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A new branch of French tanks are not quite normal: it includes a total of seven machines. The reason lies in the history of the Second World War and the long years of occupation interrupted the evolution of French tank industry. Read more about the history of the French newcomers World of Tanks read our digest.

FCM 36

thirty years of the last century, the French light tank Renault FT 17 is hopelessly outdated. Announced a competition to develop a new infantry support tank, which was won by Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée (FCM).

prototype tank went on trial in April 1935, and in 1936, after a number of design improvements and increasing armor thickness from 30 to 40 mm, was adopted. The machine is called FCM 36.

In the history of the world of tank the tank can be safely called innovative. His armor was protivosnaryadnym and installed under the rational angles that provide excellent protection from armor-piercing shells of the time. The diesel engine delivers high power reserve tank on one filling. Housing tank, fully welded, as a novelty.

FCM 36 meet the requirements of the military, but had two serious drawbacks: it was too heavy for the cars of its class (12.35 m) and very expensive to produce. Total built 100 tanks of this type.

Renault R35 / R40

was developed in 1934 as an infantry support tank. Compared with the FCM 36 is not as innovative: the case of cast members bolted armor plates installed almost vertically. On the other hand, the method of assembly, more than usual for the industry, provides an acceptable cost of the machine.

R35 weighed 10.6 tons, armed with 37-mm cannon and machine gun short-caliber rifle. The maximum thickness of 44 millimeters booking reached. A crew of two people. In 1938, the tank was modified by installing a long-barreled 37mm gun and chassis improvements. The mass of the new car has risen to 12.5 tonnes, this modification is known under the designation R40. These tanks fired about 120

Renault R35 – the most popular French light tank of the Second World War. It was built about 1500 copies of the machine, of which more than 550 were exported. The French army used these tanks in all theaters of military operations: in Europe, Syria, Tunisia, Algeria.

Somua S35

This medium tank was intended for the French cavalry (actually – tank) divisions. Developed by Somua in 1935. Until 1940, France was considered a very good tank and come into service exclusively French troops.

Housing tank cast assembled on bolts, Tower – cast, single. The maximum thickness of booking – 40 mm. Armament: 47-mm cannon and machine gun caliber 7.5 mm. The crew consisted of three people. It was built about 500 tanks of this type.

During World War II, was used on the territory of France and Tunisia. Three hundred S35 captured and used by the Germans, including the USSR. Some of the tanks was converted to artillery tractors. In 1944, after France is back on the map of Europe as an independent state, the French army won a number of Somua S35, captured from the Germans.

S40 / SARL 42

In the spring of 1939 were prepared by the technical requirements for modernization Somua S35. Changes to be made to the body structure and chassis. However, the first prototype tank, later called Somua S40, and got a new welded turret. S40 planned to launch into production in July 1940, but this was prevented by the German invasion and the imminent defeat of France.

In 1942, the occupied territory in secrecy group under the direction of Maurice Lavirotta began to work on the project of deep modernization of S40 . The main idea was to improve the characteristics of the tank, minimally intruding into the design of the chassis and powerplant. On the tank had planned to install a new tower, designed by ARL, so called tank SARL 42.

Updated the machine body was more rational angles of armor in the bow, a simplified form, as well as new under-turret chase. Tower firm ARL had minimal silhouette when viewed from the front and was made by welding, which is unusual for a French tank production.

Work on the SARL 42 stopped the fall of 1942, after a full occupation of France by Germany.

Renault G1R

In the mid-30s were formed requirements new medium tank infantry support. After agreeing on requirements and adjustments (gain booking up to 60 mm cannon equipment, capable of striking the enemy armored vehicles, and so on. D.), The project took to the development of seven French companies, including Renault. The tank is designated G1.

Interestingly, in the early stages of design engineers have proposed a variant uninhabited tower with a 75-mm gun, equipped with automatic loader. It was one of the first ideas of this kind in the world. Prevented the implementation of the technical complexity of the design.

Draft G1R tank is a machine with a molded bronelisty which establishes a rational angles. Tower hemispherical shape has been moved to the rear of the housing. It was a 47-mm gun, an option for installing 75 mm.

was built one prototype, but to finalize the draft G1 French did not have time because of the German attack in 1940.

AMX 30 1er prototype

After a long break in developing tanks associated with the occupation during the Second World War, France quickly enough revived its tankostroitelnuyu industry. In 1956 he started a joint Franco-German program to create a main battle tank.

The French concept at first glance seemed to be controversial: the designers decided to abandon the heavy reservation in favor of mobility and compact size. Actually cumulative shells evolved by the end 50s to such an extent that the thickness of the armor lost former value. A fast and small destroy enemy tanks harder.

The first prototype machine, which received the designation AMX 30, was built in 1961. This machine is the lightest among the first generation of main battle tanks of NATO. AMX 30 could reach speeds up to 65 km / h on the highway. The main armament used 105-mm gun.

After testing and development, which lasted until 1965, AMX 30 was adopted by the French army.

AMX 30

Tank is a production series of the French main battle tank developed in 1966 and put into operation in 1967. Body of the machine executes a method of welding and casting, the tower was completely cast.

The new tank equipped with commander’s cupola with panoramic sight and multi-fuel diesel engine. 105-mm gun could manage both the gunner and tank commander. To improve the accuracy of fire barrel supplied with a thermal jacket. As an additional weapons used 12.7 mm coaxial machine gun or 20-mm cannon and 7.62 mm machine gun, controlled remotely.

The French still relied on mobility AMX 30, although the mass of the new model increased from 30 to 36 tons. Speed ​​is not reduced due to good engine. In the service of the French Army AMX 30, having a number of modifications, remained until 1997.

Also read:

Lyricist – Vladimir Pinaev

Sources:

  1. Website Submissions http://www.chars-francais.net .
  2. Centre des archives de l’armement et du personnel, Châtellerault.
  3. GBM. Histoire de Guerre, Blindés & amp; Matériel. – 2012, №100.

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