WoT: Exploring the relevance of size with the Renault UE 57

The Tier III French Tank Destroyer is the Renault UE 57. It is a prototype tank that didn’t perform well in trials and the idea was abandoned. World of Tanks is not of course a fully accurate representation of reality, but based on how it plays I am not surprised.

On one level the design is ultimate simplicity – a set of tracks with a (relatively) large gun perched atop. The stock gun actually performs fairly well, and the upgraded gun performs very well. It does good penetration, damage, and has a high-rate of fire. It is also a fairly nippy tank for what it is, more so than the Marder II but not so much as a regular light or medium.

However, it has several considerable downsides. The gun as a very limited arc, a problem exacerbated by the fact it turns relatively slowly. This makes positioning absolutely vital, but even with the best positioning one is still going to have to relatively often re-position oneself to keep targets in view. What also makes it difficult is that the gun has virtually no depression whatsoever – this makes getting the correct position quite a challenge. Put together these three problems sometimes negate the quality of the gun. After all, what use is the gun if you cannot keep any targets in view.

Also, this is very much to be thought of as a “tank destroyer” rather than as an “assault gun”. For all intents and purposes it has no armour. Basically the weakest Tier I weaponry can tear it to shreds. It’s defence is what is perhaps this vehicle’s most obvious characteristic: its size.

To put it bluntly, this tank is tiny. Even light tanks loom large when standing side-by-side. To put it mildly, do not attempt to ram anything in this vehicle. However, its miniscule nature is actually very useful: it makes the tank comparatively difficult to hit, and especially at distance. You can be in the centre of the aiming circle, and still opponents will often miss.

Ultimately this has proven to be quite an enjoyable tank to play, if at times a little frustrating. In the end I played just 12 matches before eliting it, with a 50% win-loss rate, having destroyed 15 enemy tanks with a hit ratio of 70%. I did have one memorable match when I earned the Ace Master medal, but no Battle Honours. I will sell it shortly, and the next tank in this line of enquiry will be the Somua SAu-40.

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