French Tanks of World War II (1): Infantry and Battle Tanks by Steven J. Zaloga

By Steven J. Zaloga

The entire French medium and heavy tanks of 1940 are during this identify: Renault feet, Renault R-35, FCM-36, Hotchkiss H.38, Char B1bis, Renault D-1, and Renault D-2.

The first quantity of this half sequence will disguise the infantry tanks and conflict tanks that served in 1940. beginning with the Renault toes of global struggle I status, it is going to conceal the modernization of the toes within the inter-war years. the focal point of the infantry tank part might be at the makes an attempt to interchange the feet with designs reminiscent of the Renault R-35, FCM-36, and the Hotchkiss H.38. Derivatives of those kinds may also be coated similar to the R-40. France additionally had a separate relatives of conflict tanks beginning with the Renault D-1, Renault D-2, and at last the easiest recognized tank of the crusade, the Char B1 bis. This e-book will supply a quick improvement account those tanks forms, overlaying the tactical rationales for his or her layout and their simple technical beneficial properties. it's going to additionally in brief deal with their functionality within the 1940 crusade, declaring the salient beneficial properties of the strive against checklist.

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Extra info for French Tanks of World War II (1): Infantry and Battle Tanks (New Vanguard, Volume 209)

Sample text

Seven companies submitted designs for the new Char Moyen G1. The SEAM team under Prince André Poniatowski completed a hull test-bed for their G1P using a modern electric transmission that was completed in late 1937. However, army uncertainty over specifications delayed the program and led to changes such as the switch to a new turretmounted 75mm gun, and the weight continued to climb towards 30 tonnes. Financial difficulties at SEAM led to a consolidation of its program with that being undertaken by ARL, but the G1P went into limbo after the start of the war in 1939.

Fuel exhaustion was another frequent cause of combat loss. The Char B1 bis had an effective range of 60–90 miles, which was not untypical of tanks of this period. However, the newly formed armored divisions had not yet worked out refueling procedures and in some cases suffered from a shortage of the Lorraine 37L refueling vehicles. At the core of many of the operating problems of the Char B1 bis was the lack of adequate training and crew experience caused by the belated formation of the French armored divisions and the late arrival of the new tanks in the Char B1 bis battalions.

Schneider and Renault teamed together to provide a pair of offerings. The SRA (Schneider-Renault A) used a 75mm fortress gun in the hull, while the SRB offered a naval 47mm mle. 02 gun with better antitank performance. Saint-Chamond’s FAMH plant also used a short 75mm gun, as did the FCM 21 design. The Delaunay-Belleville design was rejected almost immediately. Of the remaining four designs, all but the SRB encountered prolonged mechanical issues during the 1924 trials. In the end, the SRB was selected as the preferred design, but better features from the other competitors were adapted to the SRB, such as the track from the FCM tank and the suspension design of the Saint-Chamond tank.

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