Who would have thought we’d reach a stage where developers are begging people not to post highly classified military documents on their forums, just to prove that something in a game isn’t 100% accurate? Gaijin Entertainment, creator of military sim War Thunder, found itself in this situation after players leaked top-secret tank specs—twice.
The latest incident revolved around the in-game depiction of the French Leclerc Main Battle Tank and its variants’ turret rotation speed—many who enjoy War Thunder take its accurate recreation of military vehicles seriously.
As reported by UK Defence Journal, Sunday saw an argument break out on the game’s forum over War Thunder’s representation of the Leclerc. A member called RED_CROSS didn’t agree with the claim that its turret rotates at 40 degrees per second, so they posted a file called ‘Skerit document’ that contained parts of the Leclerc’s official gunner manual as proof.
The user later posted messages alleging that they were a member of a Leclerc Series 2 tank squad, which has been in service with the French military since 1992. “It took ~11 seconds for the turret to make a complete turn, so 550 mil/s (31°) is indeed correct not 40°. [Leclerc Serie 2] I was in,” they wrote. There were also arguments on the forum over whether the documents were classified.
Moderators eventually removed the file and offered a warning to users: “Guys its not funnny [sic] 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!” wrote mod JagdEnte.
This isn’t the first time War Thunder has dealt with users posting tank manuals. Back in June, an argument over the size of the gap between the main turret and the hull led to a player posting classified information about the Challenger 2 tank. It resulted in the UK Ministry of Defence writing to Cyprus-based Gaijin, informing them that the manual is classified and the person posting it, who claimed to be a Challenger 2 commander, could be violating the official secrets act.
Community manager Smin1080p writes that with over 2,000 vehicles in the game, issues like these can “take time to validate, check source material and implement if they indeed are found to be incorrect.”
“The time it takes to review and process reports however is no reasoning, justification or any grounds to break legally defined permeameters in any way. We will always entirely reject any such documentation and resolve the matter with any legal requirements.”
The War Thunder Instagram page probably said it best: “Please don’t send us classified documents, we really don’t want to end up chained at the bottom of a disguised CIA cargo ship in international waters.”