[Would you like to see this in-game?]
TL;DR: A T26-based HMC with a massive 203mm howitzer and 6 onboard emergency rounds.
The need to motorize artillery was felt by the US military as early as WW1. Many projects attempted to satisfy this need, which was always evolving as time passed and technology improved, most failures but some successful. One of many such failures was the T84 HMC, a very heavyweight and over-the-top 203mm howitzer carrier based on the chassis of the new T26 medium tank. By 1944, development on the M4 Sherman’s successor was getting close to wrapping up. As such, it was about time to start work on the development of other vehicles based on the T26 to serve as replacements for their M4 and M3 counterparts to ensure commonality between spare parts. One such vehicle type that was seen as absolutely required for a modern military was a mobile large-caliber artillery platform. The one currently in service with the US military was the M12 HMC which ,while generally regarded as successful, was based on the fast aging M3 Lee chassis. This led to the greenlighting of new howitzer motor carriages based on the T23 chassis equipped with 155mm and 203mm guns, the T79 and T80 respectively. Unfortunately, this projects would stay on paper due to the completion of the T26 and the greenlighting of a 203mm equipped HMC based on it, specifically the T26E1, however, the actual pilot would be based on the T26E3. This new HMC would be designated T84 and, unlike the T79 and T80, would actually see development into a pilot vehicle, which would use many components of the T26E3 although drastically rearranged. It would feature a largely original hull design and had its entire powertrain rotated 180 degrees, making it a front-drive vehicle. Due to the vehicle’s weapon being of such a high caliber, an accompanying ammunition carrier, designated T31, was also designed and built. That being said, certain situations might result in the ammo carrier becoming somehow unable to do its job, whether that be through a breakdown or even destruction. Had the ammo carrier been carrying the entirety of the T84’s ammo supply, the T84 would also become useless. As such, stowage for 6 emergency rounds was provided in the hull floor, behind the howitzer, allowing the vehicle to fulfill its role at least for a short while or, in the worst case scenario, defend itself if it came under fire. Although the T84 performed well enough during tests, its program would be dropped in favor of the T92/T93 program, another T26-based HMC program, that was seen as superior.
Place In War Thunder:
Derp vehicles have always had their place in War Thunder and by god does the US have a lot of them. From Stuart to Patton, there’s no chassis that escapes the wrath of an American engineer and a big gun. The T84 is one the lesser known results of said wrath. Its massive 203mm gun and HE shell with 9kg of TNT would ensure that anything you lay your eyes upon will die, no questions asked. On top of that, your depression isn’t horrible, giving you some limited ridgeline options, and your mobility is only a tad worse than a Pershing’s. You do still have some major downsides, however, the most notable being that you only have 6 rounds before you’re spent. That being said, your awful reload speed, another one of your massive cons, might make it so you still have ammo by the time you die, which will happen a lot thanks to the fact that you’re open-topped. Playstyle would be rather self explanatory. Drive to the battlefield, find a target, shoot, reverse behind your teammates, wait an eternity, and repeat. Range is not your friend. Despite your non existent armor, you want to be in the thick of it so you can reliably hit something. Your gun makes you basically uptier proof so you don’t even have to think about what enemy you might face. At the same time, you also want to have a clear escape or hiding spot at all times so you can wait out your reload in peace. Since this vehicle is a failed prototype, it would be only logical to add it as a premium or event vehicle, leaving a tech tree spot open for one of the US’s 203mm equipped monstrosities that actually saw production and/or service.
Armament: 203mm M1 howitzer
Dimensions: 6.34m, 3.51m, 2.71m (L,W,H)
Armor: 25mm maximum
Ammunition: HE and Drill (I don’t know about you but I think a 203mm 108kg shell would do some pretty serious damage regardless of it being inert. If you throw its data into War Thunder’s penetration calculator, you get around 382mm of penetration. That being said, the dummy round does not appear to be intended for actual firing training and instead for handling and loading training.)
Бронетанковые вивисекторы. США, часть 6. Кинг Конг, Горилла и другие. - mihalchuk_1974 — LiveJournal
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