The French Char B1 Bis Heavy Tank

The French Char B1 Bis Heavy Tank Entered production in 1935, the Char B1 was Frances principal heavy tank of those which it operated, until the countries invasion by Germany in 1940.

It had a traversable turret which mounted a high-velocity 47mm main gun. It then had a shorter 75mm gun mounted in the front of the hull that had no real traverse so was only effective against a target it was directly facing. It also had a coaxial 7.5mm MG next to the main gun and a second mounted in the front of the hull.

It was powered by a 180hp engine. Production ended in 1937, with about 100 vehicles built and production swapping to the upgraded Char B1-bis.

The B1-bis had thicker steel armour, a 250hp engine (later production vehicles had 300hp) and larger self sealing fuel tanks.

Both the B1 & B1-bis contributed to the failed defence against the German invasion of 1940, however poor tactics and deployment of the vehicle did not see it reach its full potential on the battlefield and many of the 400 that had been built, were captured.

The French Char B1 Bis Heavy Tank Spec’s

Crew: 4
Armour: 60mm (max)
Weight: 31 tonne
Top Road Speed: 28km/h
Operational Range: 180km
Dimensions: Length 6.37m / Width 2.5m / Height 2m