For the Record: Patently Absurd – Part VI: France
Author: Vollketten Part I – France: http://ftr.wot-news.com/2014/11/05/pate … -i-france/ Part II – UK: http://ftr.wot-news.com/2014/11/07/pate … d-kingdom/ Part III – Germany: http://ftr.wot-news.com/2014/11/14/pate … i-germany/ Part IV – USA: http://ftr.wot-news.com/2014/11/20/p...d-part-iv-usa/ Part V – Germany: http://ftr.wot-news.com/2014/12/04/p...many-reloaded/ Special: Very German Family So, following a short absence I realised that I need to put a few more Patent vehicle out there. The usual batch of the silly, dangerous, badly thought-out and impractical along with some decent ideas mixed together. So yes; some absurd, some not so much. You choose. Deciding that after the war, France really needed an 80cm high armoured coffin in January 1955, Victor Bouffort, along with hundreds before and since, thought of the individual armoured machine involving lying prone, protected by flimsy armour. At least for once, the hapless driver gets company in a two man machine, as well as a very funky helmet. So; could be worse I suppose. And indeed it was 5 years earlier in November 1950, when Andre-Albert Dubesset and Jacques Raynouard decided that what paratroopers needed was to be dropped in a steel supply pod, which then doubled as a protective personal conveyance. The hapless paratrooper not only has to ride in such an uncomfortable manner, but gets the benefit of a tiny peep hole, through which no doubt he could adequately steer this machine across Indo-China. 0/10 We have to go back to February 1940 to see something a little more sensible this time with M.Delacheaux designing a system of casting a tank hull to be 60mm thick and in two halves, where – for maintenance – the top half can be lifted off to allow the access within. The hull shape is really quite interesting on this one with a very well rounded protected cast hull and a’lid’. Well done, Mr.Delacaheux. One more year back to April 1939 back, we see Charles Jales designing a very complicated armoured vehicle just for the purposes of laying barbed wire. The motive of protecting your troops from enemy fire whilst laying wire is a noble one, but really, when the bullets start flying, it may be a little too late to deploy such a large and unarmed vehicle to drive ponderously perpendicular to the enemy, presenting what could best be though of as ‘musketry practice’. And just two months later in June 1939, Henri Bloch submitted what has to be one of the silliest ideas yet. An additional device, consisting of attaching metal bars at various angles to the Renault FT-17, around which large tracks will pass on rollers, thus enabling the vehicle to climb and tumble, returning to the upright position by itself with the added benefit that the tank which by 1939 was pretty useless would now get to lug around a significant added new weight of track and enjoy a seriously restricted view and firing arc. -5/10 An armoured car – yawn – nothing new, except that Paul Lievin felt that there was room for improvement in March 1939 with an armoured car with no angles, just curved surfaces. For armament though, Lievin lets his imagination run wild, specifying no less than 5 machine guns and a cannon. Gotta keep that imagination in check. and they say it’s healthy to finish with a laugh…. No your eyes do not deceive you. It is the amphibious assault ship, made from a non-protecting 3 to 5mm thick steel. An expensive, complicated, unwieldy machine, designed to assault enemy beaches with yet another fearsome FT-17. No doubt this was just the sort of thing, which seemed intimidating in October 1935 and at least Jacques Reviron thought to include a nice shot-by-shot of the procedure for deploying to the water. The front ramp would be better too if – during the most vulnerable phase of an amphibious assault – it didn’t completely obscure the view of the tank driver (how the hell the floatation machine was to be steered is a mystery), but it also prevents it from firing back towards the shore. Probably a good thing that this was never deployed in combat.