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Historical InfoEdit


In March 1940, the Workshop of Issy-les-Moulineaux was studying a new medium tank of cavalry, the successor of the SOMUA S-35 and the S-40. The design was never built, due to the Fall of France in June 1940.


The AMX 40 Cavalry was designed as a medium tank, modelled along very futuristic lines. Its rounded hull offers only oblique surfaces; the undercarriage consists of four road wheels which was very modern for a 1940s tank. Its general hullform resembles that of postwar tanks. The tank had a cast steel body, 60mm front armor, side 50 to 30 mm and 40 mm to the rear. Length 5.30 m, width 2.45 m The chassis was composed of four-wheel drive twin 82cm in diameter protected with side shields. The two rear wheels are driven, which could allow the movement without the tracks. There were no return rollers; the drive sprocket is at the rear. Fuel tanks placed above the tracks were expected to help strengthen the lateral protection (the AMX-40 was to be diesel-fueled; unlike gasoline, diesel is not flammable at room temperature).


The AMX was expected to be powered by a diesel engine of 160 hp, low compared to the SOMUA's 190 hp and the S-40's 220 hp engines, for a vehicle with an estimated weight very close to the SOMUA (nearly 20 tonnes). However, the rotation system could save significant weight and provide good performance despite the power deficit. As mentioned earlier, the choice of diesel fuel improves safety.

Turret and armament

The two-man turret casting has an ovoid shape reminiscent of the future Russian tanks of the T-54/T-55 family. Access was to be through a 60cm-diameter circular hatch on the back of the turret. The hatch follows the general shape of the turret, which has no protrusions except for two openings in the rangefinder. Visibility was to be provided by a panoramic periscope on top of the turret. No slot vision seems to have been planned. The solution is attractive in terms of protection, but the concentration of the tank's visibility into a single element would have adverse consequences in the event of damage to the periscope.

The main armament was expected to be an SA 35 47mm cannon, placed on the axis of the turret. Turret rotation was hydraulic, rather than hand-cranked. Breaking with the custom of one-man turrets, the AMX-40 was to have a dedicated gunner along with the commander in the turret. Both occupants sat on a swivelled strap with the turret gunner on the left and the commander on the right. In addition to the 47mm gun, the tank had a secondary armament of two 7.5 mm machine guns- one co-axial with the main gun for close defense, and one on a retractable swivel joint in a compartment behind the turret for anti-air defense. The tank could hold up to 156 rounds of 47mm, distributed in the periphery of the turret in rotating part lockers, to facilitate access to ammunition. The ammunition supply is higher by almost 50% than in the SOMUA.

The hull

The driver was centrally located in the front, with the dashboard is in the center of the steering wheel driving, such as how the Leclerc has not innovated on that. The driver's position is surrounded on both sides of a storage system chain for around 30 magazines of 7.5mm ammunition. This system used to access all of the stock without moving. Magazines are positioned in the turret for immediate use. The AMX 40 is as a potential successor to SOMUA S 35. The S 40 S 35 which is only improved, particularly at the undercarriage, can no longer ensure a transitional role. Compared to SOMUA, this prototype's dimensions are nearly the same. The AMX is slightly shorter and less high but wider 33 cm which should improve its capabilities in all terrain.

Another Story of the Char Moyen AMX 40 by: Antoine Misner In March 1940, the Issy-les-Moulineaux Workshop exploring a new medium tank cavalry successor char SOMUA S-35 and possibly the S-40.

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">Brief description <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">The AMX 40 cavalry is as a medium tank to look modern. <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">The rounded shield offers only oblique surfaces and undercarriage of four major road wheels give it an appearance that contrasts strongly with the tanks in 1940. Its general forms recall those already tanks after the war. <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">The crew of three men, a pilot, and for ensuring a shooter likely function tank commander. <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">Caisse cast steel front guard 60mm side 50 to 30mm, 40 mm at the rear. <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">Length 5.30 m, width 2.45 m <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">The undercarriage has four wheel drive twin 82 cm diameter protected with side shields. The two rear wheels are driven, which could allow movement without caterpillars. No return rollers, drive sprocket at the rear. <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">Arranged above the chassis fuel tank contribute to strengthen the lateral protection (The Gas oil, unlike gasoline flame at room temperature). <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;"> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">Engines <p style="margin:0pt;">The AMX   should be powered by a diesel engine of 160 hp. The engine may seem a little low, only 160 HP while SOMUA has 190 hp and the engine of the S 40 is provided with 220 hp. The estimated weight should be very close to the SOMUA (almost 20 tons). The rotation can definitely save weight and provide a significant performance quite correct despite the power deficit.

As mentioned above, the choice of fuel significantly improves the security of the machine.

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">Turret and armament <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">The turret casting seater has an oval shape that is reminiscent of future Russian tanks Family T-54 T-55. Access is by a circular hatch 60 cm in diameter at the rear of the turret. The flap has the general shape of the turret which has no protrusion except the two openings of the rangefinder. <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">The visibility is ensured by a panoramic periscope on top of the turret. No slot vision seems to have been planned. The solution is attractive in terms of protection, but the concentration of the entire vision of a single element can have adverse consequences for decommissioning the unique periscope. <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">The main armament is a 47mm gun SA 35. The barrel is disposed in the turret axis. Rotation is provided by hydraulic system.  <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">The two occupants were sitting on a strap system with swivel turret gunner left for right. <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">The secondary armament of two 7.5 mm machine guns. The first coaxial to the barrel is intended to close defense. The second retractable and mounted on ball is placed in a compartment behind the turret and must defend against aircraft. <p style="margin:0pt;">The supply is 156 rounds of 47mm. Storage is distributed in the periphery of the turret, part rotating racks, part rocker lockers to facilitate access to ammunition. The ammunition supply is higher by almost 50% SOMUA

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">Case <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">The pilot occupies a central position in the front, the dashboard is placed in the center of the steering wheel, like what the Leclerc has not innovated on this point. The cockpit is  surrounded on either side of a storage system that holds about 30 chain chargers 7.5 mm. This system allows for access to the entire stock without moving. Chargers are positioned in the turret for immediate use. <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0pt;">The AMX 40 is presented as a potential successor to SOMUA S 35. The S 40 is only 35 S improved, especially at the undercarriage, not providing a transitional role. <p style="margin:0pt;">Compared to SOMUA, dimensions are about the same. The AMX is slightly shorter and less high but wider 33cm which should improve its off-road capabilities.

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