BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by YAN » 28 Jul 2012 19:07

Not many nations used 13.2mm weapons in WW2, the only ones I know are these:

France/ Belgium: 13.2mm mle 1930 HMG
Romania: 13.2mm AAMG M.1931
Japan: Type 93 13.2mm HMG
Italy: 31.2mm Breda 31 HMG

I bet the Romanian, Japanese and Italian 13.2mm were all based on the Hotchkiss model.


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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by The Edge » 28 Jul 2012 23:55

Regarding the 13.2mm Hotchkiss HMG - ... 2&t=158723

13.2mm Breda HMG was an original design, but heavily influenced by Hotchkiss one.

Another 13.2mm HMG used in WWII was FN-Browning aircraft gun (used by Belgium, Sweden, Yugoslavia) and the Japanese Browning-copies in the same caliber (Type 2 & Type 3 models - ).

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by YAN » 10 Aug 2012 12:50

Thanks Edge.

I think the Italian Carro Commando M41/42 Tank mounted the 13.2mm Model 31, but only in small numbers.


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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by JBbelgium » 20 Aug 2012 10:23

I came across this information from ... e-defensie about Belgian AFV's:
"Literature in Belgium often states that Belgium had 250 light tanks. A study by the Belgian Lieutenant-Colonel A. Bikar (1) shows however that Belgium had no less than 239 T-13's on 10 May 1940.
This means that Belgium had 283 tanks, counting the T-13's, 36 T-15's [sic 42 T15's] and 8 AMC-35.
(1) A. Bikar, 1993: "Mai 1940: Une Unité peu connu de Chasseurs Ardennais: La Compagnie T13 de la PFN", Revue Belge d'Histoire militaire, vol. I./1993, pp. 22-45."

As far as I know Belgium had 42 T15's and 8 operational ACG-1 tanks (the AMC-35) if Bikar is right than we should add 239 T13's:
42+8+239 = 289 modern AFV's
12 old Berliet VUDB's + 6 old Carden Loyd with C47 = 307

Other stuff worth mentioning: 4 other ACG-1's that could not be repaired, a few old Renault FT-17 and FT-18 tanks were used as tractors to tow Cointet elements in place, others were were broken beyond repair.

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by daveh » 20 Aug 2012 18:14

Earlier posts in this topic discuss the question of numbers of T 13s and other Belgian AFV.
There is general agreement on there being

42 T 15
12 Berliet VUDB
6 Vickers Mk VI
35 T 13 BI
21 T 13 BII
8 ACG-1
i.e.124 AFV

Bikar gives a total of 183 T13 BIII in addition to the above for a total of 307.

The list given earlier by Eric Simon gives an additional 2 Renault ACG-1 a well as the 194 T13 BIII for a total of 320 AFV

The operational strength of l'Escadron d'Autos Blindes du Corps de Cavalerie was 8. There were 2 platoons one with numbers 807, 817, 829 and 832 the other with 803, 814, 831 and 833. The organisational chart had an ACG-1 in each platoon HQ but these were never issued.

Deducting 2 ACG-1 from Eric Simon's total gives us a figure of 318 AFV.

The first production order for T 13 BIII was for 194 vehicles which was completed by September 1939. This gives a total of 250 T 13s of various models at this date. This is the figure used by Simon.

An examination of pictures showing vehicle registration numbers shows a 3499. This suggest the sequence of registration numbers for the second batch of BIIIs continues directly from those of the first batch. The highest number I've seen is 3544 suggesting that perhaps some 50 vehicles of batch two were built and issued. However there is no evidence for more than 250 T 13s of all models issued on the basis of unit allocations i have seen listed.

So overall it seems known production figures suggests a total of 318 is a likelier figure than 307 while vehicle registrations suggest the figure may be as high as 368.

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by JBbelgium » 21 Aug 2012 16:33

Hi Daveh
I have read all those topics too. The number 3544 was visible in a picture of a T13 in German service, wasn't it? That is useful to get a correct production number but doesn't really prove that the Belgian had army that much T13's in use. Although that's probably not your point.

318 AFV's sounds like a pretty good (minimum) estimation

Some T13's may have been in the Reservewielvoertuigenpark/ Parc du Charroi de Réserve in Ghendt. The 1st light regiment (gendarmes) sent their last VUDB armoured cars to the park on 18 May because they were too unreliable. They got some T13's in exchange. Which means that a number of T13's was at this reserve car park, these could be some of 50 missing pieces.

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by daveh » 30 Sep 2012 12:51

Musing on rates of production for the T 13 B III
When was production started?
Bikar states that all the first order of 194 T 13 B III were delivered by September 1939 having been ordered in 1938. If all were produced in 1939 this gives a production rate of c.21 or so a month.
At this rate a further c.150 could have been produced in the 7 months October 1939 to May 1940. Does anyone know when the second order was due to be completed as this is very close to the 158 vehicles ordered?

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by JBbelgium » 08 Dec 2012 18:29

Does anyone know if the American tankdestroyer doctrine was based on or influenced by the Belgian use of C47 towed by VUB's and the self-propelled T13's? A certain lieutenant colonel Brown served as an American military observer in Belgium from 1937 to 1940. I haven't read it yet but his findings should be in this article: J.E. Helenreich, “An American Perception of Belgian military preparedness, 1937-1940”, in: Belgisch tijdschrift voor militaire geschiedenis, 19 (1984), 5, pp. 428-430.

Neither of the following articles (just google the name) mention anything about Belgium:
-Seek, Strike, and Destroy: U.S. Army Tank Destroyer Doctrine in World War two by Dr. Christopher R. Gabel
Combat Studies Institute U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
BRYAN E. DENNY, MAJ, US ARMY B.S., Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, 1990

It seems unlikely to me that the American Army was unaware of the Belgian used of motorised and self-propelled AT-guns yet no one seems to mention them. That's odd.

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Post by Kelvin » 07 Jan 2018 18:10

Brossel wrote: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


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)

It is curious T 13 B1 and B2 only had 42 rounds ( 18 HE and 24 AP) but why B3 can carry 69 HE and 69 AP total 138 rounds, is B3 is much more larger than B1 and B2 ?

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Re: BELGIAN T-13 & T-15

Post by daveh » 08 Jan 2018 16:40

While the T13 B1 and B2 were based on the Vickers 1934 artillery tractor and the T 13 B3 on the slightly larger and more powerful Vickers-Carden-Loyd Light Dragon Mk. II B ( the export version), the relatively small differences in size seems insufficient to account for the space available for an extra 85 rounds in the B3.

Note the B3 is approximately the same length as the B1 and B2 and at most 0.11 m wider. (sources of course differ)

Whenever I look at information about the Belgian army my first reaction is to check as many sources as I can as I always think I will find differences.
In this case for example ... an_T13.php gives

T 13 B1 and B2: 18 HE and 24 AT rounds

T 13 B3: 69 HE and 69 AT rounds

while in the magazine TnT 17, an article on the T 13 gives

T 13 B1 and B2: 138 rounds

T 13 B3: 139 rounds

Neither of the above gives its source(s) for the numbers of rounds carried and as I do not have any detailed drawings that show the ammo stowage for any model of the T 13 nor any T 13 manuals I cannot give a definitive answer. mentions that Laurent Halleux is preparing a study on Vickers Carden Loyd T.13 which should, hopefully be available soon and fingers crossed will provide an answer to this and many other T 13 related questions

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