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Just look at THIS!
Almost eight tons
of German high-alloy steel!

A threat to any enemy!
The most powerful gun
in World of Tanks!

Thousands dream of it!
Millions tremble before it!
But sometimes
even this gun can't compensate

for the “outstanding” skills
of a player.

To avoid this happening too often,
today we'll talk
about armor penetration.

Explaining Mechanics
Armor Penetration

Any gun has
a standard set of characteristics:

damage, accuracy,
aiming time, and rate of fire.

But all this is useless
if you're unable
to penetrate the armor.

To fire effectively,
you should learn

how penetration mechanics work,
understand their principles.

Let's start with some theory
from our confidential informant.

Every shell in the game
has its penetration capability.

The documentation
specifies its average value

when firing from 100 meters.
The actual penetration
can be 25 percent higher or lower.

The damage caused
is calculated in a similar manner.

Thanks, CI!
Let's go further
and have a small experiment.

We'll take two T57 Heavy
and two AMX tanks.

This choice is not accidental:
both vehicles feature 120-mm guns,
equal average damage,

and almost the same penetration
with Armor-Piercing
and High-Explosive shells.

The key difference
is the type of Premium shells they have.

The AMX features
Armor-Piercing Composite Rigid shells,

and the T57 Heavy can fire
High-Explosive Anti-Tank shells.

The targets are placed
not far from our vehicles.

I don't think any of the tanks
will have problems

penetrating their armor,
but let's see.

The first tank
fires an AP shell;

the second shoots
an APCR shell;

the third vehicle
goes for a HEAT shell;

and the fourth
firesan HE shell.

None of them had a problem.
Let's make the task
more complicated:

we'll put the targets behind cover
and repeat the experiment.

As you can see,
the result is a bit different...

The HE shell
dealt only splash damage,

and the HEAT shell
got stuck in the fence.

But this isn't over yet.
Now we're going
to remove the obstacles

and take the target
a bit farther away.

The guns fire, and...
The result is different again.
Few people realize
that different shell types
would be best

for firing at the same target
in different situations.

To do this correctly,
you need some theory.

As you know,
there are four shell types,

each with its unique properties.
The main shell type
used by most tanks

is the Armor-Piercing shell.
These shells fly quickly,
but their penetration capability
slightly reduces with distance.

Their penetration capability
also reduces

when they hit a destructible object,
like a fence or a vehicle.

The fastest shells
are APCR ones.

Only weekends pass by faster.
APCR shells
can go through fences too,

but with distance they lose
their penetration capacity
more than AP shells.

The HEAT shell is a different story.
Its penetration capability
doesn't depend on the range

and remains the same
along the entire trajectory.

But this comes at a price:
this shell is the slowest one.

And if it hits a fence,
it won't go any farther.

HE shells fly
almost as fast as AP ones,

and they don't lose
their penetration power with distance.

After hitting any object,
an HE shell detonates,

and its fragments
can damage a vehicle nearby.

In addition, these shells have
the highest potential damage

and the lowest penetration capability.
And now let me give you
some pieces of advice.

If you want to cause damage
through fences,

fire AP shells
or APCR shells.

To fire at a slow
and well-armored vehicle

located far away,
you'll hardly find

anything better
than the HEAT shell.

If you take a shot at scouts
from a long distance,

the ideal choice
is the APCR shell.

And if your enemies
are paper-thin,

send them
some High-Explosive “parcels.”

And some more tips.
Any destructible building
consists of sections.

If you want to destroy
the building quickly,

fire an HE shell at the joint
between these sections.

You can also use an HE shell
to knock down a tree.

Or knock off the base capture
without exposing yourself
to enemy fire.

With a large-caliber HE shell
you can even
shoot down an airplane!

…That last one is a joke,
of course, but the rest work!

…So, we already know
how shells fly.

But what about all these hits,
ricochets, penetrations,
and non-penetrations?

That's simple!
We have two parameters:
shell penetration capacity
and armor thickness.

Both are measured in millimeters.
If the first number
is higher than the second one,

the enemy receives damage.
Arithmetic, first grade!
However, this is true
when the shell
hits the armor at a right angle.

In other cases,
the penetration power
is calculated differently…

Let's take a point on the armor
and draw a tangent
and a normal through it.

Speaking simply,
a perpendicular line.

The shell's angle of entry
is an angle between the normal
and the projectile's trajectory.

In this case,
the shell has to penetrate
a much thicker layer of armor.

The relative armor
is calculated

as the ratio
of the nominal armor thickness

to the cosines of the entry angle.
The smaller this angle is,
the higher the chance
of penetrating the armor.

Geometry, seventh grade!
That's why
you shouldn't always fire rapidly.

Sometimes, it's better
to wait a few seconds

and fire with certainty.
Each vehicle has its weak spots.
Normally, these are the cupola,
driver's hatch,
and lower glacis plate.

However, if there isn't
any chance to choose,

the theory will help you again.
To ensure
higher shell effectiveness,

the design of shells
allowed them to shift,

adjusting to the normal vector.
This resulted
in thinner relative armor.

This effect
is called “shell normalization.”

The normalization angle
for AP shells is five degrees.

The normalization angle
for APCR shells is two degrees.

HEAT shells are not subject
to normalization at all,

neither are HE shells.
That's how it looks in practice!
The armor plate thickness
is 38 millimeters.

The shell's entry angle
is 60 degrees.

In this case, the thickness
of the relative armor

is 76 millimeters,
which is one millimeter thicker

than the maximum allowed
penetration capability of the shell.

However, we know that AP shells
normalize by 5 degrees.

Due to this, the relative
armor thickness decreases,

which gives us an opportunity
to penetrate the vehicle's armor.

Not each time, but still.
But there's more than that!
Using a higher caliber will allow...
And now we will talk
about one of the main axioms

of armor penetration mechanics:
the Two Calibers Rule.

This rule says:
If the shell caliber is more than twice
the nominal armor thickness,

the shell's shift angle
to the normal vector

increases according
to the formula:

So!
If you use a higher caliber,
the normalization factor
will greatly increase!

The target, the angle,
and the armor penetration
performance is the same.

But the shell has to pierce
50 millimeters of armor

instead of 66 millimeters.
Now, each shot results in damage!
But that's too simple!
Let's increase the angle.
It's still able to penetrate, but wait,
what do we have here?!
Ricochet!
By the way,
talking of ricochets!

AP shells
and APCR shells

ricochet at an angle
of 70 degrees or more,

losing 25%
of their penetration capability.

HEAT shells ricochet
at an angle of more than 85 degrees

with no loss
to their penetration capability.

HE shells
don't ricochet at all.

And now it's high time
for another important axiom

in World of Tanks:
the Three Calibers Rule.

It only applies
to AP shells

and APCR shells
and says the following:

If the shell caliber
is more than thrice
the nominal armor thickness,

there will be no ricochet.
Whatever the thickness
of the relative armor,

the shell will attempt
to penetrate it at any angle.

Woah-woah-woah!
Easy!
In summary, if the angle
is more than 70 degrees,

there's no point in using
AP shells
or APCR shells.

Unless you're trying to aim
at an enemy vehicle
hiding behind a building!

Or you're firing
from a really big gun!

If you use HEAT shells,
you can fire at even greater angles.

However, note
that this type of shell

doesn't normalize
and it will have to pierce

the whole thickness
of the relative armor.

So, don't be too surprised
if you hear

“We didn't penetrate their armor.”
But we're not finished!
We haven't mentioned the screens!
When an Armor-Piercing
or Armor-Piercing Composite Rigid shell

hits spaced armor,
the following happens:

The entry angle
and the shell's precise
penetration capacity are calculated.

At the same time, the ricochet
and the Three Calibers Rule
are being verified.

If neither of the two
is triggered,

normalization and relative
armor thickness are calculated.
Then, if the shell
has enough piercing power,

it penetrates the screen.
But its penetration capability
is reduced by the value
of relative armor thickness.

Then, if the projectile
hits the main armor,

the abovementioned calculations
are made again.

And it's only after this
that damage is or isn't inflicted
on the enemy vehicle.

When a HEAT shell
hits the screen,

the situation
is somewhat different.

The Three Calibers Rule
doesn't apply here,

the ricochet angle is different,
and the shell doesn't normalize.

Hence, the cumulative jet
attempts to pierce the screen

at the same angle
as the shell's trajectory.

If the armor has been penetrated,
this jet will lose 5 percent
of its armor-piercing power

for every 10 centimeters
of travelled distance.

That's why HEAT shells
rarely deliver damage

when hitting
spaced armor or tracks.

The effect on the armor
made by High-Explosive shells

is quite a long story,
which we'll tell you next time!

And now, a few words
about one painful issue:

“Critical hit.”
This doesn't happen very often,
but every time it does,
players get frustrated.

This message
should be familiar to every tanker.

It's played when a shell
penetrates the screen

but doesn't hit
the tank's main armor.

And if a shell
penetrates the screen,

then hits the main armor,
but fails to penetrate it,

the player hears
“We didn't penetrate their armor.”

You can also hear this message
when firing at any external module.

Each gun, track,
and piece of optical equipment

has its own armor thickness.
When a shell hits these elements,
it doesn't rebound
and has to pierce through their armor.

After this, if the projectile
doesn't hit the main armor,

the player hears “Critical hit.”
And if it actually
hits the main armor

without penetrating it,
the firer hears

“We didn't penetrate their armor.”
Of course,
there are other situations

when you may hear these messages,
but we've discussed
the most frequent.

That's all for today.
Remember:
You can research a top vehicle,

mount the most expensive
equipment and consumables,

or even fire Premium shells.
But if you don't learn
how to effectively
penetrate enemy vehicles,

the only thing left is to rely
on your skillful comrades!

If you want to know more
about what happens to a shell
after it penetrates the armor,

click the Like button
and leave your comments!

We'll make a video!
Use these mechanics
and win some battles!

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World of Tanks PC - Explaining Mechanics - Armor Penetration

167 Folder Collection
raychen0918 published on March 25, 2019
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