The Type 59 (Chinese: 59式; pinyin: Wǔjiǔ shì; industrial designation: WZ-120) main battle tank is a Chinese-produced version of the Soviet T-54A tank, the earliest model of the ubiquitous T-54/55 series. The first vehicles were produced in 1958 and it was accepted into service in 1959, with serial production beginning in 1963. Approximately 9,500 of the tanks were produced by the time production ended in 1980 with approximately 5,500 serving with the Chinese armed forces. The tank formed the backbone of the Chinese People's Liberation Army until early 2000's (decade) with an estimated 5,000 of the later Type 59-I and Type 59-II variants in service in 2002. The Type 59 was modified several times during its service with the replacement of the 100 mm Type 59 rifled gun with an 105 mm rifled gun. It was also the basis of several later Chinese tank designs, including the Type 69 and Type 79 main battle tanks.
The Type 59 MBT is also known as WZ-120 by its manufacturer. Over 10,000 were produced between 1959 and mid 1980s,. This tank gained worldwide infamy after the "Tank Man" incident in 1989. The Type 59, and its successor, the Type 69, were widely exported, with thousands sold overseas. Today an estimated 5,000 Type 59 MBTs remain in PLA inventory, but its being supplemented by the more capable Type 96 and Type 99 MBTs.
The Type 59 is the starter tank for new players in any of the countries in Asia, and may be one of the first tanks that all new players purchase. The best strategy for this tank is to stay as a support unit and stay behind stronger tanks that can take hits better than this vehicle can. The damage of the gun is relative high, 92. Also, the turret rotation speed is high, just like other Chinese MBT's. Accuracy is very good, but distance between an opponent vehicle does clearly have influence at the accuracy. Even at stock level, this tank might kill tanks in 3 or 4 shots. To earn fast credits and xp, close combat, like DemoMap, are incredable handy. With your high damage and fast turret rotation, it is easy to snipe from less than 150 metres. However that are positive specifications, the speed is quite low. Circle around an enemy is difficult, however, when you get circulated by your opponent, the fast turret rotation is a big pro.
Pros and Cons
- Frontal upper armor is well angled, and can bounce shells from some tanks (but not others), frontal turret armor is also quite tough
- Amazing accuracy, some of the best in the game
- Very fast turret rotation speed, the best in the game besides the FV101 Scorpion's lightning-quick turret rotation speed
- Thin overall armor, no spaced armor either
- Low alpha damage, DPM is seriously lacking
- Cannot use high explosive or HEAT ammo
- Speed is quite slow
- The only visual difference from the T-54 and the Type 59 is the machine gun mounted externally on the turret.
- Despite being an exact copy of the T-54, the Type 59 has better statistics (even though they are the exact same tank)