In 1940, the Char B1 bis was the principal battle tank of the French army, with some 380 vehicles built before the French capitulation in June 1940.
Based on the Char B1, the B-1 bis was fitted with 60mm armor and the new APX4 turret and gun. Production of the Char B1 bis begun as early as 1937, with production being spread over several different companies including Renault, FAMH, Saint-Chamond, Schneider and AMX.
Armed with a 47mm gun in the turret and a 75mm gun in the hull in addition to two 7.5mm machine-guns, the Char B1 bis proved a difficult opponent during the course of the fighting in the summer of 1940.
The Char B1 bis proved to be the backbone of the Allied defense of France; however, those vehicles that weren’t destroyed in the fighting fell into the hands of the German. In German possession, the vehicles were used for training purposes with other fitted with flame-throwers by removing the hull-mounted 75mm gun. These vehicles were designated Flammwagen auf Panzerkampfwagen B-2(f).
The Char B1 bis in Flames Of War
The Char B was nicknamed Stahlkoloss (Steel Colossus) by the Germans for its size, thick armor and combat power.
The Flammwagen B-2(f) in Flames Of War
Fitted with the flame-thrower, the Flammwagen B-2(f) is able to dislodge in the most stubborn of defenders.