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French FCM Tank Designs

Tzoli

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Nobody? Nobody remembers such a design?
 

Apophenia

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Interesting question Tzoli. I don't have any real details. Rather, I offer an observation and some speculation.

Observation: I see no strong resemblance to the Standardpanzern (other than perhaps the E-75 turret with long 88mm). Both E-50 and E-75 had mid-placed turrets and front drive strockets. The FCM 50t image is tiny but it's obvious that it was to have a forward-plaed turret and rear drive sprockets.

By the 1945 date shown, it's obvious that Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée produced a Char de Transition design to compete with its contemporaries - the AMX 50 and winning ARL 44.

Speculation: Since the winning ARL 44 was based on existing designs and components -- including Char B1 bis suspension (which were actually an FCM design), we can probably assume that the FCM 50t was a conceptually update of the FCM F1. If so, the engines were repositioned to the rear of the hull and a single large turret replaced the twin turret concept.

That 50t turret looks to be Tiger II-inspired like that used on the initial AMX 50 concept. It is reasonable to also assume the same Schneider canon de 90mm SA main gun.

My guess is that (also like the AMX 50 design) the FCM design 'recycled' Tiger interleaved roadwheels. The difference is that these roadwheels were more widely spaced (perhaps for better clearing?).

Another visible difference between the FMC 50t and competing designs is a noticably longer rear engine deck. If this was an evolution of the FCM F1, the long deck is explained by the use of two v12 engines (and an electric transmission). Staying with twin 550hp Renault V12s would have given FCM equivilant output to its competitors Maybach diesel without 'stooping' to a foreign design.*

The result would've been a very long vehicle. With guns forward, both ARL 44 and AMX 50 were longer than the Tiger II (10.52m/10.43m versus 10.286m). The FCM F1 was already 10.53m with minimal overhang from its forward 47mm gun. If built, the FCM 50t may well have been closer to 12m in length.

A crude sketch is attached of what I have in mind.
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* In 1945, former FCM engine supplier, Berliet, was in prison for 'commerce avec l'ennemi'.
 

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Tzoli

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Ahh thanks, it helped quite a bit.
 

Petrus

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Apophenia said:
That 50t turret looks to be Tiger II-inspired like that used on the initial AMX 50 concept. It is reasonable to also assume the same Schneider cannon de 90mm SA main gun.

Do you have any info on the Schneider 90mm gun (Esp. its barrel length and some perfomance data)?

Piotr
 

Apophenia

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That should be canon de 90mm SA mdl 45 (I anglicized cannon by mistake). No details other than the oft-quoted muzzle velocity of 1000 m/s. AFAIK, there's no relationship between this Modele 45 and the 90mm DCA gun used in the earlier FCM F1 design.
 

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