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Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
From 18:00 GMT on September 21 to (approximately) 20:00 GMT on September 21

The Dev Server with Update 1.43 will be open for public!

Dear Players!

The dev server will be opening tonight, featuring the new War Thunder Update 1.43. Find the current change log and be invited to provide feedback in our forums!

Download the launcher for the dev server client here. Be sure not to install it to your regular War Thunder folder.

The War Thunder Team
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
From 12.00 GMT on September 20th to 12.00 GMT on September 22nd

+30% RP gain for Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. F1, F2, G & H

Kurt Knispel was born on September 20th 1921 in a small town called Salisfled in Czechoslovakia. Knispel spent most of his childhood in Mikulovice, where his father worked in an automotive factory. Knispel disliked factory work and in April 1940 Knispel joined the Wehrmacht as a volunteer.

Knispel started basic training at the Panzer Replacement Training Battalion at Sagan. There he was subjected to his general military training: PT, how to march, salute and use weapons such as the P38 pistol, Kar98k rifle, and hand grenades. After basic training Knispel went onto Panzer training to operate the Pz I, II, and IV. On October 1st Knispel was transferred to a “Field Unit” of the 3rd Company of the 29th Panzer Regiment, 12 Panzer Division where he finished his training as a loader/gunner on the Pz IV. During training at Putlos he first demonstrated his abilities as a gunner; he had a gift of total three-dimensional vision as well as extraordinary reflexes. But to Knispel’s dismay, he remained a loader.

Knispel first saw action in August 1941 in a Pz IV tank. During Operation Barbarossa he quickly rose to the position of gunner under the command of Lt. Hellman. By January 1942 Knispel had returned to Putlos to undergo his training in the new Tiger tank and at the time he was already credited with 12 tanks victories. His next home was the 1st Company of the 503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion where he took part in the Battle of Kursk as flank cover to the 7th Panzer Division. From there he went on to commanding a Tiger II within the same unit.

Knispel was recommended four times to the receive the Knight’s Cross, an award he never received. This did not concern him as he was not driven by fame or decoration. Knispel’s record lists 168 confirmed tank kills, but when unconfirmed victories are included, the total adds up to 195. Even at 168 confirmed, this makes Knispel the most successful tank ace of World War II.

He scored an incredible kill of a Soviet T-34 tank at a range of 3,000 meters. Knispel was awarded the Iron Cross First-class (15 kills) and then the Tank Assault Badge in Gold after more that 100 tank kills. After destroying 126 tanks Knispel was awarded the German Gold Cross while becoming the only German NCO to receive this honor to be mentioned in the Wehrmacht communique in World War II. It is also said that he credited many kills to others that he could have called his own. Knispel most often shied away from this type of argument and was known for his affable nature. Knispel as a tank commander was in his own element, at times he even faced superior enemies alone to give the units he was supporting the best chance to advance or the safest passage of retreat. Alfred Rubbel, one of Knispel’s first commanders, stated that when he was on the field of battle he never abandoned anyone, even in the worst of situations and conditions.

Knispel was battle-hardened by conflict in many areas which included Kursk, Vinnitsa, Jampol, Kamenets-Podolsk, the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket, Cean in the retreat from Normandy then to the Eastern Front in the battles near Mezotur, Torokszentmiklos, Kecskemet, Cegled, Gran Bridgehead, Bab Castle, Laa, Nitra, Gyula, and his final battle in Wostitz, where he was fatally wounded on April 28th 1945, ten days before the war ended.

His lack of authority towards the higher ranks of the German command contributed towards his slow advancement through the rank. On one occasion Knispel assaulted an officer who he saw was mistreating Soviet POWs. Knispel had a tattoo, a goatee, and longer than regulation hair, but spite all of that he was well liked by his fellow soldiers and his skills were never matched. At the age of 23 Knispel had more tank kills than Michael Wittmann, Ernst Barkmann, Johannes Bolter, or Otto Carius.

The end of this sad story of the death of a legend has a positive as Knispel’s remains were found by historians in Vrbovec in an unmarked grave behind a church. “He was identified by the military tattoo on his neck” a spokesperson said from the Moravian museum. On April 10, 2013 Czech authorities confirmed that Knispel's remains were found among 15 other German soldiers behind a church wall in Urbau. It is likely that he will be reburied at the military cemetery in Brno. Rest in peace Kurt Knispel.

Andrew "Tzeentch_Chaos" O'Sullivan
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
From 15.00 GMT on September 19th to 10.00 GMT on September 23rd

'Curling' (+20% RP and +20% SL) will be available in the 'Events' tab of the game menu

The objective of the "Curling" event is to escort an allied armoured column through the lines of enemy artillery fire heading to a capture zone. On the way to the capture zone, tanks are invincible to the players’ fire, but as soon as the columns reach the capture zone, players get the opportunity to destroy the enemy tanks.

Players from both teams can either destroy the artillery in the path of the allied armored columns, or interfere with the enemy team by destroying enemy planes and limiting their effectivity. In the capture zone every destroyed tank slows down the capturing process of the territory, so you can also focus on the destruction of armoured vehicles in the capture area! Independent on what way you choose to go, only a coordinated effort of all players will lead to victory!

The War Thunder Team
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
The Belgian Air Force (today known as the Belgian Air Component) was officially founded on the 16th April 1909. At first, the new branch consisted only of one balloon company. However, just before the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, 4 squadrons of Farman HF.16 and HF.20 reconnaissance aircraft were added into their ranks.

During the Great War, the Belgian Air Force took part in the fierce combat over the Western Front. Many Belgian aircrew were involved in pioneering acts, such as air patrols, dogfights with German airplanes and attacks on observation balloons. What was more astonishing was that most of the time they were not flying in fighter aircraft. The first Belgian fighter squadron was the 1ère Escadrille de Chasse, equipped with French Nieuport 10 fighters. Overall, during the war, the Belgian Air Force conducted over 700 sorties, with 71 confirmed victories. The top Belgian ace of the war was Willy Coppens, credited with 36 observation balloons and 3 German aircraft destroyed during the conflict

In the interwar period, Belgium mainly operated the Breguet 19 light bomber. Just before the outbreak of the Second World War, the country was desperately seeking to upgrade the Air Force. This resulted in the acquisition of more modern designs, such as Fiat CR.42, Gloster Gladiator and Hawker Hurricane fighters, as well as Fairey Battle light bombers. One interesting transaction was the acquisition of a license to produce the Polish PZL.37 Łoś medium bomber. However, none were ever built.

In May 1940, the Belgian Air Force consisted of three full regiments of battle ready aircraft. However, the German forces conducting the offensive of the Low Countries and France severely outnumbered the Belgian Air Force. In the ensuing combat, the force was eradicated by the Luftwaffe, as it held air superiority. This defeat did not stop the Belgians. After escaping to the British Isles, many Belgian pilots found their way to serve in RAF squadrons during the war.

Two fully Belgian squadrons – No. 349 and No. 350 - were also created as part of the RAF Volunteer Reserve. Both of those squadrons took active part in fighter sweeps and ground attack duties in Western Europe. They were mainly equipped with Supermarine Spitfire fighters and Hawker Typhoon fighter-bombers. The top scoring Belgian ace of World War II was Remi van Lierde, credited with 6 aircraft and 44 V1 flying bombs destroyed. For his service, he was awarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Bars.

After the Second World War, the Belgian Air Force was deemed as a very important force multiplier for NATO operations in Western Europe. At first operating late Supermarine Spitfire models, it stepped into the jet age with the acquisition of the Gloster Meteor F.4 and F.8 jet fighters. Later on, it operated aircraft such as the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak, SABCA Hunter, Avro CF-100 and the SABCA F-104 Starfighter. Currently, the Belgian Air Force's main warplane is the SABCA F-16.

Adam "BONKERS" Lisiewicz

To honor the Belgian Air Force and Belgian pilots, we are proud to present the Belgian Air Force roundel, which will be added to War Thunder in the one of the upcoming updates
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
The USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on 18th of September, 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. One must surely then think - “Why does a force so important as this only receive recognition after the Second World War, where it proved it’s worth?”. The answer is fairly simple.

The United States Air Force was brought into life with the signing of the National Security act in 1947. Before that, air power was prevalent in the American military. The first air corps was created on the 1st of August 1907, with the creation of the Aeronautical Division in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army. In the First World War, American pilots took part in the conflict as part of the American Expeditionary Force. After the “Great War”, the US Army Air Corps was established and started to pioneer new advancements in the field of aviation, such as mid-air refueling or the adoption of full-metal monoplanes instead of biplanes seen in the arsenal of other Air Forces around the world.

In 1941, the Air Corps was transformed into the United States Army Air Force. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the consequence of which was the United States of America actively joining the second world war, the USAAF began combat operations. The US pilots fought in Western Europe, Africa and Asia, along with other allied air forces. Even so, they were controlled by the Army and were not autonomous.

Regardless of this, the war effort of the pilots and ground crews of the USAAF cannot be downplayed - it was the Air Force that suffered 12% of the overall Army casualties in the war. Also, 36 members of the USAAF received the highest American decoration - the Medal of Honor - for their bravery in face of combat.

After the Second World War, the American Congress, with President Truman decided, that the Air Force should be separated into a standalone branch of the US Military. After some initial planning, President Truman ordered the creation of the Department of the Air Force in 1947, separate from the Army. Since that day, the United States Air Force has taken part in several conflicts around the globe, such as the Korean War, the Vietnam war and Operation Desert Storm. Currently, it’s strength lies with over 5000 aircraft, 450 ICBM’s and nearly 700 thousand personnel, ready to defend their homeland.

We salute all who serve and who had served in the US Air Forces throughout the years.

The War Thunder Team
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
From the 17th September 12:00 GMT to 18th September 12:00 GMT
+30% research points for all modifications of Ju 87

Compared to its contemporaries, the Douglas SBD Dauntless or Aichi D3A “Val”, there is nothing uniquely special about the Junkers Ju 87, yet no aircraft before or since has achieved the fearsome reputation. Its generic designation “Stuka”, shorted from “Sturzkampfflugzeug”i (diving attack aircraft), was elevated into a dictionary entry.

Legendary German aviator Ernst Udet used a Curtiss Hawk II (D-IRIK, exists today purchased to demonstrate the well known dive bombing tactic in May 1934. This generated enough interest to officially pursue the tactic and act on designs by Karl Plauth and Hermann Poh. Pohlmann used a Junkers K 47 as a test bed, strengthening the airframe with twin tails for clear view.

The Stuka followed the typical Junkers design philosophy of the time of tapering wings, this time to nearly a point, and a slotted plain flap mounted below the main wing, a design invented and named after Professor Junkers. The Doppelflügel (double-wing) seen on Ju 52 and Ju 86 offered excellent slow landing speed, an important ability in the days of grass runways but also improved maneuverability a nominal amount. When the Ju -87-V1 prototype first flew in 17 September 1935 it included twin tails like the K 47 looking like a single engine Ju 86.

The famous "inverted gull wing" of the Stuka was a common tactic to keep the landing gear as short as possible, a design seen on the F4U Corsair and Loire-Nieuport LN.401. The Stuka's speed was considered too low to gain worthwhile advantage from retractable gear, as the weight and complexity penalizes a significant portion of speed gain. Also in 1933 retractable gear was at the limits of technology and failures were common. There is every indication the drag of the gear was deliberately planned feature to control dive speed also.

The initial prototypes were equipped with Rolls Royce Kestrel engines (forerunner of Merlin), but the native German offerings, BMW "Hornet" and later Jumo 210Aa was was underpowered. The twin tails of the first prototype were too weak and broke on testing causing fatality of test pilot and his engineer. The situation became so dire for the the new aircraft that at one point the recently minted RLM cancled the entire Ju 87 project for a rival Heinkel He 118 design; fortunately for Junkers, Ernst Udet immediately reversed the decision citing a previously disastrous test flight.

The travails and tribulations were not over yet for this future legend, as performance was still far from adequate with Wolfram von Richthofen, cousin of the famous Red Baron, highly critical of the slow speed. Still, Richthofen and others did overall praise the aircraft and shortly the Ju 87A rolled out to participate in the Spanish Civil War.

Experiences form the SCW were incorporated into the new B model with early units also going to Spain where the new design finally matured to a powerful machine with a highly sophisticated automatic dive bombing mechanism and bomb drop pattern controls. By the time WW2 started with the invasion of Poland, the Luftwaffe had 336 Ju 87B units on hand. A new dive bombing sight improved combat accuracy to within 10 meter radius. The most unique and memorable feature installed was the "Horns of Jericho", a feature attributed to Ernst Udet. While it penalized its top speed, the ear splitting screech was incredibly terrorizing to those in the sights to the point it became more destructive than the bombs itself, becoming the only thing victims spoke about.

While the mythos grew, the combat effectiveness diminished. The slow Ju 87 was becoming an easier target as the defensive fighters became faster and heavier armed. Attempts to improve performance only delayed the inevitable, yet despite its age the Stuka managed to do better than expected; it had to because no effective successor materialized. Its slow, steady flight proved a perfect platform for twin 37mm cannons that devastated all manner of ground vehicles. To that end, when Fairchild Aircraft designed the A-10 Warthog, they studied the combat record of the Ju-87 above all other WW2 combat aircraft.

Joe “Pony51” Kudrna
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
Many post war commentators wrongly accuse and the inactivity of France and the United Kingdom during the invasion of Poland by German forces. But few people know that there was actually an offensive made by France in Germany which aimed to stop or slow down the Blitzkrieg over Polish territory. An agreement was signed on May 19th, 1939 , in Paris between General Gamelin and the Polish Minister of War, General Kasprzycki. The most prominent issue was the material support by France, which was accomplished by the delivery of fifty R35 tanks in July 1939. Also, in the event of an invasion or a large numbers of German soldiers heading to Poland, the French army could be asked to act as quickly as possible to ensure that the enemy redirected its forces on a new front.

The Saar offensive consisted of substantial numbers of soldiers and tanks supported by artillery. An ambitious frontal attack was launched on September 4th, on the initiative of the 4th Infantry Division. They were progressing well and almost all their targets and objectives were completed by September 7th. Unfortunately, the Germans had heavily mined and trapped certain strategic points en route, causing the first losses in the French ranks. They faced a kind of mine that was later copied by French engineers where the user guide was actually a direct translation of the German instruction booklet. The famous S-mine , an explosive leaping device, was able to kill within 20 meters by using numerous small steel balls; this revolutionary device was the reason for the loss of many soldiers taken off guard. The armored forces mainly composed of R35 and some FT-17 tanks; the significant threat to these vehicles was the Teller mine, which also proved itself to be successful during the war.

The German First Army, commanded by General Erwin von Witzleben, were relatively few in number with no armor available to oppose the French mechanized units, a great lack of cannons and artillery and, of these 17 units, 10 were reservists. The Germans had no other choice but to withdraw and conduct rearguard combats. By chance, the multiple traps significiently slowed the advance of the invasion and the heavily fortified Siegfried line stopped them completely. The French did not have the necessary means to break through, and an attempt ended in failure near Brebach.

Their initial instructions were to take and hold the conquered territory, and to dig in to establish a first line of defense. Unfortunately, the French general-staff decided otherwise due to the turning tide of the war. The Polish army was almost defeated and German units were transferred to the West starting on September 14th, whilst French air power was now losing its foothold in the skies with the reinforcement of Luftwaffe units in the vicinity. French reserve forces were also unready, and the divisions were more or less scattered. A retreat was decided on September 30th and French units withdrew slowly and gradually while trapping many bridges built by the French engineers. Many anti-tank barricades were established and farm vehicles were used to block village entrances guarded by the French. The German army, meanwhile, was preparing for the attack and launched their counter-offensive on October 16th to reclaim their territory. The last French forces returned to France on October 24th, leaving the borders unchanged in any way. France had failed to lighten the incredible burden on Polish forces.

2 French fighter pilots were lost during the action, their MS.406s were shot during fighting against the Bf-109. The Morane-Saulnier (MS) 406 was one of the most popular French fighter aircraft at the beginning of the war. Reliable, extremely strong and highly maneuverable but lightly armed, it was popular with its pilots.

The War Thunder Team
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
Award-winning developer and publisher Gaijin Entertainment and the Central Museum of Armoured Vehicles in Kubinka, have announced a dual partnership to fully restore a World War 2 era Soviet T44 tank.

“This is a rare opportunity to bring a piece of military history back to life for our players and tank enthusiasts,” said Creative Director Krill Yudintsev. “The T-44 was one of the first tanks in War Thunder and we are excited to restore one of the last surviving examples currently on display in the Kubinka museum."

Upon finalization of the restoration, the T44 will take pride of place in the Kubinka tank museum and will play a central part in historic reconstruction festivals and other museum events and exhibitions.

Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
From 15:00 GMT on September 15th to 15:00 GMT on September 16th

'Battle of Britain Day' (+20% RP and +20% SL) will be available in the 'Events' tab of the game menu

By June of 1940, Mainland Europe stood within the control of Germany. France had fallen in the previous months and the British army were forced into a humiliating retreat from Dunkirk where tanks, weapons and vital equipment was left on the beaches as it stood. Leading into July, the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine had started joint operations for control of the English Channel and to cease all merchant shipping into Britain as a result. Plans were formulated for a full scale invasion of the British isles, code-named Operation “Sea Lion”.

For any kind of invasion to exist or take place, Air superiority was needed by the Luftwaffe over England otherwise the plan could turn to a catastrophic failure. What was initaly thought to have been a simple task in drawing the RAF out into combat and bombing their airfields at the same time, turned out to be a month long campaign for the Luftwaffe, spanned the whole of August.

The Luftwaffe concentrated all bombing on RAF radar stations, airfields and important shipping docs throughout England. However on August the 24th during an evening raid, bombs were mistakenly dropped on the heart of London due to a miscalculation of the intended target, an act that was forbidden by high command. As a result, British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill ordered a retaliatory raid on Berlin which proved to be an embarrassing blow to both the Luftwaffe and Hermann Goering, who vowed no bombs would ever drop on Berlin.

What followed would be known as the “Blitz” of London. Starting on September the 7th, the Luftwaffe targeted British cities and industrial areas to damage the morale of the civilian population, however this was merely a prelude to what was to come. He-111, Do-17 and Ju-88 bombers would become regular sights over the capital, with the screech of the air raid sirens warning of their coming presence.

On September the 15th, a day that would become known as “Battle of Britain Day”, over 1500 aircraft from both the RAF and Luftwaffe took part in the most ferocious air battle of the campaign. What was considered to be the last all out attack by the Luftwaffe in an effort to draw the RAF out and finish them off, proved to again be a failure. The RAF managed to cripple the German raids over London and severely hamper their effectiveness.

Ultimately this concluded the Battle of Britain with no clear winner. Losses and claims were exaggerated on both sides, with both making critical misjudgments about one another. Rather than cripple public moral as the Luftwaffe has estimated, the bombing of London only proved to further boost the morale of the people and keep the fighting spirit going. Operation “Sea Lion” was postponed officially on the 17th September 1940, however the Blitz bombing raids over London and other industrial cities would carry on into 1941.

Losses of life however were high on both sides, the battle had proved costly for both the Luftwaffe and RAF as well as the civilian losses. The campaign over August and September is still regarded as one of the most critical air battles not just of the war, but of the 20th century. Experience in the Battle of Britain gained on both sides would evolve the outcome of the war and air combat as a whole throughout history.

Scott “Smin1080p” Maynard
Community Announcements - DiscorderlyChaos
In 1931 the British Air Ministry issued a Specification calling for a new fighter for the Royal Air Force, armed with four machine guns and capable of reaching speeds of at least 250 mph. The Specification, F.7/30, was answered by several aircraft manufacturers who vied against each other to be awarded the contract for the RAF’s latest front line fighter.

Gloster’s legendary designer Henry Folland had a long and successful history of designing biplane fighters – he was one of the chief architects of the Royal Aircraft Factory’s SE5, one of the most successful scout aircraft of the entire First World War. Folland’s team set about making modifications to their Gloster Gauntlet fighter which, although still being tested at this point would go on to serve with the RAF.

The new design’s most obvious change was that of an enclosed cockpit; a very modern design feature for a biplane fighter in the early 1930s. Other changes included a more streamlined undercarriage and only one set of inter-wing main struts rather than the two fitted to the Gauntlet. On September 12th 1934, Gloster’s new design, designated the SS.37, first took to the skies under the control of test pilot PEG Sayer.

After a period of trials and assessments carried out by the RAF at Martlesham Heath, the newly named Gloster Gladiator impressed its assessors and two orders were placed for RAF Fighter Command. The first squadron to receive the Gladiator – No.72 Squadron at RAF Tangmere – became operational in February 1937. Whilst the Gladiator was a significant improvement on its predecessors in many respects, it was deemed a difficult and unforgiving aircraft to fly in the hands of a novice pilot. Furthermore, it entered service only weeks before the infinitely superior Bf109 would see its first combat sorties over the war torn skies of Spain.

By the time the Second World War had erupted across western Europe, RAF Fighter Command had replaced many of their Gladiators with Spitfires and Hurricanes. However, whilst the new age of monoplane fighters was forming the bulk of Britain’s defenses, the Gladiator would still see a good deal of action overseas. RAF Gladiators were used to great effect in Norway, Greece, the Mediterranean and in regular clashes against Italian CR42 biplanes in the skies over North Africa. The RAF’s top scoring fighter ace of the Second World War, South African pilot Marmaduke ‘Pat’ Pattle, shot down fifteen enemy aircraft whilst flying Gladiators.

Several Gladiators were converted, and later purpose built, for maritime use by the Fleet Air Arm. Sea Gladiators were fitted with catapult points, arrestor hooks and an emergency dinghy and entered service with the Royal Navy in December 1938. Sea Gladiators fought in the North Sea and the Mediterranean, achieving notable successes in Norway as well as being propelled into fame as the Hal Far Fighter Flight during the defence of Malta.

World record holding test pilot and experienced fighter pilot Captain Eric Brown summed up the Gladiator: alongside the CR42, it was the best biplane fighter in history. The Italian fighter had the edge in speed, but the Gladiator packed more punch.

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