Causes of tanks destruction

Hello everyone.

Tanks are often destroyed in the game, but what are the conditions under which this happens?

Here we’re going to look at the different conditions under which a vehicle is considered to be ‘out of action’. Follow the guide!

!! Detail !! that tutorial are a traduction with Deepl of my work in french section. Images are in french, copy/past form the original topic.

-1) Lack of crew

Let’s start with the most common reason for destroying a vehicle: “The crew is out of combat”.

First of all, in War Thunder, a tank is considered functional as long as it can fire AND move. On almost all tanks, this requires two crew members: the pilot and the gunner. Therefore, if there is only one crew member left on board, the tank will be considered destroyed.

It is possible to survive a little longer with your crew by having a back-up crew. Can only be used on a captured point in RB or anywhere on the map in AB.

!!! WARNING!!! Regarding the arcade, the back-up crew is automatically activated (if available, of course) when there is only one crew member left on board. If only the pilot remains, the tank will still be immobilised. If only the gunner remains, it is possible to continue firing. If the loader, commander or radio operator remain, the gunner will be replaced while the reinforcement crew arrives. The position occupied by the reinforcement crew will then be assigned to the pilot.

The only exception is the 3 STRV 103s (0, A and C) in the Swedish tree, where the pilot is also the shooter.

-2) The explosion of ammunition
Also known as "Ammorack " (To make / To take a …)

The second cause of destruction in the game is the explosion of ammunition racks.

There are 3 possible effects of ammunition destruction (black):

  • Unusable ammunition: This is the least common but most ‘pleasant’ case. The ammunition is simply removed from the tank’s inventory.

  • Ammunition fire: The ammunition is destroyed and triggers a fire on board. The type of fire is a classic fire that can be extinguished with fire extinguishers.

  • Ammunition explosion: In the most common case, the ammunition explodes when it is destroyed, resulting in the destruction of the tank. (This is a TUTO, not a debate topic, replies complaining about certain ammunition will be reported to the modos for removal. Sincerely, The author.)

It is possible to drastically reduce the chances of getting ammoracked by taking only a portion of the total ammunition in order to empty certain racks.

Ammunition is more likely to explode if hit by a HEAT or high velocity shell.

!!! WARNING !!! Special case with secured racks; These racks protect most of the time from a destruction of the tank. A fire in a secure rack cannot be extinguished with fire extinguishers. It will stop on its own after a few seconds. If a rack fire remains above the engine, the engine can also be set on fire and can be extinguished normally with fire extinguishers. A secure rack is not infallible, it may not do its job if heavy damage is received (typically an arrow shell passing through the turret).

For more informations, you can go see that topic:

-3) The blast effect

Commonly known as ‘Overpressure’ or ‘Suppression’, this BLAST mechanic replaces ‘Hull Rupture’ and is more in line with the shockwave effects of explosions of all types. To put it simply, one (well, very often several) crew member(s) are rendered hors de combat, even if the armour has not been perforated by a projectile or shrapnel, due to the shockwave of an explosion (the blast). This occurs when a large-calibre HE shell (150mm or more) or a bomb hits the tank, and the blast from the explosion stuns (to stay under PEGI 16 ^^ ) the crew inside. The effect depends on the thickness of the armour => the less armour there is, the greater the effect on the crew.

HE shells with a calibre of less than 150mm also inflict this suppression effect but in a much more limited way, confining them to very light targets.

Click Here: Explosive shell suppression effect

zz HE

-4) Bombs, rockets and missiles

Haaaaa, who hasn’t complained about that damned Spitfire Mk XXIV and its rockets? Or that G-91 R3 and its bloody missiles? Or that F8-F1B that delicately drops a 500kg explosive gift right next to you?

Different mechanisms are at work here:

1°) Rockets:
Rockets have 2 modes of action. Either they are loaded with explosive (like the tinytim) and behave like an explosive shell (external explosion and large shrapnel generation, blast effect, perfect against light targets), or they are loaded with a shaped charge (like the Russian S-5K or American Hydra-70) and therefore behave like a HEAT shell (large perforation but more limited post perforation damage and in the axis of detonation, perfect for heavier targets).

The Russians also have a few ‘armour-piercing’ rockets that act like an APHE shell, but their low perforation limits their usefulness.

To find out the type of warhead, check the ammunition card:

Click Here: Type of warhead

shot 2023.06.27 16.41.40

2°) Missiles:
Aircraft missiles are loaded with explosives and therefore behave like a large explosive shell (from 20 to 200Kg of explosive) or with a shaped charge (HEAT) and behave like a HEAT shell.

Helicopter missiles, depending on the period, are loaded with a single shaped charge or in tandem (there are 2 shaped charges one behind the other to perforate composite and reactive armour more effectively). They therefore behave like HEAT(FS) shells, but with a much higher perforation capacity.

The “top attack” missiles used by certain vehicles carry a smaller shaped charge that hits the roof of the target vehicle as the missile passes “over” its target.

To find out the type of warhead, check the ammunition card:

Click Here: Type of warhead

shot 2023.06.27 16.43.26

3°) The Bombs:
Bombs are less… subtle: any vehicle that is below the destruction distance (105m for the famous Russian Pe-8 5T bomb, for example, or 11m for the most commonly used 500kg bombs) and that does not have a (fairly large) obstacle between it and the point of explosion will be destroyed. Note that an ally does not count as an obstacle!

Furthermore, if destruction is immediate below a certain distance, a vehicle can be heavily damaged by the numerous fragments projected by the explosion and can even destroy the lightest vehicles at a distance of several dozen metres (for example, 500kg bombs project their fragments at a distance of approximately 140m).

!!! WARNING!!! Mass units differ from nation to nation. While the Russians and Germans use the metric system and weigh their bombs in Kilograms (Kg), the Anglo-Saxons use the imperial system and calculate their masses in Pounds (Lb / Lbs). Bearing in mind that, rounded off, 2lbs = 1kg, bombs weighing 1000lbs are therefore bombs weighing 500kg and not 1T as is often the case. This should be borne in mind when choosing which ammunition to carry.

-5) Fuel tank explosions
Much less common than ammunition explosions, when a shell perforates a fuel tank, it can explode. If it is located in the immediate proximity of ammunition or in the crew compartment (for example on T-34s), this can destroy the tank. This is not very common, however, as most tanks are located at the rear. It can also happen with an arrow shell in certain conditions or if a shell protected by the tank explodes anyway.

-6) Collisions
Probably the least known method of destruction, and one that happens more often by chance than by real intent. Only light vehicles can suffer. This type of destruction is also only possible with a tank that is heavy enough in relation to its opponent. The aim is to trap the opponent between his tank and a wall and literally run him over.

Some very light vehicles can self-destruct by hitting an obstacle at high speed.

In both cases, the message displayed for the victim is “The tank has burned”.

-7) Drowning
The tank drowns after 5 seconds once the water reaches the turret. In some cases, only the engine can be drowned.

With the exception of a few amphibious vehicles, it is best to avoid areas of deep water.

This is the end of this guide, and we hope we’ve shed some light on what can send your tank to the scrap heap. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.

1 Like

As an addendum - most British RP-3 3" rockets of WW2 vintage are SAP-HE and not HEAT - that is they have a thick hard steel nose like the Soviet ones, and also carry a reasonably sizeable HE filling.

They only have 44mm penetration so have to hit the top armor of most medium or heavy tanks to penetrate.

See RP-3 - War Thunder Wiki

Some British origin aircraft in other trees carry these, or local equivalents eg 15 cm srak m/51 - War Thunder Wiki for the Swedes

The British also have 2 solid AP rockets with no HE filling and up to 100mm penetration.

See AP Mk I - War Thunder Wiki for WW2 era a/c and AP Mk II - War Thunder Wiki for post war a/c