While, by nature, Wikipedia cannot be sufficiently credible when it comes to controversial topics, you can nonetheless find very funny articles about forgotten quarrels.

Among 1938's pacifists

It was claimed for years that France came into WWII unprepared for. Some even blamed left-wing elected Front Populaire for it, saying that national weapon production was too far inferior to german’s one due to social policies implemented in 1936 – funny enough to forget that right wing, during this period, was mostly composed of pacifists (well, not really hippies much, but…) and the fact that armament production increased considerably in 1938 due to decisions made in 1936. Well, France surely came into war without being properly set up for it but, and it’s no secret, the main issue was not weaponry at hand or manpower but the usage made of it: spontaneously, Germans went blitzkrieg (it was not a defined doctrine before war started) while Frogs prepared for a WWI remake, placing anti-tank guns or tanks alone hidden near roads. In the overall, French army was not made obsolete by the German counterpart before war. For instance in May 1940, one french Char B1 called Eure supposedly defeated thirteen Panzers (Panzer III and Panzer IV). It’s not engineers and soldiers that made France a victim during WWI and WWII but upper management, military or civilian.

Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf. B: 71.7 tonnes, yes we can!

While Germany, during the same period, had its share of completely mental projects that came up just because of the intricate political nightmare constituted by the concurrent agencies revolving around Hitler and the personality disorders of the later, stories of Frog super-heavy tanks provided by Wikipedia are worth reading. Super-heavy tanks stories always say more about war-leaders than warfare: there’s always something weird in the idea of getting a super-heavy weapon, far bigger than anything else produced during the same period. The Stug III (Sturmgeschütz III), the most produced German armored fighting vehicule during WWII, weight was 24 tonnes. The common tank Panzer IV (Panzerkampfwagen IV) weighted 25 tonnes while both the bigger Panther (Panzerkampfwagen V Panther Ausfuhrung D) and its heavy anti-tank version, the Jagdpanther (Jagdpanzer V Jagdpanther), weighted 45 tonnes. The heavy tank Tiger I (Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. E) was around 60 tonnes while it’s Königs-successor, the Tiger II (Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B) was around 69 tonnes. By comparison, the common American WWII tank M4 Sherman was around 30 tonnes while the quite unused American heavy tank M26 Pershing was around 42 tonnes and the common soviet T-34 was around 27 tonnes while the less useful soviet heavy tank (same weaponry as a T-34) KV-1 (Kliment Voroshilov series) was around 45 tonnes. The Tiger II was considered unreliable, at least initially – 8 only of 45 were operational when the Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 501 arrived to the Eastern Front. Due to his dimension and weight, M26 Pershing was unable to get across the Rhine over the Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen, first bridgehead across the Rhine. No kidding, someone felt the need of an über-Tiger II, tada! here comes the Jagdtiger aka Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf. B around 72 tonnes: the kind of armor that was most often destroyed by its own crew than the enemy, because of mechanical breakdowns or, simply, lack of fuel, before surrendering.

Where am I getting at, you wonder? Well, just a little bit of context, to properly introduce the funny story of the French super-heavy tank Char 2C, 69 tonnes with a 1917 design, yeah! You’ll learn how you can endorse an unfeasible super-heavy tank project just to put it away, or to gain real live tanks from your allies by pretending you’re trying to do something useful by yourself. Then, when it actually comes live, one war too late, you’ll read how it won’t get any action for (cheesy) propaganda benefits. We’re quite good a ducking and covering.