Today another French armoured car enters closed test, the Panhard AMD 178B, the first vehicle of the new upcoming mini-branch of armoured cars.
The Panhard AMD 178 development started in 1931 with the specification from the French Cavalry, for a modern long-range and fast reconnaissance vehicle classed as AMD (Automitrailleuse de Découverte). The final specifications were released in November 1932 and asked for a four-ton vehicle, with a 400 km cruise range and capable of reaching 70 km/h.
In 1933, Panhard, Renault, Berliet and Latil proposed prototypes with Panhard being the earliest one to be built and presented in January 1934. The vehicle was accepted with some modifications and received the name AMD 35.
The vehicle received several modifications in the interim years with the first production series scheduled to start in 1937. Due to shortages, strikes and delays, work only really started in 1938 and by September 1939, 219 hulls were available and some pending completion. By May 1940, a total of 339 had been built with a range of variations.
After France occupation by Germany, more vehicles were produced under German supervision, where they received several modifications and even new turret variations. After the liberation of Paris, the vehicle received several modifications and was renamed Panhard AMD 178B. The hulls were modified to receive a bigger turret Fives Lille (FL1), large enough to house a 75 mm SA 45 L/32 gun. However, in the meantime, production was reverted to a smaller 47 mm SA35 gun.
In World of Tanks, the Panhard AMD 178B will be the first vehicle of the new mini-branch, starting at Tier VI. It carries a 75 mm gun and two axles, a total of four wheels. The new special magnet auto-aim will be the only new mechanic available in this vehicle.
Following the same doctrine of other vehicles, fast with limited view range, very vulnerable to enemy fire, the AMD 178B will be the first step to master armoured cars in World of Tanks.
The vehicle will also feature good gun stabilization but it won’t be able to turn its hull in place. Relying on its speed, its expected players should use active spotting tactics while providing fire support.
Depending on test results, characteristics and mechanics might change before release.