Char B1-bis Heavy Tank

Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 09:56 pm

The Char B1-bis Heavy Tank was a newer version of France’s Char B1, with a more powerful engine, thicker armor and a bigger gun.

The B1-bis used a Renault aircraft engine and had a 1.85 inch (47mm) instead of a 1.46 inch (37mm) in the turret.  Its maximum armor thickness was increased from 1.57 inch (40mm) to 2.36 inches (60mm).

As with the B1, the 2.95 inch (75mm) gun in the hull did not have any traverse, so the tank had to be turned on its tracks in order to aim it.

There were 365 Char B1-bis built.  In 1940, many of these were captured by the Germans in France.

Char B1-bis Heavy Tank
The Germans didn’t think much of these tanks, and found the one-man turrets to be particularly disappointing, so instead of using them for fighting they used them for training or put radio sets on them and gave them to second line units.


Char B1-bis

Active: 1935
Crew: 4
Weight: 32 tons (32,500kg)
Length: 21ft 5in (6.52m)
Height: 9ft 2in (2.79m)
Width: 8ft 2in (2.5m)
Weapons: Main – 1 x 2.95in (75mm) short gun in hull, 1 x 1.85 in (47mm) gun in turret; Secondary – 2 x 0.295 inch (7.5mm) machineguns
Armor Maximum – 2.36in (60mm)
Engine: Renault 6-cylinder gasoline, 300hp
Speed: 17.4mph (28kph)
Range: 111.8 miles (180 km)