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May 5
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Frenchie views by Rob-Cavanna Frenchie views by Rob-Cavanna
More detailed look at the Augustine first shown here: rob-cavanna.deviantart.com/art…

The Augustine shares many of its mechanical components, as well as a general combat history with the Somua s35 tank. Unique construction style involves large cast armor sections bolted together -a technique which would not prove ideal due to a tendancy towards splitting like a walnut when hit by shells. Still, a very decent mech by early war standards, on par with Germany's Pzf III Sieglinde. The Augustine boasted such lavish features as self-sealing fuel tanks, and automatic fire extinguisher systems dispersed throughout strategic points of its body. On the other hand, it lacked other equipment which would be standard for most mechs of the interwar period, such as a forward crew hatch, and hull mounted machine gun. Additionally, the cast armor, though well sloped and respectably protective, was often detrimental to maintenance, as it restricted access to the engine and suspension systems. 

The total number of Augustines produced was limited due to German invasion, but nevertheless they experienced a colorful and eclectic combat history in a myriad of locales, serving a shifting panoply of masters. 

Augustines saw significant action in the Battle of France, particularly at the Battle of Hannut, which was the world's greatest clash of armored forces for the time, and enduringly, remains one of the largest in history. Several units were shipped to North Africa in support of the Vichy government, later to be used alongside Allied forces in the Tunisian Campaign. Captured Augustines were also used by occupying German forces for Pzf crew training, then drafted into service for the defense of Normandy in order to plug gaping holes in panzer forces that were shredded on the Eastern front. Reclaimed Augustines would eventually join free French forces in the westward Allied drive through France towards Germany, notably, among the 13e Régiment de Dragons. 

Whilst in German hands, a handful of Augustines found their way to some unlikely destinations, such as with the  Panzer Abteilung 211 in Finland. Others would travel to German allies in Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria. Some were even used in Yugoslavia against partisan forces. 
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:icongat-x139:
GAT-X139 Featured By Owner May 6, 2014
One Thing to say and that is........Coneheads [Original Transformers Cartoon reference]
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:iconantonmoscowsky:
AntonMoscowsky Featured By Owner May 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
WWII musketeer! =D
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner May 6, 2014
:D pew pew! 
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:iconflaketom:
flaketom Featured By Owner May 6, 2014
Damn Rob! What a beauty!
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner May 6, 2014
Thanks, Thomas! Realized I never posted the schematic for this guy, so I finally cleaned him up w/ a few minor revisions. Slowly working through the backlog... 
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:iconflaketom:
flaketom Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
Oh hell, all these different patternd are amazing! And the 'clown'! It works so well with that design! Luv it!

While looking up the battle of Hannaut, I stumbled upon  the other french tank designs again. Really like their shapes, they are so distinctive french.
Woulda be amazing to see more french stuff!
Just have to throw in some pictures. I especially dig the french/german mixture of the Panzerkampfwagen 35R(f) ohne Turm. It has this akward beauty.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:H-3…
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AMD…
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fil…
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fil…
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
Oh yeah... I hadn't heard much about the Battle of Hannut before. An interesting thing to pop out of the Augustine research. Something I'd like to research deeper. Although it is totally possible that I've read Heinz Guderian's memoirs of it, and already forgotten. Sounds like a major armor battle though. Perhaps an obscure WWII chapter today, but I'm sure it was a bigger deal for those who were there. 
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:iconflaketom:
flaketom Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
No I've also never heard about it! I've always situated the great tank battles in the East. Again, it is also kinda interesting to read, that the French tanks were superior to most of the German ones, and that mostly German tactics made them win the battle. The German super tank myth is something which sits to deep. Anyways. Sounds like a interesting but mostly forgotten part of WW2 well worth of exploring.
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
You're right that the French tanks were considered superior for the time. Indeed, most of the time, German military success in WWII was based far more on superior tactics rather than equipment (which was only sometimes superior). Also, superior training and motivation. The french tanks did have their flaws though. Small turret design being just one. But the ways in which France used their tanks was the biggest problem. Germany did major damage to French tanks via air attacks, probably more so than w/ their armor.  

In addition to the German super tank myth, many scholars have come to believe that the concept of blitzkrieg itself is a myth, because the actual tactics used were never in accord w/ the theoretical doctrine. Basically, blitzkrieg is about combined mechanized forces on the ground and air. In actual fact, however, German forces were never fully mechanized, often profoundly reliant on improvisation and using a great deal of animal muscle power. This was certainly true in the battle of France. There was a great deal of penetration and exploitation w/ armored forces, but this was a matter of correctly exploiting success and opportunity rather than enacting a defined plan w/ coordinated units. 

Without a doubt, German combat leadership was the most creative, imaginative, and daring. And the soldiers were far more professional than their counterparts. This was always a stronger asset than tanks or technology. 
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