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

By Steven J. Zaloga

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

The first quantity of this half sequence will hide the infantry tanks and conflict tanks that served in 1940. beginning with the Renault feet of worldwide warfare I popularity, it's going to disguise the modernization of the feet within the inter-war years. the point of interest of the infantry tank part can be at the makes an attempt to exchange the feet with designs reminiscent of the Renault R-35, FCM-36, and the Hotchkiss H.38. Derivatives of those kinds can also be coated resembling the R-40. France additionally had a separate family members of conflict tanks beginning with the Renault D-1, Renault D-2, and at last the easiest identified tank of the crusade, the Char B1 bis. This booklet will offer a short improvement account those tanks kinds, overlaying the tactical rationales for his or her layout and their uncomplicated technical good points. it is going to additionally in brief deal with their functionality within the 1940 crusade, stating the salient gains of the wrestle list.

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

Sample text

The solution was to redesign the gun mounting to provide a limited amount of traverse for fine aiming. This was to be incorporated on the next version, the Char B1 ter, but this variant was only in prototype stage at the time of the Battle of France. The one-man turret was also a serious mistake, since it obliged the commander to take on the added distractions of loading and aiming the gun. Aside from these inherent design flaws, the tank was plagued with other mechanical issues. Of the 267 known cases of Char B1 bis lost in combat, more than half were abandoned or scuttled by their crews.

Work on a new light tank began at a research office in the AMX plant in response to an October 1937 effort to modernize the existing light tanks. The short-term outcome of this effort was the design of the AMX suspension for the R35 that resulted in the R40. AMX also took heed of an army study favoring the FCM 36 by beginning design of a new light tank that employed the new AMX suspension with a new welded hull design and diesel powerplant influenced by the FCM 36. A char léger futur began more formally under tank inspector Gén Keller’s program in December 1939.

These had a variety of improvements including a plate for the triangular towing sign and an extended left side tool bin; the armored domes for the crewmen were also standardized in this series and they were retrofitted to earlier vehicles. The third contract tranche of 220 vehicles made between July and October 1936 had lengthened mudguards. A final fourth tranche of 1,400 vehicles was ordered in 1936, which had the original twin Restor headlights replaced by a single Guicherd armored night-driving light.

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