The Type 59 is a Chinese tier 8 premium medium tank that currently is not available on a regular basis for purchase. When introduced the Type 59 posed a problem of being a good tier 8 medium tank and being a tad too good at being a tier 8 premium medium tank. With many Type 59s in each battle their strength as a modestly armored medium tank with a on-par gun with other tier 8’s caused problems when they worked together. Thus the Type 59 was removed from the gift shop and in-game store in World of Tanks.
While the Type 59 is a good tier 8 medium tank it is in no way overpowered as it’s reputation might suggest. The Type 59 does a few things well but stumbles when it comes to performing most tasks. A lot of Type 59 drivers know the tank’s strength and know how to take advantage of it which leads to this tank performing better than an average tank. A lot of crews are also on their 3rd/4th/5th skill since the Type 59 was the only Chinese tank for quite a long time period. The strength of the Type 59 is brawling and bullying non-heavy tanks and/or tanks with low penetration. It’s armor is great for a medium tank and it’s gun is very good at close range. Where the Type 59 suffers is with it’s poor overall mobility, lack of gun depression, weak ammo rack, and poor gun handling at distance.
This Type 59 tank guide will help both players who are looking to improve their Type 59 skills and for those looking to learn how to counter a Type 59. The tank will be broken down into firepower, armor, mobility, miscellaneous attributes, and tactics to use. To start off there is a Type 59 overview video below.
The 100mm Type 59 gun has poor handling at a distance due to it’s overall poor accuracy and on the move accuracy. This forces the Type 59 to either fire premium ammunition to counter the bad accuracy or more likely to fight at close ranges where the Type 59 excels. Each shell does 250 damage which is pretty good for a tier 8 medium tank and the base rate of fire is 6.9 rounds per minute. This gives the Type 59 firepower comparable with other elited tier 8 medium tanks. The penetration for the AP shell is 181mm and the premium shell is 241mm and is APCR which is a plus. The accuracy of .39 is a huge negative along with the 2.9 second aim time. This makes the gun extremely unreliable at over 100m and leads to the Type 59 struggling against tanks with decent armor.
Overall the gun works very well at close ranges and against medium/lightly armored tanks. Since the Type 59 plays as a brawler/flanker where the engagements usually happen at under 100 meters the gun fits very well in a way. On the downside if you are stuck at a distance from your target your bad accuracy can lead to you feeling helpless.
For a full armor guide on the Type 59 you can click the link below to find effective armor values and specific weak spots.
For a medium tank the Type 59 comes with an above average amount of armor for a tier 8 medium tank. The frontal turret is immune to all but the most well aimed shots and the only real weak spots are the top commander hatches which are easy to hit if you are not moving. On the hull the frontal armor is very tough against some tier 8’s and most tanks below tier 8. This leads to the Type 59 being able to shrug off a lot of damage against weaker tanks which adds to it’s reputation of being overpowered.
One thing to keep in mind is that the frontal hull armor is only tougher due to it’s high angles. At close range the upper glacis loses a lot of it’s strength making it easier to damage while the lower glacis gets much stronger. If you can negate the angles in anyway it will take away that armor advantage the Type 59 has. On the other hand if you can find a small incline to hide your lower glacis, add a few degrees to your upper glacis, and stick your strong turret out you will be very tough to penetrate.
The ammo rack on the Type 59 is located on the right side of the tank(if you are driving it) or the left side(if you are shooting it) in both the turret and beneath it in the hull. Since the ammo rack is very weak any shots that land here have a very good chance of damaging the ammo rack and/or causing it to detonate. For Type 59 drivers you either can roll the dice and try to hide your right side or equip a wet ammo rack.
Since the Type 59 has good armor for a tier 8 medium it also suffers in the mobility department. Although it’s top speed is listed at 56 km/h you will rarely see that unless you are going downhill or have a very long straight path. The Type 59 is very sluggish going up hills and accelerating from a standstill which leads to it feeling like you are driving through molasses at times. If you have driven a T-44 or other high tier Russian mediums that are similar to the Type 59 you will be very disappointed in the mobility. Knowing that you are not very mobile and planing routes that avoid going up hills or making to many turns will save you frustration. Just keep moving and try not to “bleed” to much speed when you are about to be caught in a bad situation.
Equipment wise I recommend a vertical stabilizer, gun rammer, and a wet ammo rack. The stabilizer will help with the accuracy issues since you will want it to be good firing on the move since you almost always fight while moving in the Type 59. The gun rammer helps you pump out a bit more damage while the wet ammo rack both helps you avoid losing a bit on your reload time and spontaneously combustion. The earning potential of the Type 59 is rather good since it’s strengths are doing damage at close range and frontal armor protection. This can lead to many high damage games without taking to much damage. Like most other tier 8 premiums you will earn quite a lot of credits compared to any other tanks in World of Tanks. The gun depression while it is -7 degrees feels a bit lower than that due to the size of the Type 59 and turret being in the center of the tank(instead of further towards the front).
Matchmaking being restricted t0 a tier 9 maximum greatly helps the Type 59 since it’s gun and poor soft stats simply are outclassed at tier 10. Remember this if you are platooning since you do not want to be dragged into a tier 10 match since you will struggle very much against tier 10 tanks.
Firing While Stationary: 3.7%
Firing While Moving: 2.78%
Aiming Circle Spread
After Shooting: 3.836
Turret Traversing: 0.153
Turret Traversing Full Speed: 7.06
Hull Moving: 0.173
Hull Moving Full Speed: 9.67
Hull Traversing: 0.173
Hull Traversing Full Speed: 7.94
Hard Ground: 0.863
Medium Ground: 0.959
Soft Ground: 1.918
Going into a match while in a Type 59 you should be focusing on finding areas that you will not be fighting enemies at long range. Since your gun is not accurate and your aim time is long you will want to keep things semi-close without getting into to much trouble alone. Having a few other mediums or assisting heavy tanks by flanking will help you survive without being overwhelmed or useless at long range. Since you have bad gun depression you should avoid fighting on hilly areas unless if you can get a shot off being you can be shot in return. This is because you need to crest over hills much more than other tanks and it will expose your soft underbelly.
Working as a “wolf pack” with other mediums can prove to be your best asset in most matches. You bring good frontal armor and a pocket heavy tank like presence to the group which at tier 8 makes you very valuable to a medium tank group. A Type 59 can easily soak up and deflect several shots for your group against weaker foes to keep the ball moving without losing to much health points. As pointed out earlier you will want to protect your right since since your ammo racks are located in the hull and the turret on the side. When circling make sure to keep your left side facing the enemy so that you do not take a nasty ammo rack shot that can end you quickly.
Overall playing the Type 59 is a balance between bullying tanks that cannot punch through your frontal armor and picking your fights. Since you need to fight at close range you will need to pick the right time to advance and/or flank and then keep moving so you do not lose to much of your speed. Since your acceleration and mobility are below average this can be difficult since you do not have great mobility like other medium tanks.
This World of Tanks Type 59 guide will be updated with additional information and tactics when it becomes available.