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Author Topic: 1940 French tank markings  (Read 726 times)

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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1940 French tank markings
« on: March 28, 2018, 11:36:45 AM »
I realise that this is a long shot for such an Anglophile board, but I was wondering if anyone could help me search out the following details in order to put together a section of Char B1-bis for May 1940, for "What A Tanker!".

Very specifically, I'm looking for details (including positioning, colour and size) of all markings for all three tanks of any section of any company of Char B1bis from either 28e BCC or 37e BCC (1ere Demi-Brigade Lourde, of 1ere Division Cuirassee).  This would include:
- registration number of each individual tank (eg 201)
- name of each individual tank (help appreciated, although I can probably deduce these from AARs)
- tactical markings (whether playing card or geometric design)
- radio call sign (usually a single letter)
- divisional markings
- roundel or tricolour

If anyone can help, I would be extremely grateful (I can speak a little French, so Gallic sauces* are perfectly acceptable - just not too much garlic or anise!).

[* Yes, I do know that's not the correct spelling. ]
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 11:46:00 AM by Baron von Wreckedoften »

Offline Arlequín

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2018, 12:50:05 PM »
The forum may be Anglophone, but there are a few Francophiles here. In lieu of a detailed answer by Lou Passejaire, which may be forthcoming, these may help;

Guide to French vehicle markings:
http://france1940.free.fr/armee/colours.html

Gallery of Char B1 tanks of various units:
https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/france/tanks-france/b1_bis/

Bon chance!

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2018, 04:18:30 PM »
Tres utile - merci beaucoup.

Offline lou passejaire

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2018, 05:50:36 PM »
just ask ...



 ;)
Dans les situations critiques, quand on parle avec un calibre bien en pogne, personne ne conteste plus. Y'a des statistiques là-dessus.

Offline lou passejaire

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2018, 05:59:38 PM »
the radio call sign ... may be can be found in the Trackstory about the Char B ...

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2018, 09:19:02 PM »
the radio call sign ... may be can be found in the Trackstory about the Char B ...

1) Did you mean this website - http://www.minitracks.fr/b1bis.htm

2) It says that the absence of a "pointe" (I assume [.]?) means it is the section commander's tank.  Did the other two tanks have the "pointe" before/after according to how senior each was within the section (for example: . J = Djibouti, J . = Brazzaville) or have I misunderstood?

3) Thank you very much, this is just the sort of information I was looking for.

BvW

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2018, 09:27:37 PM »
One more thing - I cannot find photos of Char 1 Bis in action with crew kit/equipment stowed on the outside surfaces of the tank.  Was this simply not done by French tank crews, or was the inside of the Char 1 so large that everything could be kept inside?

Offline lou passejaire

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2018, 11:03:01 AM »
1) Did you mean this website - http://www.minitracks.fr/b1bis.htm
yes
2) It says that the absence of a "pointe" (I assume [.]?) means it is the section commander's tank.  Did the other two tanks have the "pointe" before/after according to how senior each was within the section (for example: . J = Djibouti, J . = Brazzaville) or have I misunderstood?
i presume
3) Thank you very much, this is just the sort of information I was looking for.

BvW

never seen a single B1-B1 bis with kit outside, even on the small tanks such as the H35-39 or R35 ... a small kit found a small place in the tank, and the remaining stuff was carried by the company trucks , i presume ...

give a look at : http://www.chars-francais.net/2015/index.php/liste-chronologique/de-1930-a-1940 ... a lot of pictures are avaible

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2018, 08:53:03 AM »
Once again, thank you very much for that info and answering my questions.

Offline Etranger

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2018, 01:58:41 PM »
One more thing - I cannot find photos of Char 1 Bis in action with crew kit/equipment stowed on the outside surfaces of the tank.  Was this simply not done by French tank crews, or was the inside of the Char 1 so large that everything could be kept inside?

The French tanks were fairly short ranged & the 'B echelon' (or the French equivalent) was usually close at hand. Char B didn't carry a lot externally, typically only the tow chains and sometimes a canvas sheet.

There is a lot of information online at http://chars-francais.net/2015/index.php including many photographs. It's in French but easy to navigate. There are some good books on the Char around, sadly mine are in the storage shed.
"It's only a flesh wound...."

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2018, 02:17:03 PM »
Thanks - confirms what I thought.  I was thinking of buying a pack of "stowage" gear to go with my B1-Bis peloton + pack of tank commanders from Warlord, but it looks like it might be redundant.  Ah, might get it anyway for the British/Germans.

https://store.warlordgames.com/collections/french-army/products/char-b1-bis-platoon
https://store.warlordgames.com/collections/french-army/products/french-tank-crew
https://store.warlordgames.com/collections/french-army/products/stowage-pack-tarps-and-rolls

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2018, 01:40:02 AM »
M. Passejaire, in your first post on this thread on March 28th, you showed two diagrams giving details of the tanks of 28e and 37e BCC.  Would you (or anyone else) have an equivalent schematic for 41e BCC possibly?  I am trying to find details of Billote's Char B1 and the identities of the other tanks of the immediate section he commanded (I do know he was a Captain - was he also the 2eme company commander?).

Merci.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 01:41:50 AM by Baron von Wreckedoften »

Offline Arlequín

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2018, 03:34:49 AM »
I believe Billote's Char B1bis was no. 337 'Eure' and he was commander of 1ere compagnie (some sources say 2e) and subsequently half of the battalion remnants 'Groupe Billote'.

A search 'Char B1bis eure' will bring up a couple of artist's impressions of the vehicle, but a photo of it 'en campagne' shows no apparent markings but its name.

http://www.chars-francais.net/2015/index.php/classement-individuel/chars-b1-et-b1-bis?task=view&id=224

The battalion markings were unusual and can be found here;

https://www.chars-francais.net/2015/index.php/marquages-camouflages/b1-bis-marquages

Two other 41e BCC Char B at Stonne were named 'Vienne' and 'Vertus' (no. 372), but I have no idea which elements they belonged to.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 04:08:13 AM by Arlequín »

Offline Etranger

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2018, 10:11:34 AM »

The same image as Arlequin's post. From http://www.ww2incolor.com/french/char.html


The other image from Chars Francais. There 'may' be a faint letter(U?) on the R side, but it could just be a trick of the light on the paint and dust.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 10:26:23 AM by Etranger »

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: 1940 French tank markings
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2018, 10:22:57 AM »
Many thanks to both of you - very useful information.