AMX M4 mle. 45
AMX M4 mle. 45
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[Client Values; Actual values in
|1360280 HP Hit Points|
|52.15/5318.28/60 t Weight Limit|
- Radio Operator
|575850 hp Engine Power|
|35/12 km/h Speed Limit|
|2224 deg/s Traverse|
|11.0346.5 hp/t Power/Wt Ratio|
|// mm Hull Armor|
|110/30/30200/70/40 mm Turret Armor|
|240/240/320240/240/320 HP Damage|
|135/175/45212/259/45 mm Penetration|
|r/m 7.89 r/m 6.98 Rate of Fire|
See here, here, or here for more information.
See here, here, or here for more information.
See here, here, or here for more information.
See here, here, or here for more information.
▲1675.2 Damage Per Minute
With 50% Crew: 0.496 m
With 50% Crew: 0.446 m
|s 2.3 s 2.5 Aim time|
|3230 deg/s Turret Traverse|
|360° Gun Arc|
|-10°/+14°-10°/+12° Elevation Arc|
|9074 rounds Ammo Capacity|
|2020 % Chance of Fire|
|m 330 m 360 View Range|
|m 400 m 750 Signal Range|
Development of this heavy tank started in 1945. The vehicle incorporated several design features of the Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. B Tiger II tank. The vehicle existed only in blueprints. Later the AMX M4 (1945) became a prototype for the AMX 50 100.
The AMX M4 45 can be considered an evolution of its predecessor play-style. It uses the same guns as the ARL 44, which are less outstanding for its tier, but with improved rate of fire, accuracy, and aim time. Although the M4 45 sports better track protection, its overall armor is weaker than the ARL 44's, and very poor for its tier. However, it receives fairly good mobility for a heavy tank in exchange, and is fairly effective in a supporting role, setting the pattern for future French heavy tanks.
Modules / Available Equipment and Consumables
|Chance of Fire on Impact
|VI||Maybach HL 230||575||20||700||26000|
|VIII||Maybach HL 230 P45F||750||20||750||55000|
|IX||Maybach HL 295||850||20||750||78000|
|VI||AMX M4 mle. 45||53||22||B/2||8000||9550|
|VII||AMX M4 mle. 45 bis||60||24||B/2||8000||18500|
Pros and Cons
- Great choice of guns, excellent AP/APCR penetration with the 90 mm DCA 45 and good DPM with 105mm.
- Great but annoying gun depression (10 degrees only on the front 160 degree arc, none on the sides and rear).
- Turret cheeks and hull upper glacis are well-angled and bouncy because people tend to not aim for weaker areas.
- Good acceleration for a heavy tank with high HP ratio, 105 mm now has good dispersion and acceptable penetration.
- Easy stock grind; all guns carry over from ARL 44, 105mm is a great brawling choice especially with a lot of APCR.
- Unarmored except for the frontal turret armor, along with side and rear armor vulnerable to overmatch by 120mm+ shells.
- Average alpha, low RoF, bad dispersion and terrible DPM with the DCA 45 leads to bad firepower.
- Large silhouette, bad camoflague rating and low 35km/hr top speed makes using the limited firepower hard.
- Stupidly big and slow top speed for the paper armor it has (except for the turret).
- Prone to module and crew damage, especially the gun, ammo rack and loader, even when taking fire from the front.
The M4 45 plays similarly to its peer, the Pz.Kpfw. VI Tiger. Compared to the Tiger, it receives slightly better frontal armor, better gun depression, and a better power-to-weight ratio in exchange for much worse side and rear armor, worse guns, generally poorer soft statistics like terrain resistance and gun dispersion, and a much lower health pool. Therefore, it is very important to avoid taking fire at all times and to a greater extent, avoid being spotted. The AMX M4 45 must try to deal as much damage as possible with its tricky guns by abusing its mobility to stay competitive on the battlefield. Furthermore, getting used to poor armor and assuming a supporting sniper role will help very much in preparing players for the AMX 50 100 and the similar vehicles that follow it.
The 90 mm DCA 45, 90 mm F3, and 105 mm Canon 13TR were previously also available on the ARL 44, and on the M4 1945 receive generally better characteristics. However, they are generally worse than guns on other tier 7 heavy tanks. The 90 mm DCA 45 has low DPM, 90 mm F3 is all round worse than DCA 45 other than its acceptable DPM, 105 mm 13TR has nice alpha and good DPM, along with now sufficient 175 Armor Piercing penetration (formerly 165) but requires APCR to be effective against most heavies at tier 8. Since tougher opposition is faced by the M4 45, APCR will be needed with the latter two guns. The DCA 45's outstanding penetration is generally sufficient with AP, even at Tier 7. The 105mm is also a solid choice if you plan on running full gold with it, in which the M4 45' transforms to an IS with higher penetration and far better accuracy. This does get really expensive and will burn a big hole in your wallet, though, and the 105mm still takes a while to aim.
With its powerful engine, the M4 45 is fairly mobile for a heavy tank, although the poor top speed and reverse speed is really disappointing, especially with its poor armour. The turret is somewhat stronger than the ARL 44's, but the hull is significantly weaker. Artillery is very dangerous for the M4 45 due to low armour thickness. Although the good gun depression and decent acceleration go a long way towards helping limit its exposure in combat, the low speed limit means finding and keeping yourself in arty'proof spots important.
As of the update that introduced Italian Tanks, the AMX M4 45 is somewhat better of a vehicle. The gun handling is universally better, and the 90mm DCA 45 and 105mm 13 TR have received buffs in addition. The aim time on both cannons is better; 2.9 -> 2.5 aim time on the 90mm, and 2.9 -> 2.7 aim time on the 105mm. The 105mm additionally received 10 more penetration on the AP shell: 165 -> 175. This means a little less APCR is required on it. In fact, if you want to have an impact on the game, you will need to use the 105mm, only with APCR if you can afford it. While the 105mm has good DPM and alpha damage, the 90mm DCA 45 has better penetration and fully aimed accuracy, but awful soft stats and DPM. So dont be fooled, the 90mm DCA 45 is a trap on this tank and if you want to have a dedicated heavy support, just play the Tiger I, where the 88mm is better on every point agaisnt the 90mm DCA45.
- As stock, you should be able to equip the first engine upgrade, the radio, the 90mm F3 and/or the 105 mm Canon 13TR, as they were available on the ARL 44.
- a) Research the suspension.
- b) Skip researching the suspension and equip Enhanced Springs.
- Research and equip the turret.
- Research or just mount the 90mm DCA 45 if you like to suffer or keep the 105mm 13TR with far better alpha and DPM but worse penetration and accuracy (if previously researched from the ARL 44).
- Research the engine(s).
- Finally, research the radio if you hadn't previously done so.
- Go from there.
Despite the occupation of France, French tank designers did not stop for even a minute. Work continued in strictest secrecy on both new tanks and modernizations of existing ones. Most progress came from Ateliers de construction de Rueil (ARL) from Rueil-Malmaison, west of Paris. In addition to an array of pre-war tanks, they also designed the SARL (Somua-ARL) 42 tank in 1942. In November of 1944, ARL began designing a heavy tank with experience of the SARL 42 and B1 ter tanks in mind. The designs of German tanks, especially the Tiger II, was also kept in mind. The first ARL 44 prototype was built in 1946.
The French military knew that this vehicle was only a temporary measure. Rapid developments in the field of armoured warfare rendered the ARL 44 obsolete even during its design phase. The suspension and design of the hull were more suitable for the early 1930s, maybe even mid 1920s. Neither 120 mm of front armour nor the Maybach HL.230 engine could bridge the gap. The military decided to keep the project open, but a competition for a new 50-ton medium tank began on July 31st, 1945. ARL did not participate, as work on the ARL 44 was in progress.
According to archive data, the following companies participated: Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée (FCM), Ateliers de construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux (AMX), Lorriane, Somua, and... Renault. The last entrant is the most curious, especially since AMX was essentially the tank branch of Renault, nationalized in 1936. Aside from the fact that Renault participated in this contest, no information survives to this day; work did not even reach the project stage. FCM was also unlucky, and its 50 ton tank remained on paper. After more than 5 years of work, Lorraine and Somua produced prototypes of their projects (Lorraine 40t and Somua SM). Work got as far as designing and producing prototypes of SPGs on the Lorraine 40t chassis.
AMX was the luckiest. This company from suburban Paris worked on its 50 ton tank for almost 15 years, the project was changed several times, and SPGs were designed and built on its chassis. The tank never made it to mass production, but deserves a spot in history.
The characteristics of the AMX tank were similar to those of the ARL 44. The vehicle, indexed Char A.M.X. 45, was also referred to as NOM 141 (project 141). It was supposed to have 120 mm of front armour (50 mm LFP), 50-60 mm thick sides, 110 mm of front turret armour, and 30 mm thick turret sides. Like the ARL 44, the cast turret designed by DEFA (Direction des Études et Fabrications d’Armement, later reformed to GIAT, renamed Nexter in 1989) would house a 90 mm 65 caliber long Schneider gun with a coaxial 7.5 mm MAC Mle. 1931 machinegun. Another machinegun was placed in a ball mount in the front of the hull. The 47 ton tank would be put in motion by a German Maybach HL.230 engine. The tank looked like a Tiger II from the outside, but the French refused to place the transmission in the front. The transmission and drive wheels were in the rear from the very beginning of the project.
The first draft of the AMX 45 project is dated August 1945. By the end of the month, the project was radically altered for the first time. The new characteristics drove up the mass by 3 tons, to a total of 50 tons. The Maybach HL.230 was no longer satisfactory, as 700 hp was considered too little for such a heavy vehicle. High effective horsepower was considered very important, based on experience from WWII. Starting with blueprint 01041 dated August 28th, 1945, the tank obtained a 1000 hp MP.65 Sauer engine. The AMX 45 index disappeared, replaced by a new one: Char Moyen 50t M4 (50 ton medium tank M4). The name "AMX M4" stuck for five years, during which the project changed almost completely.
The Swiss engine didn't last long. It was not available in metal, and the engine is no less an important component of the tank than its gun. Not surprisingly, the Germans replaced the Swiss in this regard. Maybach ended up under French influence after the war, and mutually beneficial cooperation followed. Also, many German engineers, including Porsche, ended up involved with French tank design, willingly or otherwise.
If ARL 44 was the combination of existing components, the AMX M4 was a combination of all German late-war ideas. The E-50 and E-75 that are so beloved by fans of alternate history left their mark here. Recall that the E-50 was meant to have a rear transmission, and the Maybach HL.234, proposed as the power plant for the E-50 and E-75, evolved into the new AMX M4 engine. The HL.295, blueprints for which are dated September 1945, was an enlarged HL.234, giving 1000 hp at 2800 RPM. This was not just a proposal, it was really built in metal. Maybach engines also powered the Lorraine 40t and Somua SM tanks. As for the AMX M4, the HL.295 first appeared in its design towards the end of November of 1945.
By then, the AMX M4 began another metamorphosis. The turret was unchanged, but the hull and its interior changed drastically. The front plate was thinned out to 90 mm, the sides to 40 mm, but the slope of the UFP was increased from 42 to 55 degrees. The hull became more reminiscent of the Tiger II, but with the turret further forward. This introduced many problems with the hatches for the driver and hull gunner. It was decided to make them smaller and put them in the corners of the roof. The driver received an observation device similar to the one on the Panther Ausf. D and Ausf. A.
The AMX M4 kept changing in the winter of 1945-1946. One of the changes moved the crew around in the turret. Initially, the commander's cupola, essentially a copy from the pre-war AMX Tracteur C, was to the right of the tank. In December of 1945, it, like the Tiger II cupola, was moved to the left, increasing the resemblance of the two tanks.
The changes to the hull, or rather the suspension, were more interesting. Designers realized that torsion bars are a very non-French solution, real French tanks use bogeys. They were presented as an alternative to the torsion bars. Not one, but two alternate designs were made.
The first variant was a re-imagining of the work of Surin, used on CKD tanks. While Surin used large wheels, the wheels here were much smaller than the ones in the torsion bar variant. Leaf springs were used, a bold move considering the mass of the tank. Since there were seven wheels per side, the front wheel received its own spring. Return rollers had to be added, four per side. The idler was also changed, and its tightening mechanism was very reminiscent of the good old Char B.
The other bogey design used the same idler. This variant had five return rollers, and the first and last were smaller than the rest. The number of road wheels grew to eight, so no individual suspensions were needed. Clearly there were some engineers that worked on tanks in the 1930s, as the suspension was taken straight from the Renault R35 and other light tanks of that era. Paired springs were used instead of rubber elastic elements; this design was a lot more progressive.
Both bogey designs were rejected. Yes, torsion bars have their difficulties, and yes, Kniepkamp's suspension has its problems, but compared to what AMX engineers came up with, it was the height of perfection. Not only was the bogey suspension inappropriate for such a heavy tank, it turned out much more complicated. It is hard to imagine what kind of curses French tankers would utter if they encountered this design in production. The alternative idea failed.
By early 1946, the new Char M4 was finalized. It was an interesting fighting vehicle, similar to the Centurion Mk.3 in characteristics. This tank, officially designated as medium, weighed 50.8 tons, but managed to surpass the French design only in the thickness of turret and side armour. The Centurion had less effective hp/ton, and was more than half a meter longer. The guns of the two tanks were similar. The American M46 Patton also had similar characteristics. With an 810 hp engine at 44 tons, it came close to the French tank in mobility. Aside from the sides, the armour of the two tanks was similar. The American tank was taller than its competitors, and also longer than the French tank. The product of Ateliers de construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux was a rather ordinary tank, very much in line with the international idea of a medium tank at the time.The AMX M4 ingame depicts the originally-proposed M 4 tank. No prototypes under the original M 4 specification were ever produced.
Historical Accuracy Errata
*The AMX M4 program only ever considered mounting the 90mm Canon de 90 mm SA mle. 1945, or short, the 90mm SA45. This gun is what is called the 90mm DCA 45 in game, although this name is erroneous.
- Although the 90mm F3 was never considered for the tank, it's missing its historical HEAT round with 320 mm of penetration. This was the standard ammunition of the 90 mm F3 gun and there was no AP or APCR ammunition developed for this gun.
Sources and External Links
- 1945 CHAR AMX M4 at chars-francais.net Photos, specs, and brief history in French.
- https://warspot.ru/4299-narabotki-tretiego-reyha-dlya-chetvyortoy-respubliki Original article in Russian, has more pictures