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About France Data Sheet - 7/13/2019 5:51:45 PM   
Phlogis

 

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As I see Armored Brigade developpers are interested in compiling data from Cold War's France, I figured I'd chip in and provide some insight:

First and foremost, I see there are some Gendarmerie units in the sheet. As the Gendarmerie was a paramilitary force tasked with peacekeeping on french soil, such units would not be tasked with deployement in Europe in case of a war. Unless the developpers wants to model a possible incursion on french soil, which seems outside the scope of this game, Gendarmerie units shouldn't be in.

MILAN vehicles
I see VAB MILAN in the list, which is basically a VAB transporting two MILAN teams. The vehicle has a MILAN mount at the rear to allow firing the missile without dismounting. However, three others MILAN vehicles were used:
- The P4 Jeep with a MILAN in the back.
- The VBL MILAN, which went into service at the same time as the VBL in recon formations.
- The AMX-10P with a MILAN mount at the rear. This vehicle fills the role of VAB MILAN in armored infantry formations, which used the AMX-10P IFV. Ideally, both VAB and AMX MILAN would be modelled as a MILAN firing vehicle with an additional MILAN team inside that can dismount. Regular infantry was not carried inside those vehicles.

French Infantry
No LMG in French Army service until after the Cold War, when Minimi came by. Everyone was high on the AA-52 GPMG. Thus, no LMG team should exist.
However, the extensive experience of France in counter-insurgency made them realize the need for sharpshooters embedded in platoons pretty early: Every platoon HQ element had a pair of snipers attached. An interesting quirk from the weird enough french TO&E.
In the AT department : aside from AC 58 rifle grenades, the french infantry relied on two weapons to destroy armored vehicles:
- The LRAC 73 (73mm, not the year !) and LRAC 89 which appeared in 1979. LRAC teams were platoon assets tasked with providing AT support. M79 Osa, already in the game for Yugoslavia, was a licence production of the LRAC 89, albeit in 90mm instead of 89mm.
- The APILAS, which I believe is already in the game for Finland. APILAS was adopted in 1983 and equipped mechanized infantry formations, each vehicle carrying 3 launchers. APILAS was kept to defeat the heaviest armors the WP could muster in Europe.
That means both LRAC and APILAS teams are possible for France.

French Anti-Air
AMX-13 DCA went into service in 1969, 90 units were recieved and organized as Army level anti-air assets. On a lower organizational level, 53T2 mounts with a M621 20mm gun were fixed on Renault TRM 2000 truckbeds, which is currently listed in the datasheet. Those were available starting 1981 and widely used in every formation.
And that's really it for SPAAGs. In the missile department, AMX Roland were the main and only system in service until Mistral arrived in 1989. The Mistral is not a MANPADS in the true sense, as it requires a whole team to transport and carry. The heavy tripod mounting the optics and the missile can be folded and carried by one man, while others take care of the guidance box and the ammo. However, and missing from the list, a truck mounted version named PAMELA existed, and became complementary of the truckbed 20mm units in low level air defence.

The Crotale being part of the Air Force base defence systems, it would not have seen action on the mechanized battlefield of Europe. If that unit must remain, let it be known the Crotale missile saw various upgrades in its lifetime. That decision remains in the hands of the developpers still.

AMX VTT, VCI and VAB T20/13
The AMX VTT is the name given to the AMX-13 APC armed with an MMG or HMG. The AMX VCI was equipped with a 20mm canon in a TOUCAN I turret. That same turret was stripped off all the AMX VCI in 1985 and bolted on some VABs, giving birth to the VAB T20/13. Thus, all AMX VCI became VTT in 1985, and were given to reserve units stationned in France as everyone switched to VAB and AMX-10P in the frontline formations.
The VAB T20/13 role was to actually escort the AMX Roland units, providing them with security. They were thus considered as SPAAGs, and not carrying much infantry.
What does that mean ? Basically, all AMX VCI were off by 1985, birthing the VAB T20/13. Both units should be mutually exclusive period wise. Also, AMX VTT were really obsolete at this point and unless you desire to model reserve forces, they shouldn't be in after VAB and 10P replaced them.

And that should be it for now, as a quick recap and giving people something to chew on. If any desire to know more arises, I will answer any question posted here when possible.

Cheers,

< Message edited by Phlogis -- 7/13/2019 5:54:32 PM >
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RE: About France Data Sheet - 7/13/2019 10:49:02 PM   
nikolas93TS


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Thanks Phlogis, you gave answers for some units that really game me a trouble!

Yes, there is VBRG armoured car for Gendarmerie units. It is currently provisory in the list, but the idea was to have Gendarmerie as sort of reserve units, similarly to Italian Carabinieri we already have. Italian and Yugoslav factions have greatly expanded on amount of different infantry types (marines, naval, para, reserve, MP etc.). I wish we do the same for French, as long as sources are found on organization.

As for ATGM vehicles, some insight on when MILAN based vehicles entered service would be welcome, and any information on older vehicles as well (something with SS.10 or SS.11, for example). Those MILAN carriers are also partially tricky to implement, as launchers are directed to the rear.

As for LMG, it is intended to represent AA-52 with bipod and lighter barrel. Crotale is on the list currently, with an Air Force comment, and the only reason it is there is because it could provide a counterpart to Soviet radar systems like SA-8, but decision if it will be in the game is far from final. Likely not, also because we are not yet able to find the blueprint of the launcher for the sprite.

Also, is it known when AMX VCI with 20mm gun entered service?

Once again, many thanks!

(in reply to Phlogis)
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RE: About France Data Sheet - 7/14/2019 8:59:16 AM   
Phlogis

 

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Joined: 7/12/2019
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quote:

As for LMG, it is intended to represent AA-52 with bipod and lighter barrel.

My bad then, all is good.
By the way, about that machinegun: The AA(T)-52 version is chambered in 7.5mm french, the (A)AN-F1 version is chambered in 7.62mm NATO. That might clear up some possible confusion.

quote:

some insight on when MILAN based vehicles entered service would be welcome, and any information on older vehicles as well (something with SS.10 or SS.11, for example).

For MILAN carriers: At the same time as their parent vehicle, as both entered service after the MILAN and their variants were thought for during conception.

About SS.10 and SS.11 carriers: The French tried to mount the damn missile on everything: Jeeps, VLRA trucks, AFVs (AMX-13 and AML-90), Alouette II/III helicopters and planes in their AS (Air Sol) version.
The AS-11/SS-11 was already in service on other carriers at least in 1960. SS-11 were mounted on AMX-13 at least in 1964 when M47 tanks were definietely retired. No SS-10 left in service by then.

quote:

Those MILAN carriers are also partially tricky to implement, as launchers are directed to the rear.

They can fire on the side, if that helps.

quote:

Also, is it known when AMX VCI with 20mm gun entered service?

- 1959, The Army recieves the AMX-13 VTT equipped with a 7.5mm AA-52 in a CAFL 38 turret. Quickly the Army realizes a 12.7mm M2 would be more adequante, some vehicles were thus augmented with an HMG.
- 1970, finally, the Toucan I turret is put into service on some AMX VTT, turning them into AMX VCI (VCI meaning IFV in french). The Toucan I turret has a 20mm M693 F1 gun and a AA-52 coaxial MG.

quote:

Italian and Yugoslav factions have greatly expanded on amount of different infantry types (marines, naval, para, reserve, MP etc.). I wish we do the same for French, as long as sources are found on organization.

Well you came to the right place : France is known to had and still have quite an extensive light infantry lineup, as it was mainly busy fighting guerillas during the Cold War. A quick recap of the existing formations during the Cold War, until I can do a proper overview of them:
- Regular Airborne units, called Chasseurs Parachutistes, and regular mountain troops called Chasseurs Alpins.
- The French "Marines" are actually part of the Army, and are called Troupes de Marines, part of the Régiments d'Infanterie de Marine (RIMa).
- French Foreign Legion, widely known, is sort of a separate branche of the Army, with its own Airborne, "Marine" and motorized formations.

However, some of these units were permamently deployed oversea, and would probably not see action in Europe.

(in reply to nikolas93TS)
Post #: 3
RE: About France Data Sheet - 7/15/2019 2:19:52 PM   
nikolas93TS


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There is a mysterious AMX-VTT based SS.11 carrier. I know Italians trialed the model in small amounts, so we didn't have to add it (sparing us a lot of trouble as even photographs seem to be extremely rare) but I could assume French didn't bothered much with it as they had AMX-13/SS.11 TMC and TCA. It is interesting they removed automatic guidance in 1986 and kept using manual version only until it was fully replaced by VAB HOT by 1990. I guess I will put some kind of Jeep with ATGMs in addition to AMX-13/SS.11.

I have also found a reference in NATO 1989 OOB of flamethrowers used in Fusiliers-Marins commando engineer unit at Montfort: I wonder if flamethrowers were used in conventional army as well?

Also, some insight on AMX-VTT mortar carriers would be greatly appreciated. VAB towed 120mm mortar cannot be modeled at the moment, as AI cannot use it.

Je vous remercie une fois encore!

< Message edited by nikolas93TS -- 9/23/2019 9:23:17 PM >

(in reply to Phlogis)
Post #: 4
RE: About France Data Sheet - 7/24/2019 9:47:29 PM   
nikolas93TS


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Any informations on 7.5mm to 7.62mm switch, particularly regarding the vehicles? Can I leave older vehicles like AMX-13 in 1980s with 7.5mm coax?

(in reply to nikolas93TS)
Post #: 5
RE: About France Data Sheet - 9/23/2019 9:53:00 PM   
nikolas93TS


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I think I found that mysterious AMX-VTT SS.11 launcher. I don't think I ever saw a photograph of it. Then I found it in "Бронетанковая техника армий капиталистических государств" (Armored vehicles of Capitalist States) released by Soviet MoD back in 1970. I was reading it out of curiosity, because it has an astonishing amount of actually accurate technical data (not all of course), way above equivalent commercial or even military publications in the West. I am impressed, GRU apparently did an excellent job. I also found some blueprints and data on obscure vehicles otherwise obtainable just in archives and rare books.

And according to Soviets, it was not AMX-13 based (or it is a totally different vehicles) but on Hotchkiss TT-6 carrier (on which Schützenpanzer Kurz was based) which might explain the lack of photographs and adoption in other countries.







(in reply to nikolas93TS)
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