Hello everyone, I’m Karika, a Hungarian military historian and volunteer consultant for WoT. Recently Sebastianul asked me to revisit one of my earlier articles about the insignias and colors of the Hungarian WWII era tanks, so here it is:
Today, we will take a look at how the Toldi III light and Turán III prototípus medium tanks, (or any other armored fighting vehicles of Hungarian origin than might come in the future) should look like in World of Tanks, even if they are part of the German tech tree. Because, as some of you might have noticed, they are slightly wrong right now.
One of the first things you might notice on the HD renders from the pictures above is that these tanks are painted in the game with the standard German grey color and have the Balkenkreuz – the emblem of the Wehrmacht – on the turret sides and on the hull front. Why is this a problem? As you might have guessed, this solution is completely unhistorical, not even a single Hungarian-made tank received German paintings or insignias, all of them used original Hungarian ones. And why not make a tank as historical as possible if it would not require that much effort?
In my opinion, it was a bit lazy from the developers to use the basic German settings. There already are tanks in the game which have different colors, insignias or emblems from their original tech tree siblings. Such as the German Panther/M10 with its American colors and white stars or the green T-55A with the East German coat of arms or the Type 64 with the Taiwanese ’blue sky with a white sun’ emblem. Also, let’s not mention now the flood of silly, clown-like camouflages that were released recently on some tanks…
Therefore, as the colors and insignias are tied to individual vehicles, adding visuals that are different from the ones of the regular tree is more than possible. Probably it would not be hard to use this method on the Toldi and the Turán as well.
But without offering a solution, pointing out a nuance is not really enough. How the Hungarian tanks should look like then instead?
Let’s take a look at the insignias first.
The two problems with them are that they are neither Hungarian, nor on the right positions on the Toldi III and on the Turán III prototípus.
However, because the Royal Hungarian Army used at least 9 different emblem variants on its armored vehicles between 1938 and 1945, choosing the right one is a bit tricky. To simplify this topic, let’s just take a look only on the two major and most widely used ones during the Second World War.
has entered into service right after the Hungarian occupation of the Yugoslav territories has started in the Spring of 1941. This was the first attempt to create an unified, official emblem for every unit of the Hungarian Armored Divisions. According to the original order, this emblem had to be painted on both sides and on the top of the turret, and on the front and the back of the hull on every armored vehicle with 500 mm or 350 mm width, as you can see on these pictures:
Nonetheless, soon after its introduction, the crews – especially the drivers – of the 39 M. Csaba armored cars, the 38 M. Toldi light tanks and the 36/40 M. Nimród self-propelled autocannons started to criticize this insignia, because if as visible on the picture above, some of the crew members sit right behind that big, bright cross, making them feel like they are sitting behind a huge crosshair, which shouts “Shoot here!”. This did not really improve the morale, so along with other reasons, the Hungarian Military Leaderboard soon decided to change this emblem.
On 16th November 1942, an order was given out to change, unify every emblem of the armored vehicles with the roundel of the Hungarian Air Force, a white cross in a black square.
This new insignia had to be painted on the hull sides and on the engine decks in a fitting size of the given space according to three different scalings. It was not required to be painted on the turrets of the vehicles.
However, it was unofficially forbidden to paint it on the front of the tank, because that would be right in front of the driver’s position most of the time, recreating the same problem as with the previous markings.
This emblem was in use until the end of the WWII.
Therefore, since both the Toldi III and the Turán III prototype that are represented in the game were finalized after the Autumn of 1942, the logical emblem for them is the latter white-black one. The positions should also be corresponding to the original ones, as for example you can see here:
An emblem on the sides of the hull below the turret, and maybe an optional one on the engine deck. The front hull emblems must be removed from the in-game models in this case.
The solution of this issue is simple. WG only have to paint the Hungarian tanks to their factory green color, something like this:
An original color photograph with Toldi, Turán tanks and Nimród self-propelled autocannons
Colorized photo of a Toldi I (original photo)
There are even original camouflage patterns for these Hungarian premium tanks, so they don’t even have to rely on the German ones here either.
Colorized photo of Turán I medium tanks painted with the standard Hungarian WWII era three-color camouflage (original)
A different variant of the three-color scheme on a Nimród (original)
Zrínyi II in Kubinka nowadays
The developers of Wargaming.net could easily make the Hungarian tanks, along with even the Swiss Panzer 58, German tier 8 premium tank or any other upcoming tanks of the minor tank producing countries more historical, authentic or from a point of view, even prettier if they take the trouble, and model the emblems and the colors of these vehicles right.
The sad thing is, as I helped in the creation of the Hungarian premium tanks, some of the developers know about what I just explained here nearly a year before those tanks were released. Yet, for reasons unknown to me, the final product came out the way as it is. All of my advice about the visuals were ignored and nothing changed since, even though I wrote about this issue months before these tanks first appeared on live servers.
The only logical answer for this that I could come up with is that maybe the historical visuals are “reserved” for example a possible, upcoming Hungarian, Swiss, etc. tech tree or tank branches of the future? One can only hope this is the reason, and not just mere laziness.
Éder Miklós: Magyar páncéljármű-hadijelek 1917-1945. In: Militaria Modell Magazin 1991/6. 20-21.
Bíró Ádám – Sárhidai Gyula: A Magyar Királyi Honvédség hazai gyártású páncélos harcjárművei 1914-1945. Budapest, 2013. 316-319.
Photos colored by Tamás Deák