Long story short, it’s here, and we have to deal with it
The most important feature of the Type 59 is the frontal armor, stronger than on some heavy tanks. The Type is the most heavily armored Tier8 medium tank. This protection paired with the low profile, good mobility presents a harder than average target. Other Tier8s like the Pershing and the Panther II we can damage with 120 average penetration reliably through the lower hull, the chinese tank has not such weakness. Moreover, it’s not only better armored and smaller, the turret can bounce Tier10 guns. Considering, that premium tanks can be used to skip the ladder towards higher tiers, inexperienced players with these Tier8 mediums are often a bane for their team, but a skilled veteran is a curse for the enemy.
In contrast of previous theories, we have not found a specific weak zone on the front upper hull, but two distinct armor areas on the lower hull. The design of the T-54/Type 59 armor is plain and simple, unlike pike noses on several russian heavies it allows angling. The only difference between the Type and the then revolutionary T-54 is the downgraded armor, which can be still enough against lower tier opponents.
- The 100mm/60 degree from vertical front hull is translated into 162mm effective vertical armor in WOT, which means, we have very little hope to pierce it with anything below 180mm average penetration with reliability.
- Many tanks and TDs are forced to fight with lower than that pen in Tier6/7, some even in Tier8, and moderate angling (~20 degree) not endangering yet the 80mm hull sides can drop the penetration ratio for those guns below 50 percent, short range.
And those are the calm, “clinical” test circumstances. It happens a lot, especially with guns with long aim time, that we carefully zoom at the then more or less unangled Type glacis, but by then the zoom is finished the chinese tank changes its hull position and our shot bounces harmlessly, and we just found ourselves outgunned and maneuvered.
- If you are a low tier tank, your best bet is shooting the 80mm side/ 45mm real hull, if the angle is not too high (45 deg or less). 106 avg can make it.
Roughly, 200 average penetration can handle the Types safely, short of unlucky bounces on turret (hence the small target profile) and some on hull (sharp angle, lower than avg pen rolls, etc.).
- At 45 degree attack and with covered sides (from behind a building for example) a Type has about 50 percent chance to repel 200 avg penetration against its front hull.
- A bit extra slope (standing on an elevation) can raise the effective armor over 200mm. Tier9 and above tank guns will tear the Type apart, regardless angle.
Unlike on other tanks, the lower hull is not weaker but a bit more resistant, otherwise the same can be applied here. Except, when a Type is positioning higher than us, the lower hull loses slope and thus effective vertical armor, if we have a line of sight at it… If the Type is positioning lower, the upper hull loses armor.
- The hull has weak spot, very casual, there is one tiny with probably 80mm vertical armor area on the both sides, near the turret ring. 90 avg pen can take it, but it is barely visible to the front and especially at range.
- The hull roof can be penetrated from ~200 avg, if you are tall enough and/or have enough gun depression to make it. The driver’s hatch showed no significant weakness.
- The 45mm rear hull can be penetrated with 105mm HE and above