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Post Info TOPIC: New WW1 French Tank Design??


Hero

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New WW1 French Tank Design??
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Hello Gentleman

I have run across this design of a unique tank design dated 1915. Here is the information I found along with the image. Hopefully someone can shed some more light on this design for us.

All the Best

Tim R.

Plan de char à deux tourelles (30 décembre 1915) émanant des archives de la famille Ferry. Abel Ferry, nommé sous-secrétaire aux Affaires étrangères du cabinet Viviani en juin 1914, occupe entre 1916 et 1918 la fonction de commissaire aux Armées. Cest dans ce cadre quil suit avec une acuité particulière larme nouvelle : lartillerie spéciale.

Plan char two turrets (30 December 1915)from the archives of the Ferry family. AbelFerry, appointed Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs cabinet Viviani in June 1914, occupies between 1916 and 1918 as a commissioner for the Army. It is in this context that followswith particular acuity the new weapon: the special artillery.

 



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Legend

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Hi, Tim. Brilliant. That definitely rings a bell. Maybe Paul Malmassari makes passing reference to it in his excellent book. I have a feeling that's where I've seen mention, but there was no further info. Bit of a gem there, IIMSS.



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Hero

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Gentleman

I have noticed that a lot of people have looked at this thread but only one comment. Strange!!!

Anyway I would like to bring your attention to the track system, very remarkable for its time (1915). It seems more advanced than either the Schneider or St. Chamond.

 

What are your thoughts???

Also I have been wondering what size this thing would have been, If the turrets were the same size as those on fortresses at the time, it would have been bloody huge one would think.

 It would have been very interesting if the turrets reseeded into the body of the tank, as they do in the forts.

Questions, always Questions?!?!?

 

All the Best

Tim R.



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Legend

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I shall stand at your side, Tim.

Several things occur to me. It helps if you reverse the drawing so it's white on black. The track assembly reminds me a bit of de Mole's idea and something else I can't quite put my finger on. And the front elevation is reminiscent of the Vezdekhod. Are the bogies sprung or not? It looks to me as if they might not be.

It looks as if the small cupola at each end is the driver's position, and presumably the vehicle was meant to be whatever that word is that means it can operate in either direction. If that's the case, then the turrets don't look gigantic. Paul Malmassari shows a plan of the early Delaunay-Belleville project (not the Renault FT-based one) with a 2-man turret housing a 37mm and an mg, and the turret is 1.8 metres in diameter - six feet - so the arrangement appears to be possible.

Is there other stuff just off the page that might be a clue? Maybe a dimension or something from which we could work out the rest?

One flash of inspiration later: the track assembly is a bit like the Diplock Chaintrack. The track shoes are quite like Tritton's, but they're hinged on the inside radius, like the Hornsby, so it's possible they would have suffered from the "nutcracker effect".



-- Edited by James H on Monday 22nd of April 2013 06:14:19 PM

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Legend

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Fascinating stuff, a brilliant find Tim! I can't think of anything at the moment, however I have been able to download the magnified image from that site (and inverted it), see below.



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Legend

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I did some rough calculations based on the idea of a nice round number being chosen for the track pitch - 0.5m. Result would be a length of approx. 6.8m (22' 3.7"), width 2.75m (9' 0.25"), height approx. 2.6m (8' 6.36"), track frames 6.5m long (21' 3.9"), turrets 1.5m diameter (4' 11").

If you up the turrets to the 1.8m James quotes for the first (ugly!) Delaunay-Belleville, you get:

L - ca. 8.16m (26' 9.25")
W - ca. 3.3m (10' 10")
H - ca. 3.12m (10' 2.8")
track frames - ca. 7.8m (25' 7")
Track pitch 60cm (23.622")


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Legend

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Have tried scaling it up so that the drive sprocket and bogies roughly match the Schneider's, which would seem to be a reasonable assumption. The Schneider was appx 21ft long, so that more or less ties in with TCT's.



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Commander in Chief

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Great find!

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Legend

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Amphisbaenic!



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Hero

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  biggrinVery Interesting Gentlemen

This is what I enjoy about this site; I love all of us like minded individuals coming together and discussing our thoughts and coming up with our own hypothesis.

Very Interesting

Thanks

Tim R.



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Legend

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James: pardon?

Funny to think that the French designed a reasonably-shaped tank in 1915, one that would probably manage the terrain alright (apart from the "nutcracker' problems with the tracks trapping mud/debris), only to put into production a couple of tin boxes that struggled badly with their excessive overhangs. No wonder Mr Spock is baffled by the illogical choices of humans!

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Major

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Yeah, I wonder what's the deal with their weird heavy tank choices.



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Legend

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Excellent find, Simms and Hornsby come to mind...

When I first saw this I thought it might be perhaps 7-8 metres long its interesting that others have come to the same conclusion, I suspect though that its smaller...

I think though this is not strictly a design for a tank but for a track system since the tank design has a few problems, theres no door and placement of the Engine might prove to be a problem...

communications would also be difficult if not impossible bettween front and rear drivers (if thats what they are) assuming their manned at the same time as the only likely place for the engine would be in the middle..

I would dought the hull shape is practical for mass production it rather reminds me of french warships?

Cheerssmile



-- Edited by Ironsides on Thursday 25th of April 2013 08:35:05 AM

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Sergeant

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Hm, The engine could go in the middle. After all, the internal comfort for the crew was not the first consideration of the designers of early tanks. Where the transmission was to go is a mystery unless one of the drivers sat above it.

The issue of choice is complicated by the agenda of those on the various committees and boards that developed the first armoured vehicles, the requirement to get something into action soon to reduce the bloodshed on the battlefield, and the resultant need to use technologies that were available or easily developed. Germany and France went for variations on the Holt theme while the Brits first went Bullock and then quickly (most luckily) for a track link system that lasted the war out.

I think the latter was because there was an issue with track sag that had to be remedied more than what style trak/suspension should be used. If the Bullock tracks had not sagged so much (due to their weight and metal quality used?) we might have had a differently shaped tank more like the Flying Elephant, and where would we have been?

This design has a pratical suspension system that could have been modified, the A7V track with it's curved ends to prevent the "Nutcracker" effect, and room to add springs perhaps would have made this system long lasting IMHuO, but the supestruture is hideously complicated in shape and no doubt the turret superstruture interface would give potential for jamming by bullets.

I forsee the design/ordnance board saying "Go for a slab sided superstructure as it an be fabricated quicker than lots of compound curves. We need quantity fast".

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Sergeant

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and what's the name of the designer of this concept?

by the way it reminds of an early submarine


thank you



-- Edited by guest on Thursday 13th of June 2019 06:04:31 PM

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Legend

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https://www.chars-francais.net/2015/index.php/6-archives/des-origines-1930/1671-1915-char-de-poix

 



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Sergeant

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@James H
thanks for the information

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