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.

The best of everything

Call of the COBRA – The AMX AC Mle. 1948

Lady Luck was at our side. Despite some unexpected difficulties, we have managed to test out two new french tank destroyers. But this post will be shorter than usual. These vehicles are very new, and I don’t want to pretend, that we know everything about them in such short notice. The tests were brief, but the front armor schemes are more or less completed. First, let’s take a look at the Tier8 tank destroyer, the AMX AC Mle. 1948, our first frenchie at the same time.

Making up for the lost years

France  finished the war at the side of the victors, but the years of german occupation had been lost. To stay among the major powers, the country had to take a huge leap in military technology. After the Second World War, the forced marriage of the french ingenuity and german technology gave birth to many strange creatures in the armored fighting vehicle world. This mixture of technology, like the then ultramodern oscillating turrets with revolver guns and german type suspension with overlapped  road wheels proved to be a dead end. In the 50s, these technological venturesome but unbalanced designs flourished both on drawing boards and test ranges. In the end, the medium ranks were filled by solid, imported tanks from the US. Domestic, conventional designs took over in the 60s.

However, abandoned prototypes were given a new life in the virtual space of World of Tanks. For me, these new french tank destroyers look futuristic. Maybe I am just very into the 80s, but the Mle. 1948 somehow reminds me a multirole Cobra tank from the G.I. Joe cartoon. A sleek, modern-looking design with multiple turrets. The more I look at it, the more I expect the backdoors to open in any minute, and viper troopers rush out, battle cries echoing. I can barely wait for a stylish tank skin with the Cobra-insignia on it.

Hold that thought, it’s done!

Shut up WG and take my money!