Laffly S15

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Laffly S15
Laffly S15R Saumur 01.jpg
S15R on display at Musée des Blindés. Characteristics below are for the S15T.
Type gun tractor
Place of origin  France
Specifications
Weight 2.85
Length 4.64
Width 1.85
Height 2.15
Crew 2 + 3 passengers

Armor none
Engine 4-cylinder, petrol, 2300 cc
55 hp
Payload capacity 800 kg
Suspension front: coil springs, rear: leaf springs, independent wheels
Speed 72 km/h

The Laffly S15 was a familty of all-terrain military vehicles from French manufacturer Laffly that shared the same six-wheel drive chassis. They were used by French forces during World War II.

Variants[edit]

  • A personnel carrier and reconnaissance vehicle based on the same chassis was designated as Laffly S15R. It had a different, lighter rear cab and a different transmission that allowed for higher road speed.
  • The Laffly S15TOE (théâtre d'opérations extérieures: overseas theatre of operations) was a scout car designed and built for service in French African colonies. The S15 chassis was preserved, but an armoured cabin protected the engine and crew, with a small turret that was armed with one single Reibel machine gun.
  • The Laffly W15T was a low-profile version of the S15T. It was made by Hotchkiss and was used to tow the 47 mm gun.
  • The ambulance version was named S15L.
  • The W-15 TCC (the CC stood for Chasseur de char, "tank hunter") was a quick and desperate French response to the threat of German Blitzkrieg warfare, which had sent fast armoured formations knifing across the country. It did not enter production until mid 1940, when the French military situation was already quite desperate. Mounting the excellent 47mm SA mle 1937 anti-tank gun on the capable 6x6 chassis of the Laffly W-15 all-terrain truck, the original design called for armoring of the truck and protecting the crew in an armoured cabin. When circumstances required these vehicles to be deployed immediately or not at all, they were rushed to the front with only a gunshield for the 47mm gun. They found a measure of success despite such haste. The 54ème Batterie d'anti-chars automoteurs (Mobile Anti-Tank Battery; BACA), consisting of just five vehicles and some ancillary light anti-tank guns, was credited with 28 tank kills and five armored car kills in just eight days of combat. Had they been developed sooner and deployed more widely, it’s reasonable to think that French forces would have been far better able to cope with the mobile Panzers slashing across Northern France. Tank and AFV armoured doctrine of the French military command in 1940 was much less capable than the equipment they squandered.[1][2]

Foreign use[edit]

When France delivered 41 Renault R-35 tanks to Romania in 1939, a number of Laffly S15T artillery tractors were also delivered. These gun tractors were used by the 2nd Armoured Regiment's support services.[3][4]

Popular Culture[edit]

The S-15 and W-15 TCC are both used in WWII Online: Battleground Europe as the French hauler truck and self-propelled gun, respectively.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ W15 TCC in Action www.tarrif.net/.../DL%20-%20Laffly%20W15%20TCC%20In%20Action.pdf
  2. ^ The Laffly W-15 TCC Battleground Europe http://wiki.wwiionline.com/mediawiki/index.php/Laffly_W-15_TCC
  3. ^ Scafes, p.11
  4. ^ Axworthy, p.37
  5. ^ The Laffly S-20 Battleground Europe http://wiki.wwiionline.com/mediawiki/index.php/Laffly_S-20
  • Axworthy, Mark; Scafes, Cornel; Craciunoiu, Cristian (1995). Third Axis, Fourth Ally: Romanian Armed Forces in the European War, 1941-1945. London: Arms and Armour. ISBN 1-85409-267-7. 
  • G.N. Georgano, World War Two Military Vehicles: Transport & Halftracks, Osprey Publishing, 2004, ISBN 1-85532-406-7
  • Scafes, Cornel I; Scafes, Ioan I; Serbanescu, Horia Vl (2005). Trupele Blindate din Armata Romana 1919-1947. Bucuresti: Editura Oscar Print. ISBN 973-668-084-3
  • Vauvillier, F. & Touraine, J.-M. L'automobile sous l'uniforme 1939-40, Massin, 1992, ISBN 2-7072-0197-9