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M103

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M103 (Stock)

AnnoM103.png
Totals
3640000 Price
1750 Hit Points
54.27 / 57.5 kgWeight
Crew
  1. Commander
Armor
203.2/44.5/44.5Hull Armor(front/sides/rear, mm)
254/86.4/53.3Turret Armor(front/sides/rear, mm)
Maneuver
810 h.p.Engine Power
34 km/hSpeed Limit
26 deg/secTraverse Speed
Firepower
320 Standard Shell Damage
198 mmStandard Shell Penetration
9.8 Time for Complete Loading
32 deg/secTurret Traverse Speed
Communication
370 mView Range
410 mSignal Range
IX
M103
3640000
The development started in 1948. In 1952 the order was placed for production of 300 vehicles to fight in the Korean War. The tank was designated as M103.

M103 replaced the T34 as the tier 9 heavy in patch 0.7.2. The fully upgraded 120mm cannon is a fantastic gun, with great accuracy, and very high penetration. While it lacks alpha damage compared to the IS-8 or E-75, the gun's reload speed makes up for its lack of damage. The M103's oddly shaped hull and well-sloped turret can make this tank a bit tricky to fight, especially at long ranges; however, this tank suffers from having very weak sides and rear armor. When fighting this tank from the front, make sure you try and hit the lower armor plating as hitting the upper hull will most likely bounce. If you can only see the turret aim for the large cupola on the top of the tank for easy penetrations. The speed and maneuverability of this tank are quite good, so it's able to keep up with the rest of the team and provide excellent fire support when needed, and is able to turn its frontal hull towards the enemy quickly to reduce damage taken from incoming fire.

M103

Stock

Level Turret Weight (t) Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Turret Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m)
turret VIII M89 12000 254/86.4/53.3 32 370
Level Gun Weight (t) Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time
gun VIII 105 mm Gun T5E1 2400 198/245/53 320/320/420 6.12 0.4 2.3
Level Engine Weight (t) Engine Power (h.p.) Chance of Fire on Impact
engine IX Continental AV-1790-5B 569 810 20
Level Suspension Weight (t) Load Limit Traverse Speed (deg/s)
chassis VIII T97E1 8000 57.5 26
Level Radio Weight (t) Signal Range (m)
radio VI AN/GRC-3 0 410

T43 Pre-pilot

Attack

T43
Level Turret Weight (t) Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Turret Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m)
turret VIII M89 12000 254/86.4/53.3 32 370
Level Gun Weight (t) Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time
gun IX 120 mm Gun T122 2790 242/340/60 400/400/515 5.26 0.4 2.6
Level Engine Weight (t) Engine Power (h.p.) Chance of Fire on Impact
engine IX Continental AV-1790-5B 569 810 20
Level Suspension Weight (t) Load Limit Traverse Speed (deg/s)
chassis IX T97E2 8000 62.5 28
Level Radio Weight (t) Signal Range (m)
radio X AN/GRC-7 0 745

T43

Defense

Level Turret Weight (t) Turret Armor (front/sides/rear, mm) Turret Traverse Speed (deg/s) View Range (m)
turret IX T140 13600 254/99.1/53.3 32 390
Level Gun Weight (t) Average Penetration (mm) Rate of Fire Dispersion at 100 m Aiming Time
gun X 120 mm Gun M58 3100 258/340/60 400/400/515 5.36 0.37 2.3
Level Engine Weight (t) Engine Power (h.p.) Chance of Fire on Impact
engine X Continental AV-1790-7C 569 860 20
Level Suspension Weight (t) Load Limit Traverse Speed (deg/s)
chassis IX T97E2 8000 62.5 28
Level Radio Weight (t) Signal Range (m)
radio X AN/GRC-7 0 745

Compatible Equipment

Vertical Stabilizer Mk 2
Large Spall Liner
Camouflage Net
Fill Tanks with CO2
Coated Optics
Enhanced Gun Laying Drive
Enhanced Torsion Bars 5+ t Class
Improved Ventilation Class 3
Large-caliber Tank Gun Rammer
Binocular Telescope
Toolbox
"Wet" Ammo Rack Class 2

Compatible Consumables

Automatic Fire Extinguisher
Case of Cola
100-octane Gasoline
105-octane Gasoline
Manual Fire Extinguisher
Large First Aid Kit
Large Repair Kit
Small First Aid Kit
Small Repair Kit

Player Opinion

Pros and Cons

Pros:


  • Highly sloped frontal armor and strong mantlet.
  • Good accuracy, aim time, penetration, and rate of fire on top 120mm.
  • Large tracks can absorb most shells when sidescraping


Cons:


  • Ammo rack is located on the sides of the hull and is easily damaged even from the front.
  • Turret cheeks and cupola are weak. Not a hull-down monster like T29 or T32.
  • Highly dependent on armor angles and so does not manage well against multiple foes (more so than most heavies)


Performance

Mobility, penetration, and rate of fire are this tank's strongest attributes, it is recommended to stay with other tanks when advancing, as its lack of overall armor makes it easy to damage. Stay artillery safe whenever you are not in motion, as artillery often will target hulldown tanks which otherwise would be hard to kill. Also avoid exposing your hull as the glacis plate is extremely easy to hit and penetrate. The turret ring, while hard to hit, is also easy to damage.

The M103 plays more like a very heavy medium than as a heavy tank. Players should try to flank heavier targets and support stronger heavies such as the E-75 and VK 45.02 (P) Ausf. B when possible. One area of superiority when dealing with other tier 9 heavies is reload; the M103 has best in class reload and can frequently get two shots in against one from the enemy.


Early Research

  • Players should first seek to upgrade to the 120mm, as the stock 105mm's low pen and accuracy is vastly inadequate when fighting other tier 9s and 10s.
  • The next upgrade should be the turret, which will give the M103 a badly needed increase in durability and boost the rate of fire as well.
  • Next you should get the engine, as it gives the tank much better mobility.
  • After that you can decide if you want to get the top 120mm gun or to save the 60,000 XP for the T110E5 to get it sooner. The 120mm slightly upgrades rate of fire, penetration, aim time, and accuracy.
  • The radio does not have priority but it is relatively cheap to research.
  • The stock tracks allow mounting all upgraded modules, so you can wait to upgrade these if you prefer.


Historical Info

The M103 heavy tank served the United States Army and the US Marines during the Cold War. Until the development of the M1 Abrams in the mid-1970s, it was the heaviest and most heavily armed tank in US service. The M103 was manufactured at the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant and the first units were accepted in 1957. The last M103s were withdrawn from service in 1974.

Design and Development

Like the contemporary British Conqueror tank, the M103 was designed to counter Soviet heavies such as the Josef Stalin tank or the T-10 if a conventional World War III broke out. Its long-ranged 120 mm cannon was designed to hit enemy tanks at extreme distances, but it was never used in combat. In 1953-1954 a series of 300 tanks, initially designated T43E1, were built by Chrysler at the Newark plant. Testing was unsatisfactory, and the tanks were all stored in August 1955. Only after recommending improvements, on 26 April 1956 the tank was standardized as the M103 Heavy Tank. Of the 300 T43E1s built, 80 went to the US Army (74 of which were rebuilt to M103 standard), and 220 were accepted by the US Marine Corps, to be used as infantry support, rebuilt to improved M103A1, then M103A2 standards. The successive versions of the M103 shared many components with the M47 and M48 Patton tanks and the M60, which, with the exception of the M60 (a main battle tank) were all considered 90 mm gun (medium) tanks. Tracks, rollers and suspension elements were the same, with some modification to take into account the greater weight. The engine and transmission were never modified enough to give the extra power needed for the greater weight of the M103, and as a result, the tank was relatively underpowered and the drive systems were fragile. The turret of the M103 was larger than that of the M48 or the M60 to make room for the huge 120 mm gun and the two loaders assigned to it, in addition to the gunner and the commander. The driver sat in the hull. The gun was capable of elevation from +15 to -8 degrees. The armor is made from welded rolled and cast homogeneous steel of varying thickness.

  • Hull front: 100–130 mm (4.0–5.3 in)
  • Hull side: 76 mm (3.1 in)
  • Hull top: 25 mm (1 in)
  • Turret mantlet: 250 mm (10.2 in)
  • Turret front: 180 mm (7.3 in)
  • Turret side: 76 mm (3.1 in)
  • Turret top: 38 mm (1.5 in)

Service

In Europe, the US Army fielded only one battalion of heavy tanks, from January 1958, originally assigned to the 899th Armor, later redesignated the 2/33rd Armor. The US Army heavy armor battalion, in contrast to other armor units, was organized into four tank companies, composed of six platoons each, of which each platoon contained three M103's, for a total of 18 tanks per company. Standard US Army armor battalions at the time had three companies per battalion, each with three five-tank platoons, with 17 tanks per company (two tanks were in headquarters platoon). The US Marine Corps assigned one M103 company to each of its 3 Marine tank battalions, including its Marine reserve units. While the US Army deactivated its heavy armor units with the reception of the new M60 series main battle tanks in 1963, the remaining M103s stayed within the US Marine Corps inventory until they began receiving the M60 series MBT. With the disappearance of the heavy tank from US forces came the full acceptance of the main battle tank in 1960 for the US Army, and 1973 for the US Marine Corps. Although the 21st century's M1 Abrams MBT utilizes the same caliber of main gun, the 120 mm, the M103's cannon was a rifled gun firing a fixed round, ejecting a lengthy brass shell casing (34.69 inches in length for the armor-piercing rounds). The M1 tank's 120 mm main gun is a smooth bore (no rifling) firing a semi-caseless round, ejecting only a back cap of the original loaded round; the bulk of the 120 mm shell's casing is consumed during firing. Ammunition fired by the M103's M58 cannon included:

  • APBC-T M358 Shot
  • HEAT-T M469 Shell
  • HE-T M356 Shell
  • TP-T M359E2 Shot

Variants

  • T43E1 1953. 300 built.
  • M103 1957. 74 converted.
  • M103A1 1959. 219 converted or rebuilt. New sight (Stereoscopic T52) and T33 ballistic computer. Removed one coaxial machine gun. New turret electric amplidyne system traverse. Turret basket.
  • M103A2 1964. 153 converted or rebuilt. New 750 hp (559 kW) diesel engine from the M60 tank, increasing the road range to 480 km and maximum speed to 37 km/h. New sight coincidence XM2A.


Historical Gallery

Sources and External Links

USA
Light Tanks IT1 Cunningham IIM2 Light Tank IIT1E6-X IIT1E6-X1 IIT2 Light Tank IIT7 Combat Car IIIM22 Locust IIIM3 Stuart IIIMTLS-1G14 IVM5 Stuart VM24 Chaffee VIT21 VIT37 VIIM41 Walker Bulldog VIIT71 VIIIM41B Brazilian Bulldog VIIIT49
Medium Tanks IIT2 Medium Tank IIIM2 Medium Tank IVM3 Lee VM4A2E4 Sherman VM4A2E4 Ripper VM4 Sherman VM7 VRam II VIM4A3E8 Sherman VISherman Fury VIM4A3E2 Sherman Jumbo VIIT20 VIIT23E3 VIIIM26 Pershing VIIIT26E4 Super Pershing VIIIT26E4 Freedom VIIIT69 VIIIT95E2 IXM46 Patton IXT54E1 XM48A1 Patton
Heavy Tanks VT14 VT1 Heavy Tank VIM6 VIIT29 VIIIM6A2E1 VIIIT32 VIIIT34 IXM103 XT110E5 XT57 Heavy Tank
Tank Destroyers IIT18 IIIT82 IVM8A1 IVT40 VM10 Wolverine VT67 VIM18 Hellcat VIM36 Jackson VIIT25/2 VIIT25 AT VIIIT28 VIIIT28 Prototype IXT30 IXT95 XT110E3 XT110E4
Self-Propelled Artillery IIT57 IIIM7 Priest IIISexton I IVM37 VM41 VIM44 VIIM12 VIIIM40/M43 IXM53/M55 XT92
Heavy Tanks
USA VT14 VT1 Heavy Tank VIM6 VIIT29 VIIIM6A2E1 VIIIT32 VIIIT34 IXM103 XT110E5 XT57 Heavy Tank
UK VChurchill I VExcelsior VIChurchill VII VITOG II* VIIBlack Prince VIIICaernarvon IXConqueror XFV215b
Germany IVPz.Kpfw. B2 740 (f) IVDurchbruchswagen 2 VVK 30.01 (H) VIVK 36.01 (H) VIIPz.Kpfw. VI Tiger VIIPz.Kpfw. VI Tiger (P) VIIILöwe VIIIPz.Kpfw. Tiger II VIIIVK 45.02 (P) Ausf. A IXE-75 IXVK 45.02 (P) Ausf. B XE-100 XMaus
France IVB1 VBDR G1 B VIARL 44 VIIAMX M4 mle. 45 VIIIAMX 50 100 VIIIFCM 50 t VIIIFCM 50 t Liberté IXAMX 50 120 XAMX 50 B
USSR VChurchill III VKV-1S VKV-220 VKV-1 VIKV-2 VIKV-85 VIT-150 VIIIS VIIKV-3 VIIIIS-3 VIIIIS-6 VIIIKV-5 VIIIKV-4 IXIS-8 IXST-I XIS-4 XIS-7
China VIIIS-2 VIII110 VIII112 IXWZ-111 model 1-4 X113
Japan
Czechoslovakia
Sweden