Armes Antichar Françaises

Types de Projectiles et leur Capacité de Pénétration de Blindage

Caractéristiques des Canons Antichar Français de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale

Le Char B1.bis français was equipped avec a Hotchkiss 47 mm gun et a Puteaux 75 mm howitzer. The latter was designed to engage infantry targets only. No armour piercing ammunition was issued for the howitzer, making it practically useless against chars enemy.

The table lists armour penetration values for canons français de 0 à 100 meters range et 0 degrees inclination of armour. Dates indicate the year when a particular shell type entered production, not necessarily the year of availability to combat units. New shell types would take several months to reach the troops at the front, some favoured units receiving the new shells more quickly than others. Andrew Mark Reid is the author of Panzergranate, a set of miniature wargame rules using carefully researched gunnery data to simulate armour penetration results.

Arme Projectile Pénétration
13.2 mm Hotchkiss H.M.G. A.P. 29 mm
Armement principal de l’automitrailleuse AMD Laffly 80 AM.
25 mm L.60 Hotchkiss Flak A.P. 42 mm
25 mm L.72 Hotchkiss Canon Antichar A.P. 50 mm
25 mm L.77 Puteaux Canon Antichar A.P. 54 mm
Canon de char de 37 mm L.21 SA18 Puteaux A.P. (Rupture M.1916) 27 mm
Canon de char de 37 mm L.21 SA18 Puteaux A.P. (Rupture M.1927) 31 mm
Most chars français were armed avec the 37 mm L.21, except for the R-40, S-35, Char B et Char 2.C mentioned below. En 1940 a hasty rearming programme was begun after it was found that the 37 mm L.21 could not penetrate les chars allemands even at point blank range et firing from behind. The plan was to rearm tout les chars avec the 37 mm L.33 gun, which was nearly useless as well, but only a few chars F.C.M.36 had been converted by the time France was overrun et the campaign ended.
Canon de char de 37 mm L.30 Hotchkiss A.P. (Carbon Steel) 37 mm
Canon de char de 37 mm L.30 Hotchkiss A.P. (Manganese Steel) 44 mm
The 37 mm L.30 was not adopted de l’Armée Française, despite the fact that it performed better than the obsolete 37 mm L.21.T.R. (Tire Rapide) guns. Instead, the Hotchkiss 37 mm L.30 became an export item, it was mounted on chars légers et automitrailleuses soviétiques.
Canon de 37 mm L.33 Hotchkiss (Renault R-40) A.P.(Rupture M.1936) 49 mm
The Wehrmacht rearmed a few Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F avec captured canons de 37 mm L.33 prior to Operation Barbarossa en 1941. The gun was mounted centrally through the existing mantlet, et le char lost its coaxial MG. In theory, these véhicules should have been designated Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. G, et one each was allocated to a Pz.Kpfw. II platoon. The véhicule enjoyed success contre les chars faiblement blindés BT-5, BT-7, T-26.A, T-26.B, T-26.S et T-28 soviétiques.
37 mm L.60 Hotchkiss Flak A.P.H.E. 36 mm
A twin barrelled, single shot weapon, mounted on a trailer. The Airfix Coastal Defense Fort (No. 06706) is equipped avec two of these canons for air defense. It would be a simple conversion to return them to their wheeled state.
Canon de char de 47 mm L.35 Hotchkiss A.P. (Rupture M.1935) 62 mm
Armement principal du Char B1, Somua S-35 et Renault D2. Le Char B1 was also equipped avec a 75 mm L.18 Puteaux howitzer which did not have an armour piercing shell issued for it. The howitzer was designed to engage infantry positions avec High Explosive (H.E.), et smoke shells. Even if an A.P. shell had been developed for it, the howitzer would have had a maximum armour penetration of only 38 mm at 100 meters range, much less than the turret mounted 47 mm gun.
47 mm L.53 Puteaux SA37 Canon Antichar A.P. (Rupture M.1935) 95 mm
Ce canon antichar tracté proved effective contre les Panzers, but there were too few of them to stop the Wehrmacht in its tracks. Une version portée de 47 mm APX SA37 was mounted sur chasseurs de chars Laffly W15TCC 6x6. Le canon was fitted in a partially armoured cabin at the rear du camion Laffly.
75 mm L.12 St. Chamond M.1923 Infantry Gun A.P. 34 mm
Le Renault FT-17.bis français of 1923 mounted a short unspecified 75 mm gun in a larger than normal turret, et there is a possibility that the St. Chamond M.1923 may have been used. Infantry support véhicules of this type were employed in the colonies françaises, et they saw service in the 1940 campaign in France.
Canon de Cavalerie et de char de 75 mm L.18 Puteaux n.a. n.a.
Armament secondaire du Char B1, ce canon is also considered to be the armement principal du char d’accompagnement Renault FT-17.bis.
75 mm L.19.3 Schneider de Cavalerie M.1912 A.P.
75 mm L.25 Schneider-Canet M.98/00 de Cavalerie A.P. 59 mm
Canon de 75 mm L.29.7 Puteaux (Char 2.C) A.P. 73 mm
75 mm L.31.1 Schneider-Canet M.1898 & M.1900 A.P. 74 mm
It is likely that Colonel Deport who designed the M.1897 Puteaux was involved in the design of this Schneider gun, even if Canet is credited for the work.
75 mm L.36.3 Puteaux M.1897 Field Gun A.P. 90 mm
The famous "75" de la Première Guerre mondiale, originally designed by Colonel Deport, who worked at Atelier Puteaux et later transferred to Schneider. This weapon is the father of all canons de chars américains de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, the copy was designated M1 in American service. The M.1897 featured the Nordenfelt breech mechanism as opposed to the sliding block system now the industry standard throughout the world. The same design, but avec the breech changed to a sliding block mechanism, became the M2 hull gun in chars moyens M3 Grant/Lee. L’armée française upgraded many of its old canons de campagne de 75 mm Puteaux M.1897 by adding pneumatic tires au course de la mobilisation de 1938 et 1940. Ces canons were designated M.1897/1938 et M.1897/1940 en service français.
75 mm L.36.6 Schneider M.1914 Field Gun A.P. 93 mm

Équipement français capturé was used by the Wehrmacht during Operation Barbarossa en 1941. Tank et tractor chassis were converted en canons automoteurs et Panzerjäger chasseurs de chars which served throughout the war. A variety of équipement français capturé, originale et converted, was used to defend the Atlantic Wall against the Allied invasion en 1944. Apparently, véhicules français capturé were not normally repainted by their captors, they continued to serve in the original schémas de camouflage.

Andy Reid

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Figurines Françaises de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale