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The Char léger d'accompagnement FCM.36 (Light support tank FCM.36) is a Rank I French light tank with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance". Though affectionately nicknamed the "Cone" due to the turret's shape, the FCM.36 was removed as a researchable vehicle from the main tech tree during Update 1.85 "Supersonic" after the ammo update that rendered its armament feeble, though it is still unlockable after reaching rank II French ground vehicles.
Generally speaking, the main reason you'd play the FCM.36 is so it can unlock better vehicles like the AMR.35 ZT3 to have better firepower at the rank. Bearing the awful SA18 L/21 cannon as the main armament with 40 mm of armour all around and bad mobility, this tank resembles the H.35 in many ways. However, the FCM.36 does have well-sloped armour for the rank to be a tad useful during long range engagements, but the underperforming gun makes the FCM.36 act more like a shield rather than a spear.
Compared to the reserve H.35, the FCM.36 features a design with "better" armour and a more powerful engine, bringing the power ratio to a more manageable 12.4 HP/ton. With wider tracks than the H.35, this tank feels faster than other BR 1.0 French tanks. It turns quite smoothly and reaches its top speed fairly easily on road. 40 mm all around is enough to survive incoming rounds at long distances (~ 500+ m) but its bad angling makes it unreliable at close range, whereas your gun enters its actual combat ranges. Keeping the awful SA18 L/21 canon as the main armament, this gun is what makes an otherwise good tank so bad as it is. As the Devblog claims: "Wait Until You See The Whites of Their Eyes!", you will have to get up close and personal with this tank in order to penetrate another tank. With -17° of gun depression, this is actually a depressing gun.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 40 mm (25-37°) Front plate
40 mm (71°) Upper glacis
40 mm (25°) Lower glacis
| 20 mm (45°) Top quarter (sponson)
8 mm (45°) Radiator grille
20 mm (0-8°) + 20 mm (43-45°) Upper quarter
20 mm (0-8°) + 20 mm (43-45°) + 20 mm (41°) Lower quarter
20 (0°) + 20 mm (36-41°) Bottom quarter
| 20 mm (50-65°) Upper glacis
8 mm (65°) Radiator grille
20 mm (30-65°) Lower glacis
|15 mm (89°)|
|Turret|| 40 mm (24-71°) Turret front
20 mm (4-45°) Gun mantlet
40 mm (18°) Cupola
|40 mm (12-28°)||40 mm (36°)||15 mm (77-89°)|
- Suspension wheels are 20 mm thick while tracks are 30 mm thick.
- Belly armor is 12 mm thick.
- Turret ring is 34 mm thick.
- Gun barrel is 10 mm thick plus a small 25 mm thick sleeve.
|Weight (tons)|| Add-on Armor
|Max speed (km/h)|
|Engine power (horsepower)|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|37 mm SA18 L/21|
|Turret rotation speed (°/s)|
|Mode||Stock||Upgraded||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Stock||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack|
|Ammunition|| Type of
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
|102||43 (+59)||1 (+101)||Yes|
|7.5 mm MAC 31|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in battles
Sit down in an open field, angle yourself and stay at a good distance (500+ m) from any threat. Watch enemy shells ricochet of your armour, spot enemies for the team. Whenever a potent gun comes your way, flee and hope not to get shot at. Blind such big guns with your good MAC 31 coaxial machine gun and attempt a few shots on the move (big guns generally means poor armour at this BR).
If you intend to play in RB or SB, use brush or other objects to obscure your vehicle's outline, so that the enemy doesn't entirely know what you are, and therefore have a chance of not taking shots at your weak points such as your gun mantle or driver port.
Never engage an enemy upfront: assist your allies in flanking manœuvres and don't bother stealing a score since it's all you can get with such a poor cannon. Feel free to turn you back anytime and flee when allies are lacking, go find friends and act as a bullet magnet for them as they attempt to flank enemies.
Not the size that matters its the technique
In the right hands, this tank can be used correctly to a degree. With practice with the gun and knowledge of enemy armour it can pen most enemy vehicles but anything above rank II tanks is nearly impossible to pen.
Pros and cons
- Decent frontal armour with good sloping
- Relatively small
- -17° of depression
- Turret is 40 mm all-around
- Primitive "LOCK" stabiliser makes stop-and-shoot tactic easier.
- APCR can penetrate other tanks if aimed and used correctly
- Very bad penetration
- As the same gun as the H.35
- Only 102 HP engine
- Max speed is 24 km/h
- Cannot angle properly without exposing a flat surface (driver's port)
- Only 2 crew members are cramped and lined-up makes one-shot easy
- Bad reverse speed : -3 km/h
In 1934, the FCM company received an order from the French army to design a modern tank for their light tank regiments. FCM was an experienced tank manufacturer, having proved themselves with work on previous projects (such as the Char 2C and Char B1), and quickly developed a new light tank design. Just over a year after the initial wooden mockup was presented and approved by the Army, the first prototype was tested in April 1935. During the one year testing period, multiple changes were made to make the vehicle more reliable, lighter, and better protected.
In July 1936, the FCM 36 was declared the best of three competing vehicles (which included the Hotchkiss H35 and Renault R35), although all three vehicles were still produced. But due to the Rhineland crisis in May 1936, the FCM company received orders for 100 of the FCM 36 tanks before it was even proclaimed the winner of the competition. Production of the FCM 36 did not begin until 1937, after tests of an improved version failed to produce the desired results. The first FCM 36 tanks left the factory floor in May 1938, and joined the ranks of the Army the following year. After the initial order of 100 vehicles was fulfilled, production was discontinued in favour of the Char B1, (also manufactured by FCM).
During the Invasion of France in 1940, the 100 FCM 36s in service with the French army saw limited success against the latest German armour—most notably the Panzer III. Although both vehicles offered similar overall performance, long tank battles against the Panzer III often resulted with neither vehicle able to achieve a fatal blow against the other. Unfortunately, the welds of the FCM 36’s heavily angled and complex armour would eventually break from extensive and repeated battle damage, which left the Panzer III as the victor in the long run. During the German occupation, the FCM 36 was initially used by the German army as a training or reserve vehicle. In 1943/44, 37 captured FCM 36s were converted into tank destroyers or self-propelled artillery pieces.
- From Devblog
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|France light tanks|
|AMC||AMC.34 YR · AMC.35 (ACG.1)|
|AMX||AMX-13 (FL11) · AMX-13 · AMX-13-90 · AMX-13 (HOT) · AMX-13 (SS.11)|
|Hotchkiss||H.35 · H.39 · H.39 "Cambronne"|
|FCM.36 · R.35 (SA38) · Char 25t|