For the very few readers that came across this blog outside of world of tanks forum, here's their current german tank development tree:
Aside from other outstanding issues that are evident to the eye of those versed in german tank history, you can see the aqua green light tanks on the left side, starting with Panzer I and ending with VK2801 (to which will soon be added the Aufklärungspanzer Panther).
Most choices are ok and historical stretchings are all around more or less reasonable, while I wrote in my previous article about the upcoming successor.
Now, the question is: was the german army so short in light tank projects that WarGaming had to resort using such a clumsy light tank design?
In my opinion the answer is ironically Speer's approach on it: it's easy to create as most model parts were already there.
Yet, history shows that several other candidates are available:
Candidate 1: VK1602 Leopard Ausf M
While the Ausführung designation is not historical and stands for MIAG, the proposed tank was the discarded VK1602 design.
Hitler himself argued for an heavier armored recon tank which would have weighted 26 tons and basically be a smaller Panther tank.
At 26 tons and sloped 80mm frontal armor and slightly over 5m length, it basically was a medium tank roughly halfway in size between the lighter Leopard and the Panther.
Candidate 2: Panzer 38(d)
A late war project, this tank was the direct competitor of the lighter E-series.
Basically a germanized version of the Skoda Panzer 38(t), it featured a slightly larger chassis (slightly under 5.4m in lenght and 2.8m wide) with sloped armor similar to the Jagdpanzer 38(t) while using a planned simplified Panzer IV turret with hexagonal design.
At 16-18 tons with 60mm sloped frontal armor and decent armament would have made this a cheap yet effective design.
Candidate 3: Porsche Typ 245
Outshined (or maybe shadowed is a better way to describe it) by the heavier Porsche designs, this Porsche-Rheinmetall light tank is another pretty "original" design in line with most Porsche proposals.
Apparently supposed to double as AA tank and armed with a 55mm autocannon, it was planned to be equipped with a Porsche Typ 101 engine with an advanced hydraulic trasmission.
This 18 ton light tank was also well armored with a sloped 60mm glacis armor and interesting enough, it already was planned to use rubber-saving steel wheels, all in slightly under 5 meters lenght.
Of course, every single other candidate would bring its own question:
How much historical stretching would they need to fit in game?
This is a game we're talking about after all, for balance sake some compromises are acceptable within realistic limits and as they were mostly paper projects which were cancelled ofter very early during their development process.
All candidates would have at least one or two fictional guns from wermacht arsenal, likely one or two engines for grinding and possibly fictional turrets (although 38(d) could use the Kugelblitz 38 one).
As the road has been opened already one could speculate the use of larger 37 to 55mm flak guns, with the occasional uranium round as "gold ammo" (historically they were experimented in 3, 3,7 and 5cm calibers), while the 8H63 and 10H64 AT howitzers could also be considered as well as the 7.5cm PAK 50, which was a rebored version of the historical 5cm cannon.
What ties all of them is that they were all relatively advanced WWII light tank designs, all smaller than the typical medium tanks of the era and dedicated designs instead of jack-of-all-trades adaptations.
Again Wargaming, your turn.