The Ostwind II and Update 1.91

Written by Jonathan Manuel no comments
Classified in : War Thunder Tags : none

In the first Devblog of War Thunder's update 1.91, Gaijin Entertainment announced some very controversial changes to the German tank tree. These changes mainly revolved around the removal of several researchable vehicles from the tree that were never completed (I.e. paper projects) or is considered to be too difficult to balance properly. The vehicles that will be removed upon the release of Update 1.91 are the Pzkpfw VII Maus, Flakpanzer 341 Coelian, King Tiger 10.5cm, and the Panther II. These changes have caused quite a stir within the community, and except for Maus, the most controversial one remains the removal of the Flakpanzer 341 and its replacement the so-called Ostwind II. Very little is known about the Ostwind II as not only is it an extremely obscure prototype but also having been designed and built in January of 1945 has led to very little surviving on it.
The Ostwind II (or Eastwind II as it is translated in English) was a prototype SPAAG (Self Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun) developed and built by the German company Ostbau-Sagan and built January of 1945. The vehicle resembled its predecessor the Ostwind I in many ways, namely that both shared the same hull (that of a Panzer IV) the armament however differed greatly as did the turret. In place of the Ostwind 1s single 3.7cm Flak 44 gun the Ostwind II had a twin coaxially mounted 3.7cm Flak 44 and a larger turret to fit the twin-gun. The prototype itself was delivered to the Armored Replenishment and Training regiment stationed in Ohrdruf/Thuringia for trials, however, this is where the history of the vehicle ends as post-January of 1945 it is never mentioned again. According to Gepard: The History of the German Anti-Aircraft Tank with the Ostwind II and Flakpanzer IV Zerstörer 45 (Destroyer 45) the German military would have had the most fire intensive AA vehicles of either side during the War.
    In War Thunder the Ostwind II will be taking the place of the Flakpanzer 341 "Coelian" in the tech tree, it's Battle Rating (B.R.) has yet to be announced but most likely it will be a 6.3 or 6.7 B.R vehicle and will remain at Rank IV. This decision has not been a very popular one as the Ostwind II is just an Ostwind I with an extra gun and a slightly larger turret, plus being based on a Panzer IV hull means that it will not be able to take many (if any) hits unlike the Flakpanzer 341. Overall though gameplay should be extremely similar if not nearly identical to that of the Ostwind I, although the added gun does have its benefits mainly in that it allows one to put out a larger volume of AA fire and could also help the vehicle to adopt an Anti-Tank role granted one should not expect to be able to take out vehicles like the M26 or the Tiger II, although thinner skinned tanks and open-topped vehicles should be relatively easy prey for this new German SPAAG. Overall this new SPAAG could very well be something to look forward to, but it could also be something that most players will dread playing depending on how the vehicle is balanced.
The changes being made by Gaijin in 1.91 have truly divided the player base with one side, of course, favoring the removal of the Paper/prototype vehicles and one side is against it. Both sides, however, share their loathing of the replacements picked out by Gaijin Entertainment with one of the most common arguments in regards to the Coelian's replacement being "why replace a prototype with an even more Obscure vehicle that has almost no surviving data on it". Most of the arguments against the inclusion of the Ostwind II as a replacement for the Colian point to the Zerstörer 45 as a more worthy and more logical choice as a replacement for the Coelian's spot in the tech tree. However, most of this has been overshadowed by the outrage over the removal of the Panzer VII Maus that has spawned petitions, calls of boycott, and has ignited community riots so large that they threaten to dwarf the rioting of the so-called "Free Abram's" incident. As the debate continues over these vehicles and their fates with Gaijin not willing to budge an inch, the eventual release of 1.91 will truly be an interesting experience, but for now we wait for the end of this saga and its results.


For more Information on this Obscure and relatively unknown SPAAG as well as many other unique German SPAAGs check out the book Gepard: The History of the German Anti-Aircraft Tank by Walter J. Spielberger. 


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