War Thunder – Ammo Guide

Ammo Guide

For German tanks your primary ammo is always APCBC. This is usually the stock round but often you’ll unlock a better version. It will have enough penetration for almost every target you encounter on the battlefiled, while also having great lethal effects after penetration with its explosive filler.

APCR is useful as a backup to penetrate those tanks you otherwise can’t pen. It’s not good as a primary round because its after penetration effects are limited, making it harder to get 1 or 2 shot kills. Also, it loses velocity and penetration very quickly at longer ranges, making it not very good as a long range round.

Short barreled howtizers should always use HEAT as a primary ammo. They will have more penetration than APCBC fired out of the same gun.

But those guns should also carry some solid shot (to replace APCR since they don’t have those) to be able to shoot through obstacles, even at reduced performance (HEAT can’t go through fences or trees).

HE is useful for taking out soft targets unless 1. You have MGs, because then you can just hose the truck with you MGs 2. You have a howitzer and fire HEAT, because the HEAT has sufficient HE effects 3. You have an autocannon, because then you can just hose the truck with your autocannon. Even then you will never use it. But for tanks like the StuG that don’t have HE, having your first shot overpen the enemy truck then having your second shot be HE is much better than firing three or four APCBC into the truck before killing it.

Autocannons should always use HVAP. It ensures you have the penetration to damage an enemy vehicle, and the rate of fire means that you can just hose the enemy vehicle to ensure a kill.

Smoke rounds are one of the most underused ammunition types in the game. Proper smoke round usage can enable you to pull of plays otherwise impossible. They’re employment usually requires a squadmate on voice coms though. For example, you may be taking longe range fire from a sniper that keeps you from advancing on a cap point. Fire your first round at it, if it doesn’t neutralize the sniper load up smoke, smoke his position, then advance on the cap point.

You want at least 20 rounds of primary ammo (APCBC or HEAT), 5 rounds of backup ammo (APCR or APCBC), 1 round of HE (if you carry it), and 2 rounds of smoke (if you have it).

Personally I’ve only ever needed more than 20 rounds of ammo when I’m doing really well and not dying or when I’m sniping. 5 rounds of backup ammo is sufficient to get 1 or 2 kills on heavy armor, and you’ll almost never use the HE, but when you need it you need it. Smoke is opportunistic but when you do use it 1 round is never enough.

The exact loadout will depend on the tank you’re using and how it’s ammo racks are modeled. That’s what we will go into now.

Battle Rating 1.0/Reserve

Pz. III B

Ammo available: PzGr. APHE; Pzgr. 40 APCR

Ammo racks: 1 round; 21 rounds; 41 rounds; 61 rounds; 79 rounds; 99 rounds; 117 rounds.

Notes: at 61 rounds the turret and left hull are empty. When angling the tank’s armor, angle it to the right so the left side is exposed, not the right.

My recomendations: Carry 41 rounds total. 21 rounds of PzGr APHE and 20 rounds of Pzgr 40 APCR. The Pz. III B’s 37mm gun has limited penetration which means carrying plenty of APCR is important in addition to the APHE, but you can carry less APCR and more APHE if you want. Meanwhile 2 carrying 21 rounds total means you’ll likely run out of one type of ammunition, and 61 rounds is more than enough. 41 hits the sweet spot.

Pz.35(t)

Ammo available: Pzgr.34(t) APC; Pzgr.40 APCR; Pzgr.umg(t) APCBC

Ammo racks: 1 round; 37 rounds; 72 runds

Notes: Right side empty at 37 rounds. When angling the armor angle it to the left to expose the right.

My recomendations: you probably guessed it; carry 37 rounds total. 20 rounds of Pzgr.umg(t) APCBC and 17 rounds of Pzgr.40 APCR. If you haven’t unlocked the APCBC yet, use the Pzgr.34(t) APC in its place until you have, but the two round are identical save for increased penetration so unlock the new round ASAP. Again, this tank uses a 37mm with limited penetration, so the APCR will be important.

Pz.II C

Ammo available: Default API-T/HEFI-T; Pzgr. API-T; Pzgr.40 HVAP

Ammo racks: 1 magazine; 8 magazines; 15 magazines

Notes: each magazine has 10 rounds. The default magazine alternates API-T and HEFI-T 1:1.

My recomendations: you really have no choice but to carry a full load of 15 magazines, because 8 will often be too little. And all 15 magazines should be Pzgr. 40 for max penetration. If you don’t have it unlocked, work your way up from default -> Pzgr -> Pzgr.40 belts as you unlock them. You don’t have to worry about lethal effects because you can just spray down the entire interior of an enemy vehicle. You don’t have to worry about the velocity and penetration fall-off either because if you’re sniping in this tank you’re playing it wrong.

Battle Rating 1.3

Sd.Kfz.221 (aka. the squeezy boi)

Available ammo: 2.8/2cm Pzgr.41

Ammo racks: irrelevant (just keep reading)

Notes: The vehicle has 2 crewmembers

My recomendations: This tank is super easy. You only have 1 choice of ammunition, and because you have 2 crewmembers (one of whom is very exposed), practically any penetration means death (you need a minimum of 2 crewmembers alive in order for you vehicle to count as still in play in Tank Realistic Battles). That means you should just carry the full loadout of 60 rounds because ammo racks are an irrelevant concern.

Also: it’s called teh squeezy boi because the 20mm gun is a squeeze bore cannon, which means that the barrel starts out at 2.8cm diameter and gradually squeezes down to 20mm for increased velocity and thsu penetration.

Pz.II F

Available ammo: Default API-T/HEFI-T; Pzgr API-T; Pzgr.40 HVAP.

Ammo racks: 1 magazine; 10 magazines; 18 magazines.

Notes: Magazines are 10 rounds each. Same rules as the Pz.II C apply.

My recommendations: carry a full load of 18 HVAP magazines. Work your way up from default -> Pzgr -> Pzgr.40 belts as you unlock them.

Pz.IV C

Available ammo: K.Gr.rot Pz. APCBC; Hl.Gr.38 B HEAT; Sprgr.34 HE; K.Gr.rot Nb Smoke.

Ammo racks: 1 round; 9; 18; 27; 36; 45; 54; 63; 72; 80 rounds.

Notes: First tank with full diverse ammo options. It has a short 75mm howitzer gun. This means primary ammo is HEAT, secondary ammo is APCBC, and you don’t need HE.

My recomendations: Carry 27 rounds total. 20 rounds of HEAT, 5 rounds of APCBC, and 2 rounds of Smoke.

Flakpanzer I

Available ammo: Default API-T/HEFI-T; Spgr HEFI-T; Pzgr API-T; Pzgr.40 HVAP

Ammo racks: irrelevant (same reason as the squeezy boi).

Notes: the vehicle has 2 crewmembers. Each magazine carries 20 rounds.

My recomendations: carry a full load of 16 magazines of HVAP. If you don’t have it unlocked, skip the HEFI-T belt and work your way up from default -> Pzgr -> Pzgr.40.

Pz.38(t)

Available ammo: Pzgr.34(t) APC; Pzgr.40 APCR; Pzgr.(t)umg. APCBC.

Ammo racks: 1 round; 31 rounds; 61 rounds; 90 rounds.

My recomendations: carry 31 rounds total. 20 rounds of APCBC and 11 rounds of APCR. If you don’t have the APCBC unlcoked use the APC until you have. The rounds ar eidentical except for penetration so unlock the new round asap.

Battle Rating 1.7

Panzerjager I

Available ammo: Pzgr36(t) APC; Pzgr.40 APCR.

Ammo racks: 1 round; 10; 26; 38; 50; 86 rounds.

Notes: you will often be sniping in this vehicle.

My recomendations: carry 38 rounds total. I’d say 26 but if you’re sniping it’s likely to be too little. Carry 30 rounds of APC and 8 rounds of APCR. You can carry more APCR and less APC if you prefer.

Pz.III E

Available ammo: Pzgr APHE; Pzgr.40 APCR.

Ammo racks: 1 rounds; 27; 53; 79; 105 rounds.

My recomendations: carry 27 rounds total. 20 rounds of APHE and 7 rounds of APCR.

Battle Rating 2.0

Sturmpanzer II

Available ammo: J.Gr.38 HE; J.Gr.39 Hl/A HEAT.

Ammo racks: 1 round; 6; 10; 11; 18 rounds.

Notes; This tank has a 150mm howitzer. I’d say carry heat but this thing is so powerful you mostly just need HE.

My recomendations: Carry a full loadout of 18 rounds. Your primary round should be HE, and you will still wreck tanks frontally. But the HEAT has an awesome point blank/flat surface penetration of 185mm, so you should definitely take a couple of those for the big bad heavies you might encounter. I suggest 15 rounds of HE and 3 rounds of HEAT, but it’s up to you. You can go full either or and still do well.

Pz.III F

Available ammo: Pzgr.39 APC; Pzgr.40 APCR; Pzgr.40/1 APCR.

Ammo racks: 1 round; 25; 50; 75; 99 rounds.

Notes: The Pzgr.40/1 APCR, was historically speaking a cheaper alternative for the Pzgr.40 made of steel instead of tungsten for wartime production. In-game it has inferior penetration and is thus an inferior and useless round. That said, you should use it until you unlock the Pzgr.40.

My recomendations: carry 25 rounds total. 20 APC and 5 APCR.

Pz.IV E

Available ammo: K.Gr.rot Pz. APCBC; Hl.Gr 38B HEAT; Sprgr.34 HE; Hl.Gr 38C HEAT; K.Gr.Rot Nb Smoke.

Ammo racks: 1 round; 9; 18; 27; 36; 45; 54; 63; 72; 80 rounds.

Notes: This tank uses a short 75mm howitzer. HEAT will thus be the primary round and HE is not needed. The Hl.Gr 38C HEAT is just a better version of the Hl.Gr 38B HEAT round. You should unlock it and replace asap.

My recomendations: Carry 27 rounds total. 20 HEAT, 5 APCBC, and 2 smoke.

Flakpanzer 38

Available ammo: Default API-T/HEFI-T; Spgr. HEFI-T; Pzgr. API-T; Pzgr.40 HVAP-T.

Ammo racks: irrelevant

Notes: 20-round magazines. 2-man crew means full ammo complement. Autocannon means no HE needed.

My recomendation: This writes itself now. Take a full complement of 54 magazines of HVAP. You know the drill.

Pz.38(t) F

Everything is exactly the same as the Pz.38(t) A. Carry 31 rounds total. 20 APCBC and 11 APCR.

Battle Rating 2.3 (1 of which is in Rank II)

Pz.III J

Available Ammo: Pzgr.39 APC; Pzgr.40/1 APCR; Pzgr.40 APCR.

Ammo racks: 1 round; 25 rounds; 50 rounds; 75 rounds; 99 rounds.

My recomendations: Carry 25 rounds total. 20 rounds of APC and 5 rounds of APCR.

Pz.IV F1

Available ammo: K.Gr.rot Pz APCBC; Hl.Gr 38B; Sprgr.34; Hl.Gr 38C; K.Gr.Rot Nb.

Ammo racks: 1 round; 9; 18; 27; 36; 45; 54; 63; 72; 80 rounds.

Notes: This tank has a short 75mm howitzer.

My recomendations: Carry 27 rounds total. 20 HEAT, 5 APCBC, and 2 Smoke.

StuG III A

Available ammo: K.Gr.rot Pz APCBC; Hl.Gr 38B; Sprgr.34; Hl.Gr 38C; K.Gr.Rot Nb.

Ammo racks: 1 round; 15 rounds; 30 rounds; 44 rounds.

Notes: This vehicle has a short 75mm howitzer.

My recomendations: Carry 30 rounds total. 23 HEAT, 5 APCBC, and 2 Smoke.

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