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Loopycrank
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I'm sure everyone who plays WOT is familiar with this beast, the Batignolles-Chatillon design for a lightweight MBT. For something that actually had at least a steel prototype made, there appears to be very little information about it floating around.

 

On paper it's a very impressive design. Early 50's, 80mm frontal armor with a healthy amount of slope, and a mere 25 tonnes. 25 tonnes. It makes a T-54 seem overweight! Armament was a high-velocity 90mm cannon of some sort.

 

What was the bat mechanically? An overgrown AMX-13? According to a number of web sources it had hydropneumatic suspension, so that at least was different.

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Later, it's hull was one of early proposals for Europanzer project, but was rejected due the front engine placement.

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Suspension and wheels look like a stretched M24 Chaffee, which the French used in Indo-China and Algeria. The track looks to be of similar design to the M24 as well.

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Later, it's hull was one of early proposals for Europanzer project, but was rejected due the front engine placement.

 

OTOH, that layout would have made it a great basis for a family of vehicles since it left the back half free to convert to a variety of other purposes: SPG, SPAAG, heavy APC etc.

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The Israelis don't seem to mind having the engine in the front of their MBT.

 

The front-engine, rear turret is what makes me wonder if this is an overgrown AMX-13. The other French designs of the era seem to be based on the German big cats, only with rear drive sprockets and usually deleting the interleaved road wheels.

 

 

Edit:

 

There totally was an SPG variant.

Edited by Loopycrank
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Why was the French so enamored with these AMX-13 type turrets in that period?

 

The AMX-13 was a lightweight tank destroyer, with a relatively powerful gun but thin armour, so it couldn't hang around for a slugging match with an MBT. The autoloading system enabled it to get a dozen very fast shots off before retiring to a safe place to reload the magazines at their leisure.

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Yep, the idea was sound based on WWII experience - TDs or light tanks were effective from ambush positions generally, so high burst rate of fire was good, and long reload did not matter that much as the vehicle would have to redeploy anyway. Oscillating turret then allowed easier operation of the autoloader, esp. if it was mounted in the bustle.

 

However... it was hard to make it NBC proof.

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Why was the French so enamored with these AMX-13 type turrets in that period?

 

Did this one also have a 6-rd revolver magazine like the AMX-13?

 

 

It makes designing the autoloader much easier.

 

In a lot of firearms with protruding magazines you can cause a stoppage during full auto fire by pulling the magazine to one side or another. Even that slight variation in the angle the rounds are presented to the breech can cause binding.

 

Now think of a tank's gun, which is supposed to elevate through -10 to +20 degrees. Hopeless.

 

So, if instead of tilting the gun to elevate and depress you tilt the entire turret, you can keep the rounds in the autoloader stationary relative to the breech. Much more mechanically satisfactory, at least as far as the autoloader is concerned.

 

For this reason a lot of tanks with autoloaders and conventional turrets elevate the gun to a certain angle before they reload.

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In same years Americans tried to make similar vehicle,T69. Apparently turret was faulty and autoloader mediocre,so it was abandoned as concept.

 

They also played around with the 120mm and 155mm gun in an oscillating turret on the T43 chassis (called T57 & T58 respectively), although that project ran out of funding before the vehicles could be tested

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