|T-55 "Anvil" Heavy Tank|
|Anvil Tanks in the field|
|A pair of Anvil tanks advancing|
|Unit Type||Main Battle Tank|
|Production Building||Tank Factory|
|Secondary Ability||Disembark Passengers|
|Heroic Upgrade||180mm Drakon Cannon|
|Dev. Status||In game|
"...Hey, it works!"
- - Anvil driver upon salvaging his tank from a museum.
- Ye Olde Tank: Without armour piercing shells, the Anvil Tank can no longer go toe-to-toe with modern tanks. However, it still retains its world-class armour, and its high explosive shells can make a mess of groups of infantry or light vehicles.
- WW2? Heck, WW3's already over!: The Anvil's weaknesses are considerable. Its guns are outdated and lacking in firepower, while its painfully slow turning speed and turret traverse leaves it very vulnerable to being flanked.
- Even an old tank can learn new tricks: Fortunately, it has a secret weapon for protecting itself against such threats. Two men can ride on the sides of the tank and fire on targets of opportunity, giving the Anvil much needed flexibility.
- Now that's a real gun: In order to give the Anvil more effectiveness on the modern battlefield, the Soviets have been refitting some Anvils with a Drakon cannon and 180mm HE ammunition.
Operational HistoryDuring the Second World War, known to the Soviets as the Great Patriotic War, the Anvil Heavy Tank formed the backbone of the massive Soviet war machine. Rugged, dependable and easily superior to even the best of the Allied vehicles, the T-55 Anvil was feared by Allied forces throughout the war. In the early years that machine was thought of as unstoppable; no weapon the Europeans could turn against it would penetrate the front armour, and its twin 107mm guns could destroy any defensive position in short order, leading to position after position being overrun by Soviet tanks. Even the heaviest French support tanks or deadliest German panzers would falter against their world-class weaponry and thick sloped armour, and the Allies despaired that no weapon could reliably be expected to stop the tank posed to grind over all of Europe.
However, on the Soviet side the Anvil was not seen nearly the same way. It was cheap to produce, being the first main battle tank constructed by automated lines, and in terms of raw statistics seemed to be the most powerful vehicle imaginable, with better range, armour, firepower and even speed than most competitors. However, it was hell on its crews. No climate control left them either freezing or cooking. Poor suspension and hard metal seats meant that driving anywhere was like being in a tumble dryer, meaning that crews would inch the tank along at the lowest possible speed or simply become exhausted from the effort of driving the beast; this is widely believed to be the reason it took so long to overrun Germany despite their flawless win record. Lack of a rotating turret basket made it impractical to point the guns in any direction but forward; the crew had to shimmy around the weapon assembly as it turned. There wasn't enough space for the crew; the 107mm guns were an afterthought, originally much smaller 85mm guns, so there was barely enough space in the turret. The primitive auto-loaders had the irritating tendency to take the fingers of its operators off, the tank commander also had to play the role of gunner, and over half the tanks fielded in 1951 did so without so much as a radio for communication. Though it appeared to Soviet commands and Allied troops alike that the tank was unstoppable, it was plagued by problems its strategic role was covering up, and they soon came to the forefront as the Allies began to strike back.
Though the Anvil seemed more than a match for the Allies' new Mastiff tanks and Bulldog tank destroyers on paper, in reality the many ergonomic problems were piling up, making it almost impossible for Anvil crews to spot and neutralize these threats before they got into range to punch through their armour. In 1953, the Allies had a 3-to-1 kill ratio on tracked AFVs thanks to these difficulties, and Soviet command scrambled for a solution while doing their best to cover up the extent of the problem to their political overseers. It soon became policy for infantry spotters to ride in the flank entry hatches of the tank and point out potential threats; factories in the field were modified so that the side escape hatches could be used as improvised bunkers of sorts for these spotters. Though this cut down on the losses, the Anvil's time was rapidly passing, and Soviet command rushed the Rhino, designed to be an analog to the Mastiff, into service as fast as it could manage. When the war ended, some Anvils were pawned off on other nations, and most of them went deep into storage in Siberia.
This would have been the end of the story were it not for the massive losses suffered by Soviet tank divisions in WW3. Not only were they losing a great many vehicles in the savage fighting on the Western Front, the ability of the Japanese to rapidly cut off supply lines and escape routes meant that huge numbers of Rhinos and Hammers were abandoned in the field and losses were rarely recovered; the Japanese were quick to salvage these vehicles and dissolve them with nanites to reuse the raw materials, meaning that even as the Soviets took their territory back there were incapable of recovering operational losses, which both the Allies and Japanese had considerably more success with. Though the Soviets never found themselves short of trained crews due to the survivability and compartmentalizing of their vehicles, at the end of the war they found themselves in a position unheard of since the start of automated war machine production; they had more operators than they had vehicles, as the complex and expensive Hammer tank was not rolling off the line fast enough to replace the losses.
Rather than wait for the retooling their factories to resume production of Rhinos or Hammers to finish or rely on War Factories the decision was made to press old vehicles into service to temporarily augment Soviet tank divisions to their on-paper strength, and then phase out these vehicles as production caught up. Old warehouse locks were cut and thousands of Anvils flooded back into service. Mostly placed into reserve units, an interesting concept is currently being trialled by Soviet command. The Anvil is still one of the toughest tanks in the world after getting upgrades to its old RHA armor, and though it definitely is not a tank hunter, it still has great potential as a bunker buster. With that in mind, Anvils being issued to front-line divisions have come with baskets of bursting 107mm high explosive shells and instructions to use them as assault guns against fortified positions. With the new Berlin Wall dividing the territory of the Allies and Soviets, and the threat of the Atomic Kingdom's walls and defensive lines looming, it is generally agreed that such a tank is needed now more than ever.
Behind the Scenes
- The Anvil's background and design is based on the Heavy Tank from Red Alert 1
- The design resembles a mix of the real-life T-34 medium tank, and the Hammer.
Just the Stats
|T-55 Anvil Heavy Tank|
|Cannon Fodder Tank|
|Armour Type||Heavy Armour|
|Dumb-Fire, Intimidating(50), Splash(50), Reload(2/4s)|
|★ Drakon Cannon ★|
|Dumb-Fire, Intimidating(100), Splash(75), Knock-Back|