War Thunder – Matilda Mk.II F-96: A Soviet Lady

This is probably the only way for 99% of the player base to have a look at the tank anyway…


The British Matilda tank was acquired by the Soviet Union through the Lend-Lease program, and a range of issues was discovered in the first batches, including a very weak tank gun. Soviet engineers resolved to equip this “capricious” English tank with something better.

The Soviet Union began receiving the first batches of Matilda infantry tanks under Lend-Lease as early as 1941. The tanks proved themselves to be highly demanding and “capricious,” but the main problem was the lack of high-explosive fragmentation shells, as well as the paltry caliber of the tank guns. The solution was obvious – the Soviets would have to fit the Matilda with new armaments. To do this, they selected the promising 76 mm ZiS-5 gun, which was soon to become the standard for the Soviet KV-1 heavy tanks, replacing the outdated F-32 guns. The experiment required both the Soviet tank gun and the British tank’s turret to be modified – the armor of the gun mantlet and recoil mechanism was changed, and the modified tank gun was given the designation F-96.


Despite positive results in testing, the Matilda tanks were never modernized en masse. First of all, this was due to the shortage of tank guns – all of the ZiS-5s were used for the KV-1 tanks. Secondly, it was because in the spring of 1942, the British began supplying Matildas with a 76 mm howitzer, which already came with HEF shells, so refitting the earlier batches became a less pressing issue.

The Matilda Mk.II F-96 is a unique tank that you can get in War Thunder for completing the first half of the Chronicles tank tasks. It is a premium rank II tank in the Soviet Union armored vehicle tech tree. Regardless of its average speed and not overly thick armor, it is right at home in battles of its own rank, thanks to its terrific tank gun. Its very respectable armor-piercing characteristics, enhanced by the awesome post-penetration effect of the Soviet APHE shells, make it possible to simply shoot along the contours of the target, not aiming specifically at weak points – every hit will make its mark on the opponent. Its status as a premium vehicle means it is a good way to earn Silver Lions and Research Points for faster research of any tank in ranks I–III.

The Matilda Mk.II F-96, a British lady with a Soviet tank gun, will be an excellent prize for all players who complete the daily tasks in War Thunder’s Chronicles. Don’t miss your chance to add this rare vehicle to your collection!