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"Char B: A Difficult Beginning" Topic


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248 hits since 13 Mar 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2020 1:11 p.m. PST

"The Char B1 and its improved version, the Char B1 bis, stand as the symbol of French tank building in WWII. At the start of WWII, these were the best medium tanks, combining shell-proof armour and serious armament, capable of destroying any tank in the world. Meanwhile, several elements of the Char B1, such as its suspension and its short barreled 75 mm howitzer in the hull, were rather archaic. Naturally, there was a good reason for this. Even though the Char B1 was accepted into service in 1934, five years before the start of the war, its story begins more than a decade and a half prior…

Unlike the British, who concentrated on heavy tanks in WWI, the French started out with the medium weight category. The first French tank, the Schneider CA1, belonged to it. In general, the French managed to create the most successful medium tanks of WWI. They were also the most numerous in their class. The British Medium Mk.A Whippet that arrived later was noticeably worse than its French equivalent.

According to a popular version of events, the French then concentrated all of their efforts on the light Renault FT, which later became the most numerous and best tank of WWI. However, that is not entirely true. The Schneider company continued working on a medium tank, taking into account the drawbacks discovered in the Schneider CA1. The tank had a large protrusion in the front, which was supposed to serve as a battering ram for smashing through enemy fortifications, but ended up being a liability. The hull was also to long. Another problem was the placement of the gun on the right side, which limited the arc of fire…"

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Also…
Char B: On France's Backburner…

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Amicalement
Armand

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