Andy Mills, 31 October 2022
As the mission starts, the air is filled with the sound of tanks roaring away to secure objectives or find prime firing locations. I decide to head to Objective A, which is not far from my starting position. Keeping an eye open for any signs of enemy armour, I accelerate to full throttle and do a quick check to see which ammo I have loaded. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a friendly Panzer IIIb on my left headed in the same direction as me.
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As we start down the slope into the area of Objective A, I spy enemy units heading in our direction. It looks like an armoured car and a couple of light tanks. When the enemy units open up with machine gun fire, I begin breaking away from the Panzer IIIb and head to the far side of the objective.
Wisps of smoke hang in the air as firing from both sides becomes more intense. This is when I notice a British Daimler Mark II armoured car trying to flank me on the right side of the objective area. This isn’t my first rodeo so I start a hard right turn and begin rotating my turret in his direction.
I can see smoke in the distance as he fires his 2-pounder main cannon while seeking cover behind the support structure of a rail bridge. I keep turning hard wanting to make the most of my frontal armour. Despite my best efforts to out-turn the Daimler armoured car, his speed advantage translates into an opportunity to fire a 20 mm round off my rear track assembly.
Almost instantly, I respond with a 57 mm HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) round into the rear of his circling armoured car.
It was a solid hit and his engine deck breaks into flames as he rolls to a stop. The enemy fires one last quick shot and the spalling metal inside the tank wounds all four of my crew members.
A second shot into the area below the lower turret finds the mark and the resulting explosion eliminates the enemy crew and turns the vehicle into a burning wreck.
With one enemy kill under my belt, I start to turn my Chi-Ha back towards the objective and throttle-up to near full speed. Cresting a hill I see another armoured car, a French AMD 35, speeding by a friendly an American LVT (A)(1). Firing quickly, I put a HEAT round in the rear wheelwell which penetrates into the engine compartment.
Unable to move, the AMD 35 is a sitting duck. I put another round into the back of the vehicle taking out the crew.
Turning back towards Objective A, I spot a German SIG 33 tank destroyer on the crest of a hill in front of me. The SIG 33 is an innocuous looking, open-top, tracked platform that carries a 15 cm cannon which turns other armoured vehicles (and their crews) into pancake mix. My aim is not perfect, but I want to fire before the enemy unit gets a chance to light me up.
I luck-out as my HEAT round hits the top of the gun shield and explodes killing the SIG 33’s crew.
No Rest for the Wicked
As my loader rams another HEAT round into the breech of the main gun, .50 cal rounds begin dancing of the glacis plate of my tank.
An American M2A2, which wasn’t far behind the SIG 33, is picking up the fight. My first shot misses and the enemy unit continues to rake my tank with intense machine gun fire. The M2A2 is an unusual tank in the fact it wasn’t armed with a cannon only machine guns. My second shot is “on the money” and hits the enemy tank in the flank. The resultant explosion takes out the crew and I’m in the clear.
As I head to Objective A, an enemy tank slips behind a large rock formation before I can get close enough to fire. A quick scan of the battlefield yields yet another surprise-a Swedish Strv m/31 on the same ridge where the M2A2 was located.
Unsure if the other tank commander sees me, I waste no time in lobbing a HEAT shell his way. I’m rewarded with a spectacular explosion as the tank turns into an inferno and his ammunition cooks off almost simultaneously.
Now my tank makes a hard turn left to search for the enemy unit that slipped by me earlier. My gunner is still waiting for the main gun to be reloaded as another enemy M2A2 backs out from behind it’s rocky cover. As his guns starts tracking me, I realize that I’m in serious situation.
Thankfully the loader yells “HEAT’s up!” and the tank rocks backward as the main gun roars. The round impacts the frontal armour of the enemy tank.
Unfortunately, the M2A2 shrugs the round off and I open up with the 7.62 mm cupola mounted machine gun hoping to provide cover until the main gun is reloaded.
The M2A2 fires it’s three machine guns (one .50 cal and two 7.62 mm) hosing my entire right flank with armoured piercing rounds. The rounds penetrate the armour of my Chi-Ha and hit the ammunition rack.
Almost on cue, the mission timer winds down as my burning tank becomes a source of ambient light for any remaining combatants left on the battlefield. Such is the fate of this Japanese tank commander in War Thunder.
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