King of the hammerheads – The AMX 50 Foch

Front armor of the Ferdinand, mobility of a Jagdpanther, the firepower of a T110E5; this pack isn’t the french Tier9 TD yet, it’s just the AMX AC Mle. 1948. The AMX 50 TD has all of these and then some. The Foch is the final evolution step started with swarms of little “frogs” in low tiers, and it is arguably the most powerful vehicle in the game. However, the best part is, that it earned a catchy nickname fast. We call it the hammerhead shark. But why is that so? Well, just take a look at it from above. WoT Armory has made a brief test about the AMX 50 Foch.

The hunt is on

The strange lengthy object covering the commander’s cupola on the top right side of the Tier7/9 french tank destroyers is the heart of the fire control, the rangefinder device. In nature, the elongated and flattened head of the hammerheads has extra-sensitive senses inside. Life is based on chemicals and electricity, and these animals are usually the first to pick up electric signals and the smell of the prey. The AMX 50 Foch finds and zooms on its kill by the “hammerhead” rangefinder. If the AMX AC Mle. 1948 is the “middle-hammerhead”, the Foch is the “great”,  the king of them. But if you don’t like the hammerhead nickname, you can still call it Jagdfrogger…

From the Stug to the Jagdpanzer

The French had flirted with the german-like turretless tank destroyer concept after the war. The original german TD was basically a mobile artillery piece, a fully enclosed and armored assault gun for supporting the infantry, the “Sturmgeschütz”. The Stug did a great job  at holding the russian tanks at bay in Russia, so the designers took one step further. They sacrificed the rotating turret on obsolescent and brand new panzer chassis alike for a bigger gun and a better armored superstructure. Turretless tank destroyers were cheaper and easier to manufacture than tanks, and Germany was forced to be on defensive anyway. Jagdpanzers worked well from ambush positions, in the second line of an armored assault, or on the flanks, covering the turreted armor.

More than a “paper panzer”

Picture from dogsofwar.ru

Unlike previous blueprint only TDs like the Mle. 1948, several AMX 50 TDs were built, the first in 1950. The Foch never reached mass production, because designers managed to mount the same 120 mm gun on the AMX 50 tank, and the TD-design became a surplus. The story would had ended here, but Word of Tanks had resurrected this armored monster, and the Foch entered the virtual battlefield in the 7.4 patch.

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3 responses to “King of the hammerheads – The AMX 50 Foch

  1. Based on the armor strength shown the UFP is likely sloped back at 50 degrees as opposed to 45 – this gives it 242mm effective in WOT. Looking at the model itself it is sloped at either 50 or 55 degrees, it slopes back faster then it rises from the side angle.

      • The AMX AC Mle. 1946 has the right slope by the looks of it, about 45 degrees. The 1948 and Foch are significantly lower and steeper, so it may have been a balance decision giving it the additional slope.

        A decent way to judge what slope the armor is given is to do gun depression tests – get a tank with a known amount of depression (such as 6 degrees on the IS-4) and test the armor effectiveness at point-blank maximum depression. Steeply sloped armor will lose more effectiveness even relative to the initial thickness then flatter armor will. I bet the Pershing’s 180 pen will manage to penetrate the AC 1948 (180 immunity) fairly often at maximum depression, and the T34s 248 penetration gun will punch through the UFP of an E-75 quite often. If the 50 Foch can still resist 225 pen guns at 6 degree depression (try the E-75 with the 105L68) then the slope is likely modeled as 45 with homogenization bonuses, if it is actually 50 deceasing this to 44 would reduce the effective to 222mm resulting in ~50% penetrations.

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