War Thunder Military Document Leaks depicting an image of the war thunder logo and a chinese tank.

War Thunder Military Document Leaks

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Updated Aug 31, 2023 at 01:56PM EDT by Adam.

Added Jun 06, 2022 at 02:26PM EDT by Adam.

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Overview

War Thunder Military Document Leaks, also known as War Thunder Classified Documents Leak, refers to an ongoing issue in the forums for the military combat vehicle video game War Thunder in which users, in an effort to make sure certain military vehicles are accurately represented in-game or to win an argument with other users in the forums, post classified documents detailing the specs of certain vehicles — a bannable and potentially treasonous offense. As of June 2022, there have been at least three confirmed instances of this occurring, though some speculate there may have been as many as six instances since its release in 2013.

Background

In the video game War Thunder, players can operate realistic combat vehicles modeled on actual military equipment. Developer Gaijin Entertainment has publically stated its policy is to use publically available information when modeling combat vehicles,[1] which inevitably leads to some inaccuracy in crafting a so-called "perfect" recreation of said vehicles.

On July 14th, 2021,[2] War Thunder forum user Fear_Naught took issue with the game's representation of Britain's Challenger 2 tank. The user, believed to be a member of the Royal Tank Regiment of the United Kingdom, then uploaded altered images they claimed were from the Army Equipment Support Publication, or AESP, of the tank.

A moderator of the forums responded to the post saying that the team behind Gaijin had received written confirmation from the U.K. Ministry of Defence that the document posted by Fear_Naught remained classified, and that posting the image was an illegal offense that could carry a 14-year prison sentence.[3] The user was warned and moderators and developers reiterated their stance that Gaijin Entertainment only creates vehicles based on publicly available information.

Though this is considered the first major leak in the War Thunder forums by many publications, after similar instances occurred, users in various forums have cited an incident where classified data on the Eurocopter Tiger had leaked, and that incident was the first War Thunder forums leak.[4] Rumors say the "leaker" had actually worked on the helicopter in question and thus was able to provide Gaijin Entertainment with non-public information on its specs (it is still unverified if said incident took place).

Developments

There may be up to six instances of War Thunder players leaking classified information on the game's forums. In addition to the Challenger 2 armor leak and the possible Eurocopter Tiger leak, a leak of France's Leclerc Main Battle Tank and the specs of a Chinese armament shell are both confirmed to have happened in 2021 and 2022, respectively (more on those below). Some have also claimed that information about the Challenger 2's gun has leaked, as well as the penetration statistics of a Type 99 cannon, though this is unconfirmed.[6]

2021 Leclerc Leak

On October 10th, 2021, another War Thunder forums user leaked classified specs for a military vehicle, this time for France's Leclerc Main Battle Tank. The leaks were quickly scrubbed, and a moderator wrote in the forums:

"Guys its not funny to leak classified Documents of modern equipment you put the lives of many on stake who work daily with the Vehicles! Keep in Mind that those documents will be deleted immediately alongside sanctions. Thanks for reading!"


LAND Classified tank specs leaked on War Thunder game forums – again By Guest Contributor - October 6, 2021 Image via War Thunder A French Army tank crewman has leaked a portion of the Leclerc Main Battle Tank's classified manual on the forum for popular online game War Thunder, the second time a leak of tank specifications has happened.

2022 Chinese Armament Leak

On June 1st, 2022, a user leaked specs on a Chinese armament shell, the DTC10 125mm APFSDS, due to appear in the game. In this instance, the user noticed placeholder stats for the shell in Gaijin's publicly available development chat log, and perhaps due to a misunderstanding of Gaijin's development process, posted an image containing a classified document with the shell's actual specs. The user was banned and the message deleted, but the classified document continued to float through social media following the incident.[5]

Eurofighter Typhoon DA7 Leak

On August 28th, a War Thunder user posted the manual for the Eurofighter Typhoon DA7 fighter plane, but the post was swiftly deleted by moderators.

Online Reaction

The repeated mistake and leaks of the War Thunder player base inspired several memes with each new controversy. For example, in mid-July 2021, a suspended Twitter account posted a Big Brother Orders meme about leaking documents in the forums (shown below, left). On July 2nd, 2022, Twitter user @kwaspatryk[7] posted a Dr. Doofenshmirtz Nickel meme about the frequency of the blunder, gaining over 220 retweets and 3,000 likes in one week (shown below, left).


DO NOT LEAK CLASSIFIED MILITARY DOCUMENTS IN THE WARTHUNDER FORUMS FING If I had a nickel for every time SOMEONE LEAKED SECRET DOCUMENT ON WAR THUNDER FORUM I'd have three nickels. Which isn't a lot but it's weird that it happened three times. imgflip.com

Search Interest

External References

[1] War Thunder Forums – Topic – Challenger 2

[2] War Thunder Forums – Topic – Challenger 2

[3] Kotaku – Military Game Fan Leaks Classified Docs To Win Forum Argument

[4] Reddit – /r/warthunder

[5] Reddit – /r/militaryporn

[6] Twitter – @nqzer

[7] Twitter – @kwaspatryk

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