Thunderer Tank

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Country of Origin  GreatBritainthumb.gif Empire of Brittanica
Produced at  Royal Ordnance Factory, Dalmur
Key Features  » Twin L1A1 120mm rifled guns
 » Heavily sloped 203mm (8 inch) armor
 » 13.2mm machine guns (four of them)
 » Twin 40mm rocket pods
 » Tea Boiler (well used)
Thunderer Heavy Tank
Thunderer Tanks on Parade
Faction AlliedLogoThumb.png Allied States
Unit Type Heavy Tank
Designation Anti-ground/Meat shield
Prerequisites Armour Facility
Production Building Armour Facility
Secondary Ability Launch rockets!
Cost $1000
Production Time 0:10
Heroic Upgrade 203mm gun
Dev. Status Conceptual

Tactical Analysis

  • Blue Iron: Though deprived of modern anti-tank ammunition and thus unable to take on other frontline battle tanks, the Thunderer Tank remains nearly impervious with its thick composite armour and its 120mm guns can still blast apart lighter vehicles, and with the HESH rounds, it can make a mess of structures
  • Not as young as it used to be: Severe weaknesses plague the Thunderer tank however, such as its slow turning and traverse speed which historically was an issue when presented with flankers, and its firepower is simply not up to par with more modern vehicles due to its inferior penetration capabilities.
  • Congreave's present: But the Thunderer does have a secret weapon, it can fire a large volley of rockets whose HEAT warheads can rapidly foul up tanks and cut apart infantry, though after each firing they need to reload the pods entirely; but this grants vitally needed flexibility to the old dog.
  • Mine is bigger than yours: A 203mm monster of a gun is being trialed on many Thunderer tanks that will allow it to remain significantly more relevant on the battlefield, firing shells so huge that even modern tanks will have issues surviving.

Background

The monster of the second world war is the nightmare of many Comintern veterans of the second world war today. Forming the bedrock of the Blue Colossus' war machine, the Thunderer tank served in every front of the war in huge numbers and always commanded fear and respect by its enemies throughout the war. The pride of British tank development and built in numbers that nobody expected that such a juggernaut could be produced in. With its thick, very well sloped armour, the Thunderer initially seemed invincible; and its guns made mincemeat out of most targets put in front of it. Tanks were turned inside out by the one two punch of its shells, bunkers caved in when faced with devastating HESH rounds, infantry were thrown around by fragmentation rounds or carved apart by numerous machine guns, and the vehicle was surprisingly fast for something of its tremendous size and weight. Even the heaviest of American or Soviet vehicles seemed to struggle against the Thunderer as it rolled across the world.

However, the Alliance remembered the Thunderer rather differently. The tank was made to be affordable; as it was a design meant to work well with automated SPAM production lines to roll off the assembly lines in huge numbers, and thus the vehicle had many sacrifices. The turret was cramped and required crews with height limitations, the sheer size of the vehicle required it to wait for engineering crews to build it new bridges, slowing down its advance considerably and has been blamed for the length of time it took for Alliance forces to overrun Belarus and Ukraine. The vehicle's seats were uncomfortable and early versions even lacked a rotating turret basket or climate control systems; making operating the tank hell on the crew. The mark II thunderer corrected many of these issues, but the damage was done. Though at first the Thunderer seemed unstoppable to Alliance Command and to the Communists, its problems would begin to pile up.

On paper the Thunderer could take on the Tong Tank Destroyers and Forge Medium Tanks rolling out, outnumber the Liberator Heavy Tanks and shrug off the Gear Light Tanks. But in practice the Tong Tank Destroyers made quite sure of never giving the Thunderer a fair fight while their 122mm guns plowed into weak spots, and the faster and more ergonomic Forge Tanks would outmaneuver the Thunderers to force engagements on their terms, or perhaps distract the the tanks for Gear Tanks to race around behind them and set them alight. And the Liberator's larger, single gun could outrange and pick off the Thunderer, while superior gun depression let it force the Thunderer to engage the communist vehicle purely on the Liberator's own terms. And mounting losses to air attacks, artillery, and defenses such as the lethal Tesla Coils or Infantry equipped with Dynamic Reaction cannons just made things worse.

By 1954 the Comintern was approaching three to one kill ratios in tracked AFVs due to the issues of the Thunderer Mark I and the Mark II wasn't rolling out the frontlines fast enough, especially in battlefields like South America, East Asia, Africa, and North America. Numerous solutions were tried, including posting infantry spotters onto tanks who would warn the crew of incoming enemy vehicles and use the flank infantry hatches modified in field factories as makeshift bunkers and offer supporting fire against infantry with anti-tank weapons or light vehicles, placing rocket pods onto the vehicles that would devastate light vehicles and infantry caught in the hellstorm of rockets, or even trialing missiles on them. These all, in addition to the usage of the Mark II, helped to cut down losses to stabilize the situation later in the year, but the Thunderer's time had come and gone and the Alliance knew it.

The Alliance frantically switched production over to the more practical German Retriever tank, which was a comfortable match for the Forge Tank, and the Thunderer went from primary combat tank to heavy tank battalions; where it languished in the shadow of the new Mammut Tank. By the end of the war, many Thunderer tanks were sold off to other countries or to colonial guards or the Union of anti-communists while the third mark continued low level production; but even more would sit in museums or in storage. As new generations of tanks such as the Merdeka and the Paladin were increasingly rolled out in Alliance production lines; it really did seem like there was no real place for the thunderer beyond second stringer militaries or objects to pique the interests of the public in Alliance military history.

That would have been the end of the story of the Thunderer Tank; but in the aftermath of World War 3 the Alliance was faced with a new situation. The Alliance's famous tank divisions had suffered colossal losses across the planet in the bloody and hard fought third world war. In brutal engagements in the European, American, and Asian theaters the Comintern had reaped an enormous toll of Alliance armour, while Epsilon's sneaky divisions managed to repeatedly ambush and destroy Alliance assets and then take the vehicles to be recycled into more raw materials for the traitor's war machine. WLA chop shop artists would be quick to take any vehicle fallen to them and repurpose them to their own schemes

Against the Axis, the highly mobile Empire was adept at cutting off the supply lines of large chunks of the southern Asian and Oceanian peacemaker armies and because of the Empire's preference for breaking down captured vehicles with nanites, left the Alliance with little to recover, while when the League destroyed a vehicle, there was rarely much of it left. And with the metal destroying weapons of the Traders, even fewer assets were recoverable from the indo-pacific theater, nevermind the actions of the Guardians or the Inclsuive. But thanks to the great survivability and compartmentalization of Alliance vehicles, the Alliance's precious tank crews more often than not made it out alright.

This left the Alliance in an unprecedented position since SPAM became the main means of production, they had more operators than they had tanks suiting the Alliance's military doctrine. Unable and unwilling to wait for factories to pick up production to restore the Alliance's divisions to their on paper armoured strength when Manning needed to ensure that the Alliance had enough forces to commit to its ongoing commitments around the world and still be able to man their side of the demilitarized zone. Dragged out of old warehouses and placed into reserve or fortification or flank guard units, the Thunderer is undergoing an interesting concept trial.

With their RHA armour replaced by composites; they remain obscenely durable. Though the guns on the Mark II are not well suited for tank versus tank action, with HESH rounds they can be very useful bunker busters, once again providing that one two punch to shatter enemy fortifications or pulverize lighter vehicles. With the concrete curtain dividing the ultimist and communist parts of Europe, heavy fortifications going across the American-Canadian DMZ, walls blocking off the middle east, heavy defensive lines at Atomic China and new concerns such as the fortress of Antarctica, continuing WLA actions, Atalatea, threats known only to the upper echelons of the alliance; this may prove to be a very sound investment.

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