ELC Part I – Big guns on Small Tanks: ELC “Even” 4 x 120

Hello everyone,

today, we are starting new series of articles about the French tanks. In it, you will see some stuff, that was not (to my knowledge) published before, coming straight from the French archives. The author of these articles is Dr.Pikouz, the same person, that brought the photos of the Batchat 25t. The French created some wonderful and crazy stuff. Enjoy!


And now, Dr.Pikouz:

Every WoT player has at least once seen, driven, heard of or died to an ELC. But most WoT players only know one version of the tank, presented to us as the “ELC AMX”. Which is, I make a small digression here, a heresy, since the WoT model is an ELC AMX Bis chassis, fitted with a TC 910 turret (made by St-Chamond) and armed with a 90mm D915 gun.

The ELC project was born in 1955, with the French Ministry of Defence (MinDef) asking to develop “a powerful anti-tank weapon, mounted on a lightly, but completely armored tracked vehicle, discreet, and able to engage and destroy every type of enemy tank up to a distance of 1.000 meters, or even 1.500 meters”. Two companies presented a serious project:

- AMX, Atelier d’Issy-les-Moulineaux, Issy-les-Moulineaux Factory, producing the ELC AMX
- Ets Brunon-Vallette, Brunon-Vallette Company, aka Even-Brunon-Vallette, producing the ELC “Even”

Amongst the projects developed by Even, was this one, on which we will be focusing :


The Even products differed from those of AMX in two main points: an oscillating turret, and driver located in the hull. While AMX used a two-men “casemate” turret, Even used the technology already developed on well-known projects, such as the AMX-13, to develop tanks which, relatively to their size, could develop an amazing firepower, wrapped up in a fast and easily concealable vehicle. As such, 3 models were proposed by Even:

- 2 x 30 mm autocanons (Even 30, arbitrary name)
- 90 mm drum-loaded gun (Even 90, arbitrary name)
- 4 x 120 mm recoilless rifles (Even 120, arbitrary name), which interests us here

The Even chassis was also an original production, while AMX used elements from the Hotchkiss chenillette (light tracked vehicle) on the first prototype. The Even chassis had the following characteristics:

- 1.4 meters high x 1.9 m wide x 3.8 m long
- 5 tons, which made it able to be transported by air
- top speed was given at 75 kph on road, and 40 kph off-road
- it was equiped with a 125 bhp Panhard engine, giving it a 25 hp/ton ratio

The armor was kept at minimum, with the front plate at 10 mm, giving a 15 mm line-of-sight thickness. But this thickness was considered sufficient and tests showed, that the side of the vehicle could resist the explosion of a 105 mm HE shell 10 meters away, the floor being able to withstand an anti-personnel landmine. Such thickness would also be enough to protect the crew from infantry light weapons, up to the caliber of 7.62 mm.

The most interesting part of the ELC Even 120 was its armament. The mission of the vehicle was to act as an as discreet as possible tank destroyer, able to quickly destroy tanks (and eventually infantry) and then relocate, using its awesome mobility and low profile to stay undetected and thus alive. French MinDef specified, that the vehicle had to be able to use its weapon(s) without any preparation required, in every direction, while using every cover available. The weapons specifications were even more precise:

- penetration had to be of 250mm minimum, to allow the ELC to fight even Heavy Tanks
- the weapon had to be able to engage a 2m x 2m target at 1.000 m, and hit it with 80% probability on the first round, when the ELC was stationary, and fire 4 rounds in less than 30 seconds
- on movement, the vehicle had to be able to engage non-armored targets


Given those requirements, Even decided to use the biggest weapon they could fit on such a tiny vehicle, in the form of 4 Brandt recoilless rifles, 120 mm caliber, coupled with 2 co-axial 7.5 mm machine guns Mle 1952. Those recoilless rifles fired HEAT rounds with penetration estimated at 300 mm. The problem of the reload of the guns was solved by an interesting solution: the turret was rotated so that the driver could reload the guns without leaving his seat.



Another solution involved having the rear of the guns be able to separate from the rest of the barrel and rotate, allowing the gunner to reload himself the tubes, which could allow for instance to reload the guns while having the vehicle moving slowly on even ground, or being still able to move immediately if needed.


Another idea had the guns loaded in “artillery mode”, with the driver outside of the vehicle, allowing a much greater rate of fire


Even also considered a drum-loaded version of the vehicle. It reduced the numbers of guns to 2, but those were fed by a 5 rounds drum, with a rate of fire estimated at one round every 3-4 seconds. However, this idea was abandoned, because it increased the height of the vehicle to 1.6 meters, prevented reload under fire, increased the weight of the turret (reducing its manoeuverability), and increased the general vulnerability of the vehicle. But that would have been badass.


The vehicle was tested at the ETBS (Etablissement Technique de Bourges, Bourges Testing Grounds), where no major malfunctions were reported. However, the vehicle suffered initially from a general fragility, with some parts of the hull or the tracks breaking under strong constraints. The problem was fixed by adding reinforcements bars on the weakest points of the structure.



This particular version was however abandoned for reasons unclear, with the ELC Even 90 remaining as the Even version of an anti-tank ELC.


44 thoughts on “ELC Part I – Big guns on Small Tanks: ELC “Even” 4 x 120

  1. Very interesting piece of information. Thank you Dr.Pikouz and SS for sharing.
    All the variants look awesome. Thank you storm4710 for additional link.
    If that could be into the game, can’t imagine how fun it would be.

  2. I would give my left testicle for a high tier scout ELC Even 30 with greatly penetrating 30mm autocannons (think VK16 Leopard’s gun, but even better!)

  3. Tuction of the text in french in the pictures :

    1 : -
    2 : Side view (too many numbers then)
    3 : Right guns loading
    4 : Left guns loading
    5 : Shell beeing loaded by a gunner
    6 : Using it as a secudary artillery
    7 : Variant with an auto-loader
    8 : Crossing of thé 2nd “hole” (the tank is stuck because of a back left detrack)
    9 : Crossing a trench (no problem)
    10 : The tank with its crew

  4. I see the drum loaded version as a T7 prem, or even a part of a new line. That just looks so badass and the 2nd/3rd choice for reloading the Even 120mm could make the thing an arty, with low range and I high rate of fire.

    • Oh god, this would be OP on so many levels…. and tiers. Srsl an ELC mobility and such firepower ? With auto-loader ? I don’t think anyone want a super-fast waffle trager running around, I remember what kind of pain in the ass Bat.Chat 25t used to be when he was freshly introduced. This just won’t work man.

  5. inb4 somebody asks that the one with the recoilless rifles be added to the game, then somebody else reminding them that WG said it wouldn’t happen.

    • Did they specifically said that about recoilless rifles? Can’t remember that bit of info. Or do you mean smoothbore recoilless guns … as recoilless rifles have rifled barrels by definition?

      • Recoilless Rifles are currently out of the question. However there is always a chance they might be allowed but that chance is very very (add 20 more “very”‘) small.

            • The 120mm “Even” used recoilless rifles, as such the in-game gun dispersion after firing would be quite low if they decided to make it any bit realistic.

              • I’m pretty sure recoil is not exactly the big deal there. Ever read some of the assorted wartime tests of new guns with muzzle brakes?

                • Yes, muzzlebrakes directed more of the spent propellant smoke outward and severely obscuring view after firing. I’m aware. I’m fairly sure Wargaming doesn’t model for that when adjusting dispersion after firing though.

          • Agreed. That’s the issue with recoilless rifles, as their aim doesn’t shift after firing due to lack of recoil.

            Of course, this could easily be solved by vehicles with recoiless rifles the same mechanics as other vehicles with conventional guns (and for vehicles with multiple recoiless rifles like this one, they would be treated the same way as autoloaders), which while not historically accurate is more or less balanced…well…sort-of, anyways. We have enough autoloaders at higher tiers as it is.

            Also, the premium ammo for all recoiless rifles would either be HEAT or a more powerful HE shell than their standard one. In the former case it makes them viable at long range, so long as they don’t hit sloped or spaced armor (good luck with that in high-tiered games, where most tanks have at least one of those). The latter case could be similar to the HESH ammo on British tanks, and would be quite deadly against lightly-armored targets.

            Basically, most vehicles with recoiless rifles would be glass cannons with very high burst damage and penetration, but with slow rates of fire (due to long reloads) and extremely limited ability to survive return fire, similar to a tank destroyer or some light tanks.

            • I was under the impression gun recoil isn’t really a major issue accuracy-wise when it comes to vehicular weapons – muzzle blasts and the dust and debris they kick up being the annoyances that turn up in period test reports instead, as those can impair visibility enough to make observing the fall of shot nigh-impossible and in the worst case obscure the gunner’s visibility for follow-up shots. This was apparently a real pain in the butt with muzzle brakes (which greatly magnify the effect) and a major reason everyone did without whenever technically feasible.

              Anyways, the last I heard recoillesses pretty much *had* to rely on chemical energy instead of kinetic for antitank work on account of kinda shitty muzzle velocities – not much point tossing kinetic penetrators at those speeds. In-game the damn things would pretty much have to shoot HEAT by default.

              And I sincerely doubt WG would be any more amenable to salvo-fired multiple recoillesses than any other multi-gun arrangement…

              • When I’m talking about recoil I mean how much the aiming circle disperses after you take your shot without moving your aim. A recoiless rifle would theoretically not need to readjust the sights after firing because there’s little to no recoil to push it off target when firing.

    • If for whatever reason WG implemented this tank. It would likely be limited to HE and HEAT ammunition.

  6. Great stuff, can’t wait for more.
    Meanwhile WG doesn’t give a single fuck about French tech tree. It’s ridiculous how many vehicles it’s lacking. Even Chinese get more attention.

    • The British and French are the two poor children of WoT. And it’s sad, because they are my favourites. :’(

  7. Wonderin where do they store the ammo specially the 120mm then how do the driver able to reach, pull out the shell from the rack able to squeeze it out so it could reload on the reversed turret w/o leaving the seat as mentioned? That would be a tedious 60sec reload time

    • Going by the first photo of the reload procedure it looks like he pretty much draws it out of the rack onto his lap, turns it and lifts up from there. And if I’m interpreting the technical drawing correctly the shells are not even held in a rack in the normal sense, but in a (presumably hand-cranked) “endless belt” that moves fresh munitions into easy reach.

    • The blueprints show some kind of “coca-cola can dispenser-like” system for the shells. However, the vehicle could not store many rounds, only 20. Which is, now that I think about it, not too bad for a tank the size of a Citroen 2CV …

    • It actually started with AMX 13′s so a bit earlier, after all AMX 13 was an export hit. So you can imagine why the french continued to experiment with these

  8. “But most WoT players only know one version of the tank, presented to us as the “ELC AMX”. Which is, I make a small digression here, a heresy, since the WoT model is an ELC AMX Bis chassis, fitted with a TC 910 turret (made by St-Chamond) and armed with a 90mm D915 gun.”


    I’ve been trying to tell people this from the very beginning!!! :\

  9. a whole meter of range! That’s why my KV tanks can never get quite close enough to ram them!

    Edit: oh you Foreignese and your putting dots where commas go.

  10. thx for the article, against all hope to drive a elc ‘even’ with drum loaded guns :) i just love my elc and an upgraded one would be awesome.