luftwaffles47

Comparing War Thunder maps to their real life locations

Hello fellow Forumites! 
 
In light of the recent announcement of World War Mode (here)https://warthunder.com/en/news/3696-development-world-war-battle-ratings-more-pt-ii-en/
I was thinking, how much of Europe has Gaijin Mapped anyways? Well, after a somewhat brief search of the forums I couldn't find anyone who had done this previously. Thus I'm going to attempt to find the real-world locations of as many maps as possible and see both how well they match up in a general sense as well as how big they are. I'll be starting with the big ones: Norway, Spain, Moscow, etc, and working my way down. I'll edit the post as I find time to do each one. Well, let's get started!
 
First up, Norway! This map is a little bit infamous for its early imbalances. Even though its been fixed, I think it never really lived up to its potential. The modeled area is much larger than the playable one.
 
Here's the whole modeled area as far as I can tell

[spoiler]http://i.imgur.com/5vaDAgb.png[/spoiler]

 

And here's the playable area compared to the full area. It's worth noting that 90% of combat stays in the lower half of the playable area, making it about 1/6 the size of the modeled area.

[spoiler]http://i.imgur.com/tQa1KrW.png[/spoiler]

 

Here's another image with three separate maps located on it. Aside from the very large maps, most will just be shown on a larger view because the playable and modeled area are quite similar.

[spoiler]http://i.imgur.com/Lc1bULR.png[/spoiler]

 

And here's the big one. This map of Europe has all the locations I could find on it. Poland, Alps, and Steel Range are probably made up, but could probably be modified to fit somewhere in Europe. 

[spoiler]http://i.imgur.com/qLamRRY.png[/spoiler]

 

This image contains the maps located in Russia, or at least the ones I could find. Eastern Europe should be here, but I can't find it with geology alone. There might be some surprises in this image. Stalingrad is actually a pretty small map! 

[spoiler]http://i.imgur.com/qbixf6o.png[/spoiler]

 

Here's the locations of Mozdok and Krymsk. I was surprised both by the location and proximity of these maps. You might be too! 

[spoiler]http://i.imgur.com/vUIPQah.png[/spoiler]

 

Here's one more; Port Moresby. Nothing particularly surprising here, but it was easy to find. 

[spoiler]http://i.imgur.com/c7kDpOS.png[/spoiler]

 
In this section I'll be tallying up the total areas of all the maps. Left me know if I got the dimensions wrong on anything. All dimensions are in kilometers. I'll be subtracting shared areas like those between Advance the Rhine and neighboring maps.
 
European Maps:
Norway:            200x200 =40,000km^2
Moscow:           200x200 =40,000km^2
Mozdok:           160x160 = 25,600km^2
Kursk:               120x120 =14,400km^2
Malta:               100x100 =10,000km^2
Sicily:                100x100 =10,000km^2
Bulge:               80x80     =6,400km^2
Adv. to Rhine    80x80     =6,400km^2
Hurtgen Forest 80x80     =6,400km^2
Ruhr                 80x80     =6,400km^2
Berlin                80x80     =6,400km^2
Stalingrad         80x80     =6,400km^2
Korsun              80x80     =6,400km^2
Krymsk             80x80      =6,400km^2
Britain               80x80      =6,400km^2
Normandy        60x60      =3,600km^2
Snowy Valley    60x60      =3,600km^2
 
Shared areas
Hurt/Avd. R      40x40      =1,600km^2
Avd. R/Ruhr     20x60      =1,200km^2
 
 
Total:                                =202,000km^2
-Does not include fictional maps. 
 
 
 

That's all for now, but more will be coming. See you in the skies! 

 

Regards, 

 

Luftwaffles

Edited by luftwaffles47
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Also Spain.

 

I am definitely excited for WorldWarMode.

 

Fingers crossed on a Battlegrounds:Europe or Aces High II style of maps/gameplay.

Edited by Ledo

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I'm actually dissapointed because of the announcement. i was expecting WW-mode to be one consistent battle on a Country-sized map with several hundret Players on each side.

for those thinking this can't be done: Aces High did it over 10 years ago. Gaijins solution can't hold a candle to a decade old flight sim?

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As for Snowy Valley, the Air Map is centered around the Austrian town of Telfs. The Ground map there seems to be fully fictional though...

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Nice work, luffwaffles47.  This is interesting to see and compare.  I appreciate the work Gaijin has done to keep the game areas authentic and your work to place them on the larger map.

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I'm actually dissapointed because of the announcement. i was expecting WW-mode to be one consistent battle on a Country-sized map with several hundret Players on each side.

for those thinking this can't be done: Aces High did it over 10 years ago. Gaijins solution can't hold a candle to a decade old flight sim?

 

WWIIOL did (and does it!) on a map including most of Europe (1:2 scale) - it also includes supply, infantry, ships, transport, fully simulated ballistics, multi-crewing, paratroopers etc. - and hundreds of players.

 

BUT using much simpler 3D models and nowhere near the graphical fidelity of this game.

The challenges of simulation an enormous map, tons of players and the view ranges required to accommodate ground, sea and air forces are not exactly simple.

 

And clearly: Hardcore simulation was never the goal of WT.

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I think there's a lot more work put into these than people give them credit for.

 

A few months back I was in a used book shop.  I was looking for some titles recommended around here (Zaloga, etc) so I was in the military history section.  The pickings were pretty dry except for one book which I bought.  It's a strange book.  The author made no attempt at prose or color or narrative; it was very dense and dry.  It was an account of three different battles the U.S. Army fought, one in France,one in Italy, one on the Siegfried Line.  It's just basically an accounting of units, dispositions, terrain, with some maps, etc.  Small battles, not the ones you hear about on TV, probably the reason I bought it.  I think maybe it was intended to be used as a text book for military colleges?  It certainly read like a college text book.

 

Any rate, one of them is a battle during the Huertgen Forest campaign, and I guess you know where I'm going with this.  It describes a see-saw battle for a little town.  It lies on a ridge running east to west.  It's a very narrow town, stretched out real long on a single road, with a big church and steeple roughly in the middle (which had squads of riflemen fighting point blank inside, one squad in the pews, the other in the pulpit).  To the north and south of town there are gentle open sloping fields, going down from the ridge.  To the southwest of town there's this very steep forested ravine with roads going down it to further towns to the south, it made very tough going for tanks.  If you go north from the town, down a gentle slope, and up the steep hill on the other side, there's another smaller town over the crest and out of view.  And at the time I was reading this account I thought it was all just a strange coincidence.  But I couldn't help thinking of the Hurtgen Forest map every time I tried to picture was the fighting was like.  If the book described a company of Shermans assaulting from the northwest, up that slope, to the northwestern edge of town, I couldn't help but picture that exactly the way it would look in game.

 

A few weeks later I'm playing the game, and the loading screen for Huertgen Forest comes up.  Normally I don't pay attention to loading screens, and when I do it's to see where the red and blue spawn points are, where the objectives are.  But on this occasionally I finally look "behind" the icons and see the place names on the map itself.  And sure enough, there's the label of "Vossenack," the town straight out of the book I had been reading.  And sure enough there were all the other place names too.

 

Now there were some changes between the real thing and the game.  There were some groups of structures on the west side of town I'm guessing were removed to make it more symmetrical.  There was a minefield that played a prominent role in the real battle.  I'm sure the devs could put minefields into the game, but it would be terrible for gameplay.  Who wants their tank to just randomly blow up without engaging the enemy?  The forested ravine with the mill on the creek, that was much more heavily forested in real life.  But it also made visibility essentially impossible, and you can't have good tank v. tank combat if you made it realistically thick.

 

But other than that, changes made to make the gameplay better, it's a really spot on map.  And I think most players never even realize it.

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I think there's a lot more work put into these than people give them credit for.

 

A few months back I was in a used book shop.  I was looking for some titles recommended around here (Zaloga, etc) so I was in the military history section.  The pickings were pretty dry except for one book which I bought.  It's a strange book.  The author made no attempt at prose or color or narrative; it was very dense and dry.  It was an account of three different battles the U.S. Army fought, one in France,one in Italy, one on the Siegfried Line.  It's just basically an accounting of units, dispositions, terrain, with some maps, etc.  Small battles, not the ones you hear about on TV, probably the reason I bought it.  I think maybe it was intended to be used as a text book for military colleges?  It certainly read like a college text book.

 

Any rate, one of them is a battle during the Huertgen Forest campaign, and I guess you know where I'm going with this.  It describes a see-saw battle for a little town.  It lies on a ridge running east to west.  It's a very narrow town, stretched out real long on a single road, with a big church and steeple roughly in the middle (which had squads of riflemen fighting point blank inside, one squad in the pews, the other in the pulpit).  To the north and south of town there are gentle open sloping fields, going down from the ridge.  To the southwest of town there's this very steep forested ravine with roads going down it to further towns to the south, it made very tough going for tanks.  If you go north from the town, down a gentle slope, and up the steep hill on the other side, there's another smaller town over the crest and out of view.  And at the time I was reading this account I thought it was all just a strange coincidence.  But I couldn't help thinking of the Hurtgen Forest map every time I tried to picture was the fighting was like.  If the book described a company of Shermans assaulting from the northwest, up that slope, to the northwestern edge of town, I couldn't help but picture that exactly the way it would look in game.

 

A few weeks later I'm playing the game, and the loading screen for Huertgen Forest comes up.  Normally I don't pay attention to loading screens, and when I do it's to see where the red and blue spawn points are, where the objectives are.  But on this occasionally I finally look "behind" the icons and see the place names on the map itself.  And sure enough, there's the label of "Vossenack," the town straight out of the book I had been reading.  And sure enough there were all the other place names too.

 

Now there were some changes between the real thing and the game.  There were some groups of structures on the west side of town I'm guessing were removed to make it more symmetrical.  There was a minefield that played a prominent role in the real battle.  I'm sure the devs could put minefields into the game, but it would be terrible for gameplay.  Who wants their tank to just randomly blow up without engaging the enemy?  The forested ravine with the mill on the creek, that was much more heavily forested in real life.  But it also made visibility essentially impossible, and you can't have good tank v. tank combat if you made it realistically thick.

 

But other than that, changes made to make the gameplay better, it's a really spot on map.  And I think most players never even realize it.

 

which real life location is that bizarre island air arcade map with all the tunnels based on? :P

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If anyone happens to know the names of towns in any of the maps, that would be extremely helpful. I'm fairly certain the general area of the Karelia map is real, but I have no idea how to find it without some reference. Thank you very much to Schindibee, the name of that town helped me find the Snowy Valley Map. Never could have done it otherwise! 

 

which real life location is that bizarre island air arcade map with all the tunnels based on? :P

I think most of the symmetrical arcade maps are made up, with the exception of some like Two Towns, which is a part of the Britain map. There's another mountainous alps map that I'm not sure on. 

 

Fun Fact: North in Gaijin's Maps isn't always due North. Many of their maps seem to be taken from a flat projection of Europe. When looking at the curved projection of Google Earth, this has caused some issues, especially the farther away from Central Europe I get. 

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Was sad flying on the Bergen map today, I found the exact spot where 11 people died in a helicopter crash today.

 

Kinda disappointed in myself for even going there..

 

OT: Great post.

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put your links in [img]<link here>[ /img] (no space there). It will make life easier for the lazy like me :P

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put your links in [img]<link here>[ /img] (no space there). It will make life easier for the lazy like me :P

I tried, but they're huge images because otherwise the resolution is too bad to find the landmarks. Is there a way to re-size images while adding them directly to the post? That'd be a huge help. 

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I dream about a day when we'll be able to do the same with RB Ground Forces maps...

Edited by slavoyew
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Sicily.

I live in Catania,and the map is really good made.

[spoiler]

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[/spoiler]

[spoiler]

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Edited by Zodd74
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Quick question for y'all. Would it be better to do the pacific maps in one large one that doesn't show much detail, or each one separate? Those darn islands are just too far apart. 

 

Regards, Luftwaffles

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Oh, wonderful topic

 

I had my own topics about mapping WT to real life,

by the focus on "Naval Warefare". I documented where I may land floating planes / swimming planes and use swimming ground vehicles to do boat trips. Indeed, I named Wikipedia pages about the location, plus WarThunder Wiki pages.

 

see

 

Naval Warefare Howto :-). My first Sea Battle

Naval Warefare Howto :-)

 

See also

http://wiki.warthunder.com/index.php?title=Category:Missions_and_maps

Edited by hemmerling
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