Discussions on the Allies and the Neutral States in general and the countries that does not have sections of their own.
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Post by YAN » 02 Mar 2007 12:15

Hi, I have just been compiling data on Belgian weapons and when I was working on the ACG-1 Tank I was lacking data on the main gun, the 47mm, I was wondering if anyone has any data on the weapon, Max AP & HE ranges, rate of fire, and a nice photo too please. Thanks Yan.

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Post by Sitzkrieg » 02 Mar 2007 13:10

For photos of the ACG-1 visit this page: and scroll down to the middle.

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Post by YAN » 02 Mar 2007 15:10

Thanks Sitzkrieg, I have seen the one I need. Yan.

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Post by Sitzkrieg » 02 Mar 2007 19:07

You are welcome. ;)

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 03 Mar 2007 09:23



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 remaining 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°

About the main gun :
47mm SA35 L/32 - in German service : 4.7cm KwK 173(f) -
Used in the Renault ACG1, Renault D2, B1bis (turret gun) and Somua S35 tanks.

Theoretical rate of fire : 15 rpm (6 rpm in a B1bis turret in accurate aiming, could drop to 2-4 rpm in combat)

Telescopic sight :
• 4x (L.724 sight, field of view 11.25°, V and later + reticle, range drum up to 1500m for the AP shells and 1600m for the coaxial MG) for the APX1 turret
• 4x (L.762 sight, field of view 11.81°, + reticle, range drum up to 1500m for the AP shells and 1600m for the coaxial MG) for the APX4 turret
• There might be a L.731 sight for the APX1 CE turret (Somua S35) but there is no information about it at the moment.
• There might be a different scope in the APX2 turret (ACG1 light tank)? But since it is a cavalry tank it may eventually have the same one as for the Somua S35 tank.

Practical AT range : up to 800-1000m (at least in May-June 1940)

Ammunition :

Obus de rupture Mle1935 (APC) - in German service : Pzgr 176(f) -
Caliber : 47x193R mm
Weight of projectile : 1.620 kg (sometimes 1.625 kg is indicated)
Length of projectile : 145mm (length of the case : 193mm and total length of the shell : 325mm)
V° = 660 m/s (sometimes 680 m/s is indicated)
Penetration : 40mm/30° at 400m

German tests with 4.7cm Pzgr 176(f) (source : Jentz) :
100 meters = 39mm /30°
500 meters = 33mm /30°
1000 meters = 26mm /30°
1500 meters = 20mm /30°
There is no problem to penetrate the German tanks front armor at 800m range, when the hit angle was good enough.

Obus explosif Mle1932 (HE) - in German service : Sprgr 175(f) -
Caliber : 47x193R mm
Weight of projectile : 1.410 kg (142g explosive)
Length of projectile : 183mm
V° = 590 m/s

Accuracy of the 47mm SA35 gun [perhaps a bench rest test] :
15 shots at 200m : HxL = 10cm x 20cm
10 shots at 500m : HxL = 55cm x 53cm

Accuracy tested in the APX4 turret (not a bench rest test) [from a 1939 document about the test of the APX4 turret]
30 shots at 200m : HxL = 49cm x 55cm

Like in all the other French tank turrets, the weapons (MG and gun) are "zeroed" at 30 meters but the manual of the APX4 turret indicates that the MG is "zeroed" at 30 meters and the gun at 100 meters. There are indeed 2 different "test cards" that can be used, one at 30 meters and the second one at 100 meters.

In the APX4 turret :
- Rate of fire in accurate aiming/firing : 6 rpm (the gun by itself has a RoF of 15 rpm). In combat the RoF could nonetheless drop to 2-4 rpm.
- Stability : the turret can rotate a few degrees (especially with the APC shells at 680 m/s) to the right because the gun is not centered, therefore there is a turret blocking mechanism.
- Gun repair : Replacement of firing pin : 2min 4s / Replacement of extractors : 1min 45s



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Post by YAN » 04 Mar 2007 13:11

Thanks David, Yan.

Tony Williams
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Post by Tony Williams » 10 Mar 2007 03:15

This shot of tank ammo from the Ammo Photo Gallery on my website might be of interest:


37x94R (French 37mm Mle 1916/1918), 37x149R (French 37mm Mle 1938), 37x249R (German 3,7cm), 37x257R (Polish wz 36 - 37mm Bofors), 37x268R (Czech 37mm vz 34/38), 40x304R (British 2pdr), 47x195R (Italian 47mm Mod 37 - Austrian Bohler), 45 x 310R (Russian Mod 37), 47x193R French 47mm Mle 1935

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion forum

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