T55AM2

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She's old but has a certain beauty.

"When the T-34 first appeared, it was very intimidating, and then we realized the Soviets couldn't shoot or drive for shit."

– Anonymous Wermacht solider, Company of Heroes 2

The feared muscle behind the Warsaw Pact during the 50s and 60s, the T-55 is an aged tank in 1985. The T-55AM2 however, represents a comprehensive upgrade program to attempt to bring the chassis to the modern era or at least make the crew feel somewhat less like cannon fodder. The glacis plate was thickened, a distinctive "horseshoe" brow armour was added to the turret front, and a smoke launcher was added to increase survivability. A laser rangefinder, wind sensor and a ballistic computer were added to increase gun accuracy. Finally, new gunner optics were added to enable missiles to be fired from the D10T 100mm gun. The T-55AM2 upgrades were the first prong in East Germany's plan to modernize the Panzer of the Volksarmee (the second being further procurement of T-72M).

T-55AM2[edit]

East German[edit]

The Stat Card

The T-55AM2 combines sturdy armour and a moderately powerful gun with bargain basement point cost. While NATO tanks and ATGMs can penetrate the T-55AM2, most other enemy assets on the battlefield cannot, this makes the T-55AM2 a priority target as they close the distance with the enemy, tying up enemy anti-tank assets that may otherwise be shooting at something else. The D10T 100mm can't frontally penetrate the NATO MBTs but can be dangerous if you can enter a melee where the gun can be brought to bear against side armour. The slow firing rule discourages firing on the move, once your T-55s have reached an advantageous position you'll want them to keep them stationary to fire. Dash mobility and Cross-Rating is sub par, however the poor cross can be mitigated using Movement Orders which synergizes with the NVA's superior skill rating over the Russians.

Two schools of thought have emerged when including T-55AM2s in a Volksarmee force. The more instinctive approach for horde force players is to take multiple large companies of tanks to push down the field in a wave of guns and steel in a display of might that would make the Astra Militarum proud. Simply providing more targets than the NATO opposition can hope to kill, until you can enter a messy melee fight or tie up objectives all game. But alternatively, due to a quirk in points costing, a minimum strength T-55AM2 Battalion of 10 tanks (1+3+3+3) can be taken for 7 points, making each tank cost less than a single point. While these small companies can be erased by NATO tanks in a single salvo, they can operate independently (rather than an unwieldy mess of a 10 tank parking lot) and, when taking multiple minimum strength T-55AM2 Battalions provide extra command tanks to issue more orders.

East German armies make take T-55AM2 Kompanies ranging in size from 3 tanks to 10 tanks, starting out at 2 points and topping out at 16. Basically every time you add a tank to the original 3, tack on an additional 2 points. And yes, this does mean that you can take 10 tanks where a US Player could only take 2 Abrams (and base Abrams at that).

Polish[edit]

Polish Stats, towarzysz!

The Polish T-55AM 'Merida' is a locally modernized T-55, bringing it up to par with the latest T-55AM2s the modern age has to offer (if you can call a T-55 variant modern...). Unlike the East German version which is affordable enough to fill the role of a spam tank even in multiple small units, the Polish version is designed to make you take large tank units: unlike the East Germans, your smallest company size begins at 5.

Unfortunately, the Polish profile favours units which can survive a beating: 3+ remount and rally help you get back in the fight after getting pinned or bailed, but the T-55 is guaranteed to explode when touched by most dedicated anti-tank weapons. ATGMs, tank cannons and even man-portable anti-tank weapons like the Carl Gustav and the RPG-7 will punch through your front 50% of the time. There is little reason to invest in the Polish T-55 unless you are a fluff player: the points you spend for stats which will never be used with the exception of mine-clearing could be better spent on additional weapon systems. You are a PACT player, and your support units are devilishly cheap for what they do.

The Poles may take 5 tanks for 6 points, up to 10 tanks for 17 points.

Czech[edit]

Slide5.JPG

The T-55AM2 'Dyna' is the Czech version of the modernized T-55 platform and is arguably the best T-55AM2 variant of the PACT countries for a competitive player.

Where the Polish profile excels on the defensive, the Czechs are unmatched on the offensive where firepower decides the success or failure of your attack. For a significant discount, you can bring about 30% more units to the field. The reason that the Czechs are suited for this role is the simple fact that T-55s will never survive any fire whatsoever. Aside from autocannons, the majority of anti-armour weapons will go through your front without any issue whatsoever. The Czech 5+ remount becomes irrelevant in this case, as anything which hits you is probably going to result in a kill and not a bail. Unlike the East Germans, the Czechs favour T-55 hordes and not multiple small units. Your discount only grows the more tanks you take, and taking entire companies is essential when building a Czech T-55 spam list: your 4+ skill is far less terrifying than the sheer numbers you can bring to the field.

Keep in mind when building your list that you are still spamming T-55s: these are not units which can take objectives. 5+ courage means that minefields will stop your companies dead in their tracks, and you do not have Brutal to shred through entrenched infantry. If you are lucky or play well, you might kill a couple of Leopards or Abrams', but will need to rely on your infantry to close in for the objective.

The Czechs may take 5 points for 5 tanks to 13 points for 10 tanks. Interestingly, tank battalions may also bring one company of the other version (T-72M or T-55AM2) in your third company slot.

T-55[edit]

Essentially a T-55AM2 without the Warsaw Pact's upgrade packages, the T-55 is the weapon of choice for Middle Eastern tank battalions. It loses 1 frontal armour, 1 anti-tank, and the laser rangefinder on the main gun, and bazooka skirts. While it may start struggling to reliably punch through the front of the MBTs of yesteryear, a 100mm tank cannon will still turn an Abrams inside out if hit from the sides.

More vulnerable to light anti-armor without bazooka skirts, RPG-18s and LAWs have a somewhat higher chance to bail aT-55 in close range, given the numbers infantry fight in.

Iraqi[edit]

A T-55, rolling off to fight ISIS.

While the T-55 was being modernized by the Poles and relegated to the reserve troops and museums of the Soviet Union, the vanilla T-55 remains a mainstay of the Iraqi Armed Forces as a tank for the less elite forces, providing commanders with a fire support unit that might not penetrate anything tougher than a frenchman on treads, but remains a deadly foe against enemy armour and infantry without heavier anti-tank weapons.

Compared to the T-62, the T-55 is identical except for the cannon. Its main gun has an AT16 FP2+ round with slow firing and lacks brutal. The armour might be paper thin against even the weakest of ATGMs, but it gives you enough protection from HEAT shells and autocannons to engage and destroy enemy IFVs without taking too many losses.

While you probably won't be taking a T-55 battalion, a single company for your infantry can serve as a VERY cheap source of fire support, and a wall of armour headed for your opponent's rear-line may distract them from your heavier weapons.

The Iraqi T-55 battalion is incredibly cheap, making it a very viable choice for spam lists. Starting at 5 points for 5 tanks, a company tops out at 10 tanks for 11 points. Additionally, you may purchase bazooka skirts for an ENTIRE company for only one point.

Iranian[edit]

Holder


IRL[edit]

I am on a tank!

If the original T-54/55 is the AK-47 of tanks, the T-55AM2 is an AKM with some nice accessories. Before you bash this thing for being such a bad tank in Team Yankee, keep in mind that the earliest model, the T-54, was the replacement for the T-34 and the first prototype was completed in late 1945. The other thing is that the T-55, like all Soviet tanks, is never going to look good if you judge it by Western standards. The T-55, like the AK-47, was designed as a cheap, extremely tough workhorse for an army largely composed of short-term conscripts with little to no education to speak of. It needed to be easily comprehensible to guys who had quite possibly never seen so much as a tractor before being voluntold for service to Mother Russia. The idea was that if you used enough of these at once, the superior quality of the enemy's tanks would be drowned out by the thunder of a million cheap tanks being driven by angry peasants heroic Soviet soldiers. And if you think that sounds ridiculous, it sure worked for the Soviets on the Eastern Front.

The T-54/55 series is also the most popular tank of all time, with numerous copies being circulated around the world and total production estimates ranging from 86,000 to 100,000 units. The People's Republic of China started their line of tanks with a copy of the T-54, the Type 59, and still maintains a massive arsenal of them today.

All this may still leave you wondering why the T-55 was still hanging around in the 1980s, long after newer, better models like the T-72 had been tested and put into production. See, the thing about the Soviet Union is that when you're large enough to reach from one hemisphere to another, equipping all those soldiers can be a pain in the ass. As such, the Soviet Union tried to keep its old equipment in service for as long as humanly possible and just passed them down to less important units as the newer, better stuff arrived to replace the old gear. Russia proper got the good shit, second-line units older equipment, Warsaw Pact nations got stuff a generation behind, and so on. This is why the East Germans in Team Yankee use the much older T55AM2 while the Soviets proper don't. Hell the T-34 was still used by the Soviets up until the 1960's. This is why when you look up Soviet equipment you sometimes find lists of at least five different types of machine all doing the same thing. The T55AM2 was an attempt to get more life out of the aging T-55, and make it more able to fight the then-modern NATO tanks like the M1 Abrams and Chieftain MBT, which by that point it was something like two tank generations behind.

Something that the many versions of the T-54/T-55 series tanks all have in common is that they use a human crewman to load shells into the main cannon. It is only one of two Soviet-bloc tanks in Team Yankee to do this, the other being the T-62, which was too slow to keep up with the APCs it was supposed to support and thus East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia did not make any significant use of it. The fact that it doesn't use an autoloader is not the IRL reason for the T-55's Slow Firing rule; the M1 Abrams, M60 Patton, and Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 all use human loaders and do not suffer from the Slow Firing rule. The reason why the T-55 does is because it is a really small tank, with a itty bitty living space cramped interior that features three of the four crew stuffed into the turret. The loader must turn and shift awkwardly to first get to the shells (which are stored in a variety of places, including strapped to the inside of the turret wall) and then load one into the breech. The process is not convenient or easy to do, and thus all versions of the T-54/55 series have a rather slow rate of fire.

Had the events of Team Yankee really happened, the T-55 and its upgraded T-55AM2 variant would have probably taken heavy losses against the far newer and better tanks being fielded by NATO in the mid-1980s. It could not have been totally dismissed, however. The T-54/55 series may not have been as good as it once was by 1985, but had the Cold War gone hot, NATO would have been facing a lot of them.

If you play 40k and think this thing looks a bit familiar, you're not entirely wrong. The bubble top turret from the T-55 and T-62 tanks was likely an influence on the forge world "Deimos pattern Predator" tanks.

East German Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: T55AM2 - T-72M
Transports: BTR-60 - BMP-1 - BMP-2
Troops: Mot-Schützen Kompanie - Hind Assault Landing Company
Artillery: 2S1 Carnation - BM-21 Hail
Anti-Aircraft: ZSU 23-4 Shilka - SA-13 Gopher - SA9 Gaskin
Tank Hunters: Spandrel
Recon: BMP-1 OP - BRDM-2
Aircraft: MI-24 Hind
Soviet Support: SU-25 Frogfoot
Polish Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: T55AM2 - T-72M
Transports: SKOT-2A - BMP-1 - BMP-2
Troops: Zmotory Kompania - Hind Assault Landing Company
Artillery: Dana SpGH - BM-21 Hail
Anti-Aircraft: ZSU 23-4 Shilka - SA-13 Gopher -SA-8 Gecko
Tank Hunters: Spandrel
Recon: BMP-1 OP - BRDM-2
Aircraft: MI-24 Hind
Soviet Support: SU-25 Frogfoot
Czech Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: T55AM2 - T-72M
Transports: OT-64 - BMP-1 - BMP-2
Troops: Motostrelci
Artillery: 2S1 Carnation - Dana SpGH - RM-70
Anti-Aircraft: ZSU 23-4 Shilka - SA-8 Gecko - SA9 Gaskin - SA-13 Gopher
Tank Hunters: Spandrel
Recon: BMP-1 OP - BRDM-2
Aircraft: MI-24 Hind
Soviet Support: SU-25 Frogfoot
Iraqi Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: T-55 - T-62 - T-72M
Transports: BTR-60 - OT-64 - AMX-10P - BMP-1
Troops: Motor Rifle Company
Artillery: 2S1 Carnation - 2S3 Acacia - AMX Auf1 - BM-21 Hail
Anti-Aircraft: ZSU 23-4 Shilka - SA-13 Gopher - SA9 Gaskin - SA-8 Gecko - Roland AA
Tank Hunters: Spandrel - VCR/TH
Recon: BRDM-2 - BTR-60 OP
Aircraft: MI-24 Hind - Gazelle HOT
US Support: A-10 Warthog - AV-8 Harrier
Iranian Forces in Team Yankee
Tanks: T-55 - T-62 - M60 Patton - Chieftain
Transports: M113 Armored Personnel Carrier
Troops: Iranian Mechanized Platoon - Basij Infantry Company
Artillery: M109 Howitzer - BM-21 Hail - M106 Heavy Mortar Carrier
Anti-Aircraft: ZSU 23-4 Shilka - ZSU-57-2 - SA-8 Gecko
Tank Hunters: Jeep TOW - M113 106mm Recoilless
Recon: Scorpion
Aircraft: AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter
Soviet Support: SU-25 Frogfoot