The Saumur tank museum presents the Panther tank and the AMX 10 PAC 90

The Musée des Blindés de Saumur displays one of the world's most important collections of armoured vehicles from the First World War to the present day. This institution not only represents a very substantial technical heritage, but also perfectly fulfils its mission with regard to the memory of France in combat which is part of our history.

For the 46th edition of Rétromobile, the Saumur Armoured Vehicle Museum presents an exceptional tank in the hall 7.2, one of the major pieces of its collection: the Panther

This tank was the German army’s main battle tank.

It was on the vast Russian expanses that the German armour first came up against the T34 tank divisions of the Red Army. This battle was a surprising and bitter defeat for the Wehrmacht. In designing the Panther, German engineers drew heavily on the very modern design of the Soviet tank. The armour was tilted to optimise protection without increasing its thickness, and wider tracks were fitted to distribute the weight of the tank more evenly and prevent it from getting stuck in the mud. The Panther appeared in 1943: weighing in at 45 tons, this tank was an effective weapon, very mobile, and above all equipped with a very powerful gun that could pierce 10 cm of armour at a distance of 1500 m.

But this warrior had its weaknesses. The development of the Panther did not come without setbacks, and its baptism of fire was tarnished by multiple technical problems. The Panther was penalized by its excessive weight: its 23-litre Maybach 12-cylinder 700 hp engine constantly ran at full power and would overheat. Its weight led to high fuel consumption on rough terrain the Panther guzzled 700 litres every 100 kilometres. Nevertheless, the Panther remained a formidable weapon, claiming many Allied armoured vehicles as victims. The construction of the Panther tank required significant material and skilled labour resources. Germany's industrial resources ran down, meaning that the armaments factories could only supply 5,986 Panther tanks in all versions, compared to 50,000 American Sherman tanks and 60,000 Soviet T34 tanks.

The Panther presented at Rétromobile was part of one of the German armoured divisions that took part in the Battle of Normandy in 1944. Combat was extremely violent, and many German vehicles were destroyed by the Allied forces. The Armoured Vehicle Museum 's Panther was immobilised by a mechanical breakdown or lack of fuel and its crew rushed to flee without taking the time to sabotage it. In early 1945, this Panther was recovered with other German machines, to form the French armoured vehicle squadrons composed of tanks captured in battle. Afterwards, it was stored at Satory before joining the Saumur Armoured Vehicle Museum where it is kept in working order.

Panther Technical Details

  • Combat weight: 45 tonnes.
  • Length: 9 m.
  • Width: 3.40 m.
  • Height: 3.10 m.
  • Crew: 5 men.
  • Armament: 1 x 75 mm 79-round cannon - 2 x MG 34 4,200-round machine guns.
  • Armour: from 110 mm to 40 mm.
  • Engine: 24 litre Maybach 12V, 700 hp,.
  • Fuel tank: 720 litres.
  • Consumption: 3 litres per kilometre on roads.
  • 7 litres per kilometre off-road.
  • Road speed: 55 km/h.
  • Total production: 5,986 units.

Live presentation of the AMX 10 PAC 90 amphibious tank from the Armoured Vehicle Museum

This year, the Musée des Blindés de Saumur team will present a 1979 AMX 10 PAC 90 tank in live demonstration on the parking area of the Hall 7.3. At the time, this high-performance French armoured vehicle was equipped with a formidable high-speed anti-tank gun that fired hollow charge projectiles at a speed of 1,000 m per second. Visitors will be invited to watch this tank start up and manoeuvre. 

Saumur Armoured Vehicle Museum AMX 10 PAC 90 tank – Details:

  • Commissioning: 1979
  • Length: 6 m
  • Width: 2.80 m
  • Weight: 14.5 tons
  • Crew: 3 men
  • Fully sealed aluminium body: amphibious, nuclear, biological, chemical protection
  • Armament: one 90 mm cannon - 30 shells; one 7.62 mm 3,200-round machine gun
  • Diesel engine: Hispano Suiza 280 hp - turbocharged V8 - 8,200 cc
  • Water jet propulsion.
  • Fuel tank: 528 litres
  • Range: 600 km
  • Speed: 65 km/h

The UNIVEM presents the Brockway Quick Way

Recovered from a junkyard in Isère, this vehicle is due for a big refit! The fact that to the best of our knowledge there are only 5 units left in Europe and that it is relatively complete led us to attempt this ambitious rescue.

History

During the war there was a great need for lifting and handling, whether for work in material and fuel depots or unloading amphibious GMC DUKWs as they landed on the beaches.  The forklift/pallet concept was in its infancy during the war. And nothing was less all-terrain than a forklift at the time, yet most of this handling took place on sandy beaches or in muddy fields. The Brockway-mounted version is very representative of a whole generation of crane trucks that were in fact the result of a more or less successful marriage between a truck and a crane that were not originally intended for one another. The Brockway pulled a trailer carrying the crane's accessories: indeed, the crane could have other equipment fitted instead of its boom. A boom extension of about 1.5 metres was also part of the standard equipment.

Brockway was founded in New York State by George Brockway in 1851. After the wooden wagons of the West, the first truck was produced in 1912. The company was taken over by Mack in 1956. The production line stopped in 1977 and the name disappeared. The crane carrier version, named C666, C for "Crane carrier", had some special features: boom support trestle, one-seater cab, reinforced chassis, and the possibility of immobilising the rear axle during crane operation using cable tensioners.

Quick Way was founded in 1929 in Colorado by Luke E. Smith based on the idea that a truck-mounted crane could move “in a quick way” from site to site. The brand disappeared in 1961, taken over by Marion. It was one of the largest manufacturers of mobile cranes in the USA, owing its success to their simplicity, reliability and robustness.  The technology is simple: once the engine is in gear, it continuously drives the entire gear train, i.e. the axles on which the three winches and their rotary clutches are mounted.  The winch control levers in the cab operate Lockheed driven pistons.  The hydraulic lines reach the winch clutches via rotary joints.  In the opposite direction, when the hook or boom is lowered, a mechanical band brake acts on each of the drums. These brakes are entirely mechanical and operated by large pedals in the driver's cab. A total of 1,312 Brockways were built. Ours, which does not have any stabilisers, must logically have been made in 1943 or 1944.

This is a rare vehicle of which only two restored examples in working condition have been identified in Europe: one in the UK and one in Holland.

Features : 

  • Weight: 16t
  • Hercules HXD engine, 6-cylinder side-mounted, petrol, 202 hp 14 litres displacement.
  • Consumption: 120 litres per 100 km.
  • Air brakes.
  • Electrical system: 6 volts, 12 volts start, + to ground.
  • Tyres: 12.00 x 20, normal inflation at 6 bar.
  • Front double drum winch, capacity 12,000 lb or 5.5 t
  • The main features of this C666 version are: half-cabin, boom carrier, reinforced chassis with large thick side plates, cable tensioners to clamp the suspension when the crane is in use, spare wheel carrier behind the cab.
  • Crane engine: International 35hp 4-cylinder petrol engine.
  • Lifting capacity at 3 metres: 5600kg to the rear, 3800kg on the side without a stabiliser, 5900kg on the side with a stabiliser.