French Saint-Chamond Heavy Tank - Early
The Saint-Chamond was the second French heavy tank of the First World War, with 400 manufactured from April 1917 to July 1918. Born of the commercial rivalry between the makers of the Schneider CA1 tank, the Saint-Chamond was an inadequate design. Its principal weakness was the "caterpillar" tracks . They were much too short in relation to the vehicle's length and heavy weight ( 23 tons ). Later models, however, attempted to rectify some of the tank's original flaws by installing wider and stronger track shoes, thicker frontal armor and the more effective 75mm Mle 1897 field gun. The Saint-Chamond tanks remained engaged in various actions until the late summer of 1918, belatedly becoming more effective after combat had moved out of the trenches onto open ground . Eventually, however, the Saint-Chamond tanks were scheduled to be entirely replaced by imported British heavy tanks.