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Post Info TOPIC: Schneider CD controls


Legend

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Schneider CD controls
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Found an image of the surviving Schneider CD of the driver's controls.

Would anyone like to state an opinion on the functions of all these levers?

I guess the throttle, or perhaps the spark advance/retard is on the front wall of the driver's compartment and the track brakes are the

two pedals on the floor.

Regards,

Charlie

 



-- Edited by CharlieC on Wednesday 19th of April 2017 01:27:34 AM

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Major

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Left and right track brake levers and gear selector? I have just completed an article on the Schneider CD for Tanks Encyclopedia. There are a few more photos www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww1/fr/schneider-cd-artillery-tractor

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Craig Moore


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Lieutenant-Colonel

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Craig,

Very nice article.  Apparently, some of the CD's had an extended rear bed without the rear capstan or the reel mounted behind the cab.  I have identified two by original matricule numbers - 189617 and 189617.  The other original matricule numbers I have identified are either lower or higher than these two.  The matricule numbers were modernized in the 1920's if I recall correctly, and the new numbers might not have borne any resemblance to the old ones.

Wayne 



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Legend

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One of our colleagues at http://pages14-18.mesdiscussions.net/ said that the registration (acceptance) numbers of the CDs were in the range

189500 - 189800. He noted that the particular numbers 189665 and 189804 are known from images taken in February 1920 so are

likely to be from post war production.

I'd better try to head another myth in the making off before it gets quoted in wikipedia...

The French designations for their WW1 vehicles, like Schneider CD, stand for nothing - they are just a designation. The French historians are quite clear on this.

It may be an Anglo-Saxon cultural imperative to ascribe meaning to the meaningless e.g. Renault FT-17. It's also interesting that vehicles with designations

which have no reasonable interpretation get airbrushed from history, e.g. Renault FB.

Charlie

 



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Major

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Quite true for the Renault factory codes but my source for the CD letters standing for something comes from my contact at the French tank Museum Saumur Archives. 

"There is a dispute as to the reason why the letters CD were used. Some sources state that it was just a standard Schneider factory product code, just like the Renault FT tank’s FT letters were just a two letter code, having no other meaning.

During the planning and construction stage of the Schneider assault tank, it was given the factory code name ‘Tracteur Estienne’ after the project leader, Colonel Jean-Baptiste Estienne, but later had the official designation of Schneider CA. The letters CA stood for ‘char d’assaut’ which translates to ‘assault tank’ in English. It seems the argument for the letters CD being an abbreviation of the French term ‘Char de dépannage’ is quite strong."



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Craig Moore


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Legend

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I'll go with the guys who spend lots of time in the archives at Vincennes...

It turns into a case of which French expert to believe. Unless....

The French Army manuals were very explicit in naming their equipment. The artillery manuals are extremely explicit in their nomenclature and

the tank manuals have "char d'assaut" on the title page as one would expect.

One would therefore expect the title page of the Schneider CD manual to include the term "char de dépannage" if the argument proposed were true  - it doesn't -

the manual title is "Tracteur a Chenilles (Type CD)".

Charlie

 



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Major

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Great find

On this Schneider factory produced manual front cover the vehicle is called 'Tracteur A chenilles (Type CD)' which translated simply means a caterpillar tractor. This appears to favour the argument that the letters CD are a factory code, but the use of the word 'type' in front is ambiguous. It could mean that this 'type' of caterpillar tractor is a CD 'Char de dépannage' tow truck. We still do not know for sure. 



-- Edited by MooreTanks on Sunday 14th of May 2017 06:38:13 AM

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Craig Moore


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Legend

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I don't think so...

The WW1 French Army was very precise and consistent about its nomenclature. Taking a well known example - the Canon de 155mm Mle 1917 GPF.

Pretty much everyone knows the "GPF" is an acronym for "Grande Puissance Filloux". So according to the argument presented

we would expect the official manual for the GPF gun to either refer to the gun as "GPF" or "Grande Puissance Filloux". In fact the manual

refers to the 155mm gun as "G.P.F.". In the manual's text the gun is never referred to as "GPF" but only by the form which indicates it is a shortened

form "G.P.F.". So, if the "CD" in "Schneider CD" actually stood for something we would expect the "CD" to be expressed as "C.D." - it doesn't.

Charlie

 



-- Edited by CharlieC on Sunday 14th of May 2017 08:57:30 AM

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Major

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Another good well presented argument. Thank you Charlie



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Legend

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I'm sorry, but I can't go along with Craig's theory.

I have long had grave doubts that CA stood for char d'assaut, although it's not impossible. I haven't seen the text of Charlie's manual, but French acronyms ignore full stops and the preposition de. So, for example, RCA is the abbreviation for the Régiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique. However, if you look at the development of tank nomenclature at Schneider and Renault, it just doesn't seem to fit. IIRC, the French at first used the word "tank" or "tanque" before Estienne put a stop to it and insisted on char. It would be useful to know when this edict was issued and find out whether it was before or after CA came into use.

However, we really get into problems with CD. First of all, there were two types of artillery tractor: porteur and remorqueur (carrier and tower) because there was a debate within the French military as to which was more useful. Hence the Renault FB, sometimes described as the CPP, which carried artillery (and, on one occasion, Renaut FTs) and the Schneider CD, which towed it and also carried ammunition and supplies.

What is not helpful is the translation of char de dépannage as "tow truck". That's largely an American usage. It so happens that a tow truck tows broken-down vehicles, but it's not the meaning of dépannage, which has nothing to do with towing. "Ma voiture est en panne" means "My car has broken down." Dépannage means "repair" or "rescue" - making-not-broken-down. I can't see that the French would call something a char de dépannage when it's not a char and doesn't carry out any dépannage. It couldn't tow or carry a CA or, by the look of it, an FT. The only things it could tow were guns.

The next stage is the CD3. This is even more obviously for moving artillery (as porteur) and nothing to do with dépannage at all.

Fair enough, the post-war modification of the CA was called char de dépannage, but it was a genuine recovery vehicle and built on a tank chassis. So I'm pretty certain that both CA and CD were product codes and not initials.

It's probably also worth mentioning that Estienne's name wasn't hyphenated.



-- Edited by James H on Tuesday 16th of May 2017 01:09:01 AM

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"Sometimes things that are not true are included in Wikipedia. While at first glance that may appear like a very great problem for Wikipedia, in reality is it not. In fact, it's a good thing." - Wikipedia.



Legend

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Save you digging through Gallica....

A couple of manual pages attached from, first,  the 155mm GPF manual and just to show that this manual wasn't an aberration a page from the 194mm GPF a chenille manual.

It's interesting that formation acronyms like RALT (Regiment Artillerie Lourde a Tracteur) didn't get expressed the same way that GPF and similar did. There's probably an underlying rule operating but I have no idea what it might be.

The argument that Schneider CA stands for "char d'assaut" always strikes me as a naked assertion without support. We know, or rather can infer, how precise the French Army was with its formal nomenclature. So if the Schneider CA was "Schneider char d'assaut" why don't we have "Saint-Chamond CA", "Renault CA". Perhaps it is that "CA" does not stand for "char d'assaut" but is, as the French scholars insist, a factory project code.

Charlie

 



-- Edited by CharlieC on Tuesday 16th of May 2017 04:01:00 AM



-- Edited by CharlieC on Tuesday 16th of May 2017 04:03:56 AM

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