a surprise. As a medium tank driver, you should use your mobility to stay alive and not rely on the armour.

One thing to note: avoid exposing your side amour to the enemy as this will leave your ammo rack very vulnerable. This can be a serious problem when trying to circle enemy tanks. Always aim for the tracks to ensure that you can out run the enemy guns.

Another thing to note is that the T-44 is a very low profile tank. Whilst this does wonders for your camo rating, it means that taller tanks can shoot down into the Hull, negating the angling.


Turret: 120/100/100mm

View Range: 380m
Signal Range: 730m

The turret is rounded as is typical with Soviet tanks. Its angles vary and so it varies in effective thickness. It features a “Built in” Mantlet, which offers no extra protection, leaving the area around the gun particularly vulnerable. As with the IS tank, the gunner will often get killed and gun knocked out by shots that hit the mantlet.


Due to rounded shape, the strongest armour on the turret (assuming its being shot at head on, and not at an angle) is on the cheeks which are basically auto bounce zones.  The closer to the centre you hit, the flatter the angle and so weaker the armour is. The frontal turret armour is just 120mm at its weakest.  If you end up face hugging an enemy. It is recommended that you wiggle the turret from side to side in between shots, to try and ensure that the enemy hits a sloped surface.

The Commanders hatch is a fairly small target, but is a viable weak spot should your gun lack the penetration to go through elsewhere.













Armament: 

Spoiler:

The T-44 has 2 guns that it can choose from. Much like the Chinese tanks, it can equip either a standard medium tank gun, or go with a powerful heavy tank gun.

100mm LB-1
It is highly recommended that you take this gun if you plan on playing as a typical medium: flanking and out manoeuvring the enemy. It is a good all purpose gun, with descent accuracy, acceptable aim time, rate of fire and damage. The penetration is a little low, but that shouldn't prove too much of a problem considering this tank has excellent mobility.

Dmg: 230/230/330 HP
Pen: 175/235/50 mm
Rate of Fire: 7.59 r/m
DPM: 1746
Accuracy: 0.35m
Aim time: 2.3 s
Elevation: +23°
Depression: -7°
Ammo: 56


122mm D-25-44
Using the 122mm completely changes the way this tank plays. It has 2 drawbacks. A very slow rate of fire which leaves you very vulnerable in close combat; and poor accuracy and aiming time, meaning that you are forced to get in close, which creates a problem. When using this gun, never go anywhere alone. Use hit and run tactics, almost like driving an ELC AMX. Wait until the enemy is focussed on your allies, drive up behind them, fire, and run away to reload. This requires a great deal of coordination with your team, which naturally in random game can be hard to achieve. When Platooning however, and you have team mates that can be relied upon, this can be a valid tactic.

An added benefit of this gun is the effectiveness of the HE ammunition when compared to the 100mm. It is not always possible to outflank the enemy and with just 175mm of penetration there are plenty of tanks that you will struggle to penetrate frontally. HE can allow you to peg away at them until an opportunity arises. You can also one hit artillery with this gun; the 100mm will often take 2 hits against higher tier arty.

Dmg: 390/390/465 HP
Pen: 175/217/61 mm
Rate of Fire: 3.13 r/m
DPM: 1221
Accuracy: 0.43m
Aim time: 3.4s
Elevation: +23°
Depression: -5°
Ammo: 26




Review:
Spoiler:

To summarize, the T-44 is a thinking mans medium. It's not the easiest tank to play, mainly due to the mediocre penetration, poor gun depression and unreliable armour against its own tier. However, it also has some notable strengths, (such as the excellent mobility and camo rating) that when exploited, turn this humble medium into a deadly, killer.

The T-44 is all about positioning, both in relation to the enemy and to your own team. It lacks the grit to tackle most enemies head on, and so should instead aim to get around to their flanks. Thanks to the tanks outstanding mobility, this is easy enough to do, proving you get the timing right. A great deal of situational awareness is required, because if you misjudge your run, and get caught out in the open, it won't take long for you to end up a smoldering wreck. This is why its always important to stick with team mates, preferably those that you are in communication with. Two of the most common battle scenarios completely rely on working closely with your team mates to overcome the enemy.

Often in games with large numbers of Heavies and TDs, "battle lines" will develop as a game draws on. As opposing heavy tanks hold their ground and slug away at each other, a slow paced game will often result and requires patience from the T-44 driver. If you try and form up with your heavies, the enemy will sense an easy kill and target you instantly. Instead wait until your line of heavies firmly hold the enemies attention, and then try to slip by unnoticed to the enemies flank. If you see the enemies focus on you, don't be afraid to retreat to safety and try again later. Once off to the side, either continue on to the enemies base and try and flush out artillery, or turn around and pummel the enemy lines from your now favorable position. Often enemies will be too worried about the "bigger" threats in front of them that they won't focus on the lone medium off to the side. And if you do start attracting a lot of attention, then it should create a great opportunity for your heavies to attack.

Games with greater numbers of lights and mediums tend to be more dynamic and so may at first appear favorable for a tank such as the T-44. Often however, this may not be the case as the greatest strength of the T-44: its agility, is negated by the agility of the other mediums. It may be the most agile of the tier 8 mediums, but that doesn't mean that it can circle Pershings and Type-59's as if they were lumbering heavies. And whilst the Pershing has its gun depression, and the Type-59 has its armour, the T-44 is a bit of a one trick pony. It's gun is nothing special, neither is its armour, and it sorely lacks gun depression. The way to overcome this, is to make it impossible for the enemy to counter your agility. How? By teaming up with other mediums and forming a wolfpack. Overcome the enemy by weight of numbers in the local area. Swarm them and they can't keep up with all of you. Have the pack hunt down isolated enemies and dispatch them as quickly as possible, and then move on to the next target. Sweep across the map overpowering enemies one at a time.

Of course, in random matches, its not always possible to coordinate with your team mates and so you may end up facing enemy tanks alone.
As a general rule, unless they are all light tanks, always retreat when out numbered. Only engage alone, when the enemy tank is also alone.

TD's: The T-44 is perhaps the most efficient killer of lone tank destroyers on a tier 8 battlefield. No TD is agile enough to keep up with it in a close range fight and you will be able to get around the side of them with ease. And unlike light tanks, which often lack the firepower to kill an enemy before his backup arrives, the T-44 has the firepower to bring about a swift death.

Heavies: Again the T-44 is one of the most efficient killers of lone heavy tanks at tier 8. Get in close, and even the agile IS series will struggle to keep you in their sights. If you are struggling to outrun their turret, aim for the tracks. If on a gentle slope or soft ground, always track the enemy first. And avoid engaging at all on steep slopes or in water.

Mediums: Unfortunately, this is where you will run into problems. Against German mediums, once tracked its possible to outrun their turrets, but against all others, their turret traverse alone is usually enough to keep pace with you. Instead you will have to engage them head on. Trying to circle medium tanks will not only prove impossible, but will also expose your sides, and greatly increase the risk of ammo racks damage. Try and get to a favorable position and hope that you had more HP going into the engagement.

Generally, Centurions and Panther 2's will keep their distance and so the 3 mediums you are most likely to encounter on the front lines are: Pershings, Type-59s and T-34-2's.

Pershings have resilient turrets and great gun depression. If you let them go hull down it's game over. On flat ground, the two tanks are fairly evenly matched. Both can pen each other, and keep pace with one another. It will come down to who gets the first hit and who had the most HP going into the fight.

Type-59s are your worst nightmare in a T-44. Try and avoid them at all costs. Their frontal armour is strong enough to bounce a large portion of your shots, especially against good players that angle slightly (and  given that the type hasn't been on sale for close to 10 months, anyone driving one will at least be experienced, and so should know how to angle correctly.) The Type's gun on the other hand will have no problems punching through your armour. Do not allow a type-59 to facehug you, at all costs. The T-44's poor gun depression would prevent you from shooting into the hull.
The lower glacis of the Type-59 is a small target but you will pen it every time, and as with most tanks, you can pen the sides and rear. If you do get into a position where you can reliably pen a Type-59, the T-44 will out DPM it, and so it's not impossible to win against it.

T-34-2s are very similar to the T-44. They have virtually the same DPM and weak armour that can be penned by the other. It too has poor gun depression so you don't need to worry about it going hull down. One advantage you have over the T-34-2, is that you have much better accuracy. Keep your distance if possible and you should come out on top.

Scouts: The T-44 can keep pace with most scouts long enough to scare them off and get a few shots off. It's not the best medium for anti-scouting, but it can do the job.

Arty: The same rules apply to the T-44 as they do to every other medium in the game. Arty​will devastate you if they land a hit, so keep moving. Once in close, they are easy pickings.

To conclude, the T-44 is the best tier 8 medium for fighting heavies and TD's up close and personal, and for sneaking around the flanks. Unfortunately it will often come off worse when engaging other mediums and if forced to fight at range. It's a great tank when you can communicate with your team mates, but in random matches, without reliable support, it can feel very vulnerable.




Advantages:
Spoiler:

• Excellent mobility
• Fast
• Variety of guns to cater for different play styles
• Arguably the best tier 8 medium for wolf packing
• Small Profile
• Good Camo Rating




Disadvantages:
Spoiler:

• Very vulnerable Ammo Rack
• Armour ineffective against its own tier
• Fairly low Penetration on both guns
• Low HP pool




Suggested Crew Skills:

Spoiler:

Commander: Sixth sense, Repairs, Eagle Eye
Gunner: Repairs, Snap Shot, Camo
Driver: Repairs, Off road Driving, Clutch Braking
Loader: Safe Stowage, Repairs, Camo


Initially training all crew members in repairs would be a good idea, primarily so that you can get your tracks repaired quickly without having to expend a repair kit, which will highly likely be needed for the ammo rack. Staying mobile is how this tank survives and so being tracked for long periods of time is very dangerous.

Once the crew reaches 100%, it is recommended that you retrain the commander in sixth sense and the loader in safe stowage. The T-44 is a flanker and the key to a successful flank is surprise. Having sixth sense will let you know if you've lost the element of surprise and can allow you to rethink your strategy. Save stowage is mandatory due to the tanks vulnerable ammo rack

For the Second skill: once again train the commander and loader in repairs, and for the driver and gunner, focus on the enhancing the tanks mobility. Snap shot, Off road driving, and Clutch braking are all good choices.

For the Third skill: Camo isn't a bad idea. The tank already has a descent camo rating and anything that will allow you flank enemy positions undetected is worth having. It works great with sixth sense. Eagle Eye is a very useful perk to have for your commander. When dog fighting an enemy, knowing that they have a dead driver or a damaged turret ring can allow you to take risks that would normally be inadvisable.




Suggested Equipment:
Spoiler:

Vertical Stabilizer – The T-44 survives by constantly being on the move and avoiding enemy fire. The Vertical Stabilizer will ensure that you can lay down effective fire whilst outrunning a heavy tank’s turret or when locked in a close range dogfight with another medium.

Gun Rammer –  A standard piece of equipment for any tank with a Damage dealing role. The quicker you fire, the more damage you deal, and the faster the enemy dies. Simple.

Wet Ammo Rack – The T-44 is notorious for having a weak ammo rack. Fortunately detonations are quite rare; however the ammo rack is still very vulnerable and frequently takes damage. Shots penetrating the hull frontally have a high chance of reaching the ammo rack, whilst those that go in from the side are almost guaranteed to hit it. A wet ammo rack should allow you to take a few hits without suffering a longer reload, which can cripple you in a dogfight.

Enhanced Torsion Bars: (Temporary) – The T-44 is an awful tank when stock. Sluggish and under gunned, it doesn’t perform well until fully upgraded. Unfortunately very little carries over from the T-43, so it will be a very long grind. By using the Enhanced torsion bars, you increase the weight limit and so can research the tracks last. It is suggested that you demount this equipment once the suspension is unlocked.




Suggested Research Path:
Spoiler:

Unfortunately nothing carries over from the T-43 apart from the 2nd 85mm gun, which carried over onto the T-43 from the T-34-85. You'll start out having to use the same gun as the tier 6 Russian medium. Not fun.

As suggested in the equipment section, it is highly recommended that you equip the enhanced torsion bars whilst upgrading the tank so that you can focus on the gun and engines without needing the tracks.

If you have played the Russian Heavy tank line, and made it as far as the IS, you will have the 1st 100mm gun unlocked. If this is the case, I recommend that you research the turret first, allowing you to mount this gun. Instead of going for the 100mm LB-1 next, I would recommend researching both engines. This tank benefits more from better mobility than it does better accuracy. Then go for the LB-1, then the tracks and radio.

If you don't have the 100mm D10T unlocked from the IS, I would recommend researching the first engine to begin with. What you do next depends on how many credits you have. If you can afford to, I would recommend going for the second engine, and using the 85mm D5T-85BM with premium ammunition. Then getting the turret and 100mm guns.

If that sounds too expensive, go for the D10T first, then the Engines, then the LB-1, the tracks and radio.






Originally written by TheMuffinPirate
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Ding760

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