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Spartan Scoop

Spartan Scoop

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Spartan Scoop


These people are psychotic
F-117 Nighthawk in flight


War Thunder is an extremely popular armored vehicle simulator. It is free-to-play which helps it reach a massive audience. Especially with the sixteen vs. sixteen layout of the game. Originally released in 2012 the game has experienced a massive surge in popularity. This is partially due to Gaijin Entertainment having a lot of sponsorship deals with various content creators. The main reason, however, is the constant stream of classified documents being leaked. 

Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction

I recommend going and reading the article published last year by me(Matthew Allen) that has a large part of the context required for this one. Ever since 2021 there has been a large number of classified documents leaked by the player base. The one who kicked it all off was Challenger 2 Commander, who, if you couldn’t guess, leaked documents related to the Challenger 2 British tank. This caused a snowball effect where a large number of players leaked classified information. Gaijin Entertainment even updated their terms of service to include a clause to not leak classified information on their forums. Anyone with some critical thinking skills can tell this didn’t work.

I think the Department of Defense needs to start checking if people play Warthunder before giving them clearance.

Going back to last year the last leak that was covered is the F-15 and F-16 leaks. This plane is a major vehicle of the United States Military, and it was believed that after such an influential leak there would be a break. Since who in their right mind would try to leak even more classified documents. It didn’t even last two weeks.

If I had a nickel…

Fourteen days isn’t necessarily a long amount of time. It’s how long it takes for most people to get paid. It however is an absurdly short amount of time talking about classified document leaks. On the 31st of January info regarding the Shenyang J8-B was leaked. This time the documents made their way to Reddit after being deleted from the forums. The original post claimed that they weren’t classified, but if you look at the documents you can find the stamp on it that marks as still being classified. All that, just to post information about the radar on the plane. I guess they were tired of getting shot down by anti-air vehicles.

Seven months later the entire 730 page manual for the Eurofighter Typhoon was posted straight to the forum. The reason they did this is, “I hope this data will help the devs add this magnificent jet faster…” Similar to the F-16 leak the plane wasn’t even in the game yet. I guess they just could not wait to get their hands on it. I don’t even know how someone gets ahold of the entire manual as a PDF without getting in trouble, but this person did. At least this person’s motivation was a little wholesome, since they wanted to help the developers.

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  • War Thunder forum screen shot

Then only a month later in November of 2023 the flight manual for the F-117 Nighthawk was posted on the forums. The Nighthawk is a stealth fighter that was originally designed to combat Soviet forces during the Cold War. The silhouette of this plane is iconic. And now its manual was leaked because it wasn’t accurate enough in a video game. Do they just let anyone under the purview of the Department of Justice take documents home? I’ve seen less Target internal documents than DOJ documents. 

Now a two for one. On the fifteenth of November, 2023 there were two leaks. The less significant were Chinese DTW-125 tank rounds. This vendetta was because it wasn’t performing well enough in the game. They hoped that posting the accurate depictions of the shells would make it perform better. Thankfully no other player base is like this, otherwise leaks would never stop. It’s especially surprising that so many documents related to Chinese vehicles were leaked. Because, always remember “nothing” happened in Tiananmen Square.

Then on that same day the technical manual for the AH-64 Apache helicopter was leaked. Interestingly someone on the forums was trying to claim that they weren’t classified. But yet again the documents said that they were limited to members of the Department of Defense. How do these people manage to do this? It’s almost as bad as Jack Texeira. At least it’s multiple people, and not someone with a discord called Thug Shaker Central.

I think the Department of Defense needs to start checking if people play Warthunder before giving them clearance. Why? Because a month later the M2A2 Bradley IFV(Infantry Fighting Vehicle) had its technical manual leaked. While from what I’ve read the documents don’t “technically” have a classified rating, they are still extremely sensitive documents. Does the Department of Defense just leave these things laying around? It’s like there’s a claw machine just full of classified documents. Let’s hope they pull something on the A-10 Warthog.

This one is a bonus point, as while it is still classified in Russia, other Warsaw Pact countries do not have it classified. The Mig-29 is a helicopter that was heavily utilized by the former Soviet Union. Its documents were posted straight to the forum, then later removed. You know, at least these documents have been floating around since the 90’s. It also helps that so many of these were left stranded in Afghanistan after getting to meet a Stinger.

The Ban Hammer

Somehow the players of the game keep doing this. The only thing I can think of is that the people don’t like playing the game anymore and decide to become a news story while getting a permanent ban. That’s the other piece of information, every single person who has leaked documents to the War Thunder forums has been permanently banned. It’s certainly a dramatic way to stop playing a game.

If it’s not a dramatic way to quit the game then these people must care a little bit too much about the balance. If Call of Duty players started to leak documents whenever the game wasn’t balanced it would be an innumerable amount of documents. 

Benjamin Franklin said that there are two certainties in life, death and taxes. Well I guess we can add a third one, War Thunder players leaking classified documents. Last time I made a joke about how long it would take. It happened in two weeks, so I’m just going to not poke the bear. (I doubt it will take a month)

About the Contributor
Matt Allen
Matt Allen, Reporter