french AFVs

Discussions on all aspects of France during the Inter-War era and Second World War.
YAN
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french AFVs

Post by YAN » 27 Oct 2006 16:19

Hi. has anyone got any info on french armoured cars, I know about the panhard 178, but what about the white 1918, AMC P-16, AMC S-15, AMD 50, AMD 80 and the panhard 165/175 I been searching for data on these vehicles for some time and I cant find any data on the armour on the AFVs mentioned. also the AMC 34 is an another one, cant find the turret armour (YR). Hope to hear from you guys soon, Thanx Yan.

Carl Schwamberger
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Post by Carl Schwamberger » 27 Oct 2006 17:16

For a quick internet refrence try this:

http://www.chars-francais.net/de1930a1940.htm

My book data for this subject is very fragmentary.

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 27 Oct 2006 17:30

Hello,

Here are data about the French armored cars:

AMD WHITE
Ségur and Lorfeuvre have built the White Mle1917/1918 armored car on a White truck chassis (USA). It was used in France until 1933 and in the French Levant colonies (Syria and Lebanon) until 1941. It was armed with a 37mm SA18 gun and a 8mm Mle1914 Hotchkiss MG in the turret, in opposite direction (gun in the front and MG in the rear or inversely). This armament was innovative in 1917/1918 when there were only self-propelled guns (auto-canon) with guns or armored cars with MGs. This armored car had both armaments. About 230 have been produced until end 1918 but only few saw combat during WW1. In the 20's pneumatics are installed on this armored car.
Weight : 6.0t
Length : 5.60m
Width : 2.10m
Height : 2.75m
Crew : 4 men (2-men turret)
Maximum armor : 8mm
Maximum speed : 45 km/h
Armament : a 37mm SA18 L/21 gun and a 8mm Mle1914 Hotchkiss MG in the turret in opposite direction (gun in the front and MG in the rear or inversely). There were also AA mounts for the MG on the turret.

AMD LAFFLY 50AM (also called AMD WHITE-LAFFLY)
In 1932-1934, Laffly modernized 98 AMD White from 1917/1918. A Laffly LC2 chassis replaced the old White chassis. Except several 13 Laffly 50AM in the 4e GRDI (reconnaissance group from 15e DIM) in metropolitan France, all the Laffly 50AM armored cars are in the colonies in May-June 1940 (28-32 in North Africa, 6-10 in Indochina and 12 in the Levant).
Weight : 6.5t
Length : 5.40m
Width : 2.30m
Height : 2.48m
Crew : 4 men (2-men turret)
Maximum armor : 8mm
Maximum speed : 70 km/h (Laffly engine, 50 hp)
Autonomy : 300 km
Armament : a 37mm SA18 L/21 gun and a 8mm Mle1914 Hotchkiss MG in the turret, in opposite direction (gun in the front and MG in the rear or inversely). There were also AA mounts for the MG on the turret. Ammunition : 92 HE and 72 AP shells, 3840 standard cartridges, 1440 armor piercing cartridges and 288 tracer cartridges.

AMD LAFFLY 80AM (also called AMD LAFFLY-VINCENNES)
In 1934-1935, Laffly again modernized 28 AMD White from 1917/1918. The Laffly 80AM had a more powerful 80 hp engine and was armed with a Hotchkiss 13.2mm HMG. Only 28 units have been produced before being replaced by the Panhard 178 on the French metropolitan territory. In 1939, all the Laffly 80AM were incorporated into two squadrons in North Africa and saw action in Tunisia in 1942 and 1943 with the Free French forces against the Italians and the Germans.
Weight : 7.5t
Length : 5.70m
Width : 2.10m
Height : 2.50m
Crew : 4 men
Maximum armor : 20mm
Maximum speed : 80 km/h (Laffly engine, 80 hp, 5000 cm3)
Autonomy : 400 km
Armament : a 13.2mm turret HMG and a 7.5mm MAC1931 in the turret, in opposite direction (HMG in the front and MG in the rear or inversely). There were also AA mounts for the MG on the turret. Ammunition : 1690 standard and AP 13.2mm rounds, 1900 standard 7.5mm cartridges and 200 AP 7.5mm cartridges (mixed in 14 magazines).

AMD PANHARD 165/175 TOE
The Panhard 165/175 is an armored car, which entered service in 1933. Most of them were used in North Africa. It had a 2-men turret.
Weight : 6.7t
Crew : 4 men
Maximum armor : 9mm
Maximum speed : 75 km/h (85 hp engine)
Autonomy : 750 km
Armament : a 37mm SA18 L/21 gun and a 7.5mm coaxial MAC1931 in the turret. Ammunition : 100 AP and 94 HE shells, 2400 standard cartridges (16 magazines) and 1500 armor piercing cartridges (10 magazines).

PANHARD 179
The Panhard 179 is a kind of scout car also known as "voiture blindée de transport de combattants". It is based on the Panhard 165/175 with its turret removed and also holds 4-5 men. Some had a forward firing MG. There was a crew of 2-3 men and the vehicle could transport about 6 men with rifles and equipment. Some were fitted with wireless sets and a telescopic aerial on the left hand side. It entered in service around 1933-1935. Only about 30 Panhard 179s were in service in the colonies in 1940. 12 vehicles were made to the 179 standard in 1933 by Panhard and saw service with the 1e REC from 1934 to June 1940, they were then given to the 1e RCA.

Laffly S15 TOE
The AMD Laffly S15 TOE is not only a recon armored car, it is an hybrid vehicle armored car and armored personal carrier which can carry small infantry groups of 4-6 men. It saw mostly action in North Africa.
Weight : 5.2t
Length : 4.55m
Width : 1.85m
Height : 2.45m
Crew : 3 men
Maximum armor : 7mm
Maximum speed : 62 km/h (Hotchkiss 486.sp12 engine, 52 hp)
Autonomy : 1000 km
Armament : a 7.5mm turret MAC1931

Panhard-Schneider P16 Mle1929
The AMC P16 (also called Citroen-Kégresse or Panhard-Schneider P16) is ordered in 1929. 96 vehicles were delivered and still used in 1940 in various GRDIs (Groupe de Reconnaissance de Division d'Infanterie) but as reconnaissance armored car (AMR) and not as "combat" armored car anymore, it was too old. Like the Panhard 178 armored car, the AMC P16 had two drivers (one forward and one backward – dual drive) to change direction very quickly, increasing the overall maneuverability.
Weight : 6.8t
Length : 4.83m
Width : 1.75m
Height : 2.60m
Crew : 3 men
Maximum armor : 12mm
Maximum speed : 50 km/h (Panhard engine, 4 cylinders, 60 hp)
Autonomy : 250 km
Armament : a 37mm SA18 L/21 gun and a coaxial 7.5mm turret MAC1931. Ammunition : 60 HE and 40 AP shells, 1950 standard cartridges (13 magazines) and 1050 armor piercing cartridges (7 magazines).

BERLIET VUDB
The Lyonnaise firm of Berliet built various armored cars between the wars, one of the earliest being this "voiture de prise de contact" (literally vehicle to make contact) which was first built in prototype form in 1929. Berliet received an order to build 50 for the French army the following year and later a further 12 were built for the Belgians. The armored cars saw service mostly in North Africa.
Weight : 4.95t
Length : 4.50m
Width : 1.94m
Height : 2.15m
Maximum speed : 53 km/h (Berliet engine, 6 cylinders, 40 hp, 2500 cm3)
Crew : 1 men + 6 men from the reconaissance team
Armament : 1-2 FM 24/29 + slits allowing the recon team to fire from the truck

AMD PANHARD 178
The Panhard 178 is a 4x4 armored car which entered service with the French army shortly before WW2. The Panhard 178, nicknamed "pan-pan", was a very good and reliable armored car. It has proven a superior designed armored car in 1940. It had a 2-men APX3 turret (hand-cranked) with Gundlach periscopes and PPL.RX.168 episcopes. Its 25mm SA35 gun coupled to a 4x L.711 sight had good anti-tank capacities. The Panhard 178 was capable of relative high speed and had two drivers (one forward and one backward) to change direction very quickly, increasing the overall maneuverability. There was an AAMG mount on the turret where the coaxial MG (or a replacement MG) could be installed.
In the French army there was also a radio/command version, unarmed and with a casemate instead of a turret. It was equipped with one ER27 radio (200kg, 100km range for morse and 50/60km range for voice in station) for the colonel commanding several squadrons and two ER26ter for the squadron commanders (150kg, 30km range for vehicle in movement and of 60km range in station) There were also 4 Panhard 178 in Indochina with the APX5 1-man turret, like on the AMR-35 ZT2 (armed with a 25mm SA35 gun).
Some Panhard 178 armored cars had a modified turret with a 47mm SA35 gun and a coaxial MG in June 1940 (Renault turret). This version participated to combats in June 1940 with at least one vehicle. It proved very efficient and destroyed many German AFVs. A 47mm gun version was also produced undercover by Vichy but with a CDM turret this time. The other Vichy Panhard 178 armored cars, which were officialy allowed, were only armed with two turret MGs instead of the normal 25mm SA35 main gun and coaxial MG because of the restrictions imposed by the Germans. In 1942, the Germans captured some Panhard 178 CDM armored cars and used them like in Sicherungsabteilung 1000.
After the Liberation of France in 1944 production was resumed for use by the new French troops. The Panhard 178B is an improved version of the Panhard 178 ; it entered production after the Liberation of France in 1944. Its FL-1 turret mounted a 47mm gun. The Panhard 178B remained in use with the French forces into the 1960's. A few were for example also used by Djibouti and Syria. It is the ancestor of the well known Panhard EBR, Panhard AML-60 and Panhard AML-90.
Weight : 8.2t
Length : 4.79m
Width : 2.01m
Height : 2.31m
Crew : 4 men
Maximum armor : 26mm (turret and hull is RHA bolted armor)
Maximum speed : 72.6 km/h (Panhard ISK 4F II bis engine, 8 cylinders, gasoline, water cooled, 110hp, 2000 rpm)
Transmission : 4 forward, 4 reverse (dual drive)
Autonomy : 300 km
Armament :
• 1x 25mm SA35 L/60 (or L/47.2 ?) gun (elevation -12° to +15°) and a coaxial 7.5mm MAC1931 MG (elevation -12° to +15°, lateral +15°) (150 AP shells, 2250 standard cartridges (15 magazines) and 1500 armor piercing cartridges (10 magazines))
• 2x 7.5mm MAC1931 turret MGs (Vichy occupied zone version, later also used by the Germans)
• 1x 47mm SA35 L/32 gun and 1x 7.5mm MAC1931 coaxial MG from June 1940 and later (Renault and CDM turrets and later P178B)

Detailed armor thickness (mm) :
Turret Front : 26mm/24°
Turret Sides : 15mm/26°
Turret Rear : 15mm/30°
Turret Top : 7mm/82°
Hull Front : 20mm/21° and 0°
Hull Sides : 15-20mm/0°
Hull Rear : 15-20mm/41°
Hull Top : 7mm/90°
Hull Bottom : 7mm/90°

A testimony from the 6e Régiment de Cuirassiers (Panhard 178 armored cars) of the 1e DLM fighting in the Netherlands: On May 11, 1940 at 21h00, the Dudognon detachment defends the Moergestel bridge over the Reussel River. At 23h00, 3 German armored cars accompanied by 3 side-cars and a truck full of troops appear. Maréchal-des-logis (NCO rank) Gaulthier recalls: "the leading 2 German armored cars do not see me and head for the Panhard 178 "La Varende". The first German armored car crushes 2 of our side-cars and barely dodges the "La Varende" (tearing off a mudguard on the way) and crashes into a cement pole. The second German armored car (an 8-wheeled Sd.Kfz.231 probably) stops to my left and opens fire. Meanwhile, the third German armored car turns out in front of me on the bridge. I open fire with my 25mm SA35 gun and I hit it square on. The German armored cars rolls for several extra meters before stopping to my right. At the same time, the explosive charges placed under the bridge explode as the German truck is on the bridge. I was in the turret so the deflagration stunned me and I fell inside. When I recovered and went back to the hatch I saw the second German armored car still firing on my left. I pivoted the turret and fired point blank with both the main gun and MG (with AP bullets). It quickly ceased firing. The whole action only lasted a quarter of an hour. The enemy lost around 20 dead and drowned. The 6e Régiment de Cuirrasiers detachment has captured 4 men including 2 wounded. The three German armored cars whose motors cannot be started again are scuttled as well as a German side-car. Two more intact BMW side-cars will replace the 2 that were crushed and we used them up to Dunkirk." The French troops had only a few lightly wounded men.

Still on May 11, but in the Belgian plain before the battle of Hannut, the French reconnaissance patrols are in contact with the German armored elements between Maastricht (Netherlands) and Liège (Belgium) and delay the German spearheads. The 12e Régiment de Cuirassiers (Panhard 178 armored cars) for example has been split in 3 reconnaissance detachments: 2 commanded by capitaine Renoult and 1 led by capitaine de Montardy. Capitaine de Montardy sends a patrol (Vasselot platoon) on the road of Maastricht to the Albert Canal. They meet the first German elements and are the first of the 3e DLM to engage the battle. During all the day, the Panhard 178 armored cars from 12e RC will fight the Panzers to delay their advance.
Around 12h00, the town of Tongres is surrounded by the enemy. The reconnaissance detachment of Capitaine de Montardy moves a bit back to avoid the encirclement. The Vasselot platoon is deployed on the Ramkin crossing and destroys or immobilizes 5 German tanks, including 1 Panzer IV from Pz.Rgt 35. On the French side a Panhard has a wheel damaged after a collision with a Panzer I and a motorcycle platoon has been captured by the enemy. On its side, Capitaine Renoult moves back to Saint-Trond to hold the accesses of the town until night. There are many such events with the Panhard 178 armored cars on May 11.

In Landrecies, on May 17 at 10h00, a Panhard 178 armored car (Lieutenant Astoul) from 6e Cuirassiers meets a Panzer 38(t). At 100 meters, the French armored car fires the first with its 25mm gun. At the first shot the German tank is immobilized without having been able to react: the driver has been killed and the other crew members are bailing immediately out. Lieutenant Astoul goes on with firing on the German abandoned tank to definitely disable it. At the 15th shot the German tank is burning.

On-road gear 1 : 13.8 km/h
On-road gear 2 : 24.3 km/h
On-road gear 3 : 40.1 km/h
On-road gear 4 : 72.6 km/h

Off-road gear 1 : 8 km/h
Off-road gear 2 : 14 km/h
Off-road gear 3 : 23.1 km/h
Off-road gear 4 : 42 km/h

Reverse gears : same speeds as off-road gears.

Turning circle at outer tire: 8 m
Maximum slope to climb on hard ground : 40°
Maximum slope to climb on soft ground : 22°

---------

The AMR-33, AMR-35, AMC-34 and AMC-35 despite being listed as "auto-mitrailleuses" are indeed light tanks. They are full tracked armored cars. From the vehicles listed previously several are really armored cars and others should be listed as half-tracked armored cars.

RENAULT AMR-33
The auto-mitrailleuse de reconnaissance Renault, model 1933 was a light recon armored car (aka Renault type VM), fast and having good cross country performance. The hull was bolted with the driver at the front and the commander in the turret. The turret was offset to the left of the hull and the engine to the right. The French Army used 123 AMR-33. The turret was armed with a single 7.5mm MAC1931 MG. A second MG was stored as spare armament in the vehicle and was generally installed on the AA mount of the turret during a movement. In 1932, an armored personnal carrier version to transport 7 soldiers is studied and a tank destroyer prototype (Renault VE) is also tested (5 vehicles) and armed with a 37mm Mle1934 RF gun.
Weight : 5t
Length : 3.50m
Width : 1.60m
Height : 1.78m
Crew : 2 men
Maximum armor : 13mm (RHA bolted armor)
Maximum speed : 60 km/h on-road (Renault engine, 8 cylinders, water cooled, 85 hp at 2800 rpm, 4241 cm3), mean speed off-road of 45 km/h.
Autonomy : 200 km
Armament : a 7.5mm MAC1931 in the Avis (Atelier de Vincennes) n°1 turret (1350 standard cartridges (9 magazines) and 900 armor piercing cartridges (6 magazines))

Detailed armor thickness (mm) :
Turret Front : 13mm/?
Turret Sides : 13mm/?
Turret Rear : 10mm/?
Turret Top : 9mm/?
Hull Front : 13mm/?
Hull Sides : 13mm/?
Hull Rear : 10mm/?
Hull Top : 6mm/?
Hull Bottom : 6mm/90°

At 2500 rpm (from the maintenance manual of 1934)
gear 1 : 5.8 km/h (ratio = 0.108)
gear 2 : 17.5 km/h (ratio = 0.323)
gear 3 : 32.0 km/h (ratio = 0.592)
gear 4 : 54.1 km/h (ratio = direct)
reverse gear : 6.9 km/h (ratio = 0.127)
Maximum slope to climb on hard ground : 50°

RENAULT AMR-35
The Auto-mitrailleuse de Reconnaissance Renault, model 1935 was a light recon armored car (aka Renault type ZT). Hull and turret were riveted, the engine was this time on the rear part of the light tank unlike on the AMR-33. The AMR-35 has been produced in 6 versions for a total of 240 vehicles :
ZT1 : turret armed with a 7.5mm MAC1931 MG (Avis n°1 turret – 2250 rounds, 87 vehicles produced) or Hotchkiss 13.2mm HMG (Avis n°2 turret - 1220 standard and armor piercing rounds, 80 vehicles produced) (total = 167 vehicles)
ZT2 : APX5 turret armed with a 25mm SA35 gun (78 shells) and a coaxial 7.5 mm MAC31 (2250 rounds) (10 vehicles produced). This version is 650 kg heavier because of the increase of armor on the turret.
ZT3 : no turret and a 25mm SA35 gun (78 shells) in the hull, designed to be a tank destroyer. (10 vehicles produced). The front hull is probably better armored and there is an observation copula.
ADF1 : a command vehicle version (13 vehicles produced). The crew consists in 3 men, there is no turret but a casemate whose maximum armor reaches 15mm. The crew has a FM 24/29 LMG than can be installed in the casemate or dismounted. Concerning the radio equipment, 12 ADF1 receive 1 ER26ter + 1 ER29 radio sets and 1 ADF1 receives 2 ER29 radio sets.
ZT4 : an AMR-35 intended to be sent to the colonies and equipped with a FT17 tank turret. 40 vehicles produced in 1940 but without turret. They were sent in combat with simple mounts for a FM 24/29 LMG.
Like on the AMR-33, the crew had often a second MG as spare armament in the vehicle and it was generally installed on the AA mount of the turret during a movement.
Weight : 6.5t
Length : 3.84m
Width : 1.64m
Height : 1.88m
Crew : 2 men
Maximum armor : 13mm (RHA bolted armor) for the ZT1 version
Maximum speed : 55 km/h (Renault "447" engine, 4 cylinders, water cooled, 82 hp at 2200 rpm, 5881 cm3)
Diameter of turning circle at 6 km/h : 8.80m (Jentz)
Transmission : 4 forward, 1 reverse
Autonomy : 200 km

Detailed armor thickness (mm) :
Turret Front : 13mm/?
Turret Sides : 13mm/?
Turret Rear : 10mm/?
Turret Top : 9mm/?
Hull Front : 13mm/?
Hull Sides : 13mm/?
Hull Rear : 10mm/?
Hull Top : 6mm/?
Hull Bottom : 6mm/90°

RENAULT YS and YS 2
The Renault YS is a command vehicle based on the Renault VM (Renault AMR-33) with the suspension of the Renault ZT (AMR-35). It can be used as command car for officers but also used as observation vehicle (equipped with a binocular periscope and a range finder). Only 10 Renault YS were built : 4 YS for the cavalry (1 ER26ter + 1 ER29 radio sets), 2 YS for the artillery (1 ER26ter + 1 R15 radio sets), 2 YS for the infantry (1 ER26ter + 1 R15 radio sets), 2 YS for the tank units (1 ER53 + 1 R15 radio sets).
Due to a too long development time, the Renault YS was replaced by the Panhard P178 command version (with a casemate instead of a turret) in the other cavalry units. Other radio/command vehicles widely used are the Renault ADH or Laffly S20TL PC radio trucks.
In 1936, 1 Renault YS 2 is produced. It is a dedicated forward observation vehicle for the artillery equipped with 1 ER26ter + 1 R14 radio sets, 1 telephone to be connected to wire communication systems and complete mapping and observation equipments The turret included 1 binocular periscope, 1 stereoscopic range finder. This vehicle was used by the 71e RATTT of the 2e DLM. Each Renault YS or YS 2 included also a FM 24/29 LMG with 24 magazines transported in the vehicle and eventually used for self-defense.

RENAULT YR (AMC-34)
The AMC-34 (aka AMC Renault Modèle 1934 type YR) was a test vehicle based on the AMR-33, only 12 vehicles had been produced in 1935. The decision to adopt AMC-35 ended the production for this vehicle. They have been rapidly transferred to units based in North Africa (1e RCA and 5e RCA). It was armed with a 25mm SA35 gun or a 47mm SA34 L/30 gun. The AMC-34s were all retired from active service in 1940.
Weight : 9.7t
Length : 3.98m
Width : 2.07m
Height : 2.10m
Crew : 3 men
Maximum armor : 25mm (40mm)
Maximum speed : 40 km/h (Renault engine, 8 cylinders, gasoline, water cooled, 120 hp, 7120 cm3)
Autonomy : 200 km
Armament : 25mm SA35 gun or 47mm SA34 L/30 gun and a coaxial 7.5mm turret MAC1931. Ammunition : 120 HE and APHE shells (47mm gun), 5250 cartridges (3750 standard = 25 magazines and 1500 AP = 10 magazines).

Detailed armor thickness (mm) :
Turret Front : 25mm/? (if APX2 turret)
Turret Sides : ?
Turret Rear : ?
Turret Top : ?
Hull Front : 20mm/?
Hull Sides : ?
Hull Rear : ?
Hull Top : ?
Hull Bottom : 5mm/90°

RENAULT ACG1 (AMC-35)
Studied by Renault already in 1936, the ACG1 (aka AMC Renault Modèle 1935 type ACG1) is a fast full-tracked cavalry combat armored car (light tank). Only 47 have been produced for France. Concerning export, 25 at first and finally only 12 vehicles are ordered by Belgium with the first deliveries in 1937. The French ACG1 is equipped with the APX2 (2-men turret – 1395mm turret ring) model turret. The Belgian ACG1 has a turret modified by the Belgian industry, the APX2B with a coaxial 13.2mm Hotchkiss HMG instead of the 7.5mm MAC31 MG (therefore the left episcope/diascope had to be moved a bit back). On the Belgian side, 8 Renault ACG1 served in May 1940 in the "Escadron d'auto-blindées du corps de cavalerie. Belgium used also several APX2B turrets in coastal forts in Zeebruge since more turrets than hulls were available.
The Renault ACG1 equipped several small French units like the "Escadron Audigier" and various "Groupes Francs de Cavalerie". One of these units is the "Groupe Franc de Cavalerie n°1" commanded by Capitaine Neuchèze, which e.g. took part to the defense of Saumur on the Loire River with the cadets of the Cavalry school. This "Groupe France" consisted in a motorized infantry company, a mortar platoon, a single 25mm AT gun and three armored platoons: 4 Panhard 178 armored cars, 5 Hotchkiss tanks and 7 Renault ACG1 light tanks.
An other example is the "Groupe Franc de Cavalerie n°4", which was formed on May 25, 1940 under capitaine Huet from elements of the 1e GRDI and consisted of a command platoon, a tank platoon (2 Renault ACG1 light tanks), a motorcycle platoon, an infantry platoon with a mortar, two 25mm AT guns and two 47mm SA37 AT guns. A total strength of 8 officers, 19 NCOs and 150 men for this GFC n°4. It was deployed by general Duffour to cover the crossings at Pont de l'Arche. On the 9th of June, the 25mm AT guns under lieutenant Petit reportedly disabled 16 German tanks. The position however was soon overrrun and the groupe franc withdrew.
Weight : 14.5t
Length : 4.55m
Width : 2.20m
Height : 2.30m
Crew : 3 men
Maximum armor : 25mm (APX-2 turret is made of cast plates bolted together, the hull is RHA bolted armor)
Maximum speed : 42 km/h (Renault M.1936 engine, 4 cylinders, gasoline, water cooled, 180 hp at 1800 rpm, 11080 cm3)
Autonomy : 160 km
Armament : 47mm SA35 L/32 gun + coaxial 7.5mm turret MAC1931. Ammunition : 120 47mm shells (APC and HE), 5250 7.5mm cartridges (3750 standard = 25 magazines and 1500 armor piercing = 10 magazines).

Detailed armor thickness (mm) :
Turret Front : 25mm/25° + gun mantlet
Turret Sides : ?/20°
Turret Rear : ?/27°
Turret Top : ?/80°
Hull Front : 25mm/17° and perhaps about 50°
Hull Sides : ?/0°
Hull Rear : 17mm/16° and 40°
Hull Top : 14mm/90° and 76°
Hull Bottom : 10mm/90°

Regards,

David

Gaijinaho
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Posts: 47
Joined: 21 May 2006 02:39
Location: USA

Post by Gaijinaho » 28 Oct 2006 01:31

David your posts are always a treat to read! I have some questions for you about some of the equipment.

“In 1932, an armored personnal carrier version to transport 7 soldiers is studied and a tank destroyer prototype (Renault VE) is also tested (5 vehicles) and armed with a 37mm Mle1934 RF gun”


Why weren’t these produced?


“ZT3 : no turret and a 25mm SA35 gun (78 shells) in the hull, designed to be a tank destroyer. (10 vehicles produced). The front hull is probably better armored and there is an observation copula.”

Another interesting vehicle! Why weren’t more of these produced? Any photo’s?


Later, Gaijinaho

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David Lehmann
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Posts: 2863
Joined: 01 Apr 2002 10:50
Location: France

Post by David Lehmann » 28 Oct 2006 09:56

Gaijinaho wrote: “In 1932, an armored personnal carrier version to transport 7 soldiers is studied and a tank destroyer prototype (Renault VE) is also tested (5 vehicles) and armed with a 37mm Mle1934 RF gun”

Why weren’t these produced?

“ZT3 : no turret and a 25mm SA35 gun (78 shells) in the hull, designed to be a tank destroyer. (10 vehicles produced). The front hull is probably better armored and there is an observation copula.”
Another interesting vehicle! Why weren’t more of these produced? Any photo’s?

Later, Gaijinaho

Hello,

In 1932 the Renault UE supply tracked tractor was proposed to the cavalry as reconnaissance vehicle. It had an armored casemate and a MG. Since this was only a little tankette it was not adopted by the French cavalry. It was too slow etc. The Renault type VM (AMR-33) was adopted instead.

Several variants of the Renault VM has been tested then. Renault wanted to propose a whole family of vehicles based on the Renault VM.

One of them was an APC (at first with open top and then fully armored in 1934). This kind of vehicle with such a configuration and based on the Renault VM is adopted in small number with the Renault YS but as command vehicle. I can't say exactly why the APC was not adopted ... perhaps too early for the doctrine of the time, perhaps not seen as satisfactory by various commissions ... it would have replaced the Citroën-Kégresse P19 halftrack to transport the dragons portés ... but this halftrack will be replaced by the all-terrain Laffly S20 truck which was very good and probably faster and more reliable than an APC. The single APC that was used by the French in 1940 will be the Lorraine 38L for the chasseurs portés.

Concerning the AT version (Renault VE prototype - type P), it was studied after a program of AT vehicles launched in 1931. It is not directly linked to the AMR-33 but shares common features. Originally, this program was for a light tankette armed with a 25mm AT gun on a special mount (the AT gun being mobile - could be removed from the vehicle).
This program evolved towards a vehicle armed with a more powerful 37mm gun and a gun that was definitely installed in a low profile casemate.
Finally this Renault VE is seriously tested in 1935 only. It has an armor of only 9mm and a weight of 4,565 kg. Its maximum speed is 54.1 km/h.
In 1935 this vehicle is judged obsolete but is also condemned by the doctrine of the time favoring the development of the towed 47mm SA37 AT gun in the AT role for the artillery. Money cannot be allocated everywhere I guess.

The tank destroyer approach will nonetheless not be abandoned. Still on 1935, the French cavalry starts the development of the AMR-35 ZT3. This vehicle is long delayed for technical and production issues. Finally the first ZT3 is ony delivered in december 1938. All the ZT3 tank destroyers will be issued to GRDIs (reconnaissance groups). It was probably too late to produce more of them since there were other vehicles planned as tank destroyer like the Laffly W15 TCC.

You have photos of the AMR-35 ZT3 on Antoine Misner's website e.g.

Image

Image

LAFFLY W15 TCC
The idea of mounting a 47mm Mle1937 AT gun on an all-terrain armored vehicle originated from General Keller (inspector of the French tank troops) on 30 October 1939. The aim is to increase the mobility compared to towed AT guns batteries. The usual practical range of the 47mm SA37 gun is around 1000 meters but a German tank could eventually cross this distance in about 2-3 minutes. It would therefore be a considerable advantage having an AT gun which could be ready to fire in a few seconds, fire several shells and then move quickly to a new position.

On 6 December 1939 the project is accepted and on 18 January the Laffly W15 T chassis is ready and is being armored to build the new tank destroyer. On 26 February 1940, a group of soldiers led by Sous-Lieutenant Balme is detached to the Laffly factory to participate to the last development stages.

The first off-road trials take place on 2 March 1940 and the first firing tests are performed at Mont Valérien on 4 March 1940. The results are satisfying and the Laffly W15 TCC (CC = chasseur de chars = tank destroyer) is moved to Mailly camp by Sous-Lieutenant Balme for more complete trials on 12 March 1940. The tank destroyer is presented officially to high ranking officers including General Keller and General de Vauxcelles on 13 March 1940. The weather is really bad but deployment, camouflage, firing and fast moving exercises are performed successfully.

The prototype is then sent to Suippes camp in an armored division and is directed back to the factory on 16 April 1940 for several modifications. On 6 May an intercom system (laryngophones) is installed in the vehicle. This last modification is completed on 10 May but there are no specific orders about the production of the tank destroyer.

On 17 May, the quick advance of the Panzerdivisionen is the centre of the discussion between several high ranking officers and Mr Guérard from the Laffly factory. The production of a first batch of 50 Laffly W15 TCC tank destroyers is decided, the first vehicles will be delivered in 8 days and produced at a rate of 5 vehicles every 2 days. Finally 70 vehicles are produced and delivered in May and June 1940 but due to the emergency the production series is not fully armored like the first Laffly W15 TCC prototype.

Characteristics of the Laffly W15 TCC (CC = chasseur de chars = tank destroyer)

Weight : 4.96t
Crew : 3 men (an NCO, a gunner and a driver)
Maximum armor : 12-15mm
Maximum speed : 48 km/h (4 cylinders, 2300 cm3, 56 hp)
Armament : a 47mm SA37 L/53 AT gun (-13/+13° elevation and 60° traverse towards rear, 30 shells) and a FM 24/29 AAMG (1000 rounds) – the crew has also a Thompson SMG with 500 rounds among other miscellaneous small arms.

Only the first vehicle was completely armored, for the others, armored plates had been installed to protect the front part of the vehicle and two small other plates are added to enlarge the standard shield of the AT gun which is directed to the rear. Initially each tank destroyer should have carried 95 shells but due to the emergency less ammunition stores are installed and only 30 shells are carried. 70 Laffly W15 TCC are operational in May-June 1940 and see action against the German troops. They are issued to independent anti-tank batteries (BACA = batterie d'anti-chars automoteurs) including generally 5 tank destroyers. All these independent anti-tank batteries are engaged immediately with usually a training of only several hours but they will nonetheless give brilliant results. They were for example deployed at first in the area of Abbeville in May 1940 and gave outstanding results in June 1940 on the Loire River defenses but had little impact on the whole campaign. They proved to be very successful, lightly armored but fast and adapted to hit and run tactics.

The batteries were originally going to have 5 platoons of 5 Laffly W15 TCC tank destroyers but the emergency of the military situation forced to modify the organization which is finally based on one 47mm SP-AT platoon and one 25mm AA guns platoon for use in a dual air/ground role. The first BACA formed was the 51/11e RA battery. This battery was originally a 75mm static battery included in the defenses of Le Havre. On 31 January 1940 already, order was given to convert this unit to 47mm Mle1937 AT guns but is was not carried out due to the urgent need for these guns in the divisional AT batteries (BDAC).

• Tank destroyer platoon
---o 1x Laffly V15R all-terrain liaison vehicle (with a FM 24/29 AAMG with 1000 rounds and a Thompson SMG with 500 rounds)
---o 5x Laffly W15 TCC (each 1 47mm SA37 AT gun with 30 shells, 1 FM 24/29 AAMG with 1000 rounds and 1 Thompson SMG with 500 rounds)
---o 3x Unic TU1 tractors with 3 Mle1937 infantry trailer, each tractor and trailer carrying 200 shells of 47mm ammunition (each 1 Thompson SMG with 500 rounds)
---o 2 motorcycles

• 25mm AA platoon
---o 3x 25mm Mle1939 Hotchkiss AA guns each towed each by a Laffly W15 T (towing the gun and carrying ammunition and the crew)
---o 1x extra Laffly W15 T used for recovery purpose and extra ammuntion
---o 1x 5t lorry transporting eighty cases of forty 25mm ammunition (3200 shells)
---o 1x liaison vehicle
---o 2x trucks (and 2 FM 24/29 LMGs)
---o 2x motorcycles
---o 1x bicycle (transported on a truck during movements)

• Battery general services
---o 1x Laffly S25 T (towing/repair vehicle)
---o 2x trucks
---o 2x lorries
---o 1x trailer (field kitchen)

===> 3 officers, 21 NCOs and 64 men = 88 soldiers and the armament consists in 5 self-propelled AT guns (150 shells per gun), 3 25mm AA guns, 8 LMGs, 9 Thompson SMGs and other small arms (carbines, pistols etc.).

There were unrealised plans in June 1940 to form an anti-tank brigade with:
- 1 brigade staff
- 1 motorized AT group (2x 47mm AT guns batteries [16 AT guns]
- 1x 25mm AT guns company [12 AT guns]
- 2x Laffly W15 TCC platoons [10 SP-AT guns])
- 1 motorized MG battalion
- half a company of engineers
- an artillery group with 12x 75mm Mle1897 TTT field guns
- 2 batteries of 25mm AA guns [12 AA guns]
- a mixed motorcycle / AMD (Auto-Mitrailleuse de Découverte = distant reconnaissance wheeled vehicles like the Panhard P178 armored car) squadron
- 3000 AT mines in 4 trucks
- AT obstacles and reduced services.

When talking about vehicles used in AT role we can also talk about other developments: simply AT guns mounted on halftacks or trucks but also tractors and self-propelled guns used as tank destroyers.

CITROEN-KEGRESSE P19 (CK P19) armed with a 25mm AT gun
The 3e BDP (bataillon de dragons portés - which had already 25mm SA34 AT guns towed by Citroën-Kégresse P19 halftracks) found a new solution in 1937. The AT gun was embarked on the vehicles itself and a self-propelled AT gun version based on the Citroën-Kégresse P19 halftrack was developed. The rear body of the vehicle is modified and it carries 2 ramps to eventually embark/disembark the AT gun, but this one can fire from the vehicle (the gun is directed to the front). This solution was then adopted by the other cavalry units, for the 5 battalions there would be a total of 20 such self-propelled AT guns.
Weight : 2.23t (live load 0.7t)
Length : 4.70m
Width : 1.70m
Crew : 7 men (for the troop carrier version, probably only 4 for the self-propelled AT gun version)
Maximum speed : 46 km/h (6 cylinders, 2442 cm3, 42 hp at 2800 rpm)
Autonomy : 350 km
Armament : 25mm L/72 AT gun + AAMG mounts for protection during travel

LAFFLY S20 TL armed with a 25mm AT gun
The idea of the self-propelled 25mm AT gun is then adopted by Laffly on the Laffly S20 TL truck. 40 of these peculiar trucks are ordered in 1938, built in the factory (it is not a field modification) and delivered during winter 1939-1940. There are 2 ramps to embark the gun, which can this time fire to the front or to the rear. The latter solution can eventually be more interesting to fire and move away quickly. The windshield is divided in 2 parts on this version; it enables the barrel to point to the front (but the windscreen can also simply be lowered, which enables also for a better traverse).
Weight : 3.9t (live load 1.75t and could tow 3.00t)
Length : 5.35m
Width : 2.00m
Height : 1.67m (2.45m covered)
Crew : 8 men
Maximum speed : 65 km/h (6 cylinders, 3016 cm3, 68 hp at 3200 rpm)
Autonomy : 138 km
Armament : 25mm L/72 AT gun + AAMG mounts for protection during travel

LORRAINE 37L and 39L CC (CC = chasseur de chars = tank destroyer)
The Lorraine 37L was armed with a 47mm SA37 L/53 AT gun mounted on it, designed to be a tracked tank destroyer, to ambush the German armored columns. Manufacturing started in May 1940 only and the rare vehicles that might have arrived to the front had little impact on the war. The Germans captured at least one of these tank destroyers. There was also a prototype with the Lorraine 39L, the gun being installed in the hull anf firing to the rear instead of being just mounted on the hull like for the Lorraine 37L.

SOMUA SAu40
When talking about tank destroyers, one could also perhaps mention the very few Somua SAu40 tanks (assault guns) which were armed with a 47mm AT gun instead of the planned 75mm APX gun. Some authors like Stéphane Ferrard state that four SAu40 tanks fought in June, including one with a 75mm APX gun and 3 with the 47mm AT gun.

Regards,

David

YAN
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Post by YAN » 28 Oct 2006 15:47

Did the RENAULT YR (AMC-34) have 25mm allround the turret or just the front, and is it similar to the Belgian Tank turret on the ACG. About the French armoured cars, there is loads for me to go, but dose any have more data on the armour thickness. Thanx Yan.

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 28 Oct 2006 17:46

Hello,

The YR was mainly a test vehicle AFAIK several turrets were more or less tested but the APX-2 turret (2-men turret in this case) fitted on the ACG-1 was indeed also on the YR ... and in that case it has 25mm all around AFAIK.

Regards,

David

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Post by YAN » 03 Nov 2006 12:03

Thanks Dave, on the turret again, what were the degrees of the armour, and has anyone got data on the Laffly S-15 TCC & S-15 T with cross country speed please, and also the cross country speed of the Char FMC 2c. Thanx Yan.

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Post by David Lehmann » 03 Nov 2006 17:55

YAN wrote:Thanks Dave, on the turret again, what were the degrees of the armour, and has anyone got data on the Laffly S-15 TCC & S-15 T with cross country speed please, and also the cross country speed of the Char FMC 2c. Thanx Yan.
Hello Yan,

I don't know for what you need all these data, is it for a game ?

I have accurate data for the APX1, APX4 and APX3 but for the APX2 we will have to make several assumptions. If it's for a game it is not really an issue.

Turret Front : 25mm/25° + gun mantlet
Turret Sides : ?/20°
Turret Rear : ?/27°
Turret Top : ?/80°

The degrees are perhaps slightly wrong and on the rear/side if it is not 25mm it is probably between 20 and 25mm. These are cast plates bolted together. On the APX1 there is 40mm all around and on the APX4 there is 56mm all around but the whole turrets are cast in these cases.

The Laffly S15T CC does not exist, for the W15T CC I gave you the speed I have (48 km/h).

The Laffly W15T and S15T are simply all terrain trucks. Both of them are usually used to tow the 47mm AT gun, the 75mm field gun and/or the 105mm C field guns.

LAFFLY S15T
411 artillery tractors were in service in 1940. Used to tow the 75mm and 105mm C field guns.
Weight : 3.90t (live load 1.4t + towed load 1.8t)
Length : 4.70m
Width : 1.80m
Height : 2.35m
Maximum speed : 51 km/h (4 cylinders, 2300 cc, 42 hp at 2800 rpm)

LAFFLY W15T
80 artillery tractors were in service in 1940. Used to tow the 47mm AT guns.
Weight : 3.25t (live/towed load 1.2t)
Length : 4.50m
Width : 1.90m
Height : 2.35m
Maximum speed : 51 km/h (4 cylinders, 2300 cc, 56 hp)

About the FCM-2C tank here are the information I can give you.

FCM-2C
The very heavy tank FCM-2C was build by the "Société des Forges et Chantiers de la Mediterranée". It was developed as a heavy breakthrough vehicle in WW1. The order called for a vehicle that would span all German trenches (it could cross 4.25m wide ditches), that explains the length of the tank (10.27m), it was not very wide (2.95m) in order to be transported by train and it was 4.01m high. The FCM-2C was the very first heavy tank (68t, the British WW1 Mark V had 26t), seriously armored (45mm on the front, probably only 22mm on the side) and armed with a 75mm gun in a turret (320° traverse) for the first time of history. The tank had a powerful engine and a modern architecture for its time, including 2.5x stroboscopic sights. 300 FCM-2C tanks are ordered on February 21, 1918 but none is delivered before the armistice. Only 10 tanks were built between 1919 and 1921 and named as follows in 1940 (previously named n°1-10): n°90 'Poitou', n°91 'Provence', n°92 'Picardie', n°93 'Alsace', n°94 'Bretagne', n°95 'Touraine', n°96 'Anjou', n°97 'Lorraine' (later renamed 'Normandie'), n°98 'Berry', n°99 'Champagne'. In 1923, all 10 FCM-2C tanks were in the 3rd battalion of the 511th tank regiment (III/511e RCC).
The tank n°99 received a turret with a 155mm C gun/howitzer in 1926 (it was the unique FCM-2Cbis). On this tank the MG on the left side hull has been removed and I am not sure that there still was a CMG in the turret. On standard tanks there was a rotating observation copula. On the FCM 2Cbis, this copula is fixed on the turret (small casemate) because the room lacked due to the bigger gun. It was disarmed a bit later and the turret ended probably on the Mareth Line in Tunisia.
In February 1929 the regiment was disbanded and these tanks formed the 51e BCC in Le Bourget. Only 8 tanks remained available to form the 51e BCC in September 1939. The battalion moved to Brie and began active training. The tanks n°93 and n°94 were decommissioned and their turrets were possibly sent to Tunisia for the Mareth Line. The tanks n°92 and n°95 had their engine out of service and were scuttled on June 12, 1940.
The n°97 'Normandie' is the command tank of the battalion and received additional armor resulting in a weight increase of 10%. Its armor reached 90mm on the front and 50-65mm on the sides. In June 1940, the tanks loaded onto special railroad cars, were blocked on the wagons south of Neufchâteau since the rail-road and an other train in front of the convoy had been destroyed by the Luftwaffe. The tanks could not be unloaded in this area and all of them were scuttled on June 15 by explosive charges except tank n°99 for which the charge failed to explode. The FCM-2C n°99 was therefore captured intact by the Germans and brought back to Berlin. It was tested on a range near Cossen. The electrotransmission of the FCM-2C interested Ferdinand Porsche for his later heavy tanks. In 1942, it was seen in France at the Renault plant being overhauled. Brought back to Germany, the tank was eventually captured by the USSR and was last seen in 1948 in East Germany according to several sources. From the remaining wrecks, several intact turrets were used on the Atlantic wall. You can also find numerous German propaganda photos claiming that these tanks had been destroyed by German tanks, the wrecks where moved all around to take "victorious" photos, sometimes German tanks had fired at point blank against them to prove that they had been destroyed etc. but they were simply abandoned and scuttled and never saw action.
Weight : 68-70t
Length : 10.27m
Width : 2.95m
Height : 4.01m
Crew : 12 men (3 men in the front turret and 1 man in the rear turret) / 13 men when equipped with a radio set
Maximum armor : 45mm (RHA bolted armor) (90mm for the n°97)
Maximum speed : 12-17 km/h (2x Maybach or Daimler-Benz, 2x 6 cylinders, 500-520 hp, 16,950 cm3)
Autonomy : 150 km
Armament : four 8mm Hotchkiss Mle1914 HMGs (9,504 rounds) and one 75mm L/29.7 Mle1897 gun (124 shells). The turret was armed with the 75mm gun and one CMG (rotation 320°, elevation -20° to +20°), there was a BMG in the front hull, a MG in the forder left side (protecting the main access hatch) able to fire front/left and left and a TMG in the rear turret.

Regards,

David

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Post by Sitzkrieg » 03 Nov 2006 18:06

David, do you happen to have (or know where to find) photos of the following:
SOMUA SAu40 with 47mm AT gun.
CITROEN-KEGRESSE P19 (CK P19) armed with a 25mm AT gun.
TIA,
Sitz.

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Post by David Lehmann » 03 Nov 2006 21:36

Hello,

I have never seen IIRC a photo of the SAu40 with the 47mm AT gun ... late war panic or perhaps only on the paper, who knows really except 1 mention in one book I am not sure if the data is 100% sure.

For the 25mm AT gun used as "porté" gun yes I have on my HD a photo with the Laffly S20 or with the Citroën-Kégresse P19. The latter from the 3e Bataillon de Dragons Portés in 1937. It's an average photo but not that bad. I can send you a copy.

Regards,

David

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Post by YAN » 04 Nov 2006 16:27

Yes Dave your almost right about the info being for a game, Iam trying to write my own WW2 rules for my own personal use, and rather then focus the attention on the big four I am trying to play a game with smaller nations and make a comlete list of all the vehicles not just the common ones, Yan.

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Post by David Lehmann » 04 Nov 2006 17:35

Hi,

Let me know if I can help you. I have a file under construction with the detailed TO&Es of the infantry ... starting from squad level to the divisional level etc.

Regards,

David

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Post by Carl Schwamberger » 04 Nov 2006 22:40

Yan...I'm curious, what are you using as a guide for the effects of artillery, mortars, & rifle caliber weapons. I have been intermittantly studying this subject for some time & am always looking for new sources.

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Post by YAN » 06 Nov 2006 10:32

Thanks Dave Iam really struggling with the TO&Es of the minor nations especially down to squad level, I cant find much on the Yugoslaves, Bulgarian, Hungarian & Czech, and data on the baltic states are also a pain to find. Regarding to Carls reply I use a grid system for indirect fire eg six boxes 1 to 6 100mm x 100mm and throw a six sided dice to determin fall of shot, and have various blast squares for the different calibre of weapons firing, the small arms are similar to most rules but with some slight changes, and I base my M.G.s around a cone system giving them a base of fire spreading out to around 100mm and I dice throw every figure in the field of fire, I also have 5 types of M.G. SMGs, LMGs, MMGs & HMGs, the HMGs are heavy calibre weapons like the .50 Browning, 12.7mm Russian & various 13mm. Thanx Yan.

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