14.04.2008 22:00 GMT
Hello and welcome back to another update of Forgotten Hope. Today we've got the second ingame preview of our Normandy theater, featuring the Panther tank. We're also showing some Italian armour that will make its appearance in the upcoming patch.
When the western Allies first encountered the German Panther tank in Anzio in 1944, they assumed it was another heavy tank which could not be produced in great numbers, quite like the Tiger tank. When they landed in Normandy, six months later, they were shocked to find that nearly half the German tanks were Panthers. Its 80mm thick sloped frontal armour was so strong that the regular Allied M4 Sherman tank was unable to penetrate it from virtually any range. Combined with its 75mm high-velocity gun, this made the Panther a very powerful tank.
The Panther in the screenshots is an Ausf. A, the most common variant in Normandy. As you can see, we made a version with and a version without sideskirts. The Panther was made by Toddel and coded by ctz. The map it's on is a work in progress version of Mr Cheese's Operation Charnwood, of which you've already seen an ingame screenshot in the February 27th update.
The other items for today's news are the 2 new Italian tanks. Both tanks were made by Montoya for Forgotten Hope 0.7 and they were ported to Forgotten Hope 2 by Gunnie.
When Italy went to war in June 1940, its tanks were inferior to practically anything the British or Germans had. The Carro Armato M13/40, when introduced in October 1940, didn't change this. Although it was clearly a better tank than its predecessor the M11/39, it was poorly armoured, quickly caught fire when hit and usually had no radio. Nevertheless, over 700 M13/40s were shipped to North Africa to fight the British. Dispite all its shortcomings the only major differences between the M13/40 and its successor, the M14/41, wre the engine and frontal armour. More than 2000 M14/41s were produced during the war.
During Operation Compass a lot of M13/40s were captured by the allies and because of the lack of armour in fighting shape on the allied side, they were pressed into service with British tank batallions. When the Germans advanced back into Libya in early 1941 many allied M13/40s ended up with the Australians in Tobruk. Some of these tanks had kangaroos painted on them to identify them as Australian.
To help the Italian M13/40s a number of assault guns were produced, one of them being the Semovente L.40 da 47/32. This vehicle was based on the L6/40 chassis and first saw combat during the Battle of Gazala in 1942. Although inferior to its British counterparts, like most Italian tanks, it was capable of taking on the lighter British tanks. 280 Semovente L.40s were built.