Was British Tank Ammo Really This Bad in WW2?

The rank 2 - 4 British tank ammo is completely useless. I find it hard to believe that it was as ineffective in real life as it is in this game. Thoughts?


Yeah, it really was, specifically the 40mm gun on the Matilda and Valentine. They constantly complained about the AP solid shot in the African theatre of war when they would get ambushed at ranges the FLAK 8.8 cm couldn’t do anything to them, and their solid shot was not explosive enough for them to take care of the enemies open top trucks. So yeah it was pretty bad. In thin armor, it did almost no spalling, so, essentially, the closer to Non-Penning armor the more spall created in the interior of the vehicle in question.

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APHE was found to be unreliable so the British didn’t use it


Not inaccurate points but paint an inaccurate picture. The 2pdr in its time of early service was the most powerful anti tank gun in the world able to kill any tank it would face at the start of the war still able to deal with anything the Germans had until the tiger arrived.

British ammunition was designed for superior penetration and improved reliability. Aphe shattered a lot on enemy armour so the Brits did away with it allowing higher powder charges so higher velocities, flatter shooting and high penetration.

I warthunder in comparison British guns have been constantly up tiered due to this penetration especially combined with stabilisers and fast reloads. They also nerfed accuracy, added shell shatter to solid apds but not aphe.

Sokid shot doesn’t work like aphe which explodes equally in all directions after entering into the vehicle. AP forms a cone of shrapnel from the point of impact, it’s deadly but absorbed my crew and modules. For this reason don’t shoot crew or modules, shoot for a centre mass shot that has space behind it to allow the cone to for ams spread out. Follow these rules it will one shot most tanks it has the penetration to do so.


It was the British that fought the Tiger Tanks not the USA, as rare as there were and many of the Panthers during WW2.They had to use their brains as best as they could just as you have to do in the game because they had limited manpower, tanks and ammo. They also has solid shot as they couldn’t make the fuses work on explosive AP.

Many players cry out for realism then complain a side is not equal after they get their realism. Not all nations were equal during WW2 at all. I think Gaijin appreciate this and work it into the game even if the some of the player base don’t get it and feel it’s unfair.

They UK during WW2 got a lot of flak from America being slow and cautious but they had to be.
Just like playing the game. It’s not about being gung ho with the UK. It takes getting used to and yes, t’s depressing at first.

It does actually come together in some games on some maps. Think of playing the UK early on as a higher difficulty setting. The solid shot does mimic real life in many ways you can watch it on YouTube videos.

Maybe go and have some fun with other nations before playing UK maybe. German Russia ,USA.

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The reason they didn’t use aphe was because it was unreliable penetration armour. They even removed the he from American provided ammunition and filled them with concrete to reduce shattering and increase penetration.


You’re aware War Thunder is not real life, right?

In real life Hans isn’t going to be so keen to scoop the remains of Fritz out of the driver’s seat in 30 seconds. APHE shells were shown to be no more effective than solid shot because they regularly fail to explode, and the energy of a solid shot piercing through the armour generates enough trouble.


Yes, that is very true, in the early bits of WWII, it WAS the gun to have, but then came 6pdr’s and 17pdr’s, and made it obsolete.

“British tank ammo was useless if you compare it to more modern stuff.”


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Not sure your point. This is how all guns work. Replace old with something better.

Exactly, I mean, they are still using almost the exact same ammo types, idk why, but I just guess you don’t get what I’m trying to say.

They are using better and better ammo. Everyone else is the same. Everyone else only caught on after ww2 Brits were ahead of their time transitioning to solid munitions.

I think the OP was the one who asked the question relating WT to real life in WW2.

My answer is simple and generic really.

There are some great videos of them firing tank solid shot at various things including soft skin pick up trucks. Have a look at those and then decide whether you feel Gaijin represent the shot damage correctly maybe.
It has to be taken note that the huge amount of variables involved including the quality of the tanks amour as the war progressed especially for Germany late war and Russia across the board. In reality as others said, it’s a matter of if the post pen explosive even ignited. Some times the toxic gases or smoke given off were enough to make real human crews bail as was shock and crew panic. Not an issue in game.

Anti-tank guns require HE shells to effectively engage them, not APHE. APHE would not only not fuse on most AT gun shields, the resulting cone burst of shrapnel would achieve little more than solid shot would. That’s what the results of the British trials proved.

More to the point, terrible early HE shells was not a complaint unique to the British. Early war anti tank guns on all sides had lacking HE shells due to the very small shell sizes and high shell velocities. You just cannot pack much HE into a 37/40mm shell. That’s why, when the Germans invaded France, it was the Panzer III that was intended on dealing with enemy armor with it’s small, high velocity gun, and the Panzer IV was tasked with enemy fortifications and anti-tank guns, due to it’s low velocity but high caliber gun, perfect for HE shells.

You could see this again later for both the British and American preference of the 75mm M3 over the 6 pounder and 76mm M1 respectively. The 75mm M3 was a lower velocity gun, meaning the round was subjected to less force when leaving the barrel, meaning you could pack more HE into the shell without risking premature detonation. Given that the target tanks most often end up engaging in infantry (Specifically infantry in cover/fortifications), a better HE shell was often more useful than a better AP round.

The Brits still killed Michael Whittman with solid shot though 😆…according to the Brits.

Not by aircraft rocket?

Canadian Sherbrookes according to this documentary, not sure if they used APHE?

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I started my journey a few weeks back and until now I’m pretty happy with those tanks. But the ammo really needs some more attention where you put your first shots. Always go for the enemy gunner and loader or ammo racks first. And it is a pleasure to see how the enemies are getting mad when you are in a Churchill. This tank really deserved the name.


Michael Wittmann: How the Legendary Panzer Ace Died in World War II (warfarehistorynetwork.com)

No Firefly AP according to the British. The Canadians beg to differ.

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While it could have been someone else, postwar research and the consistency of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry’s war diary when it is compared to what is known from the German side make a convincing case that Wittmann met his death at their hands. German accounts denote only one Tiger, Number 007, had its turret blown off when it was destroyed that day.

Guess I shouldn’t be surprised the Canadian historian found irrefutably that the Canadians had destroyed him haha. Similar to the US bomber gunners claiming more downed aircraft than the luftwaffe had.