T-13 tank destroyer
The T-13 was a tank destroyer in use with the Belgian armed forces before World War II and during the Battle of Belgium. It was designed by Vickers, produced by Vickers and Familleheureux and outfitted with FRC Herstal weaponry; the earlier T-13s were based on imported Vickers tracked vehicles that were outfitted with armament and armor in Belgium by the Miesse company. Total production numbers are unclear and have been underestimated for political reasons, both before and after World War II, but are estimated at 300 vehicles, although not all were available or outfitted on 10 May 1940, the start of the Battle of Belgium. Nazi Germany used the vehicles to what extent remains unclear. In general - keeping a close watch on German political and military developments - the need for armored tracked vehicles or tanks was accepted by the Belgian military establishment; the political view on the matter however was more complex: the Belgian government tried frantically, keeping in mind the total destruction of the small country in the First World War, to keep Belgium neutral from 1936 on and therefore out of the upcoming European conflict.
Politicians from the right wing political parties wished Belgium would abstain from buying offensive weapons like tanks and bombers, so as not to provoke Germany into starting a new war. From this point of view the T-13 tank destroyer could be described as the result of Belgium's neutrality doctrine: the vehicle had to be light, therefore armored, was built without a enclosed fighting compartment, much like the German Panzerjäger designs, thus resulting in a tank destroyer class vehicle, rather than a true tank; as with the T-15 Light tank units, the psychological words tank or armored/mechanized unit were never to be used in official unit designations, with the words armored/tracked motorcar and the historical cavalry being favored. Since the Belgian armed forces realized the need for further mechanization of the army in the 1930s, a number of foreign platforms were looked at. In 1934, the Belgian Army signed a contract for 21 or 23 Vickers Carden Loyd 1934 artillery tractors with the British firm Vickers.
These were meant as artillery tractors for the Chasseurs Ardennais mountain troops, to tow the acquired Bofors 75 mm Model 1934 mountain gun. Impressed with the vehicle's performance on both hilly and flat terrain, the Belgian Armed Forces decided to take the concept a little further and experimentally outfitted the tractor with the F. R. C. built 47 mm anti-tank gun, much along the lines of the earlier but unsuccessful SA F. R. C. 47mm experiment. Not much is known about the basic model Vickers 1934 artillery tractor, apart from the fact that the Belgian Army seems to have been the sole user of the type. In its basic configuration, the Vickers 1934 artillery tractor was unarmored and could be described as an open, tracked light truck, it was outfitted with a 51 hp 5 cylinder Meadows gasoline engine with an internal volume of 3300 cc, had an empty weight of 2 tons. Apart from the Bofors 75 mm equipped Chasseurs Ardennais, no other Belgian armed units were outfitted with the type, the Belgian armed forces instead preferring the smaller and far less expensive Vickers/Familleureux utility tractor as their main tracked transporter on.
However, given its successful use with the Chasseurs Ardennais mountain troops, the Belgian Armed Forces decided to order another 32 vehicles, which became the basis for the T-13 B1. Pleased with the performance of the Vickers 1934 artillery truck, the Belgian Army started to equip the newly ordered 32 vehicles with the FRC Herstal built 47 mm Model 1931 anti-tank gun. Since this was a heavy piece of equipment, because of the general lay-out of the Vickers artillery tractor, with its center of gravity being well halfway the vehicle, the decision was taken to install the gun and its turret backwards on the vehicle, so as to keep enough space for crew and ammunition; the general lay out of the vehicle mimicked. The suspension was made out of Horstmann suspensions resting on bogies with two rubber-lined wheel sets per bogie; this design used on lightweight vehicles, was used on the Light Tank Mk VI of the Royal army and was invented by Sidney Horstmann. Apart from being easy to build and lightweight, it had the advantage of having a long travel, of being easy to replace when damaged in the field.
The drive sprocket was in the front. Motor power came in the form of a Meadows 5 cylinder gasoline engine, producing 51 hp, coupled with a four speed preselector gearbox. Steering was a combination of braking to increase the turn; the traverse of the turret was man powered by the three man crew. The T-13s were not equipped with a radio. Armor protection was still better than that of the under armored T-15 light tank. Frontal armor was 12 mm of hardened steel, both on the turret. Side armor on the vehicle basis and turret was restricted to 6 mm of steel, to minimize the weight and political impact of the vehicle; this meant that the T-13 crew was only protected against indirect blast and splinter damage, adequately protected against small arms fire from the frontal aspect but not from the sides, most was not protected at all against most light anti-tank rounds, such as the.50 BMG, the Boys anti-tank rifle.55 Boys or the German 13.2 mm TuF. The side armor s
Sedan is a commune in the Ardennes department and Grand Est region of north-eastern France. It is the chef-lieu of the arrondissement of the same name; the town is situated some 200 km from Paris, 85 km north-east of Reims, 10 km south of the border with Belgium. The historic centre occupies a peninsula formed by a bend in the River Meuse. Sedan was founded in 1424. In the sixteenth century Sédan was an asylum for Protestant refugees from the Wars of Religion; until 1651, the Principality of Sedan belonged to the La Tour d'Auvergne family. It was at that time a sovereign principality, their most illustrious representative, Marshal Turenne, was born at Sedan on 11 September 1611. With help from the Holy Roman Empire, it managed to defeat France at the Battle of La Marfée, though afterwards it was besieged and its prince, Frédéric Maurice de La Tour d'Auvergne, duc de Bouillon, submitted to France. Only a year after that submission, it was annexed to France in return for sparing his life after he became involved in a conspiracy against France.
This town was the birthplace of Jacques MacDonald, a general who served in the Napoleonic Wars. During the Franco-Prussian War, on 2 September 1870 the French emperor Napoleon III was taken prisoner with 100,000 of his soldiers at the First Battle of Sedan. Due to this major victory, which made the unification of Germany possible, 2 September was declared "Sedan Day" and a national German holiday in 1871, it remained a holiday until 1919. Sedan was occupied by the Germans for four years during World War I. On 13 November 1917, the German Crown Prince paraded the 13th Infantry Division over the course of "d'Alsace-Lorraine". During World War II the German troops first invaded neutral Belgium and crossed the Meuse River by winning the Second Battle of Sedan that lasted from 12 to 15 May 1940; this battle allowed them to win the whole Battle of France as they not only bypassed the French fortification system, the Maginot Line, but it enabled them to entrap the Allied Forces that were advancing east into Belgium, as part of the Allied Dyle Plan strategy.
Today Sedan is known for its castle, claimed to be the largest fortified medieval castle in Europe with a total area of 30,000 square metres on seven levels. Construction started in 1424 and the castle's defences were improved over the ages, it is the only remaining part of the once enormous fortifications around the town. Jardin botanique de Sedan Festival médiéval de Sedan in May A centre of cloth production, begun under the patronage of Cardinal Mazarin, supported the town until the late nineteenth century. CS Sedan Ardennes is based in the town; the following notable people lived there: Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne, Marshal of France Jean de Collas, architect Étienne-Jacques-Joseph-Alexandre MacDonald, Marshal of France Charles Baudin, admiral René Guyon, jurist Yves Congar, French Dominican theologian and cardinal Pierre Cartier, mathematician Yannick Noah, former professional tennis player Eisenach, since 1991 Sedan, Kansas Communes of the Ardennes department CS Sedan Ardennes, football club based in Sedan French Towns and Lands of Art and History Stade Louis Dugauguez, a multi-use stadium in Sedan Sedan city council website The German breakthrough in 1940 Webpage about the fortifications of Sedan Article on the Battle of Sedan at'Battlefields Europe' INSEE
The Belgian franc was the currency of the Kingdom of Belgium from 1832 until 2002 when the Euro was introduced. It was subdivided into 100 subunits, known as centiemen, centimes or Centime; the conquest of most of western Europe by revolutionary and Napoleonic France led to the French franc's wide circulation. In the Austrian Netherlands, the franc replaced the kronenthaler; this was in turn replaced by the Dutch guilder when the United Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed. Following independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the new Kingdom of Belgium in 1832 adopted its own franc, equivalent to the French franc, followed by Luxembourg in 1848 and Switzerland in 1850. Belgian mint working during the late 19th century was innovative and Belgium was the first country to introduce coins made of cupronickel, in 1860. In 1865, France and Italy created the Latin Monetary Union: each would possess a national currency unit worth 4.5 g of silver or 290.322 mg of fine gold, all exchangeable at a rate of 1:1.
In the 1870s the gold value was made the fixed standard, a situation, to continue until 1914. In 1926, Belgium, as well as France, experienced depreciation and an abrupt collapse of confidence, leading to the introduction of a new gold currency for international transactions, the Belga worth 5 francs, the country's withdrawal from the monetary union, which ceased to exist at the end of the year; the Belga was tied to the British pound at a rate of 35 belgas = 1 pound and was thus put on a gold standard of 1 Belga = 209.211 mg fine gold. The 1921 monetary union of Belgium and Luxembourg survived, forming the basis for full economic union in 1932. In 1935, the Belgian franc was devalued by 28% to 150.632 mg fine gold and the link between the Luxembourg and Belgian francs was revised to 1 Luxembourgish franc = 1 1⁄4 Belgian francs. Following Belgium's occupation by Germany in May 1940, the franc was fixed at a value of 0.1 Reichsmark, reduced to 0.08 Reichsmark in July 1940. Following liberation in 1944, the franc entered into the Bretton Woods system, with an initial exchange rate of 43.77 francs = US dollar set on 5 October.
This was changed to 43.8275 in 1946 and to 50 following the devaluation of the British pound in September 1949. The Belgian franc was devaluated again in 1982. Like 10 other European currencies, the Belgian/Luxembourgish franc ceased to exist on 1 January 1999, when it became fixed at 1 EUR= 40.3399 BEF/LUF, thus a franc was worth € 0.024789. Old franc coins and notes lost their legal tender status on 28 February 2002. Though it is a tringual country with three official languages, Belgian coins only shown both French and Flemish Dutch text, sometimes one or the other depending on the type or time period to represent which region the coin is meant to represent. In 20th century issues, the text is without exception divided between two types of coins, with Flemish issues reading "België" and "Frank," and French issues reading "Belgique" and "Franc." The currency was monolingual in French. From 1886, some Belgian coins carried the Dutch language legends; some coins featured inscriptions in both languages.
When the two languages appeared on either side of the same face of a coin, two versions were still produced: one with Dutch to the left and French to the right, one with the alternate arrangement. Banknotes became bilingual in 1887 and, from 1992, banknotes were introduced which were trilingual, with either French or Dutch on the obverse and German and the remaining language on the reverse; some commemorative coins were issued with German inscriptions but none for circulation. The Franc's value compared to the US dollar varied over the years. After 1971, its lowest mark was in February 1985, its highest standing was in July 1980. After 1 January 1999, the rates are calculated from the Francs fixed conversion rate to the Euro. Between 1832 and 1834, copper 1, 2, 5 and 10 centime, silver 1⁄4, 1⁄2, 1, 2 and 5 franc, gold 20 and 40 franc coins were introduced; some of the early 1 and 2 centimes were struck over 1 cent coins. The 40 franc was not issued after 1841, whilst silver 2 1⁄2 francs and gold 10 and 25 francs were issued between 1848 and 1850.
Silver 20 centimes replaced the 1⁄4 franc in 1852. In 1860, cupro-nickel 20 centimes were introduced, followed by cupro-nickel 5 and 10 centimes in 1861; the silver 5 franc was discontinued in 1876. Between 1901 and 1908, cupro-nickel 5, 10 and 25 centime coins were introduced. In 1914, production of the 1 centime and all silver and gold coins ceased. Zinc 5, 10 and 25 centimes were introduced in the German occupied zone, followed by holed, zinc 50 centimes in 1918. Production of 2 centimes ended in 1919. In 1922 and 1923, nickel 50 centime and 1 and 2 franc coins were introduced bearing the text "Good For"; these featured the god Mercury. Nickel-brass replaced cupro-nickel in the 5 and 10 centimes in 1930, followed by the 25 centime in 1938. Nickel 5 and 20 francs were introduced in 1930 and 1931 followed by silver 20 francs in 1933 and 50 francs in 1939. In 1938 the 5 franc was reduced in size and redesigned along with the 1 franc to depict a lion and heraldic arms; as a consequence of the German occupation in 1940, the silver coinage was discontinued.
In 1941, zinc replaced all other metals in the 5, 10 and 25 centimes, 1 and 5 francs. In 1944 the Allies minted 25 million 2 franc coins at the Philadelphia Mint using leftover planchets for the 1943
The Maginot Line, named after the French Minister of War André Maginot, was a line of concrete fortifications and weapon installations built by France in the 1930s to deter invasion by Germany and force them to move around the fortifications. Constructed on the French side of its borders with Italy, Switzerland and Luxembourg, the line did not extend to the English Channel due to French strategy that envisioned a move into Belgium to counter a German assault. Based on France's experience with trench warfare during World War I, the massive Maginot Line was built in the run-up to World War II, after the Locarno Conference gave rise to a fanciful and optimistic "Locarno spirit". French military experts extolled the Line as a work of genius that would deter German aggression, because it would slow an invasion force long enough for French forces to mobilise and counterattack; the Maginot Line was impervious to most forms of attack, including aerial bombings and tank fire, had underground railways as a backup.
Instead of attacking directly, the Germans invaded through the Low Countries, bypassing the Line to the north. French and British officers had anticipated this: when Germany invaded the Netherlands and Belgium, they carried out plans to form an aggressive front that cut across Belgium and connected to the Maginot Line. However, the French line was weak near the Ardennes forest. Marshal Gamelin, when drafting the Dyle Plan, believed this region, with its rough terrain, would be an unlikely invasion route of German forces; the German Army, having reformulated their plans from a repeat of the First World War-era plan, became aware of and exploited this weak point in the French defensive front. A rapid advance through the forest and across the River Meuse encircled much of the Allied forces, resulting in a sizeable force being evacuated at Dunkirk leaving the forces to the south unable to mount an effective resistance to the German invasion of France; the line has since become a metaphor for expensive efforts.
The Maginot Line was built to fulfil several purposes: To prevent a surprise German attack To deter a cross-border assault. To protect Alsace and Lorraine and their industrial basin To save manpower To cover the mobilisation of the French Army To push Germany into an effort to circumvent via Switzerland or Belgium, allow France to fight the next war off French soil to avoid a repeat of 1914–1918. To be used as a basis for a counter-offensive The defences were first proposed by Marshal Joseph Joffre, he was opposed by modernists such as Paul Reynaud and Charles de Gaulle, who favoured investment in armour and aircraft. Joffre had support from Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain, there were a number of reports and commissions organised by the government, it was André Maginot who convinced the government to invest in the scheme. Maginot was another veteran of World War I. In January 1923, after Germany defaulted on reparations, the French Premier Raymond Poincaré responded by sending French troops to occupy Germany's Ruhr region.
During the ensuing Ruhrkampf between the Germans and the French that lasted until September 1923, Britain condemned the French occupation of the Ruhr, a period of sustained Francophobia broke out in Britain, with Poincaré being vilified in Britain as a cruel bully punishing Germany with unreasonable reparations demands. The British—who championed the German position on reparations—applied intense economic pressure on France to change its policies towards Germany. At a conference in London in 1924 to settle the Franco-German crisis caused by the Ruhrkampf, the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald pressed the French Premier Édouard Herriot to make concessions to Germany; the British diplomat Sir Eric Phipps who attended the conference commented afterwards that: The London Conference was for the French'man in the street' one long Calvary as he saw M. Herriot abandoning one by one the cherished possessions of French preponderance on the Reparations Commission, the right of sanctions in the event of German default, the economic occupation of the Ruhr, the French-Belgian railroad Régie, the military occupation of the Ruhr within a year.
The great conclusion, drawn in Paris after the Ruhrkampf and the 1924 London conference was that France could not make unilateral military moves to uphold Versailles as the resulting British hostility to such moves was too dangerous to the republic. Beyond that, the French were well aware of the contribution of Britain and its Dominions to the victory of 1918, French decision-makers believed that they needed Britain's help to win another war. From 1871 onwards, French elites had concluded that France had no hope of defeating Germany on its own, France would need an alliance with another great power to defeat the Reich. In 1926, The Manchester Guardian ran an exposé showing the Reichswehr had been developing military technology forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles in the Soviet Union, the secret German-Soviet co-operation had started in 1921; the German statement following The Manchester Guardian's article that Germany did not feel bound by the terms of Versailles and would violate them as much as possible gave much of
Remilitarization of the Rhineland
The remilitarization of the Rhineland by the German Army began on 7 March 1936 when German military forces entered the Rhineland. This was significant because it violated the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Treaties, marking the first time since the end of World War I that German troops had been in this region; the remilitarization changed the balance of power in Europe from France and its allies towards Germany, making it possible for Germany to pursue a policy of aggression in Western Europe that the demilitarized status of the Rhineland had blocked until then. Under Articles 42, 43 and 44 of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles—imposed on Germany by the Allies after the Great War—Germany was "forbidden to maintain or construct any fortification either on the Left bank of the Rhine or on the Right bank to the west of a line drawn fifty kilometers to the East of the Rhine". If a violation "in any manner whatsoever" of this Article took place, this "shall be regarded as committing a hostile act...and as calculated to disturb the peace of the world".
The Locarno Treaties, signed in October 1925 by Germany, France and Britain, stated that the Rhineland should continue its demilitarized status permanently. Locarno was regarded as important as it was a voluntary German acceptance of the Rhineland's demilitarized status as opposed to the diktat of Versailles. Under the terms of Locarno and Italy guaranteed the Franco-German border and the continued demilitarized status of the Rhineland against a "flagrant violation" without however defining what constituted a "flagrant violation". Under the terms of Locarno, if Germany should attempt to attack France Britain and Italy were obliged to go to France's aid and if France should attack Germany Britain and Italy would be obliged to Germany's aid; the American historian Gerhard Weinberg called the demilitarized status of the Rhineland the "single most important guarantee of peace in Europe" as it made it impossible for Germany to attack its neighbors in the West and as the demilitarized zone rendered Germany defenseless in the West, impossible to attack its neighbors in the East as it left Germany open to a devastating French offensive if the Reich tried to invade any of the states guaranteed by the French alliance system in Eastern Europe, the so-called Cordon sanitaire.
The Versailles Treaty stipulated that Allied military forces would withdraw from the Rhineland by 1935. However, the German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann announced in 1929 that Germany would not ratify the 1928 Young Plan for continuing to pay reparations unless the Allies agreed to leave the Rhineland in 1930; the British delegation at the Hague Conference on German reparations in 1929 proposed that reparations paid by Germany be reduced and that British and French forces should evacuate the Rhineland. The last British soldiers left in late 1929 and the last French soldiers left in June 1930; as long as the French continued to occupy the Rhineland, the Rhineland functioned as a form of "collateral" under which the French could respond to any German attempt at overt rearmament by annexing the Rhineland. Once the last French soldiers left the Rhineland in June 1930, it could no longer play its "collateral" role, thus opening the door for German rearmament; the French decision to build the Maginot Line in 1929 was a tacit French admission that it was only a matter of time before German rearmament on a massive scale would begin sometime in the 1930s and that the Rhineland was going to be remilitarized sooner or later.
Intelligence from the Deuxième Bureau indicated that Germany had been violating Versailles continuously all through the 1920s with the considerable help of the Soviet Union, with the French troops out of the Rhineland, it could only be expected that Germany would become more open about violating Versailles. The Maginot Line in its turn lessened the importance of the Rhineland's demilitarized status from a French security viewpoint; the foreign policy of Fascist Italy was to maintain an "equidistant" stance from all the major powers in order to exercise "determinant weight", which by whatever power Italy chose to align with would decisively change the balance of power in Europe, the price of such an alignment would be support for Italian ambitions in Europe and/or Africa. The foreign policy goal of the Soviet Union was set forth by Joseph Stalin in a speech on 19 January 1925 that if another world war broke out between the capitalist states that: "We will enter the fray at the end, throwing our critical weight onto the scale, a weight that should prove to be decisive".
To promote this goal which would lead to the global triumph of Communism, the Soviet Union tended to support German efforts to challenge the Versailles system by assisting German secret rearmament, a policy that caused much tension with France. An additional problem in Franco-Soviet relations was the Russian debt issue. Before 1917, the French had been by far the largest investors in Imperial Russia, the largest buyers of Russian debt, so the decision by Lenin in 1918 to repudiate all debts and to confiscate all private property, whether it be owned by Russians or by foreigners, had hurt the world of French business and finance quite badly; the question of the Russian debt repudiation and compensation for French businesses affected by Soviet nationalisation policies poisoned Franco-Soviet relations until the early 1930s. The centerpiece of interwar French diplomacy had been the cordon sanitaire in Eastern Europe, intended to keep both the Soviet Union and Germany out of Eastern Europe. To this end, France had signed treaties of alliance with Poland in 1921, Czechoslovakia in 1924, Romania in 1926 and Yugoslavia in 1927.
The cordon sanitaire states were intended as a collective replacement
Type 94 tankette
The Type 94 tankette (Japanese: 九四式軽装甲車, Kyūyon-shiki keisōkōsha "94 type light armored car" known as TK, abbreviation of "Tokushu Keninsha" that means special tractor was a tankette used by the Imperial Japanese Army in the Second Sino-Japanese War, at Nomonhan against the Soviet Union, in World War II. Although tankettes were used as ammunition tractors, general infantry support, they were designed for reconnaissance, not for direct combat; the lightweight Type 94 proved effective in China as the Chinese National Revolutionary Army had only three tank battalions to oppose them, those tank battalions were equipped only with some British export models and Italian CV-33 tankettes. As with nearly all tankettes built in the 1920s and 1930s, they had thin armor that could be penetrated by.50 caliber machine gun fire at 600 yards range. Since the 1920s, the Imperial Japanese Army tested a variety of European light tanks, including several Renault FTs, a decision was reached in 1929 to proceed with the domestic development of a new vehicle based on the Carden-Loyd Mk VI tankette design to address the deficiencies of wheeled armored cars.
The initial attempt resulted in the Type 92 Jyu-Sokosha for use by the cavalry. However, Japanese infantry commanders felt that a similar vehicle would be useful as the support vehicle for transport and communications within the infantry divisions. A tankette fad occurred in Europe in the early 1930s, led by United Kingdom's Carden-Loyd Mk VI tankette; the IJA ordered six samples from the UK, along with some French Renault UE Chenillette vehicles and field tested them. The IJA determined that the British and French machines were too small to be practical, started planning for a larger version, the Tokushu Keninsha; the Imperial Japanese Army experimented with a variety of armored cars with limited success. The wheeled armored cars were not suitable for most operations in the puppet state of Manchukuo, due to the poor road conditions and severe winter climate; the design of the Type 94 began in 1932. Development was given to Tokyo Gas and Electric Industry in 1933, an experimental model was completed in 1934.
It was a small light tracked vehicle with a turret armed with one machine gun. For cargo transportation it pulled an ammunition trailer. After trials in both Manchukuo and Japan, the design was standardized, it was reclassified as the Type 94 and was designed for reconnaissance, but could be used for supporting infantry attacks and transporting supplies. It entered service in 1935; the Type 94 was superseded by the Type 97 Te-Ke tankette, designed as a fast reconnaissance vehicle. Oddly, many British and American sources have confused the Type 92 Cavalry Tank, of which only 167 were built with the Type 94, although the Type 94 was the model always encountered in the various fronts of the Pacific War; the design of the Type 94 was inspired by the British Carden-Loyd Mark VIb tankettes. The IJA received delivery of six of these in 1930. Although the Japanese determined that both the Mark VIb and the French Renault UE were too small, they liked certain features of each of them; the design of the Type 94 had more similarities with the Vickers light tanks of the time.
The hull of the Type 94 was of riveted and welded construction, with a front-mounted engine with the driver to the right. The engine was an air-cooled petrol motor. Like many Japanese armored vehicles intended to operate in hot conditions, the engine was given asbestos insulation to protect the occupants from its heat; the commander stood in a small turret at the rear of the hull. A large door in the rear of the hull accessed the storage compartment; the armament was a Type 91 6.5×50mm machine gun, although in models carried a Type 92 7.7 mm machine gun. The suspension consisted of four bogies - two on each side; these were suspended by bell-cranks resisted by armored compression springs placed horizontally, one each side of the hull, externally. Each bogie had two small rubber road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front and the idler at the rear. There were two track-return rollers. In combat service the Type 94 was found to be prone to throwing its tracks in high speed turns. Further redesign work was carried out in 1937 on the suspension and the small idler was replaced by a larger diameter idler wheel suspended from a rocker arm, now in ground contact.
Models of the Type 94 had a revised suspension with the larger diameter idler wheel on a longer chassis. This increased the length of the tankette to 3.35 m. Several variants of the Type 94 were produced; these included the Type 94 "Disinfecting Vehicle" and Type 94 "Gas Scattering Vehicle". Others produced were the "Type 97 Pole Planter" and "Type 97 Cable Layer"; these used the Type 94 chassis, with the former vehicle first planting a telegraph pole and the latter vehicle laying the telegraph cable. The Type 94 was deployed in "Tankette Companies", they were attached to infantry divisions for use in the reconnaissance role. Each Japanese division had four tankette platoons, with four tankettes in each platoon; the Type 94 Tankette was an inexpensive vehicle to build, at half the price of the Type 95 Ha-Go light tank, resulting in more Type 94's entering service than any other Japanese tankette. Production included 300 units in 1935, 246 units in 1936, 200 units in 1937 and 70 units in 1938; the lightweight Type 94 was "tailored" for operating in China and proved to be effective for infantry support and reconnaissance by infantry divisions.
Given the utility of the design in co
Vichy France is the common name of the French State headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain during World War II. Evacuated from Paris to Vichy in the unoccupied "Free Zone" in the southern part of metropolitan France which included French Algeria, it remained responsible for the civil administration of France as well as the French colonial empire. From 1940 to 1942, while the Vichy regime was the nominal government of all of France except for Alsace-Lorraine, the German and Italian militarily occupied northern and south-eastern France. While Paris remained the de jure capital of France, the government chose to relocate to the town of Vichy, 360 km to the south in the zone libre, which thus became the de facto capital of the French State. Following the Allied landings in French North Africa in November 1942, southern France was militarily occupied by Germany and Italy to protect the Mediterranean coastline. Petain's government remained in Vichy as the nominal government of France, albeit one, obliged by circumstances to collaborate with Germany from November 1942 onwards.
The government at Vichy remained there until late 1944, when it lost its de facto authority due to the Allied invasion of France and the government was compelled to relocate to the Sigmaringen enclave in Germany, where it continued to exist on paper until the end of hostilities in Europe. After being appointed Premier by President Albert Lebrun, Marshal Pétain's cabinet agreed to end the war and signed an Armistice with Germany on 22 June 1940. On 10 July, the French Third Republic was dissolved, Pétain established an authoritarian regime when the National Assembly granted him full powers; the Vichy government reversed many liberal policies and began tight supervision of the economy, calling for "National Regeneration", with central planning a key feature. Labour unions came under tight government control. Conservative Catholics became clerical input in schools resumed. Paris lost its avant-garde status in European culture; the media were controlled and stressed virulent anti-Semitism, after June 1941, anti-Bolshevism.
The French State maintained nominal sovereignty over the whole of French territory, but had effective full sovereignty only in the unoccupied southern zone libre. It had only civil authority in the northern zones under military occupation; the occupation was to be a provisional state of affairs, pending the conclusion of the war, which at the time appeared imminent. The occupation presented certain advantages, such as keeping the French Navy and French colonial empire under French control, avoiding full occupation of the country by Germany, thus maintaining a degree of French independence and neutrality. Despite heavy pressure, the French government at Vichy never joined the Axis alliance, remained formally at war with Germany. Germany kept two million French soldiers prisoner, carrying out forced labour, they were hostages to ensure that Vichy would reduce its military forces and pay a heavy tribute in gold and supplies to Germany. French police were ordered to round up Jews and other "undesirables" such as communists and political refugees.
Much of the French public supported the government, despite its undemocratic nature and its difficult position vis-à-vis the Germans seeing it as necessary to maintain a degree of French autonomy and territorial integrity. In November 1942, the zone libre was occupied by Axis forces, leading to the disbandment of the remaining army and the sinking of France's remaining fleet and ending any semblance of independence, with Germany now supervising all French officials. Most of the overseas French colonies were under Vichy control, but with the Allied invasion of North Africa it lost one colony after another to Charles de Gaulle's Allied-oriented Free France. Public opinion in some quarters turned against the French government and the occupying German forces over time, when it became clear that Germany was losing the war, resistance to them increased. Following the Allied invasion of France in June 1944 and the liberation of France that year, the Free French Provisional government of the French Republic was installed by the Allies as France's government, led by de Gaulle.
Under a "national unanimity" cabinet uniting the many factions of the French Resistance, the GPRF re-established a provisional French Republic, thus restoring continuity with the Third Republic. Most of the legal French government's leaders at Vichy fled or were subject to show trials by the GPRF, a number were executed for "treason" in a series of purges. Thousands of collaborators were summarily executed by local communists and the Resistance in so-called "savage purges"; the last of the French state exiles were captured in the Sigmaringen enclave by de Gaulle's French 1st Armoured Division in April 1945. Pétain, who had voluntarily made his way back to France via Switzerland, was put on trial for treason by the new Provisional government, received a death sentence, but this was commuted to life imprisonment by de Gaulle. Only four senior Vichy officials were tried for crimes against humanity, although many more had participated in the deportation of Jews for internment in Nazi concentration camps, abuses of prisoners, severe acts against members of the Resistance.
In 1940, Marshal Pétain was known as the victor of the battle of Verdun. As the last premier of the Third Republic, being a reactionary by inclination, he blamed the Third Republic's democracy for France's sudden defeat by Germany, he set up a paternalistic, authoritarian regime that collaborated with Ger