Laffly W-15 TCC
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The W-15 TCC (the CC stood for Chasseur de char, "tank hunter") was a quick and desperate French response to the threat of German Blitzkrieg warfare, which had sent fast armoured formations knifing across the country. It did not enter production until mid 1940, when the French military situation was already quite desperate. Mounting the excellent 47mm SA mle 1937 anti-tank gun on the capable 6x6 chassis of the Laffly W-15 all-terrain truck, the original design called for armoring of the truck and protecting the crew in an armoured cabin. When circumstances required these vehicles to be deployed immediately or not at all, they were rushed to the front with only a gunshield for the 47mm gun. They found a measure of success despite such haste. The 54ème Batterie d'anti-chars automoteurs (Mobile Anti-Tank Battery; BACA), consisting of just five vehicles and some ancillary light anti-tank guns, was credited with 28 tank kills and five armored car kills in just eight days of combat. Had they been developed sooner and deployed more widely, it’s reasonable to think that French forces would have been far better able to cope with the mobile Panzers slashing across Northern France. Tank and AFV armoured doctrine of the French military command in 1940 was much less capable than the equipment they squandered.
The Laffly TCC is often not selected for combat development until late in a campaign, mainly due to a preference for much sexier tanks and armored cars which players often find easier to deploy in combat effectively. Nevertheless, when this vehicle finally does make the battlefield, it usually does quite well for itself, as players who employ such a weapon know its weaknesses and strengths, and are usually a little smarter than the average tanker. The key is to think of it as an anti-tank gun that is more mobile. You’re not going to engage in a rapid style move-to-contact battle – your driver and crew will die in seconds. Like a typical anti-tank gun, you have to scout out a good position, sit and wait for your kill, eliminate the enemy, and relocate immediately. Unlike a typical anti-tank gun, you can relocate kilometers rather than meters away. The elevated platform for the gun means that finding cover is somewhat more of a challenge, but you can see over terrain features and brush lines that a regular anti-tank gun crew cannot. The gun is the fairly formidable 47mm SA mle 37, and fires across a 60 degree arc centered on the rear of the Laffly. The forward machine gun is the standard French 7.5mm FM 24/29 and fires through 60 degrees forward.
When you do make a kill with this weapon, DON’T STICK AROUND! Kill your target and move out – your mobility is a lot of your value, and you will create more trouble for the enemy if he can’t find you where he thinks you last were.
Drivers look through an armoured plate that replaces the windshield. Crew position 2 is gun commander with binoculars and crew position 3 is the gunner for the anti-tank gun, which works exactly like a regular anti-tank gun. Crew position 4 mans the machine gun on the cab roof, which functions exactly like the French machine gunner without needing to deploy to bipod. It reloads automatically.
The W-15 TCC has eight forward gears: 1-4 are low-range gears used for difficult terrain while 5-8 are high-range gears for normal driving. When making quick starts, start in fifth gear instead of using gears 1 through 4.