Mouse over "
[Client Values; Actual values in
|17501400 HP Hit Points|
|54.39/57.531.12/0 t Weight Limit|
- Commander (Radio Operator)
|810810 hp Engine Power|
|34/12 km/h Speed Limit|
|2626 deg/s Traverse|
|14.89Expression error: Unexpected < operator. hp/t Power/Wt Ratio|
|228.6/44.5/44.5 mm Hull Armor|
|254/86.4/53.3// mm Turret Armor|
|320/320/420320/320/420 HP Damage|
|208/245/53208/245/53 mm Penetration|
|r/m 6.38 r/m 6.38 Rate of Fire|
See here, here, or here for more information.
See here, here, or here for more information.
▲Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
See here, here, or here for more information.
▲Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Damage Per Minute
With 50% Crew: 0.496 m
With 50% Crew: 0.496 m
|s 2.1 s 2.1 Aim time|
|3232 deg/s Turret Traverse|
|360° Gun Arc|
|-8°/+15°-8°/+15° Elevation Arc|
|6060 rounds Ammo Capacity|
|Expression error: Unexpected * operator.Expression error: Unexpected * operator. % Chance of Fire|
|m 370 m 370 View Range|
|m 410 m 745 Signal Range|
- Stationary: 4.9%
- When Moving: 2.6%
- When Firing: 1.1%
- On Hard Ground: 1.15
- On Medium Ground: 1.25
- On Soft Ground: 2.3
Dispersion Change Values
- Turret Contribution
- Rotation: 0.1
- Shot Recoil: 3.84
- Suspension Contribution
- Acceleration: 0.19
- Turning: 0.19
With 100% Crew
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 T-10 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 glacis as hitting the upper hull will most likely bounce. If you can only see the turret aim for the large cupola atop 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.
The M103 leads to the T110E5.
Modules / Available Equipment and Consumables
|Turret||Turret Armor (front/sides/rear)
|Turret Traverse Speed
|Chance of Fire on Impact
Pros and Cons
- Strong turret face armor and mantlet
- Good gun depression and DPM
- Well-rounded top gun with good performance across the board
- Huge tracks can help absorb shots when sidescraping
- Fast turret rotation for such a large turret
- Covered with weakspots, shockingly unreliable armor for a heavy tank
- Limited forward speed and horrible reverse speed
- Large target, the turret is especially huge
- Fragile ammo rack and engine modules
- Low ammo capacity
Coming from the T32, the M103 could be quite the rude awakening for players used to typical American hull-down tactics. Unlike the T32, M103's turret is massive and of limited durability, with only its mantlet and cheeks being somewhat durable. The plate above the mantlet, the turret ring, the roof, the cupola and the sides/rear are all poorly armored for Tier 9 standards, and make relying on hull down tactics a challenge. Further complicating things, the hull armor is also on the weak side, with only the upper glacis offering some meaningful protection. And if that were not enough, the M103 is also a very large tank and therefore a juicy target for artillery.
Thankfully, what the M103 lacks in armor protection, it compensates in firepower and (to a lesser extent) mobility. Its top gun, the 120mm Gun M58, is the same gun used on the T110E5 a tier higher, and comes with great rate of fire, penetration (both standard and premium), a good -8 degrees of gun depression and decent gun handling and aimtime. Do be aware that the tank's ammo capacity is limited though, so you should make every shot count for maximum efficiency. As for mobility, while its speed is average at best (and its reverse speed is plain terrible), for its size it is a fairly quick tank with good acceleration and ground resistance, and can keep up the pace during a push. Never rush to the frontlines though, as the M103 cannot take much punishment - leave that job to tougher heavy tanks like the German E 75 or the Soviet Object 257.
Overall, the M103 should be considered a "force multiplier", a tank that by itself is overall average, but that excels as support when part of a group. Use cover whenever possible, including your heavily armored allies, and seek opportunities to put your excellent firepower to good use, but never overcommit as that would only result in a trip back to the garage.
- Note: As of Update 1.10, or Equipment 2.0, the M103 has been buffed. Previously, the reload time was 10.74, giving it an average 2,235 DPM, however, the reload has since been decreased to 9.59, giving it a pretty good DPM of 2,503. The gun handling has been somewhat improved as well, but only with tank traverse and movement. However, the turret has also been buffed. Previously, the roof was below 40mm thickness, allowing it to get triple overmatched by virtually every same tier or higher heavy tank. This has since been increased to ~47mm-60mm, meaning only certain high-caliber Tank Destroyers can overmatch it anymore, and the plate right above the gun has also been improved, no longer getting overmatched by 120mm+ guns.
- 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.
- The stock tracks allow mounting all upgraded modules, so you can wait to upgrade these if you prefer. The ground resistance is improved though and gives a higher advantage than the top engine on normal ground.
- Next you should get the engine, as it gives the tank even 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, accuracy, and is highly recommended
- The radio does not have priority but it is relatively cheap to research; or you can mount it immediately if you already unlocked it in T71 LT or the M41 Walker Bulldog
- with the latest update you need to get the suspension first to install 2nd turret and top gun***
External Reviews and Opinions
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)
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
- 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.
Sources and External Links
Estes, K.W., 2013, M103 Heavy Tank 1950–74, New Vanguard Series 197, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, 48p, ISBN:9781849089814.
Forty, G., 2007, The World Encyclopedia of Tanks & Armoured Fighting Vehicles - An Illustrated History Of The World's Most Important Tanks and AFVs From The Beginning Of The 20th Century To The Present Day, Anness Press, London, ISBN:9780754817413.
Foss, C.F. and W. Fowler, 2002, The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles, Thunder Bay Press, San Diego, CA, 544p, ISBN:9781571458063.
Hunnicutt, R.P., 1988, Firepower: A History of the American Heavy Tank, Presidio Press, 222p, ISBN:9780891413042.