I swear this isn’t satire


War Thunder is a free-to-play war game involving flying planes/helicopters and driving tanks, with sixteen characters on either side fighting against each in active combat for victory. This, however, is not the most important part; the important thing is that the players are unhinged – not because the game requires any particular skill, but because they keep leaking classified government documents in response to inaccuracies in the game.


First starting in 2021, players of War Thunder have leaked classified documents about three separate tanks. The first documented incident involved the British Challenger 2; a player known as “Challenger 2 Commander” posted the uncensored version of the government user manual for this tank in order to protest the inaccuracies in the tank’s in-game model. Despite this, there is no published news of this player encountering legal trouble.

Then the week of
January 12 2023 military
documents for the F-16
fighter jet were leaked.

The next instance of classified leaks was for the manual of a French tank, the Leclerc S2 – a player claiming to be part of a French army tank crew complained about the rotation speed of the turret in game. There is also no confirmation of this player being reported or legally detained

 In August 2022 an image from a Chinese military manual was leaked to ensure that the portrayal of the Chinese DTC10-125 anti-tank missile was “realistic”. Three times in a row no news of them getting in trouble. Leaks had stopped again, and then 2023 came back strong.

Then the week of January 12 2023 military documents for the F-16 fighter jet were leaked. Then over a dozen system manuals were leaked for the F-15, which isn’t even in the game yet. The documents were leaked before players could even use the plane to find inaccuracies. There was even a fake story going around that Raytheon Technologies, an aerospace company with government contracts, asked that as a security question. The fake stroy originated from Reddit, and gained massive popularity. This was later stated to be false by the company itself, though they said it was funny that it gained so much traction. Despite it being fake, the fact that War Thunder players have leaked enough classified documents, that the story was believable is astounding.

War Thunder players are so determined to win arguments that they’ve leaked classified documents on five separate occasions. Gaijin Entertainment, the company behind War Thunder, have removed all of the posts from the forums featuring the leaked documents, and even has it explicitly stated in their community guidelines to not leak classified information. There was six months between the last two occurrences of leaks, how long will it last this time?