Tank Destroyers, or TDs, are a class of mobile fire support platforms focusing on delivering devastating firepower to the enemy from a distance.
History[edit | edit source]
Tank Destroyers are vehicles specifically designed to kill enemy tanks on a budget, whether designed from scratch or converted from another existing vehicle. Their battlefield role was to engage the enemy at long distances and to maneuver shortly after to avoid return fire. The Tank Destroyer class saw its golden days during the Second World War, where various vehicles were devised to fight enemy tanks while being relatively cheap to produce. Many of these wartime vehicles used existing chasses fitted with a more powerful gun than such a vehicle would normally carry mounted in the hull, where it could only aim forward in a certain traverse. There were exceptions, such as the American M36 and M18, which were more or less very poorly armored tanks.
After the war, the Tank Destroyer class was rapidly replaced by a universal combat vehicle – the Main Battle Tank. Few post-war gun Tank Destroyer designs achieved any significance, some of them being the German Kanonenjagdpanzer, Swiss Taifun II, and Russian SU-152 Taran. In the 1960’s, with the rise of special vehicles armed mostly with anti-tank guided missiles, such as the German Raketenjagdpanzer or British FV438 Swingfire, the Tank Destroyer class begun to branch out from its Second World War roots. Universal fire platforms such as the M1128 MGS and Sprut-SD begun to appear, which were mostly designed to provide fire support for infantry and lightly armed vehicles but could engage and destroy older enemy MBTs if required. One of the more unusual branch of modern hybrid class vehicles is the Russian BMPT-series, otherwise known as Terminators.
Role[edit | edit source]
In Armored Warfare, the Tank Destroyer class covers most of the abovementioned vehicles, although it heavily overlaps with the Light Tank and Armored Fighting Vehicle classes. Tank Destroyers come in two major flavors:
- Missile Tank Destroyers, which primarily fire ATGMs at their targets from long range with good accuracy. The lighter Missile TDs are very fast and stealthy, but come with poor armor and no alternative weapon, leaving them defenseless at close range. The heavy missile tank destroyers are a different beast entirely, consisting of heavily armored gun platforms armed with both ATGMs and Autocannons, but are very large compared to most other TD models, and have similar mobility to Main Battle Tanks.
- Gun Tank Destroyers, which are among some of the most mobile vehicles in Armored Warfare, allowing them to maneuver to a position, attack, and relocate rapidly to avoid any chance of return fire. With the most accurate guns in the game at the cost of being very fragile against all but the weakest of enemy guns, Gun TDs are the ultimate glass cannon archetype.
Their battlefield role is long-range sniping and fire support. The static accuracy of the class is unparalleled, but suffers when moving, so TDs must rely on being stationary. Using concealment is also key; staying hidden behind some cover, ideally a bush or two, increases camouflage factor, making the vehicle harder to spot. As with most classes, map knowledge is vital; waiting along the expected routes of enemy approach in ambush is a good idea, and all maps contain a number of such spots. Of all the classes in Armored Warfare, the Tank Destroyers require perhaps the most patience and planning.