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Schneider CA1 Tank

Designed by artillery officer Colonel Estienne,the Schneider CA1 was a French heavy tank. General Joffre originally approved the tank for production in December 1915, and requested 400 on January 31, 1916. The tank's track was shorter than that of the British tanks, making them less suitable for crossing trenches which the Germans were already widening in response to earlier British attacks.

The tank's first operation was on April 16, 1917 in the Second Battle of the Aisne during the Nivelle Offensive, in which the French fielded 128 CA1s in teams of 16 tanks in two groups. The terrain of the first and second German lines had been so dug up by artillery fire, that the tanks were to be used for attacking the third and fourth lines where it was smoother.

The Chaubes group supported the Fifth Army Corps with three teams. At the first German trench, engineers prepared the way for the tanks to cross a trench which was otherwise too wide and deep for them. Although the work was incomplete, the first tank attempted to cross, but could not, and blocked the way for the following tanks. The group lost 32 of 48 tanks on the first day of battle.

The Bossut group supported the 32nd offensive corps with five teams. The group attacked in the Juvincourt sector, the only place the second German line was reached on the first day. The infantry reached the second line and waited for the tanks which advanced in a single column to cross the bridge over the Miette River. Regrouping after crossing the river, they suffered many casualties and the loss of Major Bossut.

Weight: 13.5 tons; Length: 6.02m/19ft 9in; Height: 2.4m/7ft 10in; Width: 1.98m/6ft 6.5in

Engine: Schneider 4 cylinder 70hp

Speed: 6kpm/3.7mph; Range: 498km/30mi

Armament: One 75mm gun with 90 rounds; two Hotchkiss machine guns with 3,840 rounds

Armor: 11.5mm; 17mm front

Crew: 6

Schneider CA1 Tank is a tank.