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"The Awesome AMX 13 – France’s Post-WWII Tank " Topic


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754 hits since 8 Feb 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2018 3:11 p.m. PST

…Design Features An Oscillating Turret And Is Still Used Today

"The tank is a resilient and devastating war machine, and a key element in many conflicts throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. To break the deadlock of trench warfare in the western front during the WWI, the concept of tank battle was developed. Britain and France simultaneously and separately developed the first tanks during the WWI.

The name ‘tank' was adopted for the British ‘land ships' in 1915 to maintain the secrecy of the armored vehicles. In an effort to fool the enemy spies, British army propagated the myth that they had been building ‘mobile water tanks'.

The world saw tanks in battle for the first time on September 15, 1916, when British Army deployed these armored land ships during the Battle of the Somme. Throughout 20th century, tanks have played a dynamic role for the army and it has seen fierce and devastating action…"


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rdg1125 Inactive Member08 Feb 2018 3:33 p.m. PST

I was with the US forces in the Dominican Republic in 1965-66. Our unit was co-located with the Dominican tank battalion at San Ysidro. The tanks were immobilized by having their breech blocks removed and the engines made inoperable. The Dominican personnel were all volunteers and were kept on duty but weren't allowed to operate the tanks.

I wish some one would make a reasonably priced model (1/72) of the basic AMX 13. The Heller version is the 105mm model only used by Argentina and the Netherlands.

Frankss08 Feb 2018 5:01 p.m. PST

I heard that the AMX 13 used same 75mm gun as German Panther.

Can someone confirm or refute that ?

evbates08 Feb 2018 6:04 p.m. PST

Yes it did use the same gun as the Panther.

shaun from s and s models Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2018 2:21 a.m. PST

there is a diecast one out there too

General Kirchner09 Feb 2018 12:28 p.m. PST

any record of them being successful?

I know the Israelis used them, but wonder if they were worth using.

just because your army owns one, doesn't mean its useful.

a great peacetime tank. cheap to operate, and it doesn't destroy your infrastructure during wargames.

emckinney09 Feb 2018 12:31 p.m. PST

"Yes it did use the same gun as the Panther."

Well, they did make one good design decision …

I wonder what the crews who operated bother the Panther and the AMX-13 thought about each of them. The French Panther vs. Sherman comparisons are illuminating.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2018 3:03 p.m. PST

I heard one Israeli comment that he lost far too many friends on those "POS tanks"

It was pretty much a late WWII early Cold War weapon system, but as tanks got more accurate it became increasingly vulnerable and the 75mm gun had trouble against newer generations of Soviet designed tanks.

nikolas93ts09 Feb 2018 5:01 p.m. PST


Yes it did use the same gun as the Panther.

That is a myth. The only thing they shared was calibre and the general concept of high-muzzle velocity gun.
Gun design was different, as well the dimensions of the round used. Construction wise, AMX-13 gun is more similar to 75mm M6 from M24 Chaffee, which French used post-war, and even instaled some M24 turrets on AMX-13 hulls for high-explosive lobbing in the colonial role.

Another common misconception was that auto-loader* could be only reloaded from outside of the vehicle. In reality, it was a preferred method because it was much faster, but it was possible to reload it from inside.

* it was actually a semi-automatic loader, and in some later models, it was upgraded to fully automatic.

nikolas93ts09 Feb 2018 5:32 p.m. PST

AMX-13 was exported to more than 25 countries, produced for 36 years, and with over one hundred variants when export models are included. It has served with distinction on almost all continents and still serves actually, from deserts to mountains of Sino-Indian border. And let's not forget the value of AMX-13 derivatives. Bridgelayer, armoured combat engineer vehicle, recovery vehicles, SPAAGs, missile launchers, APCs, ambulances. All of them widely exported, and many produced well after the light tank. Of particular importance is AMX-VCI armoured personnel carrier, first French true APC and backbone of their mechanised forces for years until AMX-10P was introduced. Second most important variant(s) were likely 105mm and 155mm self-propelled howitzers which provided the backbone of mobile artillery of many nations.

Conceived by Gen. Demetz, the 'father' of French airborne, the AMX-13 was designed as an air transportable vehicle, so size and weight were kept as low as possible (although it was still too big for contemporary aircraft). It was used as a scout vehicle by the French army and was armed to fend off enemy tanks and AFVs, not to engage them directly, as was the case with all other contemporary light tanks. The requirement for an air dropable or transportable weapon with high firepower was equally vexing for the US and UK forces.

It was well suited for operations in colonial conflicts and sold well, with a decent mix of speed, protection and firepower, later enhanced with a 90mm and even 105mm option, with for example the French vehicles having their original guns bored out. The turret was itself pretty successful too, variants being installed in the EBR, Sherman modernization and the SK-105 with different levels of sophistication and armaments.

If you look at the IDF use of the AMX-13 in the 1956 Suez crisis, it was quite successful. But they were using AMX-13 as MBT, not reconnaissance light tank. Which was fine, while they were facing Egyptian Sherman M4 and derivates, T-34/85 and SU-100s.
It was the 1967 "6-day war" when the AMX-13 started facing T-54/55s that the IDF realized it was not going to hack in battle with them.

Legion 410 Feb 2018 9:07 a.m. PST

If you look at the IDF use of the AMX-13 in the 1956 Suez crisis, it was quite successful. But they were using AMX-13 as MBT, not reconnaissance light tank. Which was fine, while they were facing Egyptian Sherman M4 and derivates, T-34/85 and SU-100s.
It was the 1967 "6-day war" when the AMX-13 started facing T-54/55s that the IDF realized it was not going to hack in battle with them.
That is pretty much the way I understood it as well …

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