2C bis

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Rank 6 USA
F-5C Pack
This page is about the French heavy tank 2C bis. For the other version, see 2C.
2C bis
fr_char_2c_bis.png
GarageImage 2C bis.jpg
2C bis
AB RB SB
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Description

The Char 2C bis is an experimentally modified Char 2C that primarily differs in its main armament. Following a decision made in December 1922, a standard Char 2C was modified at La Seyne from 1923 to 1926 and designated Char 2C bis, an experimental super-heavy tank with a 155 mm Schneider 155 C howitzer in a rounded cast steel turret. The main armament had a muzzle velocity of 200 m/s. The three separate machine gun positions were removed and more powerful Sautter-Harlé engines were installed. The tank weighed around 74 tonnes in this configuration. The modification was only temporary, as this experimental super-heavy tank was returned to its original state after 1934.

Introduced in Update "Apex Predators", the Char 2C bis has a playstyle comparable to the Char 2C. However, since it is equipped with a short-barreled 155 mm howitzer, the reload time is substantially longer than most adversaries it will face during combat, players need always make every shot count in this experimental super-heavy tank. Despite being a super-heavy tank, its armour is not thick enough to stop the majority of tank rounds fired at it, and as such the 2C bis relies entirely on its huge crew count of 12 and empty hull space to survive. Staying behind the frontlines and acting as artillery is a feasible strategy, but due to the low velocity of the ammunition, this is extremely challenging for inexperienced players. Though with a careful aim, mastering the howitzer can be very rewarding, especially since it can obliterate even tanks at a much higher rank or BR. Always be aware of your surroundings and stay close to allies to prevent being isolated and overwhelmed by enemies.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull45 / 22 / 22
Turret35 / 35 / 35
Crew12 people
Visibility750 %

Being comprised of large, flat, vertical armour plates, the 2C bis does not have a revolutionary armour scheme. Many dedicated anti-tank guns such as the Soviet 45 mm 45-K, the US 37 mm M5/M6 guns, and the British 40 mm 2-pounder can penetrate this tank frontally from medium to short range without any problem. Larger cannons will have no issue dealing with the 2C bis. Autocannons can also be a threat, especially from the thinly armoured sides. The lower hull sides are composed of 22 mm plates, meaning that a skilled M2A2 or T-60 player can penetrate the sides with ease. However, some slight angling can somewhat mitigate this issue. The large tracks of the 2C bis can obscure the front plate and make it harder to penetrate. In addition, there are some fuel tanks and extra 22 mm plates surrounding said fuel tanks, making for a nearly 50 mm effective thickness.

The 2C bis' true survivability lies in its crew count and empty hull space. Since the tank has 12 crew members that are placed separately at the front and rear of the vehicle, meaning that even if the crew up front is entirely knocked out with an APHE shell, there are a number of aft-facing members ready to replace them. This can give the 2C bis a near comical amount of survivability as it can be continuously penetrated, seemingly disabled, and suddenly it can return to battle.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (hull, side, side skirts, roof)
  • Cast homogeneous armour (turret, 155 mm gun mantlet, cupola)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 49 mm (0°) Front plate
22 mm (69°) Front glacis 15 mm (73°) Lower glacis
22 mm (0°) 15 mm (62°) Top
22 mm (0°) Bottom
13 mm (0°)
Turret 35 mm Turret front
35 mm Gun mantlet
35 mm 35 mm 35 mm
Cupola 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm 30 mm

Notes:

Mobility

Reverse gearbox
Forward and backward movement is possible at the same maximum speed
Speedforward / back
AB16 / 16 km/h
RB and SB16 / 16 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
5 back
Weight70.0 t
Engine power
AB954 hp
RB and SB500 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB13.6 hp/t
RB and SB7.1 hp/t

The 2C bis utilizes a diesel-electric hybrid drive system. Two Sautter-Harlé inline 6 diesel engines power electric generators which then engage with electric motors at the rear sprocket. Like the Pz.Bef.Wg.VI P, this means that the 2C bis can neutral steer and theoretically go just as fast in reverse.

The 2C bis accelerates to its top speed quickly, regardless of the terrain it drives on, but this is only 15 km/h. The 2C bis will certainly be the last tank to the fight, but on the other hand the quick reverse acceleration can prove helpful in close quarters.

Its hull traverse speed is quite average, so given the long hull length it takes a bit of time before turning at full speed. Therefore, the 2C bis will respond pretty clumsily when adjusting hull position against close-up foes, so always keep yourself at a reasonable distance from danger zone (at least 100 m).

Lastly, given the tall position of the idler wheel, the 2C bis is excellent at driving over larger obstacles that would have stuck conventional tanks; its long hull also allows it to cross over larger trenches or gaps on the ground with ease, giving it a small advantage in certain terrains.

Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 16 16 70 _,___ 954 __.__ 13.63
Realistic 16 16 _,___ 500 __.__ 7.14

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB2 086 Sl icon.png
RB328 Sl icon.png
SB406 Sl icon.png
Crew training1 400 Sl icon.png
Experts9 000 Sl icon.png
Aces75 Ge icon.png
Research Aces270 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 30 / 30 / 40 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 106 / 106 / 106 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Mods tank reinforcement fr.png
Crew Replenishment
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism

Armaments

Main armament

155 mm Schneider 155 C howitzer
Ammunition24 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
22.4 → 17.2 s
Vertical guidance-10° / 10°
Horizontal guidance-100° / 100°

The 2C bis has a 155 mm Schneider howitzer in its two man cast turret. Its velocity is extremely low and its reload rate is abysmal. The armament takes time and practice to utilize effectively, especially with its horrible shell velocity and curved trajectory. So, engaging targets further than 300 meters can take some practice. Given the extreme shell drop, the cannon often needs to aim up a lot to hit targets at normal fighting distance (~500m), but it just happens to have very limited elevation angle (+10°), severely limiting the cannon's effective range.

This cannon is housed inside a front turret that gets obstructed by the commander's position behind, preventing the gun to aim towards the rear. Thus it is important to angle the hull such that the turret's firing arc contains all dangerous directions within.

On the plus side, with 7.7 kg of explosive filler, the Mle1915 shell will obliterate whatever it touches at the BR of the 2C bis, and even many way more advanced tanks at a much higher BR can still be one-shotted by this howitzer. As long as the shell makes contact anywhere, it is almost guaranteed to knock a vehicle out. Open-topped vehicles can even be knocked out by splash damage, as this is basically an artillery piece on tracks. Lastly, the gun has a good -10° gun depression, allowing it to fight on hills with relative ease.

155 mm Schneider 155 C Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 24 ±10° ±100° N/A 8.1 11.2 13.6 15.0 16.0 22.4 19.8 18.2 17.2
Realistic 6.0 7.0 8.5 9.4 10.0

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
Mle1915 HE 58 58 58 58 58 58
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
Mle1915 HE 240 43.2 0 0.1 7.65 79° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
24 __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __

Since each shells are modelled individually, you should only loaded the tank with enough shells that you would realistically need to reduce the ammo rack size. Typically, 10 shells would be enough to deal with enemies in a single sortie.

Machine guns

2 x 8 mm Hotchkiss Mle 1914 machine gun
Ammunition6 000 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
6.5 → 5.0 s
Fire rate450 shots/min

The rear turret has decent horizontal arcs but suffers from rather poor vertical arcs and slow rotation speed, making this turret very situational. The frontal machine gun can be used to knock small obstacles out of the way as to prevent the HE shell from detonating on them.

8 mm Hotchkiss Mle 1914
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Hull 5,000 (250) 450 __° __°
Rear 5,000 (250) 450 __° -130°/+120°

Usage in battles

Compared to the "normal" counterpart the 2C, the 2C's bis powerful yet tricky-to-use 155 mm howitzer offered a much more devastating damage output. While the tank is still vulnerable to airstrike and flankers, it can be effectively used as a much tougher, albeit slower version of the Ho-Ro or 15cm sIG 33 B Sfl. Because of this, despite its antiquated appearance, the 2C bis can reliably defeat even the much more advanced tanks at higher BR should its gun handling is well understood.

As stated before, angling the hull around 40 degrees at any range can increase survivability and make the armour somewhat useful. If you are not sure about how far a target is, use the rangefinder, even at close range, since a miss will have you waiting almost half a minute to reload. The dreadful top speed will sometimes work in your favour, being that the first "wave" of enemy vehicles has already been dealt with. The 2C bis does not do well against multiple vehicles.

Sitting in the rear and lobbing artillery at the enemy is a possible strategy, but the low velocity and high arc of the rounds make this difficult. Eventually, a dedicated anti-tank SPG will likely disable or knock out the vehicle. The 2C bis performs better at mid-range (100-400 m) encounters where tracking targets can be easier.

Despite its massive size, the 2C bis can performs surprisingly well in urban areas, primarily due to the confined, close-ranged combat effectively nullifies the low shell velocity problem of the howitzer. The 2C bis can be used to effectively guard a key chokepoint and obliterate anything that came within its line of fire. The quick reverse acceleration can work in your favour to react to the enemy or retreat for a reload. Because of this, getting "Shadow Strikes" is more than possible. Though, much like in open area, the 2C bis is still vulnerable against flankers, as you would often find yourself being unable to move between certain corridors due to the sheer length of the tank. As such, never drive alone and always have someone to cover your back.

Use your machine guns to clear obstacles that may trigger the HE shell's fuse prematurely. The 2C bis doesn't have a coaxial machine gun, which can be a problem when clearing obstacles as the hull guns have limited firing arcs. Turning the entire hull to shoot down fences and trees can be quite tedious, so always do it ASAP when you arrive at a comfortable position.

Enemies worth noting
  • BT-5/7: those light tanks can be very threatening in the hands of an experienced tanker. They are very fast and agile, so they can show up at any location surprisingly fast. Their cannons are also powerful enough to penetrate the 2C bis' armour at any range, and usually knock out a few crews. Luckily, their armour is poor so a hit anywhere (or sometimes a near miss) can disable them. If the 2C is under their attack, angling the hull can help increase protection: while the effective thickness still won't be enough to stop a 45 mm AP, the 2C's large tracks and wheels can sometimes weaken the shell's kenetic energy.
  • 15cm sIG 33 B Sfl, Ho-Ro, Spj fm/43-44: these tanks are armed with a large caliber howitzer just like the 2C bis, posing a huge threat with HE overpressure. Usually 1-2 shots from them can completely destroy a 2C bis. But they have weak protection, so a direct hit or a near miss (especially close to their open compartment) can wipe them out. If you are aware of their presence, it is best not to engage unless they are reloading or distracted.
  • Any enemy tanks in deliberate uptier (KV-1, M4 Sherman, T-34, etc.): Unlike many "low tier derp gun" tanks at low rank, the 2C bis benefits greatly from its huge crew count and empty hull space, which allows the tank to endure several hits from these tanks and capable of firing back, often destroying them in the process. In certain maps (especially maps with corridors or urban maps), the 2C bis can perform surprisingly well against an opponent at a much higher BR, with "Skill Matters" and "Balancer" awards being easily achievable. While the 155 mm is more than capable of taking out these tanks, they either have enough armor thickness or angled armor that allows it to survive some shots at certain places. As such, avoid aiming at their tracks or angled part of their armor if you are aware that these armor are enough to dissipate the explosion damage, and instead aim at certain deflective angles that would cause the pressure to went into the weak turret or hull roof and cause overpressure, such as turret mantlet or side profile.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Has a dozen crew members, highly survivable
  • Huge empty hull space and separate crew compartments at the rear, making it very difficult to one-shot without direct hit on ammo racks
  • 155 mm howitzer will decimate anything even above its BR
  • Neutral steering gives the tank decent reflex mobility
  • Can climb over rough terrain with ease due to its World War I design

Cons:

  • Extremely huge, easily spotted and targeted by any enemy
  • Armour is mediocre at best
  • Cramped frontal crew compartments, losing driver and gunner in a single shot is quite common
  • 155 mm howitzer has long reload time, unfriendly shell trajectory, and low elevation
  • Awfully slow top speed
  • Limited turret traverse, very prone to rear attack

History

The FCM 2C was a French "super heavy" tank designed to conquer the "no man's land" of WW1. It was dimensionally the largest tank ever produced, and for a time the heaviest. Ready for production by February 1918, the war ended before any of the vehicles were completed, and so the order of 300 was eventually reduced to just 10, finished in 1921. The standard 2C mounted a 75 mm APX 1897 field gun, similar to the cannon which would be mounted on the M3 GMC tank destroyer. The 2C had many innovative design features for the time, including a hybrid drive, leaf spring suspension, the world's first three-man turret, and stroboscopic cupolas. All of the 2Cs were named after ancient regions of France.

One 2C, No. 99 "Champagne", was given a new two-man cast turret with a 155 mm howitzer. The commander was given his own compartment behind the turret. The side machine gun ports were also removed. This variant would be known as the 2C bis. Eventually, Champagne would be returned to its original configuration and its turret would be used as a makeshift static emplacement in the Mareth Line. Champagne would be the only 2C to survive the invasion of France, with the other nine tanks either being scuttled by their own crew to prevent capture, or breaking down.

Media

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See also

Related development

External links


Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée (FCM)
Ships 
Destroyers 
Aigle-class  Vautour
Le Fantasque-class  Le Malin
Battleships 
Courbet-class  Paris
Tanks 
Light tank  FCM.36
Heavy tank  2C · 2C bis

France heavy tanks
B1  B1 bis · B1 ter
2C  2C · 2C bis
ARL-44  ARL-44 (ACL-1)
AMX-50  Somua SM · AMX-50 Surbaissé · AMX-50 Surblindé
USA  ▄M4A3E2

France premium ground vehicles
Light tanks  AMD.35 (SA35) · H.39 "Cambronne" · LVT-4/40 · AMX-13 (SS.11) · AMX-13-M24 · E.B.R. (1954) · E.B.R. (1963) · VBCI-2 (MCT30)
Medium tanks  M4A1 (FL10) · Panther "Dauphiné" · AMX-30 · AMX-30 Super · AMX-50 (TO90/930)
Heavy tanks  B1 ter · 2C bis · Somua SM
Tank destroyers  Lorraine 155 Mle.50