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Panhard AMD 178

The AMD (Automitrailleuse de Decouverte) was concieved as a replacement for some of


the aging French armored cars of World War I. The prototype appeared in 1933 but development
was very slow as money was in short supply. It entered service with the French Army in 1935
and was issued to both infantry and cavalry units. The AMD 178 was a very good clean design,
with the interior divided into fighting/driving and engine compartements. The armor was sloped
and the construction was all riveted. The car was a 4x4 vehicle and had good cross-country
performance due to the engine being mounted in the rear.
Only 360 were in service when the Germans invaded France in 1940 but the French had
distributed these vehicles among so many units in “penny packets” that the Germans were able to
capture over 200 of the AMD 178s intact and, as it performed well, they were taken into German
service. However, the French managed to rescue 46 of these cars and had them repaired after
they were then sent to the new unoccupied Vichy territory and hidden from the Germans.
The Germans replaced the 25mm/0.98in gun with their 37mm/1.46 in anti-tank gun.
Some were also modified to run on railway track by replacing the road wheels with railway
wheels. A number of car also converted into command radio cars by fitting a large frame aerial
over the top of the vehicle. Many of these converted vehicles as well as standard AMD 178s
were sent to the Eastern Front to support the anti-partisan war that was taking place behind the
German lines. When Germans overran Vichy they captured the remaining 46 AMD 178 cars that
were in French hands. These were converted into a wheeled tank by installing a larger turret on
the vehicle and arming it with a 50mm/1.97in gun. Most of these remained in France.
The AMD 178 was the most advanced medium armored car in French service in 1940,
and was soon back un production when the Renault factory was restored to French control in
August 1944. It would remain in French service for many years after World War II.
Country : France
Entered service : 1935
Crew :3
Weight : 8.636 kg/8,5 tons
Dimensions : Length – 4,79m/15ft 8in
Height – 2,31m/7ft 7in
Width – 2,01m/6ft 7in
Armament : Main – 1 x 25mm/0.98in gun, and 1 x 7,5mm/0.295in MG 31
Secondary – None
Armor : Maximum – 26mm/1.02in
Powerplant : Panhard SK 6,33-litre 4-cylinder 78kW/105hp petrol engine
Performance : Speed – 72kph/45mph
Range – 300km/166 miles