AMX-30A (first series) photos

Hello everyone,

Dr.Pikouz, the author of the Batchat 25t pictures, brought us a few more photos – this time of the AMX-30 first series version, that is to appear as tier 10 French medium tank at some point in the future. Note that it’s not the well-known AMX-30B.


I found what is, according to France_AFVs, the first of the pre-production models by GIAT Industries. Turret is made by CAFL, which is not, as I thought first, Fives-Lilles, but Compagnie des Ateliers Forges de la Loire. Never mind. It bears serial number n°7. Note that, afterwards, AMX-30 turrets will be made by ARE (Roanne Factory), I remember. Not absolutely sure about this though.

For the sake of comparison, the first 5 pictures are from an AMX-30B, 20 mm autocanon model. The AMX-30A that interests us is the green-rust one. Also, you will find other pics of an AMX-30B mixed with those of the proto, to highlight what I found to be noticeable differences, ie.:

- exhausts
- gun mantlet
- external storage compartments
- rangefinders
- spare tracks fixation
- headlights
- driver’s optics
- some stuff on the turret roof
- and surely many other things that would require a more detailed comparison

This “reference” AMX-30B is the white-yellow one. All the internal pics are from the prototype. Also, sadly, the commander’s cupola of the proto is missing.









































64 thoughts on “AMX-30A (first series) photos

  1. This is military history. Why do they let this machine rust to pieces? I can accept them as gift and take proper care of them.

  2. At first glance I thought it was the STB-1…

    Eh,Should start looking at the titles first…

    • Oh, come on, if you ask me, I think they do a great job at keeping the most interesting models in the action, given the poor funding they have. Heck, they manage to keep a Tiger 2 (original engine) running.
      Don’t forget that the museum doesn’t even receive the tenth of what they should, given its historical importance, and the number of tanks they have. It’s like trying to keep 50 Maserati running with only 1500 € per month, you have to make some choices and save what can be.

      • The stuff inside the museum itself, I totally agree, but the boneyard…
        It’s interesting, because while other museums have the same issue (Bovington, Kubinka, etc), I don’t think any of these keep such unique and well known specimens in outside storage.

    • Oh C’mon! AMX 50B and ARL 44 are in mint condition there! Don’t judge ‘em just by the example of Bat. Chat. 25t and AMX-30A , they’re both prototypes, one was from private company and the other was later tweaked and mass produced anyway (notice AMX-30B is in mint condition). They also have a limited budget too! It’s not always possible to take care of all your pupils equally….

  3. Im not a fan of the french tanks ingame, but i appreciate that they bring a new dimension into it. But seeing these machines to be treated like garbage makes me feel sad. Hard to believe that a great and proud nation like france would allow these, once state of the art pieces of engineering, decay like this.

    • Why bother keeping them maintained though? It costs a lot and they don’t really make much money by being kept in shape. It’s not like it’s an important historical tank like the early WW1 tanks or even one of the legendary WW2 tanks. As for keeping it as a reference there’s no need. Just take pictures, laser scan it, note down its specifications in detail and save it on a computer. There’s no need to maintain every variant and prototype just because it’s part of military history.

      • I was not talking about keeping them in in a shape like they came from the factory, im talking about putting a freaking tarpaulin sheet over them. Thank you for reminding me that there are better ways to spend money… we all know that there are more important issues to spend it on. But! Here on this blog we are fans of these machines, and i was talking from this point of view.
        “As for keeping it as a reference there’s no need” – i think you are wrong here. Take it as a engineering achievement. By your vein of thoughts there would be no need to keep historical cars, they just break down they are pointless, they could be turned into steel and make cutlery out of them…
        Have you been into a tank museum in your life? The impressions of these machines is immense, you can not even imagine the feeling that you get looking at these things in real life, and not on a picture.

        • Fair enough a tarp might help for a while. Maybe you should email the museum and ask why they don’t do it. I’m a fan of tanks too but I’m also realistic.

          What achievement of engineering is it? What is so special about this design that warrants it being maintained? And you’ve missed the point if you think that I think every historical car should be scrapped. Things of historical significance should be maintained but not every random car produced is historically significant. In the same way not every tank produced deserves to be maintained.

          • Well one reason for keeping it is that it’s a prototype. The production models can be scrapped, but the one-time-only pieces should be kept, if only just under a PVC blanket.

          • ” What is so special about this design that warrants it being maintained?” it is a one off= prototype
            “And you’ve missed the point if you think that I think every historical car should be scrapped. Things of historical significance should be maintained but not every random car produced is historically significant.” – again it is a prototype, you did miss this point.
            I will ignore your first question.

  4. This tank looks identical to Leopard 1. Specially the turret at front look and without that big commander’s cupola.

    • Could be related to the fact that, originally, the AMX-30 was supposed to be a cooperation between France, Germany and Italy.
      However, and as always in our beautiful Europe, everyone went their separate ways, and the AMX-30 became a Franco-French project.
      It is highly likely that some “original” concept ideas remained on both the AMX-30 and the Leo, which would explain the similarities.

  5. That prototype needs a serious restoration…

    Edit, Off-Topic: Frank, I’m getting more and more annoyed by this shit:

    “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”


  6. From all the talk about AMX-30 on this blog, I thought it was a heavy, not a medium. Weird. :-/

    And, yeah, it’s a shame that they let the tanks rot like this; they should cover them in grease like they do in Kubinka. :)

    • It is listed as main battle tank such as leo1, chieftain, t62, m60.
      In game it will be listed as a medium tank and its playstyle would be similar to leo1.

      In greek army service this tank was notorius for its low reliability. In army we refered to it as

      “Αρμα Μονιμως Χαλασμενο” making a joke for its name.

      Translated from greek means “Tank Always Broken”

    • Leo1 and AMX-30 were co-developed as one project, then all countries involved made their own seperate, yet extremely similar tanks (in doctrines, the technical changes are a bit different).

      Apparently, European countries in the 50′s working together didn’t work out perfectly. What an odd, and totally unforeseeable conclusion.

      As for the STB-1, the Japanese took a Leo1, and made a homegrown variant, with a sexier turret, might I add.

    • As a matter of fact, the “father” of modern MBTs design (turret, engine compartment, etc) is French.
      It’s the Renault FT. In 1917, might I add …

      • Might I add, IIRC the French got so proud about their little FT that they refised to do any major reequipment of their Armored Cores until Pz. III’s were roaring at Ardennes. And don’t give me that B1 bis BS, those things were a nightmare for the crew.

        On the other hand, the SOMUA could have been the next FT if their coms were any good and they could coordinate a few dozen tanks together.

        • Not totally wrong, but not totally right either.
          Germans had understood that maneuver > all.
          Meanwhile in Baguette, we were still thinking that static defence > all. Hence those well-armored and well-armed, but slow WW2 French tanks, like in WoT. Except that in Wot, for balance reasons I presume, they gave low tier French tanks peashooters. In reality, French tank guns were pretty good, such as the 47 mm APX family guns.
          Long story short, the R-35, FCM 36, Hotchkiss were good tanks, but rather slow. The S35 stands out as being a bit more mobile, and, as such, when used correctly, it was devastating. Cf how the Colonel (at the time) De Gaulle won his battles during the Campaign of France, just by being less retarded than the guys commanding him, and using his tanks as tanks, not mobile bunkers.

          Which brings me to the main reason of why France totally collapsed in 1940 : general retardness and incompetence of the leaders. To make it short, a bunch of old farts, living on their WW1 successes, and not understanding how new weapons, such as planes and tanks had totally changed warfare. Not that some guys had told them so. Once again, cf De Gaulle, and his 3 books (Le Fil de l’épée, Vers l’Armée de métier, La France et son Armée), or General Estienne.
          Also, French WW2 tanks were more than badly employed. That is to say as Infantry Tanks (like they did during WW1), not as autonomous Cavalry Tanks, capable of piercing enemy lines and disrupting them, with the infantry taking care of securing the advance.

          And agreed with you on the radio issue. While all the command tanks had radios, a good portion (~ 80% IIRC) of “normal” tanks had not and used signal flags … Because of this mindset of a slow, attrition war.

          In short : good tanks (to a certain extent, there is definitively a basic design flaw, due to a bad French “meta” of how should a war be done), well-trained crews, but retarded leaders.

          • You forgot the whole pile of mobile tanks the Cavalry had, S35 aside. But the DLMs were up north in Belgium doing their mobile thing and after the total screw-up at Sedan were as crippled as everything else when the supply died.

            Which was actually the main clincher. The overall French doctrine was flawed but not *inherently* fatally so; it became that way after the supreme command failed to react to the German hook through the Ardennes in time to plug the weak point in the line and the resulting breakthrough forced battle under fluid conditions wildly favourable to the Germans.

            Incidentally, IIRC what I’ve read there was a more fundamental reason than any doctrinal hang-ups for the relative dearth of radios in French tanks – namely the country’s electronics industry flatly lacking the production capacity to furnish enough sets. (The Soviets famously had similar problems early in the war.)
            Reasons for this had a lot to with economic history, more specifically the British and German manufacturers having largely cornered the market before the latecomer French even got really started. And a parliamentary democracy attempting to keep national budgets viable in the long run could hardly engage in the kind of heavy-duty industrial subvention schemes that produced the Volksempfänger (, arguably by far the most successful of the Nazis’ “People’s Whatever” projects in itself, which as a not wholly coincidential byproduct contributed a fair bit to laying the industrial groundwork for the later “enradioing” of the Wehrmacht.

            • While I agree with all this, you IMO left out a few other important things.

              1 – The french army’s defensive doctrine wasn’t entirely dictated by the intellectual leftovers from 14-18. As a matter of fact anyway, the end of 14-18 was pretty much an early version of the 44 + operations: coordinated attacks, using assault troops, tanks and planes.
              Rather, the french high military command knew the army was lacking. It was lacking tanks, planes, radios. Hence why it was prefered to lay low, until France’s industrial power would start producing modern planes and tanks (probably some kind of BDR, standardized tank, or even the B1-ter) in numbers. While the effort started in 1936, with the Front Populaire, it wasn’t expected to give full results before 42 or so.

              2 – France, as a whole wasn’t really willing to go to war and have its boys killed. WWI was still in everyone’s head, the “gueules cassées” and what not. A lot of leaders were terrified at the thought of repeating the “mistakes” of 1914.

  7. Since i am mostly medium tank player … i want these two in my garage :3

  8. Cool pictures SS
    -Post WW2 Gunderian doctrine… Mobility ,firing at long range and HEAT
    -IT’S reliable if you got people for maintain …(cold war)
    -Another japanese tank look likes an AMX30 ,type 74 ( suspecting spying on it)

    PS ( the greek have sayed the same things about léo2 …For don’t have to pay the bill…)