You've seen it in-game, and the luckiest of you might have seen it roaring at Tankfest. The Bretagne Panther is everywhere these days, but bringing it back to life was actually far from being an easy task. Last time we talked about the Bretagne, it was sent to occupy Germany, for a small amount of time only.
The year is 2017. The Musée des Blindées de Saumur, arguably the best museum in France - if you like tanks - acquires the vehicle. That's when we appear, helping the museum and its specialists to begin a proper restoration process. But, at that time, neither the museum nor World of Tanks is aware of the real identity of the Panther.
Its hull needed some serious love. However, slowly but surely, the big cat gets healthier. We acquire a new engine, and work on a fresh suspension. A very delicate operation, but the Panther is getting closer to the glorious days of its youth.
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What youth exactly? After entire months of restoration, we start to dive into the potential backstory of this Panther. In the words of a famous archeologist: "That belongs in a museum", so this vehicle has to be historically relevant. However, it cannot be a simple Panther either.
Looking more than 70 years back, we found the incredible story of the Besnier Squadron, a very unusual unit of the Free French Forces, entirely composed by captured German tanks, including two Panthers. Our vehicle finally has a compelling story, and it's so good it fits both the battlefields from our game and the alleys of the museum.
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We're now in early 2019, and our developers work alongside the museum specialists to create the most accurate version possible of the Panther. Research continues as we're adding Zimmerit(a paste-like coating against magnetic mines) and a camouflage. Both are actually German but, funnily enough, as our analysis gets more accurate, we're finding out that the tank acquired in 2017 actually has a strong chance of being one of the two Panthers from the Besnier Squadron, believe it or not!
As most French vehicles during the war, these Panthers were named after French regions. One was christened Auvergne, but in the end, Bretagne, the other one, sounded cooler. That's how this glorious vehicle came back to life after decades of absence. Get it in-game right now, and keep your eyes peeled for videos of this amazing tank!