The documents concerned were posted online in three posts – since deleted – supposed to help developers improve the design of vehicles that appear in War Thunder. As reported by the Washington Post, leaked classified documents showing British, French and Chinese design tanks.
One of the members of the forum, claiming to be a member of an armored unit of the French army, also posted the user manual for the French tank Leclerc S2 online. For its part, neither the great mute nor any French authority has confirmed or denied the authenticity of the documents. The British authorities have nevertheless confirmed the Top Secret dimension of the documents published around the Challenger tank.
Why did secret documents end up on the War Thunder forum?
According to people interviewed by the Washington Post, even if the published documents do seem sensitive, much of the information they contain is freely available on the internet. These are indeed manuals that are distributed to many people working on and around the tanks. Many foreign intelligence services probably already know most of this information.
But the documents remain classified Secret Défense because they contain black and white precise data such as the thickness of the shielding – a crucial data for the safety of the occupants of the tank. For its part the forum of the game War Thunder assures you to closely monitor the exchanges that take place on the site, which attracts many passionate members. Presumably the intention was in no way to harm but simply to make their favorite game more realistic.
The person responsible for the site has planned to warn its members of the danger linked to the sharing of such documents. While explaining that any shared file must absolutely be justified by its interest for the developers. This is not the case, in this case, of complete user manuals.
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He also stresses that he is ready to ban anyone who in the future indulges in this type of leak on his site. In addition, it is hoped that military actors at various levels who see this type of manuals have been informed of the danger of this type of full disclosure, which is normally strictly prohibited without express authorization from the Ministry of the Armed Forces.