In a game with +600 tanks, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there’s a lot of tanks that never made it. You quickly can see it from tanks.gg – there’s a plenty of premium and reward tanks that are not available in the game in any form (for EU/NA/ASIA/CIS that is – a lot of these are sold on Chinese server). Some of them are new and being actively supertested, but some of them, like the infamous Chieftain Mk 6, have faded into obscurity for years already. Sometimes these tanks might just randomly appear – the WZ-120G FT, which existed in-game files since 2017, suddenly made it to the game – so unfinished that it can’t even earn bonds or BP points.
But there’s much more than that. Some tanks don’t make it to in-game client itself. They were unfortunate enough to be stuck in (seemingly) permanent limbo and never making it out.
You may know about a large list of leaked tank icons from 2011-2012, which alongside a few tanks that have been released by now, also notably includes a good amount of unreleased tanks, such as the French super-heavies, Sturmtiger and Brummbär. While both the French super-heavies and Sturmtiger will be discussed on this article, I won’t go too deep onto the 2011-2012 leaks themselves, since those are generally well documented. Similarly, I won’t go into unreleased tanks that are available on in-game client, since those are also well known and documented. Instead, I’m focusing into somewhat more obscure yet interesting stuff.
While no such massive icon leak has spread since then, over years, a lot of non-released stuff has been rumored, leaked or indirectly confirmed. This does not only include singular premium or reward tanks, but entire tech trees. I’m gonna mainly talk about three tech trees, that were actually developed and supposed to be added, but never made it, as well as shortly list some other interesting, obscure stuff in the end.
The French super-heavies are possibly the single most infamous unreleased tanks to exist. They were a frequent topic of speculation since very old days of WoT. It’s no wonder – even the Japanese heavies are no match for them in terms of ridiculousness. The FCM F1, shown above, would’ve been the longest tank in the entire game at 10.5 meters. The reason why the FCM F1 or any of the French super-heavies never made it is much more clear than the Japanese TDs – there’s no multiturret mechanism in the game, and serious balance concerns with the tanks. Latter especially lead to their demise in all occasions WG tried to implement them.
While I’m focusing on the unreleased tech tree from 2016, the more well known older leaks can’t be ignored. The French super-heavies were initially planned as far back as 2011-2012. Originally, three tanks were planned to be added as premium tanks: FCM 2C as tier 4 HT, FCM F1 as tier 6 HT, and FCM 2C Bis (a FCM 2C with a 155 mm howitzer) as a tier 8 TD. Yes, the FCM 2C with a short 155 mm derp gun was meant to be a tier 8 tank destroyer for some reason. I bet that would’ve been fucking hilarious sight to see. It would’ve literally been a bigger TOG with half the armor as a tier 8 TD, so to compensate, it probably would’ve had insane HP pool and absolutely ludicrous alpha damage (probably 1100 alpha HE and 850 HEAT like tier 10 TDs). They were all pretty close to be released, with the FCM 2C Bis even shown on WG’s trailer for French TD and SPG patch, but for the reasons I mentioned, they didn’t happen.
Fast forward to 2016. The French super-heavies were put on hold – as long as the multi-turret mechanism wouldn’t be added, neither would the French super-heavies. However, things changed when the Japanese heavies were added. Tanks like the O-I were very similar to the French super-heavies, so adding the French without multi-turret mechanism was potentially viable. The result of this was a 2nd French heavy tank branch – tier 2-7 would’ve consisted of these super-heavies, and the tier 8-10 would’ve been the AMX 65t, AMX M4 51 and AMX M4 54 we know today. However, by the time the AMX 65t went into the supertest in summer 2016, the super-heavies were already gone. This is almost certainly due to balance concerns, and the mid-tier Japanese heavies being a serious problem back in 2016 didn’t help, either. The tier 8-10 would get delayed by a year and released as a mini-branch in 2017, and two of the super-heavies – the FCM 2C and FCM F1 – would get re-used for the Leviathan Halloween mode, but never appear again.
However, with later leaks as well as other things (which I’ll talk about soon), there’s evidence that WG did in fact fully develop the French super-heavies. While the stats were never leaked, many of the models were. And unlike the Japanese TDs, the models were completely finished, which strongly suggests they were functionally complete.
The icons of the known French super-heavies. From left to right: FCM 2C, FCM F1, FCM 1A, and AMX Tracteur C 1939. Given that the super-heavies were meant to fill tier 2-7, two tanks are still missing and were unfortunately never shown in any form, but they presumably still exist somewhere.
If I had to guess, the FCM 1A was either tier 2 or tier 3, with the FCM 2C following it as tier 3 or tier 4. AMX Tracteur C 1939 was most like a tier 5, whereas the FCM F1 was likely the final super-heavy, sitting at tier 7.
There’s another thing that confirms the existence of the French super-heavies. This is more relevant for the last tech tree I will mainly feature, as it is primary what confirms their existence in the first place, but it applies to the French, too. Every tank has its index number. This index number appears in every tank’s files, and it shows the order of how they were introduced to the game. It starts with 1-2 letters, indicating the nation, and the number of introduction. Keep in mind that this counts EVERY SINGLE tank, so with a lot of unreleased tanks, there is a lot of gaps. Its also not consistent – sometimes a tank might get remodeled from ground up, technically counting as a new tank. For example, the M48A5 Patton has a different index number to the M48A1 Patton. What this technically means is that M48A5 is not a remodel, but a fully new tank added in 2017, and the original M48A1 was completely removed from the game as result. While in practice it doesn’t differ from a basic remodel in any way, it’s still kind of funny.
Now, why is this relevant with the French super-heavies? You see, French tanks with indexes from “F75” to “F80” are completely missing. That’s 6 tanks in total. The AMX 65t, AMX M4 51 and AMX M4 54 have indexes “F81”, “F83” and “F82”, respectively. You see where I’m going? That’s right – the super-heavies had the indexes F75 to F80. The Halloween tanks Stein and Franken share the same IDs with their parent tanks, FCM 2C and FCM F1 – being F77 and F80, respectively. This confirms that the indexes of the FCM 2C and FCM F1 were also F77 and F80. This means that French tanks F75, F76, F78 and F79 are almost certainly the missing super-heavies. This all solidly confirms that the French super-heavy line did indeed exist.
The French super-heavies are back on being stuck on a limbo. However, WG did test multi-turret mechanism back in 2017, and with team damage being gone (the biggest issue with the mechanic), it might be viable again. In fact, Console has already implemented the multi-turret mechanism, and the French super-heavies were mentioned being a “possibility” there and might appear in 2023. Given WG loves giving new tech trees gimmicks, the French super-heavies appearing on PC as well is a possibility, especially if it proves to be a success on Console, since both it and Blitz are known to be used as bit of a testing ground. If they do appear, WG will certainly change the line so that the tier 8-10 will also consist of multi-turreted super-heavies. Some candidates do exist, like the SEAM 220t, and with the magic of fake tanks, anything is possible. However, no matter what, the French super-heavies very likely won’t happen anytime soon on PC.
The last line is slightly more speculative and never actually confirmed by WG (though neither were the Japanese TDs), but a couple of things make its existence 95% certain. And it’s the Sturmtiger line.
The Sturmtiger needs no introduction. The 380 mm rocket launcher wielding assault gun on Tiger I chassis is a legend by itself – it has been leaked and rumored several times since 2011. The rumors of developers having to scrap it because it could oneshot a Maus with splash made a lot of players shit their pants. For obvious reasons, it was never seriously considered since then, being relegated to an easter egg on Severogorsk, and made playble as the Sturmtiger mode a few years ago.
Or…was it? Well, things start to get spicy when we take a peek at WoT on the other platform – Wot Console.
You probably know at this point that Wot Console got a Sturmtiger line last year – consisting of derpy German TDs from tier 5 to tier 10, with the line ending with no other than the Sturmtiger. Before you ask – yes, the Sturmtiger has the 380 mm gun, but they have heavily limited alpha damage compared to their caliber. Sturmtiger “only” deals 1700 damage with its HE shells, though it’s worth mentioning that the 183s had their alpha nerfed on HE/HESH shells, so that the Sturmtiger still hits harder there.
The key thing here is the tank indexes. For same tanks that appear on PC, Console uses identical indexes, whereas Console exclusive stuff have unique indexes, with usually large numbers, like 600 or 800 added on them. It’s also worth quickly to mention that Blitz has totally unique indexes, so no, nothing for the Japanese TDs there. Now the elephant of the room is the fact that the Sturmtiger line on the Console does NOT have unique Console indexes, but instead their indexes are G127 to G133. And, well…German tanks G127 to G133 are missing from PC. Spooky.
So what this suggests is that instead of being a Console exclusive branch, the Sturmtiger line was actually originally meant for PC, and was reused on Console. Given that the Rheinmetall Panzerwagen has the index G125 (which was tested in late 2016 and added in 2017), this suggests that the Sturmtiger line was planned to be added sometime in 2017 – in the middle of Murazor’s prime – the guy who was responsible for overbuffed Maus, Type 5 derp gun, Defender, gutted light tanks and generally massive armor powercreep. Considering that, it’s no surprise to me that he would want to revive the idea of the Sturmtiger branch. However, it probably was silently scrapped due to balance concerns. No information of the PC version of the line remains today, but it’s safe to assume it would’ve had the same tanks as Console, with likely somewhat similar characteristics (though possibly even crazier alpha damage).
Console reusing models from PC is nothing new – they have a lot of tanks released there that were never released on (most servers) of PC, including the Chieftain Mk 6. So them reusing the Sturmtiger line that was scrapped years ago on PC doesn’t sound far fetched by any means. Console decided to take a risk trying to balance them, but they…kinda succeeded? They’re not seen as problematic by any means, though tier 8 and especially the tier 9 being absolutely mega garbage (tier 9 is possibly the worst high tier tank to ever exist in any version of WoT) might be a contributing factor. However, despite this, I doubt the Sturmtiger line will ever appear on PC and is the most unlikely line of the three. They would be literally unplayable with current HE mechanics, so they would likely require old-HE mechanics as their “gimmick” in order to function. Honestly, other than adding an iconic tank to the game, I don’t think we’re missing too much. A full line of clunkier, turretless FV4005s is really not something this game needs, IMO.
Interestingly, the Sturmtiger used in 2020 fun mode has a different index of “G62”. The reason for this is obvious – WG used the old, 2011 Sturmtiger, which can be clearly seen from its 2011-esque SD model. Like the French super-heavies, the Sturmtiger line was presumably remade from ground up when they were modeled in HD.
While those are the 3 most notable tech trees that have plentiful of evidence that they existed and were tested, there’s plenty of other rumored tech trees, as well as a few leaked/rumored tanks that I feel like are worth talking about.
Chinese arty line
To my knowledge, the Chinese arties were merely a rumor. They were rumored to be developed alongside the Chinese TDs, and released sometime later. Unlike the TDs, this one almost certainly would’ve stayed as Chinese server exclusive. The tier 10 was rumored to have a very large gun past 240 mm, which would’ve made it the hardest hitting arty in the game.
Not much else is known about them. I heard from somewhere that they were going to be added, but Chinese server being stuck on patch 9.22 for a very long time made it impossible. Now that they’re at the same patch us would make it possible again, nothing has been heard about them. WG has strictly said that no more arties will be added, so at very least anyone outside of Chinese server has to never worry about them. For similar reasons, it’s very possible that they’re shelved for good.
It is worth mentioning however that Chinese tanks with indexes “CH47 to CH52” are missing. Fittingly, this is 6 tanks, which is amount the tanks you have on the arty lines. However, if these really are the Chinese arties, this would mean that the Chinese arty line has been made after 2020 when WG simplified the tech trees, when the initial rumors came from 2016-2017.
Somewhat related, WG did also mention that they were gathering material for the Japanese arty line back in 2016-2017, when community was asking about TDs. While this doesn’t confirm a Japanese arty line by any means (like I said, you shouldn’t expect new arty lines to ever appear), this does mean that WG did at least consider the Japanese arties in some point.
This leak appeared out of nowhere in 2021 and disappeared just as quickly. Supposedly, a Spanish tree was leaked to appear sometime in 2022-2023. The icon of the unfinished tier 8 premium MT, the M47, was shown. The tank presumably would just be a M47 clone as tier 8 premium MT.
I find this leak dubious for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the tier 8 being a clone of other nation wouldn’t make much sense. Given WG has made fictional vehicles for Italy and Poland to avoid clones, WG surely would repeat the same story with the Spanish tanks. Secondly, WG has never, ever mentioned Spanish tanks before, so that also reduces the credibility somewhat. Thirdly, Spanish tree wouldn’t even make much sense, when they have very few unique candidates, and other nations like Hungarian and Swiss trees are much more frequently asked by the community. And fourthly, the leak itself, while it looks somewhat believable, could easily just be a hoax. Making a single photoshopped image like that isn’t hard; hell, you could mod the game to replace one of the flags with a Spanish flag, replace icon and rename a tier 8 premium to M47, and then edit the image so that it appears to be an unfinished tree with nothing but a tier 8 prem on it.
However, there’s nothing that confirms it being a fake, so who knows, maybe we’ll see a Spanish tree appear to the game fairly soon. Only time will tell.
Mysterious icons from Common Test (Grille 15 replacement, ST-I/IS-4 swap, Chi-Ri 8.8 cm)
In 2018 there was some sort of special common test that tested reworked interface, I believe? Either way, the popup thing when you buy a tank was implemented there. WG had a few whoopsies – some tanks had wrong images:
An IS-4 with clearly a different model. Notice how its lacking the MG, and the turret looks more prototype-y.
ST-I. Doesn’t look anything special, but keep in mind that the ST-I picture should normally show the tank in its stock configuration.
Grille 15. Notice how it looks very similar to the GW Panther, just with a longer gun and no weird side skirts.
Chi-Ri. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the image, but the image displayed the Chi-Ri with a German short 8.8 cm gun.
ST-I and IS-4 were originally rumored to be swapped, but then it was changed into ST-II becoming a tier 10, until the ST-II was finally repurposed for an entirely new line whereas the IS-4 line was simply buffed. This is also likely why the IS-4 line buffs took so long (they were planned since 2017 but didnt get implemented until 2020). The icons are in line with the first plan – the IS-4 model indicates it would’ve had simplified, more “prototype”-like model as tier 9. The ST-I having a new image showing it as top config would also make sense if it was tier 10 – it wouldn’t have the stock turret and gun as tier 10.
Unfortunately for the Chi-Ri with 88 mm, nothing is known about it. There’s a chance that WG planned to give the Chi-Ri a 88 mm gun at some point, but it probably never went through. It was commonly rumored that Japan planned to mount a 88 mm on the Chi-Ri, but this was never an actual plan. Given that the game is full of unhistorical gun options, and also given that the 88 mm gun would be much more consistent with the single shot guns of the Japanese MT branch, it does make sense in that regard.
The Grille 15 thing is interesting, because it was seen more than once:The tank shown in action, taken from a video that I unfortunately don’t remember it was taken from. Notice the turret pointing almost exactly to the right, possibly indicating fully rotating turret.
However, nothing about the tank itself is known. I don’t remember WG ever talking about Grille 15 replacement – this thing being a Grille 15 is merely a rumor. I do remember there being some talks of it having some historical problems or something, but that’s about it. The replacement DOES seem like the real Grille 15, which to my knowledge is just a GW Panther with a longer AT gun. If this indeed was meant to be a Grille 15 replacement, it likely would’ve been slower but had a fully rotating turret, making it much more in line with the WT auf Pz IV.
The real Object 279 in its beautiful glory.
Lastly, I’ll end this with something hilarious yet also somewhat scary. You probably know that the Object 279 “early” we have in-game as overpowered reward vehicle is NOT the real Object 279. Its simply the Object 726 (a completely different project that came over a decade before the actual 279) renamed into Object 279 “early” to gather more hype, as it does resemble the iconic vehicle despite being unrelated. However, what if I told you that the real Object 279 has in fact been fully modelled in HD. It even had full statistics IIRC, and to no one’s surprise, it was extremely overpowered, though it’s almost intentionally so.
And no, it’s not a user-made mod – it’s a real thing modeled by WG. There were rumors that this would’ve been one of the candidates for a tier 10 10 successor to the T-10, back when WG reworked the Russian HT lines. However, its unlikely – not only the tank would’ve been totally overpowered (much more so than the 279e), it also wouldn’t really be fitting as a tier 10 for the T-10, and thus would defeat the whole purpose of the Russian HT rework. It was likely modeled just for fun, and for same reason was given intentionally overpowered stats for supertesters to just mess around or something. Maybe it’s intended for some kind of special mode, who knows.
These are almost certainly just a small fraction of a huge list of tanks that never made it to the game. Given the obscurity of most of the tanks I talked about, we almost certainly will never learn about many of such tanks. The possibilities that what kind of monstrosities WG is hiding from us are endless.