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War Thunder is a next generation MMO combat game dedicated to World War II military aviation, armored vehicles, and fleets. You will take part in all of the major combat battles, fighting with real players all over the world.
Release Date: Aug 15, 2013
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War Thunder Steam Pack includes premium airplanes, two single-player campaigns, one month of Premium account upgrades, and 1700 Golden Eagles!

$24.99

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[Air Forces] Austria, the Pioneers of Aerial Bombing

August 27th, 2014

The first nation to recognize the potential of military air power was Austria. The first aerial bombing in history took place during the siege of Venice in August 1849. The Austrians launched unmanned balloons armed with 30 lbs of explosives and time-delay fuzes on the city. Wind turned out to be a difficult ally, and the attempted bombing was mostly ineffective, but the city surrendered just a few days after the operation.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire had an air force up and running as early as August 1893 in the form of the Military Aeronautical Institute, which focused on the military applications of balloons. During the following two decades, Austria-Hungary moved to airships and eventually fixed-wing aircraft, and as one of the major powers in WWI, their air force was significant. Mostly operating German aircraft, the Imperial and Royal Aviation Troops produced many successful aces from several nation states such as Godwin von Brumowski, Julius Arigi, and Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg.

Austria-Hungary fought on the losing side of the war, and the empire was disbanded in 1918. Similar to the peace terms on Germany, Austria was also banned from operating military aircraft. Also similarly to the Germans, Austria later began building an air force in secret. By 1933, Austria was buying fighters from Italy with CR.20s and CR.32s forming the backbone of the air force. In 1936, the red Austrian Air Force roundel with a white triangle pointing downwards was introduced.

In March 1938, Austria was anschlussed into the Third Reich. The annexation meant that the Austrian Air Force was integrated into the Luftwaffe. Many Austrians at the time considered themselves German, and they were also treated as equals by the Germans, though they might have sometimes found the Austrian accent amusing.

Not all Austrians were happy with the Anschluss. A couple joined the RAF to fight the Germans in WWII. Probably the most notable Austrian to fly for the RAF was Manfred Beckett Czernin, who scored 13 confirmed victories during the Battle of Britain with the Hawker Hurricane. Later in the war, the multilingual Czernin was parachuted twice behind enemy lines for special operations in Northern Italy.

Of course, Austria also produced large numbers of aces for the Luftwaffe, such as Walter Nowotny and Maximillian Stotz, but one of the most interesting stories belongs to Hermann Buchner. Assigned to a ground attack unit, Buchner flew Bf 109 E-7s and Fw 190 A/Fs armed with bombs on the Eastern Front. He was very successful as a bomber pilot, claiming a total of 46 tank kills. However, the fighter-bombers often had to protect themselves from enemy fighters, and Buchner claimed 46 aerial victories in the east. Buchner’s record with the Fw 190 was so impressive, that he was offered a transfer to a unit with brand new D-9s.

He decided to move to a Me 262 unit instead, though he had never heard of either aircraft before. During his first jet mission on November 26th 1944, he shot down a P-38 Lightning, and went on to score a total of 12 victories with the Schwalbe. Buchner survived the war, and later joined the reformed Austrian Air Force in 1955, his experience proving valuable with the first Austrian jet, the DH.115 Vampire Trainer.

After the Allied occupation of Austria ended in 1955, the newly established Air Force initially flew a mishmash of aircraft until the acquisition of J 29 Tunnans from Sweden. The neutral Austrians were content with Swedish designs, eventually also buying Saab 105s and J 35 Drakens. The current fighter of choice for the Austrian Air Force is the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Juho “Rautaa” Maijala

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[Historical] Flying by Bushido: The Birthday of Saburo Sakai

August 26th, 2014

Saburo Sakai was born August 26th 1916 in the farming village of Nishiyoka in the Saga prefecture on Kyushu island, Japan. Sakai came from a family descended from Samurai, Japan's ancient warrior class. He was taught to live by the code of Bushido, which he defined in his book, ''Samurai!'' published in 1957 by E. P. Dutton, as living so as to always be prepared to die for a worthy cause, whether it be for the lord you’re serving or for your country.

He grew up on a farm with 6 siblings (3 brothers and 3 sisters). His father died when he was 11, and his uncle, who was the Minister of Communications, adopted him and placed him into a Tokyo High School. However, Sakai had bad grades, and no matter how much he studied, he could not catch up. He was kicked out of the school for bad behaviour and grades after his second year, which brought great shame to not only himself and his family, but also to his entire village. With nowhere else to turn to, Sakai enlisted with the Japanese Navy when he was 16 at Sasebo Naval Base.

His early days of training were harder than anything he was faced with before. Aside from the regular physical training and studying that the recruits had to do, they were also subject to intense beatings by the petty officers for any slip that occurred, or for not following orders directly as specified. The beatings sometimes resulted in these young men passing out. However, this toughened them up, and at the 6-month mark none of them dared question any order given, however ridiculous it might have been.

In early 1937, at the rank of Petty Officer Second Class, he applied and was accepted into a pilot training school. Wanting to fix the dishonour of his past life, he studied hard and achieved the best grades in his class Tsuchiura, earning himself a silver watch, presented to him by Emperor Hirohito himself. The first combat mission he was assigned to was in the Sino-Japanese war in 1938 and 1939, flying a Mitsubishi A5M, in which he got wounded, and managing to shoot down a Soviet-built DB-3 bomber. However, this did not impede his ability to fight. Later he was selected to fly the Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero fighter in combat over China.

Just moments after the attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 8th, Sakai, as a member of the Tainan Kokutai (Air Group), and one of 45 Zeroes sent there, participated in the attacks on Clark Air Base in the Philippines. In his first ever combat against Americans, he shot down a Curtiss P-40, and also strafed two B-17 bombers at an airfield. On that day, the Tainan Kokutai destroyed 4 planes in the air and 35 on the ground.

During the group’s operations in Guadalcanal, Sakai shot down 3 Grumman F4Fs. He started approaching another group of 4 F4Fs, in hopes of doing the same. However, he soon realized that he had made a mistake. The planes were in fact SBD Dauntless bombers, each with a rear gunner. A shot from one of them hit Sakai in the face, damaging his vision in his right eye and leaving him slightly paralyzed.

Sakai resumed flying air combat, but his bad eyesight got him into trouble. On June 24 1944, he approached 15 planes that he thought were Zeros, but were U.S. Navy Grumman F6F Hellcat fighters. In a high-flying chase that has become legendary, Sakai eluded every single attack from 15 Hellcats for over 20 minutes, returning to base untouched.

There is also the story of his encounter with a civilian DC-3 airplane over the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies. His orders were to shoot down any plane that was in the vicinity of the island. After shooting down an enemy plane, Sakai spotted a large black civilian aircraft coming towards him. Thinking that it might be holding important people, he signaled to the pilot to follow him. After he refused, Sakai came to a wing’s distance of the plane. Inside it, he saw it jam-packed with terrified people, all waving their hands. He also saw a blonde woman with a small daughter, who reminded him of his old high school teacher by the name of Mrs. Martin, who was always good and kind to him. Recalling those past memories, he decided that sparing the lives of these civilians was more honorable than killing them all just because he was ordered to do so.

Saburo Sakai was indeed an ace, downing 64 Allied aircraft, and most of all, never losing a wingman in over 200 missions. He experienced injuries, but always brought his aircraft home. After WWII, Sakai’s writings described the cruel reality of war and combat. Starting from his book "Samurai", he kept writing and lecturing on leadership based on his experience. After the war, he returned home and became a Buddhist monk. From the scorching summer day, the last time he would ever enter his Zero, to the day he died, he claimed to have never killed any living thing, not even a mosquito. He became friends with many American pilots and war veterans, and even with the person who shot him in the face.

Saburo Sakai died on September 22, 2000, aged 84.


Sergej "NuclearFoot" Hrustic

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Reviews

"War Thunder extremely easy to slip into"
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

"Most Historically Educational Way to Destroy Planes"
GameSpot

"With fun, exciting combat combined with plenty of customization and room for personal skill, this game is sure to be a fan favorite."
http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/623/view/reviews/loadReview/266/Gaijin-Strikes-Gold.html

About the Game

War Thunder is a next generation MMO combat game dedicated to World War II military aviation, armored vehicles, and fleets. You will take part in all of the major combat battles, fighting with real players all over the world.

War Thunder offers a highly detailed and personalized aviation experience, giving players access to hundreds models of planes with detailed cockpits, dozens of upgradeable weapons, and flying skills that can be honed and improved with each mission. Thanks to the game’s painstaking attention to detail, you’ll truly feel like a World War II fighter pilot as you plunge into battle.

The genuine World War II experience isn’t limited to the skies. The massive historical battles featured in War Thunder cannot be fought by aviation alone, so the game will also expose players to combat on land and at sea. Currently the game is in open beta stage and full functionality is yet to come.

Features Include


  • Varied PvP-experiences set in full-scale combat missions
  • Multiple settings options allow advanced virtual pilots and beginners to enjoy playing the game together
  • Rich PvE content: dynamic campaigns, solo missions, mission editor, and much more for single-player and cooperative gameplay
  • Impressive diversity includes detailed models of planes and their cockpits, as well as tanks and ships
  • Astonishing graphics, authentic sound effects, and beautiful music

PC System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2,2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 7XXX series or higher; AMD Radeon 1XXX series or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7,
    • Processor: dual-core 2,4 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 460 or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space

Mac System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.9 Mavericks
    • Processor: Intel Core i7
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD/Nvidia/Intel HD 4000
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: 10.9.2 Mavericks
    • Processor: Intel Core i7
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD/Nvidia
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
679 of 900 people (75%) found this review helpful
292 products in account
2 reviews
114.8 hrs on record
Banned me for my screen name. Not a happy person, especially after they claimed my birthyear (1988) was a hidden "heil hitler"... WTH? My "offensive" screen name was D88isaac. Evidently, my Jewish name Isaac right after the "heil hitler" didn't spare me. 88 was a year, 88mm cannons are used in the game... Are they going to ban those too? The people who moderate this game need to explain things. I was simply told I "displayed pro-Nazi symols" and without warning banned. I would not trust spending another dime with this company. They might label you something terrible, then ban you for absolutely no reason. What a let-down, as the game itself is a lot of fun.

If you play the game, I would not recommend spending any more than you are willing to lose. As I, someone with an Israeli name directly in my nickname was banned for a nickname "espousing Nazi identification". I'm politically aligned at the opposite spectrum of National Socialism and absolutely believe 88 can represent things outside of crazy Nazi hidden symbols (ironically found also as premium unlocks for the planes you freaking fly).

Also, Gaijin charges people (200 Gold Lions) to buy Nazi symbols those are not hidden symbols, but outright Nazi symbology. Yet they claim I knowingly, sported a "hidden symbol" in my nickname. Haha, this is beyond laughable and will be brought up with Steam Customer service as I will be expecting a full refund on my purchases so far unless my crazy ban is removed promptly.

Update: They simply say I chose my nickname and the "symbolism it supports"... WHAT? Wait, now they are pointing to their ToS acting as if their contract is above slander and fraud laws, while accusing me of horrible intentions, with an innocent screen name!

How juvenile, politicized and incendiary is it to assume someone's intentions, then blindly defend that position!? The grammar from the company correspondence is absolutely terrible. Here are some of my favorite excerpts from one of the supervisors:
"Did we choose you a nick which was against our rules mate which did u sign to agree?"
"Does it is enough for you? Basically u will not get any compensation cause it was you who violate our rules. So u dont have any rights to have it."
Posted: April 4th, 2014
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1,543 of 2,172 people (71%) found this review helpful
21 products in account
1 review
1,424.3 hrs on record
Hello my name is KingTyrone (look me up :)) and I have been playing this game for 1.5 years (was ranked #1 in kills all-time in RB) while this game was a hidden gem the changes recently cannot overshadow how much the developers have ruined the game and it is not helped by awful community managers who don't get paid and are usually 15 year old children who barely speak english and deal permanent bans left and right for minor offenses.

DO NOT PAY THEM ANY MONEY premiums are far more expensive then they were before (4-5x times more)
GRIND GOT HARDER (without premium you will need 2-3 years to get all airplanes)
NO COMPETETIVE GAMEPLAY (all your time will be spent in the grind)
SIMULATOR BATTLES ARE BROKEN (And usually locked into russia vs germany for months at a time)
HIT BOXES (completely broken at times otherwise known as SPARKS)
BROKEN PROMISES (events,world war mode)



Only play this game if you are bored as it is certanly better than it's competition but the question remains:"At what price?Litterally"
Posted: March 15th, 2014
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237 of 328 people (72%) found this review helpful
46 products in account
2 reviews
223.3 hrs on record
This is the game that had it all. It had great graphics, fun gameplay, a brilliant free-to-play system with only modest rewards for those willing to pay, and an easy recipe for success.

Unfortunately, the Russian-based Gaijin apparently decided they no longer needed any of that in their game, and have been working tirelessly to remove any inkling of fun the game might have once had.

Since the 1.37 Patch was released, the player population of the game has stagnated to the point where the only players you'll encounter are either the Die-Hard Russian fanatics or the "too stupid to quit playing" crowd. Up until today, I was in that latter category. No more. I've had it.

The planes are ridiculous in every game mode - almost none of them bearing any sort of truthful resemblence to their real-life counterparts. The weapons are comical at best - with machine guns that literally do no damage and bombs that make you pull your hair out and wonder why the citizens of Dresden were so upset. The maps are extremely tired and repeat themselves so often that you begin to quit matches before they even load, because you know exactly what Pacific Hidden Base is going to be. The game types sound wonderful on paper, but in practice are so amazingly bad that once the honeymoon phase wears off and you begin to earnestly focus on the gameplay, you realize that these guys (the programmers) have absolutely no clue what's fun and what isn't.

They're falling the way of Blizzard - where every patch removes another desperately needed piece of the "fun" equation. Yet unlike Blizzard, who calmly acknowledge that they're ruining their games with words like "casual" and "approachability," these dumb Ruskies instead completely ignore their playerbase. Totally. Even mentioning a gripe with the game on their official forums will warrant you a ban - almost immediately. Have a problem with a player in game? Report them! But beware - if you report one player multiple times (for example, you notice them cheating, so you report it, then they use a racist term towards you, so you report them again) you'll be the one banned. Notice a group of players cheating? Don't even bother - the moment you start reporting multiple people in one round, you're getting banned.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Couple that with the unending stream of new cheats and hacks that are coming out almost daily, and it's plain to see why the popularity of this game has rapidly decreased. Do yourself a favor and wait for something better to come along.
Posted: March 24th, 2014
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231 of 330 people (70%) found this review helpful
258 products in account
1 review
164.4 hrs on record
EDIT: Updated for patch 1.39

Patch 1.39 has changed several things. For one, all aircraft are 25% less reserch points. It still takes a long time to unloack all aircraft, but at least they're making some effort to balance the progression curve.

1.39 has also massively dropped the price of aircraft (and slightly dropped the price of repairs), in some cases aircraft are 1/3 of the lion price they were. Again, a step in the right direction. Original review content is below, most of the bullet points are the same.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As much as I want to, I can't reccomend this game. Gajin seems to have turned it into a money farm. Progression was always a problem in the game. pre patch 1.37 money was a problem. If you wanted to buy all the aircraft of a rank you had to either grind hard or buy premium currency. It was a constant complaint on the forums. Did Gajin listen? nope!

Post patch 1.37 the problem is even worse. Money is still an issue, only now you have to research aircraft individually. Other members have done the math on this showing that it slows progression and devalues premium currency by 4-5x. The progression curve is broken. So broken that it's kind of pointless to switch between countries. if you want a jet before your 60th birthday, you grind the hell out of one country until your brain melts.

This saddens me. The game itself is wonderfully fun. The way the devs have handled it makes me want to puke. If you do play, play for free. Don't give them your money like I did.
Posted: April 8th, 2014
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126 of 174 people (72%) found this review helpful
79 products in account
7 reviews
176.8 hrs on record
This game is a mixed bag of epic fighter combat and poorly mismanaged company ethics.

[HISTORY/GAMEPLAY] -The game itelf can be quite fun and realistic depending on the different modes to choose from. In the beginning the game had organized matches the ranged from level 1 planes to level 20, but that was thrown out the window for a poorly implemented 1-5 tier system. The effects of fighter combat is still relatively good, you can take hits in your landing gear,chip a wing, lose a flap or propeller and "possibly" still land it to be repaired. Aside from that it is a total clusterf**k of unorganized and biased combat.The new leveling system was implemented to "so called" make leveling faster, but fans pooring in data proved the latter. Leveling has become a loong grind compared to the false imformation Gaijin provided. They pretty much want you to go Premium just so you can level at the old "normal" speed.

[ GRAPHICS ] The engine behind it is quite beautiful, almost any pc can run this game and the graphic settings can be tweaked so you can either have an intense and beautiful battle, or an optimized battle that still has decent graphics and details. So even your "lawnmower taped to a powersupply and running off gas computer" should be able to run it with ease given some tweaks.

[ ISSUES THAT PLAGUE, AND WILL TURN AWAY LONG TIME PLAYERS ] The real issue is the constant problems with unbalanced matches, unrealistic plane mechanics, and pro russian biased company.
-The 1-5 tier matching is complete garbage, You will often face planes that should not be in that tier/ or glitched using squad jumping( 4 players, 1 in a tier 2 setup, other players using tier 3).People use this method to use a higher ranked tier plane to literally slaughter underpowered tier planes in a lower tier match. The match making system is broken and has been unaddressed for months.
- The plane mechanics themselves though looking beautiful dont match up to the real statistics of how that plane performed during the war.Players have made spreadsheets upon spreadsheets of data comparing both real world war data against the game and find it very off. So many planes either underperform or overperform there real world possibilities.
- Finally, as an unwritten and talked about problem of WT, is how Gaijin: a russian game development company has been biased towards the russian nation in the game. As sad as it is, it has been proven by the fans of the game how badly biased the company has become. Almost ALL Russian planes throughout all tiers outperform in every aspect of combat. Russian planes can outturn, out climb, out run, and out gun every single nation aside from the japanese.Again when comparing real world plane statistics/data to the games counterpart it was far off in comparison. Not even the fire rate of the guns was even close to the real thing.

So this is why I give it a thumbs down. The game is fun for a week or two but becomes quite old after being slaughtered by higher tiered planes in a lower tier match and being out performed all the time by russian biased planes.
Posted: May 2nd, 2014
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