Monday, March 8, 2010

French Land Dreadnought

The FCM Char 2C was developed as a heavy breakthrough vehicle in WW1. The order called for a vehicle that would span all German trenches. Two prototypes were built in 1917 and a series of ten vehicles was begun in 1918.
By 1921, all ten were built. Initially numbered 1 to 10, they were later numbered and named as follows: #90 Poitou, #91 Provence, #92 Picardie, #93 Alsace, #94 Bretagne, #95 Touraine, #96 Anjou, #97 Lorraine (later renamed Normandie), #98 Berry, #99 Champagne.
Originally, 300 tanks of this type were supposed to be built.
In 1940, numbers 92 & 95 were out of service and were scuttled on 12 June. The remaining eight tanks, assigned to the 51st French Tank Battalion, were immobilized or destroyed while being transported, on their special railroad cars, to the front on 15 June by the German air force. six of these tanks were ready for service with the 51st French Tank Battalion, and were sent to the front.
But the tanks, loaded onto special railroad cars, were attacked by the German Luftwaffe and disabled or destroyed.
#99 was captured intact by the Germans and brought back to Berlin. In 1942 it was seen in France at the Renault plant being overhauled. Brought back to Germany, the tank was captured by the USSR and was last seen in 1948 in East Germany (other sources say it was destroyed in 1945 during the Battle of Berlin).
Weight 69 (or 68) tons
Crew 12 - 13
Armor 13 - 45mm
Performance 17 km/h
Armament 75mm, 4 x MG
Engine 2 x 180hp Gasoline
Length 10.27m
Height 4.01m
Width 2.95m

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