Cold War French Fake Tanks Has Own Video

Lorraine 50t (Fake Tank)

France (1950s)
Heavy Tank – Fake

After the liberation of the country in 1944-1945, France found itself with a serious need to rebuild its military industry, damaged by years of war and occupation, if it wanted to remain a serious player in international politics as well as a respected military power. Though the first vehicles studied, such as the Panhard 178B and ARL 44, would be at least partially based on pre-war projects or even secretive ones undertaken under the Vichy Regime, a new, medium tank program would soon see the emergence of a variety of designs. Most of the designers involved had been requested to design 50-tonnes tanks, resulting in FCM’s 50 t project, AMX’s M4 later evolving into the AMX-50, and Somua’s SM. In contrast, the company of Lorraine was requested to design a lighter medium tank which would mount a similar armament but at a reduced weight of 40 tonnes, eventually resulting in the 39.7 tonnes Lorraine 40t prototype. These would never enter service with the French Army though.

The acquisition of American M47 Pattons proved a more economical solution before a modern Franco-German tank would be adopted (following the French-German collaboration falling apart, this would result in the AMX-30). However, in the last decades, this whole generation of French vehicles has known a renewed popularity due to their inclusion in Wargaming’s popular game World of Tanks (WoT). There, this set of late 1940s and 1950s designs wonderfully filled the high tiers of WoT’s French branches. However, Wargaming is a company known to often bend the limits of historicity, and sometimes outright break them and include entirely fake vehicles within the game. A recent example, though one which has not yet been made available to the playerbase, is the Lorraine 50t, a supposed heavy tank design that is one of several Wargaming fabrications present in high-tier French tanks.

A side view of the Lorraine 50t in World of Tanks. The turret appears particularly large and high for the Lorraine hull. Source: Rita Status Report
A Lorraine 40t prototype during trials in 1953, with an AMX-13 on a trailer and an AMX-50-120 in the background. Source: pinterest

Wargaming’s Lorraine 50t

The Lorraine 50t was added to Wargaming’s ‘supertest servers’ as a ‘Tier 9’ French heavy tank in early May 2020. The tank has not yet been made available to the playerbase, and is supposed to be a future ‘promotional’/’reward’ tank rather than one obtained through the game’s ‘premium shop’ or traditional ‘tech trees’.

Wargaming’s render for the Lorraine 50t. Source: Reddit

The vehicle can shortly be described as a combination of the up-armored hull of the Lorraine 40t medium tank with a T.C.B turret, as featured in WoT’s AMX M4 1951 and AMX M4 1954 (these vehicles, mounting the T.C.B turret on hulls which were never meant to receive it, can also be considered as fakes), though a couple of questionable changes were brought to it. According to the vehicle’s ‘stat card’, the resulting combination would culminate in a highly mobile 50 tonnes tank thanks to an engine boosted up from 850 to 980 hp. When analyzing the vehicle in more detail though, the illusion of this tank being a realistic design falls apart very quickly.

Thicker armor, same wheels

The hull of the Lorraine 50t is a modified version of the one featured on the Lorraine 40t, already present in the game as a tier 8 premium tank.

A front screenshot of the Lorraine 50t, showing the hull’s pike nose shape and the massive size of the T.C.B turret. Source:

The overall shape of the hull is the same, with the vehicle having a front forming a moderate, pike nose shape. However, the armor thickness differs massively between the two vehicles. The Lorraine 40t was a light vehicle for its relatively considerable size, and as such, was only given thin armor protection, which was not meant to resist modern anti-armor weaponry. The front armor was only 40 mm thick. WoT’s Lorraine 50t ups this to a much thicker 155 mm on the two larger plates forming the pike nose, while the small central plate at the top, under which the driver’s seat is located, was increased to 105 mm, and the lower front plate to 120 mm. The sides and rear armor of the vehicle were also increased, though to a more moderate extent. They went from 30 to 60 mm for the sides, and from 25 to 40 mm for the rear. The roof of the vehicle was also thickened from 20 to 40 mm.

A side view of the Lorraine 50t’s hull. Its architecture and design follow the Lorraine 40t’s closely, with the same torsion bars and return rollers, wheels with pneumatic rims, rear-drive sprocket, and front idler. The radiator is different though, with outlet grills on the side of the vehicle and without the large cooling fans mounted on the engine deck. Source:

Such changes would likely very considerably impact the weight of the Lorraine 40t hull, as well as shift its center of gravity towards the front to a large extent due to the most significant armor increase being on the front glacis plates. These changes would likely have required the suspension to be reinforced to handle the weight (particularly as the turret would likely be much heavier than that of the original Lorraine 40t turret). However, the Lorraine 50t shown in-game uses the same suspension as the 40t, with no sign of modifications. This suspension is in some ways a rather peculiar design. Though it uses a classic torsion bars design, the wheels used actually have pneumatic rims instead of metallic ones, a feature brought to lighten them on the original vehicles. The capacity of these pneumatics to handle the much higher weight of the Lorraine 50t would be very questionable.

A rear view of the Lorraine 50t. The tank is depicted with another model of Maybach engine and lacks the large cooling fans typical of the Lorraine 40t. Source: wotexpress

Wargaming’s Lorraine 50t did, however, receive a new engine. The original Lorraine 40t featured the German Maybach HL235 12-cylinders engine producing 850 hp. In the 50t, this is replaced by the “HL234 P50”, claimed to produce 980 hp. Historically, the HL234 was an engine proposed for use in German late war designs but never put into production. It would have produced only 900 hp, and as such, Wargaming boosted the engine by 80 hp, likely to improve the mobility characteristics of their Lorraine 50t. The engine deck was redesigned to accommodate this new engine, and lacks the large cooling fans typical of the 40t.

A monster turret on a princess hull

On this Lorraine 40t-based hull, Wargaming decided to mount a turret much larger than the one which originally featured – the T.C.B 120 turret from the mid-1950s.

The original turret of the Lorraine 40t was the late 100 mm-armed AMX-50 turret. It was a fairly light oscillating design on which, as on the hull, thick armor had been sacrificed to make the turret reasonably lightweight – with armor protection of 45 to 55 mm on the front, going down to 30 mm on the sides and rear. Wargaming does give a fairly realistic estimate of the weight of this turret on the 40t at 7.5 tonnes.

The 50t replaces this turret with the massive T.C.B 120. This turret was one of several designed after requirements shifted from a 100 to a 120 mm-armed tank in 1951. The gun used was to be the D.1203, which was a license-produced version of the USA’s M58 featured on the M103 – a massive and extremely powerful gun (still the most powerful 120 mm gun ever featured on a production vehicle in terms of kinetic energy release). This would require an equally massive turret to be operated properly. Several different turrets mounted the gun. Only oscillating designs are known to have been manufactured, but two conventional turrets armed with the monstrous gun were designed. The T.C.B was designed by C.A.F.L (Compagnie des Ateliers et Forges de la Loire – Workshops and Forges of the Loire Company), previously known as Saint-Chamond/FAMH. The gun is depicted as having 40 rounds of ammunition by Wargaming.

A front view of the T.C.B in the schematics. The turret was quite wide, but even more so long. It was a massive turret, way oversized for the Lorraine hull. Source: French military archives
Profile view of the T.C.B turret. The turret would have had a fairly limited depression of -6° and elevation of +13°, linked to the massive breech of the 120 mm gun. Wargaming overestimates both in its depiction of the tank, raising the depression to -10° and the elevation to +15°. Source: French Military Archives

The T.C.B 120 was a massive turret, 8.79 m long from the front of the barrel to the rear of the bustle (though 6.34 m would consist of the gun). The turret itself had a large turret ring of 2.67 m, and it is questionable whether the 3.3 m-wide hull of the Lorraine 40t could reasonably feature such a large turret ring. When taking into account external elements, the turret would be up to 2.9 m wide. It had a basket going 0.9 m into the hull.

The turret would accommodate a crew of three; a gunner and a commander to the left of the gun, and a loader to the right.

From left to right: the T.C.B turret in schematics, the turret’s depiction on the Lorraine 50t, and on the AMX M4 1954. The Lorraine offers a more accurate depiction of the turret, though another set of schematics does show the infrared cupola of the AMX M4 1954 as also having been considered. Sources: French military archives, &

The turret is known from two different sets of plans from 1954, which do depict it with some differences when it comes to cupolas and externally-mounted equipment. In both cases, the turret featured a large telemeter as well as smoke grenades installed to the front, near the top of the hull. Wargaming has implemented the turret in two different fashions in the game, with minor differences being present between the T.C.B found on the M4 1951/M4 1954 and the Lorraine 50t. The M4 T.C.B features a large cupola to the rear right, with a dual infrared device. The presence of this cupola and device is corroborated by a set of plans of the T.C.B mounted on the AMX-50B hull. Otherwise, a hatch is present towards the middle left of the turret and features a pintle-mounted 12.7mm M2HB machine gun which would be operated by the commander. There is no gunner’s or loader’s hatch.

In comparison, the T.C.B featured on the Lorraine 50t eliminates the large rear cupola, which, in the game, would have functioned as a ‘weak spot’. A smaller hatch/cupola is featured to the rear left. As on the M4 T.C.B, it is armed, though not an M2HB, but an even heavier weapon. This was a German MG 151/20 20 mm autocannon, which was a fairly commonly used secondary weapon on AMX-50 project vehicles, though neither it nor the M2 were ever shown on a T.C.B blueprint. The design also features new hatches, with two hatches to the right of the gun and one to the left. In this regard, the Lorraine 50t is more accurate to the only top view of the T.C.B from French plans, though the rear hatch/cupola featuring the MG 151 is too much to the right on Wargaming’s design in comparison to the French plans. Wargaming’s version of the turret also overestimates the depression, which goes from -6° to -10°, and the elevation, which goes from +13 to +15°. The traverse speed of the turret, at 26.25 degrees per second, is also very generous.

The first (1953) AMX-50-120 prototype, featuring not only the same 120 mm gun as the Lorraine 50t, but also the same MG 151/20 secondary armament. Source: War thunder forums

In terms of armor layout, the T.C.B 120 turret mounted on the Lorraine 50t is presented as a particularly heavily armored turret. In reality, the known schematics of the T.C.B 120 did not feature any armor thickness, and it is unknown if one was ever decided on at any point. In WoT though, the Lorraine 50t’s turret features a 300 mm-thick turret face (in addition to a 170 mm-thick mantlet), which gradually reduces to 260, 220, 210, 190, 170, 140 and then 120 mm going rearward into the front sides, with the sides themselves being 80 mm thick. The rear-sides plates are presented as 70 mm thick, and the rear plate at 40 mm. The roof is 60 mm thick towards the front and 40 mm thick on the rest of the turret. The MG 151/20 cupola has an armor layout going from 140 to 80 mm frontally, but only 40 mm on the rear and 20 mm on the roof.

The illusion of a realistic tank design falls apart

The thickly-armored T.C.B Wargaming outfitted its Lorraine 50t with is an absolute monster of a turret. Not only is the T.C.B massive in size to begin with, but Wargaming gave it an extremely thick armor layout which would, without a shadow of a doubt, have given it a very high weight. According to the game’s estimations, this weight would be of 16,895 kg, more than nine tonnes more than the Lorraine 40t’s turret – realistically, it would have been even more.

This is where the discrepancy between the performances of the Lorraine 50t in WoT, and those such a vehicle would realistically have, come into full view. Wargaming’s 50t is claimed to weigh exactly 50t, with a maximum loadout of 53t. Taking 50t as the standard weight, and removing the 16,895 kg of the turret, the hull would weigh in at 33.05. Taking the standard Lorraine 40t, removing the 7,500 kg turret would leave a tank with a weight of 32.2 tonnes.

However, the hull of the Lorraine 50t is also massively up-armored from the 40t, as well as receiving a new, more powerful and likely heavier engine. Simply put, there is no way these massive modifications would have added only around 800 kg to the weight of the tank. Wargaming’s Lorraine 50t is built around a massively underestimated weight – and its mobility is positively impacted by this lighter weight, with the Lorraine heavy tank able to reach a maximum speed of 50 km/h and sporting a power-to-weight ratio of 19.60 hp/tonne. WoT also completely ignores the center of gravity of the vehicle. With not only a largely thickened frontal armor, but also a massive turret mounted towards the front of the vehicle, the Lorraine 50t would be incredibly front-loaded, and the suspension, of which the capacity to sustain the additional weight was already questionable to say the least, would be incredibly front-loaded. The quick hull traverse depicted in the game, at 31.29°/second, would also be highly unrealistic.

A view of the T.C.B on the hull it was actually intended for, the AMX-50B, dated from July 1954. This depiction of the turret shows some differences in comparison to the other one known, notably in terms of cupola. Source: Mémoire des hommes

Though there is no proper way to estimate the weight of a “realistic” Lorraine 50t, seeing as no known estimation of the weight of the T.C.B turret exists, if it was given this turret in the very heavily armored form present in WoT, as well as the additional front armor and new engine, the Lorraine 50t would realistically weigh much more than 50 or even 53t – and, in practice, at least 60 tonnes and probably even more. It would also be a much more sluggish design with a fragile suspension, and likely plagued by reliability issues and breakdowns, which are in no way represented in WoT.

Conclusions – If you make a forgery, make one that makes sense

The Lorraine 50t can be summed up as an incredibly unrealistic design, in which Wargaming combined a hull and a turret never meant to be together, and which could really never have been. The T.C.B turret, particularly in this heavily armored form, is simply too large and too heavy to be mounted on a Lorraine – particularly an up-armored one – without skyrocketing the weight of the vehicle and massively overloading the suspension.

However, the Lorraine 50t is but one of several fake tanks present within World of Tanks. The French Batignolles-Châtillons Bourrasque, EBR 105 and AMX M4 1954 are also fakes, and many configurations of real French vehicles are also fantasy to one degree or another – for example, the M4 1951, while based on a real design, was never intended to receive the T.C.B it was given in WoT. Forgery extends way beyond the French ‘tech tree’ though. The Conqueror Gun Carriage, Caervanon Action X, and FV215b from the British tree are also fake, as are most Chinese tank destroyers or high-tier Italian medium tanks fairly recently added to the game. And while the creation of fakes could at least be defended to an extent when it comes to filling a hole in a line that no real design could fill, the recent addition of fake vehicles as premium or reward vehicles show Wargaming has no hesitation to make some tank up and pass it off as real for a quick buck.

The Lorraine 50t heavy tank created by Wargaming, illustrated by Pavel “Carpaticus” Alexe and funded by our Patreon campaign

Lorraine 50t specifications

Weight 50 metric tonnes, maximum load 53 metric tonnes
Engine 980 hp HL235 P50
Power-to-weight ratio in hp/tonne 19.60
Top road speed 50 km/h
Reverse speed 15 km/h
Hull traverse 31.29 deg/s
Crew 4 (Driver, Gunner, Commander, Loader
Main armament 1 x 120mm D.1203 gun (40 rounds)
Elevation and depression +15 to -10° (+13 to -6 on real turret design)
Rate of fire 4.17 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 1,067 m/s
Secondary armament None within WoT’s mechanics: depicted with a MG 151/20 autocannon, likely would feature a coaxial 7.5 mm MAC 31 machine gun as well
Turret traverse speed 26.25 deg/s
Hull armor 155 mm (hull glacis), 105 mm (driver’s post), 120 mm (lower front plate), 60 mm (sides), 40 mm (rear & roof)
Turret armor 170 mm (mantlet), 300 mm (front), 290 to 120 mm (front sides), 80 mm (sides), 70 mm (rear sides), 60 mm (rear), 140 to 80 mm (cupola), 60 mm (front roof), 40 mm (rear roof), 20 mm (cupola roof)


Les véhicules blindés français 1945-1977, Pierre Touzin, éditions EPA, 1978
French Military Archives at Châtellerault
Mémoire des hommes
Rita status report

Cold War French Fake Tanks Fake Tanks Has Own Video

Panhard EBR 105 (Fake Tank)

France (1970s)
Armored Car – Fake

The French company of Panhard was and remains perhaps the largest provider of wheeled armored vehicles of the French military ever since the interwar era. The manufacturer of many of France’s most successful armored cars, such as the Panhard 178 or AML, one of the company’s most peculiar armored vehicles for its time was the 8-wheeled Panhard EBR. It was developed as a response to a program initiated as early as March of 1945 by the French Military, looking for a 75 mm armed, high-mobility, long-range wheeled reconnaissance vehicle.

Panhard’s vehicle was adopted in December of 1949 and mass-produced in two major variants all the way up to 1960. Notable for its quite heavy firepower for a wheeled vehicle (particularly the model fitted with the AMX-13’s FL-10 turret, produced from 1954 onward), 8-wheel configuration with two metallic side-wheels being used to improve the vehicle’s cross-terrain capacities (the vehicle using just the 4 front and rear wheels on good terrain), and dual driving post guaranteeing equal speed forward and backward, the EBR served as a mainstay of the French military’s reconnaissance force for most of the Cold War. The vehicle was finally retired in 1985.

In comparison to many other French military vehicles of the era, the EBR was long excluded from most popular video games focusing on armored vehicles, due to those, for a time, almost exclusively including only tracked vehicles. In recent years, though, the progressive diversification of these games, and notably Wargaming’s ‘World of Tanks’ (‘WoT’), has lead to the inclusion of French wheeled vehicles in WoT’s update 1.4, on the 6th of February 2018. As part of that upgrade, six French wheeled vehicles were added to the game; of those, one was Hotchkiss’ EBR prototype, the unlucky competitor to the Panhard EBR in the late 1940s, and two variants of the Panhard EBR: the EBR 90, and the so-called ‘EBR 105’, armed with a 105 mm gun in a turret that has never been seen on the EBR. (The model 1954 EBR, fitted with the FL-10 turret, would also be added a premium at a later date)

A render of Wargaming’s EBR 105. Source: Wargaming

Historical upgrades to the EBR’s firepower

Historically, the Panhard EBR went through two major upgrades to its firepower during its service.

A column of Model 1951 EBRs – the first production model – of France’s 8th Hussars Regiment during military exercises. Source: Char-français

As it first entered service, the EBR was fitted with the 75 mm SA 49 main gun; a medium-velocity 75 mm gun, offering anti-armor performances more along the lines of the 75 mm guns used in vehicles the likes of the Panzer IV during the Second World War – so quite outdated by the 1950s. This gun was fitted in the FL-11, a fairly small oscillating turret, featuring no autoloader but a manual loader instead.

The first concept for improving the EBR’s firepower was straight up giving the vehicle the FL-10 turret used on the AMX-13, which featured the longer 75 mm SA 50 with an autoloader, and was much larger and higher. This concept was first considered in 1951; an EBR prototype first received the FL-10 turret in 1952, and after an order in July of 1953, the first examples would be delivered in the last days of 1954. This model would be known as the EBR model 1954.

An EBR mle 1954 during cross-country exercises. The larger, heavier, and higher FL-10 turret gave the vehicle a much higher silhouette and center of gravity, though the 75 mm SA 50 main gun was vastly more potent than the original 75mm SA 49. Source: char-français

The 75 mm SA 50 offered much more firepower than the SA 49, but the addition of the FL-10 turret made the EBR heavier (from 12.5 to 14.9 tonnes) and higher (from 2.33 to 2.58 m). Therefore, the FL-10 armed model only supplemented the FL-11 armed one, with only about 280 FL-10 equipped EBR manufactured, while about 900 FL-11 equipped ones were produced.

The 1960s saw considerable evolution in anti-tank gun technology, and notably lower-pressure guns firing HEAT projectiles. These new guns could offer performances similar or even superior to older low-velocity guns at a fraction of the weight (albeit typically at a reduced maximum effective range). For the EBR, this resulted in the D.921A gun, the same as on Panhard’s lighter AML being adopted for the FL-11 equipped examples in 1964. With the Panhard EBR being out of production by four years at this point, 650 FL-11 equipped EBR were refitted with the 90 mm gun, and all remaining EBRs equipped with the FL-10 or FL-11 were phased out of service.

A 90 mm-armed Panhard EBR, with the side wheels retracted for road circulation. This model can be quite hard to differentiate with the original model 1951, seeing as the turret is the same and the main guns can be quite similar in length. Source: char-français

No major firepower upgrade appears to have been considered on the EBR following the refitting of the 90 mm D.921A, with the vehicle quickly appearing to be, by most measures, quite obsolete (lacking in NBC protection notably). While a replacement was considered as early as the 1960s in the form of the ERAC, its final development, the AMX-10RC, would only enter service in the late 1970s – leaving the last EBRs soldiering on until 1985 in France.

Wargaming’s EBR 105

In Wargaming’s World of Tanks, the EBR 105 stands as the pinnacle of French wheeled vehicles in the game, as a Tier X; it serves as the conclusion of the branch.

Wargaming’s description of the vehicle is as follows: “A variant of the Panhard EBR armored vehicle with more powerful armament. It featured improved suspension and the two-man GIAT TS 90 turret, upgraded to accommodate a 105 mm gun. The vehicle never saw mass production, nor entered service.

Nothing is mentioned in the way of dates, however, a quick examination of the vehicle would show the vehicle would at least be a late 1970s development, due to its turret being first mounted on an armored vehicle in 1977.

The inaccurately-modeled TS 90 turret

The turret mounted on the EBR 105 is a modified version of the NEXTER TS 90 turret, mounted on the old hull of the EBR.

Introduced by Nexter in 1977, this is a welded two-man turret with a manually loaded 90 mm anti-tank gun in its historical configuration. This fairly light turret (2.5 tonnes with ammunition but without crew) could theoretically be mounted on any vehicle that could accommodate a sufficiently large turret ring as well as weigh at least 7.5 tonnes. In practice, however, it is mounted on the ERC-90 for the French army and export, VBC-90 for the French gendarmerie and Oman, and on the AMX-10 tracked chassis, creating the AMX-10P PAC 90 for export. A variety of other vehicles, such as the Mowag Piranha or even the M113 were modified to mount the turret but never went beyond the prototype stage with it.

A French Army ERC-90, the most common user of the TS 90 turret, in maneuvers near a river. In comparison to Wargaming’s modified model, the smaller dimensions of the actual TS 90 turret are obvious. Source: char-français

However, Wargaming did not straight up take the historical TS 90 turret and mount it on the EBR. This would already be an unhistorical combination; by the time the TS 90 was around, the EBR was on its way out, with its straight-up replacement, the AMX-10RC, beginning to enter service; the sometimes more than 25 years old hulls were worn out by years of intensive use, and there was little will or need to keep using them for long. Wargaming designed its own heavily modified version of it. It is referred to as the ‘Panhard EBR 105’ turret.

In real life, the TS 90 is a two-man turret with a manually loaded 90 mm gun. In this form, it is already quite cramped. Wargaming, however, swapped out the turret’s 90 CN-90 F4 for the older but larger 105 mm D.1504 or CN-105-57 – the 105 mm gun featured, for example, on the Israeli M51 Sherman, the AMX-13-105 or the SK-105 Kürassier. This gun is manually loaded on the EBR 105, however, it ought to be noted that another fake vehicle produced by Wargaming, the Batignolles-Châtillons “Bourrasque” which uses the same modified TS 90 turret, is fed by a two-rounds autoloader.

Wargaming’s 105 mm-armed version of the TS 90 is visibly extended towards the rear, most likely in order to simulate the larger breech. Unlike on the Bourrasque, in which the presence of both an autoloader and the larger breech would likely make the turret extremely cramped, the EBR’s version of the modified TS 90 may be somewhat plausible in terms of internal space; however, this turret having a two-man crew means the commander would also assume the role of loader, for the fairly large 105 mm rounds used by the CN-105-57 – making his task more complex and harder to perform. Historically, there are no known projects aiming to mount a 105 mm gun in the TS 90 turret. Light vehicles contemporary with its development (though they would have to be somewhat heavier to mount such a turret) typically used the TK 105 three-man turret featured in the AMX-10RC. This turret mounts a more modern 105 mm MECA F2 L/48 low-pressure gun, a far more modern gun than the CN-105-57 featured on the fictional EBR 105.

A view inside the TS 90 turret of an ERC-90. Source: World of Tank forums

Weight increase and mysteriously improved engine

Wargaming’s EBR 105 is stated to have a weight of 17 tonnes – whether the vehicle would actually feature such a weight with Wargaming’s fictional version of the TS90 turret is not known. This is, however, a considerable addition of weight onto the EBR, weighing slightly more than 2 tonnes more than the FL-10 equipped model 1954 EBR, and 4.5 tonnes more than the original, FL-11 equipped production model. While Wargaming does mention the vehicle as having a reinforced suspension in its short description, the EBR’s capacity to reasonably operate at such a weight is unknown.

What is almost certainly unimaginable though is that the vehicle received the tremendous upgrade in powerplant Wargaming gave the EBR 105. Historically, all models of the EBR used the Panhard 12H 6000S engine. This 12-cylinder air-cooled engine could produce up to 200 hp at 3,700 rpm, which was sufficient to give the EBR a quite admirable maximum speed for the time. The model 1951 FL-11 equipped model could peak at 105 km/h on a good road, and despite receiving no power plant upgrade, the heavier FL-10 equipped model 1954 was reported to be able to reach this speed as well.

The engine used in Wargaming’s EBR 105 appears to be a development of the original Panhard engine used in the EBR – being referred to as the ‘Panhard 12H 6000 X’, but it has been boosted to an implausible 720 hp. It is unlikely such a powerful engine could be derived from the 12H engine to begin with and combined with the idea that it may be fitted in an EBR hull is stretching the bounds of plausibility to the limit, seeing as this likely would result in a much larger power plant.

Wargaming’s EBR 105 did receive some notable changes to its design. Notably, the rear no longer features any form of driving post, but instead what appears more along the line of an engine compartment, which raises the question of where the vehicle’s fourth crew member, which Wargaming refers to as a ‘radio operator’, would be located. However, the idea that this hull change would be enough to fit such a powerful and likely larger engine is very unlikely (and in any case, nothing suggests the increased size of a largely boosted up version of the EBR’s engine was taken into account when designing the vehicle). This engine gives Wargaming’s vehicle a power-to-weight ratio of 42.35 hp/ton, far higher than the EBR model 1951’s mere 16 hp/ton. However, despite this, Wargaming’s EBR 105 is still appreciably slower than all other EBRs, at ‘merely’ 91 km/h. In general, all that surrounds its automotive capacities and upgrades can be described as quite nonsensical.

A rear view of the early render of the EBR 105; it is substantially different from that of a standard EBR, where the rear is very similar to the front in overall shape. However, it is unlikely this would be enough to accommodate the new 720 hp engine. Source: Ritastatusreport
A view of the general configuration of the EBR (though this is the FL-10 model, this can apply to all): with Wargaming’s vehicle featuring a likely very large engine at the rear, where the fourth crew member would sit is unknown. Source: char-français

Conclusion – Another kitbashed fake tank

The EBR 105 that Wargaming introduced into World of Tanks is obviously a fake vehicle. While it may take inspiration in the fact the EBR was mass-produced with two different turrets and received considerable firepower upgrades during its service life, this does not change the fact that, as it is presented, the vehicle makes little sense. The use of components such as the TS 90 turret would suggest the EBR 105 would have been a late 1970s project, and by that time, the far superior AMX-10RC would have been on its way to replace the EBR – 105 mm-armed or not. This is particularly underlined by the fact a vehicle such as the EBR 105 would have been very close to a complete rebuild; with a new engine, new turret, new hull rear, and reinforced suspension, there would, in the end, be little but the mere shell of the original EBR left, a most likely very costly upgrade.

The EBR 105 is far from the only fake tanks featured in World of Tanks; another French fake vehicle, the ‘Batignolles-Châtillon Bourrasque’, is quite closely linked to it, being a kitbash of the modified TS 90 turret modeled for the EBR 105 and the hull of the BatChat 12t light tank. It can be argued to be somehow even more nonsensical than the EBR 105, combining a modified version of a turret produced from the late 70s onward with a hull on which no developments are known after 1951. In general, WoT, particularly its higher tiers, contains a quantity of fake vehicles: one could, for example, cite most Chinese tank destroyers, or the FV215b, Conqueror Gun Carriage, and Caervanon Action X. As for unhistorical configurations of vehicles that did actually exist, those are legion, though some are more shocking than others; within French vehicles, the famous AMX-40 stands as a notable example.

French army AMX-10RCs preparing for a 14th of July parade in Paris in the late Cold War, with gendarmerie Berliet VXBs may be seen in the background. The existence of the AMX-10RC, which entered service in 1981 and was already at the prototype stage since 1973, makes any kind of significant upgrade of the EBR performed after this date redundant. By this time, the about 30-year old design would still be very much outdated, even with a more powerful engine and a completely new turret. Source: char-français
Wargaming’s mish-mash of EBR parts with an anachronistic, modified TS 90 turret. Illustration by Ardhya ‘Vesp’ Anargha, funded by our Patreon campaign.

EBR 105 specifications

Total weight, battle-ready 17 tonnes
Engine 720 hp ‘Panhard 12H 6000 X’
Power-to-weight ratio in hp/tonne 42.35
Top road speed 91 km/h
Turning angle 33°
Main armament 1 x 105 mm D.1504/CN-105-57 main gun (36 rounds)
Rate of fire 5 rounds per minute
Secondary Armament None featured in WoT specifications but possibly the same 7.62 mm AANF1 as on the standard TS90 turret
Turret traverse speed 66 deg/s
Hull Armor 40 mm (front & rear), 16 mm (sides), 20 mm (bottom), 10 mm (roof)
Turret Armor 15 mm (front & mantlet), 10 mm (sides & rear), 8 mm (top)
Total production None


AMX30 Main Battle Tank Enthusiast’s Manual, Haynes editions, M.P Robinson & Thomas Seignon, 2020

Cold War French Fake Tanks Fake Tanks Has Own Video

Batignolles-Châtillon Bourrasque (Fake Tank)

France (1940-1970s)
Light Tank – Fake

From the 1930s to the 1950s, the French company of Batignolles-Châtillon, based in Nantes, on France’s western coast, had several tries at designing tanks for the French army. In the 1930s, the company produced a light infantry tank prototype as well as the DP2 amphibious light tank. After the end of the German occupation of France, the company again produced a light tank for the program which would result in the AMX-13 – this being the Batignolles-Châtillon 12 tons – and, ultimately, created the Batignolles-Châtillon 25 tons, a lightweight medium tank prototype, in the 1950s.

None of Batignolles-Châtillon’s tanks were adopted by any military, with their most notable influence on service French vehicles being experience gained in the 25t project being used for the development of the AMX-30. In recent years, though, Batignolles-Châtillon’s designs (though almost exclusively the post-WW2 ones) have received newfound attention due to the inclusion of first the 25t, and later the 12t, to Wargaming’s popular online game World of Tanks, with the 25t notably being praised for its peculiar gameplay for years.

Wargaming’s care about the historical accuracy of the Batignolles-Châtillon vehicle is, however, very lackluster to say the least, with the recent Bourrasque premium tank being the worst offender – combining real elements of the 12 tons project, of which development ended in September of 1951, with an inaccurately-modeled turret from the 1970s.

World of Tanks fake tank
A view of the Batignolles-Châtillon Bourrasque in the hangar within World of Tanks. Source:

Bourrasque or 12T modèle 1954 ?

In December of 2019, a new premium French light tank was added to Wargaming’s supertest servers. It was then marketed as the “Bat.-Châtillon mle. 54”. After a few minor tweaks, the vehicle, identical in appearance, was added to all servers in May of 2020, under the new name of “Bat.-Châtillon Bourrasque”. This vehicle features a modified version of the GIAT TS90 turret used on vehicles such as the ERC-90 Sagaie, mounted on the hull of a Batignolles-Châtillon competitor to the project which would become the AMX-13.

The 12T modèle 1954 designation which was used at first, while it may seem in accordance with the French army designation system, is absolutely ahistorical. Development did not continue on the Batignolles-Châtillon 12T following the end of its trials in September of 1951, and seeing as AMX’s project ended up being adopted, becoming the AMX-13, continued developments on Batignolles-Châtillon’s hull would have been redundant.

Wargaming’s fake description of the Bourrasque:
“A project of a French tank developed by Batignolles-Châtillon. The vehicle was to receive a two-man turret upgraded to accommodate a 105 mm gun. Existed only in blueprints.”

The Hull: Batignolles-Châtillon 12t

Batignolle-Châtillon 12t hull
The Batignolle-Châtillon 12t hull which was actually manufactured. Though the suspension type it uses is different from Wargaming’s, the 12t hull present in WoT at least exists in blueprints. Source: Char-français

The hull used for Wargaming’s Bourrasque was taken straight from Wargaming’s already existing Bat-Chat 12t. It ought to be noted that, while a prototype of the 12t was manufactured, it does not match the one present in WoT; the 12t prototype used four large road wheels, two return rollers, and a torsion bar suspension.

Wargaming’s hull is instead based on one which existed only on paper, though it was projected both for a light tank and a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. This hull uses seven interleaved road wheels, in a fashion that reveals the considerable German influence on France’s first postwar designs. An idler and drive sprocket are also present, but there are no return rollers; the type of suspension used would most likely be torsion bars.

Bat-Chat 12t in the configuration used in WoT
The Bat-Chat 12t in the configuration used in WoT. This suspension type never left the drawing board. Source: char-français

The TS 90 Turret: Back to the Future

On this hull project, dating from the late 1940s and early 1950s, Wargaming decided to mount an absolutely unrelated turret; the GIAT TS90.

Introduced by GIAT in 1977, this is a welded two-man turret with a manually loaded 90 mm anti-tank gun, in its historical configuration. This fairly light turret (2.5 tons with ammunition but without crew) could theoretically be mounted on any vehicle that could accommodate a sufficiently large turret ring as well as weigh as least 7.5 tons; in practice, it is mounted on the ERC-90 for the French army and export, VBC-90 for the French gendarmerie and Oman, and on the AMX-10, creating the AMX-10P PAC 90 for export. A variety of other vehicles, such as the Mowag Piranha or even the M113, were modified to mount the turret, but never went beyond prototype stage with it.

In itself, the basic characteristics of the TS90 turret would likely make it compatible with a modified Bat-Chat 12t hull, but it is obviously highly anachronistic. The turret, as well as the CN 90F4 anti-tank gun that features as its main armament, were a 1970s development, using technologies that did not exist or were not widely in use at the time when the 12t was developed.

French Army ERC-90s
French Army ERC-90s on maneuvers in the Alps; the ERC-90 remains the most prolific vehicle using the TS90 turret. Source: Char-français

An Inaccurate Turret

However, while the turret Wargaming mounted on their “Bourrasque” is based on the GIAT TS90, it was added to the game in a modified form that obviously favors gameplay over historical accuracy.

In real life, the TS90 is a two-man turret with a manually loaded 90 mm gun. In this form, it is already quite cramped. Wargaming, however, swapped out the turret’s 90 CN-90 F4 for the older but larger 105 mm D.1504 or CN-105-57 – the 105 mm gun featured, for example, on the Israeli M-51 Sherman, the AMX-13-105 or the SK-105 Kürassier. This new gun is fed by a two-round autoloader, the type of which Wargaming did not care to specify. One could note that, while being older in comparison to the TS90 turret, this gun would still have been anachronistic if Wargaming kept the “mle 1954” designation, seeing as it was first introduced in 1957.

Wargaming’s 105 mm-armed version of the TS90 is visibly extended towards the rear, likely to model the 2-round autoloader that features ingame. Though the large turret extension towards the rear would likely be large enough for an autoloader, particularly a small 2-rounds one (though the type of autoloader has never been specified by Wargaming), the larger breech of the 105 mm CN 105-57 in comparison to the 90 mm CN-90 F4 would likely reduce the space available to the crew. Historically, there are no known projects that aimed to mount a 105 mm gun in the TS90 turret. Light vehicles contemporary with its development (though they would have to be somewhat heavier to mount such a turret) typically used the TK 105 three-man turret featured on the AMX-10RC. This turret mounts a more modern 105 mm MECA F2 L/48 low-pressure gun, a far more modern gun than the CN-105-57 featured on the Bourrasque.

view inside the TS90 turret of an ERC-90
A view inside the TS90 turret of an ERC-90. Source: World of Tank forums
Bat-Chat Bourrasque
A side view of the Bat-Chat Bourrasque in WoT; the turret has been extended towards the rear, and the position of the smoke dischargers has been changed accordingly. Source:
French Army ERC-90
French Army ERC-90 Sagaie on parade, Bastille Day 2015. The turret is obviously smaller, with the rear compartment that likely models the autoloader in Wargaming’s turret being absent from the real one. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Interestingly enough, Wargaming does not call its turret by TS90 or a variation of this designation, such as TS105; instead, it is called “Panhard EBR S-105”. This likely is linked to the fact that the same fake turret was mounted in another French mish-mash present in WoT, the EBR 105; it misses the fact that Panhard rarely if ever designed turrets, with its vehicles instead using turrets from Fives-Lilles in the early Cold War and GIAT or Nexter after the 1970s.

A Theoretically Identical Weight

Officially, the Bourrasque does not have any specified weight; due to being a premium vehicle, it has a set of components with no need to progress and change some of them, and as such, the weight mechanic present in other WoT vehicles would be useless there. Nonetheless, seeing as we know the specified power of the Bourrasque’s engine as well as its horsepower-to-weight ratio, one can easily deduce the weight of the vehicle.

The Bourrasque has a 310 hp engine (A “Mathis 300-2”; though Mathis is an actual engine producer, no 310 hp model is known to exist, with the closest being either 200 or 500 hp engines), and a power-to-weight ratio of 25.8 hp/ton, giving it a weight of 12.01 tons – almost exactly 12 tons. It ought to be noted that the actual weight of the Batignolles-Châtillon 12t is unknown – even more so for the one using the same hull as Wargaming, seeing as it stayed on paper. However, it is quite likely that, equipped with the FL10 turret, it would have exceeded the requested weight of 12 tons, as did the AMX project that became the AMX-13. Fitted with an enlarged TS90 turret that features a larger 105 mm CN-105-57, it is impossible that the Bourrasque would realistically have a weight of almost perfectly 12 tons. The maximum speed achieved by the Bourrasque in WoT is 62 km/h.

Conclusion: Another Unhistorical Mish-Mash

In short, the Bourrasque featured in World of Tanks can be described as a mish-mash of a late 1940s-early 1950s hull, with a modified late 1970s turret that mounts a late 1950s gun. The historicity of such a combination is non-existent; even the turret and gun are not known to have ever been considered together, and mounting them on the hull of a vehicle that was out of consideration for years by the point they were developed could be described as nonsensical. As for why Wargaming created such a vehicle, while no official answer has been given, one could imagine that a very easy to make vehicle (seeing as both its hull and turret already existed within the game) that uses the name of Bat-Chat, which has quite the reputation in World of Tanks, may have seemed very attractive to Wargaming when they were considering a French high-tier premium tank.

The Bourrasque is far from the first fake vehicle featured in World of Tanks though; many such fabrications are present in the game. One could, for example, cite most Chinese tank destroyers, or the FV215b, Conqueror Gun Carriage and Caervanon Action X. France has not been spared either, with another fake mish-mash in the form of the EBR 105 that uses the same turret as the Bourrasque (though it can be argued as slightly less shocking, seeing as the EBR hull was at least used up to the 1970s and not discarded in 1951) as well as many vehicles been given very much unhistorical components, the famous AMX-40 being a notable example.

The fake marriage of the paper design of the Bat.Chat.12t, the ERC-90’s turret modified with an autoloader and an anachronistic 105 mm gun. Illustration by Ardhya ‘Vesp’ Anargha, funded by our Patreon campaign.


Total weight, battle-ready 12.2 tonnes
Crew 3 (Driver, Gunner, Commander)
Propulsion 310 hp “Mathis 300-2”
Top road speed 62 km/h
Power-to-weight ratio in hp/tonne 25.8
Armament 105 mm D.1504/CN-105-57 main gun with a two-round autoloader (36 rounds)
Rate of fire 5 rounds per minute
Secondary Armament None featured in WoT specifications but possibly the same 7.62 mm AANF1 as on the standard TS90 turret
Hull Armor 20 mm (upper front)
40 mm (front)
30 & 20 mm (Iower front)
20 mm (sides & rear)
10 mm (bottom)
Turret Armor 15 mm (front & mantlet)
10 mm (sides & rear)
8 mm (top)
Turret rotation speed 55°/second
Total production None


AMX30 Main Battle Tank Enthusiast’s Manual, Haynes editions, M.P Robinson & Thomas Seignon, 2020

Cold War French Fake Tanks Fake Tanks

Projet Tigre (Fake Tank)

France (1959)
Light SPG – Fake

This article has been published on Tanks Encyclopedia on the 1st of April 2018, as part of our April’s Fools Day celebrations. The information contained is mostly fictional but with some parts that are actual truth, like the German use of Renault UEs and the Wurframen conversion.

A German Idea

After the fall of France in 1940, some 3,000 Renault UE’s were captured by the German forces. As the Germans always needed more items to equip their under-mechanised army, they started to use these Beute vehicles for their own purposes. Indeed, the Renault UE became one of the more common small armored vehicles in German service for a time.

As the threat of the Allied Invasion loomed, German forces began to modify some of these captured vehicles into self-propelled rocket launchers mounting Wurfrahmen 40 28cm rockets on both the Renault UE and Hotchkiss H35. These saw service during the Invasion of Normandy.
After the war, the French began to look at re-equipping their army, and in some cases used captured German tanks such as the Panther as a stop gap. It’s during this time that a French designer working for Renault, Mr. Rennie Neufpierre, came across a German UE fitted with the Wurfrahmen 40. Its layout sparked an idea, and he began working on a concept which he presented to Renault. In 1959, the French Government became involved and the project received official funding for a study into the idea under the Finabel No. 83T86 requirement. Renault named this study Project Tigre.

Mr. Neufpierre’s original sketch of Tigre

Tigre Description

The Tigre copied the layout of the UE, with just two crewmen seated under separate domed cupolas that could rotate. The crew consisted of a Driver and a Commander who acted as a layer as well. Some of the bad ideas from the French armor development were copied over to this, such as the French insistence on having the entrance hatch on the rear of the dome, unlike contemporary vehicles which had the hatch on the roof of the cupola. Equally, the early war French tanks had incorporated binocular sights into their cupolas for the tank commander to use. This was also applied to Project Tigre. Communication between the two crew was again directly copied from the Renault UE, a series of colored lights were controlled by the commander to transmit movement orders to the driver’s position.

The model of the Tigre. The weapon system on Project Tigre was a unique design, consisting of a rack of eighteen cut-down Brandt Mle CM60A1 guns. Only one round was loaded in each gun, however, a full set of reloads was stored under the weapons rack. The breaches of the gun mortar were exposed on the lower side of the weapon rack. Thus, they could be reloaded by the crew sheltering behind the vehicle.The inspiration for this was tied to a French-Canadian improvised weapon system deployed in 1945. They mounted fourteen PIAT’s in a rack on the back of a Universal Carrier, which were discharged in two volleys of seven by pulling on a lanyard. In Project Tigre, the mortars could gimbal through a few degrees allowing the layer to aim his salvo, whereupon he could select either 3, 6, 9 or 18 rounds to be fired. This adherence to multiples of three was imposed on the project by the Renault management citing the French Tricolour and the Fleur-de-lis as both having ties to the number three, and thus was seen as a patriotic number.
The mortars themselves were fairly low-velocity weapons, only firing at 127 m/s, thus a three round burst was needed to help hit the target. Rounds provided were either HE or HEAT.

The End of the Tigre

After completing the study, Renault presented its findings to the Government in 1961. During the course of the study, they had created a model, even placing it into a short film to promote the idea. However, the French army was concerned about several features carried over from the pre-war tanks, the lack of modern communications and the excess weight required for the 18 guns, which limited the amount of armor that could be fitted to just 10mm, even if it was highly sloped.

A still taken from the promotional film of the Tigre
In addition, the Tigre had a large overhang on the front of the tank, which previous French experience on the St Chamond had shown was an undesirable trait. Therefore, no further work was done and Project Tigre was buried in an archive. The exact fate of the model is currently unknown, however, the recent find of three wheels and one of the tracks of the models at the Saumur museum appears to indicate the model may have ended up there.


French documents probably