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Post Info TOPIC: FILTZ armored tractor
Stoyan

Date:
FILTZ armored tractor
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http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/9830/filtz7lx.jpg



[url=http://img224.imageshack.us/my.php?image=filtz7lx.jpg][img=http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/9830/filtz7lx.th.jpg][/url]


Hi.
I'm looking for info of the Fltz armored-tractor

"Note wire cutter at front as later used on the Char Schneider.

A similar fate awaited another project which was evolved by Army Technical Corps.
They built armored bodies on ten Filtz agricultural tractors and fitted them with cutters at the front for tacking barbed wire entanglements. These petrol tractors had spudded wheels of conventional agricultural type. An armored car type body was fitted which included a forward firing machine-fun, while the wire cutters were centrally mounted in the front. As with many other tractor types of the period, the larger wheels were at the front of the chassis. Early in 1915 the armored Filtz tractors were sent to the 4th and 10th Army fronts for trials but they proved most unsuccessful with very poor cross-country performance due to the added weight of the armour. Their trench-crossing ability was almost non-existent."

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Vilkata

Date:
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All that I found was in Spanish, and roughtly translated, it said:

"In France, the military saw that the only way to give a severe blow to their enemies was to devise a motorised vehicle that could drive over the barbed wire and reach their foe.

Working with General Boisin, Deputy J.L. Breton of the French National Assembly, the military constructed an AFV based on a tractor of four tons, that the military obtained in July 22 of 1915. The technical specifications of the Filtz Tractor, were that it had a motor of 45hp, and it was previously used in agriculture, and now carried a machine gun. Ten of these machines were used in tests in August of 1915. The French efforts began to give results when Estienne began to develop a more practical trench-combatting AFV with caterpillar tracks."

Not very much information... I could not find any photographs.

---Vil.

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Tim Rigsby

Date:
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Hello Stoyan


  I have looked for years trying to find information on the Filtz Armoured Tractor; I have what you have, except I do have a drawing of this machine. Other than that itís rare very rare. I do know it has a strange design, The front has two tires, while the rear has one pivot wheel. So it is arranged right the reverse, of modern tractors.


Good Luck with your research, Let us know if you locate any thing.


All The Best


Tim R.


 



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stoyan

Date:
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Tim, in that case I know much more you. :)

The manufacturer and the designer of a this tractor - Georges FILTZ, of Juvisy, Seine-et-Oise - a department of northern France, Civil Engineer.

TR "I do have a drawing of this machine."

Drawing probably your hands of work?
Drawing is made on the submitted photo?

The rear not one wheel, - TWO. they are rather close to each other.
On a photo this circumstance is successfully covered with a foot of the person.
But the back part of the second wheel is all the same visible

TR "I do know it has a strange design, The front has two tires, while the rear has one pivot wheel."

Anything strange. Such configuration of tractors frequently met in the beginning of 20 centuries

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Tim Rigsby

Date:
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Hello Stoyan


  You may be right about the back wheel, (ON the Armoured Version) but the picture of the Filtz Agricultural tractor I have has only one wheel in the rear. They may have had to add a second wheel because of the added weight??. Also I have made a few drawings of this machine, but the drawing I am referring to, I donít know where it came from originally, I have a friend in France that studies nothing but WW1 French vehicles, he sent it to me.


Hopefully we can find more pictures, especially ones in action.


Also you may be right about tractor designs in the early 20th century, but I have not seen much evidence of tractors with large front wheels and small wheels in the rear!


All The Best


Tim R.



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steve fildes

Date:
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Re: "Large front/small rear wheels"

A farm-tractor collector near here (U.S.) has some truly bizarre early examples. One that does have the wheels as described was a mail-order kit. I'm working from memory here, but it seems that it was sold through Sears.

It was designed for the farmer's own Ford Model T engine. The engine rode far in front of the driver, who sat on a standard tractor seat. Most of the tractor was bolt-together small-profile angle steel. A very see-through design, more air than structure. Larger widely spaced steel wheels in front. Steering at rear (articulated frame?).

As there was not much weight to this unit, the engine's weight over the front drive wheels gave it what zip it had. I can't imagine that anyone's army gave it a second glance!

Don't give up your mule....
Steve

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stoyan

Date:
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TR "Hopefully we can find more pictures, especially ones in action."

You necessarily will find them



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Tim Rigsby

Date:
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Hello Stoyan


  Thats an awesome picture, do you have any more? I also see the double wheels, I still belive this was becouse of the weight??


All The Best


Tim R.



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Robert Robinson

Date:
Theory
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Looking at the two photos side by side on a single page one is struck by the following:
1 the second tractor looks altogether beefier than the first. The perspective of the photo may be to blame but I can't help concluding that the 2nd tractor is wider
2. the 2nd vehicle is definiely missing the wire cutter and has filled in wheels without the protuding spuds clearly visible on the first.
3. vehicle one does look as if it has a single wide  wheel (almost a roller) at the rear out side the chasis. At least one German and one US armoured vehicle of the period had this configuration (the Treffas-Wagen and the Holt three wheeled Steam Tank) and of course the Tsar tank followed this configuration in a big way.
4. vehicle two clearly has two wheels (solid) inside the chassis
5. the front wheels on either vehicle clearly cannot be turned for steering (no clearance from body to allow this) so one assumes that the rear wheel (s) are/is for this (as in the three other tricycles mentioned above). However one wonders how this works on the two rear wheeled configuraion (badly one assumes).


I draw the conclusion (to which I've no doubt the will be vigorous but good natured disagreement) that picture one represents the first attempt to armour an agricultural tractor whlst 2 represents the result of some re engineering to meet military requirements. Les autre gentlehomme tirez le premier - fire away please.



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Vilkata

Date:
RE: FILTZ armored tractor
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I partly agree. They are indeed both very different. Notice how the second picture shows it without a wire-cutter assembly, and instead, there is this big protruding rectangular box. I wonder what that is?

I believe the answer is probably a bit different though.

The Filtz tractors turned out to be terrible at trench warfare, breaching the barbed wire, etc. They failed. But, why just take them out of service? It would make more sense to keep them in action.

The two small steering rudder-wheels, and the big /smoothe/ front wheels seems to signify this tractor was rebuilt to run on roads. The original big protruding-spud tires could never be used on roads. And likewise, the smoothe wheels could never be used in muddy cross country trench warfare.

Just what I think of course!

---Vil.

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Tim Rigsby

Date:
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Gentleman


  I agree with you both after examining the photos, and the oneís I own there seems to be quit a bit of deference in these machines. You both are correct in the fact that the second Filtz is bigger, and seems to be heavier looking. I also am inclined to agree with your statement Vilkata ,( But, why just take them out of service? It would make more sense to keep them in action.) I believe the French could have converted them for road work, basically as an Armoured Car or Armoured Artillery Tractor. Its seems like a reasonable assumption that they clearly changed the front wheels, and removed the wheel spuds. So it could run on a standard road, cobble ,dirt or other wise. I am still not  certain about a second steering wheel on the first version. But as it is in plane site on the second version. I have no choice. I am with you on how in the world did they steer this thing, the front wheels clearly will not turn. And it seems like the little wheels would not be strong enough to turn this beast, especially in the mud. Also if it did have two wheels at the rear, how did they both turn in tandem with each other?? Questions and theories thatís all we have Gentleman, But its so much fun!!!!!!!


All the Best


Tim R.



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Robert Robinson

Date:
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Tim Rigsby wrote:


But, why just take them out of service? It would make more sense to keep them in action.)


But why bother? It isn't as if the French didn't have plenty of conventional armoured cars and tractors. And the Western Front was no longer a good place for armoured cars (hence Britain and Belgium sending some of theirs to fronts were they might be of more use). The only rationale for the reverse tricycle arangement seems  to be that you can put the driver and a gunner right up front (again look at the Treffas-Wagen and the Holt three wheeled Steam Tank), the penalty is that steering is a real pig. These are not the characteristics for a good road tractor.


Looking at the photos again  the wheels on the first example have a very agricultural look to them. here in the Malvern Hills and the Welsh Marches there are a lot of people whio collect vintage and veteran tractors and many of the older (pre pnematic tyred versions) have very similar spudded wheels which actually go back to some of the old steam traction engines. I agree that these would not translate into good road wheels but neither would solid metal rimmed wheels (for one thing they slip like hell on wet cobbles). Talking to some of my farming neighbours and tractor enthusiasts it appears that  narrow rimed spudded wheels (as in the first example) are good on slippery mud that isn't to deep but id the going is realy soft one need a good wide rimmed wheel to reduce ground pressure and the spuds are irrelevant (of course what one actually needs is a good biiigggg pnematic tyre as on the gigantic John Deere imports that are wrecking our local narrow lanes). So possibly the latter version of the Filtz represents a futile attempt to deal with the soft going at the front.


Of course there is another alternative (isn't there allways?). One thing the French tended to do with weapons that proved useless was to sell them to one of their allies (The SPAD A series to Russia, The Nieuport 28 and a really really hopeless heavy howitzer to the Americans for example). Perhaps this was an export version of the Filtz but nobdy was that gullible.


 


One last irrelevant question - was there any connection with the Filtz who produced the original tractor and the minor baroque composer with exactly the same first and second name - or was it just something that the evil spirits that preside over Google created to plague honest researchers?



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Tim Rigsby

Date:
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Hello Robert


First thing first: I was quoting Vilkata, and I still agree with his analogy. All though you have brought up a valid point. It is very possible that the French was trying to sale this design to other nations, in fact there is records that state that the Russians and Italianís sent over Military Inspectors to check out French Tank designs, and it also states they viewed other designs other than the Schneider, and St.Chammond. So this is a very big possibility.


As far as the steel wheels, you also have a valid point! But during WW1 a lot on nations had to revert to steel wheels to run on cobble , dirt etc., roads due to the fact there was a rubber shortage in there respected country. The Germans for one used steel wheels on a few vehicles, Artillery Tractors,  LKWís and even staff cars. And I am very sure as you stated it made things a little slippery.


As far as if this is the same  Monsieur Georges Filtz as the baroque composer, I am not sure, But that would be interesting to find out.


All The Best


Tim R



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