|For the Tiberian Dawn unit, see Medium tank (Tiberian Dawn).|
Medium tank is a generic term applied to several different tanks of the various Allied nations. In Command & Conquer: Red Alert, it refers to the main battle tank which forms the backbone of the Allies' armored divisions.
Heavier than the light tank and armed with a heavier turret, the medium tank is what some commanders felt to be the true main battle tank for the Allies. With heavy armor and healthy speed, the medium tank carries the perfect balance of all attributes wanted in a tank without it being expensive.
Its single 90mm main gun (the manual erroneously states that it is a 105mm gun) allows the medium tank to be a match for enemy armor without sacrificing maneuverability. Due to its good speed, decent firepower, average rate of fire and tough armor the medium tank became an incredibly successful main battle tank for the Allies.
Their deployment, which helped to alleviate the Allies' marked inferiority in armor, allegedly angered Stalin to the point where he rushed the Mammoth tank into production, culminating in that unit's somewhat imperfect self repair capabilities.
The medium tank is considered by many to be the tank that won WWII, and its design carried over all the way to the late 1990's where tanks based on the medium tank were used by GDI in the First Tiberium War.
|“||The higher-grade Allied Tank, this unit is just as well armored, faster, and less costly than the Soviet Heavy Tank, though armed with only a single barrel. Used in groups with Light Tanks, the Medium Tank can draw fire while the Lighter Tanks destroy the threat.
- Red Alert manual(src)
If missions call for higher survivability, the medium tank may be a better option than their light counterparts. The medium tank has the same size and same number of hit points (armor) as the Soviet heavy tank.
Despite the heavy tank's advantage of two main guns, allowing it to produce almost twice as much raw firepower during initial contact as its Allied counterpart, the medium tank however is faster, less expensive and quicker to build.
The medium tank's sole 90mm main gun fires faster than a single 105mm cannon of the heavy tank, while inflicting the same damage per shot. In addition, the medium tank's single barrel is faster to reload than a heavy tank's double barrel, giving it a faster cool down time. The Soviet heavy tank still possesses an advantage in firepower as it is armed with two 105mm guns, but it does not have twice the damage output as the medium tank; a medium tank can fire 7 shots in the same time that it takes a heavy tank to fire 10 shots (5 salvos).
Compared to the Allies other tank, the light tank, the medium tank is only slightly slower and has a lower rate of damage output. Nevertheless, the tank is still fast and agile enough for a heavily armored vehicle. Moreover, it is further made up with its superior armor and therefore much better resilience; for instance it can survive a hit from a Tesla coil while a light tank would be destroyed. These traits make the tank a very popular choice among Allied commanders. Allied commanders often use medium tanks to draw fire away from light tanks, which allows light tanks to last longer in combat and better exploit their higher rate of damage.
Some commanders may opt for light tanks as their main battle tanks, but the heavier medium tank may be a better option if higher survivability is preferred. Moreover they are still decently cheap enough to be mass produced should the tactic of numerical superiority be used.
Red Alert Universe
Behind the scenes
- The rules.ini file labels the medium tank's weapon as a "90mm", although the game manual states that the medium tank has a 105mm main gun. The game manual text was probably originally intended to be a 90mm tank but changed later to a 105mm (without changing the original rules.ini entry; not that there is any reason to, as code will continue to work regardless of canonicity). Since the manual would have come later in development, it should be taken as priority over an internal weapon identifier.
- The default unedited stats for the 90mm actually make it a better weapon than the 105mm, as the 90mm deals the same damage at equal range, but fires considerably faster. The Soviet heavy tank still possesses an advantage in firepower as it is armed with two 105mm guns, but it does not have twice the damage output as the medium tank.
- The medium tank is portrayed by the M1 Abrams main battle tank (the original 105mm version) in cut scenes, which entered service starting in 1980, entering the last decade of the Cold War. However, the M1 Abrams has a much larger turret than the in-game sprite of the medium tank. Also, the M1 Abrams is among the largest and heaviest of the main battle tanks of its era.
- The medium tank's in-game sprite may have been based upon a Leopard 1 or an M60 Patton (both with 105mm guns), a M48 Patton which is armed with a 90mm gun and later upgraded to 105mm gun, or a Centurion tank which was armed with an 84mm gun but later upgraded to a 105mm cannon. The M48 and Centurion were both in service shortly after World War Two and would fit much better into the older time period with the WWII-era Yak attack plane. However the game also features vehicles from the 1980s such as Apache Longbow helicopter gunships, to which the M60 would have been more appropriate.
- Although the medium tank in the cut scenes (based on the M1 Abrams) has 3 machine guns for anti-personnel use, they are not used in-game for balancing purposes.
- The terms 'medium tank' and 'heavy tank' were used mainly in World War II and phased out during the Cold War. The medium tank evolved into the main battle tank, which sought to combine the medium tank's successful balance of firepower, mobility, protection, and endurance, with technological advances (i.e. propulsion, armour, etc.) that allowed main battle tanks to carry the armament and protection of heavy tanks without adversely affecting mobility. However, it appears that the light/medium/heavy tank terminology saw longer official usage in the C&C timeline than in ours, as these terms are still commonly used during the First Tiberium War in the late 1990s.
A medium tank burning after being attacked by a Soviet MiG, circa 1952.
Medium tank leading two light tanks after insertion via Chronosphere, circa 1952.
Allied medium tank entering Moscow in the closing days of the war, circa 1952-53.
- Light tank, alternative Allied main battle tank
- Heavy tank, Soviet counterpart
- Medium tank (Tiberian Dawn)