Players today might not know but in 2014, the game had quite an unsuccessful "Historical Battles" mode. It's a shame there isn't such a mode today because it would be great to have a reason to play tanks that really existed, facing off against the tanks they were designed to compete with in real life.
WG's original attempt was PvP, used the same maps from the regular map pool but players could only select historically accurate tanks. For example, there was a Battle of El Alamein recreation using the El Halluf map where one team of players had to be Germany and could only pick Marders and Panzer IIIs and the other team was the UK and could only pick Crusaders and Valentines – that sort of thing.
The other historical factors were limited shell types and ammunition and you couldn't use certain modules on tanks – e.g. most likely you'd be playing an early Valentine with the 2-pdr gun because the 6-pdr was still in development or had not been mounted on that tank yet.
It failed, I think, because it was frustrating to run out of ammo and playing stock tanks isn't fun. Also, as far as I remember, it didn't have a specific point or reward for playing.
Interested to know if people think there is a place for this idea in World of Tanks in 2021. What would you do differently to try to make it successful? Are there enough people playing who care about recreating historical scenarios in the game?