World of Tanks developer Wargaming.net has joined with the Kubinka Tank Museum to bring the legendary Panzerkampfwagen VIII to life.
The fearsome Maus may be the most ironically named tank of all time. It's the heaviest fully-enclosed armored fighting vehicle ever built, weighing roughly 200 metric tons, covered with nigh-impenetrable slabs of armor plating and packing a 128 mm gun that could destroy everything. Its one flaw: The most powerful engines of the day could give it a best speed of only around eight MPH.
Whether or not it could have been effective in the field will never be known; development of the behemoth started too late to impact the war, and only two hulls and one turret were completed before the Soviets overran the testing grounds.
The only remaining example of the Maus is on display at the Kubinka Tank Museum near Moscow. It's non-operational, but that's a situation that the museum, working in conjunction with Wargaming.net, hopes to change through a reconstruction project that's now in the works. It's a pretty big deal; because most of the internal parts didn't survive the war, they'll have to be remanufactured, which Wargaming.net promises will be done "in close cooperation with the most experience military vehicle restorers."
It's also a big deal because it's the Maus. It probably would have been completely ineffectual as a fighting vehicle, but as a grandiose secret weapon from a bygone era, there aren't many that can match it. And if any gaming company has both the resources and the willingness to make this happen, it's Wargaming.net: It's already taken part in the search for the lost Burma Spitfires and helped recover a Dornier bomber for the RAF Cosford museum.
Thanks to Charcharo for the tip.