Posts Tagged: amx-13

Reports in French on the Swedish trials of the AMX 13

Various reports in French from the Swedish trials of the AMX 13. These are just translations of the corresponding Swedish reports, but I thought they’d be more interesting to French people than to Swedish people, so the French version it is.

Archive reference: SE/KrA/0062/D/01/016:H/F I, various volumes from 1952

Aberdeen Proving Grounds test report for an AMX-13 prototype

A report in English from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, covering their initial evaluation of what seems to be an AMX-13 prototype (the report just calls it “French light tank”). Original project number is TT 2-674.

The report seems to have wandered a long and winding road to end up in the archive where I found it. It’s originally dated 1951-02-17, and mentions that the testing was done in October to December of 1950. Somehow, it then ends up in the Top Secret (“kvalificerat hemligt”, of particular importance to the safety of the realm, cannot be shown to anyone without the approval of the head of the Department of Defense) archive of the Swedish Royal Army Ordnance Administration, the Vehicle Bureau, in late November of 1951. It sits there for a few years until it’s eventually downgraded to “regular” secret and discussed at the Vehicle Bureau in October of 1958, and that’s where I found it.

The photo appendices are sadly of a very bad quality; they seem to have copied them using some arcane machine that gave terrible quality. Appendices D, E and G are missing, either because they were illegible because of said copying machine, or because they weren’t included in the archive.

Archive reference: SE/KrA/0266/002/01:H/F I/19

Conclusions from evaluating the AMX-13

A letter to the French military attaché in Stockholm, dated 1954-10-22, summarizing the conclusions from the Swedish evaluation of the AMX-13.

Summarizing the summary, the tank is found to have:

  • surprisingly good firepower considering its small size
  • excellent mobility (with some modifications, the mobility is good even in severe winter conditions)
  • good reliability and ease of maintenance
  • low specific fuel consumption (i.e. good mpg)
  • bad crew comfort; the interior is found to be highly cramped
  • severely lacking armor protection, although the mobility and small size compensates for this to some degree

The evaluation further suggests that the small size would be even more advantageous if the gun depression was increased 3-4 degrees and that a zoom function for the tank commander’s optics would be desirable. It also criticizes the design choice to have the engine’s cooling air pass below the fighting compartment, on the grounds that this seems dangerous if the tank is exposed to napalm or radioactively contaminated dust.

Archive reference: SE/KrA/0266/002/01:H/F I/1