BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

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YAN
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BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by YAN » 02 Mar 2007 17:27

Hi, has anyone got any good info on the Belgian T-13 & T-15 AFVs, all the armour and speeds on roads nd cross county please. Thanks Yan.

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Post by Fabi » 03 Mar 2007 18:05


Brossel
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Post by Brossel » 06 Mar 2007 20:59

T13s
1. History

When the army undertook its motorisation program in 1929, the first tracked armoured vehicle it was interested in was the Carden-Loyd Mark VI, built by the British company Vickers-Armstrong. Six exemplars were bought and they participated to the manoeuvre of 1931. Some traction trials of the 47mm C47 FRC AT gun and of the 76mm FRC took place. But they were not very satisfactory (weak mobility on road and in the field).

At the same time it was observed that the 47mm C47 At gun was hard to put in battery and that it was even harder to undeploy it (not very easy when you need to move away quicly). So it was not very practical for a mobile unit.

The 47 mm At gun was then mounted on the six Carden-Loyd Mark VI. Those transformed vehicles had the disadvantage of only being able to fire in a single direction: forwards. Above all their all around mobility in the forest of the Ardennes was not satisfactory. Those vehicules were used by the “Chasseurs Ardennais” until 1938. After that time, they were used by two “Cyclistes-Frontière” regiments. They were placed between Vivegnis and Lixhe along the Meuse (Maas) river as static defences. They fought between the 10th and the 11th of May 1940 and then sabotaged or abandoned (since they couldn’t move any more).


But the idea of a gun mounted on a tankette was further developed.

In 1934, the army had bought larger Vickers-Carden-Loyd tracked tractors in order to tow the 20 Bofors 75mm M34 mountain guns bought for the “Chasseurs Ardennais”. 21 (with ordinary steel plates) were bought to that end.


35 other units were bought but with armoured steel plates. Those 35 exemplars were armed with a pivoting half turret pointed rearwards (armour on the front of the turret, open air at the rear) able to turn at 360°. But in order to turn at 360°, the armoured plates on the front and on the sides of the vehicle had to be lowered first, otherwise it could turn at120°. The turret was equipped with a 47mm FRC M32 AT gun (the same gun as the C47 FRC infantry AT gun) and with a F.N. Mod30 automatic rifle (basically a Belgian BAR) placed on the right of the gun. The T13-B1 was born.



The 56 units were produced under licence by Miesse (a truck maker located at Buysinghen, near Brussels).

But the 23 unarmed tractors bought in order to tow the 75mm Bofors mountain guns were not satisfactory. They were replaced by a more performing wheeled vehicle (the F.N. 63C-4RM 4x4 trucks). The 23 Vickers tractors were then recuperated, modified and armed with the 47mm FRC AT gun, like their cousins. Those vehicles took the name of T13-B2.

T13-B1 and T13-B2 are almost identical. The only few differences are the number plates ( the T13-B1 were in the 0500 serial number while the B2 were in the 1100 serial number),…

A T13-B2 can be seen at the Royal Army Museum in Brussels.

As said above, the T13-B1 and T13-B2 had the main disadvantage of having to lower the front and side armoured plates to be able to fire in all directions. A third model named T13-B3 was designed, based on the Vickers-Carden-Loyd Light Dragon MkII B export, which was more stable and better suspended. The new model was fitted with a half turret able to turn freely at 360°. The new model was produced by the Atelier de construction of Familleureux. The turret was armed with a 47 mm FRC AT gun (the same gun as the C47 FRC infantry AT gun) and a FN-Browning Mod 30 automatic rifle.
The driver’s position was fully enclosed with overhead protection (unlike the T13-B1 and B2 version). They were delivered from 1938.



The real number of T13-B3 produced before 10th May 1940 is quite uncertain. But they were produce in large number (for a small country like Belgium).
What is sure is that the first order of 194 units was completed in late 1939 and a second order of 158 units had been placed in September 1939. The production never stopped and continued until May 1940. So dozens of T13-B3 were certainly produced in that time. But following estimations, the real total number of T13-B3 produced before 10th May 1940 is between 250 and 255 units.

2. Operational use

The T13’s were designed as infantry (or cavalry) support vehicle (like a mobile antitank artillery), not as a tank. But the circumstances of May 1940 forced their use as fighting tanks, a role for which they had not been destined. So its performances were not always up to the expectations.

The crews suffered a lot from the lack of protection. The half turret was open at the rear, which was a major imperfection, especially during urban fights. Indeed lets imagine the effect of a single hand grenade thrown from there in the middle of the crew and the ammo boxes... The armour was also too weak: 6 to 13 mm, which could only provide protection against individual weapons.

In use the T13’s were used in pairs, or even singly, as fire support for infantry sub-units. But the effectiveness of the 47mm gun was excellent and it is interesting to speculate on the outcome had these vehicles been used more aggressively, and in bulk. They proved to be really useful to support counter-attacks, to cover retreats or to destroy the machine gun nests. When they were well led, well camouflaged, the T13 could be quite efficient (for example, in the Ardennes a single T13 was able to destroy five panzers). But it had to be the first one to shoot since a single hit on it could be fatal.

Below, following the most restrictive sources (the real total number is certainly higher, see explanations above), the repartition of the T13’s (all models included: B1, B2 and B3) per unit in May:

1ier Guides (1DC): 7 T13
2ième Lanciers (1DC) : 7 T13
3ième Lanciers (1DC) : 4 T13
1ier Lanciers (2DC) : 4 T13
1ier Chasseurs à Cheval (2DC): 4 T13
2ième Chasseurs à Cheval (2DC) : 7 T13
1ier Chasseurs ardennais : 8 T13
2ième Chasseurs ardennais : 16 T13
3ième Chasseurs ardennais : 8 T13
Cyclistes frontières (Border cyclists): 42 T13
Infantry Divisions (1 to 4) : 4 x 12 T13 = 48 T13
Infantry Divisions (5 and 6) : 2 x 4 T13 = 8 T13
Infantry Divisions (7 to 11) : 5 x 12 T13 = 60 T13
Position Fortifiée de Liège (Fortified position of Liège) : 10 T13
Position Fortifiée de Namur (Fortified position of Namur) : 12 T13
Gendarmerie : 4 T13
Ecole mobile (mobile school) : 1 T13

TOTAL : 250 T13
(NB DC = Division de Cavalerie, Cavalery Division)



3. Technical data


· T13-B1 and T13-B2 :
Crew : 3
T13-B1: 35 units (serial number 0500 and onwards)
T13-B2: 21 units (serial number 1100 and onwards)
Length: 3,65 m
Width: 1,76 m
Height: 1,36 m (without the turret)
Armour: 6 to 13 mm
Autonomy: 240 km (on road)
Max speed on road: 40,2 km/h
Fuel: 175 liters
Speed: 5 forward +1 rearward
Engine: 1 Meadows 5 cyl of 3.300 cc (51 Cv)
Based on the Vickers-Carden-Loyd Light Amphibious Tank (A4E12)
Weight: 4 575 kg
Weapons: 1 FRC 47 mm Mod 1932 AT gun and 1 FM FN-Browning 7,65 mm automatic rifle
Ammo: 18 HE shells and 24 AT shells

· T13-B3 :
Crew : 3 to 4
T13-B3 produced: 194 units minimum (serial number 3300 and onwards), an other order of 158 was placed in September 1939 and was being processed in 1940, so count a few more dozens units
Length: 3,65 m
Width: 1,87 m
Height: 1,84 m
Armour: 6 to 13 mm
Autonomy: 400 km (on road)
Max speed on road: 40,2 km/h
Engine: 1 Vickers-Armstrong 6 cyl. (80Cv)
Based on the Vickers-Carden-Loyd Light Dragon MkII B export
Weight: 5084 kg
Weapons: 1 FRC 47 mm AT gun and 1 FM FN-Browning 7,65 mm automatic rifle
Ammo: 69 HE shells and 69 AT shells

· 47 mm FRC Mod 32 AT gun
Rate of fire: 5 shots/min.

*AT shell:

Weight: 1kg 550
Velocity: 675 m/s
Penetration: 40mm at 600m

Penetration at 60 degrees (from hungarian test data) at:
100m: 51mm
500m: 44mm
1000m: 37mm

* HE shell:

Weight: 1kg 655
Velocity: 450 m/s
Range: 3000 m

T15

1. History

During the motorisation program of the Belgian army it was decided to buy tracked armoured vehicles in order to equip the newly created “Chasseurs Ardennais”. The Vickers-Carden-Loyd Model 1934 light tank was chosen. 42 exemplars were ordered (in two batches). The first 18 units were ordered on 10th March 1934 and delivered in two lots of 9, on the 15th and 22nd February 1935 respectively. The second batch (of 24 exemplars) was ordered on 16th April 1935 and they were delivered between 15th November 1935 and 28th December 1935.
They were delivered with a special conical turret but without any weapon. The FRC (Fonderie Royale de Canons) armed them with a 13.2 mm Hotchkiss heavy machine gun, which were initially bought for the Aeronautique Militaire. The T15 was born.
Some T15 had a support on the turret for a FN-Browning FM-30 automatic rifle, for the anti aircraft defence. It is not known if all T15 were fitted with that support.


2. Operational use

The T15 was a truly recon light tank: fast 64 km/h, relatively well armed, but to lightly armoured (7 to 9 mm). The 13.2 heavy machine gun was an efficient weapon but it could only attack un-armoured target (such as trucks, motorcycles, light MG vehicles,…).

Repartition following the units:

1ier Guides (1DC): 4 T15
2ième Lanciers (1DC) : 6 T15
3ième Lanciers (1DC) : 6 T15
1ier Lanciers (2 DC) : 6 T15
1ier Chasseurs à Cheval (2 DC) : 6 T15
2ième Chasseurs à Cheval (2 DC) : 4 T15
1ier Chasseurs Ardennais : 3 T15
2ième Chasseurs Ardennais : 3 T15
3ième Chasseurs Ardennais : 3 T15
Ecole automobile : 1 T15

TOTAL : 42 T15

NB : DC = Division de Cavalerie (Cavalery Division)

3. Technical data

Number in service: 42
Crew: 2 or 3
Weight: 3.800 kg
Height: 1.90 m
Length: 3.63 m
Width: 1.89 m
Armour: 7 to 9 mm
Max speed: 64 km/h (on road)
Autonomy: 230 km
Engine: Meadows-Est 6 cyl. (90 Cv)
Weapons: 1 Hotchkiss 13.2 mm heavy machine gun + 1 FN-Browning 7.65mm FM Mod30 (anti aircraft)

YAN
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Post by YAN » 08 Mar 2007 16:21

Many Thanks to Fabi & Brossel for the very usefull info, Yan.

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by Guillem Marti » 21 Apr 2010 23:16

The T13-B2 in the Brussels Museum has a six cylinder engine. Also an A4E12 preserved in Portugal has a six cylinder engine. Don't know about the T13-B1, but because the T13-B2 where modified A4E12 I assume they all had a 90 CV engine.

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by verdenpark » 23 Apr 2010 04:29

Great information on these vehicles. In reguards to the armour penetration tests of the 47mm gun by the Hungarians, what type of plate, and projectile did they use (cemented, face hardened, or homogenous/AP, APHE, APC)?
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Re:

Post by narwan » 18 Jan 2012 23:15

Brossel wrote:T13s
Cyclistes frontières (Border cyclists): 42 T13

Hi,

a question about this number. I suspect it is a typo as all sources I have seen give the two Border Cyclists one T13 company of 12 vehicles each for a total of 24 vehicles. Where did you find the 42 number and how would that translate into subunits in the 2 regiments?

Remco

YAN
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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by YAN » 20 Jan 2012 11:58

It may be a typo, 24 / 42, a slip of a finger.
I have been trying to find the various armour thickness of the T13 (B1 & B2) but to no avail all I can find is 6mm to 13mm.

Armour:
Hull Front: 13mm ?
Hull Sides:
Hull Rear:
Hull Roof: 6mm ?
Hull Bottom: 6mm ?
Turret Front: 13mm ?
Turret Sides:
Turret Rear:
Turret Roof:

I suppose the 13mm would be the front and maybe the turret and 6mm would be the top and bottom, I am just guessing here so if anyone can fill the gaps for me I would be very grateful.
Ian.

narwan
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Re:

Post by narwan » 24 May 2012 18:28

Brossel wrote:The real number of T13-B3 produced before 10th May 1940 is quite uncertain. But they were produce in large number (for a small country like Belgium).
What is sure is that the first order of 194 units was completed in late 1939 and a second order of 158 units had been placed in September 1939. The production never stopped and continued until May 1940. So dozens of T13-B3 were certainly produced in that time. But following estimations, the real total number of T13-B3 produced before 10th May 1940 is between 250 and 255 units.

Below, following the most restrictive sources (the real total number is certainly higher, see explanations above), the repartition of the T13’s (all models included: B1, B2 and B3) per unit in May:

1ier Guides (1DC): 7 T13
2ième Lanciers (1DC) : 7 T13
3ième Lanciers (1DC) : 4 T13
1ier Lanciers (2DC) : 4 T13
1ier Chasseurs à Cheval (2DC): 4 T13
2ième Chasseurs à Cheval (2DC) : 7 T13
1ier Chasseurs ardennais : 8 T13
2ième Chasseurs ardennais : 16 T13
3ième Chasseurs ardennais : 8 T13
Cyclistes frontières (Border cyclists): 42 T13
Infantry Divisions (1 to 4) : 4 x 12 T13 = 48 T13
Infantry Divisions (5 and 6) : 2 x 4 T13 = 8 T13
Infantry Divisions (7 to 11) : 5 x 12 T13 = 60 T13
Position Fortifiée de Liège (Fortified position of Liège) : 10 T13
Position Fortifiée de Namur (Fortified position of Namur) : 12 T13
Gendarmerie : 4 T13
Ecole mobile (mobile school) : 1 T13

TOTAL : 250 T13
(NB DC = Division de Cavalerie, Cavalery Division)
I'm now thinking that the 42 for the border cyclists is actually 'correct', a company of 12 in each of the two regiments plus an independent T13 company makes 36. Add the 6 Carden Lloyd TD's (which are not T13's so they shouldn't be in the list) and it makes 42.

The 1st regiment ChA seems to have had 16x T13, not 8:
http://18daagseveldtocht.wikispaces.com ... nse+Jagers

"•De Cie T13 staat te Neufchateau, met uitzondering van twee pelotons die verspreid zijn onder de compagnies"

So the company is stationed at Neufchateau except for 2 platoons... That clearly implies that the company had more than 2 platoons, in fact it implies it had all 4 platoons.


That still only brings the number of T13's at 252. Assuming the 3rd regiment ChA also had it's full allotment of 16x T13 by the 10th of may we have a total of 260 T13's.
Still short of the total: 56 plus 194 makes 250, add at least 55 of the second production run of B3's and that's 305 available T13's.
Any idea's where the remaining 45 went? Apparantly not to the motorised inf brigade:

(From Cmdt Stassin "Cav motorisee - volume 1")
"Durant les mois de mars et avril 1940, la BCP
participe à diverses manoeuvres et exercices,
qui mettent en lumière la nécessité de disposer
d’engins antichars.
Un embryon d’escadron T13 est donc
constitué à Bierges le 11 avril 1940."
"Cet escadron de réserve est constitué à
Bierges, le 11 avril 1940 mais, vu le déficit en
T13 à l’armée belge, l’instruction commence
sans matériel.
Le 6 mai, l’embryon d’escadron, articulé à
trois pelotons, déménage pour la caserne de la
place Dailly à Bruxelles où l’instruction
continue mais sans T13 !
En désespoir de cause, l’unité est armée
provisoirement de fusils-mitrailleurs."

So on the 6th of may there weren't T13's available to equip this company with. So where did they go?

Narwan

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by daveh » 24 May 2012 21:11

In the article
Les Blindes Belges en Mai 1940 by Eric Simon
CLHAM Tome IX Fascicule 12, Oct –Dec 2006
There is the following table
planned afv2.png
see http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... k#p1367200
for the Vickers 37 (Vickers Command tank)

The highest number I have seen photo evidence for is 3544. The existence of 3499 suggests the number sequence for the T13 BIII continued straight on from the first order of 194 vehicles. In other words there should be an additional c. 50 T13 BIII vehicles available that are not shown in the 10 May 1940 lists.

Logically we should expect the new production T13 BIII to go to the following units:

5 ID..............8
6 ID..............8
12 ID............12

2 Cav Divs......48

1 ChA Div.......16
2 ChA Div.......48

PFL................2

CyFr...............4

Gendarmerie....12

as these are the differences between the given May 10 totals and the planned figures.
Anyone have any evidence to suggest that any such allocations ocurred?
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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by narwan » 26 May 2012 14:23

How were does 42 T13's arranged among the border cyclists? Does he give any specification of that?

Narwan

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by daveh » 26 May 2012 23:40

This is something that has puzzled me for a while.
Various sources agree on

1st regt cycliste frontiere : 1 12 strong T13 company (the 8th company of the regiment)
2nd regt cycliste frontiere : 1 12 strong T13 company (the 8th company of the regiment)

a brigade level T 13 company of 12 vehicles

total so far 36 T13s.

Most lists include 35 T13 BI and 7 T13 BIII in the Cycliste Frontiere units. Nothing I have seen suggests another 6 T 13s in any unit.

Another problem is that T13s are all in companies with 4 vehicle strong platoons.

Could the missing T13s be in the Limbourg Battalion??

In addition
http://www.maquetland.com/v2/index.php? ... on&id=1165
mentions 6 Carden-Loyd Mk VI SP AT guns as being passed from the Chasseur Ardennais to the Cycliste Frontiere in 1938.
They were worn out and so were buried as anti tank posts between Vivegnis and Lixhe on the River Meuse. They did fire a few rounds against the Germans cn May 10 and 11 1940.
As they were immobile they were abandoned when the Cycliste Frontiere units retreated.

As far as I can tell they were used by some unit within the 2nd Cycliste Frontiere regiment but I don't what sub unit.

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by daveh » 27 May 2012 11:54

In the magazine Minitracks number 3 I have read the following:
The T13 BII number 1139 in the tank museum Brussels is noted as having belonged to
the battalion of the cyclist frontier of Limburg, and more precisely to the Maaseik group (4T13)
Untitled.png
and in
http://ablhistoryforum.be/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=1417

Le modèle exposé est celui utilisé le 10.5.40 par le détachementagree that de Maaseik du bataillon de Cyclistes-Frontière du Limbourg et il en a conversé les marques originales.
The translation by Google is unclear as far as I am concerned
The model presented is the one used by the detachment of 5/10/40 Maaseik Cyclists Battalion Frontier-Limburg and he conversed in the original marks.

The 2 sources agree that there were T13s in the Maaseik du bataillon de Cyclistes-Frontière du Limbourg possibly 4 in number.
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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by narwan » 27 May 2012 13:04

It would fit if you take the 6 Carden Loyd vehicles into account; one company of 12 T13's for the 1st regiment, one company of 6 T13's and 6 Carden Loyds for the 2nd regiment, one company of 12 T13's for the Limbourg battallion (at 6 companies effectively regimental strength) and one independent company of 12 T13's. Total 42 T13's and 6 Carden Loyds. These latter would be replaced with T13's when available so that would make up the 48 required T13's as in Eric Simons table.

There's another possibility though; the belgians tended to use their T13's in platoon sized formations. These T13's for the Limbourg bn could well have been a platoon belonging to the independent company.
Are you sure that the border cyclists had companies of 12 vehicles and not companies of 16 vehicles like the ChA? Because then the math would add up too, 3 x 16 = 48. That matches 42 T13's and 6 Carden Loyds. It also matches 3 and not 4 companies of T13's in the border cyclists.

Narwan

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by narwan » 27 May 2012 13:18

There are some odd bits in this link:
http://ablhistoryforum.be/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=1417

this for example (referring to the status of units in may 40):
" La Brigade de Cavaliers Portés était en formation avec 10 T.13 sur 12."

They claim that the motorised infantry brigade received 10 of the required 12 T13's.

And this:
"Compagnie Ind. de l'unité Cycliste Frontière -12.
8e Companie de l'unité Cycliste Frontière - 12.
Compangnie PFL de l'unité Cycliste Frontière - 12."

They include the PFL company in the three companies for the border cyclist. They're mixing up the dates it seems. The border cyclist were gradually expanded which means different TO&E's for different periods. This looks to be based on an older one, not the one for may 1940.

Narwan

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