The AMX-13 is a French light tank produced from 1953 to 1985. It served with the French Army, as the "Char 13t-75 Modèle 51", and was exported to over twenty-five other nations. Named after its initial weight of 13 tonnes, and featuring a tough and reliable chassis, it was fitted with an oscillating turret built by GIAT Industries (now Nexter) with revolver type magazines which was also used on the Austrian SK-105 Kürassier.
The tank was designed at the Atelier de Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux (AMX) in 1946 to meet a requirement for an air-portable vehicle to support paratroopers, the first prototype ran from 1948. The compact chassis had torsion bar suspension with five road-wheels and two return rollers; the engine runs the length of the tank on the right side with the driver on the left. It features an uncommon two-part oscillating turret where the gun is fixed to the turret and the entire upper turret changes elevation. The turret is set to the rear of the vehicle and holds the commander and gunner. The original 75 mm gun was fed with an automatic loading system in two six-round magazines located in the turret's bustle. The twelve rounds available in the loaders meant that the crew could engage targets quickly, however once those rounds were expended the vehicle had to retreat to cover and the crew reload shells from outside the vehicle. From 1966 the 75mm high-velocity gun was replaced by a 90 mm
(the AMX-13/90) medium velocity gun firing more effective HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) ammunition, with the French upgrading all existing base models to this specification. By the early 1970s export models were available with an even more potent 105 mm gun. The AMX-13 tank was phased out of service with the French Army in the 1980s. Total production of the AMX-13 family is approximately 7700 units,
around 3400 of which were exported.
The Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (HGM) is a military history museum located in Vienna, Austria. It claims to be the oldest and largest purpose-built military history museum in the world. Its collection includes one of the world's largest collections of bronze cannons and focuses on Austrian military history from the 16th century to 1945. The museum is located in Vienna's Arsenal, in the Landstraße district, not far from the Belvedere palace.
- Matthijs van Wageningen
- Created on
- Saturday 2 July 2005
- AMX, AMX-13, Arsenal, Austria, French, French Army, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, HGM, holiday, Light Tank, military, museum, Museum of Military History, Panzergarten, tank, Vienna, Wien
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