10,5cm Sf Hb AMX,, French artillery rank

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I would like to suggest a rather unique tank, the French AMX Mk.62 or also called in Switzerland, the 10,5cm Sf Hb AMX

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The AMX Mk.62 was an artillery tank built on the base of the AMX 13 light tank and an evolution of the AMX Mk.61

the AMX mk.62 was designed to offer more flexibility to the mobile artillery tank. the main and major difference is the turret having a full rotation instant of being a fixed casemate like it was on the Mk.61. this gives the tank a much easier capacity to fire in a direction that does not allow the chassis to be turned toward. such a feature was quite interesting for terrain where the vehicles have very limited space to go. terrain such as the Alpine road of the Swiss mountains.

many combinations of the tank were offered. at least 2 different turret types and chassis were proposed to the Swiss army. all were tested together and offered no real difference from one another. it was mostly just different polishing of the design that was proposed to the Swiss army to let them see what was more suitable for their need. since about 95% of the parts remain the same and the little 5% aren’t essential and not likely to break or need maintenance, the Swiss may as well want them both for the different units. those differences will be explained at the end of this suggestion just before the specification section.

The first AMX mk.62 was built in 1956 by the French. this was a prototype that was not intended for Switzerland but for the international market like the Mk.61 was (and saw export success). in 1959 Switzerland who also had bought the AMX 13 in 1951 for their army, decided to buy 4 AMX Mk.62 for their artillery units. the AMX Mk.62 shares most of their mechanical part in common with the AMX 13. the introduction of the artillery version was a smart choice for the supply lines. in 1960, the tanks were handed over to the Swiss army. after a preliminary study of the tanks and some training of the crew. the 4 tanks were pressed into service in the army as field trials from 1961 to 1964. this makes roundly 3 years of testing and feedback from operational testing. this sort of trial is very important as it allows the vehicles to be tested in real operational conditions which allows it to show the flaws and reliability issues and also gives the chance of the units to give feedback. after the trial, no orders come down. the reason wasn’t explained but it could pretty well be because of firepower been no superior than the 105mm of the MBT, the fact that the AMX 13 was to be replaced by the Pz 61 and Pz 68 in the following years, or because they were offered a 155mm artillery tank.

at least 2 out of the 4 AMX mk.62 was preserved up to this day. One is in the Panzermuseum of Thun, while the other is in the Panzermuseum of Full.

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Firepower

The main armament of this tank is the 105mm Obusier de 105 calibre 30. or in English, the 105mm Howitzer L/30. this gun is a howitzer but can use anti-tank rounds for direct fire. this gun fires mainly HE rounds but the gun is also capable of firing the OCC 105 F1 which is the HEAT round offered in the first AMX 30 MBT. The tank carries 30 rounds in the turret including 6 anti-tank rounds (for emergency use and defense only) and 50 in the hull. but in the game, the player can decide if they want it to be all HE or HEAT. the velocity of the rounds is much lower but still good enough for a decent accuracy in 500m. The velocity of this gun is just lower than the Sherman’s 75mm gun. the HE round is still capable of decent HE penetration which can be proven effective against most tanks if you can manage to hit the lower part of the turret (to blast the roof of the hull). the fire rate reached 10 rounds in minutes but was also said to be capable of 6 rounds in 20 seconds. the turret has the priority control of the commander for the turret’s rotation and could fire the gun as well (only the gun’s elevation needs to be confirmed). a 7.5mm AA 52 was installed in the turret but I would need to confirm if it was a coaxial or a Stored AA mount. the turret rotation is a bit slow but still capable of being used to track ground targets as long they aren’t too close.

Mobility

This tank’s mobility is good but not extremely good. the weight was reported differently from one document to another, this is probably because they used different levels of accuracy on the weight. For example: one state 17 tonnes, which is a pretty round number. another state 16.9 tonnes, which is already more accurate. and the last state is 16.870 kg which is probably the most accurate. this means the tank is probably at about 16.9 tonnes. the 30 kg difference between this weight and the most accurate can be because of the crew carrying more gear or are fatter (there are 5 men, so it’s easy to have 30 kg difference if they are men).

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Protection

The exact armor of the tank is unknown, but due to the weight and size, it is expected to be around 30-35mm on the front and 20mm on the side. this should allow the tank to have a fairly good resistance against HMG and some auto-cannon but not in a way to is immune to them. for sure compared to its main competitor, the AMX 10P, BMP-1, and Marder, this tank has fairly good protection but it remains a IFV. the did receive a smoke grenade launcher in the late stage of its test which allowed the tank to fire 2x smoke at the time to cover his movement, the crew normally include a driver, a gunner, a commander, but we should also give it 2x passenger who are normally operating the LMG turret (they was on the disposal of the embarked infantry)

difference between the version tested

Spoiler

there was a serial version of the AMX MK 62 built. they were all functional and offered little difference from one another. To know which was best, the French gave different models to the Swiss and let the Swiss tell them which one was more to their liking. the difference is more in polishing design than anything else. we have the chance to have 2 surviving models. One is in the Panzermuseum of Full and the other is in the Panzermuseum of Thun. I gave them a non-official name of the Lowland and Highland versions just to tell them apart.

Lowland version

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the Full’s model is more protected. the difference is as follows

  1. different gun shields without fabric cover
  2. Splasher on the front hull

this version was likely to be more suitable for the Swiss lowland. the City of Full, where the tank is preserved, happens to be in the Swiss lowland

Highland version

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the model from Thun seems to be less protected but also much more suitable for the snow. the difference is as follows

  • difference gun,s shield with fabric cover
  • no splasher

this model is likely more suitable for the cold mountains. the absence of a splasher makes it less suitable to cross Swallow River because the driver needs to have the hatch closed and the dirt may get in his sight, but it is much more adapted for the snow. as the absence of a splasher makes snow does not easily accumulate on the front of the hull and the fabric around the gun stop the snow and ice to accumulate at the base of the barrel which could obstruct the gun when they lower it. this makes it more suitable for the highland and winter terrains like the Swiss Alps. The city of Thun happens to be in the mountainous area of Switzerland.

ingame, both versions are good and essentially offer the same performance. but I would suggest the “lowland” version be chosen as it offers a bit more protection.

source

all the following source was found in the French archive and are primary sources. some are resumes to introduce the basic details, others are detailed documents.

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secondary source

ammo

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2 Likes

bro made a ton of swiss suggestions, lol, but where you put them? Subtree? if yes where? (+1)

the BR is a bit off as I made this tech tree about 2 years ago and since I find a lot more accurate info that will greatly affect the performance but… why not a Swiss tech tree? it would have minimal copy-paste and a lot of unique vehicles.

eventually, it could expand to include Austrian vehicles