The AMX 13 Light Tank – Images of War – Review

The AMX-13 light tank is a French designed and built light tank with a production run from 1952 to 1987. In the French Army it was referred to as the Char 13t-75 Modèle 51. It was named after its initial weight of 13 tonnes and was a tough and reliable air-portable chassis. It was exported to more than 25 other nations. The AMX-13 was fitted with an oscillating turret built by GIAT Industries with revolver type magazines, which were also used on the Austrian SK-105 Kürassier. There are over a hundred variants including self-propelled guns, anti-aircraft systems, APCs, and ATGM versions.

The turret was to the back of the vehicle, with the engine the full length of the vehicle, driver on the other side. Total crew of three. The gun was aimed by rotating the elevating the turret to the target.

Guy Gibeau, Peter Lau, and M. P. Robinson have out together a complete pictorial history of the AMX-13 which is released as:

The AMX 13 Light Tank – A Complete History
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 237
ISBN: 9781526701671
Published: 12th December 2018

The book covers the origins of the AMX-13 and its design and funding then looks at the various builds and marks as well as the export and second hand sales versions of the vehicle (for example, Peter Lau covers the Singapore Army’s AMX-13 that were acquired from Switzerland (150); India (150); and Israel (40).

The AMX -13 is currently deployed by:

  • Argentina: 58 AMX-13/105,24 AMX-VCI, 24 AMX F3 155mm and 2 AMX-13 PDP armoured bridge-layers
  • Ecuador: 108 AMX-13/105s
  • Indonesia: From the total of 275 only 120+ AMX-13/105 are still in service as 2018. Scheduled for replacement by the PT Pindad Harimau jointly developed by Indonesia and Turkey.
  • Morocco: 120 AMX-13/75s and 4 AMX-13 CD armoured recovery vehicles;[2] 5 operational.
  • Peru: 108 tanks; 30 AMX-13/75s and 78 AMX-13/105s
  • Venezuela: 67 AMX-13s; 36 AMX-13/75s and 31 AMX-13/90s

AMX-13 former operators:

  • Algeria: 44 AMX-13/75s
  • Austria: 72 AMX-13/75s and 3 AMX-13 CD armoured recovery vehicles
  • Belgium: 555 AMX-13s
  • Cambodia: 20 AMX-13/75s
  • Côte d’Ivoire: 5 AMX-13/75s
  • Djibouti: 60 AMX-13/90s
  • Dominican Republic: 15 AMX-13/75s
  • Egypt: 20 AMX-13/75s
  • France: 4,300 (of all types)
  • Guatemala: 8 AMX-13/75s
  • India: 164 AMX-13/75s
  • Israel: 400 AMX-13/75s
  • Lebanon: 75 tanks; 42 AMX-13/75s, 13 AMX-13/90s and 22 AMX-13/105s
  • Nepal: 56 AMX-13/75s
  • Netherlands: 131 AMX-13/105s, as AMX-13 PRLTTK (Pantserrups Lichte Tank) and 34 AMX-13 PRB (Pantserrups Berging) armoured recovery vehicles
  • Singapore: 340 second-hand AMX-13/75s
  • South Vietnam: 4 AMX-13 CD armoured recovery vehicles
  • Switzerland: 200 AMX-13/75s
  • Tunisia: 30 AMX-13/75s

The versatility of the tank is apparent from its multiple combat roles, being used as light tank, reconnaissance vehicle, self-propelled artillery platform, ATGM platform among others.

The book contains the following chapters:

  1. Origin
  2. Design, Funding and Production
  3. AMX13 Mle 51 Production Series
  4. Rebuilds and Upgrades
  5. The AMX13 Enters Service
  6. The AMX13 FL-11 and AMX-US
  7. The AMX13 Mle 58
  8. Division 1959
  9. The AMX13 SS-11
  10. The AMX13 C90
  11. The Division 1967
  12. Derivatives of the AMX 13
  13. The AMX13 as an Export Success
  14. Modernising the AMX13
  15. The AMX13 Mle 51 as a Combat Vehicle

The vehicle saw combat in the following wars:

  • Suez Crisis
  • Algerian War
  • Sand War
  • 1958 Lebanon crisis
  • Vietnam War
  • Cambodian Civil War
  • Dominican Civil War
  • Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
  • Six-Day War
  • Western Sahara War
  • Lebanese Civil War
  • Guatemalan Civil War

There were 7,700 vehicles built of which 3,400 were exported.

As we have come to expect with then Images at War series, there are a plethora of photographs of the vehicle at various times and in various roles.

I have always liked the lines of the modern French AFVs, the AMX30; the Leclerc; but the AMX13 is one of my all-time favourite vehicles. This is a recommended work for modern tank modellers and enthusiasts, military historians with an interest in modern AFVs and wargamers wanting background and weapon information on AFVs of the recent past – the last half of the 20th Century.

Available from Pen and Sword Books – the link is:

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-AMX-13-Light-Tank-Paperback/p/13645

Advertisements

Cultural Heritage

Last night I was watching Newsline on the Australia Network and a piece came on about Alice Pung. Alice Pung is a writer, lawyer and teacher and her last book, Her Father’s Daughter, tells the story of her father, a survivor of Cambodia’s Killing Fields and her cultural awakening. Pung was born and raised in Australia, suffering from some of the problems immigrant families suffer from but after her visit to Cambodia, came to the awakening that whilst she had a Cambodian background, at heart she was an Aussie.

I’ve been to Phnom Penh and I defy anyone to visit the Killing Fields or the Chao Ponhea Yat High School (later the security prison S21) and not be moved by the tragedy of the time of the Khmer Rouge. I recall a business associate of mine in Cambodia who once said to me that he was lucky in that when the Khmer Rouge came to take his father away he was only 5 and so had not really got to know his father all that well so did not miss him as much as those who were older when their father’s were taken. My friend’s father’s crime? He taught IT at the university.

It was, however, uplifting hearing Pung’s story, so much so that her book will be the next on my reading list.

You can see the interview here in the video archives, look for the 17 October 2011 archive.

Photo Galleries and Articles – an Index

I’ve included this post as an archived post so that when folks are searching for something in Thomo’s Hole and that something is in a gallery or on a page (rather than on a post) they have a chance of finding it. So, below are links to various areas of the site. And yes – this is a shortcoming of using a blog as the basis for the home page – I really need to organise better 😉 Gallery (and Albums) through Thomo’s Hole

  • Main Gallery Page
    • Mongolia Album – images from around Mongolia, both in Ulaanbaatar and the countryside
    • Museum Photos
      • Korean War Memorial Museum – Photos of Korean armour (armor) and Korean weapons, Ancient History exhibits, Korean War exhibits and material from the time of the Righteous Army and the Japanese assuming control of Korea. The museum is in Seoul (just up from Samgakchi Subway Station). The museum is full of displays of interest to military historians and wargamers in particular, covering the periods from ancient times to the Korean War in particular.
        • Koryo Dynasty – Photos of displays from the museum of Korean soldiers around the Koryo Dynasty (918 AD to 1392 AD)
        • Three Kingdoms Dynasty (Sam Guk Si Dae) – The Three Kingdoms period of Korean history – 37 BC to 668 AD – the kingdoms of Silla, Paekche and Koguryo – and the small group known as Kaya – not big enough to be a kingdom but an available ally never-the-less.
        • Chosun Period – Chosun Dynasty Korean – 1392 AD to 1910 AD – Arms and armour from the Chosun Dynasty of Korean history.
        • Korea in the Late 19th Century – The Daehan Army – Korea in late 19th Century – 1885 to 1907.
        • Admiral Yi’s Turtle Ship – Well, not the real one but rather a half scale model as well as neat painting of Yi SunShin at Hansan-do.
        • Korean Army Standards – particularly useful for wargamers, some neat standards from Korean History.
      • Royal Thai Air Force Museum – This museum is in Bangkok, Thailand, near Don Muang airport. It has many important exhibits including Boritapatra, Curtiss Hawk 75N and others – well worth the visit.
      • Palace Museum – Taipei, Taiwan. When the Chinese Civil War stopped on the mainland and the Nationalists fled to Taiwan, they fled with the best of the museum exhibits as well. I am slowly adding to this gallery.
    • Oddball Stuff – A miscellany of odd signs in English (abuse and misuse of the language) as well as just plain strange sites.
    • Wargames and Eye Candy – Pictures of all my wargaming related stuff is included under here including some how-to guides, as well as general wargaming eye candy from the ancient, fantasy, medieval and naval areas in particular
    • Places Visited – These are pictures of places I have been to that I found somewhere particularly nice or interesting to photograph. At the time of creating this album I had been to over 50 countries. This album is everywhere except Mongolia.

Static Pages throughout Thomo’s Hole are listed here now as well as basic keywords.

Really, I must get around to getting a better search tool for Thomo’s Hole.

Note that I updated the links on this page to reflect new pages, corrections and the like on 23 February 2009