Char B1 Early, good armour, little firepower

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caid’s suggestion #37


I would like to (re) suggest an interesting French tank. the Char B1 early

The story behind the Char B1 early is simple. The tank was built faster than the guns.
in 1935, the Char B1 was accepted to services. the prototype has been tested and while showing some flaws, the tank was meeting the requirement of 1933. in 1935, the requirement around the protection was reviewed to make it even more protected. An armored version was created which goes by the name of B1 Bis the first few were built in 1935. meanwhile, 35 Char B1 bis was built and put into service already.
the Char B1 was therefore considered obsolete already. The French Army still incorporated those tanks into their regular services until the improved B1 Bis was ready to replace them. the Char B1 was then put into secondary roles such as training tanks. After all, those expensive tanks were working very well and there was very little difference between the Char B1 and Char B1 bis when it came to learning how to use it.

While the Tank was by itself very sophisticated, long, and expensive, the production of the gun was even slower. the 75mm gun was simply not following the production of the tank itself. when the first 35 Char B1 was ready for services, there wasn’t enough 75mm gun ready. the production was not expected to catch up any soon, especially as the production of the Char B1 Bis was on its way and those tanks was having priority over the Char B1 to receive the 75mm gun.
The solution was obvious, those tanks could just work without the 75mm. it would have been a waste of money for the French army to have a handful of brand-new tanks waiting to rust in the factory while they could use it already. A plate was simply bolted in the factory over the hole where would be mounted the 75mm gun. this allows the tank to just be used while waiting for some 75mm to be available to install it on the tank. those tanks finally had their 75mm installed by July 1937

the tank armament is not the best. the main gun was intended to be the 75mm which is simply not there. this only leaves the 47mm SA34 which is rather weak. it offers a penetration of 25-20mm at combat distance. This makes it one of the weakest guns of the game. but it should perform a bit better than what we currently have in the game. this is mostly caused by the wrong ballistic coefficient (the drag as it flies in the air) and the wrong reload rate. this makes the gun a bit better than what we currently have in the game, but still, it’s not a great gun. I can still go with it anyway. in the lowest rank, it can be useful when you can get close enough. by chance, the good protection allows it to happen.


the tank is a bit heavy, with 28 tonnes. it is considered as a heavy tank in the French standard of the time. the engine provides 272 hp which gives it a power/weight ratio of 8.93 hp/ton, which allows a top speed of 28 km/h and an average off-road speed of 20 km/h. the tank features a gearbox of 5 forward speed and 1 backward. going backward, the tank can reach 3.78 km/h


the tank’s protection is rather good. 1/3 less than the Char B1 bis, it still features 40mm all around which can be enough in most cases. the turret is an APX-1 and only has 45mm of armor instead of the 54mm of the APX-4. the plate placed over the 75 mm hole is of an unknown thickness. it can be as thick as the rest of the hull but from the picture, it seems to be simply a thin plate of about 10-15 mm at most. this would make sense as the purpose of this plate is to cover the hole and not protect the tank. this means it would be fairly easy to penetrate the tank there. but the rest of the tank is well protected. the crew of 4 men is rather good. but mainly in the hull in the front part making it possible to get them all killed at once.

almost everything: SHD Vincennes GR 9N 284
almost everything: SHD Vincennes GR 7N 4204
source on the armour: CAAPC Chatellereraul AA 469 3H1 24 (2 documents in the same box)
47mm reload rate: SHD Vincennes GR 7N 4205

There are no reserve heavy tanks, but if one of them deserved to be one, it would be this one +1

Even if not reserve, can just be 1.0

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i think this could be the very best starter vehicle (premium starter pack maybe?) for the french TT. But gaijin still needs to heavily rebalance low tier, it’s absurd hell for now.