Military Game Fan Leaks Classified Docs To Win Forum Argument

Military Game Fan Leaks Classified Docs To Win Forum Argument
Photo: Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

A War Thunder fan leaked classified military documents during an argument on the developer’s message boards earlier this week.

War Thunder is an MMO that bills itself as “the most comprehensive free-to-play, cross-platform, military game dedicated to aviation, armoured vehicles, and naval craft.” But according to a user who goes by Fear_Naught, the developers at Gaijin Entertainment apparently missed the mark while designing the Challenger 2.

“As I’ve stated a fair few times now, the complexity of the construction is sometimes difficult to see/show with pictures,” Fear_Naught wrote on July 14. “It is so complex in [the Challenger 2’s] case that I don’t completely blame Gaijin from getting it incorrect. All I try to do is point out the areas where they are incorrect.”

Shortly after, Fear_Naught — who is believed to be a commander in the Royal Tank Regiment of the United Kingdom — uploaded altered screenshots of documents they claimed were from the official AESP, or Army Equipment Support Publication, for the Challenger 2 tank.

The images were meant to be an example of where the developer went wrong on the in-game design but were eventually removed by Gaijin Entertainment due to the classified nature of the information shared.

A senior technical moderator named Templar wrote:

“We have written confirmation from [the Ministry of Defence] that this document remains classified. By continuing to disseminate it you are in violation of the Official Secrets Act as stated by the warning on the cover of the document, an offence which can carry up to a 14-year prison sentence if prosecuted. Of this you are already aware, as a service person you have signed a declaration that you understand the act and what actions it compels you to take. Every time you post this you place us (international representatives of Gaijin), especially any UK citizens, in hot water as the warning so helpfully states that unauthorised retention of a protected document is an offence.”

Gaijin Entertainment community manager Scott “Smin1080p” Maynard added that no changes will be made to the Challenger 2 tank in War Thunder, as the studio doesn’t base development off “invalid source material.”

Fear_Naught received a warning, and the thread was closed.

“Before any discussion, handling, or bug reports are even made, proof of a document’s declassification will be required as well as where it was sourced form,” Maynard explained. “We make it very clear that we will not handle any source material unless it is publicly available and fully declassified with the rights to prove that.”

Comments

    • what the guy did is not actually treason, I forgot the proper term, but he is still in for a world hurt with the possibiliy of spending time in military prison before being sent to civilian prison or being fined into the stone age

  • For context; Gaijin models and balance vehicles based on technical tabulated data.
    For vehicles that Gaijin doesn’t have said data for, they guesstimate. I presume Fear_Naught wanted to buff the Challenger II by leaking/revealing data to justify his position.

    • Since theres a few articles about this event, the impression that I got was that a part of the unit model for the tank didn’t look right to him, so he was showing how it should look… by showing off the specifications. Where if someone might want to blow up your tanks might like a look at where the various bits and bobs of it are?

      • its also likely stuff that you would beable to check out for yourself at an Open Day. Also all the import stuff for destorying a tank is already up on the net in form of armour thickness, where all the fuel and ammo get stored, to where each crew member sits. anything that would actually be classified would be targeting and communication and crypto equipment

        • Lots of things are technically classified that in practice are readily available to anyone with even an ounce of initiative.

          The Challenger 2 is nearly 30 years old. There would literally be tens of not hundreds of thousands of crew and other staff that have either driven it, built it, worked on it, been trained in the technical maintenance of it, had army buddies show them around it, been texted group and action shots including large parts of it, and as you say attended an open day with it featured.

          The fact that information is readily available doesn’t mean it’s not classified, lots of things are classified just because military and political bureaucrats are kind of dicks that way. It’s not like the Russians, or even the Taliban, haven’t since 1993 had more than enough opportunities to get whatever details on the Challenger 2 they are interested in.

        • Pretty much, yeah.
          The stats we have access to are usually base manufacturing stats where as the specs for models in operation are often very different and strictly guarded.

  • Since the universe has a way of one upping itself… I eagerly await the next argument that ends in someone parking the tank in question on the opposing individual’s front lawn.

  • The British tend to not like anything military document related leaking at all even decades after they are obsolete.

    Meanwhile the Americans stick basically everything on the net

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