PDA

View Full Version : Tanks of France.



Panzerknacker
01-21-2009, 05:52 PM
A topic for the all the armored vehicles used since 1918.

http://www.peachmountain.com/Narayan/images/2005_Saumur/Char_B1_bis_003.jpg

Panzerknacker
01-21-2009, 06:14 PM
Char D'Assault St. Chamond

The tanks saw their first action on September 15, 1916, when the British Commander-in-Chief in France,Marshal Haig, ordered the first two tank companies to be employed against the German forces during the Battle of the Somme.

Albeit the modest results of this action, due to lack of trained crews, mechanical damages and inexperience in tank field employement , the new weapon had, however, a highly remarkable psychological impact.
At the same time the French were developing their own tanks

(a little anecdote : the French attributed to J.L.Breton, a French engineer, the invention of the new armored weapon; a special French-British committee was later appointed to decide about tank's actual paternity.).

Forgetting these chauvinistic disputes, nobody can deny that French tanks' "Father" was Col. Estienne. In spite of the military authorities' indifference and skepticism about the new weapon, he obtained Gen. Joffre's (French Army Commander-in-Chief) support and developed two types of tanks, both following the "assault gun" concept.

http://i41.tinypic.com/2qitn5d.jpg

Figuring in as the forerunner to the modern day self-propelled gun, the St. Chamond was of a French design and saw combat through most of World War 1. The system was plodding and heavy, never really able to traverse typical battlefield terrain, but nevertheless could field a powerful main gun in the form of the 1897 75mm model.

Requiring a crew of nine personnel to man and operate the machine, the St. Chamond was the brainchild design of one Colonel Rimailho. Classified as a "tank" these systems were actually more designed in the form of what we would term an "assault gun", or a predecessor to the modern day self-propelled versions so common after World War Two. The 75mm served as the primary armament to the St. Chamond and an additional 4 x Hotchkiss 8mm (.315 inch) machine guns were used as secondary defensive weapons.

http://i40.tinypic.com/w7gccm.jpg

The St. Chamond was designed and engineered long and low, another detriment to the already crippled design as the system would have a hard go at it when managing anything more than level terrain - often becoming stuck where today's battle tanks could easily tread. Additionally, the short tread length coupled with the long hull design made the system difficult to handle. The heavy electric transmission that operated with the gasoline engine added considerable weight. As such, the system, though enjoying some usefulness throughout the war, was eventually relegated to supplementary roles by war's end - though it would serve throughout the war's entirety. By then, more effective battlefield systems were being fielded by all sides, making the St. Chamond design a vintage attempt. Most would end up as supply carriers as a result of these glaring deficiencies.

http://i39.tinypic.com/jjb8yq.jpg

tankgeezer
01-22-2009, 12:27 AM
The problems with the St. Chamond were like those of many early tanks, as they were based on mounting an armored "box" on top of the new commercial catarpillar tractors (such as the "Holt")which had come to market. though a good concept, the small tracks, and high center of gravity made these vehicles top heavy, and cumbersome as the superstructures frequently hung well over the ends of the tracks. The weight of the superstructures, and fittings often burdened the tractors to the point of causing frequent mechanical failures. These problems were somewhat rectified with the advent of the better thought out rhomboidal tanks having the tracks return along the upper part of the hull, lowering the center of gravity, (but not the meantime between failures)

kamehouse
01-22-2009, 06:09 AM
I have a few pictures of french tanks from my trip to Bovington.I'll post them when I'll be back home.
As promised:
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee44/kamehouse-uk/Bovington%20WW1/BovingtonWW1Tanks022.jpg
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee44/kamehouse-uk/Bovington%20WW1/BovingtonWW1Tanks023.jpg
Renault FT17 from Bovington
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee44/kamehouse-uk/Bovington%20Tank%20museum/BovingtonWW2Allies003.jpg
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee44/kamehouse-uk/Bovington%20Tank%20museum/BovingtonWW2Allies002.jpg

Carl Schwamberger
01-22-2009, 06:03 PM
Heres a site with a fairly complete roster of French tanks. Incl;uding some never built.

http://www.chars-francais.net/new/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1202&Itemid=99

Panzerknacker
01-22-2009, 06:22 PM
The problems with the St. Chamond were like those of many early tanks, as they were based on mounting an armored "box" on top of the new commercial catarpillar tractors (such as the "Holt")which had come to market. though a good concept, the small tracks, and high center of gravity made these vehicles top heavy, and cumbersome as the superstructures frequently hung well over the ends of the tracks. The weight of the superstructures, and fittings often burdened the tractors to the point of causing frequent mechanical failures. These problems were somewhat rectified with the advent of the better thought out rhomboidal tanks having the tracks return along the upper part of the hull, lowering the center of gravity, (but not the meantime between failures)


Completely agreed, but you got to start with something :mrgreen: and the St chamond was better armed than the british mark I to IV. I guess it also had a "nose heavy" problem due the gun.

http://www.chars-francais.net/new/images/stories/galery/1916_st-chamond/saint-chamond-1%20proto%2003.jpg


I have a few pictures of french tanks from my trip to Bovington.I'll post them when I'll be back home.
As promised:


Nice pictures the Somua is an atractive vehicle.


Heres a site with a fairly complete roster of French tanks. Incl;uding some never built.

http://www.chars-francais.net/new/in...1202&Itemid=99

Thank you.

Nickdfresh
01-22-2009, 06:25 PM
The tank I was referring too in another thread was called the ARL44:


The design of this tank started clandestinely when France was still under German occupation. After the Normandy landings, the French restarted their war industry. Production was carried out by both FAMH and Renault under the parentage of the ARL. Christened 'Char de Transition ARL-44', the ARL 44 was based largely on the pre-war Char B1 bis. The first unit became ready only after the war had ended in 1946. The new French heavy tank came equipped with a 90mm cannon housed in a Schneider turret powered by a Simca traversing gear. The ARL 44 used the same tracks as the Char B1 bis, but were protected by skirting plates. Only 60 units were ever produced. This tank made its one and only public appearance at the National Day Parade on 14 July 1951.
http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/france/Fra-ARL44-1.jpg
Specifications Weight 45 tons
Crew 5
Length 35.5'
Width 11.6'
Height 10.5'
Engine Maybach, gasoline
Performance 23.1 mph
Armament 90mm, 2 x MG
http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/france/Fra-ARL44.jpg

http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/france/France-Heavy.html
http://www.peachmountain.com/Narayan/images/2005_Saumur/ARL-44_08.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARL_44

Panzerknacker
01-22-2009, 06:28 PM
Interesting tank, at first glance it looks like a bad mixture of Panther frontal armor, French B1 tracks and a Pershing gun turret.

Nickdfresh
01-22-2009, 06:37 PM
Here's another, better pic from a static display...

Panzerknacker
01-22-2009, 06:41 PM
Nice, nice, some specifications of this AFV. It say "Maybach gasoline" , it is probably a Panther engine, other ingredient to this frankestein. sadly no armor data.

http://i44.tinypic.com/2qj99pv.jpg

Panzerknacker
01-23-2009, 06:17 PM
Char 2C, the monster.

http://i40.tinypic.com/afcwg3.jpg

The development of this massive tank began in 1917 with the foresight of the famous "1919 plan", an allied program aimed to finally break the german lines in that year using a large scale attack spearheaded by heavy tanks and armored aeroplanes. It was the heaviest tank ever made until the upcoming of the Tiger II in late 1943 .


http://i44.tinypic.com/1smyd0.jpg

http://i41.tinypic.com/n39ixd.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/2rxtj85.jpg

http://i43.tinypic.com/xfnna1.jpg

Panzerknacker
02-01-2009, 09:37 PM
Aditional information about the 2C.

http://i41.tinypic.com/5yr9ua.jpg

Panzerknacker
02-16-2009, 04:55 PM
The NC medium.

This armored vehicle was designed in mid 1920s as infantry support medium tank,it introduced the intrincated coil spring suspension, used later by all Renault tanks. Some went to China and Japan.

http://i43.tinypic.com/2v8hgk8.jpg

http://i44.tinypic.com/rtkls4.jpg

Schuultz
02-16-2009, 08:48 PM
Well, but all these tanks didn't help them in 1940...

You could say that the French army was the army best equipped to fight another WW1 - but not for the new kind of war.

They pretty much worked on improving their tank and war machinery in exactly the wrong ways...

forager
02-16-2009, 10:22 PM
This used to be at APG.
It is in France now.
My buddy is in Tennessee.

Panzerknacker
02-17-2009, 05:09 PM
:lol: Nice pic Forager.



Well, but all these tanks didn't help them in 1940...

You could say that the French army was the army best equipped to fight another WW1 - but not for the new kind of war.



Well the had the factories,they had the steel and they had the guns, but they dont really know how blend all that in a workable, all around tank.

tankgeezer
02-17-2009, 06:09 PM
The German govt post treaty had sent many professional people to other countries working for subsidiaries of German Companies. While there, they were to secretly design, and refine drawings of the types of aircraft and weapons that may be needed in the future, as Hitler was already preparing for the re-militarization of Germany.All of these efforts contributed to the re-arming of Germany by eliminating the long period of development of these weapons, and equipments. That being done mostly on paper during the hide out years. When the "New" Germany was ready to begin arming, the plans, and drawings were in hand, ready to produce the goods decided upon. Germany's intended victims had not given much thought to the idea of Germany not playing by the rules, and so were not ready for these new machines, and tactics. By their trickery, they were ahead of the game, and everyone else had to play catch-up. Japan used those basic designs of aircraft to produce their planes, only adjusting the designs to fit their particulars.

Panzerknacker
02-17-2009, 06:24 PM
The "flexibility of thinking" also helped the germans, they not designed several tanks for a single use, but several tanks wich could be developed and improved.
I can assure you that making a SOMUA was by far more complicated an expensive to manufacture a panzer III. however this late and somewhat simple tank proved to be a winner in the 1939-41 period, and the SOMUA a simple technical curiosity.

Schuultz
02-17-2009, 06:33 PM
A Trend the French seem to continue with their movies to this day. I mean, seriously, have any of you seen one of these French 'High Class' movies recently?
I'm sure they were expensive to produce and they were very elaborate, but to put it mildly: They're bullshit.

Panzerknacker
02-17-2009, 07:03 PM
Cant tell, the last French Picture I saw was in 1996 :mrgreen: capitan Conan, a good one.

The Char B1:

This tank was France s main battle tank at the time of may 1940. It clearly exemplify the virtues and vices of all french armor in ww2, an excellent, innovative design with several technical values, delicatedly manufactured, powerful weapons and heavy armor, however the bad crew layout and duties made it a nightmare of command and control in the battlefield.

http://i44.tinypic.com/2j68geq.jpg

http://i44.tinypic.com/2zgdgy8.jpg

http://i40.tinypic.com/r7u4ug.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/20a31pl.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/29e6blx.jpg

Nickdfresh
02-17-2009, 08:22 PM
:lol: Nice pic Forager.



Well the had the factories,they had the steel and they had the guns, but they dont really know how blend all that in a workable, all around tank.


Their doctrine was the biggest problem here...

Panzerknacker
02-18-2009, 04:32 PM
True, the bad tactic eventually crippled the French Army in 1940, however that is independent of the tank characteristics. The russian with bad tactics but a lot better designed tanks ( t-34, KV-1) did manage to halt several days the german advance and even won small defensive battles in June/July 1941, thing that the french did not.

Uyraell
02-18-2009, 11:50 PM
:lol: Nice pic Forager.



Well the had the factories,they had the steel and they had the guns, but they dont really know how blend all that in a workable, all around tank.

One huge problem was the use of the commander as gunner and loader. That didn't really change `til the Somua S35 and they were never properly employed, as Nickdfresh alludes to in his doctrine comment.

As with the aircraft industry in inter-war France, much was badly handicapped in production terms by workforce discontent in the relevant factories, some of which had been brewed and controlled from Moscow, just as in Britain the ore and coal mines suffered the same fates.

For the timeframe, French aircraft and tanks were reasonably advanced, though more so in the case of tanks.

However, various scandals of the time, involving both factory/company officers, money, and politicians, were as great a hindrance to French doctrinal evolution as lack of manufacturing ability for the relevant machinery.

The ARL 44 Glacis was 80mm at 47 deg. guessing sides and such would have been 30mm. But note: some sources state the ARL44 was manufactured at half the specified armour thicknesses and was even then barely able to move for more than about 10 miles.

I don't know how to "read" or "view" that, but thinking that the vehicles appeared in public once only, I'm inclined to think the second source may well be right, even though it's usually regarded as somewhat biased against the French.

Regards, Uyraell.

Uyraell
02-19-2009, 12:05 AM
Conçu dans la clandestinité sous l'occupation allemande, le char ARL devait réarmer les forces françaises de l'après-guerre. L'état des ressources industrielles après la Libération ne permit la réalisation de ce projet. Seule une petite série de cet engin put être produite au début des années 50.

CARACTERISTIQUES TECHNIQUES
Constructeur A.R.L. Atelier de Construction de Rueil
Production : 60
Période de production : 1947 - 1950
Type : char lourd
Équipage : 5 hommes
Longueur (m) : 10,52
Largeur (m) : 3,40
Hauteur (m) : 3,20
Poids en ordre de Combat (kg) : 50 000
Blindage : 120 mm maxi
Équipement radio : SCR 508 ou SCR 528
ARMEMENT
Armement principal : 1 canon de 90mm SA mod 45 V° 1000m/s
Munitions : 50 obus
Rotation (degrés) : 360°
Armement secondaire : 2 mitrailleuses de 7,5mm mod 31
Munitions : 5000
MOBILITE
Moteur : Maybach HL 230
Type & Cylindrée : 12 cyl 23.5 l
Puissance (max.) : 575 cv à 2 500 t/m
Carburant : Essence
Autonomie (km) : 350
Vitesse sur route : 37.25 km/h
Largeur chenille : 0.60
Garde au sol (m) : 0.45
Pente (%) : 60
Obstacle Vertical (m) : 1.00
Passage à gué (m) : 1.30
Franchissement (m) : 2.50

Stats I found on the ARL44.
Blinde' = Armour.

From:

http://www.chars-francais.net/new/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=678&Itemid=41

Regards, Uyraell.

Panzerknacker
02-19-2009, 05:16 PM
One huge problem was the use of the commander as gunner and loader. That didn't really change `til the Somua S35 and they were never properly employed, as Nickdfresh alludes to in his doctrine comment

Not only that, in the Char B1 bis the driver not only drive but also elevated and aimed the hull 75mm howitzer....crazy, so not only the tank commander had to aim,load and fire but als o the poor driver had to aim and fire.

A picture of the interior, note the compressed air hose above the howitzer breech, used to expell gases after the shot.

http://i32.tinypic.com/30mlb49.jpg

Uyraell
02-19-2009, 07:36 PM
Not only that, in the Char B1 bis the driver not only drive but also elevated and aimed the hull 75mm howitzer....crazy, so not only the tank commander had to aim,load and fire but als o the poor driver had to aim and fire.

A picture of the interior, note the compressed air hose above the howitzer breech, used to expell gases after the shot.

http://i32.tinypic.com/30mlb49.jpg

Horrifying thing on the inside, though never seen internal pics of one before, very pleased to see these. In similar case though is the Churchill 1: 3-inch/75mm Hull howitzer with small 37mm ATg/Pak in turret. The Brits got wise to the failings of the vehicle, which later went on to serve well.

Then again, French Tank doctrine was not exactly imaginative, more "reactive than active" which is where the Brits later improved matters.

The French tanks themselves, while slightly undergunned, were certainly reasonably well armoured.

Regards, Uyraell.

Nickdfresh
02-19-2009, 10:03 PM
True, the bad tactic eventually crippled the French Army in 1940, however that is independent of the tank characteristics. The russian with bad tactics but a lot better designed tanks ( t-34, KV-1) did manage to halt several days the german advance and even won small defensive battles in June/July 1941, thing that the french did not.

The French actually won the first first round of tank vs. tank combat in Belgium actually...

Panzerknacker
02-20-2009, 03:23 PM
The French actually won the first first round of tank vs. tank combat in Belgium actually...

Interesting, Can you provide some data about it ?

Panzerknacker
02-20-2009, 03:35 PM
Close-up to the turret, the 47mm gun had a muzzle velocity of 630 mps, enough to deal with every german panzer of the period.

Note the periscopic binocular gunsight. and the coaxial Chatereault 7.5 mm emplacemet, the MG could be used freely in its mounting, it had no remote firing but a normal handgrip.

http://i28.tinypic.com/20kwwgl.jpg

Nickdfresh
02-20-2009, 07:54 PM
Interesting, Can you provide some data about it ?

Unfortunately, just Wiki. :D

But I have to say that it is one of the better War-related Wiki pages I've seen with a lot of detail and intricacies of the battle usually not found there...


...When Erich Hoepner's XVI Panzer Corps, consisting of 3rd and 4th Panzer Divisions was launched over the over the newly-captured bridges in the direction of the Gembloux Gap, this seemed to confirm the expectations of the French Supreme Command that the German Schwerpunkt would be at that point. The two French Light Mechanized divisions, the 2nd DLM and 3rd DLM were ordered forward to meet the German armour and cover the entrenchment of the First Army. The resulting Battle of Hannut, which took place on 12 May and 13 May was the largest tank battle until that date, with about 1,500 AFVs participating. The French claimed to have disabled about 160 German tanks[31] for 91 Hotchkiss H35 and 30 Somua S35 tanks destroyed or captured.[32] However, as the Germans controlled the battlefield area afterwards, they recovered and eventually repaired or rebuilt many of the Panzers:[33] German irreparable losses amounted to 49 tanks (20 3PD and 29 4PD).[34] The German armour sustained substantial breakdown rates making it impossible to ascertain the exact number of tanks disabled by French action. On the second day the Germans managed to breach the screen of French tanks, which were successfully withdrawn on 14 May after having gained enough time for the First Army to dig in. Hoepner tried to break the French line on 15 May against orders, the only time in the campaign when German armour frontally attacked a strongly held fortified position. The attempt was repelled by the 1st Moroccan Infantry Division, costing 4th Panzer Division another 42 tanks, 26 of which were irreparable.[35][36]. This defensive success for the French was however already made irrelevant by the events further south.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_France#Central_Belgium

navyson
02-21-2009, 10:31 AM
Re: Post #20

Hi PK,
Do you know of any pictures or schematics of the Char B2 briefly mentioned in the article?

Panzerknacker
02-21-2009, 04:36 PM
Unfortunately, just Wiki. :D

But I have to say that it is one of the better War-related Wiki pages I've seen with a lot of detail and intricacies of the battle usually not found there...



Thanks, well, that is a victory, irrelevant but a victory aniway.




Hi PK,
Do you know of any pictures or schematics of the Char B2 briefly mentioned in the article?


Unfortunately not, there is no photos since there was no prototipe, I guess I might find a drawing, but still no luck in my search of that.

The Char B1 ter

This tanks included sloped sloped and welded 75 mm armour, a weight of 36.6 metric tons and an engine of 350 hp (260 kW) was meant to replace the B1 bis to accelerate mass production from the summer of 1940. Cost was reduced by omitting the complex Neader transmission and giving the hull gun a traverse of ten degrees instead. Only two prototypes could be finished before the defeat of France.

http://i41.tinypic.com/m7gw1c.jpg

Carl Schwamberger
02-28-2009, 11:58 PM
Unfortunately, just Wiki. :D

But I have to say that it is one of the better War-related Wiki pages I've seen with a lot of detail and intricacies of the battle usually not found there...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_France#Central_Belgium

There are a couple good articals in the Journal of Military History by Jeffery Gunsberg. The first appears in the April 1992 issue. I also have a artical from the May 1955 issue of L'Armee La Nation a analysis of the armored battle as a classic cavalry action. One point the Wiki item does not make clear is that of the two French tank divsions only one did the bulk of the fighting on the 12th & 13th May. They spreead across a considerable frontage and the German 19th Corps concentrated against just one DLM.


. Hoepner tried to break the French line on 15 May against orders, the only time in the campaign when German armour frontally attacked a strongly held fortified position.

This is a error in the Wiki artical. The French position was not fortified. The Belgians had some material for road blocks stored in the area, but nothing else. The terrain was open fields with small scattered villiages and small orchards. The most prominent feature was a railroad berm that ran from north to south. The French 1st Army advance guards had arrived just four days earlier, and the main body two & three days before. They had time to dig light entrenchments, set out some mines and barbed wire, and organize the fire plan for the artillery and machine guns. No rugged hills, no forrests, no mud, no rivers or streams of significance.

Nickdfresh
03-01-2009, 11:40 AM
There are a couple good articals in the Journal of Military History by Jeffery Gunsberg. The first appears in the April 1992 issue. I also have a artical from the May 1955 issue of L'Armee La Nation a analysis of the armored battle as a classic cavalry action. One point the Wiki item does not make clear is that of the two French tank divsions only one did the bulk of the fighting on the 12th & 13th May. They spreead across a considerable frontage and the German 19th Corps concentrated against just one DLM.



This is a error in the Wiki artical. The French position was not fortified. The Belgians had some material for road blocks stored in the area, but nothing else. The terrain was open fields with small scattered villiages and small orchards. The most prominent feature was a railroad berm that ran from north to south. The French 1st Army advance guards had arrived just four days earlier, and the main body two & three days before. They had time to dig light entrenchments, set out some mines and barbed wire, and organize the fire plan for the artillery and machine guns. No rugged hills, no forrests, no mud, no rivers or streams of significance.

Thanks for your clarifications. The above regarding the lack of fortifications in the Belgian sector would be in line with what I've always read or heard: that the French abandoned their fortified positions to lurch into Belgium, largely for political rather than purely military reasons, in order to defend the Low Countries (and fellow Francophone nation) against German aggression. One thing the Wiki article on the Battle for France does make clear is that the French command was well aware that driving into Belgium did not make as much sense militarily as it might appear superficially to the civilian population of the Allied nations and their sympathizers, but it would have looked like cowardice to abandon Belgium yet again to German occupation without a fight. Of course they were only becoming gradually aware of "Sickle Cut" but it would take days, even weeks, to fully realize the gravity of their precarious situation...

Nickdfresh
03-01-2009, 12:01 PM
Here's another Wiki article specifically on the Battle of Hannut. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hannut) Take it with a grain of salt or whatever...

Homerr
03-01-2009, 03:59 PM
Excellent book on the Char B:

http://livres.histoireetcollections.com/en/publication-1306-chars-b-au-combat-hommes-et-materiels-du-15e-bcc.html

Panzerknacker
03-04-2009, 06:48 PM
Thanks for the link Homerr.

Updated info on Char B1 ter:

Aparently the B1 ter as a design to improve the difficulty manning in the B1 bis, but still a more cheaper option to the B2 wich was to be armed with a fully revolving 75 mm plus 2mgs armed turret.

The B2 should had a better characteritics and to cure some of the vices of the french design, however it was seen as an expensive vehicle, the option to improve the existent B1 bis was choosed instead.

B1 ter development began in 1936, the Chief inspector of the french armored forces, General Velpry, insisted in a improved armor for this tank. That was materialized in a well sloped 75mm frontal plate ( wich included a combined riveted-welded construction) and a side 60mm rolled plate with a "V" shape, protecting the vital parts of the tank.

Renault provided a engine 15 % more powerful to cope with the increased weight.

http://i43.tinypic.com/ej6g0o.jpg


Finally, at last, in this design the driver was liberated from the task to fire the hull howitzer, however it still had a important part aiming it because the azimuth was extremely limited. The B1 ter transmision was a simple differential , a more easy and less complex tha the earlier Naeder double differential. In all and despite to have the devilish single place turret the Ter was a more simple, valuable and workable design than its predesessors.

150 were ordered in 1938, unfortunately for France, economical cutbacks caused than only 3 prototypes were available in may 1940, those used for testing in the Saint Nazaire garrison.

Characteristics:

Manufacturer: Atelier de Construction de Rueil (ARL) , Forges et Chantiers de la Mediterraine (FCM)

Crew: 4, chief/loader/gunner, loader/hull gunner, driver, radio operator.

Hull lenght: 6.35m

Hull gun azimuth: 6º left and right

Width: 2,73 m

Height: 2,83 m

track width : 500 mm

Suspension: coil springs

Weigh in battle order: 36600 kg.

Engine: Renault 6 cilinders gasoline water cooled, 350 hp.

Speed road: 30 km/h

Armor: between 30 to 75mm.

Armament: SA 35 de 47mm in turret ( muzzle velocity 662 mps) with 60 rounds, 75mm howitzer ( muzzle velocity 220mps) with 80 rounds, Chatereault 7,5 mm machinegun with 600 shots.

http://i39.tinypic.com/149z0go.jpg

Schuultz
03-04-2009, 07:47 PM
That one actually looks really cool. Except it's probably the first tank I've ever seen where the strongest gun is not in the turret but front-mounted... probably not very handy?

Nickdfresh
03-04-2009, 07:59 PM
That one actually looks really cool. Except it's probably the first tank I've ever seen where the strongest gun is not in the turret but front-mounted... probably not very handy?

In its day, the 47mm was one of the most effective anti-tank guns out there. The Char was built in the role of infantry tank meaning is was designed to move slowly and eliminate battlefield fortifications and tanks to clear the way for infantry. The 75mm was really designed to attack enemy infantry and fortifications, so in essence, it wasn't really that good against most medium and heavy tanks...

Incidentally, it should be noted that the Germans later used the captured Char B1s as flammenpanzers by replacing the 75mm gun with a nice, flamethrower. How extensive it was and how many there were, I do not know..

Uyraell
03-05-2009, 03:38 AM
In its day, the 47mm was one of the most effective anti-tank guns out there. The Char was built in the role of infantry tank meaning is was designed to move slowly and eliminate battlefield fortifications and tanks to clear the way for infantry. The 75mm was really designed to attack enemy infantry and fortifications, so in essence, it wasn't really that good against most medium and heavy tanks...

Incidentally, it should be noted that the Germans later used the captured Char B1s as flammenpanzers by replacing the 75mm gun with a nice, flamethrower. How extensive it was and how many there were, I do not know..
Most sources seem to state about 40, but getting exact figures is a maddeningly elusive activity....
Certainly some of the Flammpanzer conversions end up included as Fahrschule vehicles, while the chassis converted to feldhaubitz seem to have been classified more accurately.

Regards, Uyraell.

Panzerknacker
03-05-2009, 05:14 PM
Incidentally, it should be noted that the Germans later used the captured Char B1s as flammenpanzers by replacing the 75mm gun with a nice, flamethrower. How extensive it was and how many there were, I do not know..


There were 24 B1 tank converted in Flampanzers.

The germans used almost any kind of french tracked and half tracked vehicle for conversion in specializated armor as self propelled howitzers, tankhunters, observation, personel carrier. Even some types the of lorries were armored and given to units stationed behind the atlantic wall, the name of this variants exceed the 100, almost deserve a topic for its own.

A little know fact is the french also toyed with the B1 flamethrowing tank, at list one prototipe was made in 1939.

http://i39.tinypic.com/dyrwbn.jpg

http://i39.tinypic.com/15otu0i.jpg

Carl Schwamberger
03-05-2009, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the link Homerr.

Updated info on Char B1 ter:

Aparently the B1 ter as a design to improve the difficulty manning in the B1 bis, but still a more cheaper option to the B2 wich was to be armed with a fully revolving 75 mm plus 2mgs armed turret.



Go to this link

http://www.chars-francais.net/new/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=672&Itemid=78

Scroll down to 1937 and there is a small photograph of the partially built prototype of the G1. Projected for production in late 1941-42 this had a four many crew, high powered 75mm gun (by 1940 standards), and a low dome shaped turret similar to the Soviet T54 of a decade hence.

Nickdfresh
03-05-2009, 07:57 PM
The German garrison on the formerly British English Channel Islands also had a few improved/modified Char B1s according to Wiki. But these were not Flammenpanzers, but tanks with applique armor...

Panzerknacker
03-06-2009, 04:47 PM
Go to this link
http://www.chars-francais.net/new/in...=672&Itemid=78 (http://www.chars-francais.net/new/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=672&Itemid=78)

Scroll down to 1937 and there is a small photograph of the partially built prototype of the G1. Projected for production in late 1941-42 this had a four many crew, high powered 75mm gun (by 1940 standards), and a low dome shaped turret similar to the Soviet T54 of a decade hence.

Interesting thanks, a tank commander and a gunner inside the turret, that is an improvement, I guess the end came to fast for France, no time to get a fully manned tank in service.:rolleyes:

Panzerknacker
06-01-2009, 08:41 PM
Specifications Renault R-35.

This was a light/medium tank for infantry support. Armor equivalent to the panzer III in this design.The main low velocity old ( extracted from WW1 FT17s) 37mm gun fired and effective high explosive and case shot.


http://i40.tinypic.com/23vxcew.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/2jv3c.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/5n43mb.jpg

http://i44.tinypic.com/2zfpyrk.jpg

Panzerknacker
09-13-2009, 06:52 PM
The tank killers. Source "Juin 1940 le impossible soursat", Trackstory.

http://i31.tinypic.com/34e3guo.jpg

http://i31.tinypic.com/11bq4jo.jpg

http://i28.tinypic.com/2rcxuu1.jpg

http://i30.tinypic.com/2ekn48z.jpg

The Historian
11-22-2009, 12:58 PM
That 47mm gun the French brought out just before the war was really effective against German tanks; the problem a lot of the towed infantry models had was that the ammunition trucks couldn't go where they could.

How effective was the W15?

Panzerknacker
11-22-2009, 10:43 PM
Suposedly they destroyed several german tanks in the last combats of the war, but very few survived.

And the 47mm gun was very good, with a muzzle velocity of 850 mps was roughly like a pak 38.

The Historian
11-23-2009, 08:53 AM
Thanks.

I find it strange that France was the first nation to attempt to mechanize forces in WWI and then forgot their lessons

Schuultz
11-23-2009, 05:10 PM
It's called "To rest on one's laurels" ^^

Panzerknacker
11-23-2009, 05:43 PM
More on the 47mm Laffly "Tuers de char" source same as before.

http://i49.tinypic.com/2e518y9.jpg

http://i46.tinypic.com/eaip0l.jpg

http://i47.tinypic.com/293ag0m.jpg

steben
11-24-2009, 03:10 AM
If Rommel had to lead the french after adopting nationality in 1940 I guess Hitler was blast aside in a week... The weapons the frenchies had were excellent. really excellent. If only they had concentrated their armor as a reaction force they could have pentrated the German advance themselves.

Strategy and tactics Strategy and tactics Strategy and tactics ...

Tiger205
03-07-2010, 05:35 AM
The weapons the frenchies had were excellent.

Hello,

Sorrry to disagree!

Let us see just the tanks!

1/ The french tank crew layout was far from the ideal with the one/two man turret the commander was overemployed with non-comamred tasks!
2/ Also the low speed of the (non Souma) tanks allowed the german field artillery to destroy them with non-AT guns!

sincerely:
TGR

steben
03-08-2010, 01:45 PM
Hello,

Sorrry to disagree!

Let us see just the tanks!

1/ The french tank crew layout was far from the ideal with the one/two man turret the commander was overemployed with non-comamred tasks!
2/ Also the low speed of the (non Souma) tanks allowed the german field artillery to destroy them with non-AT guns!

sincerely:
TGR

Of course. You are right.

I was, however, talking about the weapons in general and the tactics in general.
In fact, history has proven by the hand of the germans in WWII two things:
1) you cannot change the war with fantastic design only
2) you cannot decide about loss or victory only looking at inferiority of material.

The truth is the allies in 1940:
- had weapons with enough quality. especially artillery orientated. yet they were very clumsy in handling their power.
- had the quantity on their side from the beginning (till the end).
- suffered on the other hand a backset in morale and psychology and were dealing with domestic politics.

forager
03-08-2010, 02:36 PM
Disagree on all 3 1940 truths.

We were dismally behind in quantity, quality, and in America, public desire to be involved in any of those things.

Circumstances forced us to rise to the occaision.
The results were a fantastic whirlwind of concepts, development, production and implementation of vast numbers of assets.
Unprecidented in history.

We supplied many of our allies and carried all that equipment and manpower to the corners of the earth.

Leaving out politics and nationality issues.
Simply a feat never before approached in history.

steben
03-08-2010, 03:09 PM
Disagree on all 3 1940 truths.

We were dismally behind in quantity, quality, and in America, public desire to be involved in any of those things.

Circumstances forced us to rise to the occaision.
The results were a fantastic whirlwind of concepts, development, production and implementation of vast numbers of assets.
Unprecidented in history.

We supplied many of our allies and carried all that equipment and manpower to the corners of the earth.

Leaving out politics and nationality issues.
Simply a feat never before approached in history.

First of all, the US were not an ally in 1940. They remained neutral till end 1941.
Second, the remark on public desire is exactly my third point.
Finally, all numbers I have read tell the same story: there was never a point where the Germans outnumbered the Allies, be it in men or in material.

I think the blitzkrieg period is indeed a very important strategical and tactical lesson in history since it remains fascinating how the western allies (UK + France) did not achieve in halting the germans. There are no technical excuses for men to leave their tanks once they see a swasitka. But in a nutshell: that's what the nlitzkrieg was all about. There was no connection what so ever between western political elite and the people they wanted to "preserve". The western leaders created incidentaly a dangerous enigma towards their own people around a "german war machine" even before it was a fact. Small war fatigue led to big war atrocity.

Tiger205
03-08-2010, 03:35 PM
There are no technical excuses for men to leave their tanks once they see a swasitka.

The close air support was unexpected and well-done by the germans.
For the time they left the tanks they got several air raids from Stuka's.
The Germans came from the unexpected direction, and were better trained .
They dared to shoot to tanks with machine guns and useless 2 cm or 3,7 cm guns, BUT these shoots (richocet or not) created so awful noise inside (bell effect in welded turrets and hull) that they were happy to leave the devil machines. The not so creative, politically driven military leaders moved them north and south, no motivation, no desire, no self-esteem...
OK just examples (Arras was a different stroy) but the picture is not so black and white.

But you are right, no escuses for the "sitting war".

regards:
TGR

Nickdfresh
03-08-2010, 04:57 PM
Hello,

Sorrry to disagree!

Let us see just the tanks!

1/ The french tank crew layout was far from the ideal with the one/two man turret the commander was overemployed with non-comamred tasks!
2/ Also the low speed of the (non Souma) tanks allowed the german field artillery to destroy them with non-AT guns!

sincerely:
TGR


I agree with you to an extent -- the poor French tank commander had too much to do against his German counterparts. Not to mention that he had no radio and was usually outnumbered and had little training in tank vs. tank combat. The very layout of French tanks points to poor strategy and tactics...

However, we can attribute much of this to the reactionary French approach to "methodical battle" and the overall thinking that the infantry was still the center of battle with tanks existing mostly for support...

Panzerknacker
03-08-2010, 06:52 PM
Excuse me but the Frech Char B2 and Somua did have radios. Had had the frenchs some concentrated armored divisons at the german or english stile the story may be different, the French had their oportunity to win the war when Germany was engaging Poland with all his armor and most aircrafts in september 1939.

Nickdfresh
03-08-2010, 08:41 PM
Excuse me but the Frech Char B2 and Somua did have radios. Had had the frenchs some concentrated armored divisons at the german or english stile the story may be different, the French had their oportunity to win the war when Germany was engaging Poland with all his armor and most aircrafts in september 1939.

The French Army was mobilizing its painfully complex system of reserves in September 1939, and was little more than a semi-trained force that was more ominous on paper than it was in the flesh. We tend to forget that the French had less than 200,000 hardcore professionals as a training cadre and that the Republic espoused a "peoples' army" ethos.

By the time they launched the "Saar Offensive," the Germans were already withdrawing their panzers and aircraft from Poland. And it's highly debatable as to how far the French would have gotten attacking into a depression with few good roads...

Panzerknacker
03-09-2010, 05:29 PM
Well, I was talking about something more seriosu than tha Saar offensive, a full offensive, I am sure if the frogs managed to get , let say 75 or 90 km inside Germany Hitler would be forced to withdrawn at list 50 % of his Army fighting in Poland.

In this way,catching the germans between 2 sides. That likely buyed time for the poles and prevented a Dunkerke escape with the britons leaving in disarray.

Nickdfresh
03-09-2010, 07:37 PM
Well, I was talking about something more seriosu than tha Saar offensive, a full offensive, I am sure if the frogs managed to get , let say 75 or 90 km inside Germany Hitler would be forced to withdrawn at list 50 % of his Army fighting in Poland.

In this way,catching the germans between 2 sides. That likely buyed time for the poles and prevented a Dunkerke escape with the britons leaving in disarray.

Well, no matter what the "Frogs" did, Uncle Joe Stalin was always there to finish off the Poles. Secondly, the French were at first overconfident (ironically), but then were shocked and spooked by the quick collapse of Poland, whom they believed should have lasted much longer. Another problem was that the French Army wasn't ready for any sustained offensive beyond what we know today, and while the Germans were somewhat vulnerable on their West wall, we can't say for certain whether a big French offensive--slow and "methodically" plodding--would have done much to prolong the Battle for France, or whether the fatal result given the state of French strategy and thinking at the time was inevitable. Not too mention that there was no real coherent French plan for an offensive in 1939...

The French also rightly knew that they had time on their side, and that in a battle of attrition, that Germany would face an almost certain collapse as the Entente alliance had the industrial advantage and natural resources available in the long run. With the battle in Poland, the French realized that they were facing a Wehrmacht enemy that simply was fighting on another level, and that it would take time for them to match the Heer in a large, mobile battle. Also don't forget the critical factor contributing to the French passivity was the German 2:1 advantage in military aged males, which was why the French thought they must fight a defensive campaign, initially, in order to blood the Germans and set the stage for their proposed 1941 grand offensive into Germany...

Panzerknacker
03-09-2010, 07:54 PM
Is possible that it would cause no real damage but still there is a chance, France also had plans to help Finland, I think the Foreign Legion wich disimbarqued in Norway was infact heading to Finland but eventually were redirected to counter teh germans after the finnish capitulation in march 1940. Now France vs Russia, that would be interesting to see in an infantry plus armor vs armor plus infantry macht, at list in 1940. In later years the evolution of soviet tanks would be too much for teh french armored vehicles.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1340/1084895979_44debbb5c6.jpg



The French also rightly knew that they had time on their side, and that in a battle of attrition, that Germany would face an almost certain collapse as the Entente alliance had the industrial advantage and natural resources available in the long run. With the battle in Poland, the French realized that they were facing a Wehrmacht enemy that simply was fighting on another level, and that it would take time for them to match the Heer in a large, mobile battle. Also don't forget the critical factor contributing to the French passivity was the German 2:1 advantage in military aged males, which was why the French thought they must fight a defensive campaign, initially, in order to blood the Germans and set the stage for their proposed 1941 grand offensive into Germany...


Agreed 100 %, with the somewhat primitive tactics sported by teh french high command you going to need numbers superiority to achieve something.

I guess that an "what if" french victory is married with quite different tactics that the ones actually used in 1939-40. Too different to became reality eventually.

Tiger205
03-10-2010, 02:59 AM
Hello!

There were also plans from both british/french sides to bomb BAKU - to help Finland.
Of course knowing their fast decision making process, the war ended for the time they made the first decision about the dedicated bomber units.
TGR

The Historian
04-14-2010, 01:05 AM
Is possible that it would cause no real damage but still there is a chance, France also had plans to help Finland, I think the Foreign Legion wich disimbarqued in Norway was infact heading to Finland but eventually were redirected to counter teh germans after the finnish capitulation in march 1940.

Helping Finland was a cover for the British and the French to seize the Lulea iron mines in Sweden--the expedition would be "sidetracked" to capture the iron and cut off Germany's iron supply: at least 10 million tons annually were imported from Sweden, and the only port available to ship from in the winter was Narvik, Norway


Found a great book in the library about the Norwegian Campaign, including an in-depth political background. I can't recall the name or the author at the moment...

Panzerknacker
04-28-2010, 09:41 PM
Is interesting to realize how fast the Soviets became "the good ones" just some 48 hours from the 21 of june to the 23 of june 1941.

The Historian
04-28-2010, 11:19 PM
Is interesting to realize how fast the Soviets became "the good ones" just some 48 hours from the 21 of june to the 23 of june 1941.

After Barbarossa started? The curse of Tamerlane...
Well, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I think that by 1941 the British were willing to ally with anyone they could

Panzerknacker
05-07-2010, 09:46 PM
Yes, they surely will. I keep thinking about this because the French, in spite of being always accused of playing with comunist ideas , recognize the great menace of a soviet Rusia as early as 1919 when they send troops to help the white russians.

In case of an speculative Russina vs Francia in 1940 "What if"... well I only can say the frenchies would need more and better tanks in order to win.

The AMX "Tracteur" rupture tank.

Before the beginning of the war there were some interesting concepts of heavy and superhevy tanks. One of those is the 1939 CHAR AMX TRACTEUR C. Projected dimentions was more than 9 meters long and 3 meters width. It used a twin turret in with 105 and 47mm. Close range defense was provide by 4 Reibel Drum fed 7,5 mm machineguns.
It also was powered with a sofisticated petrol-electric drive wich avoided the need for a gearbox but elevated the fuel rate comsumption.

The weight of this monster was 120 tons.

http://i44.tinypic.com/35i0xlu.jpg

And you thought that the KIng Tiger was heavy.... :cool:

http://i43.tinypic.com/oksj11.jpg

navyson
05-08-2010, 08:38 AM
I found this one when reading about the Char 2c: The FCM F1
http://france1940.free.fr/photos/FCMF1.jpg
The French sure liked the dual turrets didn't they?
Here's a little bit of information about it:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCM_F1

Panzerknacker
05-08-2010, 10:22 AM
Wao... :shock: nice find Navyson, FCM means Forges et Chantiers de la Mediterranie, a shipyard so I suppose that 90mm gun is naval in origin. This heavy tank has an strong russian look, remembers me the SMK.
I think that with 150-200 of these (well commanded) the frenchs could broke the Sigfried line in early 1940 and send Hitler back to the painting bussines.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/81/FCM-F1.svg/800px-FCM-F1.svg.png

fredl109
07-25-2011, 06:51 PM
Really a nice post Panzerknacker. Just a little story on B1 Bis, French soldiers found letters from German soldiers undistributed in which they spoke of a B1 Bis "Kolossal Machin" proof of the fear inspired by the tank at that time.
Friendly Fred

leccy
07-25-2011, 08:19 PM
How remarkable the B1 Bis could be with a good crew.

EURE, No. 337, 41st BCC 2nd Company (http://www.chars-francais.net/new/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=224&Itemid=46)

Chevan
07-26-2011, 12:35 AM
I think that with 150-200 of these (well commanded) the frenchs could broke the Sigfried line in early 1940 and send Hitler back to the painting bussines.

Hardly it can treat to GErman army. More likely it would be lost in rural in few first miles of way to the front. As it happends with soviet T-35. The multi-turret monsters like this was proved to be absolutly uneffective and sensless peice of shit in ww2.
Not to mention that the production of 150 such a super-expensive monsters should devastate the all the another tank units of France.

Chevan
07-26-2011, 12:42 AM
Well, no matter what the "Frogs" did, Uncle Joe Stalin was always there to finish off the Poles. Secondly, the French were at first overconfident (ironically), but then were shocked and spooked by the quick collapse of Poland, whom they believed should have lasted much longer.

Nobody finished Poles. The Stalin just "gathered" what was lost.No battles were in the East. Poles though hold the front almost 3 weeks - enough time for the west to do something( or at least to begin to do or even simulate it). They pomised to Poles the military help already within 2 weeks of war...[/QUOTE]

Nickdfresh
07-26-2011, 08:52 PM
How remarkable the B1 Bis could be with a good crew.

EURE, No. 337, 41st BCC 2nd Company (http://www.chars-francais.net/new/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=224&Itemid=46)

And a bigger petrol tank...:)

Nickdfresh
07-26-2011, 08:54 PM
Hardly it can treat to GErman army. More likely it would be lost in rural in few first miles of way to the front. As it happends with soviet T-35. The multi-turret monsters like this was proved to be absolutly uneffective and sensless peice of shit in ww2.
Not to mention that the production of 150 such a super-expensive monsters should devastate the all the another tank units of France.

I agree. The French really may not have need super-tanks to break through the West Wall at all. How far they would have gotten, and what would have happened after that, is anybodies' guess...

Nickdfresh
07-26-2011, 09:01 PM
Nobody finished Poles. The Stalin just "gathered" what was lost.No battles were in the East. Poles though hold the front almost 3 weeks - enough time for the west to do something( or at least to begin to do or even simulate it). They pomised to Poles the military help already within 2 weeks of war...

Three weeks was far too little time for the cumbersome French Army to mobilize, and the premise of launching a quick strike offensive was completely out of the question for the stogy old French high command. They had little in the way of a coherent offensive doctrine--other than some nebulous notions regarding a 'methodical battle'--as they always envisioned having to fight defensively first in order to grind down the superior German manpower advantages. The actual numbers of trained, professional French troops necessitated for such an offensive were busy either training called-up reservists or guarding the Maginot Line as the question of maintaining a professional, mechanized counter-attack/reaction force had been settled long ago with visionaries like De Gaulle cast aside in favor of an essentially wholly conscript 'peoples army.' So, the French were thusly pursuing a 'long war' strategy of strategic blockade and envelopment conducive to the Anglo-French economic advantages to be punctuated by a coup de grâce offensive in the middle of 1941 or so. However, if the Poles had been able to hold out longer and impose a higher toll on the Germans (not that the Poles didn't exact a decent sized pound of flesh from the Wehrmacht as it was), there would have been undeniably more political pressure for Generalissimo Gamelin to be more proactive...I agree that the potential in the Saar Offensive is fascinating. But even by that point, the Wehrmacht was already withdrawing air and ground assets from Poland, and having to go into the Saar region was a very sign of French weakness, as the best route into Germany was through (now neutral) Belgium whereas the Saar was a heavily forested depression not conducive to sustained mechanized offensive. But it was all they had...

Chevan
07-27-2011, 12:39 AM
I agree. The French really may not have need super-tanks to break through the West Wall at all. How far they would have gotten, and what would have happened after that, is anybodies' guess...
SOmething kinda this (http://fictionbook.ru/static/bookimages/00/08/88/00088889.bin.dir/h/_20.jpg) may happend just when it goes OFF-road. :)

Chevan
07-27-2011, 12:59 AM
Three weeks was far too little time for the cumbersome French Army to mobilize, and the premise of launching a quick strike offensive was completely out of the question for the stogy old French high command. They had little in the way of a coherent offensive doctrine--other than some nebulous notions regarding a 'methodical battle'--as they always envisioned having to fight defensively first in order to grind down the superior German manpower advantages. The actual numbers of trained, professional French troops necessitated for such an offensive were busy either training called-up reservists or guarding the Maginot Line as the question of maintaining a professional, mechanized counter-attack/reaction force had been settled long ago with visionaries like De Gaulle cast aside in favor of an essentially wholly conscript 'peoples army.' So, the French were thusly pursuing a 'long war' strategy of strategic blockade and envelopment conducive to the Anglo-French economic advantages to be punctuated by a coup de grвce offensive in the middle of 1941 or so. However, if the Poles had been able to hold out longer and impose a higher toll on the Germans (not that the Poles didn't exact a decent sized pound of flesh from the Wehrmacht as it was), there would have been undeniably more political pressure for Generalissimo Gamelin to be more proactive...I agree that the potential in the Saar Offensive is fascinating. But even by that point, the Wehrmacht was already withdrawing air and ground assets from Poland, and having to go into the Saar region was a very sign of French weakness, as the best route into Germany was through (now neutral) Belgium whereas the Saar was a heavily forested depression not conducive to sustained mechanized offensive. But it was all they had...
That is all fair. However the allies had an operative plan of anti-german contr-offensive. In case of German attak.Which was fully phony if to consider a facts above.The plan was failured coz of quick polish collaps as i understand. But poles claims the plan supposed to Poland to fight alone NO more then 2 week. And they had almost realized this plan from their side.

fredl109
07-27-2011, 08:02 AM
Three weeks was far too little time for the cumbersome French Army to mobilize, and the premise of launching a quick strike offensive was completely out of the question for the stogy old French high command. They had little in the way of a coherent offensive doctrine--other than some nebulous notions regarding a 'methodical battle'--as they always envisioned having to fight defensively first in order to grind down the superior German manpower advantages. The actual numbers of trained, professional French troops necessitated for such an offensive were busy either training called-up reservists or guarding the Maginot Line as the question of maintaining a professional, mechanized counter-attack/reaction force had been settled long ago with visionaries like De Gaulle cast aside in favor of an essentially wholly conscript 'peoples army.' So, the French were thusly pursuing a 'long war' strategy of strategic blockade and envelopment conducive to the Anglo-French economic advantages to be punctuated by a coup de grâce offensive in the middle of 1941 or so. However, if the Poles had been able to hold out longer and impose a higher toll on the Germans (not that the Poles didn't exact a decent sized pound of flesh from the Wehrmacht as it was), there would have been undeniably more political pressure for Generalissimo Gamelin to be more proactive...I agree that the potential in the Saar Offensive is fascinating. But even by that point, the Wehrmacht was already withdrawing air and ground assets from Poland, and having to go into the Saar region was a very sign of French weakness, as the best route into Germany was through (now neutral) Belgium whereas the Saar was a heavily forested depression not conducive to sustained mechanized offensive. But it was all they had...

I agree with you Nickdfresh, we could not respond in the Saarland, the government policy of France at that time was the especially not making waves with "Herr Hitler", more as you point out very well, the doctrine of the French army was still that of the sliced ​​and despite the mechanization of the army corps made ​​this one remained on the defensive, something completely ridiculous at the same time when the German army was on it a doctrine of the attack on all fronts, this largely explains why during the reconquest of the Saarland by the German army, no one in the French camp has moved. If you look out the balance of power at the time, we (French) had more than enough to force the German reduce the number of French Division was then well above that of Germany, in terms of armored unfortunately few generals considered the weapon as a decisive battle, we were still mired in the doctrines of 14-18 fights and especially our general aviation had absolutely no vision of what the couple would mechanized force and air cover, more than they absolutely did not trust their reconnaissance planes into evidence a recognition of the airmen had reported the presence of large armored forces in the Ardennes, this message was never considered it preferable that the pilot told anything, this speaks volumes about the inability of our generals to understand the evolution of the doctrines of war and the neglect with which they treated the information that reached them.
Friendly Fred

leccy
07-27-2011, 10:30 AM
And a bigger petrol tank...:)

I think it could go further than our darn Cent AVRE's with their thirsty Meteor engines (we had one with a range of 60 miles), the Battle Group rear echelon hated us turning up with them (especially as they always assumed they were diesel and we stole all their petrol). Not much better than the Churchill's they replaced.