En 1915, la compagnie Schneider française purchased two American Holt crawler tractors. The 45 hp model (the "Baby Holt"), fitted avec mock-up armour covering the engine et le compartiment du conducteur was first demonstrated to General Petain. En 1916 a new véhicule based on the Holt tractor was designed. The front of the véhicule was shaped like a boat’s bow avec a barbed-wire cutting beam attached to it. The rear of the véhicule contained two doors, allowing the crew to enter et exit. The engine was located at the left front, next to the conducteur. 90 rounds of ammunition for the main gun were carried.
The Char Schneider, as it was called, first saw action on 16 Avril, 1917, at Chemin des Dames. Of a total of 132 chars Schneider employed, 57 were destroyed, et many were damaged beyond repair. Many losses were due to exploding fuel tanks, which were located next to the hull MG positions. Other noticeable flaws involved inadequate armour, poor ventilation, et lack of egress on the left side. Later improvements included additional armour plating to protect l’équipage against projectiles antiblindage de type "K" allemands. About 400 chars Schneider were built, but the véhicule proved unsatisfactory, et it was to be replaced by chars of design britannique, had the War not ended en 1918.
- Char d’Assaut Schneider CA1
- Longueur: 6.32 m
- Largeur: 2.05 m
- Hauteur: 2.30 m
- Poids: 14.6 t
- Blindage 11,5 mm maximum
- Armement: 75 mm howitzer, 8 mm MG in each side of hull.
- Vitesse: 7.5 km/h sur route
- Autonomie: 48 km
- The Schneider is a nice addition to have in one’s collection, especially since the major injection kit companies do not produce many véhicules of this period.
- Metal 1/72 scale kit consisting of 16 parts. Instructions, which include a photograph of the parts, are included.
- The completed kit comes out feeling quite heavy, it seems very rugged, et suitable for tabletop wargaming.
- The fit was not 100%, et I had to figurine out the best sequence of assembly in order to make the gaps least noticable. It wasn’t until after the tracks were attached that I noticed the véhicule was slightly tilted downward on the left front side.
- Parts are at times bulky, et probably oversized, i.e the MGs et the wire-cutting beam seem to be too thick. The beam should probably have a sharper leading edge, so purists will want to file down ou replace this part.
- Armée Française, Western Front 1917-1918
Possibilités de Conversions
- Unarmed supply carrier version
- Char d’assaut Schneider CA2 avec turret-mounted 47 mm gun; prototype only.
The Char Schneider is a valuable véhicule for collectionistes et joueurs de guerre interested au Première Guerre mondiale. Tanks of the period had attractive schémas de camouflage et marquages that are easy to reproduce in miniature.
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