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French Saint Chamond Heavy Tank - "Chantecoq," As31, Laffaux, France, 1917 (1:72 Scale)
French Saint Chamond Heavy Tank - "Chantecoq," As31, Laffaux, France, 1917

Wings of the Great War French Saint Chamond Heavy Tank - "Chantecoq," As31, Laffaux, France, 1917

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Product Code: WW10207

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Wings of the Great War WW10207 French Saint Chamond Heavy Tank - "Chantecoq," As31, Laffaux, France, 1917 (1:72 Scale) "A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost."
- Marshal Ferdinand Foch

The Saint Chamond was the second French heavy tank of the First World War. Overall, it was an inadequate design born of commercial rivalry, but the war ended before it was replaced by British heavy tanks. Originally the tank produced by Saint Chamond was meant to be identical to the Schneider CA. In early 1916, the proposed definitive prototype of this latter tank was prepared in an army workshop, with Private Pierre Lescure designing the fighting compartment. Lieutenant Foucha lengthened the suspension to improve its trench-crossing abilities. In this form the prototype of the Schneider was called the Tracteur A - not for security reasons, but because nobody knew exactly waht to call these vehicles; the french word char not yet applied to tanks. Nevertheless, Eugene Brillia, the chief designer working for Schneider Company, rejected this prototype. He had invented a tail giving a shorter chassis the same crossing abilities and a lesser weight.

While Brillia began to design a second prototype (based on his earlier work on the Schneider CA), Schneider's main competitor, the arms manufacturer Saint Chamond, was given a second order for 400 tanks. First, they intended to build the same tank as Schneider. However, Brillia refused to share his patented invention for free and Saint Chamond refused to pay. So the latter company, without the blueprints for the new Schneider prototype, had to base its design on the original Tracteur A. Because of this, the designs of the two companies began to diverge, so the Tracteur A was ended up being longer.

One of Saint Chamond's technical directors was "Colonel" Emile Rimailho, a former artillery officer, who had become very disgruntled over the meager benefits he had received in reward for designing the famous 75mm field gun before the war in service of the army. For Saint Chamond he had produced a similar gun, receiving a percentage for every piece sold. This was too good an opportunity to let pass and Rimailho induced one of his "friends" at the Ministry of War to change the specification of their order so that the vehicle would be able to mount his gun, even though the army had never asked for such a weapon. For this a much longer hull was needed. The first prototype, now very different from the Schneider, was ready in September 1916.

As a result of Rimailho's manipulations, the new tank had become a very cumbersome vehicle. It had no turret, but a large overhanging front compartment housing the long 75 mm gun, protruding from the nose. Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a French Saint Chamond heavy tank. Back Order!

Length: 5-inches
Width: 2-inches

Release Date: November 2018

Historical Account: "Sole Survivor" - The last Saint-Chamond tank remaining in existence (an improved mid-1918 model), alongside other French tanks of World War I (Schneider CA1 and Renault FT), is preserved at the Musee des Blindes at Saumur, France. It had survived, together with a Schneider CA1 tank of the same vintage, at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds Ordnance Museum in Maryland and was later donated by the U.S. to the French government. Between 2015 and 2017 it was restored to running condition and repainted in a World War I camouflage scheme, at a cost of 120,000 Euros. It will take part in various displays throughout 2017 to mark the centenary of the first use of tanks by the French army.

  • Resin construction
  • Static tracks
  • Accurate markings and insignia
  • Comes with etched display base

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